We live on the only Paradise humans will ever know. It reduces down to one strike and you’re out. Life here is as far as we know the only life there is. We haven’t even begun to understand it. We have barely begun to understand, we don’t understand it, yet we are at ad hock war with every other life form, organic or inorganic, the very mix that sustains us, driven by greed and ignorance. I suggest we turn our gaze to those who rule and subdue us. They are the enemy at the gates.
The Conservatives in the 80s were not just privatisers, they didn’t just open the gates of hell when they deregulated the City – attracting all the money into it that might otherwise have gone into British manufacturing – the Conservatives were actually supporters of the Apartheid regime and they believed that all socialists and communists were “ the enemy within”.
Young Tories in those days, (Cameron and Johnson were too young to be among them) made T-Shirts about Nelson Mandela stamped with the sentence: “Hang the terrorist.” This was the age when Britain didn’t just coattail on US wars in the hope of getting thrown a few scraps and scrag ends – resources and a little strategic advantage; it was a time when when the Conservatives actually turned Britain into ground zero for a potential WWIII.
Since, incredibly, losing Hartlepool to the Tories, Starmer has been engaged in a balletic act of shadow-boxing against a leadership challenger who doesn’t exist. A recent poll found that Labour voters overwhelmingly want Starmer to go before the next election, but most have no idea who will replace him. In other words, they’re so keen to be rid of him hat they don’t care that there’s no obvious successor.
Noam Chomsky, a deeply rational and lucid man, made certain assumptions based on tried and tested principles from the philosophy of science. Lakoff and others called this an objectification of something that was actually deeply subjective and experiential; namely the interplay between experience and language.
This was some time ago. Their positions haven’t changed much for 30 years.
How would the grandees of the Civil Service, the heads of industry, the aristocracy, the media, Global big business, the military, MI5, the CIA, shadowy organisations such as the Ditchley Group, the dark money brokers, the Trilateral Commission, the City, the Chipping Norton Set, the hedge funds, the oligarchs, and all the other unelected holders of power react to a socialist UK? They have an absolute belief in their entitlement, something akin to the divine right of kings – democracy be buggered.
This month, Moniza Alvi brings us such a shattering reality and leaves us asking to redefine the use of the word animal.
A key to notice is her craft very precise and incisive with each word weighing in with its presence. Just look at the poem Candle. With candle, caves, stalagmites and stalactites, does it need to say more?
French cuisine ain’t as good as it used to be. The rot set in well before Chirac made his famous remarks, and seems to be accelerating. As someone who has visited and stayed in France frequently over the decades, I chart this decline with great sadness. French cuisine has always been celebrated for its excellence and variety, and has been inextricably a big part of my seventy year bout of Francophilia.
But communities helping themselves, breaking free from corporate tyranny, building sustainable, more localised economies, getting representatives who actually represent them rather than vested interests – now that should be one hell of a draw.
A coalition of the left might achieve that. But if Labour is ever to be reborn, it will have to shed the centrist dead wood and learn to live with like-minded progressive groups. Ditch first past the post. Cooperate.
No one wants to be lead by donkeys, or dangerous buffoons like Boris Johnson. But who imagines that the Naxalites (or the Sikh farmers) can govern in India? Who thinks the Zapatistas should rule in Chiapas, or Sendero Luminoso in Peru? Who agrees that certain key Brexit voting communities in the north should be the ones to decide the future of the UK.
I utterly need Green around me! I am experiencing a kind of lack of it at the moment, as I moved to the seaside. The sea is wonderful, but I am hankering after Forest… I’ve never been really drawn to deserts, although my eldest son really wants to experience a desert, but he wants to go to the Atacama.
Sinéad Morrissey, is one of our most revered poets. There is a valid reason behind it. Even as I write this, she has been shortlisted for the 2021 Pigott Poetry Prize. You can see in her biog the list of many awards her work enjoys. Having taken a journey through various cultures, I suppose it comes naturally to her not only to capture a sweeping range of images, sculptures, monuments, and paintings, but to be touched by political, cultural and geographical aspects as well. -Yogesh Patel
Dan Pearce has done editorial work for many magazines and newspapers including New Society, Honey, 19, Oz, The Observer, The Times and Sunday Times, Mayfair and Penthouse. Dan has created book and record covers, political cartoons, comic strips and caricatures and he has written two graphic novels: ‘Critical Mess’ (against the nuclear industry) and ‘Oscar: The Second Coming’. His labour of love is the graphic novel, ‘Depression’ which is unfinished.
My father was excited by the possibility of going to Indonesia, but to his chagrin, his battalion was the one kept behind in the Netherlands. He tried to join the troops who were sailing off to ‘Nederlands Indie” as it was called, but needed the approval of his father. He wasn’t 21. His father, my grandfather wouldn’t give in. I am very grateful that he wasn’t allowed to fight for Dutch colonialism.
