Category Archives: Politics

A Fourth World

It is a love letter to what can unite us; perhaps even a glimpse of a future world without borders.

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Rock Paper Scissors

To mark William Burroughs’ 100th birthday (snippets of him live on in all of us) here’s a bunch of vids. A Man Within CIA Assassin? Thanksgiving prayer William Burroughs photographs Love your enemies Shotgun paintings Dr Benway operates The Threepenny Opera Destroy all rational thought Cut-Ups Junkie Cut-Up Balloons in Black & White Commissioner of Sewers [...]

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Less is more…more or less

I’m still buzzing from the D&AD Awards Ceremony at The Roundhouse in June. It was extra brilliant this year because Neville Brody (D&AD President and founder of the Anti-Design Festival) masterminded a parody of awards ceremonies. We got the 1970s light show, street-cred beatboxer, fetishistic nouvelle cuisine, fledgling artists and actors waiting tables, and sexy [...]

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Noticed

‘A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.’ William James  

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Apostrophegeddon

Writing is not about rules, but communicating ideas. Any company that rejects a job application because of a misplaced apostrophe is barking up the wrong tree. The most original thinkers I work with struggle to tie their shoelaces.

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Fighting talk

There are words whose unexpected appearance in the public domain causes a combination of fascination and dictionary grabbing. And then there is another category of words whose appearance is so utterly surprising that you just have to sit back and admire the sheer etymological bravado of it all. Such a word popped up in headlines the world over this past Friday. The American government’s choice of ‘bellicose’ to describe the rhetoric of North Korea.

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50 shades of sorry

Sorry is one of the most subjective words in the English language because it can be infected with so many nuances. Far from expressing genuine contrition, governments, businesses, public figures and (sorry about this) you and me use apologies to divert attention, manage expectations, resuscitate reputations, and even implicate the victim. 2013 has already seen [...]

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Leaders and Speechwriters

‘You start by writing down the headline you want to see in the paper after you’ve delivered the speech. Then you write the two press releases for the articles you want to appear as follow-up stories to the speech. Then you sit down to write the speech.’ Paddy Ashdown

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Noisy perfection

I am sitting in the Bodleian Library with Dr Christopher Fletcher, a Fellow of Exeter College, member of the English Faculty and Keeper of Special Collections. On the table between us is a yellowing manuscript of translucent pages inscribed with a neat copperplate script in brown ink. It is the autograph draft manuscript of The [...]

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Heavenly bodies

A hop, skip and jump from the Olympic VIP entertainment suites where regimes with appalling human right records are enjoying a break from torturing their citizens, is a simple, humble encampment of Eelam Tamils. Gobi Sivanthan is on hunger strike to raise awareness about Black July, 1983. According to Tamils Against Genocide, this is the period [...]

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