Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 8th, 2014

You want to write a novel? Here’s how

First, read every day for a couple of hours. Start writing every day. Begin by composing a diary.

1. Keep reading a lot, in all kinds of sources

2. Write every day

3. The author might be good and the story too. Still, it is the illusion of being good that drives a reader to continue reading the novel

4. If the dialogue in every chapter do not convey the story, then probably the book is packed with irrelevant sections.

5. It is becoming a trend to begin a chapter with quotes from various “illustrious” personalities. This is an excellent scheme to provide the illusion that the author is a voracious reader and thus, a credible writer.

Actually, I find myself reading all the quotes before resuming with the novel

6. If the novel is short, it means that the author spent enormous effort and time to spare your emotional intelligence. Give the writer credit for doing his due diligence and hard earned labor

7. Spare the reader your direct opinions and countless descriptions in a single chapter. The rarer your opinions the more appreciated and valued are your interjections

8. Don’t fall prey to the Twaddle tendency. A single short and well phrased opinion with eloquent words per chapter may let the reader easily fall for your position

9. No need to let mystery be relegated to the last chapter. There are no mysteries.

Even investigative (detective) books leave clues for the reader to fine tune his expectations.

Your job is to describe the many facets of the mystery so that the reader may pick up elements for a story of his own.

10. Mind you of the “primacy effect“: the quality of the first chapter leaves a good impression for the remainder of the novel.

11. Mind you of the “recency effect“:  The quality of the last chapter leaves a recalling trace that the book was indeed read and appreciated.

12. Ambiguous ideas transform into vacant rambling: clarify your idea and re-edit.

13. “Murder your darlings” as literary critics Arthur Quiller-Couch stated.

Cut-out your darling and cherished but redundant sentences.

Axing your beliefs that feel like Old Friends is hard work, but it is imperative.

14. If you feel strongly about an opinion, due to repeated occasions from personal experience, and if this opinion is imperative to disseminate, then relegate the redundancy to various chapters. In this case, redundant opinions can be registered more effectively.

The Social animal in us: In-Group, out-group behavioral patterns

Groups and tribes are constituted for minor and trivial criteria: Like where you were born, where you work, what your parents favors…

As these in-groups expand into closed-knit community, additional and more substantial reasons emerge to sticking together: and mainly to confront and oppose out-group communities.

And the members of the group receive a disproportionate amount of support for their views.

In-group members tend to view the out-group as pretty similar, the “homogeneity bias

There are over a billion Chinese and you declare that you cannot distinguish between two of the same gender.

Stereotypes and prejudices stem from this In-group bias.

Organizational blindness of in-group members working in the same institution is a known behavior.

Basically, mankind survived adopting most of the in-group biases and behaviors, and individual disconnects were minimal when facing insurmountable barriers.

For example, why do you feel that you have to lay down your life (like going to war and volunteering in the armed forces) for a random group more of a “pseudo kinship“?

Do you believe that male animals know that intercourse will generate babies when they engage in mating activities?

Or the “virgin female” know that this mating will end up giving a litter of same-kind of species?

Possibly, it may dawn on the older males and experienced females after they see the litters, again and again, that they had something to do with the outcome.

I conjecture that it was the same for mankind many thousand years ago.

By observing animals they knew how to release their sexual desires

Most probably, the males naturally used the anus, believing that’s how it should be done.

And fresh females didn’t feel much sensation, except feeling the need for an urgent bowel movement.

Until non-virgin females guided the “new guy on the block” to the right hole.

They fucked left and right, females, males and animals…

Do you think that early mankind knew that intercourse results in babies?

It is a 9-month gestation anyway, a long-time to maturity, and the female engaged in intercourse with many other males, coerced or voluntarily.

I guess the elected of appointed shaman knew how babies come, and he did a good job increasing the tribe, and keeping this secret from everyone except his favorite son or the one he decided to inherit the job.

Could that be one of the main factors that mankind share the same genes in the 5 continents?

Should mankind stick to ancestral traditions that are no longer valid and out of the subject matter?


The contested right to EU-Europe

Unlawful push-backs of migrants at the European border implemented by Spanish and Moroccan security forces have become highly visible throughout 2014.

These repressive practices as well as the human rights discourses justifying or condemning them tell much about today’s power relations in postcolonial Euro-African borderlands: negotiated by various local, national and European actors, yet constantly contested and transformed through transnational migrants’ mobility.

Since the beginning of this year, so-called „hot” unlawful and violent pushbacks of migrants at the border of the Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla in Northern Morocco became very publicly visible.

Disproportional abrasiveness (batons, aggressive police dogs, teargas to the point of rubber bullets) has been used by Spanish and Moroccan frontier guards in order to hinder migrants from getting over the fences or arriving by boat.

Photo by José Palazón: The Moroccan-Spanish border near Melilla (May 2014).

The push-backs, informally referred to as “expulsiones en caliente” (hot deportation), are the result of concerted actions of Spanish Gendarmerie (“Guardia Civil”), national police, and Moroccan security agents.

