Summer Reading for Imperialists

Summer Reading for Imperialists

Daniel Silva’s series of thriller novels featuring Gabriel Allon, an Israeli spy, are a phenomenon among bestsellers. Millions of English-language copies from this have been sold in the sixteen years this series has been in print, and translations are available in dozens of languages. A new novel appears near-annually, and in a short time, hits the top of the New York Times bestseller lists. More»

Labour's Cold War

Labour’s Cold War

You can tell Jeremy Corbyn is worth supporting just by looking at his opponents: Owen Smith, Angela Eagle, Lisa Nandy, Hilary Benn, Chuka Umunna et alia. A long list of nobodies and know-nothings, each of them produced by the spawn pool of career politicians. The rise of Corbynism is a great revolt by people who are sick and tired of conventional politics. More»

My Days in Damascus Entry 4: Getting Permission

My Days in Damascus Entry 4: Getting Permission

Farah is a young woman living in Syria’s capital city, where she faces the daily struggles of trying to maintain a normal social and professional life in a country being ripped apart by war. More»

Latest entries
The Envy of Privilege

The Envy of Privilege

One cannot help but wonder what author Andrew Solomon would have achieved had he been born into different circumstances. He sits across from me on a French-style couch in his private library, arms extended, seemingly afloat on a swell of cushions. More»

Why I Believe in Poverty

Why I Believe in Poverty

I make my living trying to edit the Ladies’ Home Journal. And because the public has been most generous in its acceptance of that periodical, a share of that success has logically come to me. Hence, a number of my very good readers cherish an opinion that often I have been tempted to correct, a temptation to which I now yield. My correspondents express the conviction variously, but this extract from a letter is a fair sample: More»

Playing for Fun

Playing for Fun

The last day of the NBA regular season made for remarkable television. While Kobe Bryant, the first superstar to make his mark in the wake of basketball’s massive global expansion, was playing the final game of his illustrious twenty-year career in Los Angeles, the Golden State Warriors, the league’s best team and defending champions, were winning their record-breaking 73rd game. More»

Neoliberal Berlin

Neoliberal Berlin

Cheap cities have their downsides. Aside from being, quite frequently, depressed, they’re gated communities in training. For every vintage building full of broke punks, there’s a real estate developer looking to transform it into over-priced live-work condos. It just takes the malcontents to scout them out, and make them livable again. Bohemians are, as it always turns out, the shock troops of the wealthy. More»

From the FARC to the Houthis

From the FARC to the Houthis

Some 3,000 Colombian nationals have gone to fight and, if it comes to it, die in defense of the UAE since 2011. Of this number, at least 300 are now serving in Yemen at the Port of Aden. What distinguishes these men in Yemen from the UAE’s other “guest workers,” though, is that they will be offered citizenship, a rare privilege not often extended to other expatriate communities. More»

The Tiger Lawyer

The Tiger Lawyer

When I step out of the rain and into the restaurant, Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran is already waiting for me. Though I’m seven minutes early, I arrive to find the exiled Sri Lankan lawyer, known to his compatriots as Rudra, sitting at a corner table and peacefully watching the deluge outside. More»

America Needs Smart People

America Needs Smart People

Running a record label is a pain in the ass. It always begins with the best of intentions that reside somewhere in the mix of DIY ethics, wanting to support your friends, and simply trying to release your band’s arguably mediocre record when nobody else will do it. More»

Fascism Today

Fascism Today

Talking about politics in the United States these days can give one the feeling of being a latter day Edward R. Murrow, broadcasting from London in the days of the Battle of Britain. Certainly the differences are massive and cannot be ignored, not the least of which being that we are the ones launching explosives at other people. More»

Remains of the Day

Remains of the Day

It has been over a year since my friend and I visited the haunted compound of the abandoned Forest Haven mental asylum and since I began chronicling what we discovered there: a horrific testament to bureaucracy at its worst and the ragged remains of so many lives that wasted away on the outskirts of Washington D.C. More»

Misreading the Taliban

Misreading the Taliban

Since 9/11, Western security services have obsessed over jihadism, creating a new cadre of self-appointed experts on Islamic militant groups like the Pakistani Taliban. Unfortunately, most of it cannot be taken seriously, due to its overt racism and Islamophobia. How can we correct this? More»

Long Live Lookout Records

Long Live Lookout Records

Larry Livermore is responsible for getting a lot of great songs stuck in my head. Years before I played my first punk show, I memorized choruses on mixtapes gifted from my skater friends, which included tracks from Green Day, Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine and various other bands I had never seen, but would eventually come to know as part of Livermore’s record label. More»

Stopping Hillary

Stopping Hillary

After Doug Henwood’s My Turn, you’ll be well equipped to go up against liberals desperately circling the Hillary wagon right now. It’s strength is partly that it doesn’t require you to support a particular candidate. You just have to harbour suspicions about Hillary Clinton’s record. And the prospect of a Clinton dynasty does not inspire much enthusiasm. More»