Off Topic

Readings for a funeral

January 9, 2015

What do you read at a funeral? Something secular, something religious? The family tradition was ritual-free industrial incineration. Organ recording, coffin slips behind velvet curtain in the council crematorium. My religious belief perished during singing psalms to empty pews. But buried in the bible are fragments of practical advice that have sustained human beings for […]


Making sense of Davos

January 9, 2012

When the World Economic Forum publishes a well-researched report on global gender gaps, sustainable consumption, water security or competitiveness, it fuels global debate. When it gathers its Members from the business world with others from a broad swathe of society (academics, artists, politicians, human rights campaigners, trade unionists, environmentalists and more), it becomes either the sinister architect of a global conspiracy […]


Education by evensong

May 17, 2011

Nothing enshrines so completely the idea of decline as an English cathedral. Millennial in age, monumental in scale, meticulous in decoration, the cathedral is dedicated to a medieval deity. A god of buildings, worshipped through spires and flying buttresses and arches, feared through plaster paintings of devils and awed in roof bosses carved with angels and […]


The IdeasBrothers blog has uncovered a novel written by an advertising planner. In a penthouse apartment on the right side of town, a 28‐54 year old man called Dan tried to control his breathing. Someone or something was moving about downstairs. He listened intently. There it was again. In the inky dark, the sound had […]