Waiting for the Anarchists

Waiting for the Anarchists

Whenever foreign leftists think about Italy, one of the first things that comes to mind are violent demonstrations, in big cities, like Rome, and Milan. Rarely do they imagine politics taking place outside of the major tourist hubs. It’s not surprising. One plays host to the federal government. The other, the business sector. More»

American Labor’s Death

American Labor’s Death

A U.S. Supreme Court decision set to come out this summer could decide the fate of the nation’s public sector unions, and judging by the temperament of the court’s conservative five-member majority, it looks as if labor is bracing for a powerful punch to the gut. The court’s acceptance of the idea of that money is tantamount to speech means that a decision in Harris v. Quinn could mean the end of the “closed shop” in government employment. More»

How Not to Defend Spoilers

How Not to Defend Spoilers

A seemingly endless pattern has developed. Somebody on my Facebook feed gives away a development from a television program, and another person complains. Then, the discussion starts. It’s always the same thing, the same arguments, and the same discourses that prevent any meaningful exploration from taking place. More»

Latest entries
Zapatistas in Pakistan

Zapatistas in Pakistan

War continues in the restive tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. After several failures at democratization, many of us continue to seek a way to break the impasse. I believe that we must reformulate ourselves, and take inspiration from the Zapatistas. More»

Music at a Standstill

Music at a Standstill

Today we’re witnessing the fulfillment of the postmodern condition that figures such as Baudrillard and Lyotard first proclaimed – prematurely – in the 1980s. Abundance, and the simultaneous availability of every kind of cultural commodity threatens to ‘flatten’ out the world, creating a kind of continuous present, beyond progress, beyond history. More»

Currency as Culture

Currency as Culture

Who could argue with such a simple request? “1 Euro for education”, the sign reads, advertising IKEA’s ongoing commitment to donate that amount to Save the Children with the purchase of each soft toy. But given the context, it’s hard not to read the message as a disturbing double entendre. More»

The Fall of Saud

The Fall of Saud

The writing is on the wall. Saudi Arabia, in its current form, is destined to self-destruct. The question is what will succeed it. And if it’s the Saudi-we-know that will collapse, we’re already seeing indications of Saudi-to-be in the violent, and ineffective Nitaqat Program. More»

Everyone Against Apartheid

Everyone Against Apartheid

From Pretoria to Peoria, the whole world is in mourning. For a one-time revolutionary leader from South Africa, that ought to say something. Not just about his political achievements, in helping end his country’s hated Apartheid regime. Rather, what Nelson Mandela’s breakthroughs meant to persons abroad, with little to no immediate stakes in his victories. More»

Discrimination and Inequality

Discrimination and Inequality

Many have noted, with amused or outraged disdain, the contortions with which right-wingers from Dick Cheney to David Cameron are seeking to appropriate a piece of the Madiba magic. Few have as yet noted its converse: icons of the modern left condemning Nelson Mandela for not being socialist enough. More»

Invisible Metal

Invisible Metal

Historically, scarcity has played a crucial role in metal, particularly in underground extreme metal. Until recently, there were considerable logistical barriers to recording, releasing, circulating and publicising metal recordings. It took considerable time, money and commitment to make a demo, to trade it and to market it. Copying tapes, printing flyers and hand-answering fanzine interviews required a certain degree of determination. More»

In Praise of Failure

In Praise of Failure

Tony Judt, who died in 2010 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, had the quality of an epigone. This is not the case because he was a historian of a stripe very much in retreat from the onslaught of post-structuralist trends since the 1970s. He was also a representative of a humanistic strain of liberalism which had, by the time of his death, long since begun to seem atavistic. More»

DIY Means Diversity

DIY Means Diversity

Focused on increasing the presence of people of color, transgender, queer, and female-identified people in punk and DIY in Philadelphia, First Time’s the Charm was a 16 band gig held in early November. Each group was playing their very first show, which made for a very exciting and interesting night of underground music. More»

Nowhere To Hide

Nowhere To Hide

“Exposure can kill as easily as a knife,” cautions the woman who introduces Katniss Everdeen and her fellow tributes to their training sessions for the Hunger Games. She is advising them to practice survival skills as well as combat techniques. But the formulation resonates throughout the first film based on Suzanne Collins’ trilogy and into the second, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire More»

Houthi Graffiti

Houthi Graffiti

I live in what an expat friend called a “Houthi stronghold.” While Sana’a itself is a majority Sunni city, the neighborhoods surrounding its Old City have, in recent years, been flooded by a migration of Zaidi Shi’a affiliated with the al-Houthi insurgents in northern Yemen. More»

Too Much Metal

Too Much Metal

Metal today is in crisis. Metal’s crisis doesn’t feel like a crisis. In fact it sometimes feels like quite the reverse. This is a crisis in which most are unaware that there is a crisis – and that is the crisis. The crisis is one of abundance. More»