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Respective results of Jihad vs Democracy in a “wild” DoubleQuote

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron -- not sure of the original provenance, but the content speaks for itself ]
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The French text reads:

A jihadist infographic suggesting the Muslim Brotherhood ws wrong to believe in democracy while rejecting jihad

Perhaps David Thomson, if he sees this post, could comment on where he found this double image.

By “DoubleQuote in the Wild” I’m referring to the practice of discourse by juxtaposition of similars or opposites — in this case, the juxtaposition of opposing images.

TIA..

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Double Quote: HTML edition

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

[HTMLed by Lynn C. Rees]

“When people harm Americans we don’t retreat, and we don’t forget…They should know, we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice, because hell is where they will reside! Hell is where they will reside!”

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr
47th Vice President, United States
speech
September 3, 2014

Portsmouth Naval ShipyardKittery, York, Maine, United States


 

“The foreign countries made a conspiracy in their islands. All at once the lands were removed and scattered in the fray. No land could stand before their arms: from Hatti, Kadesh, Carchemish, Arzawa, and Alashiya on, being cut off at one time. A camp was set up in Amurru. They desolated its people, and its land was like that which has never come into being. They were coming forward toward Egypt, while the flame was prepared before them. Their confederation was the Peleset, Tjeker, Shekelesh, Denyen, and Weshesh, lands united. They laid their hands upon the land as far as the circuit of the earth, their hearts confident and trusting: ‘Our plans will succeed!’”

  — Ramesses III,
2nd Pharaoh, 20th Dynasty, Egypt
inscription
c. 1170 BC – 1150 BC
Mortuary Temple of Ramesses IIILuxor Temple, LuxorLuxor Governate, Egypt

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Poetry in the Square

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron -- the public square, that is, and specifically Tahrir Square ]
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The Square, directed by Jehane Noujaim — a documentary tracking the lives of six people in Tahrir Square through the two recent Egyptian revolutions — just won the Emmy for Outstanding Directing For Nonfiction Programming, 2014, and is up for the Documentary Feature Oscar. Here’s what struck me right off the bat:
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we will fill the world with our poetry Tahrir
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Yevtushenko had that sort of impact in Russia, Neruda in Chile. Poetry speaks where the oppressed are silent — is such a phrase, “we will fill the world with our poetry” conceivable in the cultured west?

Russia, Chile. Yevtushenko, Neruda.

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Yevtushenko wrote a poem for Neruda, mentioning Bilbao — which Bilbao? a statue where? — which may give us a clue to poetry and its power:

You see–
             over there, among the puddles and garbage,
standing up under the red lamps
stands Bilbao — with the soul
                            of a poet — in bronze.
Bilbao was a tramp and a rebel.
Originally
         they set up the monument, fenced off
by a chain, with due pomp, right in the center,
although the poet had lived in the slums.
Then there was some minor overthrow or other,
and the poet was thrown out, beyond the gates.
Sweating,
        they removed
                            the pedestal
to a filthy little red-light district.
And the poet stood,
                             as the sailor’s adopted brother,
against a background
                              you might call native to him.

and…

And Neruda comments, with a hint of slyness:
“A poet is
             beyond the rise and fall of values.
It’s not hard to remove us from the center,
but the spot where they set us down
                                                       becomes the center!”

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New Book: The Lion’s Gate by Steven Pressfield

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"]

The Lion’s Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War by Steven Pressfield 

This just arrived hot off the presses on my doorstep yesterday, courtesy of Steve and in terms of writing, The Lion’s Gate appears to be a significant departure for him.

While Pressfield has done novels that were historical fiction (Gates of Fire, Killing Rommel),  military futurism ( The Profession ) or non-fiction essays on harnessing creativity ( The War of Art), achieving professionalism ( Turning Pro) and writing (The Authentic Swing), The Lion’s Gate is a serious work on history.

I say “on” rather than “of” because Pressfield described his book as “hybrid history”, having approached the Six Day War partly in Studs Terkel fashion, with interviews of participants in the war recounting their experiences heavily driving the story, but this is combined with traditional historical research and Pressfield’s own shaping of the narrative. As a technique, it also reminds me somewhat of what Solzhenitsyn termed a “literary investigation” in describing his monumental Gulag Archipelago.

Israeli history or the specific battles of the Arab-Israeli wars have not been my areas of research, so I am looking forward to reading things that are new to me. The Six Day War burnished Israel’s military reputation and that of Defense Minister Moshe Dayan to the point that frustrated supporters of America’s war effort in Vietnam sent the beleaguered head of MACV, General William Westmoreland, black eyepatches.

A full review to come in the future.

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On trial in Egypt: then and now, etc.

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron -- there shall be no caging of free speech, right? ]
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I was struck by the resemblance between these two photos of defendants in Egyptian courtrooms –

— one of Ayman al-Zawahiri on trial shortly after the Sadat assassination [upper panel, above] the other of al-Jazeera journalists on trial today. While there’s a great deal of difference between the defendants in the two trials, and while we’re familiar with prisoners at the bar behind bullet-proof glass from the cases of Adolf Eichmann [below, upper panel] –

— and the Pussy Riot grrls [lower panel], conditions for the defendants in Egyptian trials seem to have deteriorated from cages to chicken-coops over the years.

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Source:

  • Al-Jazeera photo MT @marcellehopkins: Surreal photo of @AlJazeera journalists in #Egypt courtroom cage today. #FreeAJStaff
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