Hari Kunzru Profile picture
Novelist. Red Pill, White Tears, Gods Without Men +3, columnist @harpers, essays @nybooks, podcast: Into The Zone @pushkinpods
Accountability First, then Unity Profile picture Ms Understood Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
1 May
More jaw-dropping polling from France (via @b_judah)

French society is disintegrating — 73%

The army should intervene without being given an order to guarantee order and security in France — 49%

France will soon know civil war — 45%
In the run-up to a Presidential election with Marine Le Pen as the main challenger, there’s also this:

In France, there exists a form of antiracism that exacerbates hate between communities — 74%
I don’t know if they just kept asking Michel Houellebecq or what
Read 7 tweets
30 Apr
If you don’t want people to think your new robot dog is a dystopian nightmare, maybe don’t take it to arrest someone at a housing project
And the sad robot dog handler saying it’s our fault because we didn’t understand
Maybe if I could forget how they harassed that activist in Hells Kitchen, flying a drone outside his window. Sure, good doggie
Read 6 tweets
29 Apr
It’s always weird to toggle back to UK politics and discover that the Prime Minister will probably have to resign because his girlfriend mocked the preferred department store of the upper middle classes
Doing up number 11 as a sort of Neocolonial nabob’s boudoir won’t go down well in Frinton-on-sea
This is the look, apparently
Read 4 tweets
10 Apr
The idea of photoshopping smiles onto Tuol Sleng prisoners is completely deranged.
I think @VICE should take this down. There’s no value to it. It disrespects the dead and, as others have said, falsifies history.
I read the piece (won’t link) and his motives seem muddled. I doubt he’d feel ok altering Shoah photos (maybe he would?) which opens up the question of why the S21 pictures appear available to him to make this intervention.
Read 15 tweets
2 Apr
I know everyone’s dunking on the bit in the #SewellReport where they suggest that instead of teaching the downside of colonialism we make a fun list of Indian-origin English words, but I think it might start more conversations than you think
Loot, for example
The Hobson-Jobson dictionary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian slang is available online. It contains a wealth of context and I’d fully support its use as a textbook
Read 7 tweets
31 Mar
Congratulations to the UK on ending centuries of institutional racism in the few years since I left the country! I did hear something about a ‘hostile environment’ but that must have been a misspelling of ‘beacon to the world’
Also, great job on policing! Turns out that they’re not political, they’re just doing their job.
And also, isn’t it amazing that there won’t be any more noisy, disruptive protests. Such a welcome change.
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
Whether Conservatives win, lose or trash the Capitol, the conclusion is always the same: we should listen to them more and center their feelings
It’s a wonderful political trick, but what is needed now is genuine contrition and self-reflection, not calls for fake ‘unity’ that allow them to skip over their complicity
Let’s really sit with the deep-seated need to claim victimhood that’s at the heart of Trumpism, and the historical illiteracy that it takes to make a claim like this
Read 10 tweets
9 Jan
I too often ‘raise questions’ by lying through my teeth, whipping up a mob, and then hiding, while my surrogates dribble out the same tired culture war whine that has soundtracked the last four years
Seize Twitter is the new ‘seize the means of production.’ Meme Leninism Image
Read 7 tweets
31 Dec 20
It’s the end of the year, and like everyone else I’m happy to see it go. Still, I'm going to do one of those year-in-review threads, so please do mute if you’re not in the mood.
Main achievement: @katiekitamura and I have two happy sane children who have learned some stuff at home. We lost my uncle to covid and my parents haven’t seen their grandchildren in a year, but we’re doing ok.
I wrote a lot of non-fiction this year. In March for @nybooks I reviewed @DaleBeran's book about 4chan, Gamergate and how the angry internet fringe went mainstream nybooks.com/articles/2020/…
Read 19 tweets
31 Dec 20
It’s as if the US is half-asleep. It’s unable to rouse itself, even in a crisis. Tranquilized. Opiated.
Some of it is abdication of responsibility by the executive. Some of it is a health system that’s been so stretched that it hasn’t had capacity to plan a vaccination program. But there’s something else. Indifference. Helplessness.
The pollution of the media environment and the politicization of public health information have paralyzed the US virus response and cost thousands of lives. It will be remembered as a criminal act by a destructive administration.
Read 5 tweets
7 Nov 20
You may want to mute this account for a while because I feel I may have to individually insult every member of the outgoing administration in crude and personal ways
Mike Pence you repressed joyless would-be witchfinder, every time you spoke you always looked like you were straining to expel an enormous bolus of your own hypocrisy from your clenched sphincter
Betsy DeVos you blandly foolish soulless entitled child-stealing witch, rotting like a corpse inside your Chanel suit
