Categories
Fragments

All death is necessary

Just as the coronavirus scare was kicking off in earnest in 2020, a favourite blogger of mine wrote a post about how the denial of death had become a feature of modern life, about how we’ve pushed it to the margins of our lives: Illness has, for most of us, for most of our lives, […]

Categories
Fragments

Consent withdrawn: a declaration

I DO NOT CONSENT to rule by fear. I DO NOT CONSENT to lockdowns. I DO NOT CONSENT to being governed through applied behavioural psychology. I DO NOT CONSENT to laws which would have me cover my face for no other reason than to make others fearful and compliant. I DO NOT CONSENT to mandatory […]

Categories
Essays

Nostalgia for capitalism

Denis Villeneuve’s sequel, arriving 35 years after Ridley Scott’s rain-drenched vision of a near-future dystopia, painstakingly replicates the look and feel of the original. But Blade Runner 2049 isn’t just nostalgic for Lawrence G. Paul’s production design, it’s a requiem for American capitalism. Warning: contains spoilers [Note: this article was originally published on 16/11/2017 at […]

Categories
Stories

Distance

Paul Liddle died alone in a care home at the age of seventy seven. The progression of his Alzheimer’s had been slow and steady over the last few years but it was when visits from family members were suspended that the disease took on a new, more aggressive trajectory. During the first six months of […]

Categories
Stories

Blackout

Get back inside! He almost screamed as he got to his feet, his gloved hand pressed against his aching side. But it was too late. The oldest one had already seen the dead pigeon smeared against the kitchen skylight and was shrieking her astonished amusement. One cartoonishly lifeless eye peered in at them, as if […]

Categories
Essays

Caesura

‘It not ouchy.’ I wasn’t sure if she was looking for reassurance or reassuring me. We were alone together in a room off the children’s ward. She sat almost upright in the bed, naked from the waist up but accessoried with several pieces of medical machinery to which she was tethered by wires and tubes. […]

Categories
Essays

Covid realism

This is just the way things are now. This is what we have to do. You have to do the right thing, don’t you? We’ve got to keep safe, haven’t we? We’ve got to make sure everyone’s safe, so… We just have to accept that that’s how things are. Previously I have expounded the idea […]

Categories
Essays

Hyperneoliberalism

“…the coronavirus crisis – even more so in its second phase – is all about basic inequalities, and the kind of questions of work, housing and poverty that deep crises always bring to the surface. In other words, Covid-19 is a class issue.” John Harris, The Guardian, 18 Oct ’20 I felt a sudden jolt […]

Categories
Essays

The mind-killer

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will […]

Categories
Essays

Demonology of capital

The protagonist of Mr. Robot, a brilliant but profoundly disaffected hacker, conjures the titular character from his own psyche so he can transform the world. He finds that not only is a pact with a demon insufficient for remaking society, but that the ability to bring about intentional, lasting change is beyond even the highest […]