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Recent blog posts

  • Considering the Topless Protest

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    Three Femen activists were sentenced to four months in jail for a topless protest in Tunisia. The action was held in support of fellow jailed activist Amina Tyler. 

  • Why I Went To Taksim Square

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    It must have been slightly surprising for many Western countries to see Turkey in the headlines in the last couple of weeks for the widespread protests that have been affecting the country. At first sight it might look a bit like the revolts that touched off the Arab Spring, but fundamentally, it is a completely different story. Turkey has a long democratic tradition, and has cherished it for many years. So, what made people (including myself) so furious in the past fortnight?

  • Searching for Holden Caulfield

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    TRAILER: Salinger

    Shane Salerno's new documentary on the genius recluse that was J.D. Salinger. 

    Will this doc really answer any questions as to what made a man like Salinger close himself off completely after his greatest work? Unless Ed Norton and Danny Devito somehow had underground pow wows with the man, that more than likely is asking a bit too much.

    Salinger diehards will surely salivate for this as they would any touchstone on the cryptic narrative of one of America's most celebrated and elusive figures. 

    However, what most certainly would trump this and have people really flipping like Gabby Douglas would be if anybody could ever turn Catcher in the Rye into an actual film. 

    Harvey Weinstein already came this far. Is one magic rabbit trick really much harder? 


    Follow Anthony on Twitter: @antbrent

  • Destination-less Journeys

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    [Memorial for victims of Reyhanli bombing, at Gezi Park]

  • The Second Hermit of Bulgaria

    Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    Photo by Melanie Rainey

    I board the train during the unexpected spring heat of Ankara, in anticipation of a busy itinerary for the weekend. Ankara-Istanbul-Sofia and back again the same way in two days. Riding trains, getting a stamp approved, pounding pavements, staring at unfamiliar lives lived in familiar patterns.

  • 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