On greatness

Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that generation. Let greatness blossom. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela “I think continually,” the poet Stephen Spender wrote, “of those who were truly great.” Personally I often find myself thinking of something else, but there are certainly people, living and dead, who I would considerContinue reading “On greatness”

Book review: Going to Seed

Going to Seed: A Counterculture Memoir by Simon Fairlie (Chelsea Green, 2022), ISBN: 978-1-64502-061-5 You might know Simon Fairlie’s name from his previous book, Meat: A Benign Extravagance (Permanent Publications, 2010), which rather remarkably caused George Monbiot to change his mind about veganism. Perhaps you’ve come across the magazine he founded, The Land, if youContinue reading “Book review: Going to Seed”

On disagreement

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. S.G. Tallentyre, The Friends of Voltaire Disagreements have been with us for as long as people have had opinions, which is to say for as long as there have been people. What is interesting about this historicalContinue reading “On disagreement”

On the end of politics

Man is by nature a political animal. Aristotle, Politics I.ii When Tony Benn retired from the House of Commons in 2001, he said he was doing so in order to spend more time on politics. Certainly the body which is supposed to represent the mass of the population has increasingly detached itself from reality overContinue reading “On the end of politics”

On being a modern employee

Live the behaviours! An actual manager at my step-daughter’s workplace Before the media became obsessed with how evil Vladimir Putin is, there was a fair bit of hot air given to the phenomenon known as the Great Resignation. This is not, as one might suppose, some sort of renaissance of Stoicism in which large numbersContinue reading “On being a modern employee”

On having an opinion

You always own the option of having no opinion. There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations I have a friend – let’s call him John. John isContinue reading “On having an opinion”

On protest

Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one’s own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence. Wendell Berry,. What Are People For? As I write this, the present government of the United Kingdom is preparingContinue reading “On protest”

On being unreasonable

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman It is not often that you’ll find me in agreement with David Icke, especially when it comes to the role ofContinue reading “On being unreasonable”

On my favourite Tarot trump

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations If you know nothing else about the Tarot, you will have seen this card. It is the one that the gypsy fortune-teller always picks out in every cheesy horror film or TV show since theContinue reading “On my favourite Tarot trump”