Donda: A track-by-track review

See also: my review of Kendrick Lamar’s latest album. I’ve decided to write up a complete review of Donda, the tenth studio album by Ye, the musical artist/producer/rapper formerly known as Kanye West. I’m going to open with my basic claim: this album is enormously influential but also extremely competent and creative on its own … Continue reading Donda: A track-by-track review

Peace for all time: The enduring insights of Thomas Hobbes

Originally published on 24 September 2022. Seventeenth-century political theorist Thomas Hobbes has a paradoxical attitude to power. On the one hand, he thinks that 'the pursuit of power, after power' is the root and stem of 'Warre', of 'every man, against every man', leaving the 'life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short'. But … Continue reading Peace for all time: The enduring insights of Thomas Hobbes

Chaos: The energy, evolution, and end of capitalism

The economist Joseph Schumpeter termed the key to technological development under capitalism ‘the gales of creative destruction.’ For Schumpeter, the state plays a role in this market dynamism. This is because states compete with each other very much like corporations and classes do. All competition has the potential for conflict; and all conflict, for war … Continue reading Chaos: The energy, evolution, and end of capitalism

Evangelion, Ye, and the tragedy of true artistry in modernity

After watching the Japanese manga Evangelion TV series ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’, the End of Evangelion film and the Rebuild saga of remake films — directed by the visionary Hideaki Anno — I perused YouTube videos blending Evangelion snippets with the music of Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West. One comment struck me as … Continue reading Evangelion, Ye, and the tragedy of true artistry in modernity

‘This house regrets the Obama years.’ Draft speech from my university years

A draft speech for a Cambridge Union debate a while back. Thank you Mr./Mme. Speaker.  Perhaps the favourite book of my teenage years was Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father, given to me as it happens by my own father.  I, and I think I speak for many in this room, think hope is an … Continue reading ‘This house regrets the Obama years.’ Draft speech from my university years

Evangelion ends: Aristotle, Arendt, and angels

The old is dying and the new cannot yet be born. This is the time of monsters. Antonio Gramsci (paraphrase) To defeat darkness, embrace it. Edmund Wilson ‘You’re just desperate.’ ‘I’m terrified.’ Dialogue from Neon Genesis Evangelion Pain is an inevitable consequence of truth. You have to learn to withstand it. In the end, humans … Continue reading Evangelion ends: Aristotle, Arendt, and angels

‘First Time’ and the albums

You were swift with your blade You lacked hesitation Your eyes were like oceans I fell till I drowned - First Time by Edmund Wilson As you may know, dear reader, my views on history and politics as expressed on this blog converge in a strange location or destination: music. And it is music that … Continue reading ‘First Time’ and the albums