Former US Vice President says there was no Saddam Hussein involvement in 9/11 terrorist attacks but that the Iraqi dictator provided terrorists with a safe haven.
Dick Cheney, appearing at the National Press Club on Monday, said that the US intelligence trying to link Saddam with al-Qaeda on September 11 attacks proved to be baseless.
"I do not believe and have never seen any evidence to confirm that [Hussein] was involved in 9/11. We had that reporting for a while, [but] eventually it turned out not to be true," Cheney conceded, according to CNN.
Yet, the hawkish former leader insisted that Saddam was a terrorism sponsor and strongly defended Bush's decision to invade Iraq.
Saddam was "somebody who provided sanctuary and safe harbor and resources to terrorists. ... [It] is, without question, a fact."
"There was a relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq that stretched back 10 years. It's not something I made up. ... We know for a fact that Saddam Hussein was a sponsor -- a state sponsor -- of terror. It's not my judgment. That was the judgment of our [intelligence community] and State Department," he said.
US-led international forces invaded Iraq in 2003 to oust Saddam regime that Washington had claimed was equipped with Weapons of Mass Destruction.
But the US-led coalition body in Iraq, tasked with finding the country's alleged WMDs could find no such weapons.
~ Press TV ~
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Former US Vice President says there was no Saddam Hussein involvement in 9/11 terrorist attacks but that the Iraqi dictator provided terrorists with a safe haven.
Not a single major newspaper nor any national news broadcast has ever reported that on Feb. 6, 1985, a jury in Miami concluded that the CIA was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
This is remarkable, if only because the verdict came in a court case featuring two international celebrities: Water gate burglar E. Howard Hunt -- perhaps the most infamous CIA operative in history -- and his courtroom nemesis -- attorney Mark Lane. Lane's ground-break ing best-seller, Rush to Judgment, had convinced millions of readers there had been a conspiracy in the JFK assassination, the Warren Commission's claims notwithstanding.
Scattered news reports did mention Hunt had lost a libel case against The SPOTLIGHT. However, no media reported what the jury forewoman had told the press:
Mr. Lane was asking us to do something very difficult. He was asking us to believe John Kennedy had been killed by our own government. Yet when we examined the evidence closely, we were compelled to conclude that the CIA had indeed killed President Kennedy.
Until 1992, when Lane recounted the trial in Plausible Denial and put forth additional compelling evidence of CIA complicity in the crime, the only substantive news reports about the trial appeared in The SPOTLIGHT. In issue No. 7 for 1985 (Feb. 18), The SPOTLIGHT announced its victory, detailing the remarkable events that led to the trial.
The affair was set in motion on Aug. 14, 1978, when The SPOTLIGHT published an article by former CIA official Victor Marchetti who revealed the CIA intended to publicly "admit" Hunt had been involved in the JFK assassination, acting as a "rogue" agent without CIA sanction.
A top CIA liaison to anti-Castro Cuban exiles in the early 1960s, Hunt was unknown to the public until the Watergate scandal that toppled President Nixon in 1974 brought Hunt ill fame. Then, after Watergate, when the Rockefeller Commission investigated CIA misdeeds, two eccentric writers alleged Hunt was one of three "tramps" photographed in Dallas minutes after the JFK assassination.
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Whether it's to host Guantanamo detainees or asylum seekers, the EU's services are in high demand, but member nations, which examine both thorny issues Thursday, do not want to be forced into anything.
At a meeting in Luxembourg, European Union interior ministers plan to finalise a mechanism for exchanging information about any former inmates who might be allowed in to the bloc.
US President Barack Obama has said he would close the notorious "war on terror" prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by January 2010 and is seeking host states for up to 60 of the 245 inmates.
The EU loudly demanded the closure of the jail, where prisoners have been held often without charge or trial, and have welcomed Obama's decision to finally shut it.
But national laws differ widely among the 27 EU countries and they are struggling to define a common position on how best to help. None want to be bound to host inmates held under such circumstances and for so long.
Any inmates accepted would only be those "cleared for release" by US authorities, but no legal definition of this status exists and EU nations disagree over exactly what it means, officials say.
It also comes at a politically delicate time, with European Parliament elections to be held Sunday.
"These are extremely sensitive matters," said an official close to EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot, who will take part in Thursday talks.
They are also in the "exclusive competence" of EU governments, and "for the moment, they are more concerned about security issues," he said.
Italy, for one, refuses to host any former detainees.
