CHIROT ZERO ZINE--ANNOUNCING NEW BLOG

Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
---
http://chirotzerozine.blogspot.com
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at david.chirot@gmail.com
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... books.google.com/books?isbn=0312263805... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... www.huffingtonpost.com/.../leonard-peltier-american_n_265764.html - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US


Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667
icasualties.org/oif/

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453
http://icasualties.org/oef/


=

Cost of War in Iraq

$691,188,637,164

Cost of War in Afghanistan
$229,137,844,021

The cost in your community

www.nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual


VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL
No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
GAZA-GUANTANAMO-ABU GHRAIB—THE GLOBE
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
http://davidbaptistechirot.blogspot.com
Addresses: david.chirot@gmail.com
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208
USA

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'



Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'


The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.


The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Scorpio Rising (Kenneth Anger, 1964) Part 1

Scorpio Rising (Kenneth Anger, 1964) Part 1

Kinski - Jesus

Kinski Interview, Tele Illustrierte 1985

Bil'in 17.4.2009, death of demonstrator

Artificial intelligence and digital media

Nam June Paik at James Cohan, NYC (April 2009)

Palestine Think Tank : Ayman Quader - The Ideal Israeli Solider, Killer and Thief





Palestine Think Tank

Ayman Quader - The Ideal Israeli Solider, Killer and Thief

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 05:35 AM PDT

(In the photo at the left: same story over and over again, in Hebron as in Gaza, IDF soldiers do not respect the homes of Palestinians.) The old man sat in the light of a kerosene lamp and looked bleakly ahead. His wife sat in the opposite corner, crying loudly "They soiled our sheets, haram, haram, they broke our bed, fired guns in our bed and," the old man said, "they took all our money. The day after we left we found a 100 shekel note in the garden, that's all."

He was talking to a foreign photographer who had come to film the destruction in North of the Gaza Strip about the Israeli occupation of his house. Sa'ad Al Atar lived in a line of houses along a high ridge overlooking Gaza city in Atatra district. It was the part of Gaza nearest the Israeli border, and it also commanded long views of Gaza city, so it was bombed repeatedly in the first few days, and most of the houses were destroyed. Then the Apaches fired rockets at what was left and machine gunned anything that moved. Mr Al Atar stayed home with his family, even when machine gun fire came through the window and sprayed the wall behind them. The foreign Journalist put his fingers in the big holes in the plaster, but to him they were just dents in the wall; to Mr Al Atar they represented fear and salvation at the same time. But there was an even closer miss in the next dark room, where there were no lights. A row of smaller bullet holes at a lower level.

"We were eating our meal on the floor when these came. If we were sitting on a chair they would have gone through our heads. I am lucky that I cannot afford to put chairs in both my rooms," said Mr Al Atar.

What happened next? "The Israelis came and pointed their guns at us. They told us to get into the back room, where the shots had been fired, and to stay there, and they went on to the roof. They told us that if we moved, they would shoot us. They went upstairs, they stole my money, soiled the beds, left condoms everywhere. They fired holes in the bed - for what? While people were dying they were making love with each other in our bed, and then they destroyed it. All our money was in the mattress, everything for the whole family, and they took it all. Then after 3 days, they left. Just left."

His family of seven children and his wife listened in the gloomy light. "There is no glass in the windows, and we cannot afford even to buy plastic sheets," said Mrs Al Atar. "The UN gave us some blankets, but we have no money to repair anything and no one helps us. No one. And it is cold, even our clothes they cut up and soiled - look, look at these cuts, why, why they do this, why?"

They drank their tea in silence, the foreign photographer left, and the light went out. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Al Atar

 

 

 

 

 

The Israelis have left us nothing, destroying our housed, stole our money and killed our young kids

 From: http://www.peaceforgaza.blogspot.com/


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Curtis Mayfield Freddies Dead

: frieze Writer's Prize 2009










April 17, 2009













frieze Writer's Prize 2009

http://www.frieze.com



Share this announcement on:  Facebook | Delicious | Twitter

frieze writer's prize is an annual international award to discover and promote new art critics. The award will be judged in 2009 by critic and art historian James Elkins, novelist and critic Ali Smith, and co-Editor of frieze magazine Jennifer Higgie.

