SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
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July 31, 2015
‘Life is short. Have an affair.” The emailed advert from Ashley Madison has appeared repeatedly in my inbox over the past year or so. I have often thought that the advertisers should add a rider, in the interests of truth in advertising: “Yes, and risk your marriage, hurt your children, and invite many later regrets.”
July 31, 2015
Since the Reformation, English Catholics have been praying for the conversion of England. Conversion has for many become a challenging word. It means changing from one thing to another, usually for the better. Many interpret the need for conversion as a rejection of their choices or lifestyles. They feel judged, as if their space has
July 31, 2015
SIR – George Osborne’s recent Budget announcement that from April 2017, new recipients of tax or housing benefits will receive child benefit only for the first two children, has provoked little concern, even from his critics (Home news, July 10). The public are generally supportive of this measure to promote “behavioural change” – unsurprisingly, given
July 31, 2015
FINE ART REVIEW   Contemporary Art Round-Up Contemporary art: what’s it all about? Money seems to be the deciding factor. Accordingly, I put all the artists I saw around London this weekend into Artprice’s “Contemporary Art Sales League 2014” spreadsheet. Within the six galleries visited, only four names came inside the top 500. Richard Prince
July 31, 2015
If I was producing Child Genius (Channel 4, Tuesdays, 9pm), I’d do it differently. The format is clever kids answering questions that would fox Einstein. “What’s the square root of Piccadilly Circus?” Etc. Now, what I’d do is enter one less academically gifted – and ask them absurdly easy questions. “How many fingers am I
July 31, 2015
Matthew Bourne’s hugely enjoyable dance-drama, The Car Man, at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, is now subtitled Bizet’s Carmen Re-Imagined. The choreography has been much improved since I last saw Bourne’s thriller in 2002. The only Carmen aspect about the production is the reorchestration of Bizet’s music by Rodion Shchedrin. Bourne has got rid of Mérimée’s story
July 31, 2015
It isn’t often that a critic gets the chance to walk to a concert through fields of bleating sheep; and as someone more used to elbowing his way into London’s Festival Hall through semi-drunken office workers, people doing rap routines and skateboards firing like torpedoes through the trashy precincts of the Southbank Centre, I can’t
July 31, 2015
Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan, Fourth ESTATE, £25 Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of Joseph Stalin, not only had the courage to defect from Russia but also the ability to describe the experience of growing up in her father’s monstrous shadow. Her book, Twenty Letters to a Friend, published soon after her defection in 1967, became
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