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It all becomes a metaphor in the picture when I look at it, the two people there project sexual silhouettes, stuck in the gaze of a political machine, but still holding onto the mundane mystery of a human relationship.

Mike Thomsen, “Sex on Inauguration Night”

(Excerpted from the author’s new collection Levitate the Primate. Join TNI, Mike, and friends for a reading of this section and more from Levitate at McNally Jackson Books on Tuesday August 28 at 7 pm. More info here. Free beer.)

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Again and again, the same fire: 519,278 views and counting. The display window indifferently frames every image, but the reason one can’t really do anything with this provocative sameness is that it only expresses an underlying consistency; it is not a phenomenon in its own right. If every email conversation is adorned with the same insensitive Google ads suggesting that I go on a cheap holiday or learn how to keep a lover, haven’t I earned this as much as been subjected to it, not perhaps by my own volition, which is irrelevant, but by my unwilled participation in a system that produces an endless replenishment of sameness?

Hannah Black, “Value, Measure, Love”

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The word crisis originates from an Indo-European root,krei, meaning to sieve, discriminate, distinguish. Crisis is measure, and capitalism, famously, is crisis: a petrified and endlessly repeated moment of measurement, eternally projected forward into a future that never arrives. But what does it mean, to make a measure, a field in which some things recede and others draw close?

Hannah Black, “Value, Measure, Love”

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In June, a company I work with flew me out to Amsterdam, ostensibly to create art about the city. But the artists in Dam Square could watercolor a sweeter canal than me. Instead, I drew people. Escorts and porn filmmakers and digital rights activists and women who co-built artspaces in abandoned bomb shelters. Because artists are the shy kids in the corner, and a sketchpad is a lockpick to the greater world.

"Amsterdam Demimonde" — a series by Molly Crabapple

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In 1903 Dr Julius Neubronner patented a miniature pigeon camera activated by a timing mechanism. The invention brought him international notability after he presented it at international expositions in Dresden, Frankfurt and Paris in 1909–1911. Spectators in Dresden could watch the arrival of the camera-equipped carrier pigeons, and the photos were immediately developed and turned into postcards which could be purchased.

Miniature Pigeon Cameras

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Here at The New Inquiry, we worry that we haven’t published enough content on pieces of clothing that – in and of themselves – constitute outfits. That ends now.

Bathrobe Boy by David Klion

When laziness becomes an affected style becomes a legend

The Zentai Project by Sohayl Vafai

Three artists go to the National Gallery dressed in body suits

The Suit by Miranda Trimmier

Getting dressed in the morning can be more than a chore, it can be a choice


In French, the phrase is “Carrément dans le rouge,” meaning “squarely in debt.” That’s why hundreds of thousands of students and union members involved in Quebec’s education strike have taken to pinning little red squares of cloth to their clothes.
They’re wearing them everywhere now, in New York, in London, anywhere that student and anti-austerity movements have been struggling to reorganize themselves after months of police repression. In New York’s Washington Square Park, hundreds of young people gather in a solidarity march with Quebec students wearing the red squares pinned to their bags, sewn on their shirts, dangling as earrings and drawn on their faces. If you don’t have a red square, an earnest young woman with felt and craft scissors will be happy to cut one for you as you both march between rows of NYPD police on motorcycles.

Laurie Penny, “Dans le Rouge”
Illustration by Molly Crabapple. See Molly and Laurie’s past collaboration on Chicago’s Anti-NATO protests here.

In French, the phrase is “Carrément dans le rouge,” meaning “squarely in debt.” That’s why hundreds of thousands of students and union members involved in Quebec’s education strike have taken to pinning little red squares of cloth to their clothes.

They’re wearing them everywhere now, in New York, in London, anywhere that student and anti-austerity movements have been struggling to reorganize themselves after months of police repression. In New York’s Washington Square Park, hundreds of young people gather in a solidarity march with Quebec students wearing the red squares pinned to their bags, sewn on their shirts, dangling as earrings and drawn on their faces. If you don’t have a red square, an earnest young woman with felt and craft scissors will be happy to cut one for you as you both march between rows of NYPD police on motorcycles.

Laurie Penny, “Dans le Rouge”

Illustration by Molly Crabapple. See Molly and Laurie’s past collaboration on Chicago’s Anti-NATO protests here.


“Though at its core Spook is a biannual literary magazine conceived by minority writers and artists, it is really a conversation between James Baldwin and Lil B, an on-going dialog between past and present.”

The New Inquiry’s Malcolm Harris and The Los Angeles Review of Books’ Evan Kindley talked on Twitter with Spook Magazine’s one-man editorial team Jason Parham about the new publication’s founding, goals, and forthcoming first issue.
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“Though at its core Spook is a biannual literary magazine conceived by minority writers and artists, it is really a conversation between James Baldwin and Lil B, an on-going dialog between past and present.”

The New Inquiry’s Malcolm Harris and The Los Angeles Review of Books’ Evan Kindley talked on Twitter with Spook Magazine’s one-man editorial team Jason Parham about the new publication’s founding, goals, and forthcoming first issue.

Read More

Nothing better indicates the evangelical faith that policymakers have in this new politics of well-being than the Christmas gift that the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, sent out last year. As the euro zone crumbled, Van Rompuy sent out a book on positive psychology to 200 world leaders, urging them to “make well-being our priority in 2012.” He declared, “Positive thinking is no longer something for drifters, dreamers and the perpetually naive. Positive Psychology concerns itself in a scientific way with the quality of life. It is time to make this knowledge available to the man and woman in the street.”

Can a government really teach people to be happier? And what gives governments the right to indoctrinate people in their particular version of happiness in the first place? Policymakers’ answer to both these criticisms is “we have discovered the scientific formula for happiness. It’s been proven to work, therefore we have a moral obligation to teach it to our citizens.”

Jules Evans, “Solving Happiness”

Can a government really teach people to be happier? And what gives governments the right to indoctrinate people in their particular version of happiness in the first place? Policymakers’ answer to both these criticisms is “we have discovered the scientific formula for happiness. It’s been proven to work, therefore we have a moral obligation to teach it to our citizens.”

Jules Evans, “Solving Happiness”