Archive for June, 2008


June 28th, 2008

Hmm. I thought that Caroline Spelman would be forced out before Wendy Alexander, but apparently I was wrong. Still, can’t be long now.

(Perhaps Gordon Brown could go off and lead the Scottish Labour Party, now there’s a vacancy, and then the rest of us can be spared his wretched Britishness obsession?)


June 27th, 2008

In the quarter-finals and semi-finals of Euro 2008, I have supported Portugal against Germany, Croatia against Turkey, the Netherlands against Russia, Italy against Spain, Turkey against Germany, and Russia against Spain. I have, nevertheless, enjoyed myself enormously.

Since I shall be cheering for the Spanish on Sunday night, people who like to gamble may think this is reason enough to bet heavily on Germany to win the competition. (On the other hand, see this post.)

Germany 3 – 2 Turkey

June 25th, 2008

Although it’s impossible to dislike the German team entirely when they have a player called Jansen.

Comparative Sociology of Topless Football Supporters

June 21st, 2008

Why do the (male) Russian fans, but not the Dutch fans, insist on taking their shirts off in the stands at Basel? Or does the cameraperson just have a thing for topless Russian men?

Quomodo sensus suos sentit vespertilio?

June 21st, 2008

That’s the very handy expression, “what is it like to be a bat?”, in Latin, and it’s also the opening line of the laudatio of Professor Thomas Nagel on the occasion of Oxford giving him an honorary degree earlier this week. The full text is here, or go here for Emma Kirkby.

This Week Is Refugee Week

June 18th, 2008

National details over here. Here‘s what’s happening in Oxford. Click here to give your money to Oxford’s excellent Asylum Welcome. Here‘s Bill Morris making the case for why asylum seekers should have the right to work restored. And here‘s a bunch of things from MigrantVoice over at OpenDemocracy.

Recommendations, Please

June 17th, 2008

I keep thinking I should buy another recording of Carmen to sit on the shelf alongside my old 1978 Abbado / Berganza / Domingo / LSO recording. Any thoughts? Preferences? Anti-recommendations?

“After the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour has vanished…”

June 17th, 2008

Today, tehgraun‘s arts critics are writing about sporting events, so we have theatre critic Michael Billington on darts and rock critic Caroline Sullivan on the Second Test Match.

Tomorrow we’re promised “chief football writer Kevin McCarra on Finnish contemporary dance” and “golf correspondent Lawrence Donegan on the San Francisco Symphony’s Brahms cycle”.

I like this kind of thing.

Austria 2 – 0 Germany

June 16th, 2008

On 3 April 1938, at any rate. Very interesting article in the New Statesman (and it’s not often you can say that).

and yes I said yes I will Yes

June 16th, 2008

Happy Bloomsday, Joyceans everywhere!

Have there been any good books on Joyce published recently, say in the last five years or so, since this one? I haven’t been keeping up.

1974 Twickenham Streaker, in Lego

June 16th, 2008

Here, by Balakov. More over here [via ejh in comments below].

How To Spend It

June 16th, 2008

At the gathering on Saturday organised by Compass, aka the Ruth Lister Fan Club, Ruth Lister said that the super-rich are spending their money on buying submarines. Is this true? I hadn’t heard this before. If they are buying submarines, is it part of a kind of James Bond super-villain strategy for taking over the world, or is it just fun to own a submarine?