Berfrois

June 2011

Krugman on Keynes

Krugman on Keynes

by Paul Krugman Keynes’ General Theory is 75 years old. In this column, Paul Krugman argues that many of its insights and lessons are still relevant today, but many have been forgotten. A broad swath of macroeconomists and policymakers are applying old fallacies to today’s crisis. As the nostrums being...

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Burke’s Wardrobe by William F. Byrne

Burke’s Wardrobe by William F. Byrne

by William F. Byrne Edmund Burke’s time has come. The idea that the eighteenth-century Irish-born British statesman and writer is especially relevant today, in an age that is often described as “postmodern,” may seem odd, or perhaps presumptuous. But it is largely because of the postmodern and late-modern qualities...

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Just Shot a Man Down

Just Shot a Man Down

From Man Down video, Rihanna, directed by Anthony Mandler, 2011 by Heather McRobie Is there a ‘right’ way to sing about rape?  Tori Amos’s ‘Silent All These Years’?  Fiona Apple’s ‘Sullen Girl’?  I used to lean towards my own subjective reading of Liz Phair’s ‘California’ – the mix of...

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Wile E. Coyote Pursues Road Runner: The End

Wile E. Coyote Pursues Road Runner: The End

by Bill Benzon What’s the Road Runner series about? The cartoons adhere to a formula: They’re set in a desert landscape in the southwestern US and have just two characters, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. Coyote is hungry; Road Runner is a (potential) meal. Coyote concocts schemes to...

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“Never hit on the model”

“Never hit on the model”

Pepsi Cola, Mel Ramos, 2005 From The Talks: Pablo Picasso once said “the chief enemy of creativity is good taste.” Would you agree with that? (Laughs) Picasso is so full of shit. He was a nasty guy; he really screwed over a lot of his friends. He did some...

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A Staring Back

A Staring Back

Figure 1: Lavinia Warren, c. 1880, Charles Eisenmann, photographer, Ronald G. Becker collection of Charles Eisenmann photographs, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library  Figure 2: Ann E. Leak with her husband and son, c. 1884, Charles Eisenmann, photographer., Ronald G. Becker collection of Charles Eisenmann photographs, Special Collections...

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Past the Bouncers

Past the Bouncers

On John Ross | by Wes Enzinna

N+1

A certain half-baked logic ran through much of Ross’s life and writing. For a few years during the Carter era, as he recounts in his (mostly true) memoir Murdered by Capitalism, he spent his afternoons...

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Daqing Yang: Japan’s Imperial Telecommunications

Daqing Yang: Japan’s Imperial Telecommunications

One of Japan’s blueprints for a regional telecommunications network by Daqing Yang Shortly after 12:00 o’clock Tokyo Time on August 15, 1945, the prerecorded voice of Japan’s Emperor Hirohito was broadcast from a studio in downtown Tokyo. “After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual...

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When reality inserted itself, it discomforted James Parks Caldwell…

When reality inserted itself, it discomforted James Parks Caldwell…

James Parks Caldwell by Mark Lause A Northern Confederate at Johnson’s Island Prison: The Civil War Diaries of James Parks Caldwell, Edited by George H. Jones, Jefferson: Mcfarland, 277 pp. An Ohio-born writer, James Parks Caldwell left us a remarkable set of documents, including his diary of eighteen months...

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Oliver Farry on Michel Houellebecq

The peculiar circumstances surrounding the publication of Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel constitute a case study in how even the biggest literary news stories are,...

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McKenzie Wark
Information in Chains

“Information wants to be free, but is everywhere in chains.” The development of the forces of production took a qualitatively different turn when information...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie: Organic Fortune

isis - ebola - obama hit by halal truck (where is duchamp?)

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Bharat Azad
Bharat Azad Meets Adair Turner

In a quiet office tucked away in Mayfair – over a long table so white I am hesitant to even place my fingers on...

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Andre Gerard: Light Here, Shadow There

The deeper one looks in To the Lighthouse the more one sees. The more one listens the more one hears. Homer, Shakespeare, Conrad and...

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Claudia Landolfi: Europe’s Colonial Perversion

The aftermath of a violent act or after a sharp change of political horizons is also a crisis of imagination and language. The rupture...

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Jerry Moore: Feverish Rivers

I learned that Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff had been a Nazi when I was in a Santa Marta supermarket. I had just stepped into the Exito...

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Lauren Berlant
Lauren Berlant flies

Most of the writing we do is actually a performance of stuckness. It is a record of where we got stuck on a question...

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Robyn Ferrell on Balthus

The pitfalls of identification, hero-worship, envy and malice can beset the most patient writer in the throes of five hundred-plus pages of attention to...

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Michael Munro on Spinoza

Immanence is not philosophy, nor philosophy immanence. But there is in the passage from one to the other a modification of sense that is...

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David Beer
David Beer: Broadcastwerk

Writing at sometime around 1930 or 1931, Walter Benjamin suggested that the voice on the radio is a like a visitor in the home,...

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Rose Barnsley: Young, Gifted and Žižekian

At nineteen, it is easy to think that all you're missing is the right movement. But there is something about the young left wing...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Rama’s And

While local journalists were once again busy regurgitating worn-down, coma inducing positions about yet another spectral appearance of Enver Hoxha at the celebration of...

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Playing the Percentages: Berfrois Interviews Danny Dorling

The portrait of the 1% in your book is one of sociopathic, power-hungry narcissists with a striking lack of empathy. This may seem antagonistic,...

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