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COMMENT: Rivoli Riding - why a Carpentras cinema has me needing therapy

"I don't know how to feel about this, whether to love it or hate it. I just don't know". And in one breath, a petite, gleeful Dutch lady smashes the quiet discomfort of a room full of viewers, mulling over the contradictions of the film. Chloe Zhao's The Rider is a semi-documentary-part-fiction, favourite of 2017 Cannes film festival, and swept up awards in Deauville, Toronto and more. The hubbub begins as the Carpentras anglophiles sit around a cluster of café-parisien-style tables on which glasses of Cotes-du-rhône red wine, bowls of snacks and steaming slices of (homemade) pizza are magically appearing, like a tiny, stylish Hogwarts school of arthouse cinema wizardry.

"But the photography..."
"And that actor, playing himself! How did he even..."
"Well, the director got a standing ovation. She's Chinese."
"Remind me, Laura, I need to give you a book"
"Did he play himself?"
"The horses... How do you say 'd…
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PODCAST: Update on the podcast

Dear listener/reader,

As I'm sure you've noticed if you've been following, I've had to put the brakes on the podcast for a while. I enjoy podcasting immensely, but the schedule just wasn't reasonable.

I hope the incremental improvements in quality were noticeable although slight. I'm not trained in audio, and the tools I was using for editing and recording were very basic. To produce anything like decent content was taking up a huge amount of time and mental energy which I just couldn't sustain as a Dad of 3, full time teacher and generally insanely busy person.

I'd love to pick it up someday, in another form. Perhaps a short podcast series, or contributing to another Humanist podcast, or any show which shares similar goals and values. I've had a lot of ideas on this front, but nothing which seems achievable as of yet.

As I tried to mention at the open and close of each show, I'd love to hear from anyone who listened and found the content valuab…

Episode 11: Interview with Anne Clark from Save Barnet Libraries

Libraries in Barnet are under attack. Not from a maniac with a hatchet, but from a Conservative party determined to slash away at every public service. A bit like a maniac with a hatchet, come to think of it, only with more far-reaching consequences. There are only so many educations a hatchet-wielding maniac can get.

Listen here to get a sense of how bad these cuts are getting in our borough. And please visit the website, and contact @savebarnetlibraries via Twitter to show them some love.

Episode 10: Adam Reakes Interview

Episode 10 - Adam Reakes Interview
This show took a while to produce! Apologies to listeners.  Adam Reakes is a well-known voice in the skeptical, atheist and humanist communities and kindly gave up an hour of his time to record this interview. Theo and I crashed the spanking new podcasters' booth in London's Maple Street Studios (thanks again!) and chatted with Adam all the way from Australia. 
We cover a range of topics from Brexit to the future of Humanism as well as spanking kids and bizarre medicine cocktails. 
Feel free to get in touch with comments/questions @Barnethumanist or

Episode 9 - Satanism: the devil's harlot

This week's show is an interview with Leopold Pan, spokesperson from the London Satanic Temple.
What is Satanism?TenetsAtheist activism vs satanist religionChildren's rightsSacrifices?Political activism and plans

Reason is the Devil's harlot, who can do nought but slander and harm whatever God says and does.
German: Vernunft … ist die höchste Hur, die der Teufel hat …
— Martin Luther, Last Sermon in Wittenberg, Second Sunday in Epiphany, 17 January 1546. Sources: Dr. Martin Luthers Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe, (Weimar: Herman Boehlaus Nachfolger, 1914), Band 51:126, Line 7ff; Martin Luther (1483-1546). The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.; H. L. Mencken, Treatise on the Gods, p.  244; Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great, p. 73.

Episodes 7 and 8 - How to Raise Kids as Feminists (parts 1 and 2)

Episode 8
This is a podcast aimed at atheist and Humanist parents, addressing how we talk to our kids about ethics. The term "atheist" explains what we don't believe in. But how do we define what atheist parents do in fact believe? Well, that's where Humanism comes in.
A Humanist believes in doing good for its own sake, and defining what's right or wrong based on the context, time and culture, rather than referring our problems to a higher power. But without a shared book of ethical instruction, what do Humanists teach their kids?
In this podcast, I'd like to get better at having these discussions with my kids and hear from other parents. Let's make our kids' world a bit better, one conversation at a time.
This week, part one of How to raise kids as feminists? (Part 2 of 2)
Caz interview
Democritus and the origins of HumanismAre all Humanists feminists?Religion and feminismWhat is equality?Caz reading recommendationsMini-Humanists: Jobs and roles for Mums an…
Episode 6: Should We Spank Children? In this episode I ask the kids for their views on corporal punishment. Seems like it's a subject kids can understand and have a view on pretty early on!

The second part of the show is a review of some recent news articles from the Telegraph and a meta-analysis of studies on the effects of corporal punishment. Enjoy! BH