"I have to admit that I have a great affection for old images of faces and places, especially old photographs of Palestinian faces and places. The images that intrigue me the most almost always conjure the comforts and complexities of ordinary times in an ordinary country. They unselfconsciously present a country that was materially and culturally prosperous, as well as a land that was beautiful and bountiful. The faces of men and women that I closely inspect in many old photographs look at us from the distant past with clarity, self-assurance and a sense of cultural generosity. The Palestinian figures in many of those vintage images appear to be closely connected to their urban and rural environments. They look as if they “belong to the land,” without intimating any patronizing, self-conscious, or defensive claims that the land belongs to them."
John Halaka, pinpointing exactly how I feel about the easy being and self-assurance of vintage photos Ghosts of Comfort and Chaos. These photos speak of a time when everyone seemed to have a place.
I found this in a second-hand bookstore the other day. I didn’t intend on buying anything, but this was in the corner on the bottom shelf (along with a smattering of arabic books and I think some Qurans, which, probably, shouldn’t be that close to the floor), and my bookshelf would do well to have something about Khalil Gibran with a tattered tweedy cover and (what I hope are) coffee stains. There’s an illegible dedication scrawled in pen to someone named Eva in Beirut written either in November 12, 1965 or December 11. I have my standards mixed up, but whatever the month, it was maybe purchased or gifted around a year after it was published.
Later on, I found a thin, nearly translucent typewritten air conditioning trouble-shooting guide hidden neatly in the middle of the book.
"If in the following pages there is some successful verse or other, may the reader forgive me the audacity of having written it before him. We are all one; our inconsequential minds are much alike, and circumstances so influence us that it is something of an accident that you are the reader and I the writer—the unsure, ardent writer—of my verses."
"Did not the black people in America, deprived of their own musical instruments, take the trumpet and the trombone and blow them as they had never been blown before, as indeed they were not designed to be blown? And the result, was it not jazz? Is anyone going to say that this was a loss to the world or that those first Negro slaves who began to play around with the discarded instruments of their masters should have played waltzes and foxtrots? No! Let every people bring their gifts to the great festival of the world’s cultural harvest and mankind will be all the richer for the variety and distinctiveness of the offerings."
Chinua Achebe, on European dismissal of the African novel.
Constructed from thousands of film clips indicating the passage of time, The Clock (2010) excerpts these moments from their original contexts and edits them together to form a 24-hour video montage that unfolds in real time. The work is synchronized with local time so that minutes and hours depicted in The Clock also pass simultaneously in the viewer’s real time.
The juxtaposition of numerous cinematic settings and periods both triggers the viewer’s movie memory and constantly references the passage of time. While viewers of The Clock may be drawn into the continually discontinuous narratives, the work serves as an accurate and functional clock in and of itself, conflating cinematic and actual time.
i get high self esteem when a cat that hates everybody else ends up liking me
"The best argument for verse memorization may be that it provides us with knowledge of a qualitatively and physiologically different variety: you take the poem inside you, into your brain chemistry if not your blood, and you know it at a deeper, bodily level than if you simply read it off a screen. Robson puts the point succinctly: “If we do not learn by heart, the heart does not feel the rhythms of poetry as echoes or variations of its own insistent beat."
SANCTIONS ON IRAN:
Let’s make a list of all the things sanctions are affecting—let me know what I’m missing:
2) Increased smog and pollution in Iran (and thus, a spike in deaths) http://ajammc.com/2013/01/24/seeing-through-the-haze-the-politics-of-reporting-sanctions-and-smog-in-tehran/ …
3) Cancellation of a number of flights from Europe to Iran http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2013/01/14/iran-airline-flights-sanctions-europe/1833757/ …
4) Iranian students’ bank accounts abroad closed downhttp://www. tcdailyplanet.net/news/2013/01/24/professors-protest-closings-iranian-students-tcf-accounts-week …
5) Denial of admissions to Iranian students at European institutions http://iranianalliances.org/latestnews/368-czech …
6) Iranians denied the ability to buy an iPad after speaking Persian in an Apple Store in the US http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/06/22/12344611-iran-trade-sanctions-get-personal-in-apple-stores?lite …
8) Starving artists, literally. The price of paper has multiplied 5x since sanctions first started. http://www.fairobserver.com/article/impact-sanctions-iranian-society-and-artists?page=2 …
it’s that kind of night.
Café in Beirut [1960s] | Copyright LIFE Magazine
I shall post lists.
"Weak khushu’ (focus) in prayer is rooted in a healthy khushu’ in something else."
Imam Suhaib Webb
"listen, bro, stop by later I gotta show you this new track it’s hella sick"
Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Gordon Parks, Untitled, 1968
From the Cleveland Museum of Art:
Regarded as a major photojournalist, Gordon Parks has also earned considerable distinction as a writer, poet, novelist, composer, and filmmaker. In 1949, he was appointed a staff photographer for Life magazine. and produced remarkable photo-essays on a wide range of personalities, events, and topics, including Winston Churchill, Paris fashions, Harlem street gangs, the civil-rights movement, and South Africa. Photographed at an odd angle and through the bars of a bedframe, this poignant image depicts a young boy working on his homework in bed.