My Christmas Wish ListThe Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy
pub. Wiley. ISBN: 0-471-64849-3
Hardcover 272 pagesThe average cotton T-shirt is a menace. First, there's the truth about cotton production as demonstrated by the Aral Sea - a misnomer considering it now closely resembles a lunar desert. Three decades of cotton production in Uzbekistan to the south, and Kazakhstan to the north, have seen to that - siphoning off the once-bounteous supplies of fresh water to feed 87,6000 square kilometres of irrigated cotton land.
For every non-organic T-shirt you buy, factor in 17 teaspoons of chemical fertiliser; conventional cotton production also soaks up 50 per cent of all the world's agrichemicals, and many of the most pernicious in the developing world, where the effects on workers verges on the catastrophic. The World Health Organisation suggests that 220,000 people a year die from pesticide poisoning. And there's not much to recommend the position of cotton farmer or garment-factory worker in the developing world either, unless you value rampant global trade inequality and grinding poverty.Review: Observer Norwegian Voices
- Pirated Recording
Barbican, London EC2. December 8th
In recent times, Norway has gained a reputation for being the hot spot in world jazz. This was reflected in Norwegian Voices, a celebration of Norwegian music drawing on the enigmatic 'Nordic Tone'.
'In the words of the Scandinavian artist Asger Jorn, "Nordic art is dangerous, it compresses all its power inside ourselves.'
This was nowhere more apparent than in the interaction between the vocalist Mari Boine and the guitarist Terje Rypdal. The unique mix of the primal and the contemporary, with Boine's voice soaring into space, combined with Rypdal's electronics, produced something new, fresh and unexpected.
· Norwegian Voices will be broadcast on BBC R3 at 10pm on Wed 4 January as part of Late Junction's New Year Special
A Charlton win against Arsenal on Boxing day.
It's on ESPN on Monday at 19.40 local time.
I'm not optimistic that any of my wishes will come true but we all live in hopes.