Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

Hablar

Andalusians talk a good game, but can’t listen. They don’t have to, they know everything.

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On Shrimps

The other night I heard the Radio Nacional de España refer on air to an old-style cello in a Monteverdi broadcast as de viola-da-gamba, meaning large violin held between the legs in Italian, ‘gamba’ being ‘leg’ in Rome. Which wouldn’t be particularly remarkable if ‘gamba’ didn’t mean ‘shrimp’ in the announcer’s own Spanish and he could easily have referred to a ‘violoncelo’ rather than a snooty ‘viola-da-gamba’ even if technically speaking these are not one hundred percent identical. It would have sounded one hell of lot better than a concert for a large violin with shrimps. Almost as dicey as an avocado-shrimp cocktail, going to book as a party featuring lawyers and crustaceans.

Heidegger & Friend

Anyone who’s deliberately enigmatic has something serious to hide, or is simply toying with us.

In Heidegger‘s case his duplicity between (individual) pure thought equating being, our ‘sein’, and which by implication is of little practical consequence as it doesn’t per sé lead to action, and his love for (group) absolutism and purity, leading directly to a sense of superiority and very active Nazi-like ideology, is scandalous and untenable both from a human as from a purely philosophical perspective.

To wit, for years he was fully supportive of National Socialism, misappropriating all of poor, mad old Nietzsche to suit his own twisted purpose, only getting cold feet after he saw everything getting out of hand and afterwards cleverly covering his tracks. Hence his stance of : never apologize, never admit, never acknowledge and hide behind verbose, obscure serenity as a cloak for denial and cowardice.

Businesses were burnt down and destroyed, fellow professors fired and led away, entire families rounded up like criminals in plain day-light and marched to railway stations in every major city by armed men, to be sent to dark vacation camps in comfortable freight-cars. But Herr Doktor saw nothing, knew of nothing, only thinking what fine days those were.

Eh? Gas Chambers? What gas chambers? Of course that was much later, but he had supported racist State thugs from day one, because, you see, they had such a compelling rationale.

So how Hannah Arendt could have fallen in love with such a dishonest, anti-semitic embroiderer is a mystery, like Piglet falling in love with the butcher, unless she was just bagging a trophy, which isn’t to say she wasn’t very talented but would have also made her a cunning, little academic slut. A situation reminiscent of the young, tall, rather divine Ava Gardner’s apparent and irresistible love for midgets, falling for the already quite famous Mickey Rooney, head over spiked heels no less. Or of young Simone de Beauvoir’s predilection for celebrated wall-eyed toads. Though let me not go down that road, unable as anyone is to look into a young woman’s impetuous heart. But again, even looking at his photograph: Heidegger was ugly, inside out. Not something a smart, pretty Jewish thing would normally flip over. And it’s very difficult to determine what he contributed to humanity anyway, except give other humourless academics, incomprehensibly in need of hero-worship, such shiny little hard-ons.

(March 2006)

P.S. On the other hand, power is such an irresistible aphrodisiac that in the end Heidegger perhaps wasn’t supportive of National Socialism as such, but of ANY strong force in power. That besides the quest for knowledge and reason a perverse sense of ambition compelled him also, and his intellectual immune system not protecting him against an essentially adolescent infection.

Youthful sucking up, as it’s called in the vernacular. Also striking the Natural Scientist Konrad Lorenz, in similar fashion admiring supposed Nazi glory & strength, betraying Darwin who never suggested that any one species or sub-species is superior to another, but that within a species the fittist obviously best survives and doesn’t achieve this by gratuitously murdering other life.

Heal Thyself

In the dark ages violent, neurotic religiosity reigned in Europe. Neurosis is the product of unnatural taboos and interdictions. Hysteric addiction to interdiction leading to self-destruction. It does to the spirit what anorexia does to the body. Not what God had in mind, presumably. And going as far as the madness of Teresa d’Avila or Hildegard von Bingen, des vierges folles, delusionally, deliriously and erotically even fantasizing about having intercourse with Him.

Taliban

Look at them. XIIth century human fodder. At birth physically and mentally healthy specimen, smiling, laughing, playing, joking. And now barely two decades later eyes extinguished, staring, cowering, kneeling, shooting some XXIst century machine far more capable, faraway people invented. No home their own, no family, no clothes, no cover, no hygiene, ill-fed, no girlfriend, no hope, no joy, nothing to look forward to, no knowledge, reduced to animals with a minimum lifespan.

Of course they want to get out of this hell created for them, the only exit silly dreams and death. The answer to everything.

Why would Allah bother, one asks?

But not them…

Nuclear Lunatics

North Korea is worrisome, not because of its might, but because it is totally obstinate and neurotic.

Japan should know, its suicidal Military and deluded Emperor simply didn’t know how to quit, until they were nuked. It’s how North Korea will end up, or probably more like a tumor strangled to death, deprived of all blood and oxigen, but out of spite half destroying South Korea perhaps. Then again, should things really get ugly, the US can take out its entire leadership with their top secret space laser.

In general then, this is not a matter of politics, but one of type of character and culture. The only ones able to prevent a scenario of the sort, the Chinese. And none of it a test of Mr Obama and the USA, but of China’s maturity.

Evil Christian Brothers

A friend of mind is a fearless dare-devil. He’ll attempt to cross Ireland dressed as an orphan.

Spell

A good film director must be a hypnotist: haven’t seen one since Hitch

Yucatán

I’ve read several times now that when the Spaniards first landed in Mexico, running into a bunch of locals, they asked them what the name of their land was. The polite version has it that one of them responded in Mayan: “Yucatán”, meaning “I don’t understand what you’re saying!”

My theory is that a down to earth, passing Mayan peasant probably didn’t express himself quite as ‘correctly’, more likely exclaiming to a pal “Who are these weirdoes?” and then “What the fuck are they saying?”, sounding something like “Yucatán!”, Pancho Tecuatl, an old Mayan acquaintance of mine assures me.

So that if you wished to be historically correct, next time you book a flight to Mérida, in Mexico, just ask “Any specials to What the Fuck are they Saying? in October?” and I’m certain the airline will be most impressed.

Woody Allen Redux

The no longer inspired and thus uninspiring Almodóvar, and his muse Cruz (more like his mealticket) were up for the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this week, where both were shown the Front D’Or

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