Saturday, April 23, 2005

drank some samples and picked up a "growler" of excellent India Pale Ale at the Fat Cat Brewery on the Old Victoria Road. Can't wait for the seasonal Barley Wine & Special Porter. Posted by Hello

I wish I could vote for Hugo Chavez

"The Venezuelan government has printed one million free copies of Don Quixote to mark the book's 400th anniversary.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged everyone to read Miguel de Cervantes' Spanish classic.

He called on everyone to "feed ourselves once again with that spirit of a fighter who went out to undo injustices and fix the world"."  Posted by Hello
Canadian involvement in Arar interrogation

""The Canadian officials were extremely eager to obtain the fruits of the torture that was inflicted on Mr. Arar," said Waldman.

There's no indication Pillarella knew Arar was being tortured and parts of the memos are blacked out. But Alex Neve, head of Amnesty International in Canada, says Syria might have taken Pillarella's efforts as encouragement.

"In those early, very critical days, when Mr. Arar was at the greatest risk - when he was being held incommunicado in detention, when he was being subjected to torture – the ambassador's primary concern seemed to be to do some contract work for Canada's security agencies." "

Thursday, April 21, 2005

three-part doc "The Power of Nightmares" by Adam Curtis is playing at the Tribeca Festival, and also in Canada on CBC Newsworld from the 24th to the 26th--

""The Power of Nightmares"...does not say that the Islamist terrorist threat is an illusion. The West does face a deadly threat from groups and individuals inspired by dangerous ideas—the horrific attacks on America and the bombings in Madrid and Bali make this only too clear. But the film also argues that the true nature of this threat has been completely misunderstood by governments, security services, and the international media. It has been distorted and exaggerated to create a vision of a unique threat unlike anything we have faced that justifies extreme countermeasures. This fantasy, which has trapped our leaders and our media, prevents us from comprehending and dealing with the dangers we face. The film tells not only how it was created but also why, and in whose interest." Posted by Hello

this photograph from Polish photographer Marian Jordan Lewandowski's site reminded me vividly of the flooded fields of upstate New York, November 2003, as I rode the train between Buffalo and Albany, the distant Great Lake & Baltic light not dissimilar...

A rumpled, desaturated flatness eight degrees north of Saskatoon ca. 1965 reconstituted "upstate" train tracks pre-Fawkes November '03, "Empire" from Buffalo to New York, the same sloughs (though I wonder if there's a local word) of my tar-chewing childhood. Lake, sandstorm, snow, movie, the DDT cloud behind the insecticide truck, hail, heat line spread of sedges and rushes. The line shadows the Erie Canal except when it doesn't. A lot of abandoned farms, pressed meadows moult. Blinds that wouldn't hide a small crow. The inland empire materialises out of the vapour, late afternoon glints off damp streets and green spires on municipal buildings the texture of cake. An aquaflecked dry fountain then a thin line of traffic slowing up for the crossing whose sound barely penetrates the thick glass. Across the square a plaid girl standing munching from a neatly folded napkin outside a tacqueria, registering the low sun's polarised flicker with a pink hand lifted to her eyebrow.

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nodium is the new blog of my good pal Antti in Helskinki--the first really high-tech guy I ever knew. Way back when I would loudly and frequently proclaim that I had no use for a computer and never would, he knew that they just had to make it so easy that anyone could do it and eventually I'd have to... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Hotel Point

"A robin in a shabby maple, not tippy-top, though topped up enough, and slurring its burr-edged vocables--cheerio, cheerio--and then that slight wincing sound that somehow reminds me of a reed being split with a pocketknife, or a razor. Thinking, walking the C-dog, of how rarely the moon, stars, catalpa, the standing pale tapers of the false magnolia about to bloom (messily), shedding its pretense of containment and poise--all that--how rarely it "gets in" these scribbles of late. As if the brainpan grew tarnish'd with mere looking."

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quicktime clip from ZIZEK! includes his infamous Judith Butler impersonation... Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

"Once settled he was quick to make a mark with his old-fashioned dogmatism and conservative values. He was particularly upset by what he saw as destructive, liberalizing influences unleashed at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). These ‘wild excesses’ extended to the introduction of a non-Latin Mass after Vatican II which Ratzinger characterized as a ‘tragic breach’ in tradition. But the Cardinal’s discomfort with modern life and yearning for the good old days also extended to the social realm, especially into the areas of gay rights and women.

