A world of walls: the brutish power of man-made barriers

Trumps border wall isnt unique. From Calais to Hungary, walls are always with us The latest atrocity in El Paso, when an avowed white supremacist drove for 10 hours to a supermarket used by Latino families in order to murder and maim, was explicitly motivated by Trumps baleful, anti-immigrant rhetoric. He was also a big fan of Trumps wall, which Trump himself has rhapsodically described as an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful southern border wall. Yet despite its Ozymandian ambition, the beautiful wall has stuttered and stumbled, still more frenzied rallying cry than bricks and mortar reality. Geography and logistics quietly conspire against it Americas border with Mexico is nearly 2,000 miles long, for a start. Incendiary talk of spiralling …

From Baba Yaga to Hermione Granger: why we’re spellbound by ‘witcherature’

Vengeful, seductive, feminist, misogynist … witches have appeared in many forms in literature. Now a new generation of novelists are falling under their spell A witch is a woman who has too much power. Or, to quote the novelist #MeToo world, where Donald Trump a fan of the term witch-hunt is US president, it is really no surprise that female writers are examining the role of the witch in new ways. Since Trumps election, which inspired mass spell-casting by thousands of resistance witches (the selection of judge Circe, Millers reimagining of the story of the witch from the Odyssey. Shortlisted for the Womens prize and soon to become an HBO series, the novel sees Circe, a victim of rape, turn …

Guess who said it: Tucker Carlson or a far-right shooter | Nathan Robinson

The Fox New hosts nightly diatribes are making the US an ever more terrifying place for immigrants and people of color Its not surprising Tucker Carlson doesnt think white supremacy is a threat to the United States. Its easy not to notice a problem when the problem is you. Speaking on his show, Carlson encouraged viewers not to think about racism, saying that every minute youre angry about race is a minute youre not thinking about class, which is of course the real divide in this country. If I were Tucker Carlson, I wouldnt want people to think about racism either. If they did, they might start to notice that Carlsons rhetoric about non-white people has long been virtually identical …

Recalling the horror of Long Tan: ‘I was too bloody busy to be frightened’

The defining battle of the Vietnam war is now the subject of the film Danger Close. Harry Smith recalls the afternoon that changed his life If he dwells on it, Lt Col Harry Smith can still see, vividly, the blood on the trees on the enemys escape path. There was so much blood. In the days after the three savage hours that was the battle of Long Tan, his soldiers were finding body parts, carnage and corpses spread across the battlefield. But it was that blood, the blood of all the others that were dragged away, wounded, suffering, that affects him the most. That worries me more than a dead body. In the eerie silence, in the pervasive gloom, among …

Joseph Fiennes: Ive done my bit for society Ive illustrated the patheticness of misogyny

The star of the hit dystopian drama says he doesnt like to equate Donald Trumps politics with the show. But, he adds, sometimes you just have to point out the blazingly obvious Its alluded to in the novel someday, something will happen to Fred. Quite soon. In a neutral-looking cafe in central London, Joseph Fiennes is talking about the future of his role in The Handmaids Tale. Why, though? I plead with him. Why does he have to die? Its in the novel, Fiennes explains very patiently. Hes got to. Come on, there are some very angry women in red out there. When The Handmaids Tale first appeared on our screens in 2017, it was a bit like having an …

Wild oversharing comic Phoebe Robinson: ‘I do dumb things. That’s who I am!’

Is the fringe ready for the brash standup who used to get paid in nachos and chicken wings? We meet one half of 2 Dope Queens as she fills her shoes with sweat What does Phoebe Robinson want to see when she arrives at the Edinburgh fringe? Just tons of dudes smuggling their bangers and mash in their kilts. Observational comic, astute social critic, signee of a deal with ABC studios, bestselling author (2 Dope Queens (the podcast duo turned HBO stars), Robinson has a philosophy: that comedy thirsty, uninhibited, occasionally gross, with riffs on Googling David Bowies penis size after learning he has died can be a force for good. At Edinburgh, Robinson will tour her show, called Sorry, …

Greta effect leads to boom in childrens environmental books

The 16-year-old climate change activist has galvanised young people to read more about saving the planet Some seek to convey the wonder of endangered animals while others give tips on how to tackle waste or tell tales of inspirational environmental activists. All are part of what childrens publishers are calling the Greta Thunberg effect: a boom in books aimed at empowering young people to save the planet. The number of new childrens books looking at the climate crisis, global heating and the natural world has more than doubled over the past 12 months, according to data from Nielsen Book Research shared with the Observer. Sales have also doubled. Whether its beautifully illustrated factual books like Where the River Runs Gold …

Peaches on her post-human sex toy art show: ‘It’s disturbing but a lot of fun’

The pop provocateur has created an artwork in which an army of fleshies, or masturbation devices, seek sexual liberation. She talks us through its deeper meanings Best known for her vagina bodysuits and sexually charged lyrics, Peaches seems an unlikely art-world darling. But in 2007, the French artist Sophie Calle asked the electropunk queen to respond, in the form of a song, to a breakup email Calle had received. The work was one of 100 that appeared in Calles show Cut Piece, letting audience members snip away at the singers clothes until they had entirely gone. Now, 20 years after unleashing her sex-positive signature song Fuck the Pain Away, Peaches finally has an exhibition of her own. I was like, …