As there are no border checks inside the 25-nation Schengen zone, "we cannot permit ourselves the liberty of leaving people suspected of terrorism at liberty," Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said Saturday.
He said he planned to raise the problem in Luxembourg, and underlined that he was "not favourable to accepting these detainees in countries not having the legal means to keep them in prison."
France -- which last month admitted an Algerian ex-Guantanamo prisoner -- along with Spain and Britain, which has allowed British nationals from the camp, want to rapidly seal an agreement.
Other nations, notably Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, feel this would be premature while Washington has not yet finalised its own policy on Guantanamo, or taken some inmates in itself.
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From Precedential Plank Seven - Don't Get Even, Get Odd! - Politics As Unusual by Swami Beyondananda
In Odd We Trust
So how do we break this chain of foolishness? Well, first thing is to laugh heartily at the foolish habit we have of getting even — and start getting odd instead. An eye for an eye guarantees continued blindness. On the odder hand, every positive change or great innovation has come from some odd individual with a wild, crazy and laughable idea. Humans flying like birds . . . HA! An end to slavery . . . HA! Women voting . . . HA! An upstart start-up nation insisting on inalienable rights . . . HA! Guaranteed, when humorologists go back far enough in history to find the first laugh, it was probably at the oddball nutcase who invented the wheel.
A Just War is Still . . . Just War
Meanwhile, we accept the most blatant insanity as sane and normal. Like war. Think of how many years the U.S. stayed in Vietnam to “save face.” I guess it takes an oddball to point out that war isn't face-saving, it's ass-losing. We stayed there to save face, and we ended up losing our ass instead. Take a look at the faces of those in charge. Would you lose your ass to save their face? And forget the idea of a “just war.” Every war is justified as just . . . and that's what we've been left with: Just war.
[ ... ]
Are You Ready for Nonjudgment Day?
I have a dream. I have a dream of Disarmageddon and Nonjudgment day, a day of civil discourse when the Elephant lies down with the Donkey . . . and doesn't roll over on top of him. I have a dream that the leaders of the world will all commit Hokey Pokey together at the U.N., and the forces of laughter will become greater than the farces of negativity, criticism and judgment. With no one criticizing, we will have uncritical mass and — it goes without saying — Nonjudgment Day. Now this may sound like some wild, pie-in-the-face vision, but I ask you: Which world would you choose to live in? The world where we dance the Hokey Pokey together, or the one where we blow each other up? The choice is ours every day and every minute . . . love or fear. Will we continue down the well-worn path to Armageddon . . . or take the road less traveled to Disarmageddon instead? Are we going to buy into original sin, or go for humanifest destiny where we actually realize our human potential? Because no matter what I see on the 6 o'clock news I believe we have the potential to be human, that mankind can treat man kindly, and that we can bring about Nonjudgment Day where all heaven will break loose! May we laugh, laugh, laugh till the sacred cows come home. For truly the farce is with us.
But Seriously, Folks ... What would happen if we tried something odder than getting even? What if we applied our human intelligence on behalf of something intelligent for a change? Sure, it's a challenge to give peace a chance, but don't you think war has already taken way too many shots — and missed? Are you satisfied with unnecessary suffering, or ready to take a chance on something new? What if children of God everywhere finally grew up, and became adults of God, aware and enlightened co-creators choosing love and not fear? The World Game — Wouldn't this be a great family game for the whole to world to play? And you know what they say. A family that plays together, stays together. Let the games begin!
Exerpted from Swami for Precedent: A 7-Step Plan to Heal the Body Politic and Cure Electile Dysfunction.
From John Hopkins: John, Yoko, Mick . . . and me by Ben Machell (Times Online)
You just want to write “Everything”. Because until recently I had only the woolliest appreciation of who Hopkins is and what he has done. In 1961 he morphed from nuclear physicist to roving photojournalist, then going on to become a kingpin of the London underground movement. He brought Allen Ginsberg to the Albert Hall and established the countercultural bible the International Times before helping to launch psychedelia with the hugely influential UFO club. When, in 1967, Hopkins landed in Wormwood Scrubs, sentenced for marijuana possession by a judge who called him “a pest to society” under the punitive drug laws that almost resulted in the jailing of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Paul McCartney paid for a page advertisement in The Times as part of the subsequent campaign to liberalise the drug laws. If you have an interest in Sixties counterculture there are worse people to talk to.
