Alistair John

December 2009

‘More is good; more is better’

At the heart of the films is the conflict between the imposed, innocuous, uniform, and sterile as opposed to the bodged, unofficial, irreverent and idiosyncratic. While certainly not a Luddite, Meades is firmly on the side of the latter and for this reason, while both ruminative and discursive – his argument rides tangents like a rafter rapids – a consistently polemical filmmaker.

November 2009

Watching the Supreme Court

It is not as though Supreme Court hearings are simply of interest to the nerdiest of law students. The Supreme Court may be devoid of the soap opera drama of a trial, being concerned simply - simply! - with the application of the law on issues of constitutional significance. But then the process by which these decisions are reached is no less compelling than the goings-on within Parliament.

Essays
March 2008

The uses of psychogeography

Psychogeography is not a socio-political tract but a pot of (skunk laden) potpourri. 

Books

The words on the page

Philip Larkin rarely gave readings of his poems. Asked why in an interview with the Paris Review [PDF], he explained that to hear a poem as opposed to reading it on the page means that, for better or worse, the speaker will interpose their personality between poem and audience, obscuring, maligning and interfering with the poem itself.

Poetry

Culture Wars was included in creativetourists’ Top 25 UK Arts & Culture Blogs 2009.