Monday's NYT had stories on two of my favourite topics/rants: China and its attempts to expand its sphere of influence and South Africa and its cartoonish incarnations of political leaders.
China was the honoured guest at the Frankfurt Book Fair and naturally, they attempted to control which authors could attend, which books to promote, etc and complained that members of the Dalai Lama's entourage might be there. They seem not to get it that most of the world has no desire to play by their rules or to squash individual freedom.
And the farce that is currently on display in a corruption trial in South Africa requires a playwright to reveal that truth is far stranger, and more entertaining, than fiction.
Speaking of South Africa, the 8 October 2009 edition of the London Review of Books has a very interesting review of RW Johnson's new book "South Africa’s Brave New World: The Beloved Country since the End of Apartheid". Roger Southall's review is thought-provoking.