God Before State

God Before State

Throughout Jewish history, despite the constant injunction to refrain ‘from calculating the date of the end,’ men have arisen who have claimed to be messiahs, and these have mostly asserted their claim on nationalistic pleas. They were to be kings of Israel as well as inaugurators of a new regime of moral and spiritual life. More»

Unlearning ISIS: The Battle to Reclaim Hearts and Minds

Unlearning ISIS: The Battle to Reclaim Hearts and Minds

With Islamic State (ISIS) on the retreat in parts of northern and eastern Syria, activists and civil society organizations are refocusing their efforts on counter-extremism and establishing deradicalization programs, hoping to erase the militants’ entrenched ideology. More»

Everyone's President

Everyone’s President

There is something to be said for relatability in a politician. Even Franklin Roosevelt, whose background was as firmly patrician as that of any US president, managed through the medium of fireside chats delivered over the radio to convince Americans the he understood their situation and cared about their fate. More»

Latest entries
Neukölln to Kabul

Neukölln to Kabul

The protest was shocking. Yet, for anyone who follows German politics, the bombs found on Berlin’s train tracks should not have been a surprise. For eight years, Germany has participated in the Afghan conflict. The third largest contributor to NATO forces in the country, the Bundeswehr’s participation has grown progressively unpopular. But, a fuse for leftist violence? Unanticipated. More»

Throwing Muses Find Their Way

Throwing Muses Find Their Way

Joy and rage, as each new generation bangs up against its own possibilities and the world as it is, are what gives rock music its energy and power. This is why first albums are rarely surpassed, why corporate pop is such a betrayal, and why listening to Sir Michael Philip Jagger failing to get satisfaction aged 65 is less authentic than it was in 1965. More»

Meet the Neighbors

Meet the Neighbors

We were in their way. “Excuse me,”  interjected the most assertive of the women. She looked anxious. Embarrassed, I let her by. Two Israeli men, deep in conversation, about money, had inadvertently blocked a group of young hijab-wearing Muslims from London’s Green Park tube station. I wanted to say something to my friend, but he beat me to it. More»

Making Ourselves Heard

Making Ourselves Heard

On September 17th, the day Occupy Wall Street commenced, I spent my morning in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, completing the last step of the naturalization process: the oath of citizenship. This oath is not especially poetic, but it is important. Immigrants are repeatedly told that they will not become Americans until they have collectively uttered the oath, which includes pledging to take up arms if asked to do so. More»

Hip Hop Archetypes

Hip Hop Archetypes

If the Arab Spring has a soundtrack, it’s hip hop. Chalk it up to an online meme that went viral during the protests leading up to the Libyan War. Credit US public broadcaster National Public Radio with helping acquaint American audiences with it via the voices of Libya’s boisterous MCs, many of whom have not been heard from since. More»

Looking For Work

Looking For Work

Julia wanted to be a lawyer. But her family was poor. There was no money for university. So, in 2000, a few years after she’d finished high school in her native Russia, she applied to a company that promised overseas work. “They told me that after a year, I would be able to come back. They said I would have enough money to study and to buy a small apartment,” Julia says, speaking through a translator. More»

Money to Burn

Money to Burn

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Kopyright Liberation Front (KLF) committed suicide, twice. One incident involved a gun; the other had a furnace.  The pioneering group was at the top of their game. They had international hits. They made money. They wrote the book on ambient-techno in their 1990 masterpiece, Chill Out. And they imbued the notion of “trance techno” into British pop with their single, What Time is Love?  More»

Stop the Violence

Stop the Violence

My heart was pounding. Watching footage of Saturday’s rioting in Rome,  my worst fears had come true. The left had become so outraged, it was taking the easy way out. The way of violence. Not only was there the expected fighting between the Black Bloc and the cops. La Repubblica documented instances of hooded militants fighting with red flag-waving protestors as well. More»

Riding Out the Storm

Riding Out the Storm

To wear armor at all is to need protection, to fear wounds beyond what the body can sustain. So when that armor begins to fail, the resulting vulnerability is so much worse than an unguarded safety. On his sixth album under the Crooked Fingers name, Eric Bachmann takes a songwriting trip into a state of such startling vulnerability that it’s hard to count all the wounds contained in its 11 songs. More»

Make Some Noise

Make Some Noise

The grown ups weren’t happy. Following violent protests against university fee hikes in London last year, a screed against the musical tastes of the demonstrators was circulated on a number of prominent discussion lists. Not only was the music played at the demos unchallenging. There wasn’t that much of it either. What had happened to today’s youth? Were their iPods suddenly empty? More»

Black, Proud and Palestinian

Black, Proud and Palestinian

This story was taken for Arthur Neslen’s book In Your Eyes a Sandstorm: Ways of Being Palestinian a collection of interviews about Palestinian identity. Sadly, for space reasons, it could not be published there. But Souciant is happy to give it a home. In Your Eyes a Sandstorm will be released next week. More»

Memorializing Steve Jobs

Memorializing Steve Jobs

Cancer sucks. I, too, mourn the passing of Steve Jobs. Not to mention a few notable, world changing people who passed away the same week as Apple’s co-founder.  I too appreciate the contributions to technology and design he made. Jobs sold things that people did not even know they needed until they held them. More»