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Woland is the mysterious foreigner and professor whose visit to Moscow sets the plot rolling and turns the world upside-down. He appears differently to different people. “[t]he first says that the [he] was short, had gold teeth, and limped on the right foot. The second, that the man was of enormous height, had platinum crowns, and limped on the left foot. The third states laconically that the man had no special distinguishing characters.”
His demonic retinue, which includes witches, vampires, and a gigantic talking cat, his role in the plot, and the fact that Woland was used as a synonym for Satan in (now outdated) German all imply that he is, in fact, the Devil.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Calendar wise autumn is fully installed. And because traditionally it’s harvest count,  let’s take a  look through the granaries. U.S economy is falling again, Greece is going bankrupt (but probably will soon receive a kick in the ass and thus step forward), France, Italy, Portugal and Spain aren’t groovy at all, nature’s tempests are vacationing  in Asia   and the Wall Street market arrows were all red and pointing down on Friday evening.

Subsequently a lot of commotion worldwide: protests riots and demonstrations seem to pop up and cross over all over the globe.  Might be rushing in counting our revolutions, especially since this week the lesser half of the world economy just went k-boom! Continue Reading »

9/11 One moment and the ten years after

10 years after 9/11, memorial wounds take generations to heal. Heroes of one side, murderers of the other, awe and shock of multiple fold paradigm rolling on the screens. In thinking about the events of September, it’s hard to decide which of the outcomes of things happening is more monstrous. The event itself- 3000 people killed. Having the opportunity to be an impotent witness- watching  live on tv? The aftermath? Continue Reading »

Mom, where did those angry people pointing guns at us come from?

  The U.N attack in Nigeria, qualified as ‘an attack on the world”  is only the last lassie to join the dance in a row of unpopular popular acts world wide. Some of forms of  insurrections get a green light and are supported by the public opinion, some aren’t. The nasty kids either don’t get proportional news coverage  ( see protests in Israel) or are labeled as Islamic terrorists (when possible) and there for excluded from a political point of view.

Although the talk back in the civilized world’ revolved around responsible investment and partnership with the African countries for a sustainable development and mutual benefits, that discourse seems just a calming pep talk. Well, since the general public is comfortably dreaming of Eco-fuels and fair businesses and eating nationalist discourse about how their forefathers worked hard to build the nation’s wealth, the following facts aren’t going to disturb them.

Continue Reading »

War Without Humans Modern Blood Rites Revisited

An analysis on some of our favorite subjects: Drones, cyborgs and war.
Barbara Ehrenreich elaborates on the intimate connection between warfare and welfare in the U.S, the War as business – switch being made from governmental liability to corporate liability by commissioning external companies and outsourcing non battle related affairs, replacement of soldiers by robots undermining the “passions of war”.

Ends up in a maybe too optimistic note but still a good read.
See full article on Alternet:

How Machines Take Over The War

Because THE APOCALYPSE said so

For those of you who might have some connection with the artsy-fartsy world:
on Curators

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on how to be a successful artist

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Daylight Robbery, Meet Nighttime Robbery [Naomi Klein on the Uk riots]

I keep hearing comparisons between the London riots and riots in other European cities—window smashing in Athens, or car bonfires in Paris. And there are parallels, to be sure: a spark set by police violence, a generation that feels forgotten.

But those events were marked by mass destruction; the looting was minor. There have, however, been other mass lootings in recent years, and perhaps we should talk about them too. There was Baghdad in the aftermath of the US invasion—a frenzy of arson and looting that emptied libraries and museums. The factories got hit too. In 2004 I visited one that used to make refrigerators. Its workers had stripped it of everything valuable, then torched it so thoroughly that the warehouse was a sculpture of buckled sheet metal.

Back then the people on cable news thought looting was highly political. They said this is what happens when a regime has no legitimacy in the eyes of the people. After watching for so long as Saddam and his sons helped themselves to whatever and whomever they wanted, many regular Iraqis felt they had earned the right to take a few things for themselves. But London isn’t Baghdad, and British Prime Minister David Cameron is hardly Saddam, so surely there is nothing to learn there.

