What Fresh Punishment is This? An Editorial on the All-Female Lord of the Flies Adaptation

Warner Brothers have just announced that there is to be a fresh adaptation of the 1945 William Golding novel, Lord of the Flies. It might not be your kind of thing, but think of how helpful it will be for all those school kids steadfastly not reading the book. 

Except, this adaptation has gone a bit wrong. Already. Quite wrong. It’s going to feature an ‘all-female cast.’ The two male directors may have missed the point…

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Tolerance, the Extreme Right, and Karl Popper’s ‘Open Society and its Enemies’

There’s a particularly wet argument permeating the internet right now; that counter-protesting against fascism is a betrayal of the tolerance and virtue that the left should aim to embody. It’s easy to see why some people might fall for this easy assumption; after all the President of the United States unequivocally blamed ‘violence on all sides’ for the debacle in Charlottesville.

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The Virago Press #BooksForChange Challenge: Part Two

If you missed part one of this challenge, you can find it here


Virago is a British publishing company, founded in 1973, with the intention of giving voice and publishing presence to female authors. Since then, the mission statement has expanded to include authors and reprinted works with a broader positive intention; LGBTQ texts; books written by non-binary authors; works which reflect a diversity of neurological conditions and mental illnesses; and lots more. You can find Virago online here, where they have a fascinating timeline of their own history.

virago

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On This Day – The Reichstag Fire, 27 February 1933

It’s a real change of pace today- I don’t often do On This Day posts, but this one really stood out to me. Not least because it’s one of those fact-and-dates that is clinging on from my GCSE days (the exam flashbacks are looming), but because it’s startling relevant now.

The burning of the Reichstag building is a real history-mystery with dubious blame and potential cover-ups. It was a fundamental rung on Hitler’s ladder to power, and another part of the story of anti-communism in the 1930s. Today I’m going to briefly outline the event and talk about it from a modern perspective, what with the rise of fascism being a frequently trending topic on twitter. Let me know what you think about this new format, and if you like the slightly more narrative structure.

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Sunday Non-Fiction Spotlight: White House Histories

This week I’m spotlighting three interesting non-fiction books about the White House, which each reveal three very different narratives about the building, its many presidents, and American politics more widely.

The White House is a symbol for many things in America. It is the home to presidents, their families; it is the workplace of staffers, advisors, journalists and commentators; it is the creche for First Children; it is the beating political heart of a nation. However it also embodies many of the core contradictions of the United States. The White House is a symbol of freedom, and yet it was built by slaves. It represents equality, and yet there have been no female presidents. It embodies honesty and authenticity, despite the years of presidential mishaps, cover-ups and mistakes. It is a symbol which exists out of a desire for the purity it stands for; a desire which has so far outweighed the political reality. Let’s see how the symbolic meaning of the White House continues to develop and change under President #45.

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