Posts Tagged ‘history’

john-hurt-iclaudius

Didn’t have enough time to properly, fully eulogise concerning the brilliant British film, stage and TV actor John Hurt, who passed away a few days ago after a struggle with pancreatic cancer.

There would be a lot to say about Hurt, whose rich, varied career included any number of memorable or stellar performances. But my own permanent sense of connection to Hurt’s on-screen legacy is a particular performance from his younger years.

While many would regard his portrayal of the Elephant Man as one of the great performances in cinema, John Hurt’s portrayal of the unhinged Emperor Caligula in the classic series I Claudius stands as one of the most compelling television performances there has ever been. (more…)

christians-middleeast

This year’s Christmas sermon was originally going to be like last year’s and focus on an element of the Nativity tradition; instead, given current events and the popular reaction to them, I decided to go with a different subject – specifically, Islam and Christianity.

There is now, perhaps inevitably, a growing trend in some sections of Western commentary to see things in terms of a Muslim/Christian divide; or the idea, more specifically, that Islam is a threat or enemy towards Christianity. To some extent, there is a sub-sect within Islam – a radical, extremist ideology – that probably could be described as a threat to Christian interests or ‘Christian values’; but that same sub-sect is also the same threat to mainstream Muslim communities and ‘values’ too – probably more so, in fact. (more…)

Letter from Fidel Castro to FDR, 1940, pgs 2&3 00968_2003_002

I’ve been fascinated by historic letters and correspondence for some time; and I wrote a post covering some of this a while ago.

Letters, particularly communications never meant for public consumption, provide a fascinating insight into significant historic or cultural events, times or figures. They also can help to humanise certain figures – both historic or contemporary – who might otherwise seem like remote, distant characters or one-dimensional archetypes. (more…)

romanmosaicsmasks

As it is that night of the year, I figured now was the time to have a bit of fun and talk about ghosts.

This is actually a long-time favorite subject area for me, as I was fascinated by ghosts, the supernatural and anomalous activity and para-science in general throughout childhood – largely because of a book I had a kid, which I utterly devoured over and over again; but also on account of a few anomalous experiences I had, which naturally rendered me partial towards the subject. (more…)

burningbloggerofbedlam-muammar-gaddafi

As a few days ago marked the fifth anniversary of the murder of Muammar Gaddafi, I decided to mark it with a more low-key, fun-ish look back at Libya’s former national figurehead.

A more serious piece on the life and character of one of the most controversial world figures of the 20th century will follow in a few days, which I’d been working on for some time but hadn’t been able to finish in time. (more…)

nefertiti

Queen Nefertiti has remained one of the most fascinating, elusive figures from the permanently enchanting world of Ancient Egypt.
Her final resting place has also eluded Egyptologists over the years, but it’s discovery would amount to one of the most important finds in history, probably even more so than Howard Carter’s discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922.

(more…)

Saudi-flag

The death, at the beginning of the year, of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, after a nine-and-a-half year reign and the accession to the throne of his half-brother, Salman bin Abdulaziz, seems to have marked no turning point in Saudi policy either at home or abroad.
With the change of rulers, things in fact seemed to have escalated to a worse state of affairs.

(more…)

palmyra_khaled-el-assad
Let’s please take a moment to pause in respect for Mr Khaled el-Asaad, who has been tortured and beheaded by the foreign-created thugs and criminals of ISIL or ‘Daesh’ in Syria.
The 82 year-old Syrian head of antiquities, dubbed the ‘Howard Carter’ of Palmyra, had worked in the historic World Heritage city of Palmyra for over 50 years, his knowledge and expertise of the city and its vast antiquities having been unmatched.

(more…)

Gaddafi-Libya_TheBurningBloggerOfBedlam
You can download a PDF of this article, if you prefer: get it here by right-clicking on the link. You can also download my free book, ‘The Libya Conspiracy’ from here.
In 2008 or 2009, the BBC made a documentary on life inside Libya: I remember it because I watched it at the time of its broadcast. Up until the beginning of 2011, that video was available on You Tube.
Once the international community had made up its mind – after years of back and forth – that Gaddafi was ‘evil’ and a war had to be waged on Libya, all versions of the documentary were removed from the web.

(more…)