September 2011

On Your Leaving

September 30, 2011

. William Wallis is my fellow contributing poetry editor at West magazine. Bill was born in the American South and educated at Hendrix College, Southern Illinois University, the University of Nebraska (Ph.D.in Literary Criticism and Creative Writing, 1972), and the Hanover Conservatory (Opera Performance). Between 1978 and 1985, he worked as a stage director, then as a [...]


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The Uncanny John Mearsheimer

September 28, 2011

. Popularly understood as something eerie, strange, and supernatural, the uncanny in Freud retains that sense of the strange, yet adds to it the contrary feeling of the familiar. This clash of contrarieties is profoundly unsettling. [T]his uncanny element is actually nothing new or strange, but something that was long familiar to the psyche and [...]


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William Colby and the War on Terror

September 26, 2011

. William Colby, according to the new film by his son Carl Colby, The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby, was the quintessential intelligence agent. He was daring and courageous behind enemy lines with the OSS during World War Two in Europe . He fought the good fight, and won, against [...]


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CineFile: To Serve Man

September 25, 2011

. Yesterday’s Carl Sagan post about the self-centeredness of humans amid a universe not made for us inevitably (don’t you think) led me to think of a classic Twilight Zone episode. Related articles CineFile – Nobody’s Fool (sadredearth.com) A new ‘Cosmos’ will be on TV (cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com) Carl Sagan Explains Time Dilation [Video] (geeksaresexy.net) CineFile – [...]


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How We Lived on It (41) – A Universe Not Made for Us

September 24, 2011

. This is the first part of what is so far a 16-part tribute series to Carl Sagan produced on YouTube by Callum Sutherland. You can find the series Facebook page here. Related articles Carl Sagan On The Final Shuttle Launch (buzzfeed.com) Space Shuttle’s Legacy: A Carl Sagan Remix (brainpickings.org) Seth MacFarlane Producing New Take [...]


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Jazz Is: 32 – Saxophone Colossus

September 23, 2011

. I’m feeling my power today. Sonny Rollins feels it everyday. Related articles Sonny Rollins, born 81 years ago today (barryraphael.wordpress.com) Live Jazz: The 54th Monterey Jazz Festival – Sunday (irom.wordpress.com) This year’s Kennedy Center honorees announced (salon.com) Jazz Is: 31 – Freedom Day (sadredearth.com)


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See Ted Kennedy Smile

September 22, 2011

Will the the GOP’s defeat of efforts to appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau turn out to have been a Pyrrhic victory? This video says yes. Related articles Video Of Elizabeth Warren’s Passionate Rebuttal Of ‘Class Warfare’ Goes Viral (mediaite.com) Chris Weigant: Elizabeth Warren’s Campaign Takes Off (huffingtonpost.com) Elizabeth Warren, a Fighter for a [...]


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We Have A Dream: Global Summit Against Discrimination and Persecution

September 21, 2011

. I will be attending today in New York City the NGO Global Summit Against Discrimination and Persecution. Coinciding with the opening of the 66th U.N. General Assembly, the summit is both a challenge to the U.N. and an alternative, a  counter, to the simultaneous third iteration of the 2001 misnomered, antisemitic and demopthatic Durban World Conference against [...]


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Earthquake

September 20, 2011

. “I grew up like an earthquake, all across California.” From the Fall 2011 issue of West, where I am co-poetry editor, the rhymes and rhythms of Joseph McDaughtery, with an excerpt from his introduction by West editor Nuala Lincke-Ivic: Joseph McDaughtery and the Name Tattooed on the Area of Skin Just Above His Eyelids — I first met [...]


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9/11/11: Home

September 18, 2011

. (The last in a thirteen-part series.) What was the response to 9/11 on the political left, the direction from which was quickly drawn the historical cover of the “squandered sympathies” meme? There is no single answer. The “left” is not a unitary political tendency. It is stalwart, mainstream Democrats in the U.S. and the [...]


