Friday, July 31, 2020

Justice can sleep for years







Justice can sleep for years and awaken when it is least expected. 
A miracle is nothing more than dormant justice from another time arriving to compensate those it has cruelly abandoned. Whoever knows this is willing to suffer, for he knows that nothing is in vain.


To Watch: Obama's Eulogy for John Lewis

*Christian Boltanski, Storage Memory.
Winter's Tale,  Mark Helprin

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

the only immediate goal: an overwhelming and humiliating Trump defeat

Then we can get back to reclaiming our future and work to repair the damage he has done to the country, to nature, and in the world.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

We are many. We are worldwide. We, in fact, outnumber you.

extracts: MANIFESTO  
People Reluctant To Kill for an Abstraction
  • People Reluctant To Kill for an Abstraction, orchestrated an overwhelming show of force around the globe.
  • In the late afternoon (Phase V), our membership focused on using zero (0) trained dogs to bite/terrorize naked prisoners. In addition, no stun guns, rubber batons, rubber bullets, tear gas, or bullets were used, by our membership, on any individual, anywhere in the world. No one was forced to don a hood.
  • This is PRKA. To those who would oppose us, I would simply say: We are many. We are worldwide. We, in fact, outnumber you. Though you are louder, though you create a momentary ripple on the water of life, we will endure, and prevail.

    Resistance is futile.
     
Image:instagram
,Manifesto,A press release from PRKA



Thursday, July 23, 2020

consumed with the hot fire of his purpose




Re-election campaign plan:
sacrifice all mortal interests to that one passion





Though, consumed with the hot fire of his purpose, Ahab in all his thoughts and actions ever had in view the ultimate capture of Moby Dick; though he seemed ready to sacrifice all mortal interests to that one passion; nevertheless it may have been that he was by nature and long habituation far too wedded to a fiery whaleman’s ways, altogether to abandon the collateral prosecution of the voyage. Or at least if this were otherwise, there were not wanting other motives much more influential with him. It would be refining too much, perhaps, even considering his monomania, to hint that his vindictiveness towards the White Whale might have possibly extended itself in some degree to all sperm whales, and that the more monsters he slew by so much the more he multiplied the chances that each subsequently encountered whale would prove to be the hated one he hunted. But if such an hypothesis be indeed exceptionable, there were still additional considerations which, though not so strictly according with the wildness of his ruling passion, yet were by no means incapable of swaying him.

*Covid 19 > protracted meditation unrelieved by action = some nearer things to think of -
the full terror of the voyage must be kept withdrawn into the obscure background

Open schools, restart the economy:
To accomplish his object Ahab must use tools; and of all tools used in the shadow of the moon, men are most apt to get out of order. He knew, for example, that however magnetic his ascendency in some respects was over Starbuck, yet that ascendency did not cover the complete spiritual man any more than mere corporeal superiority involves intellectual mastership; for to the purely spiritual, the intellectual but stand in sort of corporeal relation. Starbuck’s body and Starbuck’s coerced will were Ahab’s, so long as Ahab kept his magnet at Starbuck’s brain; still he knew that for all this the chief mate, in his soul, abhorred his captain’s quest, and could he, would joyfully disintegrate himself from it, or even frustrate it. It might be that a long interval would elapse ere the White Whale was seen. During that long interval Starbuck would ever be apt to fall into open relapses of rebellion against his captain’s leadership, unless some ordinary, prudential, circumstantial influences were brought to bear upon him. Not only that, but the subtle insanity of Ahab respecting Moby Dick was noways more significantly manifested than in his superlative sense and shrewdness in foreseeing that, for the present, the hunt should in some way be stripped of that strange imaginative impiousness which naturally invested it; that the full terror of the voyage must be kept withdrawn into the obscure background (for few men’s courage is proof against protracted meditation unrelieved by action); that when they stood their long night watches, his officers and men must have some nearer things to think of than Moby Dick. For however eagerly and impetuously the savage crew had hailed the announcement of his quest; yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable- they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness- and when retained for any object remote and blank in the pursuit, however promissory of life and passion in the end, it is above all things requisite that temporary interests and employments should intervene and hold them healthily suspended for the final dash.

