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Thursday, 9 June 2016

We are the happiest in the world

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Supporters of Mrs. Clinton wait for her to speak: photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times, 8 June 2016 



Supporters of Mrs. Clinton wait for her to speak: photo by Doug Mills/The New York Times, 8 June 2016

Konstantinos Kavaphes (Constantine Cavafy): Waiting for the Barbarians

Why are we all assembled and waiting in the market place?
It is the barbarians; they will be here today.
Why is there nothing being done in the senate house?
Why are the senators in session but are not passing laws?
Because the barbarians are coming today.
Why should the senators make laws any more?
The barbarians will make the laws when they get here.
Why has our emperor got up so early
and sits there at the biggest gate of the city
high on his throne, in state, and with his crown on?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive them
and their general. And he has even made ready
a parchment to present them, and thereon
he has written many names and many titles.
Why have our two consuls and our praetors
come out today in their red embroidered togas?
Why have they put on their bracelets with all those amethysts
and rings shining with the glitter of emeralds?
Why will they carry their precious staves today
which are decorated with figures of gold and silver?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that impress the barbarians.
Why do our good orators not put in any appearance
and make public speeches, and do what they generally do?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and they get bored with eloquent public speeches.
Why is everybody beginning to be so uneasy?
Why so disordered? (See how grave all the faces have
become!) Why do the streets and the squares empty so quickly,
and they are all anxiously going home to their houses?
Because it is night, and the barbarians have not got here,
and some people have come in from the frontier
and say that there aren’t any more barbarians.
What are we going to do now without the barbarians?
In a way, those people were a solution.


A soldier patrols outside a fanzone ahead of the UEFA 2016 European Championship in Nice, France, June 8, 2016.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard    
A soldier patrols outside a fanzone ahead of the UEFA 2016 European Championship in Nice, France: photo by Eric Gaillard/Reuters, 8 June 2016

A soldier patrols outside a fanzone ahead of the UEFA 2016 European Championship in Nice, France, June 8, 2016.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A soldier patrols outside a fanzone ahead of the UEFA 2016 European Championship in Nice, France: photo by Eric Gaillard/Reuters, 8 June 2016

((Nobody Answered Me))



World in focus — best photos for June 8, 2016

Hostesses sit in the turbine of Belgium’s national football team’s plane prior to take off, en route to Bordeaux in France, at Zaventem airport, near Brussels, three days ahead of the beginning of the Euro 2016 football tournament: photo by. John Thys / AFP, 8 June 2016
 

A man, wearing socks featuring the design of the British Union Flag, commonly known as a Union Jack, stands in London. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said he’ll hold a long-pledged referendum on the U.K.’s membership of the European Union on June 23: photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg, 8 June 2016



A man, wearing socks featuring the design of the British Union Flag, commonly known as a Union Jack, stands in London. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said he’ll hold a long-pledged referendum on the U.K.’s membership of the European Union on June 23: photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg, 8 June 2016

Vote Leave and Britain Stronger In Europe supporters in Ipswich, ahead of Boris Johnson's arrival during an EU referendum campaign tour visit to Suffolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 7, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Vote Leave and Britain Stronger In Europe supporters in Ipswich, ahead of Boris Johnson’s arrival during an EU referendum campaign tour visit to Suffolk: photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA, 7 June 2016

Vote Leave and Britain Stronger In Europe supporters in Ipswich, ahead of Boris Johnson's arrival during an EU referendum campaign tour visit to Suffolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 7, 2016. See PA story POLITICS EU. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire 

Vote Leave and Britain Stronger In Europe supporters in Ipswich, ahead of Boris Johnson’s arrival during an EU referendum campaign tour visit to Suffolk: photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA, 7 June 2016

World in focus — best photos for June 8, 2016

Member of Parliament Marco Valli attends a debate on the European Commission’s investment plan for Europe, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, northeastern France: photo by Frederick Florin / AFP, 8 June 2016
 

Donald J. Trump speaks using a teleprompter after a series of missteps in his campaign: photo by Damon Winter/The New York Times, 8 June 2016 



Donald J. Trump speaks using a teleprompter after a series of missteps in his campaign: photo by Damon Winter/The New York Times, 8 June 2016

