Berfrois

Owen Vince: The Possibility of Kindness

Owen Vince: The Possibility of Kindness

Now more than ever, it is crucial that we stand up to and reject this normalization of racism and populist, far-right ideology. That we reject the narratives of the far and extreme right.

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Angry Young Socialist

Angry Young Socialist

Though no one would mistake Hare for a populist—his dozens of plays, adaptations, TV and movie scripts, several books, and countless newspaper columns are too cerebral for that—he has struck an antiestablishment stance since his early career.

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‘Which side are you on?’

‘Which side are you on?’

The woman with sandy brown hair was nodding and smiling and crying as she sat behind the wheel of her stationary car on the Southeast Freeway in Washington DC. We made our black-clad way through the rows of quiet vehicles while chanting and clapping and smiling at those we...

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“Editorial policy is defined at the top of the BBC”

“Editorial policy is defined at the top of the BBC”

In the interwar period, the system of broadcasting pioneered by the BBC was referred to as ‘remote state control’. It emerged from a situation where politicians did not want a chaotic system of broadcasting to develop, especially given the presumed political power of the new medium.

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Informal actors came to the Kremlin’s aid…

Informal actors came to the Kremlin’s aid…

"Kompromat", meaning compromising materials, as a tactic to smear one's opponents, came into use in Russia in the late 1990s, and back then it was a mix of intercepted phone calls and analytical profiles prepared by the oligarchs' shadowy security details or the government security services.

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Various Costumed Dramas

Various Costumed Dramas

“I can’t just sit here and watch Netflix for the next four years and disappear into various costumed dramas,” said Belieu, the “Writers Resist” organizer. “I’m not going to live in fear. And I’m not going to keep my mouth shut.”

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Jesse Miksic: A Bad Dream for a New Year

Jesse Miksic: A Bad Dream for a New Year

It turned out 2016 was not just a "terrible year." Like most conventional wisdom, that chestnut turned out to be bunk.

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Cranked-Up, Extreme Tabloid Machine

Cranked-Up, Extreme Tabloid Machine

With the incorporation of the ’60s counter-culture into the machinery of normalisation, the re-emergence of an underground from the late ’70s onward corresponded to an increasingly fraught and combative stance.

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Write Our Democracy

Write Our Democracy

Join us on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as we reaffirm our commitment to a tolerant and diverse society. Free and open to the public. One of over 40 events worldwide.

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This Be the Construct

This Be the Construct

When I used to come to Venice in the 1970s I ate, sometimes every night, at Montin’s, now quite a celebrated restaurant and a short walk from the Accademia.

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X’s NYE

X’s NYE

X sometimes wonders if the best writing is by people whose names we will never know. The Geological Surveys published by the United States Government Printing Office--especially those from the 1930s.

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A Very Vaping Year

A Very Vaping Year

A review of 2016 by Queen Mob's Teahouse

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Frankfurt produces neologisms at an alarming rate…

Frankfurt produces neologisms at an alarming rate…

Many exhibits are corporate, focusing on textbooks, reference, and consolidations of data. The ProQuest stand announced its motto in a red banner line: "Empowering researchers and information seekers to discover, grow and thrive."

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English?

English?

Traditionally, writing and teaching at the university level have been the career paths of choice for English majors. Nice work if you can get it. I never could, which is why I’ve spent most of my life as a librarian.

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To Feel Betrayed

To Feel Betrayed

Kristeva and Sollers met in Paris in 1966 when she was 25 years old and had just arrived on a fellowship from Bulgaria, and he was 30, already a published writer, and a disaffected son of the French middle class.

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Looking Happy

Looking Happy

I know nothing about London. I’m often amazed I lived there at all. But in total it was almost a year, on what was then the “working holiday” visa, which granted youths from the Commonwealth temporary work permits.

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We’ve never been perfect…

We’ve never been perfect…

It’s true enough that my novels were once sunnier places and now the clouds have rolled in. Part of this I chalk up simply to the experience of middle age: I wrote White Teeth as a child, and have grown up alongside it.

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We’ve got stealth plans…

We’ve got stealth plans…

I write out of disarray, from a field of compatriots in disarray. We’re drifting like astronauts, distantly tethered by emails like the one I just got from a friend: ‘i feel like he is making everyone sick, and bipolar.

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Bubbling Over

Bubbling Over

It seems to me that the big social media sites, while perhaps blowing up more and bigger filter bubbles, can scarcely be blamed for the confirmation bias.

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