The second of Aaronovitch’s series about the division of the Metropolitan Police that deals with magical goings-on. It’s a fun romp – I laughed more often than you might expect.
I don’t know how long ago I read the first one, Rivers of London, but I didn’t write about it here, and it must be a while, because I don’t remember much of it. Still, the backstory is handled nicely here, so I could get by fine.
A lot of it is about jazz and jazz musicians. It’s likely to make you check out the odd track.
The front page of today’s Guardian has a picture of what it looks like when you let the terrorists win:
Armed police used to be almost unknown on British streets. Now they’re becoming alarmingly commonplace. I saw two outside Liverpool Street Station yesterday; armed, like the two above, not just with pistols, but with big, two handed things that most people would call “machine guns.” This increasing militarisation of the police was taken a step further this week when the Maybot ordered actual troops onto the streets. And I read that armoured vehicles were going to be deployed at the FA Cup final.
Armed police on a beach: why? Was there a reasonable expectation of some sort of attack on Scarborough beach? And if there was: would weapons have helped? Armed police would not have stopped the tragedy in Manchester.
The aim of the terrorist is to cause terror. All this escalation does is make ordinary people feel more worried, more scared. Worry and low-grade fear aren’t terror, but they’re on the same axis. Overreacting like this is playing into the terrorists’ hands. As well, of course, as being a cynical political move in the runup to an election whose calling was, itself, a cynical political move.
Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn gave speech making reasonable, uncontentious points about the links between foreign policy and terrorism. Predictably the right-wing press and Tory politicians went ape.
I came upon these when I was digging out some old comics for my son. These are not for eleven-year-olds, but I realised I hadn't read them in years, and I thought I'd see how they had aged (plus, I remembered next to nothing about the story).
The story is not bad, but not that great. In a post-collapse America, corruption and gang violence are rife, and the government (perhaps all the governments of the world) have left Earth, and are still ruling (or trying to) from Mars. On Earth the law - and to some extent, the peace - is kept by the Plexus Rangers. Or rather, as you eventually realise, the PlexUS Rangers, since there are also PlexUSSR Rangers. The Plex is the overall world government. Or something.
Reuben Flagg was a video star (ie TV or movie: there’s a lot about ‘video’ here, but it’s pretty much all broadcast stuff) on Mars. He played the eponymous ‘Mark Thrust, Sexus Ranger’. But new technology has made actors unnecessary, and he has volunteered as a Plexus Ranger and been sent to Earth, to Chicago.
He is the one (relatively) good man in a corrupt environment, and with the help of a clumsy android, a talking cat, and various women in their underwear, he tries to keep things under control.
Oh yes, the underwear thing: Chaykin is unable, it seems to draw women wearing anything other than basques, stockings and suspenders. No matter what they’re doing, pretty much. There’s nothing like wearing your fetishes on your sleeve, I suppose. Or, you know, lower down.