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Sunday, December 17, 2017

235 results for 'Anastasia '

Cry, the Beloved Country

By Anastasia , published on Sep 25, 2011

I can remember the moment exactly, the moment when my suspicion of Nelson Mandela, the former terrorist who became South Africa’s living saint, spilled over into outright dislike. It was 2005, at the end of a Make Poverty History rally in London’s Trafalgar Square, where Bob Geldof, the boom town rat and abject acolyte, declared him to be president of the world. Seemingly the world agrees, at least in the shape of the United Nations, which designated 18 July, Saint Nelson’s birthday, to be an international day in his honour.

If only Mandela could have done for the world what he and his... (more)

Tags: south africa, african national congress, apartheid state, cry the beloved country, julius malema

A Spectre is Haunting Europe

By Anastasia , published on Sep 22, 2011

It stands out among the recollections I have of my first visit to Rome when I was in my teens. It’s not the Coliseum, or Saint Peter’s, or the Sistine Chapel, or the Forum, or the Baths of Caracalla; no, it was the armed police guard outside the city’s main synagogue.

This was the summer of Schindler’s List, a movie that we had been discussing in school. It was easy to comfort ourselves that the murderous anti-Semitism shown in Spielberg’s movie was a thing of the past, that it could never happen again. That Roman carbinieri opened my mind to a sobering truth: it had never really gone... (more)

Tags: israel, anti-semitism

Empire of the Sun

By Anastasia , published on Sep 20, 2011

Up along the hostile mountains, where the hair-poised snowslide shivers --Down and through the big fat marshes that the virgin ore-bed stains,Till I heard the mild-wide mutterings of unimagined rivers,And beyond the nameless timber saw illimitable plains!

Well, here I am. I’ve been there and now I’m back again. We flew in from Lima earlier this afternoon. I’m so tired, not having slept at all to ward off the effects of the dreaded jet lag. But before going to bed I simply have to record my impressions while it’s all fresh in my mind; while the after-image of the Sacred Trail, the crossing... (more)

Tags: travel, peru, the incas

Better off as a Dog

By Anastasia , published on Sep 1, 2011

It was in March 1999 that Dr Kim left the fatherland. She couldn’t take any more. She had already given up paediatric medicine because she could no longer bear to look into the eyes of the starving children. She switched to pure research, which at least allowed her to get away from the dying, from people she was completely unable to help. But the doctors were starving too; more time was spent in foraging for food than medical work.

Kim dropped in weight to eighty pounds; her breasts shrivelled and her periods stopped. Finally she gave up going to work altogether. What was the point?... (more)

Tags: north korea

Heil, Wodehouse!

By Anastasia , published on Aug 30, 2011

Open any anthology on fascism and there is bound to be an introduction telling you that fascism is difficult if not impossible to define. At my own risk I’ll hazard a definition: fascists, generally speaking, are wholly devoid of a sense of humour.

Let me give you a practical example. Take the great humorist P. G. Wodehouse, the satirist of the English upper classes, the creator of Jeeves and Bertie Wooster, possibly the greatest craftsman in words that our language and literature ever produced. Jeeves and Bertie are his best known creations, but there is also Roderick Spode.

... (more)

Tags: english writers, english literature

A Royal Day in Potsdam

By Anastasia , published on Aug 28, 2011

It was the royal wedding of the German season. It was the only royal wedding in a country that has no official royalty and little in the way of a fashionable season!

On Saturday Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia, the great-great grandson of the last Kaiser, married Sophie, Princess of Isenburg, at the Church of Peace in the grounds of Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, the former summer residence of the Hohenzollern kings and emperors of Prussia and Germany.

I read about this in the Times and thought about all of the ghosts who must be looking over their shoulders, the ghosts... (more)

Tags: germany, royalty

Come to Berlin

By Anastasia , published on Aug 25, 2011

Ida Siekmann was 58 when she died, jumping from a third floor window in the summer of 1961. Chris Gueffroy was only 20, shot while trying to swim across a canal in the winter of 1989. What's the connection between the two? Simply that they were the first and the last victims of the Berlin Wall, killed trying to escape from a bleak communist tyranny. Gueffroy's death was particularly tragic, not just because of his age, but because a few months later the Wall came a-tumbling down, the greatest revolution of the twentieth century, a true springtime of the people and of liberty.

Siekmann... (more)

Tags: berlin, communism

A Gangster Holiday

By Anastasia , published on Aug 23, 2011

Information on London’s August Madness becomes clearer by the day. Over three thousand people have been arrested, almost none of whom actually come from the areas worst hit. There is good evidence to suggest that many of the rioters were bussed in specifically to target local businesses, people whose actions were co-ordinated and controlled by professional criminals.

The district of Croydon, in particular, seems to have attracted an unusually high number of outsiders. Gavin Barwell, the area’s Member of Parliament, said that “I have spoken to well into double figures of people who... (more)

Tags: london, riots

Cassandra’s Tears

By Anastasia , published on Aug 21, 2011

I have a sense of déjà vu. Here we are again. Civilians in Libya are in danger as armed men advance close to a major urban centre. Will the United Nations act, will a resolution be passed? Well, they did the last time, passing the vague and precipitate Resolution 1973, intended, so the line went, to ‘protect’ civilians. Ah, but protecting civilians in Benghazi and the east was one thing; protecting civilians in Tripoli and the west quite another; for there the Minotaur sits in his labyrinth.

Things are moving rapidly in Libya, with rebel forces now fighting for control of the port... (more)

Tags: libya

Dragon's Horde

By Anastasia , published on Aug 19, 2011

“What’s so funny?”, my partner asked, as I was overcome by a fit of the giggles. I was looking through the Sunday Telegraph, opening at the International News section, not usually noted for its humour. But there is was – an illustration of some Indian guru, sporting the most ridiculous Afro hairdo that I think I have ever seen. I had to put my tea down!

The story ‘God’ and the secret stash by Gethin Chamberlain concerns one Sai Baba, yet another tiresome Indian ‘holy man’, yet another fraud. He’s dead now but apparently he had a following of fifty million people worldwide when he... (more)

Tags: religion, fraud, india

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