Archive for December, 2002

Image of the Week #19

December 23rd, 2002

Off to Newcastle for a few days tomorrow morning. (Or Newcastle Gateshead, as we now have to call it).

So, while I’m away, Season’s Greetings from the Virtual Stoa. (Appropriate nativity image from The Brick Testament, of course.)

Dead Socialist Watch, #9

December 23rd, 2002

Randolph Bourne (1886-1918), rest in peace. Author of the classic essay War is the Health of the State, which was left unfinished at the time of his death in the great flu epidemic, and is just as relevant today as when it was first written.

The World’s Favourite Song

December 21st, 2002

The BBC World Service has announced that the World’s Favourite Song is… “A Nation Once Again” by the Wolfe Tones…

A Nation Once Again

When boyhood’s fire was in my blood,
I read of ancient freemen,
For Greece and Rome who bravely stood,
Three Hundred men and Three men.
And then I prayed I yet might see
Our fetters rent in twain,
And Ireland, long a province, be
A Nation once again.

And, from that time, through wildest woe,
That hope has shone, a far light;
Nor could love’s brightest summer glow
Outshine that solemn starlight:
It seemed to watch above my head
In forum, field and fane;
Its angel voice sang round my bed,
‘A Nation once again.’

It whispered, too, that ‘freedom’s ark
And service high and holy,
Would be profaned by feelings dark,
And passions vain or lowly;
For freedom comes from God’s right hand,
And needs a godly train;
And righteous men must make our land
A Nation once again.’

So, as I grew from boy to man,
I bent me to that bidding–
My spirit of each selfish plan
And cruel passion ridding;
For, thus I hoped some day to aid–
Oh! can such hope be vain?
When my dear country shall be made
A Nation once again.

A splendid choice by the peoples of the world, and a fine, fine song.

Chris adds [23.12.2002]: An Irish friend tells me that it has long been known that the Republicans and the Devil have all the best tunes and that this comes as no surprise to the Unionists, for whom they have long been synonymous…

Class Struggle is the Name of the Game

December 19th, 2002

Junius has a recent post about PC boardgames, which reminds me that I still haven’t ever seen Class Struggle, the boardgame manufactured by Marxist political philosopher Bertell Ollman in the 1970s as a socialist-themed alternative to Monopoly. His memoir of those years, Class Struggle is the Name of the Game, would be a minor classic of its genre, except that it doesn’t really belong to any particular genre.

Junius responds [19.12.2002]: Played it!


December 19th, 2002

Everyone is linking to this, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to, too: Bill of Rights Pared Down to a Manageable Six. From The Onion.

News from North Korea

December 19th, 2002

There’s been a small amount of coverage in the US and UK media over the last few days of the press release put out by the North Korean News Agency condemning the new James Bond film (or “burlesque”) for being insufficiently polite about the great achievements of North Korean socialism, or somesuch.

It is a shame, however, that the Western media only pays attention to the official news from North Korea when James Bond films are involved. Already in December there have been any number of good stories which deserved a wider international airing, including Revolutionary sites visited by many people, Pyongyang Catfish farm commissioned, Slogan of Kirgyz party organ changed, or US urged to drop its brigandish logic (a variation on a theme, one suspects).

Most interestingly of all, “Chicken Farms Rebuilt on Modern Basis” was published on both 7 December and 12 December. And then every few days or so there is a story with the same headline, “Anecdote about Kim Jong Il” (try here, here and here).

I’ve always assumed that the reason why the site is hosted in Japan owes to the fact that the internet doesn’t yet reach North Korea – but I’d be happy to be corrected.


December 19th, 2002

This is outrageous.