The Main Gallery (four rooms) is currently hosting a fascinating exhibition of posters and everyday products from North Korea, highlighting the distinctive graphic design and colour palette of that most isolated of countries.
Off a side corridor is a small L-shaped room which is the Quentin Blake Gallery, hosting small shows of selected works by Blake, who was a leading force behind the foundation of the House of Illustration.
And the South Gallery (one room as big as a church hall) is currently displaying a selection of the graphic journalism of Lucinda Rogers.
Fruit mountain at the entrance to Ridley Road by Lucinda Rogers
The HoI commissions works and projects, in fact it is the only UK gallery commissioning illustration for public display. For this…
Nativist and white supremacist Tommy Robinson is scheduled to speak at Speakers’ Corner in London today; his topic being free speech and the history of that famous “Corner”. The police removed him from that place about a week ago, and it’s not clear whether they’ll remove him again for talking about the very history of the area.
In the meantime, another Brit has been deplatformed for trying to talk about free speech. As the Torygraphand The Sunday Times report, lecturer Adam Perkins, a neuroscientist at King’s College London (KCL), has been de-platformed by his own university. The ostensible reason is not that his topic is anathema, or even “hate speech,” but because the College couldn’t guarantee anyone’s safety. As the Torygraph notes:
King’s College London (KCL) has been accused of “no platforming” its own lecturer, after his talk on free speech was deemed “high risk”.
In today’s New York Times, writer Andrew Sullivan reviews two books by Cass Sunstein (one authored, one edited) about whether Trump is impeachable given what we know. The verdict is “probably not.” Here are the two books, and click on the screenshot below them to read Sullivan’s take. As a highly respected Constitutional lawyer and scholar (he used to be at Chicago, but moved to Harvard), Sunstein knows whereof he speaks. But this is Washington, Jake.
IMPEACHMENT A Citizen’s Guide
By Cass R. Sunstein
199 pp. Harvard University. Paper, $7.95.
CAN IT HAPPEN HERE? Authoritarianism in America
Edited by Cass R. Sunstein
481 pp. Dey St./Morrow. Paper, $17.99.
The first book (an excerpt of Sullivan’s review):
Where does this leave us with respect to Donald Trump? Sunstein smartly doesn’t answer the question directly — instead teasing out various hypotheticals with some similarities to our current concerns. Here are a few:…
Well, I’ll be! I’ve never heard a believer, especially one concerned with social justice, be this dumb and this petulant. I’m referring to Kristel Clayville, who wrote a new piece at Religion Dispatches, “Why I’m not an organ donor“. First, let’s establish that Clayville is indeed a Christian; her bio says this:
Kristel Clayville is a visiting assistant professor of religion at Eureka College and a fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. She is also ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Australian English decidedly finds its origins in British English. But when it comes to chasing down Irish influence, there are – to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld – some knowun knowuns, some unknowun knowuns, and a bucket load of furphies.
Larrikins, sheilas and Aboriginal Irish speakers
The first Irish settlers, around half of whom were reputedly Irish language speakers, were viewed with suspicion and derision. This is reflected in the early Australian English words used to describe those who came from Patland (a blend of Paddy and Land).
The Irish were guided by paddy’s lantern (the moon); their homes adorned with Irish curtains (cobwebs); and their hotheadedness saw them have a paddy or paddy out. These Irish were said to follow Rafferty’s Rules – an eponym from the surname Rafferty – which meant “no rules at all”.
More than a few Irish were larrikins. In his book Austral English, E.E. Morris reports that
in 1869, an Irish sergeant Dalton charged a young prisoner with “a-larrr-akin about the streets” (an Irish pronunciation of larking, or “getting up to mischief”). When asked to repeat by the magistrate, Dalton said: “a larrikin, your Worchup”.
This Irish origin of larrikin had legs for many years, and perhaps still does. Unfortunately, here we have our first furphy, with more compelling evidence linking larrikin to a British dialect word meaning “mischievous or frolicsome youth”.
But if larrikin language is anything to go by, these youths went way beyond mischievous frolicking – jump someone’s liver out, put the boot in, stonker, rip into, go the knuckle on and weigh into are just some items from the larrikin’s lexicon of fighting words.
