Ireland, Darfur, Pho, Laurie Penny, Nationalism, The Future


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Mother And Father

Thomas Kilroy | Granta | 7th July 2016

Memoir. “My Irish generation is the last one to have experienced that period of revolution and civil war not as history but through the memories of our parents, and the stories they told us as children. As young nationalists my mother and father joined Sinn Féin and the Gaelic League in their village under the guidance of the local priest. In 1917 a unit of the IRA was formed in the area and my father became its commanding officer. Both were involved in the violent campaign that followed” (4,300 words)

How Darfur’s Royal Family Fell From Grace

Zeinab Mohammed Salih | Guardian | 7th July 2016

“A small woman with greying braids sits under a tree in front of Khartoum’s Ombada prison in the stifling afternoon heat. It’s hard to imagine she is the princess of a territory the size of France — or, rather, she would have been, if her great-grandfather, Sultan Ali Dinar, hadn’t been killed by the British army 100 years ago. Suad Fadul has spent the past 20 years selling tea and dumplings outside the prison, and sharing a home with her eight children and grandchildren” (1,090 words)

Where To Get Pho In Ho Chi Minh City

Calvin Godfrey | Lucky Peach | 10th July 2016

Mouth-watering guide to the “throbbing anarchy” of noodle restaurants in the former Saigon. Ut Nhung has “stewed purple shallots which collapse into a beefy butter on the tongue”. At Pho Bo Phu Gia “each bowl tastes like a love letter to the delicious things that grow underground. Instead of herbs on every table, you’ll get fresh onions and a jar of pickled garlic. The barely poached chicken egg they’ll bring you in a tin cup of ginger broth is meant to give you strength” (1,840 words)

Life-Hacks Of The Poor And Aimless

Laurie Penny | Baffler | 8th July 2016

“The slow collapse of the social contract is the backdrop to a modern mania for clean eating, healthy living, personal productivity and radical self-love — the insistence that, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, we can achieve a meaningful existence by maintaining a positive outlook. The more the floodwaters rise, the more the public conversation is turning toward individual fulfillment as if in a desperate attempt to make us feel like we still have some control over our lives” (2,400 words)

Voters Deserve Responsible Nationalism

Larry Summers | 10th July 2016

Voters are revolting against the “relatively open economic policies” favoured in America and Britain since the second world war. They have a point. The benefits of those policies have been exaggerated and ill-distributed. But if we are to have a rebalancing towards nationalism, let it be a responsible nationalism. “A new approach has to start from the idea that the basic responsibility of government is to maximise the welfare of citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good” (780 words)

61 Glimpses Of The Future

Jan Chipchase | 10th July 2016

Notes on technology and human behaviour compiled while travelling in western China and Central Asia. Body language is truly universal. China is probably the lowest-trust consumer society on Earth. Touch ID fails at high altitude. Tibetan monks prefer iOS over Android. “You no longer need to carry a translation app on your phone. If there’s someone to speak with, they’ll have one on theirs.” The most undervalued object on a long-distance train journey in China is a power extension cable (1,650 words)

Video of the day: The Complexity Of Love

What to expect:

Thirteen words used to describe aspects of love, in languages other than English. CBC animation (3’34”)

Thought for the day

The most important quality in a leader is that of being acknowledged as such
André Maurois

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