DAY 156: Recycled

December 21st, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

By which I mean that I, and others, have been writing so much lately on seasonal and other themes, that it seems a wasted effort to compose fresh material rather than filling the current post with what Heidegger calls ‘the ready-to-hand’, or der Zuhanden. Challenged not to include the word ‘Calais’, or at least to postpone it for as long as possible, I find it sensible to begin with the unprovoked shooting of a Canadian journalist in Bethlehem: a week before Christmas:

Gallery Image
A photograph taken by Rehab Nazzal. “The last image I photographed shows a sniper hiding on the ground near the entrance to one of the city’s hotels,” Nazzal says.

Artist Rehab Nazzal has released a statement that she was shot by a sniper in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem on Friday afternoon while photographing a “skunk” truck, a non-lethal weapon used by the Israeli Defense Forces that sprays chemicals with a strong sewage smell for crowd control.

In the release, which was circulated by artist Jamelie Hassan, Nazzal reports: “While walking, I would take shelter every few metres to avoid the tear gas and the “Skunk” army truck that was spraying sewage chemical liquid on the protesters and the surrounding neighbourhoods. When I stopped by a corner of one of the shops, and while taking some photographs, I was suddenly shot in the leg. I did not realize what had happened. The last image I photographed shows a sniper hiding on the ground near the entrance to one of the city’s hotels.”

The bullet entered and exited Nazzal’s leg without shattering bone, and she is in stable condition.

“What shocked me was the fact that I was alone, with no clashes, no stone throwers, absolutely no one around me, and yet I was intentionally shot by a sniper. This was not an accident,” says Nazzal.

[Have you noticed how, since the election of Justin Trudeau with his pro-refugees stance, the Canadians have shot up in the international good guys charts? I tried to cash in by ponting Celine Dion's 'The Power of Love' on my timeline, but nobody 'liked' it. Here, instead, is Kate and Anna McGarrigle's 'Complainte pour Sainte Catherine']

Birthdays

If you’re one of my 155 ‘friends’, you’ll have been reminded that the 20th was my birthday; and you may even have got round to noticing that on the day I posted an online ‘speech’ encapsulating my thoughts about the previous year. It seems a bit short now I look at it, but probably the better for that; it’s not as if I had a great deal to say…

My birthday speech (in case I die before I give it):
Thanks to you all! I’ve had the best year ever in my weakening memory – beginning in September when, by a series of coincidences, I found myself involved with- nay, welcomed into – a ragtag army of militants mostly less than half my age who wanted to deal practically with the scandal of the Calais jungle. [There, here comes the C-word. It won't feature too often.] Many thanks to them all for accepting me. Even as I despise the FB notion of ‘friendship ‘ – don’t we all -these strange new friends, these late-night messages, have transformed my life! At 76! I feel unbelievably fortunate, and grateful to you all – most specially since my two days in Calais last week.
And you, my longer-term and older friends, you are constantly in my thoughts; as I arrange to see ‘fear eats the soul ‘ which my oldest friend Laura wrote about many years ago. I love you all; I hope we have a great year together and bring down the borders- legal, emotional, spiritual- between us and come a bit closer to universal happiness. ❤[There should be four different-coloured hearts here; but I need to find the HTML code for them.]

Having posted the speech, I fortunately didn’t have to deliver it (like those conference papers which, I believe, are pre-circulated to save time.) So the drinks party which I hosted at the NFT (don’t say you weren’t invited, but you probably had a better offer e.g. Jorge Castano and Daniela Garcia’s professional wine-tasting in the Essex Road), went smoothly, with old and new friends indeed. My report on it: (yes, this is a serious cut-and-paste job!) follows. Note: I’d invited everyone to the bar of the NFT for 4.30, with the option of going on to Fassbinder’s ‘Fear Eats the Soul’ fearat 6.20; a select but really lovely group of friends made it to the event.

Well, the birthday do – in my opinion- was a great success. I learned how you set up a tab, how you avoid panic when your friends are a teeny bit late; and of course, if you’ve invited the right friends, everything will totally gell. (Did anyone get any pix btw? My phone died as usual.)
And ‘Fear eats the Soul’ – what a terrific choice of movie! I was weeping buckets at the close as Ali and Emmi are dancing.
But – as friends pointed out – it’s about racism, not islamophobia. And ageism, which is good from my point of view. Peace and love to all. I must see if I can watch ‘The Marriage of Katharina Braun’.

Poem: Alice Walker ‘I will keep Broken Things’ (Don’t ask what’s that got to do with it)

I will keep
Broken
Things:
The big clay
Pot
With raised
Iguanas
Chasing
Their
Tails;
Two
Of their
Wise

Heads
Sheared
Off;

I will keep
Broken
things:
The old
Slave
Market
Basket
Brought
To my
Door

By Mississippi
A jagged
Hole
Gouged
In its sturdy
Dark
Oak
Side.

I will keep
Broken
things:
The memory
Of
Those
Long
Delicious
Nig ht
Swims
With
You;

I will keep
Broken
things:
In my house
There
Remains
An

Honored
Shelf
On which
I will
Keep
Broken
Things.

Their beauty
Is
They
Need
Not
Ever
Be
‘fixed.’

I will keep
Your
Wild
Free
Laughter
Thoug h
It is now
Missing
Its
Reassuring
And
Gra ceful
Hinge.

I will keep
Broken
Things:

Thank you
So much!

I will keep
Broken
Things.

I will keep
You:

Pilgrim
Of
Sorrow.
< br>I will keep
Myself.

Which leads to music; I may have set myself a rule sometime against including clips from Steven Spielberg films. Let’s break it, and include ‘Sister‘, from ‘The Color Purple’.

DAY 155 Calais again

December 12th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

IMG_0288Alice in front of the Therapy Centre. (My first successful import – and well worth the trouble.)

Oh my faithful readers! مرحبا and welcome and bienvenus! My failing technical ability has finally learned how to compose » Read the rest of this entry «

DAY 154: The Political Report

December 6th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

I can’t imagine that many, if any, of my readers were militants in the British Communist Party in the 1970s. Many of them may have succumbed to Alzheimers, and » Read the rest of this entry «

DAY 153: New blood

December 3rd, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

This long-running publication is undergoing something of a crise de conscience. I have been used to assuming – on all available evidence, no replies, no ‘likes’, etc etc. – that my readership was in the low single » Read the rest of this entry «