Everything’s Been Recruited
Caryl Churchill is without a doubt one of the greatest living playwrights. Anyone who says otherwise is a cultural chauvinist. And there are plenty of those types out there, some with massive platforms. People who genuinely believe that her radical formal experiments – sometimes Brechtian, sometimes Jacobean, very often pointedly surreal – are a degeneracy,…
There’s so much to say about the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio – all of it utterly enraging – that it is difficult to know where to start. That even before February 3, deadly chemicals were traveling through a residential town on the regular. The lack of basic safety regulations that might have prevented…
What If We Kissed Beneath the Crashing Spy Balloon?
We’ll have to hurry if we’re going to make it. If we leave now and push the speed limit, we can be at the South Carolina coast just as the flashing lights start to peek out of the clouds. We’ll dash down the damp beach and leap into the frigid waves, clothes and all, swimming…
Los Angeles’ subway system is not as bad as common sense would lead us to believe, but the bar is very low. America’s second largest metropolitan area, spreading from the Pacific coast to the San Gabriel Valley and down to the borders of Orange County, has long been synonymous with American car culture for a…
Less Than You Desire, But More Than You Deserve: Three Films About Rich People
Hollywood’s apparent mistrust of the rich has always been cynical and insincere. Rich people know that an effective way to part poor people with their money is to produce a commodity that also seems to hate rich people. A commodity can’t actually hate anything of course. But the rich people who produce them certainly want…
Fire in the Gap
I cannot remember what happened. It is a hole, a blank spot, an infinitesimal chasm in what was my mind. The moments leading up are hazy, as if I saw them through layers of gauze.
I Dream a Parade: On Joe Strummer
There was a time when all I wanted to write about was the Clash. This, among people of my age group, is not exactly unique. I was twenty when Joe Strummer died, and, having already been raised on the legends of what the Clash meant – for punk, for music, for radical culture, for the…
I Wanna Be Nostalgic
It’s 1994. I’m twelve years old, and music is – to my parents’ bewilderment – suddenly the only thing I care about. I’m searching out anything harsh, dissonant, and confrontational, and the louder it is the louder I want it to be. Of course there was plenty of Nirvana given that Cobain had just died,…