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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) - Bishop George Berkeley


In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.
http://www.blurb.com/user/ruudleeuw

CURRENT BLOG

 

 
THE PEARL by JOHN STEINBECK | LITERATURE

The Pearl by John Steinbeck
In this short book, The Pearl, the author John Steinbeck retells an old Mexican folk tale: the story of the great pearl, how it was found, its promise of wealth to its finder Kino, for a better life for him, his wife and an education for their baby boy.
It is a beautifully written book, crafted really.
The Pearl is one of six books in the deluxe Steinbeck Centennial Bookcase, which I treasure, for many decades ago while still at school it was Steinbeck who introduced me to literature when the Grapes of Wrath made such a huge impression on me.

[06OCT2014]

 
STRANGE SHORES by ARNALDUR INDRIDASON | CRIME FICTON

Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason

Arnaldur Indriðason is an Icelandic writer of crime fiction; most of his books feature the protagonist Detective Erlendur. 'Strange Shores' is no different, but the back cover states an ominous remark: "Detective Erlendur returns - for the last time".
Indriðason is in the top three of my best liked crime writers, this book confirms it firmly.

His first book, 'Sons of Dust' (Synir duftsins) came out in 1997, the first in the series with Detective Erlendur. The first two novels in the series have not been translated into English.
'Strange Shores' was published in 2010, but this English translation was only recently published by Vintage in paperback, in 2014.
Two more books have been published, in spite of the omnious remark, both are listed in the Detective Erlendur series: Einvígið (2011) and Eykjavíkurnætur, (Reykjavik Nights, 2012). So plenty to look forward to.

The two previous books published, revolved around Erflendur's collegues, Sigurdur Óli and Elinborg. These books referred to Erlendur as absent, gone to east of Iceland for undetermined period of time and for no given reason.

In this book (again translated by Victoria Cribb) Erlendur has returned to the now derelict farm that had once been his home, around the East Fjords. His younger brother's death in the mountains of Eskifjördur, when they were caught in a snow storm, looms large on his mind.
But he becomes fascinated by a story of a woman who also vanished without a trace, also in a snow storm, during WW2. At that time a group of English military were walking in the opposite direction, also struggling in that snow storm but in the end all were accounted for (though some perished) and they never saw her. The woman, Matthildur, was never found.
In his attempt to find her, it is revealed that her husband Jacob, long dead too, must have played a different role than what has been conveniently assumed. The people Erlendur talks to reveal little, often question his motives for snooping around in their lives and show him the door.
Minor details keep Erlendur doggedly on the trail; though he often has doubts too.

While Erlendur discovers a murder had been committed and found out who did it (he actually discovers two murders), he does not make it into official police business. What would be the point, he asks himself, which is a strange question for a policeman. For him the answer lies in another question: What is justice, is it the punishment the judge gives to you, or is it something that you give yourself?
Truly a magnificent book.

Meanwhile, the memories of that fatal moment where Erlendur lost his little brother, loom dark in his mind and his nightmares.

Arnaldur Indridason interview, by Jake Kerridge, on www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10283048/Arnaldur-Indridason-interview.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnaldur_Indridason

[24SEP2014]

 
FRANK HORVAT | PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS

Frank Horvat

Frank Horvat's photography of the 1960s is the subject of this excellent book, which I picked up recently.
He took photojournalism to fashion photography, for which he is perhaps most famous.
Frank Horvat was born on 28Apr1928 in Abbazia (Italy), now Opatija (Croatia), presently living and working in France.

Best known for his fashion photography, published between the mid 50’s and the end of the 80’, his photographic opus includes photojournalism, portraiture, landscape, nature and sculpture.
Born in a Jewish family from Central Europe (his father Karl was a general physician from Hungary, his mother Adele a psychiatrist from Vienna), Horvat has lived in several countries (Switzerland, Italy, Pakistan, India, England, USA). In 1955, he settled in France, while continuing to commute in Europe, to often work in New York.