•Entrants must submit one previously unpublished review of a recent contemporary art exhibition, approximately 700 words in length.
•Entries must be submitted in English, but may be a translation (this must be acknowledged).
•Entrants must be over 18 years old.
•To qualify, entrants may only previously have had a maximum of three pieces of writing on art published in any national or regional newspaper or magazine. Previous online publication is permitted.
•The winning entrant will be commissioned to write a review for the October issue of frieze and be awarded 2000 GBP.
•Closing date is 26 June 2009.
•Entries should be emailed as a word attachment to writersprize@frieze.com. Please do not send images.










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Brasscheck TV: Obama gives government criminals a free pass


David
We shouldn't base the future on "hope."

Following the rule of law would be a better foundation.

Obama has decreed that where torture is concerned,
the rule of law is not worth pursuing.

The criminals who operated the US torture program
are being given a free pass.

Details:

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/602.html


- Brasscheck

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Aid Rots Outside Gaza--Israel deems food items "non- essential" to life in the Gaza Strip.

Aid Rots Outside Gaza

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 12:37 PM PDT

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of aid intended for the Gaza Strip is piling up in cities across Egypt's North Sinai region, despite recent calls from the United Nations to ease aid flow restrictions to the embattled territory in the wake of Operation Cast Lead.

Food, medicine, blankets, infant food and other supplies for Gaza's 1.5 million people, coming from governments and non-governmental agencies around the world, are being stored in warehouses, parking lots, stadiums and on airport runways across Egypt's North Sinai governorate.

Egypt shares a 14-kilometre border with Gaza that has been closed more or less permanently since the Islamist movement Hamas took control of the territory in June 2007.

Flour, pasta, sugar, coffee, chocolate, tomato sauce, lentils, date bars, juice, chickpeas, blankets, hospital beds, catheter tubes and other humanitarian- based items are all sitting in at least eight storage points in and around Al- Arish, a city in North Sinai approximately 50 kilometres from Gaza's border.

Three months after the end of the war, much of the aid has either rotted or been irreparably damaged as a result of both rain and sunshine, and Egypt's refusal to open the Rafah crossing.

"To be honest, most of this aid will never make it to Gaza," a local government official told IPS on condition of anonymity. "A lot of the food here will have to be thrown away."

The Gaza Strip was the target of Israel's three-week Operation Cast Lead, where both the enclave's civilian population and an already decrepit infrastructure were pummelled by powerful Israeli weaponry, leaving some 1,400 dead and over 5,000 injured by the time a unilateral ceasefire was called by Israel Jan. 18.

The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) head in Gaza, John Ging, told IPS last week that the stranglehold on relief efforts in the post-war period was having devastating consequences, both physical and emotional, on the strip's population.

The last Situation Report released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Mar. 30 stated that the "amounts and types of deliveries reaching Gaza continue being subject to random restrictions and unpredictable clearance procedures, creating major logistical problems for humanitarian agencies."

Food aid and other essential humanitarian supplies for Gaza began pouring into Egypt at the outset of the war, and medical supplies were routed through Rafah - Gaza's only crossing that bypasses Israel - throughout the assault, while food aid was directed through Israel.

All aid meant for Gaza via Egypt must currently pass through either Al-Auja or Kerem Abu Sellem, Egypt's commercial crossings with Israel, and is subject to both Israeli-Egyptian trade specifications and Israeli import law.

Much of what is being stored in North Sinai - including food items like lentils, pasta, chickpeas, and juice - has been deemed by Israel to be "non- essential" to life in the Gaza Strip.

Two thousand "family boxes" - containing essential supplies for Palestinian families and donated by the Italian NGO Music for Peace - were recently rejected at the Al-Auja crossing by Israeli authorities because they each contained a jar of honey, the NGO's President, Stefano Robera, told IPS in Al- Arish.

