Let's be clear: no-one is saying that the NHS is not flawed... But I saw a cartoon once that perfectly illustrated where we might be heading: there's a huge, glistening private American-style hospital where you pay and pay and pay. And in its parking lot is a little shelter-type thing offering various services. Its heading: "NHS".
Low was released on 14 January 1977, a few days after David Bowie's 30th birthday. The motto of our generation - Bowie's and mine - was "Never trust anyone over 30" and The Thin White Duke lived up to that motto in his own unique way. We were ready to party again with his next album. But you couldn't actually dance to Low.
News of what happened at Leytonstone, of course, spread all over the world, so relatives and friends from the States got in touch. After I assured them that I was okay, they then went on to ask why and how the Met dealt with a potential terror situation - without guns. It was so strange, so incomprehensible, something they could not imagine. That's because the USA is an armed society. Arms are the equalizer; the avenger; the explainer; the revenge; and your best friend.
Just as America has become the country where the first "selfie" political candidate - Donald Trump - has emerged, we here in the UK are experiencing a new paradigm, too. I'll call it: "Real". It has begun - as always - with the young. A "zero hour contract" reality; seven professions in a working life; eternal debt; possible no home ownership, all of these factors are very real for a generation that will not only be long-lived, but the ultimate carers of an ageing population growing larger by the year. After the winter snows melt, and the first flowers of spring push through the soil, Jeremy Corbyn may be gone. But the Disrupter has made his mark.
The first time I noticed "You People Syndrome" (YPS) was during the Scottish referendum. Being an immigrant, some nuances of my adopted culture can sometimes pass me by. You can often spend time re-calibrating your brain, trying to get to grips with the things you think you understand. But don't. So I was quite bewildered at the time of the Scottish Referendum ("Indy Ref") at the general coverage that I saw. Me, being London-based and London-centric, it seemed that the mainstream media (MSM) (largely London, too) were actually telling the people of Scotland that: "You People Up There Know Not What You Do" .
This breach of protocol matters because it can make it even harder for theatres to take chances; harder for new writers, new actors, new directors to come into the art form; to work outside of the mainstream. It makes it harder for established writers; actors; directors to try something new, do something new.
Here's a guy who's been an MP of over 30 years standing; pretty consistent in what he believes in; and who decides to Do Something - i.e. stand for Leader of his Party. This declaration unleashes a fire storm from our largely right-of-centre press - summertime, bored; its claws still sharp from the mauling it gave Labour in conjunction with the Cons, thereby delivering the most ad hominem/policy-light campaign I've seen for a long time. Now, a cabal has emerged, emboldened by victory and the support of this centre-right press, (that's most of the newspapers actually) who call themselves the catchy: "Tories For Corbyn".
She's the American British playwright, novelist, critic and intellectual who's acted on Parisian stages, had her plays performed on multi broadcast platforms, produced films, written novels, as well as regular features in The Guardian and Huffington Post, served on boards for universities, opera houses, film schools and more.
The Turner Prize is important because it keeps the art world, the cultural scene awake. Yes. its atmosphere can be too full of art 'luvvies' and 'mavens' and the 'usual suspects' but they're easier to get rid of than the idea - and need - that art and culture matter. They do. They are what we are. What Laure Prouvost's installation entitled: 'Wantee' (punters put a sum total of £22 on her chances of winning, according to Ladbrokes ) demonstrates, too, is that big, bad Mighty London with its critics/punters/experts/buyers doesn't always get it right.
On 22 November 1963, in the US, after lunchtime, (my hometown of Chicago is in the same time zone as Dallas) on a school day, we were told that the President had been shot dead. I walked home, crying. It was raining, like something out of a corny movie. People were wailing; standing around stunned; praying out loud
Obama sees Syria as one of the definitions of his presidency. But Syria is the battleground for a 21st Century proxy war. Iran, Saudi Arabia, many major players are there. And there is something else: Obama can't afford to do a 'W' and go in with all guns blazing. The president's past, steeped in vociferous opposition of the Iraq War, won't allow it.
Fox's breakfast programme, the one on which the EDL leader was assured that his back would be watched, is a kind of "wake-up-to-how-horrible-it-all-is" fiesta. To get Fox viewers ready for the day ahead. But it is the evening, East Coast time, (1am and beyond here) slots where Fox News comes into its own...
As the Tories engage in intra-Party bloodletting, Labour remains quiet and at least outwardly behind Miliband. All politicians know that electorates do not reward split Parties. The Tories are scared. Meanwhile there's Ed Miliband, Labour leader now and into the 2015 General election. I'd advise those laughing at him to wise up.