At the beginning of the 90’s, he was one of the first to experiment with Photoshop. In 1998, he replaced his professional equipment with a compact camera, which he always carries in his pocket, in order to shoot anything, at any moment that seems to him of some interest. In 2011, he put online his first iPad application (Horvatland).

wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Horvat

[24SEP2014]

 
A MOST WANTED MAN by JOHN le CARRÉ | BOOKS, CRIME FICTION

A MOST WANTED MAN, BOOKS CRIME FICTION
A Most Wanted Man is first first novel I've read, written by John Le Carré; I was never much drawn by spy novels. But he has a huge reputation and reviews were more than positive and so I picked up a copy.
Maybe the recent filming of 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' is what convinced me; not much of a reason to read a book, I know, but there I am.

Mr Le Carré's novels depict a bleak world where ideology, morality, patriotism, etc., are shakely defined and this book is no different. I found it hard to warm to.
Not surprisingly the main theme is the threat by muslim terrorists: in real life we suffer from overexposure of this subject, so in fiction I find it not my most desirable subject.

The story opens as a Turkish immigrant couple in Hamburg reluctantly take in a young Russian vagrant, a devout Muslim called Issa, who says he is from Chechnya.
Annabel Richter is a young and idealistic immigration lawyer who takes Issa on as a client, hoping to prevent his deportation. Tommy Brue is a banker who finds his father held a confidential account of several millions, which Issa may claim.
The characters of Annabel and Tommy I liked to follow, but with Gunther Bachmann as an intelligence agent involved in power battles with other intelligence agencies, my interest faded.

I also dislike books with the film poster on it, as if the actors (e.g. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Willem Dafoe) feature in the book. It impedes my imagination.

Hari Kunzru wrote an excellent review for the Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/sep/27/fiction

[.....2014]
 

 
BLEEDING HEARTS by IAN RANKIN | BOOKS (CRIME FICTION)

Ian Rankin - Bleeding Hearts

'Bleeding Hearts' was originally published in Britain in 1994, under the pseudonym Jack Harvey.
Rankin has said that his Harvey novels provided “ways of playing with ideas and structural problems outside the scope of my detective series”.
I must admit that from a series of books written by Ian Rankin which I still had to read, I had left the Jack Harvey novels for last. But I needn't have worried !

Michael Weston is a hired hemophiliac (!) assassin and the story starts on a night when a job seems to go terribly wrong. Weston hits his target, but the police arrive on the scene immediately: someone must have blown the whistle on him. He narrowly escapes, but decides to retrace his steps, in spite of the risk, to find out who his employers are, why they wanted the victim killed and whether he was indeed set up.

Michael Weston stands in stark contrast to an American named Leo Hoffer, a fast-talking, coke-snorting, tough private detective who has been snapping at his heels for years. Part of Hoffer's media fame is due to his quest for the assassin, being paid handsomely by the father of one of Weston's victims.
Weston travels with the daughter of a gun supplier of his and they become romantically involved, though Weston's career prevents planning a future together.

From London the trails passes through Yorkshire, suspecting a cult behind the set up, but find the cult's headquarters reside in the USA, so Texas is next and from there to Seattle.

While I prefer Rankin's Rebus novels, this book had plenty of action and interesting characters to make for some pleasant reading.

Review by natalie Moore, www.nytimes.com/2006/11/19/books/review
[09SEP2014]
 

 
LONDEN by FLORIS VAN STRAATEN | BOOKS (DUTCH)

LONDEN, by Floris van Straaten


When I recently visited London and tramped the streets, rode the tube and double decker busses, I ripped this book from the pile of unread books I always have at home. I had bought it 2 years ago and reading the content of this book it gave the entire trip and my observations in the streets of London an extra dimension!

