After the opening shot of a dilapidated house, Beasts of the Southern Wild begins mise-en-scène with a tight close-up of the house’s interior, the screen filled with small brown crossed legs, a cluttered dirty floor, and a small brown hand holding a … Continue reading “Beasts of the Southern Wild – The Romance of Precarity I”
This film should have been a choice text for me; I love post-apocalyptic stories that end badly. But the heaps of critical praise the film has garnered don’t even seem to notice it as a dystopia. “This movie is a … Continue reading “Beasts of the Southern Wild – The Romance of Precarity II”
Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor was published this spring by Harvard University Press. Nixon’s work has been crucial to articulating the conjunction — as well as the fault lines — between postcolonial studies and ecocriticism. … Continue reading “Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor: An Interview with Rob Nixon”
Under Review: Marc Abélès, The Politics of Survival (Duke University Press, 2010) Kolya Abramsky, Sparking a Worldwide Energy Revolution: Social Struggles in the Transition to a Post-Petrol World(AK Press, 2010) Slavoj Zizek, Living in the End Times (Verso, 2010) Writing about Hollywood disaster … Continue reading “Insecure Times”
The ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant intensified today, with worrying news emerging of radioactive iodine in Tokyo’s water supply. The entire infrastructure of one of the world’s most modern and cohesive societies seems to be threatened … Continue reading “Nuclear Power/Knowledge”
Last Saturday was a remarkable day of NYC-based, globe-spanning eco-activism. The day began with a trip up to the South Bronx, where friends of mine were involved in various local environmental justice initiatives. The organization Sustainable South Bronx sponsored a … Continue reading “Resources of Hope”
The World Bank yesterday approved a $3.75 billion loan for a new coal-fired power plant in Limpopo, South Africa. Named Medupi, the 4,800 megawatt plant will draw on South Africa’s abundant sources of coal to provide power for an increasingly … Continue reading “The Will to Power”
Ever since the effective collapse of the Copenhagen Climate Summit, I’ve been thinking about how we represent survival and futurity in a conjuncture in which hegemonic ideology is so clearly bankrupt and the ruling classes in the world’s most powerful nations are so transparently unwilling to take the steps necessary to save civilization.
Last fall, after watching At the Edge of the World I became obsessed with the eco-radical conservation group Sea Shepherd who have been around since the 1970s trying to put an end to commercial whaling. So when I learned that I was going to New Zealand for the month of January, I was keen to find out whether Sea Shepherd was more present in the public than in the US.
President Obama recently gave two speeches that should be seen as signposts of contemporary U.S. empire. Their continuity with American exceptionalist rhetoric of the past is striking, underlining the extent to which Obama is trapped within the paradigms of the past.
New York governor David Paterson has just announced that he will be withholding $750 million in scheduled payments to schools and local governments across the state in response to the state’s fiscal problems. According to an article in the NYT
Today should be remembered as the beginning of the end. According to an article in the Guardian, President Obama has acknowledged that it is now too late to secure a legally binding climate deal at the Copenhagen summit. We will … Continue reading “Apocalypto”