Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Kafka

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 138

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

In his “Prison colony”, Kafka describes a system that functions 24 hours a day meant to break the will of any person so that he lose the drive to live. Israel has instituted this monster system in the everyday life of a Palestinian, going to school, to work, to the market, to the hospital, control posts and presentation of identity cards.

Hilda Silverstein, shouted at Michael Walzer and said: “How dare you ask a Palestinian not speak on his past?  Have you Jews stopped reminding the world of the holocaust and the miseries of the Jews in Europe?

Israeli historian Ilan Pappé says Israel’s presence in Palestinian territories is not occupation – it’s colonization.

Trump administration had already isolated the USA from most world communities, the climate, the trade, human rights committed in the UN… before Donald pronouncement on Jerusalem. This administration has to rely on Israel, Saudi Kingdom, Guatemala and the Philippine’s assassin Duterte.  Shrinking so miserably must hurt from 2 decades ago of vast influence.

Soon, the businesses of USA will be targeted by all kinds of forms and will Not abate, before Trump ask Congress to rescind its 1995 law of Jerusalem Capital of Israel. 

Saudi Kingdom and its Crown Prince are off the public radar: Their Big Lie and treacherous activities could No longer be sustained

Zionism infiltrated the Evangelical sects in the USA, and since 1915 the USA has been the instigator for establishing the State of Israel, by pressuring England in WWI to  recognize a land for the Jews in Palestine in 1917

Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. warned in 1913 after printing money was turned over to a Zionist multinational Trust in the name of Federal Reserve Bank: “This act establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the President signs this act the invisible government by the money power, proven to exist by the Money Trust Investigation, will be legalized. The new law will create inflation whenever the trust wants inflation….From now on, depression will be scientifically created.”

If you prompt a business or engineering university student to expand on the meaning of “performance”, when supported by a specific example, it might dawn on him to spell out another piece of jewels such as: “max profit”, “minimize cost”, “improve quality”, “increase production”, “save time”, or “increase market share”.

In order to reach a finer level of specificity for what performance means we need to define functionally, for example, what “max profit” means. 

A string of monosyllables rains from every where such as: “increase price”, “cut expenditure”, “sell more”, and again “improve quality”, “save time”, or “increase market share”.  If we agree that profit is a function of market share, price, expenditure, added values of products, and marketing services then we can understand what could be the basic criteria and which criteria is dependent on the basic ones.

 

 

Almost no one

There’s a huge difference between “no one” and “almost no one”.

Almost no one is going to hire you.

Almost no one is going to become a true fan.

Almost no one is going to tell someone else about your work.

Almost no one is going to push you to make your work ever better.

If only 1% of the US population steps up, that’s 3,000,000 people in the category of “almost no one.”

If only one out of 10,000 internet users engages with you, that’s still hundreds of thousands of people.

The chances that everyone is going to applaud you, never mind even become aware you exist, are virtually nil. Most brands and organizations and individuals that fail fall into the chasm of trying to be all things in order to please everyone, and end up reaching no one.

That’s the wrong thing to focus on. Better to focus on and delight almost no one.

A bird in search of a cage

So much freedom, so much choice, so many opportunities to matter.

And yet, our cultural instinct is to find a place to hold us, a spot where we are safe from the responsibility/obligation/opportunity to choose. Because if we choose, then we are responsible, aren’t we?

HT Kafka

Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz’s estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied

“You may know how to use fancy design tools, but if there isn’t that leap that leads to connection, it doesn’t matter….you’re not making art,” says Godin. “We didn’t build stuff because we need more beautifully laid out menus. We did it because people want to be touched, noticed, and connected.”

