Political humour – do US news channels ever say things their happy to admit to?
Writing about web page http://www.wanttoknow.info/index.shtml
In preparation for my module STATES OF DAMAGE: Us writing and culture post 9/11, I’ve begun to browse the internet in search of documentaries to brush up on my conspiracy theory knowledge of 9/11 and the current Western “politics of fear”. Bit late in starting you may think? Well, yes. I can’t believe I haven’t been more proactive in finding out more earlier…I think it was taking up this course, and being reminded by the 9/11 anniversary yesterday, that I don’t know enough about the history and scandal of 9/11 and the subsequence events of the current “war on terror”. It is truly a fascinating world of speculation, and quite addictive too. There is SO much stuff out there that you can easily spend days hopping from one documentary to the next, one site to the next, one book to the next.
On particularly good site I’ve stumbled across is Want To Know and the best short film so far, in terms of engagement and atmospheric filmmaking, has been this one about the plane that allegedly crashed into the Pentagon
I also began reading 9/11 Stranger than Fiction, which you can get read aloud to you on google video by a monotone computerised American voice. Annoying as hell, but worth it for the article if you’re too lazy to read the book/to poor to buy it ;)
You’ve probably all seen/read these before…but they’ll be interesting for anyone else doing the course or wanting to follow up 9/11. I guess I’m a latecomer huh? I’ve just suddenly been hit by this extremely urgent need, more so than usual, to understand better the political situation that we’re faced with today, and the only way to understand it better is to begin with the tragic event that kicked it all of in recent years, 9/11.
Writing about web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukhtaran_Bibi
I was driving home just now, listening to radio four and one particular news story hooked my attention: that of Mukhtar Mai, an internationally successful figure in the fight for women’s rights in Pakistan. She’s been in the news lot over the past few years so you may already have heard about her, but I felt compelled to share my enthusiasm for this powerful woman.
Mukhtar was gang-raped on the orders of a rival clan in her native village of Meerwala, Pakistan. Backed by the government, she managed to recieve compensation and won a court hearing that ended with the prosecution of some of her rapists, a feat acheived by only a miniscule minority of Pakistani women who suffer the same fate.
The part of the story that really held me was how she used her compensation to establish two school is her home province, one for girls and one for boys, in order to combat the negative treatment of women with education. She believes this is the only way to create a lasting impression and ethos of respect between men and women in the next generation. She never recieved education as a young girl – there was no school for girls in her village – so she has created the opportunity for young girls to have what she never experience, and what she believed would have made a significant difference. What an enlightened and truly inspiring individual; to use her experience constructively to combat a taboo, but extremely important issue within her native environment.
Her latest progression has been to set up a weblog! I’ve tried to find it but failed…Mukhta is illiterate herself, but she dictates issues and debates about the unacceptable treatment of women in rural Pakistan, which are typed up on her weblog by a local bbc journalist. She is spreading the word and creating an awareness of abuse that has passed us by silently until recently. Good on her.
Writing about web page http://moussut.ohaime.com/
This is my find of the week: Moussu T e lei jouvents (Moussu T and the Yougsters). I first heard about them from the independent arts and books review, susequently found them on myspace music (wherein I became their first, and only, fan – but let that not be a reflection of their talent by any means), and am now particularly taken with the last track of the album, ‘Soulumi’.
The band are a meeting ground for the cultural diversity and vivacity of Marseille port, and their music sees the integration of Brazillian, Jamaican, African, French, and the “Mississippi Delta” to a wonderfully colourful, blusey effect. The album is categorised as blues, and most of the songs fit that mould in rhythm and melodic prominance of the blues guitar, but there are pleantly of reggae beats and barimba twangs in there to add multinational spice to the flavour of Moussu’s music.
What does this music sound like? Why, like Marseille of course! Literally…the cosmopolitain sounds of its many co-existing people, the creak of ships, the rough friction of ropes, the strumming repetetiveness of waves crashing. Simple, raw and laid back, yet exciting music…kind of like a curry – full of different flavours that blend perfectly together.
Have a listen to the full version of Soulumi, or get a broader perspective on the whole album here.
Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5292102.stm
It's been a while since I last posted, but I've begun writing regularly again, and here is a poem that was inspired by the news story given in the bbc link. Obviously, it isn't an acurate account, only inspired by how the story moved me. Enjoy.
And there is always a way. A way in, a way out. A way.
Away – I flew from there like a swallow urged onward by the wind,
my feet pounding the pavement harder than necessary,
attempting to ground myself and prevent my weak knees from buckling.
run so far
in all my life.
