In The Critics this week

Christopher Caldwell, EastEnders and the New Left Review.

"An amalgam of every orientalist prejudice known to man and history." As part of our Islam special, Ziauddin Sardar neatly despatches Christopher Caldwell's predictions of a Muslim takover of Europe in his review of Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West.

Elsewhere, Jonathan Derbyshire salutes the New Left Review's 50th anniversary (or "quinquagenary") issue; John Lanchester talks to the NS about his book on the financial crisis, Whoops!; Anne McElvoy skewers the new Alastair Campbell novel; and Daniel Trilling and Yasmeen Khan mark 25 years of EastEnders.

Plus, there are the usual columns from our award-winning critics: Ryan Gilbey (on the documentary Food, Inc), Rachel Cooke (on the BBC's Syrian School), Antonia Quirke (on the Super Bowl) and Will Self (on the rare pleasures of the hotel breakfast).

The issue is on sale now, or you can subscribe through the website.

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Katy Perry just saved the Brits with a parody of Donald Trump and Theresa May

Our sincerest thanks to the pop star for bringing one fleeting moment of edge to a very boring awards show.

Now, your mole cannot claim to be an expert on the cutting edge of culture, but if there’s one thing we can all agree on in 2017, it’s that the Brit Awards are more old hat than my press cap. 

Repeatedly excluding the genres and artists that make British music genuinely innovative, the Brits instead likes to spend its time rewarding such dangerous up-and-coming acts as Robbie Williams. And it’s hosted by Dermot O’Leary.

Which is why the regular audience must have been genuinely baffled to see a hint of political edge entering the ceremony this year. Following an extremely #makeuthink music video released earlier this week, Katy Perry took to the stage to perform her single “Chained to the Rhythm” amongst a sea of suburban houses. Your mole, for one, doesn’t think there are enough model villages at popular award ceremonies these days.

But while Katy sang of “stumbling around like a wasted zombie”, and her house-clad dancers fell off the edge of the stage, two enormous skeleton puppets entered the performance in... familiar outfits.

As our Prime Minister likes to ask, remind you of anyone?

How about now?

Wow. Satire.

The mole would like to extend its sincerest lukewarm thanks to Katy Perry for bringing one fleeting moment of edge to one of the most vanilla, status-quo-preserving awards ceremonies in existence. 

I'm a mole, innit.