Even the obvious has now become revolutionary.

Christopher Hitchens. Read it all.

One can stare at a simple sign or banner or placard for a long time before its true meaning discloses itself. The late John Sparrow, warden of All Souls College, Oxford, was once struck motionless by a notice at the foot of the escalator at Oxford Circus Tube station. “Dogs,” it read, “must be carried.” What to do then, wondered this celebrated pedant, if you hadn’t got a dog with you?

And then there came a day, well evoked by Ian McEwan in his novel Saturday, when hundreds of people I knew were prepared to traipse through the streets of London behind a huge banner that read “No war on Iraq. Freedom for Palestine”. This was in fact the official slogan of the organisers. Let us gaze at these two simple injunctions for a second. …