susanreads: wrapped presents (xmas)
A couple of films from last year, because I'm that far behind with films recorded off-air; the Kiss Me Kate prom; Doctor Who Does Inception; Carlos Acosta's Cuban Night, partly live on the other box because of clashage; the Agents of SHIELD "mid-season finale" (the Channel 4 continuity announcer also thinks that's a peculiar idea); QI XL; the War Horse prom.

On radio, mostly via internet: most of my usual programs, a couple of festive specials of the usual programs, parts of the EBU Day of Christmas Music, a whole lot of World Music, some podcasts I'm still behind on, and particularly the radio serial of Good Omens, apparently the first-ever dramatisation of that book.

Also in prospect, the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, some nature documentaries, Charlie Brooker, the New Year's Day Vienna Concert and a repeat of The Boy in the Dress, because the first broadcast clashed with something [unless somebody on the internet tells me it's terrible. It's a comedy about a gender-non-conforming (apparently not trans) kid, how bad can it be?]. I'm not going to have time for any more films recorded off-air, am I?
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
Today, August 1st, is Emancipation Day in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Bermuda, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Turks and Caicos Islands (list from Wikipedia). It commemorates the implementation, in stages, of the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

Here's a black historical figure I only heard of recently: William Cuffay, 1788-1870. I heard this radio programme about him last week: Britain's Black Revolutionary (available for 3 more days if you can use the BBC's iPlayer). His father had been a slave. William had a physical disability, and worked as a tailor in London. He was blacklisted after being involved in a strike, and joined the Chartist movement, becoming one of its leaders in London.

As a union organiser, Cuffay addressed his fellow workers as "fellow slaves"; Chartists referred to him as a brother Chartist. The mainstream press, though, were more inclined to stress his colour and his "deformity". The establishment were busy portraying the Chartists as dangerous revolutionaries; note that all their demands except for annual elections are now taken for granted as part of our political system. In 1848, Cuffay was involved in organising a march which was intended to present a Chartist petition to the House of Commons. The march never happened, but on the evidence of police spies, Cuffay was sentenced to transportation to Tasmania.

When the political prisoners in Tasmania were pardoned, Cuffay elected to remain there. (I don't know how voluntary that was: how did you get back?) He returned to his trade as a tailor, and remained involved in radical politics for the rest of his life.

bio on 100 Great Black Britons
susanreads: my avatar, a white woman with brown hair and glasses (Default)
I've just listened to this evening's Report [on Radio 4] and was struck by the way piracy was viewed as just a law and order problem, with no mention of the reason for it. The program ended with a comment that until the legal issues are resolved, Somali pirates will continue to plunder the High Seas.
The pirates may be "armed gangs" out to make a fortune on the "high seas" now, but they started out as, in effect, the coastguard, protecting their local waters, since there wasn't a Somali state in a position to commission an official coastguard. The original plundering of the seas in that region was done by illegal trawlers from Europe; European shipping was also dumping toxic waste in the area, secure in the knowledge that no local government was likely to stop them.
I first read about this on the internet last year.
The problem isn't going to go away until we address the cause.

I wanted to include a link to http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-you-are-being-lied-to-about-pirates-1225817.html but there wasn't room on the comment form. I actually first read about it on Dreamwidth.

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