 

Where is “Your Home Country”? Do you feel Exiled?
Witold Gombrowicz wrote in his Journal, 1953, on Homeland and Exile.
On Homeland:
Be assured that your homeland is neither Grójec, Skierniewice, nor the entire country!
Let a forceful blood irrigates your face and colors your cheeks at the thought that You are the Homeland.
Are you no longer living in Grodno, Kutno or Jedlinsk ?
Has a person ever traveled anywhere else but in himself?
You are at home, even as you live in Argentina or Canada: Your homeland is not a location on a map, but the life essence of man.
Come on, no need to cry. Don’t forget that as you lived daily in Poland, Poland never meant mush to you.
Today, you don’t live in Poland, and Poland lives ingrained in you.
This new Poland that you have to define as the deepest of your humanity, the labor of many generations.
Everywhere the eyes of a male discover his destiny in the eyes of a young girl, a homeland is born.
Every time you feel angry or in ecstasy, let your fist rises against infamy, and a new homeland is created.
Every time the words of the wise, or the music of  Beethoven inflames your soul to the highest celestial spheres, in the Equator or in Alaska, a homeland is born.
In the square of Saxe at Warsaw, or in the Market of Cracow, you will be but poor bums, gatherers of miseries without fire or place, ambulating for small money, if you allow vulgarity kills the beauty in you…”
Question: Do you currently feel that you are at home and comfortable among the Silent Majority?
On Exile
The words of Cioran (a French author of the 50’s and 60’s) breath the humid coldness of caves and the dampness of the graves.
His words are too mesquine. Actually of whom this is about? Who should we comprehend in the definition of  “exiled authors”? Rimbaud ? Norwid ? Kafka ? Slowacki ?…
As many men, as many exiled people.
I doubt that any single one of them authors will be precisely scared of this kind of Hell…
Let’s us not forget that Art is nourished of elements of solitude and perfect autonomy. It is in himself that the artist finds satisfaction and a reason to be.
A homeland?
All eminent person, from the fact of his eminence, is a stranger, even in his own house.
Readers? These writers never wrote for their audience, always against their readers.
Honor, success, celebrity, glamour?
They have become celebrity because they learned to have esteem for themselves at a higher level than their success.
Theoretically, and all material difficulties set aside, I think that this plunge in the external universe that exile represents must bring to literature a vigorous impulse.
Here you have the elites of a country booted out of their borders.
This elite class can thus think, feel and write from the outside.
The elite class takes its distance. It acquires a spiritual freedom, rarely attained.
All the shackles and links are broken down. We can be much more than ourselves.
In this generalized effervescence, the established forms are relaxed and untied. We are now capable of walking toward the future in a more rigorous manner…
I don’t deny that in order to vanquish solo these difficulties requires plenty of decisions and moral courage.
Should we feel astonished if, scared of our weakness and by the magnitude of our duties, we hide our head in the mud, and replay past parodies for ourselves, run away from the universe in order to remain in our little world?”
(Lack of opportunities to work, education, and health care… are sources of feeling exiled. You tend to go into isolation and shun company…)
Note: Khalil Toubia shared Littérature et Poésie‘s photo and the original French texts:
Patrie : Sachez bien que votre patrie, ce n’est ni Grójec, ni Skierniewice, ni même le pays tout entier ! Qu’un sang puissant vous monte au visage, et colore vos joues à la pensée que c’est vous-mêmes qui êtes votre Patrie ! Vous n’habitez plus Grodno, Kutno ou Jedlinsk ? Mais l’homme a-t-il jamais séjourné ailleurs qu’en lui-même ? Vous êtes chez-vous, même en habitant l’Argentine ou le Canada, car la Patrie n’est pas un lieu sur la carte, elle est l’essence vive de l’homme. […]<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Allons, ne pleurnichez pas ! Et n’oubliez pas que, tant que vous habitiez la Pologne, la Pologne – chose quotidienne- ne vous frappait guère. Aujourd’hui