Pyongyang and the Wide Orbit of Truth

On April 13th, North Korea carried out its most recent act of defiance against the West, all of which past similar acts have been met not even with a slap on the wrist but with a stern finger-wag, by launching a ballistic missile, which subsequently exploded and fell apart in the Yellow Sea. This act, however, is quite different: for one, it “shot down” President Obama’s engagement policy with Pyongyang (as Chris McGreal cleverly quipped in The Guardian), and secondly it affirmed the West’s fears that Kim Jong-Un would proceed in the role his father and grandfather had laid out in the totalitarian state.… [Read more]

Slacktivism, Transparency, and the Measure of Success

Now I for one thought the connections between Invisible Children and Fundamentalist Christianity became quite apparent when co-founder Jason Russell went on a naked rampage. This, if nothing else, served to underscore the trite and, frankly masturbatory nature of slacktivism: the decentralized, interconnected, 21st century’s stand-in for real brick-and-mortar (or rather megaphone-and-placard) activism. Strikes, demonstrations, and happenings, however, have not so much been replaced by web-friendly alternatives as supplemented by them.… [Read more]

Hoodies and the Grammar of Repression

On Wednesday, March 28, Rep. Bobby Rush (D) of Illinois was escorted off the floor of the House of Representatives for a breach of the congressional dress code which is far more nuanced and gets far more attention than anyone could imagine. While making a speech about the murder of Trayvon Martin and subsequent controversy, Rep.… [Read more]

What the US Could Learn from Putin’s Thousand-Armed Political Aggregate

Quickly overshadowed by the meteoric rise and fall of the Invisible Children and its masturbatory answers to white guilt, the Russian presidential election was covered sparsely by Western media and quickly swept under the blogosphere’s shag rug. Myopic, as this election will majorly affect global politics for the next six years, but we had seen this coming: everyone knew who the winner would be and the US-EU conglomerate’s response, a lukewarm ‘we’d appreciate an “independent and credible” investigation, but we’ll work with you anyway if that’s too much trouble’ [1] came as no surprise.… [Read more]