Ballard: Our need for catastrophes

The cultural revolution of the 1960s had an undeniably profound impact on the people who lived amidst its birth pangs. In 1986 a film crew came to make a short documentary about the writer JG Ballard. In the interview, Ballard pointed out that the world which we inhabit requires a certain amount of oil to make the cogs go around and keep the wheels turning. For Ballard it was sex which played such a role in the 1960s, but now sex is no longer a new frontier and increasingly violence has become the oil which keeps the wheels turning. The … Continue reading

Taking advantage of Islam

michel houellebecq

On January 7 2015, Cherif and Said Kouachi, two French Algerians radicalised by the war in Iraq, entered the offices of Charlie Hebdo. It was a Wednesday, and the writers had gathered for an editorial meeting. When the shooting began, the satirists thought it was firecrackers.The deaths of a dozen journalists shook France. It was the deadliest terror attack on French soil since 1961 when the OAS, a fascist paramilitary group, bombed a train killing 28 passengers. At the time, the front cover of Charlie Hebdo bore a caricature of Michel Houellebecq on the front cover. In the unflattering cartoon, Houellebecq … Continue reading

The Kids Are Alright

Last year, the major twist in the child sexual abuse scandal came in the form of mainstream political ties to a pro-paedophile organisation. It had been decades since the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) was first in the news. Now Harriet Harman was singled out for blame by the Daily Mail. It was typical of the Mail to link PIE to the Labour Party. All of this seemed to imply a progressive-paedophile alliance. This scandal is still unfolding before our eyes in another stage. Now Ted Heath stands accused of sexual abuse. Allegedly, Heath attended PIE meetings. But we may never … Continue reading