In the face of this kind of misplaced hysteria, good rappers don’t back down. They defend the right to use words in the same way any novelist or filmmaker is free to do. They tell their personal truths.
He started right in yelling, ‘Not my president! Not my president!’ His voice was high and clear and loud. He was fearless. Whenever he said, ‘Not my president!’ the people near them smiled coldly and said, ‘Yes, he is. He is now.’
Rachel Lichtenstein on that place where London’s brackish water merges with the salt of the sea
On the night of the summer solstice I made my way to Hermitage Moorings just east of London’s Tower Bridge. There were about a dozen other vessels in the harbour when I arrived, tugs and Thames Barges mainly, which had all been lovingly restored by a community of passionate enthusiasts.
Every summer we were ordered out into the garden with machetes to chop down the grass, which grew above our heads. We loathed having to spend summer days in manual labour, but we never dared question our father’s authority.
For a place teeming with the ghosts of empire, hard labour, hard liquor, sailors and prostitutes, it’s almost unbearably tranquil. This Britain isn’t broken: it’s just quiet to the point of being unsettling.
'Riding past a crowded pavement on a hot day, swallowing consecutive gusts of perfume, sunscreen, cigarette smoke, and sometimes even halitosis, you realize just how helplessly intimate we all are in this city.'
'This was her grandest bid to bring something back from the ruins. She was not reading despite the bombs; she was reading with them, and the two – reading and bombs – are jumbled together in one of her last letters.'