Author: Charlie Bertsch
Charlie Bertsch lives in Tucson, Arizona. A founding editor and regular contributor to one of the world's first online magazines, Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life, his work has appeared in numerous publications since including The Oxford American, Punk Planet, Phoenix New Times, Cleveland Scene, Tucson Sentinel, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

It was two in the morning as I made my way up the hill. Halfway through my second listen to Burial’s new Kindred EP, the music had started to saturate me, like rain that has stopped searching for the fastest way to the sea. But the sounds were still new too new for me to trust my ears. Was this strange wail I was hearing a part of the recording that I’d missed the first time? (More…)

Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist is a lovely film, beautifully paced and performed. But those who have hailed it as “surprising” haven’t given its place in cinematic history sufficient thought. That Hollywood would be honoring this kind of picture in 2012 makes perfect sense. (More…)

The English debut of Roberto Bolaño’s The Third Reich is a major literary event, despite the book’s restrained ambitions. Because the author’s posthumous fame shows no sign of abating, this disconcerting tale is bound to reach a much larger audience than the specialized nature of its subject matter would otherwise suggest. And deservedly so, for it provides ample evidence of Bolaño’s brilliance. (More…)

Even when nothing is going on in Film Socialisme, the impulse to cry out, “What’s going on?” can be overwhelming. It’s hard to tell the people on screen apart; it’s harder to determine whether this involuntary sorting exercise matters. We may see the boy who wears the CCCP T-shirt repeatedly during the film’s middle section. We may understand, eventually, that he is the son of the couple that run a filling station. (More…)

It makes sense, I suppose, that the same company that files away paperwork for safekeeping would also be in the business of destroying it safely. But when I found myself in traffic behind a truck touting the firm Recall‘s “Secure Sustainable Destruction,” I was struck by the paradoxical nature of this charge. (More…)

It was finally dark. The days were still hot here in the desert. But once the mountain became a silhouette, the temperature dropped quickly. My daughter and I were delighted by this first hint of winter, the reward that seemed impossibly remote in the middle of another too-hot October. (More…)

The flag should have been the give-away. For the past eleven years, the Stars and Stripes had been flying over the house across the street from dawn till dusk. Sometimes I’d see my neighbor putting it to bed, carefully folding it into the triangular shape they taught us to use in the Cub Scouts. (More…)

When I look back on the material Souciant has published since its March debut, I am awed by its diversity. Considering that we generally restrict ourselves to five pieces per week, it’s remarkable to be doing so many things well. Pride doesn’t come easy for me. But I am deeply honored to be part of a project that values freedom — of subject matter, of style, of sensibility — above policy. (More…)

“Epic Salutations,” the seductive opening track on Murs’ new album Love and Rockets, Vol. 1: The Transformation ends with what sounds like a mission statement: “Hard core rap about nothing at all.” But the reality of this fine hip-hop record is far more complex. (More…)

When word began to circulate that Fox Business Network host Eric Bolling had criticized The Muppets for promoting anti-capitalist values, many people were incredulous. Social media sites were soon awash with the type of satire popularized by The Daily Show. But this dismissive response obscured the fact that he was being mocked for doing what many progressives have advocated for decades: taking popular culture seriously. (More…)

When The Coming Insurrection was first made public, it read to me like wishful thinking. Although rooted in Europe’s struggle to cope with the realities of multiculturalism, the uprisings that inspired the book seemed uniquely French. How could they be the model for an international movement? (More…)

Given the number of intellectual heavyweights who have been featured on Charlie Rose over the years, maybe Slavoj Žižek’s October 26th appearance shouldn’t have been a surprise. Yet the timing of his visit made it feel urgent, somehow, as if we were witnessing the repudiation of business as usual. (More…)