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Feral Journalism - Rewilding Dissent

Media Lens - Fim, 29/01/2015 - 09:37

One of the weirdest features of contemporary culture is the way even the best corporate journalists write as though under enemy occupation.

Journalists admit, even in public, but particularly in private, that there is much they just cannot say. As Noam Chomsky has noted, the best investigative reporters 'regard the media as a sham' trying to 'play it like a violin: If they see a little opening they'll try to squeeze something in that ordinarily wouldn't make it through'.

Of course, the truth of the sham is one of the 'tunes' that doesn't get played. While not typically subject to Big Brother-style threats, journalists are keenly aware that they can be swiftly 'disappeared' by the grey, profit-oriented suits draped in hierarchical chains above them.

To his credit, George Monbiot is one of the better journalists who seriously wrestles with his conscience on these issues. The crisis apparent in his writing and in his reaction to criticism – Media Lens 'drives me bananas', he says - is characteristic of someone trying, and failing, to overcome the limits on free speech.

Writing in the Guardian, Monbiot rails against 'the rotten state of journalism' and confesses: 'I hadn't understood just how quickly standards are falling'.

It is a classic moment of semi-quixotic, Monbiotic dissent. The 'rotten state of journalism' could be a reference to the inherent contradictions of a corporate 'free press', the Guardian included. On the other hand, the article has been carefully titled, 'Our "impartial" broadcasters have become mouthpieces of the elite.' (Our emphasis)

And who is the target when Monbiot notes that 'those who are supposed to scrutinise the financial and political elite are embedded within it. Many belong to a service-sector aristocracy, wedded metaphorically (sometimes literally) to finance. Often unwittingly, they amplify the voices of the elite, while muffling those raised against it'?

These criticisms could also implicate the 'quality' liberal press. But Monbiot quickly scurries down to lower moral ground by supplying specific examples from, who else?, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and everyone's favourite media punch bag, the BBC. The Beeb, of course, is sufficiently different from the Guardian to spare the latter's blushes.

As Monbiot says, the BBC 'grovels to business leaders', supplying '"a Conservative, Eurosceptic, pro-business version of the world"'. And this, he notes archly, 'is where people turn when they don't trust the corporate press'. Again, this widens the target for a brief moment before Monbiot concludes:

'Those entrusted to challenge power are the loyalists of power. They rage against social media and people such as Russell Brand, without seeing that the popularity of alternatives is a response to their own failures'.

But he points away from his own employer:

'If even the public sector broadcasters parrot the talking points of the elite, what hope is there for informed democratic choice?'

The concluding comments are ironic indeed, for while the Guardian does host Brand's output, it has also led the ferocious liberal assault on his reputation, as we noted here. And it has performed the same role in attacking Julian Assange, Hugo Chavez, Noam Chomsky and many other dissidents.

On the face of it, Monbiot would appear to be rationally and ethically obliged to remind his readers that the paper hosting his condemnation of broadcast media is itself a prime example of the problem he is describing. We tweeted him:

'"Those entrusted to challenge power are the loyalists of power." Isn't that also true of Guardian/Independent journalists?'

And:

'Also true of journos who write, "Our broadcasters have become mouthpieces of the elite", without mentioning their own media?'

Monbiot did not respond. A fellow tweeter, however, chirruped back:

'undoubtedly true, but even GM [Monbiot] can't stop sea levels rise. Besides, no job no platform. He's an ally, even if works for Graun.'

And:

'GM written an article I am sure you agree with? Unrealistic to expect direct criticism of his employer. Be happy!'

This is pretty much what we receive every time we challenge a 'mainstream' dissident: they are doing their best within the constraints of the system; we should support rather than criticise them.

From this perspective, rational questions, even polite challenges, are viewed as a betrayal of 'solidarity'. This might be arguable if the world was making steady, positive progress rather than hurtling to hell in a climate-denying handcart. But anyway, as Glenn Greenwald writes:

'Few things are more dangerous than having someone with influence or power hear only praise or agreement.'

Feral Journalism - Rewilding Dissent

Media Lens - Fim, 29/01/2015 - 09:37

One of the weirdest features of contemporary culture is the way even the best corporate journalists write as though under enemy occupation.