Use of race and fear to incite violence:
Nor was Ahab unmindful of another thing. In times of strong emotion mankind disdain all base considerations; but such times are evanescent. The permanent constitutional condition of the manufactured man, thought Ahab, is sordidness. Granting that the White Whale fully incites the hearts of this my savage crew, and playing round their savageness even breeds a certain generous knight-errantism in them, still, while for the love of it they give chase to Moby Dick, they must also have food for their more common, daily appetites. 


still another precautionary motive more related to Ahab personally 
[...]he had indirectly laid himself open to the unanswerable charge of usurpation

Nor was there wanting still another precautionary motive more related to Ahab personally. Having impulsively, it is probable, and perhaps somewhat prematurely revealed the prime but private purpose of the Pequod’s voyage, Ahab was now entirely conscious that, in so doing, he had indirectly laid himself open to the unanswerable charge of usurpation; and with perfect impunity, both moral and legal, his crew if so disposed, and to that end competent, could refuse all further obedience to him, and even violently wrest from him the command. From even the barely hinted imputation of usurpation, and the possible consequences of such a suppressed impression gaining ground, Ahab must of course have been most anxious to protect himself. That protection could only consist in his own predominating brain and heart and hand, backed by a heedful, closely calculating attention to every minute atmospheric influence which it was possible for his crew to be subjected to.

*image/barricades

*Moby Dick
Herman Melville
CHAPTER 46: SURMISES
*a referendum on reality and epistemology. 
NY Times Op Ed response:
I know of many people who did not pay attention to racial inequality until they were locked down and had/have nothing to do but pay attention to the news. Polls show that the majority of Americans despise the inequality in this supposedly wonderful country.
 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

"[...]to be forced to march through enemy territory, in the very area where loss prevails, beyond the protected domain that had been delimited by the act of localising death elsewhere." *



from the film, A Ghost Story, dir.
David Lowery

Air is now so full of ghosts that nobody can avoid them.
*"The Unnameable," The Practice of Everyday Life, Michel de Certeau.


text: Aby Warburg,  "Warburg's Ghost" 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come: 140,914 deaths

History: Repository of events that failed to happen.

Witnesses to history/let the dead speak.

Donald Trump tweeted that "The Mortality Rate for the China Virus in the U.S. is just about the LOWEST IN THE WORLD."

 Countries with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths

  1. United States - 140,914 deaths
  2. Brazil - 80,120 deaths
  3. United Kingdom - 45,397 deaths
  4. Mexico - 39,485 deaths
  5. Italy - 35,058 deaths
  6. France - 30,180 deaths
  7. Spain - 28,422 deaths
  8. India - 28,082 deaths
  9. Iran - 14,634 deaths
  10. Peru - 13,187 deaths

'Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone'

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, 
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, 
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum 
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. 

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead 
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead, 
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, 
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. 

He was my North, my South, my East and West, 
My working week and my Sunday rest, 
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; 
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong. 

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; 
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun; 
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; 
For nothing now can ever come to any good. 

W H Auden 
 
images:
Deaths/data 7/21/2020
Deaths.data 
*NY Times,Bryan R Smith/Reuters
**Morgues/Refrigerator Trucks,Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times
***Funeral home, AP News 
**** New York’s Hart Island burials/coronavirus © REUTERS
   

who is the fairest in the land?

Joe Biden.


Wicked Queen Trump Offers Skin-White-As-Snow Followers a Magic Wishing Apple

I know now how the faces have fallen


I
I know now how the faces have fallen,
How from under lids peeks out terror,
How cuneiform’s coarse pages are
Incised by suffering upon their cheeks,
How curls from ashen and black turn
In a single moment completely silver,
And a smile withers on defeated lips,
And in dry laughter shudders fear.
So that now I pray not for myself alone
But for all of us, who stood there with me
In the intense cold and in July’s heat
Under that red and blinded wall.



