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Thursday 18 August 2011
The list of things to make print journalists feel better about the impending demise of their medium is brief, but may include free ice cream, a generous voluntary redundancy package (yeah, right) and/or the launch of a well-funded new website featuring exclusive, long-form writing composed by a cohort of peerless hacks.
Saturday 06 August 2011
I’ve never seen a Prom queue like the one drawn by Gustavo Dudamel’s return: snaking away out of sight through the streets, waiting with infinite patience to worship at the shrine. Youthful dynamism, the triumph over social adversity, the Third World trumping the old world: the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and their charismatic leader incarnate the headiest of dreams, and when they came on stage they were hailed like champions. And, as usual with this inspirational job-creation scheme, there were an awful lot of them, including three long rows of wind-players and fourteen double-bas
Friday 05 August 2011
Those who experienced the musical annus mirabilis of 1967 will recall the brief flowering of the Incredible String Band, a group that influenced both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Paul McCartney chose their waxing 5,000 Spirits as his most treasured LP of 1967. Anyone too young or too old to turn on to the Summer of Love may be mystified by the appeal of this record. Though described by Young as "an infinitely more intimate and disorienting happening" than Sergeant Pepper, non-believers are liable to view it as self-indulgent caterwauling.
Tuesday 02 August 2011
Up to Oxford in Michaelmas term 1938 came a golden youth, a Scot, a scholar from Loretto, a classical scholar of Oriel College, to read Mods (Latin and Greek) and Greats (Ancient History and Philosophy), destined undoubtedly for a double first and, maybe, Secretary of State for Scotland.
Sunday 31 July 2011
Sunday 31 July 2011
This fascinating CD takes the listener to the mystical, liberal side of Islam, where the puritanical and negative effects of orthodoxy do not hold.
Saturday 30 July 2011
Last Night's TV: Town with Nicholas Crane/BBC2<br />The Rattigan Enigma by Benedict Cumberbatch/BBC4
Friday 29 July 2011
There are almost no chains in Ludlow, said Nicholas Crane. There's no McDonald's and no Burger King, no Topshop or Next. I wonder what else it doesn't have. Is there a Starbucks? A Caffè Nero? A Boots? Everywhere has a Boots, surely. I bet it has Hobbs – or if not Hobbs, then at least Whistles or Jigsaw or something similarly ladylike. L K Bennett, maybe. Kate Middleton shops there.
Friday 15 July 2011
Conservatism is par excellence the ideology of modernity. It reacted against Enlightenment efforts to engineer social change almost before they started. That conservatism is an ideology, Kieron O'Hara leaves little doubt, despite the (highly ideological) disavowals of some conservatives. Though Conservatism carries encomia from the Prime Minister and David Willetts, O'Hara underlines that his subject is "small-c" conservatism, rather than the credo of the Tory party.
Saturday 09 July 2011
It used to be company cars, pensions and private healthcare plans that lured bright young things in to otherwise dull office careers.
Tuesday 05 July 2011
It may not be world-beating, but Londoner Michael Dean’s claim to have told 63,000 lost tourists the correct way to Regent’s Park and MadameTussaud’s is the most esoteric of all i readers’ “World’s Top” talents.
Trevor Frankland: Painter who valued controlled passion and mathematical clarity but was also drawn to the arcane and esoteric
Saturday 02 July 2011
The artist Trevor Frankland was, first and foremost, an intellectual; there was a concept or scheme behind all his work.
Friday 24 June 2011
The world has many mysterious stone circles. Who made them? And why? We never really know. Their mystery is part of their charm. They are symbols – but of what exactly? Now we have two more. These two have cropped up – or bedded down – in a pair of 19th-century rooms in Burlington Gardens, Mayfair, and they sit on polished parquet floors beneath coffered ceilings. These stone circles, unlike the others, are not old at all. They are by Richard Long, our most celebrated land artist. Land artists make their art in reverential partnership with nature in the raw. They use wood, stones, slate, mud. They often make it in the land itself so that it gets slightly lost, as if to tell us that it is really part of its environment. This land art in Mayfair has made the journey from outdoors to indoors.
Friday 17 June 2011
Admirers of the excellent Andrew Scott (the campily baleful Moriarty in Sherlock) have the chance to feast on his talents in Emperor and Galilean, Ibsen's vast 1873 two-part drama. It here receives its much belated English premiere in a condensed and vigorous adaptation by Ben Power that reduces what would take eight hours to perform uncut to a more manageable three-and-a-half-hour marathon. Traversing Europe and the Middle East and spanning the years 351 and 363 AD, the piece is unveiled in a production by Jonathan Kent that encompasses its epic sweep and philosophical agitation with enormous technical flair and dialectical dynamism.
Friday 17 June 2011
Skittish and serious, satirical and otherworldly, Elif Shafak's fiction trips across the lines between the spirit and the flesh. Her latest novel, a chart-topper in her native Turkey, characteristically yokes together far-flung people, eras and events.
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
- 1 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating