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Toronto has a dilemma: It can afford new, high tech trains for municipal transport. However, it cannot develop other services to meet the city’s needs. What does this disjuncture mean? (More…)

If the mission of ’77 punk was the resuscitation of rock & roll’s antisocial roots, postpunk amounted to an unfettered exploration of the musical and cultural spaces that punk had made possible. In England’s Dreaming, Jon Savage noted that as early as 1978, punk had fractured into two camps: The social realists on one side (The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers) whose fans would become the street punk, Oi!, and hardcore movements. (More…)

When word began to circulate that Fox Business Network host Eric Bolling had criticized The Muppets for promoting anti-capitalist values, many people were incredulous. Social media sites were soon awash with the type of satire popularized by The Daily Show. But this dismissive response obscured the fact that he was being mocked for doing what many progressives have advocated for decades: taking popular culture seriously. (More…)

Despite his comparative anonymity, it may actually turn out to be James Alex, the blogger/artist who kicked off the recent pepper-spray cop meme, who becomes the more important model for the future of Occupy Wall Street than Kalle Lasn, the now-famous head of Adbusters. Let me explain why, through my own encounter with each of them. (More…)

With the 2012 Presidential campaign already underway, conventional wisdom dictates that Barack Obama will steer clear of any controversy regarding Israel. Well, he certainly surprised us all this week. Obama himself has remained largely aloof from the Middle East. But key members of his administration have churned up a surprising amount of controversy. (More…)

“Sans papiers.”  For European advocates of multiculturalism and social justice, few terms have as much political significance as this piece of graffiti testifies, in Brussels’ Matongé neighborhood. French for “without papers,” the designation  was originally coined in reference to illegal immigrants to France, who number up to 400,000, according to The Guardian. (More…)

“I started off rapping for people just like myself, people who were in awe of wealth and flash. It was a conversation between me and them. But now most of those who buy my records are listening in on others’ conversation. They are the aural equivalent of voyeurs, thrilled at this crazy world that has nothing to do with their experience.” -Ice-T (More…)

When The Coming Insurrection was first made public, it read to me like wishful thinking. Although rooted in Europe’s struggle to cope with the realities of multiculturalism, the uprisings that inspired the book seemed uniquely French. How could they be the model for an international movement? (More…)

On November 4th, Harriet, the Poetry Foundation’s blog, published a photo of Cindy Crawford reading Uncreative Writing, Kenneth Goldsmith’s new essay collection. There’s no attempt to explain why a former supermodel and current home furnishings magnate would spend her time reading a book of essays about avant-garde poetics (More…)

This week, Iceland became the first European country to recognize the State of Palestine. The declaration had a curious clause: “Iceland recalls also the right of Palestinian refugees to return to former homes in accordance with numerous UN resolutions.” (More…)

A Polish court has officially sanctioned two historic symbols linked with fascism and homophobia,  the Phalanx and the Celtic cross –  zakaz pedalowania  [Loose translation: Schwulen verboten/Ban the fags.] From now on, these signs will be legally protected.  They are symbols of an ultra-nationalist party, The National Rebirth of Poland, which started as an anti-minority organization in the 1930s. (More…)

Europe didn’t need Anders Breivik to know that xenophobia has grown to epidemic proportions. Sample graffiti in any metro area, and you’ll find more hate speech than anything else. Despite its leftist politics, Turin, for example plays host to amongst the most racist tagging in Italy. Note the use of a Swastika, in the place of an S, in the word “Islam.” (More…)