From France to Italy

From France to Italy

In Paris, its fullness of brilliant life so dominates that all shadows seem to fly before it and poverty and pain to have no place, and the same feeling holds for the chief cities of the continent. It is Paris that is the keynote of social life, and in less degree its influence makes itself felt, even at remote distances, governing production and fixing the rate of wages paid. More»

Snow in April

Snow in April

When the surprising news of Prince’s death was announced last week, I reflexively moved to post something to social media. And so did a great many of my friends. But we were immediately reminded of just how little material was available for free online. His insistence on being properly compensated for his work had made it hard to mourn him collectively through social media. More»

The Pakistan-China Economic Corridor

The Pakistan-China Economic Corridor

The $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was finalised during an official visit by Chinese Premier Xi Jinping to Pakistan a year ago. CPEC is arguably the largest infrastructure project in Pakistani history, and includes Eastern and Western Realignment projects that comprise highways, railways, sea-lines, electricity lines, and energy projects.  More»

Latest entries
Think Different

Think Different

It was the perfect slogan. Harkening back to the hippie era in personal computing, when PCs were synonymous with the ideals of peace and love, and rock music, Apple’s 1997 advertising campaign struck a distinctly generational chord. It was technology in opposition, the sort that promised revolution, but ended up more Whole Foods than Zapatista. More»

Haunting Memories: Escape From Daraya

Haunting Memories: Escape From Daraya

Journalist Rahaf Haboub grew up in Daraya, a Damascus suburb besieged by pro-government forces for more than three years. She and her family fled in fall 2012 after the government targeted the area with airstrikes and barrel bombs – these are her recollections of those harrowing times. More»

Bin Laden Was Here

Bin Laden Was Here

Seymour Hersh occupies a peculiar place in the American media landscape. As the guy who broke the story of the massacre at My Lai in 1969, and having been instrumental in exposing the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in 2004, Hersh is second only to Woodward and Bernstein in the firmament of investigative journalism. More»

An American Abroad

An American Abroad

One of the most persistent domestic critiques of Donald Trump is that his proposals are not truly American. From the White House to the protests at his rallies, he has been savaged for promoting the sort of extremism the United States has long ascribed to its enemies, thereby calling into question the self-righteous presumptions that undergird the nation’s foreign policy. More»

Islamist Pleasure Yacht

Islamist Pleasure Yacht

“So Erdogan, Aliyez, and Nazarbayez are on a boat …” It reads like the set up to a joke, but all three men – the leaders of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan – did meet on board the Turkish presidential yacht MV Savarona last week. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan used an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit as occasion to again show off the luxurious vessel, originally presented to President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1938. More»

The Envy of Privilege

The Envy of Privilege

One cannot help but wonder what author Andrew Solomon would have achieved had he been born into different circumstances. He sits across from me on a French-style couch in his private library, arms extended, seemingly afloat on a swell of cushions. More»

Why I Believe in Poverty

Why I Believe in Poverty

I make my living trying to edit the Ladies’ Home Journal. And because the public has been most generous in its acceptance of that periodical, a share of that success has logically come to me. Hence, a number of my very good readers cherish an opinion that often I have been tempted to correct, a temptation to which I now yield. My correspondents express the conviction variously, but this extract from a letter is a fair sample: More»

Playing for Fun

Playing for Fun

The last day of the NBA regular season made for remarkable television. While Kobe Bryant, the first superstar to make his mark in the wake of the basketball’s massive global expansion, was playing the final game of his illustrious twenty-year career in Los Angeles, the Golden State Warriors, the league’s best team and defending champions, were winning their record-breaking 73rd game. More»

Neoliberal Berlin

Neoliberal Berlin

Cheap cities have their downsides. Aside from being, quite frequently, depressed, they’re gated communities in training. For every vintage building full of broke punks, there’s a real estate developer looking to transform it into over-priced live-work condos. It just takes the malcontents to scout them out, and make them livable again. Bohemians are, as it always turns out, the shock troops of the wealthy. More»

From the FARC to the Houthis

From the FARC to the Houthis

Some 3,000 Colombian nationals have gone to fight and, if it comes to it, die in defense of the UAE since 2011. Of this number, at least 300 are now serving in Yemen at the Port of Aden. What distinguishes these men in Yemen from the UAE’s other “guest workers,” though, is that they will be offered citizenship, a rare privilege not often extended to other expatriate communities. More»

The Tiger Lawyer

The Tiger Lawyer

When I step out of the rain and into the restaurant, Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran is already waiting for me. Though I’m seven minutes early, I arrive to find the exiled Sri Lankan lawyer, known to his compatriots as Rudra, sitting at a corner table and peacefully watching the deluge outside. More»

America Needs Smart People

America Needs Smart People

Running a record label is a pain in the ass. It always begins with the best of intentions that reside somewhere in the mix of DIY ethics, wanting to support your friends, and simply trying to release your band’s arguably mediocre record when nobody else will do it. More»