Representatives from international NGOs currently in both Al-Arish and Rafah say not even a sliver of the aid donated is going through any of Egypt's transit points, despite assurances by the Egyptian government that the Rafah crossing remains open for "humanitarian considerations".

OCHA says Rafah was closed to all cargo for the month of March, and was opened for just two days to send blankets and mattresses into the Gaza Strip.

Since Dec. 27, 2008, the day Israel launched its war, just 43 trucks of what OCHA calls "human food products" were sent into the Gaza Strip via Rafah. The first truckload was sent in Jan. 10, 2009, more than two weeks after the war began.

Some organisations coordinating their aid through Egypt say North Sinai governor Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha asked them to simply donate the goods to local NGOs. Other witnesses told IPS that Egyptian security forces tasked with guarding aid supplies have been giving it away to residents of Al-Arish.

The Rafah border crossing opened in November 2005 when Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) signed an Agreement on Movement and Access as part of Israel's "disengagement" from the Gaza Strip.

In coordination with the PA, Egypt allowed passengers, cargo and humanitarian aid to pass under the supervision of both EU monitors and Israeli security. When Hamas, the Islamist movement democratically elected in 2006, seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, Egypt closed its border with the coastal enclave.

The Egyptian government has since refused to open the Rafah crossing to any cargo or non-medical humanitarian aid, leaving the supplies in a state of political limbo and Gaza's population grappling with the after-effects of both deadly war and continued economic siege.

Human rights organisations have recently said that not only Israel but Egypt, the EU and the U.S. could be in violation of international law for failing to adhere to the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access, and consequently violating the basic human rights of Gaza's 1.5 million people - particularly in the post-war period.

Source: IPS

Israel--6 articles--"Peace talks with Palestinians perpetuate terror"

===

UN withholding Israeli war crimes probe results:

Last week, spokeswoman for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Michele Montas had assured that the final report would be delivered up this week. "We have asked for a little more time to finalize the report. The secretary general agreed with that....I can tell you it is going to be next week," she had said.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=91717&sectionid=351020202

===

US-Israeli differences over Palestinians emerge:

Mitchell met Thursday evening with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. An official in Netanyahu's office said the Israeli leader expressed misgivings about creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank because of concern that the militant Hamas group could take it over, as it overran Gaza in 2007.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090416/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_mideast_us

===

Israel demands recognition?:

No two-state solution until Palestinians recognise "Jewish state", Netanyahu says.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/

===

In case you missed it:

A Letter from Nelson Mandela to Thomas Friedman:

": There is discrimination against Palestinians.. If you further consider the 1967 occupied territories you will find there are already two judicial systems in operation that represent two different approaches to human life: one for Palestinian life and the other for Jewish life. Additionally there are two different approaches to property and to land. Palestinian property is not recognised as private property because it can be confiscated."
http://www.bintjbeil.com/E/occupation/mandella.html

===

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Netanyahu:

It is one of the great paradoxes of the modern Middle East: When peace with the Palestinians is in sight, Israel will turn violent.
http://snipurl.com/g47q1

===

Illegal Squatters Council: Peace talks with Palestinians perpetuate terror:

"The pressure being applied on Israel to help establish a state for these terrorist organizations only encourages the terrorists," Yesha Council leaders said in a statement on Friday.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1079062.html



Windows Live™: Life without walls. Check it out.

Iran's letter to UN over Israeli threats:

Iran's letter to UN over Israeli threats:

The following the complete text of Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaee's letter to the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, over Israel's latest threats to attack Iran.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=91475&sectionid=3510304



Windows Live™: Life without walls. Check it out.

A Letter from Nelson Mandela to Thomas Friedman: ": There is discriminatation against Palestinains" html

A Letter from Nelson Mandela to Thomas Friedman:

": There is discrimination against Palestinians.. If you further consider the 1967 occupied territories you will find there are already two judicial systems in operation that represent two different approaches to human life: one for Palestinian life and the other for Jewish life. Additionally there are two different approaches to property and to land. Palestinian property is not recognised as private property because it can be confiscated."
http://www.bintjbeil.com/E/occupation/mandella.html



Windows Live™: Life without walls. Check it out.

