fredag, augusti 27, 2010

Street Art

I saw these photos of art on Facebook on a page called Street Art and I think they are quite amazing!
The participants discussed whether or not one could call art made by artists payed by the town or community street art or not or if this term should be reserved only for those amateurs that 'illegally' display their works.
This is of course an interesting question in itself but I content myself by displaying these photos:




lördag, augusti 21, 2010

La Clique


A friend of mine, living in Australia asked me if I've seen La Clique when they visited Paris but unfortunatealy not!
I have though seen the number with the man trying to get out of the tennis rackets he got into!
Enjoy!

:D

torsdag, augusti 19, 2010

La Châtre de A à Z

At the same time as I'm reading about the life lead by Franz Kafka during his last year, as depicted in his diaries, continuing to read about Scandinavian literature, I also try to combine these readings by taking a look in the above book written by Solange Dalot, among other things a member of L'Academie du Berry.
As I very much would like to work with promoting the cultural life in La Châtre, Berry and Le Centre - as one call the central parts of France - I've penetrated some books about different aspects of the history of this town.

Earlier I've - among other books - read 'Les racines de George Sand' (below) telling the story about the family roots of George Sand.
It was an interesting book giving me insight into some parts of the French history and the importance some of Sands relatives played in the shaping of France.



(Picture taken from: http://livre.fnac.com/a2409943/Solange-Dalot-La-Chatre-de-A-a-Z)
(Picture taken from: http://www.amisdegeorgesand.info/jouve1.html)

tisdag, augusti 17, 2010

Franz Kafka Dagböcker/Diaries 1914-1923

Svenska (English below):

Det var längesedan jag skrev något om den litteratur jag läser, det har mer handlat om annat.
Just nu är jag dock i färd med att penetrera Franz Kafkas 'Dagböcker 1914-1923', som i Sverige utgivits på Bakhålls förlag.

Detta utgör den tredje delen i denna utgivning av Kafkas dagböcker och jag har tyvärr inte läst de första två.
Många menar dock att denna den sista delen, skildrande de sista åren av hans liv, är den viktigaste och kanske mest intressanta.
Om detta kan jag inget säga men det är en blandning av väsentligt och oväsentligt, som i alla dagböcker.
Det viktiga är att den dels ger en inblick i personen Kafkas innersta tankar - i den mån en person skriver för sig själv, utgivandes sig själv på ett ärligt sätt eller skriver med tanke på eftervärlden - dels ger en inblick i livet i Prag och övriga städer vid den aktuella tidpunkten.
Där blandas i det yttre samhällsstrukturerna gammalt och nytt, i de inre tankestrukturerna tradition och nytänkande.
Detta gör boken till ett intressant vittnesmål om det liv Kafka, hans vänner och ovänner förde, samhällsutvecklingen och de historiska händelserna i sig, allt självfallet filtrerat via Kakfas subjektiva titthål.

English:

It's long since I wrote anything about the literature I read, I have mostly dealt with other subjects.

Rignt now I'm in the act of reading Franz Kafka's 'Diaries 1914-1923', in Sweden published by the publishing house Bakhåll.
This book constitutes the third part in this publication of Kafka's Diaries and unfortunately I haven't read the two first ones.
Many people say that this third part, depicting the last years of his life, is the most important and maybe also the most interesting of the three.
I have nothing to say about this but it's a mixture of essential and inessential, as in all diaries.
The most important thing is that it partly gives us an insight into the inner thoughts of the person Kafka - insofar as a person writes for him-/herself, exposing him-/herself in an honest way or actually writes for the after world - partly gives us an insight into the life of Prag and other towns at the actual moment.
In this we find a mixture of new and old in the exterior societal structures and tradition and new thinking in the inner pattern of thoughts.
This makes the book an interesting testimony about the life Kafka, his friends and enemies lead, the development of society and historical events per se, everything filtered through the subjective viewport of Kafka himself of course.

(Photo Franz Kafka copied from: http://www.focusdep.com/images/Franz_Kafka_1173256340030717.jpg)

torsdag, augusti 12, 2010

Revival of Islamic Research

For all of you who judges Islam after the most extreme followers, it might be interesting to read about and discover other voices in the Islamic world e.g. Shaykh-ul-Islam Pr. Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (the link in the name).

