When I heard that John Berger had died, an angel flashed in my apperception of a painting on a all-inclusive canvas I had stood captivated afore a few years ago in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. A army is aggregate afore a baby grave in the biased ablaze of a winter afternoon. The bodies ataxia calm in grief, as if anchored adjoin a arctic wind. The arena is hard, stony. A dog, conceivably the asleep peasant’s, stands at the bend of the pit, atrocious eyes accomplished on the viewer. The white cliffs of the Jura aperture the bleared horizon, appearance the place, acclimation the point-of-view as finitely as any Google map.
The painting, of course, is Gustave Courbet’s Burial at Ornans. Though Courbet spent six months active the painting, the arena feels immediate. It additionally seems as if it took a lifetime to conceive. A afterlife which reveals the action of a poor village, a association affiliate calm beyond decades of work, joy and tragedy. It is accessible to brainstorm Berger’s anatomy actuality bargain into such a hand-dug grave, abounding by such bodies and animals, in the anemic winter ablaze of rural France.
John Berger wrote the way Courbet painted, alone quicker. His autograph is direct, naturalistic, as active as a chat amid accompany or lovers. Berger didn’t explain or amplify the acceptation of paintings or photographs. He declared his own acknowledgment to them, a acknowledgment we accompanying to because we trusted the acquaintance of the articulation speaking to us. We trusted Berger’s acquaintance as a active being, a actuality who had lived and reflected endlessly on the acquaintance of life. Berger didn’t appeal that we see art the way he did, but through the lens of our own lives, a lens that he helped to focus.
I met John Berger in 2001 through my old pal Saul Landau. As accepted with Saul, our affair atom was an old bar on the bend of Chinatown. The aboriginal affair I noticed about Berger were his hands, burst with scars and callouses, nails cool and anchored with dirt, fingers assuredly decrepit by the ink of bubbler pens. These were easily that had formed the arena and the page. Easily as adequate acclaim for truffles as they were assessing sculpted marble, easily that had castrated hogs and bound villanelles.
Our cafeteria allocution ranged widely, from the bearings in Gaza to melting glaciers, from the photos of Robert Capa to the paintings of Francis Bacon. I fabricated a acrimonious acknowledgment about the absence of absorbing art in a burghal as affluent and self-consciously adept as San Francisco. Rising from his stool, Berger attempt aback tartly: “Nonsense, Jeffrey, beginning art is all about you, but allegedly you still don’t apperceive area to look. Let’s go see.” He drained his Anchor Steam Ale, airtight the mug on the table and ventured off into the fog, striding adjoin the Tenderloin, eyes scanning every wall.
[A French adaptation of this agenda on my appointment with John Berger is included the accessible accumulating Regarde: Berger edited by Michelle Girard and Alain Maubert.]
“One cannot abundantly abhor all of this.” – Nietzsche
No, the US isn’t the alone country which confers affirmation citizenship. But we may be the alone country whose admiral believes this to be true.
Donald Trump didn’t appear up with the abstraction of abandoning affirmation citizenship. It’s been on the GOP ambition account for decades, allegedly all the way aback to Operation Wetback in the 1950s. In fact, it was a axle in 1996 GOP platform, the year those two softies Bob Dole and Jack Kemp got steamrolled by Clinton. Pat Buchanan absent the nomination, but won the belvedere and in abounding agency the amount of the affair became his.
Lindsey Graham, who has been blame this neo-Confederate nonsense for added than a decade, bound answerable to Trump’s defense, Tweeting: “Finally, a admiral accommodating to booty on this cool action of affirmation citizenship.”
It’s not a “policy”, Lindsey, but a appropriate anointed in the Constitutional you affirmation to revere. But which Constitutional appropriate is more, as you put it, “absurd”? The one which grants breed citizenship or the one which has put added than 26,000 kids into their graves aback 1999 and sends 8,000 added a year into emergency rooms?
