Happy Birthday, Alan Simpson.

by Harry on November 27, 2009

Alex’s mention of Hancock reminds me that Alan Simpson, half of the greatest comedy writing team in the English language ever, is 80 today. If you’re English, celebrate by watching this. If you’re American, you can watch this instead (and thank Galton and Simpson for having a deeper understanding of American culture than the network bosses who persistently rejected Redd Foxx as the star). Happy Birthday, Mr. Simpson,and thanks.

Philip who?

by Chris Bertram on November 27, 2009

My post yesterday was about how politicians seize on the academic research the suits their agenda rather than being disposed to listen to good arguments. Dog bites man, you might think. A similar phenomenon is at work in the elevation of minor academics who can give a bit of intellectual sheen to some political project or other. I was astounded, watching Newsnight a couple of evenings ago, to hear someone touted as a major British political philosopher. After all, I’ve taught the subject, in Britain, for over twenty years, and I’ve never heard of him. Of course, I might just be ignorant, and he might be a previously overlooked genius. Step forward Philip Blond, formerly a theology lecturer at the University of Cumbria and now being promoted as the philosophical voice behind David Cameron’s “new” Toryism. A brief perusal of what’s available on the web doesn’t suggest to me that I’m missing anything. But I’m often wrong, so I’m open to correction.