Floris van Straaten was correspondent for the Dutch newspaper NRC in London for 5 years, 2005 - 2010. During the 1980s, at the start of his career in journalism, he had worked for Reuters in London for 18 months. He's also married to a woman of Indian origin.
I had expected a book about life abroad as a foreign correspondent, but the book used content of his work 2005 - 2010 researching the issues of (ethnic) minorities in London and adressing the question if and why such issues were experienced differently in his home country, the Netherlands.
The book is subtitled, translated, 'A multi-cultural mecca on the Thames'.

While walking the London streets and travelling to townships such as Tower Hamlets, Brixton and Peckham one cannot but notice the diversity of people around. The sounds, smells and shops are indeed
of a great international diversity that is difficult to grasp and describe. This book made me extra aware and provided me interesting background facts and details.

In the Netherlands there is huge focus on Islam and the muslim minority; in fact, from the media one gets the feeling it isn't such a minority any more. The context is automatically linked to cultural pressure on Christians, threatening a way of Western lifestyle and even the threat of terrorism around the corner.

Why isn't this so prevalent in London? Surely there has been riots where muslims were involved too?
The main reason I gather from this book, is that there are many minorities in London but none are so widespread and dominat that they have an overwhelming influence on matters or media.
The riots saw plundering by white lower class too. It was much more a violent protest and expression of frustration by the lower classes of society, people without jobs & prospects, rather than of an ethnic or religious nature.

There is also the indifference of people here towards another, focussed on their own lifes, businesses and affairs, rather than trying to steer groups of people a certain way. In the Netherlands the politics & policies have the character of rules & regulations for everything and everybody.

Floris van Straaten also interviewed many people, from Ken Livingstone to immigrants with a legal job and stay, but also someone on an illegal stay.
He quotes two people who have stayed as immigrants in the Netherlands for seven or eight years and who became thoroughly frustrated by the many rules and restrictions, obstacles, put in the way when trying to start up a business. Both were relieved in the more relaxed nature of regulations and opportunities on offer in the UK and in London in particular.

A very enlightening book on the multi-cultural community in London, and thus of the town itself.

[06SEP2014]
 

 
THE FALL, TV CRIME DRAMA | DVD BOXSET

The Fall tv series

The Fall is an Irish-British crime drama television series. The series stars Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson, a senior police officer investigating a string of murders in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

When the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are unable to close the case after 28 days, Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, of the Metropolitan Police, is called in to review the case. Under her new leadership, the local detectives must track down and stop the serial killer, Paul Spector (a role by Jamie Dornan), who is attacking young, professional women in the city of Belfast.

I particularly enjoyed the roles played by Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan.
The plot develops while we follow both Stella Gibson in her inquiries as well as the serial killer in his double life. We learn about Stella's character, but very little about her background except that she deploys a male attitude where sex is concerned and she has slept with the Commisioner who brought her into this inquiry. Cold as ice.
We also follow the serial killer, who is in fact a married man with two kids. We learn more about him than about Stella Gibson. We witness what his work (grief counselor) entails and how he struggles with rules and regulations; we learn about his wife and kids, see that he shows affection towards his kids but is also withdrawn from family life when he feels the urge to select a victim, struggles with his demons. It is fascinating how the father changes each time to a prowler and murderer, executing his meticulously planning. Until that moment when something goes wrong and he is unable to carry out his murderous plot.
There is also a side plot with political entanglements and cops making something on the side. And an internal inquiry.

Enough to keep you spellbound for 5 episodes of 60 minutes.
The ending will leave you confused though!

[19AUG2014]
 

 
DISGRACE by JUSSI ALDER OLSEN | BOOKS, CRIME FICTION

Disgrace by Jussi Adler Olsen

Carl Valdemar Jussi Henry Adler-Olsen (born 02Aug1950) is a Danish author, publisher, editor and entrepreneur.
Jussi Adler-Olsen's career is characterised by his great involvement in a wide range of media related avtivities. In 1984 he made his debut as a non-fiction writer. 1997 saw his debut as a fiction writer.
It has been a while since I read the first book on Department Q (Dossier 64 in Dutch) and I liked it very much. Last year, while in England, I bought the second and third book.
Many of the Scandinavian writers see their books translated in Dutch before an English translation is made available. The Scandi Noir crime novels are very popular in the Netherlands, but I prefer reading in English. This translation is by K.E. Semmel.
With an everlasting backlog on books to read I only came to read 'Disgrace' in recent days. And was spellbound from page 1.