"Shaykh-ul-Islam Pr. Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is the founding leader of Minhaj-ul-Qur’an International (MQI), an organization with branches and centres in more than 90 countries around the globe, working for the promotion of peace and harmony between communities and the revival of spiritual endeavour based on the true teachings of Islam", as it says on his homepage.

This is a Pakistani born man who tries to emphasize the peaceful and more 'sensible' sides of Islam, displaying that it's fully compatible with a life in the world of today, not necessarily needing a theocratic society.

As in all religions, political ideologies and so forth there are representatives who, for different reasons, can't accept the existence of other faiths or beliefe systems and this leads to a form of extreme fundamentalism.

Some people I've met in my earlier work within the Church of Sweden, often used to say that being a fundamentalist is only standing on the foundation of the belief system, that is to say the Torah (Tanakh), the Bible, the Qur'an or any political document like Das Kapital.
This is of course lingustically correct but most fundamentalists not only base their view on their own interpretation of the 'holy scripture' - or the interpretation accepted within a certain social context - they fight others who interpret the same text in another way and even more so people who does not accept their belief system at all.
Some would say that the 'holy texts' mentioned above are never subject to interpretation as they are given to us, humans, in its entirety by Jahve/God/Allah, faultless, for us to follow to the letter.
Of course this is not true as the will of a supreme being never can be deducted from these texts and history shows that different believers tend to interpret the texts differently.
Using arguments implying that "I have understood the text correctly but not them..." is of course not at all a valid argument.
These scriptures are documents expressing the belief in a supreme being and documents expressing how this supreme being is supposed to have acted with humans, will act and what is the outermost will of this supreme being. It's not "the Word of God" - ipsissima verba, as one say.
How can I know that?
Of course I can't know that this is the case but neither can anyone other human know that it's the opposite.
We can believe in one way or another but the very truth about the mysteries of life, can't be revealed in this life, at least as long as no supreme being reveal it to us, physically here and now.
I do however accept that people believe in these scriptures in this very direct form but likewise I want them to respect my view and others.

Take a look at what mister Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has to say on these issues through the link above.





(Photo Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri copied from: http://img.youtube.com/vi/yWhB3Xo7JK0/0.jpg)
(Photo Quran copied from: http://vodafon.webobo.biz/journal/5/4/7/4/journal_547455.jpg)

Is Europe building Big Brother?


This text I haven't written myself but I think it's interesting, not least in connection to the discussions around what EU can and should do. The article is taken from 'The Christian Science Monitor'. I've copied it in its entirety:

"A lawsuit in Ireland challenges the European Union's aim to collect and store personal data, even as the United Arab Emirates threatens to block BlackBerry until the company makes it easier to monitor information and the Obama administration seeks to circumvent judicial oversight to collect US data online.

What the European Union is giving to Internet users and online privacy activists with one hand, it's taking away with the other.
The EU has tighter restrictions than the United States does on the collection, use, and sale of data by online companies, but also requires Internet service providers to store personal data in case the government ever wants to investigate an individual user. The European Parliament is currently considering passing a law called "Smile29" that would require the Google search engine – which processes billions of searches a month on the Continent – to retain data on users as well.
The EU effort is just the latest of government's around the globe seeking to glean more about their citizens from their online behavior. The United Arab Emirates has threatened to shut BlackBerry service unless the company provides information to help government security services circumvent its encryption. The US, too, is seeking to make snooping online easier. In late July, the Obama administration proposed new laws to allow the government to look at browser histories and obtain the e-mail addresses of citizens without judicial oversight.
To critics, the EU laws and the behavior of other governments amount to a surveillance land-grab. In the case of Europe, that's prompted a groundswell of opposition across Europe. Now a group in Ireland is challenging the new regime – seeking permission from the Irish courts to sue the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to strike down new Irish laws designed to bring the country into line with broader European standards.
If Digital Rights Ireland, which argues that the laws violate the European Convention on Human Rights, wins, it would set the stage for successful challenges to the rules across Europe.
"The main thing we want to see is our data retention laws repealed," says T.J. McIntyre, a law lecturer at University College Dublin and head of Digital Rights Ireland. Mr. McIntyre says the laws criminalize ordinary citizens.
Online privacy has become a key civil liberty battleground. Face­book and Google are amassing colos­sal amounts of data about users' thoughts, desires, and impulses, which busi­nesses covet and pay handsomely for.
Across Europe, a backlash against the storage of private data is growing. Civil society groups like the European Federation of Journalists have criticized the practice, and in Germany almost 35,000 people, including Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, sued their own government over the issue.
"There is a real problem in Europe today. It is a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, which says that everyone has the right to a private life. That fundamental right has to extend into digital life," says Christian Engström, a member of the European Parliament for Sweden's controversial Pirate Party, elected on a platform of digital rights.
In Ireland at present, telephone data must be retained for three years, but there are currently no provisions requiring Internet service providers to retain data, something both the EU and the Irish government want to change.
McIntyre says the government already has the upper hand. "In 2002 the Irish government secretly introduced data retention. They did it by ministerial order, and to this day the department of justice has not confirmed it." McIntyre expects the case to be decided by the ECJ."


