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

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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

https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2018/frankenstein-review-battersea-arts-centre-london/

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2018/apr/01/the-inheritance-young-vic-frankenstein-battersea-arts-centre-review

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

Cultural Zeitgeist

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Joins a short list of books I haven’t been able, or bothered, to finish. This one unlike other has the unique distinction of being short stories.

I’ve been reading it for a fortnight and I was only 100 pages in. It started really strongly and after that…meh!

Some thoughts for a cold winter day

Come dance with me, come dance with Darling Red

Come dance with the Queen of Spring

Come talk with me, come talk with Darling Red

Come talk and see who will come

Come sit with me, come sit with Darling Red

Come sit and patiently wait

Come Darling Red, come Darling Red

Come see what the night will bring

Oh Darling Red, oh Darling Red

You leave and take sorrow with you

You leave and take joy with you

You leave and take laughter with you

You leave and you leave and you leave

And the morrow brings

And the morning brings

Oh Darling Red, oh Darling Red

Return to cold white winter

And judge us not

For judgement in your heart resides

 

 

Cultural Zeitgeist

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

A truly marvellous book, here is a link to the Guardian review.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/09/the-underground-railroad-colson-whitehead-revie-luminous-furious-wildly-inventive

 

Cultural Zeitgeist

Leicester Square Theatre for Mind Fundraiser

MC Tim Clark, who frankly I could take or leave.

First half:

Arthur Smith – like John Cooper-Clarke he is now his own tribute act

A young black comedian, cant remember his name but he was good

Nish Kumar – really good, best act of the night

Second half:

John Maloney – Very funny, really enjoyed him

Brendon Burns – Hmm… some funny, some not, generally OK though

Felicity Ward – Delivery and persona reminded me of someone from the Open-mic scene. Not really my sort of thing but funny.

Overrated “Classics”

The first in an occasional series

The Road – Cormac McCarthy – Bad science fiction masquerading as literature

Fawlty Towers – just not funny – Dave had a best of Fawlty Towers recently, not a “funniest” because they couldn’t find any funny bits

Cultural Zeitgeist

Love Like Blood – Mark Billingham

Latest Tom Thorne novel, investigating “Honour” killings.

Very good, well worth reading