Thursday, September 28, 2006


so i'm talking to a friend about the two most important current affair issues, global warming and terrorism, right now there's a huge debate about which is the bigger threat, it's a strange competitive question, and it's a strange culture of question asking where the question never gets questioned. I mean, what sort of culture would even ask a question like, what's the biggest threat, what's going to do the most damage, what's going to destroy us first. it's not tv dude, its not hollywood or some plot from sc fi, we are curious about the dangers these present, and seek an answer so that we can do what exactly....?

the answer is obvious to me, terrorism has always existed, its the product of destructive and unimaginative memes, it's the last resort, it's the final statement in hopelessness and human defeat over brainwashed ideals and malevenent desires. the human destruction to the enviroment is terrorism as well, it's just not so localised, and we are all guilty, you me and mobil, unless you're living in the rainforest self sufficient and living in harmony with nature, but you wouldn't be reading this would ya, if that was he case. no the danger is imminent, it's islamic fascism.
the planet is not doing anything it has not done before, its not behaving erratically, it's evolving to its enviroment, adapting itself, we forget human beings have only been around in the blink of an eye, since the earth formed, our time is but a fleeting moment, what arrogance to think we are the first and last civilization that the earth has shrugged away as it changes. islamic fundamentalism does however threaten the earth becuase in order to create an islamic planet one has to use force and that will inevitably take the form of nuclear or germ warfare. an enemy that has no fear of death, an enemy that wants to die for its cause is a formidable enemy. a planet that wants to shift and change is not an enemy at all. people don't get it, they sit and talk about the two threats but they forget, the magic word in all of this is...wait for it. INTENTION.
The earths intention is to sustain life. The suicide bombers intention is to take it.

Back in the middle east, it's not Israels intention to kill the arabs, but its the arabs intention to kill israelis. And if you doubt me... Ask why the UN who promised israel they would remove weapons from Hezbollah have not. They had no intention of engaging with them and in 1 years time when they start shooting rockets, it's game on again and we know who is going to be blamed.
Oriana in Exile
By Christopher Orlet

On his deathbed, Pope Gregory VII (1020-1085) is reported to have said, "I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore I die in exile." Gregory's words might just as well be attributed to his fellow countryman Oriana Fallaci. Wanted for a speech crime in her native Italy, Europe's most celebrated journalist now passes her days in exile in an upper Manhattan townhouse. In May, Fallaci was indicted under a provision of the Italian penal code that criminalizes the "vilification of any religion admitted by the state." Specifically it is charged that her latest book The Force of Reason (due out in the U.S. in October) "defames Islam," which is a little like charging Paul Revere with disturbing the peace. (Tony Blair has promised to introduce similar legislation in Britain. Blasphemy laws, once a mainstay of the Dark Ages, are fast returning to the law books throughout the West.)

The plaintiff is an Italian Muslim activist with the infidel name of Adel Smith. Smith is believed to be the author of the pamphlet "Islam Punishes Oriana Fallaci," a screed that calls upon Muslims to "eliminate" the journalist and to "go and die with Fallaci." Smith was also behind a recent court decision banning crucifixes from public school classrooms (the crucifix, according to Smith, is a "miniature cadaver"). And he has called for the removal of Dante's Divine Comedy from high school syllabus, and the destruction of the medieval fresco, "The Last Judgment" by Giovanni da Modena, in Bologna Cathedral, both of which depict the prophet Mohammed in hell. After 9/11, the former Scot turned Italian Muslim put the demolition of the priceless artwork on the backburner while he turned to other assaults on Christianity. During a January 2003 television show, Smith repeatedly called Christianity a "criminal association" whose head, Pope John Paul II, was "a foreigner who leads the church and who is con man." (In an all-too-rare case of poetic justice, an Italian court last month sentenced Smith to six months in prison for defaming Catholicism.)

Yet, despite the U.S.'s relative tolerance for free expression, Fallaci has not been particularly welcomed here either. The journalist first earned the contempt of the Intellectual Left with her vocal opposition to abortion. Today many intellectuals, both left and right, regard her as an anti-Muslim racist. As with Salman Rushdie before her, the cultural elites seem a little embarrassed by Fallaci, and not a few believe that both Rushdie and Fallaci deserve their fate.

In a 2003 interview with the New York Observer, "La Fallaci," as she is known in Europe, flatly denied the racist charge: "Racist has to do with race and not with religion. Yes, I am against that religion, a religion that controls the life of people every minute of their day, that puts the burka on women, that treats women as camels, that preaches polygamy, that cuts the hands off poor thieves...[Islam] is not even a religion, in my opinion. It is a tyranny, a dictatorship -- the only religion on earth that has never committed a work of self-criticism....It becomes worse and worse...and now they want to come impose it on me, on us."

In Italia, where the The Force of Reason has sold more than a million copies, Fallaci is rather more popular. In Force she writes that the long-awaited fall of the West has commenced -- not due to communism, but to Islamic fascism. And she argues that Western-style democracy, with its long tradition of liberty, human rights, freedom of thought and religion, and Islamic fundamentalism cannot coexist. As proof, she cites attempts by France's Union of Italian Muslims to ban her first book, The Rage and the Pride, and her recent indictment at home.

Despite the indictment, the almost constant death threats and the recent murders of outspoken critics of radical Islam, La Fallaci remains undeterred in her criticism of Islamofascism. European Muslims, she says, not only refuse to assimilate, but seem determined to undermine Western society. "The increased presence of Muslims in Italy, and in Europe, is directly proportional to our loss of freedom," she writes. More dire are her predictions that an apathetic Europe will soon become part of a new Islamic Empire she calls Eurabia... "Europe becomes more and more a province of Islam, a colony of Islam. And Italy is an outpost of that province, a stronghold of that colony....In each of our cities lies a second city: a Muslim city, a city run by the Quran. A stage in the Islamic expansionism."

The daughter of a political activist who opposed Mussolini, Fallaci was for many years a respected war correspondent covering the Vietnam War and the Indo-Pakistani War. She survived being shot three times during a student uprising in Mexico City, and went on to write one of the classics of modern journalism, An Interview With History, which contains her trademark confrontational interviews with Kissinger, Deng Xiaoping, the Shah of Iran, Arafat, Ayatollah Khomeini, Muammar Qaddafi, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, and Federico Fellini. "I do not feel myself to be, nor will I ever succeed in feeling like, a cold recorder of what I see and hear," she writes in the preface to Interview. "On every professional experience I leave shreds of my heart and soul; and I participate in what I see or hear as though the matter concerned me personally and were one on which I ought to take a stand (in fact I always take one, based on a specific moral choice)."

At 75, the petite, blue-eyed former World War II resistance fighter who once smuggled explosives past Nazi checkpoints, remains as feisty as ever. Particularly when she receives one of her frequent death threats. She lets the caller have his say, she told the Observer, "Then I say, 'Do you know where it is your mother and your wife and your sister and your daughter are right in this moment? They are in a brothel in Beirut. And do you know what they're doing? They are giving away their' -- I don't tell it to you, but I tell it to them -- 'and you know to whom? To an American!"

Always the fighter, La Fallaci is today waging a losing battle against breast cancer, and doesn't expect to be around for her June 2006 trial, though she suspects she would be found guilty. In the meantime she still has much to say:

"The clash between us and them is not a military one," she warns. "It is a cultural one, a religious one, and the worst is still to come."

The West would do well to listen to the words of La Fallaci.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Abandon normal instruments

Accept advice

Accretion

A line has two sides

Allow an easement (an easement is the abandonment of a stricture)

Are there sections? Consider transitions

Ask people to work against their better judgement

Ask your body

Assemble some of the instruments in a group and treat the group

Balance the consistency principle with the inconsistency principle

Be dirty

Breathe more deeply

Bridges -build -burn

Cascades

Change instrument roles

Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency

Children's voices -speaking -singing

Cluster analysis

Consider different fading systems

Consult other sources -promising -unpromising

Convert a melodic element into a rhythmic element

Courage!

Cut a vital connection

Decorate, decorate

Define an area as `safe' and use it as an anchor

Destroy -nothing -the most important thing

Discard an axiom

Disconnect from desire

Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them

Distorting time

Do nothing for as long as possible

Don't be afraid of things because they're easy to do

Don't be frightened of cliches

Don't be frightened to display your talents

Don't break the silence

Don't stress one thing more than another

Do something boring

Do the washing up

Do the words need changing?

Do we need holes?

Emphasize differences

Emphasize repetitions

Emphasize the flaws

Faced with a choice, do both (given by Dieter Rot)

Feedback recordings into an acoustic situation

Fill every beat with something

Get your neck massaged

Ghost echoes

Give the game away

Give way to your worst impulse

Go slowly all the way round the outside

Honor thy error as a hidden intention

How would you have done it?

Humanize something free of error

Imagine the music as a moving chain or caterpillar

Imagine the music as a set of disconnected events

Infinitesimal gradations

Intentions -credibility of -nobility of -humility of

Into the impossible

Is it finished?

Is there something missing?

Is the tuning appropriate?

Just carry on

Left channel, right channel, centre channel

Listen in total darkness, or in a very large room, very quietly

Listen to the quiet voice

Look at a very small object, look at its centre

Look at the order in which you do things

Look closely at the most embarrassing details and amplify them

Lowest common denominator check -single beat -single note -single riff

Make a blank valuable by putting it in an exquisite frame

Make an exhaustive list of everything you might do and do the last thing on the list

Make a sudden, destructive unpredictable action; incorporate

Mechanicalize something idiosyncratic

Mute and continue

Only one element of each kind

(Organic) machinery

Overtly resist change

Put in earplugs

Remember .those quiet evenings

Remove ambiguities and convert to specifics

Remove specifics and convert to ambiguities

Repetition is a form of change

Reverse

Short circuit (example; a man eating peas with the idea that they will improve his virility shovels them straight into his lap)

Shut the door and listen from outside

Simple subtraction

Spectrum analysis

Take a break

Take away the elements in order of apparent non-importance

Tape your mouth (given by Ritva Saarikko)

The inconsistency principle

The tape is now the music

Think of the radio

Tidy up

Trust in the you of now

Turn it upside down

Twist the spine

Use an old idea

Use an unacceptable color

Use fewer notes

Use filters

Use `unqualified' people

Water

What are you really thinking about just now? Incorporate

What is the reality of the situation?

What mistakes did you make last time?

What would your closest friend do?

What wouldn't you do?

Work at a different speed

You are an engineer

You can only make one dot at a time

You don't have to be ashamed of using your own ideas



Abandon normal instruments

Accept advice

Accretion

A line has two sides

Allow an easement (an easement is the abandonment of a stricture)

Always first steps

Always give yourself credit for having more than personality (given by Arto Lindsay)

Are there sections? Consider transitions

Ask people to work against their better judgement

Ask your body

Assemble some of the instruments in a group and treat the group

A very small object -Its centre

Balance the consistency principle with the inconsistency principle

Be dirty

Be extravagant

Breathe more deeply

Bridges -build -burn

Cascades

Change instrument roles

Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency

Children's voices -speaking -singing

Cluster analysis

Consider different fading systems

Consult other sources -promising -unpromising

Convert a melodic element into a rhythmic element

Courage!

