How can we distinguish violence driven by ideology from sociopathic rage?

Attribution: Andy Rain/EPA

Analysis and perspective come together in this article for the UK’s Guardian newspaper, by author, academic, and broadcaster, Kenan Malik, in the wake of last Wednesday’s terror attack in central London. Continue reading


Deconstructing the Antagonists

Several dozen news outlets have by now reported on the man who, along with his partner, was ejected from a Jetblue flight, after spotting Ivanka Trump in the cabin and very publicly taking her to task over her father’s general atrociousness (here and here, in the hopeful event you’ve had better things to do). Continue reading

Stand Down, Media. Are You There, Joe Average?

Rapes. Murders. Police shootings of blacks. Miscarriages of justice. Incitement of racism, of misogyny, of religious bigotry, of homophobic discrimination, all fuelling ethnic, sectarian, and gender tensions, which in turn stimulate the aforementioned incitement. Children killing children. Porn-addled priests. Continue reading

The Dark Side of Biculturalism: A Different Take on Omar Mateen

“[Omar Mateen’s ex-wife] described him as mentally unstable and traumatised”. So said Suzanne Moore, in her article yesterday1 in the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

It’s just one word, but it raises an interesting question, one that the author doesn’t address at all in the article: If Mateen was traumatised, then by what? By whom?

I don’t think it was by the sight of two men kissing, which is what the media seem to be suggesting was what enraged him and galvanised him into action. The traits and behaviour thus described by his ex-wife predate the tragic events in Orlando.

Perhaps the following may come

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20 Minutes of Action: Reflections on Rape Culture

“Rape”, by Malangatana (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Far be it from me to detract from the awareness the term ‘rape culture’ provides, or from the justified outrage it expresses, but the scandalous proceedings following the sexual assault of an unconscious 23-year-old by former Stanford University student, Brock Turner, lend themselves to reflection in more ways than one.

Convicted of several felonies and facing a maximum of 14 years’ imprisonment, one might wonder, for example, how it is that in the interest of ensuring a fair and balanced trial, no one thought to point out the potential conflict of interest in having a Continue reading