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This would be sad either way, but

Monday, August 28th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — it seems particularly sad to “left-leaning” me ]
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I don’t really fit left or right, but as a near-“non” where it comes to violence, I’m particularly saddened by this:

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Given my quasi-Mennonite sympathies, and even thought it may be irrational in the final analysis, I’d be less saddened if the “sides” were reversed…

Source:

  • WaPo, Black-clad antifa members attack peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley
  • The Barcelona Response

    Monday, August 28th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — from a half-million-strong march to the hug of a victim’s father and an imam, Barcelona and Spain repond to terror with nobility and grace ]
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    Telesur‘s headline read Nearly 500,000 March for Peace in Barcelona, and their subhead:

    Marchers, on Saturday, displayed signs and banners with various slogans. Some read, “No to Islamophobia,” “The best response: Peace,” and “I’m not afraid.”

    The march:

    A makeshift shrine to those killed in the attack:

    A monarch visits the survivors of terror:

    NPR reports on the celebration of Mass in La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona:

    Mass Held In Barcelona To Honor Victims Of Terror Attacks

    Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia and other dignitaries attend a solemn Mass at Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Basilica on Sunday for the victims of the terror attacks that killed 14 people and wounded over 120 in Barcelona, Spain.

    **

    We remember the sacred magnificence of the ritual setting, Antonio Gaudi‘s Basilica of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, in which this Mass was offered:

    And Spain’s considerable Moorish history, exemplified by the Mezquita of Cordoba:

    **

    We witness the profound gesture of the father of the youngest victim, as reported by Daily Sabah, Europe:

    Father of youngest victim of Spain attacks hugs imam in defiance of terror, Islamophobia

    The father of the youngest victim of last week’s tragic terror attacks in Cambrils and Barcelona hugged a local imam in an emotional protest against terror and Islamophobia.

    Xavier Martinez, who lost his three-year-old son Xavi in the attack on Las Ramblas avenue, embraced Spanish imam Driss Salym in the town of Rubi, near Barcelona on Friday. The video of the two hugging, defiantly showing unity and compassion, was widely shared on social media.

    Here is the BBC’s video:

    **

    Oof, the imam’s tears at the end of that clip.

    Many cities have shown their resilience when attacked, and we are proud of them: Barcelona best of all.

    Picking up on symmetries observed

    Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — after Scaramucci on symmetry ]
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    It’s encouraging — heart-heartening — to see Doreen St. Félix at the New Yorker picking up on An Image of Revolutionary Fire at Charlottesville:

    Two points about her commentary strike my interest. The first had to do, specifically, with symmetry, an old hobby-horse of mine as you may know:

    Steve Helber shot an image of peculiar symmetry, in which a man of fortitude was bearing a different light. Two men extend weapons: one is the Confederate flag, furled, hiding its retrograde design, and the other is an aerosol can, modified to eject fire. The figures stand in a classical configuration, on the diagonal, as if a Dutch master has placed them just so.

    The second made reference to theology..

    The composition of this photo is fiercely theological. The black man is wielding what the black theologian James Cone, quoting the prophet Jeremiah, might call the “burning fire shut up in my bones,” what James Baldwin would have identified as “the fire next time.” (Cornel West, a student of Cone, has advanced the liberatory concept of “black prophetic fire”; West travelled to the city to march with members of Charlottesville’s faith community on Saturday.) It is a pose that upsets a desire for docility; it’s a rebuke to slogans such as “This is not us” or “Love not hate.” This graceful man has appropriated not only the flames of white-supremacist bigotry but also the debauched, rhetorical fire of Trump, who gloated, earlier this week, that he would respond to a foreign threat with “fire and fury.” The resistance has its fire, too.

    **

    I don’t think I see that image the same way St. Félix does. She sees fire on both sides — the fires of the tiki torches in the hands of the supremacists, though they are absent from this particular pohotograph, and the fire visible in the photo, wielded by the “man of fortitude”. Using an improvised flame-thrower strikes me as, if anything, more menacing than waving a furled flag, to be honest, and even though flame-man is in the lower position, his flame makes him, in my eyes, the dominant figure in the composition — and flag-wielder, correspondingly, even though holding the higher ground, more the underdog,

    While my sympathies would naturally lie with those who protest supremacism rather than those who proclaim it, this image at first saddens me with the spectacle of fire-power unilaterally vielded by the guy I’d otherwise cheer for — and it’s only when I read a little deeper —

    Long said that the protest had seemed peaceful until “someone pointed a gun at my head. Then the same person pointed it at my foot and shot the ground.”)

    — that I began to understand why he, rather than the supremacist, might be the one who has feeling most threatened.

    **

    I feel ambiguous, then, about St Félix’ reading of the photo, but grateful that someone has an eye out for form, art, symmetry, in the photo-reporting of a vile, incendiary event.

    Will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?

    Sunday, July 10th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — protest and arrest in Baton Rouge ]
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    will you won
    Reuters – Jonathan Bachman

    It is the stunning balletic quality of this image that catches my attention here, and gives this post a title drawn from Lewis Carroll‘s Lobster Quadrille in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

    Two flags identified, Russians protest Putin’s involvement in Syria

    Monday, October 19th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — curious to see Solidarnost and Gadsden flags together ]
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    I’m always interested in the graphics and symbolism of various groups, so when I saw this image headed Scores of Russians protest against Putin’s involvement in Syria on the Turkish Daily Sabah news site a couple of days ago —

    thumbs_b_c_c83e821e5be87078a17a66c541085fbd

    my eye was caught by the Gadsden Flag, which I’m familiar with from the Tea Party and indeed ChicagoBoyz

    gadsden

    I began checking with my friends to see whether anyone recognized the orange and blue flag, which a couple of friends read as saying Solidarnos.., which in turn led me to this:

    ODD_Solidarnost

    with Solidarnost being “a Russian liberal democratic political movement founded on 13 December 2008 by a number of well-known members of the liberal democratic opposition, including Garry Kasparov, Boris Nemtsov and others..”

    **

    I am curious — does it make sense for these two flags to fly together? And can anyone source the blue flag with the white “V” insignia? I have the sense I’ve seen it around..

    Hat tips: Tom, Mark and Gabor.


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