It’s always weird to toggle back to UK politics and discover that the Prime Minister will probably have to resign because his girlfriend mocked the preferred department store of the upper middle classes
Doing up number 11 as a sort of Neocolonial nabob’s boudoir won’t go down well in Frinton-on-sea
I think @VICE should take this down. There’s no value to it. It disrespects the dead and, as others have said, falsifies history.
I read the piece (won’t link) and his motives seem muddled. I doubt he’d feel ok altering Shoah photos (maybe he would?) which opens up the question of why the S21 pictures appear available to him to make this intervention.
I know everyone’s dunking on the bit in the #SewellReport where they suggest that instead of teaching the downside of colonialism we make a fun list of Indian-origin English words, but I think it might start more conversations than you think
Loot, for example
The Hobson-Jobson dictionary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian slang is available online. It contains a wealth of context and I’d fully support its use as a textbook
Congratulations to the UK on ending centuries of institutional racism in the few years since I left the country! I did hear something about a ‘hostile environment’ but that must have been a misspelling of ‘beacon to the world’
Also, great job on policing! Turns out that they’re not political, they’re just doing their job.
And also, isn’t it amazing that there won’t be any more noisy, disruptive protests. Such a welcome change.
It’s the end of the year, and like everyone else I’m happy to see it go. Still, I'm going to do one of those year-in-review threads, so please do mute if you’re not in the mood.
Main achievement: @katiekitamura and I have two happy sane children who have learned some stuff at home. We lost my uncle to covid and my parents haven’t seen their grandchildren in a year, but we’re doing ok.
Some of it is abdication of responsibility by the executive. Some of it is a health system that’s been so stretched that it hasn’t had capacity to plan a vaccination program. But there’s something else. Indifference. Helplessness.
The pollution of the media environment and the politicization of public health information have paralyzed the US virus response and cost thousands of lives. It will be remembered as a criminal act by a destructive administration.
It's possible that I may have mentioned once or twice that I have a novel out. It's called Red Pill and it's partly set in Berlin. While I was researching it, I found out a lot about life in the former East Berlin. Some of that found its way into the book. But there was more ...
I was interested in surveillance. These days we all have a spy in our pocket, and the people watching are mostly from big tech companies, looking to predict our behavior. In the GDR, they had the Stasi
At first I was interested in how the Stasi monitored political dissidents and artists - people like the writers Juergen Fuchs and Sascha Anderson
Just arrived - Carnatic violin from 78’s collected by my friend (and Into the Zone guest) Chris King. Thanks @thirdmanrecords
Great liner notes too. Fascinating to see Chris joining the dots between Indian violin and his passion for Greek violinists like Alexis Zoumbas
On Into the Zone, Chris and I talked about prewar American rural music, and he played me jug bands and some amazing early Cajun music. We talked about the friendship between singer and accordionist Amédé Ardoin and violinist Dennis McGee.
If you want an idea of how invisible non-white perspectives are in French cultural debate, they are (in 2020) about to take the n-word out of the title of that Agatha Christie novel and a media philosopher is calling it ‘cancel culture’ and quoting Rousseau
Interview here (in French) - also he splutters (hilariously) that if this kind of terrible censorship is allowed to stand, then next they’ll be CHANGING THE LYRICS OF DIRE STRAITS SONGS. lecho.be/culture/genera…
The cultural context in which people like Enthoven clutch their pearls about censorship is also one where a magazine can run an illustration of a black deputée in a slave collar and chains (h/t @julienkirch) theguardian.com/world/2020/aug…
It's disturbing to me that this kind of revisionism might become the norm. I was in LA on 9/11 and was due to fly back to London the next day. Obviously that didn't happen. While I waited for flights to resume I ended up (long story) in Las Vegas. There was nothing calm about it.
Every brown person who was around then will remember Balbir Singh Sodhi, the Sikh gas station owner in Mesa, AZ, who was killed on 15th September by guy who said he was 'going out to shoot some towel heads'
So there's a new episode of Into the Zone. It's about this guy, who was a guest in my family's home in Agra some time in the 1920's.
At the time Jiddu Krishnamurti was at the apex of a dazzling career as a spiritual guru. Since he was a young child, he'd been groomed to be the new Messiah of Theosophy, the spiritualist society founded by Russian mystic Madame Helena Blavatsky
I knew Krishnamurti had stayed at our house, and as a child I'd found some old Theosophical books in my great grandfather's shuttered study, but until I researched the podcast I didn't know the full story.