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Nazis in the Age of Neoliberalism

Nazis in the Age of Neoliberalism

Nobody understands Alternative für Deutschland. Okay, so they’re racist, and want to rehabilitate a lot of Nazi-era ideas. It’s legitimate to call them fascists, and criticize them for wanting to turn the clock back in Germany. More»

Turkey in Berlin

Turkey in Berlin

You might as well be in Istanbul. So thick is Berlin’s Turkish cultural overlay, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was nothing separating the Bosphorous from east Germany. In spite of its critics, Berlin’s decidedly Middle Eastern public sphere helps ward off what would otherwise be a more provincial, poverty stricken city still struggling to overcome the legacy of Communism, and the Nazi era. More»

A Way With Words

A Way With Words

While it might seem perverse to call someone who is constantly berated for his imprecision a master rhetorician, Donald Trump has demonstrated time and time again that he has the rare gift of being able to cast a spell over the media with his blend of hyberbole, bluster and hearsay. True, it might cost him the presidential election in November. More»

Welcome, With Reservations

Welcome, With Reservations

When Angel Merkel opened Germany’s borders last year, she performed an about face few could have predicted. Having just overseen the defeat of Syriza, in its quest to defy the Troika’s debt repayment demands, her policies were being heralded as a return to Germany’s dark past. Not quite Third Reich, but flirting with historical callousness. More»

Love Through a Net

Love Through a Net

If there’s a single word that captures relationships today, romantic or otherwise, it’s mediation. It’s not surprising that many of our interactions occur through various media; they have been doing so for a long time. But the way people meet and are able to construct and control— to an extent, anyway — the way their identities are presented in the digital world are relatively novel developments. More»

Consider The Lobster

Consider The Lobster

Walking out of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster the other night, I felt like I’d been holding my breath for two-plus hours. Rarely has my intellectual judgment of a film differed more sharply from my immediate emotional response to it. I never doubted that it was “good”, but I also wondered if it was good for me. More»

Far Out, Man

Far Out, Man

On September 11th, the War on Terror will turn 15. Some would argue that it is in fact much older. Without a doubt, it has now outlasted WWII by a decade. Given how much that conflict transformed Europe, God forbid what this war has done to it. More»

The Promised Land

The Promised Land

The grass is always greener on the other side. As far as truisms go, there’s not much to argue with. The Promised Land was never promised to anyone, and there’s never enough milk or honey to go around once you get there. Yet, faith in the idea that the foreign is always better remains a constant. Just ask the million plus refugees from the Middle East that arrived in Germany last year. More»

Cops in Our Heads

Cops in Our Heads

The city is full of police. Armed police, bearing pistols, and a bewildering diversity of foreign machine guns. God forbid they get into a firefight and find they can’t exchange exchange ammunition with each other. Isn’t Belgium home to FN Herstal, one of the world’s biggest gun manufacturers? More»

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»

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»

Democracy in Europe

Democracy in Europe

Varoufakis took it in his stride. Attacked by Stephen Sackur for being unable to reconcile his radicalism with reality, Greece’s maverick ex-finance minister grinned, and moved on. This was HARDtalk. Whether Sackur meant it or not, the BBC interview program was living up to its name. And so was its guest, Europe’s best-known leftist of the moment. More»