russell higgs

06 Apr 2007 1,600 views
 
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friday 06042007



in The Jerusalem Post, dated yesterday, 17 Nissan 5767, 5 April 2007 .......

"Obviously any intellectual Jew with a conscience would find a state like Israel intolerable"

"Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian and a senior lecturer in the University of Haifa's Department of Political Science, says he is moving to the UK"

Pappe is vehemently critical of Zionism. He has said that the only solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was the creation of a single state, shared by Jews, Arabs and others. He said that two independent states cannot coexist in "the land of Palestine."

He also said there was "no immediate solution to the crisis and only international pressure can force Israel to end the occupation and the continuing atrocities against the Palestinians."

"Over the past six years, the Israeli government has become more oppressive, thanks to the strong support from the Bush administration. They now feel that they can do anything they want," he said.

Pappe also questioned Israeli democracy: "Any state that perpetrates occupation cannot be called a democratic state," he said, adding that Israeli democracy was meant "only for Jews" and there is "no space for other communities."

"the Israeli state was formed at the expense of the Palestinians. I don't subscribe to the view that a community which has a claim to a land that goes back thousands of years had the right to occupy it by dispossessing indigenous communities," Pappe said.

http://www.ilanpappe.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilan_Pappe

"We seek to disassociate Jews and traditional Judaism from the Zionist Ideology"

and a comment added to the Jerusalem Post article says..... "For many Jews, a state run with soldiers fighting children, barbed wire, walls and bantustans, and undisguised apartheid, is alright. But there are bound to be intellectual Israeli Jews with a conscience, who would be troubled with this spectacle - like Illan Pappe, Daniel Barenboim, Gilad Atzmon.... Pappe's solution is correct. We need a one-state solution. The solution to South Africa was not two states, one for blacks and one for whites. There can be no peace with a state only for Jews."

friday 06042007



in The Jerusalem Post, dated yesterday, 17 Nissan 5767, 5 April 2007 .......

"Obviously any intellectual Jew with a conscience would find a state like Israel intolerable"

"Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian and a senior lecturer in the University of Haifa's Department of Political Science, says he is moving to the UK"

Pappe is vehemently critical of Zionism. He has said that the only solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was the creation of a single state, shared by Jews, Arabs and others. He said that two independent states cannot coexist in "the land of Palestine."

He also said there was "no immediate solution to the crisis and only international pressure can force Israel to end the occupation and the continuing atrocities against the Palestinians."

"Over the past six years, the Israeli government has become more oppressive, thanks to the strong support from the Bush administration. They now feel that they can do anything they want," he said.

Pappe also questioned Israeli democracy: "Any state that perpetrates occupation cannot be called a democratic state," he said, adding that Israeli democracy was meant "only for Jews" and there is "no space for other communities."

"the Israeli state was formed at the expense of the Palestinians. I don't subscribe to the view that a community which has a claim to a land that goes back thousands of years had the right to occupy it by dispossessing indigenous communities," Pappe said.

http://www.ilanpappe.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilan_Pappe

"We seek to disassociate Jews and traditional Judaism from the Zionist Ideology"

and a comment added to the Jerusalem Post article says..... "For many Jews, a state run with soldiers fighting children, barbed wire, walls and bantustans, and undisguised apartheid, is alright. But there are bound to be intellectual Israeli Jews with a conscience, who would be troubled with this spectacle - like Illan Pappe, Daniel Barenboim, Gilad Atzmon.... Pappe's solution is correct. We need a one-state solution. The solution to South Africa was not two states, one for blacks and one for whites. There can be no peace with a state only for Jews."

comments (13)

  • Ray
  • 6 Apr 2007, 03:52
Hi Russell.
News feeds usually take user-defined filters and aggregate everything on the Web that makes it through the filter. The receiver then might be in a position to absorb the material, weigh the contra arguments, and make some kind of personal assessment.

What you appear to have done is apply your filter, and then dump that material in your blog.

What you think or feel about this material is not obvious, and the only clue is the the filter you have constructed. In fact, you could be sympathetic to Pappe, or antagonistic, or indifferent.

