“Among all the remarkable Usvyaty singers it is necessary, first and foremost, to single out the name of Olga Fedoseevna Sergeeva [I can’t find any English website for her]. We communicated with Olga Sergeeva for ten years and recorded over 300 songs in the most various genres performed by her. I brought the singer to Leningrad three times and she performed in ethnographic concerts in the House of Composers, on Leningrad radio and made some records with “Melodia” company.
“Sergeeva is an outstanding folk singer. Ritual songs and old lyric prevail in her richest repertoire which indicates the high artistic taste of Olga Sergeeva, as most of her contemporaries prefer singing new lyrical songs of the romance type. In the lyrical songs especially loved by the singer, her voice sounds plummy, deep–however, reserved at the same time and even subdued a bit, and from the very first sounds it spellbinds the listener with its beauty and cordiality.
“There is nothing outward, emotionally open in her performance, this is singing for herself with no relation to the listener. At the same time plainness, naturalness, strictness, is combined here with improvised freedom and excellence of micro variation. “Each song has one hundred changes”, the singer remarked once. It is not by chance that Andrei Tarkovsky chose the recording of Olga Sergeevas’s 1971/2 recording of the old song ‘Kumushki’ for his film Nostalghia.” (From HERE.)
The second version that follows here is also very beautiful, but a more contemporary interpretation, by singer Pelageya off her album Girls’ Songs in 2007.
Here is a translation of the words that I found:
Oh, my girlfriends, be sweet;
be sweet and love one another,
be sweet and love one another,
Love me too.
You will go to the green garden,
take me with you.
You will pick flowers,
Pick some for me too.
You will weave garlands,
take me with you.
You will go to the Donau,
take me with you.
You will offer your wreaths to the river,
offer mine too.
Your wreaths will float on the water,
but mine will sink to the bottom.
Your boyfriends came back from the war!
Mine didn’t return.
Death is the most precious thing which has been given to man. That is why the supreme impiety is to make a bad use of it. To die amiss. To kill amiss. (But how can we escape at the same time both from suicide and murder?) After death, love. An analogous problem: neither wrong enjoyment nor wrong privation. War and Eros are the two sources of illusion and falsehood among men. Their mixture represents the very greatest impurity.
We must strive to substitute more and more in this world eﬀective non-violence for violence.
Non-violence is no good unless it is eﬀective. Hence the young man’s question to Gandhi about his sister. The answer should have been: use force unless you are such that you can defend her with as much chance of success without violence. Unless you possess a radiance of which the energy (that is to say the possible eﬀectiveness in the most material sense of the word) is equal to that contained in your muscles.
We should strive to become such that we are able to be non-violent. This depends also on the adversary.
The cause of wars: there is in every man and in every group of men a feeling that they have a just and legitimate claim to be masters of the universe—to possess it. But this possession is not rightly understood because they do not know that each one has access to it (in so far as this is possible for man on this earth) through his own body. Alexander is to a peasant proprietor what Don Juan is to a happily married husband.
War. To keep the love of life intact within us; never to inﬂict death without accepting it for ourselves.
Supposing the life of X… were linked with our own so that the two deaths had to be simultaneous, should we still wish him to die? If with our whole body and soul we desire life and if nevertheless without lying, we can reply ‘yes’, then we have the right to kill.
Excerpted from Simone Weil‘s Gravity and Grace. First French edition 1947. Translated by Emma Crawford. English language edition 1963. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.
Hélène Cixous’ essay “Castration or Decapitation?” discusses the binary construction of sexuality and society, and how the feminine is defined by the negative: a woman is not a man because she lacks a penis. This “lack” keeps the female subject to definition by the male, as it is seen that because she is the “negative” pole to the man’s “positive”, the woman is concomitantly un-informed, and that therefore it is the position of the man to inform the woman. This imposed silence is what decapitates the feminine metaphorically, precluding her from speaking anything of meaning.
