Cultural Zeitgeist

Holiday Reading

  1. Fire in Babylon: How the West Indies Cricket Team bought a People to its Feet – Simon Lister.

History of the West Indies Cricket team of the 70s and 80s and the culture and tradition they came out of. Interesting to read alongside the Windrush scandal and if there is anyone who thinks we don’t/didn’t live in a racist society they should read this alongside Reni Eddo-Lodge

2) The lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius – Michael Moorcock

Collection of “connected” short stories, to be read a a continuous narrative. Whats it about, who knows, is it any good, yes

3) The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

Not sure why it has taken me quite so long to get round to reading this. A wonderful book. Is it his best, possibly.


A Poem

A poem about a fish, for the 1st June

Oh Bluefin Tuna, fish pelagic

Your life so sad, your story tragic

Fighting with the fish demersal

Over the last box of Persil

Depth and shallow, shallow and shore

The ocean life can be a bore

Fins evolve to legs sardonic

While listening to Dr Dre’s The Chronic



Cultural Zeitgeist

Death’s End – Cixin Liu

Final part of the trilogy that started with The Three-Body Problem and continued with The Dark Forest.

Well worth reading and a proper way to finish the series. Highly recommended

Cultural Zeitgeist

Weekend in Liverpool to see the Terracotta Warriors at the World Museum.

So were they worth it, in short yes. Really well put together exhibition, the Warriors themselves were great. Also, and who knew in addition to Terracotta Warriors there were also Terracotta Musicians, Strongman and Acrobats.

Also went to see Double Fantasy at the Museum of Liverpool. Exhibition about John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s life together. So good we went twice. Surprisingly moving. You should definitely go and see this.

Overall impressions of Liverpool (never having been there before) lovely city. Though don’t go if there is any chance of Liverpool losing a Champions League final the night you are there!

Cultural Zeitgeist

To the Barbican for La Reina is Dead by Mexrrissey

Mariachi Smiths

In light of recent events possibly the only acceptable way to consume the music of Morrissey.

Just the most fun.

Cultural Zeitgeist

War of the Worlds by The Pantaloons at the Greenwich Theatre

Not sure what to expect – 4 performers, music, a puppet, props and lots of science fiction film based jokes.

I have never read War of the Worlds so I can’t vouch for its accuracy. Very good if maybe a little too long

Cultural Zeitgeist

Munich by Robert Harris

Fictionalised account of the Munich meeting between Chamberlain and Hitler.

Very good, you know what the end is but it still grips. Recommended

Cultural Zeitgeist

The Seventh Decimate – Stephen Donaldson

Novel, start of a series, worryingly it gives no indication of how many may be in the series.

Very good, though takes a long tome to get where its going. Lets see how many more there are, but I already suspect it could be shorter than it is likely to be.

Cultural Zeitgeist

Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster – The BAC Beatbox Academy

Here are a couple of reviews of it which probably explain it better than I can.

All I will say is that later in the year it will be on in the re-opened Grand Hall at the Battersea Arts Centre.

Go and see it

Cultural Zeitgeist

Why I’m No Longer talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

First a story – during the General Election of 2017 I goy into a discussion (argument) with someone who I used to work with about Diane Abbot. His view was that her treatment wasn’t racist because racism no longer existed in the UK (he is a buffoon).

He was wrong and would hate this book. If you want to see what I suspect his view would be have a look at the 1 star reviews on Amazon.

So racism. Racism like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I as a middle-aged, middle-class white man am not qualified to determine whether something isn’t racist. I have neither the cultural background, experience or sensitivities to make that judgement.

This book is an eye-opener, the early chapters which detail the history of racism in Braitain are at times genuinely horrifying, and if the parts about Stephen Lawrence and the enquiry into his murder don’t fill you with outrage then nothing will.

Reni Eddo-Lodge eschews the phrase institutional racism for the more structural racism, which I think implies that it is all the more pervasive in our country.

If read with an open mind (which of course is part of the problem) this book will change the way you look at things.

Unfortunately the people who would most need to read it and change how they look at things never will (look at those 1 star reviews).

Not everyone will agree with all of it. I can see that the chapters on Race and Feminism, and Race and Class will raise a few hackles, but the power of the arguments is, I think, compelling.

Read this, it will make you think, it might make you angry, but read it