C. Wright Mills, sociologist, author of The Power Elite and other good books; born Waco, Texas, 26 August 1916, died Nyack, New York, 20 March 1962.
Archive for March, 2007
Today’s tehgraun tells me that Ofcom says that 4% of adults in the UK aged 25-44 don’t have a mobile phone. I didn’t realise we were that unusual. Apparently I’m a “handset holdout”. Actually I just don’t like the telephone much, and don’t want to spend money to be able to use it any more than I have to.
And these days I don’t seem to use it much at all, which is very good. We don’t seem to be in the Oxford phonebook, a number I’ve never used has been printed next to my name in the University phonebook, and my own College keeps getting confused and listing at least one wrong number in its own internal directory. I think this is pretty much ideal.
UPDATE: And, as fellow refusnik Jamie says, “Anyway, I have a postal address, an e-mail address, a landline and a webpage. How much more do you want, you nosy bastards?”
Rudi Segall, German Trotskyist. A Zionist socialist, Segall left Germany in 1933 and lived in a kibbutz in Palestine, 1935-39. After spells in Greece, Egypt and France, he returned to Germany in 1947, where he helped to rebuild German Trotskyism under the banner of the Fourth International. Born in Berlin, 6 April 1911, died 19 March 2006.
It’s at times like this that I suddenly recall that my nineteenth-century forebears had names like Kalaugher, Kelly, Driscoll, O’Reilly, McCarthy, MacGuire and McAuly (not to mention plenty of eighteenth-century Anglo-Irish Brookes), and I feel more Irish than I actually am…
… although it looks as if you have to be called O’Brien to play for the Irish cricket team.
(Similarly, one of the minor pleasures of watching Wales beat England is the affinity provided by the knowledge that my great-grandfather Alfred Mathews took the field for Wales against Scotland on 9 January 1886. It was his only cap, and Scotland won on the day, but it’s enough for me. It’s interesting to be diasporic in an almost entirely non-diasporic kind of a way.)
In my world, the letters “TMS” can refer either to Test Match Special or to the Theory of Moral Sentiments. So far the different bits of that world have stayed sufficiently distinct from one another that I don’t think I’ve ever made myself horribly confused, but I’m sure the day will come when I muddle them up (and I’m also confident that the day has become closer now that I’ve become self-conscious about the possibility of that confusion).
It’s half-time during France vs Scotland in Paris, and there’s a distinct possibility that Ireland will end the day Six Nations Champions, if Scotland can hold on, and that the Irish cricketers may beat Pakistan in the World Cup: Pakistan are 73-6 off 22.3 overs. My goodness.
I’m trying not to get excited by the World Cup, because one-day cricket is a silly game (unless it’s 20-20 cricket, which pushes silliness to the limit, and becomes sensible, again, or something), but there’s been a satisfying amount of drama for a competition that’s still only a few days old.
UPDATE [5.15pm]: Bugger. Still, Pakistan are 112 for 8 (34.2 overs).
UPDATE [7.20pm]: Still, I always like it when Wales beats England.
Ross McKibbin writes in the LRB on the Blair decade. Bottom line: “Blairâ€™s government has been so disappointing not because it is without achievement, but because its achievements are much less than they might have been and its mistakes much worse.”
(Don’t Ireland get to win by virtue of having lost fewer wickets, or something? Gah!)
Here’s a chunk of one of today’s posts, about the BBC reporter Matt Frei.
Frei then claims that when Ann Coulter used the word ‘faggot’ in reference to John Edwards (Frei doesn’t mention Edwards, and so fails to put the remark into context) the audience “lapped it up”. Well no, they didn’t. If he’d bothered to speak to people who were there, or even watch a video, he’d have seen that after Coulter made her remark there was silence, then some embarrassed/nervous/polite laughter.
I’m not sure why adding the “context” that Coulter was talking about Edwards makes a difference here. But what I think you ought to do is watch the clip here and then decide for yourself whether Pollard offers an especially accurate account of proceedings. One bit of “context” that Pollard unaccountably fails to mention, for example, is that there’s quite a lot of applause, too.
Enkidu is being very friendly at the moment, which I like to think is reciprocal altruism, looking back to the time when he was the one with the damaged limb and I was (one of the ones) looking after him.
(What you can’t see in this photo is that these two cats are enjoying the music of the late, lamented Waylon Jennings.)
I am, however, confident that when Our Melanie starts blogging about the what’s going on, or, rather, not going on, at Leeds University, we’ll see it rising again, with the word “dhimmi” or “dhimmitude” possibly making a reappearance in her blogpages, too.
UPDATE [7pm]: Bingo! Though only one “Nazis” and no “dhimmitude”, alas. But I think she may be warming up for a more detailed treatment of the topic later. And it looks as if we in Britain’s universities “have already given up the battle for civilisation against barbarism”, I’m afraid.
Rebecca West (the pseudonym of Cicily Isabel Andrews, nÃ©e Fairfield), socialist and feminist writer; author of, among others, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), The Meaning of Treason (1947), and a short book on St Augustine, which I quite like. Fiercely anti-Communist in the 1950s, she always denied being sympathetic to Senator McCarthy. Born in London 21 December 1892, died, also in London, 15 March 1983.
Nikolai Bukharin, Old Bolshevik, born 27 September 1888, shot 15 March 1938.