que vous ne l’habitez plus, mais installée en force, elle vous habite, -cette Pologne qu’il faut définir comme votre humanité la plus profonde, le travail de maintes générations. Partout – sachez-le bien - où le regard du jeune homme découvre sa destinée dans les yeux de la jeune fille, naît la Patrie. Chaque fois que monte à vos lèvres la colère ou l’extase, que votre poing se dresse contre l’infâmie, chaque fois que la parole du sage ou le chant de Beethoven embrase votre âme en la transportant jusqu’aux sphères célestes, alors – en Equateur ou en Alaska - naît la Patrie. Mais, sur la place de Saxe à Varsovie ou sur le Marché de Cracovie, vous ne serez que de pauvres clochards, des colporteurs sans feu ni lieu, des amasseurs de pognon ambulants, si vous permettez que la vulgarité tue en vous la beauté.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Witold Gombrowicz -Journal, 1953
Witold Gombrowicz -Journal, 1953
Patrie :
“Sachez bien que votre patrie, ce n’est ni Grójec, ni Skierniewice, ni même le pays tout entier ! Qu’un sang puissant vous monte au visage, et colore vo…s joues à la pensée que c’est vous-mêmes qui êtes votre Patrie ! Vous n’habitez plus Grodno, Kutno ou Jedlinsk ? Mais l’homme a-t-il jamais séjourné ailleurs qu’en lui-même ? Vous êtes chez-vous, même en habitant l’Argentine ou le Canada, car la Patrie n’est pas un lieu sur la carte, elle est l’essence vive de l’homme. […] Allons, ne pleurnichez pas ! Et n’oubliez pas que, tant que vous habitiez la Pologne, la Pologne – chose quotidienne- ne vous frappait guère. Aujourd’hui que vous ne l’habitez plus, mais installée en force, elle vous habite, -cette Pologne qu’il faut définir comme votre humanité la plus profonde, le travail de maintes générations. Partout – sachez-le bien – où le regard du jeune homme découvre sa destinée dans les yeux de la jeune fille, naît la Patrie.
Chaque fois que monte à vos lèvres la colère ou l’extase, que votre poing se dresse contre l’infâmie, chaque fois que la parole du sage ou le chant de Beethoven embrase votre âme en la transportant jusqu’aux sphères célestes, alors – en Equateur ou en Alaska – naît la Patrie. Mais, sur la place de Saxe à Varsovie ou sur le Marché de Cracovie, vous ne serez que de pauvres clochards, des colporteurs sans feu ni lieu, des amasseurs de pognon ambulants, si vous permettez que la vulgarité tue en vous la beauté…”
Exil    : Les paroles de Cioran respirent le froid humide des caves et le renfermé des tombeaux, mais elles sont bien trop mesquines. En effet, de qui s’agit-il… ? Qui nous faut-il comprendre dans la définition d’« écrivains exilés » ? […] Rimbaud ? Norwid ? Kafka ? Slowacki ?… Autant d’hommes, autant d’exils. Je crois qu’aucun d’entre eux ne serait effrayé précisément par ce genre d’enfer. […] N’oublions pas que l’Art est chargé et nourri d’éléments de solitude et de parfaite autonomie, c’est en lui-même qu’il trouve sa satisfaction et sa raison d’être. Une patrie ? Mais tout homme éminent, du simple fait de son éminence, est un étranger, même à son propre foyer. Des lecteurs ? Ces écrivains n’ont jamais écrit pour les lecteurs, toujours contre eux. Honneurs, succès, retentissement, célébrité ?… Ils sont devenus célèbres parce qu’ils ont su s’estimer eux-mêmes plus haut que leur succès. Il me semble plutôt que –théoriquement parlant et toutes difficultés matérielles mises à part – cette plongée dans l’univers extérieur que représente l’exil doit apporter à la littérature une impulsion inouïe. Voilà l’élite d’un pays jetée hors de ses frontières, à l’étranger. Elle peut, dès lors, penser, sentir, écrire de l’extérieur. Elle prend ses distances. Elle acquiert une liberté spirituelle rarement atteinte. Tous les liens se brisent. On peut être beaucoup plus soi-même. Dans la mêlée générale, les formes établies se dénouent, se relâchent, et l’on peut marcher vers l’avenir d’une manière plus rigoureuse. […] Je ne nie point que vaincre ces difficultés et les vaincre en solitaire- exige beaucoup de décision et de courage moral. Faut-il par conséquent s’étonner si, épouvantés par notre faiblesse et par l’immensité de nos devoirs, nous enfouissons nos têtes sous le sable, et, nous jouant à nous-mêmes des parodies de notre passé, fuyons l’univers pour rester dans notre petit monde ?
Witold Gombrowicz -Journal, 195

