Tory Freefall

Tory Freefall

It is now over a year since Theresa May came to power. She did come to high office on the back of an electoral victory. Nor was she even elected by Tory members. May was simply in the right place at the right time. But now she is in the wrong place at the wrong time. More»

Spy vs. Spy

Spy vs. Spy

We had several good agents at Radio Liberty, whose staff included many emigres from the USSR. But by far our best agent there was a man named Oleg Tumanov, who had a twisted history of involvement with the KGB that continued into the 1990s. More»

To Protect Refugees, We Must Confront Anxiety Over Muslims in Europe

To Protect Refugees, We Must Confront Anxiety Over Muslims in Europe

European policy-makers must address cultural and political anxieties about Islam and refugees head on, rather than ceding the public debate to the far right and their self-defeating policies, argues Behzad Yaghmaian. More»

Latest entries
Breivik and the Jews

Breivik and the Jews

Alex Stein was anxious. Condemning leftist Jewish pundits for publicizing Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik’s affinity for Zionism, the Tel Aviv-based British blogger cried anti-Semitism. “Those on the left who use the arguments outlined above are seeking to demonize whole communities for the crimes of one murderous wing nut,” Stein thundered in The Forward, four days after the Oslo attacks. More»

Vegetable Alley

Vegetable Alley

About fifty meters east from the D exit of the Suzhoujie station on Beijing’s Number 10 metro line, is a small alley market. You walk along the main street, take a gated entryway for five meters, and there, parallel to the street, is a narrow alley with two stands. The first sells vegetables. The second sells peaches, apples, and lychee. A third uses crates on the sidewalk to sell brown hen and salted blue duck eggs, together with oil, pasta and a couple of common kitchen items. More»

Hungarian Mettle

Hungarian Mettle

This is a piece I recently rediscovered while transferring audio from old DAT tapes. It first developed as a guitar practice exercise in 1988. I was rehearsing non-standard time signatures, while listening to 4/4 rock beats. What evolved was a little figure in 7/8 that sounded similar to a tune by one of my favorite groups, Massacre (Fred Frith, Bill Laswell, Fred Maher.) This riff may have developed while trying to learn how to play Massacre’s Killing Time. What emerged from this exercise was a Massacre pastiche. More»

Breaking the News

Breaking the News

Early this week, I found myself following a piece of breaking baseball news. The subject of the news isn’t what matters; you could substitute the debt-ceiling crisis, or impending revolt in a troubled country, or a terrorist act in Norway. I got a phone call from my son around 10:30 Wednesday morning, telling me that it appeared our favorite baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, was making a trade for a valuable player named Carlos Beltran. We only talked for a few minutes, after which I knew I had to track this story down. More»

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?

When word started spreading about Wugazi, the excitement in social media circles was palpable. To those long familiar with mash-ups, myself included, this came as a surprise. It has been eight years, after all, since Danger Mouse released the form’s first widely discussed masterwork The Gray Album, an astonishingly vital fusion of The Beatles’ double-LP colloquially referred to as the “white album”, and Jay-Z’s The Black Album. More»

Kosher and Treif

Kosher and Treif

Israel’s parliament recently passed a highly problematic law attaching civil penalties to individuals or groups that would promote or encourage boycotts against Israel, including against products made in settlements, Israeli civilian-populated areas established following Israel’s 1967 war, and subsequent military occupation of Arab territories. Many organizations and individuals in Israel oppose the Occupation, noting that the international community regards colonial settlements as violations of international law. More»

Oslo to Berlin

Oslo to Berlin

Hans-Peter Friedrich knows the score. Asked whether Germany could suffer from the sort of violence committed by Anders Breivik, Friedrich said, “There are no indications at present of right-wing terrorist activities.” Though he sounded cautious, noting that the attacks “show again what dangers fanatical lone perpetrators can pose,” the Interior Minister remained confident. More»

Network Overload

Network Overload

After eighteen years, the television couldn’t contain his image any longer. Post-elections street art, central Turin. June, 2011.

Post-Capitalist Priorities

Post-Capitalist Priorities

At eighty pages, Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? is a brief but fascinating polemic about the insidious ways in which neoliberal ideology insinuates itself into our lives. Riffing on key ideas from theorists such as Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Slavoj Zizek and Fredric Jameson, Fisher interrogates his own experiences as a UK-based lecturer and culture critic, creating resonant new concepts with which to engage late capitalism. More»

Afrocosmopolitan

Afrocosmopolitan

BronzeHead is a funky, psyched-out Afrobeat band based in London. Over the past year, we’ve not only been developing our sound and our style. We’ve been getting to know each other as musicians and people. Our ten band members come from Australia, England, Nigeria, Spain, the US, and Zimbabwe, and we rehearse and gig regularly in East London. More»

Dead TVs

Dead TVs

Television sets: almost every house has one. When we’re out in the mining towns of southern Arizona photographing the wreckage of the American Dream, there are some things that we always find. Refrigerators, beds, stoves, sofas, clothing, knickknacks, pots and pans sit in the abandoned houses scattered across the Copper Belt, ghosts of a domestic life once lived and now long gone. More»

Life on the Outside

Life on the Outside

“If you’re lookin’ for me, you better look outside” sings John Gleason on the opening song of We Can Take Care of Ourselves, the fourth album from Roadside Graves. It’s a simple statement, a simple moment repeated in a song that’s anything but. More»