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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reading The Tsarnaev Brothers Through Sacco and Vanzetti

By seymourblogger/abbeysbooks

BAEZ Singing
INDb film site
"If it had not been for these things, I might have lived out my life talking at street corners to scorning men.  I might have died, unmarked, unknown, a failure.  Now we are not a failure.  This is our career and our triumph.  Never in our full life could we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man's understanding of man as now we do by accident.  Our words--our lives--our pains--nothing!  The taking of our lives--lives of a good shoemaker and a poor fish-peddler--all! That last moment belongs to us--that agony is our triumph." - Vanzetti

The story of two anarchists who were charged 
and unfairly tried for murder 
when it was really for their political convictions.




  (story),  (story),4 more credits »


Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
That's us folks!
Which is much worse than Santayana

NOTE:  Please scroll down to leave a comment in the box.

Video of Explosions and Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev WITH BACKPACKS?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXLbOyYpeo4&sns=tw  1:55 - 2:22

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy-hWcOWL60&list=TL0eM744Z5Dz2-S-jEKH_25abiGkLqlf_v  0:50 - 2:22

These two videos show the explosions and they show Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev in the middle of the street. The top one is Real Time and the second one is 2X. The time numbers after the link URL addresses are when the Tsarnaev brothers are in the frame. We have looked at images for four months now and can pick them out as obvious to us. See the rest of the images on these blogs. 




When I first looked at these images the video was small. Because of the confusion of readers, I enlarged it to full screen size and then I was not sure that the figures were the Tsarnaev brothers.
They now look more like the "contract" men with very large backpacks. Or are they Special Ops?
It is really difficult to be sure. As difficult as it should have been for the FBI to incriminate the Tsarnaev brothers on the fragmentary evidence they themselves used. 
So however you choose to read these videos is OK with me. If the image figures in the video ARE the Special Ops contractors, WHY ARE THEY THERE? Why do they have such huge backpacks? What is in them? Could they have been the ones with the bombs? 

  Want more? for quick takes or further information on some of the issues raised here, please visit our sister site : www.AllthingsForum1.blogspot.com

Monday, August 19, 2013

PARRHESIA:Reading Snowden as Parrhesiastes Through Foucault's Fearless Speech-Part 3

"Hence, real parrhesia, parrhesia in its positive, critical sense, 
does not exist where democracy exists." 
Foucault (FS p.83)
Chapter 3 in Foucault's Fearless Speech is titled:
Parrhesia in the Crisis of Democratic Institutions

What if all Germans had worn yellow stars? What if all travelers going through Customs carried a copy of Foucault's Fearless Speech?
What if all emails contained the words terrorist, bomb, backpack, pressure cooker, etc. What if these words were included in all telephone conversations. All comments on the internet. In all blogs, letters, everyday conversations? Jes' sayin'.

Foucault's genealogy of parrhesia begins with ancient Athens. All male citizens had the right of parrhesia at any time, although often they requested permission from the other to use it. Since there was no ruler, parrhesia  was considered as a critical guide to informing citizens and improving their governance, their city. It was a greatly prized right.  As Democracy transformed so did parrhesia noted especially by Isocrates in 355 B. C.

In the "Areopagiticus" (355 B.C.) Isocrates draws a set of distinctions which similarly expresses this general idea of the incompatibility of true democracy and critical parrhesia. For he compares the old Solonian and Cleisthenean constitutions to present Athenian political life, and praises the older polities on the grounds that they gave to Athens democracy, liberty, happiness, and equality in front of the law. All of these positive features of the old democracy, however, he claims have become perverted in the present Athenian democracy. Democracy has become lack of self-restraint; liberty has become lawlessness; happiness has become the freedom to do whatevr one pleases; and equality in front of the law has become parrhesiaParrhesia in this text has only a negative, pejorative sense. So, as you can see, in Isocrates there is a constant positive evaluation of democracy in general, but coupled with the assertion that it is impossible to enjoy both democracy and parrhesia (understood in its positive sense). Moreover, there is the same distrust of the demos' feelings, opinions, and desires which we encountered in more radical form, in the Old Oligarch's lampoon.

