Thursday, October 29, 2020
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Friday, October 23, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Two Saturdays ago, a theater company near me presented a reading of the play, “My Name Is Rachel Corrie,” with four young women speaking Rachel’s words on a simple stage 50 feet from commuter rails.
About 60 people were in the audience, and there was none of the political drama that accompanied the play’s New York premiere in 2006. Israel’s friends did not succeed in shutting down a progressive theater company‘s production of the show… When the show did get staged, no one handed out flyers outside the theater.with pictures of Israeli girls killed in suicide bombings
Yet in a way the play had more raw power last Saturday night than it did when I first saw it 14 years ago. Director Christine Bokhour chose the work because she was looking for a piece that would tie into Black Lives Matter and other protests. “[Rachel Corrie’s] passion for social activism, and willingness to put her own life on the line for it, is what is inspiring to me,” Bokhour wrote in the program. “I cannot imagine a time when I would have had the courage to do what she did.”
For anyone who doesn’t know: Corrie was an Olympia, WA, writer who died at 23 in 2003 in Rafah, Gaza, as a volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement, when an Israeli bulldozer crushed her as she was trying to protect a Palestinian home from demolition.
Her words are familiar to me. Her published journals, letters and poems helped propel me into this work in the first place. I can see her book on my shelf as I am working now: “Let Me Stand Alone“.
But Rachel Corrie’s words were new to my wife and two friends in the audience that night. And at the end of the show they all sat quietly with their eyes on the ground. My friends were both too upset to talk that night, so I caught up with them later.
Each said the play’s power lay in the fact that we get to reimagine the conflict through an young American’s idealistic eyes.
“It resonated in a small town way,” said Sheila Rauch. “The seriousness of what she was doing came through because of the four small town girls on the stage. I thought, Rachel Corrie could have been just like them. No, not every person is as socially conscious as Rachel Corrie was. But all those girls were relating to her.”
Rauch went on, “All the things you have heard before about this conflict — they were in the play, but through the eyes of someone so young, so unprotected, and so American, whose whole understanding is American. When she said, I’m so pathetic, how can I be the best hope for these people who are being so hospitable to me — I was overwhelmed by the tragedy of it.”
My second friend, Celia Barbour, also said she was familiar with Israeli army demolitions, but overcome by hearing about them in a young woman’s sometimes awkward voice.
“The early portions of her diary are almost wincingly personal in places, like when she’s in middle school and high school,” Barbour said. “But the silly parts just make her story more devastating at the end. It makes her more human, which is the real strength of the piece.
“The way she grappled with her privilege also had huge impact on me. A lot of us have been thinking about these issues lately. The choices we make to support our comfort and safety, they don’t feel like political acts. But just maintaining your own comfort and safety can have enormous political implications.”
And Palestinian hospitality also touched Barbour.
“I was moved by her description of the hospitality of her Palestinian hosts, especially the fact that they wouldn’t accept money from her, their generosity of spirit and simple kindness. Because we seldom experience that kind of open-heartedness here in America, we are so defended and protected against one another. We don’t welcome strangers into our houses, share our homes and tables with them. Here in the US it seems that the more you have, the more you close your doors.”
The tensions between the child’s innocence and the activist’s worldly awareness gave the play its power to Barbour.
“What you see in the late correspondence with her parents is that she becomes so articulate in her understanding of the politics. The assurance in her voice in those pleas to her parents– we’ve all been in that position; we were once that kid engaged in that discussion, finding our voice and strength, standing up for what we believe. And it adds more emotion to the piece. Her parents argue from what they’ve heard in the news: there are terrorists on both sides. But by this point she has grown to have not just an emotional and personal engagement, but an intellectual engagement that makes her voice so much stronger. You’re feeling the entire complexity of a person engaging in a struggle. And all the pieces come together in a wallop. That is quite beautiful.”
Corrie herself was angered that her white Westernness protected her, and the fact that it doesn’t in the end of course helped put the story in headlines around the world. And led in time to this play (Corrie’s words edited by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner) and to streets in Palestine being named after Rachel Corrie.
I can’t help tearing up whenever I think of Rachel Corrie. I imagine what she would have done with a longer life. But it is clear that she made the most of what time she had… and her words will echo for a long time in our country.
Monday, October 19, 2020
"MAYOR is a real-life political saga following Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. His immediate goals: repave the sidewalks, attract more tourism, and plan the city's Christmas celebrations. His ultimate mission: to end the occupation of Palestine. Rich with detailed observation and a surprising amount of humor, MAYOR offers a portrait of dignity amidst the madness and absurdity of endless occupation while posing a question: how do you run a city when you don't have a country?"
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Dr. Jacob Granville: Covid-19 cures and post-Covid chaos. Magid Magid: Refugees and radical politics -- Afshin Rattansi and Going Underground
?In this episode of Going Underground, we speak to Dr. Jacob Granville, who starred in Netflix’s Pandemic and is the CEO of Distributed Bio. He discusses the treatments Donald Trump underwent for coronavirus; the reports that the antibody cocktail he was given uses tissue from aborted foetuses; how a vaccine would work, and how close we are to getting one, including Russia’s Sputnik V; and why Covid-19 chaos will reign for a while yet… Next, we speak to Magid Magid, former mayor of Sheffield and Member of the European Parliament. He discusses his new book, ‘The Art of Disruption: A Manifesto For Real Change’; fleeing Somalia as a child refugee; his time as mayor of Sheffield; his respect for the city’s tradition of radical politics; why he vetoed an official visit from Trump; the points-based immigration system Boris Johnson’s government is aiming to implement, and why we should oppose it; the health threat posed by air pollution, and more."
I drank up my brother,
Waiting at his bedside in the hospital.
I brought his music, thinking this musical man
Might find it comforting.
When he almost imperceptibly lifted a finger,
I turned it off.
A nurse, clinical yet not unkind,
Urged me to talk with him
Although he seemed lost (or was it me?).
So I asked him if he was up on a cloud
With John and George (not Mom & Dad?).
I really hope he was.
When I came back from lunch,
He was gone.
Saturday, October 17, 2020
DRATTED BLOGGER WILL NOT ALLOW ME TO POST THE YOUTUBE DIRECTLY!
BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY YOU WILL NOT REGRET WATCHING THIS FASCINATING DISCUSSION.
Friday, October 16, 2020
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms
When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil
When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze
When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse
When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets
Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world
When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Monday, October 12, 2020
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Friday, October 09, 2020
H/T to commenter YvonneBB on Naked Capitalism blog