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Manufacturing offence

  — The Dove advert controversy: how to ignore reality and fake racism for your own benefit —   This week one of the world’s largest corporations, whose existence depends on pleasing millions of customers, brazenly released an advertisement showing it believes black people are inferior to white people. Despite their marketing team being the … Continue reading

Cellophane and tealights: mourning terror victims in Britain

  — Why do memorials for terror attacks in Britain lack the dignity found elsewhere? —   With the increasing number of terrorist attacks in Europe in recent years I’ve often been struck by the odd way in which the British, compared to other nationalities, use flowers to pay tribute to the victims of such … Continue reading

Protected: The River

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Yesterday

Yesterday – it was a still, late summer’s afternoon and I had been wandering in the woods – I went into a graveyard in a secluded hamlet, beside a river, between the trees. Among the few, old graves was one of a very young girl, a baby, who died in 1971. She would have been … Continue reading

The other Stuart Hall

— A personal tribute to the influential cultural theorist and sociologist — Stuart Hall has died. No, not that one. I thought the same too, yesterday, for a split-second after reading the headline. No, I mean a far less well-known Stuart Hall than the former TV presenter and now infamous criminal, who is locked-up somewhere … Continue reading

Fourteen lines which I really like

It’s been a long while since my last post. I’ve been busy. Or perhaps have fallen victim to the phenomenon of a blog only lasting, on average, around six months. I needed some excuses and there they are. And this blog post is not even, largely, my own work, not the core of it anyway … Continue reading

On a hill, beside the town

Today Winter ended. Overhead the swallows tumbled and darted across the blue. The verdant fresh grass in the fields by my house swayed in long, lethargic waves in the warm wind. I sat bare-footed on my doorstep, watching the sparrows build their nests. At my feet, the garden was a profusion of green in a … Continue reading

Long live Uncle Monty

Sad news last week, with the death of Richard Griffiths, British stage and screen actor, famous for Harry Potter, The History Boys and, of course, the absolute timeless classic, Withnail and I. Loved by most former Arts students (and that’s a lot of people since the film appeared in 1986), I must have seen it … Continue reading

In brief: Thanks for the hack

14 March 2013:  — Thanks for the hack — I’m unexpectedly but happily back on wordpress.com after flirting with the heady life of having a self-hosted website and my own domain name, courtesy of wordpress.org and Dataflame. It lasted about six months. Trying to log in recently to the self-hosted site I found, not my … Continue reading

Count Arthur Strong and the art of comedy

After a prolonged famine in new entries to the comedy hall of fame, a saviour has arrived and he’s serving up a feast In every artistic form, every literary genre, and in every broadcast format, there are talents so great they seem impervious to the cruel ravages of time. The unpredictable ebbs and flows of … Continue reading

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