Telling stories about Extinction By Gordon Liddle What influences an artist? Why does one artist paint in a […]
Leon Kreel has exhibited in salons around the world. He is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. His photographic trips have taken him to Yellowstone national park, Iceland, Namibia and India. Leon uses photography to immerse himself in new and old environments and to capture the wonders that he discovers – and continues to discover.
But let’s put it simply. Without the rule of law the UK would be hell. It would be the world of the Wire. It would be downtown Sao Paulo. It would be Burma, Russia or China. It would be Bangladesh. It would be South Africa, Mexico, almost every other country apart from a select few. If there is one thing that marks out the UK from all other countries it is the rule of law. The rule of law is the price we pay for peace.
Shortlisted for the 2019 Irish Times Poetry Now Award, the Pigott Poetry Prize and the Roehampton Poetry Prize, Now We Can Talk Openly About Men is Martina Evan’s latest collection of poems. Almost a hundred years later, in an exceptional flip side of the fight recounted, the poet makes us relive the period of the men stifled by the Irish Conflict around 1919. I am thrilled that through her other poems selected here we can celebrate Martina Evans as our Poet of Honour. -Yogesh Patel
The Chinese student (was his name Bo?) told the professor what the problem was. Greenbaum looked down. He studied the page. Then he looked up and said to to the Chinese student.
‘Thank you very much. You are right. I will send a note to the publisher to make the change in the next edition.’
And there we have it. One of the greatest authorities working in English Grammer, with the book that won him the OM, conceding to a non-native speaker that he had made a mistake and thanking him for pointing it out.
… and Twitter and Facebook are ready to silence us. By Gordon Liddle Twitter is not your friend. […]
Ever since I stumbled on Sonnet Mondal’s poems, I have been captivated by their stunning simplicity and words evoking a magical experience. That he achieves this consistently is breath-taking.
In this occasional series, our aim is to connect you with some of these exceptional beauties I come across. These are rare, as they don’t need any awards.
Ars Notoria in Royal Society of Literature March news Inbox Mar 9, 2021 Dear Phil, Please note the […]
In the summer of 2018, I was contemplating a thoughtful gift for my dear friend’s birthday. Peter is a […]
If not Labour, then who? In football you write off teams that miss open goal after open goal, […]
A bad native speaker teacher sees the British as we and the students as they, as ‘Johnny foreigner’. […]
Meet Tishani in a place between her playful disposition and our exigent reality. She puts god in the middle of our chaos, our storming contradictions, our cosmos. As a rare treat, here are three poems from her collection: ‘A God at the Door’ Tishani Doshi is a tempest of talents.
Bitcoin offers financial freedom and independence. By Thomas Levene If Bitcoin, is such a groundbreaking technology, why has […]
A 50 year journey through oriental philosophy and Karate By Dave Blazer I don’t really remember when the […]
Onen hag Oll, oll adro (One and all, all around) By Phili Mills Phili Mills argues that the […]
By Gordon Liddle My Grandfather’s nickname was The Gallower (pit pony). First day down the pit at 14, […]
Ars Notoria is proud to present a taster podcast of the powerful, partly autobiographical, trilogy of novels by […]
Guyanese with Indian ancestry, and ever since winning Sandbach Parker Gold Medal in his twenties, in 1964, Cyril has won critical acclaims and awards, including becoming the Poet Laureate of Ottawa, between 1984 and 1987. Few poets succeed as novelists as well. Recognised with the country’s most coveted awards, the Guyana Prize for Fiction, Cyril has proven he is also a great novelist.
Dale T McKinley (For ARS NOTORIA) A prefacing note: On 31st January it will have been exactly 13 […]
Socialists need to reconnect with religion By Philip Hall I’ve recently decided to become a Quaker. I went […]
The Peace and Justice Project could kick-start the renaissance of the left. The end of Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure […]
One of the most esteemed literary critics, but a poet at heart, Vidyan has reached one of the most coveted seats in literature as an Associate Professor of English Literature at Harvard. This achievement is more remarkable because Harvard had been notoriously accused of consistently rating Asian-American applicants lower.
