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The Plot Against America

I promise you this is the last review you will have to read of HBO’s Plot Against America but the editor asked me to put it in a historical context. I have to start with the observation that this was not a documentary but a drama based on the fiction of Philip Roth. This said, a number of [...]

July 30, 2020 // 0 Comments

A moment in time

Like I suspect many Rusters I have spent of the period since the 2020 coronavirus era hit the UK continuing to do that which I did before, viz. tootling around on the internet in search of entertainment and/or enlightenment. This is the first of an occasional series on music-related items that [...]

July 15, 2020 // 0 Comments

“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

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

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

If Elvis was The King, he was The Emperor …

Little Richard was a force of nature and an all-time popular musical great who influenced teenagers the world over and set thousands of pop and rock musicians/singers on the paths that led them ultimately to either lasting glory or oblivion. Whatever was bugging you in life, nobody could Rip It Up [...]

May 10, 2020 // 0 Comments

VE-Day commemorations and something quite different

With the 75th anniversary of VE Day coming up on Friday (8th May) I had in advance ‘scheduled for recording’ last night’s 8.00pm offering on Channel Four of VE Day in Colour – Britain’s Biggest Party but then watched it as it went out anyway. As it happens I found its mix of colour and [...]

May 4, 2020 // 0 Comments

A man on a mission

Michael (Lord) Ashcroft, 74, is a British born entrepreneur/businessman estimated in March 2020 to be worth £1.7 billion and a man of many parts. He officially lives ‘off shore’, retains dual citizenship with Britain and Belize, and his tax status has been a source of controversy most [...]

May 3, 2020 // 0 Comments

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