Plagiarism: Any problem to you? (Apr. 6, 2010)

            “Original “works in all fields (scientific or artistic) are extremely rare.  In fact, originality is constantly pending until antecedent works are discovered in other languages, other dying languages, very ancient languages and myths.  All works basically are borrowing processes of ideas, notions, imaginations, methods, or myths.  Goethe has written something to that effect: “We always talk about originality.  What would that mean?  As we are born, the world around us affects us and we interact with our environment and people till we die.  Then, what is my own particular world and my originality? If we could recall all that we owe to our family, relatives, community, teachers, mentors, the books we read, our predecessor and current influences, would anything remains of our knowledge and ideas that we could claim to be ours?”

            Charles Baxter in “The soul thief” wrote: “Note that he never claimed the paternity of any of his ideas. He is in a kind of Artaud’s state of mind: all ideas have no origins and no sources.  In applying this axiom, then anyone may claim other people’s ideas as his own.  The end result is adapting to or adopting the inner lives of everyone else.”

            For example, a young German girl of 18, Helene Hegemann published her first book “Axoloti Roadkill” and sold a lot of this good book; she was even nominated for the “Leipzig book fair” until the blogger Deef Pirmasens revealed that most of the content, context, and paragraphs were copied from an unknown novel “Strobo” that was published on internet by an anonymous blogger named Airen.  Airen said: “I was just recounting my life problems as a therapeutic exercise to demonize my delirious state of mind.”  Airen is no longer writing because he fell in love and is happily married.  Hegemann is unperturbed; she said: “Originality does not exist; what exists is authenticity.”  I feel that even authenticity does not apply to Helene’s case since she didn’t experience anything of the events in her novel.  Helene got rich and Airen got married!  Airen replied candidly: “Axoloti Roadkill would still be a super novel even without the plagiary process of texts”

            Thomas Jefferson once said: “Who receives from me an idea is receiving knowledge without diminishing mine; it is as if you lighted your candle off my lighted candle:  You got light and didn’t diminish my light.”  There are many books describing plagiarism over the centuries.  I will give a few examples.  Virgil claimed that he was plainly mining the pearls out of Quintus Ennius’ dung.  Brecht confessed that is was fundamentally lax in referring to authors he abundantly borrowed from. Goethe published “The divan (seat)” in 1819 that was composed of a variety of borrowed text mixtures. Elfriede Jelinek received the Nobel Prize for literature in 2008 though most of her citations were based on Holderlin, Kafka, and Heidegger.  Elaine Sturtevant got famous copying artistic works of unknown but promising artists such as Duchamp, Beuys, Warhol, Stella, and Gonzalez-Torres.

            In this age of internet everyone is heavily borrowing by the shovel full; we call this process “dissemination of culture and knowledge” or adopting alternative states of mind.  There is nothing wrong borrowing and adopting ideas if they are useful changing your life.  My problem is to not making what you borrowed part of your life, for example to making money as in marketing what is the customs or mode in order to be projected in the limelight or becoming a public figure: that would be total hypocrisy.  The great artist or author is the one who plugs in relentlessly until one day he feels that he became a true artist out of sheer will, work, and energy expenditure.

Note 1:  Current books on plagiarism are: David Shields in “Reality Hunger, 2007”; Marie Darrieussecq in “Police report, 2010”; Anne Fadiman in “Nothing new under the sun”; Jonathan Lethem has issued a long article on cut a paste works based on the works of Walter Benjamin “The book of passage”, Graham Rawle “Diary of an amateur photographer”, Eduardo Paolozzi “Kex”, David Shields, and Pamela Jackson.

Note 2:  The topic was inspired from “Courrier International” number 1012.