With the Dalton furphy, though, we see evidence of something called “epenthesis”, the insertion of extra sounds. Just as Dalton adds a vowel after his trilled “r” in a-larrr-akin, many Aussies add a vowel to words like “known” and “film” (knowun and filum) – and here we see a potential influence of the Irish accent on Australian English.
In contrast to larrikin, the word sheila is incontrovertibly Irish. Popular belief derives it from the proper name, Sheila, used as the female counterpart to Paddy, a general reference to Irish males.
Author Dymphna Lonergan, in her book Sounds Irish, prefers to derive it from Irish Gaelic síle, meaning “homosexual”, noting Sheila wasn’t a particularly popular Irish name as it began to appear down under.
Significantly though, St Patrick had a wife (or mother) named Sheila, and the day after St Paddy’s Day was once celebrated as Sheelah’s Day. So, Sheila was something of a celebrity.
Barrack is another likely Irish-inspired expression. A range of competing origins have been posited for this one, including the Aboriginal Wathawarung word borak, meaning “no, not”, and links to the Victorian military barracks in Melbourne.
But the most likely origin is the Northern Irish English barrack, “to brag, be boastful of one’s fighting powers”. The word has since sprouted opposite uses – Australian barrackers shout noisy support for somebody, while British barrackers shout in criticism or protest.
Perhaps surprisingly to many, the Irish were the first Europeans some Australian Aboriginal tribes encountered.
This contact is evident in the presence of Irish words in some Aboriginal languages. For instance, in the Ngiyampaa language of New South Wales, the word for shoe is pampuu, likely linked to a kind of shoe associated with the Aran Islands in Ireland, pampúta.
Didgeridoos, chooks and shouts: An Irish language perspective
Lonergan argues that more attention should be directed to this sort of Irish Gaelic influence.
Lonergan points, for example, to archival evidence linking the origin of didgeridoo to an outsider’s perception of how the instrument sounds, questioning the degree to which the sound corresponds to the word.
As a counter-argument, she notes an Irish word dúdaire meaning “trumpeter or horn-blower”, as well as Irish and Scots-Gaelic dubh, “black” and dúth, “native”. She observes that Irish and Scots-Gaelic speakers first encountering the instrument might well have called it dúdaire dubh or dúdaire dúth (pronounced respectively “doodereh doo” or “doojerreh doo”).
Similar arguments are made for a number of other words traditionally viewed as having British English origins.
The Australian National Dictionary sees chook (also spelled chuck) as linked to a Northern English/Scottish variation of “chick”. However, Lonergan notes this is phonetically the same word (spelled tioc) the Irish would have used when calling chickens to feed (tioc, tioc, tioc).
Another potential influence also comes from the transference of Irish meaning to English words. For example, the Australian National Dictionary is unclear as to the exact origin of shout, “to buy a round of drinks”, but Lonergan links it to Irish working in the goldfields and an Irish phrase glaoch ar dheoch, “to call or shout for a drink”.
Lonergan posits that Irish miners translating to English might have selected “shout” rather than “call” – “shouting” could easily have spread to English speakers as a useful way to get a drink in a noisy Goldfields bar.
Good dollops of Irish in the melting pot
Irish influence on Australian English is much like the influence of the Irish on Australians themselves – less than you’d expect on the surface, but everywhere once you start looking.
And those with a soft spot for Irish English might feel better knowing that some of their bête noires are in fact Irish (haitch, youse, but, filum and knowun).
As Irish settlers entered the Australian melting pot, so too did a hearty dose of their language.
Although the Heath Robinson Museum is a relatively small gallery, this is a major exhibition. It is the first time a wide range of work by the major Neo-Romantic book illustrators of the 1940s has been gathered together in one place. With nearly 50 prints, oils and lithographs, and over 20 original books from the period, this is a unique opportunity to sample a special and distinctive moment in English publishing and art history.
Neo-Romanticism in England
To paraphrase Wikipedia:
In British art history, the term ‘neo-romanticism’ is applied to a loosely affiliated school of landscape painting that emerged around 1930 and continued until the early 1950s. It was first labeled in March 1942 by the critic Raymond Mortimer in the New Statesman. These painters looked back to 19th-century artists such as William Blake and Samuel Palmer, but were also influenced by French cubist and post-cubist artists. The movement was…
As we know, there are certain ideas that, in many political circles—and Blackford is talking about both Left and Right here—are not to be expressed because, although they might be true, they contravene the political narrative of the group.