We meet because this month an exhibition opens in London displaying the best of Hopkins's photography from 1961 to 1966. Here, you will find Beat Poets, the Beatles and Stones, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, CND demonstrators and American jazz musicians, captured alongside the eerie austerity of postwar London cityscapes and candid depictions of the era's less celebrated cast: the sex fetishists, the tattoo artists, the prostitutes, the drug addicts and the families who, in the atomic age, still lived in 19th-century poverty.
[ ... ]
“There was a rivalry between all of us, but it was only superficial because we were all striving in the same direction,” he explains, insisting that by writing in depth about sex or drugs, these titles were merely sharing information that hundreds of thousands of people wanted to know about. “I thought that communications systems should be common carriers, like the internet is now, without restriction on content.
“I remember sending a letter out to about 100 people I thought were prime movers in one way or another,” he says, on his theme of putting “communications theory” to work. “I think the year must have been 1967 or 1968. It was meant to be an act of inclusion, a way of saying, 'Hi there, we're all really in the same boat; how are you? This is my contact information, this is what I can do'.” The letter, which he digs out, is signed by Hopkins as well as the founder of Oz, Richard Neville, and the co-founder of Village Voice, John Wilcock. The list of recipients ranges from Yoko Ono to Richard Branson. It's the 1960s countercultural equivalent of an exclusive Facebook group. Continued involvement with it and related activities, such as the London Free School (a communally run centre offering arts workshops and an underground hangout), meant that Hopkins's photography fell by the wayside after 1966. It also accounted, he believes, for his stretch in prison: the Labour politician Wayland Young, Baron Kennet, felt that his daughter, Emily (Young, of Pink Floyd's See Emily Play and now a sculptor), was being led astray by the activities of the Free School. Hopkins claims that “he basically arranged to get me busted. The police came to my place and I was charged [with possession]”.
Six months inside followed. “I'd rather have not been in jail while the Summer of Love was happening,” he grins. On his release he married one of the girls who appeared onstage with Frank Zappa as “Suzy Creamcheese” (for his song Son of Suzy Creamcheese), but she “took off shortly afterwards”. He never remarried.
By the start of the 1970s Hopkins had discovered nascent video technology, becoming head of the video department in the Institute for Research in Art and Technology in London. He believed that it was the most fluid medium for unobstructed, uncensored communications, and helped to found the open-to-all post-production company Fantasy Factory. This in turn led to work with the Centre of Advanced TV Studies and commissions from the Arts Council, Unesco and even the Home Office (there is something nicely subversive about this, given that Hopkins was living in a Camden squat at the time).
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Lawyers representing victims of the police raid on the Diaz Centre in Genoa in July 2001 have issued an appeal for anyone with information on the movements of the spy and provocateur ,Martin Hogbin ,while at the summit to contact them.
“The 27th G8 summit took place in Genoa, Italy, in July 2001. The summit was overshadowed by riots in the city after a crackdown by police targeting anti-globalisation groups and the death of a 23 year-old Carlo Giuliani, leading some to talk of a deliberately followed strategy of tension.” (wikipedia) see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/27th_G8_summit
Shortly after midnight on July 21, police conducted raids on support centers for protesters in the Diaz-Pascoli and Diaz-Pertini schools The Italian courts have subsequently heard evidence against police involved in the raid which revealed that the police operation involved more than casual brutalty against those arrested . Hooding ,gassing and a form of waterboarding , were used on prisoners at the detention centre in the nearby town of Bolzaneto - techniques that constitute torture under European law .
It is “intensely suspected” by the victims that an activist list was used for the Diaz raid . Whilst sources are not being revealed in case of future legal action, interviews and research have uncovered the involvement of Martin Hogbin , one of the moles working in anti war groups for the British arms manufacturer BAE .(see : http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2004/may/29/politics.armstrade ) .
Lawyers representing the Diaz victims are especially interested in talking with anyone who travelled with Hogbin to Genoa so that they can build a more detailed picture of what he did and where he went in while there . It is understood that Hogbin travelled on the SWP train from London and camped close to the Diaz centre . If you have any further information contact the Diaz layers at : MattFoot@birnbergpeirce.co.uk
~ Indymedia ~
Rapid developments in the Siemens case are taking place amid a climate of heated political confrontation. The wife and two children of the company's former financial manager Hristos Karavelas ,who fled the country, were arrested . His 23yo daughter charged with money laundering, keeping a joint bank account with her father and transfer of assets in her name faced public prosecutor this morning while his younger daughter and wife, who were arrested upon their arrival in Benizelos Airport today, are facing the public prosecutor at present. The arrest warrant against them refers joint bank accounts opened in 2004 and show transactions in 2008.
