If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. Political language—and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists—is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one's own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase—some jackboot, Achilles' heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse—into the dustbin, where it belongs.
-- George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" (1946)
Some recent popular items:
"Getting Home"... a missive from India by Anuradha Roy, here.
"Tell Me How This Ends"... including that awful mess in Tampa, FL, here.
In the Middle East, Where is the Indispensable Nation? Here.
Sherlock Holmes at the Beginning, here.
Billy Wilder on "The Lubitsch Touch," here.
Mencken on the prime function of a first-rate newspaper, here.
Mexico and its New Wave of Artists, here and here.
Tours of Literary New York, here.
The Red Poppy and Remembrance Day, here, with video.
Response to NYT magazine portrait of London, here.