The following is an excerpt from this brilliant essay, translated by Annette Kuhn and published in Signs, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Autumn, 1981), pp. 41-55 (University of Chicago Press) – read the full essay HERE.
* * * * *
… It’s hard to imagine a more perfect example of a particular relationship between two economies: a masculine economy and a feminine economy, in which the masculine is governed by a rule that keeps time with two beats, three beats, four beats, with pipe and drum, exactly as it should be. An order that works by inculcation, by education. It’s always a question of education: an education that consists of trying to make a soldier of the feminine by force, the force history keeps reserved for woman, the “capital” force that is effectively decapitation. Women have no choice other than to be decapitated. The moral is that if they don’t actually lose their heads by the sword, they only keep them on condition that they lose them – lose them, that is, to complete silence, turned into automatons.
It’s a question of submitting feminine disorder, its laughter, its inability to take the drumbeats seriously, to the threat of decapitation. If man operates under the threat of castration, if masculinity is culturally ordered by the castration complex, it might be said that the backlash, the return, on women of this castration anxiety is its displacement as decapitation, execution, of woman, as loss of her head.
We are led to pose the woman question to history in quite elementary forms like, “Where is she? Is there any such thing as woman?” At worst, many women wonder whether they even exist. They feel they don’t exist and wonder if there has ever been a place for them. I am speaking of woman’s place,from woman’s place, if she takes (a) place.
In La Jeune Née I made use of a story that seemed to me particularly expressive of woman’s place: the story of Sleeping Beauty. Woman, if you look for her, has a strong chance of always being found in one position: in bed. In bed and asleep-“laid (out).” She is always to be found on or in a bed: Sleeping Beauty is lifted from her bed by a man because, as we all know, women don’t wake up by themselves: man has to intervene, you understand. She is lifted up by the man who will lay her in her next bed so that she may be confined to bed ever after, just as the fairy tales say.
From Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”
And so her trajectory is from bed to bed: one bed to another, where she can dream all the more. There are some extraordinary analyses by Kierkegaard on women’s “existence”- or that part of it set aside for her by culture-in which he says he sees her as sleeper. She sleeps, he says, and first love dreams her and then she dreams of love. From dream to dream, and always in second position. In some stories, though, she can be found standing up, but not for long.
Take Little Red Riding Hood as an example: it will not, I imagine, be lost on you that the “red riding hood” in question is a little clitoris. Little Red Riding Hood basically gets up to some mischief: she’s the little female sex that tries to play a bit and sets out with her little pot of butter and her little jar of honey. What is interesting is that it’s her mother who gives them to her and sends her on an excursion that’s tempting precisely because it’s forbidden: Little Red Riding Hood leaves one house, mommy’s house, not to go out into the big wide world but to go from one house to another by the shortest route possible: to make haste, in other words, from the mother to the other.
The other in this case is grandmother, whom we might imagine as taking the place of the “Great Mother,” because there are great men but no great women: there are Grand-Mothers instead. And grandmothers are always wicked: she is the bad mother who always shuts the daughter in whenever the daughter might by chance want to live or take pleasure. So she’ll always be carrying her little pot of butter and her little jar of honey to grandmother, who is there as jealousy … the jealousy of the woman who can’t let her daughter go.
But in spite of all this Little Red Riding Hood makes her little detour, does what women should never do, travels through her own forest. She allows herself the forbidden … and pays dearly for it: she goes back to bed, in grandmother’s stomach. The Wolf is grandmother, and all women recognize the Big Bad Wolf! We know that always lying in wait for us somewhere in some big bed is a Big Bad Wolf.
Gustave Dore – The Disguised Wolf in Bed
The Big Bad Wolf represents, with his big teeth, his big eyes, and his grandmother’s looks, that great Superego that threatens all the little female red riding hoods who try to go out and explore their forest without the psychoanalyst’s permission. So, between two houses, between two beds, she is laid, ever caught in her chain of metaphors, metaphors that organize culture . . . ever her moon to the masculine sun, nature to culture, concavity to masculine convexity, matter to form, immobility/inertia to the march of progress, terrain trod by the masculine footstep, vessel… While man is obviously the active, the upright, the productive… and besides, that’s how it happens in History.