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From Family Members of Key Suspect Detained
The wife and daughter of Christos Karavelas, a key suspect in the Siemens cash-for-contracts probe, were detained after their testimony, as they are charged with being accessories to money laundering. They had joint access to Karavelas' bank accounts. Restraining orders were imposed on his other two daughters. In the meantime, the Greek embassy in Montevideo told Athens that Christos Karavelas is not in Uruguay.
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A prominent Swiss expert has called for an urgent evaluation of the contraceptive pill, Yasmin, after a teenage girl taking the pill was left severely disabled following a pulmonary embolism. Doctors say taking Yasmin may have caused the embolism, but manufacturer Bayer yesterday issued a statement yesterday saying such reactions are rare, and similar to other pills. Professor Jean-Bernard Dubuisson - head of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Geneva’s University Hospital – said that, with one in five Swiss women on the pill taking Yasmin, evaluating the risks is urgent.
The head of forensic medicine, Michael Tsokos, told the magazine that a decapitated body without hands and feet – in possession of the hospital for almost nine decades – is likely the remains of the iconic left-wing leader.
The body shows “astounding similarities with the real Rosa Luxemburg,” he said.
CT scans of the corpse revealed that the woman was between 40-50 years of age when she died, and suffered from osteoarthritis and leg length asymmetry.
Rosa Luxemburg was 47 when she was murdered, suffered from a congenital hip dislocation and had one leg longer than the other as a result.
Tsokos told the magazine he doubts that the true Luxemburg was ever buried, substantiating his claim by outlining the numerous inconsistencies he uncovered in her autopsy report conducted in June 1919.
Tsokos’ predecessors examined a corpse that was buried as Rosa Luxemburg on June 13, 1919 in Berlin’s Freidrichsfelde cemetery, but he said records show this corpse did not bear her significant anatomical characteristics.
According to Der Spiegel, the coroners at that time explicitly established that the corpse they investigated had neither a hip defect nor legs of differing lengths. They also failed to find definitive evidence of rifle butt blows to the cranium or a gunshot wound – though Luxemburg is said to have been beaten to the ground with a rifle and then killed by a shot to the head.
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From Why 'Red Rosa's' fans got the wrong grave
The body discovered in the Charité's vault was only discovered by chance as Dr Tsokos was working on putting together an exhibit. A computer scan has revealed the body of a woman aged between 40 and 50, who had suffered from arthritis and had one leg slightly longer than the other. Dr Tsokos said he was now hoping to obtain a personal item of Luxemburg in order to do a DNA test and definitively confirm the body was hers. "A hat would be nice," he said, as it could contain strands of her hair.
Luxemburg was assassinated along with fellow revolutionary Karl Liebknecht. She died at the height of a post World War One leftist uprising in Berlin at the hands of German soldiers still supporting the exiled and defeated Kaiser Wilhelm II. The historian Isaac Deutscher described her murder as "Nazi Germany's first triumph", the celebrated playwright Berthold Brecht wrote a poem in her honour and Communist East Germany named a central Berlin square after her.
Most of the German left – ranging from Social Democrats to hard-line former East German Communists – have a special place in their heart for "Red Rosa". The notion that millions of her fans have been duped for 90 years by going on pilgrimages each January to a grave that does not contain her body was greeted with shock and consternation yesterday.
The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation said that it was "deeply dismayed" to learn that the body of an unknown woman appeared to have been passed off as Luxemburg. It blamed Germany's then Minister for the Army, Gustav Noske, for playing a " disgusting game with the dead" and urged the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel to "clear up the mystery and finally lay Rosa Luxemburg's corpse to rest".
*Imperial Germany's sailors started the mutiny that would lead to the end of the First World War. The German Kaiser was forced into exile and Rosa Luxemburg seized the moment and founded the German Communist Party.
*By January 1919, the revolution was turning violent and Chancellor Friedrich Ebert called in the Freikorps militia to crush the uprising.
*Decades after Luxemburg's death, the dissidents who helped to bring down the Berlin Wall were fond of quoting her maxim: Freedom is always the freedom of the dissenter.
Lawrence J. Korb reports in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:
During the last week of April, I visited four cities in Pakistan (Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, and Karachi). The purpose of the trip was to discuss a December 2008 Center for American Progress report that I coauthored, Partnership for Progress: Advancing a New Strategy for Prosperity and Stability in Pakistan and the Region.
