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“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”

Yesterday, John Keats’ poem Endymion came to mind yesterday as I concluded Alice Mansfield’s thoroughly absorbing Rust post on Courbet’s The Origins Of The World [10th July] and thereafter spent many hours contemplating the ideas and issues that it brought to focus. One of the features of [...]

July 11, 2020 // 0 Comments

What’s in a name? Plenty … er, obviously

It’s stating the obvious to mention it, but in a 21st Century dominated as it is in cultural and campaigning circles by themes of equality, diversity, LGBT [and is it Q? – in any event, the acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning rights], anti-colonialist and [...]

July 8, 2020 // 0 Comments

There’s nowt so queer as folk

Over the course of the UK’s lockdown from which we are now gradually emerging – I’ve no doubt in common with many Rusters and indeed other people of intelligence and a degree of artistic or creative sensibility – I experienced a wide range of different reactions and moods, some of [...]

July 4, 2020 // 0 Comments

Plenty of hot air but still going nowhere fast

These are indeed strange times. Over the past seven months one doesn’t need have to travelled too far down the avenue of degrees of cynicism to have gained the impression that the world has taken leave of its senses and that every principle of the human condition – and quite possibly also [...]

June 30, 2020 // 0 Comments

Buying into a fantasy – meanwhile, others are living one

We’ve learned plenty about the human race – and individual nations – during this cornonavirus crisis and like the proverbial curate’s egg some of it has proved to be good only ‘in parts’. Unfortunately for him, former Tory prime minister John Major will forever be associated with the [...]

June 26, 2020 // 0 Comments

Das Boot : a historian’s view

Bernadette Angell (TV critic of the Rust) asked me to appraise the historical  accuracy of Das Boot.      I have seen the much-acclaimed 1981 film which Neil Rosen rates as one of the best war films ever. Aside from the accusation levelled by a New York Nazi, which may have been propaganda, [...]

June 25, 2020 // 0 Comments

Going ‘off piste’ for a moment

One of the Rust’s engaging features to my mind – consistent with comments made by many of its readers that write to me – is its unique and somewhat haphazard approach to its mission. I’ve lost count of those I fall into conversation with – especially those with connections to marketing [...]

June 22, 2020 // 0 Comments

On the outside, looking in

Like most Rusters I know – whilst in the cause of ‘staying relevant’ I deny it is a foreign land to me when challenged by my juniors – my depth of understanding and indeed use of the manifold intricacies of social media are minuscule. In fact, bar a brief flirtation with (1) [...]

June 18, 2020 // 0 Comments

Drifting towards we know not what

As – six months on and in a collective state of near-chaos – we dive into the coronavirus pandemic’s vast ocean waves crashing onto our section of the beach of global humanity it occurs to me that one item we are sadly lacking at this point – and the one thing we desperately need [...]

June 16, 2020 // 0 Comments

Coming to terms with the world

I approach my subject for today – the current “Let’s contextualise, or preferably rid the world, of every symbol that could be deemed to represent or celebrate a nation’s historical past that is contrary to – or out of touch with – modern sensitivities” movement that is sweeping [...]

June 12, 2020 // 0 Comments

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