Martial Arts, Medieval India, Guy Ritchie, London Review Of Books


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One Hundred Years Of Armbars

David Samuels | Grantland | 26th August 2015

“If you want your face smashed, your backside kicked and your arms broken, contact Carlos Gracie at this address”. The Gracie family learned judo from a wandering Japanese wrestler in 1916, opened a martial-arts school in Rio de Janeiro, honed their fighting style over four generations into Gracie jiu-jitsu, and brought it to America as Mixed Martial Arts — now a billion-dollar sport. If you master Gracie jiu-jitsu, “aggression ceases to exist" (16,500 words)

There Is Nothing Shameful About Being A Medieval Indian

Raziuddin Aquil | The Wire | 29th August 2015

The British Raj claimed to be protecting "the uncivilised people of the colonies" from the "alleged horrendous violence of medieval Islam". But medieval India "was not a particularly repulsive place to inhabit". The economy was thriving. The cities were as cultured any in the world. There was "no shame in being un-modern before the spread of the virtues of western modernity which came in the wake of capitalism and colonialism" (560 words)

The Man From U.N.C.L.E

Wesley Morris | Grantland | 18th August 2015

"The bar for this movie is low enough to conga under." Just don't take it seriously. "Only the costume and art departments get to keep a straight face". The stars, Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill, are "like day-old bread. You practically have to give them away". They "look like they’ve been attacked by a stylist from the fall issue of any men’s magazine". But that’s Guy Ritchie for you: "maker of movies you hate yourself for wanting to wear" (880 words)

Lunch With Mary-Kay Wilmers

Lucy Kellaway | Financial Times | 29th August 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Conversation with Mary-Kay Wilmers, owner and editor of the London Review Of Books, whose life is about to made into a TV serial written by Nick Hornby. She has "a genius for commissioning essays that make people very angry indeed". She claims to dislike money, while — "the irony is" — having enough of it to pour £35m into keeping the LRB afloat. Her main problem: There aren't enough books worth reviewing (2,700 words)

Yuk! Pshaw! Excelsior!

Matthew Howard | New York Review Of Books | 2nd October 2013

Genius. Fifty years of headlines from the New York Review Of Books, anatomised and categorised. Of which more than two hundred end with an exclamation mark: Pshaw! Gulp! Excelsior! Ach! Coleridge Lives! Nixon Wins! Kids, Pull Up Your Socks! Screwed! Get a Lawyer! Ah, Wilderness! Yuk! How Unpleasant to Meet Mr. Baudelaire! That’s Earl, Folks! O Albany! The Pizza Is Burning! It’s For Your Own Good! (3,100 words)

Video of the day: The Cheese Shop Sketch

What to expect: Classic from Monty Python's Flying Circus, first broadcast on 30 November 1972 (5'45")

Thought for the day

A theory should not attempt to explain all the facts, because some of the facts are wrong
Francis Crick

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