The Truth About Populism and Why We Need It: Thomas Frank’s The People, No

I thought I knew what populism meant, that it was one of those words like democratic which signified a method or broad characteristic as opposed to a specific type of government. I thought populist referred to any appeal to the masses and, as such, the term was value-free. A charismatic speaker could employ a populist … Continue reading The Truth About Populism and Why We Need It: Thomas Frank’s The People, No

A Great Bad Movie and a Bad, Bad Friendship: Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell’s The Disaster Artist

Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell's The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made tells a more coherent story than The Room, but that’s not saying much. If you’ve seen The Room, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, nothing I could say can adequately express just how incomprehensible, … Continue reading A Great Bad Movie and a Bad, Bad Friendship: Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell’s The Disaster Artist

The Church’s Downfall and Ireland’s Rise: Niall O’Dowd’s A New Ireland – How Europe’s Most Conservative Country Became Its Most Liberal

From its founding to roughly the late 1980s or early 1990s, Ireland was essentially a theocracy. The Catholic Church may not have run the country openly—there were democratic elections for a president and taoiseach (prime minister, pronounced “tea-shock”)—but it might as well have. The Church literally wrote sections of the 1937 Constitution and heavily influenced … Continue reading The Church’s Downfall and Ireland’s Rise: Niall O’Dowd’s A New Ireland – How Europe’s Most Conservative Country Became Its Most Liberal

Why We Need to Build a New Politics: Wendy Brown’s In The Ruins of Neoliberalism

Have you ever been in a debate with someone who only spoke in talking points? It’s a disorienting experience. It’s as if you’re dealing not with an individual but an amalgamation of borrowed ideas and quotes you could hear anywhere. I’ve always felt that, at best, it reflected the fact that people are bombarded with … Continue reading Why We Need to Build a New Politics: Wendy Brown’s In The Ruins of Neoliberalism

First review published by Jacobin!: Kieran Allen’s 32 Counties: The Failure of Partition and the Case for a United Ireland

It's been a dream of mine for some time to get something published by Jacobin. And now I have! Check out the link below to read my review of Kieran Allen's 32 Counties: The Failure of Partition and the Case for a United Ireland. It's a fantastic book that explores key moments in Irish history, … Continue reading First review published by Jacobin!: Kieran Allen’s 32 Counties: The Failure of Partition and the Case for a United Ireland

An Elusive Concept or an Illusory Dream…or Both?: James Gleick’s Time Travel – A History

“Time is nature’s way to keep everything from happening all at once.” This is one of the many definitions of time offered in James Gleick’s Time Travel: A History. It’s funny, but it’s also about as accurate as any offered throughout history. It’s a slippery concept that simultaneously seems obvious yet defies concise explanations—as Augustine … Continue reading An Elusive Concept or an Illusory Dream…or Both?: James Gleick’s Time Travel – A History

Wandering Mind: Richard Feynman’s The Meaning of It All

Without Richard Feynman, I wonder if Neil DeGrasse Tyson would be the celebrity-scientist he is today. I don’t mean to disparage Degrasse Tyson. He is a brilliant scientist and communicator whose sincere, infectious passion for his field is needed now more than ever, given the widespread mistrust and outright animosity toward education in the U.S. … Continue reading Wandering Mind: Richard Feynman’s The Meaning of It All

Mario, meet Marx: Jamie Woodcock’s Marx at the Arcade – Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle

I was about five years old when I discovered Samus Aran, the protagonist of the video game series Metroid, was a woman. Now, I wish I could say that I was thrilled by the news, or at best indifferent. But unfortunately, I was not. “Samus is a girl???” I couldn’t believe it. I refused to … Continue reading Mario, meet Marx: Jamie Woodcock’s Marx at the Arcade – Consoles, Controllers, and Class Struggle