“Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her. “It isn’t fair,” she said. A stone hit her on the side of the head. Old Man Warner was saying, “Come on, come on, everyone.” Steve Adams was in the front of the crowd of villagers, with Mrs. Graves beside him.
“It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.
— Shirley Jackson,The Lottery
I am not American. So I have come late to the genius of Andrew…
He waxes desperate with imagination.
Let’s follow. ’Tis not fit thus to obey him.
Have after. To what issue will this come?
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Heaven will direct it.
Nay, let’s follow him. [Exeunt.]
(Hamlet, Act-I, Scene-IV, Lines 87–91)
One lives in a country where the Royal Family or ‘The Firm’ — as they are referred to by themselves in private and by those who see them and know them for what they really are — still continues to behave and operate as if they are above the law…
“Estragon: We always find something, eh Didi, to give us the impression we exist?
Vladimir: Yes, yes, we’re magicians.”
― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett is a play that prompts many questions, and answers none of them. Written originally in French in 1948–49 it was premiered in 1953 in Paris. Ostensibly it is about two characters, Vladimir (Dido) and Estragon (Gogo) who engage in a variety of discussions and encounters while awaiting Godot, who never arrives. ‘And if he comes?’ one of Beckett’s tramps asks the other near the end of the play. ‘We’ll…
‘‘The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.’’
— Martin Luther King Jr.
On 11 February 2021, President Joe Biden announced a review of plans to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp by the end of his term. At the time, there were 40 prisoners at the camp, most of whom had been held for nearly two decades without being charged or tried. As of January 2021, 731 of the 780 people detained were transferred, 40 remain and 9 died while in custody.
The camp was established by…
Riot police from all over the southwest of England descended on a very peaceful protest camp on College Green in Bristol last night (Tuesday 23 March 2021). Around 150 people were protesting about the most racist and classist part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021, which has criminalised trespass with the intention to reside. It will affect traveller communities and rough sleepers by now criminalising their very existence. The protest had taken place upon an area known as College Green where tents had been set up and speeches made by the small group of protestors. …
“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.’’
(Commencement Address at Yale University, June 11 1962)
― John F. Kennedy
In response to calls for fuller information about its founder, Churchill College, Cambridge very recently set up a series of events on Churchill, Empire and Race. Priyamvada Gopal is Professor of…
“Since mankind’s dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We’ve seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.”
― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
There are many many dystopian works and there have been quite a few dystopian film adaptations. The dystopian creations that stand out are those that speak to us in every era. Each work mirrors our reality to a greater or lesser extent. The great ones are…
“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”
It is now nearly 60 years ago since another American created a storm of huge proportions by just a single comment he made,
‘Great Britain had lost an Empire but not yet found a role’
This was Dean Acheson — Secretary of State under the Truman presidency in 1962.
It is this comment that I find echoes in much of the underlying exposition given by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in their interview on CBS to Oprah Winfrey about their treatment and abuse from the British tabloid press and The Royal Family. It was…
“Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world; yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history; yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.”
― Albert Camus, The Plague
The architecture firm Gómez Platero is leading a $1.5 …
“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt”
― Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason
‘What is the explanation of the seemingly insane drive of man to be painter and poet if it is not an act of defiance against man’s fall and an assertion that he return to the Garden of Eden? For the artists are the first men.’’
— Barnett Newman
Before I begin my deconstruction and…