How about a democratic example then? Argentina, circa 2001. The economy was in freefall and thousands of people living in rough neighborhoods (which had been thriving manufacturing zones before the neoliberal era) stormed foreign-owned superstores. They came out pushing shopping carts overflowing with the goods they could no longer afford—clothes, electronics, meat. The government called a “state of siege” to restore order; the people didn’t like that and overthrew the government.

Argentina’s mass looting was called El Saqueo—the sacking. That was politically significant because it was the very same word used to describe what that country’s elites had done by selling off the country’s national assets in flagrantly corrupt privatization deals, hiding their money offshore, then passing on the bill to the people with a brutal austerity package. Argentines understood that the saqueo of the shopping centers would not have happened without the bigger saqueo of the country, and that the real gangsters were the ones in charge.

But England is not Latin America, and its riots are not political, or so we keep hearing. They are just about lawless kids taking advantage of a situation to take what isn’t theirs. And British society, Cameron tells us, abhors that kind of behavior.

This is said in all seriousness. As if the massive bank bailouts never happened, followed by the defiant record bonuses. Followed by the emergency G-8 and G-20 meetings, when the leaders decided, collectively, not to do anything to punish the bankers for any of this, nor to do anything serious to prevent a similar crisis from happening again. Instead they would all go home to their respective countries and force sacrifices on the most vulnerable. They would do this by firing public sector workers, scapegoating teachers, closing libraries, upping tuitions, rolling back union contracts, creating rush privatizations of public assets and decreasing pensions – mix the cocktail for where you live. And who is on television lecturing about the need to give up these “entitlements”? The bankers and hedge-fund managers, of course.

This is the global Saqueo, a time of great taking. Fueled by a pathological sense of entitlement, this looting has all been done with the lights left on, as if there was nothing at all to hide. There are some nagging fears, however. In early July, the Wall Street Journal, citing a new poll, reported that 94 percent of millionaires were afraid of “violence in the streets.” This, it turns out, was a reasonable fear.

Of course London’s riots weren’t a political protest. But the people committing nighttime robbery sure as hell know that their elites have been committing daytime robbery. Saqueos are contagious.

The Tories are right when they say the rioting is not about the cuts. But it has a great deal to do with what those cuts represent: being cut off. Locked away in a ballooning underclass with the few escape routes previously offered—a union job, a good affordable education—being rapidly sealed off. The cuts are a message. They are saying to whole sectors of society: you are stuck where you are, much like the migrants and refugees we turn away at our increasingly fortressed borders.

David Cameron’s response to the riots is to make this locking-out literal: evictions from public housing, threats to cut off communication tools and outrageous jail terms (five months to a woman for receiving a stolen pair of shorts). The message is once again being sent: disappear, and do it quietly.

At last year’s G-20 “austerity summit” in Toronto, the protests turned into riots and multiple cop cars burned. It was nothing by London 2011 standards, but it was still shocking to us Canadians. The big controversy then was that the government had spent $675 million on summit “security” (yet they still couldn’t seem to put out those fires). At the time, many of us pointed out that the pricey new arsenal that the police had acquired—water cannons, sound cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets—wasn’t just meant for the protesters in the streets. Its long-term use would be to discipline the poor, who in the new era of austerity would have dangerously little to lose.

This is what David Cameron got wrong: you can’t cut police budgets at the same time as you cut everything else. Because when you rob people of what little they have, in order to protect the interests of those who have more than anyone deserves, you should expect resistance—whether organized protests or spontaneous looting.

And that’s not politics. It’s physics.
By Naomi Klein
Original art:


Starwars Coins Coined

The coins will be issued in November

Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Yoda are among Star Wars characters who will appear on coins that will be legal tender in the Pacific island of Niue.

A collection of four silver $2 coins costs NZ$469 (£240) while silver-plated $1 coins cost NZ$23.50 (£12) each.

All Niueans are New Zealand citizens and Queen Elizabeth II, who appears on the reverse of coins, is head of state.

Coin-issuer New Zealand Mint said they were gift products and would not be used “to go buy an ice cream with”.

The first 10 silver-plated Star Wars coins will be available in November with a further 30 to be issued in the future.

A maximum of 50,000 copies of each silver-plated coin will be produced.

No more than 7,500 of each of the silver coins – which contain 1oz of the precious metal – will be produced.

In April, Niue premier Toke Talagi defended stamps celebrating the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton which featured a perforated line that split the couple.

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