Kurt Cobain, martyr of authenticity

Type
Article
Category
Long read
Music

It may well be a law of nature that when you defeat the empire, you become the empire. Cobain and Nirvana had challenged corporate power from within, but the adaptability of those structures saw them drawn unwittingly into the middle of the machine. Cobain was too honest to give in, but also too exhausted to keep running ahead. The more successful Nirvana became, the less he was able to control his own message, to represent something other than the symbol he had become – the constructed symbol of a rock’n’roll star, a polite focus for suburban rebellion, even in spite of the challenging art he made.

Type
Article
Category
Gaming

Cyberpunk 2077 and the problem with tech work culture

Before its release, Cyberpunk 2077 was hyped as ‘the video game of 2020’, a prediction that rings eerily true in the sense that 2020 was a disappointing dumpster fire, and so too was the game. Cyberpunk 2077 is a case study of what happens when you exploit workers, deceive consumers, and put a projected, ideal future ahead of messy reality.

Type
Article
Category
Politics

WrestleMania, or the road to the US Presidency

‘Trump’s foray into politics is a perpetual game, one that the Democrats falsely calculated they could bring to a close on their own terms. By prolonging the endless twists and turns of his narrative, they have served only to make US politics look emptier without him.

Type
Article
Category
Islam
Politics

‘Islamo-leftism’, or the spectre of the Muslim Left

The spectre ofIslamogauchisme – or ‘Islamo-leftism’ – was evoked last month as the French government launched an inquiry targeting universities. Frederique Vidal, the Minister for Higher Education and Research, used the phrase when announcing a probe into the ‘influence’ of Islamo-leftism and postcolonialism in higher education, and again when defending it against the salvo of criticism it subsequently received. After a group of 600 university professors called for her resignation, Vidal insisted that – while Islamogauchisme may not have a ‘scientific definition’ – it corresponds to a wider ‘feeling’ in the general public.

Type
Fiction
Category
Fiction

Time is a fish

A car rushing to the hospital over an eight-lane bridge, the sky cloudy and cobblestoned in the glow of a full yellow moon. The sheen of a body floundering with pain. The eyes of midwives visible behind personal protective equipment – precautionary protocol because the woman is suspected of carrying the virus.