When Lady Liberty Wept
By Gary Corseri
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,” she recalled,
“With conquering limbs astride from land to land””
And yet, even so, it had come to pass,
With every military base, with drones
Hovering everywhere, in the drowned dreams
Of exiles, “refuse,” “yearning to breathe free.”
And what freedom now in the Surveillance State
Where every thought was subject to review
And “newsmen” scurried to assess the threat
From hydra-headed, huddled masses–lost,
Renditioned, imprisoned, killed at the behest
Of elected, cowardly Pinocchios,–
Smiling before drug-induced amnesiacs?
They could not remember who they claimed to be;
Nor why; nor how it mattered to posterity.
Only a looming sense of dread embalmed
Them in a kind of amber ghosts might study
In the years ahead–if there were years” ahead.
And so, she wept” as some say Mother Mary weeps;
As some say Rachel wept for her lost children.
Copper-colored tears from cupreous eyes;
Copious tears from her iron skeleton.
And the wind blew the tears upon her torch.
And the light went out.
By Gary Corseri – Copyright, 2013. Permission is granted for reprint in blog, or web media if this credit is attached and the title and contents remain unchanged. Gary Corseri has published novels and collections of poetry, and his dramas have appeared on Atlanta–PBS and elsewhere. He has taught in US public schools and prisons, and at US and Japanese universities. His work has appeared at periodicals and websites worldwide, and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library.
Recorded in 1924 and produced as a private venture by Sylvia Beach, who published the book two years earlier, the copies did not go on sale but were given to Joyce for distribution among family and friends. Two copies were also kept by Beach at her Shakespeare & Company bookshop in Paris.
The first mention of the recording seems to be in a 1935 Beach catalogue of Joyce material, where it was recorded with the following note: “Phonograph record of a reading by James Joyce from Ulysses pages 136-137, recorded by His Master’s Voice on one side only….Signed James Joyce, Paris, 17 November 1926 (date of recording). Only remaining copy of the 30 that were made.”
However, it is unknown if there were 30 or 20 copies made as Beach later wrote on the label of another example: “Only 20 copies were made of this record S.B,” writes the Irish Times.
In the recording, Joyce reads from a section of the Aeolus episode which takes place in the offices of the Freeman’s Journal – one of the main nationalist newspapers of the day. Joyce was forced to recite the whole section from memory due to his failing eyesight which led to a number of failed takes before a satisfactory recording was cut.
The 12-inch acoustic recording, signed and dated by Joyce, is being sold as part of an auction of rare books and literary memorabilia on 11 June, with a guide price of $15,000-$20,000. The recording was the first of 20/30 pressings, of which only two others are said to remain, and has apparently never been removed from its sleeve let alone played. It was described by Sotheby’s as a “true Joyce rarity.”
“This copy and the one offered in the Horowitz catalogue are the only examples we have been able to trace being offered in the last 30 years,” the auction house said.
“Our research indicates there are perhaps no more than two or three unbroken copies of this record extant and even shattered examples are almost unheard of in commerce,” reports the Irish Times.
Another Irish literary great represented in this year’s auction is Samuel Beckett, who was greatly influenced by Joyce and became friends with him in Paris in the late 1920s.
According to Reuters, the top estimate for Beckett’s “Murphy” manuscript currently lies at $2.13 million eclipsing even the $1.4 million which was paid for a partial draft of Joyce’s “Ulysses” sold at the start of the 21st century.
Whether alcohol or absinthe, LSD or heroin, some of humanity’s creative geniuses produced their greatest work as mind-altering substances did theirs. A Paris exhibit connects the dots.
PARIS – For the first time in Paris, the Maison Rouge art foundation explores head-on the role of drugs in art.
It is impossible to imagine a history of modern and contemporary literature without English essayist Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater or French poet Charles Baudelaire’sParadis Artificiels (Artificial Paradises). The list is long, from Baudelaire to American novelist William Burroughs and German writer Ernst Jünger.
Some will end up addicted to a “substance,” others will just experiment – like German philosopher Walter Benjamin with hashish in Marseille. The same goes for a large part of the history of musical creation in the last 50 years. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, sang the Beatles. You know what the initials of the song title spell out, right?
What’s strange is not that the Maison Rouge’s exhibition, entitled “Under the Influence” and subtitled “Artists and Psychoactive Drugs,” talks about drugs and art, it is that it is the first foundation or museum to do so in such detail. Anyone with an interest in surrealism remembers French surrealist writers Jacques Vaché and René Crevel – two famous addicts – and playwright Antonin Artaud, of course, with opium and peyote. Many contemporary artists don’t even bother to hide their use of hallucinogenic drugs.
