Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wake up call

From Philippe Sollers' Guerres secrètes, the following short quote in my English rendition, followed by his French original (Paris, CarnetsNord, 2007, p.298) and then my German version. A method well worth trying in our world of distractions from what we should be considering, since, as Sollers says, we need to be awake.
Saying yes to the "passing" of time, if that's possible, delivers you from resentment and the spirit of vengeance whose secret war against joy never pauses for even a second. [...] Awakenings to the constancy of transformation, or, if you prefer, to the renewal of the immutable.
Dire oui au « passer » du temps, si c'est possible, vous délivre du ressentiment et de l'esprit de vengeance, dont la guerre secrète contre la joie ne cesse pas un instant. [...] Reveils à la constance de transformation, ou, si vous préférez, renouvellement de l'immuable.
Dem "Vergehen" der Zeit ja sagen, wenn möglich, befreit Sie vom Groll und vom Geist der Rache, deren geheimer Krieg gegen die Freude keine Sekunde innehält. [...] Erwachen zur Beständigkeit der Veränderung oder, wenn es Ihnen lieber ist, zur Erneuerung des Unveränderlichen.

You could also say, Being is always a chance, IS a chance.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Cousin Lost, An Uncle to Cherish

Pamela Tyson Allen
Pamela Tyson Allen, 48, of 1921B Stokes Road died Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007, at U.N.C. Chapel Hill Hospital. A memorial service will be held Thursday at 8 p.m. from the Church Street Chapel of the Farmville Funeral Home by the Rev. John Bowman and the Rev. Clynt White. Ms. Allen was preceded in death by a son, H.R. Allen IV; her mother, Helen B. Tyson; and brothers, Amos Tyson Jr. and Alan Tyson. She is survived by a daughter, Lacey Lynn Allen of Greenville; and her father, Amos Tyson of Farmville. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. prior to the service and other times at the home of Amos Tyson, 6522 Stantonsburg Road, Farmville.

Amos is a bulwark of love and is due the respect and support and love of all his extended family, who will surely let him know how dear he is to us all. To his sister he was always simpy "Brother", an endearment he understood and returned to her and her children as he lost his own. You helped us, Amos, when mama was dying, just by being, and I hope you can feel the sustenance our being provides for you.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Too little time for billboards...

A disease (another one) is rampant in our age and in our cities: billboards, or actually gigantic posters several stories high covering the entire sides of buildings to advertise for something that I, for one, will never buy, even if I had before intended to. In Berlin it has gone so far that some buildings as yet unbuilt, on Leipziger Platz for example, are "indicated" by a scaffolding in the shape they may one day have with a canvas covering to show how the facade may look but which is to about 90% itself covered with a billboard advertisement, the real purpose of the whole thing. Fake buildings - you could say a Hollywood set or Potemkin village - placed there only to bear enormous ads. On the north side of Leipziger Platz there are more fake than real buildings. The Catholic cathedral on Bebel Platz has covered its facade in a building-sized billboard for some other form of escape, I believe it's an internet provider, before it was a car, maybe the church thinks it can reach more people that way. The bed tower of the Charité hospital is completely wrapped in an ad poster. Many of the buildings Unter den Linden are shrouded in consumer hypes. It has become impossible to look at the city as more and more buildings are hidden by ads.
Meanwhile, there is so little time in so many lives, no one knowing when, but surely that, their life will end. There is so much beauty to see if we allow ourselves and each other to look. There is no time for advertisements at all, much less for billboards.
And many people pay more attention to these unrealities than to the reality around them, which, I'll admit, has become more difficult to perceive, but let us try. Best would be for our many individual gazes to burn holes through all those posters of the unreal hiding the real from us. How about getting a campaign going against mammoth posters advertising junk, a campaign for looking at the real world around us?

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Parade you can be thankful for

Thanks, NYTimes, and thanks, Macy's for letting us see this parade everywhere! And thanks, New York City, for being, thanks from a former New Yorker and current Berliner, thanks, merci, grazie, danke!

NYTIMES: Photographs from the 81st annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

... but no thanksgiving for the playpen!

