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With repetition, truth accretes. So I mumbled, as I looked up at the newsstand, and saw dozens of copies of the new Charlie Hebdo on display. “Intouchables 2,” read the lead headline. Beneath it was a drawing of a Haredi Jew, pushing a disabled Imam sitting in a wheelchair. “Faut pas se moquer!” (“Don’t mock us!”) he says. (More…)

It’s easy not to notice silence. Particularly in diplomacy, where the most recognizable forms are easy to spot, but  the more subtle ones likely to go unobserved. Sometimes that silence can carry considerable weight. Sometimes the implications are less profound than they should be. (More…)

I’ve got this thing about airplanes. Especially if I am taking them in the forgotten corners of the world. There was that Yerevan to Moscow flight, stopping off in Vladikavkaz for fuel paid for by us, the passengers, dropping various currencies into our begging pilots’ cap. There was that Yak40 linking Ulanbaatar to God knows where in rural Mongolia, with more goats and clucking hens than humans as passengers. (More…)

The back cover and spine of Punk: An Aesthetic are almost entirely white, with a clean, black typeface. Seen from a distance on a bookshelf, it could be any modern art book. But the front cover — punk cartoonist Gary Panter’s illustration of the singer for The Screamers — is another matter (More…)

“Not again,” I thought, looking over the new releases on display at the record store. The top shelf featured a 40th-anniversary reissue of Nuggets, the classic garage compilation, while the one below offered a 45th-anniversary version of The Velvet Underground and Nico. It annoyed me that I was being asked to buy music I already owned. (More…)

Tony Wakeford has been making music since 1977, starting with political punks Crisis. Wakeford and ex-Crisis members started the seminal postpunk/neofolk Death in June. Afterwards came his current project, Sol Invictus. Wakeford’s career has not been without controversy. He recently discussed his legacy with Souciant. (More…)

Bibi has seen better days. Election dramas, victories for  Fatah and Hamas, and a diplomatic backlash have kept Netanyahu busy. “E-1,” the name of the thin strip of land that connects Jerusalem with the eastern settlement of Ma’ale Adumim has once again become a prominent phrase after he announced that Israel would move forward with construction plans there. (More…)

Squatting is in the news again. This time, as a consequence of a new UK law criminalizing the practice. In effect since November, the legislation could not have been passed at a poorer (to put it bluntly,) time. With the British economy in its fourth year of crisis, there was something especially cruel about the gesture. If you’re homeless, that’s your lot. Shelter is out of the question. (More…)

There’s always one or two at every metal gig I go to in London. Amid the sea of white faces there are always one or two black fans standing out from the crowd. The question I want to ask is “What are you doing here?” Not because I don’t think black people should be into metal, but because I want to know what drew them to heed metal’s call. (More…)

+HIRS+ is a Philadelphia duo dedicated to harsh noise and queer politics. Their motto, as emblazoned on their t-shirts, is “looks like hell, sounds like shit, no gods, no cops.” The band’s singer, Jenna Pup, sat down with me to discuss sampling, what it’s like being a queer band in the grind scene, and the role of music in delivering political messages. (More…)

This sticker, the latest in Souciant’s series on a youth outreach campaign of Germany’s Left Party, brings back memories of a time when I was both “learning to see,” in the sense Rainer Maria Rilke invokes in The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, and trying hard not to do so. (More…)

Monsieur Richard Ndeudjui, from Makenene in central Cameroon, is a contented man. Thanks to his Moringa leaf tea, he has vanquished the symptoms of his malaria. His son, a student at the University of Yaoundé, brought back the idea and convinced dad to try. (More…)