Travel

Sexual Fascism

In ‘Civilization and its Discontents,’ Freud tells us that civilisation necessitates the curbing of the natural expression of the libido, and this repression leads to neurosis. The answer is to redirect the libido into work or artistic expression. For author Isham Cook, the state keeps us in fear of our libido as a mechanism of …

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Unwelcome

Unwelcome by Quincy Carroll My rating: 5 of 5 stars In ‘Unwelcome’ we follow Cole Chen through his awkward misadventures in California and Changsha, China. The twenty-three-year-old has come back from his second stint in China and is crashing on his brother’s couch. Our introduction to Cole is through the eyes of his more successful …

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Book covers

8 great self-published/small press books I reviewed in 2021

Links go to my GoodReads reviews. Magical Disinformation: A spy novel set in Colombia. Shades of Graham Greene. Law of the Jungle:  Medical research and revenge in the jungles of Venezuela and Colombia. Crimechurch: Psychos and troubled teens in NZ’s earthquake-hit city. Teacher, We Girls!: The experience of being a woman from New Zealand teaching in …

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What Really Happened in Wuhan?

“It began in the autumn of 2019. Months before the first reported case of human-to-human contact, the Wuhan Institute of Virology began to go dark. Publicly available information was wiped from the internet. Staff connected with the Institute disappeared as the scientists fiercely criticised its safety practices and standards. At the same time, there were …

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Thoughts: Netflix, The Serpent, The Queen’s Gambit, Walter Tevis, The Hustler, The Color of Money 

I just watched the first two episodes of “The Serpent” and am happy to find another engaging Netflix series. It is somewhat based on a book called “On the Trail of the Serpent”, published in 1979. In the quest for hit shows, Netflix writers are scouring non-fiction and novels for exciting (long forgotten) tales. For …

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China Sketches: Dalian 2001 skyscraper photo essay

It had passable beaches, a large shipbuilding industry and a lot of impressive skyscrapers; from the top of any of these you could see the port and in the other direction the green hills marking the end of the urban sprawl. At that stage of my life I hadn’t seen Shanghai, Hong Kong or New York. I was overwhelmed by the shiny skyscrapers in Dalian. When I later visited New York, the first museum I went to was the Sky Scraper Museum, my enthusiasm has since waned due to overexposure to tall buildings…