Disgrace is the second book on Department Q, which is basically a cold case department consisting of one man, Detective Carl Mørck who is still under treatmant of a trauma after a shooting incident in which a collegue was killed and another put in hospital, paralyzed from the neck down.
Carl Mørck is assisted by a civilian, Assad, of Middle East (Syria?) background with a hint of undisclosed secrets. In this book a third person is added to this basement department, Rose, who is also declared 'undesired' in other police departments. Carls is frustrated too by her, reacts antagonistic, but she stays.
With a heap of dossiers on Carl's desk, one is on top and because he is told not to meddle with it, Carl sinks his teeth in. Because that is how Carl thinks and acts, against the flow.

The case starts with a gruesome murder on a brother and sister; someone has confessed to the crime and is in jail. But there is more to it, much more. other murders show the same modus operandi and some rich kids have been in the picture who have grown to successful business men. Hence the pressure from people in power to cease investigating.
The group of young people also consisted of a girl Kimmie, who did not do as well in life as her former friends: she became pregnant, her parents refused to take care of her, she miscarried and started a life on the street. Her story is as much the story of this book as to how the investigation develops, how Carl deals with his trauma and his friend Hardy in hospital and character development of the violent threesome (who turn from hunters into prey).

Disgrace certainly falls in the category of 'page turners' and a book one will find hard to put down. I've read some less positive reviews, compared to Mercy, but I liked it very much.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jussi_Adler-Olsen


[10AUG2014]
 

 
CAMILLA LÄCKBERG'S FJÄLLBACKA MURDERS | DVD CRIME DRAMA

Lackberg's Fjallbacka Murders

Läckberg - sometimes called the Swedish Agatha Christie - became a writer after her husband and parents enrolled her in a creative writing course as a Christmas present.
Her murder mysteries are located in Fjällbacka in Sweden, the tiny seaside village where Läckberg was born.
Four books have been filmed earlier: Ice Princess (2007), The Preacher (2007), The Stonecutter (2009) and The Jinx (2009). These were released on dvd by JustBridge (see my blog for June 2014), while these new series have been released by Lumiere with six all new episodes.

Filming of these new TV series Fjällbackamorden began in August 2011, based on the characters from Läckberg's novels, but the stories were new and played by different actors: Claudia Galli and Richard Ulfsäter playing Erica Falck and Patrik Hedström.
Apparently Läckberg wasn't satisfied with the way the first series was filmed and negotiated firmer control in the second series. The difference is notable: while the first series had more humor in it, the role of Erica Falck was also rather nondescript, while in the second series Erica's role is firmer and her job as a writer more prominent and of importance.
Fjallbacka Murders
Claudia Galli even looks like Camilla Läckberg a little bit. And indeed the filming of the landscape, sometimes sinister, sometimes astonishingly impressive, is of higher photographic quality in my opinion.
That doesn't mean I think less of the earlier episodes, I liked the humor and the characters, particularly the 'Patrik'-role by Niklas Hjulstrom.

During the filming tragedy struck and filming stopped for some time: film director Daniel Lind Lagerlöf disappeared on 06Oct2011. Quite possibly he was caught by large waves during scouting for locations and pulled out to sea near the steep cliffs outside Tanumshede in Bohuslän; he is presumed dead. Rickard Petrelius took over the director's position.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camilla_Lackberg


[08AUG2014]
 

 
ANNIE GRIFFITHS | PHOTOGRAPHY

Annie Griffiths - Nationalo Geographic photography


One of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, Griffiths has photographed in more than a hundred countries during her illustrious career.
She has worked on dozens of magazine and book projects for the National Geographic Society, including stories on Lawrence of Arabia, Baja California, Galilee, Petra, Sydney, New Zealand, and Jerusalem.
Griffith’s work has also appeared in Life, GEO, Smithsonian, Stern, Time, and many other publications.

