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March 18th
2:37 AM

Slowly Turning Into You

by Jack White

Jack White - I’m Slowly Turning into You

Citizen Zed: Last night, upon hearing of the U.S. shift regards Libya it was easy to get cynical. All seemed too late, especially with the spectre of a Security Council veto.  Especially with Libya’s jasmine bloom so near to being crushed. I noted an irony.  But afterwards I realized the irony was deeper and more twisted, for I wanted shit to happen outside UN auspices.  Suddenly I realized the horrific vibration of a strong contradiction.  

What was different in the desire to see unilateral action against Gaddafi - and the U.S. invasion of Iraq?  

Although, I felt there was a way to neutralize a hypothetical sneering neocon, I could see the density of problematic argumentative vectors.  And I realized the problem could not easily be waived away. The horror, the wild fate of slowly turning into…

But the UN has acted.  My cynicism was ultimately misplaced. I can forget about the problem - at least for a moment - caught up in astonishment. 

So many people transported into the harrowing spirit of Bouazizi’s defiance. I wish I knew I had the guts to step forward, unarmed, into that agon. I want to think that no rational world citizen could ignore their heroism. I want to think that somehow, in the better sense, I’m slowly turning into you.

February 28th
10:42 AM

Manifestations of Force

Citizen Zed - 2/28/11

The NY Times and Souad Mekhennet point out the odd situation faced by Al Qaeda in Middle East: As Regimes Fall in Arab World, Al Qaeda Sees History Fly By

"For nearly two decades, the leaders of Al Qaeda have denounced the Arab world’s dictators as heretics and puppets of the West and called for their downfall. Now, people in country after country have risen to topple their leaders — and Al Qaeda has played absolutely no role.

In fact, the motley opposition movements that have appeared so suddenly and proved so powerful have shunned the two central tenets of the Qaeda credo: murderous violence and religious fanaticism. The demonstrators have used force defensively, treated Islam as an afterthought and embraced democracy, which is anathema to Osama bin Laden and his followers.”

Though events are fresh enough to feed possible naiveté, it very much looks like we are witnessing the manifestation a new concept of force. An historical surprise, almost ex nihilo, interrupts the conflict dynamics of both Al Qaeda and the United States. Suddenly, breathtakingly, both are revealed caught up in what should have been obvious - as geared into inadequate concepts of force.

Both will, however, naturally aim to prey upon the Jasmine flower, projecting spectres of the other as a means to influence and access.

But the quasi-imperial power has the most to lose, and perhaps the most to gain. For if the new force is greeted above all with the simplicity and the substance of recognition (rather than predatory opportunism), Al Qaeda may lose all vital traction. And yet, since the mystery of recognition moves in two directions, America and the West may be surprised to find they are seen neither as democratic nor as expressions of modern community.

February 1st
8:29 PM

Thundering Footsteps

Citizen Zed - 2/1/11

It’s like when you saw Jurassic Park and had an even deeper thrill, perhaps alongside troubling reservations, that for better worse film would never be the same again.  What happens when global political reality feels its sinews torn and re-strung in the wake of something like that?  With Wikileaks, Tunisa and now Egypt we’re finding out daily.  And for us in the theatre of events it’s every bit as stupefying and sensational as watching T Rex rampage through apparatchiki who comically, yet self-confidently, regurgitate the pablum of unconscious anachronism - as though somebody might as well be ringing the dinner bell.

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