Cut a vital connection

Decorate, decorate

Define an area as `safe' and use it as an anchor

Destroy -nothing -the most important thing

Discard an axiom

Disciplined self-indulgence

Disconnect from desire

Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them

Distorting time

Do nothing for as long as possible

Don't be afraid of things because they're easy to do

Don't be frightened of cliches

Don't be frightened to display your talents

Don't break the silence

Don't stress *on* thing more than another (sic)

Do something boring

Do the washing up

Do the words need changing?

Do we need holes?

Emphasize differences

Emphasize repetitions

Emphasize the flaws

Faced with a choice, do both (given by Dieter Rot)

Feed the recording back out of the medium

Fill every beat with something

Get your neck massaged

Ghost echoes

Give the game away

Give way to your worst impulse

Go outside. Shut the door.

Go slowly all the way round the outside

Honor thy error as a hidden intention

How would you have done it?

Humanize something free of error

Idiot glee (?)

Imagine the piece as a set of disconnected events

Infinitesimal gradations

Intentions -credibility of -nobility of -humility of

In total darkness, or in a very large room, very quietly

Into the impossible

Is it finished?

Is the tuning intonation correct?

Is there something missing?

It is quite possible (after all)

Just carry on

Left channel, right channel, centre channel

Listen to the quiet voice

Look at the order in which you do things

Look closely at the most embarrassing details and amplify them

Lost in useless territory

Lowest common denominator

Make a blank valuable by putting it in an exquisite frame

Make an exhaustive list of everything you might do and do the last thing on the list

Make a sudden, destructive unpredictable action; incorporate

Mechanicalize something idiosyncratic

Mute and continue

Not building a wall but making a brick

Only one element of each kind

(Organic) machinery

Overtly resist change

Put in earplugs

Question the heroic approach

Remember .those quiet evenings

Remove ambiguities and convert to specifics

Remove specifics and convert to ambiguities

Repetition is a form of change

Revaluation (a warm feeling)

Reverse

Short circuit (example; a man eating peas with the idea that they will improve his virility shovels them straight into his lap)

Simple subtraction

Simply a matter of work

Spectrum analysis

State the problem in words as simply as possible

Take a break

Take away the elements in order of apparent non-importance

Tape your mouth (given by Ritva Saarikko)

The inconsistency principle

The most important thing is the thing most easily forgotten

The tape is now the music

Think of the radio

Tidy up

Towards the insignificant

Trust in the you of now

Turn it upside down

Twist the spine

Use an old idea

Use an unacceptable color

Use fewer notes

Use filters

Use `unqualified' people

Water

What are the sections sections of? Imagine a caterpillar moving

What are you really thinking about just now?

What is the reality of the situation?

What mistakes did you make last time?

What would your closest friend do?

What wouldn't you do?

What would your closest friend do?

Work at a different speed

You are an engineer

You can only make one dot at a time

You don't have to be ashamed of using your own ideas


Abandon normal instruments

Accept advice

Accretion

A line has two sides

Allow an easement (an easement is the abandonment of a stricture)

Always first steps

Are there sections? Consider transitions

Ask people to work against their better judgement

Ask your body

Assemble some of the elements in a group and treat the group

Balance the consistency principle with the inconsistency principle

Be dirty

Be extravagant

Be less critical more often

Breathe more deeply

Bridges -build -burn

Cascades

Change instrument roles

Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency

Children -speaking -singing

Cluster analysis

Consider different fading systems

Consult other sources -promising -unpromising

Courage!

Cut a vital connection

Decorate, decorate

Define an area as `safe' and use it as an anchor

Destroy -nothing -the most important thing

Discard an axiom

Disciplined self-indulgence

Disconnect from desire

Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them

Distorting time

Do nothing for as long as possible

Don't be afraid of things because they're easy to do

Don't be frightened of cliches

Don't be frightened to display your talents

Don't break the silence

Don't stress one thing more than another

Do something boring

Do the words need changing?

Do we need holes?

Emphasize differences

Emphasize repetitions

Emphasize the flaws

Fill every beat with something

From nothing to more than nothing

Ghost echoes

Give the game away

Give way to your worst impulse

Go outside. Shut the door.

Go slowly all the way round the outside

Go to an extreme, move back to a more comfortable place

Honor thy error as a hidden intention

How would you have done it?

Humanize something free of error

Idiot glee (?)

Imagine the piece as a set of disconnected events

Infinitesimal gradations

Intentions -nobility of -humility of -credibility of

In total darkness, or in a very large room, very quietly

Into the impossible

Is it finished?

Is the intonation correct?

Is there something missing?

It is quite possible (after all)

Just carry on

Listen to the quiet voice

Look at the order in which you do things

Look closely at the most embarrassing details and amplify them

Lost in useless territory

Lowest common denominator

Make a blank valuable by putting it in an exquisite frame

Make an exhaustive list of everything you might do and do the last thing on the list

Make a sudden, destructive unpredictable action; incorporate

Mechanicalize something idiosyncratic

Mute and continue

Not building a wall but making a brick

Once the search is in progress, something will be found

Only a part, not the whole

Only one element of each kind

(Organic) machinery

Overtly resist change

Question the heroic approach

Remember .those quiet evenings

Remove ambiguities and convert to specifics

Remove specifics and convert to ambiguities

Repetition is a form of change

Retrace your steps

Revaluation (a warm feeling)

Reverse

Short circuit (example; a man eating peas with the idea that they will improve his virility shovels them straight into his lap)

Simple subtraction

Simply a matter of work

State the problem in words as clearly as possible

Take a break

Take away the elements in order of apparent non-importance

The inconsistency principle

The most important thing is the thing most easily forgotten

The tape is now the music

Think of the radio

Tidy up

Towards the insignificant

Trust in the you of now

Turn it upside down

Use an old idea

Use an unacceptable color

Use fewer notes

Use filters

Use `unqualified' people

Water

What are the sections sections of? Imagine a caterpillar moving

What are you really thinking about just now?

What is the reality of the situation?

What mistakes did you make last time?

What wouldn't you do?

What would your closest friend do?

Work at a different speed

Would anybody want it?

You are an engineer

You can only make one dot at a time

You don't have to be ashamed of using your own ideas



Abandon desire

Abandon normal instructions

Accept advice

Adding on

A line has two sides

Always the first steps

Ask people to work against their better judgement

Ask your body

Be dirty

Be extravagant

Be less critical

Breathe more deeply

Bridges -build -burn

Change ambiguities to specifics

Change nothing and continue consistently

Change specifics to ambiguities

Consider transitions

Courage!

Cut a vital connection

Decorate, decorate

Destroy nothing; Destroy the most important thing

Discard an axiom

Disciplined self-indulgence

Discover your formulas and abandon them

Display your talent

Distort time

Do nothing for as long as possible

Don't avoid what is easy

Don't break the silence

Don't stress one thing more than another

Do something boring

Do something sudden, destructive and unpredictable

Do the last thing first

Do the words need changing?

Emphasize differences

Emphasize the flaws

Faced with a choice, do both (from Dieter Rot)

Find a safe part and use it as an anchor

Give the game away

Give way to your worst impulse

Go outside. Shut the door.

Go outside. Shut the door.

Go to an extreme, come part way back

How would someone else do it?

How would you have done it?

In total darkness, or in a very large room, very quietly

Is it finished?

Is something missing?

Is the style right?

It is simply a matter or work

Just carry on

Listen to the quiet voice

Look at the order in which you do things

Magnify the most difficult details

Make it more sensual

Make what's perfect more human

Move towards the unimportant

Not building a wall; making a brick

Once the search has begun, something will be found

Only a part, not the whole

Only one element of each kind

Openly resist change

Pae White's non-blank graphic metacard

Question the heroic

Remember quiet evenings

Remove a restriction

Repetition is a form of change

Retrace your steps

Reverse

Simple Subtraction

Slow preparation, fast execution

State the problem as clearly as possible

Take a break

Take away the important parts

The inconsistency principle

The most easily forgotten thing is the most important

Think - inside the work -outside the work

Tidy up

Try faking it (from Stewart Brand)

Turn it upside down

Use an old idea

Use cliches

Use filters

Use something nearby as a model

Use `unqualified' people

Use your own ideas

Voice your suspicions

Water

What context would look right?

What is the simplest solution?

What mistakes did you make last time?

What to increase? What to reduce? What to maintain?

What were you really thinking about just now?

What wouldn't you do?

What would your closest friend do?

When is it for?

Where is the edge?

Which parts can be grouped?

Work at a different speed

Would anyone want it?

Your mistake was a hidden intention

Steal a solution.

Describe the landscape in which this belongs.


What else is this like?

List the qualities it has. List those you'd like.

Instead of changing the thing, change the world around it.

What would make this really successful?

Who would make this really successful?


How would you explain this to your parents?

Try faking it.

What were the branch points in the evolution of this entity

Back up a few steps. What else could you have done?
When is it for? Who is it for?

What do you do? Now, what do you do best?

First work alone, then work in unusual pairs.

What most recently impressed you? How is it similar? What can you learn from it? What could you take from it?

Take away as much mystery as possible. What is left?

Use an unacceptable color.

Remove ambiguities and convert to specifics.

Fill every beat with something.

Don't stress one thing more than another.

Ask people to work against their better judgment.

Call your mother and ask her what to do.

Humanize something that is free of error.

Breathe more deeply

Do nothing for as long as possible

Use "unqualified" people.

Make a blank valuable by putting it in an excquisite frame

Faced with a choice, do both

Use fewer notes

Get your neck massaged

Remove specifics; convert to ambiguities

Remove the middle, extend the edges

(Picture of man spotlighted)

Imagine the music as a series of disconnected events

Take away the elements in order of apparent non-importance

Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them

Disconnect from desire

Mechanize something idiosyncratic

Do something boring

Accept advice

Pay attention to distractions

Look closely at the most embarrassing details and amplify.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

i'm wandering around the conspirisy market, i sometimes stop in for organic goods but never stay to long else i get angry at all the freaky left wing lunatics and their lizard theories, the gwb is satan mantra is about as dumb a statement as i can take at 10am. Anyways its very windy, stalls re being knocked over, tables flying, tents sailing on a breeze, people rushing around wondering what happened to gravity, me i'm just a tourist watching, i get me nuts, me pears, me weird fibres and soaps and stuff my body needs to function and this guy comes over and tells me to watch a dvd he's going to give me, its called 'In Plane Sight.'
anyway maybe i'll watch it later. He tells me that the americans are evil and that al gore is one of them, the inconvienent truth is just a dupe, a distraction to panic people and get them to spent up big time. I get nervous and walk away, he's following me, telling me to watch the dvd.
i get home and sleep for a few hours, then it's babylon to read the papers and have a pot of tea and in the heat everyone starts to melt, people walking around half nakid, curves every where, this is the world i live in, mmm, global warming bring it on.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

being out of the space time loop can have its disadvantages. for some reason i thought today was the 30th, when in actual fact its only the 23rd, i was all prepared for the church gig tonight at revsby, its their first electric show for a few years and i get so enthusiastic i go a bit nuts. anyway when a friend told me it was the 23rd i was totally shocked. i've arranged my whole life around tonight, mmm, oh well i head for the beach, surfs messy but i give it a go, mmm, it's fun but no real wave action. back at mission control i read for a while, the first part of a series of books called quantum gravity, nice start and interesting backdrop - in 2012 an explosion in a particle accelerator causes our world to intersect with various others, the result being magick is now effective within our world. however there are side effects, earth is no longer earth it is known as Otopia anything Earth existed before the explosion. the other realms are elf, demonic, fairy and various others. Due to the intersection between these realms people can travel and interact within them, embassies are set up, diplomatic relationships form and culture adapts. the main charachter is a half robot half woman sexy chick secret agent who has been assigned to protect an elf rock star who has been recieving death threats. there's plenty of sex drugs and various forms of magick within an intresting plot but there are elements of soap opera like narritives that boe me slightly, however i am half way through and intent to finish it asap.

