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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Logan K. Young on The Replacements

I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

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Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos

Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines,...

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Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Of the many witticisms that make up The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, one voiced by Picasso really gets under the skin. He says...

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Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Contemporary narrators feel entitled to their own realities now more than ever. The internet has created this fascinating binary, one in which individuals can...

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Henry Giardina on Bob Hope

All mythical creatures need an origin story. The Bob Hope character springs into being, Athena-like, from out of the head of Preston Sturges in...

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Mattilda B. Sycamore: Yearning From Spurning

One problem with gentrification is that it always gets worse. But then I go into a Hooters, and it’s a vintage clothing store. A...

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Alexander McGregor
Alexander McGregor: Trauma

Following World War II, the German philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote, “Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch”: to write poetry after Auschwitz is...

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John Crutchfield: Chords

But music, even bad music, is a symptom of hope, is it not? Naturally one would prefer the music to be good, but any...

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Menachem Feuer on Robin Williams

Regardless of whether you are from Europe, the United States, Asia, or Africa, we can all agree that there is something special about the...

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Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don't know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it's a hystericized — and therefore...

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Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

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Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

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A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

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