[NetBehaviour] query about politics - stories from exile
Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Fri May 4 23:14:34 CEST 2018
thank you Alan, and Edward,
I was not sure whether a small turn to fiction might help (to carry on from Michael, who gave us a hard hitting and activist reply, which I understand
but i don't share the optimism of, perhaps, nor would I know what Adorno criticized in other's thinking) - -
I found the short story from Di Benedetto's 'Stories from Exile' illuminating and evocative, as a historically bent/contorted fable, that in a sense also commented, for me, on English ( and US) colonialist politics and also maverick activism, perhaps.
Yet the time of mavericks that create real rain (change) is not this time. We are left, I fear, with tears.
From: NetBehaviour [netbehaviour-bounces at lists.netbehaviour.org] on behalf of Alan Sondheim [sondheim at panix.com]
Sent: 04 May 2018 21:57
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] query about politics - stories from exile
This is fascinating to me; I've been in a swarm of locusts avoiding a
wildfire in Utah. I was one or two or many with the locusts.
And Garrick? For some reason I've felt strangely haunted by him. And by
Rachel for example, and definitely Bernhardt, these figures who have left
almost no trace (there are some very late recordings of Bernhardt's voice
which is astonishing), who cast shadows that haunt the imaginary of the
theater, or theater's doubles -
On Thu, 3 May 2018, Johannes Birringer wrote:
> (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
> 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
> 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 -
>> ? Can someone please comment on this? Is this as horrific as it sounds?
>> Thanks, Alan, apologies for off-topic?
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