Journalists admit, even in public, but particularly in private, that there is much they just cannot say. As Noam Chomsky has noted, the best investigative reporters 'regard the media as a sham' trying to 'play it like a violin: If they see a little opening they'll try to squeeze something in that ordinarily wouldn't make it through'.

Of course, the truth of the sham is one of the 'tunes' that doesn't get played. While not typically subject to Big Brother-style threats, journalists are keenly aware that they can be swiftly 'disappeared' by the grey, profit-oriented suits draped in hierarchical chains above them.

To his credit, George Monbiot is one of the better journalists who seriously wrestles with his conscience on these issues. The crisis apparent in his writing and in his reaction to criticism – Media Lens 'drives me bananas', he says - is characteristic of someone trying, and failing, to overcome the limits on free speech.

Writing in the Guardian, Monbiot rails against 'the rotten state of journalism' and confesses: 'I hadn't understood just how quickly standards are falling'.

It is a classic moment of semi-quixotic, Monbiotic dissent. The 'rotten state of journalism' could be a reference to the inherent contradictions of a corporate 'free press', the Guardian included. On the other hand, the article has been carefully titled, 'Our "impartial" broadcasters have become mouthpieces of the elite.' (Our emphasis)

And who is the target when Monbiot notes that 'those who are supposed to scrutinise the financial and political elite are embedded within it. Many belong to a service-sector aristocracy, wedded metaphorically (sometimes literally) to finance. Often unwittingly, they amplify the voices of the elite, while muffling those raised against it'?

These criticisms could also implicate the 'quality' liberal press. But Monbiot quickly scurries down to lower moral ground by supplying specific examples from, who else?, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and everyone's favourite media punch bag, the BBC. The Beeb, of course, is sufficiently different from the Guardian to spare the latter's blushes.

As Monbiot says, the BBC 'grovels to business leaders', supplying '"a Conservative, Eurosceptic, pro-business version of the world"'. And this, he notes archly, 'is where people turn when they don't trust the corporate press'. Again, this widens the target for a brief moment before Monbiot concludes:

'Those entrusted to challenge power are the loyalists of power. They rage against social media and people such as Russell Brand, without seeing that the popularity of alternatives is a response to their own failures'.

But he points away from his own employer:

'If even the public sector broadcasters parrot the talking points of the elite, what hope is there for informed democratic choice?'

The concluding comments are ironic indeed, for while the Guardian does host Brand's output, it has also led the ferocious liberal assault on his reputation, as we noted here. And it has performed the same role in attacking Julian Assange, Hugo Chavez, Noam Chomsky and many other dissidents.

On the face of it, Monbiot would appear to be rationally and ethically obliged to remind his readers that the paper hosting his condemnation of broadcast media is itself a prime example of the problem he is describing. We tweeted him:

'"Those entrusted to challenge power are the loyalists of power." Isn't that also true of Guardian/Independent journalists?'

And:

'Also true of journos who write, "Our broadcasters have become mouthpieces of the elite", without mentioning their own media?'

Monbiot did not respond. A fellow tweeter, however, chirruped back:

'undoubtedly true, but even GM [Monbiot] can't stop sea levels rise. Besides, no job no platform. He's an ally, even if works for Graun.'

And:

'GM written an article I am sure you agree with? Unrealistic to expect direct criticism of his employer. Be happy!'

This is pretty much what we receive every time we challenge a 'mainstream' dissident: they are doing their best within the constraints of the system; we should support rather than criticise them.

From this perspective, rational questions, even polite challenges, are viewed as a betrayal of 'solidarity'. This might be arguable if the world was making steady, positive progress rather than hurtling to hell in a climate-denying handcart. But anyway, as Glenn Greenwald writes:

'Few things are more dangerous than having someone with influence or power hear only praise or agreement.'

