HOW IS YOUR SPANISH?

gabriel_garcia_marquez_1.jpg Mine isn’t great (or doesn’t exist!) but I had a request today for this writer and I couldn’t find anything with subtitles so here goes…

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”

“The only difference today between Liberals and Conservatives is that the Liberals go to mass at five o’clock and the Conservatives at eight”

The interpretation of our reality through patterns not our own, serves only to make us ever more unknown, ever less free, ever more solitary.”

Two videos, one an interview in spanish, the second is someone reading a Gabriel Garcia Marquez book. Why anyone would think it is a good idea to record that I don’t know???

VERY BUSY

beckett.jpgUnfortunately, I am very busy with other things for most of this week and I don’t think I will have time to do much writing. Therefore, I shall be posting some excellent short clips and pieces from various writers. Yesterday was Bertolt Brecht, today is Samuel Beckett. This short play is about 15 minutes altogether (it is in two parts).

WHAT WHERE – by Samuel Beckett

BERTOLT BRECHT

Some quotes…

brecht.jpgIt is easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up a bank clerk.

No one can be good for long if goodness is not in demand.”

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

“ANDREA: Unhappy the land that has no heroes! . . . GALILEO: No, unhappy the land that needs heroes.”

“Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men.
For though the bastard is dead, the bitch that bore him is again in heat.”

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Peachum – “the law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don’t understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it. And anyone who wants a crumb of this exploitation for himself must obey the law strictly”

Brown – “I see, then you believe our judges are corruptible”

Peachum – “not at all, sir, not at all. our judges are absolutely incorruptible: its more than money can do to make them give a fair verdict.”

YOUR ANCESTORS WERE SHEEP

Mine were apes. Here is a little film (1 minute) I made on the subject.

There is a major attack on science at the moment. Nonsense like ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’[1] is being passed off as a serious piece of work. Some people are eager to jump on the conspiracy bandwagon and believe it – which conveniently makes them forget that the major conspiracy is the one that has been attempting to cover up the full effects of global warming and the changes that are already taking place.

Climate science is not the only area this is happening. Evolution has been under attack for a long time in the USA and being replaced by intelligent design ‘theory’. Science is being replaced by blind faith.

The consequences of this could not be more serious. If this is allowed to stand we could be back to burning witches and believing the earth is flat before we know it. Blind belief makes a hypocrite of anyone who has it, no matter what it is they profess to believe. As the documentary I have posted below points out, debating intelligent design on its scientific merits gives it the propaganda victory that its proponents want. The idea that they are two competing scientific theories is false.

‘It is a lie to say that in America intelligent design is getting a hold, it is not getting a hold in the scientific community [or] in the intellectual community. It’s getting a hold only among those parts of the population that don’t know anything.’ – Richard Dawkins

Generally, the same people that believe in Intelligent Design are the same people that ‘believe’ in George Bush[2]. Did they believe in Bush when he said that his friend was doing a ‘heck of a job’ in New Orleans? Did they believe him when he sacked him? Did they believe Tony Blair when he said he didn’t like trident? Did they believe him when he said he wants to update it?[3]

The obvious response to this line of questioning is to say that circumstances change but the problem with this kind of belief is that it never changes according to circumstances.

At first glance it looks like the attacks on global warming and intelligent design are unrelated but I can’t help thinking there is a bigger game being played here.

Some of those true believers, the Discovery Institute, stated it openly…

“The social consequences of materialism have been devastating. As symptoms, those consequences are certainly worth treating. However, we are convinced that in order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism. This is precisely our strategy. If we view the predominant materialistic science as a giant tree, our strategy is intended to function as a “wedge” that, while relatively small, can split the trunk when applied at its weakest points. The very beginning of this strategy, the “thin edge of the wedge,” was Phillip Johnson’s critique of Darwinism begun in 1991 in Darwinism on Trial, and continued in Reason in the Balance and Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds. Michael Behe’s highly successful Darwin’s Black Box followed Johnson’s work. We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.”

They are a combination of an attack dog, a lobby group and a think tank. They go on to say…

“Once our research and writing have had time to mature, and the public prepared for the reception of design theory, we will move toward direct confrontation with the advocates of materialist science through challenge conferences in significant academic settings. We will also pursue possible legal assistance in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school science curricula. The attention, publicity, and influence of design theory should draw scientific materialists into open debate with design theorists, and we will be ready. With an added emphasis to the social sciences and humanities, we will begin to address the specific social consequences of materialism and the Darwinist theory that supports it in the sciences.”

