In Against the World, Against Life, his biography of the writer, the French novelist Michel Houellebecq ascribes Lovecraft’s racism to his relatively wealthy New England upbringing suddenly bumping up against two years of rougher living in multicultural New York. But fellow writer Nicole Cushingrefuses to accept the oft-trotted out excuse that Lovecraft, born in 1890, was merely “a man of his time”. She says Lovecraft seems “obsessed with the theme of white supremacy, taking opportunities to shoehorn it into stories even when it’s totally unnecessary”.
Groper Train: Search for the Black Pearl yes, you read that right, from Academy Award Winning Director Yojiro Takita. See also: -Tampon Tango (1984) -Lolita: Vibrator Torture (1987) -Uniform Masturbation: Virgin’s Underpanties (1992) -Night of the Anatomical Doll (1996)
“During’s implication is that there is something fundamentally flawed about the contention made by critics from Siegfried Kracauer (who in 1927 analysed the high kicks of dancing girls as “the rational and empty form of the cult”), through Debord, Baudrillard and Virilio, that commercial cinema represents the “triumph of the spectacle”; that it is not an exercise in secular magic but in power magic, the most overt manifestations of which are the Nazi propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl.”
“Morning climbs in through the window as shadow recedes from Tang
Xiaoyi’s body like a green tide imbued with the fragrance of trees.
Where the tidewater used to be, now there is just Xiaoyi’s slender body,
naked under the thin sunlight.”
An alienated community of foreigners in interwar Peking – Jeremiah Jenne
In 1935, American scholar George N. Kates settled into a courtyard home in a Pekinghutongjust north of the Forbidden City. “No electric light, no wooden floors, no heating apparatus except several cast iron stoves, and no plumbing did I ever install,” he wrote in his memoir The Years That Were Fat: Peking, 1933-1940, which Kates published in 1952 (and which later inspired the title of Chan Koonchung’s sci-fi novel The Fat Years). Long before anyone had coined the term “Hutong Hipster,” Kates and a group of like-minded cultural enthusiasts – dubbed the Peking Aesthetes – were learning Chinese, raising crickets, studying painting from elderly neighbors, and shunning the distractions of the city’s international community.
“It is said that Jean-Paul Sartre turned white-faced with excitement when a colleague arrived hotfoot from Germany with the news that one could make philosophy out of the ashtray. In these two new books, Slavoj Žižek philosophises in much the same spirit about sex, swearing, decaffeinated coffee, vampires, Henry Kissinger, The Sound of Music, the Muslim Brotherhood, the South Korean suicide rate and a good deal more. If there seems no end to his intellectual promiscuity, it is because he suffers from a rare affliction known as being interested in everything. In Britain, philosophers tend to divide between academics who write for each other and meaning-of-life merchants who beam their reflections at the general public. Part of Žižek’s secret is that he is both at once: a formidably erudite scholar well-versed in Kant and Heidegger who also has a consuming passion for the everyday. He is equally at home with Hegel and Hitchcock, the Fall from Eden and the fall of Mubarak. If he knows about Wagner and Schoenberg, he is also an avid consumer of vampire movies and detective fiction. A lot of his readers have learned to understand Freud or Nietzsche by viewing them through the lens of Jaws or Mary Poppins….”
“At their best, when systems novels veer right into science fiction,
they can hold infinity itself in their purview – and none come closer to
that than Kim Stanley Robinson. Robinson’s seminal Mars trilogy opens
with humanity’s efforts to colonise our cosmic neighbour in Red Mars,
and closes two centuries later in Blue Mars: by then, water is flowing
on the planet’s surface, an achievement reached after hundreds of pages
of Robinson’s musings on science, politics, economics and religion.
Robert A Heinlein’s The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress covers similar
themes to Robinson, but reaches a very different conclusion; in stark
contrast to Robinson’s holistic worldview, Heinlein’s tale of a lunar
colony fighting for freedom from the mother planet – Earth – fits
closely with the author’s libertarian beliefs.
Issac Asimov’s Foundation sequence, and his use of psychohistory in
it, makes him a remarkable systems novelist, as does Ursula Le Guin’s
Hainish sequence and Samuel Delany’s novels Nova, Babel-17 and Dhalgren. There are more contemporary science fiction authors using this model, too: Madeline Ashby, Ramez Naam and Monica Byrne all use science fiction as an arena for speculative, intellectual debate….
“The manner in which western populations have broadly accepted the
fact of surveillance, and willingly surrendered their identities to
social media, has already gone a long way to removing that dividing line
between public and private. Snyder counsels extreme caution in rubbing
out that distinction further. He calls for a “corporeal politics”,
voting with paper ballots that can be counted and recounted;
face-to-face interaction rather than email, marching not online
petitioning: “Power wants your body softening in your chair and your
emotions dissipating on a screen. Get outside. Put your body in
unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people.”
The policemen of cultural appropriation do not think that way. They
have a morality tale to tell, one of Western victimization of
non-Western peoples—a victimization so extreme that it is triggered by a
Western girl’s purchase of a Chinese dress designed precisely so that
Chinese girls could live more like Western girls.
In order to tell
that story, the policemen of cultural appropriation must crush and
deform much of the truth of cultural history—and in the process demean
and infantilize the people they supposedly champion.
A flag-waving Chinese action film depicting the country’s soldiers
saving war-ravaged Africans from western baddies has become China’s
all-time top box-office earner, headlining a summer of patriotic
The wildly popular Wolf Warriors 2 boasts the ominous tagline “whoever offends China
will be hunted down no matter how far away they are”, and millions of
Chinese cinemagoers have lapped it up since the movie’s release less
than two weeks ago.
people carefully guard their words, afraid they might transgress one of
the norms that have come into existence. Those accused of incorrect
thought face ruinous consequences. When a moral crusade spreads across
campus, many students feel compelled to post in support of it on
Facebook within minutes. If they do not post, they will be noticed and
founded a literary magazine called “Distance (距離)” upon graduating from
university. The magazine brought together a group of aspiring young
writers who later become influential literary figures in Taiwan today,
including Wang Tsung-wei (王聰威), Liu Ka-shiang (劉克襄), Egoyan Zheng (伊格言),
Issac Lee (李志薔), Lee Chong-jian (李崇建), Kao Yi-fong (高翊峰), and Chang