Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

The first bit of this post about the Year of the Sheep dates from two years ago. I was trying to get back to posting regularly, but in the end the work/life overload interfered with that idea, just as it always seems to do. In any case, I’ve wanted to return to this post for […]


Admittedly, only the last of these three works — the unparalleled Can Dialectics Break Bricks? — is truly an example of détournement in the classic sense, but all three of them do engage in the practice of using borrowed material for purposes wildly different than those they were originally intended for.  Détournement is a technique […]


Not too far down the road from Izumo-taisha the last sandy vestiges of the land sprinkle out into the Sea of Japan.  The beach here is called Inasa-no-hama and it is the site where Okuninushi (大国主), the Great Land Master, ceded control of Japan to Amaterasu and her heirs.  According to the Kojiki, the Record […]


human error

16May12

In honor of the May 5th shutdown of every last nuclear power plant in Japan for the first time in 42 years, I wore the “nuke free” t-shirt that I bought on my visit to Hiroshima just over a year ago. Anti-nuclear sentiment in Japan is continuing to grow, with even business-minded politicians such as […]


“Capital, it fails us now / one day all will be living on credit.” These lyrics, from the great agit-punk band the Gang of Four, never seemed more appropriate.  It seems that just about every advanced industrial state in the world is heavily in debt and on the verge of collapse while the citizenry in […]


Earlier this month, without much fanfare, President Obama announced that the remaining combat troops in Iraq would return home by the end of the year.  The fact that there are no victory celebrations in the streets speaks volumes about the ambivalent nature of public opinion toward what has been one of America’s longest wars.  No […]


occupy oakland

01Nov11

Tuesday’s violent early-morning dispersal of the Occupy Oakland encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza doesn’t come as much of a surprise, even if the reason for the raid given by Oakland’s acting chief of police — that there was a worry about sanitary conditions at the encampment — was surprising enough for Peter Sagal of NPR’s Wait Wait […]