This opposition to woman cuts endlessly across all the oppositions that order culture. It’s the classic opposition, dualist and hierarchical. Man/Woman automatically means great/small, superior/inferior… means high or low, means Nature/History, means transformation/inertia. In fact, every theory of culture, every theory of society, the whole conglomeration of symbolic systems-everything, that is, that’s spoken, everything that’s organized as discourse, art, religion, the family, language, everything that seizes us, everything that acts on us – it is all ordered around hierarchical oppositions that come back to the man/ woman opposition, an opposition that can only be sustained by means of a difference posed by cultural discourse as “natural,” the difference between activity and passivity. It always works this way, and the opposition is founded in the couple [binary]. A couple posed in opposition, in tension, in conflict… a couple engaged in a kind of war in which death is always at work – and I keep emphasizing the importance of the opposition as couple, because all this isn’t just about one word; rather everything turns on the Word: everything is the Word and only the Word. To be aware of the couple, that it’s the couple that makes it all work, is also to point to the fact that it’s on the couple that we have to work if we are to deconstruct and transform culture. The couple as terrain, as space of cultural struggle, but also as terrain, as space demanding, insisting on, a complete transformation in the relation of one to the other. And so work still has to be done on the couple … on the question, for example, of what a completely different couple relationship would be like, what a love that was more than merely a cover for, a veil of, war would be like.
I said it turns on the Word: we must take culture at its word, as it takes us into its Word, into its tongue. You’ll understand why I think that no political reflection can dispense with reflection on language, with work on language. For as soon as we exist, we are born into language and language speaks (to) us, dictates its law, a law of death: it lays down its familial model, lays down its conjugal model, and even at the moment of uttering a sentence, admitting a notion of “being,” a question of being, an ontology, we are already seized by a certain kind of masculine desire, the desire that mobilizes philosophical discourse. As soon as the question “What is it?” is posed, from the moment a question is put, as soon as a reply is sought, we are already caught up in masculine interrogation. I say “masculine interrogation”: as we say so-and-so was interrogated by the police. And this interrogation precisely involves the work of signification: “What is it? Where is it?” A work of meaning, “This means that,” the predicative distribution that always at the same time orders the constitution of meaning. And while meaning is being constituted, it only gets constituted in a movement in which one of the terms of the couple is destroyed in favor of the other.
“Look for the lady,” as they say in the stories… “Cherchez la femme”– we always know that means: you’ll find her in bed. Another question that’s posed in History, rather a strange question, a typical male question, is: “What do women want?” The Freudian question, of course. In his work on desire, Freud asks somewhere, or rather doesn’t ask, leaves hanging in the air, the question “What do women want?” Let’s talk a bit about this desire and about why/how the question “What do women want?” gets put, how it’s both posed and left hanging in the air by philosophical discourse, by analytic discourse (analytic discourse being only one province of philosophical discourse), and how it is posed, let us say, by the Big Bad Wolf and the Grand-Mother.
“What does she want?” Little Red Riding Hood knew quite well what she wanted, but Freud’s question is not what it seems: it’s a rhetorical question. To pose the question “What do women want?” is to pose it already as answer, as from a man who isn’t expecting any answer, because the answer is “She wants nothing.” … “What does she want? … Nothing!” Nothing because she is passive. The only thing man can do is offer the question “What could she want, she who wants nothing?” Or in other words: “Without me, what could she want?”
Old Lacan takes up the slogan “What does she want?” when he says, “A woman cannot speak of her pleasure.” Most interesting! It’s all there, a woman cannot, is unable, hasn’t the power. Not to mention “speaking”: it’s exactly this that she’s forever deprived of. Unable to speak of pleasure = no pleasure, no desire: power, desire, speaking, pleasure, none of these is for woman. And as a quick reminder of how this works in theoretical discourse, one question: you are aware, of course, that for Freud/Lacan, woman is said to be “outside the Symbolic”: outside the Symbolic, that is outside language, the place of the Law, excluded from any possible relationship with culture and the cultural order. And she is outside the Symbolic because she lacks any relation to the phallus, because she does not enjoy what orders masculinity – the castration complex.