In 1986 Ratzinger issued a letter to the Catholic Bishops in which he wrote that homosexuality was a ‘tendency’ towards an ‘intrinsic moral evil’. A few years later, in 1992, he rejected the notion of human rights for gays, stressing that their civil liberties could be ‘legitimately limited’. He followed up by remarking that ‘neither the church nor society should be surprised’ if ‘irrational and violent reactions increase’ when gays demand civil rights. Not a man to mince his words, Ratzinger urgently set to work to ferret out gay-sensitive clergy.

The good Cardinal also extended the Papal principle of ‘infallibility’ by declaring that the ordination of women was impossible because John Paul II said it was so. Ditto for the use of the word ‘priest’ by the Anglican Church: not on, said Joe, because Leo XIII in 1896 said it wasn’t allowed.

The Cardinal is also not happy mixing religion and politics – at least not the kind of politics which suggests the Church has an obligation to assist the poor in their fight for justice. So he set out to muzzle outspoken ‘liberation’ theologians including Brazil’s charismatic Leonardo Boff. He also replaced the now-deceased Archbishop of Recife, Dom Helder Camara, with Monsignor José Cardosa – a conservative right-winger – and warned the ex-Bishop of Chiapas in Mexico, Samuel Ruiz, to preach the Gospel ‘in its integrity without Marxist interpretations’.

As if that weren’t enough, the ever-busy Cardinal has used his privileged take on the Truth to set back inter-faith tolerance and religious pluralism a few decades. In 1997 Ratzinger annoyed Buddhists by calling their religion an ‘autoerotic spirituality’ that offers ‘transcendence without imposing concrete religious obligations’. And Hinduism, he said, offers ‘false hope’; it guarantees ‘purification’ based on a ‘morally cruel’ concept of reincarnation resembling ‘a continuous circle of hell’. The Cardinal predicted Buddhism would replace Marxism as the Catholic Church’s main enemy this century."

Eggs Benedict at the Sunshine Diner

Eggs Benedict at the Sunshine Diner, originally uploaded by mjs.

The Grand Inquisitor

"At the Eighth International Church Music Congress in Rome in 1986, for example, Ratzinger blasted rock music as a "vehicle of anti-religion". He said rock and roll is a secular variant of an age-old ecstatic religion, in which man "lowers the barriers of individuality and personality" to "liberate himself from the burden of consciousness". Rock is thus "the complete antithesis of Christian faith in the redemption".

In March 1997 Ratzinger offered a similarly harsh judgement on Buddhism, calling it "an auto-erotic spirituality" in an interview with a leading French newspaper. Buddhism, said Ratzinger, "seeks transcendence without imposing concrete religious obligations". "
Child and youth sexual abuse by clergy

"Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith told journalists: 'I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the United States, is a planned campaign, as the percentage of these offences among priests is not higher than in other categories, and perhaps it is even lower... In the United States, there is constant news on this topic, but less than 1% of priests are guilty of acts of this type...The constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information nor to the statistical objectivity of the facts. Therefore, one comes to the conclusion that it is intentional, manipulated, that there is a desire to discredit the Church. It is a logical and well-founded conclusion.' "
Priestly Sin, Cover-Up

"Then, four years ago, some of the men tried a last ditch effort, taking the unusual step of filing a lawsuit in the Vatican's secretive court, seeking Maciel's excommunication.
Once again they laid out their evidence, but it was another futile effort - an effort the men say was blocked by one of the most powerful cardinals in the Vatican.

The accusers say Vatican-based Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who heads the Vatican office to safeguard the faith and the morals of the church, quietly made the lawsuit go away and shelved it. There was no investigation and the accusers weren't asked a single question or asked for a statement.

He was appointed by the pope to investigate the entire sex abuse scandal in the church in recent days. But when approached by ABCNEWS in Rome last week with questions of allegations against Maciel, Ratzinger became visibly upset and actually slapped this reporter's hand.

