3 minutes read

The Politics of Spectacular Violence

The masked gunmen who stormed Nairobi’s Westgate Mall on Saturday did one thing right. In targeting a site at the epicenter of elite consumerism in the upscale neighborhood of Westlands, they galvanized worldwide attention. As the mainstream media offers us a play by play of the unfolding hostage crisis, and as my Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds are flooded with declarations of anger and sorrow—sentiments I of course share– two things are apparent.

2 minutes read

Pop Culture and Pirate Humanity

The tragic robber-hero. The mystical gunslinger. The cerebral crime-lord, drawn into events beyond his control. One of the most straightforwardly literal ways in which popular culture is able to challenge official…..

3 minutes read

London calling … to the faraway towns of Somalia

Talk about efficiency, how’s this for a developmental scheme. First, encourage, both directly and by ‘principled non-engagement,’ a civil war in a mineral rich area. Make sure thousands are displaced,…..