While I was in Oxford for a logic conference this week I took some time out to go to the Bodleian’s Tolkein exhibition at the Weston library. It’s a nice little display of Tolkein’s manuscripts, original artwork and correspondence, and of some bits and pieces illustrating his life as a student, as an officer in the war and later as professor and author.
Continue reading Reading it continually ever since
I went down to BFI Southbank in that London yesterday with pal Maeve to see Arcadia, the new film from director Paul Wright. We decided to see it on the strength of the trailer—neither of us had heard of Wright before—and we weren’t disappointed.
Continue reading Arcadia
CW: violence towards animals.
What I said yesterday about believing vegetarianism to be a moral good intellectually but not emotionally isn’t quite true. I can’t stand human violence towards animals, it’s one of the few things that makes me really squeamish. But the day-to-day practice of eating meat is too far abstracted from the necessary violence.
Continue reading Eating animals
The idea of ‘transfiguring desire’ has been playing on my mind since reading Amia Srinivasan’s Right to Sex piece in the LRB (which I talked about here before).
Srinivasan is making a moral argument about romantic and sexual attraction, asking whether we have a duty to attempt to change our desires. Thinking about this I butted up against a common block: intellectually I agree with this, but emotionally I don’t know how to put theory into action.
Continue reading Transfiguring desire
One of the interviewees on the most recent episode of Helen Zaltzman’s excellent podcast The Allusionist said something that reminded me of my grandmother. The episode was about the Scots language; the guest Ishbel McFarlane, said “So for example ‘thae’ is Scots word for ‘those’, T H A E, and that’s often seen as ‘wrong English’ by people.”
Continue reading thik oon and theäs oon