The Knowledge Commodity

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The commodification of education runs much deeper than tuition fees; it’s been going on for decades and it’s stupefying us. In October 1976, the beleaguered Labour Prime Minister, James Callaghan, gave a speech at Ruskin College, Oxford, calling for a ‘Great Debate’ on the nature and purposes of education. The speech was really an acknowledgement … Continued

Kingsman, Kick-Ass, and how to love violence

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There’s a scene in Kingsman: The Secret Service where Colin Firth trots off to do some spying at a hate-church in a rural Alabama town. While there, the baddies flip a switch in his brain and he, along with the entire congregation, turn on each other, fiercely. As a trained spy, Firth goes on a … Continued

The Real Villains of Middle Earth

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To the editor,   Watching Desolation of Smaug I can’t help but feel a clash between my liberal socialist values and those of the series’ “heroes”. The quest of going to the mountain to kill the dragon, take back the gold and restore the dwarven kingdom is problematic. For starters, a dragon, whether evil or … Continued

Whiplash [Review]

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Here’s what you do; go out and watch Whiplash, form an opinion on the rise of Miles Teller, and then perch on your smug fountain of knowledge when he hits the stratosphere after the Fantastic Four reboot. The upshots of this are numerous; the aforementioned smugness, the fountain thereof, and you also get to watch … Continued

The Alphabet [Short Story]

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The room had been decorated with alphabet wall paper and painted animals. The carpet was soft, the crib and rocking chair were plush and comfortable. A teddy bear sat on the chest of drawers, a price tag in the old money still attached to its ear. Three shillings and sixpence. The rest of the house had … Continued