Woman does not have the advantage of the castration complex – it’s reserved solely for the little boy. The phallus, in Lacanian parlance also called the “transcendental signifier,” transcendental precisely as primary organizer of the structure of subjectivity, is what, for psychoanalysis, inscribes its effects, its effects of castration and resistance to castration and hence the very organization of language, as unconscious relations, and so it is the phallus that is said to constitute the a priori condition of all symbolic functioning. This has important implications as far as the body is concerned: the body is not sexed, does not recognize itself as, say, female or male without having gone through the castration complex.
Tamara de Lempicka – “Rafaela sur fond vert” (1927)
What psychoanalysis points to as defining woman is that she lacks lack. She lacks lack? Curious to put it in so contradictory, so extremely paradoxical, a manner: she lacks lack. To say she lacks lack is also, after all, to say she doesn’t miss lack … since she doesn’t miss the lack of lack. Yes, they say, but the point is “she lacks The Lack,” The Lack, lack of the Phallus. And so, supposedly, she misses the great lack, so that without man she would be indefinite, indefinable, nonsexed, unable to recognize herself: outside the Symbolic. But fortunately there is man: he who comes … Prince Charming. And it’s man who teaches woman (because man is always the Master as well), who teaches her to be aware of lack, to be aware of absence, aware of death. It’s man who will finally order woman, “set her to rights,” by teaching her that without man she could “misrecognize.” He will teach her the Law of the Father. Something of the order of: “Without me, without me-the Absolute-Father (the father is always that much more absolute the more he is improbable, dubious)-without me you wouldn’t exist, I’ll show you.” Without him she’d remain in a state of distressing and distressed undifferentiation, unbordered, unorganized, “unpoliced” by the phallus… incoherent, chaotic, and embedded in the Imaginary in her ignorance of the Law of the Signifier. Without him she would in all probability not be contained by the threat of death, might even, perhaps, believe herself eternal, immortal. Without him she would be deprived of sexuality. And it might be said that man works very actively to produce “his woman.” Take for example Marguerite Duras’ Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein, and you will witness the moment when man can finally say “his” woman, “my” woman. It is that moment when he has taught her to be aware of Death. So man makes, he makes (up) his woman, not without being himself seized up and drawn into the dialectical movement that this sort of thing sets in play. We might say that the Absolute Woman, in culture, the woman who really represents femininity most effectively… who is closest to femininity as prey to masculinity, is actually the hysteric…. he makes her image for her!
The hysteric is a divine spirit that is always at the edge, the turning point, of making. She is one who does not make herself… she does not make herself but she does make the other. It is said that the hysteric “makes-believe” the father, plays the father, “makes-believe” the master. Plays, makes up, makes-believe: she makes-believe she is a woman, unmakes-believe too … plays at desire, plays the father… turns herself into him, unmakes him at the same time. Anyway, without the hysteric, there’s no father… without the hysteric, no master, no analyst, no analysis! She’s the unorganizable feminine construct, whose power of producing the other is a power that never returns to her. She is really a wellspring nourishing the other for eternity, yet not drawing back from the other … not recognizing herself in the images the other may or may not give her. She is given images that don’t belong to her, and she forces herself, as we’ve all done, to resemble them.
And so in the face of this person who lacks lack, who does not miss lack of lack, we have the construct that is infinitely easier to analyze, to put in place-manhood, flaunting its metaphors like banners through history. You know those metaphors: they are most effective. It’s always clearly a question of war, of battle. If there is no battle, it’s replaced by the stake of battle: strategy. Man is strategy, is reckoning . . . “how to win” with the least possible loss, at the lowest possible cost. Throughout literature masculine figures all say the same thing: “I’m reckoning” what to do to win. Take Don Juan and you have the whole masculine economy getting together to “give women just what it takes to keep them in bed” then swiftly taking back the investment, then reinvesting, etc., so that nothing ever gets given, everything gets taken back, while in the process the greatest possible dividend of pleasure is taken. Consumption without payment, of course.