It is all very scary stuff. Please watch the following documentaries…

The above was the link for one of them. It seems to have been removed from Google video. Keep trying. It was broadcast on UK tv and was called ‘God’s Next Army’. It focused heavily on Patrick Henry ‘College’ where the students are groomed to go directly into top government positions.

Here is another…

[1] Please follow any or all of these links relating to that documentary…

Climate Change : An Inconvenient Truth for channel 4

Channel 4′s Problem With Science

Climate Sceptic Alert

The Real Climate Censorship

[2] This is not an accident. Pat Robertson wanted to gain effective control of the Republican party for the christian movement. In effect it has happened the other way round.

[3] In Blair’s resignation speech when he said we may disagree with him but we are not allowed to question that he really believed he was right…contradictions and all. I can think of a few dictators that thought that way.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

If anyone wants to know, I went to catholic school and was told at 6 years old I was going to hell which at that age frightened the life out of me and then at ten years old I was told that I was the boy in the class most likely to be a priest. Consequently, I began to find the whole thing somewhat absurd.

I have no religious beliefs now but I believe there are good parts and bad parts in all of them. But there is still a question I want an answer to…

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ORWELL’S POEMS

Not a lot of people have read the poems Orwell wrote.

Here are two, and they are both good.

GEORGE ORWELL – Ironic poem about prostitution

When I was young and had no sense

In far-off Mandalay

I lost my heart to a Burmese girl

As lovely as the day

Her skin was gold, her hair was jet,

I said, “for twenty silver pieces,

Maiden, sleep with me’

She looked at me, so pure, so sad

The loveliest thing alive,

And in a lisping, virgin voice,

Stood out for twenty-five.

 

A HAPPY vicar I might have been
Two hundred years ago
To preach upon eternal doom
And watch my walnuts grow;

But born, alas, in an evil time,
I missed that pleasant haven,
For the hair has grown on my upper lip
And the clergy are all clean-shaven.

And later still the times were good,
We were so easy to please,
We rocked our troubled thoughts to sleep
On the bosoms of the trees.

All ignorant we dared to own
The joys we now dissemble;
The greenfinch on the apple bough
Could make my enemies tremble.

But girl’s bellies and apricots,
Roach in a shaded stream,
Horses, ducks in flight at dawn,
All these are a dream.

It is forbidden to dream again;
We maim our joys or hide them:
Horses are made of chromium steel
And little fat men shall ride them.

I am the worm who never turned,
The eunuch without a harem;
Between the priest and the commissar
I walk like Eugene Aram;

And the commissar is telling my fortune
While the radio plays,
But the priest has promised an Austin Seven,
For Duggie always pays.

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls,
And woke to find it true;
I wasn’t born for an age like this;
Was Smith? Was Jones? Were you?

 

SPIN

First published over at http://www.spinwatch.org
Spin – Behind the Scenes Manipulation of Mainstream News

Documentary by Brian Springer

Review by Michael Greenwell 200pxspinfilmscreengrabba2.jpg

I don’t often buy into all the hype at election time. The difference between the main political parties has narrowed so much that in the US in particular and in the UK to a lesser extent, elections are usually about a small group of people from roughly the same background and the same fruity little clubs amusing themselves and each other at our expense.

That said, I did find this documentary which focuses mostly on the 1992 US presidential election quite interesting. The US election that year was an important year for the TV companies in that for the first time advertising revenues from the campaign coverage made more money than the cost of the reporting.

It consists mainly of footage taken from satellite feeds and it mostly lets the recorded material speak for itself.

In 1992 satellite TV was still in its infancy and hardly anyone had it. This documentary opens with the filmmaker (Brian Springer) explaining…

“In 1992 I bought a couple of satellite dishes and spent the entire year looking through the channels for feeds. I’d lock on to a satellite and go channel by channel through its transmission, recording the feeds. Then I would move on to the next satellite, then the next one and the next one. By the end of the year I’d recorded more than 500 hours of feeds.”

I have no idea if this is still possible but the maker of this documentary recorded what politicians, journalists, spin doctors, advisers, producers etc were saying that wasn’t broadcast as part of the edited and polished TV cut.

The myth of an adversarial, hostile and critical media is blown away here by the simple method of showing us the velveted conversations before the cameras roll. There is the pillow talk between interviewer and interviewee but there are also little asides with media advisers, particularly with Pat Robertson. The aides are most often telling whoever it is how to deal with difficult questions .

