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Having seen the production and then gone back to the text, it struck me that in many ways the poetic truth of the original play is the transformative power of dreams. However, this theme was almost entirely obscured in the production.
On goes the false stubble and out steps our intrepid heroine - as Ned - into the male world. But she seems unwilling to make a firm decision about whether gender has grey areas or is either starkly pink or blue. The suspicion comes to mind that she has to maintain a certain bipolarity between the sexes in order to give the book its selling-point.
This book tells a fascinating story of how a focus on targets and professionalism in the public sector has led to really bad and ineffective governance. But while Foster is strong on description, his analysis is weak and his suggestions frivolous because he is astonishingly disengaged in politics.
Osborne believes art’s role should be to console grief-stricken humanity for relinquishing its primeval paradise. On the contrary, a dynamic humanity would do well to sample from time to time marginal spheres of culture to have its key assumptions negated and transgressed.
It is easy to mock Žižek for his obscurity, his obsessive interest in dissecting modish films and bad jokes, his endless repetition of previous work (whole sections copied almost verbatim) and his offensive pomposity. It is harder to convey the sheer thrill of reading this stuff.
The largely unnoticed elephant on the carpet in the contemporary debate about intellectuals, which is left undisturbed by Collini, is the end of the Cold War and the demise of ideological politics.
DC Confidential: The Controversial Memoirs of Britain’s Ambassador to the US at the Time of 9/11 andChristopher Meyer
The character that emerges from these ill-judged pages is a dubious one at best. His public school brand of anti-intellectualism, betrayed most starkly in his unquestioning acceptance of pre-emption, is his worst failing.
Luckily it seems the public are willing to do what the university won’t, and take a stand against the intimidation. One of the chants ran ‘No more threats, no more fear, animal testing wanted here!’ and well expressed the attitude of the marchers.
Sinclair carries out his work in the guise of a kind of hard-boiled druid, both incisively sceptical and visionary. ‘The reality is democratic, anyone can play. All it requires is open eyes and stout boots. Start moving and the path reveals itself.’
Runciman’s originality lies in his understanding of the ways in which a longstanding dilemma of modern politics expresses itself in the current period, but his inability to integrate this into his material on the nature of the modern state pushes him into highly speculative musings on the psychology of Tony Blair.
Many films reek of the desperation of forty years spent trying to get the message across to these idiots. But perhaps PIFs are one of the prices we pay for being relatively free. Or, as governments might see it, the price authority has to pay for letting people remain free.
The art, the philosophy, the politics, the Christianity, and the bohemia - de Botton’s solutions to status anxiety - are always brought forth in support of his case, never in opposition. Never does de Botton put down something that he disagrees with, and then disagree with it.