Skip to main content
Home ×

New Extreme Experimental & Language Poetries: "The Manchurian Candidate" is Alive and Well: China Inspired Interrogations at Guantanamo----NY Times

China Inspired Interrogations at Guantanamo
An interrogation class at Guantánamo Bay was based on a 1957 study of Chinese Communist techniques used to obtain confessions, often false, from U.S. prisoners.

Another example of the New Extreme Experimental American Poetry:

Using a 1957 Chinese Manual as it were, (based on surviving soldiers' reports) for instructing interrogators, the Americans claim that though they copied a Chinese Torture How-To Book, the Guantanamo-carried out copying of its teachings is "NOT torture."

This raises an interesting question: does the translation and copying of texts absolve the texts of the "evil" of the Original?

Does this mean that when the Chinese used the Manual it was "Real" torture, but when Americans use the translated copy, it is NOT "real" torture but a kind of "play acting"? A Simulation of torture being taken to be "not the same thing" as the Original?

Kind of like the "play acting" and "horsing around" that was photographed at Abu Ghraib? Which after all, was just "guys and gals having fun," and a sort of "Experimental Art Project Combining Performance and Photography"?

Interestingly, the same methods used in both the Chinese and American cases are also used by De programmers of followers of Religious Cults since the 1970's.

Might that not mean that what the Americans are doing is simply deprogramming, and not torture at all?

In Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine, she links the use of the extreme methods used in shock therapies by an eventually CIA funded Montreal researcher with the "Shock Doctrine" of Milton Friedman's Chicago School Economics applied to "sick economies and nations" beginning with Pinochet's Chile and extending to the present day methods used in New Orleans, Iraq, Palestine, Abu Ghraib, Guanatanamo and hundreds of secret prison around the world. (The United States having over 700 bases on foreign soil has the immense capability of constructing the world's largest ever dreamed of prison and "deprogramming" network.)

Since these economic policies greatly favor only a small percentage of the population, "Democracy" has to be imposed by force and repression in order for the "Free Market" to flourish.

In order for the few to be "Free" economically of any of the bounds imposed on the great great many, torture, disappearances, mass murders become "necessary."

Since the Americans are bringing "Democracy" to the world, torture is no longer torture, but instead becomes "the necessary work of Freedom."

Despite the well known fact that torture hardly ever "gives up" information of much of any use, American policies Stand Tall behind the use of these methods. Since the Americans have claimed they are actually obtaining information that is "Making the Homeland Safe," they have thereby turned "useless torture" into "beneficial and useful methods of information gathering."

One of the goals of Shock Therapy, the Shock Doctrine and Shock and Awe considered as a Gesamtkunstwerk (Total Art Work)is to break down the "sick individual, the sick nation, the sick politico-economic structures" until the patient's identity, thinking and physical condition is broken completely down.

Once this "Ground Zero" of being has been reached, the work of Freedom can begin--the creation of the new being Freed from all its former sicknesses, eager and bursting with energy and joy to commence its New Life.

The New Life!! A kind of Zombie existence as an Obedient Servant, Worker, Slave, Soldier doing the biddings of the Masters unquestioningly.

From a "Voodoo Economics," one develops a Voodoo State in which the creation of Zombies out of former "troublemakers" becomes routine.

"Freedom" becomes the blessing of a New Life as one of the Living Dead.

The mission of the New Extreme Experimental American Poetry is greatly aided by the introduction of the Conceptual elements of Copied Manuals of Former Enemies. The "torture" of the original Chinese text is converted into an American "Radical Innovative Formalist Poetics" which rather than destroying Individuals in a Ground Zero Environment, instead raises them from the Death Cults of the Unfree ("Islamo-Fascism," "Terrorism," "Insurgency") into the Redemption of being among the Living Dead.

In short, what is being performed at Guantanamo really is NOT torture, but "de programming."

In a 1994 essay on "The Work of Poetry," the "Language" Poet Charles Bernstein concludes that the work of (a "radical, innovative") poetry is "social work."

"Dark at End" image from Charles Bernstein Blog

Poetry as social work becomes part of the American State's apparatus. To "do good" in the world in these terms is arrived at through a conversion of the language of poetry into one of a "public policy" in which "transgressions" of grammar, genre, tropes are practised in order to produce a "liberated reader" now "allowed to be the producer of her own meanings."

Since the methods used direct the reader into a realization of Language Poetry as the only True Writing, the meanings readers are so generously "allowed to make," will only be recognized as "good" if they conform to the template.

Guantanamo: Detainee being led to Language Cell for "Post-Deprogramming Re-Education"

The reader is "liberated' into a New Consciousness in language--one that reflects the Power & Glory of the Authorities and obeys unquestioningly, like the Zombies produced (or not) by the deprogrammers at Guantanamo Bay.

