"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Seeking a New Division

Bashar Al-Assad: goodbye
EXTRACTUS officials and Arab intelligence officers told the New York Times in June that automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some anti-tank weapons were being funnelled, mostly across the Turkish border, by way of a “shadowy network of intermediaries” - including the MB, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. CIA officers are reportedly operating in southern Turkey, with the aim of deciding which armed groups to back - the US does not want weapons falling into the ‘wrong hands’ - groups allied to al Qa’eda, in other words. The US is also suspected of providing satellite imagery and intelligence on Syrian troop movements, and advising how to establish command and control systems.
Similarly, the Free Syrian Army has acknowledged that some foreign jihadist militants, including those linked to al Qa’eda like the Al-Nusra Front to Protect the Levant, have travelled to Syria to join its ranks - but insists, believably, that they do not play a decisive role. The Al-Nusra Front has said it is behind a series of suicide bombings which have rocked Damascus since January. Paradoxically, official Iranian media has shown images of opposition fighters captured by the Syrian army - seemingly Islamists/jihadists from Saudi Arabia or Pakistan totally unconnected to the SNC or FSA, with their own separate agenda and programme.
The situation in Syria is highly complex and possibly just ready to bust apart into all-out sectarian carnage. And the same is true of the region. The post-World War I colonial maps, with their straight lines - drawn over the corpse of the Ottoman empire - will soon be museum exhibit. Many in the field of international affairs are predicting a redivision of the entire Middle East and the creation of a series of new states - naturally dominated by US imperialism. Of course, the cost in human terms threatens to be horrendous. A new form of barbarism.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Rebelling Against Rural Values in Warrington

EXTRACTMany of the victims of ‘honour killings’ are from petty bourgeois backgrounds - the parents may be shopkeepers or own some other small business. Such a culture emphasises and lauds patriarchal power because that is the actual reality of the social, commercial and business relations - which as a matter of necessity requires the exploitation of family members, especially females ones, if they are to avoid bankruptcy and ruination.
In Pakistan this petty bourgeois exploitation is more likely to be of a rural nature. Its ideologisation has taken a religious form, which has been carried over into Britain and elsewhere, placing the crime of honour killing within a particular context. That is why we do not agree with the approach of Socialist Worker, whose report of the “horrific case of Shafilea Ahmed” focuses entirely on the hypocritical “outrage” of the press.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Establishment's Contradictory Coup

EXTRACTSelf-evidently then, the opening ceremony was hardly a straightforward celebration of the establishment or reactionary values. No, rather, the Boyle opening extravaganza was a complex and contradictory phenomenon that represented another attempt at rearticulating British national identity.
It was a further elaboration of the post-World War II ideology of bourgeois anti-racism predicated on an ‘inclusive’ nationalism embracing the Smiths, Patels and Adebayos as equal subjects under the crown. With everyone safely herded into the big official anti-racist tent, subscribing to the same, mythologised ‘anti-fascist’ British history, the real and hard-won democratic gains of the working class can then be being partially championed and appropriated by this new British nationalist paradigm. Welcome to the reinvented ruling class - now relaxed and prepared to mock even itself. Certainly one that no longer believes in a quasi-scientific biological racism or militaristic empire-building; one that is no longer exclusively white, heterosexual or totally obsessed by a ‘kings and queens’ view of history.
But by definition this is a constantly contested process. In that sense, Boyle’s ceremony - for all the spectacle, razzmatazz and expensive special effects - was a snapshot of the class struggle. It was therefore full of paradoxes, successes, defeats and compromises - just like political struggle and life itself. Naturally it is easy to understand why it seriously ruffled the feathers of Aidan Burley, the Daily Mail and US conservatives - as to some extent the ceremony actually was a giant promo for the Labour Party and ‘socialism’. Or “leftist multicultural crap”, to coin a phrase. But all this just shows how “crap” the ideas of the Tory right are, based on nothing much more than crazed middle class prejudices plus worship of the market, elitism, monarchy, individualism, etc.