Diary: The Plutocrat Tour

Iain Sinclair, 7 July 2022

Silence is the defining quality of wealth. Private security operatives whisper into their fists while patrolling a zone of distrust. Silence repels unexplained outsiders who dare to trespass on the shaved...

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EastEnders is not, or not only, a slice-of-life drama. Like all soap operas, like all operas, it repeatedly oversteps the limit. The idea of ‘digging the dirt’ is given a whole new meaning, as if the...

Read more about You haven’t got your sister pregnant, have you? No Secrets in Albert Square

The demarcated ring on the grassy plateau was from its outset about heaven, in the sense of afterlife. Was it always also about the heavens, in the sense of sky-watching? Can we rediscover how Stonehenge’s...

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That Ol’ Thumb: Hitchhiking

Mike Jay, 23 June 2022

‘Isn’t it dangerous?’ was always the first question you were asked by those who had never done it, but I don’t recall the issue ever coming up with fellow travellers. It was in everybody’s interest...

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When I teach first-year medical students about community medicine I emphasise that no one’s suffering is experienced in isolation; it invariably has a social context. We fall ill in ways we have been...

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In His White Uniform: Accidental Gods

Rosemary Hill, 10 February 2022

It was around 1977 that Prince Philip became aware that he was a god. It had happened three years earlier when the Britannia moored off the coast of Aneityum (in what is now Vanuatu). Jack Naiva, one of...

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On Giving Up

Adam Phillips, 6 January 2022

Our history of giving up – that is to say, our attitude towards it, our obsession with it, our disavowal of its significance – may be a clue to something we should really call our histories and not...

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Diary: Epistemic Injustice

Bernadette Wren, 2 December 2021

If a whistle-blowing report on the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock Clinic was needed, I wish I’d written it myself. It would have highlighted the isolation of a group of conscientious...

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What does Fluffy think? Pets with Benefits

Amia Srinivasan, 7 October 2021

Do we really know nothing of how animals, even animals as physiologically different from us as lizards or bats, feel about the burning of their forests, the melting of their ice floes, the contamination...

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People Like You: In Burnley

David Edgar, 23 September 2021

Mike Makin-Waite​, a militant anti-fascist, was working for the borough council in Burnley when, after riots in the town in 2001, it became a stronghold of the British National Party. On...

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Ghosting: Dead to the World

Hal Foster, 29 July 2021

Law drops the missing person once his case is closed by return or death, but myth and literature can follow him in his absence. For Lévi-Strauss myth is a way for a culture to work over social contradictions...

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On Being Left Out: On FOMO

Adam Phillips, 20 May 2021

Tragedies – which Freud uses to make sense of childhood experiences, never comedies – are about the tragic hero’s attempted self-cure for the ordeals of exclusion. Being left out begins as tragedy,...

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G&Ts on the Veranda: The Science of Man

Francis Gooding, 4 March 2021

The idea that racism is scientifically bogus, or that gender is neither binary nor fixed, or that all ways of living have their historical roots: these things eventually became axioms in the humanities...

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On the Barone

John Foot, 4 March 2021

In September​ the Uruguayan footballer Luis Suárez turned up at the Università per Stranieri in Perugia to take an Italian test. This tough language exam, a requirement for anybody...

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A Pie Every Night: Schizophrenia in the Family

Deborah Friedell, 18 February 2021

For researchers interested in schizophrenia, the Galvins seemed like a bonanza: figure out why six of the twelve children got sick, but not the other six, and maybe you could get somewhere. A pharmaceutical...

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In the late 1950s, the CIA’s schemes included using an aerosol to lace the air with LSD in the Havana studio where Fidel Castro made his radio broadcasts, sprinkl­ing Castro’s boots with thallium...

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The Head in the Shed: Reading Bones

Gavin Francis, 21 January 2021

When the police bring Sue Black a bag of bones and ask what she makes of them she starts out with four questions: Are they human? Are they of forensic interest? Who was this person? Do they tell us anything...

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At the British Museum: Tantra

James Butler, 21 January 2021

It began​ with the beheading of a god. In a dispute over theological primacy, Brahma – traditionally identified as the creator – insulted Shiva. The offended deity poured all his...

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