Syriza

Gunnar Skúli bloggar - Sun, 25/01/2015 - 23:20

Núna virðist ljóst að Syrizas hafi unnið kosningarnar í Grikklandi. Þess vegna eru miklar líkur á því að ný ríkisstjórn Grikklands muni véfengja aðferðafræði Evrópusambandsins og Alþjóðagjaldeyrissjóðsins á lausn kreppunnar í Grikklandi. Sú hugmyndafræði gengur út á það að mistök bankanna séu greidd af almenningi en ekki af þeim sem ollu. Þess vegna verður mjög athyglisvert að fylgjast með framvindunni þegar verkfærum bankanna(ESB og AGS) verður ógnað af hugmyndum Syrizas.

Til að Syrizas nái árangri þarf Syrizas að beina auknum fjármunum til þeirra sem verst hafa það í grísku samfélagi. Þá fjármuni verður Syrizas að fá að láni hjá bönkunum og samtímis fer Syrizas fram á að skuldir sem almenningur í Grikklandi ber enga sök á verði afskrifaðar hjá bönkunum. Það mun verða mjög spennandi að fylgjast með þeirri baráttu. Munu stuðingsmenn Syrizas halda vöku sinni og veita flokknum það aðhald sem þarf til að ná árangri gegn mútum og hótunum.

Rúmlega þriðjungur grískra kjósenda hafa numið staðar og ákveðið að segja fjármálavaldinu stríð á hendur. Almenningur við Miðjarðahafið gæti ákveðið að fara í sömu vegferð og Grikkir og þar með ógnað veldi fjármagnsins. Meira hangir á spýtunni, helstu verkfæri fjármagnsins í Evrópu, þ.e. ESB og Evran gætu verið í hættu ef Syrias og systurflokkar í S-Evrópu ná völdum og krefjast þess að manneskjan sé í fyrirrúmi en ekki fjármagnið.

Framundan eru mjög spennandi tímar. Ef Syrizas heldur til streitu stefnu sinni verður mjög fróðlegt að fylgjast með viðbrögðum fjármálavaldsins. Ef hefðbundnar aðferðir eins og  ruslflokkun matsfyrirtækja í eigu bankanna og vaxtahækkanir á ríkisskuldabréfum bera ekki árangur, hvað verður Grikkjum boðið uppá. Eina litla byltingu eða styrjöld í Evrópu? Vonandi mun þetta þó verða friðsamleg breyting okkur öllum til hagsbótar.

Valdhafarnir þurfa aðhald

Gunnar Skúli bloggar - Fös, 23/01/2015 - 22:27

Í dag eru (lang)flestir mjög sáttir við umboðsmann Alþingis. Hann hefur staðið sig vel gagnvart valdinu. Hann hefur kreist út úr því, eins og úr gamalli tannkremstúpu, að minnsta kosti hluta af sannleikanum. Valdið mun sjálfsagt sjá til þess að þetta endurtaki sig ekki.

Í dag varð mér hugsað til togstreitunar um valdið. Okkar er valdið en við notum það ekki. Við krefjumst ekki réttar okkar og á meðan misnotar valdstéttin valdið okkar. Við getum ekki gert ráð fyrir fyrirmyndarríki ef við söppum á sjónvarpinu og treystum því svo að opinberir aðilar hafi eftirlit með valdhöfunum.

Málin í dag, Hanna Birna og lekamálið, Steingrímur J og hrægammasjóðirnir, fleiri virkjanakostir, ný kvótalög og fleira og fleira minna okkur á að valdstéttin þarf aðhald.

Spurningin er hvort Hanna Birna verður lítil krumpa á ”flekklausum” ferli valdstjórnarinnar eða við vöknum upp og breytum þjóðfélaginu. Okkar er valið.

Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

Media Lens - Fim, 22/01/2015 - 08:35

Last week, climate researchers at both NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that 2014 was the planet's warmest year in the modern record, going all the way back to 1880. The ten warmest years have now occurred since 2000, with the sole exception of 1998 when there was a strong El Niño warming event in the Pacific Ocean.

Climate scientist Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University put the scale of global warming in stark perspective when she told Associated Press:

'The globe is warmer now than it has been in the last 100 years and more likely in at least 5,000 years.' (Our emphasis.)

Don Wuebbles, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Illinois, who has worked on reports for the UN Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change, said:

'We have a clear signal that our climate is changing, and when you look at the evidence it's because of human activities.

'The evidence is so strong I don't know why we are arguing any more. It's just crazy.'