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9/11/11: The Stylus Avenger

September 17, 2011

. (Twelfth in a series) It had been possible in the countryside of so many nations, on another continent, always in transit, to leave the palpable sense of 9/11, if not our emotions, behind. The last day, at Charles de Gaulle Airport amid intense security, and three weeks after the attack, Julia and I rejoined [...]


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9/11/11: Chomsky Nation

September 16, 2011

. (Eleventh in a series) On October 18, 2001, five weeks after the 9/11 attack, Noam Chomsky gave a talk at MIT, still available on the web in video and transcript form, entitled “The New War against Terror.” He employed the same slippery rhetorical constructs and argumentative ploys as were on display in his half-hearted [...]


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Little Sympathy to Squander: the American Left & 9/11

September 15, 2011

. (Tenth in a series) The antipathy to the U.S. voiced in the Guardian, on Question Time, from Baudrillard and Zizek – not merely despite 9/11, but in political sympathy with it, if not advocacy of it – found voice in the U.S. too. No small amount of it emanated from The Nation, perhaps the [...]


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9/11/11: a “Good Terror”

September 14, 2011

. (Ninth in a series) When it came to 9/11 sympathies too absent to squander, Slavo Zizek actually beat Baudrillard to the text. On September 14, 2001, only three days after 9/11, he first posted to the internet “Welcome to the Desert of the Real,” which he revised and extended several times. Later, like Baudrillard’s [...]


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9/11/11: Goering’s Defense

September 13, 2011

. (Eighth in a series) In the matter of “squandered sympathies,” let history not lose the record that as early as November 2, 2001, fewer than two months after 9/11, Jean Baudrillard notoriously produced in Le Monde, under the title “The Spirit of Terrorism,” a logically homeless piece of postmodern theory-talk that evinced the equally [...]


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9/11/11: Squandered Sympathies

September 12, 2011

(The seventh in a series) The squandered sympathies meme states that the United States, as a consequence of 9/11, was the recipient of widespread international sympathy and good will. The meme was born as soon after 9/11 as some people began to anticipate U.S. action in Afghanistan, which is to say as early as those [...]


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Left Bereft: September 11, 2001 and the Politics of the Moral Imagination

September 11, 2011

(9/11/11: the sixth in a series) I have met them at close of day Coming with vivid faces From counter or desk among grey Eighteenth-century houses. I have passed with a nod of the head Or polite meaningless words, Or have lingered awhile and said Polite meaningless words, And thought before I had done Of [...]


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9/10/01: “Ere the sun Swings his noonday sword”*

September 10, 2011

. (9/11/11: fifth in a series) That much I can give you of these hours.  That much only,  fists and blossom forged by salt, trellising your wounded helixes against our days.  Tell us how to live for we are shades, facing, caged, the chastening sun.  Our eyes are scorched and lidless.  We cannot bear your [...]


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Twenty-Five Hundred Years before 9/11

September 9, 2011

(9/11/11: fourth in a series) Van Gogh’s Eyes Before my drive to Normandy and my second stay in Paris, I had left Julia in St. Remy-de-Provence, where she taught a photo workshop to the eight students who had braved their fears to fly there less than two weeks after 9/11. I stayed a few days [...]


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Nine Hundred and Thirty-Five Years before 9/11 (and Fifty-Seven, too)

September 8, 2011

  (9/11/11: third in a series) The Landing at Normandy When, after a brief return to Paris, I arrived in Normandy – a couple of days after leaving Julia behind in Provence – it was with the expressed purpose of making a first visit to the landing beaches, and to some of the countless fields [...]


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Nine Days before 9/11

September 7, 2011

  (9/11/11: second in a series) Before I made my way to Normandy, I stopped back in Paris, which Julia and I had left on September 9. She now remained behind in Provence to teach a photo workshop. My first arrival in Paris had been ill-omened, but then the connections between our personal lives and [...]


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