There is a narrative that generational warfare is increasingly common in our divided world: the Brexit schism of older leavers and young remainers; the middle-aged property investors whose mortgages are paid by generation rent. Then there’s the explosion of tech and shifting cultural values that lead to head-scratching and eye-rolling; each generation bitches about the one below it, we’re told, treating the one above with an unfair disdain. But this is not something I recognise in my own life. I have some brilliant friends, and I count myself especially fortunate that they are from all generations. I had my 30th birthday in August, which I freaked out about in a way I did not expect; but it was glorious to see so many pals together in one place. I can’t remember any other recent setting where people with decades between them were introducing themselves, chatting and drinking: 60-year-old mates asking a mid-20s couple who they vote for; two football fans, one born the … [Read more...] about From the silent generation to ‘snowflakes’: why you need friends of all ages
Life insurance over 50
Pascal Blasio, 57, destroyed or damaged 63 properties in the blast in the Wirral A furniture shop owner who caused an 'apocalyptic' explosion in a bungled insurance job, which left 81 people injured, was found guilty this afternoon. Pascal Blasio, 57, destroyed or damaged 63 properties in the blast in the Wirral, also damaging vehicles and leaving people with lacerations, burns and psychological trauma. One victim was even left with brain damage, facial fractures and life-changing disabilities after the explosion in March 2017. Prosecuting, Nigel Lawrence, QC said there was a 'truly chaotic scene in the aftermath of the explosion, one of complete and utter devastation. One almost apocalyptic'. Today he was found unanimously guilty of two offences he faced following more than seven hours deliberations at Liverpool Crown Court. Judge Thomas Teague, QC, told Blasio: 'You have been convicted of extremely serious offences by the jury who saw through the humbug of dishonesty with … [Read more...] about Furniture shop owner faces jail after being convicted of sparking massive explosion in bungled £50,000 insurance job which injured 81 and left ‘apocalyptic scene of devastation’
I remember a woman who screamed like a feral animal. She was leather tan and sinewy. Spiked bleached blonde hair, sculpted biceps, low-slung cargo pants with Doc Martens, veins bursting from her neck, eyes bugging from her drawn face. She stood on the sidewalks of New York City with a folding table covered with poster-size images from hardcore pornography: women wearing dog collars, women on leashes, women leaned over and viewed from behind, their backs crosshatched with scars. Much of the time she displayed a blowup of the famous Hustler magazine cover showing a naked woman being fed upside down into a meat grinder. “This is what your husbands are masturbating to,” she shouted in a barking monotone. “Wake up, women! Don’t be passive! Sign the petition!” Most everyone turned away or just kept walking. This was back in 1990. I was 20. To be 20 years old in 1990 in New York City was, as far as I was concerned, to own the world. I owned practically nothing of … [Read more...] about Team older feminist: am I allowed nuanced feelings about #MeToo?
What perfect timing for The Third Man to step back out of the shadows. Often hailed as the finest film Britain ever made, a 70th anniversary re-release will see it return to cinemas with the government much in the market for symbols of national grandeur. While Boris Johnson has named his favourite film as Dodgeball – for once, eerily believable – as the great British breakdown goes on it is easy to imagine him waving a tiny Union Jack at Carol Reed’s majestic noir. It is true, of course, that there could be no better moment for The Third Man to reappear – just not as a cosy patriotic treat. Rather, it is a cold premonition of no-deal Britain. In that, there is a certain poetry. We are where we are in no small part due to endless British war films convincing a generation born in the 1950s that they had lived through the Blitz and could only be happy back in it. But The Third Man is a postwar movie. American hack writer Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) arrives in … [Read more...] about Why The Third Man is an essential primer for no-deal Brexit
In 2010, the small community of specialists who pay attention to US road safety statistics picked up the first signs of a troubling trend: more and more pedestrians were being killed on American roads. That year, 4,302 American pedestrians died, an increase of almost 5% from 2009. The tally has increased almost every year since, with particularly sharp spikes in 2015 and 2016. Last year, 41% more US pedestrians were killed than in 2008. During this same period, overall non-pedestrian road fatalities moved in the opposite direction, decreasing by more than 7%. For drivers, roads are as safe as they have ever been; for people on foot, roads keep getting deadlier. Through the 90s and 00s, the pedestrian death count had declined almost every year. No one would have confused the US for a walkers’ paradise – at least part of the reason fewer pedestrians died in this period was that people were driving more and walking less, which meant that there were fewer opportunities to be … [Read more...] about Collision course: why are cars killing more and more pedestrians?