Such a wide-ranging topic should have its place in a big Parisian museum like the Centre Pompidou. Unfortunately it seems that talking about drugs in Paris’ temple of contemporary art is considered too shocking. Whatever, what’s important is that the exhibition exists.
“Under the Influence” goes from fact to fact, but also from interrogation to interrogation. Only one has a simple answer: the use or abuse of products by an artist that have the effect of affecting – briefly or durably – perceptions, emotions or thoughts is a major factor in art since the beginning of the 20thcentury, even maybe earlier. These products can be legal or illegal.
In the first category are alcohol and tobacco, there is enough for a separate exhibition: Van Gogh andabsinthe, Pollock and Bacon’s penchant for the bottle. The second category includes the substances that come from a plant – opium, cocaine, etc – and the third and last category the substances created by chemists – LSD being the most famous.
Many famous artists are represented: Francis Picabia, Hans Bellmer, Jean Cocteau, Martial Raysse, Daniel Spoerri, Gary Hill, Markus Raetz; and others less known: Daniel Pommereulle, Bernard Saby, Frédéric Pardo, Batan Matta.
This doesn’t mean that these 91 artists were all “drug addicts,” but, just like the writers, some artists got hooked and some even died because from it. A percentage of them took drugs in the 60s and 70s – when it was all the rage – and then stopped more or less quickly. Others experimented with drugs as if they were scientists, French poet Henri Michaux for instance, who drew after taking mescaline, or artist Jean-Jacques Lebel after dropping acid.
There are also those who broached the subject from afar, like a chronicler or a historian would. Matthieu Briand is one of them – his sculptures are tributes to the creator of LSD, Albert Hofmann.
Hallucinogenic drugs or hallucinations?
When a psychoactive drug is absorbed, how does it act and how far can it make the artist go? What perception of the world does it stir up? Or what “visions” – a word to be used with caution- does it impose? In some cases, the answer is easy. The comparison between Michaux’s “mescalinian” drawings and his work when he’s not under the influence suggests that the drug set off ideas of swarming and crystallization: “lots of crystals, everything always end up in crystals,” he wrote, but he also experienced muscle rigidity – his 1956 drawings resemble those produced by a seismograph.
With Lebel, the assessment is less definitive. Are these curves, the “psychedelic” interlacing, due to chemistry or the artist’s unique graphic style? Austrian painter Arnulf Rainer was drawing under the influence of mescaline, LSD, psilocybin, and hypnosis. What he accomplished was however very much like his work in a “normal” state, granted we know what normal actually is.
Painting by Arnulf Rainer
Like Rainer, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, also went off the deep end. She spends her life between her workshop and a psychiatric ward. Where is the influence? Is it the hallucinogenic drugs or the hallucinations? This begs the question: how does creation happen? What mental and physical operations are needed to bring out archetypes and obsessions?
Many artists who try drugs are only trying to find the answer to this question. American performance artist Brian Lewis Saunders is the perfect example of this. In 2001, he drew, for weeks on, a self-portrait under the influence of a different mix: Valium, cocaine, marijuana and other various types of medicine. His portraits can be figurative or almost destroyed, hilarious or frightening.
Another spectacular experiment comes from French artist Bruno Botella. He worked on clay mixed with a hallucinogenic substance. By contact of his skin, enhanced by a solvent, the molecule penetrates the body and affects the movements – and therefor the shape that is given to the clay. The protocol resembles a lab experiment. The relationship between science and art appears very clearly all throughout the exhibition.
Installation by Yayoi Kusama
The exhibition also confirms that the hypothesis that is repeated all too often – that these substances liberate the creating power, by taking away inhibitions and stimulation the central nervous system is just not true. This is no more true than to say that Van Gogh was only Van Gogh because of his inner turmoil or than Jean-Michel Basquiat needed heroin to draw or paint. But it is also worth remembering that it killed them both.
We have learned in recent years what was not known before, the systematic abuses of tens of thousands of children, mainly poor children, in the religious institutions of Ireland. However, through our independent media we learn that this is not true, as the headline in the Workers Voice (1935) illustrates, abuse was known, was ignored and was wiped from accepted history. Independent media gives a voice to the voiceless.
