Come on England

The recent success of the England team and the corresponding rise of national pride has, I suspect like many who have a slightly more tangled relationship with England and Englishness, created a mixture of complex feelings. For me Englishness unlike to some extent Britishness, has historically lacked much of the cosmopolitan and in many ways outward looking symbolism of latter. This appeared all the more clear when observing the 2016 referendum where vote to leave the EU was largely concentrated within in England, even in Wales, a devolved region which also voted for Brexit analysis suggested that it was retired...

A Brief Note On Joy

At the end of the last post I wrote on the US election, I ended with a quote from Dave Chappelle taken from his recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, which on reflection poses a particular question, specifically with the  depths of the dejection, flat out disbelief and hurt that’s been felt by many following the results of the US election and perhaps more importantly the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis, how is it possible to find a way to continue to find joy in existence? This perhaps sounds incredibly dramatic. However as I write this a march consisting of...

Life…The Best Game In Town?

It’s often the case that some of the most thought-provoking observations around a particular work of literature occur after it’s been published. In the recent online fracas that has emerged over Sophie Lewis’s ‘Full Surrogacy Now: Feminists Against The Family’, Lewis took the time to reflect on the contradiction that occurred when considering that those who are so often at ease with diminution of life seem to be incredibly appalled by any conversation around any justification for actually ending life which in this case is specifically represented by the unborn. Actually living, Lewis speculated appears to her detractors to be...

Brexit, Exit and The Unthinkable

In 2010, Eugene Thacker of New York’s The New School, published the first instalment of his Horror of Philosophy series entitled In The Dust Of This Planet. By using the theme of horror as a starting point, Thacker intended to examine and explore the idea of a world becoming increasingly unthinkable, one regularly confronted with emerging pandemics, planetary disasters and looming above everything the eschaton. Whilst it would be somewhat hyperbolic to place Brexit within this category, I believe there might be something to be gained by examining how these themes might still have some relevance to the current conversation.  In polls taken almost immediately after...

Reclaim Radical Futures

“The Right is primarily after power, in the fight for power (which for example it does not possess in Poland today) it is prepared to advance any leftist slogans that can count on popular appear. Let us speak openly: contempt for ideology is the strength of the Right because it allows for greater flexibility in practice and for the arbitrary use of any facade that will facilitate the seizure of power” Leszek Kolakowski ‘The Concept of the Left’ With the anti-defamation league recently publishing an article conflating accelerationism with a particularly violent strand of an already reactionary ideology. It occurred to...

Separation Anxiety

“Brexit is only sort of mentioned once, very briefly in the novel but I think it’s fair to say at this point you know that Brexit is a feeling” Sam Byers  In an interview about his new, technological thriller, Perfidious Albion, the author Sam Byers pondered briefly on the question of whether, or not, the novel could be described as a Brexit novel. whilst he was somewhat recalcitrant in acquiescing fully to this description, he did, however, suggest that Brexit is in many ways as much of a feeling as it is an event. My previous attempts in writing about Brexit...

Nervous States / Viral Futures

The sluggish response to the current outbreak by the UK government recently pushed me to take stock of what the pandemic reveals to us about this current moment and ways we might navigate it. In some ways, the virus has proved to be politically polarizing in a way that has played out in an exceptionally revealing manner. The authoritarian strongmen in charge of two of the largest democracies on the planet, Trump and Bolsonaro, first tried to counter the rising concern with a combination of denial, conspiratorial whispers and outright refusal to allow measures to aid the general public to be implemented. The puzzled...