Nothing from me for a week, I'm afraid. Back Thursday the 7th.
Mr. Tooker, often called a symbolic, or magic, realist, worked well outside the critical mainstream for much of his career, relegated to the margins by the rise of abstraction. As doctrinaire modernism loosened its hold in the 1980s, however, he was rediscovered by a younger generation of artists, critics and curators, who embraced him as one of the most distinctive and mysterious American painters of the 20th century.
He specialized in eerie situations with powerful mythic overtones. Luminous and poetic, his paintings often conveyed a sense of dread, but could just as easily express a lover’s rapture or spiritual ecstasy. Whatever the emotion, his generalized figures, with their smoothly modeled sculptural forms and masklike faces, seemed to dwell outside of time, even when placed in contemporary settings....
The men and women in “Waiting Room” (1957) simply wait, catatonically and existentially, as if they were extras in a play by Beckett or Sartre.
New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi--or Islamic messiah--is about to appear.
CBN News has obtained a never-before-seen video produced by the Iranian regime that says all the signs are moving into place -- and that Iran will soon help usher in the end times.
While the revolutionary movements gripping the Middle East have created uncertainty throughout the region, the video shows that the Iranian regime believes the chaos is divine proof that their ultimate victory is at hand.
The propaganda footage has reportedly been approved at the highest levels of the Iranian government.
It's called The Coming is Near and it describes current events in the Middle East as a prelude to the arrival of the mythical tweflth Imam or Mahdi -- the messiah figure who Islamic scriptures say will lead the armies of Islam to victory over all non-Muslims in the last days.
CBN is the Christian Broadcasting network. The source of their information is a certain Reza Kahlili, self-proclaimed CIA double-agent within Iran's Revolutionary Guard: an awkward position, you may think, for a man with a published book, but his CIA pseudonym "Wally" seems to protect him. He also wears a disguise when he appears in public. From a report last July in the Washington Post:
Reza Kahlili, a self-proclaimed former CIA “double agent” inside Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, appeared in disguise at a Washington think tank Friday claiming that Iran has developed weapons-grade uranium and missiles ready to carry nuclear warheads.
The pseudonymous Kahlili, whose previous accounts have been greeted with widespread skepticism, also said Iran was planning nuclear suicide bombings with “a thousand suitcase bombs spread around Europe and the U.S.”
“This is a messianic regime. There should be no doubt they’re going to commit the most horrendous suicide bombing in human history,” Kahlili said. “They will attack Israel, European capitals and the Persian Gulf region at the same time, then they will hide in a bunker [until a religious prophecy is fulfilled]… and kill the rest of the nonbelievers.”
Kahlili was showcased Friday by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a Washington think tank founded by a former senior official of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.
He appeared wearing dark glasses, a surgical mask and a San Francisco Giants baseball cap, and spoke through a voice altering apparatus. Bodyguards stood nearby.
Which is not to say he may not be right.
The US-Nato intervention in Libya, with United Nations security council cover, is part of an orchestrated response to show support for the movement against one dictator in particular and by so doing to bring the Arab rebellions to an end by asserting western control, confiscating their impetus and spontaneity and trying to restore the status quo ante.
It is absurd to think that the reasons for bombing Tripoli or for the turkey shoot outside Benghazi are designed to protect civilians. This particular argument is designed to win support from the citizens of Euro-America and part of the Arab world. "Look at us," say Obama/Clinton and the EU satraps, "we're doing good. We're on the side of the people." The sheer cynicism is breathtaking. We're expected to believe that the leaders with bloody hands in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are defending the people in Libya. The debased British and French media are capable of swallowing anything, but the fact that decent liberals still fall for this rubbish is depressing.
On the contrary: the cynicism here - cheap rather than breathtaking - is Ali's. How about this charming slur:
The US state department is busy preparing a new government composed of English-speaking Libyan collaborators.
Anti-Gaddafi equals collaborator. This comment sums it all up nicely.
