Archive for the ‘Cultural issues’ Category


How important is touch – both in times of pandemic and beyond?

March 3rd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

When was the last time you touched someone you don’t live with? One day last March, probably; you’re not sure of the date. Did you shake hands with a new colleague at work? Did your coat brush against another commuter’s on the train? Did someone bump your elbow and mutter an apology when rushing past […]

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A review of “The War Of The Worlds” by H G Wells

February 25th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In my teenage years, I read quite a lot of Wells and studied “The History Of Mr Polly” at school. However, while over the years I saw film and television versions and even listened to a musical interpretation of “The War Of The Worlds”, I was 72 before I eventually read the novel which was […]

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A review of “Jews Don’t Count” by David Baddiel

February 18th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I read this book because, in his own review of it, a good Jewish friend encouraged all his non-Jewish friends to do so. I’m glad that I did and I would endorse his recommendation. It is a short work (just 123 pages) but compelling and important. Baddiel, who is a Jew best known for his comedy, […]

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A review of the new film “Greenland”

February 18th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In the middle of a global pandemic which has killed millions, here comes a movie featuring an extinction event that wipes out some 75% of all life on Earth. Cheery, eh? Of course, there is something of a sub-genre of films involving threats to Earth from cosmic objects. Think of “Meteor” (1979), “Armageddon” and “Deep […]

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A review of the new film “News Of The World”

February 17th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I’m a huge fan of Tom Hanks (who isn’t?) and I would watch him reading a telephone directory; here we view him as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd reading items in a newspaper to illiterate folk in post-civil war northern Texas. This poorly-paying itinerant role brings him unexpectedly into contact with a 10 year old girl […]

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Word of the day: metonym

February 16th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

A ‘metonym’ is: ‘a word or phrase used in metonymy, a figure of speech in which the name of one object or concept is used for that of another to which it is related. As an example, “the crown” is a metonym for “royalty”.

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A review of the new film “The White Tiger”

February 3rd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Inevitably, this film will be compared with “Slumdog Millionaire”. Both tell the story of a young man’s rise in urban India; both are based on novels by Indian writers: both have Western directors. But “Slumdog” – while including some tough elements – was ultimately a feel-good rom-com with a message of redemption, while “Tiger” is […]

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A review of the new film “The Dig”

February 2nd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

It’s 1939 and war clouds are gathering over Europe and fighter aircraft – from RAF Martlesham (incidentally now the site of BT’s research centre) – are in the skies over Suffolk. Wealthy landowner and widower Lady Edith Pretty (Carey Mulligan) engages local excavator Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) to investigate the mounds on her land, leading […]

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The BIGGEST mistake of President Barack Obama

January 30th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Regular readers of this blog with know both that I’m a huge admirer of Barack Obama and that I’m currently reading the first volume of his political memoirs “A Promised Land”. I’m enjoying the 700-page book enormously – I have read his two previous works – not least because he is a fine writer. BUT […]

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A review of the new action movie “Ava”

January 28th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Jessica Chastain is a fine actor, but she clearly wanted an action hero outing because she takes both the eponymous role as a super assassin and a producer credit in this action-filled drama. If male actors have such tough-guy roles as James Bond, Jason Bourne and John Wick, I for one like to see woman […]

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