Their campaigns have in many respects been complementary. Both candidates embrace the slogan “ni droite, ni gauche,” popularized by the interwar fascist leagues. Macron, bauble of the extreme center, seeks to substitute for the traditional right-left divide a vision that opposes globalizing, educated, cosmopolitan professionals to backwards, bigoted, and unenlightened nationalists: Le Pen’s worldview in camera obscura. For both Macron and Le Pen, openness, free movement, and European integration can be counterposed to patriotism, “national preference,” and the defense of entitlements. The prospects for either option depend on a significant recomposition of the electorate.

Landscape of Treason (n+1)

Grey Anderson on the French elections, the demise of the Socialist party, the rise of a rebranded FN, and the societal shifts of the last 5 years.

Terrible news from Britain this morning, The so-called #Brexit really feels like the beginning of the end of something great. The European Union, with all its flaws, is still a great idea I strongly believe in; it has brought stability and possibility to European peoples in a way no conventional nation-state could before. To see it disintegrate at the hands of ignorant, populist, racist, xenophobic right-wingers like Farage or obnoxious, power-hungry opportunists like Boris Johnson is tough. 

In the midst of all this terribleness comes the release of this fun video for “Love Forty Down” by Frank Turner. The skinny English country singer has written songs that are more political or better commentary for this fuck up, but the clip is a good 2 and a half minutes of respite feat. a tennis match against Jason Isbell. 

If you need more dissent and despair sung in an English accent today, I can also recommend this spotify playlist by Frank Turner’s label Xtra Mile.

https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/260347707/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

‘Most People’ is Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s contribution to a upcoming charity compilation Refugee that will benefit the Malta’s Migrant Offshore Aid Station. It’s also Will Oldham’s contribution to the whole refugee debate, in a sense. Refugee, a project by Scottish folk singer Robin Adams, will be released on June 3rd via BRAINFOG RECORDS.

Interviewer: You once said that “those things about which we cannot theorize, we must narrate.”

Umberto Eco: It is a tongue-in-cheek allusion to a sentence by Wittgenstein. […] I simply believe that at the end of the day a story is always richer—it is an idea reshaped into an event, informed by a character, and sparked by crafted language. So naturally, when an idea is transformed into a living organism, it turns into something completely different and, likely, far more expressive.

Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 197, Umberto Eco

A great 2008 interview with Italian author, semiotician and intellectual Umberto Eco, who passed away today at the age of 84.

(via)

In a way, the economics have almost become secondary. But still, let’s be clear: what we’ve learned these past couple of weeks is that being a member of the eurozone means that the creditors can destroy your economy if you step out of line. This has no bearing at all on the underlying economics of austerity. It’s as true as ever that imposing harsh austerity without debt relief is a doomed policy no matter how willing the country is to accept suffering. And this in turn means that even a complete Greek capitulation would be a dead end.

A generation that had gone to school in horse-drawn streetcars now stood in the open air, amid a landscape in which nothing was the same except the clouds, and at its center, in a forcefield of destructive torrents and explosions, a tiny fragile human body.

Walter Benjamin, on the generation that survived the First World War. (via mattdpearce)
http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/123898592/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

Just discovered this banger from Camilla Sparksss (“the fantasy ego" of Barbara Lehnhoff, Peter Kernel, a Swiss-Canadian art punk band I love.) Her new “album For You The Wild” releases April 7th.

Any commentary to daily events in this region is purely coincidental. Or not. I’ll decide when I enter the real world.

But two things make Mitt’s Grand Gaffe Tour an exception to this rule.
First and most important, talking up the innate superiority of the Israelis over the Palestinians isn’t, by any definition, a gaffe. That’s real, with real geopolitical consequences. He didn’t misspeak (and I’m not sure one can “misspeak” about such things anyway), and his initial claim to have been misinterpreted has been trumped by his decision to reiterate all the same points to the conservative audience at National Review.
Second, it’s hard to imagine Romney’s gaffes, missteps, and flat-out egregious mistakes happening if he had a different, i.e., solid, foreign policy team advising him. (Ignore the silly, DC-centric focus on whether his press team mismanaged the ensuing uproar.) Romney has no core foreign policy team. It’s also a team without a core. No surprise since it serves mostly to check the box of various conservative foreign policy constituencies

Noise and Resistance is a documentary by Francesca Araiza Andrade and Julia Ostertag about anti-racist, anti-sextist, anti-capitalist, punk  and/or DIY-subcultures across Europe. Looks really interesting. 

Zebra Kino in Konstanz shows it on Thursday 6.10. & Saturday, 8.10.2011 at 28 pm and Friday, 7.10. & Monday, 10.10.2011 at  10:15 pm.