Archive for April, 2004

Get in the Back of the Van!

April 30th, 2004

If you haven’t already, go and read what my brother has to say about Withnail and I, a great, great film.

(As I recall, another reason why the film made such an impact on him when it came out was that he first saw it in the company of a friend who was both a drama student and a man with a non-trivial physical resemblance to Richard E. Grant, which must have made for a rather odd experience.)

Book of the Week

April 30th, 2004

Yes, it’s Grotius and the Stoa, the book we’ve all been waiting for, full of essays about, um, Grotius and Stoicism.

Well, I’ve been waiting for it, anyway.

There’s a rather dull chapter on dreary seventeenth-century stuff that no-one’s interested in by some Brooke chap or other, but the rest of it looks smashing, and should keep me happily occupied for several hours, at least.

DSW, #28

April 30th, 2004

Beatrice Webb, Fabian, born 2 January 1858, died 30 April 1943.

And, as ever, the anniversary is an excuse to post the link to the Webbs’ extraordinary justification of the show trials, published in the second edition of Soviet Communism: A New Civilisation (yes, the one without the questionmark in the title) here.

A former student writes…

April 28th, 2004

“Here’s a nice piece from the lovely Melanie Phillips, basically saying that cannabis made someone do a frenzied murder. I have a friend who thinks the Melanie Phillips articles are a big joke by Chris ‘Brass Eye’ Morris…”

If only that were true…

Dead Socialist Watch, #89

April 28th, 2004

Anton Pannekoek, Dutchman, astronomer, Marxist; born 2 January 1873, died 28 April 1960. An archive of some writings is here.

Odd Fixation

April 27th, 2004

Simon of the ever-excellent silverdollarcircle is attracting attention from the Guardian‘s pop writers, again. Regular readers will remember a piece by Rob Young on pop blogs last November which said of one blog that “a reverie on the latest ragga choons might be interrupted with an aside that begins: ‘For those of you interested in contemporary political philosophy…’” And a few days ago Alex Petridis discussed a chap called Wiley, and grime music, calling the fanbase for this kind of thing “comically polarised”:

At one extreme, its sonic experimentation has attracted the kind of people who run music blogs in which records are referred to as “texts” and lengthy essays are posted on such burning issues as the differentiation between Humean and Kantian views of motivation in the lyrics of Bonnie Prince Billy. At the other extreme, it is favoured by inner-city teens who appear to communicate entirely in an impenetrable mix of street slang and patois. “Gial like me can be flossin’ on dis rite ere,” offers one participant in a chatroom discussion about grime.

Simon in fact denies referring to records as “texts”. But it’s patently him flossin’ on dis rite ere, if that’s the right thing to say in grimespeak. Not sure.

DSW, #27

April 27th, 2004

Antonio Gramsci, born 22 January 1891, died 27 April 1937.