You may have heard about this band of thoughtful world travelers:
At least for once there wasn’t an American involved. Nor are they facing long prison terms. That BBC article goes on to explain:
They were jailed for three days, but their sentences were back-dated to reflect time already served.
Evidently snapping naked pics at tourist vistas has become “the thing” lately. Because there always has to be something. The respected British travel writer, the Independent’s Simon Calder, has also pointed out:
Well, if this holds this is a HUGE surprise. And it looks like it will. BBC News:
After weeks of chatter about an election too close to call, it wasn’t that close at all.
David Cameron will be continuing as our prime minister.
A few points that non-British might be interested to read. As you know, this is not a politics blog. However, given what it is about, naturally a bit of the political is inescapable now and then; and a general election result like this one would perhaps reasonably constitute a “now and then.”
Allowing for its age (it’s worth always bearing in mind it’s 40 to 50 year old writing), it’s an excellent book overall so far. However, aspects of Remembrance are not anything I would want to emulate. Even more so than with The Winds of War, I’m seeing certain things style-wise in Remembrance that no novelist should really want even accidentally to replicate.
As you may know, there will be a British general (meaning United Kingdom wide) election on May 7. We will shortly find out if Prime Minister David Cameron (who heads a coalition government led by his Conservatives allied with a smaller “centrist” party called the Liberal Democrats), will run the British government for another five years, or if there will be a new prime minister (who would most likely be Labour opposition leader Ed Miliband). Currently, polls seem to indicate that it’s “too close to call.”
I don’t vote here in the United Kingdom, although I hope to someday after I become a British citizen. However, as a taxpayer, I feel I’ve got a right at least to a modest opinion. But I’m not sharing that here, and you probably don’t want to hear it anyway.
I know I’m breaking my no post before Tuesday, long weekend, rest pledge. But there’s a very good reason for that. This won’t take long, and I don’t want to wait until tomorrow to post this.
On Saturday night, we were directed to this on YouTube by our overnight guests. This wonderful singer – Amy Syed – is our friend’s niece. Her aunt (one of those guests) is massively proud of her…. and rightfully so. Enjoy!:
What one can sometimes learn unexpectedly, eh? This being social media, if you like her singing by all means do please share it.
I’m returning now to my UK Bank Holiday weekend. ;-)
Have a good Monday, wherever you are in the world. :-)
Black British screenwriter and director Amma Asante jumped in on CNN yesterday in defense of actor Benedict Cumberbatch. He’d used the word “colo(u)red” on a U.S. TV talk show. She feels the anger directed at him for saying it is missing the point:
Opinion: Cumberbatch misspoke — now let’s get over it and fight real prejudice
Two countries separated by a common language. To understand Cumberbatch’s employing it requires first remembering that he’s not an American. It is now a decidedly “old-fashioned” word here in Britain, yes; but it is not unheard of coming very occasionally from younger whites (like Cumberbatch), although it’s far more likely to be uttered by one born before “1945.”
An older person I know had straight-faced congratulated me this way upon Obama’s election in 2008: “You have a coloured president now. America’s so much more open-minded. It’s wonderful.” Based on the contexts, as I’ve heard it, it is used as synonymous with “black.” Although it could certainly be tossed out as a slur or a put down, that’s not how I’ve (mostly) heard it said.
But how we internalize others’ descriptions of our race or ethnic background is intensely personal of course. I am not black and I would not presume to speak for anyone else as to how they interpret any description leveled at themselves. That said, the language issue raised there led me to recall a vivid, personal experience.
Singer James Blunt has been in the “non-musical” news here in Britain in recent days. He got into a dust up with a Labour MP over that politician’s assertion that artists from elite educational backgrounds disproportionately dominate the U.K. entertainment scene. Many onlookers have sided with Blunt.
One of Blunt’s statements in his very public reply published in The Guardian:
….I got signed in America, where they don’t give a stuff about, or even understand what you mean by me and “my ilk”, you prejudiced wazzock, and I worked my arse off. What you teach is the politics of jealousy. Rather than celebrating success and figuring out how we can all exploit it further as the Americans do, you instead talk about how we can hobble that success and “level the playing field”….
Thus perhaps another difference been the U.S. and U.K. In America, I believe a politician would have instead at that point sought to “tone it down” and “make nice.” Advisors would have been nervously at him, warning, “Don’t alienate his fans! They’re potential voters!”
I know, I know. [Hangs head contritely.] Sorry. I went all “academic” yesterday.
You may know I used to teach “Politics of Western Europe.” That guy on Fox just reminded me of a few students I’d known. Aside from the “French and perfect” finish, ;-) I realize now it was rather too heavy a post.
So today it’s back down off my soapbox. Hey, how about some Bath photos? Georgian English splendo(u)r.
First, a close up of a portion of one of those big, fold out walking maps:
I took these yesterday afternoon. We’re probably moving (yet again) in a few months, and were out apartment [flat] hunting:
The Royal Crescent homes were built starting in 1767. They are probably the quintessential “symbol” of Bath. So I decided to go all “tourist” myself and grab a few photographs.
It’s a shame it wasn’t sunnier. It had been. But by the time I took those it was approaching 4 pm, and the sun was fading for the day.
Have a good Tuesday, wherever you are in the world. :-)