....Plato's Republic  (Book VIII,557a-b), where Socrates explains how democracy arises and develops. For he tells Adeimantus that:

When the poor win, the result is democracy. They kill some of the opposite party, banish others, and grant the rest an equal share in civil rights and government, officials being usually appointed by lot.

This is Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.

Socrates then asks: What is the character of this new regime? And he says of the people in a democracy:

First of all they are free. Liberty and free speech (parrhesia) are rife everywhere; anyone is allowed to do what he likes...That being so, every man will arrange his own manner of life to suit his pleasure.

What is interesting about this text is that Plato does not blame parrhesia for endowing everyone with the possibility of influencing the city, including the worse citizens. For Plato, the primary danger of parrhesia is not that it leads to bad decisions in government, or provides the means for some ignorant or corrupt leader to gain power, to become a tyrant. The primary danger of liberty and free speech in a democracy is what results when everyone has his own manner of life, his own style of life, or what Plato calls (Greek untranslated). For then there will be no common logos , no possible unity, for the city.  Following the Platonic principle that there is an analogous relation between the way a human being behaves and the way a city is ruled....And you can see that Plato also considers parrhesia not only as the freedom to say whatever one wishes, but as linked with the freedom to do whatever one wants. It is a kind of anarchy involving the freedom to choose one's own style of life without limit. 
The I Ching

This is what Foucault defines as "problematization", and, in this case political problematization of parrhesia in Greek culture. And he brings our attention to focus and observe two main aspects of this problematization during the Fourth Century B.C. 

And I especially want to point out - here and elsewhere - the correspondence of the destinies of ancient Athens and the present US Empire. The Events that occurred and are occurring that are, while not identical, so similar they cannot be ignored. It is almost as if Toynbee's proposal of "challenge" to an empire, which the empire cannot respond to in a positive way in order to continue to grow, is stalking us from 2500 years ago.

Two main aspects then:
First, in Plato's text for example, the problem of the freedom of speech becomes increasingly related to the choice of existence, to the choice of ones's way of life. Freedom in the use of logos increasingly becomes freedom in the choice of  bios And as a result, parrhesia is regarded more and more as a personal attitude, a personal quality, as a virtue which is useful for the city's political life in the case of positive or critical parrhesia, or as a danger for the city in the case of negative pejorative parrhesia.  

Demosthenes does not seek or make an issue of institutional guarantees for parrhesia, but insists on the fact that he, as a personal citizen, will use parrhesia because he must boldly speak the truth about the city's bad politics. And he claims that in so doing, he runs a great risk. For it is dangerous for him to speak freely, given that the Athenians in the Assembly are so reluctant to accept any criticism. 
Secondly, we can observe another transformation in the problematization of parrhesia: parrhesia is increasingly linked to another kind of political institution, viz., monarchy. Freedom of speech must now be used towards the king. But obviously, in such a monarchic situation, parrhesia  is much more dependent upon the personal qualities, both of the king (who must choose to accept or reject the use of parrhesia), and of the king's advisorsParrhesia is no longer an institutional right or privilege - as in a democratic city - but is much more a personal attitude, a choice of bios.
And the "king's" wisdom or folly is revealed by the parrhesiastes. And are we not seeing this today in the US. The parrhesiastes unmasks the smiling face of the tyrant, the fool, the unwise sovereign. And the demos  can see for themselves. 

Edward Snowden has said he doesn't want to live in a world where everything he says and does is subject to surveillance. Well nobody does, so what makes him different from the rest of us who say these things every day? Obviously Snowden has said it very publicly.  Snowden was subject to Foucault's thinking on this: Who can say it, where they can say it, when they can say it, how they can say it,what they can say and why they can say it. Snowden has met every limiting attribute of the practice of parrhesia. This is why he is a parrhesiastes.And this is the difference between Manning and Snowden. This is what makes Manning a conscientious objector or a whistle blower and Snowden a parrhesiastes.

