Category: politics


Orphans and masters

THE ORPHAN MASTER’S SON by Adam Johnson (First published by Random House, 2012)

benson-the_orphan_masterxs_son

This is the story of a survivor who has nothing to live for.

Pak Jun Do is a North Korean John Doe and by all accounts a model citizen of a shitty nation.

Adam Johnson’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel illustrates that when living within ideological systems it is too easy to get stuck between a rock and a hard place. Hegemony functions to make any way of life appear to be ‘normal’ and/or beyond reproach.

Johnson asks plenty of loaded questions such as to whether it is nobler to be devoted to the ‘dear leader’ (Kim Jon II) of North Korea than to cling to an often elusive American dream. No middle way is offered. Continue reading

Caché (Hidden) directed by Michael Haneke (France, 2005)

cacheOn 17th October 1961, the French National Police, following orders  from the head of the Parisian police force, Maurice Papon,  attacked a peaceful demonstration of around 30,000 pro-National Liberation Front (FLN) Algerians.

The events surrounding the massacre and its death toll of anywhere between 40 and 200 Algerians were long denied by the state and were not exposed by the media at the time. The true extent of the massacre only became public around 40 years later.

I didn’t know the details of this shameful cover-up but the ‘truth’ of this recent history helps to understand some of the complexities of Michael Haneke’s subtle and brilliantly acted psychological thriller, Caché (Hidden). Continue reading

ROCKIN’ 1000 – THAT’S LIVE : Orogel Stadium, Cesena, Italy 24th July 2016

arockin4Talkin’ ’bout a revolution?

Well, if you define a revolution as a popular uprising for the common good of the people, then that is exactly what we witnessed last night at a soccer stadium in Cesena in a unique event organized by Rockin’1000.

This time last year Cesena rocked the world with a one-off mass performance of ‘Learn To Fly’.

The stirring video of this went viral and brought tears to the eyes of Dave Grohl. It achieved the goal of getting The Foo Fighters to play in this small provincial town in Emilia-Romagna (Population 97,000) .

This is the video:

arockin1

For those about to rock. How the stadium looked before the start of the show.

This year, the aim was to kick ass worldwide once again and play, not just one song, but a full concert.

As before this was the brainchild/wild dream of Fabio Zaffagnini a modest spokesman for the project who is always at pains to point out that this a team mission that could not succeed without others having the same level of passion, creativity, madness and belief in miracles.
Continue reading

Jo_CoxThis is a blog post in defence of a tweet I wrote this morning which read as follows:  “In honour of Jo Cox & in opposition to the haters & racists, Brits must vote remain on 23/6″

In an excellent article in The Guardian, Polly Toynbee wrote of the “corrosive” anger aroused by the forthcoming referendum on whether Britain remains or leaves the EU.The venomous reaction to my tweet could be construed as evidence of this. Here are a sample of the numerous comments I received:

  • You really are despicable – exploiting her death for political gain
  • Your comment is absolutely disgraceful and shames the Remain campaign
  • You are a heartless, opportunistic ghoul.
  • Shit for brains.

I stand by what I wrote but feel motivated to explain / defend myself beyond the 140 character limit. Continue reading

treetoclub
“One cannot expect a little tree that has been turned into a club to produce leaves”

Michael Burber (from Paths in Utopia, 1958)

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