Berfrois

November 2011

Eli S. Evans: #OccupyElPaís

Eli S. Evans: #OccupyElPaís

by Eli S. Evans Joseba Elola’s long, scraggly hair, dark beard, and mottled features give him the look of the kind of guy you might find smoking hash in a plaza or drinking first coffee and then beer all day long inside a smoke-filled restaurant in the fashionably run-down...

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There are tunnels in the basement between India and Greece, but we’re afraid to go down there…

There are tunnels in the basement between India and Greece, but we’re afraid to go down there…

by Justin E. H. Smith I. I used to get very upset at the suggestion that there might be such a thing as ‘non-Western philosophy’. Some years ago a German anthropologist friend told me she had heard, out on Broughton Island in Arctic Canada, Inuit elders using their free...

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Little Red Men of Perm

Little Red Men of Perm

Designed by a St Petersburg art collective, “Pproffessors”, the Little Red Men first appeared in Perm in 2010. The sculptures have split local opinion by Yelena Fedotova Marat Gelman is a well-known Moscow cultural figure. In 2008 he went to curate the Museum of Contemporary Art in provincial Perm,...

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’57, ’62, ’67, ’70, the mid-’70s, ’90

’57, ’62, ’67, ’70, the mid-’70s, ’90

The history of music is marked by a few, fleeting, magical moments: 1957 in New York jazz, 1962 in Liverpool, 1967 in San Francisco, 1970 in Detroit, the mid-’70s at CBGB ,1990 in Seattle.

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Sorting Unicorns

Sorting Unicorns

David and Goliath Play Chess, Siegfried Zademack by Bill Benzon I’m heading toward language, imaginary objects, and the cognition of ontology. But I’m not ready to go there, not yet. There’s some preliminary hemming and hawing I want to do, so bracketing, as it were. What’s with Withdrawal? I’m...

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Michael Katz: Urban Collision

Michael Katz: Urban Collision

Why, I asked, had collective violence more or less disappeared from the streets of American cities? Alienation, marginalization, youth unemployment and distrust of the police – these, surely, were as prevalent in American cities as in urban France.

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Turkish Queer Icons

Turkish Queer Icons

by Serkan Gorkemli In 2007, Kaos GL, a bimonthly publication of the Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association in Ankara, Turkey, devoted its November/December issue to “Turkiye’nin Gay Ikonlari” (Turkey’s Gay Icons). The magazine surveyed readers and published a list of the ten most popular gay...

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Rebel Governance by Zachariah Cherian Mampilly

Rebel Governance by Zachariah Cherian Mampilly

German Stamp featuring Amilcar Cabral, January 1978 by Zachariah Cherian Mampilly During the liberation struggle against Portuguese colonialism in Guinea-Bissau, Amilcar Cabral and his PAIGC rebellion successfully convinced over sixty countries to recognize the nascent rebel government. Within the territory it successfully liberated from Portuguese control, the PAIGC built...

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“Hermeneutic communism’s greatest enemy is liberal realism”

“Hermeneutic communism’s greatest enemy is liberal realism”

I met Castro in 2006 after receiving an honorary degree from the Academy of Fine Arts of Cuba. It was a beautiful meeting in his office for over three hours on a Sunday afternoon. We talked about a variety of subjects: the Cuban revolution, Khrushchev, the EU parliament, G....

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Eric Schneider: Smack Demand

Eric Schneider: Smack Demand

The Badlands, Philadelphia, Daniel Sandoval by Eric Schneider A few miles from my house lies a block of abandoned row homes, fronts tightly sealed against vandals, which appear to be inhabited only by pigeons and the occasional rodent. But looks are deceiving, and the call of free bleach kits...

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Bullfighting, Sedated

Bullfighting, Sedated

by Eli S. Evans Bullfight posters are not hard to come by in Spain. Indeed, in any place in the country with touristic pretensions you can probably find a shop where they’ll inkjet your name on to some simulacrum of a traditional bullfight poster such that to the untrained...

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‘Systematic nonconsideration of human rights’

‘Systematic nonconsideration of human rights’

From The New York Review of Books: When a scientific experiment uncovers a new phenomenon, a scientist is pleased. When an experiment fails to reveal something that the scientist originally expected, that, too, counts as a result worth analyzing. A sense of the “nonappearance of the expected” was my...

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Theodore Ziolkowski on Gilgamesh

Theodore Ziolkowski on Gilgamesh

The Slaying of the Bull of Ishtar, from Myths of Babylonia and Assyria, illustrated by Ernest Wallcousins, 1915 by Theodore Ziolkowski Any ten minute search on the internet turns up hundreds of hits for Gilgamesh in recent years. Apart from novels, plays, poems, operas, and paintings, the ancient Babylonian...

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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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