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Poetry » Poem Brut #23 – Ten Lines Each Day (published 21/01/2018)

seekers of lice.

In the 23rd edition of The Poem Brut series, new poetry by Anne Gutt.

Essays » Suffer the Little Children: Sessions’ Zero-legality Policy (published 05/08/2018)

Hearing the voices of children separated from their parents at the US border calling for their mothers and fathers in secret detention centers makes any decent person, in the US and abroad, shudder. That the government uses secrecy even in grim public facilities, where at least the façade of the building is known to reporters, but also in nonpublic subcontracted warehouses for private military intelligence contractors like MVM to imprison children is both unsurprising – a sign of bureaucratically authorized crime – and appalling. Even some of the people who work in these centers – a nurse in Hastings, New York as well as someone who recorded the Propublica audio tape – take videos or make recordings with cell phones – at great personal risk and smuggle them out.

Alan Gilbert writes about the US policy of separating children from their parents at the US/Mexico border.

Interviews » The End Times » Thinking About Globalisation, Immigration and Refugees (published 04/11/2017)

Refugees are, at least typically, distinctive in important ways. The dangers that they face – persecution on the basis of one of the “protected grounds” – is such that it can really only be plausibly addressed by given them refuge in a safe country, and eventual access to full membership. This is because the dangers they face are ones that we can’t expect to end relatively quickly, or that can be plausibly addressed with direct assistance (as would be the case with many natural disasters), or with more foreign aid (as would be the case with other dire living circumstances), or with direct intervention into the offending country. Because direct intervention is unlikely to be appropriate, we also cannot expect the danger to end any time soon, making permanent or at least long-term assistance necessary.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Matthew Lister

Interviews » Psychedelics and Philosophy » Tripping For Knowledge: The Psychedelic Epistemologist (published 05/08/2017)

I think psychedelic states can offer genuine knowledge. Specifically, I think psychedelic subjects gain what philosophers call ‘knowledge by acquaintance’ of their own vast psychological potential. They become directly acquainted—because it becomes manifest—with the modal or dispositional fact that there are vastly many, often very unusual, possible ways that their minds can be. And this knowledge often makes a strong impression; many spiritual seekers in the 60s became dedicated meditation practitioners in order to realise the psychological potential they’d discovered by tripping.

Lindsay Jordan kicks off 3:AM’s Psychedelics and Philosophy series interviewing Chris Letheby.

Essays » The Angel’s Trail: Seven Swiss Encounters (published 15/02/2017)

Youssef Rakha is an Egyptian writer; he has been in Switzerland to attend a literary festival and write about refugees. But what if Youssef Rakha doesn’t actually exist? What if in reality I am a Syrian refugee separated from my family – unsure of my future now that my hometown has been gutted and unable to step in Syria without incurring the wrath of war lords – stranded indefinitely in a German-speaking European airport: in Zurich, Vienna, perhaps between the two?

Youssef Rakha on seven Swiss encounters.

Essays » Not That: reflections on the Election, Choicelessness and Contradiction (published 19/11/2016)

Badiou is clear that the properly political contradiction is not between two forms of the same world, but between a world and something which is beyond the limits of that world. The true contradiction was between Trump and Sanders, Badiou says. In affirmation of real choice, he continues that “today, against Trump, we cannot desire Clinton. We must create a return to the true contradiction. That is, we must propose a political orientation that goes beyond the world as it is …”

Cam Scott on Badiou on Trump.

Essays » European Marks (published 24/01/2015)


A Mark (or March, Marches) is the European name for a border, a frontier, a “boundary” territory; its name comes from early Middle Ages. The Franks called it marka, Anglo-Saxons called it mearc, but both nations meant only one thing by the word: something that is situated between two sources of power, political and economical influence, and law.

Kirill Kobrin on borders.

Interviews » The Underground Island (published 21/12/2014)

One premise, not rigorously applied, was that you should be able to live somewhere in Britain without money. So with a few exceptions we offered free accommodation, ad lib, to who-ever made it to the island. No references, no deposit. In the early days, no council tax. No notice to quit, no eviction, however extreme the acting-out. It was how the Welfare State was supposed to work. Incidentally, as Machiavelli reminds us, this was also how ancient Rome was founded, by attracting fugitives and outlaws from the modern.

Richard Marshall interviews Roc Sandford.

Interviews » Performance redux (published 01/04/2013)

The film has two elements that are strong: sex and violence. But neither can be neatly parcelled in conventional terms, or neatly presented and tied with a bow, particularly the violence. It’s too easy to tag it to the East End, Bow Bells and neat ribbons. It was the era of the Krays. But it was also the era of the Richardsons, south of the river. And there were others, like Jimmy Evans, who didn’t fit into the gang structure as shown in the film. So the reality is jagged anyway.

Richard Marshall interviews Paul Buck.

Essays » Light travels faster than words (published 11/02/2013)

Keen seems to have rejected the label ‘pop artist’ and it’s not hard to see why. If pop art is about elegantly subverting existing art world conventions by substituting ‘pop’ content and styles for more traditional ‘high art’ content then the pop artist would have to have accepted that a distinction actually exists between high and low art. If he or she sees all kinds of images, executed for whatever reason in any medium, as forming part of daily experience, unmediated by these conventions, then he or she is probably not a pop artist, even if making use of the stuff that pop artists also use.

Bridget Penney on Jeff Keen.