Welcome to…

I exist, barely, in Los Angeles. I also write, often obsessively, about art, culture, cities, and radical politics. I’ve done so for Jacobin, Salvage, Los Angeles Review of Books, In These Times, Protean, Real Life, Popula, Marx & Philosophy Review of Books, Historical Materialism blog, Radical Art Review, Chicago Review, Against the Current, and other outlets.

My first book, Shake the City: Experiments In Space and Time, Music and Crisis, was published in late 2022 through 1968 Press. Currently I’m a member of the Locust Arts & Letters Collective, and help edit its publications Locust Review and Imago. Catch me at a vulnerable enough moment, ply me with enough liquor, and I’ll admit how proud I am of these publications.

This current project, which includes content migrated from my previous blog, is a last chance to write something that says something. Something set apart from the endless listicles, the craven apologia, the performative outrage overflowing on social media.

There’s no shame in writing listicles of course; I’ve done it myself to make ends meet (as for posting on social media, that’s a shame we all bear). We know we need more, though. This is a modest attempt to contribute to that nebulous more. If I can also manage to keep the lights on along the way, then all the better.

…that ellipsis…

That because it is one among many, probably billions upon billions, that have been inscribed on pages over the centuries. This is my ellipsis. There are many like it but this one is mine. Not the because there is more than one, not this because it is not yours. To you, it is that.

Ellipsis because the ellipsis, the three periods, the dot-dot-dot, is one of the great existential gambles of punctuation and written language. More than mere pause or ambiguity, it is an eeriness, a presence denoting an absence. It is the full stop frustrated and derailed, even as we have no firm grasp on what comes next. Taken to its logical conclusion, it is an unprofitable stab at making oblivion intelligible. An end that repeats itself in the hope that it will stop ending, an attempt to both embrace and hold at bay the unquiet unknown that, every time we close our eyes, has crawled a few inches closer…

Ellipsis because this is where we currently find ourselves. Between things ended and things begun. Gramsci’s time of monsters. The great interregnum. We know well that the end of history has disproven itself, but, stuck in this in-between, we coin clever terms as placeholders: “late-late capitalism,” “post-postmodernism.” Terms defined by what they aren’t, doing nothing to clear a path away from climate collapse, the death cults of the far right, or any of the other myriad existential crises. But which, against all odds, hope to find something like a future.

Thus, That Ellipsis…

…you are reading.

Yes, I will often ask, as is to be expected on this platform, for you to…

You can give me money if you like, particularly if you think paying will give you an added incentive to actually read what I write. In return, you’ll get access to exclusive content, the full archive, and the chat.

Free subscribers will still receive my writing, though many of the longer, more in-depth elaborate pieces will be paywalled, available only to those willing to part with a bit of coin.

As for the content itself, like our own time of crisis, it will be eclectic. The first hope is to provide something that, be it in the form of essay, poem, or story, be it regarding music, film, psychogeography, surrealism, critical theory, or whatever else, might, fates forfend, actually enlighten.

The second hope, connected, is that by not artificially limiting its output, this might be a place where both I and you can think of all the different, needlessly atomized realms of human life in new lights. To think of theory as literature, to think of technology as poetry, or any other permutation, this might not lead anywhere. It might also be the first step toward fixing our own alienated selves.

Comments sections are, by their nature, cesspools. So commenting on any piece posted here has been disabled. If you want to discuss what you read, then collect your thoughts and send them through chat, or email them to alexbillet@gmail.com.

You can also avail yourself of one of my few concessions to social media and engage the posts on this Notes feature that Substack offers. I’m also intermittently active on Instagram.

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Sifting through the wreckage. Essays, stories, culture, and other ephemera.


Alexander Billet

Writer, critic, artist | Author, "Shake the City" from 1968 Press | Editor at Locust Review | Insta: @ubupamplemousse | "Only the hopeless things in the world are lovely"