World in focus — best photos for June 8, 2016

Attendees wave American flags before Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, speaks at a primary night event at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the Brooklyn borough of New York: photo by John Taggart / Bloomberg, 8 June 2016

 
School children cheer as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives to attend “We Are the Happiest in the World”, a performance of schoolchildren to celebrate the 70th founding anniversary of the Korean Children’s Union (KCU) in Pyongyang: photo by KCNA/Reuters, 8 June 2016



School children cheer as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives to attend “We Are the Happiest in the World”, a performance of schoolchildren to celebrate the 70th founding anniversary of the Korean Children’s Union (KCU) in Pyongyang: photo by KCNA/Reuters, 8 June 2016
 
World in focus — best photos for June 8, 2016

A woman enters a voting booth at a polling site in a school gym to cast a vote in the US presidential primary in Hoboken, New Jersey. New Jersey, California, and four other states held presidential primaries on Tuesday: photo by Justin Lane / EPA, 8 June 2016


Michael B. Horton of Fort Lee, N.J., cast his vote at the Fort Lee Community Center while using an American flag cane: photo by Sam Hodgson for The New York Times, 8 June 2016 



Michael B. Horton of Fort Lee, N.J., cast his vote at the Fort Lee Community Center while using an American flag cane: photo by Sam Hodgson for The New York Times, 8 June 2016


Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, after she spoke on Tuesday night to a crowd in Brooklyn after cementing her lead against Senator Bernie Sanders: photo by Chang W. Lee/The New York Times, 7 June 2016



Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, after she spoke on Tuesday night to a crowd in Brooklyn after cementing her lead against Senator Bernie Sanders: photo by Chang W. Lee/The New York Times, 7 June 2016 

SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 07: A man holds a sign at the California primary election night rally for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) on June 7, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. Hillary Clinton held an early lead in today's California primary.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
 A man holds a sign at the California primary election night rally for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) in Santa Monica, California: photo by David McNew via FT, 8 June 2016

SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 07: A man holds a sign at the California primary election night rally for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) on June 7, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. Hillary Clinton held an early lead in today's California primary.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

A man holds a sign at the California primary election night rally for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) in Santa Monica, California: photo by David McNew via FT, 8 June 2016
 
 
OMG THE SFGOV BALLOT COUNTING WEBCAM IS BACK UP: image via Burrito Justice @burritojustice, 7 June 2016
Iraqi security forces gather near Falluja, Iraq, May 31, 2016.  REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Iraqi security forces gather near Fallujah, Iraq: photo by Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters, 31 May 2016

Iraqi security forces gather near Falluja, Iraq, May 31, 2016.  REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Iraqi security forces gather near Fallujah, Iraq: photo by Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters, 31 May 2016

Shi'ite fighters with Iraqi security forces fire artillery during clashes with Islamic State militants near Falluja...Shi'ite fighters with Iraqi security forces fire artillery during clashes with Islamic State militants near Falluja, Iraq, May 29, 2016.  REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Shia fighters with Iraqi security forces fire artillery during clashes with Islamic State militants near Fallujah, Iraq: photo by Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters, 30 May 2016

Shi'ite fighters with Iraqi security forces fire artillery during clashes with Islamic State militants near Falluja...Shi'ite fighters with Iraqi security forces fire artillery during clashes with Islamic State militants near Falluja, Iraq, May 29, 2016.  REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Shia fighters with Iraqi security forces fire artillery during clashes with Islamic State militants near Fallujah, Iraq: photo by Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters, 30 May 2016

Iraqi soldiers patrol the streets of Saqlawiyah, north west of Fallujah, on June 8, 2016, during an operation to regain territory from the Islamic State (IS) group. Iraqi pro-government forces, made up of fighters from the army, the police and the Popular Mobilisation units, gained new ground from the Islamic State group in a key area west of the jihadist in Fallujah. Led by the country's counter-terrorism service, Iraqi forces and allied militias backed by air support from a US-led coalition began an operation on May 23 to wrest the city of Fallujah from IS.   / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYEAHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

