Thursday, February 09, 2006

Noblesse oblige, new school

I’m not surprised that no one really chose to address the central point I was trying to explore the other evening, although interesting comments were most certainly offered.

It discomfits, deeply. This notion that it might be incumbent on any of us, and that’s most of us, who find ourselves in a position to speak, instruct, write, show up - to take responsibility for our words. Or our posters.

It’s much more fun to just toss them out, use them with studied abandon, abandon increasing as the applause rolls in.

Complexity, intuition and relevance. Thank you, fauxtapatio.

Rather than, say, the studied, disingenuous ingenuousness of another of our raconteurs.

Images matter, words matter. And no one knows that better than those engaged in any sort of politics, no matter how otherly. The glossary shift of some months back was not without forethought, nor can I envision the Other Campaign as a band of Merry Pranksters, wending their parti-coloured ideologies down country lanes.

As was noted, most of the happy villagers are as blissfully ignorant as the acolytes, at least about the gentleman in question.


But how that could be conceived, on any level, as a good thing is beyond my comprehension. Which was precisely the point I was trying to make in my previous post. Tabula rosa beggars personal responsibility and offers itself up to whomever is quickest on the draw with a piece of chalk.

I am exceedingly simple, and I think what haunts me the most is the extraordinary fragility of both acolyte and villager who are there, after all, because they are seeking, and the willingness, always, of some or one to pick up the chalk.


TripleJ said...

Taking responsibility for your own words, I'll go along with that. But why take responsibility for the words of others?

Interestingly enough, in the Age today (Melbourne's newspaper), there is an article written by Malcolm Fraser. Now Malcolm Fraser and I have never ever agreed on anything, but today I found myself agreeing with Malcolm "Life was not meant to be easy" Fraser. And he was, partly, talking about words, and freedom of speech, and taking responsibility for what you say.

Damn! I never thought this would happen. I agreed with Malcolm Fraser? I wonder if I'm coming down with something? I must be delirious :^)

Has anybody tried to yell "Fire" in a theater lately? I wish someone would try it in the US, then report here what this freedom of speech crap is all about (after doing their spell in jail that is :^)

aketus said...

One of the problems Australia faces in terms of freedom of speech is that there is no acknowledgement, unlike USA, of that right, in the constitution.
And in fact there are laws that say concepts like freedom of speech can be overruled as the government see fit.
See this post on @ndy's post for more on this subject.

aketus said...

er, @ndy's 'blog' I meant to say.
Ah well. Freedom of speech, even when it's wrong (:

Spark said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Spark said...

Isn't Irl also referring to the gap between rhetoric and reality among politicians and activists?

in a world where everything is commodified and the words of poets are routinely stolen by advertising agents to sell us things we don't need, on the basis of increasing our security or our sex appeal or whatever

we are surrounded by stolen slogans, some good and some bad & most of which we don't live up to

and people are obsessed with how things appear, rather than what is really so

surely as long as the person in question treats the acolytes and happy villagers with respect, inclusion, compassion

there is then the possibility of a transformation of social relations in which every class can take part - even the merry pranksters

picking up chalk - sometimes this is necessary: as in the natural world, this may be no more than the advance guard, the place where cells are most rapidly dividing - the growing tip

the problem for the world is in knowing individually who and what to follow, & where to put one's energy

Spark said...

here in the UK i'm involved in a campaign to protect free speech and the rights of self-expression and association in the so-called 'land of free speech'

we now have the support of the right wing press, but in spite of this misfortune i think it's possible to hook together a small but committed self-organising resistance community [of people who think for themselves] on a national level: in order to defend the integrity of people everywhere in the face of a creeping authoritarianism&, i hope, embody a better way

a truly inclusive, classless cross cultural coalition that wants more& better democracy, rights of access to land etc

but in the aftermath of the cartoon jihad i've realised this goal is even more difficult: the age is extremely hostile towards the religious or artistic worldview, which it considers immature, irrational, a means to make a buck, an irritation or just plain wrong, as a matter of course

i think this has something to do with the success of science as a way of explaining& manipulating the world

but *manipulation* is one danger of a non-religious worldview

and one of the greatest things about religion is its absolute dedication and belief in a better time to come

it is not Islamophobia or Judaeophobia so much that is the problem in the west: rather it is a cynical and dismissive attitude towards religion in general and a resistance to its emphasis on our taking responsibility for our conduct

humans tend to see through different lenses: some predominantly religious, some scientific, some artistic

all of them equally valid

aketus said...