Epilogue, from Requiem, Anna Akhmatova
image:
Federal agents use crowd control munitions to disperse Black Lives Matter protesters at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on July 20, 2020, in Portland, Oregon. (Noah Berger / AP) 

Michelle Golberg, NY Times, July 21, 2020:
(from Timothy Snyder's book, “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century.”) 
“Be wary of paramilitaries.” He wrote, “When the pro-leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the end has come.” In 2017, the idea of unidentified agents in camouflage snatching leftists off the streets without warrants might have seemed like a febrile Resistance fantasy. Now it’s happening.

Monday, July 20, 2020

"[...] police and soldiers, opened fire on the people." 17 April 1917, Petrograd



Whose evil broke the earth in twain?
Who raised smoke-plumes over butchery?
Is one
sun
not enough
for all?
Or the sky above us all insufficiently blue?




Vladimir Mayakovsky | Revolution | A Poetichronicle

image:
Police respond to protesters during a demonstration, Friday, July 17, 2020 in Portland, Ore. Militarized federal agents deployed by the president to Portland, fired tear gas against protesters again overnight as the city’s mayor demanded that the agents be removed and as the state’s attorney general vowed to seek a restraining order against them.
Dave Killen, Associated Press

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

this terrible world we live in, is not the only possible one



The Exhibit

My uncle in East Germany
points to the unicorn in the painting
and explains it is now extinct.
We correct him, say such a creature
never existed. He does not argue,
but we know he does not believe us.
He is certain power and gentleness
must have gone hand in hand
once. A prisoner of war
even after the war was over,
my uncle needs to believe in something
that could not be captured except by love,
whose single luminous horn
redeemed the murderous forest
and, dipped into foul water,
would turn it pure. This world,
this terrible world we live in,
is not the only possible one,
his eighty-year-old eyes insist,
dry wells that fill so easily now.

 

- Lisel Mueller

Monday, July 13, 2020

embodied in a MUSICAL way



" A revolutionary movement does not spread by contamination / But by resonance / Something that constitutes itself here / Resonates with the shock wave given off by something that constituted itself elsewhere / The body that resonates does so in its own way / An insurrection is not like the propagation of the plaque or a forest fire a linear process spreading little by little from a spark / But rather this / It becomes embodied in a MUSICAL way / and whose focal points / Dispersed in / time and space manage / To impose the rhythm of their VIBRATION / To get ever more dense / to the point where one can no longer desire to turn back" 

 

Jean-Marie Gleize at BLACKOUT ((poetry & politics))

 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

It doesn’t have to be this way.


History is a nightmare from which none of us can wake. Imagining it otherwise isn’t so much a challenge to the truth as it is a protest against necessity. It didn’t have to be that way. It doesn’t have to be this way.**





Pages from a Negro Worker’s Notebook" 

[...] the activist and laborer James Boggs argued for the revolutionary potential of the black struggle for civil rights. “The strength of the Negro cause and its power to shake up the social structure of the nation,” Boggs wrote, “comes from the fact that in the Negro struggle all the questions of human rights and human relationships are posed.” That is because it is a struggle for equality “in production, in consumption, in the community, in the courts, in the schools, in the universities, in transportation, in social activity, in government, and indeed in every sphere of American life.”


Beyond White Fragility 
The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker’s Notebook,”  
image,article: American Fascism: It Has Happened Here
** Once Upon a Timeline in America

 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Black America, we are agents of the eternal.





"Black America, we are agents of the eternal."

“I think we came to this earth to save it.”
from "Dear Black America," Tracy K smith


  •  The ongoing crisis of democracy has two markers: The erasure of memory and the politics of disposability.

    In the age of Donald Trump, history neither informs the present nor haunts it with repressed memories of the past. It simply disappears.*   

Not man or men but the struggling, oppressed class itself is the depository of historical knowledge. ... 
 
    it appears as the last enslaved class, as the avenger that completes the task of liberation in the name of generations of the downtrodden.

