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Monthly Archive: September 2013

Sep 29 2013

British communism was the real Blitz spirit

In the wake of Thursday’s update, I’m reliably informed by one of Twitter’s trigger-happier inhabitants (rather literally in this case, it appears) that I’m a ‘twentysomething whackjob with a garbage degree who never saw real communism‘, unqualified therefore to praise anyone even the slightest shade of red, as the post noted European freethought’s standard-bearers often …

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Sep 26 2013

‘Freethought’ has always been a left tradition

The atheist far right’s beloved sweetheart Pat Condell, chief vilifier at large of Muslims, migrants, and ‘carpet-chewing PC fanatics’, knows no appeasement, quiescence or apparent joy – nor knows he, as his recent swipe at this network showed us, much at all. ‘Honoured to be slandered as racist‘, Condell tweeted this week, by ‘the ludicrously named …

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Sep 25 2013

‘What’s truth got to do with it?’ On Bennett’s History Boys and contrarianism

‘So,’ asks antagonistic teacher Irwin in The History Boys, ‘our overall conclusion is that the origins of the Second War lie in the unsatisfactory outcome of the First?’ Yes say his students, hearts set on a place at Oxbridge. ‘First class. Bristol welcomes you with open arms. Manchester longs to have you. You can walk into …

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Sep 24 2013

Sexual orientation is not sexual identity: celebrating Bisexual Visibility Day

In the strict ranks of Gay and Straight What is my status? Stray? Or great? ~Vikram Seth Yesterday, I found out on waking up this morning, was Bisexual Visibility Day. A swathe of other FTBullies, from whose various posts and tweets I discovered this, have this topic covered from a range of angles: Ashley, Jen, Miri, Greta, …

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Sep 23 2013

Extendable tethers: skeptidrama and a lesson from Project Runway

If you haven’t read Greta Christina’s thoughtful, extrapolative recaps of Project Runway, the U.S. fashion-based reality series, you should – whether or not you’re a follower of fashion, talent shows or trash culture at large. Rifling through someone’s rubbish bins, as the tabloid press’s urban foxes will confirm, can be the fastest means of learning sordid …

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Sep 19 2013

Solving my hair frustration

RedHead

Not having had a haircut since May, and with no reliable hairdressers to hand, I’d been suffering barnet-based ennui of late. Then I did this. It worked, I’d say.

Sep 19 2013

Stray thoughts on niqab-related tussles

I don’t care for ‘Islamophobia’: it names a multitude of sins, but more than the odd virtue too, and politics seldom gains from too-broad terms. That said, Daniel Trilling’s latest column at the Rationalist Association site (he’s New Humanist‘s new editor) says excellent things on the recent media storm over niqab-clad women. A defendant currently on …

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Sep 15 2013

Winter is coming: forget Christmas and fall in love with it

Warning: contains spoilers for C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series. Each season has a scent to herald and define it. Summer’s belongs to sizzling car roofs and sweating rubber tyres, the static residue of thunderstorms following heatwaves, autumn’s to low-hanging mist and rotting leaves, then toffee apples, fireworks and chip fat running into drains. Winter’s at its height …

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Sep 14 2013

A shaggy dog (s)tory: MP responds to right-of-protest letter with ‘dangerous dogs’ concern

Some weeks ago I signal-boosted Jonathan Lindsell’s excellent, incisive commentary on media rape culture. He’s written on a range of other topics at Haywire Thought, Liberal Conspiracy and other places – including, the day before that, the further erosion of Britons’ right to protest in a post which ought to have made more waves than it …

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Sep 14 2013

Rowling’s Potter spin-off could be better than the previous films

[Warning: spoilers!] Yesterday it emerged the Harry Potter franchise isn’t done. JK Rowling’s wizarding world, following her announcement of a spin-off film series, clearly has still to give up the ghost. (Or the dragon. Or the hippogriff.) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, due for release presumably within the next two years, will be inspired by …

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