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Latest Update: March 21, 2003
War, Television and the Plastic Intimacy of Technology: Postmodernism, Indeed
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The WAR I hoped would never come. Wednesday, March 19, 2003. I'm speechless. It feels so unreal. I don't know why it was green on TV. But somehow that seemed to fit the unreality of it all. Pat asked for a room tomorrow. If we get one, I'll post it, though it seems somehow obscene to me to be talking about the Other and diplomacy as we bomb the hell out of them.
I pray that all our relatives are safe. Oops, I keep forgetting that all people are our relatives. Imbued as I am with the need for illocutionary discourse, I pray that there are gods out there to pray to who have more sense than we have. jeanne
One response that just came in over my listserv from Richard Koenigssberg, Ph,D. recalls the dark side of war we need to remember even as the bombs fall:Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003
Subject: WHAT IS WAR?
In Saddam Hussein Gulf War Anniversary Speech given in Baghdad on January 17, 2000, he spoke to the "Wondrous, Great People of Iraq," remembering the "Mother of All Battles" where fields were "anointed with the fragrant blood of men and women believers and our beloved little ones."
Hussein observed that the value attached to what man loves is commensurate with the "level of the sacrifice he renders to them."
"We love God," he said, as much as we "sacrifice for that love and endeavor to win His satisfaction with us." The noble Iraqis had "shed blood seeking the love of God and in hope to win His satisfaction." Because of the sacrifices that had been made in the name of God, the Iraqi people were now "nearest to Him and ranking highest in His love."
During the first Gulf War, "There arose great confusion: echoes reverberated, guns pounded, aircraft buzzed, and remotely controlled bombs exploded." However, according to Hussein a "thundering voice towered above and overtopped all of these sounds," a voice announcing that "God is Great".
America has been unable to resist the pull of the dream, is about to be SUCKED INTO THE SACRIFICIAL FANTASY.
What is the identity of the god whose voice will accompany the bombs that are about to descend upon the Iraqi people?
Richard A. Koenigsberg, Ph. D."
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The Cat Who Suffered Fear of Falling and his story have been moved to cats01.htm Somehow I think King Tut and the gentle love of a purr are in another dimension right now.
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NEW for the Weeks of March 10 and March 17, 2003
Previous Issue: Weeks February 24 and March 3, 2003
Class page for Sociology of Reality.
You'll find suggested issues and essays for submissions on the class page.
Especially as we await the final countdown to war, whichever war, it's important for our own mental health that we remember to laugh, at a kitten, at kids, at the sun in the morning and the flowers that bloom. It's also important that we understand that that laughter sustains our ability to love long distance those who are not out of harm's way. Whether we believe that war is right, or whether we see no justification for war, we all see part of the whole picture. It is not given to us to "know" what is right, what is "humane," what will undue the damage already wrought with the least suffering. I know that many of us are confused because we know that we have only partial information, we lack trust in leaders who have made serious mistakes. But mistakes happen. Inshallah (God willing), we'll all come out of this knowing more, understandingn each other more, equipped to build a world of peace.
Please try to hold onto illucutionary discourse. Remember that no one has all the answers. I didn't want Bush to go to war, but that wasn't within my power to grasp and control. Neither will it be within his power to grasp and control many things, including deaths amongst those we know and love. War is serious stuff, kids. War is harmful to living things. But holding on to trying to listen in good faith to the Other is the best we can do sometimes. I'm going to put up some notes on Christiane Bird's Neither East Nor West. I have found it very soothing reading in this last week. She visits Iran, and speaks of her experiences there, where she grew up as a small child. On this return trip she finds many friendships and much illocutionary understanding. If you need a calming influence, I suggest it for those moments when the prospect of war screeches so near the present.
More soon. jeanne
Theoretical Musings for Us by Us
This article discusses the increasing occurrence of anorexia and bulimia with women 40 and over. Food and nutrition are becoming increasingly important in this crazy, mixed up world. Young women, once cured of anorexia, find themselves again tempted in later life. Some who never experienced the problem before are beginning to struggle with it. If you'd like to have a workshop on this issue, it might be worth it. Analysis of the article at the Haunting Image of Youth: Anorexia. Discussion questions included.