Skip to main content


Eyewear is just a wee blog, and its editor is not a political scientist.  When we weigh in, here, on world matters, we do so as amateurs.  I have no insider knowledge of Nelson Mandela, the great political visionary who has sadly died.  I can only listen, read, watch, reflect, on what the media tells me.  I first heard of Mandela in the 1980s, via songs by the likes of Simple Minds.  The idea then was to free the man.  Then, when he was freed, there was great joy, and expectation.  The expectation was warranted.  The prisoner, famously became the president, and he was, by all accounts a merciful and kind leader, refusing revenge on his former captors.  Indeed, listening to Dr Rowan Williams today on Radio 4, BBC, it struck me that Mandela, in a quiet way, was the greatest Christian of our era - the person who best embodied Christ's near-impossible dictum, to turn the other cheek.  If only.  So few of us can do it on a crowded tube journey, in our marriages, at work, let alone on the world stage.  Most world leaders are frankly cretins, self-interested, and often needlessly bloody.  Look about at all the conflicts now raging, indeed, many in Africa; often caused by colonialism.  Human nature is not easy to rise above.  Mandela entered his cell as a man who did not renounce violence, I believe, but he came out decades later as someone who, miraculously, had grown in prison to become ever deeper, wiser, better.  Few of us take life as a journey of constant improvement.  He did.  I suppose his vision was focused powerfully by a very strong sense of a wrong needing to be corrected.  Apartheid was an evil concept, and an evil reality, and it is horrid to think that Britain and other nations did business with those who sustained it.  It was unsustainable, and Mr Mandela's greatness made it seem all the more untenable. History is made by human beings working together in their billions to overcome and transform the forces of power ranged against them; and humans require good leadership.  We have not lost Mandela.  His impact on history of this world deviated it, if even just a bit, from evil, into the light.  As such, he endures forever.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


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…


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…


The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…