Month: November 2013

  • Give Thanks and Pass the Pimms: 5 things I’m thankful Britain gave the world

    We all know the story. The Pilgrims, with their funny hats and boring names, set sail on the Mayflower towards the New World in search of religious freedom. What nobody ever tells you is that they went to the Netherlands for a bit, or that they didn’t really want to come, or that loads of […]

  • Chicago vs London: Round Two – Cityscape

    It’s tough loving two cities. My London followers get annoyed when I live-tweet Blackhawks games (Jonathan Toews is my pretend boyfriend, after all). My Chicago followers get annoyed when I live-tweet Question Time. I miss so much about London, including Sloane Square, the KR and Soho. But I know there are so many things about […]

  • 10 things you may not know about Skylar Baker-Jordan (or, I’ve got to stop drinking on a Monday)

    Like any good writer, I respect deadlines. Like any good writer, I sometimes get drunk on a Monday night whilst dancing around my kitchen to Glee. I overslept this morning, and after yesterday’s brouhaha on Twitter-suffice to say, my blogroll brings all the prats to the yard (damn right, they’re dumber than yours)-I really want […]

  • Why James Arthur’s apology is bullshit

    I can’t believe I have to tell straight people not to say “fag” and “queer.” Seriously y’all? The words themselves send shivers down my spine, taking me back to my years spent in southeastern Kentucky, where they were regularly spewed in my direction, dripping with the vitriol of threats and intimidation. For three years I […]

  • Gareth Williams, GCHQ, and the crisis of confidence

    So Gareth Williams killed himself in some unexplainable sex game gone wrong. He slipped into a bag, padlocked himself inside from the outside (huh?), and within three minutes suffocated. There was no DNA left on the locks, or in the bath in which he was found. In a Security Services safe house. Well that’s that. […]

  • Has America forgotten to remember Remembrance Day?

    Saturday night I had my friend Melinda over, along with her friend Jenny, in town from Sydney. Jenny noticed the portrait of Her Majesty, a commemorative token of the Diamond Jubilee, hanging in my apartment, complete with the flags of the Commonwealth countries. We got to talking about the ties that bind not just the […]

  • What if Britain had a First Amendment?

    There’s been so much talk about the importance of a free press and free speech lately that I feel as though I’m at a salon with Milton and Locke. In light of the Royal Charter regulating the press and furor around the Guardian’s reporting on and release of classified GCHQ intelligence documents , there’s been […]

  • Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November!

    Did you know that, in 1775, George Washington banned the practice of celebrating “Pope Day” in 1775, out of fears the anti-Catholic tradition would insult the Quebecois, whom he was hoping to court as allies in the insurrection? Since then, Bonfire Night hasn’t really been celebrated in the United States. I have to confess, I […]

  • Ofqual overhauls GCSEs, but to what effect?

    Ofqual has overhauled the GCSEs with a new scoring system. I am obviously not a product of the British educational system, so I don’t have any anecdotes as to its effectiveness. And while I think it’s important to occasionally revisit curriculum and testing, I think that we in the West often gloss over-or ignore entirely-the […]

  • The UK has a st…

    The UK has a strong history of democracy, and while targeted surveillance may play an important role in protecting national security, in doing so it should not erode the very values it seeks to protect. An excerpt from a letter, signed by 70 leading human rights organisations, to David Cameron over what they perceive as eroding press […]