Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Monday, 22 June 2009
they mourn the voice of Iran
but I heard only silence broken
by anguished screams embracing you
as final pumps pushed red horror
from nose and mouth
Neda, unrushed and acquiescing
you seemed to accept your fate
until your eyes revolting
shot upwards to stare
in terminal complaint
You were courageous and beautiful to the end.
Neda Soltani ( Persian: ندا سلطانی ; born 1982, died 20 June 2009; age 26–27)
Sunday, 21 June 2009
Thanks to Roxanne Ivey for the poem left as a comment in the previous post.
SILENCE, MY SISTER
For every secret sealed in flame,
Each grief engraved without a name,
I'll summon tender truths from shame,
With tears my talisman.
I'll shred the shroud of disbelief
And scatter ashes of relief,
Then weave these words into a wreath
No season can upbraid.
I'll lift the earth into the sky
So fallen stars again will rise;
Your suffering is my battle cry--
You did not die alone.
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Link above not for squeamish - latest from Tehran.
Posted by eamon@ewmphotography at 01:28
Friday, 19 June 2009
Thursday, 18 June 2009
In an earlier blog, I noted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's branding of protesters as "tension seekers". Well, new day, new label. They are now tension-seeking "vandals". Indeed the wise leader tells us that vandalizing public property is not even related to the presidential election:
"Such acts and vandalism and some crimes that were committed are not related to the candidates' supporters but to disturbers of peace and all should stand against them."These are the 'bad' Iranians, and (unspoken) 'good' Iranians are urged to "stand against them" - code for what exactly?Now compare the Ayatollah's description of those charged with supervising the elections, not quite so black and white this time:
"Those in charge of supervising the elections are always trustworthy people, but this should not prevent an investigation into possible problems and clarifying the truth."Forgive me, but isn't it disingenuous to suggest their possible failings are little more than natural consequences of their trustworthiness? Where did the cold, hard religious certainty of the earlier pronouncement disappear to in this description? But he has spoken, and therefore - he hopes - it shall be so. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/98279.htm?sectionid=351020101
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Trolling means something different these days. It used to mean circulating and moving around, often in a fishing context. That sense of movement may still resonate, but trolling has now become the occupation of trolls. Take these definitions from a popular forum's rules:
Trolls are people who for no reason want to disrupt a forum topic by constantly posting out of context posts, derogatory comments, throwing insults, making personal attacks and deliberately inciting a negative response from other members. This is called trolling in public forums and won't be tolerated here.
Fair enough. What site administrator wouldn't want to curtail such negative behaviour? But let's look at that rule again:
Trolls are people who for no reason want to...
This is of course a nonsense. How can a writer be construed as lacking in reason, especially one actively attempting to incite a negative response (the key word being action)? Unreasonable comments may abound, but I've yet to find a reasonless writer.
We traipse across blogs and forums in search of meaning - or perhaps to hide from things more meaningful. Whatever our individual reasons, the exponential rise of so-called social networking sites and the blogosphere points to a seemingly inexhaustible drive to communicate - even when we have locked ourselves in rooms to avoid communicating with those closest to us!
Nothing new then, I hear you say.
But what do these user-generated, content-driven sites tell us specifically about this desire to communicate? More than anything, it seems to me they demonstrate our need to be in control of our own communications. We not only want to be heard, but we want to be heard on our terms. It is not what we write about that matters most, but rather our right to write in ways of our choosing that drives most Tweeters, Facebookers and Bloggers.
There is much more to say about this, but I reserve the write (sic) for later, at a time and in a style of my choosing. Thanks for reading - I would welcome your thoughts.
Monday, 15 June 2009
An artist - the only one I know personally - once asked where my fascination for language derived. At the same time as grasping for a credible answer, it struck me that only one who privileges an alternative mode of expression would have thrown such a curveball at a first meeting. A few years on, I'm still grasping.
In the spirit of that encounter, I present Norah McGuiness' oil on canvas, The harvesters, as an alternative introductory post. It speaks to the title of this virgin blog, although I'm at a loss to produce a critical comment on the subject. Does this constitute first post failure? Probably.