“Culture et resistance” by Edward W. Said

(Written in April 18, 2008)

Culture and resistance is an interview conducted by David Barsamian with late Edward Said before the latter died of an incurable cancer.

Every page needs a review and much pondering.  Edward  is indeed said to be the narrator or the storyteller “hakawati” of the Palestinian cause because he manages to give a clever twist to the story in his books and conferences.

The book shows the geographic maps of how the Palestinian State has been transformed and subdivided since the British mandate that ended in 1947; a slicing scheme that the USA and European press never show.

There are maps of 1920, 1947, 1949, the Oslo II of 1995, the Wye Plantation of 1998, the Charm el-Cheikh of 1999, the Camp David map including Jerusalem, the Taba I and Taba II, the two Sharon’s plans of 2001, including Jerusalem.

No wonder that these maps are never displayed because these Swiss cheese subdivisions and the implantation of Jewish colonies would speak louder than any article.

Edward Said is an American Palestinian born in West Jerusalem  in 1935.

He pursued his schooling in Cairo before obtaining his Masters’ in Princeton and his PhD in Harvard.  He has been a tenured faculty member and professor of literature at Columbia University.

Professor Said suffered from cancer for nine years and his physician from India managed to extend his life for five years.  During his painful ailment, Edward never stopped teaching, writing and accepting to speak in conferences.

Edward Said was saying that you don’t find a single Arab university student studying about Africa, Latin America, or Japan; it is a sign of our delinquency, current cultural weakness, and our intellectual torpor.

What he is trying to say openly is that we need to change our attitude, to free our mental power from the archaic chains in order to be treated by the rest of the world as equals.

Professor Said plays the piano and is an accomplished connoisseur of classical music; he organized an evening with Daniel Barenboim, the famous pianist and chef of orchestra, in the Palestinian university of Beir Zeit.

This Beir Zeit university was closed for 4 years by Israel during the first Palestinian “Intifada” in 1996 when the Palestinians holding Israeli passport demonstrated against the social injustices; they were supported by all the other Palestinians as one people. The Indian Zubin Mehta, Israel’s Philharmonic chief orchestra, attended this cultural and musical event among the Palestinians.

The Arabs have been too long on the defensive, too complacent, paralyzed in their pain and bitterness.

Our lack of democracy in our institutions is the result of our lack of the citizenship spirit that permit tyranny, military plots, corruption, regimes of secret police, and the meddling of imperialist States in our affairs.

The only way to changing a situation is to get on with it, to start reading, interrogating, and meeting with the “Others” so that to starting knocking down the walls of the prisons we have incarcerated ourselves within.

Edward Said mentioned that Rabin, Israeli PM, said before the Oslo negotiations with the PLO that Israel wanted to get relieved from the services offered to the heavily populated areas in Palestine like Gaza and Ramallah.

Thus, the policing and health services and schools in the so-called areas under the PLO semi-autonomy that represented 22% of what Israel conquered in 1967 in Cis-Jordan were to be catered for by authority of Arafat.

Israel had no intention on negotiating the implanted colonies, the return of East Jerusalem or even relinquishing its rights for checking the entrances and exits at the borders with Jordan and Egypt.

Every Palestinian minister, deputy, and even Arafat had to obtain a permit to exit and enter Israel.  At the first opportunity, Israel destroyed the tiny airport in Gaza and whatever infrastructures that were built by European financing.

So far, since the creation of the Israeli State, the successive US administrations have donated over 135 billion of actual dollars to the State of Israel in financial and military aids.

The US vetoed every UN resolution condemning Israel’s colonial, apartheid, and racist activities.

The Israelis are conscious of the existence and presence of the Palestinians among them since they work in their hotels, in construction and drive taxis even though the Zionist movement has propagated the notion that they inhabited a desert land that was roamed by nomads.

Since 2004, Israel built the 900 miles of the Wall of Shame dividing the so-called 1967 borders with Jordan, and Israel established also hundreds of check points all over the West Bank.

Currently, most Israelis play the game of ignoring the presence of Palestinians living across town from them or across the wall: they are ashamed of this apartheid situation.

