topic: racism

Lobsang Rampa and what we choose to believe

When I was perhaps 14, I was intrigued with books by Lobsang Rampa, but I could only afford to buy very few books with my pocket money, and so I would buy another Asimov. Leafing through one of those Lobsang Rampa books, I recall reading about the mummified bodies of giants hidden under the Potala Palace in Lhasa. I don’t know whether I knew anything much about Tibet then, or whether, indeed, it was this […]

the vultures had forgotten how to fly

I was drawn to this piece by the welcome news that the terrible disease rinderpest has been eradicated. However, as I read it I became irritated when I came to this innocuous enough paragraph: As the virus spread, it left vast numbers of dead livestock in its wake, and communities without meat and milk. The loss of the animals, which were used to plough the land, crippled farming and led to widepsread starvation. My irritation […]

confessions of an arachnophobe reformed

My friend Rem modified this photo I took of my dog, Ninja (a name given her by her previous owners) – having caught a rat, but that’s another story – as part of a discussion on facebook… The effect is pretty horrible and there was talk about how much people loathed insects (and arachnids) in general. I used to share these feelings – so much so that, for a long time, I was unable to […]