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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Things Fall Apart

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Migrant crisis in Europe

Jamileh Heydari breastfeeds her son Matin as she and her family of five try to enter Austria after traveling from Afghanistan: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015


Principalities usually come to grief when the transition is being made from limited power to absolutism. Princes taking this step rule either directly or through magistrates. In the latter case, their position is weaker and more dangerous, because they rely entirely on the will of those citizens who have been put in office; and these, especially in times of adversity, can very easily depose them either by positive action or by not obeying them. And when danger comes, the prince has no time to seize absolute authority, because the citizens and subjects, accustomed to taking orders from the magistrates, will not take them from him in a crisis. In disturbed times, also, men whom the prince can trust will be hard to find. So such a prince cannot rely on what he has experienced in times of tranquility, when the citizens have need of his government. When things are quiet, everyone dances attendance, everyone makes promises, and everybody would die for him so long as death is far off. But in times of adversity, when the state has need of its citizens, there are few to be found. And this test of loyalty is all the more dangerous since it can only be made once. Therefore a wise prince must devise ways by which his citizens are always and in all circumstances dependent on him and on his authority, and then they will always be faithful to him.

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527): from Il Principe (The Prince), 1513, translated by George Bull, 1961

Syrian refugee Dania poses for a portrait at the Sacramento, California apartment complex she lives in.

Syrian refugee Dania poses for a portrait at the Sacramento, California apartment complex where she lives. Dania and her family fled violence in Syria three and a half years ago and arrived in Sacramento in September after living in Jordan. Her face is excluded from the photo to protect her identity: photo by Max Whittaker / Reuters, 18 November 2015

Prague, Graffiti in honour to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks

A pedestrian passes by graffiti in honour to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks made by Kazakhstani artist called ‘ChemiS’ in Prague, Czech Republic on Wednesday: photo by Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP, 18 November 2015

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World unites after IS terror attacks but air strikes may backfire, experts say: image via Agence France-Presse @AFP, 18 November 2015



Small epoxy "frowny-face" figure found walking in a field mumbling incoherently to itself offered help for wandering attention disorder at EU politicians' emergency relief centre near Paris: photo by NPA, 18 November 2015

Saint-Denis raid

Saint-Denis raid. Public transportation was closed and some residents were evacuated during the French police raid, which lasted through the morning of Nov. 18.: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 18 November 2015

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FOOD LINE: Hundreds of recent immigrants line up to receive a small amount of food on the island of Lesbos, Greece: image via Carolyn Cole @Carolyn_Cole, 8 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

Immigrants arrive by train en route to the Slovenia border, where they hope to cross into Austria: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

Thousands of men, women and children have been camping for several days on the Slovenian border as they wait to cross into Austria: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

Branches from surrounding trees are used for fires to keep people warm: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

An Iranian family stays warm by a fire as they wait to cross the Slovenia-Austria border: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

More than 3,000 immigrants arrived at the border of Austria and Germany on Thursday, Oct. 29, as talks on the war in Syria were being held in Vienna: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

More than 3,000 immigrants arrived at the border of Austria and Slovenia on Thursday, Oct. 29, where they boarded buses for a six-hour ride to the border of Germany.: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

Thousands of immigrants push to get across the border into Austria from Slovenia, where they were held up for days: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

Thousands of people wait to cross the border into Austria from Slovenia while Austria border guards try to keep control of the situation: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

Narges Heydari, 15, of Afghanistan, catches her brother as he is lifted over the fence at the Austrian border.: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

A young Syrian girl tries to get help for her mother after she was separated from her in the immigration line: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

A Syrian man holds his son's hand through the fence as the father waits to get through to the Austrian side of the border. Small children were separated from their parents as they waited in the crush of immigrants.: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

Omar Saman of Iraq holds his son Awyn as he and his family wait to cross the border from Slovenia to Austria: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

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Photog's journal: Europe's #migrantcrisis - @Carolyn_Cole from the Austria-Slovenia border: image via L.A. Times Photos @latimesphotos, 10 November 2015

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 Afghan refugee prays at a Lesbos, Greece camp. Despite all efforts, many refugees are without shelter or bathrooms.: image via CarolynCole @Carolyn_Cole, 12 November 2015

Saint-Denis raid

Saint-Denis raid. A woman trying to take her children to school is turned back at a police cordon in the Paris neighborhood of Saint-Denis.: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 18 November 2015

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 #Paris woman and her children turn back from police line on way to school as operation goes on for terrorists: image via Carolyn Cole @Carolyn_Cole, 18 November 2015

Paris attacks

French soldiers guard as people run after a suspicious car was found: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 15 November 2015

