Notes From the Margins…

The Eyes of Richard Cheney

  • August 26, 2014
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Some years back, Faye Dunaway starred in a vaguely kinky thriller called The Eyes of Laura Mars.     Dunaway plays a glamorous fashion photographer who specializes in taking pictures of stylised violence, only to develop a second sight that enables her to see actual murders through the eyes of a real-life killer.   At...

Lost in the Fear Factory

  • August 25, 2014
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As anybody who has ever been exposed to a dangerous or life-threatening situation knows, fear is not a particularly useful emotion.   At an individual level, it can paralyse the resolve and confidence that you need to survive or go forward, undermine the mental clarity required to take essential decisions, and reduce you to a...

Why ISIS eyes are smiling

  • August 22, 2014
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You can loathe the Islamic State (IS) all you like, and an organization that beheads prisoners and posts videos boasting about it, rapes women, crucifies Christians and uses its primitive interpretation of Islam as a justification to murder anyone with impunity, is fully deserving of all the loathing and disgust that it receives.    ...

A Terrible Beauty

  • August 21, 2014
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Yesterday I was lucky enough to see a screening of the new documentary about the 1916 Easter Rising A Terrible Beauty, at the Derby Quad cinema, in the presence of its director Keith Farrell.     The film is part of an ongoing multimedia project A Terrible Beauty 1916-2016, which sets out to look at...

Indiana Cameron and the Temple of Doom

  • August 18, 2014
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Of all the Indian Jones films, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is for me the most obnoxious, with its racist stereotyping and unproblematic referencing of nineteenth century imperialist cliches about white men saving childlike dark-skinned folk from the clutches of a demonic native death cult.     But its essential premises aren’t...

Ferguson: The Future in the Present?

  • August 16, 2014
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The massive display of force by the police of Ferguson, Missouri in response to protests at the apparent extrajudicial execution of black teenager Michael Brown has once again drawn attention to what the Economist has called the ‘hyper-military culture’ of the US police.

This culture has drawn the attention of civil liberties campaigners for some time,...

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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