Migrants, India, Camilla Paglia, Wagner, Harvard

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Birds And Migrants Die At Sea

J. Jason Mitchell | London Review Of Books | 10th March 2017

Aiding refugees in the Mediterranean. “We’d been at sea for eight days, patrolling the Libyan coast from Zuwara to Sabratah. On the second morning we brought three men aboard. Doctors triaged the sick, unconscious, pregnant and young, moving from raft to raft through the late afternoon. The three men had all ingested petrol that had spilled into the water from the fuel line of their outboard motor. In one raft, we left a man cradling the head of another man, already dead for hours” (1,270 words)

The British In India

Shashi Tharoor | Guardian | 8th March 2017

The British Empire’s legacy in India has been greatly exaggerated. The British may have built roads and railways, but they did so to extract and export Indian wealth, leaving behind only what could not be taken away. To the extent that British institutions benefited Indians, this happened inadvertently. “It is a bit rich to oppress, torture, imprison, enslave, deport and proscribe a people for 200 years, and then take credit for the fact that they are democratic at the end of it” (2,900 words)

A Conversation With Camille Paglia

Molly Fischer | The Cut | 7th March 2017

She was “out as a lesbian in the late sixties”, a feminist opposed to censorship, prudery and drug laws. Yet now Camilla Paglia is being claimed as a conservative, a Trumpian in style if not in substance. She, like Trump, “gives her audience the vicarious thrill of watching someone who appears to be saying whatever the hell they want”. What she says, mainly, is that people should stand up for themselves: “I want dignity and authority for women. My code is Amazonism. I want weapons” (3,300 words)

The Power Of Leitmotiv

Manfredi Ricca | Future Symphony Institute | 10th March 2017

On Wagner as branding genius. He understood how to condition the consumer. “The adjective ‘Wagnerian’ has transcended the musical vocabulary, and now describes something grandiose and extraordinarily ambitious. There is no equivalent example; independent of the greatness of these composers, expressions such as ‘Beethovenian’ or ‘Mozartian’ have never crossed the borders of music … In essence, one could argue that Wagner invented cinema before the technology existed” (1,500 words)

A Vast Slave Society

Lydialyle Gibson | Harvard Magazine | 6th March 2017

Ta-Nehisi Coates schools Harvard on slavery: “Every single one of these universities needs to make reparations. I don’t know how you get around that. I don’t know how you conduct research that shows that your very existence is rooted in a great crime, and just say ‘Well’, and shrug, and, ‘I’m sorry’, and you walk away. When you stand on the backs of other people who have been exploited, to teach people about morals and ethics, you have to do the right thing and make some amends” (3,100 words)

Video of the day: The Thieving Magpie

What to expect:

A day in the life of a magpie. Short film by Fabrice Mathieu set to music by Rossini

Thought for the day

A working knowledge of the devil can be very well had from resisting him
Flannery O'Connor

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