I find that an unsettling, macabrely attractive image. By the Pricking of My Thumbs was one of half a dozen or so 1960s and 1970s Fontana editions of Agatha Christie novels I picked up for a pound each at Oxfam six or seven years ago...
Saturday, 22 October 2016
Friday, 21 October 2016
The "Turing law" pardoning deceased homosexual men convicted of illegal sexual acts in the past is a load of sentimental nonsense
I write this with some trepidation, because - I was recently informed - while it's just about all right among young educated white folk to criticise Muslims, Jews, and even blacks, disparaging or making fun of gays is considered unacceptable. The ultimate social sin - the act which will lead to immediate ostracism - is to question the necessity for gay marriage. Presumably this attitude of fiercely intolerant tolerance accounts for the seeming absence of scepticism when it comes to the government's announcement that 65,000 gay men convicted of breaking the law when consensual homosexual acts were illegal - of whom 15,000 are still alive - are to be pardoned.
I don't get it.
I don't get it.
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
The Gradgrinds and the Yahoos have triumphed - as of 2018, History of Art will no longer be an A-level subject
"Studying history of art is more than a posh hobby", pupils will still be able to study for an A-level in drama, PE or media studies, none of which (I'm reliably informed) require more than two brain cells to pass and none of which could be even vaguely described as academically rigorous - but they won't be able to study Art History, which - as the title of the course suggests - is basically history studied through the prism of art, and which involves writing lots of essays, reading academic books and articles, committing to memory a shedload of dates and artists's names and the names, nature and significance of tons of art movements, and knowing what was happening culturally during a number of historical periods: from what I can gather, it had nothing whatsoever to do with "art appreciation" - you were meant to study cultural artefacts as historical rather than aesthetic objects to be swooned over (although swooning wasn't exactly prohibited, neither was it encouraged).
Heart-rending, right? What sort of monster could possibly object to Britain taking in poor, vulnerable little mites like these? Not even me!
Mary Seacole deserves her London statue for being a pioneering black female entrepreneur rather than for being a lovely, warm-hearted black pseudo-nurse
Friday, 14 October 2016
This Schadenfreudtastic year keeps on delivering - Paul Mason is caught slagging off his "hero", Jeremy Corbyn
|'Appen, summat 'as 'appened as shouldn't 'ave 'appened. Bugger!|
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
Former Director-General Mark Thompson wants more Tories in the BBC? Here's a word-association test to identify the right applicants.
Mark Thompson recently made the following statement: “It helps to have Conservatives, people who tend to think from a perspective that goes with the Right rather than the Left, across your newsroom and inside your senior decision-making bodies and inside your leadership.” (You can read the whole story here.) Given that I've been banging on in a similar vein for years (albeit muttering to myself like some deranged old vagrant on this blog), I couldn't agree more. The only problem is that this tall, amiable, ginger-bearded former boss of mine is currently CEO of the screamingly left-liberal New York Times, and was the Director-General of the left-liberal BBC for the eight years up to 2012. If he's so keen on having right-wingers "across your newsroom", why weren't there any at the BBC when he was in charge of News - and why is the NYT so left-wing (although, as it isn't funded by a poll tax, it can take any political stance it wants)?
Email from BBC Assistant Political Editor Norman Smith to newsreaders, with a list of questions to ask him attached
I thought it might save time if, rather than having to brief you on what you should ask me during live interviews from Westminster, you just used the following standard list of questions - because I'm going to say pretty much the same thing in any case, especially if it's about Brexit (which it will be until the government agrees to a second referendum):
List of questions to ask Norman Smith during Live 2-Ways:
("I'm now joined from Westminster by the BBC's Assistant Political Editor, Norman Smith...)
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Bothered by Brexit? Terrified of Trump? Horrified by Hillary? Banish the blues with a chucklesome selection of parody book covers
A series of parody book covers of Pelican Original and Penguin Guide paperbacks from the 60s and 70s on the Scarfolk Council blog made me laugh out loud this morning: