Tuesday, July 17, 2018

235 results for 'Anastasia '

Praising Caesar

By Anastasia , published on Jul 24, 2011


What follows is a slightly amended version of a piece I wrote for my personal blog about Rupert Murdoch and News International, a corrective to the hysteria that presently surrounds this whole story. I hadn’t intended to add it here, though it follows on from an article I published under Letters from Ana (No More News of the Screws).

However, there are issues that I think an American audience specifically may not be fully aware of, especially if Murdoch is perceived purely through the partisan perspective of Fox News. There are all sorts of extraneous details now... (more)

Tags: media

Hope Abandoned

By Anastasia , published on Jul 21, 2011

There was an armed uprising in Venezuela recently, a fairly minor affair, which must account for the fact that it’s not been widely reported. It ended after some three weeks. Casualties seem to have been light, with thirty people reported killed and a further seventy injured.

In the first stage of their attack on the rebel stronghold government troops recovered assault rifles, hand grenades and some 5000 rounds of ammunition. In view of this they decided that storming the remaining building would be too dangerous, instead placing it under siege, eventually forcing the occupants out... (more)

Tags: prisons, venezuela

The Devil Comes to Town

By Anastasia , published on Jul 19, 2011

I had a date with Kevin Spacey on Saturday. Yes, I did, one I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while. There we were, Kevin and I, an intimate evening for two; or it might have been but for several hundred others!

Off I went to the Old Vic Theatre, tickets purchased well in advance, where he is currently performing the lead in a modern dress production of Shakespeare’s Richard III. Directed by Sam Mendes, the play is being staged as part of the Bridge Project, a touring collaboration between the Old Vic and New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Spacey himself has been... (more)

Tags: theatre. shakespeare

Change for the Worst

By Anastasia , published on Jul 17, 2011

I never believed that the so-called Arab spring would ever turn to summer, not when the people of Egypt said, when polled, that they wanted democracy and they wanted Sharia law. The two are as apart as night and day. One can either have human law or divine law. One cannot have both.

With an eye on events in Syria, Yemen and Libya, the world has turned away from Tunisia, the place where the Jasmine Revolution began. If I tell you that more and more people are beginning to regret the passing of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the former president, then you might begin to understand the present... (more)

Tags: tunisia, arab spring, radical islam

Brother Number Two Stands Accused

By Anastasia , published on Jul 14, 2011

It was the same everywhere I went in Cambodia, people willing to tell of the past with only the slightest prompting. There was my driver in Phnom Penn, who pointed out one of the killing fields, bones showing on the surface, a place not visited by tourists, one of the many charnel houses in a country turned into a charnel house. In Siem Reap another driver, the son of a doctor, told me that throughout the time of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s his father had to pretend to have been a baker. For virtually the first thing they did was kill all the doctors.

Justice has been long in coming... (more)

Tags: genocide, communism, cambodia, khmer rouge

No more News of the Screws

By Anastasia , published on Jul 12, 2011

It is Sunday afternoon, preferably before the war. The wife is already asleep in the armchair, and the children have been sent out for a nice long walk. You put your feet up on the sofa, settle your spectacles on your nose, and open the News of the World. Roast beef and Yorkshire, or roast pork and apple sauce, followed up by suet pudding and driven home, as it were, by a cup of mahogany-brown tea, have put you in just the right mood. Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances,... (more)


The Heart of Horror

By Anastasia , published on Jul 10, 2011

Have you ever read Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness? If you have you will recall the final words of Kurtz in his moment of epiphany shortly before his death - The horror! The horror!

Let me take you to another heart of darkness; let me take you to China in the middle of the twentieth century, to the time of the so-called Great Leap Forward. Last year I read Mao’s Great Famine by Frank Dikötter, a study of that grim period in the country’s history which has now deservedly been awarded the 2011 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, one of Britain’s most prestigious literary... (more)

Tags: china, horror, communism

Barbarous Present

By Anastasia , published on Jul 6, 2011

It’s a year now since I wrote in a mood on some anger about the proposed fate of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman condemned to death by stoning on a charge of adultery

The outcry this medievalism caused across the world was the occasion of considerable embarrassment for the Iranian regime, leading to a temporary stay of execution. But she is still in prison, still facing an uncertain future. As I said last August, the fact that she was already been subject to ninety-nine lashes, and had already been in prison for five... (more)

Tags: iran, sharia law

London's other Underground

By Anastasia , published on Jul 5, 2011

Highgate Cemetery, in the north of London, is a fascinating kingdom of the dead, a place I think that people who do not know the city would find completely beguiling; I certainly do. It’s not that old, though parts of it are so overgrown that it gives the appearance of something ancient. A lot of the memorials are built of stone, allowing moss to gain a purchase, unlike marble. As far as I am concerned moss, trees, death and stones all make perfect partners!The cemetery was opened in 1839 as part of a plan to deal with the overflow of the dead. There were other cemeteries created under the... (more)


Eyeless to Gaza

By Anastasia , published on Jul 4, 2011

You’ve just arrived after a long journey, tired and looking for somewhere to stay. You feel like treating yourself, so you ask your driver to take you to the best hotel that the town has to offer. And he does; he could have picked none better. Plush and polished, this five star establishment has over two hundred well-appointed rooms, a royal suite, a steam room, a swimming pool with a view of the sea and four restaurants.

So where do you think you have ended up; in one of the more luxurious Mediterranean resorts, perhaps? Go out on the balcony and have a look around. See; there; just... (more)

Tags: israel, gaza

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