Posts Tagged ‘power’

Salvator_Mundi.jpgShock 1: $450 million for a painting.  World record shocks many.
Shock 2: Portrait of Jesus as Saviour of The World, bought by Saudi Arabia, stalwarts of Muslim conservatism.

On 15 November 2017, this modest but enigmatic portrait by Leonardo da Vinci was auctioned for a massive $450.3 million setting a new world record.  The painting will be loaned to The Louvre in Abu Dhabi.  The painting is titled “Salvator Mundi”, or in English “Saviour of the World”.  A mysterious Jesus is blessing the viewer with his right hand and in his left, is a transparent globe, representing the cosmos.  Just the thing you’d expect a Saudi Arabian prince to buy?

(more…)

Advertisements

9788483063279-us-300.jpgDemi-God for some, very-devil for others, Marx is a marked man.  So when a biography says he was fun – that’s worth looking at.

Francis Wheen’s account of Karl Marx (Fourth Estate) is hugely acclaimed.  And rightly so.  Karl’s famous image really gives the wrong sense of the man.  Francis says he ended up a bourgeois Victorian.  But she shows what a lively character he was.  Very sharp intellectually, man of thoughts and ideas, rather than cutlass and pistol.  Driven personality, hard arguer, verbal bully, intemperate, heavy smoker and drinker, devoted father and grandfather.  But – dry and dusty he was not.

(more…)

the ministry of utmost happiness.jpg

Arundhati Roy’s “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness”. A Good Read?  Like beauty being in the eye of the beholder – the simple answers are usually misleading.

I finished it and had mixed feelings. It had very good reviews and I really don’t know why. It is in effect a critique of India’s political classes, dangerous nationalisms, its cruelties to Muslims, Dalits, the Hijra, and Kashmir in particular. A story well worth telling, and I’m quite interested in that. It has been a tale told by others many times.  Indeed, there is a long tradition of English medium Indian writers dishing the dirt on Indian society (Rohinton Mistry, Arvind Ardiga, etc)

(more…)

I did not know

Posted: 1 November 2017 in Prisons
Tags:
We did not know.jpg

They did not know

“I did not know”.  Jay was a drug dealer, now enjoying a long stretch in HMP Slade for supply of significant amounts of Class A drugs.  He had spoken with a parent whose son had died from an accidental drug overdose.  Though the son was not likely to be one of his own end users, Jay still saw the connection.

(more…)

????????????????????????????

Le Pen, Trump, Putin as Crusaders

So Donald has Trumpit the Brexit. Nigel (Farage) told us in the early hours that 2016 opens a new era.  Indeed.  For what?  In a British pub in Moscow last night, I saw them sit up and cheer Trump.  A painting is brought in, of three mounted Crusaders.  But the portraits are of Marie Le Pen, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.  It is derived from a famous painting of Adolf Hitler as a mounted knight in armour, holding a standard, searching for The Holy Grail.  A crusade you want to be part of?

No mistake – this is epochal.  We are all revolting against the elites that patronised us for years now.  Popular disgust is being captured and (more…)

desadeSo The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse struggles with resignations and credibility, while Penguin Books announces it is publishing “The 120 Days of Sodom” by the Maquis deSade.  The first – seeks to uncover sexual crimes against children.  The second – a fictional account of what sexual crimes an aristocrat, a politician, a bishop, and a banker comit against eight boys and eight girls aged between 12 and 15.  One seeks justice for the many who have suffered.  The other, many gratifications including murder.  There is no direct link of course.  But while the Inquiry seeks to uncover crimes of the powerful, deSade seeks to describe the crimes of the powerful.

(more…)

How do we express God’s special expedition that is Christmas for a new babe (not a relative)generation? Something that captures the less-is-more to the point of complete self offering.  In a way that makes sense to the 21st century. Often we trot out the familiar words that are closer to James Stewart (“It’s a Wonderful Life”) or Charles Dickens (“A Christmas carol”), than the original vision.

This poem (below), used in Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols”, expresses the bizarre ironies of God-coming-in-might as a baby, in terms of a renaissance army with all it’s force. The poet made the contrasts so vivid, striking. Read on:

Poem: New Heaven, New War

This little babe, so few days old,
Is come to rifle Satan’s fold;
All hell doth at his presence quake.
(more…)