In fact, any rational argument about whether dangerous climate change is real, and whether humans are largely responsible, is long-settled. What is needed now is urgent action to cut carbon emissions based on the climate justice principles of precaution and equity.

The stakes could not be higher. In a recent in-depth piece, Dahr Jamail interviewed several scientists, including Professor Paul Beckwith of the University of Ottawa in Canada, a researcher in abrupt climate change. Beckwith warned:

'It is my view that our climate system is in early stages of abrupt climate change that, unchecked, will lead to a temperature rise of 5 to 6 degrees Celsius within a decade or two. Obviously, such a large change in the climate system will have unprecedented effects on the health and well-being of every plant and animal on our planet.'

Professor John Schellnhuber, one of the world's leading climate scientists, says that 'the difference between two degrees and four degrees' of warming 'is human civilisation.'

Jamail noted that a study in Nature in 2013 warned that a 50-gigaton 'burp' of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the East Siberian sea is 'highly possible at anytime.' Because methane is a much more powerful global-warming gas than carbon dioxide, this methane 'burp' would be the equivalent of at least 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide. (For comparison, humans have released a total of around 1,475 gigatons of carbon dioxide since the year 1850.)

Human stress on the Earth's environment has become so severe that the planet has entered the 'danger zone', making it much less hospitable to our continued existence. Researchers warn that life support systems around the globe are being eaten away 'at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years'. It is 'a death by a thousand cuts', shifting the world to 'a warmer state, 5-6C warmer, with no ice caps'.

Professor Will Steffen, of the Australian National University and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, is the lead author of two new studies on 'planetary boundaries' being breached by human activity around the globe. He warns that although there would still be life on Earth, it would be disastrous for large mammals such as humans:

'Some people say we can adapt due to technology, but that's a belief system, it's not based on fact. There is no convincing evidence that a large mammal, with a core body temperature of 37C, will be able to evolve that quickly. Insects can, but humans can't and that's a problem.'

He added ominously:

'It's clear the economic system is driving us towards an unsustainable future and people of my daughter's generation will find it increasingly hard to survive. History has shown that civilisations have risen, stuck to their core values and then collapsed because they didn't change. That's where we are today.'

Climate expert Jørgen Randers, who co-authored the classic book The Limits to Growth in 1972, is similarly scathing about the current system of economics:

'It is cost-effective to postpone global climate action. It is profitable to let the world go to hell.'

Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

Media Lens - Fim, 22/01/2015 - 08:35

Last week, climate researchers at both NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that 2014 was the planet's warmest year in the modern record, going all the way back to 1880. The ten warmest years have now occurred since 2000, with the sole exception of 1998 when there was a strong El Niño warming event in the Pacific Ocean.

Climate scientist Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University put the scale of global warming in stark perspective when she told Associated Press:

'The globe is warmer now than it has been in the last 100 years and more likely in at least 5,000 years.' (Our emphasis.)

Don Wuebbles, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Illinois, who has worked on reports for the UN Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change, said:

'We have a clear signal that our climate is changing, and when you look at the evidence it's because of human activities.

'The evidence is so strong I don't know why we are arguing any more. It's just crazy.'

In fact, any rational argument about whether dangerous climate change is real, and whether humans are largely responsible, is long-settled. What is needed now is urgent action to cut carbon emissions based on the climate justice principles of precaution and equity.

The stakes could not be higher. In a recent in-depth piece, Dahr Jamail interviewed several scientists, including Professor Paul Beckwith of the University of Ottawa in Canada, a researcher in abrupt climate change. Beckwith warned:

'It is my view that our climate system is in early stages of abrupt climate change that, unchecked, will lead to a temperature rise of 5 to 6 degrees Celsius within a decade or two. Obviously, such a large change in the climate system will have unprecedented effects on the health and well-being of every plant and animal on our planet.'

Professor John Schellnhuber, one of the world's leading climate scientists, says that 'the difference between two degrees and four degrees' of warming 'is human civilisation.'

