Tag Archives: Utopia/dystopia

How this ends

How this ends: a) Mossad activates sleeper agent Rahm Emanuel, who takes out Trump with quiet efficiency; or b) Rogue elements of the FBI, probably the New York office, flip and reveal both October surprise and Comey firing arranged by … Continue reading

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What would William Morris do?

To understand politics, you must understand history. But how? In our dire political moment, we scramble for action in the present, but we also search history for precedent and warning. It was both bitterly meaningful and completely random that November 9, … Continue reading

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The New Servility

It should surely by now be recognized that the 2006 movie The Devil Wears Prada marked a crucial moment in American bourgeois self-critique. The casting of Meryl Streep as a Bad Career Woman, and Anne Hathaway as an ingenue, is not in itself particularly groundbreaking. … Continue reading

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Toward an Epicurean Scholarly Practice

To be a scholar is to accept certain ascetic practices—this is an economic constraint as well as a voluntary and cultic self-discipline. The economic constraint comes via several forms of artificial scarcity: the shrinking public investment in education, the insistence that more educational … Continue reading

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We have always been inside: on Peter Sloterdijk’s “In the World Interior of Capital”

This is the first Sloterdijk I’ve read, though I’ve always been attracted to the title of Critique of Cynical Reason because it’s got the word “cynical” in it. This volume promises a similar iconoclasm: has the critique of grand narratives, centerpiece of post-totalitarian Europe, itself … Continue reading

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Lukács and the Mockingjay

How important is Katniss Everdeen, really, to the uprising in Panem? Would she count as a “world-historical figure,” according to Georg Lukács? I don’t really know, because I haven’t read the third book in the “Hunger Games” series, Suzanne Collins’s … Continue reading

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How depressing is “Elysium”?

Of course I was going to see Elysium: it’s got Matt Damon in it, and I love science fiction. The movie’s world is divided vividly and cynically into haves and have-nots—the spinning satellite Elysium, a vacuously authoritarian offworld oligarchy, and … Continue reading

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