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Oscar Zeta Acosta
If you’re reading this blog, you probably have a passing familiarity with the work of Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson’s most famous work Fear and Loathing in Last Vegas was a semi-biographical work that told the trip of Thompson and hispanic rights activist Oscar Zeta Acosta to go from east Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Oscar Zeta Acosta was an advocate for the rights of what would be now called the LatinX community in the United States. He was a lawyer by profession and respected member of his community. I don’t want to give anything further away about the story that led up the disappearance of Oscar Zeta Acosta.
The Economist have done a documentary on how London was so popular as a destination for laundering their money and reputation. London has built up a reputation for where oligarchs from Russia and other countries and former government officials go to invest and live.
They will often have their significant others live in London, while they act as an astronaut partner. The rationale for such an arrangement may vary. One may wish to protect your family from a badly behaving state. This would be similar to the why so many Hong Kongers had their families live in Canada from the late 1960s onward. Even Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-shing had his family in Vancouver.
A darker reason would be the trend toward kleptocracy which has flourished across the former Soviet bloc. The trend has become so pronounced that central and west London has been nicknamed Londongrad. Along with the oligarchs has flourished a range of professional and personal services to cater for their every need. But the oligarchs wouldn’t have come if a services framework didn’t exist in Londongrad. The legal and financial services were built up over time to benefit the aristocracy and then attract overseas capital post-war, most notably ‘Euro dollars’ from petrostates and the beneficiaries of globalisation. Londongrad built on these foundations.
To give an idea where some of the money that comes into Londongrad; look no further than the Russian frontlines in the Ukrainian war.
Cheil Worldwide have done a new film for Samsung’s Bespoke range of refrigerators and freezers. It’s got a huge amount of craft in the production. Check it out.
Ultraman is getting the modernisation treatment that Godzilla had a few years ago. It’s now in the cinema in Japan and here’s the trailer. While the film might be more polished than the original, that doesn’t mean that the creators didn’t know a good thing when they saw it and kept the Showa-era vibe of the original Ultraman film typography.
Michael Caine on class
I am a big fan of Caine’s performance in The Ipcress File, a film adaptation of Len Deighton’s novel of the same name. Much of the rest of his work leaves me cold. I came across this clip where Michael Caine talks about class, which I thought was more relevant today than it was when it was originally recorded. Michael Caine has since gone on to support the party of the establishment which makes his earlier class consciousness ironic.