The following are some short excerpts from the Child Abuse Commission report on Artane. All these events and reports happened subsequent to the headline above (in which a young boy had been kicked to death in Artane boys’ school and the murder covered up). If Ireland had listened to independent media these children would have been saved:
Brother Cyrano – a broken arm
In the mid-1950s, the mother of a boy in Artane wrote to the Department of Education to ask if she could be allowed to see her son, who had sustained a broken arm and head injuries during the previous week. She also asked if the incident could be investigated. She wrote:
I heard during the week that my boy Thomas Artane School had an arm broken as a result of a blow with a brush by one of the brothers I call to the school yesterday and the superior admitted that one of the brothers had given him a blow and that his arm was broken I did not see the boy but I believe he was attending another hospital for treatment the superior said he had it xrayed and seen the result the arm is in Plaster of Paris I also heard that his head was bandaged during the week Im very worried over it and I called on Sunday to see him and was not allowed If it could be arranged for me to see him to ease my mind. In any case please have the matter investigated and let me no the result.
A former resident explained:
Another Brother, if you are talking or doing other things in the dormitory that you weren’t supposed to be doing, he would make you go in to the washroom and put your hand into very cold water, because there was no hot water in Artane, and he would make you put your hand in the cold water for about ten [minutes] to quarter of an hour. Then he would call you out and while your hands were still wet, he used to make you put your hand, palm upwards, on the iron bedstead and he had a foot ruler and he used to slice the top of your fingers. It was only afterwards when the blood returned to your hand that you actually got the pain that was involved. Speaking here, it doesn’t seem to imply that being hit at the top of your fingers was a great punishment but it certainly was. The pain afterwards was more than the actual striking of the fingers.
There was no hot water in Artane, nor plumbed toilets
We had only buckets behind the handball alley … I would say there was about 20 to 30 buckets … it was newspaper we used instead of toilet rolls, there was no such thing … They had to be emptied … There was two men, [he thought they were siblings], … at the time it was a horse and cart … They were lay men … I was one of the ones that had to help on that occasion because I was a hefty lump of a lad … You had to put a bit of paper, them buckets could be over full … You have a dirty job there … we were just emptying the buckets … into this barrel. We called it a barrel. It was a horse and cart … it had to be done every day. Imagine there is 800 people were going through toilets … the handball alley was your wee wee, the back of the handball alley. You put them back. They were lovely looking going back … They went back with a kind of coat on them.
A decent man in every other way:
He used have his cloth over him and he kind of took my hand and placed it on top with the cloth covering it in case anybody came in. I touched him like that … He carried on … and then sent me back to my place. That’s all [he] ever done, he was a fondler more than anything. He didn’t ask you to undress or anything like that. He confirmed the statement that he had made to the Commission: All boys liked [him] because he was a gentle kind of man. He said that the teacher looked after the boys and that they put up with him for that reason. He said: We weren’t idiots. Boys at that age were aware, I was anyway, that some of the teachers and some people were like that. He continued: he was good to us … He wasn’t cruel like some of the Brothers. I personally found him very nice and also he always brought a newspaper in every morning. When he was finished the lads would get it. Some of us were avid readers. In that way he was a man’s man, if you like. I know he was a groper but he was a decent man in every other way
Br Ricard, who taught in Artane in the mid-1950s, sexually abused boys in a Christian Brothers’
school in Waterford in the late 1950s.:
A letter sent the following day to the Brother Procurator General, regarding the dispensation from perpetual vows of Br Ricard, reveals the anxiety felt by the Brothers about this case:
This is one of the worst cases we have had in my experience. It is so bad that we have voted unanimously in both Provincial and General Councils that he be granted a dispensation …
The letter discloses how the abuse was detected:
For a whole year he had been “interfering” in a homosexual way with two or three very respectable pupils at [a private secondary college]. One of these came to [a college run by another Order] last August and it was through a letter censored by the [Superiors at that college] that the whole matter came to light. The Brother admitted everything the boy … had stated.
The letter goes on to say:
We fear that the evil ways into which he had fallen may be of some years duration. He leaves immediately for England (on leave of absence). Were he to remain in Ireland and were the parents of the boys to get to know of his behaviour at [the Christian Brothers College] there would be a great danger of a public prosecution. The case is, as I have stated, one of the worst we have had. Do everything you can to secure an immediate Dispensation and forward same as expeditiously as you can.
Br Ricard sought a reference, but was not provided with one as it was felt that ‘there is no knowing what use he might make of it’. According to a letter written by the Provincial Assistant to the Superior General, he was informed that he could not continue teaching and would not be given a reference. However, it appears from records furnished by the Department of Education and Science that the ex-Brother came back to Ireland less than a year later and took up a senior position in a school in Co Kildare and remained there for some years. He was then appointed an assistant teacher at a school in Dublin where he worked for a few years, before moving to a Dublin secondary school where he worked until the late 1980s.
