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For posts before June 2012, please follow these links to our archives.

The Authoritarian Heroes of Game of Thrones

Parker Richards The Atlantic
As with many epic fantasies, the show’s heroes are framed as liberators and defenders of the common people—despite holding absolute power.

Mexican American Disambiguation

José Olivarez Hyperallergic
The son of Mexican immigrants, the poet José Olivarez explores the ambiguities (and realities) that determine who labels whom in the discourse of ethnic identity.

A Grim Take on the State of the News Business

Maria Puente USA Today
A look at the state of investigative reporting and long form journalism, a former New York Times editor details threats to an informed public coming from the decline of newspapers and the rise of social media gimmicks that beggar fact-based writing.

Why Hannah Arendt is the Philosopher for Now

Lyndsey Stonebridge New Statesman America
The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), by Hannah Arendt, has much to teach us in our troubled times. In this essay, Lyndsey Stonebridge offers a fine overview of Arendt's life and times, and puts her classic study in its proper context.

A Marxist guide to crime drama

Sofie Mason Counterfire
At its best, crime drama does not simply try to terrify us with pure unblinking evil but gives us studies of dysfunctional human beings mangled by capitalism, argues Sofie Mason

Talk in the Town Barbershop

Joseph Zaccardi Poetry of Joseph Zaccardi
Poet Joseph Zaccardi, Laureate of Marin County, explores the local chit-chat, reminding us it’s also about what folks don’t want to say or hear.

Keywords That Reinforce Class Control

Oliver Eagleton Counterfire
Carrying on from Raymond Williams' Keywords, the classic study of capital's appropriation of words for its own ends, the book under review looks at contemporary linguistic usage that serves and reinforces dominant class interests.