Consuming Brown Bodies: Paul Feig’s ‘Last Christmas’ and Medieval Mummy Medicine

Jeanne de Montbaston

Screenshot 2019-11-13 at 09.18.46

In the above tweet, Rachel Moss is talking about the much-hyped film, Last Christmas, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding (and at this point, if you want to avoid spoilers, click away).

As quite a few people already figured out from the not-too-subtle trailers, the film’s love story has a twist. It turns out that the mysterious (Asian) love interest who swoops in and out of Clarke’s life with the perfect blend of romance and feel-good emotional intensity, is in fact, well … dead. To be precise, he’s her organ donor. ‘My heart … was always going to be yours, one way or another.’ I feel faintly nauseous, and it’s not just Brexit repeating on me.

I expect the film is, as we are assured in the article to which Moss links, still enjoyable, light-hearted fun. Except for those pesky racist undertones, which she quite rightly identifies. Even…

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You’re rich in the Regency and your dog is missing. What happens next?

Georgian and Victorian Britain

Regency newspapers regularly carried advertisements for ‘lost’ items of property- clothes, banknotes, watches, horses and poneys (as they used to spell it), legal documents and dogs. In the case of dogs, ‘lost’ was often a euphemism. They had had been kidnapped, or found in the street and kept by somebody who would not wish to hand it over without a reward. The distinction between a reward for a finder and a ransom for a thief was not always clear.

These were not working dogs- the occasional advertisement for strayed foxhounds was probably genuine. There were the only two types of canine that had a resale value- the working animals of farmers and the landed gentry, and the pets of the metropolitan rich. Both were advertised in the newspaper. Lost dog advertisements- for spaniels, pointers, poodles ,greyhounds, setters and pugs appeared mostly in the London newspapers from people living in Portman…

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What powers would a Labour Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority have, and how could it be transformed?

I am pleased to share, in full, this excellent, well-referenced and thorough analysis of the mayoralty of the West Midlands Combined Authority within a socialist (UK Labour Party) context.

Birmingham Against The Cuts

There are now three Labour candidates for West Midlands Metro Mayor – Liam Byrne, Pete Lowe and Salma Yaqoob.

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Labour Homelessness Campaign West Mids Launch 7pm Friday 23 August

I reblog this to share and pass on to others who might be interested.
I reblog it because the figures, which speak for themselves, might cause a sane and civilised individual to read it twice, just to be sure they read correctly. The United Kingdom is not (yet) a third world economy; rather one of the wealthiest nations on earth. This appears to be the case on the back of an increasing number of persons dispossessed, homeless, sub nourished or for whom National Insurance, into which the waged and salaried have paid since 1948, has failed. It is shameful.
The shameless architects of this misery continue to skim off the cream.

Birmingham Against The Cuts

thumbnail_Screenshot_20190806-212700_Yahoo Mail

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Support the Council’s Declaration of a Climate Emergency, but say No to plans to sell off allotments

The title of the article says it all: it would be difficult to argue against the pressing nature of climate emergency – POTUS excepted. Divesting accountable public control of green spaces available as allotment gardens seems a strange bedfellow to acknowledgment of a climate emergency, given that allotments offer near to carbon neutral fruit and vegetable sourcing, a green sink for Carbon dioxide, not forgetting health benefits from wielding the spade, rake and hoe. If there are allotment gardens fallen into desuetude, surely it would be better to promote their uptake than sell the estate off for who knows what purpose. Business parks or inaffordable housing one might suppose?

Birmingham Against The Cuts

At the City Council’s meeting on June 11 a resolution calling for a Declaration of a Climate Emergency from Extinction Rebellion, the Green Party and other climate change activists was passed with all-party support.

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To Prorogue, pro & con.

Proroguing the UK Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit, against the will of the UK Parliament.
Tell me more.

I reblogged a piece from Pride’s Purge recently.

My friend The Secular Jurist requested, quite rightly, further information upon which to form a judgement, in the form of questions.

Rather than repeat the words of those whose wisdom I have sought, I will provide links to sources rather more authoritative than I am. I hope that the following will provide a degree of enlightenment on this vexed topic.

Please read one, or some, or all these pieces. I think that one will find that they all point in the same direction; namely, that while proroguing Parliament is an annual event to tidy and reset the process of government, proroguing Parliament for the purpose of pushing through primary legislation of a contentious nature is a rare occurrence, one that pushes against the boundaries of the unwritten constitution underpinning the process and procedure of legislature in the United Kingdom.

Since everything in the Houses of Commons and of the Lords is ritualised, there is little happening therein which cannot but be regarded as symbolic.

A read through any of the linked sources will reveal the grave concern of many that the use of this power, or perhaps loss of power, to push through something against the will of our sovereign government, could cause catastrophic constitutional problems.

A previous Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has raised the possibility that the next Prime Minister might be the last. Another former PM, Sir John Major, has vowed to fight this matter through the courts. Of course, the Queen is above challenge; the PM is not.

Adding to the brew are those government Members of Parliament who are beginning to resign so that they are free to vote against their 274 colleagues on the “List of Shame.”

Sir Alan Duncan, a Foreign Office minister, has resigned in the last two hours. It is widely expected that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, second only to the Prime Minister, will soon be resigning on the issue of Boris Johnson becoming PM and taking these extraordinary measures to subvert the will of the elected, sovereign government.

In this, it should be remembered that one of the claims promulgated in support of the British Exit from the European Union was the return of sovereignty to the UK Parliament; this rings hollow when one of the chief architects of the British Exit will, on his elevation to Prime Minister, subvert the will of Parliament.

As a final note, the Prime Minister will have been elected by approximately 0.25% of the population.

I just wish we had more sun here and that the bananas grew liberally on trees here.

Continue reading “To Prorogue, pro & con.”

Is your MP on this List of Shame? The 274 MPs who voted to allow suspension of parliament

My MP is on this list; dismal, isn’t it. They are not alone in their belief that the ends justify the means. Nor are they alone in their moral bankruptcy.
O tempora! O mores!

Pride's Purge

Here’s a full list of the disgraceful anti-democratic MPs who voted against stopping the ‘proroguing’ of parliament.

In other words, they supported the suspension of parliament – and themselves – to allow a Prime Minister to dictate whatever he likes without the democratic controls and scrutiny of MPs and parliament.

Conservative (262)
Adams, Nigel
Selby and Ainsty

Afolami, Bim
Hitchin and Harpenden

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Amess, Sir David
Southend West

Andrew, Stuart

Argar, Edward

Atkins, Victoria
Louth and Horncastle

Bacon, Mr Richard
South Norfolk

Badenoch, Mrs Kemi
Saffron Walden

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett
West Worcestershire

Barclay, Stephen
North East Cambridgeshire

Baron, Mr John
Basildon and Billericay

Bellingham, Sir Henry
North West Norfolk

Beresford, Sir Paul
Mole Valley

Berry, Jake
Rossendale and Darwen

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