Talking to the Mailman
Growing domination of companies over users, malicious functionalities, tracking and widespread surveillance. The leading campaigner for software freedom discusses the present technological landscape and the political relevance of the campaign for free software.
Rise and Fall of the Daily Paper
The historical arc of print journalism, from its emergence as the instrument of a rising bourgeoisie through a twentieth-century heyday, buoyed by consumer advertising—and coming retreat to a subscription-only luxury market under the new oligarchy.
A Party of Latecomers
Over the past decade the American political-intellectual scene has undergone a significant change with the emergence of a lively nexus of journals, ideas and activities, constituting a new kind of cultural left. Francis Mulhern etches the portrait of the Brooklyn-based n+1, which has been both forerunner and intellectual flagship of this effervescence.
Retrospective on the liberated life and work of Alexander Cockburn, whose last book, A Colossal Wreck, completes a dazzling triptych. Shaping influences of family, place and political epoch on a singularly radical temperament, and the keen-edged prose in which it found expression.
Performance Art After TV
Relations between TV and performance art since the 1960s as a tangled skein of complicity and contestation. Sven Lütticken traces shifts in modes of acting, working and self-presentation, within a televisual world itself now being absorbed by cybernetic and digital systems.
Rise of the Image-Makers
A leading journalist considers the transformations in Brazil’s media sphere in the post-dictatorship period. Reporters turned marketeers, policies become products, money and power ever more tightly interwoven, within a landscape reformatted by new technologies.
Socialism: A Life-Cycle
The ecosystem of socialism, seen through the material forms in which its principles were transmitted—books, newspapers, manifestos—and the parties, movements, schools and men who were its bearers. From Babeuf to Marx to Mao, the passage of printed ideas, and their inundation by images in the age of the spectacle.
Suspense and . . . Surprise
Media projections of the ‘war on terror’ as manipulations of shock and time, purveyed through a perpetual present of 24-hour coverage and on-line news. Lessons from Hitchcock, Conrad and Benjamin on the poetics of suspense and possibilities for a rehistoricization of the attentat.
The Print Jungle
“‘In the jungle one has to defend oneself as best one can.’ This is the experience of a militant in the printing industry where, after a succession of take-overs, the monopoly confronts the worker with its ‘rational’ demands for modernizution and closures. From the shop floor the irrationality . . .” read more
“The plan was obvious. The Rt. Hon. Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Knight of the Thistle and starkest of aristocrats, was due to arrive for an interview in the bbc’s ‘Panorama’ studio on the evening of Monday, February 17th. For high mystagogue Richard Dimbleby, this occasion was too pregnant . . .” read more
Echoes of Zhdanov
“‘Broadly speaking, First Night is intended to be a ‘popular’ drama spot. By ‘popular’ I don’t mean that at the end of the play the audience should necessarily say ‘wasn’t that nice?’. What I mean is plays about people of today concerned in problems, joys and aspirations of . . .” read more
The Magic System
“In his concluding Chapter to a collection of essays on Advertising and Society, to be published in the New Left Book series by Stevens early next year, Raymond Williams relates the “system of magic” to the attitudes and social thinking of a “consumer” society, and makes some proposals . . .” read more
Two Television Documentaries
“our society contains many divisions besides those of class. Some of these divisions are of a kind in which ‘they’ are detached from ‘us’ by some special expertise, or because they operate as relatively closed communities—such as hospitals, the police, the probation service—which directly enter our lives . . .” read more
Afternoon in the Studios
““It is the end of civilisation, isn’t it?” the Member for Blackfriars observed, waving an unlighted pipe at Krishna’s Bride. She posed in a golden crown and trousers of scarlet muslin, politely offering a lotus to the camera. From the far end of the studio, the Ambassador’s wife . . .” read more