Tag: ben sixsmith

ACF Podcast: British Decadence for Christmas


It’s not the greatest gift, but it’s a good discussion–my friend Ben Sixsmith joins me for a discussion of his first volume of short stories, Noughties: Eleven Echoes of a Dismal Decade. We talk about the strange times at the beginning of the 21st century when it seemed like there would be a cultural rebirth in England. This proved not only short-lived but a deception–a self-deception for the English.

The most obvious sign is Tony Blair, who won three consecutive elections. He seemed first to resurrect Labour after Thatcher; and then to make Labour the only acceptable political party for cool, modern, intelligent Britons looking forward to a bright, global future. Yet, Blair has ended up loathed almost universally, Labour has collapsed, Brexit has happened, Britain’s Middle Eastern war-making alongside America was a catastrophe, and it’s harder and harder to say what the future might be, much less who can lead and who is inclined to follow in which direction.

ACF PoMoCon #17: Defend the Statues


Friends, today is a special UK edition of the podcast. British expat journalist Ben Sixsmith joins me to speak in defense of the statues now threatened in Britain, from Churchill on down. Churchill’s own blood apparently won’t! Somebody should, though, and apparently it’s those of us looking from afar. So we also attack the Tory elites that won’t defend the nation’s honor in its symbols, either in deed or speech. We damn the corporate-manager politicians who do not wield authority and do not seem to know their offices have dignity and importance.  Where is Boris Johnson in this moment of national shame?

ACF PoMoCon #6: Ben Sixsmith on Twitter Culture


Culture in the age of social media–here’s my conversation with writer Ben Sixsmith about the vast democratization of communications brought about by digital technology and the vast concentration of the public space in a handful of corporations. It’s not made us happy and good, but instead created new political conflicts and social drama. It’s an interesting time, but hardly bearable–so you might like some thoughts on Twitter, YouTube, and various other observations about what it’s like to be human plus digital. Also, if you’re interested in a fine read on British-Polish relations, Ben’s book is the thing for you!