William Wallace is one of the great names of Scottish history, quite possibly the country’s George Washington (though unlike Washington he didn’t survive his War of Independence to rule the new country — that would fall to Robert the Bruce). Like Washington, Wallace’s ghost has been periodically called up to support this or that cause. This essay will briefly explore how Wallace’s legacy has been handled and manipulated in the centuries after his death. Continue reading “on William Wallace’s ghost”
The evolution of Roman and Byzantine infantry, from the dawn of Rome to the fall of Constantinople and beyond.
We’re at a delicate moment right now.
Now that the spectre of human extinction has passed – though there may yet be dark days ahead for many countries – we’re approaching the recovery phase, and most sensationally, the planning-who-to-tar-and-feather-for-this-whole-fiasco phase.
Two things we should think about looking ahead:
Disinformation is here to stay. Given that world leaders and state apparatuses at large have been guilty of this for the past five years or so, it’s not surprising at all that the sword of untruth has been wielded these past few months to silence dissent and rally wavering political foundations.
One thing though is now different. Continue reading “on truth and blame”
The arming process of the 1st century-Roman centurion, of 100-men-commanding, stick-on-back-breaking, faith-in-the-Messiah-having fame.
Behold my first(ish) book! Bug Eyed Roman Soldiers now available on Kindle, a visual odyssey featuring all your favourite magnificently chunky and only slightly dodgy caricatures kitted out in the finest weapons and armour.
Speed draw of the fearsome Space Marines, defenders of man in the 41st millennium.
“I respect tough laws. Back home if you steal they’ll cut off your hand. So nobody steals.”
So a Palestinian coffee shop owner (perhaps rather stereotypically) vented his frustration to me. A homeless lady had come into his establishment earlier in the day, she’d pretended to look at the menu, and when his back was turned she’d grabbed some muesli bars and drinks and made a run for it. He caught her, but much to his shock the police refused to do anything about it. Less than ten quid meant no charges apparently. So the lady was let off (having pocketed some of the food) and the owner was told to go back to his business. Continue reading “on tough laws”
I’ve seen glory in Berlin. They keep their streets clean there despite the odd graffiti. They speak English there because why not. They remember their past because leaflets line the streetlamps saying Fuck The AFD. They remember their past because ruins grab rudely toward the sky alongside chrome towers, because the fruits of war need to be seen as much as the fruits of peace. Continue reading “on glory”
What is local colour? Local colour is when a glassy-eyed ancient hobbles across the Starbucks around closing time, her knees buckling with the effort, and hollers at the manager as loud as she can “Gerard! I’ll boot yer arse ye cheeky wee bastard.”
To which Gerard hollers back “Gerard! Meh meh neh meh neh meh neh.”
And all the staff, including Gerard, giggle and clap the old lady on the back.