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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Black Mirror and Netflix’s hedonic treadmill

Black Mirror seems to point out the potential dangers of nascent technologies, which promise to improve our lives while robbing us of some fundamental aspect of humanity. But, as yet another thumbnail on Netflix’s infinite carousel of time-wasting distraction, does on-demand ‘content’ have the power to wake us from our technological stupor? TL;DR: I wish […]