Posts tagged "London"
Looking for Change

Looking for Change

They call it “poverty porn.” Published in The Guardian, an August 14th feature discloses the results of an Advertising Standards Authority survey, warning British charities against using severe imagery in adverts intended to highlight homelessness. Accordingly, using photos of compromised persons constitutes “shock tactics” that risk “exploiting” their subjects, and putting off the public. More»

Ignoring Agent Orange

Ignoring Agent Orange

Soon the Great British Olympic moment will be over. The closing ceremony was held last weekend. This year’s Paralympics will be finished by early September. By the turn of the season, the magic will finally have faded. The nature of the legacy left in its wake, for London in general and the people of Newham in particular, remains to be decided (NB: some locals have already complained about being short-changed.) More»

Dub Step to Roots and Culture

Dub Step to Roots and Culture

Alongside the Olympics, London is currently bursting with activity celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence. The all-star mega-big Respect Jamaica 50th Festival enters its second week at the nearby Indigo2, sporting a roster that includes everyone from Jimmy Cliff and U-Roy to Maxi Priest and Shaggy. More»

Bleak Houses

Bleak Houses

Calling Owen Hatherley’s A New Kind of Bleak a book about architecture is like saying Orwell’s Animal Farm is a book about a farm. Yes, it’s about Hatherley’s travels through the United Kingdom, in which he analyzes edifices ranging from the National Space Centre in Leicester, (affectionately called “The Maggot,”) to Preston’s bus station. However, it’s also about gathering the evidence necessary to indict British urban planning. More»

Welcome to Egypt

Welcome to Egypt

“Walk like an Egyptian.” “Trafalgar square = Tahrir Square.” Comparisons to the uprising then-underway in Egypt were aplenty at London’s anti-cuts protest in March 2011. No surprise there. For the first time since 1989, revolutionary fervor was crossing national boundaries, challenging authoritarianism in the name of democracy. More»

Slayer and Me

Slayer and Me

It wasn’t the first time I’ve seen Slayer live. As a metal fan for over twenty years  it’s been hard to avoid seeing them, given the frequency with which they tour. Nor would I want to avoid seeing them. They are after all the ur-band, the mother lode of extreme metal, never wavering in their commitment to a tight-riffing, hyper-disciplined sound. More»

Queering Cameron's Britain

Queering Cameron’s Britain

At long last, a US president supports same-sex marriage.  ‘I think same-sex couples should be able to get married’ Barack Obama told ABC News on Wednesday. That same day, Queen Elizabeth declined to mention it in her address to Parliament – despite promises made by the governing coalition (who had written the Queen’s speech) about pursuing marriage equality legislation. More»

Armenians in America

Armenians in America

I don’t share my compatriots’ technological instincts. Fortunately, the AT & T store on Burbank’s San Fernando Boulevard is staffed by Armenians who swiftly diagnose my phone’s problem. Garen and I conclude our business, and talk about ourselves. “I already realised you don’t speak Armenian,” he says. More»

Tough Guide to Baghdad

Tough Guide to Baghdad

Car bomb after car bomb. Suicide bombing after suicide bombing. It seems like it was only yesterday that Baghdad was the news. Every day. Twenty-four hours a day. Top of the hour. Every hour. Growing up during the 1980s, watching CNN, I was reared on images of Beirut as the most violent city on earth. In the ’90s, that changed to Sarajevo. In 2003, Baghdad took over. More»

Brixton Versus Oasis

Brixton Versus Oasis

No London neighborhood is as synonymous with reggae as Brixton. Immortalized in countless songs (“Guns of Brixton“, “Electric Avenue“) for outsiders, the borough’s musical identity is inseparable from popular music of the late 1970s and early eighties. Residents of San Francisco will find it comparable to the Haight Ashbury area’s identification with 1960s bands like The Grateful Dead, and the Jefferson Airplane. More»

London's Dreaming

London’s Dreaming

Don’t let the gallery shows fool you. Unlike other European cities, London is noteworthy for how little political art is produced there. This isn’t to say that it’s not home to some of the world’s more influential practitioners. There’s just not as many as the street art and graffiti would suggest. More»

Dubstep Democracy

Dubstep Democracy

With the exception of albums such as Kode9 and the Spaceape’s Memories of the Future, and Dusk and Blackdown’s Margins Music, dubstep is not known to be political. Reflective of its contexts, like Burial’s debut, certainly, but a protest idiom, like punk, well, no. More»