As a strategy she will familiarize herself among the people without her camera equipment, until she is known and trusted. While gaining their trust, she takes care not to abuse it. In spite of this she has received blows in the pursuit of images.
She has been smuggled into a mosque to photograph prayers, while the women knew it had been forbidden among the mufti. She has also cut her hair very short, wore men's clothing and hid her features under a baseball cap and refrained from speaking; this way she managed to attend a men's only gathering.
Besides photographing people she has also an excellent eye for photographing nature and landscapes.

Griffiths has received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, the Associated Press, the National Organization for Women, the University of Minnesota, and the White House News Photographers Association.

http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photographers/photographer-annie-griffiths/
http://www.anniegriffiths.com/

Annie Griffiths photography

[08AUG2014]
 

 
TACO ANEMA & OTHERS @HUIS VAN MARSEILLE | PHOTOGRAPHY

Tace Anema at Huis van Marseille, photography

Yestrday I went to Huis van Marseille, museum for photography, in Amsterdam. Goal was the exhibition by Taco Anema named 'The Body' Politic', but found myself pleasantly surprised with another exhibition by Mr Anema, 'A Hundred Dutch Households', which I found equally of interest. Plus work by others of interest.
Both the exhibitions by Taco Anema were group portraits, the first being quite solemn portraits of groups of people comprising comittees promoting a cultural, moral, social or business interest. The second are composed portraits of Dutch families at their homes. Very well done.

Other work on display was by Frank Beerens ('With the Passage of Time'), Guido Guidi ('Veramente') and Marrigje de Maar (Interiors in China). A visit much enjoyed, time well spent.

An impression of this visit can be found on my Flickr.com pages

[08AUG2014]
 

 
AMSTERDAM! EXPOSITION - ED VAN DER ELSKEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Amsterdam! - Ed van der Elsken, in Stadsarchief

Yesterday I was fortunate to attend the photo exposition AMSTERDAM! - photos by Ed van der Elsken. While I had bought the recently republished book of the same title, the exposition with photos in large size and added information (took the audio tour for a change) made it definitley worthwhile.
The 10-minute video with Ed van der Elsken talking about his photography was an obvious bonus.
For me he is an icon of streetphotography.
It was also my first visit to the 'Amsterdam Stadsarchief' and I will keep a closer eye on their photo expositions.

Ed van der Elsken was born on March 10, 1925 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
In 1937, pursuing a desire to become a sculptor, he learned stone cutting at Amsterdam's Van Tetterode Steenhouwerij. After completing preliminary studies at Instituut voor Kunstnijverheidsonderwijs, the predecessor of the Rietveld Academy (dir. Mart Stam), he enrolled (in 1944) in the professional sculpture program which he abandoned to escape Nazi forced labour. That year, after the Battle of Arnhem he was stationed in a mine-disposal unit where he was first shown Picture Post by British soldiers. Later, in 1947, he discovered American sensationalist photographer Weegee's Naked City. These encounters inspired his interest in photography.
At the suggestion of Dutch photographer Emmy Andriesse (1914–1953) he moved in 1950 to Paris. He was employed in the darkrooms of the Magnum photography agency, printing for Henri Cartier-Bresson (who was impressed with his street photography), Robert Capa and Ernst Haas.

He moved back to Amsterdam in 1955, he recorded members of the Dutch avant garde COBRA, including Karel Appel. But he also traveled extensively, to Bagara in 1957 (now in Central African Republic) and to Tokyo and Hong Kong in 1959 to 1960.
From 1971 he lived with his third wife near Edam, where their son was born. During this period he continued to travel and worked prodigiously between film and photography, producing a further 14 books and broadcasting more than 20 films.
He died on 28 December 1990 in Edam (the Netherlands).
Wikipedia, more..

