Three Billboards, Wind River and Hollywood's Representation Problem

by Caspar Salmon

Great news for fans of racist and sexist films in which a grieving parent takes the law into their own hands after a young woman is raped and murdered: Hollywood conspired to grant us two of them over the last year.

Hourglass, Figured

Every morning, as my ancient machine grunted into action, my reaction to that hourglass was the same: with each of its rotations, a sense of unease ratcheted up a notch or bloomed new petals or did whatever anxiety does with its horrible metaphors. The pinch-waisted graphic popped up in the centre of my desktop, cartwheeling, and with it, that same sick feeling.

Magical Thinking in the Trump Era

On 24 February 2017, Lana Del Rey announced that she had plans to cast a hex on Donald Trump: 'ingredients can b found online,' she wrote on Twitter. And they can, as posted by a member of an online witch community dedicated to casting a monthly hex on the president to correspond with the waning crescent moon.

So, This Is America

I’m not sure I agree with Didion’s claim that Vegas is ‘the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements,’ mainly because I believe this is actually truer of Florida, Florida being a place where one can buy a local paper whose cover describes a cannibal murder (‘CAUSEWAY CANNIBAL HAD BIBLE WHEN HE ATTACKED’), but also the place they built Disneyland.

The Kardashian Decade

What is odd about the Kardashian lifestyle is exactly, notwithstanding the money, how not odd it is. A lot of this show involves them fighting in restaurants; much is about whether mothers have actual favorite children — the difference being that here, the answer is: “yes, but for fiscal reasons.”

The Night Lou Reed Died

I had never been involved in group sex. My curiosity was always overruled by the fear of entering into a twilight world, where bored swingers, back-rubs and Michael Fassbender’s character in Shame hung around twitching in a side-street sauna. But this felt different.

Social Capitalism Is Still Capitalism

Turning oneself into a financial asset through the transformative power of a screen is little more than a simulacrum of past modes of accruing status; and yet increasingly, this is the sole method of operating within the modern media.

Peckham Is Not a 'Melting Pot'

While some cities do better jobs than others of encouraging that salad to be fully mixed, in many cities we see fragmented communities segregated down lines of culture and interest, operating alone in the same space.

Literary Quartet

We’re in a labyrinth of ladders, arcing and curling around one another, following others’ routes, occasionally being given a hand over treacherous rungs. Some ladders lead to dead ends, others to platforms from where we can shout down encouragement, or ignore all beneath.


In the video for her song Criminal, I watch Fiona Apple’s body and wait for it to tell me how I should feel about her, or towards her, and in this video, the messages are mixed.