A Mother’s Loss in the Coalition’s Battle for Raqqa

A Mother’s Loss in the Coalition’s Battle for Raqqa

Umm Omar had not seen her youngest son, Ali, in three years before he was killed by a US-led coalition airstrike on Raqqa city. He is just one of the roughly 500 people who have reportedly been killed by coalition airstrikes on ISIS’s former Syrian stronghold since June. More»

Shia Red Scare

Shia Red Scare

In 2004, King Abdullah of Jordan warned that a “Shia Crescent” of Iranian-led movements and governments would begin to dominate the northern Middle East. His predictions were quickly echoed by regional leaders, from Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to defensive Persian Gulf monarchs, and an American security establishment overly focused on Tehran’s influence in a number of regional capitals.  More»

Survival is Victory

Survival is Victory

After watching Dunkirk, you’ll likely spend some time silently processing the film. The interwoven timelines, the high pressure soundtrack and the constant threat of death can easily captivate the viewer. More»

Latest entries
Local Programming

Local Programming

You have to savor the cross, and its proximity to ‘bacteria’. Euronews carries the most memorable adverts on British cable television. April, 2011.

 

Out of Step

Out of Step

The twelve days I spent in Athens, covering the Gaza flotilla as an embedded journalist, were stressful and confusing. I was still trying to wrap my head around things as I left Tel Aviv for a visit to the United States. More»

Mao is on the Menu

Mao is on the Menu

Several blocks away from our apartment in Beijing’s Haidian district, a retro ‘red’ restaurant stands alongside the street. Its walls are decorated with photos of Mao Tse Tung and Zhou Enlai along with applauding Communist Party cadres. All the famous faces are here, with many enlarged photographs hanging on the walls and dining booths. More»

Rupert Murdoch Was Here

Rupert Murdoch Was Here

News of the World was always its own story. A paper that specialized in decrying the rot in British society, it turned out to be every bit as corrupt as what it covered. Falling on its own sword, after 168 years of publishing, was hardly surprising. The question is what took it so long. More»

The Real Me

The Real Me

It’s early June. I’m in the backseat of my car, returning from a week on the beach in California to the Arizona desert. We’ve already crossed the Colorado River and I’m staring into the wasteland outside, dreading the blast furnace that awaits me. More»

The Art of Escape

The Art of Escape

“Green & Dumb,” any one of a dozen songs that could rightly serve as a calling card for Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, came late in the band’s 2011 Circus Mexicus set and as their fans have come to do, I joined my friends arm-in-arm, all of us swaying in time with the ballad. More»

Post-Techno Improv, Part 2

Post-Techno Improv, Part 2

The beat that I used for this piece is fairly simple. It frees me to experiment with interweaving quasi-contrapuntally melodic timbral elements into Vance Galloway‘s rhythmic guitar line, while complementing Bruce Bennett‘s keyboard solo. The basic component of the beat is a 3 against 2 polyrhythm divided between the right hand and the left foot. More»

Lost Photo Album

Lost Photo Album

When coming across photos of anonymous people, it is impossible not to relate them to our own lives and memories somehow. Often we have an intense positive or negative response to the people looking out of these photographs and the history they represent. The universality of life represented in the photographs — birthdays, weddings, family vacations — crosses economic and gender boundaries.

What we see in photos are events of life and the emotional record of those events. Traces of personal identity become blurred with our own relationship to the events. More»

Home Electronica

Home Electronica

Tinkering culture has slowly entered the mainstream. Once the province of Popular Mechanics and Wired, coverage of the making and hacking trend has been appearing regularly in such unlikely periodicals as the New York Times. It’s hard getting adjusted to big media gushing about geek wads tweaking bits and bytes and building fire breathing robots in the back yard. More»

The American Monopoly

The American Monopoly

The morning I returned from the US, every paper was carrying the same cover story: Six Italian soldiers had been killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul. Corriere Della Serra, La Repubblica, even the local edition of The Metro, all seemed to be working with the same set of photos of the event’s aftermath. For the first time since we’d moved to Milano, it was like overhearing an entire country sighing, simultaneously. From left to right, the reaction was the same. Everyone was in a state of shock. More»

Only Right and Natural

Only Right and Natural

When driving across a European border, some of the most charming sights are the cobwebbed customs facilities, abandoned since 1995. You can drive from the Arctic Circle to within sight of Morocco without ever having to slow down for a passport check. To many, this is what “Europe” means: a single continent, whole and free, whose members trust each other enough to get rid of their borders. More»

Many Happy Returns

Many Happy Returns

Now is the time for dub. No genre of popular music is better suited to the exigencies of contemporary cultural production. Technology is inexpensive and easy to come by, but people make things hard. Finding a way to play together, seems to require a complexity of scheduling worthy of a railroad dispatcher. Factor in the geographic dislocations that disperse potential bandmates hundreds, even thousands of miles away, and the appeal of constructing music with pre-existing elements, piece by piece, layer by layer, is clear. More»