A photo impression of this exposition can be found on my Flickr.com pages


Ed van der Elsken - AMSTERDAM!
AMSTERDAM! Photos 1947 - 1970


[08AUG2014]
 

 
DEVENTER BOOKMARKET | BOOKS

Deventer bookmarket 2014
The 'Deventer Bookmarket' is a yearly event and this year it took place on Sunday August 3rd.
I came away with a satisfying array of books, as usual. There is such a variety on display that you are bound to find something of interest. Bring cash because the cash machines have long lines of people waiting to retrieve money.
This bookmarket is a national phenomenon in the Netherlands, with almost 900 bookstalls lining the boulevard this year, along the river IJssel, in side streets and on squares; books galore over a distance of some six kilometers!
Reportedly the largest secondhand books event in Europe.
This book market always takes place on the first Sunday of August, so mark your calenders!

[07AUG2014]
 

 
ANDRÉ GILDEN - ARCTIC | PHOTOGRAPHY

André & Anita Gilden Photography

Today I went to the library in Heemstede to view the 'Arctic'-photo exhibition by André & Anita Gilden. This excellent photography really shows you the stunning beauty of Mother Nature.
I was pleasantly surprised to see they visited Churchill,Manitoba (Canada): a place I long to visit too.
My favourites of the photos on display here were the sleeping polar bear on the ice and the stranded boat, which has the shape of its bow returning in the heap of windblown snow and ice in front of it.
A real treat here.
www.andregilden.nl

And the visit allowed me to add some photos dedicated to this library to my growing gallery of libraries on my Flickr.com account.
[30JUL2014]
 

 
BATTLEBORN by CLAIRE VAYE WATKINS | BOOKS, AMERICAN LITERATURE

Battleborn, by Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins's debut collection of stories in the book titled 'Battleborn' made an impression. The stories are located in the American West. The title, Battleborn, comes from the motto on Nevada's state flag referencing its entry into the Union during the Civil War.
The characters in the book lead an emotionally struggling existence, their lifes bare from luxuries and seemingly devoid from sunny expectations. The US West (Nevada) with deserts, rock hunters, heat, etc underline the often troubled existence.
The opening story, 'Ghosts, Cowboys', establishes the major themes of the book: violence, history's haunting influences on the present. The narrative stretches back to the Comstock Lode in 1859, but it also intersects with the author's own personal history as the daughter of Paul Watkins, a member of Charles Manson's 'Family'.
Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop,CA in 1984; she was raised in the Mojave Desert, first in Tecopa,CA and then across the state line in Pahrump,NV.
I have read reviews where she is put in the category of acclaimed writers such as Annie Proulx and Cormac McCarthy, which may be a bit premature with only books but she definitely started out the best possible way:  Battleborn won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

http://muse.jhu.edu- review
http://clairevayewatkins.com/bio/

[25JUL2014]
 

 
RICH HALL'S CALIFORNIA STARS | BBC FOUR DOCUMENTARY

Rich Hall's California Stars

Watched Rich Hall's California Stars, a BBC Four documentary, last weekend. Brilliant!
Rich Hall is an American standup comedian whose performances I've enjoyed on BBC"s Live at the Apollo, HIGNFY and QI. I think he is one of the very best.

This documentary acquires another dimension with his commentary, brilliantly done.
www.offthekerb.co.uk/news/rich-hall-returns-to-bbc-four-with-a-the-documentary-rich-halls-california-stars/
[22JUL2014]
 

 
JOHN BISHOP'S AUSTRALIA BIKE RIDE | BBC TRAVEL DOCUMENTARY

John Bishop's Australia bike ride
Am very much enjoying this travel documentary: last night was the 3rd episode tonight of John Bishop's Australia bike ride, on the BBC telly.
John Bishop is a great stand up comedy character and his charisma comes out well in this travel series where he is retracing his 1992 epic bike ride for charity.
I am even getting better at understanding his Scouse accent!
www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/john-bishop-australia-bike-ride-7092552

[22JUL2014]
 

 
WHAT MONEY CAN'T BUY by MICHAEL J SANDEL | BOOKS, PHILOSOPHY

What Money Can't Buy, the Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J Sandel

Recently finished this book by Michael J Sandel: 'What Money Can't Buy; the Moral Limits of Markets'.
These days everything and all seems to be 'in the market', so it seems everything has a price, no? But is it morally the right thing, where to draw the line ? And what has 'market-thinking' done with our morals over past decades?

