January 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
‘Although western audiences are still waiting for a reflowering of political music to capture the spirit of the times, in Africa it never went away’.
The Guardian have a great piece profiling African protest music – of which this song by rapper The General is a powerful example.
January 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
- Oh shitballs. John Bolton is back. Natalya Sverjensky helps us through the trauma.
- Want to avoid financial crises? Then reduce inequality, says the IMF. Duncan Green explains all.
- My old boss Solitaire Townsend finds a disconnect between CSR report writers and readers.
- Alex Evans stylishly takes down Dominic Lawson on his latest Malthusian-finger-waving.
- David Steven challenges our view of terrorism.
- Chris Tarquini on how Britain leads the world in wind power.
- The hippy who became an Iman – the glorious story of John Mohammed Butt.
- Howard Reed proves that we are not all in it together. By a long way.
- Tim Hardy has a new blog looking how technology can mobilise the progressive left
January 24, 2011 § 1 Comment
One of my favourite pieces of radio programming, Woman’s Hour, hosted a discussion on limits to growth, and our complicated relationship with stuff. Julie Hill did her best to avoid the usual ‘guilt and going-backwards’ narrative, but failed to come up with a compelling story about a future where we live within the healthy systemic limits of planet Earth.
Perhaps she could have focused more on collaborative consumption – a nice label to describe co-ownership and sharing. Perhaps this kind of message will cut through where our previous environmental angle hasn’t? Note how it calls forth some of the right frames too – Common Cause would be happy.
h/t Adam Groves
January 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
- Student protests become style icons.
- New Yorker’s Political Scene discusses the growing troubled relationship between the US and China. (Includes my favourite economic commentator John Cassidy).
- Envision are looking for a new Chair of Trustees. Message me if you’re interested.
- ippr host a roundtable with Richard Wilkinson, co-author of the highly influential book The Spirit Level.
- Lawyers can’t stand investment bankers. And bankers are wimps. Or so claims WSJ’s Ronald Barusch.
- The Onion goes to TV. Hilarious.
- The Economist speaks to Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO.
- Ramit Sethi and BJ Fogg talk psychology and persuasion.
- Richard Black ponders climate and technology.
- The ultimate power-gay Mandelson goes to work for Lazard bank – the one that that masterminded Kraft Foods’ £11.6 billion takeover of Cadbury.
- Prisoner Ben shares his thoughts on the nature of protest.
January 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
The San Francisco Chronicle has a wonderful piece remembering the life of activist John Ross who died last week. A beat poet in New York as a teenager, a tenant organiser in San Francisco in the 60s, and a life-long revolutionary, he was a radical voice advocating bold changes ahead of his time. As an old man, in 2003 he travelled to Iraq to act as a human shield to defend Iraqi citizens, but was thrown out for criticising the Iraqi government by Saddam Hussein’s forces. Most famously, however, John Ross lived in and wrote about Mexico – and particularly the Zapatistas.
An old friend describes his first trip to join them,
“When the Zapatistas began their rebellion, he hitched a ride south from Mexico City, then hiked into the hills in Chiapas with a bag of granola and a couple of bottles of water, found the rebels in a little hamlet, met Subcommander Marcos and got interviews and information that left the rest of the media in the dust. In the first story he sent me, he described seeing a couple of reporters from the San Francisco Chronicle zipping by in a fancy rented jeep, with about $1,000 worth of camera gear, totally befuddled. They were out of their league; John was right at home.”
The Nation labelled him the Master of Speaking Truth To Power, but he wasn’t only a rebel. He had a wicked sense of humour – when he lost sight in one of his eyes later in life, he would sign-off his emails with the name, ‘Juan Eye’.
Perhaps the most striking idea of who he was is captured in this story. When John Ross left a federal prison in Los Angeles after serving a couple of years for refusing the Vietnam draft, the warden shook his head and said: “Ross, you never learned how to be a prisoner.”
We are wind, Us,
not the breath which blows on us.
We are word, Us,
Not the lips which speak to us,
We are step, Us,
Not the foot upon which we walk,
We are heartbeat, Us,
not the heart that pulses,
We are bridge, Us,
Not the soils which the bridge joins,
We are roads, Us,
not the point of leaving or arriving,
We are place, Us
not who occupies that place,
We do not exist, Us
We just are,
Seven times we are,
Us, seven times,
Us, the repeating mirror
The reflection, Us
The hand which just opened the window,
Us, the world calling out
to the door of Tomorrow.
By Comandante David and Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.
January 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’m not a Ricky Gervais fan as a rule, but these clips from the Golden Globes are hilarious. Speaking truth to power with the best of them : )
The closing gag, ‘And thank you to God – for making me an atheist’ is just genius.
January 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
- The House of Commons is lightened up by a singing tie.
- Hanna Thomas tries to figure out, what exactly is a ‘green job’ on the Otesha blog.
- After Tunisia, is Egypt next?
- Politicians pretending to be common.
- Grannies get really pissy with Chevron CEO.
- Tim DeChristopher, the man who stopped oil companies from buying $1.8m worth of land by pretending to be a bidder in an auction, starts his trial next month.
- NYTimes confirms that government regulation alone cannot stop another BP oil spill. Such disasters are inherent in such a dirty, polluting industry.
January 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
A short mental exercise for you:
- Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
- Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
- Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
- Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
- Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
- Name the last decade’s worth of FIFA World Cup winners.
How did you do? Surprisingly badly? Me too. Now, another short quiz:
- List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
- Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
- Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
- Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
- Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Much easier, than the first batch aren’t they? The people who made the greatest impact on your life aren’t necessarily the richest, strongest, most beautiful, brightest or most celebrated. They’re the simply the people that cared the most.
And so it doesn’t matter if you’re not Steve Jobs, Cheryl Cole or Marie Curie; your ability to leave this world with a little more love hasn’t been diminished.
h/t Davey Wavey
January 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
- The A to Z of twitter.
- Talking of Twitter – this is the 18th century French equivalent.
- John Thackara designs for a real system in Milan.
- John Vidal reveals what the government wants you to think the UK’s rivers, wildlife and biodiversity are in rude health. The opposite is true.
- HuffPo reveals that Sarah Palin’s support hits rock bottom.
- Cleaning up – the Estonian way.
- Political Scrapbook reveals that the Daily Mail compares gays to Nazis. Nice.
- Guy Shrubsole brings values back into carbon policy and Tradable Energy Quotas.
- Josh Ryan-Collins describes how the BBC questioned fractional reserve banking.