March 2008


One of the greatest american film noir directors, Jules Dassin died today at age 97.

Jules Dassin was given birth on 18 December 1911 in Middletown, Connecticut United States. He was one of eight children of a Russian-Jewish immigrant.

He began his cinematographic course as Alfred Hitshcock’s assistant director. He was forced to leave America because of the interventions that he suffered in his work during the period of MaCarthism (blacklisted as a communist). In France he made Rififi, that was nominated for the golden palm (Palme d’Or ) award and won the award for the best director in Cannes Festival in 1955.

In Cannes he also got involved with Melina Merkouri (his great love), a Greek actor and finally connected with a relation of life. From 1974 and afterwards he was moved permanently in Greece (until death) and dealt again with the theatre.

After Melina’s death, he became chairman of Melina Merkouri institution, which was founded for the promotion and creation of the new museum of Citadel and the projection of Greek culture.

Filmography


Dear God,

Help all those fools that rule the world,

Not to mess with us anymore.

Help us, to keep our minds safe from the tv-cannibals, through the day.

Help us, to pay less taxes this year.

Help us, to “praise” the head of state.

…And finally dear God,

Help us not to become like our “parents”…

KAL 007 and Iran Air 655
Comparing the Coverage


A very interesting article about the famous KAL 007 and IRAN AIR 655 tragedies and why governmenental coverage is a scientific method.

BY NORMAN SOLOMON

The day after a Soviet interceptor plane blew up a Korean passenger jet, the first sentence of a New York Times editorial (9/2/83) was unequivocal: “There is no conceivable excuse for any nation shooting down a harmless airliner.” Headlined “Murder in the Air”, the editorial asserted that “no circumstance whatever justifies attacking an innocent plane.”

Confronted with the sudden reality of a similar action by the U.S. government, the New York Times inverted every standard invoked with righteous indignation five years earlier. Editorials condemning the KAL shoot down were filled with phrases like “wanton killing,” “reckless aerial murder” and “no conceivable excuse.” But when Iran Air’s flight 655 was blown out of the sky on July 3, excuses were more than conceivable – they were profuse.

Two days after the Iranian passenger jet went down in flames killing 290 people, the Times (7/5/88) editorialized that “while horrifying, it was nonetheless an accident.” The editorial concluded, “The onus for avoiding such accidents in the future rests on civilian aircraft: avoid combat zones, fly high, acknowledge warnings.”

A similar pattern pervaded electronic media coverage. In the aftermath of the KAL incident, America’s airwaves routinely carried journalistic denunciations. CBS anchor Dan Rather, for example, called it a “barbaric act.” No such adjectives were heard from America’s TV commentators when discussing the U.S. shoot down of a civilian jet.

As soon as the Iranian Airbus crashed into the Persian Gulf, the Reagan administration set out to discourage what should have been obvious comparisons between the Soviet Union’s tragic mistake and our tragic mistake. The New York Times and other media uncritically quoted the President’s July 4 resurrection of his administration’s timeworn deceit: “Remember the KAL, a group of Soviet fighter planes went up, identified the plane for what it was and then proceeded to shoot it down. There’s no comparison.”

Virtually ignored was a key finding of Seymour Hersh’s 1986 book The Target Is Destroyed — that the Reagan administration knew within days of the KAL shootdown that the Soviets had believed it to be a military aircraft on a spy mission. Soviet commanders had no idea that they were tracking a plane with civilians on board. The Times had acknowledged this long after the fact in an editorial, “The Lie That Wasn’t Shot Down” (1/18/88); yet when Reagan lied again, the failed again to shoot it down.

Instead, Times correspondent R.W. Apple, Jr. weighed in (7/5/88) with an analysis headlined, “Military Errors: The Snafu as History”. In his lead, Apple observed that “the destruction of an Iranian airliner…came as a sharp reminder of the pervasive role of error in military history.” The piece drew many parallels to the Iran jetliner’s tragic end – citing examples from the American Revolution, World War II and Vietnam – while ignoring the most obvious analogy. About the KAL 007 shootdown, Apple said not a word.

If anything, the recent tragedy was less defensible than the KAL disaster. The Iran Air jet went down in broad daylight, well within its approved commercial airline course over international waters, without ever having strayed into any unauthorized air space. In contrast, the Korean plane flew way off course, deep into Soviet territory above sensitive military installations, in the dead of night.

