Let’s be real; in every way imaginable this weekend is Crap Christmas. Easter is the Justice League to Christmas’ Avengers – it has the same tedious check-list, just with fewer frills. Inevitably, along with the inevitable chocolate binge, this means each year we re-run debates on “the true meaning” of Easter. 2017, like every year, has featured the usual assortment of adorable videos of 3 year olds humorously critiquing the logistics of rabbits that lay eggs, as well as the usual tedious, forced stand-up routine from that friend, about whether someone who is resurrected is necessarily a zombie (sorry fella, Cyanide and Happiness outflanked you on that by a good decade); but of course while you might get some entertainment out of these finicky points of pedantry, they completely ignore the ideological undercurrent of the festival in its modern form. That’s why this Easter Sunday, we’re taking a look back at a forgotten work of savage satire; Antonia Bird’s Ravenous (1999).Continue reading →
There is something truly apocalyptic in the air. A fearful isolationist politics grips the UK as it seeks to quarantine itself from dangerous of Outsiders, while in the United States, a walking punchline has become President as American liberals have found to their cost that you can’t just laugh a Nazi off the ballot. The Right across Europe is on the rise, with neo-fascists projected to fair well in polls in France, Germany and the Netherlands, my new home. Never in my lifetime (I was born at the end of 1990, so the Cold War was literally ending) has the end of days felt so near – and in a strange way so welcome. With 2017 playing out like a cadaverous Reaganite tribute act, if there were hypothetically a zombie pandemic tomorrow, what would my interests be in preventing it? It’s the perfect time for a rebirth of a genre which had stagnated badly over the past two years.
After editor Jack Brindelli’s Bray Wyatt article published in the Norwich Radical, writers seem to have treated it as a “want some, come get some” open challenge in the pages of Hollywood Hegemony. The most recent, and extensive of these, comes two days before an “Elimination Chamber” pay-per-view – in which individuals inescapably collide amidst an “evil structure” of steel – places ideology, wrestling, and academia in a frantic cage of pain, and forces them to face one-another. In the article that follows, Charlie Giggle makes what can only be described as a landmark contribution to the academic side of the WWE-culture-debate, not equalled since Barthes himself.
JAHN CEENAH! I WILL FORCE YOU TO CONSIDER THE IDEOLOGICAL RAMIFICATIONS OF WRESTLING.
The relationship between academia and professional wrestling is not complicated. There isn’t one. There have been brief forays (MIT courses, passing mentions of Brecht on documentaries trying to excuse their subject matter in the overture, or whatever the starting bit is referred to) but the lack of communication between people wanting to take it seriously has lead to three depressingly solipsistic basic themes of analysis, and all of them represent propaganda about the subject at large in their own right more so than actual descriptions of what is happening when we watch a wrestling show. I understand that I am not doing anything astonishingly radical in accusing academia of disappearing up it’s own backside, but I’m also suggesting something more like a bizarre good cop/bad cop routine wherein the officers have argued so hard-headedly that they’ve lost track of the criminal and he’s already escaped through an air vent. Continue reading →
“If we release the slaves, they will rob, rape and murder their former masters.” “If we allow universal suffrage, the proletariat will elect Bolsheviks and execute the monarchy.” “If we create machines without subverting them to human needs, they could supersede us and cause humanity’s extinction.” Jack Brindelli examines the ruling class fears at play in sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, and asks why exactly we should fear their liberty?
There is something of the slave-owner’s ‘logic’ about Stephen Hawking’s recent assertion, along with many other eminent ‘scientists’ (who, we should note, are mostly experts in fields that are irrelevant to the debate on Artificial Intelligence), claiming that we should seek to ‘rein in’ research that could lead to machines thinking, feeling and creating for themselves. Because I suppose if you think about it, if you were a supremely intelligent being capable of conferring the construct of “beauty” on the world around you, you’d probably want to inexplicably wipe out all life too. Continue reading →
This week internet freedom is once again a hot issue, with Theresa May announcing new powers for police to keep tabs on individual IP addresses for the sake of ‘national security’. Dr Paul Bernal is a Law lecturer at the University of East Anglia, and whilst specialising in internet privacy, also knows his subject can seem a little dry to us laypeople. Fortunately he also knows his Snow White from his Cinderella. Adapted from his well-received presentation on the same subject (also posted below), here is an article originally published on his blog explaining privacy issues through the medium of Disney Princesses. It is nothing short of spectacular…