I hear with my little ear: Podcasts 9-16 December 2019


Amir Timur or Tamerlane  Photographer: Adam Jones https://www.flickr.com/photos/adam_jones/7494229100

Empires of History – The Ottoman Series- Not many episodes left to listen to, but centuries of the Ottoman Empire left to go. I’ve got a feeling that this series is just going to peter out.Episode 11: Of Thy Insolence and Folly looks at the Battle of Ankara between the Thunderbolt Sultan Bayezid and Timur- better known to me as Tamerlane. Ye Gods, what a monster HE is! In Episode 12: The Battle of Ankara and the Death of Sultan Bayezid 1 follows through to Tamerlane’s victory.


My 2019 Adelaide Writers’ Festival. Perhaps I should just pretend that I’m there, eight months later! David Marr discusses the essays in his collection My Country, but it’s a pretty digressive (and, being David Marr, loquacious and at times rather arch) talk about his writing over the years, particularly his writing about ‘monsters’.

In Rise of the Right,chaired by Dominic Knight, there are three speakers: Carolin Emcke
(Against Hate), Nancy MacLean (Democracy in Chains) and Jeff Sparrow (Trigger Warnings.) This festival took place in March 2019, before the Australian Federal Election and there was still an expectation in this pro-Labor crowd that Labor would win, and Brexit was still a great muddle.  Emcke spoke about the European, and particularly German experience of the rise of hate, while Nancy MacLean spoke about the work of economist James McGill Buchanan and the influence of the Koch brothers in a determined attempt to subvert democracy. [There wasa great deal of controversy over this book when it was released in America].Jeff Sparrow spoke about the Australian experience, and the use by the right of the concept of ‘political correctness’ as a form of attack in the culture wars.  It’s an interesting podcast.

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