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Shall I respond violently? No. The bloody mist that hangs above the ancient cities- Jalalabad, Quetta, Peshawar- reeks of vengeance. Shall I grieve endlessly? No. I am weary of perpetual sadness. I will not pout among clouds of opium like the ghosts of Khorramshahr. (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…)

Last month’s Rio+20 summit, the latest in a series of international meetings intended to combat climate change, amounted to yet another hopeless failure. No surprise there. While the G20 gatherings and World Economic Forums of this world continue to draw major players, Rio+20 was, by-and-large, snubbed. (More…)

As the Euro crisis metastizes to Spain, Italy and elsewhere, European institutions are busy to try to keep the most stricken patient, Greece, alive. The European Commission has set up a high-powered task force “to identify and coordinate the technical assistance that Greece needs to deliver the EU/IMF adjustment programme and accelerate the absorption of EU funds.” (More…)

Last year, Lost Tribe received an impressive degree of buzz for a punk band. The dark, apocalyptic quintet play a unique mix of ’80s California punk, deathrock, and UK anarcho-punk. Lost Tribe’s discography so far consists solely of cassette and vinyl-only releases. So, whence the notoriety? I asked the band what they think about all the buzz. And I got them to spill the beans about their upcoming tour. (More…)

It’s no secret that the powerful advocates for policies supporting the Israeli occupation are Americans who prioritize other interests over those of the United States. In fact, it’s never been more obvious, especially if you work on Capitol Hill. However, this fact remains vastly underrepresented in public debate about US foreign policy. Fortunately, some brave souls are doing their best to change that. (More…)

I recently traveled to Tahrir Square in order to gain a richer perspective on the Egyptian Revolution. I was in Tahrir for the period immediately after the runoff elections, when the country was gripped with uncertainty regarding its final outcome. The graffiti on Mohamed Mahmoud street has been seen globally. These new designs are particularly evocative of the square’s current atmosphere. (More…)

He must have been about twelve. Holding a large piece of paper, with the letters of the alphabet written upon it, he walked from table to table, arms outstretched staring intently at whoever was seated. A couple of customers gave him money. Most didn’t. The boy smelled. Perhaps it was that he was wearing a big wool sweater. It was eighty degrees outside. (More…)

In her award-winning film I Am Nasrine, Iranian-American director Tina Gharavi sheds light on the inexorable rise of post-9/11 xenophobia in the United Kingdom. Set in Tehran and northeast England, the film tells the story of teenage siblings Ali and Nasrine, who are sent off to England in hope of securing a better future. (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…)

There is nothing so beautiful as the faces of insurgents. Nothing in this world is so attractive, so full of hope. No journalist, no politician, no religious leader or other sort of leader will ever be able to extinguish the beauty of the revolt or bury it under discourses that know nothing of joy or longing. (More…)

Tanzkommando Untergang herald Europe’s new dark punk. Combining a guitar-driven deathrock sound with grim, black and white visuals normally associated with radical hardcore, the politically-minded Berlin band is very much of its milieu, and its moment. (More…)