- fragments from "Theses on the Philosophy of History"





II 
In other words, our image of happiness is indissolubly bound up with the image of redemption. The same applies to our view of the past, which is the concern of history. The past carries with it a temporal index by which it is referred to redemption. There is a secret agreement between past generations and the present one. Our coming was expected on earth.

III

nothing that has ever happened should be regarded as lost for history. 

IV

They have retroactive force and will constantly call in question every victory, past and present, of the rulers. 

VI

Only that historian will have the gift of fanning the spark of hope in the past who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.

VII

The nature of this sadness stands out more clearly if one asks with whom the adherents of historicism actually empathize. The answer is inevitable: with the victor. And all rulers are the heirs of those who conquered before them. Hence, empathy with the victor invariably benefits the rulers. Historical materialists know what that means. Whoever has emerged victorious participates to this day in the triumphal procession in which the present rulers step over those who are lying prostrate. According to traditional practice, the spoils are carried along in the procession. They are called cultural treasures, and a historical materialist views them with cautious detachment. For without exception the cultural treasures he surveys have an origin which he cannot contemplate without horror. They owe their existence not only to the efforts of the great minds and talents who have created them, but also to the anonymous toil of their contemporaries. There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.

VIII
The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’ in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realize that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency, and this will improve our position in the struggle against Fascism. One reason why Fascism has a chance is that in the name of progress its opponents treat it as a historical norm. The current amazement that the things we are experiencing are ‘still’ possible in the twentieth century is
not philosophical. This amazement is not the beginning of knowledge —unless it is the knowledge that the view of history which gives rise to it is untenable. 


XII

Not man or men but the struggling, oppressed class itself is the depository of historical knowledge. 

XV

The awareness that they are about to make the continuum of history explode is characteristic of the revolutionary classes at the moment of their action. The great revolution introduced a new calendar. The initial day of a calendar serves as a historical time-lapse camera. 

XVI






Friday, July 3, 2020

you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go

 

 

Dear reader, traditional human power structures and their reign of darkness are about to be rendered obsolete.

  • I am enthusiastic over humanity’s extraordinary and sometimes very timely ingenuity. If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. I think that we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem.

  • 'Grunch'' stands for Gross Universal Cash Heist

    Society thinks it's going right by you, that it's left you altogether. But if you're doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go.


     
    You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete

Spaceship Earth

This is what is most fundamentally at heart when we speak of Spaceship Earth. The planet is a system, and a resilient one. However, humanity's presence on Earth has set about significant changes, and we must now learn to command this Spaceship to avert global crisis and catastrophe and ensure the long-term success of humanity of our beautiful "blue marble."

Buckminster Fuller 
Map

Monday, June 29, 2020

STILLTIME


History: the repository of events that failed to happen
 
Who would have believed it!  
we are told that new Joshua 
sat the foot 
of every tower,  
as though irritated with  
time itself, fired at the dials 
in order to stop the day.*
XVI 
  A historical materialist cannot do without the notion of a present which is not a transition, but in which time stands still and has come to a stop. For this notion defines the present in which he himself is writing history.**
 
  • "[...]the full terror of the voyage must be kept withdrawn into the obscure background (for few men’s courage is proof against protracted meditation unrelieved by action); that when they stood their long night-watches, his officers and men must have some nearer things to think of than Moby-Dick."***

The pandemic has arrested the flow of history and as such, has returned us to an immanent understanding of temporality – a grasp of this time as our moment of action. 

  • With the destabilizing of the market economy, we begin to recognize the monuments of the bourgeoisie as ruins before they have crumbled.****

This is our Groundhog Day.  Each day that we live in this pause offers us a moment to act and change the future. 

As Patti Smith write, "People have the power to redeem the work of fools.”

*,**Theses on the Philosophy of History, Walter Benjamin
***Moby Dick, Melville 
**** Arcades Project, Benjamin
image: Austin Kleon,
Steal Like an Artist