Berfrois

March 2015

We Are the NHS

We Are the NHS

In 1945 Aneurin Bevan said: ‘We have been the dreamers, we have been the sufferers, and now, we are the builders.’ And my God, how they built.

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What rhymes with Kardashian?

What rhymes with Kardashian?

Over the past few years, the art world has been throwing around the term “post-Internet” to describe the practices of artists who use the Web as the basis for their work but don’t make a big deal about it.

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Senselessnessness

Senselessnessness

Tejedor is, I think, right to suggest that for Wittgenstein there is more besides senseful propositions, senseless tautologies and contradictions, and nonsense.

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Meatloaf

Meatloaf

The waitress came over. I had made up my mind to try meatloaf, which sounded very American to my ears, and a pale lager.

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Isa Genzken does not imagine that painting can be reborn…

Isa Genzken does not imagine that painting can be reborn…

In 1998, Isa Genzken produced some two dozen paint-slashed and spray-painted garments – shirts and jackets, mainly, but also a lone dress.

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Nothing Is Required But Freedom

Nothing Is Required But Freedom

Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance.

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Russell Bennetts: Coffee For 8

Russell Bennetts: Coffee For 8

There are eight different common types of coffee and eight different types of poems.

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The Flooring of Silent Bob

The Flooring of Silent Bob

This is how it started: I’d seen the preview a few months back, and was about a year into an only-watching-horror-movies thing that had developed as a strange post-trauma coping mechanism.

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“The majority of games are basically porn”

“The majority of games are basically porn”

“A lot of games today are only interested in making players feel smart, rather than have players actually be smart.

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Syriza For Party Rocking

Syriza For Party Rocking

Since Europe’s institutions turned their attention to Greece and subjected the EU’s most depressed economy to its most draconian austerity policy, what success have they had?

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‘A mass-market copy of a book positions a reader in one way, a hardback collected works positions you in another’

‘A mass-market copy of a book positions a reader in one way, a hardback collected works positions you in another’

I read Molloy for the first and second time in an unlovely Grove Press mass-market paperback that contained all three books of Beckett’s trilogy, with yellowed pages and crowded gutters.

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They Fill Aquariums With Fish, Don’t They?

They Fill Aquariums With Fish, Don’t They?

I took my broken wrist, along with my pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer, for a review at Addenbrookes. Not a good review.

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Full Marx

Full Marx

I am agnostic on the question of organizational form. As an ex-communist, I consider my “party” to be those who are also now in some sense “ex”: excommunicated, expelled, or just extremely indifferent to such experiences.

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Intercontinental X

Intercontinental X

A letter from X.

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John Crutchfield: Go West

John Crutchfield: Go West

Perhaps this is what finally draws me back to the Western. It is a fundamentally serious genre. It deals with serious questions, and it does so, at its best, with an admirable economy of style, wasting little time on frivolity.

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Vox is a digital version of a think tank bereft of ideology…

Vox is a digital version of a think tank bereft of ideology…

From Columbia Journalism Review: In the wake of the firings and resignations, Ezra Klein, the editor of Vox, argued that “policy magazines” like TNR were destined to fail because of the economics of the Web, and that Hughes had been correct to shift it to the Web. But Klein,...

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Why Digital Criticism Is So Very Important

Why Digital Criticism Is So Very Important

The trouble with Theory, then, is not so much the terms in which interpretations are couched, but the fact that it privileges creating those accounts over the finding of patterns.

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Jessica Sequeira Meets Aalooran Rahman Bora

Jessica Sequeira Meets Aalooran Rahman Bora

what else is a journey around the interior of a tuk-tuk but a journey around the interior of one’s own head?

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T.S. Eliot on Hamlet

T.S. Eliot on Hamlet

Few critics have even admitted that Hamlet the play is the primary problem, and Hamlet the character only secondary.

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Joseph Spece
Joseph Spece: When Gamers Attack

Like many ugly controversies, the beginnings of #gamergate are linked to the end of love — well, the end of a relationship, at least....

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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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