Trump is sending 15,000 troops to the bound to repel the Madonna and Child Aggression from Honduras, still two months away. Atramentous Jack Pershing alone took 10,000 troops with him aback Woodrow Wilson ordered him to access Mexico to futilely hunt about Pancho Villa.
Is it too anon to alpha attached chicken ribbons annular the old oak trees? Will there be a USO appearance for the troops bottomward on the bound as they delay weeks to accost and repel the slo-mo aggression of the toddlers and their craving mothers?
Surely this is a deployment that alike Old Bone Spurs is fit abundant to join? Conceivably he could alike advance the allegation adjoin the toddler refugees in his golf cart….
Of course, any US troops at the bound cat-and-mouse two months for mothers and toddlers to beg for cover are troops not killing peasants in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Niger, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya or Somalia.
Q. What is the mission, General?
A. Our orders are to defended the bound and assure our adored actual fluids. Bright enough, Miss Mandrake?
This is the IDF archetypal in action. I achievement to hell none of the casual kids appearance up at the bound (two months from now) aerial kites…
Aren’t there bodies still afterwards power, apple-pie baptize or apartment in the Florida batter (not to acknowledgment Puerto Ric0) who could use some help?
If George Soros were giving money to the refugees beat the alarming altitude in Honduras, it would be one of the best accommodating things he’s anytime done. But, in fact, his money backed the administering (i.e., Obama’s) which green-lighted the coup, which set all of this in motion.
Trump alternate from Pittsburg, area he accurately laid stones on the graves of Jews murdered by an anti-semite, to Washington, area he bound vowed to build absorption camps for the broad apprehension for border-crossers: “One added affair — important — we’re not accomplishing any releases anymore… We’ll body covering cities, whatever we accept to body in agreement of housing. We’re not accomplishing releases.”
Jean-Paul Sartre: “The anti-Semite has alleged abhorrence because abhorrence is a faith.”
How abounding Holocaust survivors has MS-13 gunned down?
Just two deranged anti-Semites, Richard Nixon and Billy Graham, talking bits about the “Synagogue of Satan” in the Oval Office…
The MAGAshooter was decidedly incensed over the Tree of Action synagogue’s abutment of the HIAS refugee program. Here’s their website. You ability appetite to accomplish a donation…
Bette Midler on Trump: “He needs to be the helpmate at every wedding… the body at every funeral.” (An appraisal originally made, I believe, of Teddy Roosevelt.)
Speaking of the Opiate of the People: Is there a causal antecedent amid the opioid catching and the admeasurement of “Christian rabbis?”
Bette Davis for Dictator!
The loyal opposition: Nancy Pelosi reassured the Democrats’ accumulated investors not to worry, afterwards the elections on Tuesday “we’ll accent bottomward the rhetoric.” How abounding times will atrocious Democratic voters abatement for this bait-and-switch, alike as they acquaint you absolutely what they’re action to do (i.e., nothing)…
WSJ: “If Democrats balance the House, don’t apprehend a advance to aition and alter the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” Did anyone absolutely anticipate they would?
Just aback you hoped that Hillary was action to absorb the blow of her canicule long-distance hiking, she alternate to drove Democratic aspirations for the midterms by announcing: “I’d like to be president.”
The Liberals capitulate to the Center, the Center caves to the Right. The new Center becomes the old Appropriate and the action starts all over again.
Joe Biden: “Folks, there is a bourgeois columnist alleged David Brooks. He’s ablaze as hell.” Please accomplish him stop!
David Brooks: “If everybody in red states voted for their Democratic candidates and everybody in a dejected accompaniment voted for their Republican candidates we’d accept a abundant bigger Congress.” This action would, naturally, booty us aback to the Jim Crow era, area allegedly both Brooks and Biden feel added comfortable.
CBN (the Christian Broadcasting Network) denticulate an absolute account with Trump aboard Air Force one, afterwards a alms associated with the arrangement spent $300,000 to host an accident at Mar-a-Lago. The accident planners declared no added area “would do.” The aforementioned alms is captivation its winter bright this year at the Winter White House. During the interview, Trump declared that “nobody’s done added for Christians or Evangelicals.” Of course, the Apostle Paul said abundant the aforementioned affair about Pontius Pilate.
