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Category Archives: column

theASHtray, vol.13

David Walliams does Roald Dahl, AA Gill does Mary Beard, and I do children’s literature, Little Britain, Donald Sturrock, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Sunday Times, Romans, the Daily Mail, Cicero, Bettany Hughes, Time Team, the Cambridge Latin Course, constipation, movie posters, The Ides of March, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The English Patient, [...]

theASHtray, vol.12

A trenchant critique of all things Israel-Palestine – starring Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin and Helena Bonham Carter – Ricky Gervais, retardations, Karl Pilkington, Channel 4, nurses, Gladiator, Star Wars, Leon, Madame Tussauds, Marvel, Shrek, Hamlet, Tom Phillips (RA), Lord of the Rings, Orhan Pamuk, museums, cabinets of curiosity, Istanbul, A Serbian Film, Daniel [...]

theASHtray, vol.11

An Easter holiday special, in which we take in Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Ancient Egypt, the Grand Tour, stuffed birds, Congolese objets d’art, camera-less photography, amateur collectors, wunderkammern/cabinets of curiosity, Bruce Chatwin, Nicky Hirst, madeleine moments, Broomhill Sculpture Park, sculpture in general, Ronald A. Westerhuis, Carol Peace, Jake Rusby, Mike Roles, Dartington Crystal, Swedes, [...]

theASHtray, vol.10

Featuring news and views on the espionage du jour, Peter Taylor, Homeland, Spooks, Rubicon, Tinker Tailor…, Ben Macintyre, Americans, Russians, the Chinese, Rwandans, Charlie Dutton Gallery, TASCHEN, FUSE magazine, typographics, computers, Garamond, rubber bands, Marshal McLuhan, Akira The Don, Pink Floyd, ABBA, YouTube, and lollies. – For theartsdesk

theASHtray, vol.9

Read, watch and listen: climate-change, Maldivian politics, Jon Shenk, Mohammed Nasheed, Radiohead, Start the Week, Anne McElvoy, Geoff Dyer, Paul Farley, Andrei Tarkovsky, Tristram Shandy, Werner Herzog, Liz Mermin, large hadron colliders, Scott Waugh, Mouse McCoy, Act of Valor, Navy Seals, John McCain, Facebook, blockbusters, Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma, pianos, Clementi, Mozart, Telemann, and [...]

theASHtray, vol.8

This week starring Stanley Donwood, Radiohead, Vincent Van Gogh, The Wind-Up Merchant, Ric Jerrom, Oscar Wilde, Tony Hawks, Ireland, fridges, Guinness, extras, Tom Crean, Antarctic exploration, Felicity Aston, product placement, Land Rovers, Mark Ronson, Newsnight, the Olympics, Michaelangelo, and an infantile joke about muff-diving. – For theartsdesk

theASHtray, vol.7

From the arts desk at the end of the universe, reflections on Douglas Adams, Erwin Schrödinger, Joseph Kony, YouTube, Ian McKellen, Stephen Fry, Bilbo Baggins, Saul Zaentz, trademark and copyright law, Lewis Hyde, Amy Winehouse, Florence Welch, Queens of the Stone Age, MUSE, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård, and the many and various meanings of Liff. [...]

theASHtray, vol.6

This week delving into the mysteries of Blood Cars, the Olympics, the (very) near future, the poppiest of pop literature, Antarctic exploration, organ donation – of both the voluntary and involuntary sort – and questionable legal defences in late-C.20th Caribbean culture. – For theartsdesk

theASHtray, vol.5

In which we hear more about Klinghoffer, camp terrorism, vultures, fake boobs, Cape Town, Debussy, The West Wing, and the aftermath of sex with Willie Nelson. – For theartsdesk

theASHtray, vol.4

Carry on up the hillbillies, the questionable merits of Aïda, and why the CIA employs so many jazz nerds. – For theartsdesk