Only by thinking genealogically can we arrive at this conclusionWe are facing another transformation of parrhesia, and this transformation has been driven by the internet. Parrhesia has fused with Cartesian proof, the bio  with the logos. Solzhenitsyn hid his manuscripts of The Gulag with many different people. They were smuggled to the west and published to his dismay and against his desire at the time. It was too dangerous to too many people including himself. His celebrity was too great for him to be snuffed and so he was exiled to Vermont. He said very little about the US but he was not an admirer of our capitalism and said so, but in no great detail. More like a tweet. And as soon as he could return to Russia he went back. And began again, also helping many many ex Gulag survivors, zeks, as many as he could pouring all his financial resources into helping them. His sons went to prestigious New England colleges.

My obsession with parrhesia consists of what the parrhesiastes reveals about the Other, so I hope to get there soon. 

    Monday, August 12, 2013

    PARRHESIA: Reading Snowden Through Foucault; Part 2

    Edward Snowden - A Parrhesiastes
    Parrhesia - Fearless Speech - Truth-Telling
     The Parrhesiastes is the one who uses parrhesia, i.e., the one who speaks the truth.

    The Meaning of the Word
    • Frankness
    • Truth
    • Danger
    • Criticism
    • Duty    

    Frankness:The word parrhesia, then, refers to a type of relationship between the speaker and what he says. For in parrhesia, the speaker makes it manifestly clear and obvious that what he says is his own opinion. And he does this by avoiding any kind of rhetorical form which would veil what he thinks. Instead, the parrhesiastes uses the most direct words and forms of expression he can find. ...in parrhesia, the parrhesiastes acts on other people's minds by showing them as directly as possible what he actually believes. 

    For, as we shall see, the commitment involved in parrhesia is linked to a certain social situation, to a difference of status between the speaker and his audience, to the fact that the parrhesiastes says something which is dangerous to himself and thus involves a risk, and so on. 

    Truth: There are two types of parrhesia which we must distinguish. First, there is a pejorative sense of the word not very far from "chattering," ....This pejorative sense occurs in Plato, for example, as a characterization of the bad democratic constitution where everyone has the right to address his fellow citizens and to tell them anything - even the most stupid or dangerous things for the city. In Christian literature the emphasis will change as it is an obstacle to the contemplation of God.
    Most of the time, however, parrhesia does not have this pejorative meaning in the classical texts, but rather a positive one. .....To my mind, the parrhesiastes says what is true because it is really true. The parrhesiastes is not only sincere and says what is his opinion, but his opinion is also the truth. He says what he knows to be true.  The second characteristic of parrhesia, then, is that there is always an exact coincidence between belief and truth.  
    It would be interesting to compare Greek parrhesia with the modern Cartesian conception of evidence....It appears that parrhesia, in this Greek sense, can no longer occur in our modern epistemological framework.
     I am soon to disagree with Foucault here, as I think the "proof" produced by Snowden satisfies Cartesian evidence while demonstrating classical parrhesia attributes in addressing the "sovereign." I think Snowden has executed a Foucauldian CUT in the genealogy of parrhesia.
    The discontinuity is that all requirements of classical parrhesia have been met by Snowden accompanied by Cartesian evidence. By inverting the paradigm, the searchlight is thrown on the Other, the more powerful entity, and we see that the parrhesiastes using parrhesia discloses the character and "truth" of the "sovereign" to the people. In that respect parrhesia lifts the mask of the "sovereign."

    As Bane says in The Dark Knight Rises, "When all is lies, the truth is a weapon."
    If there is a kind of "proof" of the sincerity of the parrhesiastes, it is his courage. The fact that a speaker says something dangerous - different from what the majority believes - is a strong indication that he is a parrhesiastes

    Danger: Someone is said to use parrhesia and merits consideration as a parrhesiastes only if there is a risk or danger for him in telling the truth. ...when a philosopher addresses himself to a sovereign, to a tyrant, and tells him that his tyranny is disturbing and unpleasant because tyranny is incompatible with justice, then the philosopher speaks the truth, believes he is speaking the truth, and, more than that, also takes a risk (since the tyrant may become angry, may punish him, may exile him, may kill him.) And that was exactly Plato's situation with Dionysius in Syracuse....
    And of course this is Edward Snowden's situation with the US Empire's government.

     So you see, the parrhesiastes is someone who takes a risk....Parrhesia, then, is linked to courage in the face of danger; it demands the courage to speak the truth in spite of some danger. And in its extreme form, telling the truth takes place in the "game" of life or death.

    It is because the parrhesiastes must take a risk in speaking the truth that the king or tyrant generally cannot use parrhesia; for he risks nothing. 

    When you accept the parrhesiastic game in which your own life is exposed, you are taking up a specific relationship to yourself; you risk death to tell the truth instead of reposing in the security of a life where the truth goes unspoken. Of course, the threat of death comes from the Other, and thereby requires a relationship to the Other. But the parrhesiastes primarily chooses a specific relationship to himself: he prefers himself as a truth-teller rather than as a living being who is false to himself. 

    Hamlet anyone? 

     Criticism: For in parrhesia the danger always comes from the fact that the said truth is capable  of hurting or angering the interlocutor. Parrhesia is thus always a "game" between the one who speaks the truth and the interlocutor. The parrhesia involved, for example, may be the advice that the interlocutor should behave in a certain way, or that he is wrong in what he thinks, or in the way he acts, and so on. ...So, you see, the function of parrhesia is not to demonstrate the truth to someone else, but has the function of criticism: criticism of the interlocutor....Parrhesia is a form of criticism either toward another or towards oneself, but always in a situation where the speaker or confessor is in a position of inferiority with respect to the interlocutor. The parrhesiastes is always less powerful than the one with whom he speaks. The parrhesia comes from "below," as it were, and is directed towards "above."...But when a philosopher criticizes a tyrant, when a citizen criticizes the majority, when a pupil criticizes his teacher, then such speakers may be using parrhesia.

    This is not to imply, however, that anyone can use parrhesia. ....most of the time the use of parrhesia requires that the parrhesiastes know his own genealogy, his own status;...In "democratic parrhesia" - where one speaks to the assembly, ....one must be a citizen; in fact, one must be one of the best among the citizens, possessing those specific personal, moral, and social qualities which grant one the privilege to speak. 

    However, the parrhesiastes risks his privilege to speak freely when he discloses a truth which threatens the majority. For it was a well-known juridical situation that Athenian leaders were exiled only because they proposed something which was opposed by the majority, or even because the assembly thought that the strong influence of certain leaders limited its own freedom. And so the assembly was, in this manner, "protected" against the truth. That, then, is the institutional background of "democratic parrhesia" - which must be distinguished from that "monarchic parrhesia" where an advisor gives the sovereign honest and helpful advice. 
    And it is here that the boundaries of democratic parrhesia and monarchic parrhesia begin to get blurry for me. Snowden's situation seems not only to be an example of "democratic parrhesia, but also one of "monarchic parrhesia," speaking truth to the tyrant. Although in this case it is a team of tyrants, a multitude of tyrants that includes the rulers and citizens combined. And this is something very new in the US. Solzhenitsyn in Soviet USSR was gulagged and when he survived was exiled. Snowden faced something swifter and something worse. This is where I see the Foucauldian CUT in the genealogy of parrhesia:

    1. A merging of proof and classic parrhesia
    2. An automatic and threatened sentence of endless torture and captivity proposed in advance of the supposed "criminal trial" of truth-telling, to silence all future truth-tellers
    Duty: The last characteristic of parrhesia is this: in parrhesia, telling the truth is regarded as a duty. The orator who speaks the truth to those who cannot accept his truth, for instance, and who may be exiled, or punished in some way, is free to keep silent. No one forces him to speak, but he feels that it is his duty to do so. ...Parrhesia is thus related to freedom and duty.

    To summarize the foregoing, parrhesia is a kind of verbal activity where the speaker has a specific relation to truth through frankness, a certain relationship to his own life through danger, a certain type of relation to himself or other people through criticism (self-criticism or criticism of other people), and a specific relation to moral law through freedom and duty.  More precisely, parrhesia is a verbal activity in which a speaker expresses his personal relationship to truth, and risks his life because he recognizes truth-telling as a duty to improve or help other people (as well as himself). In parrhesia the speaker uses his freedom and chooses frankness instead of persuasion, truth instead of falsehood or silence, the risk of death instead of life and security, criticism instead of flattery and moral duty instead of self-interest and moral apathy.  
    Although Foucault is constructing a genealogy of parrhesia within the time period of the Fifth Century B.C. to the Fifth Century A.D. - one thousand years! - It would seem with Solzhenitsyn and Snowden that parrhesia does not stop there but has only rested. Its form has changed but I see no reason to change the name or the concept.

    Sunday, December 23, 2012

    Doubting Love

    Butler's Doubting Love
    "One knows love somehow only when all one’s ideas are destroyed, and this becoming unhinged from what one knows is the paradigmatic sign of love."

    Love destabilizes what one knows, what Sontag calls "our gods today". The names we have for important things. Our name for and idea of love.

    Butler's doubting love  is Foucault's curiosity- "a certain relentlessness in ridding ourselves of our familiarities and looking at things otherwise..."
    It is also what awaits further yet.
    "People know what they do; they often know why they do it but what the people don't know, is what they do does".(DH&RP, 187)
    It is love, Butler says, that always returns to us what we do and do not know.

    "One finds that love is not a state, a feeling, a disposition, but an exchange, uneven, fraught with history, with ghosts, with longings that are more or less legible to those who try to see one another with their own faulty vision. "
    ... love in flux, love which doubts itself into flux, out of 'comfortable', out of the known and the familiar idea of love, and any/every lesser thing then as well.

    Butler reads Freud on doubting love as calling the most important thing into question, not letting assumptions go on unquestioned. Doubting as opening up of space, within and beyond the space already there.

    "I cannot pretend to know myself at the moment of love, but I cannot pretend to fully know myself. I must neither vacate the knowledge that I have — the knowledge, after all, that will make me a better lover — and I cannot be the one who knows everything in advance — which would make me proud and, finally, lovable."

    Finally, Butler's doubting love  is  Nietzsche's questioning, as Babette Babich writes about in Nietzsche's "Gay" Science, Nietzschean belief that everyone possesses a lust for questioning, and questioning at all costs (BB, pg.102). Doubting Love meets gai saber.

    Nietzsche’s gay science is a passionate, fully joyful science. But to say this is also to say that a gay science is a dedicated science: scientific “all the way down.” This is a science including the most painful and troubling insights, daring, to use Nietzsche’s language here, every ultimate or “last consequence” ( BGE 22; KSA13, 14[79]). Doubting just as well as Montaigne, doubting in a more radical fashion than Descartes, and still more critical than Kant or Schopenhauer, dispensing with Spinoza’s and with Hegel’s (but also with Darwin’s and even Newton’s) faith, Nietzsche’s joyful, newly joyful, scientist carries “the will henceforth to question further, more deeply, stringently, harshly, cruelly, and quietly than one had questioned heretofore” (GS, preface, 3). Even confidence in life itself, as a value, of course, but also as such, now “becomes a problem.” The result is a new kind of love and a new kind of joy, a new passion, a “new happiness.” (BB, 99)

    To Be Read in the Interrogative - Julio Cortazar
    Have you seen
    have you really seen
    the snow the stars the felt step of the breeze
    Have you touched
    really have you touched
    the plate the bread the face of that woman you love
    so much
    Have you lived
    like a blow to the head
    the flash the gasp the fall the flight
    Have you known
    known in every pore of your skin
    how your eyes your hands your sex your soft heart
    must be thrown away
    must be wept away
    must be invented all over again.

    * * *
    July 2013
    ...months go by, I forget about this doubting, reading in the interrogative, and settle in fixity of the idea of love. Comfortable because it has been repeated enough times to have become so familiar a truth that needn't be doubted. Safe. A god worshipped in unquestionable unquestioning repetition.

    Then, a reminder:

    Badiou, In Praise of Love:

    “I am really interested in the time love endures. Let’s be precise: by endure, one should not simply understand that love lasts, that love is forever and always. One has to understand that love invents a different way of lasting."(Love Dog)

    and another:

    "An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.
    It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.
    It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.
    It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us."
    (Adrienne Rich)

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

    Robsessed Turns Rob Pattinson Pap Pics Into A Muybridge Motion Study

    Science oAlthough Eadweard Muybridge thought of himself primarily as an artist, he encouraged the aura of scientific investigation that surrounded his project at the University of Pennsylvania. Published in 1887 as Animal Locomotion, the 781 finished prints certainly look scientific, and historically, most viewers have accepted them as reliable scientific studies of movement. The recent rediscovery of Muybridge’s working proofs, however, demonstrates that he freely edited his images to achieve these final results. How does this change our idea of his photography?r Art—or Both? http://americanhistory.si.edu/muybridge/

    So it's been going on a long long time eh.

    See Rob walk. Look, look, look Jane. Look, Sally, look. See Rob walk. Walk, Rob, walk. See Rob walk, Sally and Jane! Oh Dick, see Rob walk!


    really good motion ones from top:



    See Rob go. Rob can go down. See Rob go down. Down down down.

    Muybridge again not Rob
     Top upper right sort of looks like that day on the beach though 
    Oh oh oh! See Rob run. Rob can run fast. Run, Rob, run! Run fast, Rob, run run run! Oh, oh, oh! Look, look, look!

    Crotch shot from Robsten Dreams
    Don't you just love it?
    Embarrassing to have fans like these eh

    See the man walk. Walk, man, walk. Man, walk. Walkman.


     ks - rp

    Image of a typical robsessed fangirl

    blackbeanie replied to Kazrob

    Where do you keep getting them, Kaz?  Stupid, I know, but when I see a poem of you, I know everything's fine in our happy place. :)

    Happy Trail

    You tease me with these little peeks

    When there's been no sign for bloody weeks

    Then a pic appears and oh my god

    Its you in a hoodie flashing the bod.

    You reach up to pull on the hood

    Knowing full well you're looking good

    Sunglasses on, unmistakeably male

    My eyes are riveted on your happy trail.

    This trail of hair, my eyes they linger
    I want to trace it with my finger
    Should my hand dip to the pleasure dome
    I know I've found my sweet way home...

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    Video Exposes the Fraud of US Weekly Photos of Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders.

    On The Road NY Premiere Kristen Stewart

    Is everyone happy now to see the flailed actress all skin and bones
    Has she been punished enough for THAT AFTERNOON
    Or do you want more more MORE

    For THAT AFTERNOON see The Rashomon Effect here:
    Complete with pictures from THAT AFTERNOON

    The camera never lies. It records what is there. It is we who lie to ourselves when we perceive what we think we see. as it filters through our own protective shield.

    Does this mean that the photos we see take on the literal truth of what the camera has recorded? 

    Look at this video
    Now tell me what you see in those pictures you just looked at

    Watch and Learn

    HERE:  http://youtu.be/bnPCF9AQzCM 

    As Diana was dying in her car pleading with her eyes for help the papz were filming her 


    YAAAAY          OCCUPY!