Read 16 tweets
24 Sep 20
It's possible that I may have mentioned once or twice that I have a novel out. It's called Red Pill and it's partly set in Berlin. While I was researching it, I found out a lot about life in the former East Berlin. Some of that found its way into the book. But there was more ... ImageImage
I was interested in surveillance. These days we all have a spy in our pocket, and the people watching are mostly from big tech companies, looking to predict our behavior. In the GDR, they had the Stasi Image
At first I was interested in how the Stasi monitored political dissidents and artists - people like the writers Juergen Fuchs and Sascha Anderson Image
Read 18 tweets
21 Sep 20
So many questions. Who is ‘they’? Where is the valve? How does the beautiful water save the tiny fish?
I am now googling combinations of smelt / valve / water / tiny fish / in an attempt to find out what he might be referring to.
Turns out it’s a sort of first grade account of his attempt to undermine environmental regulation in Northern California theguardian.com/environment/20…
Read 4 tweets
20 Sep 20
Just arrived - Carnatic violin from 78’s collected by my friend (and Into the Zone guest) Chris King. Thanks @thirdmanrecords Image
Great liner notes too. Fascinating to see Chris joining the dots between Indian violin and his passion for Greek violinists like Alexis Zoumbas
On Into the Zone, Chris and I talked about prewar American rural music, and he played me jug bands and some amazing early Cajun music. We talked about the friendship between singer and accordionist Amédé Ardoin and violinist Dennis McGee.
Read 6 tweets
17 Sep 20
There's a new episode of Into the Zone out today. For 'It's Always Sunny in the Dialectic' I went to LA with @_hbraithwaite to eat at a place where your breakfast is a mantra: Image
We're living in difficult times. For some people, it's all about thinking positive Image
For others, not so much. This is Theodor Adorno, one of the pioneers of critical theory, who fled the Nazis and ended up in the world capital of positivity, Los Angeles Image
Read 12 tweets
13 Sep 20
If you want an idea of how invisible non-white perspectives are in French cultural debate, they are (in 2020) about to take the n-word out of the title of that Agatha Christie novel and a media philosopher is calling it ‘cancel culture’ and quoting Rousseau
Interview here (in French) - also he splutters (hilariously) that if this kind of terrible censorship is allowed to stand, then next they’ll be CHANGING THE LYRICS OF DIRE STRAITS SONGS. lecho.be/culture/genera…
The cultural context in which people like Enthoven clutch their pearls about censorship is also one where a magazine can run an illustration of a black deputée in a slave collar and chains (h/t @julienkirch) theguardian.com/world/2020/aug…
Read 4 tweets
13 Sep 20
Several people have asked me in the last few days about the song Chris King plays at the end of the ‘That Ain’t Country’ ep of Into the Zone - it’s this by Amedé Ardoin with Dennis McGee
Recorded 1929 in New Orleans, it’s about being an orphan, a lonely traveler- the lyrics and some context here earlycajunmusic.blogspot.com/2016/03/le-val…
And here’s the link to the show pushkin.fm/into-the-zone
Read 4 tweets
11 Sep 20
Lol. As someone who had to fly (while brown) a lot around the US at that time, the chaos, hysteria and ever-present threat of violence was inescapable.
It's disturbing to me that this kind of revisionism might become the norm. I was in LA on 9/11 and was due to fly back to London the next day. Obviously that didn't happen. While I waited for flights to resume I ended up (long story) in Las Vegas. There was nothing calm about it. Image
Every brown person who was around then will remember Balbir Singh Sodhi, the Sikh gas station owner in Mesa, AZ, who was killed on 15th September by guy who said he was 'going out to shoot some towel heads'
Read 13 tweets
11 Sep 20
So there's a new episode of Into the Zone. It's about this guy, who was a guest in my family's home in Agra some time in the 1920's. Image
At the time Jiddu Krishnamurti was at the apex of a dazzling career as a spiritual guru. Since he was a young child, he'd been groomed to be the new Messiah of Theosophy, the spiritualist society founded by Russian mystic Madame Helena Blavatsky Image
I knew Krishnamurti had stayed at our house, and as a child I'd found some old Theosophical books in my great grandfather's shuttered study, but until I researched the podcast I didn't know the full story.
Read 8 tweets
6 Sep 20
I just came across this boring picture I took while I was waiting for a bus in Wannsee, the western suburb of Berlin where part of Red Pill is set.
The reason I took it is the destination of the 118. "Onkel Tom str." Uncle Tom Street. It was a reminder to find out why on earth a suburban Berlin street would have that name
To be honest, I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to know the answer.
Read 34 tweets
5 Sep 20
While I was making Into The Zone, I was given access to a private library in a house in Wiltshire, where there was a collection of early books about Stonehenge

pushkin.fm/into-the-zone ImageImage
They include some early theorizing about (and images of) the Druids Image
Who made the stone circle? Could it have been the Vikings? Image
Read 8 tweets