The Trumpenproletariat

The first time as tragedy, the second as farce: Karl Marx amends Hegel’s statement about history repeating itself in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. How tempting, how comforting, to accept such a pronouncement. If the tragedy has already occurred, then we are safe from it. But how does history know that it is the […]

The Haunted Western

It looks as though Hollywood is set to lavish awards on The Revenant, the historical drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Set in the 1830s American West, it is the story of the fur trader, Hugh Glass, and his epic tale of survival. It strongly reminded me of the 1995 Jim Jarmusch/Johnny Depp collaboration Dead Man, which […]

San Bernardino

Long before it became an eponym for mass slaughter like Aurora or Sandy Hook, San Bernardino was a modestly prosperous, multi-ethnic, and forward-looking city, the anchor of Southern California’s “Inland Empire.” My family moved there in the early 1960s when my father, a recent teacher college graduate, was offered a job. At that time, California […]