Notes From the Margins…

The trouble with Carlos

  • April 06, 2011
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I’ve just watched Olivier Assayas’ monumental study of Illich Sanchez Ramirez a.k.a Carlos ‘the Jackal’.   It’s an engrossing, compelling and original work, meticulously assembling a portrait of Carlos and his world  over more than five hours through a patient accumulation of scenes rather than a thrilleresque cliffhanger narrative.

This is no mean feat,...

Libya: every cloud has a silver lining

  • April 05, 2011
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“This is turning into the best shop window for competing aircraft for years. More even than in Iraq in 2003.”

Reuters on the commercial benefits of the Libyan ‘intervention’ for Western arms companies.

...

Worth listening to

  • April 04, 2011
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Worth listening to

Posted on  April 3, 2011 by  Matt

Just got the new CD “Asfar” (Arabic “Journeys”) by the amazing Palestinian oud players Le Trio Joubran.  They are three brothers, the fourth generation of a family of oudmakers and oudplayers, who look cool and sound even cooler.  According to one of the brothers ...

Feasting in the torture gardens

  • April 04, 2011
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In the torture gardens

Posted on  April 2, 2011 by  Matt

In a  fine piece for TomDispatch, Karen Greenberg, director of  the Center for Law and Security at NYU analyses a recurring theme in post-9/11 rightwing discourse in the United States the idea that liberal “political correctness” and “excessive tolerance” of Islam have combined...

The lady doth protest too much

  • March 09, 2011
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The lady doth protest too much

Posted on  March 30, 2011 by  Matt

Laurie Penny has become the object of much self-righteous outrage for her  account of last Saturday”s march in London in the New Statesman. So far her article has generated 482 comments. These numbers are unusual for a Staggers piece, but the tone is not....

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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