Skip to main content

This and Thatcher

Eyewear could hardly be a British blog and not notice that Margaret Thatcher has died, April 8, at the age of 87, of a stroke, in a London hotel.  Since her death, in almost Soviet style, the news has had near constant focus on her life and actions, in and out of government.  The BBC, usually unbiased, has been relatively hagiographic.  She was, it must be remembered, as well as being hugely divisive in life, a cultural force - the first woman PM, etc - and this is now being reflected.

I was in Canada during her big years, and I recall her mostly through the anti-Thatcher songs, like 'Margaret On A Guillotine', that enriched the era.  I also recall being thrilled and appalled by the Falklands War, and songs like 'Ship Building', made famous by Costello, were also part of my youth.  I was not a Tory then, and did not like Reagan either.  However, I am not sure that Steve Bell's acid cartoon of yesterday, showing Thatcher in Hell, is entirely civilised.  There is a presumption that one speaks well of the dead until they are buried.  I also recognise that, for some - and riots are breaking out again - indeed, for many - Thatcher destroyed lives, wreaked social havoc, and ruined the post-war vision of a fairer, kinder Britain.  However, my cab driver yesterday, hardly a toff, spoke lovingly of her, and mourned her death as one might mourn a god.

It is simplistic to dismiss her as a monster; perhaps too easy to suggest she is a complex person deserving of our love.  I am not sure what, precisely, to make of her death.  She remains the benchmark for strong leadership, second only to Churchill in that regard.  Some of what she stood for, including the role of women in politics, is admirable.  As I am British, I must therefore mourn the death of a great states person, a powerful leader.  But I also must keep an open mind, for posthumous jingoism is not admirable, and much that this leader did was not to my liking.
1 comment

Popular posts from this blog


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!