Monthly Archives: January 2012

Cultural imperalism?

Just about to start my English language lesson for the day and have to post this video which I’ll show the students. Will post reactions later.



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Great resources for teaching literature – recitations posted online really bring poems alive. Try and get students to mimic and make their own performances.

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January 26, 2012 · 9:18 am

The sound of music

This is the view the other way – with Salzburg in the distance. Salzburg’s contribution to culture is, of course, Mozart – who I know nothing about, and the Sound of Music, which I wish I knew less about.

I miss the sound of music. Unless you like classical, it’s hard to come by something new here (live, at least). So, please send me recommendations. If anyone’s reading.

I’m looking forward to Spiritualized returning in 2012. I’m listening to The National this morning, and recently heard the Felice Brothers catalogue. Great, grumpy Dylan sounding music. Good for moping and staring out at the snow to, wondering what to do for the day, which supermarket to go to (12 within a 10 minute radius of here), whether to try studying more German, resisting the world of Marquez and the sanctuary of literature.

Actually, I’ve got loads to do as I’m trying to formulate my dissertation now, which will explore notions of online learning and affinity space – to match my seclusion. I hope to do a PhD later, so this is good preparation.

As for media, I always try to listen for news that interests me. There’s a cool  bi-linugal radio station,, which not only serves wicked alternative music, but has a radical left-field politics and investigative approach to global affairs, including a news hour called ‘reality check’.  So I’m currently trying to follow the story about the Spanish judge on trial for examining cases of abuse during Franco’s reign. This, the same judge who helped bring Pinochet to trial. A hero of the human rights movement.

 Stories like this are rare, from an increasingly forgotten 20th century world. How must he feel, being prosecuted at the behest of a right-wing political group (from what I gather) for investigating human rights abuses? Perhaps he feels vindicated – after all, I think he was trying to crush a national taboo and exert some overdue justice. Be interesting to follow what happens. Sounds like a Marquez novel. Hmmm, coffee and Love in the Time of Cholera..? Nope. Study and shop.



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Stille Nacht

This is the view from my balcony in Hallein (Salzburg) this morning, where I live. Hallein’s big contribution to culture is the lilting, lovely carol Silent Night.

It is silent at night here, too. Sometimes I feel a little deprived of culture. Deprived, or insulated from the mass media society of today’s England. This gives me good opportunity to study on the MA, eyeing culture and media from a safe distance. I’m determined that in 2012 I will read more novels. It’s an opportunity in this silence to meditate on other worlds. I’m finally reading love in the Time of Cholera, and between teaching English and studying, and cooking for my girl, cleaning, pottering about distractedly, and feeding rabbits, I yearn to return to this Caribbean world. It’s so remote, and so real. I love Marquez. I like soaking in culture of my choosing – rather than become saturated by it, as it sometimes feels in London. Yet sometimes it does feel like a cultural void here. Though I did get to see Melancholia in English at the Kino in December. Sublime sadness, to match the silence of the mountains. Recommended. Image

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This guy is a true artist. How can one be cantankerous when faced with works like his. I’d forgotten all about watching this documentary about him on an Austrian TV show until just now. The Internet really is brilliant – “everything is known” Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote in 100 Years of Solitude. That’s what the big cyber brain is like. Everything’s stored and compartmentalised and with a few terms on a search engine you can track everything down.

I urge a look at his work and website. The man’s amazing.

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January 18, 2012 · 5:08 pm

Hislop defending our right to freedom – like a modern day Voltaire!

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January 17, 2012 · 3:09 pm

It really isn’t Rupert Murdoch’s day..

Great, illuminating article about press freedom also in the Independent featuring Ian Hislop in front of the ongoing Leveson Inquiry..(plus video from YouTube with accompanying adverts for Sky!)

Interesting how journalists all follow the same code of freedom of information, whether they are gutter tabloid press or satirical news editors..Will be fascinating to see what the outcome of the Inquiry is, as it could potentially have a massive impact on our own ‘hegemony’..

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