[-empyre-] mountains, black shirts, male fantasies, stimulus shield

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Sat Nov 8 05:38:25 EST 2014

dear all-
thank you Ana, for this wonderful translation, so quickly shared, of Alicia's text (and also for re-posting the clear spanish version, 
I received Alicia's writing not inside this email, as you should now, but as a tiny txt attachment,  orthographies out the window).

My warm welcome to others who have joined in past days, such as Simon, Vivian, Alicia and now Reinhold Görling (one of our guests
this month, I will post more info on Reinhold's work soon,) and Simon Taylor from NZ is of course well know here on list debates, and I'm glad he is back
and I hope others out there come to the table, yes?

My personal feeling today is -- to slow down, allow us to reflect and listen. I pondered the time, slowed-down, it takes to translate, especially when it is poetic 
writing, dramatic writing, as Ana notes.. And Olga told me she could barely post as she was traveling in the Ukraine. I mean to say, we are in not much of a rush.
we have this month to talk to each other, figure a few things... ..(I had not heard of filmmaker Ermanno Olmi, before; his “Torneranno i prati”  seems to want to honor the
grandfather-generation (his own) who fought the first World War, in trenches, in snowed down alpine passes. I only found one website, dedicated, strangely to the
shoot on location, a tourist website? -  advertising their scenic spot now via the movie, "set"  between ""our mountains",  witnesses of the hardships, suffering and tragedies suffered by the soldiers). 
I like the reference to mountains as silent witnesses to the soldiering. 

The website seemed google-translated from italian to some kind of english, good stuff, and non-chalantely answering Alan's question 
("And what would be the distinction between a 'mad subject' and 'patriot'? "  - well i can think of many)  to  Olga's question: is the soldier a mad subject or a patriot?    (neither?). 

But Olga, you mentioned to me the amazing re-instatement of the (mythic) Cossacks as new fancy heroes now in the Ukraine:
there they come, riding on their horses, the postmodern Samurai!  Amazing. 
Can you elaborate on how this works culturally?  How reputation is re-versed (e.g. the Kurdish peshmerga, reviled by Turkey, now becoming the last bastion against ISIS?, used by Turkey and US now as stimulus shield)?


From: Ana Valdés [agora158 at gmail.com]
To: soft_skinned_space; Alicia Migdal
Subject: Fwd: [-empyre-] The horror, the horror

The chronological and emotional sequences of this year: we are still
shocked by the impact of the massive kidnapping of the girls by Boko
Haram, our capacity of perception goes to the massacre of Gaza, as in
a relay race ISIS takes over the attention in barely two months. We
became aware there are bodies and brains of Western (or Westernely)
teenagers living apparently an adapted life, making their initiation
travel (rites de passages) to the "unkown purity". At the same time in
Mexico 43 students dissapear as in in magic pass and another massgrave
with anonymous bodies is found. More of the same. Another alert to not
participate in the dormant stage of the contemporaryhood.

>>Las secuencias cronológicas y emocionales de este año: todavía bajo el
impacto del secuestro masivo de niñas por Boko Haram,  la capacidad de
percepción  de  se desplaza a la masacre de Gaza que a su vez, como en
una carrera de postas es  tomada por ISIS en apenas dos meses. Nos
enteramos, así, que hay cuerpos y mentes de adolescentes occidentales
u occidentalizados, de vida aparentemente adaptada, que hacen su viaje
de iniciación a la "pureza desconocida". A la vez, en México, 43
estudiantes desaparecen como en un pase de magia y se descubre otra
fosa común con cadáveres NN. Más de lo mismo. Un alerta más para no
participar del estado anestesiado de esta contemporaneidad.>>

The representation is a substancial part of the politic rethoric, the
jihadists take to the extrem the death in direct, but edited as an
spectacle, written and produced intentionally to build a continous
visual narrative. An orientalized Guy Debord.

<>>La representación es parte sustancial de la retórica política, los
yihadistas la llevan al extremo como muerte en directo, pero
obviamente editada como espectáculo, por lo tanto guionada y producida
en su intencionalidad de construcción de un relato visual continuo.
Guy Debord orientalizado.>>

Very alike the lachonic austerity of Bin Laden in the caves and from
their strategically broadcasted videos, always contested, the actions
of ISIS have often something carnevalesque in itself (Pia speaks about
the kitsch, if I didn't misread her), organized by the rethoric of the
"good new pure sauvages".

