Archive

Mark Greif

10 September 2013

We are witnessing a temporary reconvergence with an ancient bit of history, caused by technology and the superior value the United States can now afford to put on the lives of its citizens and soldiers. In contemporary US warfare, the hero returns, in the manner of the Iliad, and “hero” has here a purely technical definition. More…

Originally published in Issue 1: Negation

Purchase in print »

20 March 2013

Two sets of images bookend our Iraq War. First, there were the photographs of the naked protests of men and women, in what seemed to be the most ineffectual or deliberately trivial dissent, at a time when not even articulate dissent on a mass scale could stop the war. Now, we see photographs of the naked, piled bodies of men, sandbags on their heads, and Americans laughing at them. More…

Originally published in Issue 1: Negation

Purchase in print »

15 September 2012

Since these letters came from our fellow Americans and were addressed to bank executives and directors, by name—the unelected authorities who make decisions that affect all of our lives—I was determined that once we made this book, we would try to put it into the hands of those bankers, and also every Republican and Democratic politician who needed to hear these citizens’ words. More…

27 September 2011

It was kind of nice to be at a protest and, instead of marching and shouting, to be talking about ideas. It felt like the script had changed, and that was a revelation. As 7 PM approached, my friends and I left thinking the cops would clear everyone out in no time. When they made it through the night I began to give them more credit, so I dropped off a bunch of blankets and provisions later that evening. More…

The second printing of What Was the Hipster? has arrived at the n+1 office, and to celebrate, we’re posting the book’s comprehensive index. From authenticity to bangs to Echo Park to feminism to hip-hop to leggings to media opportunism to Pabst Blue Ribbon to Ray-Bans to self-criticism to tattoos to Whiteness Studies to zombies, the hipster index has it covered. More…

18 April 2011

If there is anyone working a job who would stop doing that job should his income—and all his richest compatriots’ incomes—drop to $100,000 a year, he should not be doing that job. He should never have been doing that job—for his own life’s sake. More…

23 April 2010

The octuplets were supposed to be a distraction: an oasis in the midst of the day’s gloomy news of AIG perfidy, mortgage defaults, bank closures, toxic assets, and spiking unemployment. Instead, the camera teams that camped on the lawn of the nice one-story house in Whittier, California, in the glitter of LA winter, got a living metaphor for the crisis. More…

Originally published in Issue 9: Bad Money

Purchase in print »

14 September 2009

Many things changed in the twentieth century. No change was more momentous and utopian than that men could choose men for love objects, and women choose women, to remake the sexual household. If the household organization of three thousand years of recorded history could be altered simply in the interest of what people wanted, in the interest of desire, then anything could be changed. More…

Originally published in Issue 8: Recessional

Purchase in print »

22 June 2009

Punk rock began for me with fear. The music arrived for me historically late, at the end of the 1980s, and personally early, when I was fourteen years old. I was a child. Rock is for children. You have to be that young to feel it with full intensity, to hear the drumbeat strike and think it is the world reaching out to punch you. More…

25 November 2008

You can eat your Powerbar, product of an engineering as peculiar as any the world has known, and wash it down with unpasteurized unfiltered cider pressed by Mennonites, and on both fronts, you find it good. More…

Originally published in Issue 7: Correction

Purchase in print »

8 September 2008

The GOP convention trumped the Democratic—because some intelligence there is, in their control room, who can conceive of mastery on the grandest scale; a moral monster, to be sure; a jinni of evil. Someone behind the scenes held the key and boldly turned it: someone foresaw that the means of hatching a McCain triumphant was to make of him a risen God. More…

21 March 2008

The left might have the opportunity, in the crisis of global warming, to tip the ongoing rulemaking of the economic world-system in favor of regulation rather than laissez-faire; to restrain the growth of current concentrations of capital within extracting and polluting sectors; and to reintroduce an essentially aesthetic criterion into the ongoing dollar valuation of the entire world. More…

Originally published in Issue 6: Mainstream

Purchase in print »

19 January 2006

And all of us lovers of music, with ears tuned precisely to a certain kind of sublimity in pop, are quick to detect pretension, overstatement, and cant about pop—in any attempt at a wider criticism—precisely because we feel the gap between the effectiveness of the music and the impotence and superfluity of analysis. This means we don’t know about our major art form what we ought to know. More…

16 September 2005

Our cable-box dreams finally rested on one beautiful notion: the participatory broadcasting of real life. With such a ludicrous number of channels, companies would just have to give some of the dial over to the rest of us, the viewers—wouldn’t they? And we millions would flow into the vacuum of content. We’d manifest our nature on channels 401 to 499. More…

14 February 2005

You could also easily say, how pointless—how uncomfortable I was, how much I disliked that person, how rotten I felt. somehow the experience seems definitive, for better and for worse. What was learned is not unlearned. More…

Originally published in Issue 2: Happiness

Purchase in print »

14 February 2005

The book ends with a promise of direct political relevance, in which the foregoing analysis will help us to intervene in and fix the world. How? Never by restoring the power of parliaments, or the rule of law. It’s too late for that. Rather, by finding a way to return to a “pure” politics—divorced from law, from power, from states—as Benjamin once fantasized a “pure” language and “pure” violence. More…

Originally published in Issue 2: Happiness

Purchase in print »

20 September 2004

The Angel of Convention sat down with the Demon of Suspicion to debate the meaning of fashion. “At bottom, fashion is the art of personal adornment.” “At bottom, fashion is a dark forest of half-starved wolves, tarted up with stiff collars and eye-tints, mangy fur and sultry looks. Competition is the only constant in their existence.” More…

20 September 2004

In between the naïve freak (the man who only wears purple, the man buying lumber in women’s clothing) and the sophisticated street success sits the childhood prototype of all great fashion: the girl who dares to come to school bizarre, wearing yellow plaid and leather and braids, eyes made up darker than an Ancient Egyptian’s, and a cut-and-resewn home modified t-shirt. More…

20 September 2004

Gentle reader, do you, if you are a woman, have an inked motif on your lower back, at a point where it will be revealed between the top of your low-rise jean (fashion of the 1990s) and the bottom of your cropped contemporary shirt? Is it, instead, in a similar position up front, a revelation of the pelvic midriff? Do you show off a little mandala, or rising-sun, or arabesque? More…

14 July 2004

This is the way to dignify an American Empire. Right now we plant democracy like an orchid and depart—leaving behind oilmen to drain nutrients out of the soil. Better to offer a plot in our own garden, so to speak, protected and sheltered by many hardy perennials, who find the new shoot in no way inferior. More…

Originally published in Issue 1: Negation

Purchase in print »