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French soldiers guard as people run when a suspicious car was found. Tension remains high after #ParisAttacks.: image via CarolynCole @Carolyn_Cole, 15 November 2015

Paris attacks

Paris shopkeeper remains in her shop as French soldiers stand guard: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 15 November 2015

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#Paris shopkeeper remains in her shop as French soldiers stand guard. Tension remains high after #ParisAttacks.: image via CarolynCole @Carolyn_Cole, 15 November 2015

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Love will always win. #Paris, 15/11/2015.: image via Andrea Favaro @GrouchoMac, 18 November 2015

A wounded Syrian boy cries at a makeshif...A wounded Syrian boy cries at a makeshift hospital following a reported air strike by government forces in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of the capital Damascus, on November 18, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ABD DOUMANYABD DOUMANY/AFP/Getty Images

A wounded Syrian boy cries at a makeshift hospital following an air strike by government forces in the rebel held area of Douma, east of the capital Damascus: photo by Abd Doumany/AFP, 18 November 2015

An Afghan worker walks next to coal blocks to be crushed and sold as fuel source during winters in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday 
An Afghan worker walks next to coal blocks to be crushed and sold as fuel source during winters in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday: photo by Hefayatullah Amid/EPA 18 November 2015

Prague, Graffiti in honour to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks

 Graffiti in honour to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks made by Kazakhstani artist called ‘ChemiS’ in Prague, Czech Republic on Wednesday: photo by Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP, 18 November 2015

 Migrants and refugees enter a registration camp after crossing the Greek-Macedonian border near Gevgelija

Migrants and refugees enter a registration camp after crossing the Greek-Macedonian border near Gevgelija: photo by Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP, 18 November 2015
 
Migrants and refugees enter a registration camp after crossing the Greek-Macedonian border near Gevgelija

Migrants and refugees enter a registration camp after crossing the Greek-Macedonian border near Gevgelija: photo by Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP, 18 November 2015
 
A woman bathes her child after worshipping the sun god Surya in the polluted waters of Yamuna river during the Hindu religious festival of Chatt Puja in New Delhi...A woman bathes her child after worshipping the sun god Surya in the polluted waters of Yamuna river during the Hindu religious festival of Chatt Puja in New Delhi, India, November 18, 2015. Hindu women fast for the whole day for the betterment of their families and the society during the festival. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee  TEMPLATE OUT

A woman bathes her child after worshipping the sun god Surya in the polluted waters of Yamuna river during the Hindu religious festival of Chatt Puja in New Delhi: photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters, 18 November 2015
 
Syrian children walk past the rubble of destroyed buildings in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of the Syrian capital Damascus

Syrian children walk past the rubble of destroyed buildings in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of the Syrian capital Damascus: photo by Abd Doumany/AFP, 18 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

Immigrants arrive at the German border, where they are processed before boarding trains to points throughout the country: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Police forces operate in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris 
Police forces operate in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris: photo by Francois Mori/AP, 18 November 2015

Indian Hindu devotees offer prayers during the 'Chhat Puja' on the banks of the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati on November 17, 2015. Devotees pay obeisance to both the rising and the setting sun during the Chhath Festival, expressing thanks and seeking the blessings of the forces of nature, mainly the sun and rivers.
 Indian Hindu devotees offer prayers during the ‘Chhat Puja’ on the banks of the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati on Tuesday. Devotees pay obeisance to both the rising and the setting sun during the Chhath Festival, expressing thanks and seeking the blessings of the forces of nature, mainly the sun and rivers: photo by Biju Boro/AFP, 17 November 2015

An Afghan refugee girl peers through the curtain of her temporary home on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015

An Afghan refugee girl peers through the curtain of her temporary home on the outskirts of Kabul: photo by Rahmat Gul/AP, 17 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

Abdul Rahman, a Syrian immigrant from Aleppo, tries to get into a holding area with his family of 12 at the last stop in Austria before crossing into Germany: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Migrants and refugees receive help after...Migrants and refugees receive help after their arrival on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey on November 17, 2015. European leaders tried to focus on joint action with Africa to tackle the migration crisis, as Slovenia became the latest EU member to act on its own by barricading its border. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILICBULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Migrants and refugees receive help after their arrival on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey: photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP, 17 November 2015

Migrant crisis in Europe

Immigrants arriving from the Croatian border walk from the train station to the Slovenia border, where they will cross into Austria: photo by Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times, 10 November 2015

Autumn weather Nov 17th 2015...The sun rises over Whitley Bay, Northumberland, as weather experts warned that roaring winds could down trees, cause power cuts and lead to flooding as Storm Barney sweeps through the UK this week. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 17, 2015. The second storm deemed strong enough to be given its own name this season is expected to bring winds of up to 75mph to areas across the south of England, as well as Wales and Ireland through Tuesday night. See PA story WEATHER Barney.

