Category Archives: Sights and Sounds

Rebellion or Conspiracy?

The Cold War’s Operation Splinter Factor was a properly organized conspiracy, of the more common type: an intelligence sting. As explained here, it involved the U.S. using Noel Field, a well-known Communist mole of the Alger Hiss generation, to wreak … Continue reading

Posted in Conspiraciones, Sights and Sounds | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Singapore’s “Broken Windows” Theory of Morals

This is the kind of thing you see, and you go: only in Singapore. It’s a sign outside a disco near the river: It makes me think: unlike the injunction to enjoy in Sentosa, this one should be rather effective. … Continue reading

Posted in Sights and Sounds | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

How to conduct a Roman-style conspiracy

That is, in the manner of the ancient Romans; not mine, of course. This post is a followup of this Spanish-language one, on the relevance of conspiracies throughout history, and the absurdity of rejecting all complex explanations for events as “conspiracy … Continue reading

Posted in Conspiraciones, Sights and Sounds | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s hard to be a film critic

Film critic Matt Zoller had this wonderful interview last year with Mad Men’s creator Matthew Weiner, just before the series finale: At one point (around the 1 hour 22 minute mark), Zoller shows the audience a clip of a monologue … Continue reading

Posted in Sights and Sounds | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lazy Mao Zedong

The Times Literary Supplement (of which I’ve been a faithful subscriber for over a decade) published my letter about Mao Zedong’s personal cleanliness. After all these years, it’s always a nice surprise to see your name there. The TLS is … Continue reading

Posted in Sights and Sounds | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The true revolutionary position

In a 2015 lecture I recently saw, the philosopher Slavoj Zizek expressed his disappointment with the fact that two of his movies are called A Pervert’s Guide (to Cinema and to Ideology, respectively), saying that was not his idea, but … Continue reading

Posted in Sights and Sounds, Zizekiana | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The One Thing To Know About Confucius and Houellebecq

People love to sprinkle discussions of Asia and Asian peoples with a touch of Confucius. In reality, even among old Asian hands and scholars, few can tell you much of interest about the old guy: he revered ancestors, he liked … Continue reading

Posted in Sights and Sounds | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment