Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 7th, 2012

I DON’T GET “ART”. And I’M SICK OF PRETENDING

You think that you are an artist, and a few friends artists, or not, think that you are indeed an artist…and I don’t comprehend what’s so artistic in your “production”…Does this situation prove that you are no longer an artist, or that there is no chance for me to learn to be an artist if I put my mind into that domain? For example:

1. Let’s consider how Seth Godin understands art. He posted “How being artistic can be taught?”:

‎”All artists are self-taught. Techniques, skill and a point of view are often handed down, formally or not.

Of course, it’s easier to get started if you’re taught.

But art, the new, the ability to connect the dots and to make an impact–sooner or later, that can only come from one who creates, not from a teacher and not from a book.” End of Seth quote

And if we are taught the wrong way? Can we recover with bad practice? The theme in Seth piece is that there is the Genes factor that is the determining element…Actually, if not a single member in the extended family nurtured you in one field of art, it is doubtful that you’ll consider art as a field to pursue. You have not been initiated and exposed to an artistic field as kid, and the odds are that you failed to practice enough in art to become an acceptable artist…

2. Glen Coco has another approach to art. She wrote 11 months ago:

“You know what? I’m sick of pretending. I went to art school, wrote a dissertation called “The Elevation of Art Through Commerce: An Analysis of Charles Saatchi’s Approach to the Machinery of Art Production Using Pierre Bourdieu’s Theories of Distinction”. I have attended art openings at least once a month for the last five years, even fucking purchased pieces of it.

The other night, after attending the opening of the new Tracey Emin retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, I’m finally ready to come out and say it: “I just don’t think I get art”.

img_8465

I’m like, 99% sure that nobody’s ACTUALLY into art and it’s just some exclusive club you can only join, if you’ve got more money than interesting things to communicate to the rest of the human species. Just as nobody wanted to be the first one to go up to the Emperor and say “dude, I can see your arsehole”, nobody wants to be the one to go up to the lady in the above photograph and say “you are at least 50 years old. What the fuck are you doing?”

img_8485

Look at these fucking guys! Just to be clear: They are in the process of spending three minutes looking at a photograph of a woman they don’t know sitting on a chair. Can you imagine how quickly they’d be skipping over this photo if it was in their mum’s holiday snaps?

img_8481

This video, for the minute that I watched, was literally just what you see in this picture. Tracey riding a fucking horse. What you can’t see from this picture is the room full of people staring at this with one hand on their chins and super serious expressions. One girl was even taking notes!

There are times I wish I possessed the requisite attention span to absorb endless amounts of totally pointless bullshit.

img_8483

If that film isn’t ridiculous enough for you in its current format, how about watching it while hunched over on a teeny-tiny chair so you look like a complete twat while you’re doing it?

img_85461

Are you fucking kidding me? Just in case you can’t tell from the picture, this is a photo of Tracey rubbing money against her vagina. Which people are going to pay money to look at. That’s like a Zoolander joke that the writers rejected for being “a bit transparent”.

img_84741

This piece deals with themes of “making kids who have been dragged to the exhibition even more pissed off than they already were by presenting them with something that would be fucking awesome to play on, but that they’re not allowed to touch”.

img_8544

“God, people that don’t get why this shelf full of car boot sale crap is meaningful are so crass and uncultured.” Imagine having to explain this exhibition to an alien or a medieval time traveler. Bet you can’t.

img_8558

According to the exhibition guide, this piece is one of a number of small pieces that “can easily be missed or walked past – but you have to read them, give them time.” I think perhaps I need a little more time to read this one.

img_8498

I have never wanted to do anything more than Catwoman the fuck out of this room.

img_8564

After saying “fuck everything about this place”, I started to head towards the exit, where I ran into noted Brummie horsewoman Janet Street Porter. After reading recently Janet’s fantastic and thought-provoking piece in the Daily Mail about what a travesty it is that the English language has gone from the beauty of Shakespeare to a series of senseless emoticons and hashtags, I was surprised to see her looking at such unskilled art. She must have been researching a piece about the devolution of art from this:

john-martin-the-destruction-of-sodom-and-gomorrah

To this:

img_8506

Alright, I’ll Do It – I’ll Give Art a Second Chance

I Trolled Some Kanye West Fans

Couple Blogging Is Lame

Occupy Twilight: RPattz Die Hards Take Stratford

“The vow to return the key” for a Palestinian refugee family house in Israel

I watched a 4-part TV series on the channel ARTE and I liked it.  It is called “The Vow” (Le serment).

Elisa is a young Jewish/Israeli doing graduate studies in London and she is preparing to return to Israel to do her military service (of about 3 years). Elisa family is well-to-do and living in a spacious villa by the sea-shore.  Elisa invites her best friend, the British Erin. to accompany her to Israel and ease her nervousness.

Erin stumbles on her grandfather diary (I call him John) and discover that he lived a very sad life after he returned from his military service in Palestine after WWII, from 1945 to 48.  Erin grabbed this opportunity to follow-up on the story of her grandfather and visit the places where he served, and also to return a key to a Palestinian family house around Haifa.

Apparently, Erin’s mother must have read the diary or heard her father recount the horrors and disappointments he suffered in Palestine, and she was furious that Erin is going to Palestine/State of Israel.

Erin is totally ignorant of Palestine, Israel and politics.  Elisa has been brainwashed to support the State of Israel unconditionally, without proper background knowledge of how Israel was created and who were the Palestinians.

Erin and Elisa discovered that the father of Elisa’s mother was one of the Irgun Zionist terrorists (headed by late Prime Minister Menahim Began 1980-84) who blew up the King David Hotel (headquarter of the British mandated military troops), and where Erin’s grandfather was injured…

This piece of news came about as Elisa mother was furious at one of the Palestinian “terrorist” activities that almost killed her son Paul. And Paul to remind his mother of the genesis of terrorism in Palestine, and Elisa’s mother to admit that the Zionists started the custom of perpetrating terrorism.

Paul served his military time located in Hebron (Al Khalil) by the Dead Sea (300 meters below sea level) in the occupied territory of the West Bank and witnessed and participated in the humiliation of the Palestinians. Paul said: “You could do anything with any Palestinian, and even kill him without blinking an eye lid. One day, I levelled my gun to the head of a young girl, just for fun and to demonstrating my power, and the girl started to cry softy, and I changed from the inside and became a member of “Peace Now” Israeli movement…”

The Zionist armed forces, mainly trained by the British during WWII, turned against the British mandated forces after WWII on the ground that it was not facilitating the immigration of the Jews from eastern Europe, after they experienced the German concentration camps…

One uncle of Elisa, an elder Irgun terrorist, declared: “We decided to return to Palestine and stay, and we were ready to wipe out the British forces by any means available if they stood against our wishes…and we did bomb them and hanged British soldiers to set example of our determination…”

As the UN voted for the creation of the State of Israel in 1947 on 53% of the Land of Palestine (the Jews constituting less than 40% of the population), the military branch of Zionism the Hagana of Ben Gurion set in motion the terror activities against the Palestinian towns and villages and committed genocides to force the Palestinians to vacate their properties.

John witnessed the genocide perpetrated by the Zionist terrorists on the Palestinians in Deir Yassin and could do nothing to prevent the horror.

There is this scene of Zionists forces waiting for the British to vacate Haifa. As soon as the British military moved to be embarked, the Zionists started shooting on Palestinian civilians, a killing field, under the eyes of the British who had orders not to intervene in the slaughtered…

John hurriedly visited his Palestinian friend Mustafa and told him bluntly that the Jews are ready to take Haifa and that the British will not intervene and that the “Arab” armies will have no time to come to the rescue. Mustafa reluctantly took his large family to the embarkation and gave the key to the house to his young son Hassan (12 year-old) to keep, as soon as they return to the house within a month.

On the way to the port, Hassan slipped from the family and joined a small group of Palestinians fighting back the Zionists. John promised Mustafa to find Hassan before the ship set sail. John found Hassan and had to join Hassan fighting the Zionists in order to save him and return him safe to his family. Hassan died of a sniper shot.

John could not locate Mustafa to relay the terrible news because the British jailed John for refusing to obey the order of “neutrality”.

Hassan gave John the Key to the house before he died, and John vowed to return the key to Mustafa, a “serment” that could not be accomplished.

Erin is now trying hard to locate the Mustafa family, and had to visit Hebron where her intelligence pieces directed to go and she found out that only two of Mustafa relatives live there. One Palestinian woman said that the family transferred to Gaza after the radical Jewish colons in Hebron decided to live in the spacious house. The story is that Mustafa took in the Jews in his house to save them from potential persecution, and after Israel invaded the West Bank in 1967, the Jews kicked out Mustafa and his family from the house…

Erin is in Gaza and is witnessing another Palestinian girl committing a suicide attack. The Israeli forces are vacating the entire family of the suicide bomber in order to blow up the house in retaliation.  Erin locked her body with chain in order to prevent the demolition of the house, and Elsa was sent over to Gaza to calm down Erin.