Friday, September 22, 2006

surfing at Babylon, we are out there where the horizon meets, it's perfection, sunny daze, water temp moderate, empty beach, handful of surfers, no clouds, nice breeze and suddenly there comes a set of waves that we all live for, a perfect form, i swim towards it, focused, my body knows what to do, i turn and start bracing myself for the ride. yeah i am propelled faster than light, so fast my eyes close, i am part of everything a crystal voyager, a particle accelerator, swirling along in the mass of a wave, i am nothing, i am everyting, in pure state of being, for i have fallen out of space, i am no longer trapped by time.

i spent a lot of $ today, i had little choice and a lot of need but it's worth sufferring for. i'm somewhat ashamed that i was impulsive and my priorities seem out of whack but sometimes you gotta spend somthing on yourself, i always seem to be channelling $ on survival things and a handful of luxuries, like books and cds. Its been a long time since i splurged indiscriminatly. anyway its done now, gult is a wasted program.

I am currently working night duties. its a hell of a thing, it pulls you apart, circadian rythems all out of whack, but then i find myself with more time, time to surf, time to read, time to create, time to waste....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Here I am sitting in mission control, attempting to bid on ebay, it's a gas i got two hours to check and see if i won, i can't really afford to go higher and i'm hoping no competition is out there lurking in the shadows. ebay could be so addictive if ya are that way inclined, i tend to avoid looking at that site unless it's really important stuff i'm after.

Monday, September 18, 2006

wow it seems like ages since i checked in with you, i don't know where to begin, so much has occurred, i have a new macbook pro, spent some time cracking logic pro 7 which i did sucessfully despite the odds, now i'm installing other software. other big events are death threats to the pope, apparently the old nazi upset some arabs by reading from an old book where the auther said muslims were violebt and aggressive, to which the arab population seemed to want to asassinate him. intresting times, he apologised and i am sure with do what ever it takes to restore order being a good catholic.
other events johnny howard wants potential migrents to australia to undergo some sort of australian values test, its to screen for islamic terrorists by asking them about cricket and beer i guess. unfortunatly i am not a citizen, just a permanant resident and i know nothing about beer or sport.
other big news is the suns back, its been beautiful, the surfs good and warm enough for no wet suit, everyone smiling, happiness swoops down upon the city. i took a drive over to bondi, took 19 mins from work, thats amazing, i wandered along watching the people, it's a scene man.

my dreams are taking a mysteriously romantic shape, i am in a city, it's western, could be sydney, europe or america but i am feeling that its sydney, it's the same landscape each night, although in my dreams its daytime, maybe early morning rush hour as i walk passed a beautiful girl i feel a strong pull towards her. the dream reoccurs each night altough i pass her in different circumstances, sometimes i fly passed, sometimes i ride a horse, every night she gets closer, waving, smiling and looking perfect. i can feel the connection between us, i always wake smiling and happy. positive.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

One of my fave journalists was being interveiwed last night, here's the transcript...

Tony Jones speaks with the prolific writer and outspoken commentator Christopher Hitchens about the New York attacks and their implications.
Transcript
TONY JONES: Well just a year after September 11, the prolific writer and outspoken commentator Christopher Hitchens joined me on the roof of a building overlooking Ground Zero to talk about the New York attacks and their implications. Now, five years after the event that changed the world, we invited him to join us again - this time from our Washington studio. Christopher Hitchens thanks for being there.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Thanks for having me back.

TONY JONES: It seems that the United States, and much of the Western world, is still learning the lessons of 9/11. After reflecting on this for five years now, what did we get right and what did we get wrong?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Mmm. Well I think we found out that we were at war, which was better than being at war and not knowing it, which was the case until five years and about five minutes ago. Until five years and five minutes ago, for example, we didn't know the name AQ Khan. We didn't know that Pakistan was being Talibanised from within, that there were al-Qaeda sympathisers in its nuclear program - and we weren't doing anything about that either. We didn't know, incidentally, that international black market of rogue states: North Korea, Libya and Iran, linked by AQ Khan and exchanging nuclear and other technologies, formed the corners of the box in which we thought had Saddam Hussein. When people talk about the box he was in, that box included AQ Khan and the North Koreans and the nuclear black market. So that goes also partly to the point that keeps coming up of whether or not we are safer. I always think that's a contemptible question. Not just because it can't be answered, but because it seems to demand that our governments exist to give us a sense of security, rather than a sense of our duties in the case of a war.

TONY JONES: Christopher Hitchens, I'm going to pause to let you get your earpiece in.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: It's never going to stay in. I'm sorry. It's not my fault. I can hear you. Your viewers will just have to watch with fascination as it pops in and out.

TONY JONES: That's alright, as long as you can hear me. Is it clear now, do you think, that history will primarily judge President Bush's reaction to September 11 by his decision to go to war with Iraq and the linkage he made between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: It’s not the linkage that he made it's the linkage that Saddam Hussein made. The Iraqi regime was the only one in the region to applaud the attacks and it was the only one when every other country, including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, were expelling al-Qaeda sympathisers, to start welcoming them onto its soil, particularly in the shape of the notorious Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. I think that I heard someone say this, actually it was the President, I'm sorry, on your show just a moment ago: the removal of the Taliban was in reprisal for the last attack. The removal of Saddam Hussein was for the next attack so that it wouldn't come. And yes, I'm certain the President will be remembered principally for ridding the Middle East - along with Australian and British support - of the worst dictator the region has ever known and the most dangerous one.

TONY JONES: At least one key witness to the events, within the White House, immediately after the 9/11 attacks, the former counter-terrorism chief, Richard Clarke, says that advisers in the White House were bent on attacking Iraq in retaliation, whether or not Saddam Hussein had anything to do with al-Qaeda?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Well, there is a pre-existing quarrel with Saddam Hussein as you know on other matters, including his support for international terrorism. If you remember, the man who was responsible for the hijack of the Achille Lauro the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, the so-called Abu Abbas, the late, when he was captured, had to be released by the Italian police because he was travelling on a diplomatic passport. Do you want to know which country issued him with a diplomatic passport? This wouldn't be the only time that Iraq had given official State support to activity like that. It was unsleepingly pursuing nuclear materials in places like Niger as we can now, I think, adequately demonstrate. It was a permanent threat to its neighbours and a latent threat to all of us. The Senate had passed 98 votes to nil, the Iraq liberation act at the urging of President Clinton and vice-president Gore in 1998. So there was a pre-existing commitment to the removal of Saddam Hussein, which meshed, in my opinion, much better than most people believe with the provocation of September 11. After all, the last time the World Trade Centre was attacked, the man who mixed the chemicals for it, Mr Yassin, went straight from New Jersey, after he'd been interrogated and released, to Baghdad, where he still is, and lived in the intervening time under Saddam Hussein's protection. It's really all a question of whether you would, or would not, give the Saddam Hussein regime the benefit of any doubt, or the presumption of any innocence. If I phrase it like that, I think you might find it difficult to say yes you would.

TONY JONES: Isn't it more important, though, to create or to make a link between September 11 and Saddam Hussein, if you are going to invade the country virtually as a direct result of that?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Yes, well I mean, I think the links were pretty adequately demonstrated.

TONY JONES: Not according to Richard Clarke, for example, who makes the claim that the President himself, only 24 hours after the attacks, came to him urging him to find the evidence that Iraq was involved with the September 11 attacks and he couldn't find that evidence?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: I've read that too. I wouldn't myself have tasked Mr Clarke with that, nor would I have trusted the CIA to get that right, even a tiny thing like that, because they've always got everything else wrong. The CIA continues to say there can't have been a connection, because if one was ever proved - and there's a great deal of evidence for it - they would look stupid. Because they always said, not just that it wasn't there. Do observe this distinction. They said it couldn't be there. They said, by definition, Saddam Hussein could not help Islamic terrorists because his regime was supposedly secular. Now that to anyone who knows anything about Iraq is sheer fatuity. There is an overarching analysis as well that, to some extent, puts these matters of linkage in perspective. When one examined the situation, and realised that al-Qaeda and its co-thinkers have been incubated by what was, in effect, a political slum in the Middle East, which we've been letting rot and decay for far too long and, therefore, it would be a good thing to begin some slum clearance in the region. This meant turning the Pakistani Government from a sympathiser of the Taliban to at least, neutrality. It meant taking away their Afghan colony from them. That's what they've been treating Afghanistan as being. It meant warning the Saudi Arabians we knew what they were doing; it meant undercutting their oil monopoly, by trying to liberate the oil fields of Iraq. And it meant removing the most outstanding supporter of terrorism and jihadism in the region, who was a man with whom we in any case had a political rendezvous. A man who should have been removed from power in 1991. So if you could get over your obsession with this idea that there were invented linkages, you would see there is a broader intersection of argument that favours regime change in the Middle East.

TONY JONES: I understand Christopher Hitchens...

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Excuse me, they would have made maintenance of the status quo much more dangerous.

TONY JONES: I understand what you're saying but the claim of Richard Clarke and others.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Which you really obviously won't let go of, will you? Richard Clarke knows...

TONY JONES: I want to follow down the path of the logic that he sets out and the final piece of logic that he sets out is that the war in Iraq was a diversion from what the real war on terrorism should have been, which was to hunt down Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and deal with him. Now that argument still resonates today in American politics, doesn't it?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Certainly does. It most certainly does. It remains the most outstanding failure. We've caught or killed or neutralised a number of bin Laden's lieutenants and we've killed a man who, in my judgment, much more dangerous than him. Mr al-Zarqawi, one of his clones, and, it could be argued, one of his rivals. But the survival of Osama bin Laden even as a figure, even if he's only now somewhat symbolic, is, of course, fantastically important. Mr Clarke was...

TONY JONES: Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you, go ahead.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Mr Clarke, I should add, since this is apparently the 'Richard Clarke Show' was the leading ornament of the Clinton Administration that utterly failed to confront bin Laden at all. Mr Clarke was also the man who said when his government, his president, ordered the bombing of Sudan without even calling for an inspection of the relevant sites, or consulting the UN in the least, probably hitting the wrong factory, chemical factory, but the pretext for that, if you remember, is that Osama bin Laden owned that factory and that it was mixing chemical weaponry for Saddam Hussein. So Mr Clarke made the Saddam-bin Laden connection before anybody else did. I'm afraid to say, since you keep asking my opinion of him, I think what he says now is the result of partisanship. He would not be making these criticisms if he was on the inside and I think it's shabby that people will put their party first on these occasions. But Mr Clarke is the source of a lot of useful information. And if what he says, or alleges, is true about the Saddam-al-Qaeda connection then it would be impeachably delinquent of any government attacked on American soil with such massive force, not to ask is there a Saddam Hussein role in this? Because the likelihood that there could be would have to be very high? To say let's not think about Saddam, which is the only alternative, would be absolutely pathetic.