Is there some reason why you don't declare your position?
russell higgs: my position is ....... "its Good Friday (I think thats Hot Cross Bun day too isn't it?), its EASTER weekend, and here is the JERUSALEM post and here are some fascinating IDEAS, by jewish anti-zionists. Such ideas are noticeably all too absent from the mainstream media in the uk where I live."

and there is no "dumping" going on here Ray. This isn't information that was passively delivered to me. I went out and hunted this information down. This is a cut n paste labour of love. Its a diary record of some of the places I've surfed since yesterday's portrait. And its a nutritous hypertext poem.

plus seeing as how I needed to look up words like "bantustans", I assumed some other people will appreciate me linking those words and names to some definitions etc etc

Thats plenty enough of my positions declared, isn't it?
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 6 Apr 2007, 08:59
Hi Russell
I think I am slowly coming to grips with what you are about with your photoblog, and its narrative, aural and video components. I am seeing something like this:
* stuff on the Web is just stuff.
* hyperlinking is a kind of information notation discipline, somewhat like music notation
* you are composing the stuff into your own unique creation, and publishing it in Shutterchance
* just as something of Lennon and Mozart can be seen or deduced from their music, something of Russell may be seen in his hyperlinked creation.

I have been at a different concert...one where there is the expectation of the sound of axes being ground.
russell higgs: I Love ideas.

I Love some ideas more than others and I want to take this opportunity to share them.

Ideas are Weapons etc etc, Knowledge is power blah blah blah and..... OOOOOH Look over there, theres some more great ideas, lets go and look at those too.

plus:

Hypertext is an improvement over words and old fashioned grammatical rules. Words have always been a poor and clumsy substitute for the multi-level complexities of reality. Words and their tendency for linearity too often end up homogenising our realities and ironing out all the fascinating wrinkly bits. Words, word associations and grammatical games very often end up replacing reality all together. The map dominates the terrain that its supposed to symbolise. So I am thankful for the improved opportunities that Hypertext affords us.

also I'm a great believer in dada theories regarding the liberation of meaning through playful recontextualisation and I enjoy using quotations as Ready-Mades.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 6 Apr 2007, 14:51
Very interesting, rus. A long time since I have visited your blog, but here I am - have a little time on my hands and am wandering around SC.
Yours is an interesting post for today and so is the discussion between you and Ray.
Pappe's sentiments are somewhat onesided I thought. Doing as if the jewish state is a onesided affair as well. Using my country as a comparison is also not very scientific, but his choice. The only real comparison is that we had an unacceptable situation and Israel has an unacceptable situation.
How many other countries with unacceptable situations can you and I name right now and how would Israel or SA measure up against them?
Is our unacceptable situation solved into past tense - I am not sure, read our papers on News24 and see what people are busy with. It is fortunately proceeding somewhat peaceful.
I don't know the intricacies of Israel, but know that most Jewish inhabitants moved there from allover the world as a result of neverending persecution. Which is part of the current situation - if the jewish population is shy of sharing and budging there is a reason and 62 years is not that long ago.
And it is not as if the palestines have declared unconditional peaceful sharing.
The universal dream of perfect humans, living in a perfect state with no differences, jealousy, distrust etc is what it is - a dream. There are those who say that humankind is the ultimate predator - and I would add that it should never be forgotten.
Is there any of the present global miseries that is not grounded on different nationalities within one set of borders? I don't think so.
A sobering thought was when I read an old (about 2003) Nat Geo describing how more than 20 million people worldwide are enslaved. Countries where more than 100 people were sold counted yours, mine, the US and many more.

Will Pappe solve anything by moving to the UK, methinks not.

But I would say that posting the sentiments from the Jerusalem Post for the easter weekend is a rather sobering thought in itself - congratulations russel. Love the thought bubbles around your head smile
russell higgs: Hi Louis,

the quote that makes a comparison with south africa isn't Pappe, its a comment that accompanies the Jerusalem Post article. I'll adjust the text to clear that up in a moment.

I guess that whenever I think about Israel specifically, there are 2 great big ironies that dominate my thoughts........

