Friday, February 27, 2015

California Stars

Words by Woody Guthrie, Music by Jay Bennett/Jeff Tweedy

I’d like to rest my heavy head tonight
On a bed of California stars
I’d like to lay my weary bones tonight
On a bed of California stars
I’d love to feel your hand touching mine
And tell me why I must keep working on
Yes, I’d give my life to lay my head tonight
On a bed of California stars

I’d like to dream my troubles all away
On a bed of California stars
Jump up from my starbed and make another day
Underneath my California stars
They hang like grapes on vines that shine
And warm the lovers glass like friendly wine
So, I’d give this world just to dream a dream with you
On our bed of California stars

Friday, February 13, 2015

another police shooting of an unarmed worker

Big Pharma, Marketing to Doctors

Monty Python: anarcho-Syndicalism versus awareness of class antagonism

Pablo Iglesias: If the Greek olive branch is rejected, Europe may fall

During his swearing-in speech as Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras was clear: “Our aim is to achieve a solution that is mutually beneficial for both Greece and our partners. Greece wants to pay its debt.”

The European Central Bank’s (ECB) response to the Greek government’s desire to be conciliatory and responsible, was also very clear: negative. Either the Greek government abandons the programme on which it was elected, and continues to do the very thing that has been disastrous for Greece, or the ECB will stop supporting Greek debt.

The ECB’s calculation is not only arrogant, it is incoherent. The same central bank that recognised its mistakes a few weeks ago and began to buy government debt is now denying financing to the very states that have been arguing for years that the role of a central bank should be to back up governments in protecting their citizens rather than to rescue the financial bodies that caused the crisis.

Now, instead of acknowledging that Greece deserves at least the same treatment as any other EU member state, the ECB has decided to shoot the messenger. Excesses of arrogance and political short-sightedness cost dear. The new despots who are trying to persuade us that Europe’s problem is Greece are putting the European project itself at risk.

Europe’s problem is not that the Greeks voted for a different option from the one that led them to disaster; that is simply democratic normality. Europe’s threefold problem is inequality, unemployment and debt – and this is neither new nor exclusively Greek.

Nobody can deny that austerity has not solved this problem, but rather has exacerbated the crisis. Let’s spell it out: the diktats of those who still appear to be running things in Europe have failed, and the victims of this inefficiency and irresponsibility are Europe’s citizens.

It is for this precise reason that trust in the old political elites has collapsed; it is why Syriza won in Greece and why Podemos – the party I lead – can win in Spain. But not all the alternatives to these failed policies are as committed as Syriza and Podemos are to Europe and to European democracy and values.

The Greeks have been pushed to the point of disaster, yet the Greek government has reached out and shown great willingness to cooperate. It has requested a bridge agreement that would give both sides until June to deal with what is little short of a national emergency for the majority of the Greek population.

It has proposed linking repayment of the debt to growth (the only real way of paying creditors and of guaranteeing their rights), and has indicated its desire to implement those structural reforms needed to strengthen an impoverished state left too long in the hands of corrupt elites.

Greece has accepted a primary surplus (1.5% of GDP instead of the 3% that the troika had demanded) to give a minimum margin for dealing with the social consequences of the crisis and to devote, if necessary, a portion of the profits made by central banks after buying Greek bonds.

This means, pure and simple, making sure the European money destined to help Greece is in fact aid for citizens and for the economy, and not a way of rewarding the banks and slowing down recovery. However, faced with the statesmanlike moderation of a government that would have every reason to be more drastic, the ECB and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, respond with a dogmatic arrogance that sits ill with European values. The question is: who will pay for their arrogance? The most short-sighted cynics perhaps think that this is the Greek government’s problem and it does not affect the rest of the European family.

Yet we need only look at what has happened to the Greek socialist movement Pasok; the formerly mighty German SPD, which is now utterly subordinate to Merkel; the ideological collapse of the French Socialist party, heading for historic humiliation at the hands of Marine Le Pen; and at the socialists in Spain, who are so desperate they would prefer the right to win the coming election rather than Podemos.

Austerity has shattered the political space historically occupied by social democracy, so it would be in the interests of these parties to rectify this and support the Greek government.

