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Old 07.05.2008, 16:36   #1
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Sunday, May 04, 2008
There are two ways to resolve a conflict: with the brain or with the gut. Human history may be said to be a tribute to the gut.
When I recycled nationalist propaganda, I at no time identified it as such. Self-deception begins with our choice of vocabulary.
Our nationalist historians tend to write what their readers would like to read. Not being dependent on our goodwill, odar historians can afford to be more objective and say things that may not be flattering to our collective ego. That’s one reason why I now find our historians unreadable.
My best readers are those who hate to read me because they find my ideas threatening to their comfortable view of life.
When you assess yourself, the chances are you will stress the positives. When others do the assessing, they will stress your negatives. The question then becomes: Who will be closer to the truth, which is more a point of reference and direction rather than an accessible and fixed concept.
Plot for a science fiction novel: 2984 AD. Overpopulation on the planet is such that even mild transgressions like spitting, swearing, or driving a fraction of a mile over the speed limit are considered capital offenses and punished on the spot by law enforcement brigades.
Monday, May 05, 2008
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Even after the triumphs of ZAPATA, STREETCAR, ON THE WATERFRONT and EAST OF EDEN, writes Elia Kazan in his memoirs – ELIA KAZAN: A LIFE (New York, 1998) – he felt like a failure. So much so that he sought the help of a psychiatrist. He further writes that, the reason why Brando accepted to do WATERFRONT on location in New Jersey was that his analyst was in New York and he needed to see him every day.
Kazan’s final films are disasters. Brando’s films as well as private life became progressively worse. What a book one could write on the failures of analysis in America. Sartre is right: Freudian analysis, especially in its American context, has no principles. Its aim is to adjust patients to an essentially insane social order. As a result, instead of getting better they get worse. I shiver to think what would have happened to Tolstoy and Dostoevsky had they lived in 20th-century America instead of 19th-century Russia.
Kazan traces the roots of his neurosis to his Ottoman background. The only way for a Greek to survive in Istanbul was by being a sycophant and a coward, he writes, and most of his life, even in America, he was both. Elsewhere he explains that the massacres were the work not of Turkish neighbors but of outsiders who believed “you enter heaven and enjoy a beautiful houri according to how many unbelievers you’ve killed.” When he visits Turkey later in life, men line up to shake and sometimes even to kiss his hand. Comments Kazan: “I had to remind myself that my people had lived here in terror and were lucky to have escaped alive.”
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
People are not interest to know how smart you are but how smart you think they are.
I was brought up to believe we were white and they were black, until I realized there is neither white nor black, only shades of gray.
Propaganda thrives in an environment where freedom of speech is a privilege only of the ruling classes.
Parallels: those who declare wars and those who die in them…the misguided fools who rise against an empire and the defenseless, law-abiding civilians who are massacred…
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. As for the semi-tough: they are better at hiding, speechifying, and editorializing.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
We cannot understand that which we hate,
A military defeat is also a blunder.
Everyone sympathizes with victims except their victimizers.
The first condition of patriotism is to dehumanize the enemy.
A fool is an open book. He confesses even as he attempts to cover up.
All power structures, even the most democratic, depend on the ignorance of the majority.
If I were to write what is expected of me, I would probably enjoy both popularity and respect, but I would have nothing but contempt for myself.
When I said, “The rich are going to die as surely as the poor,” my friend replied: “Yes, but the poor die every day.”
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