Tag Archive: Anthony Burgess

SHAKESPEARE by Bill Bryson (Harper Press, 2007)

Do we really need another book about William Shakespeare? The answer is, of course, a resounding ‘NO’.

In fairness, Bill Bryson is fully cognizant of this fact. He is honest enough to admit that this book contains not so much his own opinions “but is instead about what I learned of William Shakespeare from people who have spent a lifetime studying and thinking about him”.

Bryson makes the accurate observation that the Bard of Stratford-Upon-Avon is “not so much a historical figure as an academic obsession”.

He is in his element when debunking some of the unsubstantiated claims the so-called ‘experts’ have made in an attempt to uncover the man behind the myth. Continue reading


Part of an irregular series of bite-sized posts about 7″ singles I own – shameless nostalgia from the days of vinyl. (Search ‘Backtracking’ to collect the set!)

Heaven 17 – (We don’t need this) Fascist Groove Thang b/w The Decline of the West (Virgin Records, 1981) 

“Have you heard it on the news about this fascist groove thang – evil men with racist views spreading all across this land”

Heaven 17 - we mean it maaaaaan!

History has a nasty habit of repeating itself. Apologists for fascism and genocide may be asserting the right to free speech but their comments need to be vilified in the strongest possible terms.

Danish film director Lars  (“I am a Nazi”) Von Trier claims he was only joking during the press conference at Cannes Film Festival when he said that he sympathises with Adolf Hitler.

He admits that Hitler “did some wrong things” and was “not a good guy”; banalities that must go down as the sickest and most misguided understatements of the year.

What Von Trier was really doing was to seek some cheap publicity to grab the headlines; he has achieved this but probably not in the way he envisaged. Who knows what was going through his head to make such crass remarks.

Some folks have come to his defence and argue that Jews should lighten up, but these were not comments against one race but against the human race.

I therefore dedicate today’s ‘Backtrack’ to Von Trier and would draw his attention to the lines “Hitler proves that funky stuff is not for you and me girl”. Continue reading

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