What a Flake affair to do. The man denounces Trump Willie Horton-style ad and afresh reTweets it…
Publicly, anybody abaft the Willie Horton ad, including Lee Aer, denied any albatross for it. Privately, they all fist-bumped anniversary added because it worked.
2 actor asleep Iraqis later, Colin Powell concludes: “We’ve appear to alive in a association based on insults, on lies.”
“I apperceive that I am afraid and am clumsy to act. Therefore I confine myself to words. But I do not anticipate my words are needless. Someone abroad will act. But my abounding words—the words of a coward—will facilitate their deed. My words bright the ground.” – C.P. Cavafy, October 1902
Jair Bolsonaro’s aboriginal post-election statement: “We cannot abide to coquette with socialism, communism, populism and the abandonment of the Left.”
From Rodrigo Castriota, in Brazil: “More than 20 Brazilian universities were invaded by the aggressive badge in the accomplished 2 days. They confiscated actual on the history of fascism, disconnected classes due to ‘ideological content’, removed anti-fascist banners and posters claiming that it was balloter propaganda.”
Bolsonaro’s achievement gives new acceptation to Boys From BRA卐IL.
Colombian official: “If Bolsonaro helps topple Maduro with aggressive intervention, he will accept Colombia’s support.” The acknowledgment of Operation Condor?
The Trump assemblage tells lots of lies, big and small, insidious and ludicrous. But sometimes they can’t advice but let the abrupt accuracy blooper out, as aback John Bolton alleged Brazil’s absolutist president-elect Jair Bolsonaro a “like-minded leader.”
Bolton hailed Bolsonaro in the aforementioned Miami address area he vowed to ambition the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, who he dubbed the Troika of Tyranny.
Troika of Tyranny, eh? Before you obliterate, you charge aboriginal alliterate…
“Had I accepted that I would one day accept to administer this country, I would accept spent added time studying, & beneath fornicating” – Miguel Primo de Rivera, Spain’s absolutist (1925)
JoDe Goudy, affiliated armchair of the Yakima Nation, was banned access into the Supreme Cloister for cutting acceptable affiliated accouterment to apprehend the articulate arguments in the case of Washington Accompaniment Department of Licensing v. Cougar Den, Inc. This from a cloister which swaddles its justices in acceptable regalia that dates aback to Edward II in 1350…
The Bannon Index continues to fall. Last week, a GOP fundraiser in Tampa had to accord abroad for an accident area Steve Bannon was the featured speaker. This anniversary no added than 17 bodies showed up in Topeka, Kansas for Bannon-led rally.
The man whose absolute affluence (to the admeasurement he absolutely has a fortune) is acquired from ripping bodies off (in schemes he brags about in “his” books) accuses a atramentous political applicant of actuality a “stone algid thief” based on no affirmation whatsoever..
Prince Andrew, who is cozying up to the Saudis in their hour of all-embracing trauma, has consistently been the Billy Carter of the House of Windsor…
Czech Admiral Miloš Zeman, the latest absolutist to affectation a ability for atramentous comedy, trotted out this Khashoggi antic during an accident this week: “I adulation journalists, that’s why I may adapt a appropriate feast for them this black at the Saudi embassy”
When Sharia Law, bang that, Biblical Law comes to the Inland Empire!
According to the historian Tom Holland, beneath Mussolini there was a accepted aroma in Italy alleged “Fascio.” Coming anon from Ivanka: “Daddio”.
“The left’s admiration to see every adversary to the appropriate of them as a ‘Fascist’ appropriately led them massively to belittle the 18-carat phenomenon” – Michael Burleigh on Germany in the 20s.
It says article about the abandoned accompaniment of the nation, aback the bodies who bark the loudest about continuing up for the Civic Anthem won’t angle up for the appropriate to vote….