'Come to me when the moment is given,' Ratzinger told ABCNEWS, 'not yet.' "
Preliminary Notes on Liberation Theology by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

"Love consists in the 'option for the poor'; i.e., it coincides with opting for the class struggle. In opposition to 'false universalism''; the liberation theologians emphasize very strongly the partiality and partisan nature of the Christian option; in their view, taking sides is the fundamental presupposition for a correct hermeneutics of the biblical testimony. Here, I think, one can see very clearly that amalgam of a basic truth of Christianity and an un-Christian fundamental option which makes the whole thing so seductive: The Sermon on the Mount is indeed God taking sides with the poor. But to interpret the 'poor' in the sense of the Marxist dialectic of history, and 'taking sides with them' in the sense of the class struggle, is a wanton attempt to portray as identical things that are contrary."

Philip Whalen's rare Prolegomena to a Study of the Universe and Prose (out) Takes, found at Tom Raworth's blog--

"5th Position

I came here on purpose. Sea level is lower now because so much of it
is out walking around in the mountains.

Work At It

Until it is the mind reaching out to pick up the cigaret, the cup of tea
(which are of the same substance as that which grasps them."

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Percy Grainger--Electronic Music Pioneer?

"Shortly after these recordings were made, Grainger and Cross embarked on a much more ambitious project, The Electric Eye Tone Tool. This was to have been a seven voiced instrument, with seven sine wave oscillators controlled by variations in light on a series of 14 photocells. Patterns painted on a large plastic sheet pulled across the plate of the instrument caused the variations in light. In this way, Grainger's vision of a graphic notation for precise glides and intervallic leaps could be finally realised. "

(this and much more at th'Apothecary's Drawer Weblog)

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Monday, April 18, 2005

great interview with Mark E. Smith

" 'I've told you about my dad and my grandad; I haven't mentioned my great-grandad,' he says. 'He was a printer for the Manchester Evening News and he'd work through the night until 7am, come home, lie down for 10 minutes, eat a cheese sandwich, then go off to the pub. When he died, doctors wanted his body for scientific research, to find out how a man with that lifestyle could live to ninety-fookin'-nine.' "

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Kiddie Records Weekly

"For the entire 2005 year, Basic Hip Digital Oddio will be featuring weekly stories and songs from the golden age of children's records, a period which ran from the mid 1940s into the early 1950s. This era produced a wealth of classics, headed by Capitol's Record-Readers and the RCA Victor Little Nipper series. Each one of these recordings has been carefully transferred from the original 78s (plus a few 45s) and encoded to MP3 format for you to download and enjoy." Posted by Hello

much reading aloud to Daph from random chapters of RS Surtees' hilarious Victorian "sporting" novels "Jorrock's Jaunts and Jollities" and "Mr. Facey Romford's Hounds" this weekend, as wind & hail lashed the manse--

" ‘Oh, say nothin’,’ replied Jack; ‘we’ve nothin’ to do with nobody but Puff, and we couldn’t mention them without bringin’ in our Flat Hat men too, Blossomnose, Fyle, Fossick, and so on. Besides, it would spoil all to say that Guano was up -- people would say directly it couldn’t have been much of a run if Guano was there. You might finish off,’ observed Jack, after a pause, ‘by saying that ‘‘after this truly brilliant affair, Mr Puffington, like a thorough sportsman, and one who never trashes his hounds unnecessarily -- unlike some masters,’’ you may say, ‘‘who never know when to leave off’’ (that will be a hit at Old Scamp,’ observed Jack, with a frightful squint), ‘ ‘‘returned to Hanby House, where a distinguished party of sportsmen -- ’’ or, say ‘‘a distinguished party of noblemen and gentlemen’’ -- that’ll please the ass more -- ‘‘a large party of noblemen and gentlemen were partaking of his’’ -- his -- what shall we call it?’

‘Grub!’ said Sponge.

‘No, no -- summut genteel -- his -- his -- his -- ‘‘splendid hospitality!’’ ’ concluded Jack waving his arm triumphantly over his head.

‘Hard work, authorship!’ exclaimed Sponge, as he finished writing, and threw down the pen.

‘Oh, I don’t know,’ replied Jack; adding, ‘I could go on for an hour.’ " Posted by Hello
pseudopodium surveys the spasmodics--

"Those who cannot read Gk shld read nothing but Milton & parts of Wordsworth: the state should see to it....'
- Matthew Arnold to Arthur Hugh Clough, 1848"