The Moroccan security agents enter the zone situated between the razor wire fences – two fences, and barbed wire six metres high – and return all migrants to Morocco without any written legal proceeding or the respect of internationally acknowledged guarantees, like the right to seek asylum.

For hours, as this video by the Spanish NGO Pro.De.In. shows, migrants are hold off against state frontier guards with batons and dogs at the very top of the wired fences and floodlight masts, escaping and finally reaching the temporary detention camp, CETI.

Despite brutality: imaginations and hope fuel migration projects

In 2014, last 6th of February, 15 sub-Saharan migrants drowned trying to reach Ceuta from the waterside.

After initial denials, Interior Minister Fernández confirmed that Spanish Guardia Civil agents had fired rubber projectiles and teargas into the water.

The EU home affairs commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, showed concern about the Guardia Civil’s oppressive reaction that may have contributed to the deaths. These disturbing scenes take place legally on Spanish soil.

For several years, this has been quite a hidden practice concerning only little groups of migrants, but recently violent pusbacks have been normalized on a much larger scale.

They affect migrant persons who – short of financial potential to enter Europe by legal means (via visas), and at the risk of losing their lives during a journey that in many cases take several years – refuse to give up hope and to put their imaginations into practice.

They keep on with persistent attempts to realize their diverse migration projects: in need of international protection, fleeing from wars and persecutions, or, fundamentally, in search of another life and a better future.

At the least, the above mentioned incidents brought back into the focus of media coverage the encounters of migrant mobility at the only landborders between Africa and EU-Europe. Ceuta and Melilla literally represent “Europe in Africa”, as De Haas puts it.

They are ultimately incarnating the relations of a shared history between the supposed dominant center of European modernity and its dominated, once colonised periphery.

Human rights commitment and the European border regime

Within this postcolonial setting, migrant activists point out to society’s human rights commitment, stating that the EU’s expanded border control politics violated international guarantees.

Numerous local and countrywide civil society organizations, local initiatives, lawyers and political unions (like CpM in Melilla) both at the Spanish but also at the Moroccan side of the Schengen border denounce these practices of collective and sweeping expulsions of mainly sub-Saharan persons as illegal and unconstitutional according to Spanish law.

The Melilla based NGO Pro.De.In particularly has meticulously documented the incidents via photos and videos.

These images have been widely dispersed, first in social then in mainstream media, in order to inform citizens critically about the lawless and lethal brutality happening at the southwestern external borders of Europe.

Their work uncovers the hegemonic power relations of a “New Europe” and its EU-border regime that has been expanded and transnationalised into North Africa through the help of bilateral agreements and partnership politics in return of guaranteed economic privileges and development aid.

In their report about a recently human rights observation in Melilla in July 2014, a group of lawyers, migrants’ aid and human rights activist stated that there is a real threat of establishing “Guantanamo”-like zones in Ceuta and Melilla where national law is no longer implemented in order to deport or “return” the supposed undesirable migrants without a necessary minimum of guarantees.

Although the conclusions of this mission will be submitted to the respective committees of the UN and the European Council dealing with the prevention of torture – next to a further complaint against the government representative and the chief of Guardia Civil – activists are not very optimistic about successfully addressing the European Union policies with their demands.

Nevertheless, they hope to be heard at juridical instances like the European Court of Human Rights.

From “Fortress Europe” to the logic of “migration management”

Holding a two-faced attitude in the context of managing human movement into and inside the European space by means of distinction between so called undesired “migration” and promoted “mobility”, the EU is accused of openly “waging an authentic dirty war against migrant persons”.

Permanent pushbacks of migrants at the borders of Ceuta and Melilla, assisted by lethal state repression, as happened at the beginning of February, can attest for it.

In fact, since the mid-1990s the EU established its concept of “management of migration”, underpinned by a neoliberal discourse that redefines the border itself as a humanitarian concern. This move shifted the previously national, social and conservative discourse that had problematised migration as a danger to security, national identity, and welfare.

Border politics today, gain rhetorical legitimacy from widely accepted and supported demands to take action against organised human smuggling, trafficking in women, as well as against delinquency and exploitation in migration.

As Sonja Buckel illustrates, the neoliberal model, moderated by international organisations like OECD and IOM, connects the “fight against illegal migration” with the recruitment of economically desired “positive” migration and replaces the failed, because inefficient, walls-up strategies.

Walls-up strategies are usually refered to as “Fortress Europe”. Current discussions about the creation of more legal possibilities to enter Europe in order to fight irregular migration point to this logic of “management”.

The above mentioned oppressive mechanisms of the EU are not at least echoed in the fact put forward by a recent Amnesty Internation report of July 2014: that Spain is one of the countries with most discrepancy (280 million Euro between 2007 and 2013) between the money spent in border control and the budget provided for the attendance of refugees and asylum seekers.