Larry King gets it in the neck as he is seen fawning over all the candidates at almost every point and lobbying for himself to be the moderator in one of the presidential debates. Apparently his show was pivotal in this campaign and made the cover of the New York Times 57 times in the course of it.

Here is an off-camera exchange with Clinton…

Larry King – Ted Turner changed the world. He’s a big fan of yours.

Bill Clinton – Is he?

Larry King – He would..ah..serve you, you know what I mean?

Bill Clinton – You’re kidding?

Larry King – Oh you’d be surprised…what’s he got left in life to gain? I’d call him after you’re elected. Think about it.

The new technology also allowed new kinds of campaigning. Campaigns set-up their own satellite feeds in order to get round the traditional method of giving interviews the major TV networks which would then be filtered out to local stations. This meant that campaigns could do ‘The Satellite tour’ where interview after interview is done in the same room by satellite and goes direct to each local station. There is footage of Barbara Bush and Bill Clinton saying almost identical things time and again for each station. Therefore, each station will have a more local feel to its coverage but nothing substantively new is said – it is like the image of the rock star reading the name of the town they are in from the back of his guitar and saying “________ has always been our favourite town to play in.”

Another feature that has unfortunately become much more common since 1992 is video news releases made by people with explicit agendas and given free to local stations complete with intro texts for newsreaders. In this film it is campaign pieces made by the government or people trying to get into government. Nowadays it is a favourite tool of corporations. Then as now, many of the TV stations did not report that the releases were produced by people with an agenda.

The comfiness of the presenters with the major candidates is not the only problem, there is also the matter of the media actively freezing out some of the candidates. For example, who was Larry Agran? I didn’t know till I watched this.

Well, Larry Agran was attempting to become the Democratic candidate. He was cut out of pictures, barely reported and barred from most TV debates. Agran heckled the other nominees from the audience at a TV debate he was excluded from and was arrested. His court date came on the first day of the democratic national convention where he would have had the chance to campaign. Coincidence or conspiracy, you decide!

“With Catch-22 logic, Agran has been told by news media executives that he has not earned the right to media exposure because, among other things, he has not received enough media exposure.”

Why was this person so objectionable I hear you ask? I am not sure but one of his policies was a 50% cut in defence spending and reinvestment of that money in the inner cities. He said

“I’ve challenged my own party for its continuing complicity in cold war thinking, cold war rhetoric and cold war budgets.”

I think that may just have something to do with it.

The documentary talks briefly about the L.A. riots and notes that American audiences were allowed to hear what Bush Snr and Clinton thought of it all but not what the people protesting (peacefully) and rioting (not so peacefully) thought. To prove this there is footage of a peaceful march. Someone from the crowd grabs the microphone and starts speaking to camera whereupon the live coverage is immediately stopped. As for the rioters, do you remember all those helicopter shots? That is as close as anyone went.

I particularly liked this line…

“The voiceless scenes from south central LA, where nearly 50% of the children live in poverty was contextualized by the $600,000 year TV news anchors.”

In passing it mentions the coverage of Columbus Day celebrations where dissenting views about what Colombus was up to are not exactly given a fair hearing. When it comes to African Americans you can’t mention the ‘N’ word, when it comes to Native Americans you can’t mention the ‘G’ word .

Finally, when I review these documentaries I usually watch them three times. The first time just to watch, the second to take quotes and the third to see if I missed anything. Unfortunately, doing that with this documentary I had to see more of Pat Robertson than any sane individual could wish.

It is still worth a look.

You can watch it free at spinwatch video (via google)

Here is its IMDB page

ADDITIONAL

In the Salmond is first minister post (2 below) I should have included this quote from Jack Straw that lets you see how they think…

“historically England called the shots to achieve a union because the union was seen as a way, among other things, of amplifying England’s power worldwide.

A broken-up United Kingdom would not be in the interest of Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, but especially not England.

Our [England’s] voting power in the European Union would diminish. We’d slip down the world’s GDP tables.

Our case for staying in the G8 would diminish and there could easily be an assault on our permanent seat in the UN.”

and i should also have linked to this article called the great deception…
http://www.scottishpolitics.org/scotching/greatdeception.html

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COMPETITION TIME

Another small post about our departing first minister.

I was going to offer a thousand pounds for this but just in case I am wrong I will offer the change in my pocket.

Can anyone tell me a single time in his years as first minister that he OUTSPOKENLY disagreed with bLIAR on a major issue?

I can’t think of a single time.

It begs the question, what was the point in having a first minister then?

Here is an artists rendition of Blair and McConnell yesterday, as they both prepare for retirement.

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