(Picture copied from: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5fd4M-16X8U/SXzdxpAGl9I/AAAAAAAAAJQ/lyan0P8p92g/s400/bigbrother2.jpg)

onsdag, augusti 11, 2010

The Catastrophe is here?


In one of the Swedish newspapers - Aftonbladet - one could find a headline, reading:
"The Catastrophe is already here", of course refering to the latest natural disasters around the world.
The journalists pointed out that it's seven degrees warmer in Moscow compared to 'normal' figures; they wrote about the fires all around this vast country, in some cases threatening some nuclear plants.
The article mentioned one of this nuclear plants, namely Mayak in the town Ozyorsk.
This area is already contaminated with nuclear waste since a major accident as far back as 1957 - the Kyshtym disaster! This disaster was classified as a 6 on a scale where Chernobyl was classified 7!
Now the radioactivity spreads with the smoke caused by the fire.

The same goes for Chernobyl - according to this article - where the Cesium 137 buried in the ground could be realeased.

In Finland the town of Joensuu recently noted a heat record, 37,2 degrees Celsius, triggering a giant thunderstorm cutting of the electricity for 80 000 finnish electricity subscribers.

On the American east coast the temperature has for long circled around 40 degrees Celsius and in Peru the temperature has descended towards minus 23 degrees Celsius (minus 28 a week ago or more).

Then the newspaper goes on pointing out the enormous problems in Asia: Pakistan, China and so forth.

This last remark makes them conclude that it's a bit ironic that the countries most stricken by these environmental problems are those economies who has'nt been willing to in some ways moderate their economic growth.
On the same time the newspaper establish that it's the polution from the Western countries that - seen in a historic perspective - now is causing the problems we see in Russia and the Asian countries.

Someone might say that this is only Domesday talk and nothing to care about and that we have to wait and see what will happen.

Unfortunately I can't find any proofs at all for a reasoning like that.
Even if each and every catastrophy is not a direct result of the way we live, we all understand - when penetrating this issue - that the way we live in the economically more developed countries does not favor a better environment and a better health for us or for any other living creature.

So what are those afraid of that constantly argues against a development towards a improved environment, meaning leaving the mineral fuels and the most dangerous energy source of them all - nuclear power - behind us? What do they fear that they will lose?
Money and comfort of course!

Some people might argue that there are money behind the environmental movements and the different UN rapports being presented and of course that is right but I would like to say that if some people should become rich by solving the environmental problems, instead of creating them as previous scientists, I wouldn't stand in their way!

(Photo Mayak nuclear plant copied from: http://web.educastur.princast.es/proyectos/grupotecne/archivos/investiga/119071011mayak.jpg)
(Photo Chernobyl copied from: http://www.stsci.edu/~inr/observ/dpics/chernobyl.jpg)

tisdag, augusti 10, 2010

About Swedish and Scandinavian literature in French

I continue to read the book below about Swedish and Scandinavian literature, written by Régis Boyer.
Rather interesting as there are names in the history of Scandinavian literature that I've forgotten, or maybe authors not so often mentioned today.
I've borrowed this book from my wife, Aurore, who read it before she moved to Sweden in 2004.
Now back in France it's my turn to penetrate it.

