Berfrois

August 2015

  • An Accidental Archivist

    August 2015 Highlights

    An Accidental Archivist

    Naming is powerful. A name can be a gift or a burden. Choosing or discarding a name can make you feel free. A nickname can make you feel loved or crushed.

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Everyday events could make nuclear war seem imminent…

Everyday events could make nuclear war seem imminent…

My mother doesn’t remember Pearl Harbor. But she was there. Barely two months old, she spent the raid held tightly by her mother in an improvised bomb shelter, where the two of them had joined some Honolulu neighbors.

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Kohle

Kohle

Germany is Europe's largest economy, and its wealth depends heavily on exporting industrial goods made with cheap electricity. Lignite is the cheapest source of electricity from fossil fuels, and Germany has the world's largest reserves of it.

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ZFC

How to Avoid Deficit Fetishism

How to Avoid Deficit Fetishism

When it comes to fiscal policy the politics of the right at the moment could be reasonably described as deficit fetishism. The policy of the centre left in Europe could also with some justification be described as growing appeasement towards deficit fetishism.

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‘It is the head of human poetry’

‘It is the head of human poetry’

In the used bookstores of Boston in the late 1980s, the Renaissance section always had multiple cheap copies of two books: E.M.W. Tillyard’s The Elizabethan World Picture and Walter Pater’s The Renaissance.

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Beached

Beached

Sixty years ago, as the Cold War intensified, the end of the world seemed much too close for comfort. The threat of nuclear destruction, implicit in the newspaper headlines of the day, naturally leached into popular culture.

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Why should the past be charming?

Why should the past be charming?

My Yorkshire friend was saying that she hated being in an old house. There seemed to be other people in it besides the living.

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Yudit Kiss on Amar Kanwar

Yudit Kiss on Amar Kanwar

Amar Kanwar wants us to see what most of us prefer not to see: destruction and suffering caused by social injustice and violence fuelled by poisonous racist ideologies, political power battles and corporate greed. It’s not that his images are particularly hard to see.

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General Theory of Corbynomics

General Theory of Corbynomics

I noted a report in The Independent yesterday about comments that the shadow chancellor, Chris Leslie, had made about what he called Corbynomics. These are, I presume, the policies announced by Jeremy Corbyn nearly two weeks ago.

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What are we able to know about superstar college dropouts?

What are we able to know about superstar college dropouts?

A glance at celebrity websites and magazines serves to confirm that it is possible to make a living by taking photos of very famous people doing very ordinary things: walking dogs, pumping gas, dropping children off at daycare.

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The Bourgeois Kant

The Bourgeois Kant

For Wayne, a more authentic anti-bourgeois understanding of Kant will emerge once we place aesthetic experience back at the heart of the critical project, allowing us to reframe broader political issues of freedom, community, reification and the spectacle.

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Slugs’ Not Slug’s

Slugs’ Not Slug’s

Tell me about Slug’s, that much-loved and famously dangerous place on East 3rd Street between Avenues B and C.

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Revolutionary Citizenship

Revolutionary Citizenship

Let me begin with a hypothesis, one I'd like to think Henri might agree with: revolutionary citizenship is not a right: it has to be taken, recreated anew, struggled for – not rubber-stamped.

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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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