Archive for the 'world of blogs' Category

One Hundred Things Norman Geras and I Corresponded About Over the Last Decade

October 18th, 2013
Country music (including but not limited to Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Allison Krauss, and its relationship to suicide) -- Marxism -- The war in Iraq -- The case the British government made for the war in Iraq -- Media coverage of the war in Iraq -- Differences between British and American media coverage of the war in Iraq -- Dead socialists (including the question of whether or not Paul Sweezy was in fact dead: he wasn’t when we began corresponding on the question, but later he was) -- Favourite novels -- University admissions -- Boycotts of Israelis -- Blog technology issues -- The paradox of democracy -- Paul “The Thinker” Richards -- Defamation law -- French headscarves laws -- International rugby partisanship -- New Zealand and whether it is a dull country -- Amnesty International -- Italian anti-war demonstrations -- Christopher Hitchens -- The precise distance from Boulder, CO to Birmingham, AL -- My Normblog Profile -- The number of Red Sox supporters who have Normblog profiles -- Where the Wild Things Are -- Bob Dylan -- Favourite films -- A Mighty Wind -- Nashville -- Joan Baez -- George W. Bush -- The Hutton Inquiry -- Lucio Colletti -- Why the film Life is Beautiful is so terrible -- The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind -- Mobile telephones -- Cricket -- The various ways in which my students used to pronounce the name “Geras” -- Rock stars -- Exam marking -- Arnold Lobel and his Mouse Tales -- The Butler report -- The Campo de' Fiori in Rome -- Shakespeare plays -- Obnoxious right-wing writers (including Mark Steyn and Andrew Bolt) -- American airport security checks -- Terrorist threats -- Socialist Register -- The 2004 US Presidential election -- Baseball -- Visiting Oxford -- Thomas Hobbes -- Roman libraries -- Classical composers (especially Schubert) -- Jokes about rational choice theorists -- The Tour de France -- Etienne Balibar -- Favourite actors -- The excellence of kittens (and, more generally, cats) -- American street names -- Wendy Cope -- Footnotes in Capital -- Umpiring -- Passport applications -- Margaret Thatcher’s resignation -- Margaret Thatcher's poetry --  Jews for Justice for Palestinians -- Chavez and anti-Semitism -- Academic plagiarism -- David Aaronovitch as marathon runner -- x-RCP front organisations -- Robert Wokler -- Academic jobs -- Musicals -- Australia -- The rubbish-collection regime in Oxford -- Tony Judt -- Whether or not the Euston Manifesto was part of a “common, hysterical defense of the Anglo-Dutch financial system, and their permanent right to loot the economies of the world” -- American practices of memorialization on campus -- Flooding in Oxford -- The Beatles -- Jerry Cohen’s valedictory lecture -- The New Left Review -- Loyalty oaths -- A Dance to the Music of Time -- Merton College, Oxford -- Visiting Manchester -- Critical opinions about America -- Puzzles involving marbles -- Traffic robots -- The Beach Boys -- Tony Blair’s relationship with God -- Bernard-Henri Levy looking funny in photographs -- Authorisations to use military force -- John Stuart Mill on international intervention -- The Eurovision Song Contest  -- Adam Smith -- Nick Cohen's views about torture -- Alfred Hitchcock films -- The thorny question of whether seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong was on drugs -- The problems of travelling between Oxford and Cambridge. Biggest regret? In July 2004, Norm wrote, "Might you have an interest in watching a Test or some part of one with me?", and I never took him up on the suggestion. His final words of the correspondence, from the start of this month: "My own care from the NHS has been exemplary."

Return of the Stoa

July 4th, 2012
I'm in Oxford for all of July, and Josephine has just disappeared off to Tunisia for a month, to improve her Arabic, so it seemed like it wasn't a bad time to scribble in this space again, in case anyone's paying attention. (If you are reading this, do say hello in the comments--I've no idea how many people are likely to stumble across the blog, after being quiescent for so long.) To get things started again, I've given a light dusting to the blogroll, and I'll mention a few of the entries here. First of all, my brother Michael's been dabbling in the world of blogs again. Three months ago he posted a number of pictures of Ships With Rude Names on a tumblr, so if you want to see what any of SS Beaverburn, the Happy Entrance, or HMS Spanker looked like, wander over there and have a look. More recently, and more substantially, he's started a new blog--Bock! Bock! Bock!--in order to document his family's new experiment with chickens. Now for a couple of book-blogs. Marc Mulholland's blog has started up again, this time posting snippets to discuss the themes of his new book, Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear, which is coming out from Oxford later this year. I think what happened here is that Marc's full draft was much, much too long, and so the bits that had to but cut out are being exploited as a resource for the blog. There's already some very interesting stuff up there, including this post, arguing against the conventional wisdom that the Second International 'betrayed' the European working class in the Summer of 1914. And another old friend with an interest in Trotskyist historiography, Dave Renton, has a new blog to support his new book, Lives; Running, which is about, um, running. I didn't know Dave was quite so interested in running, but it looks as if he really is, and he has various things to say about the Olympics, too. For those of us who have been blogging for too long, it will always be 2002-4 or thereabouts. So in addition to Marc Mulholland's return, it's good to see that Nick Barlow has stepped back from his Lib Dem Council responsibilities in Colchester in order to post a lot of stuff about the Tour de France. And Jamie Kenny's indestructible Blood & Treasure just goes on and on, and he now promises a parallel book-blog sometime in the not too distant future, and that should be great fun. I'll leave you now, with a chicken video from Mike: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUTw2osi6Ig

Ten Years

May 27th, 2011
The Virtual Stoa is practically moribund these days--though as a friend wrote the other day, "the Stoa isn’t so much defunct, I feel, as crepuscular, brooding in a Mediterranean twilight"--but posts do still appear here from time to time (mostly about beavers, admittedly), and this one is just to note that the blog is ten years old today, which is quite old, in blogyears. Thanks to all of you who have been reading, and especially to those who have stopped in to chat.

Feliz Natal!

December 24th, 2010
I read in the directory bit at the end of the 2010/2011 Total Politics Guide to Political Blogging that the Virtual Stoa is a Portuguese blog. How exciting! And this, from the same people who in 2009 declared this blog both the 67th and the 86th top Labour blog... Pissup. Brewery.

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