Radio active waste in London

A couple of months ago I read about the coming Olympic Games in London and the fact that there could be radioactive waste hidden beneath the site for the Olympic stadium.In this article one pointed out that the development of the Olympic site in east London after the Games have finished could be in jeopardy because of radioactive waste buried beneath the site.According to a Guardian investigation, any development of the site risks unearthing a hundred tonnes of radioactive waste dumped at the former landfill site decades ago.Documents obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) rules reveal that, contrary to government guidelines, waste from thorium and radium has been mixed with very low-level waste and buried in a so-called disposal cell under, or close, to the Olympic stadium.

After the Games, the demolition of the Olympic stadium in Stratford to make way for housing is a possibility because government and sporting authorities so far have been unable to agree on its future use. Despite a possible bidding war between AEG, which runs the O2, and Live Nation to possibly turn the stadium into a music venue, bookmaker William Hill recently made demolition of the Olympic stadium 5/1 third favourite behind its continued use for athletics or conversion into a home ground for West Ham United. "There seems to be no obvious usage for the stadium after the games," a William Hill spokesman said.

Some debaters mean that the radioactive waiste hidden in the ground is negligent and wouldn't endanger people's health at all. Others mean that this could cause a environmental catastrophy.

As often the truth might be hidden in between these two contrarious views but on the other hand, how many times haven't the so called experts said to the public that "everything is under controle" and "you don't have to worry" and how many times did this prove to be right? I leave that for you to judge for yourself.

The interesting thing is also: Did the British public know that there were radioactive waiste hidden in this area? Probably not.

Again we have to take into consideration the fact that governments and other people given responsibility for important issues in society, not always tell us the truth as there are other parameters they find more important to follow. The truth is - as we know - sometimes inconvenient!

The nuclear power is one of the worst sources of energy ever invented and the most dangerous one.

You might say that there has been no major nuclear accident since Chernobyl or Three Mile Island but what do we actually know about that, as citizens? Nothing.

Those accidents became real catastrophies and the consequences of these accidents we suffer up til this very day, not least people living around these areas.

If we have to depend on politicians and other decision makers or experts for the truth, then we know - as I wrote above - that there are other, in their views, more important aspects to take into consideration than telling the truth.

There are much more to be written about this but for the time being, I only hope that the people living in London and close to this area, will get truthful information about this site.

There are billions of pounds at stake for the British government, looking forward to what England and Great Britain will be able to gain on these games thanks to all the visitors and a renewed interest for London and Great Britain as a whole. Taking this into consideration 'peripheral questions' about people's health and the environment have to waite.

Talking about nuclear waste we also have to remember that the sixth and ninth of August, one commemorated the 65 years gone by since the atomic bombs were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.




(Photo of the Olympic Stadium in London copied from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2007/11/olympic_stadium.shtml)

(Photo from Hiroshima after the bomb copied from: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic-art/41620/87911/Aftermath-of-the-atomic-bomb-strike-on-Hiroshima-Japan-August)

Hiroshima/the atomic bomb: Part II

I first published part I about Hiroshima and the atomic bomb but it was deleted wherefore I publish part II instead:

tisdag, augusti 03, 2010

100 million women are reported missing in the world!?

According to a French newspaper I read, the Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, stated that there are 100 million women missing in the world!?
The question following this was of course: Where are they? Disappeared, mutilated, drugged, dead from malnutrition and neglect before the age of one or as adolescents dead from HIV not being able to survive the brothels all over the world?
The same article quoted an Indian saying that states:
"Raising a girl, is like irrigating your neighbours garden", that is to say that it's a waste of time raising a girl in a family already struck by poverty.
I hardly think (or hope) that a saying like this reflects the average man or woman less the majority of people living in India but we know that in China and India, having girls is not at all the same status as having boys.

In order to prevent some kind of bias in this, I would like to state that in most families around the world, a boy is seen as something more positive than a girl due to the fact that - not least the fathers - envision more possibilities for the boy to grow up and become succesful and rich than for the girl to achieve the same thing.

In the article the french journalist Manon Loizeau is quoted saying:
"To much pain kills, to much violence on a daily bases encourage the the women to eliminate themselves".

