I like walking round London at night, I do it all the time. Not for no reason, just cos... it's home, innit? It's brilliant, you can't ever get bored of London cos even if you live here for like a hundred and fifty years you still won't ever know everything about it. There's always something new. Like, you're walking round somewhere you've known since you was born and you look up and there's an old clock on the side of a building you never seen before, or there's a little gargoyley face over a window or something. Don't you think it's cool?
McChrystal never should have been hired for this job given the outrageous cover-up he participated in after the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman. He was lucky to keep the job after his 'Seven Days in May' stunt in London last year when he openly lobbied and undercut the president on the surge.But with the latest sassing, and the continued Sisyphean nature of the surge he urged, McChrystal should offer his resignation. He should try subordination for a change.
[Soho] is all things to all men, catering comprehensively for those needs which money can buy. You see it as you wish. An agreeable place to dine; a cosmopolitan village tucked away behind Piccadilly with its own mysterious village life, one of the best shopping centres for food in London, the nastiest and most sordid nursery of crime in Europe. Even the travel journalists, obsessed by its ambiguities, can't make up their minds.
This was London, in all its filth and glory. Nostalgic for the past, while yearning to cast off the chains of bygone ages and step forward into the bright utopia of the future. Proud of its achievements, yet despising its own flaws. A monster in both size and nature, that would consume the unwary and spit them out again, in forms unrecognizable and undreamt.London, the monster city.
My hero is the mayor in . He's a fantastic guy, and he keeps the beaches open, if you remember, even after it's demonstrated that his constituents have been eaten by this killer fish. Of course, he was proved catastrophically wrong in his judgment, but his instincts were right.'Boris Johnson is the mayor of London.Taken from Time Magazine interview: June 25, 2012; page 76.
In a policy shift which the historian Guy de la Bedoyere has compared with Western Imperialism, the Romans converted militant Britons to their way of life with consumer entincements, introducing them to the urbane pleasures of hot spas and fine dining, encouraging them to wear togas and speak Latin.
Of course we will send postcards to Nutsawoo. And we shall bring him back a present as well. In fact,' she went on, with the instinctive knack every good governess has for turning something enjoyable into a lesson, and vice versa, 'I will expect all three of you to practice your writing by keeping a journal of our trip so that Nutsawoo may know how we spend our days. Why, by the time we return, he will think he has been to London himself! He will be the envy of all his little squirrel friends,' she declared.Penelope had no way of knowing if this last statement was true. Could squirrels feel envy? Would they give two figs about London? Did Nutsawoo even have friends?
When I was in London in 2008, I spent a couple hours hanging out at a pub with a couple of blokes who were drinking away the afternoon in preparation for going to that evening's Arsenal game/riot. Take away their Cockney accents, and these working-class guys might as well have been a couple of Bubbas gearing up for the Alabama-Auburn game. They were, in a phrase, British rednecks. And this is who soccer fans are, everywhere in the world among the college-educated American elite. In Rio or Rome, the soccer fan is a Regular José or a Regular Giuseppe. [...] By contrast, if an American is that kind of Regular Joe, he doesn't watch soccer. He watches the NFL or bass fishing tournaments or Ultimate Fighting. In an American context, avid soccer fandom is almost exclusively located among two groups of people (a) foreigners God bless 'em and (b) pretentious yuppie snobs. Which is to say, conservatives don't hate soccer because we hate brown people. We hate soccer because we hate liberals.
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings.I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest if they were lucky or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, , on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
And I'll close by saying this. Because anti-Semitism is the godfather of racism and the gateway to tyranny and fascism and war, it is to be regarded not as the enemy of the Jewish people, I learned, but as the common enemy of humanity and of civilisation, and has to be fought against very tenaciously for that reason, most especially in its current, most virulent form of Islamic Jihad. Daniel Pearl's revolting murderer was educated at the London School of Economics. Our Christmas bomber over Detroit was from a neighboring London college, the chair of the Islamic Students' Society. Many pogroms against Jewish people are being reported from all over Europe today as I'm talking, and we can only expect this to get worse, and we must make sure our own defenses are not neglected. Our task is to call this filthy thing, this plague, this this pest, by its right name; to make unceasing resistance to it, knowing all the time that it's probably ultimately ineradicable, and bearing in mind that its hatred towards us is a compliment, and resolving (some of the time, at any rate) to do a bit more to deserve it. Thank you.