Death metal & comfy Norwegian prisons

(I collected this at least two months ago, but then forgot about it….Oops!)

Mark Ames reviews two dissimilar books: a Satanic heavy metal music and a ho-hum Richard Perle political screed. Hilarious.

And why not go all the way for murder and arson, considering what the "consequences" of murder are in Northern Europe. Oo, a Northern European jail. Oo, I’m so scared! The sentences, when they’re even given out, are laughably light, while the jail conditions were described as a "holiday" by one of the victims’ mothers, or "time flies when you’re having fun" by one of the perps.

One lesson of Lords of Chaos is that it pays to murder in Northern Europe. Literally. Going to prison there is like getting comped at a Comfort Inn. You can’t possibly get locked away for long, and even if they give you 10 or 20 years–and that’s if you’re lucky–you can still get off on weekends for unaccompanied home visits, enough time to participate in another murder. Prisons there are so comfy that even the metalists complained about getting treated too well. As Varg Vikernes sneered, "It’s much too nice here. It’s completely ridiculous. I asked the police to throw me in a real dungeon, and also encouraged them to use violence." Naturally, they didn’t.

Mark Ames is a political satirist who was founding editor of the satirical biweekly eXile in Moscow. Other articles by Ames .  Other book reviews by Ames. I blogged about eXile a few years ago about the Russian beauty contest scandal. Ames has two books: Going Postal and an anthology of Exile pieces. Mark, if you’re ego-surfing and stumbling upon this piece, why not self-publish these as ebooks on

God, did you remember the hullaballoo about the Cheney energy task force? Turns out there was a lot of THERE there. Sourcewatch reports.

James Fallows points out how Turkish media’s distortion of the Xinjian/Uighur problem is just as bad as Chinese media’s:

The point about separate fact-universes is one of the sobering marvels of the modern info-age. It’s true within the United States, as discussed long ago here; and it’s true between countries, as China, Turkey, and the rest of the world all digest different versions of the Xinjiang "truth." Main point: the internet, mobile phones, and other info technology, far from eliminating the country-by-country differences in information and belief, in some ways may increase them, as each little info-sphere is able to reinforce its own view of the world.

(Wow, I was going to remove that link when I discovered that it’s a link to Fallow’s very  book on the  subject. Bravo!)

Here’s an article I wrote for teleread about global warming and the publishing industry.






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