Thomas hobbes

The embarrassing truth about how I got injured

I had a bicycle accident last week. Not terrible, but not great either. Of the five I’ve had since I took up cycling more than 20 years ago, it ranked third. No stitches needed,unlike the worst, which required more than 50 and a night in hospital. I didn’t bother with A&E this time, in spite of concerned onlookers advising me to. I think it looked worse than it was. Head injuries generally do because there’s so much blood. I’m slightly wary writing about this because I don’t want to give the anti-motorist lobby any more ammo. In fact, there were no other vehicles involved. The accident was actually caused by

The 17th-century Huron chief Kondiaronk can still teach us valuable lessons

Ten years ago, David Graeber was a leading figure of the Occupy Wall Street movement. He and his fellow protesters camped out in Zucotti Park, storing $800,000 of donations in trash bags because they didn’t believe in banks. The American anthropologist and anarchist activist called this an experiment in ‘post-bureaucratic living’. But such politics made Graeber persona non grata at US universities, so he moved to Britain where, in 2013, he became a full professor at the LSE. There, until his death last year aged 59, he imagined anarchist utopias and indicted what he took to be an oxymoron: western civilisation. In Debt: The First 5,000 Years he called for

Why ‘housewife’ is no more demeaning than ‘husband’

My husband tried to identify in the 2011 census as ‘housewife’. Luckily I grabbed the form when he had dozed off and put him down as ‘economically inactive’. At bottom, housewife is no more demeaning than husband. Husband is compounded of the elements hus, ‘house’, and bond, ‘householder’. Housewife has the elements house, ‘house’, and wife, ‘woman’. (Woman itself comes from wife, meaning ‘woman’ and man, meaning ‘human being’.) These words have a rich history. Housewife is now almost impossible to use. Yet Housewives’ Choice, on the wireless from 1946 to 1967, when the Light Programme was abolished, attracted audiences of eight million. Its theme tune, ‘In Party Mood’ is