"Natale, festa della condivisione", lo short movie pubblicitario è un capolavoro. LONDRA – E’ la notte di Natale del 1914.
Sul fronte della prima guerra mondiale, gli eserciti di due paesi si guardano dalle rispettive trincee, a poche centinaia di metri di distanza l’una dall’altra. Poi un soldato tedesco comincia a cantare “Stille Nacht”, la più famosa canzone natalizia, dalla trincea opposta un soldato inglese risponde cantando “Silent night” e poco per volta i nemici escono all’aperto, con le mani alzate, e si abbracciano. E’ un momento passato alla storia: il breve armistizio di Natale, che interruppe per qualche ora il conflitto, portando i nemici a condividere il rancio, a scambiare foto e perfino a giocare una partita a pallone, prima di riprendere, il giorno dopo, a spararsi e a uccidersi in quella che è stata poi chiamata la Grande Guerra, grande se non altro per lo spaventoso numero di vittime che ha fatto.
Se l’armistizio cominciò davvero così, non è chiaro. Mossa pubblicitaria, certo. ‘No fighting. No drunk posting.’ What happened when I handed over my Twitter and Facebook to strangers. Here’s a prophecy.
One day people will hire social media managers just as they subcontract other bits of life that they can afford not to cope with. Like mowing the lawn, getting the car washed, or paying a cleaner. We live in an outsourcing world, and social media, despite its sociable name, is just another workload. Like work, it remunerates performance with countable rewards – friends, likes, followers, connections. As a result, it is possible to say with some confidence that social media is a discipline in which I do not excel. For one month, I have enlisted a social media manager. “Do you want a campaign or a quick win?” Spring Offensive, by Wilfred Owen.
A fair deal on migration for the UK. In this paper, IPPR brings together its ideas and research on migration from across the last five years to propose a comprehensive fair deal on migration for the UK - a set of policies and approaches that address all aspects of migration in a fair and realistic way, and which would make Britain's economy fairer and our society stronger.
Despite strenuous efforts by successive governments to reduce migration, there are no signs that we will see a return to the low levels of migration of the mid-1990s. Yet despite the failure of 'crude restrictionism' - that is, efforts to reduce migration by whatever means and at whatever cost - alternative responses to this dominant narrative have failed to win over mainstream public opinion. Therefore no space has been opened up space in which politicians can pursue more rational and coherent migration policies.
Public Opinion on Migration (updated) Culture - Where do witches come from? Ask any Western child to draw a witch, and the chances are that he or she will come up with something familiar: most likely a hook-nosed hag wearing a pointy hat, riding a broomstick or stirring a cauldron.
But where did this image come from? The answer is more arresting and complex than you might think, as I discovered last week when I visited Witches and Wicked Bodies, a new exhibition at the British Museum in London that explores the iconography of witchcraft. Witches have a long and elaborate history. Their forerunners appear in the Bible, in the story of King Saul consulting the so-called Witch of Endor. They also crop up in the classical era in the form of winged harpies and screech-owl-like “strixes” – frightening flying creatures that fed on the flesh of babies. Circe, the enchantress from Greek mythology, was a sort of witch, able to transform her enemies into swine. Yet it wasn’t until the early Renaissance that our modern perception of the witch was truly formed. The western model is broken. “So far, the 21st century has been a rotten one for the western model,” according to a new book, The Fourth Revolution, by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge.
This seems an extraordinary admission from two editors of the Economist, the flag-bearer of English liberalism, which has long insisted that the non-west could only achieve prosperity and stability through western prescriptions. It almost obscures the fact that the 20th century was blighted by the same pathologies that today make the western model seem unworkable, and render its fervent advocates a bit lost. The most violent century in human history, it was hardly the best advertisement for the “bland fanatics of western civilisation”, as the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr called them at the height of the cold war, “who regard the highly contingent achievements of our culture as the final form and norm of human existence”. The collapse of communist regimes in 1989 further emboldened Niebuhr’s bland fanatics.