“(1) A major corporation is like a construction set. It can be used to put together the whole world. (2) Because of the growing division of labour, many people no longer recognize the role they play in producing mass destruction. (3) That which is manufactured in the end is the product of the workers, students, and engineers.”
“When we show you pictures of napalm victims, you’ll shut your eyes. You’ll close your eyes to the pictures. Then you’ll close them to the memory. And then you’ll close your eyes to the facts.” These words are spoken at the beginning of an agitprop film that can be viewed as a unique and remarkable development. Farocki refrains from making any sort of emotional appeal. His point of departure is the following: “When napalm is burning, it is too late to extinguish it. You have to fight napalm where it is produced: in the factories.”
This deserves to be heard. The cynical manipulation and deception happening will blow your mind. This talk by ex-Israeli Defence Force soldier Eran Efrati was filmed in Denver, Colorado on March 3, 2014 as part of The Soldier and the Refusenik U.S. tour with Maya Wind. Eran talk about his experiences in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and then more broadly discusses Israel, its relationship to the U.S. and the global expansion of militarism.
Eran Efrati, 28, was born and raised in Jerusalem. After graduating high school he enlisted in the IDF, where he served as a combat soldier and company sergeant in Battalion 50 of the Nachal Division. He spent most of his service in Hebron and throughout the West Bank. In 2009, he was discharged and joined Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers working to raise awareness about the daily reality in the Occupied Territories.
He worked as the chief investigator of the organization, collecting testimonies from IDF soldiers about their activities. He also guided political tours and to the West Bank and worked to educate Israeli youth about the reality of being a soldier in an occupying army. His collected testimonies appear in the booklet “Operation Cast Lead” and their most recent release “Our Harsh Logic”.
They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David.”
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
“All these dead suns, these posthumous rays which take millions of light-years to reach us, asteroids, fragments of dead worlds, shattered and exploded, old moons, flawed and cankered, crusts, sores, blotches, cold lupus, devouring leprosy, sanies, and that last drop of pearl-like light, the purest of all, sweating at the highest point of the firmament and about to fall… is not a tear nor a dewdrop, but a drop of pus. The universe is in the process of decomposing and, like a cemetery, it swarms with becoming and smells good. The stars are unguent-bearing and throb feverishly; each ray carries seeds sown in the brain of man, and they are the seeds of destruction. Grey matter contains sunspots that eat into the whole circumference of the brain. It is an index of disintegration. Thought is a pestilence.”
— Blaise Cendrars, from Sky, the 1992 English translation of Le Lotissement du Ciel (1949).
Illustration: Fernand Léger, 1919
Sky, the last of Cendrar’s four autobiographical volumes, is a collage of prose poetry, travel writing, reportage, detective story, and personal memoir.
“He recounts his adventures in Russia during the revolution of 1905, in the trenches of World War I (where he lost his right arm), in Brazil in the 1920s, and behind the lines during World War II. The two wars run throughout as a unifying thread. As the title announces, this is a memoir of the sky – of Cendrars’s love of birds, levitation, and aviation. The opening of the book finds Cendrars, the great adventurer and traveler, sailing back from Brazil to Paris with 250 multi-colored birds, hoping to bring at least one of them alive to a child he loves.
The second part moves back and forth between the author’s recollections of life as a war correspondent in 1940 and an encyclopedic discourse on levitation he wrote in search of a patron saint of aviation (perhaps as compensation for the death of his young son, Remy, who was a pilot during the war). With unmatched exuberance, Cendrars writes on poetry, myths, existentialism, his life in Paris between the wars with the painter Delaunay and the Dadaists, and his exotic adventuresin Brazil. His anecdotes of Russia, where he was a jeweller’s assistant, are compelling and funny. His fiercely imaginative stories, such as one about a Brazilian coffee plantation owner who, obsessed with his love for Sarah Bernhardt, retreats into the wilderness, are magical.”
