Tag: empire

  • Time and Space, Music and Crisis

    Time and Space, Music and Crisis

    Nobody needs to be reminded that we find ourselves in a bit of a state, an impasse, a roadblock in front of our ability to imagine a future better than one of climate catastrophe, and the socialized sadism of far right. Positing that what is missing from our discussions of revolutionary strategy and vision is consideration not for the theoretical, but the aesthetic, the creative, is bound to furrow a few brows. This isn’t because the argument indulges in fantasy, but because it demands of us that we take a more probing view at the fundamentals of daily life and the role that aesthetics and creativity might play in them.

  • 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 definitive shot across the bow, notifying the world that we have entered the New Cold War.

  • No Catharsis

    Entering Donald Trump’s world felt like entering into a bad fiction. For me the feeling was amplified given that news of the elections reached me, in real time, high above the planet’s surface. Months before the 2016 elections I had booked a flight from Chicago (where I lived at the time) to London (where I was speaking at a conference) on election day. Like most people I was under the foolish impression that this puffed up billionaire reality star didn’t stand a chance.

  • Why Won’t You Die?

    Why Won’t You Die?

    He has survived. This braying, sniveling coward whose vindictive petulance has led to the deaths of over 200,000 people, has survived. Of course we always knew he was going to. He has access to the best treatment imaginable – round-the-clock care, experimental drugs, even a hospital room that looked more like a suite at the Waldorf. A few caveats aside – “not out of the woods yet,” his shortness of breath – Donald Trump has survived Covid-19.

  • The Spectacle of Independence Day

    The Spectacle of Independence Day

    This July 4th let’s ponder the way in which our lives are dominated. Our existence slyly orchestrated. Our experiences siphoned down highways dotted with endless signs that ask in that prodding way “why aren’t you happy yet?”   “Kids are in cages” we answer. “They are ripped from their families trying to escape violence and poverty that […]

  • Twenty-Five Things You Can Call a Concentration Camp Other Than “Concentration Camp”

    Twenty-Five Things You Can Call a Concentration Camp Other Than “Concentration Camp”

    Pity the middling white ego. Noticing nothing but oppression as far as the eye can see. Having its drive back from the Hamptons interrupted by marching Black people, hearing people speak Spanish at the grocery store, encountering homeless people in broad daylight who refuse to decrease the surplus population. Oppression is positively everywhere for this poor, disgruntled […]

  • Havana Notes

    Havana Notes

    It is early afternoon in Havana, and someone hands us a small flier. It reads:  We are a collective of artists that come together every night at a small, dark and decadent underground hideaway. It also happens to be the best dance floor in the city. Looking for something with a little more edge than La Bodeguita […]

  • Here In the Empire

    Here In the Empire

    Poway, California. The final day of Passover.  According to one eight-year-old child in attendance, the shooter aimed for the kids first.  The rabbi was shot through the hand, losing his index finger, and reports say that at first he attempted to continue speaking from the front. A member of the congregation, sixty-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye, […]

  • Civilization Never Happened

    I. There is a truly noxious moment in Kenneth Clark’s 1969 BBC documentary series Civilisation. The art historian, knight, and life-peer stands across the Seine from Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral and ponders the meaning of the series title.   “What is civilization?” he asks before peering over his shoulder. “I don’t know, but I think I can recognize it when I see […]