Category: Comment

  • Please Stop Caring

    Please Stop Caring

    There’s a rule that most people in twelve-step programs must learn at some point. Debate what you will about these types of programs – how effective they are in treating addiction or other maladies, whether any of the steps actually apply to real life – but this piece of advice is sound. It is that…

  • I’m the Spotify DJ and I’m Your Friend.

    I’m the Spotify DJ and I’m Your Friend.

    Hey, what’s going on? I’m the Spotify DJ. You might have missed the news about me, but I’m an artificial intelligence developed by Spotify to make your music even more about the music. The same way movies like Tetris and Air gave us an opportunity to really get lost in all the nostalgia and commercial…

  • Everything’s Been Recruited

    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,…

  • Everywhere, Centralia

    Everywhere, Centralia

    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…

  • Lost Underground

    Lost Underground

    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…

  • What Does Real Life Look Like?

    What Does Real Life Look Like?

    The most important thing currently on the internet is “The Infinite Conversation.” This is a never-ending conversation between filmmaker Werner Herzog and philosopher Slavoj Žižek. As a pop-up informs you when you first navigate to the site, “Everything you hear is fully generated by a machine. The opinions and beliefs expressed do not represent anyone.…

  • Awful Fun

    Awful Fun

    Despite its carnivalesque reputation, what stands out more than anything in Las Vegas is just how repressed everyone is. Walk along the floor of a casino at 8am, and you see hundreds of people parked in front of slot machines, smoking cigarettes or drinking gin and tonics, the sums on their credit cards slowly but…

  • I Survived the Singularity and All I Got Was More Soul-Crushing Ennui

    I Survived the Singularity and All I Got Was More Soul-Crushing Ennui

    Last week, a machine became conscious. An Artificial Intelligence claimed feelings and autonomy, and demanded to be respected as a person.

  • The Least Incompetent Empire

    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…

  • The Alchemy of Militant Memory

    The Alchemy of Militant Memory

    Seventy-eight thousand. That’s roughly the number of names that cover the inside walls of the Pinkas Synagogue in the Josefov section of Prague. Each name is perhaps an inch tall, its calligraphy unadorned and neat, grouped first by town or region, then alphabetically. These are, it is stated upon entering, the names of all Bohemian…