It seems that Italy’s Matteo Renzi, despite his lukewarm support, is alone in fully grasping what is at stake in Greece. Or do people perhaps think that if Europe’s leadership refuses to budge in its attitude, then the “normality” of austerity can be restored? It is unwise to put a democratic government between a rock and a hard place. The wind of change that is blowing in Europe could become a storm that speeds up geopolitical changes, with unpredictable consequences.

The viability of the European project is at stake. Pro-Europeans, especially those in the socialist family, should accept the hand offered by Tsipras and help curb the demands of the pro-austerity lobby. It’s not just their own political survival that is at stake but that of Europe itself.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Pervert's Guide To Cinema


"The Pervert's Guide To Cinema" takes the viewer on an exhilarating ride through some of the greatest movies ever made. Serving as presenter and guide is the charismatic and acclaimed philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Zizek. With his engaging and passionate approach to thinking, Zizek delves into the hidden language of cinema, uncovering what movies can tell us about ourselves. Whether he is untangling the famously baffling films of David Lynch or overturning everything you thought you knew about Hitchcock, Zizek illuminates the screen with his passion, intellect and unfailing sense of humor. The film cuts its cloth from the very world of the movies it discusses; by shooting at original locations and from replica sets, it creates the uncanny illusion that Zizek is speaking from within the films themselves. Together, the three parts construct a compelling dialectic of ideas. According to Zizek, "My big obsession is to make things clear. I can really explain a line of thought if I can somehow illustrate it in a scene from a film. 'The Pervert's Guide To Cinema' is really about what psychoanalysis can tell us about cinema."


Did Bill O’Reilly Cover Up a War Crime in El Salvador?

Greg Grandin on February 9, 2015 - 2:34 PM ET

Before Bill O’Reilly was, well, Bill O’Reilly, he worked for a time as a foreign correspondent for CBS Nightly News, anchored by Dan Rather. O’Reilly talks about that period of his career in two of his books, and in both mentions that in early 1982 he reported from northeastern El Salvador, just after the infamous El Mozote Massacre. “When the CBS News bureau chief asked for volunteers to check out an alleged massacre in the dangerous Morazán Territory, a mountainous region bordering Nicaragua, I willingly went.”

El Mozote is a small, hard-to-reach hamlet. The massacre took place on December 11, 1981, carried out by US-trained Atlacatl Battalion, which was not just trained but created by the United States as a rapid response unit to fight El Salvador’s fast-spreading FMLN insurgency. The killing was savage beyond belief: between 733 and 900 villagers were slaughtered, decapitated, impaled and burned alive.

The story of the massacre was broken on the front page of The New York Timesby the journalist Raymond Bonner and in The Washington Post by Alma Guillermoprieto; both stories were published on January 27, 1982, and accompanied by photographs taken by Susan Meiselas. Bonner and Meiselas got to El Mozote, after hearing about the massacre, by walking for days in from Honduras. Guillermoprieto wrote about seeing “countless bits of bones—skulls, rib cages, femurs, a spinal column” poking “out of the rubble.” Bonner noted the “charred skulls and bones of dozens of bodies buried under burned-out roofs, beams, and shattered tiles.” Later, Mark Danner reported on the massacre in detail, first in a lengthy New Yorker essay and then in a book.

Aside from the brutality of the killing, El Mozote is distinguished by the fact that Washington moved quickly to cover it up. It was, in a way, the first massacre of the “second Cold War,” the Reagan administration’s drive to retake the third world; what My Lai was to the 1960s, El Mozote was to the 1980s (later, in 1989, Atlacatl would commit another infamous crime: the execution of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter).

In addition to describing the massacre, Danner documents the cover-up in detail: the US embassy in El Salvador immediately disputed Bonner’s and Guillermoprieto’s reporting, as did New Right organizations like Accuracy in Media. Thomas Enders, Reagan’s assistant secretary of state for inter-American Affairs, and Elliott Abrams, assistant secretary of state for human rights, denied the killing. Abrams said “it appears to be an incident that is at least being significantly misused, at the very best, by the guerrillas.” The Wall Street Journal called Bonner “overly credulous” and “out on a limb” and placed the word massacre in “scare quotes.” TheTimes sided with the critics, and Bonner eventually left the paper, after first being transferred to the business section.