Sandel is a deceptively clear writer, making often subtle and complex philosophical ideas so straightforward that they almost appear obvious.
Still, even he can't say where lines in the sand ought to be drawn. We see that 'market-thinking', advertisements, changing work ethics do change our believes in what is right or wrong. Or we venture into grey areas.
This book adresses questions such as 'Jumping the Queue' (a.o. hired line standers, markets versus queues), 'Incentives' (a.o. cash for sterilization, paying kids for good grades, carbon offsets, paying to kill a rhino, ethics and economics), 'How Markets Crowd Morals' (a.o. hired friends, nuclear waste sites, blood for sale), 'Markets in Life and Death' (a.o. betting on death, insurance versus gambling, death bonds) and 'Naming Rights' (a.o. luxury skyboxes, body billboards, commercials in the classroom, ads in jail).

A very interesting book, which also provided me with scary insights in the US economy and society. I hope we don't follow some of these outrageous examples and see ways of avoiding the obvious derailing of morality.

wikipedia.org_Michael_J._Sandel
www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/25/money-cant-buy-sandel-review

[22JUL2014]
 

 
ENDEAVOUR, THE MOVIE | DVD, TV CRIME DRAMA

Endeavour, the movie

I enjoyed the Inspector Morse series, the Inspector Lewis series and equally so the Endeavour first series. And I love Oxford, having been there many times, even before the Inspector Morse series started.
I enjoyed this movie series, and expanded introduction to Morse, the Younger, so to speak.
And I understand the shooting of the 2nd series of Endeavour commenced September last year and am very much looking forward to seeing them.
en.wikipedia.org:_Endeavour_(TV_series)

[18JUL2014]
 

 
SEBASTIAN BERGMAN | CRIME DRAMA, TV SERIES

Sebastian Bergman, tv series

Sebastian Bergman (original title Den Fördömde, EN='The Cursed One') is a Swedish police procedural tv series, based on two novels by duo Hjorth Rosenfeldt (Michael Hjorth and Hans Rosenfeldt).

The main character is played Rolf Lassgård, as Sebastian Bergman, a criminal profiler with personal problems. It is not easy to like or identify with him as he is opiniated and a womanizer.
His personal problems concern the loss of his wife and their child during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami; he held on to his little daughter but the water wrested her from his grip, a haunting memory.
The first series was originally broadcast on Swedish television in 2010.

A chance encounter with a former police colleague, Torkel Höglund (a role by Tomas Laustiola), results in him being taken on as a consultant to assist in a murder case.
Bergman at first gets on badly with the young female detective Vanya (Moa Silén) with whom he has to work, and is subsequently shocked to discover that she is his illegitimate daughter from a relationship he has almost forgotten. Seeing this as an opportunity to make up for the death of his daughter (for which he blames himself), he slowly begins to rebuild his career. But while he does not disclose to her that he is her biological father, he plots around her in a Machiavellian way.

When I watched two episodes recently, which translated as 'Third Case' and 'Fourth Case', I thought I had missed the first two episodes of the second series. But I found that both the first as well as the second series only had two epsiodes each.
Another compelling 'Scandi Noir' series!

Cast:
Rolf Lassgård - Sebastian Bergman
Thomas Laustiola - Torkel Hoglund
Gunnel Fred - Ursula Andersson
Moa Silen - Vanja Lithner
Christopher Wagelin - Billy Rosen
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Created: 01-Apr-2014