Fire in the water: ‘Pacific Rim’ and tectonic geopolitics

Guillermo del Toro is a remarkable film director. From Pan’s Labyrinth to The Shape of Water del Toro has delighted viewers and critics alike with spectacle, intrigue, and (for want of a more precise word) humanity. So when he made a science fiction blockbuster about great big beasts (Kaiju, from the Japanese, ‘giant beast’) emerging … Continue reading Fire in the water: ‘Pacific Rim’ and tectonic geopolitics

Stravinsky, Jacob Collier, and the return of the 1920s in modern music

I go in circles with music. I love music so much and have great respect for all musicians. I approach politics and philosophy similarly, and am inclined to view politicians and philosophers in a similarly sympathetic light (however difficult this may, admittedly, sometimes be!). It is easy to critique things that shine. Once I much … Continue reading Stravinsky, Jacob Collier, and the return of the 1920s in modern music

Berkeleyan Platonism: A philosophy of pure ideas

There is an argument by Kurt Gödel that I find fascinating. Gödel argued that his predecessors’ attempt to create a complete set of logical axioms to ground mathematics was doomed to fail. Instead, mathematical ideas must subsist unto themselves (as must, presumably, logical ideas). Ideas cannot complete each other. They are sufficient unto themselves. But … Continue reading Berkeleyan Platonism: A philosophy of pure ideas

A critique of cathedralism: Why conspiracy theory doesn’t make sense of contemporary capitalism

First published on 30 June 2022. It is popular in universities to denounce conspiracy theories as inherently evil descendants of twentieth-century totalitarianism. I don’t wish to make a judgement on this specific point, because each side is polarised to the point that they deal in different narrations of history. To overcome this empirical war, I … Continue reading A critique of cathedralism: Why conspiracy theory doesn’t make sense of contemporary capitalism

Why the left is so divided

First published on 23rd June 2022. What does it mean to be ‘left-wing’? Nowadays, buzzwords like ‘oppression’ and ‘inequality’ have replaced the old left-wing theories of ‘exploitation’ and ‘alienation’. Contrary to right-wing mantra, Marxism is out of fashion on the left — who on the left seriously reads Capital and cites the labour theory of … Continue reading Why the left is so divided

Nicki Nicole is the Drake of Latin pop music, and this is a good thing

I have criticised the Hamlet of hip hop, Drake, for borrowing excessively from hip hop’s Shakespeare, Kanye West. Kanye has many worthier successors, such as Jon Bellion in pop production, Billie Eilish and Finneas in alternative pop, and more recently Lisa from Blackpink, taking after Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. But K-Pop is not the only … Continue reading Nicki Nicole is the Drake of Latin pop music, and this is a good thing

17 Points: How to make the world safe for all people

In the view that all people depend on peace for their survival and wellbeing, and in the knowledge that peace is at grave risk of breakdown, there are several points that may be well understood by those wise enough to choose peace over war. To that end, the seventeen points of peace, or how to … Continue reading 17 Points: How to make the world safe for all people

Still K-West: Did Kanye make Dr. Dre’s career, too?

Kanye West has been congratulated, occasionally by himself, for making musicians’ careers. Pop producer mastermind Jon Bellion (who recently made one of the most compelling K-Pop songs of all time, Rosé’s ‘On the Ground’) owes his career to Kanye’s music. Kanye himself claims to have made Taylor’s reputation and inspired her music, which all of … Continue reading Still K-West: Did Kanye make Dr. Dre’s career, too?

Why 2000s music is coming back

In the 1990s, a new genre was being born. Hip hop emerged from New York, Chicago, and LA to comment on the chaos of globalising capitalism. Money, power, and luxury were the themes of early hip hop, themes which began to be substantially critiqued in Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill towards the end … Continue reading Why 2000s music is coming back

Blackpink’s Born Pink — baroque/hip hop fusion is born

For someone who previewed their own upcoming album Born in March this year, with a live medley From Bach To Born, I could reasonably claim to be unsurprised by Blackpink’s album Born Pink. It is everything I have been saying about pop music for a while, but I didn’t know the future would come this … Continue reading Blackpink’s Born Pink — baroque/hip hop fusion is born