Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My father reminisces

It is my policy not to implicate my family in this blog, especially without their permission, but I thought I'd share this extract from an e-mail my father sent me:
As a student, in about 1960, I participated in a sit-down street demonstration with the very elderly (I think he was 90) Bertrand Russell. It was either about the Congo or anti-nuclear. Sat right next to him, only two feet away, but was too shy and over-awed to speak to him.

The cop who carried him away remarked how light he was, to which he replied that he was just as light when he was young, but no-one had wanted to carry him then.

6 comments:

ModernityBlog said...

Apologies slightly off topic, but I thought you'd want to be informed.

Seismic Shock the Video is out.

http://modernityblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/seismic-shock-the-video/

Please do, embed it and pass it on
Cheers :)

Daniel of "Daniels Counter" said...

Didn't know radicalism is so ingrained in your family, waiting for what the next generation of Bobs will bring!

The Contentious Centrist said...

I like Bertrand Russell very much and have a few of his books on my shelves. I never thought of him as a radical. How could he be, when I find so much to agree with in what he writes?

I have often referred to him in my blog. In this particular case, TNC expressed a reservation.

http://contentious-centrist.blogspot.com/2008/11/on-teachers-civilization-and-courage-i.html

bob said...

CC, I really like your Russell post whose url is above, which I missed at the time.

Russell's strongly pro-Israel statements of 1943 and his mildly anti-Israel statements of 1970 last testiment get batted around the internet as ammunition by the pros and antis, but are very far from the core of his work.

He was a really important person for my intellectural development when I was a teenager.

I am now going to add a photo to the post.

TNC said...

The reservation I had is I wondered why Russell was so close to that charlatan Ralph Shoenman. CC explained they eventually parted company but I still wonder why they were close in the first place.

bob said...

Russell's repudiation of Shoenman, written just before he died, is on the web and gives a lot of detail about their relationship and of Shoenman's character flaws. Antisemitism is not listed among these, and I have read (can't remember where) that in his dying years Russell developed some unpleasant views on that issue, although his oft-quoted "last testament" against Israel is quite temperately phrased.

Russell's closest acolytes around Ken Coates' Spokeman magazine follow a slightly Schoenmanesque trend. See item 3 here and follow the link: http://poumista.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/drawing-clear-lines/