(1) Israel is founded upon Zionist terrorism

and (2) the Israeli military behaves just like the Nazis.
  • Ray
  • 8 Apr 2007, 15:51
Hi, again, Russell
Regarding "dada theories".
My understanding is da da began as a kind of "anti-art" movement, intended to p.ss on societies of the early 20th century...the idea being there was a need to undermine and bring about the collapse of society [lets call that "anarchy"], so that an entirely fresh start could be made.

The problem with da da is that there was a failure to understand it had an Achilles heel...basically, if da da became popular, it would be embraced by society and absorbed into society...and that is what happened. Now da da is treated as an art "school", just as "Impressionism" is.

There were a number of things that characterise dadaism, such as:
* compiling works from chunks of someone else's works,
* attempts to replicate infantile efforts with scissors, brushes, etc,
* pretending "nonsense" is breathtakingly clever.

The harder artists worked at it, of course, the better their works became. I am not well placed to pass comment of paintings, but would like to say there are some literary works that fit into this mould:
examples:
James Joyce's Ulysses
Lewis Carroll's Hunting of the Snark, and Alice in Wonderland.

These things are not remarkable because they are cut and paste from the work of others, or because they appear at first glance to be nonsense...they are remarkable because they are essentially unique and clever creations of their authors.

I think what I am trying to say is I doubt "anarchy" is the best route to a better society than we have. I would be happy to discuss what I believe is a better route...if you are interested.
russell higgs: The origins of DADA fascinate me and it remains an enthralling and vital narrative.......

"our generation was formed through the absurdity of war" said andre malraux

Dada grew largely out of a disgust for the First World War and for the societies and values that allowed it to happen.

"dadaism has more to do with the battle of the somme, with uprisings and putsches than with what we usually consider art" said ilya ehrenburg

I am less interested in what the dada practicioners actually did or produced way back then in the early 20th century. Its their strategies that I value.

I'd go so far as to say that DADA strategies are some of the best that humanity has yet to offer for negotiating our way through contemporary reality. DaDa steers us through this, the age of the celebrity and the cop, and makes life livable.

DaDa is an antidote to an information saturated reality, a reality that is too regularly hijacked by the ideologies of a wealthy minority.

The post world war one thinkers and creatives bequeathed us some genuine gold.
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 8 Apr 2007, 15:52
Darn it...just got pinged again for using the word [piss]
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 9 Apr 2007, 17:04
Hi Russell
Not all rich people, celebrities and cops are bad guys.
Not all poor people are good guys.

Not all laws are bad laws:
You have already told me of the two rules you would run your world with:
1. Strive to love your neighbour.
2. Guarantee a minimum income for all people, regardless of whether they work or not.

The eskimos have another law that I think has merit:
* Don't eat the yellow snow.

There are probably another 1 or 2 that might be useful to retain.

One of the dada strategies is "put the "quality" framework through the shredder". That does something to the information saturation thing...it turns information into "stuff" that has no global quality rating and leaves a person with a simple binary decision....either discard it all, or grab stuff that suits your situation and use it. Doesn't feel like a useful strategy to me. Information without a quality rating [metadata that allows the information user to have some reasonable understanding about how data got processed to create this information] is not information....it is just a big, steaming pile of.....uummm....data! And...just grabbing something off the steaming pile if it seems to suit your purpose is not a wonderful idea [that's the kind of thing people do when they deny the fact of the Rwandan genocides, and things like that].

I think you are onto something with your rule #1, and think mankind might be better if we all did some of this striving.

I am still thinking about your rule #2...just now I am not too enthusiastic about it, but will give it a bit more consideration.

I think we have far too many rules, and feel it would be good to go through and discard many [perhaps, most] of them.

But, I think some existing rules come from serious "wisdom" and it would be a waste of the lives of several generations to chuck it all out and start again.
russell higgs: "good and bad" are simplistic concepts that I tend to avoid, you may notice.

and obviously you and I have very different automatic assumptions and associations in our minds when we refer to DaDa.

In my experience Dada strategies are exceptionally useful for interupting the intentions and power of propaganda and psyops. Also I find Dada strategies and games are good for transforming mediocre things that we are constantly bombarded with (such as hollywood movies) and spinning them into something unique (for each audience member). Dada can spin gold out of straw.

