Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Liverpool: A Day in the Life

Halloween along Penny Lane.
Recently I was in Liverpool.  I did a lot of walking around, for example across The Mystery and along Penny Lane and also between Wavertree and the docks.

Cakes and teas.
Liverpool was once a great city but the basis of its prosperity collapsed during the latter part of the twentieth century.  Recently however the city has been attempting to remake itself.

View from the Mersey of the Three Graces: the Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.
Along the Mersey and across from the Albert Dock I came upon the new Museum of Liverpool and went inside to learn something of city's history and way of life.

The Museum of Liverpool is the modern white building at the extreme right.
It turned out to be a Mickey Mouse museum, big on emptiness, low on content, aggressively propagandistic.

I noticed this sign.  Not that it was attached to an exhibit.  The museum is good at signs that tell you what is wrong with the world.  That is all you need to know; any exhibit or argument or demonstration or background or context would only detract from the propagandistic purposes of the idealogues who run the museum whose qualifications appear to be ignorance and idiocy.

All you need to know.
The excuse for this sign, I take it, is to explain that Liverpool has long had an immigrant population.  But only in the bottom paragraph does it allude to this.  The first paragraph tells us that Britain had an empire against which the Indian subcontinent rebelled. The second paragraph tells us that the Partition of India into a secular India and a Muslim Pakistan was the work of 'British politicians who decided to "partition" the country', forcing vast numbers of people to move and causing millions of deaths.

Fears and hatreds did indeed cause vast numbers of Muslims and Hindus to flee for their lives and millions did die.  But it was not British politicians who decided to partition the country; the demand for partition came almost at the last minute from Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Muslim leader who went on to become the first president of Pakistan.  It is a bit more complicated than that, as this recent article by William Dalrymple makes clear, but as Dalrymple says the overwhelming drive came from Jinnah; Britain oversaw the division only because it was demanded by Indians themselves.

Anyway, I came away from the Museum of Liverpool feeling that the city was determined to regard everyone as a victim, including itself.  If the museum is the best the city can do then Liverpool is not about to regenerate itself very soon.

The Mystery.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Templari: Fakta a Mytus

The Templars: History and Myth has been been translated into Czech and published in Slovakia and is selling very well.  A reprint is underway.

The Czech-language edition published in hardback by Slovart in Slovakia.
The Templars established themselves in Prague, capital of today's Czech Republic, where there is a story of the Headless Templar who still haunts the city's streets.

Text and illustations in the Czech-language Slovak edition.
And the Templars are also said to have crossed over into what is now Slovakia.

Back cover of new translation published in Bratislava.