The film is one of Scorsese's bawdiest and most enjoyable efforts
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Chris Harman: Editor of 'Socialist Worker' whose intellectual stature gave him an influence beyond party ranks
Thursday 19 November 2009
Chris Harman, editor of International Socialism Journal and, before that, of Socialist Worker, and a leading figure in the Socialist Workers Party for more than four decades, has died in Cairo of a heart attack. This was all the more shocking because it was so unexpected.
Sunday 15 November 2009
While it is disappointing that an effective deal on global warming is unlikely to materialise in Copenhagen in December, it is hardly a surprising outcome, as has been suggested by some green groups.
Sunday 08 November 2009
Events since False Dawn was first published in 1998 would seem to bear out John Gray's thesis that global capitalism leads not to universal prosperity but to chaos. In chapters on the US, Russia, China, Japan and developing countries, Gray shows again and again that laissez-faire capitalism is the problem, not the solution. On virtually every page there is some insight that makes you think: for instance, Gray points out that America's unemployment figures look far better than they are if you factor in the US prison population of more than a million.
Thursday 08 October 2009
Friday 28 August 2009
Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine is one of the most important political books of the past decade. She takes the central myth of the right, "that since the fall of Soviet tyranny, free elections and free markets have skipped hand in hand together towards the shimmering sunset of history", and shows that it is a lie. It is a major revisionist history of the world that Milton Friedman and the market fundamentalists have built.
Friday 31 July 2009
When faced with windy laments of decline, you can always rely on British popular culture to worm its antic way into your brain. Throughout this overstated thesis in praise of bottom-up community against top-down capitalism, I kept seeing and hearing the frightening visages of the BBC's The League of Gentlemen: "We're local people... doing local things." Unfair, I know. But Douglas Rushkoff is so infuriatingly magisterial that you reach, with some desperation, for the nearest court jester.
Friday 17 July 2009
Saying that science has made religion redundant is rather like saying that thanks to the electric toaster we can forget about Chekhov, says Terry Eagleton in this gloriously rumbustious counter-blast to Dawkinsite atheism. Eagleton, who is perhaps Britain's most venerable cultural critic, is not a Christian, though he was in the 1960s. But he continues, unfashionably, to be a Marxist, and his critique of the New Atheists is rooted in the historical materialism of revolutionary socialism, but with a thread of poetry woven through it.
Monday 15 June 2009
It sounded a neat idea, as Ian Bostridge outlined it in the Guardian. The Threepenny Opera’s perennial relevance - particularly marked, as capitalist binge leads to universal bust - makes it worth looking at anew: singing Lieder with Dorothea Roschmann and Angelika Kirchschlager prompted him to wonder "how wonderful it would be" to hear them tackling Brecht-Weill
Friday 29 May 2009
I have fond memories of watching Lewis Black record one of his television specials on Broadway in 2004. Among the many grouches of this grumpy old man of American comedy was the weather. "What is all this about the wind-chill factor?" growled Black. "Why do I need to know what temperature it could have been if it hadn't been for the breeze?" Now arriving here for a brief tour, Black may have to get used to Britain's favourite obsession.
Monday 11 May 2009
Friday 01 May 2009
With opening lines demanding "Dementia, you better treat me good/The human race is going through a second childhood," it initially seems as if Conor Oberst's latest album might involve a continuation of the infirmity themes which dominated his solo debut last year.
Thursday 02 April 2009
Saturday 28 March 2009
Saturday 28 March 2009
Walking through Waterloo station this morning, I was handed a flyer by someone campaigning against the privatisation of Royal Mail. Amongst its "10 reasons to SAY NO" was the rather rash and unsupported statement that it would "repeat the mistakes of privatisations in other industries".
Thursday 19 March 2009
Outlook As you would expect from McKinsey man, Lord Turner has done a masterful job in steering his way through the conflicting demands of the politicians for root-and-branch changes in the way banks are regulated and the need to preserve at least some elements of the free-market system.
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales