Archive for November, 2016

#ThingsTheDogLickedNext is a return to my 2013 street art museum Project “a Fecal Matter”

The subject matter was dog shit and the transfer of the parasite Toxicara Canis into the human food chain and eventually, children. See link:

https://discordion.wordpress.com/my-art/self-directed-ap3-degree-project-exhibition-may-2013/2013-foundation-degree-museum-project-a-fecal-matter/

December is here, along with the dark nights I’m sure all of you have experience of our neighbourhood dog walkers leaving “secret Santa” packages dotted around our pedestrian walkways?

So, I’d love to reciprocate and give our secret Santas something back in the way of our suggestions to the question; What are the Things The Dog Licked Next?

Please add your “thing the dog licked next” to the Twitter hashtag.

Depending on how this goes I may set myself further goals such as building an artwork from #ThingsTheDogLickedNext

 

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Defenestration

Posted: November 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

A great radical read. All author’s rights reserved.

hecatedemeter

broken-window-fist-28657258

Imagine that you live in a room with just one window.  It looks out onto a rather normal scene:  a bit of lawn, a strip of flowers alongside the road, a maple tree in the middle.  The scene changes a bit with the seasons, of course.  In winter, there are no flowers, no leaves on the tree, and snow covers the grass.  In autumn, the tree turns a brilliant orange, the sun casts long shadows, Queen Anne’s lace blooms at the edge.  In spite of these small variations, whenever you look out the window, you see essentially the same scene and that’s what’s “normal” to you and to everyone who lives with you.

One night, without your even really noticing, someone comes and moves the window a  few inches to the right.  When you wake up and look out, things look pretty much the same as they did yesterday:  spring…

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Whistleblower claims: Blair used military dressed as Policemen to spy on Firemen, private individuals and Royals.

The SKWAWKBOX

sas

Over recent weeks, the SKWAWKBOX has been privileged to provide explosive eyewitness testimony showing the involvement of military personnel impersonating police officers against striking miners at The Battle of Orgreave in 1984.

As a result of that series of articles, this writer was contacted by a former army officer who confirmed that soldiers ‘routinely’ masqueraded as police officers in operations against what both the Blair and Major governments considered ‘extremist groups’ – but with a mind-blowing stretching of any definition of ‘extremist’. A ‘trailer’ of this testimony was published last weekend, pending a full account from the ex-military whistleblower.

I had no inkling just how explosive that full account would – if true – prove to be.

If proven, this testimony shows army personnel dressing in police uniform to act not only against groups that are anything but extreme – but against the most surprising and controversial ‘extremists’ imaginable –…

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1918

Posted November 2014


Looking back at the years of fury and carnage, Colonel Angelo Gatti, staff officer of the Italian Army (Austrian front), wrote in his diary: “This whole war has been a pile of lies. We came into war because a few men in authority, the dreamers, flung us into it.”

No, Gatti, caro mio, those few men are not dreamers; they are schemers. They perch above us. See how their armament contracts are turned into private fortunes—while the young men are turned into dust: more blood, more money; good for business this war.

It is the rich old men, i pauci, “the few,” as Cicero called the Senate oligarchs whom he faithfully served in ancient Rome. It is the few, who together constitute a bloc of industrialists and landlords, who think war will bring bigger markets abroad and civic discipline at home. One of i pauci in 1914 saw war as a way of promoting compliance and obedience on the labor front and—as he himself said—war, “would permit the hierarchal reorganization of class relations.”

Just awhile ago the heresies of Karl Marx were spreading among Europe’s lower ranks. The proletariats of each country, growing in numbers and strength, are made to wage war against each other. What better way to confine and misdirect them than with the swirl of mutual destruction.

Then there are the generals and other militarists who started plotting this war as early as 1906, eight years before the first shots were fired. War for them means glory, medals, promotions, financial rewards, inside favours, and dining with ministers, bankers, and diplomats: the whole prosperity of death. When the war finally comes, it is greeted with quiet satisfaction by the generals.

