The star of yesterday’s drama was Uncle Ruslan Tsarni who called his nephews losers. The uncle’s passion and rage was not stemming from “a family feud,” as the father, Anzor Tsarnaev indicated. It was the passion of terror.
The Chechnens were expelled from the USSR by Stalin, wandering homeless, starving to death in the wilderness.
Hunted like dogs.
The hauntopia of Chechnya coursed through his veins—he had finally found safety from that life here with his family where the could rest and live well. Now, due to his nephew’s infamy, would his family, would Chechnya, would Chechens everywhere be hunted, again?
Would he finally meet Death in Tehran?
This was not the rage of a feuding family—this was a man pleading for his life.
I couldn’t help but think of this as I imagined Dzhokar Tsarnaev, his nephew, crawling under the tarp of a middle class boat in small yard in Watertown, bleeding, weakened, near death.
Despite an undeniable survival instinct and intelligence, in an act of callous violence, the Tsarnaev brothers brought on the fate their ancestors had ran from across continents, across ideologies, through starvation and homelessness.
Finding themselves, hunted like dogs.
Social Media is multiperspectival. Annoying to some. Absolutely essential to democracy.
Note on tragic events and social media:
It is fairly obvious (at least I think it is) that FB and Twitter are not traditional sources of media information and should not be greeted at such, nor should it be expected to behave as such. Stories DEVELOP over time from multiple perspectives. It’s a Picasso painting rather than a portrait, the story changes, our perspectives are changed. You can receive information from on scene witnesses, photographs, “official” information, all in a matter of seconds. It teaches us to keep our opinions soft, to be okay with being wrong, to remain flexible and patient as stories develop.
Again—it is MULTIPERSPECTIVAL. This is not what we are used to. We are used to being conditioned from one or two sources that agree with our general opinions and orientations, that provide an illusion of “correctness” and “certainty.” I understand that our former illusion was comforting and that this new development is anxiety producing—but the world is anxiety producing.
Our desire for information that is easier to absorb and “regulated” for “safer consumption” should never allow us to succumb to the idea that social media is a negative thing. Social media should not be censored, controlled, or otherwise regulated because the whole point of receiving multiperspectival, uncontrolled social information is that it diffuses power and makes it difficult for governments or money-ed entities to control. The Iranian election protests in 2009 is a perfect example. Social media is a robust check to tyranny. We simply have to stop expecting social media to be traditional journalism. It isn’t. It’s something much better. In fact, even when traditional journalism enters the stream it is flattened out, democratized. The NY Post journalist is no more reliable than your first cousin’s husband at the scene with a phone camera. A few days later he may be. At the moment events occur, he is not. This is a healthy thing for democracy. We just have to be patient with getting things wrong, with being easily misled, with being subjected to false stories. The point is, that in the end it is far better to get things from multiple perspectives than just what essentially boils down to 2.
Let’s face it. “Traditional Journalism” or the third estate as it has been called, developed recently in history and its origins lie in being propaganda organs for political parties. That never really changed. We just placed a pretty lace doily over it and called it “objective” journalism. The dissolution of the third estate may be overstated, but it’s dilution is obvious, and the exposure of its biases and manipulations is a good thing.
Buena vista, my friends. Buena vista.
My heart goes out to Boston and the survivors of the attacks.
Cultural memories of QEI haunt Thatcher’s England.
(HT:Bert O. States)
The dream is the stately matriarch of all forms of fiction. There is a problem with figuring a poetic relation between dreaming and fiction, however, and that is the dream can only exist as a literary creation for we have no way to translate its immediacy and rely on the the unreliable narrating self to translate the dream into something that can be transmitted to other minds. So there is no relation to be discovered, the dream is always a fictional narrative created by the waking mind to access a sleeping experience. Their elusive content aside, the phenomenon of dreaming, then, even the fact THAT we dream is mysterious and slippery; dreams have no clear ontology and an even less clear teleology. In short, the fact that we dream at all is weird.
The dream only exists to our waking mind as a narrative. Our only way of measuring it is to treat it as literary narrative because literary narrative is the only way we can access it.States on “the true imprint of the dream”:
“the complete credulity of the dreamer, the seemingly self-generative and autonomous power of the dream image to appear without apparent volition on the part of the dreamer, the astonishing power of the simplest image to provoke an extreme emotional charge, and the helplessness of the dreamer in the face of his own creation.”
The dream experience is forever just slightly out of reach. The image is the atom of dream language but unhinged from the empirical world, aka waking reality, they take on their own molecular structure independent of real world influence. They seem perfectly natural and perfectly real while they are occurring but only take on the quality of uncanniness when we try to make a narrative report of our memory of the dream.
Dreams are involuntary and creating narratives to explain reality are similarly involuntary. Narrative is the form of thought—without it we cannot “think” as we understanding “thinking.” Formal narratives created and then presented to others as something for their consumption has the outward quality of voluntary activities, but we must be forced to consider: are they? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs considers them an inessential activity, placing fiction and art at the tip top of his pyramid. Maslow is wrong, however, and the proof is in WWII. In the concentration camps, there was story telling and theater. Maslow doesn’t seem to realize that gyroscopic precession means that a pyramid can easily balance on it’s point instead of its base. The only precondition is that it remain continually in motion. But of course, we, and all of this, is in perpetual motion.
With all the competing explanations of dreams and their functions, we do know one thing for certain. When dreaming is suppressed, we go mad. We lose our mind. This is likely a distributive property operating across the domain of dreaming and the domain of poesis—without fiction, drama, music, dancing, art—just like dreams—we go mad.
Or rather—we are mad. Dreaming and art temporarily heal us.