A day or two before the conclusion of the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact, a devil’s bargain that presaged the onset of the Second World War, the writer George Orwell had a dream. I imagine lots of other people had the same dream at the same time, one clearly born of acute anxiety. Of his particular dream Orwell later wrote:What I knew in my dream that night was that the long drilling in patriotism which the middle classes go through had done its work, and that once England was in a serious jam it would be impossible for me to sabotage. It was his intention, if he could, to fight; he no longer wished... Read More
Dr. Aleana Kingsley is a libertarian and author of the upcoming book, The Green Earth: Plant WIsdom & Natural Rights.
A man lying on an uncomfortable cot in a barren room hears an intercom voice come on, saying: “You must eat now.....” “No, I will not!” The man refuses....In this 1962 episode of The Twilight Zone, aliens land on Earth—apparently just “To Serve Man” with their new technology—at least that's the title of a book they leave with the U.N….After multiple spaceships leave Earth to visit this alien paradise, it turns out to be a cookbook!
Fifty years after Martin... Read More
I wrote the following piece for the Daily Telegraph readers’ website in September 2009. It refers to an incident that took place in the early summer of the previous year, just before my twenty-second birthday. The title is inspired by George Orwell’s essay Shooting an Elephant. I’m publishing it here in the wake of a discussion on animal welfare on another multi-author site. It’s about hunting, and it’s about killing, so if these subjects repel you please do not read any further. I apologise in advance if you find this upsetting but I make no apology for what I am, a sportswoman and a hunter.... Read More
Ten years ago the BBC conducted a poll on the 100 greatest Britons. Those who notice this sort of thing noticed that no black people made it on to the list, so a black list was produced. Sorry; how else am I to describe it?!
The whole thing is really quite ridiculous, risibly so at points. I have no problem at all with black people looking for positive role models, but who really needs this kind of silly condescension? There was also a kind of desperation, it seems to me, in the search for the century. Philipa of Hainault, queen consort of Edward III, a fourteenth century monarch,... Read More
Once again I’ve been back to Middle Earth. What a delight it was to arrive in The Shire in times BLR - before Lord of the Rings; what a delight it was to see Bilbo in his youth in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
This is not a movie review. All I will say is that The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien’s slender prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has itself been padded out into a trilogy, of which An Unexpected Journey is the first part. Bilbo’s journey is thus considerably longer than expected. The yarn has been spun out, unnecessarily so, some might conclude.
No, it’s not... Read More
I’m a Norman! Yes, a Norman, and doubly so, for my surname combines Fitzgerald and Beaumont, both of Norman-French origin. Fitzgerald comes from fils de Gérald, meaning son of Gerald, and Beaumont from beautiful mound. My history is the history of England, though one would never guess as the Normans in popular culture are more often bad than good, the heroes being Anglo-Saxon, people like Hereward the Wake and Robin Hood. They are not my people; they are not my heroes: I’m Norman and proud!
So, what brought this on, you may wonder? Simply this: I watched The Normans, a three part historical... Read More
England is turning towards the Dark Side! Details of the 2011 census, published today, reveal that the number of people who identify themselves as ‘Jedi Knights’ has fallen by more than half since the census of 2001. The Force, sad to say, is weakening, with a mere 176, 632 classifying their religion as Jedi compared to over 330,000 light sabre wielders ten years ago. Master Yoda, noting the trend, said “Concerning, this is. Look for the Sith Lord, we must.”
Yes, indeed, the trend is alarming, though it is encouraging to note that Jedi still tops the “alternative faith” stakes, only... Read More
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Very emotional post, in fact. Personally I don't understand why so many students brings guns, knives to schools. Sometimes they squander study time because they don't like teachers, can't find a common language with them or afraid of some college assignments...
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