Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, Karl Marx. And Dorothy L. Sayers.
All/none of them, depending on mood and what I’m reading...
The right to assisted suicide – I don’t question the principle, but current practices (eg at Dignitas) make me deeply uncomfortable about letting it happen.
Bill Callahan, Apocalypse; Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues.
Most recently, the student activists (from schools as well as universities), who with only a few sad exceptions found creative and peaceful ways of opposing current higher education policies.
I generally find films easy to admire but hard to love. But I do have a soft spot for Serpico – who could resist Al Pacino as a hippy NYC cop campaigning against corruption?
Whatever they make of it politically, Marx’s proposition that in capitalism some people are poor because some people are rich. And given the pressing issue of climate change right now, they should understand something about the ways in which logics of environmental damage are deeply entangled with post/industrial and consumer capitalism.
Barbara Hepworth: big hands, big ideas, perfect sculptures. The Raincoats: wobbly feminist post-punk reinvention of rock, heard by hardly anyone.
Richard Powers’ The Time of Our Singing.
‘Be realistic: demand the impossible’ (Situationist International slogan).
Various versions of the ‘end of history’ thesis – that there are ultimately no real alternatives to liberal capitalism.
Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization. Bourdieu’s work on cultural capital gave me ways of thinking about my own biography in terms of class and education that I can’t imagine doing without. Latour’s Science in Action (among many) fundamentally reshaped my ideas and feelings about the natural sciences.
I’ve just got back from a very peaceful holiday on the north Norfolk coast, so maybe there. Or Paris, which lacks that edge of the world feel, but has much better patisserie.
Sufjan Stevens at the Sage, Gateshead.
Guggenheim museum Bilbao; York Minster.
The Big Huffer, my coffee pot, brewing up in the morning.
The full complement of my very, very modest ability to play the violin.
Where would I start?
The French Revolution as fictionalised by Hilary Mantel in A Place of Greater Safety. Ursula K Le Guin’s green utopian future in her novel Always Coming Home.