Advanced Reading & Listening: Our World Today

Photo by Glen Carrie

Today, I have two reading texts and two short videos, all timely and thought-provoking. All are outstanding and varied examples of the use of English language.

♦ The first reading is a fact-based text which defines, and provides examples of, Stockholm Syndrome: a psychological response wherein a captive begins to identify closely with his or her captors, as well as with their agenda and demands. (https://www.britannica.com/science/Stockholm-syndrome)

♦ The second reading is an opinion piece provided by Australian musician Nick Cave on his website The Red Hand Files. He tackles the issues of Cancel Culture and Mercy.

♦ The first video is an articulate and witty discourse in defence of  Free Speech by Rowan Atkinson. (Excellent subtitles)

♦ Finally, delivered with wit, insight, and understandable frustration, a short video by Katie Hopkins outlining the absurdity of some typical ‘Coronavirus Rules‘. 

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READING

♦ Stockholm Syndrome

WRITTEN BY Laura Lambert

Stockholm syndrome, psychological response wherein a captive begins to identify closely with his or her captors, as well as with their agenda and demands.

The name of the syndrome is derived from a botched bank robbery in StockholmSweden. In August 1973 four employees of Sveriges Kreditbank were held hostage in the bank’s vault for six days. During the standoff, a seemingly incongruous bond developed between captive and captor. One hostage, during a telephone call with Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, stated that she fully trusted her captors but feared that she would die in a police assault on the building.

The most infamous example of Stockholm syndrome may be that involving kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst. In 1974, some 10 weeks after being taken hostage by the Symbionese Liberation Army, Hearst helped her kidnappers rob a California bank. But it was during the hostage crisis in Iran (1979–81) that the Stockholm syndrome worked its way into the public imagination. Read more … 


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♦ Cancel Culture & Mercy

On his website The Red Hand Files, (ISSUE #109 / AUGUST 2020) Nick Cave answers two questions: What is mercy for you? What do you think of cancel culture?

Dear Valerio and Frances,

Mercy is a value that should be at the heart of any functioning and tolerant society. Mercy ultimately acknowledges that we are all imperfect and in doing so allows us the oxygen to breathe — to feel protected within a society, through our mutual fallibility. Without mercy a society loses its soul, and devours itself. Read more … 


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Further Recommended Reading:

♦ Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Published 1932 

Aldous Huxley himself said that “the theme of Brave New World is the advancement of science as it affects human individuals” (written in the preface of Brave New World).

1984 by George Orwell, Published 1949 

the novel examines the role of truth and facts within politics and the ways in which they are manipulated.  Parallels have been drawn between the novel’s subject matter and real life instances of totalitarianismmass surveillance, and violations of freedom of expression among other themes.[9][10][11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four 

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LISTENING

♦ Rowan Atkinson in Defence of Free Speech:


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♦ Katie Hopkins on the Absurdity of some Coronavirus Rules:

*  As you can see above, YouTube has cancelled this video of Katie Hopkins. Why? She voiced her opinions on some of the coronavirus restrictions in Britain. Perhaps, you and your friends don’t agree with the restrictions that prevent you ordering a glass of wine in a pub? It seems that it’s okay to order wine if you also order a “substantial” meal. If you just order a packet of Crisps, you can’t order a glass of wine. In the above cancelled video, Katie was asking how this restriction would help prevent covid. 

To replace the cancelled video, here is a more recent one where Katie points out how sport is a unifier while politics divides people. Whether you agree with her or not, surely in a Western Democracy, she is entitled to express her opinion. Watch the video below and decide for yourself. 

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Further Recommended Video:

            Aldous Huxley and Brave New World: The Dark Side of Pleasure

 

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This entry was posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, Listening, Reading, Speaking & Pronunciation. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Advanced Reading & Listening: Our World Today

  1. Very interesting reading and listening material for students with a great variety of vocabulary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fce says:

    Thanks. britannica.com has loads of great science articles worth reading.

    Like

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