Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday linktastica

There's no theme. We've got Old Labour, New Labour, Marx, miners, Latin music, Slovenian Lacanians, industrial noise merchants, anarchist Jewish Caribbean painters, New Cross and Sydenham, great TV. Among other things.

Let's start with Martin Meenagh on Christopher Lasch on compassion, soundtracked by the wonderful Joe Bataan.

And, while you're at Martin's place, you can stop by and read my nostalgia for a Labour Party youth left far behind.

Another post with a wonderful soundtrack is Terry Glavin's "With his eyes all closed and his head bowed down, My young man never sleeps", on some of the miners who have died around the world recently. The beautiful voice you hear is that of Kate Rusby, demonstrating Terry has a fine ear. He claims he has a tin ear for highbrow philosophy though. If that is the case, mine is more so. His qualified defence of Zizek (in the context of Adam Hirsch's assault in TNR) is worth a read.

I know this is no longer exactly a hot topic, but Small Town Scribbles perfectly expresses my views on the Damian Green affair.

Possibly the cruelest thing anyone can say about a politician: Chris Dillow damns Yvette Cooper as "the poor man's Ruth Kelly".

I printed out Peter Ryley's two trips down memory line some days ago, and finally read them on the bus yesterday. They're worth printing on to paper. This one is on Israel-Palestine and deserves to be widely read by all those who take simplistic kneejerk "anti-Zionist" or "pro-Israel" positions. This one is on doing a "Peace Studies" MA in the 1980s, which brought back some 1980s memories for me (I was brought up in CND and the Labour Party). The final paragraph, bringing it back to the present, is very sharp, and, like the Izzy-Pal post, cuts through the simplistic shibboleths of contemporary leftism.

I had been planning to blog about Rabbi Julia Neuberger's piece on Camille Pissaro's South London painting, "Lordship Lane Station, Dulwich" (1871), which I read a weekend late (a weekend Guardian tends to take me a month to plough through, which I guess saves me from having to read too many of them), but Transpontine, not surprisingly, got there first. (I agree with his conclusion too.)

Sticking with Transpontine, this fascinating snippet on the "Brighton Vigilantes" (housing activists and/or anti-fascist heroes and/or gangsters) in New Cross generated and even more fascinating comment thread.

Transpontine is not the only Test Department fan out there. Neil from Cloud in Trousers is too.

And Rosie Bell eventually liked The Devil's Whore (so did I). ([Added Friday:] Also blogging about The Devil's Whore: Bro S at AVPS, Madame Miaow.)

I wondered what Peter Risdon, blogging as Freeborn John, thought of the original Freeborn John's portrayal by Tom Goodman-Hill, who may or may not be* a direct descendant of John Lilburne. So I looked for the word "whore" on his blog (Peter's, not Tom's) and found nothing pertinent, but did find this fascinating item on Israeli Nazi porn comics.

Devil's Whore trivia: 1. It was written by Peter Flannery, who write Our Friends in the North, one of the truly great British TV series, which illustrates the sort of thing Martin and I wax about in the second post mentioned above, and nicely segues into Your Friend in the North's Normblog profile (especially as he mentioned Andrea Risborough in a post linked to in my last linktastica!). 2. It also stars Dominic West, McNulty of The Wire (on which see Mr. Metal Jew's article in this pdf; I'm currently on series 2 by the way), although it took me until the penultimate episode to realise it was the same guy, similarly irritating, similarly not quite getting the accent right.

I'm also very into Survivors, by the way, and may post on that some day. In the meantime, read Richard. Compare The Wire and Survivors here.

Finally, a debate on Marx's antisemitism at the decent-Marxist journal New Politics (neatly introduced by Ralph Seliger at Meretz USA).
*update: didn't mean to link to Michael Weiss on Che (altho I'd recommend it) when talking about Tom Goodman-Hill's geneology. Now fixed.

3 comments:

Transpontine said...

I thought there was a bit of an overlap between the Neuberger piece on South London victorian terraces and your discussion of Seeger's Little Boxes - in both there is an element of disdain for ordinary people's housing.

bob said...

I didn't read condescencion in Neuberger's piece when I first read it, but when I read your post, and re-read her piece, I think you're right.

The defence from Neuberger and Pete Seeger, presumably, would be that they are not condemning the way ordinary people for the way they choose to live, but the housebhuilders and/or the system for making them live like that.

But there is something in the very idea of ordinary-ness as a reason to be disdainful that is elitist.

I also agree that Pisarro is not anti-urban; he finds the poetry in the bricks as much as in the leaves on the tree. Neuberger saw him as not detailing the nature as some kind of complaint against its denuding; perhaps it was simply that the buildings were more interesting than the plants!

However, one thing that Neuberger gets right is this: We look at that picture now and see an oldy worldy pastoral scene, but for people at the time it would have been a vision of modernity, which is hard to conjure up now.

bob said...

condescencion?