Irish Stand-Off

Irish Stand-Off

As the UK gets ready to leave the European Union, the old unanswered questions of the British union have been accelerated. Despite all the talk of national unity, British society is sharply divided and deeply unequal. Even the English are split over Brexit, let alone the rest of the Kingdom. More»

Trump's Russia Plan

Trump’s Russia Plan

President Trump continues to face paranoid accusations that he was elected with the direct assistance of the Kremlin. As a result of the Cold War theatrics, Trump’s most realistic objectives in U.S.-Russia relations, as well as his broader international outlook, have not been properly discussed.  More»

Europe’s Refugee Frontier

Europe’s Refugee Frontier

In the first part of our series ‘Europe’s Outsourced Refugees,’ we report from Belgrade on how illegal pushbacks of asylum seekers along the Balkan route are leaving refugees invisible and unprotected. More»

Thank Heavens for the Deep State

Thank Heavens for the Deep State

On the strength of Thursday’s news, we can reasonably assume that one of two things has happened. One possibility is that Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, decided to stage a piece of low-grade political theater in the hopes of somehow getting the Republicans ahead of a news cycle. More»

Latest entries
Across the Great Divide

Across the Great Divide

Ryu Murakami’s Popular Hits of the Showa Era, just released in English translation, has a plot that is both straightforward and surreal. Six single men in their twenties, all social outcasts touched by madness, band together to form a karaoke club. Six single women in their thirties, similarly cut off from society but much less demented, do the same. When one of the men randomly assaults and murders one of the women, a grisly chain reaction ensues, turning these outwardly unassuming ensembles into de facto gangs worthy of the American inner city.
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Mussolini or Berlusconi?

Mussolini or Berlusconi?

It was an obvious gaffe. A Mussolini figurine sits next to an iMac displaying a photo of a younger Silvio Berlusconi. The occasion: Casting agent and Berlusconi associate Lele Mora, defending the Italian Prime Minister against charges of abuse of power on Euronews. Read a transcript of the Wednesday broadcast, or watch the program.

Bride of the Sea

Bride of the Sea

Sometimes I’m not sure what to call her. Is it Yafo? Or Jaffa? Then there is the old Arabic nickname, Urs al-Bahr, Bride of the Sea. Each word has its history. And each has its fate. More»

Padlock City

Padlock City

Odessa, once the Soviet Union’s largest commercial port, was the funkiest place in the Nazi empire. It is said that the occupying Romanian officers would never consider going out without their make-up on, the better to attract the favors of the city’s belles. That reputation lives on, to this day. More»

Font You!

Font You!

Piazza Bodoni. Torino, Italy, 04/11.

Paradise Regained

Paradise Regained

Hospital waiting rooms are a horrid place. You’re either about to be diagnosed with something awful, or in love with someone who is. My San Francisco hospital, in its boundless touchy-feeliness, commissioned a harp player to set up next to us and play harp arrangements of Debussy and other typically floral-sounding songs. More»

Aroused by Print

Aroused by Print

When we first saw the cover of the Sunday Telegraph we did a double take. The photo of the burning MiG 29 above the fold immediately caught our attention.  Combined with the left-side headline “British Forces Attack Gaddafi,” the layout suggested that the Russian-made fighter had been shot down by the RAF. More»

The Pleasure Principle

The Pleasure Principle

Another day, another cloud-based service. Another day, another music service launches. Double-whammy, we get Amazon’s new music service, Cloud Player. Too little, too late. More»

Process, Not Synthesis

Process, Not Synthesis

As I mingle with the audience after playing a concert, or chat online about my music,  I often find myself explaining the technical ways in which my work is created. I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that I’ve found my vocation as a media technician, or if I am simply less comfortable talking about the philosophy behind my music.
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Ambient Life

Ambient Life

There wasn’t a day that he wasn’t there. If he wasn’t standing at the bottom of the stairs, leading down from our side of Piazzale Loreto, he’d be in the middle of the tunnel, connecting one side of the square to the other. Whether it was hot or it was cold, the same sock hat was always affixed to his head. Upon reflection, I can’t remember when he wasn’t wearing a down jacket, either. More»

Out of Joint

Out of Joint

Although studded with moments of hectic musical convergence, Kutmah’s The New Error is bookended by passages in which propulsion takes a back seat. On the opening track, a string motif of Middle Eastern provenance twines amid meandering piano chords as Doom articulates a dream of irony-free positivity. Yet the hiss and crackle that suffuse the proceedings keep them at a distance. More»

BDS and Beyond

BDS and Beyond

March 30th

Thirty five years ago today, a peaceful general strike by Israeli-Palestinians was met with bullets. Six people were killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in what became known as Land Day. Two and a half months later, the Soweto uprising began in South Africa, claiming far more lives, but laying down a marker in the struggle against apartheid. The timing of the two revolts melded the stirrings of solidarity consciousness with the Palestinians to apartheid comparisons with South Africa. More»