TONY JONES: Alright, let's go beyond Richard Clarke and...

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Are you sure you want to do this?

TONY JONES: Yes, of course. And we'll go to the...

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: It's like letting go of your blanket.

TONY JONES: The Senate committee report, which was released yesterday - in part, two chapters of a five-charter report - it concluded there were no links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. Politically, the interesting thing about the release of this report was that two Republican senators voted to release it. It's incredibly embarrassing, if true, incredibly embarrassing to the President. So what is going on there?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Well, I don't think that's going to prove to be true. I've already read at least one very trenchant critique of this report. I think the Senate committee will deeply regret having issued such a half-baked and unfinished piece of work. It would be very difficult for me to do this on the air now with your audience, unless you gave me a great deal of time, but I can point out - I will be able to tell you now - that when you read the critiques of it, you'll find that the report spells people's names wrong, doesn't realise it's using the same name twice of a very important individual. Takes the word of the CIA on a very important subject where the agency just happens to have got it all wrong. You won't be quoting this report with quite the same - what shall I say - assurance in a couple of days. It's really disgraceful. I have to say it's really disgraceful that...

TONY JONES: The one direct quote the 'Washington Post' used from the report, straight from the CIA, says, "The Iraqi regime did not have a relationship, harbour or turn a blind eye towards Zarqawi and his associates."

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: That's flat out false.

TONY JONES: The CIA got this wrong as well as your other intelligence, you're saying?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: The CIA has never got anything right. Actually, I think I know it's a trillion-dollar intelligence budget. Unconstitutionally, the CIA, which I agree with Senator Moynahan, should have been closed and abolished some years before now, doesn't have to reveal how much money it spends. But let's say it's a trillion dollars. The only American who was able to infiltrate the Taliban in that entire period was John Walker Lynde, an al-Qaeda fancier from Marin County, California, and a drifter. The CIA has recently fired two or three dozen of its very few translators into a Arabic and Persian because they're homosexual. It is famously incompetent, corrupt and viral and it has never got anything right by either Iraq, Afghanistan or al-Qaeda. George Tenet on - this time, exactly this time five years ago, was watching the smoke with Senator David Barron, formerly of Oklahoma, and is quoted directly by Robert Woodward as having said, "Gee, I hope it's nothing to do with those guys in the flight schools in the mid-west," who the CIA knew about that and did nothing about. It's remarkable that the leaders of the CIA have not been impeached and put on trial for criminal and culpable negligence and this contribution to this fantastically mediocre Senate report is only the latest of their many failures. That's what I think about the CIA.

TONY JONES: At the same time that people are asking - you are asking - questions about the CIA's culpability in all of this, a high-rating ABC network drama called 'The Path to 9/11' is essentially claiming that the New York attacks are almost the inevitable consequence of President Clinton's weakness and that of his administration in not assassinating Osama bin Laden when they'd the chance. What do you make of that politicking?

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Well, I actually did get to see an advance copy of that series. And I must say - if it's ever shown unedited - it's remarkably good as a drama/documentary. But it has all those limitations. And of course it's true that the Clinton administration decided it was a law-and-order problem; that the only way to attack bin Laden and his people was to try to get an actual indictment against them in a New York court, which now seems a bit quaint. And it's true that on the one occasion when they went for him physically, they depended on firing cruise missiles only and not sending in a team to try and grab him in his, identifiable then, hide-out in Afghanistan and it's also a regrettable fact that the secretary of state decided, knowing cruise missiles were going to hit Pakistan, to tell the Pakistani - excuse me, to hit Afghanistan, but would be crossing Pakistan - to warn the Pakistani Government, who then warned bin Laden. So it is a pretty keystone-cops interlude and, of course, the Democrats and Liberals earned a terrific snip about the revelation of it and the slight fictionalisation about the role of their national security adviser Sandy Berger.

TONY JONES: Christopher Hitchens, it's a pity that, as four years ago, when we had many hours to talk to you, we only have a short amount of time this time. We are going to have to leave you there. We thank you very much for taking the time to join us tonight.
From the SMH

A provocative Arabic art exhibition organised in response to the conflict in Lebanon last month, includes a painting of Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, with a skewer through his head.

The work, titled Ehud Olmert Kebab, which has four images of the Israeli leader's head skewered with capsicum, has outraged Sydney's Jewish community, which says it has "overstepped the mark of decency".

But its creator, the young Lebanon-born, South Korea-based artist Habib Zeitouneh, retorts: "Paintings do not leave families destitute, fathers without wives or children, children without fathers or mothers. I have a right to express my anger over the deaths of over 1000 Lebanese, as do the Israelis mourning the deaths of their own. I'm using satire, not bombs."

The confronting exhibition is called t'fouh, an Arabic expression that translates as "spit on you". It was suggested by Stephen Mori - owner of the Mori Gallery in Day Street in the Sydney CBD where the works are on display - halfway through the conflict because he "couldn't condone people being killed for war".

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies' chief executive, Vic Alhadeff, condemns the painting of Olmert, describing it as "beyond the realm of acceptable political comment".

"Political and artistic expression are an integral part of public debate, but in our society freedom of expression only goes so far. Artists, too, have responsibilities," Alhadeff says.

The exhibition, which opened last Wednesday, also includes the controversial body bags work that was installed at Martin Place three weeks ago, and a mixed sculpture-painting with dismembered limbs that calls for the boycott of brand names such as Calvin Klein and Estee Lauder because they "supported Israel".

An interactive work titled Return to Sender invites the audience to write on leaflets similar to those dropped by Israeli aircraft prior to bombing raids, with the messages to be sent to Israel. One of the messages in the return box states: "I once heard a rabbi say that nothing is more sacred in Judaism than human life. Can you see why this seems pretty hollow? F--- you."

Mori asked an Arabic curator, Alissar Chidiac, to put together the exhibition after seeing one of her shows in Auburn as part of a cultural development project. Chidiac managed to involve

45 artists of Arabic background. She said all of the works were a reflection of "what we all felt in the last six weeks, watching what happened to our homeland and families".

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I'm all for freedom of expression and i certainly have no problem with the so call artists of this work displaying their work. What i find amazing is that an art gallery would support it as relevent art. In a war there are two sides, why adopt one and not the other?

Why not have a jewish response in art to terrorism, suicide bombers, aisan, europian and arab hostility and the fact for 60 years israel has had to defend itself against the rest of the planet. Err the answer to that is becuase there are fucking millions of arabs and a hand ful of jews. Like everything, its a numbers game.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

its raining, it's cold, this is not what's supposed to happen, it's crazy, the weather is outta control, al gores here flogging his new film, i don't wanna go see it, i'm over the climate change, okay, yeah the climate's changed, we fucked it up, things are going to get worse, cities are going to drown, skies are going to darken, ice caps melt, it's all going to happen cos we have idiots running our countries, and we have idiots living in them, i just want to get on with playing my guitar and writing my blog, it really don't intrest me, it's always changing, the whole planet has been here for millions of years, we just come along and suddeny expect it to keep constant, it's a joke. we are so arrogent as a species.
Oh well i guess we gotta survive, my genes have already been passed on, so i guess you (Jake) have to survive. Actually it's weird we all are programed to survive yet we can't even do that right. If we were 100% true to the survival response we would manage our planet better.
It's not a good time to have children, but then the world needs a saviour, who says it's going to be one, it's to late for the indigo children, maybe the purple kids can swing things around.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I have been thinking about an idea for a short story or film.
Basically its set in the future say 2008, not so far away. Israel is still in a precarious position, surrounded by enemies, Iran and Iraq are occupied by the US army and the UN after a terrible war. Terrorists thrive and attacks are not uncommon in the area, there is a lot of support for the arabs and not much for israel, little has changed in that dept. the only reason the tiny country still remains is it has a force field around it. the force field is inpenatrable and anything entering has to have authority as it passes certain hidden pockets/ doorways.
terrorists, arab states and europe and south america and asia are all putting pressure on israel, demanding that it deactivate the field and share the technology, jewish people outside israel are few and far between, they are subject to persecution and attack. most countries in europe are muslim, england, france and germany all under sharia law.
the usa in a bid to dig itself from the mess it is in capitulates and joins the rest of the world in condemming israel and eventually diplomacy fails and war is declared. the armies of the world threaten a rain of nuclear bombs on the state of isreal.
meanwhile in tel aviv a team of scientists and mystics have made an army of andriods/clones/ from organic material they call them it, project golem.
These golem are indistingusable from humans except they are mute, they are intelligent and follow instructions but cannot speak. The golem also is composed of billions of nano golems, each can preform the task of its parent. So if a golem is attacked by a tank it can break itself into tiny sub atomic particles and attack the source of the threat. Global armies are met on the battlefield by masses of golem, the golem are indestructable, only their creators can take life from them. Tanks, missiles, submarines and computers all fall apart, eventually the global armies are neutralized. The second wave of the nano golem is the 'antidote' a meme type thoughtwave that is transmitted once the meme carrying nano golem is in the brain of the population. The meme is of acceptence, it neutralizes the need to differentiate the us from them, it's beautiful. Eventually as the meme spreads the force field is lowered and peace reigns supreme.


In Jewish folklore, a golem (גולם, sometimes [as in Yiddish] pronounced goilem) is an animated being which is crafted entirely from inanimate material. In modern Hebrew the word golem literally means 'cocoon', but can also mean "fool", "silly", or even "stupid". The name appears to derive from the word gelem (גלם), which means "raw material".


Origins of the word
The word golem is used in the Bible to refer to an embryonic or incomplete substance: Psalm 139:16 uses the word "gal'mi", meaning "my unshaped form" (in Hebrew, words are derived by adding vowels to triconsonantal roots, here, g-l-m). The Mishnah uses the term for an uncultivated person ("Ten characteristics are in a learned person, and ten in an uncultivated one", Pirkei Avoth 5:7). Similarly, Golems are used today primarily in metaphor either as brainless lunks or as entities serving man under controlled conditions but enemies in others. Similarly, it is a Yiddish slang insult for someone who is clumsy or slow.

Earliest stories
The earliest stories of golems date to early Judaism. Adam is described in the Talmud (Tractate Sanhedrin 38b) as initially created as a golem when his dust was "kneaded into a shapeless hunk". Like Adam (whose name literally means "ground,") all golems are created from mud. They were a creation of those who were very holy and close to God. A very holy person was one who strove to approach God, and in that pursuit would gain some of God's wisdom and power. One of these powers was the creation of life. No matter how holy a person became, however, the being they created would be but a shadow of one created by God.
Early on, the notion developed that the main disability of the golem was its inability to speak. In Sanhedrin 65b, it describes how Raba created a golem using the Sefer Yetzirah. He sent the golem to Rav Zeira. Rav Zeira spoke to the golem, but he did not answer. Said Rav Zeira, "I see that you were created by one of our colleagues; return to your dust."