But, as with Washington’s policy-makers, the mass media was intent on debunking relevant comparisons rather than exploring them. The government’s public relations spin quickly became the mass media’s: A tragic mishap had occurred in the Persian Gulf, amid puzzling behavior of the passenger jet. Blaming the victim was standard fare, as reporters focused on the plight of U.S.S. Vincennes commander Capt. Will Rodgers III, whose picture appeared on tabloid covers (7/5/88) with bold headlines: “Captain’s Anguish” (Newsday) and “Captain’s Agony” (New York Post).

At the same time, U.S. journalists asserted that the Iranian government was eager to exploit its new propaganda advantage. Correspondent Tom Fenton informed viewers of the CBS Evening News (7/6/88) that Iran was intent on making sure the event would not slip from the world’s front pages; colleague Bert Quint followed up minutes later with a similar theme.

Sorely lacking from the outset was any semblance of soul-searching about the holier-than-Moscow Soviet-bashing that followed the KAL accident. The last thing that White House officials wanted was any such national self-examination. But we might have hoped for more independence from the U.S. media, which allowed their proclaimed precepts to spin 180 degrees in an instant, while discarding basic insights like the one expressed in a New York Times editorial six days after KAL 007 exploded (9/7/83): “To proclaim a ‘right’ to shoot down suspicious planes does not make it right to do so.”

First Commercial Hard Drive

THE FOREFATHER…

In September 1956 IBM launched the 305 RAMAC, the first computer with a hard disk drive (HDD).

The HDD weighed over a ton and stored 4,4MB of data!!!

LOOKS GREAT…

 

RESPECT!

Here are my current top 5 desert island albums, if you want it.

5. SPARKLEHORSE – it’s a wonderful life

Good morning, my child…

4. THE BLACK HEART PROCESSION & SOLBAKKEN – in the fishtank vol.11

A brilliant experiment…

3. BELLE & SEBASTIAN – fold your hands child, you walk like a peasant

Sitting alone with a cup of tea…

2. AEREOGRAMME – my heart has a wish that you would not go

My heart has a sunbeam…

1. RADIOHEAD – ok computer

Some things never change…

This picture, taken by South African photojournalist Kevin Carter in Sudan, shows a girl on her knees,

bent at the waist with her forehead resting on the dirt, till she continues her way to a feeding station.

A vulture nearby is waiting for her to die.

Nobody knows what happened to the child. It is said though, that Carter helped it somehow, by chasing the vulture away.

The famous picture, Carter was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography on May 23, 1994 at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library.

The picture shocked the world in 1993 and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 but it also had a negative impact in Carter’s psychism so that…

3 months later he committed suicide with carbon monoxide due to heavy depression.

His suicide note read, in part, “I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings & corpses & anger & pain

. . .of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners . . . ”

Kevin Carter (September 13, 1960 – July 27, 1994) was an award-winning South African photojournalist and member of the Bang-Bang Club.

As a tribute, the Welsh band Manic Street Preachers recorded a song about him on their 1996 album Everything Must Go.

“Hi Time magazine, hi Pulitzer Prize

Tribal scars in Technicolor

Bang bang club, AK 47 hour

Kevin Carter

Hi Time magazine, hi Pulitzer Prize

Vulture stalked white piped lie forever

Wasted your life in black and white

Kevin Carter

Kevin Carter

Kevin Carter…

The elephant is so ugly he sleeps his head

Machetes his bed Kevin Carter kaffir lover forever

Click click click click click

Click himself under

Kevin Carter

Kevin Carter

Kevin Carter”

Manic Street Preachers – Kevin Carter Everything Must Go ©1996

According to this great 1911 poem…

only the journey counts!


Ithaca Today

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,

pray that the road is long,

full of adventure, full of knowledge.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,

the angry Poseidon – do not fear them:

You will never find such as these on your path,

if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine

emotion touches your spirit and your body.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,

the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,

if you do not carry them within your soul,

if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.

That the summer mornings are many, when,

with such pleasure, with such joy

you will enter ports seen for the first time;

stop at Phoenician markets,

and purchase fine merchandise,

mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

and sensual perfumes of all kinds,

as many sensual perfumes as you can;

visit many Egyptian cities,

to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.

To arrive there is your ultimate goal.

But do not hurry the voyage at all.

It is better to let it last for many years;

and to anchor at the island when you are old,

rich with all you have gained on the way,

not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.

Without her you would have never set out on the road.

She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.

Wise as you have become, with so much experience,

you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Poetry by C. P. Cavafy

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