Bush & Obama & Torture-7 articles: -Obama accused of "condoning torture": Amnesty International:

===

Obama's reality check:

Barack Obama needs to face up to the fact that existing US policies have caused havoc throughout South America
http://snipurl.com/g47ub

===

Miller government knew about CIA prisons in Poland?:

The government under the premiership of Leszek Miller (2001-4) knew about the alleged CIA detention facility in Poland, the existence of which has been denied by successive governments.
http://snipurl.com/g47v3

===

===

Newly Released Memo Inadvertently Reveals CIA Held (and Abused) Missing Prisoner:

Among the OLC memos released today, one appears to inadvertently reveal that a top al-Qaida suspect captured in northern Iraq in January 2004 was held by the CIA in a secret prison.
http://snipurl.com/g47w5

===

Obama shields CIA interrogators from torture charges:

CIA interrogators who used waterboarding on terrorism suspects will not face prosecution, President Barack Obama said on Thursday in releasing Bush-era memos specifying that the practice did not constitute torture.
http://snipurl.com/g47x3

===

In case you missed it:

Former US interrogator recounts torture cases in Afghanistan and Iraq : Video:

He also says that most of the individuals he interrogated had nothing to do with al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Many of the practices Corsetti says he witnessed are already illegal.
http://snipurl.com/g47y4

===

Memo to Obama:: Don't forget that the USA prosecuted Lynndie England!

Do you have one law for Lynndie and another for Bush, Cheney, and other criminals in the Bush Administration?
http://www.apfn.org/apfn/ENGLAND.HTM

===

Obama accused of "condoning torture": Amnesty International:

"President Obama's statements in the last days have been very disappointing. In saying that no one will be held to account for committing acts of torture, the US administration is in effect condoning torture," said Daniel Gorevan, of Amnesty International's Counter Terror with Justice campaign.
http://snipurl.com/g4801



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Friday, April 17, 2009

US Military Spends 2X Rest of the World Combined--Home of the Barricaded, Land of the 'Fraid

===

Home of the Barricaded, Land of the 'Fraid

By David Michael Green

There are few statistics as stunning as the following simple, single number: The United States spends two times more on its military than all the other countries of the world, combined. Yes, that's right. All 200 or so of them. Combined.
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22442.htm



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PressTV: Israeli troops kill apartheid wall protestor:

Israeli troops kill apartheid wall protestor:

Israeli occupation forces have shot dead a demonstrator in clashes with Palestinians who were protesting the separation barrier in the West Bank.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=91710&sectionid=351020202



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No Amnesty for Torturers

No Amnesty for Torturers

By Dave Lindorff

The issue is, do we as a nation now subscribe to the idea that the way to deal with evil perpetrated by ourselves is to bury it? [. . .] Isn't that precisely what we have been for decades accusing the Germans and the Japanese of doing: burying in the mists of time their criminal behavior as a people and as a nation? [. . .] the president is wrong. Darkness does not go away when the fog comes. It just gets darker.
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22443.htm



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Bush Memos Parallel Claim 9/11 "Mastermind's" Children Were Tortured With Insects

Bush Memos Parallel Claim 9/11 "Mastermind's" Children Were Tortured With Insects

By John Byrne

Bush Administration memos released by the White House on Thursday provide new insight into claims that American agents used insects to torture the young children of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22440.htm



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Why Afghanistan Is the Wrong War :

Why Afghanistan Is the Wrong War :

George W. Bush led the United States into war in Iraq on the grounds that Saddam Hussein might give his country's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. Now, Bush's successor is perpetuating the war in Afghanistan with comparably dubious arguments about the danger posed by the Taliban and al Qaeda.
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/64932/john-mueller/how-dangerous-are-the-taliban



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Naomi Klein: Hopebroken and Hopesick: A Lexicon of Disappointment By Naomi Klein

Hopebroken and Hopesick:

