Posts under ‘Culture’

London remembers Orgreave

by Mark Perryman.

Thirty years ago in June the defining moment of the Miners Strike. Mark Perryman explains why London is due to host an anniversary truth and justice benefit concert. Orgreave, Yorkshire, 18 June 1984. The mass picket vs the massed police. Four months into the dispute this in many ways was the Miners Strike’s defining moment. The […]

A tribute to Stuart Hall

by Phil Burton-Cartledge.

I was very sorry to hear about Stuart Hall this afternoon. A figure who tends not to get much coverage in academe or the left these days, his impact on the social sciences and socialist politics in Britain was deep and influential. When I started studying sociology in the early-mid 1990s, Hall’s work cast a […]

Celebrity Big Brother: hyper-sexualised link bait, and bloody entertaining

by Lucy Reese.

So what does this year’s Celebrity Big Brother say about our wider culture? Obviously the recycling of ‘reality’ celebrities like Sam or Luisa or Ollie is very much part of the story – we live in a culture where television spawns these creatures on an almost hourly basis. But what strikes me most is how sexualised the house has become – endless talk about orgies, bisexuality, Luisa plotting to win by cuddling up with Jasmine and Lee playing Casey and Jasmine off against each other. Sex sells – gets tweeted, shared, you name it – something known only too well by Channel Five’s proprietor Richard Desmond who famously cut his publishing teeth on ‘Asian Babes’. Celebrity Big Brother is hyper sexualised link bait – soft porn for the masses.

Political Scandal and Indifference

by Phil Burton-Cartledge.

Let’s look at what you would’ve won. No more privatisations. No market fundamentalism. An extension of trade union rights. A thriving mining industry using the most advanced technology in the world. A joined up approach to finance and industry. A strong labour movement. Communities proud of their history. All under three successive Labour governments, dating […]

New year sports resolutions

by Mark Perryman.

Mark Perryman from Philosophy Football offers ten resolutions to spice up how we enjoy the sports we love in 2014 Too much Christmas pud, cake and ale over the seasonal break? Feet up in front of the TV for an indecent chunk of the duration? Sport defined as watching it rather than doing it? The […]

Vacuity and Celebrity

by Phil Burton-Cartledge.

In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Oceana’s grand project is to replace English with Newspeak, a language so carefully constructed that it is completely incapable of articulating critical thought. Far-fetched perhaps, but between the hours of 21:00 and 23:50 last night Channel 5 screened a close approximation of it – the 50 Most Shocking Celebrity Moments of 2015. Of […]

“Rising every time we fall” – Nelson Mandela

by Mark Perryman.

Mark Perryman of Philosophy Football explains the initiative they have launched in memory of Mandela to raise funds for social justice in South Africa today. Nelson Mandela’s unique achievement lies in dreaming of a free society, fighting for that dream in the face of the most vicious oppression, never surrendering that dream during the long […]

For those who can’t love Obama

by Jack Dunleavy.

I’m willing to make a bet: five years from now, everyone will be talking about Sergio de la Pava. This is an exaggeration obviously, but anyone who likes The Wire will be talking about him, or Louis Ck, or The Occupy Movement. Anyone who is frustrated by ‘literary’ books which cover serious themes in a […]

Watch: Tracy Chapman at the 1988 Mandela concert

by Conrad Landin.

Listen, watch, and just feel the atmosphere. Think about what David Cameron was up to – the following year, no less, after these crowds filled Wembley. And even just appreciate the greatest political songwriter of recent times. Over at Consequence of Sound, they contend that it was Chapman’s second appearance, in which she performed Fast Car, […]

Books for a season of rain and grey skies

by Mark Perryman.

Mark Perryman of Philosophy Football reviews an autumn of sports books. It was three decades ago, in 1983, that Garry Whannel wrote the pioneering book Blowing the Whistle: The Politics of Sport. The book was part of a series ‘Arguments for Socialism’, created by The Socialist Society, an alliance of Left-wing thinkers writers and campaigners, […]

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