It turned out that the grandmother (Youmna) of the suicidal girl was the daughter of Mustafa, and she was paraplegic and Erin returned the key of Youmna’s house in Haifa (inhabited by Jews).  Thus satisfying the vow of her grandfather. 

This Pseudo-State is bleeding its chattel dry (Lebanon)

I have expanded on the social/political structure of the pseudo-State of Lebanon in many articles, and this post means to go to the nitty-gritty of how the government gets richer and the chattel not receiving a dime in return. The only expenditure on infrastructure is on asphalt to cover a few roads at election times (see note 1).

The main theme of this post is to describe the Independent Municipality Fund in Lebanon, and I have to explain a few other economical and financial problems first in order to set the social environment straight.

In 2006, the government of Seniora PM instituted the TVA, a tax collected on every product or service the “citizen” purchase. The TVA rate was 10%, with the promise that product manufactured or produced internally will be exempt from TVA (that was the biggest joke ever)

It turned out that TVA was applied to every level of the trading  chain from importing to wholesalers to intermediate chains…to retailers.  Not only the government got richer from the successive TVA collected on the intermediate level, but the hapless “citizen”, whom I call chattel,ends up paying about 25% TVA rate!

Another example, the citizen has to pay TVA on gas, and the government collect TVA on the gas distributors too.  The gallon of gas for cars has increased in price three folds in the last 4 years to about $8 per gallon.

Mind you that the citizen has to pay twice for electricity: The bill of the government and the bill to the private providers. The government spends $2 billion to subsidize electricity because it intentionally refuses to upgrade and build new power plants…On the ground that:

1. Private providers are primarily owned by the sectarian militia leaders of the civil war and still running the country…

2. The government wants to privatize the power sector and doing what is needed to bust the already shaky power infrastructure…

And Lebanon, the only country that receive any rain in the Middle-East (800 mm), scarcely has potable water, even during the rainy season. And what the chattel do in the 7-month dry season? They pay for water trucks at the rate of $75 per transport, every two weeks…

Mind you that Lebanon governments never submitted a budget to the parliament since 1993, and is not about to agree on a budget even this year, or the next year.

And during all these years, $11 billion vanished into thin air, and no a piece of accounting record or paper scrap to show how all that money was spent on.

What of this Independent Municipality Fund in Lebanon?

A law was enacted in 1979 that has been changing almost every year since 1993 in order to figure out how to siphon the 11 kinds of taxes collected from municipalities and mismanage the money back into the pockets of the sectarian militia leaders of the civil war who are still running this pseudo-State.

For example, the theoretical detailed protocol for distributing the municipality Fund read as follows:

1. 75% of the Fund goes to the municipalities and 30% to the union of municipalities in every district.

2. Out of this portion supposedly re-distributed to the municipalities by the minister of finance, 70% goes to cover the running budget and 30% for development projects.

How the Fund reserved for the running budget of municipalities are supposed to be allocated?

1. 60% are allocated according to the number of “registered inhabitants” and Not based on the effective people residing in the municipality.

2. 40% are allocated based on the average taxes collected in the last two years.

There are 42 municipalities in Lebanon with actual residing people at least double the number of registered inhabitants. The total residing people is about 916,000, compared to 230,000 registered.

There are 324 municipalities witnessing the reverse trend: The total of registered is over one million, compared to 336,000 effective residents

Since taxes are mostly based on the “rental value” of properties, the towns oriented toward tourism receive far higher shares than the agricultural villages.

The evaluation of tax collected does not consider the improvement effected in the collect. Thus, municipalities have no incentives whatsoever for going the extra mile into improving the collect system and programs: The larger municipalities are biased in the share they receive, though they are the worst in efficiency in tax collection…

The main problem is that the successive pseudo-governments, particularly after 1993, have been changing the law for the allocation and distribution of the Independent Municipality Fund.

Worse, the money is to be distributed in September, but the municipalities had to wait years to get any fund, distributed on election periods.  

Obviously, no citizen expects any development from his municipality.  The obvious purpose is that the governments have been diverting the Fund into covering the government budget deficits, primarily spending (50%) of the “budget” on paying interests on the over $60 billion loans.

The latest two ministers of communication (cell phones…) decided to retain the money generated (and not deposit it with the finance minister) until a steady and reasonable protocol is agreed upon to redistributing the money to the Independent Municipality Fund 

Note 1: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/still-marching-for-secular-reforms-what-distance-the-lebanese-have-to-travel-for-civil-rights/

Note 2: The part on the Independent Municipality Fund was inspired from a piece by Sami Attallah submitted to the daily Al Nahar


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

Blog Stats

  • 954,809 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 476 other followers

%d bloggers like this: