Recent blog posts

  • Game of Thrones and Kurt Cobain Songs

    Monday, June 10, 2013


    If you haven't been bit by the "Game of Thrones" bug yet, you're probably in the minority. The thirst for this HBO hit series is obsessive to the point of biblical. 

    Now, just like any smart and talented artist who takes on artifacts of a current cultural touchstone and mashes it into something beautiful, graphic designer Mike Wrobel has switched the outfits of GOT's most beloved characters and re-imagined what they might look like in 80's and 90's drobes. 

    Switch out primal weaponry for guns and cut out the cowhide for Cobain inspired drobes.

    It all sounds simple enough in principle, but heck it also comes off clean and colorful enough for viral endurance. 

    Check out the rest of Mike's work here or at SXS



    Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

  • Microfascism

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    The Mantle is excited to present the first in series of blog posts by Cæmeron Crain exploring key concepts in contemporary political philosophy, beginning with the work of the seminal French theorists, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. 

  • The Media Missionary, Stymied?

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    Members of the Kick4Life Writing Club, to whom I taught HIV Journalism last year. (Photo: mjj)

    MASERU, Lesotho – In November 2011, I was newly arrived in Africa, so full of hope, writing dreamily of Lesotho’s “veritable field of dreams” for journalism trainings.

  • The Weekly Good Reads

    Friday, May 31, 2013


    The Kingmaker The times and power thrills of Jeffrey Katzenberg, a man who runs both Hollywood and the political aisles. [Mother Jones]

    Macho Man In the ring, Hector "Macho" Camacho was a championa dazzling, fast-footed showman in cheetah-print trunks. Out of it, he was a coke-fueled, womanizing wild man, until the appetites that consumed him cost him his life. [Mens Journal]

    From Basketball Badboy to Enigmatic Diplomat  Dennis Keith Rodman, grinning and crumpled in a cramped lawn chair, flicks a half-smoked Romeo y Julieta cigar and declares that if it were possible, he'd f**ck the world. [Palm Beach New Times]

    X Marks the Spot Google X seeks to be an heir to the classic research labs, such as the Manhattan Project, which created the first atomic bomb, and Bletchley Park, where code breakers cracked German ciphers and gave birth to modern cryptography. [Bloomberg]


    Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

  • The Art of Boxing: Basquiat

    Thursday, May 30, 2013

    Those familiar with Jean-Michel Basquiat shouldn't be surprised that the gone-too-soon graffiti-cum-Neo-expressionist used boxers as a recurring theme. Born in Brooklyn to Haitian and Puerto Rican parents, Basquiat grew up on the hardscrabble streets of New York City where he confronted racism and learned firsthand the realities of the socio-economic struggle of the working class. Basquiat was quite naturally drawn to the dogged spirit of the boxer, a determined individual who took his knocks but kept on fighting.

  • Translators, Reviewers, and Credit Where Credit is Due

    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    I sometimes try to stop and feel the pain of people reviewing translations. Knowing that the translation is a key part of the text, but rarely able to read the original, reviewers must make educated guesses about what the translator has done right or wrong, and what has been added or subtracted. This is a challenge: do you credit the author with structure, characterization, and pace, and credit the translator with the flow and musicality of the prose? It’s rarely so simple—indeed, a poor translation can cause structural problems with a book.

  • The Fabric of Uncertainty

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    [The Israeli invasion of Beirut, 1982]

  • Sites of Memory

    Friday, May 24, 2013

    ["In Situ", installation, 2013]

  • The Weekly Good Reads

    Thursday, May 23, 2013


    The Freeway  Out of prison and on the move, the legendary crack dealer is seeking his fortune yet again. A journalist picks up the trail of the man who has captivated and confounded him for decades. [LATimes]

    Street Life is All I Know The filthy and violent life of the world's street children. [AEON]

    Brad's War The behind-the-scenes battles, the rewrites and re-shoots, and the stakes involved in World War Z, Brad Pitt's first attempt to build himself an action franchise. [Vanity Fair]

    On Self Respect  Revisiting Joan Didion's 1961 piece in Vogue. 

    Mormons and Film Schools How B.Y.U. churns out Hollywood creatives. [NYT]

    photo by Esquire


    Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

  • NYC Cabbie, Poet, Comedian, and Political Activist: Interview with John McDonagh

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    On May 14, 2013 I spoke with John McDonagh on Stone Street in Lower Manhattan following a demonstration by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance at the T.L.C. (Taxi and Limosine Commission) headquarters at 33 Beaver Street, the goal of which was to stop T.L.C.'s new sweeping 12-point rules package that would allow taxi companies to pass down the costs of repairs and owners summonses onto drivers and raise the lease by $7,000 for the year.

