This is not Uganda

This is not Uganda

More than just a graphic novel, This is Not Uganda is like peeking over the shoulder of the artist, the Berlin-based Tine Fetz, and seeing everything she sees. The book, released late last year by German publisher Ja Ja Verlag, is a chronicle of the time that Fetz spent studying and traveling in Israel. More»

Someone Else's Problem

Someone Else’s Problem

Sometimes it’s easier to perceive a country’s most pressing problems when you don’t speak the language. It was August, 1986. I had only been in Germany a few weeks. All I could really say were sentences like “It is X” and “I am Y”. Understanding others was even harder. But I had already figured out that the words Obdachlosen and Asylanten were crucial for understanding the nation’s future. More»

How Not to Analyze Yemen

How Not to Analyze Yemen

The situation in Yemen continues to degenerate faster than the media can analyze it. Since the Houthi seizure of power on Tuesday, there has been a flurry of negotiations, protests, counterattacks, and even outright declarations of independence in the restive south.  More»

Latest entries
The American Way of Death

The American Way of Death

America is one the last of the states in the West to practice judicial killing. Although the pace of executions doesn’t match up with the rivers of blood unleashed by China, or ISIS, the practice of liquidating offenders, and the buoyant enthusiasm that surrounds it, combine to evince a distinctly macabre state of affairs. More»

The Charlie Ideology

The Charlie Ideology

Faster than you can say “manufacturing consent”, “Je suis Charlie” has become another “Yes we can!”, a slogan for the self-herding masses, an opiate for the iPhone generation. If that wasn’t clear when it became the Facebook meme of the decade, it sure as hell should be obvious now More»

No Comeback

No Comeback

When I saw the coupon in my social media feed, I just had to buy the new Sleater-Kinney album at Best Buy. It’s hard to imagine a more incongruous place to procure the return of those darlings of middle-aged — and usually white — music critics. But that’s why it felt so necessary. I needed to be reminded of the world the band had warned us about. More»

Choosing Gender in Iran

Choosing Gender in Iran

It may come as a surprise to see an Islamic country allowing married couples to make ‘designer babies’ by giving them a choice to choose the gender of their child under the ‘gender selection’ or PGD (Pre-implantation Gender Diagnosis) process. More»

Blaming British Muslims

Blaming British Muslims

Within days of the French terrorist attacks, BBC One’s Panorama aired a documentary appropriately titled After Paris: The Battle for British Islam. Thirty seconds in, the fear mongering starts, featuring a video of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, set to a tense Hollywood-style soundtrack.  More»

Freedom for Surveillance

Freedom for Surveillance

Debate on the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the various sieges and stand-offs which followed quickly focused on lots of the wrong things but two in particular. More»

Will Putin Fall?

Will Putin Fall?

The Russian economy faces crises on multiple fronts: currency devaluation, crashing energy prices, and Western sanctions. This is very bad news for Vladimir Putin, who has straddled the imbalances of post-Communist society for over fifteen years now. His only recourse has been to appeal to Soviet nostalgia and chauvinist nationalism in equal measure. More»

Peering Through the Smog

Peering Through the Smog

In some circles, Inherent Vice was the most eagerly anticipated film of last year. Its director, Paul Thomas Anderson, has long been a favorite of cinephiles, both for the excellent performances he gets from actors and his delightfully retrograde insistence on shooting to film. But tackling the work of the legendary writer Thomas Pynchon added greatly to the hype. More»

Pakistan vs. Charlie Hebdo

Pakistan vs. Charlie Hebdo

According to the Centre for Research and Security Studies, 7,655 Pakistanis died in 2014 as a result of terrorism, militant attacks, drone strikes, sectarian violence, targeted killings, and security operations. Its report was released the same week as the Charlie Hebdo murders, which caused international outcry, and massive unity marches, in France. More»

Why Context Matters

Why Context Matters

Countless cries of ‘Je Suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie) have emerged in the wake of the violent attack on satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo—one that has left 17 dead. And almost as swiftly, and now almost as furiously, comes the backlash. This backlash, and its proponents, are careful to condemn the attack, but nonetheless declares, ‘I am not Charlie’ as it tries to call attention to the racism inherent in many of the publication’s political cartoons. More»

Officer Friendly

Officer Friendly

The work slowdown currently being undertaken by the officers of the NYPD is one of the more surreal moments in the recent history of policing in America. While still responding to major crimes, New York cops have virtually stopped writing tickets, particularly for so-called “broken windows” type violations. More»

Masculinity in Crisis

Masculinity in Crisis

It’s ironic that the films receiving the most critical praise and attention right now are about, in varying degrees, the crisis of masculinity and the difficulties of being an (important) man. This isn’t to say these films are not good. More»