A Lexicon of Disappointment

By Naomi Klein

All is not well in Obamafanland. It's not clear exactly what accounts for the change of mood. Maybe it was the rancid smell emanating from Treasury's latest bank bailout. Or the news that the president's chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, earned millions from the very Wall Street banks and hedge funds he is protecting from reregulation now. Or perhaps it began earlier, with Obama's silence during Israel's Gaza attack.
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22441.htm



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Art City: Zweig, Gallery Night and Bruce Murphy's quotation marks




Subject: Art City: Zweig, Gallery Night and Bruce Murphy's quotation marks
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 12:51:55 -0500
From: MSCHUMACHER@journalsentinel.com
To: MSCHUMACHER@journalsentinel.com

 

 

Dear art and architecture lovers,

 

Unless a tavern owner in a political pickle is promising free beer, you're just not going to see the kind of turn out at City Hall that we did this week.

 

Our community showed up on behalf of a wonderful, poetic art project that could change the way we view public art here – and won. Your presence, letters and phone calls made an impression and a difference. Don't let anyone tell you different.

 

So, what next? Here's a peek at my Sunday column that looks at why this project was in danger in the first place and what has to happen next, so these valiant, episodic efforts aren't repeated without real change.

 

Bruce Murphy of Milwaukee Magazine, a latecomer to the dialogue about Zweig, put quotation marks around the word journalism in a column on the subject. He was referring to the work I do and the nature of the dialogue in our city. (Are you one of Murphy's windbags?) As a rule, I tend to ignore these swipes from Mil Mag, but this was worth addressing and dovetails with some ideas I've wanted to share with all of you.

 

Finally, it is Gallery Night, and one of the nicest days of 2009 yet. Here are my suggestions for what to see, as well as some from OnMilwaukee, and Decider.  

 

Other things going on this weekend: Pezzettino's CD release party at Shank Hall and Kings Go Forth at Mad Planet – both Saturday night.

 

Hope to see you all out there tonight,

Mary Louise Schumacher

art and architecture critic

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Stay in touch via Twitter (@artcity) and Facebook.

Art City blog: www.jsonline.com/blogs/artcity

 

Art City is a newsletter about Milwaukee art, architecture and urban design. It is designed to keep readers up to date with the blog and what's in the paper. If you no longer want the newsletter, please respond to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line. My apologies for any inconveniences.

 

Journal Communications, 333 W. State St., Milwaukee, WI 53203 USA.

 

Copyright 2009 Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 



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NYT Review: Two New Translations of Cavafy's Collected & Unfinished Poems

Two New Translations of Cavafy's Collected & Unfinished Poems

A Poet's Progress



  • James Longenbach
  • Published April 17, 2009
"A Greek gentleman in a straw hat, standing absolutely motionless at a slight angle to the universe." With this sentence the novelist E. M. Forster introduced the Alexandrian Greek poet Constantine Cavafy to the English-speaking world in 1919. Since then, Cavafy's distinctive tone — wistfully elegiac but resolutely dry-eyed — has captivated English-language poets from W. H. Auden to James Merrill to Louise Glück. Auden maintained that Cavafy's tone seems always to "survive translation," and Daniel Mendelsohn's new translations render that tone more pointedly than ever before. Together with "The Unfinished Poems" (the first English translation of poems Cavafy was still drafting when he died in 1933), this "Collected Poems" not only brings us closer to one of the great poets of the 20th century; it also reinvigorates our relationship to the English language.

