April 2012

Pain by Rhoda Feng

The question of whether or not it is ethical to eat meat would seem to hinge upon the question of whether or not animals are able to feel pain. If it is the case that animals are incapable of feeling pain, then concerns about their inhumane treatment in abattoirs...

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Dan Arnold: Apt to Believe

In the fraught and often vacuous discourse on religion vis-à-vis science, cognitive-scientific research has recently come to have especially high profile significance. In academic religious studies, such research has perhaps most often been enlisted to support reductionist accounts of human religiousness, with books like Pascal Boyer’s Religion Explained typically...

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Musings on the Mediterranean “Monsters”

Persepolis, Briton Rivière by Gregory Jusdanis Many travelers still seek solitude among the tourists, the luxury to communicate personally with the ruins. They long to leave their minds on idle, while they enter the vista before them, undisturbed by the other souls striving for the same illusion. I often...

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A. Staley Groves on Andrew Breitbart

Illustration by DonkeyHotey by A. Staley Groves I admit a smile crossed my face when I read Breitbart was rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and pronounced dead. Not because his children would lose a father, nor his wife a husband.  Rather that the iconoclastic boy-warrior was...

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Throw Your Blows

Those personal catastrophes that we can’t reconcile with ourselves despite the anguish they cause are the subject of much of serious modern art. Art returns over and over to the personal tragedies that remain with you, to the lacerations of the past that never heal, but with a resignation...

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Ring Road

Lahore ring road. Photograph from Google Earth. by Manan Ahmed You can’t see through cement – and neither can I. When I look at Lahore and the ways in which cement has cordoned off sight-lines, I see a city full of people blind-folded. The gated communities were the first...

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Albena Azmanova: Critical Political Judgement

It was in a moment of exasperation, one imagines, that Kant discovered what he named ‘the scandal of reason’ – reason’s tendency to get entangled in its own contradictions and thus degenerate into either dogma or uncertainty – a tendency that has haunted modern history.

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For younger couples, the barely-getting-paid thing can be a struggle…

Young Couple, Emil Nolde From Colombia Journalism Review: John and Naomi are just one of a number of couples who have updated the traditional family-run news business by taking it online. Couples have left their newsroom jobs behind, pooled their skills, and struck out on their own. With their...

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‘What is needed is a theory of distribution’

Liberty Plaza, November 2011. Photograph by Sasha Kimel From Monthly Review: In the early 1980s, I began telling my students that growing inequality of income and wealth would become the dominant political issue of the future. I did not think that the future meant thirty years, but better late...

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Robyn Ferrell: Aboriginal Art

Paintings are the moon and stars in a dark sky for Australian Aboriginal communities. The economic success of this art holds out an almost utopic prospect of a cultural renaissance. Yet poverty, violence and third-world living standards in its remote communities remain the present reality.

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Human Finitude as Plot Device

The Revenger’s Tragedy, Royal Shakespeare Company, Pitlochry Festival Theatre 1965 production. by Attila Kiss “What brother, am I far enough from myself?” (The Revenger’s Tragedy, Vindice, 1.3.1) The persistent employment of excessive violence on the early modern English stage was studied by Renaissance scholarship for centuries in diverse...

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Planet Earth as Spaceship

by Joe Linker “Now there is one outstandingly important fact regarding Spaceship Earth, and that is that no instruction book came with it,” says Buckminster Fuller, explaining the title of his 1969 book, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, in the chapter titled “Spaceship Earth.” The whole idea is a metaphor, comparing...

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Mathematicians are Giraffe Hunters by Barry Mazur

I came late to the feeling that the purity of mathematical ideas had any need for story or for the temporal intrusion of personal accounts. But, I've changed, quite a bit. In fact, Apostolos Doxiadis and I have just published Circles Disturbed, a book of essays written by over...

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Le Moulin Joly

Photograph by Lordspudz by Benjamin Franklin To Madame Brillon, of Passy You may remember, my dear friend, that when we lately spend that happy day in the delightful garden and sweet society of the Moulin Joly, I stopped a little in one of our walks, and stayed some time...

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Late Postmodernism in Dutch Literature

1993-1994-1995, Bianca Runge by Thomas Vaessens Abstract In this article I will show how Dutch authors reoriented themselves from the late 1980s onwards in relation to the postmodern tradition they inherited. I will discuss the critique of postmodernism formulated by Dutch writers in the light of the following hypothesis....

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With Hand

What makes sex so interesting to write and read about is not the two or three lines, paragraphs, or pages of coitus, but what comes directly before, after, and in between them.

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Cain Todd: Appreciating Fictional Pornography

Left: Jo Champa, Chelsea Hotel, NYC, Helmut Newton, 1988. Right: Sasha Grey by Cain Todd Locating the murky distinction between pornography and erotic art has long exercised minds in many domains, philosophy amongst them. One of the chief ways in which philosophers have sought to draw the distinction is...

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Bastianino_Baco_Cassa_Risparmio_Ferrara

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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Marcel-Duchamp-Leaving-the-Cafe-1

Marcel Duchamp sat silent. He seemed far away, lost in reverie. Then, he spoke of the death of art, which he described as...

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Bobbi Lurie
Duchamp-smoking-through-the-cracked-glass

But I was perplexed. Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing...

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fp

Earthquake metaphors have had strong currency, both political and journalistic, in the aftermath of May’s European Parliament (EP) elections. The most spectacular tremors were...

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Ernst_Ludwig_Kirchner

Both Derrida and Ronell suggest that saying yes is “telephonic,” both in the sense that it resounds over a distance and therefore always is...

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ramirez1fullsize

Unless they lived in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California – all former Mexican territories – most U.S. residents in the 1930s were unaware...

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MashaTheDevilProbably

The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered...

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ron-sky-rat-cover

“We’ve got a problem,” says Andrew Shuta of Spork as he and Drew Burk guide me into a fancy conference room. Ron’s sitting across from...

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chinua

Many years ago, in an interview he did with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, “What would you want the West to do?” Achebe...

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Masha Tupitsyn
sickert

No one can love anymore because of an overabundance of reaction formation. No one wants to owe anything to their desire(s); to other people’s...

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Hearn1

How could a man born on a Greek island in 1850 be a household name in Japan today? The answer lies in the story...

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kentridge1

Jean Améry titled his renowned book on voluntary death, Hand an Sich Legen – To lay Hands on Oneself. Beyond the argument of Amery...

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letters

Several months ago, I wrote a long letter by hand to a young woman I barely knew. That sounds pretty dubious, if not to...

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Kemmler

In a move that might strike readers as odd, Derrida spends most of these lectures not on the case made by death penalty proponents,...

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