The sun rises over Whitley Bay, Northumberland. Weather experts warned that roaring winds could down trees, cause power cuts and lead to flooding as Storm Barney is due to sweep through the UK this week: photo by Owen Humphreys/PA, 17 November 2015

14 comments:

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore said...

Tom, as a Muslim/Sufi, this is my "statement" hopefully threading through the backlash commentaries and politics... thinking of other Muslims in the writing, but hopefully (again) beyond...
__________________________________________

ANTI-ISIS / ON THE MUSLIM IMPOSTERS

BISMILLAH ER-RAHMAN ER-RAHEEM
allahumma salli ala sayyedina Muhammad wa ala alihi sayyedina Muhammad

We are living in overwhelming times. This is our present history. The world is going through unthinkable upheavals. People are pouring out of their own countries with nothing but the most basic bundles of their lives. Brutal psychopaths practicing a parody of Islam in a blasphemously misguided manner are destroying places and people with total ignorance and impunity. Studious and faithful to their satanic version, an extension of evil Wahhabism, they pound the earth like monsters, destroying everything decent in their path, their carnage meant to convince us of their truthfulness, cutting a swath of blood on a road they have no idea leads them directly to the Fire.

What we can do is emphasize the beauty of Islam, the love and mercy and compassion of Islam, following the most perfect of prophets, salallahu alayhi wa sallam, to whom these people of Dark-Arts fanaticism show none of his beloved qualities. We honor and love God’s saints, the awliyya and rightly guided ulama, and venerate their last resting places the psychopathic quasi-Muslims are intent on desecrating. We honor the past and its monuments the psychopathic quasi-Muslims are intent on erasing to make way for their Fascist interpretation of Islam. Know that if they were to burst through our doors and find us in the midst of our celebration of the Way of Peace, we’d be their immediate victims, and they’d no doubt kill us on the spot. We should be happy to be these people, and not those people, whomever they may be. Let us be even more earnest in the anti-ISIS Islam of our true and more golden world. Allah ta-ala knows each of His creations down to each of our cores, to the innermost of our souls. And most importantly, He takes account of each of our breaths and heartbeats, knows whom we truly worship, and knows the outcome of each one of us.

The depth of our sincerity and devotion will be our army of spirit against their rage and bloody infantilism, their ghastly play-acting. This will be our Anti-Isis. Physical forces greater than ours will insha’Allah defeat them. Our hearts are one with their victims in love. And as for the already condemned perpetrators, we pray that the truth of their God-given consciousnesses will dawn on them in belief and right practice, before the die is cast and their doom is sealed. And may the innocent at their hands be spared, and the preciousness of living Islam be preserved. Amen.

TC said...

Curtis Mayfield: People Get Ready (live)

Al Green with Linda Jones and Wanda Neal: People Get Ready (live)

Barry Taylor said...

Just to say thank you to Daniel for his powerful and moving words, and to Tom for creating the environment where they get the chance to be said. It felt like a small miracle that this week here in the UK we could also hear a celebration of love as the heart of Islam on prime-time soap Eastenders. Shame that these things feel so surprising and precious because they stand out against such a background cacophony of violence, ill-will, and obfuscation. Keep tending the flame, friends.

Michael Peverett said...


and!.. and!...

a plug for my pal Sara Vian:
https://soundcloud.com/sara-vian/people-get-ready-curtis-mayfield-cover

and the great Eva Cassidy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzLd2MDAHK8

dictators, saviours, refugees... Peter Hammill

World is turnin
I hope it don't turn away ... Neil Young







tpw said...

"Love will always win"---nothing seems less true these days.

TC said...

Very many thanks to all kind friends for timely words and music.

Michael, for the memories...

Neil Young: On the Beach (1974)

Neil Young: On the Beach (live acoustic, Chicago 1 May 1999)

Neil Young: On the Beach (live, 2003)

Neil Young: On The Beach (1974)

The world is turnin',
I hope it don't turn away,
The world is turnin',
I hope it don't turn away.
All my pictures are fallin'
from the wall where
I placed them yesterday.
The world is turnin',
I hope it don't turn away.

I need a crowd of people,
but I can't face them
day to day,
I need a crowd of people,
but I can't face them
day to day.
Though my problems
are meaningless,
that don't make them
go away.
I need a crowd of people,
but I can't face them
day to day.

I went to the radio interview,
but I ended up alone
at the microphone,
I went to the radio interview,
but I ended up alone
at the microphone.
Now I'm livin'
out here on the beach,
but those seagulls are
still out of reach.
I went to the radio interview,
but I ended up alone
at the microphone.

