[NetBehaviour] stone bridges, QRRR and counter-Munich

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Jul 25 02:58:14 CEST 2016

"Terror" is already a loaded term and it effaces sometimes what one might 
want to reveal. We just have different attitudes here. And poverty wasn't 
the issue in Johnstown at the time. I apologize again, however; the 
discussion is too loaded for me as well.

On Sun, 24 Jul 2016, Ana Vald?s wrote:

> Dear Alan I think life is inclusive and terror in Munich and what happened
> in Johnstown are not exclusive but includes each other. Poverty and to feel
> different are the mothers of the terror as well.
> Ana
> Den 24 jul 2016 21:41 skrev "Alan Sondheim" <sondheim at panix.com>:
>       First -"Lone wolf" - from the WSJ - "The Phrase Lone Wolf Goes
>       Back Centuries A phrase used to describe the culprit in the
>       Sydney siege stretches centuries back to Native American chiefs,
>       Kipling and Crane."
>       I've heard it all my life.
>       Second - The bridge and what happened at Johnstown is quite
>       different - two books are David J. Beale, Through the Johnstown
>       Flood, and David McCullough, The Johnstown Flood. As I
>       mentioned, I think, a minimum of 2209 people died from drowning,
>       the physical force of buildings bearing down upon them, and
>       fire. The bridge was a retaining wall for debris, buildings,
>       fire, people dead and alive, and animals dead and alive.
>       It seems problematic to me - having been up and down in
>       Johnstown, seeing the poverty there now, and so forth - to
>       immediately have this slip into a dialog about the Olympics and
>       the usual discussions on terror. Johnstown wasn't this; it was
>       also very much about class differences, etc., but it was also
>       about heroic efforts to save thousands and thousands of lives
>       (which involved everything from creating hospitals from scratch
>       to building railroad tracks in a very few days, etc.). It's not
>       that I don't think the other issues and dialogs are important -
>       they're absolutely critical - but the issues are not the same
>       between the two.
>       When I was in Johnstown with Azure, we walked to the damsite
>       (where the dam gave way), where the Little Conemaugh River still
>       flows - and for us and many people there, the issue is the vile
>       pollution from mine runoff - which kills but slower - that's
>       evident everywhere; the River ran bright orange, nothing lived
>       in it at all, and it's part of the watershed.
>       I apologize if I'm overstepping my bounds here, in the
>       discussion; I just feel odd about the slippage into a discourse
>       which seemed to me to efface what happened 5/31/1889 in
>       Johnstown, what's happening there now as well.
>       Alan
>       On Sun, 24 Jul 2016, Johannes Birringer wrote:
>             Dear Ana
>             not wanting to engage in ideological fracturings
>             here, to be honest; you must be refering to the
>             passage that my friend from Houston had sent me in
>             the reference to the Olympic Games of 1972, he
>             spotted a sinister irony in the choice of the site; 
>             you will recall that the militant group 'Black
>             September' , a palestinian organization, took
>             responsibility for the hostage taking, there is
>             little disputing that, and i had no intention of
>             causing harm with labeling.
>             I was more interested in the perversion of term lone
>             wolf (which was a literary term i think, from
>             Hesse's Steppenwolf). My friend from Texas also
>             pondered the scene he found on the internet captured
>             during the Munich shootings last Friday: "An
>             extraordinary altercation took place between some
>             individuals filming the Munich killer as he wandered
>             around a roof car park which was empty. A fair
>             amount of invective was directed from the group
>             doing the filming at the killer below. His response
>             to this was to repeat, "I am German." A strange
>             response. There is perhaps no easy answer to the
>             question, 'What did he mean?'"
>             maybe you have an answer.
>             regards
>             jb
>             ________________________________________
>             From: netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org
>             [netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org] on behalf of
>             Ana Vald?s [agora158 at gmail.com]
>             Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2016 9:11 PM
>             To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed
>             creativity
>             Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] stone bridges, QRRR and
>             counter-Munich
>             Johannes I am always moved by your words. You have
>             such a touching way to paint with words:)
>             When you use the words "Palestinian terrorists" I
>             react. Because I has been in Palestine several times
>             and the only terror I met was that exerced by the
>             Israeli soldiers at the checkpoints making us run
>             from their rubber bullets and from their gas
>             grenades.
>             And many of the old Israeli politicians, as Menachem
>             Begin, Sharon and others were called terrorists by
>             the English when they bombed the King David Hotel
>             killing many civilians and when they killed the
>             envoy from the United Nations Folke Bernadotte.
>             You are born in a country who exerced terror over
>             Europe and Africa killing civilians and executing
>             Jews, homosexuals and dissidents. The English
>             exerced terror over the Boers in South Africa and
>             were the first creating concentration camps.
>             The French called the time between 1791 and 1794 the
>             Regime of the Terror when not only the French
>             aristocracy but also the political dissidents paid
>             with their life their dissent.
>             My point is terror is such an ambiguous word and I
>             think no one should label others with it since
>             terror seems to be inherent to all people and to all
>             cultures.
>             Ana
>             On Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 1:56 PM, Johannes Birringer
>             <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk<mailto:Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk>>
>             wrote:
>             Receiving a note from Alan Sondheim, on the road, he
>             mentions a stone bridge where he
>             created a piece "changing the bridge lighting to
>             produce,
>             sequentially, and on different lighting
>             levels/apparatus, SOS, QRRR, and
>             MAYDAY (QRRR is an old radio code for
>             warning/danger/disaster); this
>             alternative with flame-light images on the bridge
>             side (invisible from the
>             trains that run above it) representing burning
>             crushed buildings and
>             people....."
>             i am not sure why I think of the bridge, but a
>             friend from Texas, after I told him
>             about the chaos in Europe, the shootings, the
>             terror, the military putsches, purges,
>             and the new security measures, the increasingly
>             heated debates on refugees
>             and migration, Islamism, fascism, and violence,
>             well, he noted that the shootings
>             in Munich took place on the site of the former
>             Olympic Park.
>             The Olympia shopping centre is a two-tiered
>             glass-covered mall that was built on the site of the
>             1972 Olympics.
>             The Munich Games were overshadowed by a terrorist
>             attack in which 11 Israeli sportsmen and a German
>             policeman were
>             killed after being taken hostage by Palestinian
>             terrorists.
>             Now we hear that the shooting last Friday was by a
>             young "lone wolf" (and what exactly do they mean by
>             lone wolf).
>             A Munich-based poet, the late Paul W?hr, once wrote
>             about Die Wirklichkeit unter Beschuss (reality under
>             shooting attack)
>             alles ist doch in Ordnung /
>             es geht weiter /
>             ich glaube /
>             ich glaube es geht weiter /
>             ja des glaub ich schon.
>             (translated)
>             everything's all right, no? /
>             life goes on /
>             I believe /
>             I believe life goes on /
>             yeah, I believe so /
>             that short QRRR, I tend to think, was meant as
>             W?hr's satirical comment on "weltfromme
>             Bekenntnisformeln" ,  pious liturgies that we tell
>             ourselves, as we must repeat them and murmur them in
>             the face of the all the constant flare ups.
>             Johannes Birringer
>             c/o Interaktionslabor G?ttelborn
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