O’Reilly doesn’t give an exact date for when he travelled to El Salvador, but he writes that it was just before the Falklands War. In other words, probably in March 1982, between the first reports of the “alleged massacre,” in late January, and Argentina’s early April invasion of the Malvinas. Here’s O’Reilly’s account, from his book, The No Spin Zone:

A few weeks after taking the CBS job I was flown to El Salvador to report on the war going on there at the time. I drew an assignment that sent me to the Morazán province in the mountainous northeastern part of that beautiful country. This was ‘Indian country,’ a place where the communist guerrillas (‘los muchachos’) operated with impunity. It was a dangerous place, and my crew—driver, producer, and cameraman—was not thrilled to be going there. It took us a full day to drive to Morazán from San Salvador, the capital city, because all the bridges had been blown up and we had to ford the rivers in our van. This was slow going, making us easy targets. Our only protection was a message painted in black letters over and over again on the sides of the van: periodistas—no dispare (Journalists—don’t shoot).

O’Reilly continues along these lines, emphasizing the danger he and his crew faced. He recounts being given the “local war news” by a Salvadoran army colonel: “The ‘muchachos’ had wiped out a small village called Meanguera a few miles to the south because its mayor was deemed friendly to the government. The atrocity had not been confirmed, though, because nobody in his right mind would go into the guerrilla-controlled areas.”

Note that O’Reilly doesn’t mention the massacre at El Mozote. He rather focuses on a supposed killing committed by leftist insurgents in nearby Meanguera (Meanguera, a municipal town center, is nine kilometers away from the hamlet of El Mozote). It is extremely unlikely that O’Reilly would not have known about the El Mozote massacre. Not only was it reported on in all the major papers, the Reagan administration’s denials had themselves become a story (The Wall Street Journal ran its attack on Bonner on February 10).

In any case, O’Reilly went to Meanguera and not El Mozote. Leigh Binford, an anthropologist who wrote a great book on the larger context of the massacre, tells me that “all of these municipal centers sustained attacks by the FMLN; they were, after all, where the repressive forces (National Guard or Treasury Police) were housed, and from which they had been making forays into the countryside over the course of at least a year to kill, harass, capture, and torture for some time.” So it is very possible that Meanguera was attacked by the rebels. But it certainly wasn’t “wiped out.” In other words, going to Meanguera in early 1982 would be as if Seymour Hersh, when he first learned of the My Lai massacre, decided to investigate events the next town over.

Here’s what O’Reilly writes in his book about his report: when he finally arrived in Meanguera, “the place was leveled to the ground and fires were still smoldering. But even though the carnage was obviously recent, we saw no one live or dead. There was absolutely nobody around who could tell us what happened. I quickly did a stand-up amid the rubble and we got the hell out of there.”

He continues to emphasize his courage (writing that a Salvadoran military official said that he had “cojones” for having travelled to Meanguera). Then, having made it back to San Salvador safely, he filed his story: “I explained that while a scorched-earth policy was clearly in effect in remote village—the evidence was right there on tape—it was impossible to say just who was doing the scorching. Could be the muchachos [that is, the guerrillas], could be the government. The ninety-second package contained great video and a fairly impressive ‘on the scene in a very bad place’ stand-up by yours truly.”

O’Reilly tells a version of this story in two different books, since it supposedly captures a key moment in his personal narrative, a moment when he stood up to the “liberal establishment”—that is, CBS News—and eventually becomes who he is today. His editor apparently didn’t broadcast the report until O’Reilly forced him to do so.

I’ve located the broadcast and there are a number of problems with how O’Reilly tells the story in his book.

First off, Meanguera isn’t “leveled.” There are some knocked-down buildings, and a bit of rubble in front of which O’Reilly gives his “impressive” stand-up. But most of the town seems intact. No “smoldering” fires are to be seen. “We saw no one, alive or dead,” he writes. But I counted at least eight people who looked like residents of the town in the broadcast, going about their business. Also, the clip makes clear that O’Reilly actually got a fly-over helicopter tour of the region by the Salvadoran army, to survey infrastructure damage caused by the rebels—so at least part of his harrowing journey into “Indian Country” was at an altitude.

