Strange Fruit

One of the best things I’ve done since I’ve been here is persuade the splendid People’s Forum to screen the film Strange Fruit, followed by a Q and A with the director, Joel Katz.  I’ve been a huge admirer of the film since I first saw it when it was released in 2002.  I’ve organised… Continue reading Strange Fruit

Pain Management

In some ways, this is the most important and difficult subject I’ve written about since I got here.  Unfortunately, it’s also the one I feel least qualified for.  Even during a global pandemic, America’s epidemic of opioid addiction remains one of the country’s gravest, most intractable problems.  In terms of deaths, it’s on a scale… Continue reading Pain Management

The Unfolding Failure of the U.S. Left

I know that headline could have been written at many times and equally applied to many countries.  I’m also conscious of being a guest who’s in danger of abusing their hospitality.  But what’s unfolding here is a potentially catastrophic failure of the left that could have lasting consequences here and beyond.  As I’ve written before… Continue reading The Unfolding Failure of the U.S. Left

Co-operate: “Because we have to”

Barely a week after the last one, last Thursday I attended another great meeting!  It was hosted by the Herman Liebman Memorial Fund and attended by a group of advocates for and participants in mutualism and co-operatives.  Those words may have a 19th century ring to them.  But as the keynote speaker, Sara Horowitz, said,… Continue reading Co-operate: “Because we have to”

What does the left not get about housing?

This question has been rattling round my brain for years, but has got louder while I’ve been here.  There are, as ever, exceptions and generalisations in what follows.  But overall, the organised left, including within trade unions, socialist, revolutionary and labourist/social democratic parties, appears unable to fully recognise the scale of housing misery for working… Continue reading What does the left not get about housing?

American Utopia

Last night, I went to see David Bryne’s “American Utopia”. I’d seen bits before, but the chance to see it on a big screen, in the East Village was too good to miss. I have a slight musical confession to make. I used to think Byrne and Talking Heads were pretentious tossers. That was back… Continue reading American Utopia

Suicide Watch

I’ve heard it said everyone has a novel in them. I’m not sure I do, but I did once have an idea for a plot I’ll never write, that might be playing out in American reality. My slightly macabre, Huxley-like, idea imagined a society where every adult citizen was issued with a suicide pill. The… Continue reading Suicide Watch