Owning and activating golems
Having a golem servant was seen as the ultimate symbol of wisdom and holiness, and there are many tales of golems connected to prominent rabbis throughout the Middle Ages.
Other attributes of the golem were gradually added over time. In many tales the Golem is inscribed with magic or religious words that keep it animated. Writing one of the names of God on its forehead, a slip of paper attached to its forehead, or on a clay tablet under its tongue, or writing the word Emet אמת, 'truth' in the Hebrew language) on its forehead are examples of such words. By erasing the first letter in Emet to form Meit (מת, 'dead' in Hebrew) the golem could be deactivated.

The classic narrative
The most famous golem narrative involves Rabbi Judah Loew the Maharal of Prague, a 16th century rabbi. He is reported to have created a golem to defend the Prague ghetto of Josefov from Anti-Semitic attacks. The story of the Golem first appeared in print in 1847 in a collection of Jewish tales entitled Galerie der Sippurim, published by Wolf Pascheles of Prague. About sixty years later, a fictional account was published by Yudl Rosenberg (1909). According to the legend, Golem could be made of clay from the banks of the Vltava river in Prague. Following the prescribed rituals, the Rabbi built the Golem and made him come to life by reciting special incantations in Hebrew. As Rabbi Loew's Golem grew bigger, he also became more violent and started killing people and spreading fear. Rabbi Loew was promised that the violence against the Jews would stop if the Golem was destroyed. The Rabbi agreed. To destroy the Golem, he rubbed out the first letter of the word "emet" from the golem's forehead to make the Hebrew word "met", meaning death. (According to legend, the Golem of Prague's remains are stored in a coffin in the attic of the Altneuschul in Prague, and it can be summoned again if needed.) The existence of a golem is sometimes a mixed blessing. Golems are not intelligent - if commanded to perform a task, they will take the instructions perfectly literally.
In some incarnations of the legend of the Maharal's golem, the golem has powers that can aid it in its tasks. These include invisibility, a heated touch, and the ability to use the Maharal's walking stick to summon spirits from the dead. This last power was often crucial, as the golem could summon dead witnesses, which the medieval Prague courts would allow to testify.

The hubris theme
In all Jewish kabbalistic descriptions of Golems, they are incapable of disobeying the one who created them, but in one version of the story, Rabbi Eliyahu of Chelm created a Golem that grew bigger and bigger until the rabbi was unable to kill it without trickery, whereupon it fell over its creator and crushed him. The hubris theme in this version is similar to that in the stories of the monster of Frankenstein and of the broomstick in The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It remains a standard feature of golems in popular culture.

The golem in European culture
In the late nineteenth century the golem was adopted by mainstream European society. Most notably Gustav Meyrink's 1915 novel Der Golem based on the tales of the golem created by Judah Low ben Bezalel. This book inspired a classic set of expressionistic silent movies, Paul Wegener's Golem series, of which especially The Golem: How He Came Into the World (also released as The Golem, 1920, USA 1921) is famous. Another famous treatment from the same era is H. Leivick's 1921 Yiddish-language "dramatic poem in eight sections" The Golem. Also notable is Julien Duvivier's "Le Golem" (1936), a sequel to the Wegener film.
These tales saw a dramatic change, and some would argue a Christianization, of the golem. Christianity, far more than Judaism, has long had a deep concern with humanity presuming Godhood upon themselves. [citation needed] The golem thus became a creation of overambitious and overreaching mystics, who would inevitably be punished for their blasphemy, very similar to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the alchemical homunculus. In Norse mythology, Mökkurkálfi (or Mistcalfa) was a clay giant, built to help the troll Hrungnir in a battle with Thor.
In America, the opera 'The Golem' by Abraham Ellstein retells in 20th-century harmonic language the centuries-old tale of a creature fashioned from clay and brought to life by kabbalistic spells who ultimately threatens the very people he was intended to serve." (quote from Milken website) Selections are available on disc from the Milken Archive of American Jewish music.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

well i gave jazz ciggarette my best shot in the studio with some benevolent musicians but me voice is shot to pieces, however something may be salvaged, time will tell, its a good song.
i'm listening to siouxsie and the banshees live in london, with a japanese drummer playing out some throbbing base sounding beats, ohh shes amazing, i saw her when i was just a kid, it was at the 100 club in Wardour St. a famous institution for all the punk bands, everyone played there, a small sweaty room. But her tv debut was in the sex pistls first tv inteveiw which i watched on tv, the host was a crusty old tv dude bill grundy. He was drunk as a skunk and attempted to provoke some contraversy, which he did but would come to regret.

Often misquoted, this is an accurate transcription of the interview which went out live on 1 December 1976.
The original Sex Pistols line-up are seated - from left to right - Johnny Rotten, Paul Cook, Steve Jones and Glen Matlock. Bill Grundy sits on their left. Standing behind the Pistols are the punk hangers-on from the Bromley Contingent, Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Severin, Simon Barker and 'Simone'.
Grundy introduces the band to the cameras.

GRUNDY (To camera) They are punk rockers. The new craze, they tell me. Their heroes? Not the nice, clean Rolling Stones... you see they are as drunk as I am... they are clean by comparison. They're a group called The Sex Pistols, and I am surrounded by all of them...
JONES (Reading the autocue) In action!

GRUNDY Just let us see The Sex Pistols in action. Come on kids...

[Film of The Sex Pistols in action is shown; then back to Grundy.]

GRUNDY I am told that that group (hits his knee with sheaf of papers) have received forty thousand pounds from a record company. Doesn't that seem, er, to be slightly opposed to their anti-materialistic view of life?

MATLOCK No, the more the merrier.

GRUNDY Really?

MATLOCK Oh yeah.

GRUNDY Well tell me more then.

JONES We've fuckin' spent it, ain't we?

GRUNDY I don't know, have you?

MATLOCK Yeah, it's all gone.

GRUNDY Really?

JONES Down the boozer.

GRUNDY Really? Good Lord! Now I want to know one thing...

MATLOCK What?

GRUNDY Are you serious or are you just making me, trying to make me laugh?

MATLOCK No, it's all gone. Gone.

GRUNDY Really?

MATLOCK Yeah.

GRUNDY No, but I mean about what you're doing.

MATLOCK Oh yeah.

GRUNDY You are serious?

MATLOCK Mmm.

GRUNDY Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Brahms have all died...

ROTTEN They're all heroes of ours, ain't they?

GRUNDY Really... what? What were you saying, sir?

ROTTEN They're wonderful people.

GRUNDY Are they?

ROTTEN Oh yes! They really turn us on.

JONES But they're dead!

GRUNDY Well suppose they turn other people on?

ROTTEN (Under his breath) That's just their tough shit.

GRUNDY It's what?

ROTTEN Nothing. A rude word. Next question.

GRUNDY No, no, what was the rude word?

ROTTEN Shit.

GRUNDY Was it really? Good heavens, you frighten me to death.

ROTTEN Oh alright, Siegfried...

GRUNDY (Turning to those standing behind the band) What about you girls behind?

MATLOCK He's like yer dad, inni, this geezer?

GRUNDY Are you, er...

MATLOCK Or your granddad.

GRUNDY (To Sioux) Are you worried, or are you just enjoying yourself?

SIOUX Enjoying myself.

GRUNDY Are you?

SIOUX Yeah.

GRUNDY Ah, that's what I thought you were doing.

SIOUX I always wanted to meet you.

GRUNDY Did you really?

SIOUX Yeah.

GRUNDY We'll meet afterwards, shall we? (Sioux does a camp pout)

JONES You dirty sod. You dirty old man!

GRUNDY Well keep going, chief, keep going. Go on, you've got another five seconds. Say something outrageous.

JONES You dirty bastard!

GRUNDY Go on, again.

JONES You dirty fucker! (Laughter from the group)

GRUNDY What a clever boy!

JONES What a fucking rotter.

GRUNDY Well, that's it for tonight. The other rocker Eamonn, and I'm saying nothing else about him, will be back tomorrow. I'll be seeing you soon, I hope I'm not seeing you [the band] again. From me, though, goodnight.

The cheesy signature tune plays and the credits roll. Rotten looks at his watch, Jones starts dancing to the music, and Grundy mutters an off-mic 'Oh shit!' to himself.
The story made the front pages of the following morning's newspapers, amidst howls of outrage, including the now infamous Daily Mirror headline - 'THE FILTH AND THE FURY!'. The Pistols had cemented their place in television folklore.
Lifte from the newspaper this morning, for your reading pleasure.

HUMANS have evolved over tens of thousands of years to be susceptible to supernatural beliefs, a psychologist has claimed.
Religion and other forms of magical thinking continue to thrive - despite the lack of evidence and advance of science - because people are naturally biased to accept a role for the irrational, said Bruce Hood, professor of experimental psychology at the University of Bristol.

This evolved credulity suggests that it would be impossible to root out belief in ideas such as creationism and paranormal phenomena, even though they have been countered by evidence and are held as a matter of faith alone.

People ultimately believe in these ideas for the same reasons that they attach sentimental value to inanimate objects, such as wedding rings or teddy bears, and recoil from artefacts linked to evil as if they are pervaded by a physical essence.

Even the most rational people behave in irrational ways, and supernatural beliefs are part of the same continuum, Professor Hood told the British Association Festival of Science in Norwich earlier this week.

To demonstrate his theory, he asked members of the audience if they were prepared to put on an old-fashioned blue cardigan in return for a pound stg. 10 ($25) reward.

He had no shortage of volunteers. He then told the volunteers that the cardigan used to belong to Fred West, the mass murderer.

"Most hands went down," Professor Hood said.

"When people did wear it, people moved away from them. It's not actually West's jumper. But it's the belief that it's West's jumper that has the effect.

"It is as if evil - a moral stance defined by culture - has become physically manifest inside the clothing."

Similar beliefs, which are held even among the most sceptical scientists, explain why few people would agree to swap their wedding rings for identical replicas.

The difference between attaching significance to sentimental objects and believing in religion, magic or the paranormal is only one of degree, Professor Hood said.

These tendencies, he said, were almost certainly a product of evolution. The human mind is adapted to reason intuitively, so that it can generate theories about how the world works even when mechanisms cannot be seen or easily deduced.

While this is ultimately responsible for scientific thinking, as in the discovery of invisible forces such as gravity, it also leaves people prone to making irrational errors.

"In most cases, intuitive theories capture everyday knowledge, such as the nature and properties of objects, what makes something alive, or the understanding that people's minds motivate their actions," Professor Hood said.

"But because intuitive theories are based on unobservable properties, such theories leave open the possibility of misconceptions.

"I believe these misconceptions of naive intuitive theories provide the basis of many later adult magical beliefs about the paranormal."

This innate tendency meant that such beliefs would not die out even as our scientific understanding of the world improved, he said.

Credulous minds may have evolved for several reasons.

It was once less dangerous to accept things that were not true than it was to reject real facts, such as the threat posed by a nearby predator.

This may have predisposed humans to err on the side of belief. Superstition may also give people a sense of control that can reduce stress.

"I don't think we're going to evolve a rational mind because there are benefits to being irrational," Professor Hood said.

