Very happy to be taking a couple of weeks off from the frenzy that seems to have engulfed the general praxis world over the last few months. So here's a chance to provide a randomised list of holiday reading and listening in the general praxis household:
The Economist's special Christmas double issue, which, in amongst the usual neoliberal tosh, has got some nice articles about conversation, rural America and Russian airports, amongst other things...as well as some scarier stuff about the resource conflicts of the future...conserve, conserve, conserve!
The Yellow Album by the Simpsons: great, witty arrangments which beautifully encapsulate late 20th C popular americana
Surveillance by Jonathan Raban: a novel rooted in 2006 although set, perhaps, in the slightly further future - really sympathetic characterisations - people who you care deeply about by the end of the book - economical, vivid, spare writing which conjures a world driven by the paranoid delusions of the neo-cons in charge, and which documents the varied attempts of the protagonists to make sense of them - all set on the cultural, political and geological faultlines of America's north-west coast
Ys by Joanna Newsom - more ambitious than the last album, but I'm not quite sure that it's so successful - not sure if the structures really hold together
The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler - a tough read but hopefully it'll be worth it in the end - seems to be a useful work which explores the dynamics of the new social production through networks...
93 til Infinity by Souls of Mischief: reminds me of why hip-hop can do so much for young people, and conjures up something of the atmosphere in E Block back at NewVIc in the mid to late 90s (nostalgia for inner-city music teaching!), even though it hails from the other side of the planet...see the next post about the creative college review and LA!
(hmmm...a strong USA theme so far in this list...)
We Think - perhaps I'll get round to sending some comments to Charlie Leadbeater about his latest work in progress, but perhaps not - I'm not sure if that would mean I would be working for him for nothing...
Games People Play by Eric Berne
Endless Wire by the Who: the recording of the band live on the special edition is preferable to the new material, in my opinion. They can still rock out!
Christmas with the Tallis Scholars - Victoria, Desprez, medieval carols and plainsong in a wonderful double CD.
The Dalston Shroud by Sand - my brother Hilary and his band's latest album.