winged bull
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The archetypal protective deity of the home for the Assyrians.

Crucified first by the allies of the “West” and now by both our proxies and IS

What is it about “orient­alism”? We’re, appar­ently, seduced by the cultural grandeur of these great civil­isa­tions, surely, largely because we see ourselves as their imperial successors … in brutality?

Nation­alism is an ugly tool but it can be one source of dignity and cultural nutrition … it can tell stories which mean we can all contribute threads to the rich tapestry of human culture.
I have a heritage that stretches back millennia, you are just scum … and so the deep and complex patrimony of Palestine is bombed and bulldozed by the Israelis while they are almost obsessed with archae­ology that strengthens their own tenuous roots, the Americans crush and oblit­erate the world’s heritage at Ur and Babylon and oversee the looting of Iraq’s antiquities … just one facet of that imperial hypocrisy I suppose — they are barbarians when they cut off a man’s head, we are fighting for peas and mocracy when we raze Fallujah, Netanyahu is defending the weak when he blows the heads of Palestinian children …

They are all playing to the gallery.

A New Blood Libel?

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OK … trying to be honest.
I posted just the Muslim part on my Portfolio and now I’m not sure I got it right.

UPDATE: (In fact I’ve swapped it for this “wider” version now.)

Essen­tialist crap — all muslims are … the jews are … is a major part of what got us into this cesspit … not to mention colonial wars, support for brutal dictat­or­ships, global­isation, proxy wars and all the shit we’ve visited on “our” brown cousins abroad.

I’m accidently privileged — no-one’s going to ask me to choose just one allegiance to my country right or wrong, to a particular religious authodoxy, or to a specific racial identi­fic­ation for that matter.
I’d be hard pressed to find any values I do share with Cameron, Merkel or even Hollande but I pass … as “normal”, vanilla (though I’m not O).

Wow, Europeans have very short memories … all of ‘em 🙂

Still, a blood trans­fusion might well be a sensible precaution before visitng Birmingham again.

Je suis Charlie

… sort of.

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René Magritte seems to make sense for all sorts of reasons.

Hardly know what to think or even where to start … shock, outrage, even a twinge of fear but a lot of other things too.

Nothing worth saying can be artic­u­lated in a sound bite or on a badge or a banner. A picture, however …

If we’re going to hold the line against the bullying binary thought police of left or right, religious or atheist, radical or reactionary, control freaks or anarchists, we need to embrace ambivalence, nuance, complexity, fluidity and constant negoti­ation and debate, learning and thinking and listening … and at least try to be honest … and make lots of lists.

We don’t have the death penalty here for murder; never mind for being a bigot, being rude or just a knob … not even (officially) for being brown.
Elsewhere however … ?

Hari Kunzru, Martin Rowson and Gary Younge were life belts in the tsunami of sancti­mo­nious smug.

Ma petite boîte des Refusés

call to prayer
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Exper­i­ments …
(an Israeli Apache hunting over the Great Omari Mosque in Gaza)

camo robe
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and failures …
(trying to say something about our misun­der­standings about domestic violence and war)

fire below
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pretty pictures …
(or our fascin­ation with an outdated comic book imagery of war)

remote controlled gun tower
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and more exper­i­ments …
(That veer too far from the nightmare of trying to farm in Gaza under the trigger-happy electronic eyes of remote-controlled gun towers)

predator boy toy
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that don’t quite pull it off …
(because the irony of soldiers playing with toys and Killing people is just too grim to laugh at)

hawk drone
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Or are too quiet …
(and almost seem to accept the purposeful beauty of the archi­tecture of death)

sniper in Ferguson
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or just too literal to make it …

into my portfolio (at the moment at least) … and yet … they’re pretty good.


link to portfolio

Just added this to my portfolio

Holman Hunt’s weird and lurid little painting, mostly done at Usdum (that’s Mount Sodom to me) on the Dead Sea in Judea, fascinated me as a kid — a tiny day-glo nightmare with a rainbow (the one in Manchester anyway); compelling but obviously mad and a bit crappy.

I didn’t know that he had some sort of crazy millen­arian christian zionist (they have those?) conviction that any jew seeing it would spontan­eously convert to chris­tianity. Hmmm …

And I thought the idea of casting a goat out into the wilderness, on Yom Kippur, to perish, and with it the sins and sorrows of the community with which it was invested, was barmy.

I find it horrible and shameful that our Modern, Civilised society can still so easily be convinced that voodoo shit like that might work.