"Superstitious behaviour - the idea that certain rituals and practices protect you - is adaptive. If you remove the appearance that they are in control, both humans and animals become stressed. During the Gulf War, in areas attacked by Scud missiles there was a rise in superstitious belief.

"I want to challenge recent claims by Richard Dawkins, among others, that supernaturalism is primarily attributable to religions spreading beliefs among the gullible minds of the young.

"Rather, religions may simply capitalise on a natural bias to assume the existence of supernatural forces," he said.

The Times

Sunday, September 03, 2006

it's sunday afternoon and i am exhuasted, work and surfing, lack of sleep, the strange landscape of weird dreams and huanting imagry, i felt the kiss of the sucubus and it's weight crushing, drenched in sweat, tossing and turning, restlessness and the awful overwhelming crunch of passing time. ahh it's fathers day and i am unenthusiastic, jake may or may not call me, he has not seen me on a fathers day for, well it must be 15 years. i lost all that time with my son, i am not sure how his mother could do that, i guess it's the mothers revenge, it's universal and although i forgive her i don't claim to understand it. all i know is it crushed me. but forever now, this moment i am healed, i am strong. i finsihed reading a fantastic elizabeth hand book called 'mortal love' based around the concept of the artists muse, inspiration and obsession now i am reading 'winterlong' and enjoying each page, she is a fine writer.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Do you remember this photograph? In the United States, people have taken pains to banish it from the record of September 11, 2001. The story behind it, though, and the search for the man pictured in it, are our most intimate connection to the horror of that day.
In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying. He appears relaxed, hurtling through the air. He appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion. He does not appear intimidated by gravity's divine suction or by what awaits him. His arms are by his side, only slightly outriggered. His left leg is bent at the knee, almost casually. His white shirt, or jacket, or frock, is billowing free of his black pants. His black high-tops are still on his feet. In all the other pictures, the people who did what he did—who jumped—appear to be struggling against horrific discrepancies of scale. They are made puny by the backdrop of the towers, which loom like colossi, and then by the event itself. Some of them are shirtless; their shoes fly off as they flail and fall; they look confused, as though trying to swim down the side of a mountain. The man in the picture, by contrast, is perfectly vertical, and so is in accord with the lines of the buildings behind him. He splits them, bisects them: Everything to the left of him in the picture is the North Tower; everything to the right, the South. Though oblivious to the geometric balance he has achieved, he is the essential element in the creation of a new flag, a banner composed entirely of steel bars shining in the sun. Some people who look at the picture see stoicism, willpower, a portrait of resignation; others see something else—something discordant and therefore terrible: freedom. There is something almost rebellious in the man's posture, as though once faced with the inevitability of death, he decided to get on with it; as though he were a missile, a spear, bent on attaining his own end. He is, fifteen seconds past 9:41 a.m. EST, the moment the picture is taken, in the clutches of pure physics, accelerating at a rate of thirty-two feet per second squared. He will soon be traveling at upwards of 150 miles per hour, and he is upside down. In the picture, he is frozen; in his life outside the frame, he drops and keeps dropping until he disappears.


THE PHOTOGRAPHER is no stranger to history; he knows it is something that happens later. In the actual moment history is made, it is usually made in terror and confusion, and so it is up to people like him—paid witnesses—to have the presence of mind to attend to its manufacture. The photographer has that presence of mind and has had it since he was a young man. When he was twenty-one years old, he was standing right behind Bobby Kennedy when Bobby Kennedy was shot in the head. His jacket was spattered with Kennedy's blood, but he jumped on a table and shot pictures of Kennedy's open and ebbing eyes, and then of Ethel Kennedy crouching over her husband and begging photographers—begging him—not to take pictures.

Richard Drew has never done that. Although he has preserved the jacket patterned with Kennedy's blood, he has never not taken a picture, never averted his eye. He works for the Associated Press. He is a journalist. It is not up to him to reject the images that fill his frame, because one never knows when history is made until one makes it. It is not even up to him to distinguish if a body is alive or dead, because the camera makes no such distinctions, and he is in the business of shooting bodies, as all photographers are, unless they are Ansel Adams. Indeed, he was shooting bodies on the morning of September 11, 2001. On assignment for the AP, he was shooting a maternity fashion show in Bryant Park, notable, he says, "because it featured actual pregnant models." He was fifty-four years old. He wore glasses. He was sparse in the scalp, gray in the beard, hard in the head. In a lifetime of taking pictures, he has found a way to be both mild-mannered and brusque, patient and very, very quick. He was doing what he always does at fashion shows—"staking out real estate"—when a CNN cameraman with an earpiece said that a plane had crashed into the North Tower, and Drew's editor rang his cell phone. He packed his equipment into a bag and gambled on taking the subway downtown. Although it was still running, he was the only one on it. He got out at the Chambers Street station and saw that both towers had been turned into smokestacks. Staking out his real estate, he walked west, to where ambulances were gathering, because rescue workers "usually won't throw you out." Then he heard people gasping. People on the ground were gasping because people in the building were jumping. He started shooting pictures through a 200mm lens. He was standing between a cop and an emergency technician, and each time one of them cried, "There goes another," his camera found a falling body and followed it down for a nine- or twelve-shot sequence. He shot ten or fifteen of them before he heard the rumbling of the South Tower and witnessed, through the winnowing exclusivity of his lens, its collapse. He was engulfed in a mobile ruin, but he grabbed a mask from an ambulance and photographed the top of the North Tower "exploding like a mushroom" and raining debris. He discovered that there is such a thing as being too close, and, deciding that he had fulfilled his professional obligations, Richard Drew joined the throng of ashen humanity heading north, walking until he reached his office at Rockefeller Center.

There was no terror or confusion at the Associated Press. There was, instead, that feeling of history being manufactured; although the office was as crowded as he'd ever seen it, there was, instead, "the wonderful calm that comes into play when people are really doing their jobs." So Drew did his: He inserted the disc from his digital camera into his laptop and recognized, instantly, what only his camera had seen—something iconic in the extended annihilation of a falling man. He didn't look at any of the other pictures in the sequence; he didn't have to. "You learn in photo editing to look for the frame," he says. "You have to recognize it. That picture just jumped off the screen because of its verticality and symmetry. It just had that look." He sent the image to the AP's server. The next morning, it appeared on page seven of The New York Times. It appeared in hundreds of newspapers, all over the country, all over the world. The man inside the frame—the Falling Man—was not identified.


THEY BEGAN JUMPING NOT LONG after the first plane hit the North Tower, not long after the fire started. They kept jumping until the tower fell. They jumped through windows already broken and then, later, through windows they broke themselves. They jumped to escape the smoke and the fire; they jumped when the ceilings fell and the floors collapsed; they jumped just to breathe once more before they died. They jumped continually, from all four sides of the building, and from all floors above and around the building's fatal wound. They jumped from the offices of Marsh & McLennan, the insurance company; from the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond-trading company; from Windows on the World, the restaurant on the 106th and 107th floors—the top. For more than an hour and a half, they streamed from the building, one after another, consecutively rather than en masse, as if each individual required the sight of another individual jumping before mustering the courage to jump himself or herself. One photograph, taken at a distance, shows people jumping in perfect sequence, like parachutists, forming an arc composed of three plummeting people, evenly spaced. Indeed, there were reports that some tried parachuting, before the force generated by their fall ripped the drapes, the tablecloths, the desperately gathered fabric, from their hands. They were all, obviously, very much alive on their way down, and their way down lasted an approximate count of ten seconds. They were all, obviously, not just killed when they landed but destroyed, in body though not, one prays, in soul. One hit a fireman on the ground and killed him; the fireman's body was anointed by Father Mychal Judge, whose own death, shortly thereafter, was embraced as an example of martyrdom after the photograph—the redemptive tableau—of firefighters carrying his body from the rubble made its way around the world.

From the beginning, the spectacle of doomed people jumping from the upper floors of the World Trade Center resisted redemption. They were called "jumpers" or "the jumpers," as though they represented a new lemminglike class. The trial that hundreds endured in the building and then in the air became its own kind of trial for the thousands watching them from the ground. No one ever got used to it; no one who saw it wished to see it again, although, of course, many saw it again. Each jumper, no matter how many there were, brought fresh horror, elicited shock, tested the spirit, struck a lasting blow. Those tumbling through the air remained, by all accounts, eerily silent; those on the ground screamed. It was the sight of the jumpers that prompted Rudy Giuliani to say to his police commissioner, "We're in uncharted waters now." It was the sight of the jumpers that prompted a woman to wail, "God! Save their souls! They're jumping! Oh, please God! Save their souls!" And it was, at last, the sight of the jumpers that provided the corrective to those who insisted on saying that what they were witnessing was "like a movie," for this was an ending as unimaginable as it was unbearable: Americans responding to the worst terrorist attack in the history of the world with acts of heroism, with acts of sacrifice, with acts of generosity, with acts of martyrdom, and, by terrible necessity, with one prolonged act of—if these words can be applied to mass murder—mass suicide.


IN MOST AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS, the photograph that Richard Drew took of the Falling Man ran once and never again. Papers all over the country, from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to the Memphis Commercial Appeal to The Denver Post, were forced to defend themselves against charges that they exploited a man's death, stripped him of his dignity, invaded his privacy, turned tragedy into leering pornography. Most letters of complaint stated the obvious: that someone seeing the picture had to know who it was. Still, even as Drew's photograph became at once iconic and impermissible, its subject remained unnamed. An editor at the Toronto Globe and Mail assigned a reporter named Peter Cheney to solve the mystery. Cheney at first despaired of his task; the entire city, after all, was wallpapered with Kinkoed flyers advertising the faces of the missing and the lost and the dead. Then he applied himself, sending the digital photograph to a shop that clarified and enhanced it. Now information emerged: It appeared to him that the man was most likely not black but dark-skinned, probably Latino. He wore a goatee. And the white shirt billowing from his black pants was not a shirt but rather appeared to be a tunic of some sort, the kind of jacket a restaurant worker wears. Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top of the North Tower, lost seventy-nine of its employees on September 11, as well as ninety-one of its patrons. It was likely that the Falling Man numbered among them. But which one was he? Over dinner, Cheney spent an evening discussing this question with friends, then said goodnight and walked through Times Square. It was after midnight, eight days after the attacks. The missing posters were still everywhere, but Cheney was able to focus on one that seemed to present itself to him—a poster portraying a man who worked at Windows as a pastry chef, who was dressed in a white tunic, who wore a goatee, who was Latino. His name was Norberto Hernandez. He lived in Queens. Cheney took the enhanced print of the Richard Drew photograph to the family, in particular to Norberto Hernandez's brother Tino and sister Milagros. They said yes, that was Norberto. Milagros had watched footage of the people jumping on that terrible morning, before the television stations stopped showing it. She had seen one of the jumpers distinguished by the grace of his fall—by his resemblance to an Olympic diver—and surmised that he had to be her brother. Now she saw, and she knew. All that remained was for Peter Cheney to confirm the identification with Norberto's wife and his three daughters. They did not want to talk to him, especially after Norberto's remains were found and identified by the stamp of his DNA—a torso, an arm. So he went to the funeral. He brought his print of Drew's photograph with him and showed it to Jacqueline Hernandez, the oldest of Norberto's three daughters. She looked briefly at the picture, then at Cheney, and ordered him to leave.

