Tax matters

5 Feb

So. Labour, emboldened by Falciani on HSBC and enraged by Signor Pessina on how Britons should vote, has tax avoidance in its sights. Predictably the Mail responded with headlines like that of three days ago: Red Ed the Tax Avoider. … Read More »

Gorecki’s Third Symphony

4 Feb

Gorecki’s choral 3rd, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, could hardly be less typical of a composer outspokenly avant garde; a Stockhausen admirer whose declared mission was “not to entertain but to educate”.  Symphony No 3, piercing in its melodic simplicity, was … Read More »

Wolf Hall televised

30 Jan

The medium is the message, said Marshall McLuhan. Silly to judge screenplay by ‘fidelity’ to book. The latter may be as well crafted (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), better crafted (Bridget Jones) or just ill advised (Gormenghast) but fidelity … Read More »

Caravaggio & Rembrandt

22 Jan

Carpenters use plane and saw to shape wood and not-wood to requirement. Photographers use shutter, aperture and studio kit or off-camera flash to shape light and not-light. Which is why two painters hold special significance for shutterbugs. Rembrandt was four when Caravaggio … Read More »

Political correctness

7 Jan

There’s no getting round it: life throws up tough conundrums. Why am I blessed with nipples? Is Jimi’ s All Along the Watch Tower, or Bruce’ s Chimes of Freedom, the best ever Dylan cover? When I drop a hundred slices of toast on … Read More »

Yes, evidence matters

23 Oct

A friend questions my broad-brush style. He has both a history degree and a point. A cornerstone of critical thinking is that the more counter-intuitive a claim, the more evidence it needs. My recent posts run counter to dominant narratives … Read More »