Essays

Final Words

On reading and writing books in two centuries.

Consumption of Culture as Politics

In Mexico, state-sponsored films allow symbolic critique to supplant structural change.

Begging for Utopia

A typology of the beggar in Western culture.

The Anarchist in the Woodshop

The contradictions of nostalgic crafting.

The God of Things as They Aren’t

The grotesque humor of Ralph Eugene Meatyard’s photography.

Cool as in Cold-Press

We sold ten-dollar juice to people who say, “fuck the rules” while, simultaneously, making the rules.

Portraits, Ghosts, and Winters

Though there are days when I can see snow on the peaks of the San Gabriel mountains, the only other way I know how to have a feeling of winter is to see an image of it in a painting or movie, or to read it, and sometimes to write it. I admit that I write and read partly for escape, or maybe to travel is a better way to say it.

On Avant Museology

We are caught in a loop, and the museum, tasked with preserving history, is instead watching while history leaks and circles around maddeningly.

After Before: El Libro de Carmen Boullosa

As I’ve gotten to know Carmen Boullosa’s work, her invisibility has become harder to take.

The Romance Isn’t Dead (Or, Playing the Shakespearean Video Game)

Time provides a second chance; it lets us play again.