Tonight at 7pm the 16th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair begins – 24th to 28th October, opened by Richard Gott:
The book fair celebrates themes, writers and small, independent presses which may be neglected by more mainstream festivals. Every year it brings to Edinburgh a mixture of readings, book launches, film screenings, exhibitions and workshops.
There are many reasons for going along to the Out of the Blue Drill Hall any day of the week (the coffee and cake are only two). During the whole of the alternative book fair, Owen Logan has a photographic exhibition based on Flammable Societies: Studies on the Socio-economics of Oil and Gas.
Article 22: Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
I have the Opening Ceremony, Isles of Wonder, open in the corner of my screen at this moment – the industrialists have just arrived on Glastonbury Tor, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel is about to speak Caliban’s speech from The Tempest. Thanks to BBC iPlayer and the licence fee, I can watch any part of it I wish, from now til 12th January 2013. And I would never have thought that this would actually be something I would want to do.
As SharedPast summarises it
My expectations of the London Olympics’ opening ceremony were so low that, I suppose, I would have been impressed if it had featured Boris as Boudicca, driving a chariot over the prostate figures of the Locog committee. (Actually, now that I think about it, that would have been fairly entertaining.)
I haven’t changed my mind about the Olympics or Dow Chemical, but Isles of Wonder is a magnificent piece of performance art. The whole Olympic ceremony impressed and delighted me – to say “beyond expectations” is meiosis: I had sat down to watch it in a negative mood about the Olympics, cross about the money, and fully expecting to spend Friday evening making bread, doing laundry, only a quarter of my attention on the TV.
Ms Mongrel wrote in Bring me my chariot of fire:
Despite my cynicism, I do want things to go well. I want the Olympics to be a success for example, and I was really pleased at the spectacle of the Opening Ceremony. Continue reading
David Edgar wrote five years ago:
Take care. In reading this article, you may be in receipt of stolen goods. In fact, the organising committee for a certain upcoming sporting event has decided it would be “disproportionate” to prosecute the author of a book called Olympic Mind Games for breach of copy-right. But, under no less than two acts of parliament, it could if it wanted to.
When it discovered that Robert Ronson’s children’s science-fiction novel was to be published, the organising committee for the previously mentioned happening sent him an email asking that he should use neither the O-word nor the expressions “London 2012, or 2012 etc” in the title. The committee was able to do so under statutes passed in 1995 and 2006, which in effect turn all the elements of its title into a trademark.
As Fleet Street Fox reminded us last week, back in 2005 the Olympics was going to cost us £2bn.
wo years later it was upped to about £9bn and a year after that the bottom fell out of the world financial markets.
This was of course no reason to scale back, and today the costs are around £12bn with a strong likelihood that with police, security and transport costs the final total will be nearer £24bn.
To put that into perspective that’s 800million trips to the local leisure centre for a £3 swim. It’s 240 hospitals, roughly, or 20m nurses on a starting salary of £12,000.
This Thursday, according to the ancient traditions of a bygone regime Continue reading
Here is what happened in Bhopal twenty-eight years ago:
“We would fit 120 bodies in one truck and this we would fill and empty five times a day. There were eight trucks on duty (so that is 4,800 bodies a day). It carried on for exactly the same intensity for three to four days, and after 12:00 am the military took over.
“We took a bulldozer and dug pits to bury all the animals. Some people were picking up bodies and some animals. 50 – 60 drivers were all working that day (3rd December). We picked up the bodies with our own hands. Every time we picked one up it gave out gas. The bodies had all turned blue, and had froth oozing from their mouths.
“In some houses everyone had died so there was no one to break the locks. In one case a 6 month old girl had survived and everybody else (mother, father and siblings) was dead. I broke the locks to that house.