'and one of the greatest things about religion is its absolute dedication and belief in a better time to come'

Last time I checked, there was nothing great about religion. Given that the majority of wars have been enacted and majority of humans oppressed or abused in the name of it, I question its dedication to anything 'better', given that it is making the current time worse.
If one is to be dedicated to a better time to come, one might begin by abolishing religion. Otherwise we're not getting anywhere better in a hurry.
My 2 cents. But I encourage you to show me something good that religion has achieved. If you're going to spout the 'oh it gives hope to the masses' stuff, warn me in advance

Spark said...

don't know where to start

The Diggers, the abolition of slavery, the books of Isaiah, Ecclesiates, Psalms and much of the Bible, the early [pre-Constantine] Christian [countercultural anti-imperial, grassroots, non-hierarchical]movement, the Jewish Exodus and liberation from Egyptian slavery, the poetry, prophesy&painting of William Blake, Sufism-in-general, British Quakerism, Rumi's poetry, European cathedrals, Haiku, the poetry of much of the Qu'ran, the Buddha-Dharma, the monastic tradition, universal suffrage & the battle for civil rights [based, as was the abolition of slavery] on the idea that all are equal in the eyes of God, the lyricism of Celtic Christianity, the life of Francis of Assisi, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the pursuit of science as a means to know God [Einstein, Mendel, Newton etc etc]

aketus said...

'the abolition of slavery'?
How long were blacks slaves under the oppression of white religious American men?

'all are equal in the eyes of God'

All are equal yes, but why add 'in the eyes of God'? If you're going to declare that we're equal in the eyes of God, you're determining humanity's inequality under the omnipresence of God. Therefore you don't stand for equality at all. Double standards, and, as is always the case with religion, contradictory.
Here's an idea, how about we stop inventing authoritarian figures to bow down to, or does that sound a little too risque for you.
On a brighter note, you're actually making sense

TripleJ said...

>>the pursuit of science as a means to know God [Einstein, Mendel, Newton etc etc]<<

Whoa! What a nice contradiction! Science and God are as far apart as possible. Science is totally agnostic, it does not rely on God to explain anything, nor does it seek to prove or disprove the existence of God, it just plain doesn't care. And Einstein wasn't particularly religious, he made a couple of jokes involving God ("God doesn't play dice with the universe") and all the believers now try to make out he was religious. I don't know about the other two. Science started with the ancient Greeks who sought to explain by observations without reference to any god, from Aristarchus who already knew the sun was at the centre of the solar system and was already trying to measure the distance from the sun to the earth, Erasthotenes who first measured the diameter of the earth, Hipparchus who measured the distance to the moon, Democritus who by sheer logic deduced matter was made of atoms, all this 200 or 300 BC. Then religion took over and the earth became flat again and the whole world went back to the dark ages for a good 500 to 600 years (but fortunately we were kept busy with religious wars :^)

Sorry Spark, but freedom stops where someone else's freedom begins, and this also applies to freedom of speech. We have lots of people clamouring in Australia that the muslims are thin skinned and should have been laughing at the cartoons, yet not so long ago (1997), an American artist (Andres Serrano) had an exhibition that many regarded as offensive to Christ. The Catholic church sought a court injunction against the exhibition. A youngster attached "Piss Christ" with a hammer and did significant damage. That was the western people's reaction to an attack on their religion (I remember laughing my head off at the time :^), why should we expect the muslims to be any better behaved.

Seriously, when there is a fire, throwing oil on it is never a good idea, unless you are an arsonist.

Were the Danish cartoons a good idea? I seriously doubt it, unless the author is deliberately trying to cause trouble. Is he entitled to his freedom of expression? Not according to me since it infringes seriously on someone else's freedom. Same as my being free doesn't entitle me to go and piss against your front door.

