Dead Weather

Dead Weather

Few issues strike so close to home as human-driven climate change. Although one form or another of this explanation has been acknowledged by the vast majority of scientists, the general public has proved less ready to accept that this is the case. A recent Pew study revealed that 67% of Americans thought that there was “solid evidence that the Earth is warming,” with only 44% conceding that human beings are causing it. More»

Cynicism and the Left

Cynicism and the Left

No clichés here. As far as leftist flyers go, they’re don’t exactly inspire you to speak truth to power.  Dispensing with images of marchers standing up to the man, and police beating up protestors, they relied more on sarcasm, and a pronounced sense of contempt, to make their point. Feeling flushed down the toilet? Sick of the bread, and the circuses, and promises of pussy? We relate. More»

Berlin as Jerusalem

Berlin as Jerusalem

Compared to other German cities or metropoles like Paris and London, Berlin has benefited from its lack of meaningful antiquity. Little more than a village prior to Prussia’s ascendancy in the 1700s and still not very impressive in Germany’s early years as a unified nation, it was free to develop as a fully modern city. Not only cartographically and architecturally, but ideologically. More»

Tears For Fears Appear

Tears For Fears Appear

Portland’s south waterfront venue was open, though Tears For Fears weren’t due to play for another seven hours. The main stage was flanked by industrial sized mesh banners of Captain Pabst who bears, at least at that scale, an uncanny resemblance to Colonel Sanders. If it is Pabst, there’s no sign of him on the cans, although Project Pabst did provide festival-themed PBR souvenir cans complete with the Project unicorn for an investment of a mere $4. More»

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United Arab Babylons

United Arab Babylons

I have wistful memories of the United Arab Emirates. I spent much of my childhood gazing over the sand dunes, and playing knockoff Super Nintendo games that couldn’t save properly. I felt safe and fulfilled in the paradisaical oasis. More»

Money and the Left

Money and the Left

Socially responsible investment. For a certain kind of leftist, the notion is a bit much. How can the root of all evil be used to further good? Money is Mammon, after all. As adolescent as this anxiety sounds, it’s still a good question to ask, because it opens the doors to all sorts of concerns fundamental to left-wing politics. More»

Angry, White and British

Angry, White and British

Two weeks ago, Roger Helmer of UKIP was trounced by the Conservative candidate at Newark. It seemed to go against everything the media has told us about the UKIP threat. Many had claimed the gains UKIP made in May would be transformed into a fourth party presence within Parliament. More»

Home of the Bodybag

Home of the Bodybag

After each needless slaughter in an American city or town by a lunatic who had easy, legal access to firearms, liberals find themselves creating a whole host of narratives to explain the gun culture that makes the United States stand out among industrialized nations for its epidemic of gun violence. More»

Europe for Internationalists

Europe for Internationalists

The recent European elections left those who benefit from a laissez-faire continent concerned that “populism” could rebuild the walls they spent decades disassembling. Though many of the anti-EU parties have little in common beyond their hostility to Brussels, this term is still being used to describe them all. It’s as if traditional ideological divisions had ceased to exist. More»

9/11 Forever

9/11 Forever

You’d be forgiven for thinking it was September 11th, 2001 again. The tone of newscasts this past week recalled the hysteria of a decade ago. It is almost as though the “America Under Attack” segments which showed us the Twin Towers falling were once again being readied for replay, following ISIS’ inevitable triumph over Iraq’s US-backed Shia government. More»

Armenian, Ukrainian, Soviet

Armenian, Ukrainian, Soviet

Given the current state of affairs in Ukraine, it’s hardly surprising that the Georgian-born Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov should yet again court controversy from beyond the grave. More»

Death of a Rapper

Death of a Rapper

Golden Dawn. For a Nazi party, the name is kind of funny. “The first time I heard it, I thought it meant taking a leak in the morning,” remarked a colleague. In English, it fails to connote power, the way the names of other more serious-sounding older European fascist groups do, like Romania’s Iron Guard and Hungary’s Arrow Cross. More»

Iraq Invades the West

Iraq Invades the West

The first news I received about the events now snappily referred to as the #ISIScrisis was that 500,000 thousand Iraqis were fleeing to somewhere, from somewhere, because of something. Such is the degree to which upheavals in the Middle East have become white noise. More»

Three Days Before the Shooting

Three Days Before the Shooting

When I heard about the rampage in Isla Vista — in which a deranged narcissist unleashed a nightmare on the slightly fallen student paradise beside the University of California, Santa Barbara—I was in Washington, DC attending symposia on Ralph Ellison. Now, back at UCSB, wrapping up the quarter with my writing students, I think I finally understand the ending of Invisible Man. More»

Home Is Where the Hatred Is

Home Is Where the Hatred Is

The mood was jubilant at Mohamed Merah’s wake. His mother sat at home greeting enthusiastic mourners. “Be proud!” They said. “Your son has brought France to its knees!” The celebratory atmosphere only ended when Merah’s older brother Abdelgani screamed: “My brother is not a hero! He is a common assassin!” More»

My War

My War

When the opportunity of getting involved in the Never Again for Anyone project first came up, I had to consider seriously whether it made sense for me to take part or not. After all, the project is focused on the inherited traumatic effects experienced by third generation survivors, the grandchildren of the Holocaust, of which I am not one. More»