But the young men are ripped by waves of machine-gun fire or blown apart by exploding shells. War comes with gas attacks and sniper shots: grenades, mortars, and artillery barrages; the roar of a great inferno and the sickening smell of rotting corpses. Torn bodies hang sadly on the barbed wire, and trench rats try to eat away at us, even while we are still alive.

Farewell, my loving hearts at home, those who send us their precious tears wrapped in crumpled letters. And farewell my comrades. When the people’s wisdom fails, moguls and monarchs prevail and there seems to be no way out.

Fools dance and the pit sinks deeper as if bottomless. No one can see the sky, or hear the music, or deflect the swarms of lies that cloud our minds like the countless lice that torture our flesh. Crusted with blood and filth, regiments of lost souls drag themselves to the devil’s pit. “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’entrate.” (Abandon all hope, ye who enter).

Meanwhile from above the Vatican wall, the pope himself begs the world leaders to put an end to hostilities, “lest there be no young men left alive in Europe.”
But the war industry pays him no heed.

Finally the casualties are more than we can bear. There are mutinies in the French trenches! Agitators in the Czar’s army cry out for “Peace, Land, and Bread!” At home, our families grow bitter. There comes a breaking point as the oligarchs seem to be losing their grip.

At last the guns are mute in the morning air. A strange almost pious silence takes over. The fog and rain seem to wash our wounds and cool our fever. “Still alive,” the sergeant grins, “still alive.” He cups a cigarette in his hand. “Stack those rifles, you lazy bastards.” He grins again, two teeth missing. Never did his ugly face look so good as on this day in November 1918. Armistice embraces us like a quiet rapture.

A big piece of the encrusted aristocratic world breaks off.
The Romanovs, Czar and family, are all executed in 1918 in Revolutionary Russia.
That same year, the House of Hohenzollern collapses as Kaiser Wilhelm II flees Germany.
Also in 1918, the Ottoman empire is shattered.
And on Armistice Day, November 11th, 1918, at 11:00 a.m.—the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month—we mark the end of the war and with it the dissolution of the Habsburg dynasty.

Four indestructible monarchies: Russian, German, Turkish, and Austro-Hungarian, four great empires, each with millions of bayonets and cannon at the ready, now twisting in the dim shadows of history.

Will our children ever forgive us for our dismal confusion?
Will they ever understand what we went through?
Will we?
By 1918, four aristocratic autocracies fade away, leaving so many victims mangled in their wake, and so many bereaved crying through the night.

Back in the trenches, the agitators among us prove right. The mutinous Reds standing before the firing squad last year were right. Their truths must not be buried with them. Why are impoverished workers and peasants killing other impoverished workers and peasants?
Now we know that our real foe is not in the weave of trenches; not at Ypres, nor at the Somme, or Verdun or Caporetto. Closer to home, closer to the deceptive peace that follows a deceptive war.

Now comes a different conflict. We have enemies at home: the schemers who trade our blood for sacks of gold, who make the world safe for hypocrisy, safe for themselves, readying themselves for the next “humanitarian war.” See how sleek and self-satisfied they look, riding our backs, distracting our minds, filling us with fright about wicked foes. Important things keep happening, but not enough to finish them off. Not yet enough.

_______

Michael Parenti’s most recent books are The Face of Imperialism (2011); Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life (2013); and Profit Pathology and Other Indecencies (forthcoming January 2015).

In the Tony Palmer film Bird On A Wire, 1972, Leonard Cohen reads from a poem in his book “The Energy of Slaves”.

Poem #92 (simplified lineation):

The killers that run
the other countries
are trying to get us
to overthrow the killers
that run our own
I for one
prefer the rule
of our native killers
I am convinced
the foreign killer
will kill more of us
than the old familiar killer does

Frankly I don’t believe
anyone out there
really wants us to solve
our social problems
I base this all on how I feel
about the man next door
I just hope he doesn’t
get any uglier

Therefore I am a patriot
I don’t like to see
a burning flag
because it excites
the killers on either side
to unfortunate excess
which goes on gaily
quite unchecked
until everyone is dead.