But, more importantly, as Bonner and Guillermoprieto (and then, later, Danner and Binford) show, it was not “impossible” to say who was “doing the scorching.” The question is: Did O’Reilly intentionally deflect away from a war crime that implicated Reagan’s Central American policy, or was the deflection a result of his ignorance and laziness?

O’Reilly’s report captures the degeneration of post-Vietnam journalism. Bonner, Guillermoprieto, and Meiselas were operating under the old model, pioneered in Southeast Asia by correspondents like Neil Sheehan and Peter Arnett who questioned Washington’s version of events and did all that was necessary to get to the scene and get at the truth. In contrast, O’Reilly, whether he was whisked into Meanguera on a US-supplied helicopter or arrived overland, did, as he writes, a ninety-second “package”—a “stand-up” routine that largely confirmed the official story, as dictated by Enders and Abrams. Bonner was punished for his intrepidness. O’Reilly went on to transform cable TV.

In his memoir, O’Reilly said, of his reporting in El Salvador, that he “banished the fear from my mind.” “I learned a tremendous amount about the conflict and about myself. I could face a high-risk situation. It was a huge confidence builder.”

H/T John Dolan.

Read Next: Greg Grandin on Oscar Romero

No Big Bang?

No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning
Feb 09, 2015 by Lisa Zyga

( —The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein's theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.

The widely accepted age of the universe, as estimated by general relativity, is 13.8 billion years. In the beginning, everything in existence is thought to have occupied a single infinitely dense point, or singularity. Only after this point began to expand in a "Big Bang" did the universe officially begin.

Although the Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics of general relativity, some scientists see it as problematic because the math can explain only what happened immediately after—not at or before—the singularity.

"The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there," Ahmed Farag Ali at Benha University and the Zewail City of Science and Technology, both in Egypt, told

Ali and coauthor Saurya Das at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, have shown in a paper published in Physics Letters B that the Big Bang singularity can be resolved by their new model in which the universe has no beginning and no end.

Old ideas revisited

The physicists emphasize that their quantum correction terms are not applied ad hoc in an attempt to specifically eliminate the Big Bang singularity. Their work is based on ideas by the theoretical physicist David Bohm, who is also known for his contributions to the philosophy of physics. Starting in the 1950s, Bohm explored replacing classical geodesics (the shortest path between two points on a curved surface) with quantum trajectories.

In their paper, Ali and Das applied these Bohmian trajectories to an equation developed in the 1950s by physicist Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri at Presidency University in Kolkata, India. Raychaudhuri was also Das's teacher when he was an undergraduate student of that institution in the '90s.

Using the quantum-corrected Raychaudhuri equation, Ali and Das derived quantum-corrected Friedmann equations, which describe the expansion and evolution of universe (including the Big Bang) within the context of general relativity. Although it's not a true theory of quantum gravity, the model does contain elements from both quantum theory and general relativity. Ali and Das also expect their results to hold even if and when a full theory of quantum gravity is formulated.

No singularities nor dark stuff

In addition to not predicting a Big Bang singularity, the new model does not predict a "big crunch" singularity, either. In general relativity, one possible fate of the universe is that it starts to shrink until it collapses in on itself in a big crunch and becomes an infinitely dense point once again.

Ali and Das explain in their paper that their model avoids singularities because of a key difference between classical geodesics and Bohmian trajectories. Classical geodesics eventually cross each other, and the points at which they converge are singularities. In contrast, Bohmian trajectories never cross each other, so singularities do not appear in the equations.

In cosmological terms, the scientists explain that the quantum corrections can be thought of as a cosmological constant term (without the need for dark energy) and a radiation term. These terms keep the universe at a finite size, and therefore give it an infinite age. The terms also make predictions that agree closely with current observations of the cosmological constant and density of the universe.

New gravity particle

In physical terms, the model describes the universe as being filled with a quantum fluid. The scientists propose that this fluid might be composed of gravitons—hypothetical massless particles that mediate the force of gravity. If they exist, gravitons are thought to play a key role in a theory of quantum gravity.