Bandes dessinees (comics) – the French do it so much better. Most of my working life was spent […]
What is the difference between being a Welsh nationalist who wants fewer English and an English nationalist? By […]
By Philip Hall + It was the Albanian maid, Meera who discovered it. ‘There is an animal in […]
What is it that pulls us back from the solipsistic abyss of gamesmanship in life? By Neil Newman […]
There will be no business as usual in a Promethean Year By Adam Likley Firstly, let me wish […]
Christmas in Mexico is stuffed full of family, tradition and spirit. My three children bathed and clean in […]
Certainties trap us in the past with what has been, under the assumption that the future will be […]
James Tweedie, former International Editor of the Morning Star, argues strongly for a merry Brexit By James Tweedie […]
Chileans are trying to awaken from a nightmare, which has been recurring for decades and retains its vivid […]
At Kit’s Coty the Ancestors Spoke. They said: ‘We all belong’. By Phil Hall Well, 2007 was a […]
Everyday natural wonders. By Paul Halas ON THE TOWPATH of the Stroudwater Canal a curious woman stopped and […]
By Peter Cowlam ‘I owe the discovery of Uqbar to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopaedia…’ […]
Global English is the New Standard English By Farhad Desai In Toronto. My students came from all over […]
Not so fast! By Thomas Levene The City of London is the goose that laid the golden egg. […]
We want a church that’s on the side of the poor and the persecuted. By Matthew Taylor Excitingly, […]
The Cadences of Grand Master Nakazato By Dave Blazer After three and a half years of preparation for […]
Science and technology are only the means to an end, and that end is art. By Phil Hall […]
Soft words over cigars and port By Stephen Hoare Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS, ‘the Iron […]
In defence of liberalism By Frank Hardee If you think about it, socialism relies heavily on defeasability. In […]
Let the right ones in! By Phil Hall How many Palestinians have been given asylum in the UK? […]
TV producers invite us all to dream about cooking for the upper class. By Phil Hall How many […]
The rich live in another Britain, a magical country, a Narnia, a Middle Earth, and they sneer at […]
Most of the problems people have, which caused them to vote Leave, are created by our own governments […]
England is, as far as colours go, fairly subdued and uniform. Mexico is the opposite By Simon Brewster […]
I was very curious to hear the opinions of former US army people working in the Middle East […]
The tourist destination of the 21st century
By Bryan Greetham. We are busy producing a generation of the most sophisticated recyclers of received opinion In […]
Poet of Honour is a series of Ars Notoria and Word Masala Foundation’s celebration of some of the best contemporary poets who have become iconic and a major inspiration. l am profoundly grateful that Imtiaz not only agreed to be a special guest for us to celebrate Christmas but also share as a special treat for you her trademark artistic expression in sketches.
THE SAD PLIGHT OF OUR RIVERS I have little time for The Guardian these days, but when it […]
In the spirit of Mayakovsky The World is Sick of Dreaming Sometimes I wish my bed were as […]
By Phil Hall In order to be healthy and thin you need to eat fresh food, much of […]
By Phil Hall Venice is one of the greatest sea cities. In the 5th century the Venetians rescued […]
Is New Labour’s dystopian surveillance society back on the cards again?
Or, “I really think we need to take a break”. By Paul Halas After several months of running […]
After I was released from jail, but house arrested and banned, I was able to get one of […]
If capitalism really gets hold of software that can manipulate human behaviour, then game over. By Phil Hall […]
Poet of Honour is a series of Ars Notoria and Word Masala Foundation’s celebration of some of the best contemporary poets who have become iconic and a major inspiration. This month we are thrilled to present Pascale Petit, who just won this year’s £5,000 inaugural Laurel Prize for ecopoetry with Mama Amazonica (Bloodaxe Books).
Keir Starmer has now alienated the best and the most idealistic people in the Labour Party By Phil […]
A 2020 Vision for South Africa A car arrived at Tony Hall’s funeral in 2008 with Aggie Msimang. […]
We are alive in amazing times, and 2020 is a significant year, as significant as 1968 was in […]
Will Biden get in? By Stephanie Urdang Dear Phil, I haven’t forgotten about your request to write something […]
By Emil Blake It’s rare for politicians not to smile. Even the most insincere daren’t show anything but […]
The birth of a genre, French noir 1930 – 1960 When thinking of “film noir” the names that […]
We need to be better people By Pete Field Would you torture your own children? Would you destroy […]
How we kill and never think about it By Pete Field In the mid-sixties driving in the countryside […]
By Phil Hall Someone from the countryside was selling a young bush-baby in a corner of Dar-es-Salaam market. Mom was […]
By Francisco Dominguez The Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) was right in appealing to the High Court’s ludicrous […]
Anyone paying attention? By Dale T. McKinley Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, much of world’s public […]
Yves Montand in Nairobi in 1966 By Tony Hall On the face of it it may seem strange […]
When poets are publishers, other poets forget to notice them as poets. Thus, Todd Swift has remained a hidden diamond. So, to highlight his work, it delights us at Ars Notoria to bring his poem to you this month. It plays at many levels concealing the harshness directed elsewhere from the poem’s apparent impression!
We feel desolate at the squandering of such an enormous opportunity By Phil Hall After the failure of […]
Poet of Honour is a celebration of some of our best contemporary poets who are nothing but an inspiration. This month Ars Notoria is thrilled to present the Pulitzer Prize winner, poet Vijay Seshadri.
‘we have meandered through grief, loss, and trauma at the complete loss of our home‘ – Libby Patterson […]