The French Holocaust

The French Holocaust

“No European country has been more interested than France in the nature of memory and history, how it is understood, recorded, perceived, written and transmitted.” So writes Caroline Morehead in her new book, Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France, and with some justice. More»

Orientalism For Dummies

Orientalism For Dummies

Most of the time, the point of education is to help us to distinguish between things, figuring out what does and doesn’t belong together. But there are times when it pays to remember what ignorance once conflated and confused. Prejudice may derive from misunderstanding, but that doesn’t make it any less real. And prejudice, more often than not, comes from a failure to recognize and respect distinctions. More»

The Rojava Revolution

The Rojava Revolution

While other areas of Syria have descended into ruin, the Kurdish-majority provinces of the northeast have been relatively calm. This owes to the governmental ascendancy of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which is administering the so-called “Rojava Cantons” within a framework of democratic confederalism. More»

Latest entries
Anti-Communist Jazz

Anti-Communist Jazz

It’s taken as a truism that “foreigners” love America. They just don’t particularly like the US. That is, American cultural exports are often popular the world over, even in places where the United States isn’t popular. Acutely aware of this disjuncture, Washington has often sought to use cultural diplomacy to close this gap, pitching its movies and music in order to win over its critics. More»

Berlin at War

Berlin at War

Kein mensch ist illegal. Refugees welcome here. Few cities can claim as much pro-asylum messaging as that found in Berlin. Spray-painted on the sides of buildings, stickered inside public restrooms. It’s absolutely everywhere. Considering the diverse character of the city, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The German capital is as much a global metropolis as it is a national one. More»

No Insurance

No Insurance

It took us a few seconds to figure out what was happening. One minute my host brothers had been hurling snowballs towards the roof of an apartment building, and the next we were being assaulted by a blur of a man, shirtless but a little sweaty despite the fierce cold. He landed one punch, missed another, then turned to charge at me. “I don’t have insurance,” I shouted in German, More»

The Fourth Party

The Fourth Party

What was once unthinkable has become a reality. Nigel Farage will be partaking in the TV debates in the run up to the 2015 election, alongside David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and Ed Miliband. Perhaps the mainstream media concluded that the only way to keep political discourse alive was to inject Farage, and report on the consequences. The lesson is obvious: It’s impossible to ignore UKIP, and its rise to fourth party status. More»

Sunni Death Cult

Sunni Death Cult

Last March, in response to allegations of blasphemy from a Christian man in Lahore, a crowd of demonstrators torched over a hundred buildings in a Christian neighbourhood of the city. Authorities responded swiftly, reprimanding and arresting those who took place in the violence. More»

Hollaback Hysteria

Hollaback Hysteria

Over a week on, and hundreds of think pieces later, it would seem unnecessary to explain that the Hollaback video refers not to Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl, but to the video entitled 10 Hours of Walking in New York City as a Woman, produced by Rob Bliss Creative for Hollaback, an international organisation dedicated to ending street harassment against women. More»

Missing in Berlin

Missing in Berlin

Newsstands aren’t what they used to be. Onetime indicators of high circulation periodicals, today, their selection tends towards a combination of promoted titles [think advertising placement, pushing readers online] and community newspapers. Berlin’s newsstands oftentimes lean towards the latter, offering titles in multiple languages, ranging from Albanian to Turkish. More»

Head in Ass

Head in Ass

Like millions of other Americans who made the decision — or mistake, depending on your point of view — to donate money to Democratic Party candidates in the past, my inbox was filled with messages for months warning me that only the generosity of ordinary citizens like myself could prevent a Republican landslide in the midterm elections. Sometimes these requests bore an air of reasonability. But most sounded desperate. More»

All-Consuming Predators

All-Consuming Predators

In the early 1900s, there were more than 100,000 tigers worldwide, with the greatest number on the Indian sub-continent. In the twenty-first century, one country has overtaken India by having a larger tiger population than any other. The Humane Society of the United States reports that there are between 5000 and 7000 of the iconic big cats in the USA, but fewer than 400 of them are held in officially recognised zoos. More»

Maple Leaf Zionism

Maple Leaf Zionism

No one was surprised when Canada lost to Portugal for a seat at the Security Council in October 2010. Rumour had it that it was a direct result of a new pro-Israeli foreign policy being spearheaded by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. We may never know if this is true or not, but it’s undeniable that Canada’s shift towards an increasingly uncritical support for Israel has deeply affected its international standing. More»

Dead Weather

Dead Weather

Few issues strike so close to home as human-driven climate change. Although one form or another of this explanation has been acknowledged by the vast majority of scientists, the general public has proved less ready to accept that this is the case. A recent Pew study revealed that 67% of Americans thought that there was “solid evidence that the Earth is warming,” with only 44% conceding that human beings are causing it. More»

Cynicism and the Left

Cynicism and the Left

No clichés here. As far as leftist flyers go, they’re don’t exactly inspire you to speak truth to power.  Dispensing with images of marchers standing up to the man, and police beating up protestors, they relied more on sarcasm, and a pronounced sense of contempt, to make their point. Feeling flushed down the toilet? Sick of the bread, and the circuses, and promises of pussy? We relate. More»