Released on Rough Trade in 1981, Deceit is a dark, intense post-punk classic. Band member Charles Hayward said of the zeitgeist that shaped the album:
“The whole speak, ‘Little Boy’, ‘Big Boy’, calling missiles cute little names. The whole period was mad! We had a firm belief that we were going to die and the record was made on those terms.… The whole thing was designed to express this sort of fear, angst, which the group was all about, really… Some of the album was really plush sounding, some dim and pokey. Sometimes it would sound like the machinery was breaking up. We deliberately would make it sound as though the record player was exploding.”
Paper Hats 2:14
Shrink Wrap 19:20
Radio Prague 21:01
Makeshift Swahili 23:23
A New Kind Of Water 31:09
Hi Baku Shyo 36:06
Charles Hayward — Vocals, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Drums, Tape Music
Gareth Williams — Vocals, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Tape Music
Charles Bullen — Vocals, Clarinet, Guitar, Drums, Tape Music
David Cunningham — Production
Martin Frederick — Mixing
Laurie-Rae Chamberlain — Colour Xerography
Nicholas Goodall — Sleeve Photography Direction
Studio 54 — Sleeve Design
“Oy, to ne vecher” (Ой, то не вечер) is the incipit of a Russian folk song, also known as “The Cossack’s Parable” (Казачья Притча) or as “Stepan Razin’s Dream” (Сон Степана Разина). It was first published by composer Alexandra Zheleznova-Armfelt (1870–1933) in her collection Songs of the Ural Cossacks after her fieldwork in the Ural District during 1896–1897.
The original lyrics were in seven verses, with verse six making explicit that the dreamer is 17th century cossack rebel Stepan Razin. Razin has a dream, and his captain (esaul) interprets it as an omen of their defeat.
The song has been performed in several variants, sometimes expanded to up to eleven verses, but in the most common variant as sung by modern interpreters, it is reduced to four verses, removing the mention of Razin, and reducing the three omens in the dream to a single one.These lyrics may be translated thus:
Ah, it is not yet evening but I have taken a little nap, and a dream came to me. In the dream that came to me, it was as if my raven-black horse was playing about, dancing about, frisky beneath me. Ah, and evil winds came flying out of the east, and they ripped the black cap from that wild head of mine.
And the esaul* was a clever one, he was able to interpret my dream: “Ah, it will surely come off”, he said, “that wild head of yours”.
To switch for a moment to conceptual language: Power is indeed of the essence of all government, but violence is not. Violence is by nature instrumental; like all means, it always stands in need of guidance and justification through the end it pursues. And what needs justification by something else cannot be the essence of anything. The end of war – end taken in its twofold meaning – is peace or victory; but to the question “And what is the end of peace?” there is no answer. Peace is an absolute, even though in recorded history periods of warfare have nearly always outlasted periods of peace. Power is in the same category; it is, as they say, “an end in itself.” (This, of course, is not to deny that governments pursue policies and employ their power to achieve prescribed goals. But the power structure itself precedes and outlasts all aims, so that power, far from being the means to an end, is actually the very condition enabling a group of people to think and act in terms of the means-end category.)
And since government is essentially organized and institutionalized power, the current question “What is the end of government?” does not make much sense either. The answer will be either question-begging – to enable men to live together – or dangerously utopian – to promote happiness or to realize a classless society or some other nonpolitical ideal, which if tried out in earnest cannot but end in some kind of tyranny.
Power needs no justification, being inherent in the very existence of political communities; what it does need is legitimacy. The common treatment of these two words as synonyms is no less misleading and confusing than the current equation of obedience and support. Power springs up whenever people get together and act in concert, but it derives its legitimacy from the initial getting together rather than from any action that then may follow. Legitimacy, when challenged, bases itself on an appeal to the past, while justification relates to an end that lies in the future. Violence can be justifiable, but it never will be legitimate. Its justification loses in plausibility the farther its intended end recedes into the future. No one questions the use of violence in self-defense, because the danger is not only clear but also present, and the end justifying the means is immediate.
