Category Archives: Art, music, self

Being got. Or not.

Earlier this month I gave a talk in Toronto reflecting on how the role of women as public intellectuals changed (or did not) over the last century. The starting point for this discussion was the life of my aunt – … Continue reading

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Intellectual jamming

When the news of B B King’s death reached me earlier this summer, I turned, as I’m sure many others did too,  to Google and Youtube to find recorded performances to remind me of the greatness of this inspirational blues … Continue reading

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Wisteria

There is obviously something in the Dalston terroir particularly conducive to wisteria growth. Nurtured by the droppings of rats with a protein-rich and chemically-enhanced diet of fried chicken and chips, the cocaine-infused urine of hipsters, the delicate hints of amyl nitrate wafting in the night air, and the beer – Oh the beer! – how can it not thrive? Continue reading

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Submission

I finished another research proposal yesterday. Clicking the ‘submit’ button induces the same sense of irrevokability that used to accompany the posting of a bulky manilla envelope through the maw of a post box: anxiety that it might contain some … Continue reading

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Spring

It’s undeniably spring again. The lemon tree that i brought indoors to protect it from the frost that never was (see picture) has burst into bloom, incongruously filling my office with an overpowering Mediterranean perfume. Saint David’s Day has been … Continue reading

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Weeds

Flying into Belgrade on a clear early April day a couple of days ago, I was treated to an amazing spectacle, glimpses of which are shown here, of the heavily farmed agricultural landscape of this part of the Danube valley. … Continue reading

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Starting the new year with a bit of decay

I used the image in the last post as my greetings card this Christmas (changing the title to ‘knock, knock’ because people found the existing one rather obscure). I took the picture in Budapest several years ago when the sight … Continue reading

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Size Queens, consumption work and the unpredictable paths that ideas travel

Last week I received an email saying, ‘My band, The Size Queens, are about to release our 5th album, in part due to your work. The cybertariat was the inspiration for it — though we’ve been progressively moving in this … Continue reading

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Found Art (or the delights of negative entropy)

A sophisticated awareness of graffiti is now part of the essential intellectual armoury of any East London resident or visitor with pretentions to hipness or gentility. Tourists take guided tours of the street art of Shoreditch, Islington home-owners trying to … Continue reading

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Stuck in the head

Whether it is because the synapses transmit more randomly to each other in an ageing brain or perhaps just because I am exposed to fewer auditory distractions, I have recently found that songs are getting stuck in my head for … Continue reading

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