Bush More Emphatic In Backing Musharraf -
President Bush yesterday offered his strongest support of embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, saying the general 'hasn't crossed the line' and 'truly is somebody who believes in democracy.'
Bush spoke nearly three weeks after Musharraf declared emergency rule, sacked members of the Supreme Court and began a roundup of journalists, lawyers and human rights activists. Musharraf's government yesterday released about 3,000 political prisoners, although 2,000 remain in custody, according to the Interior Ministry.
Tom Malinowski, Washington director of Human Rights Watch, said that "it's hard to imagine how the administration will be able to achieve anything in Pakistan if the president is so disconnected from reality."
"Almost everyone in Pakistan who believes in George Bush's vision of democracy is in prison today," Malinowski said. "Calling the man who put them in prison a great democrat will only discredit America among moderate Pakistanis and give Musharraf confidence that he can continue to defy the United States because Bush will forgive anything he does."
And here's the transcript of the bushbaby's latest proof of his inability to understand what democracy, human or civil rights, justice, or anything else important is: the transcript of that interview in which he made his ludicrous statements, from ABC-News.

This man doesn't deserve a turkey: he is a turkey. And Musharraf is anything but a democratic leader... And he has nuclear weapons, which he, unlike the bushbaby, can probably pronounce, and which in his country might easily get into the hands of fundamentalists lusting for a go against the playpen fundamentalists.

So don't forget to laugh about these fools, while being sure to comprehend their foolishness. These are the worst technocrats. And their faces are splattered with the mud of their idiocy.

UPDATE, Sat. 24.11.2007
: Since this posting, the Commonwealth has suspended Pakistan's membership due to its disrespect for democracy stating that it can regain membership only after bushbaby playmate M ends emergency powers and restores democracy in Pakistan. So much for the one the bushbaby thinks is good for democracy there!

Happy Thanksgiving

... thankful for each human life and its unique and vital link to, implication in, necessity for Being itself, to the EVENT of Being. Enowning each of us as we enown ourselves with Being.
It is a wondrous event to BE.
Consider the depth of the statements I AM ; YOU ARE ; Being IS the necessity for each human.
( And IS, as well as all other forms of "to be" here, are to be taken TRANSITIVELY ! )
What makes each of us human is our ability to speak, not to babble, but to SPEAK, to form the WORD that IS, to consider, to know that death is always approaching us, but that this knowledge is unique, a gift and a responsibility to THINK about what it is to BE.
We are the only creatures capable of thinking of our own death and of our own BEING.
Being relies on us to consider it ; We shouldn't relinquish this responsibility to the calculators and technicians, for they are unable to think Being and allow it to withdraw into darkness.
And Being considered is the site of LOVE. Love IS Being. Being IS Love.
When you love, you are, and you are at once and at the same time another as well.
Happy Thanksgiving!


Added on Thanksgiving Day, something else to be thankful for: a new issue of Ligne de Risque has just been published, n°23, ICI LA PAROLE, with the participation of Valentin Retz, Jean-Jacques Schul, Jean-Claude Milner, Philippe Sollers, Laurent Bevilacqua, François Meyronnis, and Yannick Haenel.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Visiting the Fish

Friday, we finally took a day off to let Lea cash in on her birthday coupon: A trip to the big aquarium in the middle of Berlin. There, she confessed she'd already visited it with her kindergarten group, but she wanted her outing with "the boys". Edith brought her into town, we met them at Alexanderplatz, and all walked over to Spandauer Straße for Sealife's fish spectacle, ending with a trip via elevator through Europe's biggest fishtank. Somehow, it seemed that Lea enjoyed eating noodles with tomato sauce at our house afterwards and seeing Koko again just as much as she enjoyed the fish. Anyway, we had fun, and so did she.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mixed Report from IAEA on Iran's nuclear aspirations

The Real News:
"Iran: IAEA report sparks controversy
Aijaz Ahmad: New IAEA report says Iran has not lied; US demands new sanctions, China says no."

Don't let Iran thumb its nose at the world; demand a diplomatic resolution; block the spread of nuclear weapons.
Operate within the UN to achieve these aims; avoid unilateral action; laugh at petty dictators with long names.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer: Jan. 31, 1923 - Nov. 10, 2007

Another of the few Americans writing with intelligence, compassion, concern, and thought has died.
Norman Mailer
If for nothing else than the following remarks excerpted from his contribution to The New York Review of Books' article in its issue of November 4, 2004, Vol.51, No.17, "The Election and America's Future", he earned undying respect and admiration, at least from the writer of this blog. His was another voice which will be sorely missed and hardly possible to replace.