Plus nowhere am I proposing "starting again". I am only interested in finding constructive and creative ways to exist in this world. Joyful Participation in the Sorrows of the World etc etc blah blah
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 10 Apr 2007, 04:19
Ok...I have thought a bit more about your rule #2.
...on balance....it sucks! It is removing from individuals the right to be self determining. It is making The State a higher entity than the Individual.

Nope! We cannot have that in our Brave New world.....we have already started the rot in drafting of our minimalist Constitution.

A few generations down the track and it has morphed into something like "guarantee a minimum of 32inch LCD in every bedroom".
russell higgs: poverty, starvation and disease pretty much screws the right to be self determining Ray

the arms industry and shop-window-warfare removes the right to be self determining and makes the state act like a higher entity etc

the concept of a basic citizen's income that is not linked to work is rooted in the concept of Love, not luxury. If you want luxury then you can go get a job and earn an extra income on top of the basic citizen's income. Which is what most people would probably opt to do.

http://www.citizensincome.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaranteed_minimum_income
http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Redesigning%20Distribution%20v1.pdf
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 10 Apr 2007, 13:14
Hey Russell
I am sure you are correct in suggesting "da da" conjures up a different picture for you and I....no matter; I think we are in the same ballpark.

I think you are clearly proposing "starting again" by claiming there are only 2 laws/rules worth obeying.

Actually....you are right in calling "Good/Bad" simplistic. That is why I suggest the need for a "Quality" framework...it adds shades of grey to the black/white.

I took a peek at your GMI hyperlinks....funny thing there...the whole scheme is based around a framework of State taxation Laws....bugger!....that's hundreds [probably thousands] more laws we are going to need to accept in our minimalist Constitution if we are going to run with GMI concept.

Now to the more important stuff...."poverty, starvation and disease pretty much screws the right to be self determining Ray"...nope...those things merely impact the "capability"...the "right" remains intact unless the State removes it...and the most insidious way for the state to do that is with social security "handcuffs" like GMI.

In my "Utopia" the individual is the most important entity....the "State" or the "Hive" exists only to assist empowerment of the individual.
russell higgs: Ray, very often in these comments you're picking holes in YOUR VERSION of what i've said or am trying to say.

in particular I have never once ever proposed that we only needed one or 2 laws. and nowhere did i say that hundreds of other laws weren't useful. that wasn't the angle i was coming from ever.

nor have I ever expressed a wish to start again, nor to be the lawmaker or ruler, nor any wish to wipe clean any slate of accumulutated human knowledge/experience/laws etc etc

prescribing utopia is not my prime motive here, and i have zero interest in ever prescribing that we "start again", that isn't practical, and it doesn't even interest me as a fantasy. i very much enjoy the complexity of the world.

as for the concept of quality control i strongly believe it is important to consciously look for and be able to see and appreciate the beauty of dirt/shit just as much as the beauty of flowers.

plus i tend to assume that its an obsession with quality control that is often a primary cause of extended depression and anxiety in so many people around the world. Their torment is perhaps because they can't stop filtering everything through their quality barometre and accordingly reality simply never measures up...... (especially likely if their quality control is some kind of outdated generational/consensus default variety, or worse, written in some ancient book)

meanwhile on my HEADPHONES theres a couple of my favourite Marshall McLuhan mp3s
"The Medium is The MASSAGE" parts 1 and 2
via http://www.ubu.com/sound/mcluhan.html
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 11 Apr 2007, 01:19
Hi Russell
Quote from your "Me, in big brush strokes"...march 2007....
"...
I believe that always striving to love our neighbours is the only law worth honouring.

and I believe in a minimum citizen's income that is not linked to work
"
russell higgs: yes. in a highly compressed word portrait i named 2 things that i believe in strongly. 2 things that inform my day to day choices and decision making etc.

and when it comes to thinking about laws and social etiquette and morality etc etc it seems obvious to me that if a person were to only remember one guiding rule, then that person can't go far wrong in life if they only remember the concept of striving to love our neighbours.

because surely the only laws of any worth are those that are related to the concept of striving to love one another.
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 11 Apr 2007, 11:47
Hi Russell
Thanks for bringing my attention to that UBI url...I found some excellent Kerouac mp3 material there. Takes me back a long time...I was a big fan of the writing of this guy when I was a teenager. Audiobook format is best for his "stream of consciousness" writing.