Although this was my first trip to Pakistan, one of the two other colleagues who accompanied me had visited the country on three previous occasions. For two reasons, we had exceptional access to some 60 current and former civilian and military government officials (including a two-hour visit to the ISI headquarters), members of the media and academia, and heads of nongovernmental organizations. First, one of the members of the working group who helped us formulate the report is now the Pakistani ambassador to the United States. Second, several of our colleagues from the Center for American Progress have moved into key positions in the Obama administration. Moreover, since we aren't in government, it was easier for us to challenge the bromides that some officials peddle.
Before the visit, I knew Pakistan was facing several critical political, economic, and security problems. Still, there were some hopeful signs: Pakistan held free and fair elections in February 2008; the country has an independent judiciary and a vibrant civil society and media; and the Obama administration and Congress were finally making U.S. relations with Pakistan a priority.
That said, the day we arrived, the U.S. media gave the impression that Pakistan was in dire straits. Some were going so far as to compare the current condition of Pakistan to that of contemporary Somalia, a failed state already in or about to be engulfed in chaos. Similarly, some high-level officials in the Obama administration contend Pakistan resembles Iran in 1979, a Muslim country about to be taken over by a group of radical Islamists. Others see Islamabad as Saigon in 1975, a capital city about to fall to an advancing enemy. Finally, some analysts compare today's Pakistan to that of Afghanistan in the 1990s, when the Taliban stepped into a chaotic situation and restored order.
After my trip, though, I believe that all of these comparisons are inaccurate and overstated. Pakistan isn't about to descend into chaos, nor will it be taken over by the Taliban any time soon.
The trip reinforced my belief that Pakistan has a great many political, economic, and social problems that prevent it from achieving its full potential. But the majority of the population wants the duly constituted government to fulfill its responsibilities to promote the general welfare and provide for the common defense. They aren't looking to some outside force such as the Taliban to assume control of the country and solve these problems. Unlike Afghanistan in the 1990s, the Taliban in Pakistan isn't seen as a group capable of imposing order on a chaotic situation. Rather, the Taliban is seen as an organization trying to upset the existing order. For instance, the majority of the Pakistani population urged the government to take forceful action against the Taliban when it reneged on its agreement in the Swat District.
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Video from: The Color of Pomegranites.
"THE COLOR OF POMEGRANATES (1969) Sergei Paradjanov's baroque masterpiece was banned in the Soviet Union for its religious sentiment and nonconformity to "Socialist realism"; its director, a tirelessly outspoken campaigner for human rights, was convicted on a number of trumped-up charges and sentenced to five years of hard labor in the gulag. A wave of protest from the international film community led to his release in 1978. Aesthetically the most extreme film ever made in the U.S.S.R., Pomegranates, his hallucinatory epic account of the life of the 18th Century Armenian national poet, Sayat Nova, conveys the glory of what a cinema of high art can be like."
"Interview with director Sergei Parajanov (fragment).
Sergei Parajanov (Sarkis Parajanian) 1924 Tbilisi -1990 Erevan.
One of the 20th century's greatest masters of cinema Sergei Parajanov was born in Georgia to Armenian parents and it was always unlikely that his work would conform to the strict socialist realism that Soviet authorities preferred. After studying film and music, Parajanov became an assistant director at the Dovzhenko studios in Kiev, making his directorial debut in 1954, following that with numerous shorts and features, all of which he subsequently dismissed as "garbage". However, in 1964 he was able to make Tini zabutykh predkiv (1964), a rhapsodic celebration of Ukrainian folk culture, and the world discovered a startling and idiosyncratic new talent. He followed this up with the even more innovative Sayat Nova (1968) (which explored the art and poetry of his native Armenia in a series of stunningly beautiful tableaux), but by this stage the authorities had had enough, and Paradjanov spent most of the 1970s in prison on almost certainly rigged charges of "homosexuality and illegal trafficking in religious icons". However, with the coming of perestroika, he was able to make two further films before succumbing to cancer in 1990.
Steeped in religious iconography, The Color of Pomegranates is a deeply spiritual testament to director Sergei Parajanov’s fascination with Armenian folk art and culture. It is also a controversial work, which, coupled with another of his films, Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors, led to his arrest and imprisonment in a Soviet Gulag for four years. The Soviets insisted he was guilty of selling gold and icons illegally and committing “homosexual acts.” In reality, his only crime was offending the tenets of socialist realism, both in his daring surrealistic form and in his choice of subject matter. While many of the popular films of this era in Soviet cinema were largely propaganda designed to serve the ideological interests of the regime, Parajanov chose to focus on the ethnography and spirituality of the Ukraine, Armenia, and Georgia.
