Reads

It took Michel Foucault to reinsert Nietzsche into leftist analyses of power. Although the German philosopher’s influence has been felt among Marxist, anarchist, and anti-market thinkers, his influence is rarely accorded its due. Like pornography, Nietzsche is often hustled in through the backdoor, and with a vague sense of shame. (More…)

“Sport has established itself as the spearhead of an army in battle order, which crushes anyone who is stupefied by it,” writes Marc Perelman in Barbaric Sport: A Global Plague. Fittingly, for a project rooted in Adorno and the France of May 1968, Perelman’s concern is with sports as a mass phenomenon, one he locates at the core of capitalist society. (More…)

Calling Owen Hatherley’s A New Kind of Bleak a book about architecture is like saying Orwell’s Animal Farm is a book about a farm. Yes, it’s about Hatherley’s travels through the United Kingdom, in which he analyzes edifices ranging from the National Space Centre in Leicester, (affectionately called “The Maggot,”) to Preston’s bus station. However, it’s also about gathering the evidence necessary to indict British urban planning. (More…)

Late in Dave Eggers‘ moving new novel A Hologram for the King, his protagonist Alan Clay, a onetime corporate sales manager for Schwinn who is now tenuously self-employed as a consultant, is lying on his belly in a Saudi Arabian operating room, trying to think of something other than the tumor inside him. “I sold capitalism to the communists,” he thinks. (More…)

The original title for Manuel Vázquez Montalbán’s detective novel, Off Side, is El delantero centro fue asesinado at atardecer which translates to “The center forward was murdered at dusk”. The title comes from a series of florid notes sent to FC Barcelona: “Because you use your centre forward to make yourselves feel like gods who can manage victories and defeats, from the comfortable throne of minor Caesars: the centre forward will be killed at dusk.” (More…)

Susan Sontag created Susan Sontag. The first volume of her journals and notebooks, Reborn, made that clear. As her son and the journals’ editor David Rieff writes, the entries show a young person who “self-consciously and determinedly went about creating the self she wanted to be.” The recently published second volume, As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh, reinforces the notion that she – and, by extension, we – can consciously create our identities, or at least personas. (More…)

I’ve long since unsubscribed from following Mashable on Twitter, simply because so many people retweet Pete Cashmore and his crew, I needn’t bother. I also don’t really visit the site regularly anymore because I find the ‘journalism’ these days around technology to be a lot of fluff, insider-gossip and an echo chamber of circle jerks. Mashable, included.  (More…)

It’s easy to ignore Ayn Rand. The extremity of her views makes it easy to write her followers off as fringe characters in the already-far Right. However, ignoring Rand and her Objectivist philosophy has in fact facilitated her movement from the fringes toward the mainstream. Now, thirty years after her death, it’s dangerous to ignore her. (More…)

The reaction was intense. Within an hour, a post I’d written, about Latinos in Italy, was being torn apart. Why was I interested in Peruvian restaurants? What was wrong with local Mexican cuisine? Why move from San Francisco, and think about anything other than Milan? And yet, the article was immensely popular. It went to number one on Reddit Italy, and generated thousands of readers. I even received some very nice private emails thanking me for raising the subject. (More…)

On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence and was immediately recognized by the United States. On May 14, 2012, Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, whined in the Wall Street Journal over the low opinion the State of Israel is held in by much of the world. (More…)

Jewry is standing at a critical junction. While more than half of us remain in the Diaspora, intermarriage will probably tip the balance towards Israel over the next two decades. Ironically, Israel is pursuing colonial settlement policies that will most likely result in a single state, where Jews will be a minority, and the Palestinian population the majority. (More…)

Perhaps it is not my place to comment on your über-feminist “Why Do They Hate US?” eureka moment, since it almost exclusively focuses on the Arab world. You have every right to roll your eyes and think: “there goes the Iranian again, crashing our party and sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong.” (More…)