>>A diferencia de la austeridad lacónica de Bin Laden en las cuevas, y
de sus videos estratégicamente emitidos y siempre puestos en duda, las
acciones de ISIS tienen algo de lo carnavalesco (Pía habla de lo
kitsch, si no la leí mal), organizado con la retórica de los "buenos
nuevos salvajes puros".>>

The repetition of the landscape in the beheadings of the foreigners,
the symetric rituals of the victim and the executor, the action of the
execuator as known figure and of the victim, merge one with the other
in the orange robe, the despersonalization of the shaved head,
everything works as a contrast with the plenty and chaotic filming of
their executed dissidents, killed and shown as in the images of an
archive with their appearance of dirty spontaneity.

>> La repetición del paisaje en las decapitaciones de los extranjeros,
el ritual de simetrías de la víctima y el verdugo, la actuación del
verdugo como figura reconocible y la de la víctima fusionada una con
otra en la túnica naranja y la despersonalizacion de la cabeza rapada,
todo esto funciona en contraste con la abundante y caótica filmación
de sus disidentes ejecutados y exhibidos, según imágenes de archivo
con su apariencia de espontaneidad sucia.>>

The Nazis had their own designers of clothes, scenography and
architecture, the jihadists need too a brand, their black shirts, their
walk more similar to the vitality of the fascism than to the
hypnotical rigidity of the Nazi. An erotic of the masculinity. A
populist maleness, vital, plenty of dust from the actions, trucks in
the roads, erupting in the hoods.

>> Los nazis tuvieron sus diseñadores de vestuario, escenografía y
arquitectura, los yihadistas necesitan también una marca, sus propias
camisas negras, su andar parecido a la vitalidad del fascio más que a
la rigidez hipnótica del nazi. Una erótica de la masculinidad.
Masculinidad populista, vitalista, llena del polvo de la acción, de
los camiones en las carreteras, de la irrupción en los barrios.>>

The dust, the desert, the ruins of urbanity, the primitive extraction
of the oil as the pioneers did, the ubicous and fragmented State in
Syra but reproducing itself in other places and act as explosion of
many nuclear mushrooms in many territories, there are images of
simultaneus effect in our brains.

>> El polvo, el desierto, las ruinas de lo urbano, la extracción
primitiva del petróleo a la manera de los pioneros, el Estado ubicuo y
a la vez fragmentado, que está en un borde de Siria pero se reproduce
en otros lados y actúa como la explosión de muchos hongos nucleares en
varios territorios, son imágenes de efecto simultáneo en nuestras

Johannes ask for Cecilia Sosa's book. Here around there is not any
Spanish edition, but her topic gather together the big topics of these
decades. I wrote in my first post about the theater of Lola Arias. I
must read again it.

>>Johannes pregunta por el libro de Cecilia Sosa. Por estos lados no hay
edición en español, pero su temática reúne los grandes tópicos de
estas décadas. Incluye el teatro de Lola Arias que yo mencionaba en mi
punteo. Debo leerlo con tiempo.>>

Agamben: his approach to biopower and to the bare life is an analysis
of the Western political power and its paradigmatical horror, the
Shoa. I propose think about Pol Pot, another forgotten horror, and
today, in ISIS, a reverse of the homo sacer, the automated mechanism
of the elimination of the other.

<<Agamben: su abordaje del biopoder y de la nuda vida es un análisis del
poder político occidental y de su  horror paradigmático, el de la
shoa. Propongo pensar en Pol Pot,por ejemplo, que es una especie de
horror olvidado,  y en ISIS, hoy, como pensamiento en reversa del homo
sacer, del mecanismo automático de eliminación del otro.>>

Thank you, I will continue thinking about it, with all my contradictions.

Gracias, seguiré pensando, con todas mis contradicciones.

 Ana, hago este envío en directo. Tal vez los amigos puedan
conectarse, igual, con nuestro idioma.


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