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Ernest Hemingway – Fascinating BBC Documentary on i-player

Ernest Hemingway - 1899–1961 - Fascinating Documentary on BBC i-player

We have just started watching a fascinating BBC iPlayer documentary about the life of Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway was one of America’s most celebrated novelists and short story writers who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.

He was a war reporter and himself a victim of war, being seriously wounded when he was an ambulance driver in Italy in the First World War.

My own attempt to read Hemingway as a teenager was not a happy one. I found his pared-down, colourless style barren and tedious to read. Perhaps I had chosen the wrong story to start with or maybe it was just my immaturity or maybe it was a very poor piece of Hemingway’s writing.

Hemingway’s colourful life

However, Hemingway certainly had a full, difficult and interesting life, and in his lifetime relished his macho image as a hunting, fishing, heavy drinking womanizer who married four times.
After a period of severe depression and ECT treatment he ended his life by shooting himself at the age of 61. His father, his sister Ursula and his brother Leicester also killed themselves.

First episode

I have watched only the first episode of the documentary. Hemingway’s story is told with thoughtful, intelligent detail and remarkable black and white footage to accompany the account of his prosperous but difficult childhood and his first world war adventure which led to him being seriously wounded in Italy. This first episode also covers Hemingway’s first marriage and his time in Paris when he met a number of well-known 20th century writers.

His first novel, The Sun Also Rises, depicts life among the dissolute thinkers and drinkers in Paris at this time, the early 1920s.

The programme has tempted me to take another look at some of Hemingway’s writing.


Each of the six episodes lasts for 50 minutes and is available on BBC iPlayer.

The series will be available for the next 11 months which will take us up to May or June 2022.

Accessing i-player with Chromecast

There are obviously several ways of accessing iPlayer but our own method is to find the programme on my Android mobile phone (about £150, which I have had for three years). Then, by pressing the “Cast” icon we send the programme to our telly. This happens with the aid of the very cheap but very effective Chromecast dongle (about £40) plugged into the back of the telly. The programme plays with great picture detail and sound quality. Our internet connection is part of the system and the phone is acting as a sort of remote control.

You can see what Amazon has to offer by clicking a link below.

David Roberts

30 July 2021

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The line Joe Biden is taking towards Israel shames America

The line Joe Biden is taking towards Israel shames America

Joe Biden repeatedly states that Israel has the right to self defence, a statement which is literally true but designed to be misleading and is therefore dishonest.

In fact the opposite is true. Biden suggests that the aggressor, Israel, is the victim in this Israel/Palestine dispute. Israel has overwhelming fire-power, an endless supply of sophisticated weapons, jet planes, tanks, drones, guided missiles, high explosives much of it supplied by and even funded by the United States and is using this fire-power against two million defenceless civilians in Gaza. America is on Israel’s side.

Two million civilians live in the Gaza coastal strip

Israel’s bombardment is almost exclusively of civilians, their homes, their means of living. Today (17 May 2021) the BBC reported that Israeli attacks in Gaza had destroyed roads and power lines. Yesterday they destroyed an apartment block that housed, amongst families, international reporters. On 12 May Offices of Gaza’s Interior Ministry were hit and all police stations were destroyed.

The Israelis didn’t blow out just a few windows of the apartment block and international media centre. The whole building went down in just a few seconds

What is the message of all this targeted destruction by Israel?

The message is, “We will destroy you. We will make Gaza ungovernable. We will make your lives impossible and we are taking steps to stop the world from knowing what we are doing to you.” I think the word for this is “genocide”.

Hamas and its rockets

True that Hamas who govern Gaza continue with determination but not effectively to fire their simple rockets at Israel, and that 10 Israelis have been killed as a result of hundreds of rockets fired. The rockets land in civilian areas (the few that get through) and this is wrong.

What can Hamas gain from firing rockets? – World attention.

They can expect more violence from Israel. BUT ALSO their cause may be kept before the attention of world leaders who are the only ones who can release Palestinians from their suffering. Their cause is their claim to have a right to freedom, respect, and life itself, free from Israeli control and abuses.

Was Hamas in the tower block destroyed by Israel?

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken 17 May 2021

Blinken, speaking at a news conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, said he has not seen any Israeli evidence of Hamas operating in the Gaza building that housed residences, offices and media organisations – including Al Jazeera – that Israel hit on Saturday. Blinken says he has asked Israel for justification for the attack.