THE JOKER IS DEAD LONG LIVE TO THE JOKER
Speak Truth to Power thru Humor and Say the Unsayable
Death has come to 12 editors and employees of the SaTyricAl French magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The French mourns. Those blessed with a hefty sense of scandalous and astute political humor have taken to the streets with the rallying cry “I am Charlie”. I feel their pain. I grew up in Montreal with that hilarious, in your face/despicable Hara-Kiri humor which was Charlie’s predecessor. While I tear up seeing crowds demonstrating honestly, I wince hearing their claim to be Charlie as it takes much more than a televised my guts spilled in the street among good bodies to be Charlie Hebdo…
Watch this FUN short documentary by Jerome Lambert and Philippe Picard on Charlie Hebdo’s crew and witness how it collectively gets to our featured front page caricature which for Charlie, represented everything that the magazine stood for….“C’est tout le canard!” “On va après les integretistes!”
Fascinating stuff is revealed in that short clip. Such as, If you are uncomfortable drawing a caricature of your country or party’s leader, you might be heading toward dictatorship ( if your not stewing in one, already)…….So where does this leave us, conventional goodi-two-shoes North-Americans?
Art Speigelman, the political cartoonist from the New Yorker, points out in a long interview with Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, how “here in America the art has been defanged”. He goes on saying that once upon a time, there was MAD Magazine and it had real power like to power to stop the Vietnam war. “It’s not just about the right of self expression at all cost. It’s about stirring things up so that what matters rises to the surface!”
Photo from Contre-Point.org
BECAUSE APPARENTLY 5 YEARS AS A POW IN AFGHANISTAN, ISN’T ENOUGH OF A PRICE TO PAY
WHY THIS CONVULSION?
Bowe Bergdahl is back home in a divided US of A. The army announced on December 19th that he might face criminal charges and could even be court-martialed. A few haters want him and his father dead as traitors. Republican politicians are jumping at the occasion to blaster the White House for its decision on trading him for five Taliban detainees.
It is believed that Bowe dropped his weapon, deserted his post, as his faith in his country wavered. Bowe doubted its foreign war agenda and went as far as claiming to be ashamed of America. A revealing 1,000 pages article written by Micheal Hastings for The Rolling Stone Magazine backed up by WikiLeaks suggested a harrowing war experience in a far-out dangerous region of Afghanistan, with a platoon whose discipline and moral had greatly been degraded.
Army Lieutenant Colonel, Paul Edgar for Foreign Policy in “Disillusioned Youth and the Baggage of War” warns against engaging in military actions across the globe and not wanting to take responsibility for the price of war, which can come in the form of disillusion:
“A new soldier’s path to combat and back is paved with dissonance. It will not be a surprise if the Army’s investigation reveals that Sergeant Bergdahl was disenchanted and left Outpost Mest intentionally. The surprise is our shock that an American soldier navigating this dissonance could do something disappointing.”–
“For many reasons, our minds are quick to reconstruct the façade that war is all glory and that our soldiers, to the man, are Achilles. A formidable part of the human psyche refuses to see and remember war as it is. This self-righteous façade of war is what motivates many of the reactions against Sergeant Bergdahl. Think soberly. If we do not want responsibility for the derivative baggage of war, don’t go to war. If we are not willing to bear corporate responsibility for the next Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, don’t send him.”
Paul Edgar’s warnings strike a deep chord yet what I find particularly interesting is the FEAR that prisoners of war seem to engender back in their homeland. Alissa Rosenberg’s wrote an excellent article on the phenomena titled “What Homeland and the Manchurian Candidate tell us about the return of Bowe Bergdahl”. In her words, American mass culture has a long tradition of skepticism of released prisoners of war.
Many drew like Alissa Rosenberg has, similarities between Bowe’s trajectory and the one of Showtimes series Homeland’s main protagonist, Sgt Brody. Does Sgt Bowe Bergdhal harbor like Sgt Brody does, a hate for America’s political élite? Has he been turned? Is he capable of an act of terrorism against his compatriots?
: http://www. washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2014/06/04/what-homeland-and-the-manchurian-candidate-tell-us-about-bowe-bergdahls-return/
After four long years, the American Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the C. I. A.’s Use Of Torture is finally out: 6,000 pages of gory-bloody details. The verdict? According to Dem. Senator Mark Udall who released a portion of the report, the C.I A. lied . It lied about pretty much every thing; It lied about the benefits of EIT’s “It’s swell euphemism” as to the nation’s security. It lied about its implementation which amounted to torture. It lied in testimony to members of the Congress about who did what, when and were. Listen to his speech on C-SPAN.
