Sam Kriss

Sam Kriss is a writer living in London. His work has appeared in various publications. He blogs at samkriss.wordpress.com and tweets at @sam_ kriss

    Trump's Airport Kingdom

    by Sam Kriss

    Like everyone else, I went to America for Trump’s inauguration. The whole vast European media establishment has its quadrennial migratory stampede, rushing over to the marshy grazing-grounds between the Susquehanna and the Potomac, to watch the great empire pretend to be very proud of itself as it ceremoniously shits its pants. Colour: bright orange; a firm 6 on the Meyers Scale. But the ceremony alone is never enough. Something about America sets people digging underneath. You plunge speeding into the murky hinterland, planting the photogenically indigent in front of your GoPro to hear the land itself speak through their mouths, and say what it really thinks of Donald Trump. You find mysteries in the Masonic sigil of DC’s street plan. You find secrets chained up in the basement of Comet Ping-Pong Pizza. You try to unearth the outlines of the Indian burial ground, the one that’ll explain why walls of blood are always surging through the shining city on the hill. America keeps on doing unutterably awful things, so you go there, and try to find out why. But first you have to go there. When I flew in to JFK airport, the line for customs was packed with anxious British journalists, tapping their feet, scratching for a cigarette, desperate to get out there, past all this endless bureaucracy, and start their work of finding out what the age of Trump would really be about. And meanwhile, the answer surrounded them.

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    BENGHAZI

    by Sam Kriss

    krasinski2-xlargeAmericans are afraid of Benghazi. The name, just by itself, sounds out an organised assault on Western values. BEN, the comforting tonal balance of a just and ordered world; Ben Johnson, Ben Franklin, Ben Kenobi. The sudden jolt of GHA, a descent into chaos, its throaty foreign consonant, its vowel trailing away into nothingness like a scream in a raging sandstorm. Finally ZI, total madness. Interstellar incoherence, the scrapyard of broken lines at the distant tail-end of the alphabet, cuneiforms leaking a viscous significance from the fractures in their exoskeletons. BENGHAZI. A horror story in three acts.

    The question is, who wrote it?

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