“I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life.” Not the wisest choice of words for a man who has just been caught bragging about sexually assaulting women. Yet amidst the disgust at Trump’s lewd boasting, something has been overlooked. The taped conversation that has caused so much controversy actually begins with an admission of sexual failure. …Continue reading "Donald Trump: sexual failure and tragic masculinity"
The night before the EU referendum, I dreamed about Boris Johnson. In the course of heated conversation with him, I insulted Thatcher, and the imaginary lump of PM-wannabe inside my sleeping mind leapt to her defence: “Don’t speak that way about mummy!” “So this is what it’s all about with you is it, some weird Oedipal …Continue reading "On the EU referendum"
I’ve been writing a paper about the sounds of the voice. Thinking about the topic reminded me of a brilliant gaffe from BBC Radio 4 presenter Jim Naughtie a few years ago. I’m not sure if this will make it into the final paper, but here’s a bit lifted from my current draft, with a …Continue reading "The failure of voice"
Yet another splendid plan from David Cameron: teach English to Muslim women living in the UK, to help them integrate and reduce the risk of becoming radicalised. The PM has made it clear that there is no simple cause and effect going on here. Nevertheless, he says, not speaking English probably contributes to a …Continue reading "Teach ballet to dogs"
Yesterday I was teaching some of my students about Foucault, power and surveillance. These themes have never been more relevant to everyday life. The expansion of digital communications has created innumerable opportunities for the exercise of power through monitoring human activity, creating new kinds of vulnerabilities. This is especially the case for children and young …Continue reading "Power, surveillance and digital media"