Master. It was his way of hoisting my white flag, allowing him victory:
“Master”, I call, tears automatically coursing down my cheeks at him command;
“Master”, the slow strangulation of will, the hard iron cuffs about my skinny
wrists, carving his mark: “Master” into the bark of my bone.
He found me on the way to school. It was as simple as “Hello”, as simple as
a handshake. A How–Do–You–Do. Simple, yet, as is the way with fate, that hand–
shake sealed a contract (I was not old enough to know about small–print)
and hand–in–hand his grip tightened and off he walked, trailing me behind, my
And the tears.
Ten years. Those words mean not a thing to me. What is eight years?
It is not 365 times eight. It is not twelve times eight. It is not measurable for me
except by the childhood I lost, how much I missed my mother, and the memories
I’ll never have; high school boys, the parties and a sweet sixteen. Sixteen was never
But there is always a way, a way in, a way out. There is a way to condense eight years
into an acorn, and
Quick note from Florence – I'm alive and it is HOT out here! (weatherwise)
More soon about the travels…its been wonderful…but first check out my first (second) published work, thanks to Roy :)
A few of my poems can be read in issue IV of Platforms Magazine
The magazine is general very cool so check out the other sections too, and while you're at it browse the back issues ;)
Two down…a life–time to follow…
Does time speed up as one grows older? Kris was trying to explain the physics behind the possibility of time travel: basically (and I'm sure there's a lot more to it than this) if we manage somehow to travel faster than the speed of light, we will begin doing backwards in time. Blows my mind.
Apparently, the faster we move, physically, the more time slows down – does this mean that time's going by so fast because I'm too stationary? Maybe I should try doing more? Yes. Do more. But what? Writing – DUH! And music too. Write faster, read faster, sing faster (higher?) and you'll have more time? I'm sure one of you Warwick physicists out there my want to correct me, I'm just using this as some extended metaphor for my sudden motivation to write write write sing sing sing and do as much of it as possible in the time that I have to myself this summer!
Soft. Ajar and inviting: split me.
So I do, peeling back the bruised skin, slightly wrinkled like a wisened face, to reveal a colony of seeds. Two perfectly equal halves. I brush the entrails of one with my tongue, the tip exploring populations of tiny pods, like a hand emersed in a bag of kernels. They ripple beneath taste–buds, greeting them with the pleasure of reunited lovers.
Eagre teeth sink slowly into the mustard hyde and crunch the stiff seeds, cracking so many shells and severing fibre sinews.
I eat one half at a time.
One of them is held in the pergatory of my plam, resisting the temptation to squeeze and spill the entrails over the lip of the halved skin. The half in my mouth is sugared kalamari, a bag of magic beans, a Romantic's heart, all swilled around and inbetween each tooth. What carniverous pleasure. I cannot wait to eat the vulnerable Other.
I found this in my notebook. It's not great, definately needs redrafting but I thought I'd post it all the same...
sunlight fades and night
crawls into bed
beneath the covers
wraps a gloved hand a–
round my pupil
and darkness dissolves
into that non–space between
sleep and trying
too hard to
in which I toss
of elves who have discovered a new
these irritated limbs
for twisting thoughts
– a flutter –
butterfly beside my ear
each frantic wing–beat
I see the spider's web that's latched you on
I’ll ease into your fragile frame
set you free
(or is it he?)
and heavy whisps of thought
push through my ears
slide along my hair
and out into the air;
I spin my mind throughout the room, around
releasing slaves of memory
who’s chains I wove with this same
upon each strand,
a single tear is thread.
a salty river flows
glazing webs that grow
throughout the room
as if they wear
the morning's dew—
turned these self–indulgencies
into a natural work of art
Three days 'til my Poery and Society exam and I have begun to wish I'd taken an interest in it earlier. Due to various reasons, mostly my attitude towards the course, I haven't worked as hard as I could have this year and now that I am beginning to read the poets of the Romantic and Victorian eras in more depth, I am finding myself enjoying them more and more.
What I really wanted to blog now, is my discovery of Middle Eastern influences in Poetry of this period. Two examples:
Shelley's The Revolt of Islam, a poem in twelve cantos. The revolutionary radicalism in this poem was too much for Shelley's publishers and he was forced to revise it considerably and publish it under another title.
Matthew Arnold's Sohrab and Rustam. Rustam is the epic hero of one of the greatest works in Persian literature, The Shahname and Sohrab was his son. I haven't had the chance to read the poem thoroughly, but it may be Arnold's version of one of The Shahname's many stories concerning Rustam and Sohrab's lives.