Get out of town,
think I'll get out of town,
Get out of town,
think I'll get out of town.
I head for the sticks
with my bus and friends,
I follow the road,
though I don't know
where it ends.
Get out of town, get out of town,
think I'll get out of town.

'Cause the world is turnin',
I don't want to
see it turn away.

billoo said...

Barry , the EastEnders scene was truly beautiful..you're right. I'm afraid the very next line in the verse, though, is deeply problematic.

TC said...

Hmm. Strong signs of life here. Who can say no to it?

I don't, actually, get the telly programming of any nation, so that, chaps, in not having seen that episode of the Eastenders, I am culturally deprived, yet at the same time no more deprived than I would be were it any other programme, anywhere. I would have missed it, he said objectively, having missed everything, everywhere, for the better part of forever, now.

But I do love a sign of life.

So... would this be the episode under discussion?

Eastenders: Tamwar reads from the Quran, 16 November 2015

And, again hoping to catch up, would the regretted absent ("redacted" -- ?) verse be the one alluded to by the commenter Ex Lab:

"After he said 'the traveller' he forgot to mention 'and those who your right hand possess' - i.e. the Slaves. erm... Good job BBC." -- ?

That would seem a fairly significant omission, if indeed it is one.

Perhaps an overcautious script editor's plaster over a possible squeaky bum moment??

Not wanting to stir up any mad hornets?

Then again, I felt that that commenter, on top of being less than a supreme commander of grammar, was perhaps being a bit small, with the dark implication and all.

Or... a simple case of good editing?

But on any of this I would defer in a moment to sager observers. Whom I would assume to be erm, legion. (See above.)

billoo said...

Yes, that be the one, Tom. I think the editor was wise to leave it out. You can't have a discussion on the internet or one generated by a t.v. programme given the rabid, extreme voices 'out there' (I don't watch t.v. either and youtube is banned in the land of the pure, but someone sent me the clip).

TC said...

I do understand the good sense in the discretionary editing, given the historical circumstances.

Still, of course, by this same standard of tact and good taste, much of the Old Testament should be reserved or otherwise cordoned-off from general view -- as "adult entertainment" perhaps.

Barry Taylor said...

I seem to be getting simpler and more sentimental the older I get. Seeing the Eastenders episode just made me grateful (in a small, pretty hopeless way) that as the floods of Islamophobia swell, and the voices conflating the terrorist and the woman on the No.7 bus grow louder, the writer and producer had offered their mass, multicultural audience a gentle steer towards entertaining other images and narratives about Islam. That seemed a good thing to do. Maybe not the nuanced, careful, precise thing that we do in places beyond the pale (which is also of course a vital thing to be doing now) but one that has a slightly better chance of making a few people pause the next time they read a front page in the Sun or Daily Mail ranting about refugees who are really terrorists. The soaps in the UK have long been the only place where ethnic minority actors/characters appear on a regular basis in the mainstream media - every night, in fact, across all the main channels. I think that's made a difference over the last thirty years to the nation's image of itself, and this Eastenders storyline is another small contribution to that effort of re-imagining what Britishness might be. Not much, as my mum would have said, but better than nowt.

TC said...

Barry, I believe we were affected in much the same way -- that is, a hopeful way -- by seeing the soap clip. From across this vast abyss of distance and difference it's plain that the show attempts a serious, sensitive approach to a subject which, everyone must now allow, requires us all to come with open eyes, mind and heart. The consequences of having failed to do so earlier are all about us after all.

The mind of a civilized person would be boggled by the treatment currently accorded Islam and its practitioners by mainstream media in this country. The Eastenders bit would have had Donald Dump bellowing theatrically into his attentive army of fluffy toys, and Ben Carson (or his website proxy people more like) pinning GPS tails on donkeys possibly seen near mosques in Tennessee (though of course with Old Ben's targeting coordinates, as with drone strikes, there is often a certain margin of error -- he could have meant Texas, for example).

billoo said...

Lovely thoughts there, Barry. Yes, think you're spot on. Haven't watched the show (partly, I think, because I lived nearby) but it's important to see other people as, well, just ordinary people-warts and all.

Tom, that made me laugh. Perhaps a twitter version will be forthcoming and that will solve the problems?

I know this is going to sound rude so please forgive me if it does, it isn't meant to..but when you say: "But I do love a sign of life," I imagine you as Hamm from Endgame.

TC said...

Not a bit rude to my ears. They are of course old and rough but still. And they stick out a bit. Now that they're all that's left up there. I'm happy not to have to see them, in truth. Being placed over on the sides as they are. And it being quite dark in here as it is.

Light! How could anyone’s light be on?