Power and violence, though they are distinct phenomena, usually appear together. Wherever they are combined, power, we have found, is the primary and predominant factor. The situation, however, is entirely different when we deal with them in their pure states – as, for instance, with foreign invasion and occupation. We saw that the current equation of violence with power rests on government’s being understood as domination of man over man by means of violence. If a foreign conqueror is confronted by an impotent government and by a nation unused to the exercise of political power, it is easy for him to achieve such domination. In all other cases the difficulties are great indeed, and the occupying invader will try immediately to establish Quisling governments, that is, to find a native power base to support his dominion. The head-on clash between Russian tanks and the entirely nonviolent resistance of the Czechoslovak people is a textbook case of a confrontation between violence and power in their pure states. But while domination in such an instance is difficult to achieve, it is not impossible.
Violence, we must remember, does not depend on numbers or opinions, but on implements, and the implements of violence, as I mentioned before, like all other tools, increase and multiply human strength. Those who oppose violence with mere power will soon find that they are confronted not by men but by men’s artifacts, whose inhumanity and destructive effectiveness increase in proportion to the distance separating the opponents. Violence can always destroy power; out of the barrel of a gun grows the most effective command, resulting in the most instant and perfect obedience. What never can grow out of it is power.
Montage from film footage: Fingered and The Right Side of my Brain, attributed to Richard Kern, starring Lydia Lunch.
Music: “Cesspool Called History” (Lydia’s reciting over a version of the jazz standard, “Harlem Nocturne”), from the Lydia Lunch album, Hangover Hotel (self-released in 2001).
From this report/video, and several others like it from different sources, it appears that journalist Anderson Cooper and CNN have been caught staging fake news about Syria to justify military intervention.
“The primary “witness” that the mainstream media has been using as a source in Syria has been caught staging fake news segments. Recent video evidence proves that “Syria Danny”, the supposed activist who has been begging for military intervention on CNN, is really just a paid actor and a liar.
“While Assad is definitely a tyrant like any head of state, a US invasion of the country is a worst case scenario for the people living there. By pointing out that the mainstream media is orchestrating their entire coverage of this incident, we are not denying that there is a tremendous amount of death and violence in Syriaright now. However, we are showing that the mainstream media version of events is scripted and staged propaganda.”
The following video shows so-called activist/citizen journalist Danny Abdul-Dayem apparently contradicting himself while off air, and even asking crew members to “get the gunfire sounds ready” for his video conference with Anderson Cooper on CNN.
This is also not the first time that mainstream media reports have been exposed as propaganda, especially during times of war. Some of the most hyped news images of our time have actually been elaborate public relations stunts, designed as psychological warfare operations.
The article continues with further examples:
“No one in America can forget the image of Saddam Hussein’s statue being toppled and covered with an American flag, yet few people realize that this was a hoax, a staged psychological operation coordinated between the military and the media. In July of 2004 journalist Jon Elmer exposed an internal army study of the war showing that the statue scenario was indeed a set up.”
Elmer wrote: “the infamous toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdos Square in central Baghdad on April 9, 2003 was stage-managed by American troops and not a spontaneous reaction by Iraqis. According to the study, a Marine colonel first decided to topple the statue, and an Army psychological operations unit turned the event into a propaganda moment… The Marines brought in cheering Iraqi children in order to make the scene appear authentic, the study said. Allegations that the event was staged were made in April of last year, mostly by opponents of the war, but were ignored or ridiculed by the US government and most visible media outlets.”
Read more about other allegedly staged newscasts HERE – I only say “allegedly” as I haven’t done enough research on this myself yet not to (the main problem being that I don’t speak Arabic and need proof that the translations are accurate); what I have seen so far is chillingly convincing, however.
