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Red Mist

Red Mist


Introducing a new radical cultural project:

Cultural products are produced because someone has something important to say, progressive or reactionary, rational or irrational; yet everywhere the result is trite banality. Late capitalism has become ever more adept at enforcing its conservative, accountant-friendly worldview on culture. In the world of the market, an artist can only try something that has already been tried and been seen to succeed. The state’s arts-funding bureaucracies, not much less conservative than private investors but acting at least in the name of different priorities, are getting slashed out of existence, along with everything else that needs public money to function (failing banks excepted, of course). At this rate, in fifty years all movies will be sequels, all plays will be musicals and all novels will be airport-friendly crime yarns. (All academic papers, meanwhile, will be cooked up to order by corporations.)

Red Mist is the successor to London Book Club, to whose interesting accumulation of reviews we intend to add some serious political direction, editorial focus and old-fashioned panache. As Marxists, we do not think that the above depressing outlook is the only possible outcome for the human race. More to the point, we do not think that artists, writers and thinkers meekly accept their fate – nor do their works. Ernst Bloch used to say that every artefact of capitalist society, no matter how apparently banal and degraded, had a hidden Utopian striving beyond its mundane existence; the reverse is also true, however, and even the most radically leftist work has to come to terms, secretly, with the reality that gave it birth.

Working out what is what is the job of critics. It is not our job to say that we liked film X and thought that it was good; or (still worse, as the reviews in most leftwing publications do) say that we liked the explicit political content of film X, and therefore liked it, and thought that it was good. And though we are a theoretically minded project, we will not destroy your will to live with 10,000 word Lacanian disquisitions on Proust.

What we will do is review all manner of texts – from pop singles to academic monographs – and reveal what really makes them tick. We will do this with the oldest tools in the box: a knowledge of context, an understanding of the medium, and a sprinkling of humour (after all, if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry). Join us on our journey through the bizarre, contradictory cultural life of capitalism – and hopefully we will one day get out the other side.

Red Mist:

This looks to be most welcome development for the times we live in Glenn Rikowski


‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

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