LETHAL TEXTS

‘Quite simply, the lethal text is a text that, when read, renders the reader incapable of reading. It destroys the reader’s mind, inducing a crippling insanity. Only those who have read a lethal text know what it says… but they are in no position to share their knowledge.’

ūtland

It’s not very common in conversation, not in its original sense at least. People stick to ‘weird’, which is a whole other story, coming from Old English wyrð, meaning fate or destiny. You generally only get it in journalism, when some hack has been detailed to put down the latest outbreak of truth from behind the curtain. […]

PYROTECHNICS

  Ten years after Simulacra and Simulation, as the USA assembled a coalition to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait and geared up for Operation DESERT STORM, Baudrillard published the first of a series of three essays: ‘The Gulf War Will Not Take Place’ (January 1991); followed by ‘The Gulf War is Not Taking Place’ (February […]

THE DEATH OF GOD

  ‘Never resist a sentence you like,’ wrote Baudrillard in Cool Memories (1990), and his incandescent style overflows with irresistible sentences. If you interrogate them, however — which is perhaps to ‘misread’ Baudrillard — you find that his beautiful paradoxes mask assumptions and transitions which must be explicit in a valid argument.  Take, for example, […]

PASSENGERS

  CONSTELLATIONS, TELEVISION, AND THE SADNESS OF ASTRONAUTS   “We set out to explore the moon and instead discovered the Earth.” — William Anders, Apollo 8 astronaut. Television — or at least, the image dissection technology at the core of it —was invented by Philo T Farnsworth II in 1927, but it did not bring […]

RED

    The boys had gone swimming and Red wanted to go too, but her mother wouldn’t let her. She was too young and didn’t know how to swim. So she waited for a while and then sneaked away, following the path to the pond. As she approached through the trees, she could see their […]

WARRIOR, MERCHANT, SAGE

    When I was looking after my father, I read a lot of books, at night or in the afternoon while he was sleeping. One of them was Merchant, Soldier, Sage by the Oxford historian David Priestland. The paperback came out in 2014 and I’d picked it up fresh off the presses at the […]

REFUGE

So I’m turning into this strange old hermit, this solitary farang living alone at the bottom of Lion Rock, waylaying tourists like the Guardian of the Valley of Death in Monty Python.  “Thou shalt not pass unto the sea  Until you answer answer questions three — What — is your name? What — is your […]