For the Left, evolutionary psychology is one of these. The field, though it sometimes uses unacceptably low standards of evidence, also has an undeniably intriguing and worthwhile purpose: to figure out what part of our behaviors and thoughts reflect natural selection in our ancestors. After all, if our bodies show traces of our evolutionary ancestry—and they do in spades—then why not our minds?
One worrying takeaway from the first week of the Financial Services Royal Commission is how many elderly people are being adversely affected by irresponsible lending.
Such lending is often the result of an agreement with a family member, for example an adult child, to help that person financially by entering into a joint loan. These loans are secured against the older person’s home, which is a huge risk if the loan defaults and the older person cannot service the debt.
To ensure that older people contemplating joint loans are aware of the downside of transactions, there needs to be greater access to legal and financial advice prior to the transaction and better training for bank employees and loan officers about responsible lending obligations and the potential “unsuitabilty” of such loans.
Consideration should also be given to larger penalties for banks that provide unsuitable loans to older people.
On the face of it, there are laws that should safeguard elderly consumers from “getting in over their head”.
When a consumer applies for credit, the National Consumer Credit Protection Act obliges a credit provider to make reasonable inquiries about the consumer’s financial situation and their requirements and objectives.
However, the Consumer Action Law Centre says that “it is common that these steps are not adequately followed by lenders”.
Even if these steps are followed, the legislation does not define “substantial hardship”. There is a presumption that if a consumer must sell their principal residence to pay back a loan, this demonstrates substantial hardship.
Of particular concern is when an older person is persuaded to enter into a joint loan with a third party, such as their son or daughter. These loans are invariably secured by the older person’s property, with the younger person agreeing to pay off the debt.
If the adult child does not pay off the debt, the older person – who is often asset-rich but income-poor – may be unable to service the loan. The older person’s property will be repossessed by the lender, forcing them to relocate, enter the rental market, or even become homeless.
The loans may arise simply because the older person wants to help their adult child through a difficult financial period. It is understandable that a parent would want to help if a business is failing or a child is at risk of losing their house.
But such loans often arise within an atmosphere of crisis (real or exaggerated), in which the adult child pressures the older person into entering into the loan.
In extreme cases, older people have been told that they will be unable to see their grandchildren if they do not enter into loans.
It is not always that the older person is vulnerable per se, but that they are “situationally vulnerable” because of concern for the well-being of a child, or the desire to maintain relationships.
The reality is that it is often difficult for the older person to refuse.
Karen Cox of the Financial Rights Legal Centre noted at the Royal Commission that these loans are:
outright exploitative … elderly persons [are] left in dire circumstances as a result of a loan for which they’ve seen absolutely no benefit.
Similar comments apply to other financial transactions made for the benefit of a third party such as entering into a “reverse mortgage”. This is where the older person takes out a loan against the equity built up in a home (or other asset), with the money given to a child to buy a house or prop up their business.
What could be done?
Advocates are rightly concerned about the financial consequences for older people who enter into such loans. However, the property does belong to the older person and they are entitled to make whatever decisions they want, including risky ones.
Elderly people should be fully informed of their obligations and the potential consequences, should a transaction goes wrong. Banks could lead the way with this.
One initiative would be for the banks to contribute to legal and financial advice for older people, or subsidise the provision of such advice at community legal centres.
Loan assessors and brokers must also be made aware of the risks of such transactions.
The Australian Bankers Association is introducing enhanced measures to address elder financial abuse and the risks associated with such loans should be emphasised.
Finally, the government should consider tougher penalties against credit providers who disregard responsible lending obligations. Presently, if a bank is found to have lent irresponsibly they will simply compensate the consumer for the loss. Meaningful penalties that deter reckless lending should be considered.
Camille Anna Paglia (born April 2, 1947) is an American academic and social critic. Paglia has been a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since 1984. Paglia is critical of many aspects of modern culture, and is the author of Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990). She is a critic of American feminism and of post-structuralism as well as a commentator on multiple aspects of American culture such as its visual art, music, and film history. In 2005, Paglia was ranked No. 20 on a Prospect/Foreign Policy poll of the world’s top 100 public intellectuals.