Author Archives: DP

A Wild Sovereignty

On a day when large numbers of people appear to celebrate, endorse and reward malignant narcissism, we turn to the laudably contrarian pages of Emergence Magazine, with excerpts from an essay by Kara Moses, written after an immersion in the last surviving forest wilderness in Europe, Białowieża.

 

 

 

 

 

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Answers to what ails us cannot be found within the human community, and surely not among the delusions and deceptions of the anointed ruling elites; yet elsewhere, among the remnants of the wild, if we can find the courage to listen, observe and be still, we might find some other path through the infinite woundscape of the anthropogenic affliction.

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Something Deeper

During a week that has starkly exposed the ethical and spiritual crisis of our times, and as we continue to consider the implications of fresh data confirming the accelerating death spiral of anthropogenic climate breakdown, let us bend our ears to the soulful voice of Terry Tempest Williams, presently Writer in Residence at the Harvard Divinity School.

Below, excerpts from a recent interview, with images from Bear Ears country.

 

 

 

 

 

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DP commends Harvard Divinity School for taking the lead on forthrightly and compassionately engaging with the deep ethical and spiritual crisis that threatens to envelop us, as human supremacism comes up against its own inherent limits, and as toxic neoliberalism begins to cannibalize itself, having exsanguinated, commodified, consumed and evacuated everything else.

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Absence and Emptiness

This week, we note the death of fellow desperado philosopher Paul Virilio. Below, a montage of excerpts from a 2012 interview, bristling with ideas that have become ever more urgently relevant, as the world careens into dark spirals of toxic algos and avatars.

The images are details pinged from the extraordinary gunpowder paintings of Cai Guo-Qiang, featured at a recent exhibition at the Prado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virilio writes in Open Sky that one day the day will come when the day will not come; that day has come for him, in this fleeting iteration. May his ideass reverberate through the cosmos, jamming the fear.

 

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Child Of That Hour

Today, as Florence makes landfall and releases her vast quantities of water, we offer a poem by Conrad Aiken, Hatteras Calling.

Cape Hatteras defines a southerly coastline for Hatteras Island, among the barrier islands of the so-called Outer Banks and in the path of over one hundred hurricanes during the past century and a half. In August 1889, a surgeon named William Aiken and his very pregnant wife embarked on a voyage along the North Carolina coast. One account reads as follows:

Their ship was caught in a hurricane, floundering against the rocky shore off Cape Hatteras, and William and Anna were handed to safety with the air of a human chain formed by the crew only a short time before a wave washed away the deckhouse where their cabin was located. But Anna suffered no ill effects, and she and her husband reached their new home . There on August 5, 1899, their first child was born . ”

A child they named Conrad, who in 1942 would write the following lines:

 

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On the Brink of Biocide

Now comes law professor Fania Davis, with excerpts from prescient remarks delivered at the 10th Annual Howard Thurman Convocation in San Francisco, way back in 2005. Is it not high time to hear her words with fresh ears?

Images are from an intermedia installation titled Flow: Web of Interconnection, created by Beth Racette and Barbara Westfall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That perilous future has arrived.

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Ever So Dangerous

Now comes the venerable Mark Kurlansky with an excerpt from Nonviolence: The HIstory of A Dangerous Idea, dating from 2006 yet more relevant with each passing day of madness and mayhem. Interwoven iterations of Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s Knotted Revolver added by DP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Broken System

As the political circus continues to release one tragic clown after another into the remnants of the public sphere, we urge DP readers to turn attention away from the delusional ringmaster and focus on the national prison strike now underway.

Demands are listed here.

From all the many important voices that have come to the surface, we relay an excerpt from an anonymous “jailhouse lawyer” representing the organization Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, addressing issues of racial terror and prison slavery:

 

 

Next follows an excerpt from a Democracy Now interview, transcribing the voice of  made by Heather Ann Thompson, author of Blood In the Water: the Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy.

 

 

 

 

To repeat the last part of Ms. Thompson’s final sentence:

People standing together to let us know this system is broken and we’ve got to change. 

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Call and Response

We do not always judge a book by its epigraphs here at DP, but the below coupling most certainly captured our attention:

The book is titled Assembly, another (following Empire, almost twenty years ago, among others) fascinating collaboration between Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, who turn their attentions to the possibilities and ambiguities of resistance movements as they attempt, in their “hive” multitudes, to both confront power and escape from it.

The entire book is available for perusal online; excerpts below, with images (added by DP) from the studio of Karen Kaapcke, whose extraordinary series of paintings from the days of Occupy capture the allure of the commons: vaster, partial, incomplete and ever expanding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The book also carries an unusual and laudable dedication, which we amplify here through the DP megaphone, such as it is:

 

To which, in call & response style, we loudly sing:

 


What It All Means

On this day, seventy-three years following the second use of atomic weapons against a largely civilian population, we turn to Günther Anders with an excerpt from a presentation delivered to the Sixth World Congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in 1986; the untitled painting (added by DP) is from the imagination of Kazuo Shiraga, and dates from 1962.

 

 

 

The entire address is worth close consideration, and might well have been written following Fukushima, or even yesterday, and let us meditate on these lines in particular:  

For what has to be done is to harass these people who are both not very bright yet also all-powerful and capable of deciding at their whim whether or not humanity will exist; we certainly have to curtail their power.

 

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The Burning World

Now comes JG Ballard with a passage from a novel that was initially published in 1964 as The Burning World, then revised and expanded the following year into The Drought. We suspect that if Ballard were around this summer, he might consider reverting back to the first title.

The below excerpt, with images added by DP, might well have been written yesterday, given recent scientific research that confirms the relationship between an ocean saturated with plastic and the acceleration of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

 

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ACROSS THE CRYING LAND

 

 

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A SIMPLE JUSTICE

 

 

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ENOUGH TO TANTALIZE MANKIND

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