What Cheney remembers her saying, in her anger, in her offended grief: "That piece of shit is not my father."


THE RESISTANCE TO THE IMAGE—to the images—started early, started immediately, started on the ground. A mother whispering to her distraught child a consoling lie: "Maybe they're just birds, honey." Bill Feehan, second in command at the fire department, chasing a bystander who was panning the jumpers with his video camera, demanding that he turn it off, bellowing, "Don't you have any human decency?" before dying himself when the building came down. In the most photographed and videotaped day in the history of the world, the images of people jumping were the only images that became, by consensus, taboo—the only images from which Americans were proud to avert their eyes. All over the world, people saw the human stream debouch from the top of the North Tower, but here in the United States, we saw these images only until the networks decided not to allow such a harrowing view, out of respect for the families of those so publicly dying. At CNN, the footage was shown live, before people working in the newsroom knew what was happening; then, after what Walter Isaacson, who was then chairman of the network's news bureau, calls "agonized discussions" with the "standards guy," it was shown only if people in it were blurred and unidentifiable; then it was not shown at all.

And so it went. In 9/11, the documentary extracted from videotape shot by French brothers Jules and Gedeon Naudet, the filmmakers included a sonic sampling of the booming, rattling explosions the jumpers made upon impact but edited out the most disturbing thing about the sounds: the sheer frequency with which they occurred. In Rudy, the docudrama starring James Woods in the role of Mayor Giuliani, archival footage of the jumpers was first included, then cut out. In Here Is New York, an extensive exhibition of 9/11 images culled from the work of photographers both amateur and professional, there was, in the section titled "Victims," but one picture of the jumpers, taken at a respectful distance; attached to it, on the Here Is New York Web site, a visitor offers this commentary: "This image is what made me glad for censuring [sic] in the endless pursuant media coverage." More and more, the jumpers—and their images—were relegated to the Internet underbelly, where they became the provenance of the shock sites that also traffic in the autopsy photos of Nicole Brown Simpson and the videotape of Daniel Pearl's execution, and where it is impossible to look at them without attendant feelings of shame and guilt. In a nation of voyeurs, the desire to face the most disturbing aspects of our most disturbing day was somehow ascribed to voyeurism, as though the jumpers' experience, instead of being central to the horror, was tangential to it, a sideshow best forgotten.

It was no sideshow. The two most reputable estimates of the number of people who jumped to their deaths were prepared by The New York Times and USA Today. They differed dramatically. The Times, admittedly conservative, decided to count only what its reporters actually saw in the footage they collected, and it arrived at a figure of fifty. USA Today, whose editors used eyewitness accounts and forensic evidence in addition to what they found on video, came to the conclusion that at least two hundred people died by jumping—a count that the newspaper said authorities did not dispute. Both are intolerable estimates of human loss, but if the number provided by USA Today is accurate, then between 7 and 8 percent of those who died in New York City on September 11, 2001, died by jumping out of the buildings; it means that if we consider only the North Tower, where the vast majority of jumpers came from, the ratio is more like one in six.

And yet if one calls the New York Medical Examiner's Office to learn its own estimate of how many people might have jumped, one does not get an answer but an admonition: "We don't like to say they jumped. They didn't jump. Nobody jumped. They were forced out, or blown out." And if one Googles the words "how many jumped on 9/11," one falls into some blogger's trap, slugged "Go Away, No Jumpers Here," where the bait is one's own need to know: "I've got at least three entries in my referrer logs that show someone is doing a search on Google for 'how many people jumped from WTC.' My September 11 post had made mention of that terrible occurance [sic], so now any pervert looking for that will get my site's URL. I'm disgusted. I tried, but cannot find any reason someone would want to know something like that. . . . Whatever. If that's why you're here—you're busted. Now go away."


ERIC FISCHL DID NOT GO AWAY. Neither did he turn away or avert his eyes. A year before September 11, he had taken photographs of a model tumbling around on the floor of a studio. He had thought of using the photographs as the basis of a sculpture. Now, though, he had lost a friend who had been trapped on the 106th floor of the North Tower. Now, as he worked on his sculpture, he sought to express the extremity of his feelings by making a monument to what he calls the "extremity of choice" faced by the people who jumped. He worked nine months on the larger-than-life bronze he called Tumbling Woman, and as he transformed a woman tumbling on the floor into a woman tumbling through eternity, he succeeded in transfiguring the very local horror of the jumpers into something universal—in redeeming an image many regarded as irredeemable. Indeed, Tumbling Woman was perhaps the redemptive image of 9/11—and yet it was not merely resisted; it was rejected. The day after Tumbling Woman was exhibited in New York's Rockefeller Center, Andrea Peyser of the New York Post denounced it in a column titled "Shameful Art Attack," in which she argued that Fischl had no right to ambush grieving New Yorkers with the very distillation of their own sadness . . . in which she essentially argued the right to look away. Because it was based on a model rolling on the floor, the statue was treated as an evocation of impact—as a portrayal of literal, rather than figurative, violence.

"I was trying to say something about the way we all feel," Fischl says, "but people thought I was trying to say something about the way they feel—that I was trying to take away something only they possessed. They thought that I was trying to say something about the people they lost. 'That image is not my father. You don't even know my father. How dare you try telling me how I feel about my father?' " Fischl wound up apologizing—"I was ashamed to have added to anybody's pain"—but it didn't matter.

Jerry Speyer, a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art who runs Rockefeller Center, ended the exhibition of Tumbling Woman after a week. "I pleaded with him not to do it," Fischl says. "I thought that if we could wait it out, other voices would pipe up and carry the day. He said, 'You don't understand. I'm getting bomb threats.' I said, 'People who just lost loved ones to terrorism are not going to bomb somebody.' He said, 'I can't take that chance.' "

PHOTOGRAPHS LIE. Even great photographs. Especially great photographs. The Falling Man in Richard Drew's picture fell in the manner suggested by the photograph for only a fraction of a second, and then kept falling. The photograph functioned as a study of doomed verticality, a fantasia of straight lines, with a human being slivered at the center, like a spike. In truth, however, the Falling Man fell with neither the precision of an arrow nor the grace of an Olympic diver. He fell like everyone else, like all the other jumpers—trying to hold on to the life he was leaving, which is to say that he fell desperately, inelegantly. In Drew's famous photograph, his humanity is in accord with the lines of the buildings. In the rest of the sequence—the eleven outtakes—his humanity stands apart. He is not augmented by aesthetics; he is merely human, and his humanity, startled and in some cases horizontal, obliterates everything else in the frame.

In the complete sequence of photographs, truth is subordinate to the facts that emerge slowly, pitilessly, frame by frame. In the sequence, the Falling Man shows his face to the camera in the two frames before the published one, and after that there is an unveiling, nearly an unpeeling, as the force generated by the fall rips the white jacket off his back. The facts that emerge from the entire sequence suggest that the Toronto reporter, Peter Cheney, got some things right in his effort to solve the mystery presented by Drew's published photo. The Falling Man has a dark cast to his skin and wears a goatee. He is probably a food-service worker. He seems lanky, with the length and narrowness of his face—like that of a medieval Christ—possibly accentuated by the push of the wind and the pull of gravity. But seventy-nine people died on the morning of September 11 after going to work at Windows on the World. Another twenty-one died while in the employ of Forte Food, a catering service that fed the traders at Cantor Fitzgerald. Many of the dead were Latino, or light-skinned black men, or Indian, or Arab. Many had dark hair cut short. Many had mustaches and goatees. Indeed, to anyone trying to figure out the identity of the Falling Man, the few salient characteristics that can be discerned in the original series of photographs raise as many possibilities as they exclude. There is, however, one fact that is decisive. Whoever the Falling Man may be, he was wearing a bright-orange shirt under his white top. It is the one inarguable fact that the brute force of the fall reveals. No one can know if the tunic or shirt, open at the back, is being pulled away from him, or if the fall is simply tearing the white fabric to pieces. But anyone can see he is wearing an orange shirt. If they saw these pictures, members of his family would be able to see that he is wearing an orange shirt. They might even be able to remember if he owned an orange shirt, if he was the kind of guy who would own an orange shirt, if he wore an orange shirt to work that morning. Surely they would; surely someone would remember what he was wearing when he went to work on the last morning of his life. . . .

But now the Falling Man is falling through more than the blank blue sky. He is falling through the vast spaces of memory and picking up speed.


NEIL LEVIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, had breakfast at Windows on the World, on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower, on the morning of September 11. He never came home. His wife, Christy Ferer, won't talk about any of the particulars of his death. She works for New York mayor Mike Bloomberg as the liaison between the mayor's office and the 9/11 families and has poured the energy aroused by her grief into her work, which, before the first anniversary of the attack, called for her to visit television executives and ask them not to use the most disturbing footage—including the footage of the jumpers—in their memorial broadcasts. She is a close friend of Eric Fischl's, as was her husband, so when the artist asked, she agreed to take a look at Tumbling Woman. It, in her words, "hit me in the gut," but she felt that Fischl had the right to create and exhibit it. Now she's come to the conclusion that the controversy may have been largely a matter of timing. Maybe it was just too soon to show something like that. After all, not long before her husband died, she traveled with him to Auschwitz, where piles of confiscated eyeglasses and extracted tooth fillings are on exhibit. "They can show that now," she says. "But that was a long time ago. They couldn't show things like that then. . . ."

In fact, they did, at least in photographic form, and the pictures that came out of the death camps of Europe were treated as essential acts of witness, without particular regard to the sensitivities of those who appeared in them or the surviving families of the dead. They were shown, as Richard Drew's photographs of the freshly assassinated Robert Kennedy were shown. They were shown, as the photographs of Ethel Kennedy pleading with photographers not to take photographs were shown. They were shown as the photograph of the little Vietnamese girl running naked after a napalm attack was shown. They were shown as the photograph of Father Mychal Judge, graphically and unmistakably dead, was shown, and accepted as a kind of testament. They were shown as everything is shown, for, like the lens of a camera, history is a force that does not discriminate. What distinguishes the pictures of the jumpers from the pictures that have come before is that we—we Americans—are being asked to discriminate on their behalf. What distinguishes them, historically, is that we, as patriotic Americans, have agreed not to look at them. Dozens, scores, maybe hundreds of people died by leaping from a burning building, and we have somehow taken it upon ourselves to deem their deaths unworthy of witness—because we have somehow deemed the act of witness, in this one regard, unworthy of us.


CATHERINE HERNANDEZ never saw the photo the reporter carried under his arm at her father's funeral. Neither did her mother, Eulogia. Her sister Jacqueline did, and her outrage assured that the reporter left—was forcibly evicted—before he did any more damage. But the picture has followed Catherine and Eulogia and the entire Hernandez family. There was nothing more important to Norberto Hernandez than family. His motto: "Together Forever." But the Hernandezes are not together anymore. The picture split them. Those who knew, right away, that the picture was not Norberto—his wife and his daughters—have become estranged from those who pondered the possibility that it was him for the benefit of a reporter's notepad. With Norberto alive, the extended family all lived in the same neighborhood in Queens. Now Eulogia and her daughters have moved to a house on Long Island because Tatiana—who is now sixteen and who bears a resemblance to Norberto Hernandez: the wide face, the dark brows, the thick dark lips, thinly smiling—kept seeing visions of her father in the house and kept hearing the whispered suggestions that he died by jumping out a window.