Jamail noted that a study in Nature in 2013 warned that a 50-gigaton 'burp' of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the East Siberian sea is 'highly possible at anytime.' Because methane is a much more powerful global-warming gas than carbon dioxide, this methane 'burp' would be the equivalent of at least 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide. (For comparison, humans have released a total of around 1,475 gigatons of carbon dioxide since the year 1850.)

Human stress on the Earth's environment has become so severe that the planet has entered the 'danger zone', making it much less hospitable to our continued existence. Researchers warn that life support systems around the globe are being eaten away 'at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years'. It is 'a death by a thousand cuts', shifting the world to 'a warmer state, 5-6C warmer, with no ice caps'.

Professor Will Steffen, of the Australian National University and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, is the lead author of two new studies on 'planetary boundaries' being breached by human activity around the globe. He warns that although there would still be life on Earth, it would be disastrous for large mammals such as humans:

'Some people say we can adapt due to technology, but that's a belief system, it's not based on fact. There is no convincing evidence that a large mammal, with a core body temperature of 37C, will be able to evolve that quickly. Insects can, but humans can't and that's a problem.'

He added ominously:

'It's clear the economic system is driving us towards an unsustainable future and people of my daughter's generation will find it increasingly hard to survive. History has shown that civilisations have risen, stuck to their core values and then collapsed because they didn't change. That's where we are today.'

Climate expert Jørgen Randers, who co-authored the classic book The Limits to Growth in 1972, is similarly scathing about the current system of economics:

'It is cost-effective to postpone global climate action. It is profitable to let the world go to hell.'

Charlie Hebdo And The War For Civilisation

Media Lens - Fim, 15/01/2015 - 08:41

In 2003, a top security expert told filmmaker Michael Moore, 'there is no one in America other than President Bush who is in more danger than you'. (Michael Moore, 'Here Comes Trouble – Stories From My Life,' Allen Lane, 2011, p.4)

Moore was attacked with a knife, a blunt object and stalked by a man with a gun. Scalding coffee was thrown at his face, punches were thrown in broad daylight. The verbal abuse was ceaseless, including numerous death threats. In his book, 'Here Comes Trouble', Moore writes:

'I could no longer go out in public without an incident happening.' (p.20)

A security company, which compiled a list of more than 440 credible threats against Moore, told him:

'We need to tell you that the police have in custody a man who was planning to blow up your house. You're in no danger now.' (p.23)

But why was Moore a target? Had he published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad?

The problem had begun in the first week of the 2003 Iraq war when Moore's film 'Bowling For Columbine' won the Oscar for best documentary. At the March 23 Academy Awards ceremony, Moore told a global audience:

'I've invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us. They are here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction, yet we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or the fiction of orange alerts: we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush. Shame on you! And anytime you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up! Thank you very much.' (p.5-6)

About halfway through these remarks, Moore reports, 'all hell broke loose'. On arriving home from the ceremony, he found three truckloads of horse manure dumped waist-high in his driveway. That night, Moore witnessed for himself the extent to which US corporate journalism defends the right to offend:

'...as I flipped between the channels, I listened to one pundit after another question my sanity, criticise my speech, and say, over and over, in essence: "I don't know what got into him!" "He sure won't have an easy time in this town after that stunt!" "Who does he think will make another movie with him now?" "Talk about career suicide!" After an hour of this, I turned off the TV and went online – where there was more of the same, only worse – from all over America.' (pp.9-10)

This is the reality of respect for free speech in the United States. If, on Oscar night, he had held up a cartoon depicting President Bush naked on all fours, buttocks raised to a pornographic filmmaker, would Moore still be alive today?

Charlie Hebdo And The War For Civilisation

Media Lens - Fim, 15/01/2015 - 08:41

In 2003, a top security expert told filmmaker Michael Moore, 'there is no one in America other than President Bush who is in more danger than you'. (Michael Moore, 'Here Comes Trouble – Stories From My Life,' Allen Lane, 2011, p.4)

Moore was attacked with a knife, a blunt object and stalked by a man with a gun. Scalding coffee was thrown at his face, punches were thrown in broad daylight. The verbal abuse was ceaseless, including numerous death threats. In his book, 'Here Comes Trouble', Moore writes:

'I could no longer go out in public without an incident happening.' (p.20)

A security company, which compiled a list of more than 440 credible threats against Moore, told him:

'We need to tell you that the police have in custody a man who was planning to blow up your house. You're in no danger now.' (p.23)

But why was Moore a target? Had he published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad?