 Iraqi soldiers patrol the streets of Saqlawiyah, north west of Fallujah during an operation to regain territory from the Islamic State: photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP, 8 June 2016

Iraqi soldiers patrol the streets of Saqlawiyah, north west of Fallujah, on June 8, 2016, during an operation to regain territory from the Islamic State (IS) group. Iraqi pro-government forces, made up of fighters from the army, the police and the Popular Mobilisation units, gained new ground from the Islamic State group in a key area west of the jihadist in Fallujah. Led by the country's counter-terrorism service, Iraqi forces and allied militias backed by air support from a US-led coalition began an operation on May 23 to wrest the city of Fallujah from IS.   / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYEAHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

 Iraqi soldiers patrol the streets of Saqlawiyah, north west of Fallujah during an operation to regain territory from the Islamic State: photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP, 8 June 2016
 
The newborn orangutan sets his fist steps in the outdoors with his mother in Ouwhands Zoo Rhenen, in Rhenen, The Netherlands, 08 June 2016. The Orangutan was born on 11 May this year.

A newborn orangutan takes his first steps in the outdoors with his mother in Ouwhands Zoo Rhenen, The Netherlands: photo by Koen Van Weel/EPA, 8 June 2016

 
Syrians inspect damage on Wednesday after an airstrike in al-Shaar, a rebel-held neighborhood of Aleppo: photo by Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters. 8 June 2016


 Syrians inspect damage on Wednesday after an airstrike in al-Shaar, a rebel-held neighborhood of Aleppo: photo by Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters. 8 June 2016 
 

SYRIA - A man stands on the rubble of building following air strikes by gov. forces in Aleppo. By Thaer Mohammed #AFP: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 8 Jun 2016 


SYRIA - A man reacts following a reported air strike by Syrian government forces in Bustan al-Qasr: image via baraa al halabi @baraaalhalabi, 5 June 2016


Plate embody the reality of the city of Aleppo: image via baraa al halabi @baraaalhalabi, 5 June 2016 


((Nobody Answered Me)) The artwork is inspired by a photograph taken by Baraa al-Halabi. By Miream Salameh #Syria: image via Kareem Hourani @kareem_ho, 8 June 2016



A building opposite a clinic in Aleppo on Wednesday after reported airstrikes by Syrian government forces: photo by Karam Al-Masri/Agence France-Presse, 8 June 2016


A building opposite a clinic in Aleppo on Wednesday after reported airstrikes by Syrian government forces: photo by Karam Al-Masri/Agence France-Presse, 8 June 2016 


SYRIA - Civil Defence members search for survivors following reported Russian air strikes on Idlib. By @omarnajdat: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP, 6 June 2016
 
Damaged buildings are pictured at night in Idlib city, Syria June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

Damaged buildings are pictured at night in Idlib city, Syria: photo by Ammar Abdullah/Reuters, 8 June 2016  

Damaged buildings are pictured at night in Idlib city, Syria June 8, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

Damaged buildings are pictured at night in Idlib city, Syria: photo by Ammar Abdullah/Reuters, 8 June 2016

World in focus — best photos for June 8, 2016

A worshiper walks in the Nizamiye Mosque after breaking fast at the end of the day during Ramadan, in Johannesburg, South Africa: photo by Kim Ludbrook / EPA, 8 June 2016

World in focus — best photos for June 8, 2016

An Indonesian woman and child attend prayers on the third night of the holy month of Ramadan at the Istiqlal grand mosque in Jakarta: photo by Adek Berry / AFP, 8 June 2016

2 comments:

Wooden Boy said...

Astonishing how seamlessly you move from the photo of Clinton's supporters to the North Korean children.

We've not come to the grave faces yet but it'll be soon.

TC said...

Thanks for seeing that, Duncan. The graphic matching makes the passage appear almost "natural". Alas, it currently seems, on the evidence, that flagwaving may be, in fact, "natural".

Regressive nationalism and "recovered" tribal reversion, the new mouth-breathing Backward Progress.

The body language perhaps a bit better organised in the North Korean youth version of forced ecstatic patriotic enthusiasm. This must represent a kind of desperate last defense.

In the bottom rows of The Happiest in the World there are smiles so tight they might as well be winces, as upon the impact of blows.