Leonard Cohen (in poem #92) resolutely refuses to take sides.
Today it would be more accurate to invert the poem’s neutrality.
Today, the killers that run our countries, U.S. / NATO, are more eagerly trying to overthrow the killers that run the other countries (Assad, Putin, etc, etc…) than they are trying to overthrow ours.
I suppose that was actually true also 1972, but it was too novel an idea to be useful in a poem and we are blinkered or cognitively dissonant to what our Military is doing in “our” name, or more accurately the goals of the Corporate masters.


 

“The sense of something lacking or failing arises from the realization that we inhabit a violently unjust world, a world defined by the horror of war, a world where, as Dostoevsky says; blood is being spilt in the merriest way, as if it were champagne.

Such an experience of disappointment is acutely tangible at the present time, with the corrosion of established political structures and an unending war on terror where the moods of Western populations are controlled through a politics of fear managed by the constant threat of external attack. This situation is far from novel and might be said to be definitional of politics from antiquity to early and considerably later modernity. My point is that if the present time is defined by a state of war, then this experience of political disappointment provokes the question of justice: what might justice be in a violently unjust world? It is this question that provokes the need for an ethics or what others might call normative principles that might enable us to face and face down the present political situation. Our main task is to respond to that need by offering a theory of ethical experience and subjectivity that will lead to an infinitely demanding ethics of commitment and politics of resistance.”

— Simon Critchley, Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance(Verso, 2007) https://slought.org/resources/democracy_and_disappointment


“In disoriented times, we cannot accept the return of the old, deadly figure of religious sacrifice; but neither can we accept the complete lack of any figure, and the complete disappearance of any idea of heroism. In both cases, the consequences will be the end of any dialectical relationship between humanity and its element of inhumanity, in a creative mode. So the result will be the sad success of what Nietzsche named ‘the last man.’ ‘The last man’ is the exhausted figure of a man devoid of any figure. It is the nihilistic image of the fixed nature of the human animal, devoid of all creative possibility. Our task is: How can we find a new heroic figure, which is neither the return of the old figure of religious or national sacrifice, nor the nihilistic figure of the last man? Is there a place, in a disoriented world, for a new style of heroism?”

— Alain Badiou, The Contemporary Figure of the Soldier in Politics and Poetry (UCLA, 2007)

So long #LeonardCohen, he will be sadly missed.

“The great troubadours who accompanied our fraught youth and fragile romantic hopes are now preparing us for death with their final works. It seemed to start with Johnny Cash’s later American Recordings, then this year with Bowie’s Blackstar, and now Leonard Cohen’s final, beautiful record “You Want It Darker”. A great artist moves on and moves us with them, they are not stuck still singing about the things that were in their teenage pocketbook. This is why I listen to Nick Cave …”

Robinince's Blog

(I wrote this rather late. Like lots of these blog posts, it is just mumbling really and likely to be error strewn)

“I no longer have the voice that says ‘you’re fucking up’, that’s a tremendous blessing really”
(from a New Yorker profile piece on Leonard Cohen in late October)

The great troubadours who accompanied our fraught youth and fragile romantic hopes are now preparing us for death with their final works. It seemed to start with Johnny Cash’s later American Recordings, then this year with Bowie’s Blackstar, and now Leonard Cohen’s final, beautiful record “You Want It Darker”. A great artist moves on and moves us with them, they are not stuck still singing about the things that were in their teenage pocketbook. This is why I listen to Nick Cave a lot more now than I listen to Morrissey. Much as I enjoyed Life is a Pigsty, it…

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We Are Without Excuse.

Ghosts Of The Future | A film (by my comrade) Kelvin Mason.