What to do What to do? Purge the C.I.A. and fire it’s Director John Brennan, for one thing.
Out of 6,000 pages only a few hundred heavily redacted pages, were made public by Udall. Why does it matter to make public the entire report?
“Now, that it is in existence, it must be published like the Pentagon Papers were, so that the public be informed and thus demand that torture be eradicated from the CIA’s play book”. “Two of the most important functions that Congress was designed to perform, were these: the duty of OVERSIGHT and the duty to INFORM.” –Senator Mike Gravel http://www.democracynow.org/2014/12/16/mike_gravel_to_senator_mark_udall
Once published the report will make it almost impossible for amoral extremists to re-establish torture, as policy of the land. A policy that was in flagrant violation with the USA’s own ratification of many international treaties against torture.
“We got actionable intelligence with EIT’S that thwarted further terrorist attacks on our main land“ -John Brennan.
PROVE IT! Senator Mark Udall says that the report on the contrary, demonstrates that torture is an ineffective tool when it comes to intelligence gathering.
The CIA went so far as to hire certified Psychologists to devise Offensive Interrogation Technics and to have them personally take part in the acts of torture. Aren’t those also bounded by the Hippocratic Oath’s do no harm? Guess not.
The result? “A desensitized nation to cruelty & murder”- a panelist on the Diane Rehm Show.
PERHAPS, BUT I AM SMELLING A WIFF OF SIR JAMES FRAZER’S THE GOLDEN BOUGH!
We may well be desensitized to others’ sufferings however isn’t torture and it’s entertainment power, somehow deeply imbedded in our human psyche? Why tolerate such monstrosities if we abhor them in the first place? The Golden Bough is an extraordinary ethnological survey/contemplation which exposed for the first time, primeval worship, torture and the human sacrifice as intrinsically webbed within what Frazer’s believed to be, the universal-religious-psycological-theater, we know today as the Christian dogma. His research shows how torture is deeply related to the ur-human sacrificial rituals which mirrors the cycles of life and death. It’s a fascinating read.
Incidentally, The MELVILLE HOUSE published the “TORTURE REPORT” on Dec 30 2014!
Going from Stanislaw Lem’s warnings of science fiction’s blank promises to his antagonist, Sir Buckminster Fuller and his crackpot-parking-lot Biosphere living solutions.
We may do some drive by shooting on climate change deniers, all the while sitting comfortably on a Joe Colombo’s Elda Chair.
Let’s break for NASA’S fallen hero, James Hansen while admiring double-sunsets on Solaris, painted by Rothko.
P.S. If your thinking of moving in one of Archigram’s walking cities beware as those will trample on everything underfoot. Never have we tought of our selfs aas a part of anything else, until a few decades ago.
SO BUCKLE UP!
ON SOLARIS NARRATED BY ALESSANDRO JULIANI:
Alessandro Juliani spoken words traveled thru my mind like a white comet despite an American accent that troubles me.
After all, Kris Kevin is a Russian astronaut sent by the USSR not a run of the mill NASA hot-shot who sounds like everything is always under control for nothing is ever under control. Control is what men yearn for but SOLARIS
IS OUT of CONTROL THeir
You see, Solaris knows how to play the human mind as it can display in full flesh, it’s deepest fears or regrets. It explodes in multi-color phantasmagorical architectures on a whim. And it will bring a men down like only a cruel mother can.
The HOW had been debated Ad Nauseam in scientific circles for the last 70 years, by now the only thing that matters was the WHY.
Kevin’s mission was to find out yet he succumbs to the planetary plasmatic mermaid, on landing.
Is Solaris the story of pragmatism’s defeat?
In the US of A during the infamous years (2001-2009), the highest admin ranks of NASA had been hijacked by a cabal of republican billionaires apparatchiks under the rule of the house of Bush. They had everything to gain by denying Climate Change as they owned most of America’s polluting industries. Orders were given directly from The White House: NASA’s climate scientists were forbidden from speaking publicly about their findings on the subject. The official line branded Climate Warming as a hoax. Their appointed officials would appear regularly on Radio show like NPR’s to tell us as much! It took only ONE courageous men to burst their bubble: NASA’s Own Super Smart Scientist: James Hansen…..They went after him like hyenas.
SOMEONE HAD TO SPEAK UP
And James Hansen rose to the challenge
He is now ranking as one the most important American scientist in NASA’s history.
WHAT DOES SCIENCE FICTION HAVE TO DO IT?
Lem’s work warns humanity against it’s ultimate foe: Hubris. Playing with the earth’s climate is a forbidden game.
James Hansen is Courage