[NetBehaviour] query about politics - stories from exile

Michael Szpakowski m at michaelszpakowski.org
Fri May 4 01:18:50 CEST 2018

I haven't the faintest idea what you're on about Johannes!
Must be my plumpes denken :)

      From: Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk>
 To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> 
 Sent: Thursday, May 3, 2018 7:23 PM
 Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] query about politics - stories from exile
(may I respond to Michael and Alan's posts again?)

In the story ‘Orthopterans,’ from the collection Stories from Exile (1983), waiting becomes a form of patience about meaning or choosing, a matter of not rushing to choose the version of the past that you wish to have as a prelude to your present.

'Not even Borges', we are told, 'can be expected to cleave to a strict chronological order.' Or to a single tale when various good ones are on offer. 

A plague of locusts in the pampas causes serious lateness in the ordinarily very punctual, English-run rail service from Buenos Aires to Mendoza. How did the locusts get there? A person called ‘the professor’ brought them to pollinate the flowers, but they just multiplied instead. When was this? ‘Who can say?’ the local informant replies. ‘Could be … when the Indians camped out in these parts, or even before.’

In that case the professor was perhaps a witch doctor. Myths have a flexible sense of time. In any event the man wanted to make amends for his mistake, and promised to bring water to the largely non-arable land.  His method was unusual. He reappeared with a figure whom ‘the population couldn't help but see … as a magician who would make it rain more than before.’  

They were wrong, but on the right track.

The man was an English actor. Learning this the locals hoped he was a comic actor  – if he couldn’t produce water at least he could make them laugh.  The man – his name was Garrick, so he was either the famous thespian himself or a helpful alternative avatar – said his acting was ‘comic and otherwise’  and proceeded to entertain his audience ‘with stories, gags, wit, impersonation, much brilliance, and occasional grimaces, but tactful ones, without any sort of exaggeration.’  

The people laughed until they cried, their tears forming a river, ‘and in that way, through the magic of joyous tears, lakes, lagoons and other deposits which, if they are large enough, are given the name of mar chiquita, spread across the vastness of Spanish America.’

Mar chiquita means ‘tiny sea.’  Orthoptera is the order of insects to which locusts belong. What do they have to do with Garrick’s act?  The narrator’s opening line is an answer of a kind: ‘I’ll tell it the way they told it to me.’  

(from Antonio Di Benedetto's Stories from Exile)


From: NetBehaviour [netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org] on behalf of Michael Szpakowski [m at michaelszpakowski.org]

Hi Alan
What is really significant about all this, though, is that this shocking racism has cost the Home Secretary, one of the high offices of the British State, her job, and it has transformed the terms of the debate on race here.
Even in sleepy old Harlow -where anti racist campaigners have been regularly abused in the past couple of years- I know, I've been threatened and even spat on - a campaign stall last Saturday calling for Rudd's ( and May's) resignation was warmly supported.
The local MP ( from May's party) and his supporters were campaigning nearby for this Thursday local elections..
They packed up when we started shouting -'How do you know when a Tory is lying? -Their lips move!'
Across the country ordinary people have not conformed to the media narrative of bigotry but have been shocked by what has gone on

You can see the banners we used here:

Now we need to push forward to get rid of the vile racist May  (who bigged up the 'hostile environment' and continues to muddy the water by scapegoating 'undeserving' immigrants) and the rest of her party.
This is do-able.  No need for despair, no justification for passivity, every reason for hope ...
warmest wishes

From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com>
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 3:43 AM
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] query about politics -

Apologies for not having heard of this; as you know, we have our own
simmilar forms of brutality here...

Thanks, Alan

On Tue, 1 May 2018, Johannes Birringer wrote:

> Dear Alan
> yes, it probably is precisely as horrific as you felt it was,
> there is much debate currently in the Uk about the "Windrush" generation and people who came here many years ago from the Caribbean
> and have lived and worked and paid taxes in England but some have no passports or legal documents and many have been threatened
> or had been under threat of what these unspeakably pitiful politicians call "enforced return." Some who visited former folks/family in Jamaica
> were unable to return to their children in England. Immigration removal, what a ghastly notion.
> Johannes Birringer
> ________________________________________
> From: NetBehaviour [netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org>] on behalf of Alan Sondheim via NetBehaviour [netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org<mailto:netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org>]
> Sent: 30 April 2018 00:00
> Subject: [NetBehaviour] query about politics -
> https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/27/amber-rudd-was-told-about-migrant-removal-targets-leak-reveals
> -
> ? Can someone please comment on this? Is this as horrific as it sounds?
> Thanks, Alan, apologies for off-topic?

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