Brighton Soup

On Friday night, I attended a fundraising event organised by Brighton Soup. The idea is simple: £4 for food (soup, of course), refreshments, entertainment and a vote to choose which of 4 community projects get some funding. These were the four local charities presented that night, each serving a different group within Brighton and Hove. Speak … Continue reading Brighton Soup

Masculinity Unmasked

Masculinity is defined as the possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men. But, what type of men? In the documentary The Mask You Live In, director Jennifer Siebel Newsom explores the masculine qualities found in the United States today, asking the viewer to question the harm they are causing to boys. (The film is available online; … Continue reading Masculinity Unmasked

Religion as Political Scapegoat

This is not about terrorism. Terrorism is the excuse. This is about economic and social control. And the only thing you're really protecting is the supremacy of your government. This reflection from the 2016 docu-drama Snowden illustrates the current world we live in. A world, we're told, filled with terrorist threats. But, are we in danger? In his book The … Continue reading Religion as Political Scapegoat

Down With The Royals, Up With Democracy

Pandas and royal persons alike are expensive to conserve and ill-adapted to any modern environment. This comparison of British royals to zoological specimens by novelist Hilary Mantel is but one of many ideas presented in Joan Smith's book, Down With The Royals. In three parts, Smith dissects the arguments for maintaining the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern … Continue reading Down With The Royals, Up With Democracy

The Four Horsemen Rest Within the Security Council

The United Nations and its Security Council were formed at the end of World War II. The permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, also known as the Permanent Five or P5, include the following five governments: China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These five nations have endowed themselves with protecting … Continue reading The Four Horsemen Rest Within the Security Council

Rethinking ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’

Growing up as children, we were all told to "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." Collecting glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastic containers was easy to do and felt good. And since it was in line with this simple three-word chant, it seemed like we were doing the right thing. Unfortunately, this chant has not curbed the growing consumerism … Continue reading Rethinking ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’

The Cyberweapons Race Has Begun

Alex Gibney's latest documentary film covers the phenomenon surrounding the Stuxnet computer virus and the development of the malware software known as "Olympic Games". The Stuxnet worm, a groundbreaking virus jointly created by the US and Israel, has the power to cripple nuclear plants and more. Gibney's film, Zero Days (2016), documents several aspects of this particular cyberweapon: from … Continue reading The Cyberweapons Race Has Begun

Hollywood Caricatures

Hollywood films seem like the biggest advertisements for the United States of America. Action movies show muscled heroes saving cities like New York and Los Angeles from certain danger. Family dramas live in American suburbs, while romantic comedies maze through the downtown restaurants and bars. Westerns hearken back to frontier times and science fiction marvels at American space exploration. In addition … Continue reading Hollywood Caricatures

A World That Neglects Refugees

There are more than 15 million refugees around the world. 15 million people who have been forced to leave their home country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. An additional 38 million people are also escaping their home but remain "internally displaced," resettling or moving inside their country's borders. In addition to the rising … Continue reading A World That Neglects Refugees

Selling Off the UK Government to the Lowest Bidder

Government outsourcing--contracting private companies to provide public services--can produce amazing results. The process links government revenue with business tools. When a government's own in-house capacity is limited, contracting private companies can be an essential solution, whether it's providing stationary or building bridges. Outsourcing can also be a stressful exercise, as John Glenn, American astronaut and the … Continue reading Selling Off the UK Government to the Lowest Bidder