Miscellaneous

How Not To Be

Until quite recently I rarely thought about the noughties. It was just a warehouse decade for my childhood, an apolitical sink hole of low rise jeans and foreign wars on terrestrial television. Nothing happened then- or, more correctly, nothing happened to me, which, when you’re 13, is the same thing. Of late, however, I have begun to think about the decade in…

The Social Review Podcast Episode 59: The Social Re-Q

Morgan and Pete found a way to connect to the internet, and take a deep dive, helped by Annie Kelly (UK Correspondent, QAnon Anonymous), into the world of the QAnon conspiracy theory. How proliferate is it? How do well-meaning individuals become radicalised? How can they be de-radicalised? And what’s the world’s first conspiracy theory, and what does it have to do with…

Lessons from Brecht

Bertolt Brecht was one of the most innovative and unique cultural products of “the Left”, his work is the product of lived experiences in Weimar Germany, Nazi Germany, the United States, and the German Democratic Republic. Consequently, Brecht, politically and ideologically, inhabits a distinct space that has many lessons for socialism today.   Brecht lived through multiple defeats of socialism in an age…

On The Internet No One Can Hear You Scream (Because You Don’t Have A Mouth)

Harlan Ellison’s 1967 work “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” looms large on the internet. The Hugo award winning short story tells the tale of the only five people left alive after civilisation has been wiped out by a supercomputer called “AM”. Initially a weapons system in an escalated cold war (“Allied Mastercomputer”), AM becomes self aware (and namewise moves…

Beam Me Up Softlord

I live in a flatshare. Late one evening a few months back, we needed some emergency maintenance done – needing a fix sharpish, we called someone out and paid upfront. The next day we asked our landlord to reimburse us for the cost of this maintenance; he replied with a text saying that he was unwilling to cough up because the tone…

Politics and Dreams

I really have trouble understanding people who think of politics as a dry topic, or who view it as all wonkery and triangulation. Politics is completely insane and weirdly emotional (did you know Peter Mandelson once phoned Gordon Brown to tell him, “I love you, but I can destroy you”?) and it leaches into the lives of activists on all fronts. It’s…