To question these methods and this Language is to question Freedom and must be eliminated, as an enemy of Freedom.

To be Free, one must become Unfree, unquestioning of Authorities and Authors, just as to be Alive means to be Undead.

The New Extreme Experimental American Poetry employs an Extreme Experimental Language in which readers are allowed to produce their own meanings because of the celebration of poetic "meaninglessness." Rather than becoming "radical, innovative" subjects, they are turned into the Zombie inhabitants of a Ground Zero
in which "insurgents," "terrorists," "enemy combatants," must all be "rendered" Null and Void.

Of course, Language Poetry, like the Americans' use of in effect a Chinese Manual, absolves itself of any "wrong doing," by the advocating of "non-referentiality." On the one hand, to change the grammar, syntax and sentence structures of language is supposed to change the world; on the other, not to employ referentiality means that the effects in the world are not "the fault of Language." Instead, the "evil aspects" are the fault of the Chinese or of the Government or of Mainstream Poetry.

This Language which is on the one hand "world changing" and on the other "non-referential" is an example of Orwell's double talk Newspeak, in which contradictory meanings are joined together in one word or phrase in order to cancel the contradictions and make once opposing terms be "equalized." "L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E literally spells out this idea. Using this "equalizing" method, one no longer questions the contradiction in "to change language is to change the world," when at the same time the world-changing language is "non-referential."

(Not to mention "meaningless," "non-narrative," "non-historical," "non-lyric self" --a series of negations turned into equal signs in order to produce the effect of "Changing everything so that nothing is changed.")

The elimination of contradictions produces a poetry which is at once "risk taking" and perfectly safe for being hired by institutions. A language of "resistance' which conforms to all the required State standards. A language of "radical" innovations designed to be the Feng Shui rearrangements of Office Furniture, the use of immense bean bag chairs a la Jenny Holzer for the laid back contemplation of the "resistance" of language as a Stadium sized light show. A language of "opaque surfaces resistant to transparency," not unlike the uses of "impenetrable bureaucrateese" to "cover up" things which the public demands to be made "transparent," in the name of holding accountable those responsible for crimes against humanity.

The New Extreme Experimental American Poetry is a project in which the analogies and inter connections of events in the world are considered in relation with the events in language. In order for persons to accept this "Free" America and the "Free World"
how much "unfreedom" in language is required? Is a world changing non-referentiality a method to "appear radical" while at the same conforming? A method for being "resistant" while at the same time not only accepting State institutions, but creating for them a language which will not "activate" physical resistance? A method in short, for creating a language which absolves itself and its users from any "responsibility" for which one might have to be held accountable?

That is, one's "resistance" being a matter of syntax, meaninglessness, non-referentiality, can it not be safely argued that one has not in any way interfered with the daily functioning of the State and all its institutions?

"Companies have recognized the fact that a more comfortable and less formal place to work actually encourages people to up their work rate as well as enabling creativity to flourish."

So it is that the methods of non-torture at Guantanamo are cleverly "non-referential" vis-a-vis an American text,as the referentiality in terms of torture was done by the Chinese and their text.

The further the distance created between "our language" and "theirs", the further "we" become "not like them." "Their torture" becomes "our non-torture." In poetry, "their mainstream poetry," is "not our radical poetry." To create these distances between "us" and "them," it is necessary to employ a language of denials, omissions, doubletalk, in which things that are contradictory are equalized and things that are the same are split open in order to claim the "difference between us and them."

Language becomes a method of convincing oneself and others that a world of appearances is "more real" than the world as it exists. In this way, one can ignore what is before one's own eyes, and cling to the persistance of illusions which are "signs taken for wonders" as Marx called them.

And in this way, censorships become ever more necessary--and disappearances, renditions, secrecy, surveillance, ever more prisoners, profilings, the propagations of propagandas disguised as "ethics" and the non-stop production of faked evidences, "news," "photos," and "recordings." All of these help greatly in the continual construction of distances in order to isolate a population and make it believe that the world is "what we make of it and call it." And that anyone who says otherwise must be a terrorist of some kind.

Arrival of flight carrying John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban"

China Inspired Interrogations at Guantanamo
An interrogation class at Guantánamo Bay was based on a 1957 study of Chinese Communist techniques used to obtain confessions, often false, from U.S. prisoners.
Politica dei commenti: Si prega di scrivere i vostri commenti in base all'argomento di questa pagina di distacco. I commenti contenenti un collegamento non verranno visualizzati prima dell'approvazione.
Open Comment
Close Comment