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Showing posts from March 24, 2013

R-E-S-P-E-C-T and the war

I’ve been pondering Ezra Klein’s apology for supporting the invasion of Iraq. It contains a sentence that I bump up against with incomprehension, like a goldfish trying to understand an aquarium. “I thought that if U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell and former President Bill Clinton and U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair all thought it was necessary, then that was because they had intelligence proving as much.” What I don’t understand is a personality type that actually respects our political leaders – for this sentence could only come out of such respect. There is a chasm like divide between those people who consider that, generally, anybody who has power is a scoundrel most of the time, and those people who consider that, generally, anybody who has power is a responsible and intelligent figure worthy of trust. I am in the former camp. I believe that our leaders should fear the people, and that they operate best when they fear the people. Mostly

Nostromo II

“They beat me, a sick sixty six year old man. They laid me face down on the floor and beat the soles of my feet and my back with a rubber truncheon. When I was seated on a chair they used the same truncheon to beat my legs from above with great force, from my knees to the upper parts of my legs. And in the days that followed, whem my legs were bleeding from internal haemorrhaging, they used the rubber truncheon to beat me on the red, blue and yellow bruises… Lying face down on the floor, I discovered the capacity to cringe, writhe and howl like a dog being whipped by its master.” This is an extract from the last letter written by Vsevolod Meyerhold, who is certainly one of the most important theater directors of the twentieth century. The letter was among the documents released in 1989 from the files of the KGB. The releases of KGB files have revealed that, contrary to the romantic hopes of Western intellectuals, the writers and artists purged by Stalin all broke. It was no su