A victory for Bush may yet be seen as one of our nation's unforgettable ironies. No need to speak again of the mendacities, manipulations, and spiritual mediocrity of the post–9/11 years; the time has come to recover from the shock that so abysmal a record (and so complete a refusal to look at the record) looks nonetheless likely to prevail. Who, then, are we? In just what kind of condition are the American people?
People in Alcoholics Anonymous speak of themselves as dry drunks. As they see it, they may no longer drink, yet a sense of imbalance at having to do without liquor does not go away. Rather the impulse is sequestered behind the faith that God is supporting one's efforts to remain sober.
Giving up booze may have been the most heroic act of George W.'s life, but America could now be paying the price. George W.'s piety has become a pomade to cover all the tamped-down dry-drunk craziness that still stirs in his livid inner air.
Perhaps it is no longer Jesus or Allah who oversees our fate but the turn of the Greek gods to take another run around the track. When it comes to destiny, they were the first, after all, to conceive of the Ironies.

And he is remembered especially in New York and Old Europe:

The New York Times

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Real No-Brainer !

The playpen's infamous chainy once called waterboarding a no-brainer, and meant that anyone with a brain must know it's something you do when you want information from someone resisting your efforts to get it out of him, necessary for the war on terror, etc. At the time I could only take no-brainer literally and consider the chainy one to be one with none, i.e. with no brain. If you waterboard someone you can probably get him to confess to having given birth to the virgin Mary, to Buddha, and to Abraham Lincoln while smoking a cigar and standing on one foot: really essential information, in other words, and especially reliable, since the only thing the waterboarded person's words mean is "STOP IT!"

So, it is indeed heart-warming to learn that according to

a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. telephone poll of 1,024 American adults
Waterboarding is torture
Story Highlights
69 percent say technique is torture; 58 percent say U.S. shouldn't use it.
Interrogation method an issue in attorney general nomination.
Michael Mukasey's refusal to reject technique troubles some senators.
Let us hope that ever more see the light!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pakistan Syndrome

Pakistan's got nuclear weapons, tests them, threatens its neighbor India with them, is in an unending conflict over Kashmir, and is home to throngs of fundamentalist Islamists, terrorists, Taliban leaders, and even al-Qaida militants. So the president there puts the constitution out of effect, declares emergency powers and arrests thousands of opposition members (of the democratic, not fundamentalist or islamist variety), and gets slapped on the wrist by Condy, while the bushbaby says its important to keep funding the junta's military. Is that the BBW3 beginning? Is that an explosive device about to fall into the hands of terrorists?
With friends like those...
North African terrorists unite in joint efforts with al-Qaida, which calls for attacks on Spanish, French, and U.S. interests there. Or is this the beginning?
Guantánamo's closure, in the face of court cases, is once again being "considered" (until the court cases are over, probably). Justice would demand immediate closure without discussion and the trial of those being held there in a court of law. A country that is a model democracy would do so. Its closure might just convince some enemies of US sincerity and reduce the risk of war.
But perhaps the playpen is suffering from the Pakistan Syndrome.
Or wishes to do it like Putin in his neo-czarist Russia.
Or like the commando communist capitalists of the "People's" Republic of China.
Or pick your dictator or leader on the way to becoming one or wishing he could be one at the very least.
Sources for these remarks:
All English, American, French, German, and Italian newspapers that are not boulevard rags.

Friday, November 2, 2007

18 Years Later

EunSook Lee, S. Korean artist, has installed this plastic illuminated “wall” from 31 Oct - 9 Nov, 2007, to "fall" on the 18th anniversary of the fall of what you can see below. The art is a lot friendlier than the real thing was (and the art is on the correct side of, but not as far away from, the Gate as the real thing, since a street is now there full of traffic).
Life in the city.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Mutating Pumpkins

On the day after Halloween, Jennifer's jack'o'lantern is well on the way to turning into a real spook. Here's a picture of another such case of the bushbabyblight debilitating pumpkins. First they regurgitate their innards, then get a whitish mold, and finally end up moulting like this.

In other news, the Saudis, the royal family, are still kindly supporting western democracy by financing the publication of hate literature and calls for killing gays, apostates, critics of Islam, etc. and paying for distribution of it in mosques in Great Britain. Also in the US? in Germany? in France?

With friends like these, who needs enemies ...

Guardian Unlimited
Matthew Weaver and agencies
Tuesday October 30, 2007
"The controversial state visit of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, which got under way today with a lavish ceremony, has prompted new criticism over his regime's alleged role in distributing hate literature in British mosques.
Some of the literature advocated violent jihad, murdering gay people and stoning adulterers, its researchers found.
Most of the material is produced by agencies closely linked to the Saudi regime, according to the investigation."

The Independent
Hate material 'in one in four UK mosques'
By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent
Published: 30 October 2007

"Material urging hatred of other religions can be found in mosques across Britain, most of it linked to Saudi Arabia, according to a new investigation."