In a 1992 interview with Arthur Miller, Charlie Rose asked him what quality the great playwrights have shared in common, distinguishing them from the not so great ones in any given age?

After a pause to gather his thoughts, Miller replied that the “big ones share a fierce moral sensibility” and that “they are all burning with some anger at the way the world is.” “The littler ones,” Miller continues, “have made their peace with it. The bigger ones can’t make any peace.”

Oliver Stone is an artist whose work (his early work especially) is, as with Miller’s and all…


I missed the first aircraft smashing into the Twin Towers on 9/11, but I had the news on when the second aircraft struck not long thereafter. Horror doesn’t come close to describing the feeling it provoked — horror compounded by grief at the footage of people jumping from the towers to their deaths in the terrifying minutes prior to the towers crashing to the ground.

I was living in America at the time — in Los Angeles to be exact — and will never forget the palpable fear and confusion which reigned in its immediate aftermath. Streets normally teeming with…


I couldn’t believe my luck when I landed the job as a security guard at the Marina Marketplace Mall in Marina Del Rey.

It was mid-February 1992, I was 25, allegedly in my prime, and I’d been in LA five weeks with my funds by now dwindling fast.

Desperation had morphed into panic at the prospect of being forced to fly home with my tail between my legs. With literally just enough money left to pay for my place in the dorm at the hostel for three more nights before I was empty, it was fluke luck that I came…


British troops leaving Afghanistan after airlift

The encomiums to the courage of the British troops who participated in the Afghan airlift have come thick and fast from a government that has been fighting a desperate rearguard action against the understandable and justifiable criticism it has received throughout this debacle.

While the courage of the troops is inarguable, and rightly acknowledged — and also particularly poignant considering that most of them were either unborn or mere babies when Blair joined Bush’s crusade to Afghanistan in 2001 — the courage of the troops should not be allowed to detract from the ineptitude and incompetence of a Johnson administration…


Empires advance and empires retreat, though not in circumstances of their own choosing — to borrow from one Karl Marx — and certainly never smoothly or without upending entire regions, countries and societies in their wake.

What has and continues to unfold in Afghanistan is nothing less than a historic tipping point when it comes to US hegemonic and imperial decline. …


Victor Hugo

Modern literature lacks the epic works that encompass and define the times in which we live, capturing that elusive but necessary timelessness symptomatic of the profundity required of a classic.

Perhaps Don Delilio’s Underworld (1997) is the closest there has been to claiming that mantle over the past thirty years or so, but since then there has been little to get excited about amid the plethora of vacuous tripe proffered by the mainstream. …


Here we are again, watching one of the most powerful and technologically advanced military’s in the world setting about the ‘heroic’ task of murderously assaulting one of the most subjugated, oppressed and immiserated.

Those brave warriors of the IDF — soldiers, airmen and sailors — constitute the armed wing of an apartheid state whose brutality and savagery is compounded by the claims of its various representatives at home and supporters further afield, professional liars all, to be acting in the name of security.

‘The crimes pile up until they become invisible.’ So said Bertolt Brecht and how right he was.


Think British football and the names that instantly spring to mind are men who transcended the sport to achieve the status of working class heroes and icons.

Messrs Shankly, Stein, Clough, and Ferguson were cut from the same granite in terms of their working class roots, as were many of the game’s top players in the same era. These were men who understood the importance of football to working class communities, its crucial role in providing excitement, pride and the opportunity for temporary escape from the banality of life lived as an appendage to the machine. …


Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse in this post-Brexit, post-colonial husk of a sinking ship otherwise known as the UK, it does.

The death of Prince Phillip at 99 has produced a veritable flood of servile paeans to the most regressive, archaic, anti-democratic institution in Europe, the British Monarchy. The BBC in particular has lost its mind, devoting an entire’s day’s programming to sanctifying the legacy of an open racist whose life was spent living in the lap of luxury at the UK taxpayer’s expense.

You could be forgiven for thinking Prince Phillip fought and won the…


Amid the pages of Bertolt Brecht’s classic collection, The Svendborg Poems, you encounter the following verse:

In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing.
About the dark times.”

Brecht, who came of age during the First World War and who lived through two abortive German revolutions on the back of which was born the beast of fascism, carried in his head a creative brain of inordinate force. …

John Wight

Writing on politics, culture and whatever else. You can support my efforts: https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=VDTA87R4SYKZS

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