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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Eugenia Herbert on Julia Margaret Cameron

The Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron is currently undergoing a revival with a recent exhibition of her work at the Metropolitan Museum in New...

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Philippe Theophanidis on Jean-Luc Godard

At one point near the end of his unfinished novel Jean Santeuil, Marcel Proust describes a painting by Claude Monet from 1897, titled “Bras...

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An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

There is perhaps nothing more enigmatic in the history of philosophy than that which in the tradition is known as the active intellect (nous...

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Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

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Jason S. Polley: Prawns

The suburbs, aka first-world neighborhoods, are present via their conspicuous near visual absence in 2009’s District 9, a film focusing on an increasingly disorderly...

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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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Jesse Miksic on Dark Souls II

Is Dark Souls II the crowning rebirth of Gothic Romance for the digital age? I'm being dramatic, I realize. The spirit of Gothic has...

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Michael Munro
A Quotation and Provocation by Michael Munro

The teleology of the Universe is directed to the production of Beauty. That is the opening line of the text, its first thesis. It’s...

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Menachem Feuer
Menachem Feuer: Schlemiels

As human beings we have to “court” failure. This term suggests two things: on the one hand, it suggests dating and becoming intimate with...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie with James Franco

Every day after that, I stood outside The Italian Restaurant on Fourteenth Street until it closed. I didn’t even smoke. The guy from The...

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Henry Giardina
Henry Giardina: Furrows and Hollows

There’s an oft-quoted line out of Candide that goes, “I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I have never fallen...

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Ashley James
Ashley James: Personhood

It seemed that by the close of January this year, the entire country could recognize the face of Sergeant Cory Remsburg: Near the tail-end...

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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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