Tag Archives: politics

Olympics part 3 – Backsides, bottoms and bums

Before you get hot under the collar about all the pictures of backsides, bottoms and bums – not to mention the odd crotch – please keep in mind that this is an important feminist argument, relevant to sports fans, Olympic watchers, media workers and er… you.

Also, I stole it all from Nate Jones at www.metro.us. A lazy flicher, that’s me. But think of this larceny as homage to his piece (ooer madam).

It was so effective, I thought you deserved to see it all. And I mean all! (But don’t worry . It is safe to read the rest at the office. As long as you’re willing to risk outbreaks of female giggling, some loud whooping and a dip in productivity.)

What if every Olympic sport was photographed like beach volleyball? (by Nate Jones) Continue reading

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So that’s what happened to the KGB

The KGB? They haven’t gone away you know.

But they’ve ended up in the most unexpected places. You’ll never guess Continue reading

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Thank you Culture Northern Ireland

Thank you Culture Northern Ireland for giving me a £100 Amazon voucher (for winning a writing competition completing a survey). And thank you Gerry Anderson and politician Gregory Campbell for helping me spend it. Well, to be more precise – they had a row. But Continue reading

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Filed under art, media, Music, What I'm Reading

The ugly honesty of a financial trader

We revel in your misery – should that be the official slogan of financial traders? (Could double up for journalists too I suppose – suffering makes news.)

Trader Alessio Rastani was interviewed on BBC News recently. He was frank. Honest. Too honest?

And the truth was ugly. “I go to bed every night and I dream of a recession.” He wants it. Have a watch Continue reading

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Partial Truths & Organised Forgetting (A Right of Reply)

Christine and two out of three of her children. (Lovely picture.)

Ever wanted a right to reply? Here’s one… A few months ago I published a post called How to come back from being burned at the stake. One reader, Christine Kalume, felt so strongly about what I had written and what had been said in the comments that she wanted to respond at length. I agreed and here is her response.

First a reminder. The original story was pegged to the row that erupted after a newspaper feature asked whether the southern English town of Lewes was racist. The white journalist is in a marriage to a black woman and has mixed race children. He listed perceived slights and discrimination. Some people in Lewes were very offended at what they saw as a slur on their community. They even went so far as to burn an effigy of the journalist David James Smith at their annual bonfire – putting him in the company of the Pope and politicians.

David James Smith and his family

So far, so inflammatory. But what appealed to me about the whole business, was what happened next. Rather than running, hiding, moving house or lashing out, David James Smith bravely took part in an open meeting with his critics, the better to discuss the issues he had raised. You’ll find details about all that in my original post.

It was great to have responses  from David James Smith himself and some very long considered comments from others too. But I promised Lewes local Christine Kalume that she could write a guest post on it all, and here it is. So these are her views, not mine. I find them fascinating and enlightening – I hope you do too. But whether you like what she has to say or not, I hope you’ll leave a comment. (It’s quite long, so you’re allowed to leave a comment on just a wee bit of it, or the lovely pictures scattered throughout.)

Who are we? Partial Truths and organised forgetting – by Christine Kalume *

The Sunday Times feature article last year by David James Smith  (DJS)2 on his family’s experiences of racism in the English market town of Lewes sparked some intense debates. Initial responses tended to focus on the pros and cons of the approach taken and points made in the article (like this one by local Lewesian David Bradford). However, the article also opened up a communication space to explore issues linked to racism – and diversity more broadly.

Christine and Tony's wedding day in Nairobi, Kenya

As a Lewesian and someone in a mixed race marriage for whom connections to other cultures and to Africa in particular have been important, I found myself thinking and thinking about some of the issues raised. So when Paul gave me this space on his blog to contribute, I was delighted. I have tried to provide evidence to support some of my points but this is not an academic article. I hope it encourages further discussion ‒ and even contributes in some small way to change Continue reading

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Starring Colin Firth as Hugh Grant…

Starring Colin Firth as Hugh Grant, and Mr Bean as...

How’s this for super quick reaction? Hackgate: The Movie.

It’s here. Well – the trailer is anyway. And what a star-studded cast. Colin Firth plays Hugh Grant. Hugh Grant plays… someone else. I forget. Watch the trailer to find out.

There’s an inspired (or too obvious?) casting for the role of Rebekah Brooks. But Ed Miliband and David Cameron – perfect casting choices. (No, I’m not telling you. Watch the Continue reading

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Filed under Film, media, politics

Zero waste shopping – saving the planet or wasting your time?

Our shopping habits are changing. Or changing back.

In the past you could put in an order and a butcher’s boy would turn up with sausages in the basket of his delivery bike. Then that died out and we all had to go to the shop. Now we can order online and get it delivered once again. Full circle.

Not all the “progress” has been for the better. Just ask Grandad in the picture. (Click on the photo to make the text bigger.)

Packaging is another one. It galls me to see bananas wrapped in plastic – or any fruit which already comes in its own natural wrapper.

But we’re lazy and squeamish and alienated from the reality of food. The very thought of having to wash mud off a potato… or the idea that a pig had to die to make that sausage… puh-lease! Let’s not dwell on the seamy side of life.

Some places – like Ireland – have made significant progress in reducing pointless packaging – plastic bags in particular. Environmental legislation and charges made the difference there. But it’s more fashionable these days to nudge people towards different behaviour, rather than compel them… to provide attractive alternatives.

So what about a shop encourages you to bring your own reusable packaging/containers/boxes/bags/jars? Could it catch on?

And guess what? It’s not launching in Vermont or California – but Continue reading

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