As with 9/11, we have marvelled at the selflessness and bravery of its first responders - the nurses, doctors, medical support staff and ambulance drivers who have turned up to the work with the same sense of public spiritedness shown by the firefighters who rushed towards the flaming Twin Towers. We've witnessed the ingenuity and creativity of schools that have transitioned to remote, online teaching without missing a beat. We've seen a can-do spirit that has kept stores open, shelves stocked and food being delivered. In other words, most Americans have shown precisely the same virtues we have seen in every country brought to a halt by the virus. … [Read more...] about Coronavirus: What this crisis reveals about US – and its president
Best filmmakers 21st century
But to some extent, people in Westminster were merely seizing on malign views already present in the culture. The most pitiful thing to see was the acceptance of these opinions by people whose experiences showed how misplaced they were. I remember going to the Cheshire town of Warrington eight years ago and, watched by press officers from the Department of Work and Pensions, interviewing a 27-year-old man who had just endured nine months of unemployment. He said he had been averaging 25 to 30 job applications a week, most of which had not even got a reply. “I think I should have applied for more,” he said. “I should have tried more. When you’re feeling down, you start blaming the world for your mistakes … You feel the world owes you. And it doesn’t.” … [Read more...] about Coronavirus means we really are, finally, all in this together
Taylor was keen to tell businesses in this review that “redefining the boundaries of worker status does not impact on those for whom the current system works well” – completely forgetting that this whole house of cards rests on others losing out. As much as it might be dressed up as some innovation of the 21st century – with all of the “privilege and flexibility” that provides, zero-hours workers can see it for what it really is: a familiar tale of worker’s exploitation, with a distinctly old-fashioned flavour. … [Read more...] about Zero-hours workers won’t be reassured by the Taylor review – I’ve been one
Many of these musicians are Israeli, a reflection of Stern's lifelong commitment to the Jewish state. So tireless was his devotion to Israel that he was almost a one-man ministry of culture - seeking out young artists; helping them towards scholarships for study in America (under the auspices of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, whose board he chaired); founding the Jerusalem Music Centre and its affiliated artist's colony, the Mishkenot Sha'ananim. Of his annual performances in Israel, those during the 1991 Gulf war were most memorable; the audiences wore gas masks. … [Read more...] about Isaac Stern
FM: Yes, what I particularly noticed at my gig was that it’s the act, rather than the performance, that matters. Yungblud, who won the best video award, stomped around during his track, all high energy and aggro in mini yellow tartan kilt. It was fantastically noisy, everyone had a great time, just because he was there. I couldn’t judge how well he was singing, but that wasn’t the point. Maybe not surprisingly, I found FKA twigs easier – she had an amplified piano and cello playing behind her for the track Cellophane and the colours and breaks in her voice are immediately audible, part of the music. Her whole act looked as fabulous as opera. … [Read more...] about Mahler versus Slowthai! – what happened when our pop and classical critics traded jobs?