The danger to Israel is that:

1. the US Zionists sincerely do not believe that Palestinians exist;

2. that the Palestinian people is an abstraction in their imagination and thus,

3. they encourage and feel free to exert undue pressures on the Israelis to exercise the ultimate in anti-Semitism, racism and apartheid policies on the “insignificant” and lower status indigents.

The newer generations of Palestinians and Arabs have such disdain for the generations that permitted the creation of Israel that they refuse to draw any experience, knowledge and accumulated realizations from the previous generations; they are reduced to reinventing the wheel.

We do have a serious problem of relaying the previous achievements or analyzing profoundly our previous mistakes.

Professor Said is a frequent lecturer in conferences at various universities and he realized that the students and people in the USA and England are perfectly aware of the Palestinian issues and Zionists cruelty and racism.

What the Palestinian Authorities and Arab governments have to start doing is communicating with the Israeli people and the masses in the world.

Israel has already occupied the entire Jordan Valley which would prevent any link for any prospective Palestinian State to join directly any Arab country.

Since Palestine is tiny and Israel is not about to offer full self autonomy to a Palestinian State then Edward Said vision was a Federal State of Palestinians and Jews in the whole of Palestine as two people living together and sharing in the public institutions. Before this arrangement can take hold it was necessary that the Palestinians enjoy the recognition of a State of their own to administer and negotiate at parity for further arrangement that is more suited for reality.

The writer Milan Kundera said:

The struggle of man against the authority is the struggle of memory to forget (the injustices).”

Many Palestinians still hang on to bits and pieces of ancestors’ belonging in order never to forget their origins and the injustices forced upon them.

Keeping the same dialect and intonations of the grandfathers and grandmothers from generations to generations is one of the most powerful tools for memory rejuvenation.

Israel has many times invaded the cultural and archival locations of Palestinian institutions such as the Cultural Center of Khalil Sakakini in Ramallah and abroad like in Beirut, in order to steal and destroy any historical archives: Israel carried the Palestinian computers and their contents and destroyed the hard disks and the valuable manuscripts.

In his “Prison colony”, Kafka describes a system that functions 24 hours a day meant to break the will of any person so that he lose the drive to live.

Israel has instituted this monster system in the everyday life of a Palestinian, going to school, to work, to the market, to the hospital, control posts and presentation of identity cards.

Palestinians die before reaching the emergency entrance, schools are frequently closed, houses demolished, agricultural lands taken and the imprisonment of youth is common occurrence for no valid justifications. Gaza is one huge prison fenced by electrical barb wires.

The US media have the tendency to cut off persons expounding on the Palestinians’ problems and suffering.

The Zionist Michael Walzer cut off Said during a conference saying:

“It is best to stop talking about the past; just state your argument and let us move on.  The Palestinians should cease to behave as victims and start taking stock of their present.  The Palestinians have to ponder on the wounds they inflicted on one  aother”.

A listener, Hilda Silverstein, shouted at Michael Walzer and said: “How dare you ask a Palestinian not speak on his past?  Have you Jews stopped reminding the world of the holocaust and the miseries of the Jews in Europe?

Edward Said didn’t try to find balance among the different and multiple discords and lines of thinking in life but opted instead to live the differences. It is the discords and dissonances that teach us harmony and unity.

Lately Said was in hurry to deliver what he had to say

Notes:

1. Edward Said wrote “The Orientalist“, “Culture and imperialism”, “Parallels and paradoxes”, “Freud and the extra-European world“, “The question of Palestine“, “Covering Islam“, “Representations of the intellectual“, “Reflections on exile and other essays”, “The end of the peace process” and finally his memoirs “Against traffic“.

2. David Barsamian, an Armenian by origin, is the founder of Alternative Radio (AR) at Boulder, Colorado. AR emits weekly and is diffused to the USA, Canada, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Jamaica.

Ralph Nader said that AR is a beam of light in the darkness of the media because it let us hear suggestions that reinforce our democracy.


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