In 1973, the anthropologist Clifford Geertz wrote something wise:
“We are, in sum, incomplete or unfinished animals who complete ourselves through culture – and not through culture in general but through particular forms of it.”
The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays, 1973
I love this idea: it’s what makes life so exciting and so terrible. We are born, not as blank slates, but certainly unfinished. Our parents and carers start our finishing, but as adults we, in collusion with our society, continue the process. Continue reading “Unfinished Animals: A Novel”
Last Sunday, I was the beneficiary of some friend-wisdom – that variety of wisdom that you can only hear from friends because otherwise it just doesn’t sink in.
What 5 things do you love doing? 5 things that invariably fill you with joy every time you do them. Feed yourself with them. Continue reading “Your 5 Things”
This year, I have tried my best to ignore the edutainment of what is colloquially known as “The News”.
According to my internet browser history, I have visited only 52 unique pages on the BBC News website this year – previously my number one news source. There was an understandable peak around the General Election (6 pages) and I was also interested in the referendum in Catalonia (3 pages) and the German election (2 pages).
9 of the 52 pages were news stories about sport. My news injunction did not extend to sport: I visited a gluttonous 516 unique pages on the BBC Sport website this year, which gives you some indication of my previous BBC News addiction. Continue reading “2017: No News is Good News”
After the Christmas, the crisis. Or Crisis. I’ve been helping out at the Harris Academy Bermondsey, where volunteers have transformed a school into a week-long refuge for homeless people.
Crisis at Christmas is a brilliant idea that started 50 years as a publicity stunt. It’s been going every year since and thousands of homeless guests come through the doors for the good food, companionship and advice offered by more than 11,000 volunteers across 13 sites in London and beyond. Continue reading “After the Christmas, the Crisis”
This post is so sophisticated it should have its own Times Literary Supplement font. That’d distract you from the embarrassing fact that most of these are non-fiction. But hey – these seven books inspired me this year, each in their own way. Continue reading “Dave’s Books of the Year 2017”