He could not have died by jumping out a window.

All over the world, people who read Peter Cheney's story believe that Norberto died by jumping out a window. People have written poems about Norberto jumping out a window. People have called the Hernandezes with offers of money—either charity or payment for interviews—because they read about Norberto jumping out a window. But he couldn't have jumped out a window, his family knows, because he wouldn't have jumped out a window: not Papi. "He was trying to come home," Catherine says one morning, in a living room primarily decorated with framed photographs of her father. "He was trying to come home to us, and he knew he wasn't going to make it by jumping out a window." She is a lovely, dark-skinned, brown-eyed girl, twenty-two years old, dressed in a T-shirt and sweats and sandals. She is sitting on a couch next to her mother, who is caramel-colored, with coppery hair tied close to her scalp, and who is wearing a cotton dress checked with the color of the sky. Eulogia speaks half the time in determined English, and then, when she gets frustrated with the rate of revelation, pours rapid-fire Spanish into the ear of her daughter, who translates. "My mother says she knows that when he died, he was thinking about us. She says that she could see him thinking about us. I know that sounds strange, but she knew him. They were together since they were fifteen." The Norberto Hernandez Eulogia knew would not have been deterred by smoke or by fire in his effort to come home to her. The Norberto Hernandez she knew would have endured any pain before he jumped out of a window. When the Norberto Hernandez she knew died, his eyes were fixed on what he saw in his heart—the faces of his wife and his daughters—and not on the terrible beauty of an empty sky.

How well did she know him? "I dressed him," Eulogia says in English, a smile appearing on her face at the same time as a shiny coat of tears. "Every morning. That morning, I remember. He wore Old Navy underwear. Green. He wore black socks. He wore blue pants: jeans. He wore a Casio watch. He wore an Old Navy shirt. Blue. With checks." What did he wear after she drove him, as she always did, to the subway station and watched him wave to her as he disappeared down the stairs? "He changed clothes at the restaurant," says Catherine, who worked with her father at Windows on the World. "He was a pastry chef, so he wore white pants, or chef's pants—you know, black-and-white check. He wore a white jacket. Under that, he had to wear a white T-shirt." What about an orange shirt? "No," Eulogia says. "My husband did not have an orange shirt."

There are pictures. There are pictures of the Falling Man as he fell. Do they want to see them? Catherine says no, on her mother's behalf—"My mother should not see"—but then, when she steps outside and sits down on the steps of the front porch, she says, "Please—show me. Hurry. Before my mother comes." When she sees the twelve-frame sequence, she lets out a gasping, muted call for her mother, but Eulogia is already over her shoulder, reaching for the pictures. She looks at them one after another, and then her face fixes itself into an expression of triumph and scorn. "That is not my husband," she says, handing the photographs back. "You see? Only I know Norberto." She reaches for the photographs again, and then, after studying them, shakes her head with a vehement finality. "The man in this picture is a black man." She asks for copies of the pictures so that she can show them to the people who believed that Norberto jumped out a window, while Catherine sits on the step with her palm spread over her heart. "They said my father was going to hell because he jumped," she says. "On the Internet. They said my father was taken to hell with the devil. I don't know what I would have done if it was him. I would have had a nervous breakdown, I guess. They would have found me in a mental ward somewhere. . . ."

Her mother is standing at the front door, about to go back inside her house. Her face has already lost its belligerent pride and has turned once again into a mask of composed, almost wistful sadness. "Please," she says as she closes the door in a stain of morning sunlight. "Please clear my husband's name."


A PHONE RINGS in Connecticut. A woman answers. A man on the other end is looking to identify a photo that ran in The New York Times on September 12, 2001. "Tell me what the photo looks like," she says. It's a famous picture, the man says—the famous picture of a man falling. "Is it the one called 'Swan Dive' on Rotten.com?" the woman asks. It may be, the man says. "Yes, that might have been my son," the woman says.

She lost both her sons on September 11. They worked together at Cantor Fitzgerald. They worked on the equities desk. They worked back-to-back. No, the man on the phone says, the man in the photograph is probably a food-service worker. He's wearing a white jacket. He's upside down. "Then that's not my son," she says. "My son was wearing a dark shirt and khaki pants."

She knows what he was wearing because of her determination to know what happened to her sons on that day—because of her determination to look and to see. She did not start with that determination. She stopped reading the newspaper after September 11, stopped watching TV. Then, on New Year's Eve, she picked up a copy of The New York Times and saw, in a year-end review, a picture of Cantor Fitzgerald employees crowding the edge of the cliff formed by a dying building. In the posture—the attitude—of one of them, she thought she recognized the habits of her son. So she called the photographer and asked him to enlarge and clarify the picture. Demanded that he do it. And then she knew, or knew as much as it was possible to know. Both of her sons were in the picture. One was standing in the window, almost brazenly. The other was sitting inside. She does not need to say what may have happened next.

"The thing I hold was that both of my sons were together," she says, her instantaneous tears lifting her voice an octave. "But I sometimes wonder how long they knew. They're puzzled, they're uncertain, they're scared—but when did they know? When did the moment come when they lost hope? Maybe it came so quick. . . ."

The man on the phone does not ask if she thinks her sons jumped. He does not have it in him, and anyway, she has given him an answer.

The Hernandezes looked at the decision to jump as a betrayal of love—as something Norberto was being accused of. The woman in Connecticut looks at the decision to jump as a loss of hope—as an absence that we, the living, now have to live with. She chooses to live with it by looking, by seeing, by trying to know—by making an act of private witness. She could have chosen to keep her eyes closed. And so now the man on the phone asks the question that he called to ask in the first place: Did she make the right choice?

"I made the only choice I could have made," the woman answers. "I could never have made the choice not to know."


CATHERINE HERNANDEZ thought she knew who the Falling Man was as soon as she saw the series of pictures, but she wouldn't say his name. "He had a sister who was with him that morning," she said, "and he told his mother that he would take care of her. He would never have left her alone by jumping." She did say, however, that the man was Indian, so it was easy to figure out that his name was Sean Singh. But Sean was too small to be the Falling Man. He was clean-shaven. He worked at Windows on the World in the audiovisual department, so he probably would have been wearing a shirt and tie instead of a white chef's coat. None of the former Windows employees who were interviewed believe the Falling Man looks anything like Sean Singh.

Besides, he had a sister. He never would have left her alone.

A manager at Windows looked at the pictures once and said the Falling Man was Wilder Gomez. Then a few days later he studied them closely and changed his mind. Wrong hair. Wrong clothes. Wrong body type. It was the same with Charlie Mauro. It was the same with Junior Jimenez. Junior worked in the kitchen and would have been wearing checked pants. Charlie worked in purchasing and had no cause to wear a white jacket. Besides, Charlie was a very large man. The Falling Man appears fairly stout in Richard Drew's published photo but almost elongated in the rest of the sequence.

The rest of the kitchen workers were, like Norberto Hernandez, eliminated from consideration by their outfits. The banquet servers may have been wearing white and black, but no one remembered any banquet server who looked anything like the Falling Man.

Forte Food was the other food-service company that lost people on September 11, 2001. But all of its male employees worked in the kitchen, which means that they wore either checked or white pants. And nobody would have been allowed to wear an orange shirt under the white serving coat.

But someone who used to work for Forte remembers a guy who used to come around and get food for the Cantor executives. Black guy. Tall, with a mustache and a goatee. Wore a chef's coat, open, with a loud shirt underneath.

Nobody at Cantor remembers anyone like that.

Of course, the only way to find out the identity of the Falling Man is to call the families of anyone who might be the Falling Man and ask what they know about their son's or husband's or father's last day on earth. Ask if he went to work wearing an orange shirt.

But should those calls be made? Should those questions be asked? Would they only heap pain upon the already anguished? Would they be regarded as an insult to the memory of the dead, the way the Hernandez family regarded the imputation that Norberto Hernandez was the Falling Man? Or would they be regarded as steps to some act of redemptive witness?

Jonathan Briley worked at Windows on the World. Some of his coworkers, when they saw Richard Drew's photographs, thought he might be the Falling Man. He was a light-skinned black man. He was over six five. He was forty-three. He had a mustache and a goatee and close-cropped hair. He had a wife named Hillary.

Jonathan Briley's father is a preacher, a man who has devoted his whole life to serving the Lord. After September 11, he gathered his family together to ask God to tell him where his son was. No: He demanded it. He used these words: "Lord, I demand to know where my son is." For three hours straight, he prayed in his deep voice, until he spent the grace he had accumulated over a lifetime in the insistence of his appeal.

The next day, the FBI called. They'd found his son's body. It was, miraculously, intact.

The preacher's youngest son, Timothy, went to identify his brother. He recognized him by his shoes: He was wearing black high-tops. Timothy removed one of them and took it home and put it in his garage, as a kind of memorial.

Timothy knew all about the Falling Man. He is a cop in Mount Vernon, New York, and in the week after his brother died, someone had left a September 12 newspaper open in the locker room. He saw the photograph of the Falling Man and, in anger, he refused to look at it again. But he couldn't throw it away. Instead, he stuffed it in the bottom of his locker, where—like the black shoe in his garage—it became permanent.

Jonathan's sister Gwendolyn knew about the Falling Man, too. She saw the picture the day it was published. She knew that Jonathan had asthma, and in the smoke and the heat would have done anything just to breathe. . . .

The both of them, Timothy and Gwendolyn, knew what Jonathan wore to work on most days. He wore a white shirt and black pants, along with the high-top black shoes. Timothy also knew what Jonathan sometimes wore under his shirt: an orange T-shirt. Jonathan wore that orange T-shirt everywhere. He wore that shirt all the time. He wore it so often that Timothy used to make fun of him: When are you gonna get rid of that orange T-shirt, Slim?

But when Timothy identified his brother's body, none of his clothes were recognizable except the black shoes. And when Jonathan went to work on the morning of September 11, 2001, he'd left early and kissed his wife goodbye while she was still sleeping. She never saw the clothes he was wearing. After she learned that he was dead, she packed his clothes away and never inventoried what specific articles of clothing might be missing.

Is Jonathan Briley the Falling Man? He might be. But maybe he didn't jump from the window as a betrayal of love or because he lost hope. Maybe he jumped to fulfill the terms of a miracle. Maybe he jumped to come home to his family. Maybe he didn't jump at all, because no one can jump into the arms of God.

Oh, no. You have to fall.

Yes, Jonathan Briley might be the Falling Man. But the only certainty we have is the certainty we had at the start: At fifteen seconds after 9:41 a.m., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky—falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away. One of the most famous photographs in human history became an unmarked grave, and the man buried inside its frame—the Falling Man—became the Unknown Soldier in a war whose end we have not yet seen. Richard Drew's photograph is all we know of him, and yet all we know of him becomes a measure of what we know of ourselves. The picture is his cenotaph, and like the monuments dedicated to the memory of unknown soldiers everywhere, it asks that we look at it, and make one simple acknowledgment.

That we have known who the Falling Man is all along