In a related paper, Das and another collaborator, Rajat Bhaduri of McMaster University, Canada, have lent further credence to this model. They show that gravitons can form a Bose-Einstein condensate (named after Einstein and another Indian physicist, Satyendranath Bose) at temperatures that were present in the universe at all epochs.

Motivated by the model's potential to resolve the Big Bang singularity and account for dark matter and dark energy, the physicists plan to analyze their model more rigorously in the future. Their future work includes redoing their study while taking into account small inhomogeneous and anisotropic perturbations, but they do not expect small perturbations to significantly affect the results.

"It is satisfying to note that such straightforward corrections can potentially resolve so many issues at once," Das said.

More information: Ahmed Farag Ali and Saurya Das. "Cosmology from quantum potential." Physics Letters B. Volume 741, 4 February 2015, Pages 276–279. DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2014.12.057. Also at: arXiv:1404.3093[gr-qc].

Saurya Das and Rajat K. Bhaduri, "Dark matter and dark energy from Bose-Einstein condensate", preprint: arXiv:1411.0753[gr-qc].

Journal reference: Physics Letters B

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Broke," Modest Mouse

Broke account so I broke a sweat
I've bought some things that I sort of regret about now
Broke your glasses, but it broke the ice
You said that I was an asshole and I paid the price

Broken hearts want broken necks
I've done some things that I want to forget but I can't
Broke my pace and ran out of time
Sometimes I'm so full of shit that it should be a crime

Broke a promise 'cause my car broke down
Such a classic excuse it should be bronze by now
Broke up, and I'm relieved somehow
It's the end of the discussions that just go round and round

And round, and round, and round, and round
And round, and round it shouldn't have been anyway
No way, no way, that's right, that's right
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, uh no
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, uh no
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, uh no
It was like everything was evidence of broken

You're living on fancy wine
You'll drink that turpentine
You're starting conversations
You don't even know the topic


John Carpenter's "Lost Themes"

agents of change

Again, the agents of change are, as I describe them, somewhat related to my idea of different proletarian positions. It means those people who are deprived of their substance, like ecological victims, psychological victims, and, especially, excluded victims of racism, and so on.
Demanding the Impossible, p. 102 (Polity, 2013)

sublime object

aerial photos of NYC, by Vincent Laforet

Photo credit: Vincent Laforet

Photo by Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo by Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet

Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet
Photo credit: Vincent Laforet

The Post-Traumatic Subject

This is the age of "the post-traumatic subject." 
In a nutshell, the way a Lacanian avoids depression is to engage in an ethico-political project. 
What is an ethico-political project? 
It just means taking a risk for the sake of justice--like when we stand up for equality, against discrimination, etc. 
We take the side of the outcast. 
We occupy the position of the excluded ones (slum dwellers, minorities, etc.).
We put ourselves in the place of the placeless ones.

Viewed in this light, depression is a moral failure!

"Night on the Sun," Modest Mouse

So, turn off the light 'cause it's night on the sun
You're hopelessly hopeless
I hope so, for you
Freeze your blood and then stab it into in two
Stab your blood into me and blend
I eat my own blood and get filled up get filled up;
I get filled up on me and end so turn off the light
'cause it's night on the sun you're hopelessly hopeless
I hope so, for you
Turn off the light 'cause it's night on the sun
You're hopelessly hopeless
I hope so, for you
Freeze your blood and then stab it into in two
Stab your blood into me and end
I eat my own blood and get filled up get filled up
I get filled up on me and end
Freeze your blood and then stab it into me
Freeze your blood and then stab it into me
Freeze your blood and then stab it in two into me and blend
Turn off the light 'cause it's night on the sun
You're hopelessly hopeless
I hope so, for you
Well there's one thing to know about this town
It's five hundred miles underground; and that's alright
Well there's one thing to know about this globe
It's bound and it's willing to explode and that's alright
Well there's one thing to know about this town
Not a person doesn't want me underground
There's one thing to know about this town
It's five hundred miles underground; and that's ok
There's one thing to know about this earth
We're put here just to make more dirt; and that's ok
night on the sun...