Freedom of speech does not allow you to defame someone, nor blaspheme. Besides, Mohammed was a good guy, not very different from Christ in fact. So why depict him as a terrorist? That's a serious lie, is the guy was alive today he'd have plenty of grounds for suing for libel.

irlandesa said...

The Song of Solomon.

Comrada B said...

How do you mistaken an upper male torso for a Quail? Did he need a license first, before hunting attorney? The news of The Sneer 'dead eye' Cheney must have most certainly made Sub delagado Zero (a purported decent aim) fall of his Palamino bowled over in fits of's hoping the landing was in soft sage brush!

my rib's hurt...

irlandesa said...

Comrada b - I'm afraid the delegate in question was a tad otherwide occupied.

Comrada B said...

Aketus: Besides you being a pompass asshat? Not much of a problem at all (neither is one truely very dull asshat). As for trolling you hypocritical piece of nothingness you posted all over your’s and Irl’s blog that ‘anyone’ is entitled to their own oppinion (and if not verbatum, in the essence of what you wrote and each and everytime.) When does an oppinion become a problem? When you arrogantly, (and I don’t give a rats ass what you reply to all this or the truth of your arrogannce of course, the truth according to Aketus) espouse individual freedom which includes oppinions, but that stops at only what is agreeable to your liking. No you didn’t directly quote me, perhaps you should practice. A liar or a complete fraud, when in your Jan26th manafesto ‘My anarcho is better
than your anarcho….” was nothing more than a candy coated heaping mound of dung, on ‘unity in anarchism’ (and to think I complimented that piece on your blog and posted my own correction to all this back and forth you seem to have no life other than to obsess over)…you would’nt know unity if it did a Mike Tyson to your ear and stuffed it down your thoat! When you outed yourself as to your age…it wrote volumes on why you are as you are. Even my surviving daughter (a tad older than you’re yippy yay it’s my birthday self) is wise when she retorts “I do not know it all mom, nor do I pretend to and will not stop learning till I die and maybe not even then.” I couldn’t care less what you have to say in retort to this that or anything I have to say (ponificated pompass asshat) now, never, or possibly in the next ten life times and just in case you didn’t get the point that you’re a perfect bore, I’ll cut n’ paste these exact words for The Parlour (including what is written above this little box) quoting Aketus: If I believed Irl was offended by my use of her blog, I’d have my comments deleted and apologize, but since I speak to Irl regularly, I have already asked and there was no problem. Do you have a problem? What is it?
BTW, your arrogance, there must have been something wrong with the server when I came back in I honestly could not find the second post I made, but somehow you think I have no life other than posting at aketus, for the logic you purvey at disecting my every word at every post my dear boy is at best that of a post-pubescent pusstule filled angry faced youth sitting at PC to slice and dice everyone’s anyone’s word…unless of course it’s “The World According To Aketus,” or per chance “Conversations With Aketus.”

Comrada B said...

P.S. I will ignore you, as well Aketus and in peace.

irlandesa said...

Okay, darlings, perhaps we might also try and remember the cardinal virtue of our parlour.


aketus said...


for those who can't work their way through that jibberish, my translation (using her quoted words) is here

aketus said...

P.S Yes, of course it’s "The World According To Aketus". It is my blog, after all. I should be more concerned if I ran a blog that was called 'The World According to That Other Guy'.
You might also note that this place is 'Irlandesa's Parlour.'
:-) enough is enough anyway. Sorry Irl for my part to play in defacing your parlour

Comrada B said...

from the heart Irl for losing my civility in the Parlour (but none will be poffered in that twilight zone.) As for the post pubescent one being right on anything I have to say is jiberish, based on that being his blog..when the arguement was having an oppinion (and apparently he finds it offending I am not a fan of arrogance or him , so much for his unity) is a mere fishing expidition and an arguement that can never be won from an anarcho point of view. For how does one take the higher ground (the "P" word is nudging me here) in an anarcho world where everything is 'alegedly' on a level playing feild? It was stated many times it was just that, my oppinion of his arrogance. Jiberish is the eye of the accuser...stone-age is right spark, but in his case rather atavistic. I admitted my mistake and posted and explanation / retraction.

Comrada B said...

P.S. :-)

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