Category Archives: Books
August 12, 2017Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Follows on from the one I posted last week on cartoons and being more than just cartoons, I deciding to put the 35 funniest cartoons about ebooks and digital reading here. The access to books and ebooks¹²³ these days is phenomenal, but I do remember when it wasn’t always so and conditional on access to a good library. With technology offering access to digitised books through websites like Project Gutenberg, The Library of Congress and Project Muse, a new world has been opened. But where to start this post? Perhaps the blacklisting of Winnie the Pooh in China is a good place, especially as the article was really an homage to the bicentennial of Jane Austen’s death. Read more of this post
October 2, 2016Posted by on
Sunday on Facebook: It is over two years since I wrote a piece to coincide with Banned Books Week in the USA. Rather than focus on books that are banned — particularly in the USA and the UK — I decided on two examples of books modified to satisfy a modern readership and one book as an allegory for internet censorship, which may pose an even greater threat to personal freedom. Finally making reference to how state censorship grows in proportion to the public’s access to information, the post itself being an indication of why internet freedom to publish material is so important.
February 20, 2015Posted by on
Some three years ago I wrote the post Machismo and the modern man, this was a commentary on the emasculation of the modern male and a masculine response. There was a strong connection with Australia (Oz), particularly the influence of Germaine Greer. Ms Greer is a chicken come home to roost so to speak, possibly the repatriated progeny born of colonists transported for their disruption to the harmonious order of society. Yet it’s to the men of Oz that we should express our gratitude. They have responded to this ’emasculation’ by creating a shed culture for the alpha male. Read more of this post
December 19, 2014Posted by on
Feigned deafness is the theme of ‘The Christmas Present’ by Richmal Crompton, a story that I came across in The Best Short Stories Of 1922. I doubt very much if even my children, and certainly not my grandchildren, could comprehend a society in which women could be so subservient to men that they found it convenient to feign deafness. Then a story from nearly one hundred years ago is from a time unknown to them and seen as having little relevance to their own lives. For me, it’s from an age known to my parents and reflects attitudes that I am familiar with in my own lifetime. Read more of this post
December 17, 2014Posted by on
The genre used by C. S. Lewis in The Chronicles of Narnia, and his friend J. R. R. Tolkien in The Lord Of The Rings is now used to popularize the concept of some supernatural force, contrary to that intended by Lewis and Tolkien who both attributed supernatural forces to the divine.
October 4, 2014Posted by on
My posts on matter considered obscene, reminded me of the 1930 case when Sir Ethelred Rutt K.C., had the misfortune of appearing before a full Bench of magistrates on behalf of the headmaster (a clergyman) of Eton College. Certain publications had been found at Eton College by a Police Constable Boot in his zealous discharge of a special warrant, whereupon the headmaster was charged under Lord Campbell’s Act, England’s first obscenity statute. The headmaster admitted that the publications kept on the premises were to be ‘sold, distributed, lent, or otherwise published’ – within the meaning of the Act – to the students under his charge, who were from thirteen to nineteen years of age. Read more of this post
August 16, 2014Posted by on
In A Tribute in Words and Pictures (a collection of reviews by those closely associated with Margaret Thatcher) its editor, Iain Dale, has included an amusing anecdote by John Whittingdale about Margaret Thatcher and Monty Python. As Whittingdale recounts, in 1990, the Conservative Party Conference speech was particularly important and the hardest part of the speech to write were the jokes, especially for someone who was not a natural joke teller. The people brought in to write this part of Margaret Thatcher’s speech frequently needed to persuade her that what they had written was funny. Read more of this post