I know this is an awful thing to say, and Alzheimer’s is an awful disease, but I reckon Margaret Thatcher was lucky to lose her mind.
Recorded and mixed in August 1982 at Southern Studios, London. Packaged in a fold-out sleeve with inner sleeve with printed lyrics.
George Barber wrote in The Crass Story:
Crass released another single: ‘How Does It Feel To Be The Mother Of A Thousand Dead?’ A direct attack on Thatcher, it came in a black sleeve decorated with white graveyard crosses. When, during Prime Minister’s Question Time,Thatcher was asked if she’d heard the record, things were getting serious.
‘The Conservative Party attempted to fight back, as the Guardian reported: “The Attorney General, Sir Michael Havers, has been asked by the Conservative MP for Enfield North, Mr. Tim Eggar, to prosecute an Anti-Falklands war record under the Obscene Publications Act. The record, ‘How Does It Feel To Be The Mother of 1,000 Dead?’, by the group Crass, which also owns the record company Crass Records, which released it, is said to have sold 20,000 copies since it was issued last Saturday. It refers to Mrs. Thatcher and the decision to send the Task Force. “You never wanted peace or solution, from the start you lusted after war and destruction… Iron Lady, with your stone heart, so eager that the lesson be taught that you inflicted, you determined, you created, you ordered… It was your decision to have those young boys slaughtered.”
Read more about the history to this recording HERE.
Tale of Tales, like Tarkovsky’sMirror, attempts to structure itself like a human memory. Memories are not recalled in neat chronological order; instead, they are recalled by the association of one thing with another, which means that any attempt to put memory on film cannot be told like a conventional narrative. The film is thus made up of a series of related sequences whose scenes are interspersed between each other. One of the primary themes involves war, with particular emphasis on the enormous losses the Soviet Union suffered on the Eastern Front during World War II. Several recurring characters and their interactions make up a large part of the film, such as the poet, the little girl and the bull, the little boy and the crows, the dancers and the soldiers, and especially the little grey wolf (Russian: се́ренький волчо́к, syeryenkiy volchok). Another symbol connecting nearly all of these different themes are green apples (which may symbolise life, hope, or potential).
Yuriy Norshteyn wrote in Iskusstvo Kino magazine that the film is “about simple concepts that give you the strength to live.”
Elena Filatova has created this intriguing site about the defensive walls around Kiev in the Ukraine. They were built before the Mongol invasion in the 12th Century and a huge resistance was mounted in WWII against the Germans there. It’s a fascinating read, despite her not-so-good English.
Elena and a bunch of friends spend loads of time digging for relics around Kiev. They take bikes and metal detectors and beers and camp out and play guitar at night, after digging until they drop in the daylight. They’re addicted to the thrill of unearthing old arrowheads and earrings and coins that go back thousands of years, or machine guns or helmets or grenades from massive, half-flooded concrete bunkers from the Second World War.
Elena, whose father was a nuclear physicist, also (apparently) rode through the Chernobyl ‘dead’ site on a fuckoff big motorbike, documenting the destruction that was left behind, including how the ‘liquidators’ were sent in to seal the site and how many died later as a result of massive exposure to radiation. It’s all on kidofspeed.com. There has been a lot of speculation on the Net that Elena didn’t actually ride through the Chernobyl zone on a bike. Some writers on sites like Wikipedia suspect her story is a hoax. But even if she did go as part of a tour, in a car, her photos are nevertheless real, and so are the stories they tell, for instance, of people who refused to leave, who have mostly since died… “I would rather die at home from radiation, than die in an unfamiliar place of home-sickness,” as one old man put it… Stories of an area of the earth that will be polluted for the next 48 000 years…
Elena has also documented experiences of Russian prisoners – you can find these on Echoes of Trapped Voices – with titles like “Shoveling diamonds up the arse of one’s own destiny”. If you do enough trawling on the Net, you’ll find she’s written about a host of topics, from the nuclear disaster in Japan to the London bombings. She is sure one fascinating, free, unusual hell of a woman.