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To such heights of evil are men driven by religion – Lucretius, De  Rerum Natura

Thích Quảng Đức was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963. He was protesting against the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam’s Ngô Đình Diệm administration.

“I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think… As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.”

Phillip Adams interviews John Pilger about the latest WikiLeaks. Taken from the latest episode of Late Night Live. Listen below…


For my second half-marathon Alex and I headed to Paris. Home of Notre Dame, the wonderful Shakespeare and Company bookshop and the best Quiche I’ve had in a very long time. Though it was officially the beginning of Spring, you’d think it was still Winter, what with the one degree celsius temperature which almost froze my bare hands right off during the race. What kept me going over those 21 kilometres, besides the cheering crowds, various marching bands and sugar cubes in my pocket was my trusty ipod shuffle. Song of the race must go to Animal Collective, whose My Girls kicked in at the 19 kilometre mark just when I needed some musical moral support. On a high from the race we showered and headed to bohemian Monmartre for a late afternoon feed and celebratory beers. This was followed by champagne and a small mountain of french cheese backed by an impeccable techno soundtrack at the apartment. Props to Alice and Etienne for their true “francais” hospitality.

Animal Collective – My Girls