Cavafy Archive

C. P. Cavafy

COLLECTED POEMS

By C. P. Cavafy

Translated by Daniel Mendelsohn

547 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $35

THE UNFINISHED POEMS

By C. P. Cavafy

Translated by Daniel Mendelsohn

121 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $30

In what ways did Cavafy stand at an angle to the universe? He was born in Alexandria in 1863 to a family that could trace its lineage back to the nobility of the Byzantine Empire. His father, originally from Constantinople, was a partner in a successful export business that maintained offices in London and Liverpool as well as several cities in Egypt; the young Cavafy lived in England for five years, acquiring both a longstanding fascination with English poetry and a slightly British inflection that accented his Greek. But when his father died, Cavafy's family was plunged into poverty. Socially, linguistically, personally, Cavafy lived on the outskirts. He had his first homo­sexual affair around the age of 20. Soon after, he found a job in the Irrigation Office of the Ministry of Public Works — the "Third Circle of Irrigation" — where he worked for more than 30 years. He wrote consistently but almost never published through traditional means. There is nothing more detrimental to art, he maintained, than succumbing to "how the public thinks and what it likes and what it will buy."
Today, Cavafy is well known for writing what might initially seem like two kinds of poems. Beginning in 1911, he wrote poems depicting homosexual desire with an unsensational directness: "They were slow getting dressed, they were sorry to cover / the beauty of their supple nudity / which harmonized so well with the comeliness of their faces." At the same time, he wrote poems about Greek history — not the well-known glories of the classical era but the long decline that finally concluded with the collapse of the Byzantine Empire: "He wasn't completely wrong, poor old Gemistus / (let Lord Andronicus and the patriarch suspect him if they like), / in wanting us, telling us to become pagan once again."
But as Mendelsohn argues in his elegant introduction to the poems, any division between the erotic and historical poems is facile. Whether Cavafy is describing an ancient political intrigue or an erotic encounter that occurred last week, his topic is the passage of time. The lines I've just quoted are in fact from the same unfinished poem, "After the Swim": the naked youths, dressing on the beach, are revealed to be students of Gemistus, a Byzantine Neo­platonist who was condemned by authorities of the Orthodox Church for proclaiming that Zeus was the supreme god.
In Cavafy's world, everything has already happened. The fortune is spent, the pantheon abandoned, the body grown old. This overpowering sense of belatedness is what provokes the tone of his poems — rueful, distanced, knowing but never wise. Mendelsohn maintains that, given the translatability of Cavafy's tone, he has focused his attention on "other aspects of the poetry" — the exquisite care Cavafy took with diction, syntax, meter and rhyme. But in fact this is not exactly the case. It is only through attention to these minute aspects of poetic language that tone is produced. And Mendelsohn is assiduously attentive.
Earlier translators have, to varying degrees, rightly emphasized the prosaic flatness of Cavafy's language; the flatness is crucial to the emotional power of the poems, since it prevents their irony from seeming caustic, their longing from seeming nostalgic. But as Mendelsohn shows, Cavafy's language was in subtle ways more artificial than we've understood. Most important, Cavafy mingled high and low diction, employing both vernacular Greek and a literary Greek invented at the turn of the 19th century. Taking advantage of the fact that English contains words descended not only from German but from Latin roots, Mendelsohn's translations shift similarly between the lofty and the mundane:

I ask myself whether in antique times
glorious Alexandria possessed a
youth more beauteous,
a kid more perfect than he.


This poem, "Days of 1909, '10, and '11," extols the beauty of a working-class boy who sells his body to buy expensive clothes. The tensions between high and low are registered in the diction. Following a line dominated by Latinate words (glorious, possessed, beauteous), the Germanic and colloquial monosyllable in the third line carries an unexpected poignancy: a kid.


This shift in diction lets us hear something crucial about Cavafy's tone (a directness that is never not elegant), but it also lets Mendelsohn's translation exist fully as an English poem. Because of the polyglot nature of the English language, the sound of great English poetry is the sound of monosyllabic Germanic words chiming against multisyllabic Latinate words (Shakespeare's "seas incarnadine" or Tennyson's "immemorial elms"). Echoing such effects, Mendelsohn makes me wonder if it wasn't the deliciously mongrel nature of English, which Cavafy spoke and wrote perfectly, that first provoked him to forge his own hybridized idiom. The fact that the few poems Cavafy wrote in English contain phrases like "penetrating eye" and "transcendent star" (the Latinate word wedged against the Germanic) suggests that the poet's ear for English was at least as acute as his translator's.
Mendelsohn is a classicist, essayist and memoirist, the author of "The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million." His translations of Cavafy's poems come trailing commentaries in which an immense amount of learning is gracefully and usefully borne. But Mendelsohn thinks like a poet, which is to say he inhabits the meaning of language through its movement. Listen to his translation of the famous concluding lines of "The God Abandons Antony":

Like one who's long prepared, like someone brave,
as befits a man who's been blessed with a city like this,
go without faltering toward the window
and listen with deep emotion, but not
with the entreaties and the whining of a coward,
to the sounds — a final entertainment —
to the exquisite instruments of that initiate crew,
and bid farewell to her, to Alexandria, whom you are losing.