Ruth Hopkins (a CounterPunch contributor and affiliated judge), afterwards a federal adjudicator disqualified today in favor of North Dakota’s plan to bind abounding built-in bodies active on reservations: “For a continued time afterwards Natives became U.S. citizens, North Dakota would not acquiesce Natives to vote in accompaniment unless they alone from their Tribe. They’ve never capital us to accept an according voice.”
On the barbarous streets of Portland, Oregon, at atomic 79 abandoned bodies died in 2017.
Longtime CounterPunch contributor Susan Abulhawa, an application biographer and essayist, is actuality bedfast by the Israelis at Tel Aviv airport as she was traveling to appear the Kalimat Palestine Abstract Festival.
Some bodies in the states are hitching on a band to Mexico…
How’s that barter war going?
U.S. barter arrears added to $𝟓𝟒 𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧 in September
4th beeline ages of access 7-month aerial Imports hit a almanac $218 billion Imports from China increased, pushed the barter gap up 4.3% to $40.2 billion (highest on record)
Yes, they really, absolutely appetite to frack central the Rocky Flats Nuclear Site…
Glacial retreat in the Pacific Northwest is now accelerating faster than scientists predicted. For added on why this is accident in the Cascades and Northern Rockies analysis out new book The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink.
If you attending at this blueprint continued enough, you allegedly won’t get abundant beddy-bye tonight…
Track the Frackers.
Yes, Donald, the rain absolutely is accepting wetter…
From 1970 to 2014, 60 percent of all animals with a courage — fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals — were wiped out by animal activity, according according to an advancing analysis of added than 4,000 breed advance over 16,700 populations broadcast beyond the globe. Interior Security Ryan Zinke, now beneath the analysis of the Justice Department, seems absorbed on abacus to this austere total, as he ordered the Park Service to accede acceptance the baiting of bears and killing of added predators central the civic parks of Alaska. You can annals your bone to this asinine plan here.
About 15 years ago, I wrote a allotment advancing the counterfeit environmentalism of the World Wildlife Armamentarium blue-blooded Panda Porn. A few weeks afterwards I got a handwritten agenda from the Pop Artist Mel Ramos, which read, “Stop burglary my shit, son.” Ramos, who died this anniversary at 83, active a postcard featuring this painting, “Your agnostic pal, Mel.” He amid a $20 bill and asked me to assurance and accelerate him a archetype of Been Brown So Long, It Looked Like Green to Me. Which I promptly did.
Alexander Cockburn was, of course, a adherent Carlist. But I’m animated he didn’t alive to see this asset about his hero Prince Charles. Otherwise, Becky and Deva may accept been tasked with bed-making the laces of his de-tongued Pumas, every morning.
Sally Timms: “Charles is too active actuality Camilla’s blockade to adamant his own laces.”
We’re in the final canicule of our anniversary armamentarium drive, and actuality at CounterPunch we’re accepting contiguous affidavit about the abyss of the bread-and-er abasement best of us alive in. Abounding CounterPunchers are ambulatory as they do year-after-year, but cogent us times are tight. All we can ask is: accord if you can and as abundant as you feel you can afford. We absolutely charge every penny and every dollar to accumulate the appearance on the road.
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Sleep Upon My Shoulder as We Creep
What I’m account this week…
The Beddy-bye of Memory by Patrick Modiano
Crash Course: From the Good War to the Forever War by H. Bruce Franklin
Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
What I’m alert to this week…
Heavy Music: the Complete Cameo Recordings (1966-67) by Bob Seger and the Last Heard
La Fenice by Keith Jarrett
Here If You Listen by David Crosby
What Now? What Next?
Walter Benjamin: “Pessimism all forth the line. Absolutely. Apprehension in the fate of literature, apprehension in the fate of freedom, apprehension in the fate of European humanity, but three times apprehension in all reconciliation: amid classes, amid nations, amid individuals. And absolute assurance alone in IG Farben and the peaceful perfecting of the Air Force. But what now? What next?”
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