Category theory

Notes from a Millennial: In Defense of Decency

A state religion is nothing out of the ordinary in human history, and even if a nation does not have a state religion de jure, they will almost certainly have one in practice. This applies even to supposedly secular societies, even the society administered to by the “world’s first secular government.” In America, however, a different worship took root: in a land made secular in order to accommodate all the religious beliefs of its populace, many of them religious refugees, a unified religion came to be understood by Americans, one defined by indulgences specifically proscribed against by their “true” religions.

Mediocrity, Propaganda and Trump

THE INTERNET IS ITS OWN ECONOMIC SYSTEM AND IDEOLOGY History seems to move faster at certain times than others. Now is one of those times. Karl Marx, thinking about industrialization, claimed that a newly emergent economic force/system was actually revolutionary in the sense that it reshaped all the territory and politics it touched. 100 years […]

How is the New Fascism Different?

Fascism has been frequently defined as “the merger of state and corporate power.” This phrase is commonly attributed to Mussolini, though there’s no evidence he said it. Regardless, this soundbite has resonated exists as the most common coherent definition of fascism and works well as a still object against which I can attempt to measure society’s current […]

The Signifiers of Monsoon in Hindi Cinema: Parallels from Brecht and Cultural Studies

The cultural industry of Hindi cinema has banked upon its geographical richness since its inception. While the inclusion of every season and the festivals therein is quite balanced, it is unequivocally the representation of monsoon that sets up aesthetic metaphorical constructions on the silver screen. Whether it is Kuleshov Effect or the use of montage, […]

What the Bowling Green Massacre Means

THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT LED TO THE BOWLING GREEN MASSACRE The ubiquity of snuff films in the United States since 9-11 was symptomatic of a crisis of cultural capital. For 50+ years television had an unquestioned hegemony over the US media landscape. (It’s also interesting that these 50 years roughly overlap with the United States’ hegemony […]

The Avant-Garde, Zeenat Aman

The cinema of the 70s is often termed as an era that marveled the art of pop culture reorientation. A decade that immersed itself in the chaos of coming of age screenplay and ever inspired music ensemble, the flights of imagination was anything but predictable. It was during this period that Hindi cinema saw the […]

Cargo Cults, US Fascism, and Where We Go From Here

The 2016 elections centered around how to interpret the post-WWII history of the US. A mixture of panic and nostalgia produced a bizarre confluence of memes in the time leading up to November 8th. Conservatives shared warm memories of Saddam Hussein because “at least he killed all the terrorists for us” and endless memes were […]

Terror Management Theory and US Fascism

Per Baudrillard etc: The items/clothing/appliances we acquire/use are signifiers constructing our internal and external personas, through public display and the construction of our personal environment (the space in which we internally perform our “private” self.) The purchase of or refusal to purchase commodities is the primary means by which human identity is constructed in late […]

From Renee Smith to Sita Devi: Retrieving the Forgotten Enchantress of Silent Era

Indian cinema had birthed a fair share of visionaries even before the beginning of what later came to be termed as the Golden era. Under the reigns of the British Raj, certain Indian artists thrived upon the offerings that colonial engagements with art had to offer and used the political situation of the period to […]

Two problems with the liberal response to Trump’s victory

1. “Don’t worry, it’s only four years. We’ve lived through worse.” A whole lot can happen in four years. This year alone, at least 353 POC have been shot and killed by police. Since Tuesday, there has been a nationwide string of racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic physical attacks which are a direct result of […]