What's the Point?

Portsmouth Point blog offers Portsmouth Grammar School pupils, former pupils, parents and staff a daily forum for sharing ideas, opinions and enthusiasms. Whether exploring politics, music, film, sport, literature, science, photography, religion, history, philosophy or countless other topics, the blog offers something new and thought-provoking to read every day.

The blog was launched in February 2012, designed by Daniel Rollins and edited by James Burkinshaw. We encourage you to comment on the posts. To set up an account, please click on the blue button at the top right of the Home Page.

Portsmouth Point magazine was founded in Spring 2009 by Julian Elphick-Smith. Our most recent issue was published in December 2018, with 25 articles by pupils and staff focused on the theme of 'Destinations'. We live in what seem to be particularly dynamic, and often disorienting times right now. Much of the political change is driven by issues such as migration, itself, in large part, a consequence of climate change; recent scientific reports paint an alarming picture. Technologically, the extraordinary developments in artificial intelligence, from driverless cars to all-powerful algorithms, offer opportunity but also give pause. Our destination, as a planet and as a species, is a source of both fascination and, perhaps, trepidation.

In this ‘Destinations’ issue, our writers consider the likely effect of technological developments, from alternative energy to high-speed rail, as well as the potentially transformative economic impact of aid to developing countries, coffee and switch-coding. We examine the dynamic nature of politics, from the long-term consequences of the French Revolution to ways in which the controversy over Confederate monuments in the American South reflects conflicting cultural attitudes; as novelist William Faulkner noted, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Furthermore, our writers discuss the likely direction of contentious contemporary issues from gender to race, political correctness to the “Incel movement”.

Socio-political change is mirrored by developments in art, whether the transformative shift in literary representation from realism to post-modernism or the revolutionary effect of sound-art in twentieth century music, directions explored in this issue of the magazine. We examine the artistic journey of Caravaggio through two radically different paintings of the Supper at Emmaus and marvel at the unexpected after-life of the “so-bad-it’s-good” film, ‘The Room’. 

You can read an online version of our previous issues of the printed magazine on the themes of Destinations (December 2018), Dreams and Reality (July 2018), Truth (December 2017), Exploration (July 2017),  Heroes and Villains (December 2016),'Alien' (July 2016),   Inspiration (December 2015), Human Rights (Summer 2015), Change (Winter 2014), 'Lost and Found' (Summer 2014), 'Belief' (Winter 2013), 'Fight Club' (Summer 2013) and 'Icon' (Winter 2012).

Please note that the views expressed by individual contributors to magazine and blog do not necessarily reflect those of either the Editorial Board of Portsmouth Point or of Portsmouth Grammar School.

Best wishes,

James Burkinshaw
Editor (Blog and Magazine)