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Showing posts from October 17, 2004
Bollettino LI has been reading, lately, of an early generation that tried to suppress, as it could, a terrorist threat that eventually destroyed their entire society. I mean, of course, the terrorist threat posed by the early Christians, and their persecution by the defenders of that inflation of the status quo known as Empire. Unfortunately, the edition of Gibbon from which I am getting my unbiased account of the Christian pissants and the Roman mercies is the one e-booked for, I believe, CCEL. This edition contains not one but two sets of notes from defenders of the faith, who ardently gibber contradictions of Gibbon’s calm, implacable destruction of Christian myths of martyrdom. To read it, as I am doing, on an Microsoft Reader means going from a page of main text to a page of footnote, inside of which is nested another footnote, and so on. Thus, Gibbon’s eviscerations, which already punctuate his marmoreal dismissals with extensive and confusing abbreviations of ecclessiasti
Bollettino The U.S. is gearing up for major war crimes in Fallujah. Apparently, the Bush administration, seeing that the attacks on Kerry for criticizing the Vietnam War have had an outstanding success, has decided to associate their candidate with their very own Iraq My Lai. Thus, pleasing that segment of the American public that values toughness, especially when it comes to squeezing blood from non-white skin. We are all so proud here at LI. There isn’t a voice in the American press that is crying out against this. Hell, there hasn’t been a voice crying out against the inhuman and criminal methods developed by the Americans to enforce crowd control in the cities they occupy – random strafing by helicopters and drones, bombing that targets civilians, etc. The sham that Americans came into Iraq to establish democracy has long been exploded, at least in Iraqi eyes. The upcoming My Lai is a gamble. Americans believe that the Iraqis, being of a lesser race, valuable only insofar as
Bollettino In LI’s opinion, most prizes are so much hackwork, and the most honest ones are still for pickles or pies in some shady Ozark ville. Still, our ears rather perked when the National Book Award nominees were announced. Last year, the award prostituted itself by lavishing unnecessary trumpery on Stephen King with all the aim of the float of some bankrupt krewe. This year, the award decided to repent with gruel and stale bread and nominated five writers who seemed more like names on some Iowa state creative writing scholarship more than the five writers who wrote the best American novels last year. These obscurities will not, alas, be lit by the giving of the award. Novels are not poetry – obscurity is not prized, in the novel writing field, as a piece of authenticity. Since we make a living reviewing, and read an average of one hundred new novels per annum (“these are the chains I forged in life…”), we have a pretty good chance of reading at least one of the candidates
Bollettino “On September 15,1883, Dr. Hippolyte Bernheim (1840–1919), professor on the faculty of medicine at Nancy, France, reported the following experiment in post-hypnotic suggestion: I instructed S that he would come back and see me after thirteen days at ten in the morning. Awake, he remembered nothing. On the thirteenth day, at ten in the morning, he was present . . . He told me that he had not had this idea during the preceding days. He did not know that he was supposed to come. The idea presented itself to his mind only at the moment at which he was required to execute it. (Bernheim,1883–1884, pp. 555–556)” So begins a fascinating article in this Spring’s Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences with the Hollywood friendly title “THIRTEEN DAYS: JOSEPH DELBOEUF VERSUS PIERRE JANET ON THE NATURE OF HYPNOTIC SUGGESTION by Andre Leblanc. Hypnotism – that unspeakable seduction of all the guardians of the subject’s boundaries – was very much in the air in the
Bollettino Our motto in Iraq Finally, the U.S. has come up for a motto for its splendid little bloodletting in Iraq. In a story about the after-effects of trying to dislodge a murderous thug in Najaf, on the behest of a murderous thug in Baghdad, we came across the verbal stylings of one Carrie Batson : “Capt. Carrie Batson, a spokeswoman for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said that the pace of payments for injuries, death and damage had picked up and that more than $1 million had been given out. "We will pay for damage, death, injury caused by us," she said.” There it is: We will pay for damage, death, injury caused by us. Incisive, isn’t it, with just that hint of being against frivolous lawsuits which we know is the hallmark of the Bush interregnum. Meanwhile, history is moving with lightning speed in the frivolous war. We no longer read headlines about Chalabi, our former man in Iraq, who has been making advances to Moktada al-Sadr. Oddly enough, Cha