SoulCycle Devotees Talk Boycotting The Popular Studio Over Trump Fundraiser

Devotees of fitness behemoths SoulCycle, both of which have cult-like followings, are angry over news that Stephen Ross, chairman of the company that owns both brands, plans to host aDonald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign in the Hamptons this weekend. The Washington Post The event ― and the rhetoric put forth by its guest of honor ― is in stark contrast to the A public relations team for SoulCycle and Equinox brands was quick to issue a response a note from SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan, she calls Ross a “passive investor” and stated the brand “in no way endorses” the event.  issued a statement, which was shared on Twitter,  Not everyone is Chrissy Teigen and actress Wilson Cruz Echevarria launched a “Equinox has portrayed …

Through Our Eyes pictures taken by young migrants in Greece

Teenage asylum seekers document daily life in a camp on Samos Island This collection of photographs taken by teenage asylum seekers in Samos offers an intimate and powerful portrait of the hardship they face at the islands refugee camp, which was built for 650 people but is home to more than 4,000. The camp is one of five registration centres, or hotspots, for asylum seekers on the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. Original Article : HERE ;

Abortion, sex and family secrets: Annie Ernaux, France’s great truth teller

Ernauxs meticulously observed chronicles of French society are finally winning acclaim around the world. She talks about her relationship with her mother, feminism in France and being working-class Its rare for a writer to be self-conscious about the number of books lining the walls of their living room, particularly when they are one of Frances greatest living writers. But Annie Ernaux, whose sharp and often heartbreaking portraits of French daily life, class and society are enjoying a rush of interest in the English-speaking world, is aware that her bookshelves mark how far shes come from a working-class childhood in rural Normandy. Youve read all this? gasped one relative on a visit to her book-filled house on the outskirts of a …

‘It felt like a wonderful dream’ DA Pennebaker on making Monterey Pop

In a final, previously unpublished Guardian interview, the late great documentarian looks back at his groundbreaking film with Lou Adler, the legendary music festivals promoter Lou Adler, promoter and producer In 1967 there was a meeting at John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. He said: Why dont we do a festival, add more days, and get the acts to play for nothing? This was a chance to elevate how rocknroll was thought of. We had six weeks. Without Berry Gordy understood what we were doing. You had to really buy into it if your acts werent going to get paid. Not on my network Hendrix on stage at the festival in June 1967. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images …

The Crown: first glimpse of Olivia Colmans Queen as hit drama returns

Netflix have released a first look at the Oscar winner as she prepares to enter the palace and set a date for the third season The first look at the hugely anticipated third season of The Crown has arrived showing Olivia Colman (plus her corgi sidekicks) poised to succeed Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II. The third series of the royal smash hit will land on 17 November, Netflix has confirmed, with Oscar winner Colman taking the throne as the entire cast is given a reboot. Tobias Menzes will replace Matt Smith as Prince Philip, Helena Bonham Carter will become the new Princess Margaret, Game of Thrones star Charles Dance will play Lord Mountbatten and The Durrells Josh OConnor will …

Mark Mawstons best photograph: Yoko Ono’s electrifying power

She came on stage with a black silk bag over her head and walked straight into the mic stand. It didnt ruin anything though. The crowd were in raptures I took this shot of Yoko Ono 14 years ago, in 2005 at bagism a practice she and Lennon engaged in as a way to deindividualise speakers and emphasise their message by wearing a nondescript bag over their heads. So she came out with this black silk bag obscuring her vision, and walked straight into the mic stand. It didnt ruin anything though. The crowd were in raptures. In a split second when I managed to take my eyes off her, I realised that Sean Lennon, her and Johns son, was …

What they really think: America seen through the world’s travel warnings

(CNN)If your friends and allies won’t tell you what they really think, check their travel advisories. Warnings about terrorism and mass shootings Canada, which is right up there alongside the US in terms of gun ownership, advises its citizens to “take normal security precautions” in the US, and notes that “incidents of mass shooting occur, but account for a small percentage of homicide deaths in the country.” “The likelihood of a tourist being a victim of such a (mass shooting) incident is low,” adds Canada. Although US gun homicide rates far outpace those of fellow wealthy countries, the likelihood of any individual being a victim of such an incident remains statistically low, though no less horrifying. New Zealand, itself the …

Trump wanted gamers to support him. Now hes blaming them for gun massacres | Van Badham

With increasing numbers of people bleeding to death in US streets, the president has to find someone something anything! to blame Scientific studies gun massacre deaths of another not Toledo) Ohio. Why scapegoat video games and demonise the people who play them? My dudes, why not? Its established that science, expertise, evidence and the truth are walk in and buy one at Walmart, a local store, a gun show or from a friend or neighbour. You can petty felon or an extremist who dreams of a Just before the 2016 election, he dared those second-amendment people remember? to act against Hillary Clinton if she attempted legislative gun control. The New York Times reported: Mr Trump and his campaign did not …