NEW HUMANIST VOLUME 123 No 4 Tel 0207 436 1151 Fax 0207 079 3588 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Offices 1 Gower Street, London WC1E 6HD
Editor Caspar Melville Commissioning Editor Laurie Taylor Associate Editor Sally Feldman Editorial Assistant Paul Sims Designer Nick McKay Cover Martin Rowson Business Manager Judith Walker Subscriptions Jillian Gibbins Subscriptions enquiries email@example.com Tel 0207 436 1171 Advertising firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.newhumanist.org.uk ISSN 0306-512X
Published by the Rationalist Association registered charity No 1096577 RA President Jonathan Miller Vice presidents Baroness Susan Greenfi eld, Paul Kurtz, Laurie Taylor Honorary associates David Aaronovitch, Peter Atkins, Lord Birt, Harold Blackham, Colin Blakemore, Alan Brownjohn, Colin Campbell, Philip Campbell, Noam Chomsky, Bernard Crick, Helena Cronin, Richard Dawkins, Sanal Edamaruku, Paul Edwards, Ekow Eshun, Winston Fletcher, Michael Foot, AC Grayling, Stuart Hall, Tony Harrison, Simon Heff er, Christopher Hitchens, Eric Hobsbawm, Richard Hoggart, Ted Honderich, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sir Ludovic Kennedy, Richard Leakey, Sir Michael Levey, Sir John Maddox, Haydn Mason, Edwin Mullins, Conor Cruise O’Brien, John Postgate, Claire Rayner, Amartya Sen, David Starkey, Ralph Steadman, DJ Stewart, Ian Stewart, Claire Tomalin, David Tribe, Baroness Turner of Camden, Arnold Wesker, Francis Wheen, Lewis Wolpert
4 New Humanist
REGULARS 3] Editorial The real new media 6] Parish news 8 ] Yours sceptically Readers’ letters 17] Not my cup of tea Chris Maslanka’s quiz 50] Endgame Laurie Taylor flexes his muscles
FEATURES 10] Torch bearers Politics, religion and money can never overshadow the sheer drama of sport, says Paul Sims 15] Mistaken identity Both sides are wrong in the race debate, says Kenan Malik
24] Interview: The genius myth Lisa Jardine tells Laurie Taylor why she believes in doubt, precision and uncertainty 28] Caution, falling moguls Michael Bywater searches for clues to the real Woody Allen 31] Magical mystery tour Natalie Haynes is a stranger in the empire of woo 34] Gender traitors From anti-suffragists to antifeminists, why do some women turn on their sex? asks Sally Feldman 38] On neutral ground Liberalism can allow the devout and the faithless to get along, says Paul Kelly 41] Roots Caspar Melville unknots the dread-ful history of a hairstyle
10 JULY & AUGUST 2008
18] Global rebellion Mark Juergensmeyer asks why religious nationalism is threatening the secular state
COLUMNS 7] Diary Arnold Brown on 25 years at the Edinburgh Festival 14] Opinion Tom Paine’s rejection of violence made him a true revolutionary, says Trevor Griffiths 23] Obituary Robin Ince pays tribute to the late, great comedian George Carlin
POEM 49] Leah Fritz We Are The Gods
BOOK REVIEWS 44] Jenny Bunker sips the spirit of nobility 44] Philip Womack is absolutely terrified by a spooky debut novel 45] Michael Binyon tours Russia with Jonathan Dimbleby 46] Owen Hatherley gets to grips with the Religious Right 46] Ben Rich misses the last Jews of Kerala 48] Keith Kahn-Harris on the Norwegian black metallers
Arnold Brown is the world’s only ScottishJewish-accountant comedian, probably. Fondly known as the “comedians’ comedian”, in his diary on page 7 he records his thoughts as he prepares a new Edinburgh show 25 years after his debut.
Trevor Griffiths is one of Britain’s leading dramatists, whose work includes the play Comedians and the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Reds. On page 14 he reveals what his new radio play about Tom Paine has taught him about the great revolutionary.
On page 18 Mark Juergensmeyer analyses the global rise of religious nationalism. He is professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For his new book Global Rebellion (University of California Press), he talked to religious rebels in the Middle East, Japan, India and the US.
Natalie Haynes is a stand-up comedian who writes regularly for The Times and the Sunday Telegraph, but saves her best work for New Humanist. For this issue we sent her to a Mystic Arts festival. Find out what colour her aura is on page 31.
Kenan Malik is a prolific writer and broadcaster. On page 15 he argues that the language of cultural difference plays into the hands of the racists.
JULY AUGUST 2008 New Humanist 5