All entries for Wednesday 03 May 2006

May 03, 2006

The Apprentice and Blair's Britain

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Provocative, persuasive piece of analysis of The Apprentice as a cipher for Blair's Britain from Jonathan Freedland, one of The Guardian's most persistently reliable and interesting columnists. In the space of a column the analysis has a lot to say not only about television but about our socal and political cultures, about ethnic diversity, meritocracy and the potential irrelevance of a university business education. Freedland's big conclusion, however, is that The Apprentice teaches us that

deference is far from dead, it's just that now there is a new class to be deferred to – the aristocracy of wealth. And in this new nobility, Alan Sugar's blood is purest blue.

Good humour and competence in the saddle

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From the Bike Touring List, Eric S. Sande provides an eloquent articulation of what I've been thinking and feeling about cycling myself recently. I've almost surprised myself about how I've become less aggressive about the poor behaviour and performance of drivers and others on the roads. Prompting cyclists to "learn to abandon value judgements based on incomplete evidence", he writes:

The successful bicycle commuter, and by extension the bicycle tourist, can and should develop qualities of forgiveness and acceptance, but these cannot be allowed to outweigh strength, technical skill, and preparedness. Only the total package of good humor and competence can serve to make these experiences enlightening, in my opinion.

It all gets a bit Zen and the Art towards the end but a provocative little read nonetheless.

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