"An abridged history of American-centric warfare, from WWII to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict.
For a breakdown of the actual battles portrayed in the film, visit:
For the official cheat sheet (breakdown of the foodstuffs), visit:
Now, to answer some FAQs...
- The food in this film was consumed either by myself or my dog after shooting. None of the cast went to waste.
- The software used was photoshop and after effects.
- The film took me 3 months to do.
- Although it seems like stop motion, most of it was stop motion created within After effects, using keyframe animation. I am basically moving the food around within the program, frame by frame, which is the same as traditional stop motion, only it's digital."
From The Case Against Art by John Zerzan
During the first million or so years as reflective beings humans seem to have created no art. As Jameson put it, art had no place in that "unfallen social reality" because there was no need for it. Though tools were fashioned with an astonishing economy of effort and perfection of form, the old cliche about the aesthetic impulse as one of the irreducible components of the human mind is invalid.
The oldest enduring works of art are hand-prints, produced by pressure or blown pigment - a dramatic token of direct impress on nature. Later in the Upper Paleolithic era, about 30,000 years ago, commenced the rather sudden appearance of the cave art associated with names like Altamira and Lascaux. These images of animals possess an often breathtaking vibrancy and naturalism, though concurrent sculpture, such as the widely-found "venus" statuettes of women, was quite stylized. Perhaps this indicates that domestication of people was to precede domestication of nature. Significantly, the "sympathetic magic" or hunting theory of earliest art is now waning in the light of evidence that nature was bountiful rather than threatening.
The veritable explosion of art at this time bespeaks an anxiety not felt before: in Worringer's words, "creation in order to subdue the torment of perception." Here is the appearance of the symbolic, as a moment of discontent. It was a social anxiety; people felt something precious slipping away. The rapid development of the earliest ritual or ceremony parallels the birth of art, and we are reminded of the earliest ritual re- enactments of the moment of "the beginning," the primordial paradise of the timeless present. Pictorial representation roused the belief in controlling loss, the belief in coercion itself.
And we see the earliest evidence of symbolic division, as with the half-human, half-beast stone faces at El Juyo. The world is divided into opposing forces, by which binary distinction the contrast of culture and nature begins and a productionist, hierarchical society is perhaps already prefigured.
The perceptual order itself, as a unity, starts to break down in reflection of an increasingly complex social order. A hierarchy of senses, with the visual steadily more separate from the others and seeking its completion in artificial images such as cave paintings, moves to replace the full simultaneity of sensual gratification. Le'vi-Strauss discovered, to his amazement, a tribal people that had been able to see Venus in daytime; but not only were our faculties once so very acute, they were also not ordered and separate. Part of training sight to appreciate the objects of culture was the accompanying repression of immediacy in an intellectual sense: reality was removed in favor of merely aesthetic experience. Art anesthetizes the sense organs and removes the natural world from their purview. This reproduces culture, which can never compensate for the disability.
Not surprisingly, the first signs of a departure from those egalitarian principles that characterized hunter-gatherer life show up now. The shamanistic origin of visual art and music has been often remarked, the point here being that the artist-shaman was the first specialist. It seems likely that the ideas of surplus and commodity appeared with the shaman, whose orchestration of symbolic activity portended further alienation and stratification.
Art, like language, is a system of symbolic exchange that introduces exchange itself. It is also a necessary device for holding together a community based on the first symptoms of unequal life. Tolstoy's statement that "art is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feeling," elucidates art's contribution to social cohesion at the dawn of culture. Socializing ritual required art; art works originated in the service of ritual; the ritual production of art and the artistic production of ritual are the same. "Music," wrote Seu-ma-tsen, "is what unifies."
As the need for solidarity accelerated, so did the need for ceremony; art also played a role in its mnemonic function. Art, with myth closely following, served as the semblance of real memory. In the recesses of the caves, earliest indoctrination proceeded via the paintings and other symbols, intended to inscribe rules in depersonalized, collective memory. Nietzsche saw the training of memory, especially the memory of obligations, as the beginning of civilized morality. Once the symbolic process of art developed it dominated memory as well as perception, putting its stamp on all mental functions. Cultural memory meant that one person's action could be compared with that of another, including portrayed ancestors, and future behavior anticipated and controlled. Memories became externalized, akin to property but not even the property of the subject.
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