Morocco: “Europe’s Gendarme” or respecting migrants’ rights?

For their part, Moroccan authorities, also show little interest in clearing up, explaining or commenting officially on the new returning proceedings in which they are involved. The Moroccan Kingdom is part of the secure third-party-country belt the EU installed at its margins.

Although having announced a radically new politics of migration in line with an approach that is referred to as humanitarian in September 2013, Morocco is contributing to the well-paid control policy on its territory, currently by constructing a new razor wire fence, financed by the EU and provided by beneficial European security and technology companies.

On the Spanish side, the blades, able to cut tendons, had to be removed due to intense public protests denouncing human rights violations some years ago. Morocco, which already had been condemned for ongoing torture practices in prison, will have to take the responsibility of future human rights violation.

The Spanish-Moroccan cooperation in border issues conforms with the new “Mobility Partnership” signed between EU and Morocco in June 2013 . This agreement is not least directed to finally complete the still lacking and highly contested negotiation about the readmission of what the EU considers “illegal” migrants, not only of Moroccan nationals, but also of non-nationals having demonstrably entered undocumented from Morocco to the EU.

Claiming their right to postcolonial Europe

These incidents in the Euro-Moroccan borderlands, which have been recently highlighted via media and activists, have finally provoked discussion at national and European political and public level – and translate the daily normalized brutality of border control.

The control mechanisms, rearmed with biopolitical (information) technology, are able to detect, supervise and control moving bodies on the land and in the water.

These practices reify a pervasive European border regime, thereby embodying what Étienne Balibar in “We, the People of Europe” calls a “European apartheid”.

Despite apparent efforts to the contrary, this regime doesn’t effectively prevent migration, because migrants have always found new ways to enter into Europe.

However, by regulating and managing it, the EU creates a new subject at the borders: the disenfranchised, precarious subject of the illegal migrant that skilfully arranges and copes in various situational ways with the parlous conditions of the everyday life in the “cosmopolitanised” EU-borderlands.

The anthropologists Regina Römhild and Michael Westrich have indicated this very fact for the case of Spanish Tarifa.

Secondly, the events underline the fact that the control apparatus – externalized, meantime, into Northern Africa and the Sahel zone – is continuously challenged by the movements of migration. It is by means of their presence that migrants from the global South and East claim a right to Europe.

Pointing to the cultural theorist and sociologist Stuart Hall, Regina Römhild argues that they can derive this right from the long history of colonial expansion from the West to the “rest of the world”.

Migrants are, so to say, “Europe’s Others” “without which this Europe would not exist today, the other, that Europe tries to split off from its own history by a neocolonial gesture”.

And finally, there is no capitalism without migration/mobility of labour, as De Genova, Mezzadra, Pickles et al. show convincingly.

Considering the facts that migration itself is a field of struggle and it does play a key role in the routine operations and reproduction of capitalism, this kind of non-intentional migrants’ interventions form “counter-movements” against the neocolonial and capitalist trans-nationalisation.

Migrants’ mobility: inspiring another European future

The continued presence of so-called “irregular” migrants’ mobility as well as their struggles for fundamental rights are questioning both physical borders and socio-cultural boundaries of EU-Europe.

Migrant actors do so, often unintentionally, just simply but not only, by “attacking the fences” as they themselves name it. This challenging of European borderlands – not only between Morocco and Spain – has been creating a turbulent centre of manifold entanglements and encounters: that is, cosmopolitanised social spaces of enmeshments between the supposed migrant “other” and so-called “national local”.

Here, multilevel negotiations, pragmatic alliances and situational collaborations take place in everyday interaction, next to experiences of neo-nationalist and racist defence. In this sense, today`s encounters at, outside and behind the EU-Europe borders, are cause and constitutive part of salubrious, yet conflict-ridden societal transformations.

They might contribute essentially to juster models of political, societal and cultural formations, ultimately dealing with a very important question: how do we want to live together?

All 130 countries that now recognize Palestinian statehood

Sweden announced that it will recognize the state of Palestine, becoming the first member of the European Union to do so. 

Stefan Lofven became the prime minister of a new center-left government this month and used his inaugural address to parliament to say that a “two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine.”

October 4, 2014

Currently, more than 130 countries officially recognize Palestine:

Tap image to zoom

That is significantly up from about 90 that did so in 1988, when the Palestinian National Council unilaterally declared independence based upon a two-state solution:

Tap image to zoom

Sweden’s move follows the UN General Assembly’s recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine as a non-member observer state in 2012.

(The Palestinians presented 122 countries as recognizing them (pdf) when they made their bid.)

The rest of the EU has yet to recognize Palestine in the aftermath of the vote, though some European countries like Hungary and Poland have recognized the Palestinians and did so before joining the EU.

The next country to consider the issue?

The UK, which will vote on recognition of Palestine after the parliament’s summer recess ends on Oct. 13th.

Vote Yes, and sent an email to your British deputy.




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