The problem had begun in the first week of the 2003 Iraq war when Moore's film 'Bowling For Columbine' won the Oscar for best documentary. At the March 23 Academy Awards ceremony, Moore told a global audience:

'I've invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us. They are here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction, yet we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or the fiction of orange alerts: we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush. Shame on you! And anytime you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up! Thank you very much.' (p.5-6)

About halfway through these remarks, Moore reports, 'all hell broke loose'. On arriving home from the ceremony, he found three truckloads of horse manure dumped waist-high in his driveway. That night, Moore witnessed for himself the extent to which US corporate journalism defends the right to offend:

'...as I flipped between the channels, I listened to one pundit after another question my sanity, criticise my speech, and say, over and over, in essence: "I don't know what got into him!" "He sure won't have an easy time in this town after that stunt!" "Who does he think will make another movie with him now?" "Talk about career suicide!" After an hour of this, I turned off the TV and went online – where there was more of the same, only worse – from all over America.' (pp.9-10)

This is the reality of respect for free speech in the United States. If, on Oscar night, he had held up a cartoon depicting President Bush naked on all fours, buttocks raised to a pornographic filmmaker, would Moore still be alive today?

something went wrong

Áhugaverðar greinar - Mán, 12/01/2015 - 11:21

af heilum

Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir bloggar - Fös, 09/01/2015 - 21:06

Eins og svo oft áður er einungis hægt að hugsa í númeruðum liðum. Eins og svo oft áður er best að hugsa sem minnst. Að hugsa lætur mann svitna og gráta. Ég hugsa ekki, þessvegna er tilveran bærileg. Ég er lifandi, þessvegna svitna ég og græt, það suðar í heilanum, mig langar að jaðarsetja hann, mig langar að segja honum að fokka sér, mig langar að segja honum að fara heim til sín, láta mig í friði, ég þoli hann ekki, hann hlýðir ekki, hann lærir ekki réttu hlutina, hann kann ekki að læka, hann kann ekki að vera með, hann heldur að hann sé eitthvað sem hann er ekki, hann er ekki til friðs. Inní honum fljúga 1000 flugur, hann er rotnandi hræið af heila og í flugunum suðar jafn hátt og í honum, hann reynir stöðugt að rísa upp, skilur ekki að hann á að liggja, fastur undir martröðum kynslóðanna, fastur á hafsbotni mannkynssögunnar, hann suðar í mér stöðugt, hann suðar um pláss, um alltof mikið pláss, allt plássið mitt.

– – – – –

Einhverntímann sagði einhver brandara um frelsi, jafnrétti, bræðralag en ég er búin að gleyma því hvernig hann var.

– – – – –

1. Um forréttindi.
Að læra um forréttindi er mjög erfitt. Forréttindi eru sett saman úr fjölmörgu en meðal annars því að þurfa ekki að læra það sem þú vilt ekki læra. Þannig að ef þú nýtur forréttinda geturðu neitað að læra um forréttindin sem þú nýtur og þannig farið um hina sammannlegu tilveru algjörlega blind á eigin forréttindi. Kannski er réttara að segja að það að kenna um forréttindi sé mjög erfitt. Sérstaklega vegna þess að þau sem reyna að kenna eru yfirleitt án forréttinda og þau sem ættu að nema hafa þau og geta af þeim sökum neitað að læra.

2. Um brandara.
Hér stendur víst: Kóraninn er algjört drasl, hann stoppar ekki kúlur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Þessi brandari birtist eftir fjöldamorðin á mótmælendum í Egyptalandi, þar sem í það minnsta eitt þúsund manneskjur vorur myrtar á Rabaa al-Adawiya torgi, af herforingjastjórninni -okkar-, slatti brenndur lifandi. Í kjölfar þessarar slátrunar fylgdu -strong condemnations- frá vestrænum leiðtogum sem vita náttúrlega best af öllum hvenær er við hæfi að -strongly condemn- og hvenær er við hæfi að  -standa öll saman- og hvenær er við hæfi að gera innrás. Friðarverðlaunahafi Nóbels, Obama, herra Múlatti eins og sumir vilja kalla hann, sagði að þetta væri allt mjög slæmt og alls ekki í lagi og -urged people to show restraint- og þing Bandaríkjanna sendi svo einn og hálfan milljarð bandaríkjadollara til herforingjastjórnarinnar, svona til að sýna hversu strong the condemnation væri. Ekkert fordæmir betur en peningur.

