“Love is a habit; it is learned. It is also a question of entitlement. My sons, I now realize, are safe on both counts. Love is not mutable, as memory is; its essence is imperishable. I only came to see that through the transformative process of writing my past, writing out the absences, and the losses, and my brush with death. Having initially sought other people’s words to pass on to my own sons, and found them wanting, I deployed my own.”
“Babylon lies near the political centre of gravity of modern Iraq, close to its capital, Baghdad. It was the royal seat of the southern part of Iraq (also known as Mesopotamia or southern Mesopotamia), stretching southwards to the Persian Gulf. When referring to its ancient history and civilization, scholars often call this region Babylonia. Its natural environment is harsh. Large desert tracts of land occupied much of its flat arid plain, barely moistened by the region’s meager rainfall which frequently failed altogether. Drought was an ever-present threat to human survival, and natural resources, including metals and timber, were extremely scarce. Yet human determination and ingenuity, which found expression in the construction of a complex system of irrigation canals and the undertaking of wide-ranging trade and military expeditions, enabled the peoples of the region to survive and flourish. Already during the 3rd millennium, several major civilizations, like the Sumerian and Akkadian civilizations, had arisen in southern Mesopotamia. Babylon’s rise to prominence came in the early 2nd millennium, in the reign of Hammurabi, its first great ruler. Hammurabi built the first of three great Babylonian kingdoms, all of them major powers within the Near Eastern world. Though a highly successful war-leader, Hammurabi is best remembered as a great builder, social reformer, and guardian of justice. Many cities in his kingdom, and especially their religious sanctuaries, were restored and redeveloped under his rule, and many of his successors maintained his building and restoration programmes, and his responsibilities for ensuring justice throughout the land over which they held sway.”
“The Jewish community of Talmudic Babylonia was not the only one that knew intimately of contemporary Iranian power and considered the Purim story in that light. A well-preserved synagogue discovered in 1932 in the Western Syrian garrison town of Dura Europos reflects a parallel approach that is nevertheless quite different from that of Rava. The third-century C.E. synagogue contains no fewer than 14 colorful frescos depicting biblical scenes. One of the most prominently displayed panels is the Purim Triumph, which contains two scenes from the Book of Esther. On the left side, Mordecai is shown garbed in royal Persian raiment and led on a horse by Haman, who is dressed as a lowly, Iranian stable boy. This image is apparently a midrashic embellishment of Esther 6:11. In the middle of the panel, there is a group of four men dressed in Greco-Roman garb apparently making a hand gesture signifying approval. And on the right, a young messenger presents a missive to King Ahasuerus with Esther and some attendants close by. Given the triumphant context, the letter is probably a report of the number of attackers killed by the Jews, which was sent to the royal court (Esther 9:11). Apart from the easy identification of the relevant biblical verses, the broader meaning of the Purim panel is not given to easy interpretation. One of the greatest mysteries concerns the group of men in the center of the frame. What is their role and what might they represent? Hebrew University art historian Sholom Sabar suggests that the toga-clad men represent Roman authorities who gleefully approve of the debasement of the Iranian authority, Haman, in the scene on the left. When this is coupled with the report of Jewish pre-emptive assassination of would-be Persian assailants depicted on the right, a more coherent interpretation emerges: The Jews living in Roman Dura apparently saw in the Purim story a still-relevant degradation and defeat of the dangerous Persian threat directly across the border.”
“One could argue over whether it was morally acceptable or not for Lafarge to continue doing business in such an environment. On the one hand, the company fed money into the illegal economy and paid armed groups. On the other hand, ordinary Syrians needed cement for a variety of legitimate and even laudable purposes—how else to rebuild bombed hospitals?—and this was the only realistic way to continue producing it. Either way, it was likely impossible to continue working at Jalabiyya in a way that also conformed to the legal requirements under which a European company operates. Lafarge is now suffering the consequences of its attempt to skirt that fundamental contradiction. Similar dilemmas will apply to a great many other commercial actors in Syria, as well as to humanitarian organizations that need to reach across the front lines in order to reach vulnerable civilians. All of them are sure to be watching the outcome of the French investigations for clues on how to adjust their own relationships among Syria’s economic middlemen and armed actors. These issues are taking on an added importance given that outside actors are now deliberating ways to spend reconstruction money in Syria. An influx of foreign aid money into a still-divided country would further modify the economic relationships formed during the war, possibly reinforcing the role of those mostly regime-linked middlemen who hold the keys to particular types of cross-line trade.”
“The Norwegians were then able to sneak past sentries and find their way to the heavy water production room, relying on maps of the plant provided by Norwegian resistance workers. Upon entering the heavy water room, they quickly set their timed explosives and left. They escaped the scene during the chaotic aftermath of the explosion. No lives were lost, and not a single shot was fired by either side. Outside the plant, the men backtracked through the ravine and then split into small groups that independently skied eastward toward the safety of neutral Sweden. Eventually, each made his way back to their Norwegian unit stationed in Britain. The Germans were later able to rebuild their plant and resume making heavy water. Subsequent Allied bomber raids on the plant were not effective in stopping production due to the plant’s heavy walls. But the damage had already been done. The German atomic bomb effort had been slowed to the point that it would never be finished in time to influence the outcome of the war.”
I’m feeling really happy. It’s been such a joy working with Christine, Robby, Andrea, Elsa, and all the other wonderful people at Koenig 2 and the Christine Koenig Galerie. I’m really happy with the installation of UNDERWATER: an operatic disco and I had such a great time at the opening. Installation photos coming soon… In the meantime, here’s an image of Restaurant Beograd, where we ate after the opening and where the Viennese Actionists would often congregate.
I’m super excited that UNDERWATER is opening Thursday March 8 (6-9 pm) at Koenig 2 in Vienna. It’s a 7-channel video installation that’s also an operatic disco. You can hear me singing about pollution and global warming like a Jewish cantor on the Day Of Atonement in this preview video, and you can get a taste of the electronic music as well. Let’s DANCE at the opening! And, don’t forget to send in (to firstname.lastname@example.org ) your personal STORIES about marine life, global warming, seas rising, and hurricanes. Your stories will be included in the show. #underwater #operaticdisco #globalwarming #seasrising #marinelife #hurricanes #environmentalism #trancemusic #mysticism #joeltauber #koenig2 #robbygreif #christinekoeniggalerie
“Being Asian American sometimes feels like rooting for a perennially underrated and forgotten team that almost never gets a nationally televised game and is rarely discussed as a title contender. And when you finally make it to the championships, somebody mispronounces your name and your city and doesn’t bother to apologize.”
Frank Shyong, this is so good.
Trekking Route Lao Chai – Ta Van for tourists.
Family living room is a place where visitors live, read, watch TV, decorated with brocade, wooden bell in buffalo neck … The experience of cultural identity will lack the poetic and perfect if you do not enjoy the dishes bearing the character of the local people but are processed accordingly. The taste of the tourists in which the best to mention the dishes are processed from: R By self-cultivation, pigs and chickens are self-raised by the farmers … Especially in the air will be cold and enjoy the specialty corn wine of the ethnic minority.
Tack för i afton kära publik! Underbara Fräulein Frauke och John-Paul Bichard ni är grymma på att få ihop det! Vilka kollegor man har Chantal Lagaert, Pabllito Jason, Susanne Norrby, Larbi Benaissa, Sean Griffin, Anton Månhav, och sist men verkligen inte minst – @tim! Underbaraste
Af dagar! Nu har jag kastat mina kastanjetter!Olé! #nalen #