This she wrote in a book called 'La moitié du ciel', written by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn two journalists on New York Times.
In this book they write about the terrible circumstances under which millions and millions of women live, not least in the countries on the Asian continent but also elsewhere all over the globe.
They find it odd (to say the least) that when a journalist, writer or any other person is captured by terrorists or in other ways maltreated, petitions are signed and people engage themselves in different ways but when women disappear or when they are tortured or killed on a daily bases in their homes and neighbourhoods, this doesn't cause much of a reaction among politicians or even intellectuals.
I don't remember if it's Kristof or Wudunn that uses the word 'black hole' about the disappearances in order to exemplify the huge numbers of women lost to the world.
It's however not only the intellectual or social misery that causes these disapperances but also the religion and different kinds of 'holy' or regulatory prescriptions concerning the life of man - and (not least) woman.
In Islamabad and Rawalpindi, two twin cities in Pakistan, five thousand women has been judged to the pillory, stooned, thrown kerosene and acid at, abandoned by their families and sometimes burnt to death!
The two journalists write about battery against women in the West too, as violence against women just because they are women, always has existed.
This not least against women who are better educated, stronger and more independent than their male friends or neighbours.

I remember discussing violence against women on a wall on Facebook and there I confronted men who - as they put it - using their "kind of humour" could write things as:
"In my country we use women as toilet seats"; "A good slapping..." etc etc.
These men lived in the USA and different European countries, whereby we see that this phenomenon is universal.
Of course one can always look upon these individuals as a group of anti-intellectual, frustrated, uneducated cowards - which of course is true for a majority of these 'men' - but on the other hand these kind of ideas reveals something profoundly aggressive and potentially dangerous and should of course be dealt with in some way.

I remember an article I read about a woman in USA being gang-raped in the open with people passing by, staying, looking, some even taking photos and others even applauding!
Of course we could explain this by saying that Americans are mad and fascistic - concerning the latter it's true for a great number of Americans according to me - but this doesn't help up the situation as I don't think this is only an American dilemma.
It's a question of men - religious or not - finding their earlier hegemony threatened by women being - as I wrote above - superior to them. The only mean to controle these women - as they are not willing confronting them on an intellectual level - is by using ultra violence and this is of course reprehensible in every way.
Some might object and say that there are a lot of men dissapearing every year, killed in battle or taken hostage, uses as slaves or in a multitued of ways.
This is of course true and equally important to fight back but the question is if the quantities are the same and if the 'ideological' basis for these disappearances are the same?
Men killed in war are being prepared for this and they are aware of the dangers they will confront - more or less anyway. Often they volunteer to the job.
Women just being women, doing their job and living their lives but being judged by men for things that men claim that they have done wrong, breaking laws and regulations often created by men is much worse in my opinion.

When I mentioned above that there were few reactions on the fact that so many women disappear every year I can add that I quoted the article on Facebook and normally there are one or many people commenting the articles I add but this time, I don't remember seeing many comments! Strange?!

(Book-cover copied from: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514Xz8-bVdL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Dracula dans la forteresse de Cluis-Dessous

In the fortress of Cluis-Dessous, an old beautiful ruin, the amateur theatre group - or association - called Le Manteau d'Arlequin, staged the classical story about the blood sucking Dracula, first and foremost known through the book by Bram Stoker.

Briefly about the group: They were founded in 1920 under the name of Société Musicale et Lyrique, changed the name to le Cercle Lyrique before taking the name they now use.
They have won several competitions for amateur theatre groups, held in Montluçon and Vichy.

The performance of the evening kept itself very much to the book by Stoker but it also had references to the film by Francis Ford Coppola, who in turn is very loyal to the original book.
The night and all its shadows and the castle ruins, of course created an ambience worthy the content.
No microphones were used wherefore the actors sometimes had to spek out more loudly than the situation demanded, taking in to consideration the content of the story.
On the other hand music interleaved the change of scenes and prerecorded sound was used in a very comic way. E.g. when someone dropped a cup the sound was amplified making it sound as if a whole store of porcelains were knocked about.
On the whole a well staged performance ending at one o'clock in the night.

I apologize for the bad quality of the photos, taken with an iPhone without zoom.


























































(Photo poster copied from: http://a34.idata.over-blog.com/314x500/2/79/27/64/FINAL-AFFICHE-DRACULA-4.jpg)