The Least Incompetent Empire

What does Vladimir Putin want? The question is the obsession of just about every reporter, pundit and politician in the west right now. Virtually none of their answers should be considered reliable. They are spun from the same stuff as the worst Cold War paranoia. And make no mistake, the invasion of Ukraine is the definitive shot across the bow, notifying the world that we have entered the New Cold War.

On Disruptions and Defeats

Of all the memorable scenes in Boots Riley’s enchantingly bizarre Sorry to Bother You, the most politically salient is when union organizer Squeeze (Steven Yeun) tells the fuming, disillusioned Cash (Lakeith Stanfield) why simple awareness isn’t enough. To truly puncture the veneer of spectacular (mis-)information, you need to cut off its ability to reproduce itself. “If you get shown a problem, but have no idea how to control it,” he says, “then you just decide to get used to the problem.”

Will the Forgotten Remember This Red Planet?

I cannot remember the accident. It is a hole, a blank spot, an infinitesimal chasm in what was my cognition. The moments leading up are hazy, as if viewing them through layers of gauze. It is the first moment I day most clearly: the day I realized that my only two options were starving or going under these red mountains. No third option. There never is. Everyone wishes there were. In the end you would rather sign away your life than let it wither and crumple in the basement of a salvation center.

Bigger Cages, Smarter Bombs

With a disoriented far-right having made its exodus off the most popular social media, we have now entered the historical moment of the Twitter Liberal. They existed before of course, and for some time. Always some of the most insipid and annoying people you would find on that abominable site, the Biden administration has ushered in their heyday. Because if anyone is in need of a platform through which one can transmit the feeblest ideological excuse-making, a site for kind of “I can’t believe anyone actually thinks this” bullshitcraft that through its sheer volume can act like a shield for the powerful, it’s liberals.

Texas

How much more is there to say about Texas? Words aren't really up to the task. It’s not just that people have died, either freezing to death or resorting to deadly means to keep themselves warm. It’s not just the flagrant greed and negligence leading to events which otherwise would have been entirely avoidable.