Have a look at this interview, clear, lucid answers to some rather tricky questions:
Owen Jones asks some pertinent questions of the famous economist, Ha-Joon Chang.
He explains why the solution favoured by our government is no solution at all, in fact it actually makes things worse.
I’m astonished by the beauty and mystery of these islands. Technology has a vivid and precise way of allowing us to see vistas and panoramic views that with my own naked eyes I would only see a tiny fraction of the mountain or the loch. The modern film camera enables me to see in a wide expansive way the valleys and hills which would otherwise be a smudge in the distance. The reverse of the microscope which enables us to see tiny, microscopic bacteria which the naked eye would be quite unable to see. Of course the camera and the camera man is sometimes in an aeroplane flying above the rivers and forests and showing me and you a 3D map of the lie of the land.
Even on film Loch Ness looked enormous, a great expanse of fresh water full of salmon swimming back to their breeding ground : the magnificent sight of ospreys catching and swallowing a very large salmon, a red squirrel leaping from tree to tree and dolphins leaping out of the water. These camera men are creative artists just as the Venerable Bede was in the eighth century drawing beautiful pictures and copying by hand Bible stories which would be read to men and women most of whom could neither read nor write.
This is a series of three programmes focusing on the natural life of North and South islands and the many small islands which are dotted all around the main land mass. The photography is absolutely breath-taking and the narration tells the story of the formation of the land and the creatures and the human beings who so recently came to live there. I can hardly find words to describe the beauty and enormous skill of the photographers and producers of these amazing films. The films are on BBC iPlayer and show us what a beautiful and amazing planet we live on. The camera tells the story of our planet in visual images, it is also helpful to have the words to tell the story of how are planet has changed and continues to change.
So much teaching in schools: in geology, geography, history , social sciences and languages could be stimulated and made understandable to all children. This kind of filming is comparable to the invention of the printing press and the enormous changes brought about by the availability of books. The dawn of a new age in schools.
Here’s a link to the programmes: write placeblog.wordpress.com
I have just read an extremely interesting book, Negroland a memoir by Margo Jefferson. Margo was brought up in Chicago and it reminded me that President Obama and his wife Michelle started their working lives together in that city. I wanted to discover more about Chicago. To my chagrin I’ve recently discovered how little I know about many things, in particular about the USA. I’ve been reading on my kindle the memoirs of people who were once slaves; Sojourner Truth, Mary Prince, Booker T Washington and W E B Du Bois. Their experiences have considerable differences depending on where they lived and whether they lived before the abolition of slavery in 1865 or afterwards.
I’m very interested in the memoirs of people who grew up at roughly the same time as I did in very different places. I must confess Margo is nine years younger than me, she was born in 1947. She is a Pulitzer prize winning critic and a Professor and she writes elegant, vivid prose. Reading her book in bed I only stopped when I fell asleep and knew it was time to close the book and put it and my glasses on the bedside table. (By the way I paid 60p. for this new book and my local library paid the rest, a pretty good deal I think) She describes very clearly her family’s life as part of the professional black middle class living in a mainly white middle class area; the constraints on behaviour and the high expectations of her parents.
I’m also reading, “Estates An Intimate History” by the English author Lynsey Hanley. She is writing about family life in the 1970s and 80s in a council estate on the edge of Birmingham. Her family she describes as working class, there is one word which looms large in her account RESPECTABLE. Although the Working Class is frequently written about as one monolithic group she points out several sub-divisions: the skilled working class, the respectable working class in regular employment and those in intermittent employment struggling on a daily basis to get by. this of course is an ever increasing sub-division in the twenty-first century, zero hours contracts and below the minimum rates of pay. I too was brought up on a council estate, fortunately at a time when opportunities were in an expansive phase in the 1950s and 60s. Estates is a combination of personal history and the wider social and economic changes taking place at that time.
The present is a period of contraction or as the government refers to it Austerity. Fewer jobs, increased debt and houses at fantastical prices.
Tom Nichols is a professor in Rhode Island. He wrote this post for The New York Times. NOTEBOOK Never-Trump Confidential By TOM NICHOLS 6:00 AM My brother heard I’d been saying bad things about Don…