The final line embodies the fortitude the poem recommends. While the preceding lines falter, breaking the syntax into edgy pieces, the final line is syntactically complete. As a result, the poem does not pronounce but arrives at its wisdom, making it happen to us. It is an event on the page.
It's easy to translate what a poem says; to concoct a verbal mechanism that captures a poem's movement, its manner of saying, requires a combination of skills that very few possess. Like Richard Howard's Baudelaire or Robert Pinsky's Dante, Mendelsohn's Cavafy is itself a work of art.
James Longenbach's most recent books are "Draft of a Letter," a collection of poems, and "The Art of the Poetic Line," essays on poetry.


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Center for Constitutional Rights --Tell President--No immunity from prosecution for torture!!






We cannot and must not accept the Obama administration' s decision not to prosecute those who ordered torture and those who carried it out.  No amnesty for torture.   One of the authors of memos authorizing torture is now a federal judge on the 9th circuit!

Karin Pally

http://www.latimes. com/news/ nationworld/ nation/la- na-interrogation 17-2009apr17, 0,5555846. story

Here's the White House email contact.  http://www.whitehou se.gov/CONTACT/  Write and tell the President you won't accept immunity from prosecution for torture.  Torture is against US and international law.  The Nuremberg trials set the precedent--followin g orders is no excuse. 

You can also try the president's comment line but usually it's busy.  Here's the phone number:  202-456-1111. 

And when you've finished writing to the president, call your Senators and Congress member.  The Congressional switchboard is 202 224-3121. 

Here what the Center for Constitutional Rights had to say about the president's torture decision  http://ccrjustice. org/newsroom/ press-releases/ ccr-decries- immunity- torture%2C- secrecy

CONTACT: press@ccrjustice. org

April 16, 2009, New York – In response to President Obama's decision to guarantee immunity to CIA officials who carried out the drowning torture known as waterboarding, which his attorney general has classified as torture, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

"It is one of the deepest disappointments of this administration that it appears unwilling to uphold the law where crimes have been committed by former officials. Whether or not CIA operatives who conducted waterboarding are guaranteed immunity, it is the high level officials who conceived, justified and ordered the torture program who bear the most responsibility for breaking domestic and international law, and it is they who must be prosecuted. In the president's statement today, the most troubling contradiction is the contrast of the words, 'This is a time for reflection, not retribution,' followed shortly by, 'The United States is a nation of laws.' Government officials broke very serious laws: for there to be no consequences not only calls our system of justice into question, it leaves the gate open for this to happen again."

Since the first days of the public revelations regarding the Bush administration's torture program, the Center for Constitutional Rights has made efforts to hold high level officials and their lawyers accountable for their crimes. CCR, along with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), has tried three times, twice in Germany and once in France, to bring criminal cases in Europe against former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, former CIA director George Tenet, and former White House Counsel/Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as well as the other lawyers who were part of the conspiracy that authorized the torture program in Guantanamo, Iraq, secret CIA sites, and elsewhere.  The German case is still pending. CCR also has torture cases pending in U.S. courts.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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Solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners




April 17th is International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian prisoners
 
 
http://palestinefre evoice.blogspot. com/2009/ 04/call-from- gaza.html

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Palestinian Poetry, Culture & the Politics of History: Adina Hoffman on Taha Muhammad Ali




Major New Biography Tells Palestinian and Israeli Stories in the tradition of The Lemon Tree

Among the world's great poets, Taha Muhammad Ali is an extraordinary man—a little-known but highly original poet whose work has captivated some of the world's best writers. Some would describe him a self-educated peasant who takes nearly as much pride in his Nazareth souvenir shop as in his poetry—a survivor shaped by both the complete destruction of his childhood village and the unabashed delight he takes in his art.

