Which came first: a violent society, or the art which reflects it? The problem with attributing violence to videogames and the case for offering them up as a scapegoat. Also Coleridge: “In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.” Because, Coleridge. Art by Danny Jock.
A post-feast feast of words to keep the gluttony alive through the holidays, Michael Thomsen examines the artifice of gastronomy and the artists behind some of its most compelling perversions.
Writer Tom Bissell has argued that the often poorly regarded genre of the political thriller (think Graham Greene and John le Carré) has something valuable to offer in the—forgive me—post-2001 era, in which international relations have regained their urgency. Peter Mountford’s first novel is in many ways part of that tradition. Here, the intrigue is financial speculation set in Bolivia in the month leading up to Evo Morales’ 2005 election, in which Morales’ campaign promise to nationalize resources presents opportunities for profiteering. Like Graham Greene, who worked as an agent for British intelligence, Mountford was inspired by his experience working for a think tank in Ecuador—which he later discovered was also running a hedge fund. Responding to this book whose primary motivating factor is desire for money, Michael Thomsen finds it wanting.
Michael Thomsen’s rough transition into life as a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar was punctuated by pine cone braziers, snorted barbituates, mistaken-identity cunnilingus, the terror of isolation and, of course, zebus. Accompanying photos of Madagascar courtesy of Swiatoslaw Wojtkowiak, Simone Giovanelli and Massimiliano (Nacchia).