Month: March 2019

Winternet is Coming

Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto last week and the burning desire of Indian mega-billionaire Mukesh Ambani to become a tech mogul might not at first seem connected. But Zuckerberg’s dramatic repositioning of his company — an attempt to save Facebook’s future as a global platform — and Ambani’s somewhat unlikely (his net worth just crests $50 billion) emergence as an activist against “data colonialism” are two faces of a coin.  The Forbes #8 and #13 richest persons in the world are embracing the hyper-politicization of Internet communications and seeking to make fortunes in a business landscape where states have now made...

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The Real Problem the SNC Lavalin Affair Exposes

Canada’s media is beside itself right now over a case of politics within the cabinet of the Trudeau government.  The problem begins with SNC Lavalin, ostensibly an engineering firm headquartered in Montréal.  About a decade ago, it did some skeezy things in Libya.  SNC Lavalin, however, is no stranger to skeeziness.  The issue arises from something called a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA), which, under Canadian law, allows the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PSSC) to essentially allow corporations to plea bargain their way out of a spot of bother.  It would appear the the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) wished...

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Five Poems by Tara Mokhtari

Anti-Genre #6 brings us Tara Mokhtari’s rousing, film-like vignettes.  Recalling “flashbulb memories,” these poems function like vivid snapshots of a moment, and the circumstances under which we heard a piece of surprising news.  *** Fucking Time Sometimes I’m breathless under the full weight of its salty cataleptic body, and I’m pinned down and resisting for days. Other times, I have it by the balls, and I whisper softly to it: be still, let me see what you’re made of. *** Once Upon A Future As the sun set for the last time over Earth a strange thing happened: the sky and the soil and everything in between turned burning white. Despite our collective conviction about The End, and how it would be, for the first time in the history of human experience, we could see  *** If I Leap If I leap from fourth floor balcony onto del Marques de l’Argentera to become the bus driver’s soap opera the therapist’s bread and butter the maker of a murderer (then that would be my legacy) If I leap and let the chill wind carry me over the alley to land on Gaudi terrace step inside stranger’s dwelling and into strange new life to find new suffering… If I leap with just Estacion de Franco for witness: would I get caught? *** Transcending Tongues The ache is the same in every...

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The Zionist Problem: Divided Loyalties in the Jewish Diaspora

The Stars and Stripes stand to the right of the Ark on the bimah at my local shul in the Chicago suburbs; the Degel Yisra’el, the blue-and-white flag of the State of Israel, stands to its left. It’s just another Shabbat in the diaspora. The presence of Zionism and the State of Israel in diaspora Jewish life is so pervasive that, after a while, you stop seeing it; yet it is always there, in the synagogue sanctuary and without. When I was a camper at Camp Wooden Acres and the YMHA Country Camp in the Laurentians north of Montreal,[*]...

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Bob Mould — Sunshine Rock

Bob Mould Sunshine Rock Merge Last week, my students and I were discussing the fact that it is rare for an artist to have a more successful career after leaving their original band.  We noted the likes of Morrissey, André 3000 or Big Boi, and the only one we could come up with who was more successful as a solo artist was Beyoncé, who, of course, was once in Destiny’s Child, or John Lydon, née, Rotten, though Public Image Ltd. has never had the cultural caché of the Sex Pistols.  I might have noted Bob Mould, but none of...

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