En hvað um það, brandarinn stendur fyrir sínu, hann er sekúlar og upplýstur og í honum er hefð, það má ekki gleymast, evrópsk hefð og enginn kann betur að grína en Evrópa; brandaraheimsálfan Evrópa, hvílík álfa, enginn er eyland en sumar álfur eru eyjur, Evrópa, þar sem aldrei hefur neitt heyrst nema hlátur og fliss, við Evrópa, við hlægjum okkur inná og útaf listum viljugra, við hlægjum okkur inní og útúr nýlendum, inní og útúr vinnubúðum, inní og útúr þrælaskipum, inní og útúr ópíumstríðum, inní og útúr þúsund ára ríkjum, inní og útúr útrýmingarbúðum, inní og útúr Kongó og Perú, inní og útúr Víetnam, inní og útúr einhverjum upplifunum um dauð, brún börn og pabba þeirra að gráta, inní og útúr pyntifangelsum. Við hlægjum þegar við grátum og það kann enginn annar í öllum heiminum, þú þarft að vera upplýst á einstakan hátt og með hefð þér í liði til að kunna þá miklu list, að sjá hvað veröldin er vond, gráta oft og mikið en kunna svo að yppta öxlum, anda djúpt og skella uppúr, svona er lífið, á eyjunni Evrópu sem flýtur alltaf ofaná, eins og aðflutt vatnalilja á kaldri tjörn, þar sem litlir fiskar synda og bíða eftir litlum mat úr litlum dollum. Frelsi til að hlægja að heimsendi á meðan þú gefur litlu fiskunum pínkulítið fiskafóður, æ litlu fiskar, ef þið bara gætuð hlegið með mér. Frelsi til að hlægja jafn hátt og Voltaire að eigin fyndna brandara: Gyðingar eru aðeins fávísir villimenn, sem hafa lengi sameinað viðurstyggilega ágirnd með fyrirlitlegri hjátrú og eru haldnir óbilandi hatri á ölllum þeim sem bæði þola þá og gera þeim kleift að auðgast. Frelsi til að segja sama brandarann aftur og aftur, í gegnum aldirnar, með örlitlum áherslubreytingum, ekki of miklum þó, frelsi til að gleyma honum og geta þessvegna alltaf sagt hann í fyrsta skipti, frelsi til að hitta fólk og segja um það brandara, sama brandarann aftur og aftur og aftur.

Nr. 3
Um heimsborgara.
Á ferðum okkar um veröldina lærðum við að hið hegemóníska narratív vestræns frjálslyndis um íslam sem stærstu ógnina við tjáningarfrelsið, er satt og rétt. Samhengið og það sem að því lýtur er aðeins innflutta ólífan í drykknum okkar, við tyggjum hana og kyngjum áður en við förum að sötra. Mikið var það gott fyrir okkur, mikið var þetta skemmtilegt ferðalag, ólífan minnir á það, husker du oliven vi fik der nede?

Nr. 4
Um mannlega tilveru.
Sama fólk, alveg nákvæmlega sama fólk og brjálaðist vegna islamófóbíu útsendara auðvaldsins, þeirra Sveinbjargar og hinnar þarna, telur sig nú mikla mannréttindafrömuði og guðs útvalda vesturlandabúa og deilir islamófóbískum myndum í miklum ham og af miklli arfleiðar upprisu. Í upprisunni þarf það ekki lengur að skilja neitt, allra síst sig sjálft. Að segja the mind boggles dugir ekki lengur, svona industrial grade hræsni þarf eitthvað sem ég á ekki til.

En hér, hér er brandari. Gleðileg vesturlönd og fyndið nýtt ár.

 

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