PARIS – The combination of the Arab Spring and the economic crisis in southern Europe has led to a quiet panic spreading in hospitals across the Mediterranean Basin.
“With the disorganization of medical services, the number of infections resisting most known antibiotics has literally exploded,” says professor Patrice Nordmann, chief of the bacteriology-virology-parasitology department at the Bicêtre Hospital in Paris, and head of the Epidemiology and Biochemistry of Emerging Resistance Mechanisms unit at the Inserm (National Institute of Health and Medical Research).
But beyond the Mediterranean sources for the spreading bacteria, such as Greece, Spain and North African countries, is a new reservoir of host countries. In Rotterdam, Netherlands, for example, more than 3,000 patients have been infected by strains of enterobacteria resisting multiple treatments. In Great Britain, while staphylococcus aureus had been spectacularly curtailed for ten years, health authorities have identified new bacterial waves, imported from India through low-cost medical tourism.
In France, the National Sanitary Surveillance Institute recently signaled ulltra-resistant strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, whose part in nosocomial diseases spread in medical facilities went from 3% in 2008 to 11% in 2011, causing death in 17% of cases. More worrying: cases of resistant infections are not limited to hospitals anymore. “A tsunami is to be expected,” warns Nordmann.
He is not the only one to think so. The acceleration of the phenomenon also worries the World Health Organization (WHO). Its Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan calculated that 440,000 cases of tuberculosis (out of a total 8 to 10 million globally), stem from a multi-resistant strain, which has killed at least 150,000 people in at least 64 countries. In a 2012 report, the organization shared its fear of a “return to the times when antibiotics did not exist.” In other words, medical pre-history.
“The risk of a paralysis of modern medicine is real,” confirm experts from the French Strategic Analysis Center, in a November report sent to the Prime Minister’s office. No antibiotics would mean no more surgery, organ transplantation, chemotherapy, or therapeutic barriers to stop the spreading of diseases.
Eight decades after the discovery of penicillin, which inaugurated the era of modern medicine, will Darwinism rear its destructive head? “Overconsumption of antibiotics, encouraged by their free circulation in some countries, forces bacteria’s natural resistance mechanisms to select the most adapted genes for survival in over-asepticized environments,” explains Patrice Nordmann. In view of bacteria’s reproduction speed, the time necessary for these mutations is extremely short. Rudimentary microbes that couldn’t survive ten years ago are now about to become real juggernauts.
“There is no reason today for this race to stop. If we do not act now, mankind must prepare to face an apocalyptic scenario where modern health systems could be destroyed,” says Richard Smith, professor of Health System Economics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Overconsumption is not only the product of uncontrolled prescriptions: according to the WHO, at least half of the antibiotics produced in the world are administered in prevention to livestock. Forbidden in Europe since 2006, this practice goes on in the United States where four out of five antibiotics consumed are used to fatten cattle.
The vertiginous decline of research into new antibiotics does not help: less profitable for the “Big Pharma” than treatments for chronic pathologies, the number of marketing authorizations granted by the Food and Drug Administration — the American sanitary authority — went from 16 for the 1983-1987 period, to only two in the last five years.
Even worse: no new treatment has been proposed for ten years against “superbugs”, or multidrug-resistant bacteria.
This race against the clock can be an incentive for research in new therapeutic approaches. At France’s Pasteur Institute for example, the laboratory headed by Jean-Marc Ghigo studies the metabolism of bio-films in order to invent surgical tools and hospital material on which bacteria would be unable to attach itself.
As for the Strategic Analysis Center, it recommends developing research in phage therapy, a nearly 100-year-old discipline, once overtaken by the rise of antibiotics. With the help of bacteriophage viruses, it can target pathogenic agents with extreme precision while protecting “friendly” bacteria in the human flora.
“The harmless bacterium Vibrio can thus become cholera’s enemy by acquiring a choleric toxin gene from a bacteriophage,” the authors predict. Three clinical trials are going on in the United States, in Belgium and in the United Kingdom, but the need to regularly update the phage cocktails according to targeted bacteria render the regulation more complicated. Yet the risks of the current situation could accelerate the process: Richard Smith assesses the annual cost of antibiotics resistances at $55 billion in the United States alone.
Read the article in the original language.
Photo by – Fabio Veronesi
Here is a breakdown of the alarming numbers:
– More than 26 million people unemployed in the 27-member European Union.
– Almost 19 million unemployed in the 17-country euro zone.
