Berfrois

January 2011

Steroid Slugger was never released…

Steroid Slugger was never released…

Points of Entry, Persuasive Games, 2007 From Columbia Journalism Review: In the summer of 2007, one of the hottest debates in America centered on immigration. Every pundit and politico had an opinion on the merit-based system proposed in the McCain-Kennedy Bill, either criticizing its rejection of family ties or...

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Dreams Rise in the Darkness

Dreams Rise in the Darkness

Eine DuBarry von Heute, Alexander Korda, 1926 by David B. Clarke  The cinema has never shone except by pure seduction, by the pure vibrancy of non-sense – a hot shimmering that is all the more beautiful from having come from the cold. – Baudrillard (1990a, 96)  1.      Réalité Vérité  Until...

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Verbing

Verbing

From Intelligent Life: Some lovers of the language deplore the whole business of verbing (Benjamin Franklin called it “awkward and abominable” in a letter to Noah Webster, the lexicographer, in 1789); others see it as proof of a vibrant linguistic culture. Certain words seem to bring people out in...

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Justin E.H. Smith: On the Internet

Justin E.H. Smith: On the Internet

by Justin E.H. Smith The Internet, it seems, is destroying everything. In the aftermath of its Shiva-like arrival, the rest of the world now appears shabby, neglected, left over. It has destroyed or is in the process of destroying long-familiar objects: TVs, stereos, telephones, newspapers, musical instruments, clocks, books....

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‘Diaghilev at all times was what he was’

‘Diaghilev at all times was what he was’

Firebird, Ballerina, Léon Bakst, 1910 From The New York Review of Books: In the 1930s, when he was trying to establish American ballet, Lincoln Kirstein complained that “balletrusse” was one word. Successor companies to the defunct Franco-Russian Ballets Russes, cashing in on its name and legend, were spreading themselves...

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Toppling Accomplished

Toppling Accomplished

The Toppling | by Peter Maass

The New Yorker

After the marines arrived, a small group of Iraqis gathered around a statue of Saddam Hussein in the middle of the square and tried to bring it down with a sledgehammer...

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Jeremy Fernando: Not

A response — Bartleby’s response — foregrounding the fact that it is the “I” that “prefers not to”: not that ‘I cannot’ nor ‘I...

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Owen Vince on HARK

As a poet, you are your grandmother; you are browsing the obituaries with a red pen and an address book in your hand. The...

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Jay Aquinas Thompson Interviews Eric Weisbard

Eric Weisbard wrote twenty years ago, introducing the voluminous, era-summarizing, contrarian and contradictory Spin Alternative Record Guide.

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Collective Destruction by Keith Doubt

What, then, is sociocide? Sociocide resonates with the term demodernization formulated by A. V. Tishkov to account for the consequences of the war in...

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Heather Lang on Fiona Sampson and Sarah Morgan

Poet Fiona Sampson is a former career violinist, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, overt references to music appear in her work.

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Setsuko Adachi: Azalea Exuberance Strikes

In May, in the garden of the elevated house at the bottom of the hill, four shrubs of stunning azaleas come into full blossom....

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Joe Linker
Joe Linker on Li Po

Florence showed me what she called the most famous of Chinese poems. She had made her own translation from a Chinese language newspaper clipping....

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Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Luc Moullet

To begin at the end: After nearly two hours exploring facets of exploitation in the globalized food system, Luc Moullet closes Genèse d’un repas/Origins...

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Adam Staley Groves: Iowa Nasty

Now it seems the state’s radical conservatives are degrading the historic, populist-provincial mentality of Iowa; they are revising the state’s legacy within the broader...

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Animal Spirits at the Nueva Burdalesa Bakery by Jessica Sequeira

A few years ago all I had was a certain ambition and an understanding, more or less, of how things work in this world....

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Sebastian Normandin
Meaning and Pseudoscience by Sebastian Normandin

The persistence and proliferation of pseudoscientific thinking in contemporary culture demands explanation. Clearly there are some pragmatic reasons for its expanded existence, and people...

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Janice Lee For the Ghost

The memories are like stutters. Sometimes I inhale for air, and exhale a shaking chain of memories. A choking hazard. I for the ghost....

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Edi Rama’s Bunker Mentality by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

As many former Eastern Block countries in the EU display a hardly dissimulated form of racism and religious hatred, Albania, always a little behind...

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Menachem Feuer on Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham

Elle called Silverman’s image of her wearing a shirt with several naked Lena Dunhams a “beautiful tribute.” Dunham, the article tells us, “seemed to...

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