Saturday, November 03, 2007
online viewing tip from KD of Brooklyn--Bill Moyers interviews Jeremy Scahill about Blackwater...
Posted by Peter at 4:50 PM
thanks to "Creatures of State" & "Virtual Clearcut" author Brian Fawcett for directing me toward Don Akenson's amazing An Irish History of Civilization
"Akenson, unlike Galeano, is in no hurry, perhaps because it is his discovery that civilization is in no hurry. Galeano, at least in Memory of Fire, is in the Marxist hurry, always, to prove injustice and to demonstrate the superior, poignant beauty of the victims of Imperialism. Even the most glorious and startling of Galeano’s portraits/historical tableaux are purposive: the Revolution is coming, and if not, why not?
Influenced by his understanding of Aggadah, Akenson plays his stories for what’s in them. They are thus less ideologically inspiring, but they are no less awe-inspiring, the brutalities are no less awful, and the ironies revealed are just as sharp. If Akenson has a political agenda, it is to get us to read smarter, and to lose our fear of history’s utter, uncompromising complexity. This is a step beyond where Galeano took the historiographic method he invented. Akenson goes straight for the wilderness of swirling causalities and opportunisms that he regards as the circulatory conduits of human enterprise. What’s amazing is that nearly always, he brings back something valuable, and more often than not, something surprising. There are hundreds of possible tracks to explore within this work, all of them revealing something about the Irish, and about you and I, that we didn’t appreciate fully, or didn’t know was there. And there are thousands of vignettes/anecdotes/ that will startle, educate and entertain..."
Posted by Peter at 11:19 AM
Posted by Peter at 7:35 AM
Posted by Peter at 12:32 AM
Posted by Peter at 12:30 AM
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Posted by Peter at 8:49 PM
fine appreciation of Churchill as historian--
"Churchill’s place in the great British narrative tradition of the 19th century is clear even from the titles of the volumes and their mottos. The omniscient narrator summarises effectively and allows us to understand how he thinks and interprets, how he views the course of events that is to be presented in all its fascinating detail and twists and turns. The first volume is called The Gathering Storm and has as its motto: “How the English-speaking peoples through their unwisdom, carelessness and good nature allowed the wicked to rearm.” The second volume is called Their Finest Hour and has the motto “How the British people held the fort alone till those who hitherto had been half blind were half ready.” The third volume is called The Grand Alliance and has the motto: “How the British fought on with hardship their garment until Soviet Russia and the United States were drawn into the great conflict.” The fourth volume is called The Hinge of Fate and has the motto: “How the power of the Grand Alliance became preponderant.” The fifth volume is called Closing the Ring and has the motto: “How Nazi Germany was isolated and assailed on all sides.” The sixth volume is called Triumph and Tragedy and has the motto: “How the great democracies triumphed, and so were able to resume the follies which had so nearly cost them their life.”
In Sweden we usually admire Strindberg’s short story, “Half a Sheet of Paper” for its evocative concentration. Can the titles and mottos of the six volumes of Churchill compare with Strindberg? Here too hidden depths open up; of implied meaning, of an implicit view on life and of concepts of reality..."
Posted by Peter at 7:31 PM
Posted by Peter at 5:46 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
good short review of Roy Arden's VAG show--
"To live in Western Canada is to live on landscapes transformed within living memory. Sometimes inured to it, we have all seen forest and field peeled back, and, within weeks, strip malls and subdivisions arrayed in their place.
There is an element of violence in nature transformed so wholly and quickly, but there is also wonder in it. No artist since Emily Carr has better captured these twinned and conflicting emotions than Vancouver photographer Roy Arden, subject of a major career retrospective just opened at the Vancouver Art Gallery..."
Posted by Peter at 10:20 PM
great clip of Andy Pratt, most famous for "Avenging Annie", in a 1993 (nice to see the falsetto somewhat intact!) performance of Treasure That Canary from his 1976 "Resolution", one of the all time great white soul/pop albums & along with "Royal Scam" & Todd Rundgren's "Faithful" one of the bright spots of my dismal 18th year...here is his earlier, rather more "prog" Records Are Like Life, which I named a poem after...
Posted by Peter at 8:32 PM
Posted by Peter at 5:26 PM
"The U.S. is full of ordinary people with serious forms of mental illness -- delusional people with violent fantasies who think they're the president, or who think they get instructions from the CIA through their dental fillings.
The problem with Bush is that he IS the president -- and he gives instructions to the CIA and military, without having to go through his dental fillings.
Impeachment's not the solution to psychosis, no matter how flagrant. But despite their impressive foresight in other areas, the framers unaccountably neglected to include an involuntary civil commitment procedure in the Constitution.
Still, don't lose hope. By enlisting the aid of mental health professionals and the court system, Congress can act to remedy that constitutional oversight. The goal: Get Bush and Cheney committed to an appropriate inpatient facility, where they can get the treatment they so desperately need..."
Posted by Peter at 2:36 PM