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Index: Currente Calamo

A little philosophy.

Michael Blackburn: ‘I don’t think many, apart from politicians and intellectuals, believe in some grander vision of hope, any more than of progress, which is another concept discussed by Bauman. Hope for most of us is a belief that we will get through the next day, week, month or year without having anything painful to contend with, and that constitutes a working idea of the future.’

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Swimming Hippos Ditched for Fast-Moving Oneness

Michael Blackburn: ‘It’s going to take more than a series of images from Martin Parr, brilliant though he is, to shift us any further. We’re still be a bunch of stinkers whatever they try. This idents move may be a small thing but it makes it clearer than ever that the BBC believe they’re in the business of more than just reflecting society but actively trying to engineer it.

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‘The sun is God.’

Michael Blackburn: ‘It was all to get my haircut, because I prefer to travel twelve miles through this landscape there and back, however long the wait at the other end, rather than making the less attractive journey into town. This particular morning I’d seen familiar sights briefly transformed in singular ways, ways that created a sense of enchantment. Enchantment may seem an oddly old-fashioned idea but we all crave it in one form or another, and the enchantment of place is one of the most enduring we can experience. ‘

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The joy of mindfulness.

Michael Blackburn: ‘The drama of listening to recondite legal precedents and proposals is lost on me, though it is faintly amusing to hear the learned ones trying to work out whether the documents under discussion are labelled as volume three or part three or have a separate nomenclature when provided in an electronic pack. Whatever the supporters of this legal challenge say about democracy and the sovereignty of parliament, however, is hypocrisy. We know the challenge was launched to sabotage the Brexit process either by stopping it from happening or by causing damaging delays.’

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Boredom busters.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Before I get too blasé about all this, it’s worth having a laugh at a couple of figures who will go down in political history as fluff-brained lightweights compared with El Commandante (as those of us who never met the great Fidel like to call him).’

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Insulting the stupid natives.

Michael Blackburn: ‘You can see why the outcome of the referendum is such an annoyance to the Europhiles and mandarins. It’s the triumph of the gullible, the uneducated, the ill-informed. Look at how they were misled, Kerr says, about immigration (repeating one of the numerous cliches of the remain side) — some of the areas with the largest vote to leave were those with the smallest amount of immigration!’

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The Vicars of Bray at their Rubicon.

Michael Blackburn: ‘This is not politics as normal. It is not the same as promising to build more houses then failing to do so, or promising not to raise taxes and then raising them. This is not the kind of promise that can be fudged or dumped. It’s too big for that. Whether we have politicians big enough to understand this and act upon it properly we’ll have to see. But if they want to keep their seats and the trust of the electorate they will have to be our Vicars of Bray and cross the Rubicon, because there’s no turning back.’

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Hijab Jibber Jabber.

Michael Blackburn: ‘One thing we do know as viewers is that those in the media know better than us: we’ve proved ourselves to be racist, xenophobic Islamophobes, and it’s their job to make sure we get a face full of multicultural correctness as often as possible.’

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Charmed and privileged hypocrites.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Chakrabarti could not clear herself of the charge of being a hypocrite — because it is not possible. If you are a leftist you live in a permanent state of cognitive dissonance. You know you can’t pontificate about a non-selective, one-size fits all comprehensive-style education for everyone else at the same time as you are sending your own child to a selective school, private or not. But you will do it all the same.’

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Mr Dylan Cannot Be Found.

Michael Blackburn: ‘After Dylan there seems little point in writing a poem in any traditional manner. The expression of emotion, the exploration of human behaviour, the search for meaning in the world, the use of narrative, all are done as well in popular song, more memorably and reaching a greater number of people than they are in contemporary poetry. ‘

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The History of Art is now history.

Michael Blackburn: ‘If I had my way there would be more classical art and music on the curriculum than there is at the moment. What is truly lacking in modern education is a sense of culture.’

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Tea and visions for jihadis.

Michael Blackburn: ‘ The Church of England has enthusiastically thrown in its lot with the progressives who attack all of the traditional values of the nation. Conceding legal and religious ground to your opponent is a form of capitulation.’

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The Brexit Weimar Apocalypse.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Ashdown is right when he says “It’s not our country any more,” — but not for the reason he thinks. “Our country” for him is the country of the political and media establishment, not that of the majority of people in Britain. For the moment at least, the people have shaken that establishment by demanding their country back. And they have made this desire plain in the most peaceable way.’

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Hillary Clinton, Pepe and the Deplorables.

Michael Blackburn: ‘Both the 9/11 fall and the punking by Pepe show a political class in serious moral and physical decay. If Clinton gets elected all bets are off as to how long she will survive but one thing is certain: Pepe the green cartoon frog will taunt her all the way.’

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The Zappa rule for bankers.

Michael Blackburn: ‘A knowledge of the old adage, “never wear brown in town” would come in useful for coping with those opaques codes. For, as any well-bred fule kno, brown shoes are not to be worn except on one’s country estate. And certainly never with a dark suit.’

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