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“Walk like an Egyptian.” “Trafalgar square = Tahrir Square.” Comparisons to the uprising then-underway in Egypt were aplenty at London’s anti-cuts protest in March 2011. No surprise there. For the first time since 1989, revolutionary fervor was crossing national boundaries, challenging authoritarianism in the name of democracy. (More…)

“Be careful, the walls have ears.” Ammar Khaf, a spokesman for the Los Angeles chapter of the Syrian American Council, quotes a saying that millions grew up with under Baathist rule. He talks of the fear that gripped the diaspora when Mukhabarat agents assassinated prominent exiles in the 1980s. But as anti-Assad protests spread, the community grew emboldened. (More…)

It wasn’t the first time I’ve seen Slayer live. As a metal fan for over twenty years  it’s been hard to avoid seeing them, given the frequency with which they tour. Nor would I want to avoid seeing them. They are after all the ur-band, the mother lode of extreme metal, never wavering in their commitment to a tight-riffing, hyper-disciplined sound. (More…)

Imagine you lived in an impoverished area with virtually no hope for the future. It’s a place where there is little work to be had and your family struggles every day to keep a roof over their heads and find some food to eat. (More…)

It wasn’t meant to be demeaning. Wherever you turned that winter, someone was selling something with the President’s name or likeness on it. The fact that it was Milan, at the height of the Berlusconi era, and the sellers Arabs and south Asians, said something. They were hoping for a breakthrough, just like Americans were. (More…)

Few entities inspire as much fear as Europe. Whether it’s the two World Wars, the Holocaust, or colonialism, the bad rap has generally been justified.  Add the current economic crisis to the list, and it’s hard to imagine the anxiety ever going away. (More…)

It’s common punk wisdom: Republican presidents suck for America, but they’re great for punk. The Reagan Administration proved to be an ironic boon to hardcore. And so was Dubya. What follows are some of the best moments from hardcore punk’s second great era: 2001-2009, the Bush/Cheney regime. (More…)

He was a casually dressed man in his fifties. He greeted me colloquially, and asked me if I wanted anything to drink. “I’d love some orange juice,” I responded. Referring to the man behind him, he said: “Watch for the paranoid schizophrenic back there. He’s bothering that couple and they don’t know what to do about it.” (More…)

70s Rock Must Die.” Released at the tail end of the grunge era, you couldn’t help but snicker. Arriving too late to discredit the next-wave power ballad revival led by bands like Nickleback, Lard’s AC/DC parody was a welcome reminder of a forgotten punk value: anti-nostalgia. (More…)

Forty-five years ago, the Six Day War completely changed the face of the Middle East. The effects of that war were numerous. It is a testimony to the significance of Israel’s victory that these effects are not only still felt this day, but most powerfully in Washington, DC. (More…)

Richard Clarke is concerned that Stuxnet, presumed to have been an Israeli-American initiative aimed at Iran’s nuclear program, is being studied by China to use against the U.S.  “It got loose because there was a mistake,” he told Smithsonian Magazine. Clarke was angry, calling Stuxnet, “The best cyberweapon the United States has ever developed,” which it “gave the world for free.” (More…)

Greece is in the middle of a Great Depression. Overall unemployment stands at 22%, while unemployment among young workers is at 50%. The far right has made a return to parliament in the form of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party, who openly use Nazi salutes. Anarchist riots occur almost weekly. Enter the fiery hardcore punk of Sarabante. (More…)