Out on the links (not about golf…) 26 February 2007Posted by marisacat in Big Box Blogs, Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.
Catching up to links posted over the past few days… a piece on Pat Dollard (and more than Dollard) at Rigorous Intuition [apologies, forget who posted it] and a related link on Dollard, [posted by Ezekiel]…
The Jackass War
Pat Dollard might agree, and say “Fuck yeah.” The former Hollywood agent is now lionized by Fox and Republican revanchists for his midlife makeover to “War on Terror” propagandist. His time self-embedded in Iraq has become Young Americans, the trailer of which plays like Jackass goes to War, and includes footage of a Marine raising a severed Iraqi head to the camera to a thrashing soundtrack of “If you don’t like it you can suck my dick!”
And so, RigInt gets to the nitty gritty of Pat Dollard, with this – following a somewhat gut churning slice of his other film, The Three Days:
And as awful as it is, Dollard is right. As right as Pasolini was when he had one of Salo‘s torturers say “We Fascists are the only true anarchists. Once we’ve become masters of the state, true anarchy is that of power.” Transgressive brutality is a path of transformation, at least to a sociopath, and fascism is an ideology of sociopaths. Dollard is embraced by America’s fascist elite because behind their paper house of flittering justifications for catastrophe, he’s the exultant “Fuck Yeah!” the architects of mayhem still don’t dare exclaim in public.
George Bush is not the architect of his wars, but rather another cowboy advocate, and like Dollard he can still delight in them even as he fulfills his job on the team by lying them into being. A couple of weeks ago Washington Life Magazine‘s Soroush Shehabi, a grandson of a Pahlavi-era minister of Iran, used a presidential reception to warn, Bush, as though he didn’t already know, that “one US bomb on Iran and the regime will remain in power for another 20 or 30 years and 70 million Iranians will become radicalized.” Bush answered, “I know,” to which Soroush responded, “But does Vice President Cheney know?” Bush walked away, chuckling.
I admit I did not know of Pat Dollard, or if I ever did had dropped him from the brain… I surely did know of Saló and Pasolini, seeing the film when it came out… Amazing, amazing film. In fact, recently seeing Kissinger escorted from the services for Ford by a young Navy man in his dress uniform, I flashed on the film. Let’s just say it was a highly erotic escort down the carved stone steps…
With Salo, Pasolini updates de Sade from early 18th Century France to Fascist Italy. (Indeed Salo is an Italian province where Pasolini spent parts of his childhood and had witnessed first hand the mindless thuggery of Mussolini’s fascists). In Pasolini’s view, de Sade’s work, which was essentially a work of pornography, takes on an added political meaning to talk about the corruption of absolute power. Outside of this though, Pasolini remains remarkably faithful to the text of the de Sade work, replicating the depravities and the structure of the nightly tales by the gathered guests. Salo is certainly Pasolini’s most controversial work and still remains banned over two decades in many countries of the world.
Pier Paolo Pasolini on the set of Saló or the 120 Days of Sodom
From Ezekiel’s link at Not an American, Why Liberals Have No Answer for Pat Dollard:
Yes, there was a stupid macho side of the new left that would later give birth to the feminist and gay liberation movements, but the popular culture influence by the movement against the war in Vietnam also valued the feminine, the childlike, the lyrical undercurrents of American history that the current opposition to the war in Iraq most emphatically rejects.
From the constant drumbeat on Democratic Party affiliated websites like Atrios, Jesus’ General, and Operation Yellow Elephant to get Bush’s daughters into the military, to the bills in front of Congress by liberal Democrats like Charles Rangel calling for a reintroduction of the draft, to grassroots leftist support for old Vietnam era reactionaries like Jim Webb, to the recommendations that anti-war protesters wear suits and ties, the opposition to the war in Iraq is politically liberal, but culturally conservative. It values the hard, the masculine. It looks back to the rugged blue-collar authenticity of the old urban Democratic Party machines, not to the visionary and the lyrical politics of the new left..
Just count the number of diaries on the left Democratic web community Daily Kos that express the sentiment that “my Democratic Party daddy can beat up your Republican Party Daddy”. Obama “smacks down” Dick Cheney. Al Gore “schools” George Bush. Howard Dean “bitch slaps” Joe George Allen. The air is thick with testosterone poisoning.
Ain’t it the truth… with Long War the utterly futile debasement can only get worse.
The so called liberal left, Democratic progressives, whatever name they cling to… no, they have no answer for Pat Dollard and the utter wildness, the high pitched, manic fever of the hardened extreme Right… they are still struggling with the simple, direct and powerful play that Donohue ran… still struggling, albeit manfully, with “to apologise or not”.
As if it mattered.
In structuring Saló, Pasolini utilizes the circles of hell as elaborated in Dante’s Inferno. The film thus far has been entitled “ANTINFERNO,” or the antechamber of hell. As they enter the villa, the “circle of obsessions” or manias begins. This circle is dominated by the detailed recounting of perverse sexual encounters, interspersed with violent episodes of sexual deviation and domination committed by the libertines upon the young boys and girls. Next is the “circle of shit,” dominated by images of coprophagy. The film culminates in the “circle of blood,” dominated by images of torture and death.
Each of the circles is introduced by an elegant madame who has spent her life servicing the most base desires of libertinage. Each woman spins lewd yarns relating to her circle, which are designed to excite the libertines and provoke similar action. The idea of reproducing the acts told in the stories is key; Pasolini’s film is a tale of frustrated desire, of impotence taking its vengeance on a helpless underclass. The libertines’ sexual voracity requires the constant exploration of the most grotesque and imaginative eroticism; the telling of stories adds fuel to their fire.
Throughout the stories, a fourth woman is always present playing the piano. She begins by playing tunes from “Showboat,” progresses through Romantic composers like Chopin, and by the end plays atonal and unsettling experimental music in the vein of Scriabin or Hindemith. This musical progression is structured to complement the visual semiotics of a nightmarish descent. The constant presence of music underneath the stories is vital, and lends the libertines and their affairs a decidedly bourgeois character.
”…replicating the depravities and the structure of the nightly tales by the gathered guests.”
UPDATE, 9:59 am
[C]ontrary to the impression of most observers, the great majority of the checkpoints are not even near the Green Line, Israels internationally recognised border until it occupied the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. Some are so deep inside Palestinian territory that the army refuses to allow Machsom Watch to visit them. There, the women say, no one knows what abuses are being perpetrated unseen on Palestinians.
But at Huwara checkpoint, where the old man refused to submit, the soldiers know that most of the time they are being watched by fellow Israelis and that their behaviour is being recorded in monthly logs. Machsom Watch has a history of publishing embarrassing photographs and videos of the soldiers’ actions. It showed, for example, a videotape in 2004 of a young Palestinian man being forced to play his violin at Beit Iba checkpoint, a story that gained worldwide attention because it echoed the indignities suffered by Jews at the hands of the Nazis.
Machsom Watch has about 500 members, reportedly including Olmert’s leftwing daughter, Dana. But only about 200 actively take part in checkpoint duties, an experience that has left many outspoken in denouncing the occupation. The organisation is widely seen by the Israeli public as extremist, with pro-Israel groups accusing the women of “demonising” Israel. [snip]