Tag Archive: hegemony


bollocksThis is not a political blog but I can’t let the year pass without posting at least one piece about Brexit.

This is a topic that has been discussed and debated to death but still nobody seems clear what the actual consequences will be.

My perspective is as an ex-pat living in Italy who, like many others living abroad, found the result of the vote for the UK to exit the EU both shocking and bewildering.

All of my friends in England voted to remain but one from Northern Ireland close the leave path. This was, for me, an unfathomable decision because she had always struck me as rational woman whose radical left-wing views seemed entirely at odds with self-righteous rightists in the leave camp. What follows is adapted from a reply to a letter she wrote explaining her choice.

Firstly, I’d like to say that I didn’t think I was being so blunt about your decision to vote remain in the referendum. Perhaps my shock/surprise came over stronger than I intended but I didn’t set out to offend and I apologize if this is the way it came over. I certainly didn’t want to suggest you were blindly following leaders. I’ve known you long enough to know, and admire, your free-spirited independence.

I think fear of mass immigration was made into a big issue (playing upon inherent racism) but I recognize that this was not the only factor and was clearly was not what swung the vote in your case.

I agree with you that frustration and powerlessness led to people flexing the limited political muscle they had. This is the nature of most referendums and you now see it happening in general elections too.

People are no longer dependent solely on state propaganda or the mainstream media for information. The distrust towards the so-called experts and out of touch politicians is now at a feverish level and anyone with an internet connection now has a voice. However, even in this climate, lies written on buses and cynical poster campaigns still contribute to influencing public opinion. Continue reading

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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

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!)

THE CLASH – (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais b/w The Prisoner (CBS, 1978)

The mainstream hegemony is highly efficient and resistant to threats. It is hard to believe that less than two years before the release of this single, the folk devils were pounding on the door getting the establishment in a sweat.

Punk Rock was accused of demonizing the youth and the treasured social order was seen as being at risk. The tabloids railed against the filth and the fury on prime time TV. Where would all end? The Sex Pistols were the main whipping boys but they were seen as just the tip of a dangerous iceberg. Continue reading

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