Sunday, December 30, 2007

Guest post by Jean Genet

Quelques poètes, de nos jours, se livrent a une très curieuse opération: ils chantent le Peuple, la Liberté, la Révolution, etc., qui, d'etre chantés, sont précipités puis cloués sur un ciel abstrait ou ils figurent, déconfits et dégonflés, en de difformes constellations. Désincarnés, ils deviennent intouchables. Comment les approcher, les aimer, les vivre, s'ils sont expédiés si magnifiquement loin? Ecrits, parfois somptueusement, ils deviennent les signes constitutifs d'un poème, la poésie étant nostalgie et le chant détruisant son prétexte, nos poètes, tuent ce qu'ils voulaient faire vivre.
Hermetically under siege, after decades of occupation and years of Intifada in which Israel destroyed the little infrastructure that the Strip ever had, following many months of total embargo on everything except basic food products, which brought the economy to a halt, with daily invasions of Israeli tanks and extra-judicial killings by Israeli airplanes, and now with gasoline supplies cut and electricity supply to be reduced soon, the Gaza Strip (1.5 million people, 80 percent refugees) is no longer the world's biggest open-air prison. It's a huge laboratory for human experimentation, run by the Israeli army.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Then they came for the Nordic blondes...

...and I was silent, for my hair was mousey-brown. (Besides, I was planning a winter break in Miami.)

The story of Eva Ósk Arnardóttir.

Friday, December 14, 2007


With the help of a theremin, John Otway makes his body talk:

With the help of a mutant guitar, Otway does Sweet's 'Blockbuster':

Conspiracy Praxis: Government fabricated terror group

Stand easy: it was only the Egyptian government. (Them Muslims, eh?) Couldn't happen here. of course.

(Strangely enough, that cant term and all-purpose thoughtstopper "conspiracy theory" does not appear once in this BBC piece - just as it never appeared in any British media report on Putin's alleged involvement in the assassinations of Russian journalists abroad. Why not? An unfathomable mystery.)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Why do they hate us?

Guantanamo prisoner cut his throat with sharpened fingernail, survives


GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - A Guantanamo Bay prisoner slashed his throat with a sharpened fingernail last month, spilling a lot of blood but surviving, a U.S. military commander said Tuesday.

Guards administered first aid and took the prisoner to the prison clinic, said navy Cmdr. Andrew Haynes, the deputy commander in charge of the guard force.

"There was an impressive effusion of blood," Haynes told reporters visiting the base. He would not disclose the man's name or nationality. A medical officer, who could not be identified under military rules for journalists, said the prisoner received several stitches and spent a week under psychiatric observation.

There have been four suicides since the United States opened the military prison at Guantanamo in January 2002 for men suspected of involvement in terrorism or links to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Haynes said he doubted the latest incident was a real suicide attempt, and characterized it instead as an act of "self-harm."

The incident occurred while the man was taking his daily five-minute shower in early November, around the time when more than two dozen journalists were visiting Guantanamo for a military court hearing.

Haynes said there have been up to half-dozen "self-harm incidents" in the two months he has been assigned to Guantanamo Bay. He described suicide as a "paramount tactic" used by prisoners to discredit U.S. forces. But defence lawyers and human rights groups say the suicides are a result of the prisoners' despair.

Many of the 305 men held at Guantanamo have been there for more than five years without charge. The military has said it plans to prosecute up to 80 of the prisoners.

In other developments, a Guantanamo prison manual from 2004 that was posted anonymously on the Internet on Tuesday indicated that some detainees were prevented from having any contact with representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross. The military said it could not immediately confirm the document's authenticity.


The New York Times adds:

Commander Haynes said there had been four to six occurrences in the last two months in which detainees harmed themselves, a rate that he said was consistent with recent experience. Those instances show that a potentially deadly struggle between detainees and their jailers continues, largely out of public view. One detainee committed suicide in May, after three other suicides the previous June, and there have also been numerous suicide attempts.


In interviews with reporters Tuesday, officials said nine detainees remained on hunger strikes and were being force-fed daily. The detainee engaged in the longest of the hunger strikes, the officials said, has been force-fed for 816 days.

Sunday, December 02, 2007