So who is the crazy one? Obviously that gang of lunatics savagely launching attacks on Libya based on the worst collection of lies in the history of the world. If you want to know where they are headed, just look at their track record, littered with genocide, theft and destruction.
More and more evidence is surfacing that this entire operation has been planned from outside (read U.S. and EU) for quite some time. First surround (Egypt and Tunisia), then invade. Wesley Clarke revealed the laundry list which included Libya.
In the U.S., there is a particulary motley group of interventionist war mongers who don't know what they're doing: Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power, obviously sexually frustrated and repressed man hating lesbians who want to prove they are he-men.
We are also seeing attacks on residential areas, many civilians being killed. There have been attacks on Ghaddafi's living area, a clear attempt at assassination. Today intelligence also reports they plan a ground invasion. The fascists of the west never change. The term "humanitarian bombing" reminds of George Orwell doublespeak.
One can only heartily agree on Gaddafi's statement: They are "a group of crazy fascists that will end in the garbage dump of history."
History will surely judge them on the same page as Adolph Hitler.
There've been concerns recently about Christopher Hitchens after he was forced to cancel a scheduled debate and missed out on last week's column in Slate because of radiation treatment. So it's good to see him now back in print, and pointing out what no one else has been quite prepared to say - If Saddam Hussein were still in power, this year's Arab uprisings could never have happened:
Can anyone imagine how the Arab spring would have played out if a keystone Arab state, oil-rich and heavily armed with a track record of intervention in its neighbors' affairs and a history of all-out mass repression against its own civilians, were still the private property of a sadistic crime family? As it is, to have had Iraq on the other scale from the outset has been an unnoticed and unacknowledged benefit whose extent is impossible to compute. And the influence of Iraq on the Libyan equation has also been uniformly positive in ways that are likewise often overlooked.
On the first point, I admit that Egyptian and Tunisian and other demonstrators did not take to the streets waving Iraqi flags, as if in emulation. (Though Saad-Eddin Ibrahim, intellectual godfather of the Egyptian democracy movement, did publicly hail the fall of Saddam as an inspiration, and many leaders of the early Lebanese "spring" spoke openly in similar terms.) This reticence is quite understandable since, apart from the northern Kurdish region of Iraq from which Foreign Minister Zebari hails, the liberation of the country was not entirely the work of its own people. But this point has become a more arguable one since the Arab League itself admitted that there are certain regimes that are impervious to unassisted overthrow from within. Qaddafi's is pre-eminently one of these, and Saddam's was notoriously so, as the repeated terror-bombings and gassings of the Shiite and Kurdish populations amply proved. Meanwhile, Iraq already has, albeit in rudimentary and tenuous form, the free press, the written constitution, and the parliamentary election system that is the minimum demand of Arab civil society. It has also passed through a test of fire in which the Bin Ladenists threw everything they had against an emergent democracy and were largely defeated and discredited. These are lessons and experiences that are useful not just for Mesopotamia.
Time is up for oversize and flashy luxury watches that actually tell you the hour. The new status symbol for bankers and Russian oligarchs is a sober, featherlike timepiece made from carbon fiber, magnesium or aluminum, executives at Basel's annual watch fair said. Real luxury is now the ability to stop time.
This week Luc Perramond, chief executive of Hermes' watch division, presented the "temps suspendu" (suspended time) model, starting at 18,000 Swiss francs ($19,700), which stops time at the press of a button and brings it back again. For 240,000 Swiss francs you can pick up an Hublot watch whose time can be slowed or sped up and another which is all black, making it difficult to tell the time at all.
That luxury can set you back upwards of 15,000 Swiss francs. "The value of a watch is not to give you time," Hublot Chief Executive Jean-Claude Biver told Reuters. "Any five dollar watch can do that. What we are offering is the ability for example to stop time or make it disappear... Time is a prison and people want to get out of it sometimes."