Sunshine or Shadow – We Men Must Choose

Sunshine or Shadow – We Men Must Choose

We saw the full spectrum of masculine sports behaviour over the past week or so.

First up the demeaning of a young female Norwegian soccer player, Ana Hegerberg, by a boorish (male) French DJ, Martin Solveig, when – at the high point of her short but very distinguished career – he thought it acceptable to ask her to do a suggestive dance (presumably for the delectation of all the men in the room).

With Nordic sangfroid she declined the offer and turned away – showing the grace and steel with which she earned her Ballon d’Or. Showing the idiot up for what he is and what he represents. Continue reading “Sunshine or Shadow – We Men Must Choose”

Arlington Cemetery and the Religious Order of the Military

Arlington Cemetery and the Religious Order of the Military

Coming from a country with no great military tradition, the visual presence of the military and its infrastructure in other countries, such as France, the UK and the US has always intrigued and somehow unnerved me.

We were in Collioure, in France, a few years ago on holiday. We went for a walk along the coast, just north of the town. Beautiful, beautiful place by the Med. We had to go around a military compound to find the path by the cliffs and when we came back they were doing some kind of training exercise in the yard outside the compound. Continue reading “Arlington Cemetery and the Religious Order of the Military”

Washington DC – The New Rome

Washington DC – The New Rome

The most amazing thing about Washington DC for me was how much it reminded me of Rome – Rome as it once was, that is. All the buildings (around the National Mall especially) were so Roman, with friezes and thick columns (in a strange mix of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian) rising up above grand sets of steps. Huge domes in the middle, reaching skyward towards the gods, pregnant with glory. Full of the symbolic grandeur of Rome (and ancient Greece before it). Pale stone, clean and imposing, shining in sunlight. Huge lettering on the outside, massive doors for entry. Continue reading “Washington DC – The New Rome”

A Picture of a Man

A Picture of a Man

There’s an amazing scene in the film M by Fritz Lang* where a serial killer of children is put on trial by the local criminal fraternity and the parents of those he has murdered. They decide, not surprisingly, that he must die for his crimes. And in the scene, the murderer, Beckert, played wonderfully by the wonderful Peter Lorre, tells them all that they cannot kill him, in fact they have no right to try him at all, because he is a man. Continue reading “A Picture of a Man”

Montgomery Clift is Homeless

Montgomery Clift is Homeless

I wrote a poem. Well I think it’s a poem, I’m not sure. I don’t really knjow what a poem is. Anyway I wrote it on my way home from O’Bheal, the poetry night in The Long Valley. They were launching the book Looking at the Stars, edited by Kerrie O’ Brien for which the proceeds were going to helping the homeless.

In O’Bheal there is an exercise where you write a poem that contains some words that are provided. Continue reading “Montgomery Clift is Homeless”

Clinton v. Trump

Clinton v. Trump

Mark posted this article by Michael Moore on Facebook, so I read it. 

I’m glad I did. Moore makes a very compelling case.

It’s depressing, because I love that friggin’ country, and the global ramifications are frightening. But I do wonder if the great socio-historical experiment in democracy that is the United States of America is coming to a wind-down. A bit like Weimar Germany. And yes, I am aware of Godwin’s Law. Continue reading “Clinton v. Trump”