Adina Hoffman is a Jewish American writer who has lived in Jerusalem for sixteen years. She is a respected essayist, critic, editor, and publisher whose sense of the world has been shaped by a life spent in both the U.S. and the Middle East.

Her new book My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness (Yale University Press, April 2009) not only recounts Taha Muhamad Ali's life story, but also reveals much about other Palestinian poets and writers of his generation, including Mahmoud Darwish, Samih al-Qasim, Michel Haddad, Emile Habiby and Rashid Hussein. Along the way, "My Happiness" reads like a detective novel—with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the past sixty years making fascinating background. Hoffman does the work of a historian and journalist as she scours every available resource to find out whatever she can about her subjects. Very little of this information has been available in any language but Arabic until now.

Yale University Press marks National Poetry Month with the publication of Hoffman's remarkable biography of Taha Muhammad Ali, a book that defies both categories and stereotypes. The first biography of a Palestinian writer to be published in English, My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet's Life in the Palestinian Century brings to light a fascinating literary world, captures with nuance and feeling a community scarred by conflict and yet brimming with life, and tells with honesty and courage a story whose vague outlines are known by all but whose human realities are often buried by politics and distance. Read more.

Adina Hoffman will read from and discuss her book at Levantine Cultural Center on Wednesday, April 15, 7-9 pm. Ms. Hoffman will autograph copies of her biography, available for purchase at the center. Space is limited and advance RSVPs are suggested. Call 310.657.5511.

Adina Hoffman on Taha Muhammad Ali


http://www.levantinecenter.org/

Levantine Cultural Center
5998 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035-2657
Tel: 310.657.5511
Fax: 310.657.5522


Amnesty USA: Call/Mail Officials-- Breaking: torture memo firestorm










-------- Original Message --------













Amnesty International
Amnesty International USA: TAKE ACTION NOW!
Infamous torture memos were released yesterday, just as Amnesty activists are meeting with Congress calling for accountability.
Add your voice to theirs. Call for an independent investigation into torture.

Dear Karin,

In a pivotal moment in our call for accountability, yesterday the Obama administration finally released the four infamous memos crafted to provide legal cover for the U.S. torture program.

You and I know there is no legal form of torture. But Obama wants us to believe that "this is a time for reflection, not retribution. "

We've done plenty of reflecting, and the information in the memos only confirms what we've known all along. Torture is illegal under both domestic and international law and no set of legal memos can change that.

Within hours of their release, the memos fueled new speculation that there is just too much out there now for Congress to ignore calls for accountability.
Protest against torture

Incredibly, our lobby week is wrapping up today, giving us an amazing opportunity to push Congress on accountability, when they're most receptive to our calls, both in person and online.

Send a letter now to Congress calling for a full and independent investigation.

Before today, major editorial boards from the Boston Globe, Salt Lake City Tribune, and Philadelphia Inquirer threw their hat into the ring, calling for accountability.

While we may have convinced editorial boards, it's Congress that has the power to setup independent investigations. This is the last day of our lobby week. While Amnesty members finish up their meetings, let's hit Congress from both on and offline.

Send an email to your elected officials and tell them that you want to know the truth about torture. Once members of Congress realize they can't turn down the buzz about torture in their own districts, they'll have to confront the issue in Washington.

The Obama administration has truly taken some important steps to correct past mistakes. Just a week ago, the CIA announced that it is no longer operating any of the secret overseas prisons used to detain terror suspects. While correcting some of these bigger problems certainly puts us on the right path, it doesn't tell us how we veered so far off in the wrong direction.

By this time, anyone who isn't the slightest bit curious about how we became a nation that tortures needs a wake-up call. And we're just the group to give it to them!

Thanks for standing with us,

Njambi Good
Director, Counter Terror with Justice Campaign

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