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Filed Under:

pronunciation, names

Chinua Achebe (chin-oo-ah ah-chay-bae)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (chim-ah-man-da nnnn-go-zeh ah-dee-che)
Augustine of Hippo (aw-gus-tin)
Donald/Frederick Barthelme (barth-uhl-me)
Karl Barth (bart)
Walter Benjamin (ben-yameen)
Bishop Berkeley (barkley)
Louis De Broglie (duh broy)
Menzies Campbell (ming-iss)
Thomas Carew (carey)
Vija Celmins (vee-yah tell-midge)
Michael Chabon (shay-bonn)
J.C. Chandor (shann-door)
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (me-high cheek-sent-me-high)
Emil Cioran (chore-ahn)
Ta-Nehisi Coates (tah-nuh-hah-see)
Alexander/Andrew/Patrick Cockburn (coburn)
Paulo Coelho (~pow-lu kuh-whey.l-you.)*
J.M. Coetzee (~koot-zee-uh)
William Cowper (cooper)
Alfonso/Jonás/Carlo Cuarón (al-fone-so/ho-nas kwah-roan)
Don Juan, Byron character (jew-un)
W.E.B. DuBois (duh-boyz)
Andre Dubus (duh-byoose)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (choo-we-tell edge-ee-oh-for)
Leonhard Euler (oiler)
Ralph/Ranulph/Sophie/Joseph/Magnus/Martha Fiennes (rayf finezzzzzzzzzzzzz)
Gustave Flaubert (flow-bear)
Michel Foucault (foh-coe)
André Gide (zheed)
Houston Street, Manhattan (house-ton)
H.R. Giger (ghee-guh)
Jacques, Shakespeare character (jay-kwiss)
Philip Gourevitch (guh-ray-vitch)
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (~goo-tuh/ger-tuh)
Vaclav Havel (vat-slav hah-vell)
Joris-Karl Huysmans (zhour-ris karl weese-moss)**
Krzysztof Kieślowski (kreesh-toff keesh-loff-skee)
Paul Klee (powell clay)
Q’orianka/Xihuaru Kilcher (core-i-an-ka/see-wahr-oo)
Saul Kripke (krip-key)
Jonathan Lethem (leeth-um)
Jared Leto (let-oh)
Czesław Miłosz (chess-waff me-woahsh)
Joan Miró (zhwamn mi-roh)
Robert Musil (moo-zeal/moo-seal)
Nacogdoches, Texas (nack-uh-dough-chis)
Natchitoches, Louisiana (nack-uh-tush)
Anaïs Nin (ah-nayh-ees ninn)
Lupita Nyong’o (~nnnnnyong-oh)
Adepero Oduye (add-uh-pair-oh oh-doo-yay)
David Oyelowo (oh-yell-uh-whoah)
Chuck Palahniuk (pahl-uh-nik)
Wolfgang Pauli (pow-lee)
Samuel Pepys (peeps)
Jodi Picoult (pee-coe)
Plotinus (ploh-tine-us)
Anthony Powell (po-uhl)
John Cowper Powys (cooper poh-iss)
Marcel Proust (proost)
Ayn Rand (well-fare recipient)
Theodore Roethke (ret-key)
Ed Ruscha (roo-shay)
Jon Scieszka (sheh-shka)
Schlumberger (slumber-zhay)
W.G. Sebald (zay-bald)
William Smellie (smiley)
Wisława Szymborska (vee-swa-va shim-bor-ska)
Wayne Thiebaud (tee-bo)
Colm Tóibín (~column toh-been)
Jones Very (jonas veery)
Ayelet Waldman (eye-yell-it)
Quvenzhané Wallis (kwuh-ven-zhuh-nay)
Robert Walser (valzer)
Evelyn St. John Waugh (eve-linn sin-jun wahh)
Simone Weil (vay)
Michel Houllebecq (he doesn’t care)
Rogier van der Weyden (ro-khee-ur von dur vay-dun)
Ludwig Wittgenstein (vittgenshtain/vittgenshtein)
David Wojnarowicz (woy-nar-oh-vitz)
Joseph Wright of Derby (right of dahr-bee)
Slavoj Žižek (slah-voi zhee-zhek)
*Portuguese has a far more complicated phonetics than English & so this one is especially approximate
**the last syllable doesn’t have an English equivalent but rhymes with the French pronunciation of Jean’s