Categories
culture history

The Northman – as reviewed by the Burning Archive

Last night I saw The Northman, the new film set in the world of the Norse/Vikings and directed by Richard Eggers.

Categories
culture the real world today

Letter from Melbourne: mirror to the post-democratic world

Things are very serious here in Australia. There is a mental health crisis. We have endured a state of emergency since March 2020. Normal rules of government decision making have not applied. We have pursued a medical utopia of COVID Zero at stunning cost. It is really something that should never happen again, and hopefully, at the right time in the right way by the right people, will be deeply investigated and reflected on.

Categories
culture history The Burning Archive Podcast the real world today

The Burning Archive Podcast #10 – The Parallel Polis and the Power of the Powerless

The latest episode of The Burning Archive Podcast is out and available on all the usual platforms, including Apple and Spotify. When faced with cultural decay and ruined institutions, what is a podcaster to do? In this episode, Jeff Rich turns for hope to the traditions of the Eastern European dissidents of 1960-90 Eastern Europe. […]

Categories
culture The Burning Archive Podcast

The Burning Archive Podcast #8 – Cultural Decay and the meaning of the Burning Archive

I have posted episode 8 of The Burning Archive Podcast  – Cultural Decay and the meaning of the Burning Archive. You can listen to this podcast on Spotify, Apple and other platforms. In this episode I discuss cultural decay – the theme of cultural pessimists for centuries, and of this writer for a decade or more, including many posts on this […]

Categories
culture history the real world today

Writing between the lines

“Persecution cannot prevent even public expression of the heterodox truth, for a man of independent thought can utter his views in public and remain unharmed, provided he moves with circumspection. He can even utter them in print without incurring any danger, provided he is capable of writing between the lines.” Leo Strauss, “persecution and the […]

Categories
culture history Personal story

Announcing my podcast, The Burning Archive

Dear readers – you may now become dear listeners. Yes, I have started a podcast – The Burning Archive podcast. You can listen at Spotify, and all the other podcast platforms, Apple, Google et etc. The show is about all things history and culture. It takes to heart William Faulkner’s statement from Requiem for a […]

Categories
culture history the real world today

The plague year

One year ago posted the post below on the likely effects of the coronavirus on our lives, our health and our governments. Like most people I think I over-estimated the health impact of the virus, and under-estimated its social and political impact. I certainly did not predict the sapping of democratic culture by expert elites. […]

Categories
culture literature

The persistence of the Mahabharata

One year ago I was about to fly to Bali, as it turned out in the last window of easy international travel before wide COVID travel restrictions. It was a wonderful, relaxing, luxurious and rejuvenating trip. Part of the regrowth came from the direct experience of the cultural traditions that India disseminated over South East […]

Categories
culture Personal story the real world today

13 ways of looking at a bureaucrat

In early 2017 I wrote a series of posts – or let us call them essays – on Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat. I wrote it still aiming to revive a career in the bureaucracy, but perhaps gripped by the fates to know, as I know with high resolution tonight, that poetry and […]

Categories
culture

Sound and fury told by the American cultural “elite”

There are few funny stories to emerge from American politics over the last two months, especially during the constitutional embarrassment of the latest faux and cursed impeachment. There is, however, one story that stands out as laugh-out-loud funny, and symptomatic of the cultural decay, which has been a constant theme of this blog since its […]

Categories
culture Personal story What I am reading

On living not by lies

2020 has taught us through bitter experience that our societies are not vaccinated against totalitarianism, and certainly not the mutant strain of “soft totalitarianism” described in Rod Dreher’s Live Not by Lies: a Manual for Christian Dissidents (2020). The last year has seen lockdowns, curfews and bans on the most fundamental human relationships (attendance at […]

Categories
culture literature

My last words on 2020 from Thomas Browne’s Urn Burial

Oblivion. Death. The rites we practise to farewell the dead. What better themes to end 2020? This afternoon I have begun a reading plan for 2020 that incorporates listening to audio books, and in one afternoon I have completed, while talking a lunchtime walk and doing the pre-dinner dishes, the magnificent sentences of Thomas Browne’s […]