Posts Tagged ‘Heroes’

Farewell Leonard Cohen. RIP

I had enormous admiration for this giant, and also gratitude for the influence of his music – his soul music – his meditations and his anthems in my life. Words, many more words, will be written and spoken about Leonard Cohen, and so they should. But not by me here today. I have so much […]

Michelle Obama’s full speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

What an astonishing person Michelle Obama is. – P

RIP David Bowie

I actually, literally staggered when I was told yesterday that David Bowie had died. ‘Have you heard about David Bowie?’ someone asked me. ‘What? About his new album?’ I replied … then what a crash. Bowie was a hero to me, an artist whose influence was enormous in my life. I have written about him […]

Robin Williams RIP

What can one say about Robin Williams that hasn’t been said in the last 24 hours? I loved him, what I knew of him from his work. His brittle, manic side seemed always near the surface — but so too, even nearer and unmistakable, was his sensitive, heart-warming, generous, warm and encouraging side. Robin Williams […]

RIP Rik Mayall

A sad farewell to a comedic genius. Rik Mayall has died unexpectedly at 56. His fans will celebrate the groundbreaking The Young Ones and remember with relish his scene-stealing and virile Lord Flashheart (woof!) in Blackadder — as I do — and these were great. But for me, I will always remember his Alan B’Stard, beautifully […]

I guess it depends what you mean by ‘highlights’ Eddie. (Wonderful!)

I’ve expressed before my enormous respect for broadcaster Eddie Mair who hosts BBC Radio 4’s PM news hour. He is silky smooth, a highly capable radio host and an intelligent, persistent interviewer whose voice often betrays a delightful sense of humour, a warm chuckle, and occasionally, gentle mockery, as in his interview with a squirming […]

Behind the Washington Post’s end-of-year interview with Edward Snowden

Worth watching … December 24, 2013 3:54 PM EST — Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman discusses how his exclusive interview with Edward Snowden came about and whether the former NSA contractor would ever want to return to the United States. (Jeff Simon / The Washington Post) LINK TO VIDEO HERE Snowden is being predictably and […]

Essential viewing — Nelson Mandela on Yasser Arafat: Your enemies are not automatically our enemies.

I know this is contentious, the claim that Yasser Arafat was murdered using Polonium (as the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko was, his killers leaving a radioactive trail through London). I reproduce this Al Jazeera banner (above) here, prompted in part by the clever use of the Po 84 periodic table reference to spell ‘POISONED’. Whatever your […]

Maya Angelou on Nelson Mandela

One of the reasons I run this blog* is to post inspiring material like this … a great spirit farewells another: Wonderful. – P (* as much for me as for you)

Haere ra, Mandela. RIP.

What a great man. What an inspiration. “The quest for reconciliation was the spur that gave life to our difficult negotiations process and the agreements that emerged from it.” — Nelson Mandela to Parliament, Cape Town, 25 February 1999 – P

Obama on MLK speech 50th Anniversary

I know I’m late to this. I just spotted this photo in Barack Obama’s Instagram feed. (I ‘follow’ it, but pretty much abandoned Instagram when Facebook bought it.) I’ve stood on that spot (yeah, tourist, me) at the top of the steps in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, right on the battered […]

Please read this NY Times column — ‘The Banality of Systematic Evil’

Goodness me, I just want to quote the whole thing! Gah! Please, if you care about these issues of whistle-blowing and state surveillance (as I do) go and read this article by Peter Ludlow, a professor of philosophy at Northwestern University writing in the NY Times: The Banality of Systemic Evil … In a June […]

Susan Sontag on writing

Someday (today’s not the day) I will try to express how much I have been inspired by the writing, or better put: the thoughtful reflections of Susan Sontag. She is one of my heroes. I felt lucky to have found her, with her book On Photography. It touched me. Changed my consciousness. Maria Popova, another […]

Steve Jobs movie trailer

I missed the Facebook movie, The Social Network, mainly because of disrespect. (I’ll catch it sometime.) But yeah, I’ll definitely go and see this one. – P

David Bowie’s influence on acceptance of gay ‘lifestyle’

I’ve just watched this fantastic BBC 4 documentary David Bowie and the story of Ziggy Stardust (below) about Bowie’s emergence as a global pop star and, more importantly, cultural sensation and groundbreaker. I had all his albums. (On vinyl. Not an exaggeration.) I recall feeling anxious for him when I saw how skeletal he looked […]