Sunday, June 4, 2017

From Palestine to "Sturm und Drang"


(Palestine.)  I've just been revising a page and got to the bit about "rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine",  which reminded me of a program on the radio the other day about the intractable problems there, and I thought, so where exactly is Palestine anyway?  Of course I know where it is, but after listening to what was said on the program I thought it would be good to 'improve me'.  So I looked it up on Google earth and found it in the Atlantic Ocean.  (Go on, .. you try it.)  Well, I know it's not there, .. so..  What's going on?  Is it a real mistake or is somebody coming the raw prawn, .. communicating a message of sorts?

Looking it up on the wikipedia I discover the boundaries are all over the place, and that it is described as "usually referring to" four things [see bullet points], which you can read about in that link, but principally that it is a "historical political entity" (so aren't all countries?)  in the Middle East. , with namesakes in ten other places in the world, .. which I guess might account for Google earth summarising its location in the Atlantic Ocean.  M.m.m, .. it's a solution, if only a bit of one when you think about all the other 'namesakes of namesakes' in the world (that are not likewise awash with ocean).  Where would we all be then (on Google earth)?

I find it an interesting digression because it's a part of the world whence the whole of Christianity originates, which is puzzling when you consider all the readily available homespun Gotterdammerung of Europe and its now not-so-under-the-radar current revival of Nordic Sagacity, preferring to wrap itself and its evolved islamophobia in music rather than guns (if we discount that bloke with the great good fortune to be housed in a Norwegian Jail rather than on the left bank of the Styx.  And who shall remain nameless.  He'd be so lucky if he tried the same behaviour today).  As history has it, patriotism /nationalism and sundry other religious tribalisms do not serve the needs of peace and harmony in a world that has moved on since those desertous days.

What's the story behind that one then, when the whole shebang is patently still with us?

I'm particularly impressed by all the neat handwriting in the scrolls that were found in the caves overlooking the Dead Sea, .. a clear indication surely that those writing the turbulent family /tribal histories of internecine conflict back then were educated people plying their craft of story-telling at the behest of those who would support them in much the same way they do today, .. probably local leaders of the day trying to keep a lid on the peace.  The caves were probably an emergency repository for their manuscripts when having to make a quick scarper (similar to that precipitated by the sectarian slaughter of today).  It would be interesting to see what the translations from those scrolls say exactly (not the interpreted versions laundered for today's consumption).  Story-telling has always been a popular genre  but it lacks the analysis of joined dots.  Besides for essential reality we need go no further than the nightly news when we soon discover it too, too tiresome, and let it sink below the radar of consciousness - and conscience.  Maybe except for the moment our attention is grabbed.  Who cares any more how many are killed, here there or anywhere.  It just seems to be all around and soon becomes all too passe, ..  and the tribulations of millions, ignored then forgotten.  Or is it just the media hyping it up?

Until the killing starts.  On the streets.

What is it about the human condition that makes it squabble over a desertous waste in that Palestinian part of the world (when it's not in the Atlantic Ocean) and when there is any amount of 'desert' waiting to be colonised right here on Earth, and when 'leaders with foresight' prefer to overlook this possibility in favour of extending housing franchises to Mars?  ["Location, location, location ...
.. Now there's a prestigious address.  Almost as useful as "Palestine, .. Atlantic Ocean."

Without culture and tradition and patriotism and nationalism and 'stories' (and slaughter) we are nothing?  Is that it?  ["Go tell it on the mountain"?]

And 'religion'.  And the fervour that (often) goes with it.  And that stirred up can cause havoc.  [Ever noticed how the laws of the land(s) are written to contain the behaviour of the baddies, rather than the goodies?] [And the self-interest that can accrue to those charged with applying them?]  Settle out of court and narry a lawyer in site.  Floss your teeth and narry a dentist either.

"Richard Feynman never brushed his teeth."
"Yeah?  What's that got to do with it?"
""Do with what?"
xxxxx  >

[Ah yes, .. the mountains, .. and the mountain building. .. Don't worry, we'll get there.  We're just going and telling on it for now.  Things are not always as wysiwyg as they seem, ... 2/3rds ocean floors or not.  ]

It's a scale thing.  Bottom-up / top-down. The individual versus the community versus the world.  Institutions devised to navigate those boundaries only work if there is societal agreement, which only works if there is a understanding of the issues involved.  Which can only happen if there is non-partisan education - and a public desirous of that.  Like-Brexit-like-Trump?  Was there ever any encouragement to prior public discourse regarding the possible consequences of both elections?  Not much that I could find, either before or going by the angst of the aftermath.  Seems (again) that nationalism, patriotism, and sundry religious, political and emotional -isms all got in the way. 'Suck it and see' might be the only way, but it is certainly a last resort.

Enter the responsibility of the media.  I posted a request here re 'buttons' once a while back that I was pleased to see got an airing (the words that is, not the request) (still no buttons)  (Sop to Cerberus?)  Maybe if others ask too, then  .. ..  ["Who cares anyway.  Pass the vegemite."]

Or maybe all they want is just the one - *^&^$%$#%$@ - liners on twitter and facebook, in a cathartic "Have your say in a zippy way".  Or is it better if everybody just shuts up?  Things do run a lot more smoothly ..(?)

Radio is good because it's a platform that opens the way to direct sources from which other material may be found by using your favourite search engine.  Other outlets, even the more prestigious ones, generally only *report* the source (and put an opinion or two in the way), rather than let it speak for itself with the natural inflective overlay of the interviewee.. 

(Spoiler alert - opinion coming up)

We are living in a world in which too much has happened too fast, severing the connections between the generations and their values, entwining the remaining strands in ways that seem to me at least 'confused' [ [1]  [2 ("Ideas are fragile things")], .. [3] [4]. as we try to find ways forward [5] [6] [7]  The common theme here being (check the search-terms) the word Saga, as it refers to the appropriation of Norse mythology by the far right gothic skinhead culture, and Saga as it refers to its updated sci-fi comics version dealing with "ethnicity, sexuality and gender social roles, and for its treatment of war."  And whatever else you  like.

I happily admit to the confusion being mine as I try to work out how these two strands come to see themselves under the same rubric, but fantasy, however it makes itself known, has a weaselly way of working itself into reality - whether by 'push' or by 'pull' -  and usually in a beerhall. [x] [y]   (Gee, .. and I always thought the issue was equal opportunity ..)

To cope we must be better informed than we are.  I find I most certainly do anyway. ["The cement, rather than the bricks."]  Maybe I'm just a slow learner, .. but it seems to me demands on time have increased to a point that not too many people do have much of it to indulge in "interest".   Mmm.., .. There's nothing better than following an interest once you get started.  So I don't know.   When time begins to run out everything seems to get interesting all of a sudden..  ("Nothing focusses the mind so much as .. .. ")   How about you?

How do you make interest into something that is uniquely yours?  By eating vegemite and garlic?  "All roads lead to Rome" - (.. and the local footy ground) -  ?

So, .. (Geology as a window to the world) (and Palestine), .. and wondering why it's shown in the Atlantic Ocean.  You do it (search 'Palestine' in Google Earth) (haven't tried in Google maps).  See what you get.  See how long it is before it gets repatriated to the 'conflict of interest'.

And just don't get me started on tellytubbies, upspeak, and vocal fry (the subculture of the croaky drawl as a way of asserting millennial power at High - "Get your own fucken sanny, pal" - Noon in the main street of infantilised public space.

Bang - bang!


More :-
 (20170531)  Ilan Pappe on the viability of a bi-national state for Palestinians and Israelis.

 (20170606)  Six Day War 1967 - the political legacy

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