  • Moving Portraits

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

  • Suspended Objects

    Monday, May 20, 2013

    [Arrival, 75x50 cm, 2012]

  • Graffiti in Saigon

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    Graffiti in Saigon via Saigon - Graffiti on da Street

  • The Cost Benefits of Getting KFC in Gaza

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    How much would you pay for KFC?

    Now how about if you were living in Gaza?

    Fares Akram's piece in the NY Times breaks down one trafficker's modus operandi in obtaining one of America's iconic fast foods:

    The French fries arrive soggy, the chicken having long since lost its crunch. A 12-piece bucket goes for about $27 here — more than twice the $11.50 it costs just across the border in Egypt.

    And for fast-food delivery, it is anything but fast: it took more than four hours for the KFC meals to arrive here on a recent afternoon from the franchise where they were cooked in El Arish, Egypt, a journey that involved two taxis, an international border, a smuggling tunnel and a young entrepreneur coordinating it all from a small shop here called Yamama — Arabic for pigeon.

    I guess no matter what corner of the globe, Colonel Sanders' recipe remains "finger-lickin good." 

    (via NY Times)


    Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent


    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    This video is a bit over-dramatized, but in a nutshell it proves that too much technological connectivity is ruining our lives.

    As a manic content farmer, I understand these pitfalls, which is why lately I've been turning off my phone at every social engagement or activity when speaking and undivided attention is a necessary premium. When people give you the time, the least we can do is give others our complete self for that period of connectivity. After all, the stuff on that little screen is more fleeting and, if you think about it, less valuable in the long run than the takeaways you gain face to face. 

    Kudos to director Eliot Rausch for his efforts. 


    Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

  • Moving Painters, Moving Paintings, and Moving Viewers

    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    We expect paintings to be static. Perhaps a card player is sitting in a chair, frozen. Or layered drips of paint that have become dry puddles. We know that the painter’s hand moved when these were made (how fast, we don’t know, but it’s easy to point at Jackson Pollock as a vigorous counterpoint to Paul Cézanne), but the artists knew that the result would be still.

  • The Point of No Return

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    [Swinging on the Stars]

    "Beyond a certain point there's no return. This point has to be reached." -Kafka

  • Hear Me Out #1: Free n Losh's "Where Do They Go"

    Monday, May 13, 2013


    Jazz music, especially if it's from the early 1900s, has this endless aura of romanticism that I can't seem to shake when I hear it. 

    In pop culture, the grandeurs of that era are now mainstream gold for producers and storytellers alike, as the pageantry of pre-recession lifestyles have turned into the backbone of television dramas like "Boardwalk Empire" and films like the recently released Gatsby adaptation.  

    Free n Losh's "Where Do They Go" is a derivative of that vein, combining the charms of this period with the modern flair of "trap music." (In case you need a primer on trap music, Urban Dictionary usually does a good job of filling the gaps.)

    In summation, it's highly effective "get stuff done" tuneage; the type of track that's bumpable in any office setting because it doesn't hold any obscenities that might make your co-workers nervous, and it carries enough "cool" that your square comrades might even take you for having a "hip" bone. 



    Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

  • Burying Tsarnaev

    Sunday, May 12, 2013


    But turn your eyes to the valley; there we shall find

    the river of boiling blood in which we are steeped

    all who struck down their fellow men.

    -Inferno, Canto XII II. 46-48


  • Good Reads of the Week

    Friday, May 10, 2013


    THE GOLDEN YEARS, Al Gore, the almost president, has become the ultimate Davos Man, a moral entrepreneur and richer than Mitt Romney[NY MAG]

    PIGSKIN AND PINYIN? Can the NFL plant its flag in China[Grantland]

    STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM  It was a tiny town of farmers, a village where everyone knew everyone and nearly all struggled to make ends meet. But then, a few days before Christmas, they won the largest lottery in the history of Spain. [GQ]

    INVENTING BOWIE David Bowie’s art is about style, high and low, and style is a serious business for a museum of art and design. [NY Books]

    I DROP MEGATON BOMBS Thirteen years later, Liquid Swords continues to age well and is a stellar case of quality ’90s hip-hop. GZA talks to Wax Poetics about the making of a heralded classic.


    Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

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