You are correct, by the way...I am dealing with my version of what you've said or are trying to say. Eerrr...that's how human language processing works
...you are the only person who might know what you are trying to say,
...what you think you say, and what I think you say, might be the same, or similar, or somewhat different, or even profoundly different, depending on lots of things like cultural background, experiential background, variance in assumed meaning of words and phrases, personal biases, etc.

Makes for a fun public conversation, don't you think?
russell higgs: i enjoy having a public conversation with you Ray. But not when you are affectionately taking-the-piss out of things I DIDN"T say.

....plus yeah, UbuWeb is a wonderful resource
http://www.ubu.com/
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 16 Apr 2007, 13:56
Hi Russell.
I am certainly not trying to cause offence...I'll try to avoid taking the [piss] out of things you didn't say. Occasionally I might need your assistance in correcting my understanding of your blog entry.

Can we explore your rule #1 a little more...seems it is an important statement?
If I have it right, it is pretty much another way of saying "treat others as you would like them to treat you".
This seems like a decent foundation rule for a non-hierarchical society. Interestingly, I have seen it stated in texts relating to christianity, islam and buddhism, even though those religions are based around some some of moral hierarchy.
I think there is a bit of a stumbling block, however, and it relates to the competitive nature of mankind. I suppose that is where the "striving" word gets to be important...or, have you found a way to stifle competitive urges?
russell higgs: Hey Ray,

competitiveness..... is not a concept i've given much thought to, to be honest.

my immediate train of thoughts leads me to think about play and games. Unselfconscious immersion in the game, for the game's sake. Strategies.

and Pat Kane's proposal that "Play will be to the 21st century what work was to the last three hundred years of industrial society – our dominant way of knowing, doing and creating value"

and HOMO LUDENS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_Ludens

Homo Ludens examines the role of play in law, war, science, poetry, philosophy, and art. Huizinga saw the instinct for play as the central element in human culture - all human activities are playing

what are your thoughts about the competitive nature of mankind?
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 18 Apr 2007, 11:55
Hi Russell
Some thoughts about "games", "play", "strategies", "competition".

I see "playing" as an activity we indulge in for amusement and enjoyment. I see "games" as the context [physical conditions, rules]in which we play. "Strategies" I see as longer term winning plans.

I am not familiar with the thoughts of Pat Kane, but seems from your words about it that he is using "play" as another word to describe prototyping, practicing, trial&error behaviour, and things like that.

I think "surfing the Web" can be seen as playing games...it is about amusement, but of course there can be a bi-product outcome of greater knowledge for the player, specially if there is a way for the player to be able to discern fact from [crap].

"Competitive nature of mankind" is interesting. For all my [rather long] life I have witnessed argument about whether Man is genetically imprinted with behaviours versus born an empty vessel and then learns behaviours through observations/experiences.

My strong feeling is there is some genetic material, and we then add to it. I feel Man may also be unique among animals in that We can voluntarily smother our genetic wiring.

I feel we are genetically coded to replicate our genes, and I feel that is where "competitive nature" comes into the picture; we are dropped into an environment of finite resources, and we are coded to grab what we need; we get "assistance" from parents, siblings, access to history, and this augments our coding.

I feel Mankind is not genetically coded to be a herd/hive animal...I think we learn this behaviour, and it is continuously reinforced and thrust at us through teachings of non-factual history, through organised religions [carrot & stick techniques], through ever-growing books of rules [essentially herd/hive etiquette].

I feel we are encoded to be competitive, but there is over-stimulation of this behaviour in the "learning" we do.

I feel very strongly that I have the capability to control myself as an individual...this means sometimes not acting as my genetic encoded urges; it also means looking at all the "learned" material I am subjected to, and taking personal responsibility for how I interpret it and therefore how I live my life.
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 18 Apr 2007, 16:07
You might be interested in this Tom Robbins quote:

"Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature."

Tom Robbins
US novelist (1936 - )

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