Leaving the West

Leaving the West

Among Turkish media commentators and academics, we are observing an increasing tendency to question Erdoğan’s policy of reorienting Turkey away from the West towards positions and a vernacular that appeal to the “Islamic street.” More»

Syria Studying Proposal to Amend Nationality Law

Syria Studying Proposal to Amend Nationality Law

BEIRUT – Nationality was a controversial topic in Syria even before the influx of foreign fighters, the fleeing of 5.2 million people from the country and the increasing restrictions on freedom of movement for Syrian nationals. More»

Europe at War

Europe at War

A few months ago, Europe was a prosperous country, full of wealth, comfort, and enjoyment of all kinds. Its many millions were engaged in quiet occupations which employed their energies happily. “They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded.” More»

Latest entries
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»

Post-Techno Improv

Post-Techno Improv

So I had to ask, why Respectable Citizen? Keyboardist Bruce Bennett had an answer. “I was reading Jurgen Habermas’ The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity. I stumbled across the phrase, and I thought, ‘What a great name for a band!’” Bennett continued, “It also afforded us the opportunity to occasionally appear as our alter-ego: Despicable Alien, which seemed to have some relevance to immigration policies in the US, especially here, in California.” More»

Top Ten Metal Hybrids

Top Ten Metal Hybrids

In a (post-) postmodern age, no collision should surprise us. I don’t know if Latvian-Portuguese fusion food exists, but it certainly could. So it is that heavy metal has been impacted by all manner of cultures and things. It’s worth highlighting such collisions, as the image of metal as a musical and social monoculture remains persistent. More»

We Are All Prisoners Here

We Are All Prisoners Here

There are posters in the windows, bumper stickers on the cars, pictures of the kidnapped soldier and the caption reads: “Gilad adayin chai”, in English, “Gilad still lives.” They refer to Gilad Shalit, the soldier who was taken by Hamas five years ago now. More»

Crime Series

Crime Series

Germans pay € 215.76 in annual licensing fees to watch TV. This advertisement, affixed to the side of a building in Berlin’s Neukölln district, discourages viewers from not paying their fees, by casting them as participants in a crime series.

The Titless Sky

The Titless Sky

It was the 19th Annual San Francisco Dyke March. Dolores Park, otherwise known as “hipster hill,” was completely packed. I was guilty of going, not out of solidarity or allegiance, but because a friend had asked me to come along with her. As for how I feel about gays, I feel nothing. True tolerance is when you detach yourself from the narrative entirely, judgeless.

The rally was a spectacle. The once green park now the color of flesh, bodies everywhere, most of them hosting some substance, illegal or not, dancing to the faint pulse of a PA system. More»

Willkommen in Deutschland!

Willkommen in Deutschland!

“Your papers, please,” she said rather stiffly. Judging from her pronunciation, I could tell she didn’t speak English very well. I placed my passport on the counter. “Ein Jude!” she exclaimed, as she inspected the Menorah-inscribed cover. More»

The Gathering Darkness

The Gathering Darkness

Bruno Schulz was a genius. He invented his own language and sensibility.  His narrative style and its fantastic voice create a complex reality, much like the piled-high small shops he describes.  Schulz has been mislabeled ‘the Polish Kafka,’ a mistake because Franz Kafka had a far more specific social vision that addressed relations between citizen and state.  For Schulz, the subjects were self, family, neighbors and the cityscape surrounding them all. His best-known work, The Street of Crocodiles, repeatedly articulates a sense of foreboding. More»

In From the Cold?

In From the Cold?

The muse of that isolated winter is gone, replaced by a muse that’s on the run, loose in a wide world. Bon Iver, the band that had its phoenix-like beginning with the muted and hushed For Emma, Forever Ago, is now fully awakened. His recuperation complete, Justin Vernon is free to explore, reaching for a host of new sounds to adorn the band’s second record, Bon Iver. More»