Viewing entries posted in November 2010
In these days of increasing self-advertisement and
diminishing curiosity about the outside world beyond the
contents of our email inbox the art of asking questions is
in decline. Conversation is a tennis match; when you lob a
question flattering the ego of the person...
Never read Salman Rushdie? Then you can't like cream
cakes. Long before the mullahs issued their fatwa against
him, Rushdie became the bard of lardy sins when he coined
the 1970s Dairy Council slogan 'Naughty but nice'. The ad
lasted well into the 1980s,...
It's common to equate freedom with choice, these days. It's
also common to note that too much choice can be
overwhelming. I didn't want a near limitless choice of
toothpastes, when I went to the chemists the other day. I
just wanted one that...
What will be the defining issues of the coming decade?
Consider the following three trends. First, ever-growing
environmental devastation. Second, continuing growth of the
already cavernous social inequalities between the rich and
the poor that lead the rich to fear the poor and live...
Forgiveness is such an important matter because if you can't
forgive you compromise your future. You tie yourself to the
past in cycles of regret and revenge. You must absolve those
who have wronged you because if you don't, you won't be able
The human species likes to use music as a means of taking
comfort and finding the familiar: we relax to it, let it
conjure bygone days, rely on it to identify like-minded
people. Although there's no great harm in that, the habit of
Winter is all but upon us, with only the promise that it
will get colder and greyer before springtime's rescue
arrives. The economic climate offers little encouragement
either. The green shoots of recovery seem distant and
abstract amongst rumours of all too concrete cuts,...
What is fair? What is equality? Are they always good? We're
hearing a lot about it, what with the cuts. But can we make
much sense of the words? It's a tough one. I think that part
of the problem has to do...
In 1838, the world's first department store grandly opened
its doors in Paris. Le Bon Marche invented the all-in-one
shopping experience. Customers could buy anything from toy
soldiers to a wedding dress without having to haggle over
prices or walk the filthy streets. It spawned...
Do you have fantasies? They don't have to be scenes of the
erotic: they can be innocuous images of living in the sun,
winning the lottery, getting that promotion, falling in
love, or receiving a prize.
The good news is that, if you do,...
I spend far more time listening to music than I do reading.
When I was younger I had time to do both, but I now tend to
only read for work, and listen to music for pleasure. Some
of my friends listen...