– Euro zone average: 11.9% unemployment
– European Union average: 10.8% unemployment
– Highest rates:
– Lowest rates:
Germany and Luxemburg: 5.3%
– The U.S.: 7.9% unemployment in Jan. 2013.
– Australia: 5.4%
– Japan: 4.2%
Not surprisingly, youth unemployment was also up:
– Euro zone youth unemployment: 24.2%, up from 21.9 in Jan. 2012.
– European Union under-25 unemployment: 23.6%, up from 22.4% in Jan. 2012.
The worst European countries for youths:
– Greece: 59.4% youth unemployment rate.
– Spain: 55.5% youth unemployment rate.
Ireland take note your water supply is in danger
Hello from snowy Vienna. We have had a wonderful day. Over 300 people and a lot of media attended this important conference today. People in Europe have been fighting water privatizations for over a decade and have started a process of reversal, leading to the remunicipalization of many water services, including some major cities, such as Paris.
But in a classic example of what Naomi Klein calls the shock doctrine, the European Commission and the European Central Bank are using the financial crisis to promote an “austerity” program that includes privatization of water services in a number of countries. Already, water prices have been dramatically raised in some cities, leading to water service cut offs and even evictions.
The Citizen’s Initiative is a most exciting counter-force to this provocation and growing every day. Not satisfied with the one million signatures they have succeeded in getting, the group is now aiming at over two million.
I told them how important their work is and that they have support all over the world. Austrians value both their water sources, which they take very good care of, and the public nature of its delivery. But I told them how fast that can change, and pointed to our federal government and how they are using funding as a tool to force P3s on municipalities and that they must be vigilant.
Two things to note: although it was a labour backed conference, no one seemed to know about the Canada-European Union CETA. And there is a big debate on whether the EU can be reformed, or whether it has just become a tool of neo-liberalism.
Big good day!
Speaking from inside a bin to protect his identity, Mossad agent Golan Aharoni ejected a small pebble from his hiding place, claiming it was a ‘key component’ in Iran’s gravity-powered weapon.
Aharoni described how the meteorite was first spotted on Google Earth, which led to a mission to investigate further, using their most discreet methods of bombing.
“Everywhere we looked, we uncovered more and more rock”, said Aharoni.
“This proves they’re developing a meteorite roughly the size of Iran.”
Iran’s Meteorite program
While Iran lacks a missile capable of delivering itself from space, Aharoni warned other world leaders that it wasn’t just Israel that was at risk.
“We also discovered smaller meteorites that could be hidden in a suitcase”, he claimed.
To emphasise the threat, Mossad has made a video of a meteorite simulation, in which a cheesecake is smashed to pieces by a man with a hammer.
“Imagine that the hammer is a rock, and then imagine that the imaginary rock is a theoretical meteorite, roughly 800 miles across”, suggested Aharoni.
“I don’t know about you, but I quite like cheesecake, so these bastards must be stopped.”
Israel is looking to develop its own meteorite as a deterrent, once they find a piece of land suitable for stripping of all life and then wiping off the map.
“We’ve been working on it for some time”, admitted Aharoni. “Somewhere about the size of Palestine should do it.”
Examples of Stalinist Posters & Political Art (1930-1953)
N. Kh. Rurkovsky. Stalin at Kirov’s Bier. 1934
I.I. Brodsky, Stalin (1937)
G.M. Shegal’, Leader, Teacher, Friend(1937)
via Propaganda Art.
via Propaganda Art.
Go ahead. Read that sentence again.
Of course, these weren’t real nuns! FEMEN, the breast-baring Ukrainian women’s movement, is famous for spreading awareness about a cause through nudity. When FEMEN found out that more than 100,000 Catholics would be protesting against France’s legislation to allow gay marriage and adoption, they got their weapons ready. With various slogans written across their chests, including “In Gay We Trust” and “Fuck God,” Femen members got creative with baby powder, spraying the mist on protesters, calling it “Jesus Sperm.”
In both photos and videos, the women of FEMEN are shown being shoved by both protestors and policemen, with one activist losing a tooth and another with a broken nose. Sounds a bit scary. Alas, as the gay rights movement begins to gain acceptance in more countries throughout the world, protests on both sides of the debate are sure to spark some fire … and spread some more cleavage.
Pro-palestinian supporters, members of the National Collective for a fair peace between Palestinians and Israeli (Collectif National pour une paix juste entre Palestiniens et Israéliens), demonstrate in front of the Opera Garnier on November 17, 2012 in Paris to protest against Israel’s ongoing airstrike over Gaza