Print Story You're all the things I've got to remember
By TheophileEscargot (Sat May 25, 2013 at 03:29:19 PM EST) Reading, Watching, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "A Radical History of Britain", "Market Day" Watching: "Taken". Links.

What I'm Reading
A Radical History of Britain by Edward Vallance. Quite liked this author's book on the Glorious Revolution, so grabbed this from the library. It's a history of rebels and radicals in Britain, starting with the Peasant's Revolt and proceeding through the Levellers, Luddites, Chartists and Suffragettes to the present day.

It's surprisingly depressing given that so many of the actual struggles were eventually won. Seeing the whole history in context makes it clear how painfully slowly and with how many setbacks every change was made. Many of the radicals ended up in prison or with heads on spikes, and most of them seem to have died while being mocked by the mainstream for their failure.

Vallance also makes it clear that peaceful reform after non-violent protest didn't really do anything until after mass suffrage was already achieved. The general pattern seems to be that after massive civil unrest, there will be a crushing use of overwhelming force and repression, sometime after which the barest minimum of concessions will be made. The long period of censorship and suspended civil rights after the French and American revolutions seems to be the clearest example.

Informative and easy to read in general, though it's a pretty long book. Also has some interesting content about the various groups. I didn't realise that the Levellers strongly denied wanting to level everything: the name was appended by their enemies who didn't like their modest reforms.

The peasant revolts, especially the Commotion Time of 1549 were interesting too.

So impudent were they and so desperate that of theyr vagabond boyes... brychles and bear arssyde came emong the thicket of the arrows and gathered them up when some of the seid arrows stuck fast in theyr leggs and other parts and did therwith most shamefully turne up theyr bare tayles agenst those which did shoote, which so dismayd the archers that it tooke theyr hart from them.
With the defenders' spirits apparently broken by this display of bare-arsed defiance, Norwich was in the insurgents' hands by the evening.
What I'm Reading 2
Market Day by James Sturm. Comic about a weaver struggling after he finds no more demand for his high-quality handmade rugs. Well-drawn and quite moving. Not exactly cheerful though.

Review, review review.

What I'm Watching
Finally got around to seeing Taken on disk. Tense and efficient action movie where some people make the mistake of kidnapping Liam Neeson's teenage daughter.

Liked it, but it did seem a bit unnecessarily brutal at times, apparently this is an "extended harder cut" which might explain it. Also doesn't avoid any stereotype that it can find.

Definitely a well-made movie, worth seeing if you like the genre.

Socioeconomics. What’s happened to the gender pay gap? Astonishingly, there are some dodgy statistics behind the latest online porn panic.

Pics. Underground posters. Vintage erotica (NSFW).

Random. The Skeleton Lake of Roopkund. How to Make a Primitive Small Game Hunting Gig. A Catalog of Montaigne’s Beam Inscriptions.

Sci/Tech. Online reputation management.

Politics. Where Are the American Conservatives? (1953). Lenin's Tomb: Woolwich and "terrorism".

Articles. Bradford Muslim community raises money for local synagogue. Nagel not so bats on evolution?

< England in the News | So I passed that ordeal. >
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Taken by lm (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat May 25, 2013 at 06:02:44 PM EST
I watched that with my daughters and nephews when that first came out on DVD. I told my eldest daughter that if she ever gets kidnapped that I would do the same things to find her. For some reason she didn't believe me.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
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