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Thread: An essay on education, language and class

  1. #16

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    It's a good book, Baboon. One of his great "pamphlets" from the 90s, alongside The Trial of Henry Kissinger and The Missionary Position (which he had wanted to title 'Holy Cow'). The best book ever published in the name of Hitchens, though, was For the Sake of Argument, the Verso collection of 90s essays that really displayed the art of essay writing at a peak.

  2. #17
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    Brilliant, will check that out!

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    Y'see, I'm not so sure that's true. I would think that Brand-as-showbiz-icon could easily appeal to people who voted Tory or Ukip - why not (as K-Punk said, a lot of people who criticise Brand are middle class leftists who privilege their class affiliations over their supposed political affiliations - he's a figure who resists easy categorisation of his appeal)? While I agree that dissuading people from voting is not great, then I think that media exposure for famous working class people who have both mass showbiz appeal and progressive views is super important for an ailing left, at a time where so often the mainstream left is persuasively seen/caricatured as 'middle class people talking down to working class people'.
    I can see Brand fans voting UKIP much more easily than I can see them voting Tory, tbh - I think his tramp-like appearance, flamboyant mannerisms and well-known history of addiction and womanizing are unlikely to appeal to working- and lower-middle-class conservatives, regardless of what he has to say about politics. (Not necessarily the case with posh Tories, of course, for whom a predilection for smack, rentboys and Nazi cosplay practically comes with the territory - but they'd probably just think him a frightful oik with ideas above his station.) The whole non-voting thing makes me think of the sort of person who thinks an absolute cynicism towards all, or nearly all, politicians and parties constitutes political astuteness; the attitude of "they're all as bad as each other"/"they're all just wankers". Who voted Leave just because it's what David Cameron didn't want. Who is thinking of giving Corbyn a chance because of some cutesy Thug Life .gifs he's seen on the 'Sassy Socialist Memes' Facebook page, but could just as easily be drawn to Farage because "at least he speaks his mind". And let's not forget the 'anti-establishment' votes that Trump picked up from frustrated Sanders fans.

    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    Monkman is a don. Seagull too, he has a great manner. Not sure I know who Chaudri is.
    Chaudhri is one of Monkman's teammates. I just like the fact that he's about as white as it gets yet has a surname more usually found in India/Bangladesh.

    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    Pervo.
    Yeah, and?
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 30-03-2017 at 12:01 PM.
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  4. #19
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    But back to politics and language: Orwell is surely the original don of this topic, although that's perhaps too obvious a suggestion to be worth mentioning. Craner, you got any links to specific pieces by the writers you mentioned? Or are you talking more about, like, *gulp* whole books?
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  5. #20
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    bookmarked for later, but man... Brand?! this better be good!

  6. #21

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    Not just books, Tea, entire oeuvres!

    George L Mosse is particularly worth exploring.

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    Wasn't Russell also a keen k-punk acolyte, or at least a supporter?
    I was expecting to see something from him amongst all the tributes.


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    Every page a melon-twist - ha, that's actually great.
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    I watched the Brand-Paxman interview again, and it is actually extraordinary. By refusing to be silenced by Paxman's continued and odious insinuations that he 'shouldn't' be talking about politics, and his suggestions that stating simple, correct truths is somehow naive and unsophisticated, Russell Brand shows Paxman up as the ridiculous bully and defender of the status quo that he is. And I've never seen anyone else achieve that so clearly.

    The closing of ranks that Paxman attempts and fails, is reflected in the way John Snow interviews Brand:
    Tbh, I'm struggling to think of anyone else who has been treated with such contempt from the outset by supposedly 'objective' news interviewers.

    But then, my general experience of news journalists is that they are heavily invested in reducing a political arena to a purely technical one, where they can endlessly speculate about the minutiae of what X or Y has said (which means little in a framework in which lying goes unpenalised, and spin is ubiquitous). As soon as someone suggests that the bigger problem is that politics as a whole has been captured by a specific class, overwhelmingly in thrall to the interests of big business, they go into attack dog mode...

    Non-voting may not make sense, but it looks a whole lot less stupid when the current political system is a corrupt absurdity. Obviously what the UK needs is a grassroots-bursting-into-the-mainstream politics revolution of the kind Spain experienced (albeit sadly now stalled) - unfortunately the very history that seemingly insulates Spain against the far right doesn't exist in the UK, so the revolution can come from either side. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that things will need to get worse before any significant change happens. May not need to wait long, obviously.
    Last edited by baboon2004; 03-04-2017 at 10:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by craner View Post
    Not only is he not that smart, he's not even very funny. Also: he is a bad writer. His "memoirs" are worthless vanity publications, complete trash. The Cult of Fry totally mystifies me.
    His book on poetry is singularly free of insight, really quite trite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    I can see Brand fans voting UKIP much more easily than I can see them voting Tory, tbh - I think his tramp-like appearance, flamboyant mannerisms and well-known history of addiction and womanizing are unlikely to appeal to working- and lower-middle-class conservatives, regardless of what he has to say about politics. (Not necessarily the case with posh Tories, of course, for whom a predilection for smack, rentboys and Nazi cosplay practically comes with the territory - but they'd probably just think him a frightful oik with ideas above his station.) The whole non-voting thing makes me think of the sort of person who thinks an absolute cynicism towards all, or nearly all, politicians and parties constitutes political astuteness; the attitude of "they're all as bad as each other"/"they're all just wankers". Who voted Leave just because it's what David Cameron didn't want. Who is thinking of giving Corbyn a chance because of some cutesy Thug Life .gifs he's seen on the 'Sassy Socialist Memes' Facebook page, but could just as easily be drawn to Farage because "at least he speaks his mind". And let's not forget the 'anti-establishment' votes that Trump picked up from frustrated Sanders fans.



    Chaudhri is one of Monkman's teammates. I just like the fact that he's about as white as it gets yet has a surname more usually found in India/Bangladesh.



    Yeah, and?
    Few things in life are as depressing as Bernie Sanders 'fans'.

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