“I miss the gifts they bring for me, the special leaves, the bouquet of dandelions crushed lovingly in a fist, the portrait they made of me last night before going to bed.
“I miss trusting them and to have that trust justified. “I miss spontaneous debates over our own rights and responsibilities and how to balance them with the rights and responsibilities of others. “I miss liberating them for a few hours each day in a world that is forever telling them what to do.”
“Nevertheless he was responsible for implanting in the mind of this listener the useful idea that the music came from West Africa via slave ships, cotton fields and chain gangs, and that there was a direct line from gospel singing and field hollers to whatever was on the cover of the latest issue of Down Beat. “
Jennie Formby The Labour Party Southside 105 Victoria Street London SW1E 6QT
Dear Jennie Formby,
I am writing you in the wake of recent events – the expulsion of Jo Bird and the excellent letter by Natalie Strecker, as I would like to ask you to kindly refer me to the Compliance Unit, for ‘antisemitism’ – for the reasons I detail below.
I would like to tell you about my background, in order to support my request. I am an academic, author and filmmaker, an ex-Israeli Jew who has been active for over five decades as a socialist, anti-Zionist and anti-racist activist. My parents were Polish Jews, survivors of Auschwitz and other camps. They ended forced onto death marches to the Third Reich after the Auschwitz camp was vacated by the SS in Mid-January 1945. My mother was freed by the British forces in Bergen-Belsen, and my father was freed by the US forces in Mauthausen. I was born in a Displaced Persons Camp in Italy, and arrived in Israel as a baby, during June 1948, as no European country would then accept Holocaust survivors.
I served in the Israeli Army (IDF) as a junior infantry officer, and took part in two wars, in 1967 and 1973, after which I turned into a committed pacifist. I came to study in Britain in 1972, and a short while afterwards I have learnt much about Zionism which I did not while in Israel, thus becoming an ardent supporter of Palestinian rights, and an anti-Zionist activist. I was an active supporter of the Anti-Apartheid Movement as a Labour member in the 1970s and acted against racist organisations throughout my life. My films, books and articles reflect the same political views outlined here; these include a popular book on the Holocaust (Introduction to the Holocaust, with Stuart Hood, 1994, 2001 2014), among others, a BBC documentary film (State of Danger, with Jenny Morgan, BBC2, March 1988) about the first Intifada, and a forthcoming volume on the Israeli Army (An Army Like No Other, May 2020) . I have re-joined the Labour Party after decades, when Jeremy Corbyn was elected to the leadership, as I regained hope in promoting a progressive agenda for the party, after years of Blairism.
It is evident that my background qualifies me as an antisemite according to the Labour coda based on the flawed IHRA ‘definition’ of antisemitism, or rather, the weaponised version of Zionist propaganda aimed against supporters of the human and political rights of Palestinians. But I would like to add some more damning evidence, so as to make the case watertight, if I may.
Over the decades, I took part in hundreds of demonstrations against Israeli brutalities and acted against the atrocities committed by of the military occupation, in various countries – Israel, in Europe and the US. I have published articles, made films and contributed to many books and have spoken widely in a number of countries against the Israeli militarised colonisation of Palestine, the denial of any rights to most Palestinians, the severe violations of human and political rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the brutalizing impact of the IDF on Jewish Israeli society. I have also analysed the false nature of the IHRA campaign in a recent article, written from an anti-Zionist, human rights perspective. I am active in a number of political groups affiliated or close to the Labour Party, who support Palestinian rights – Jewish Voice for Labour, and Jewish Network for Palestine, of which I am a founder member.
I am aware that according to the Labour Party rules, all the above constitute what you define as antisemitism.
Personally, it is clear to me that such accusations are false and sickening, but no one asked the members on the adoption of the IHRA definition and its examples. The adopted definition makes Israel the only state in the world which one may not criticise, unless they wish to court accusations of antisemitism. To criticise the British Empire, for example, is not anti-British, and, as we speak, still allowed by Labour Party rules. To criticise the US government for its attacks on Iraq in 1991 and 2003 is not anti-American, and still allowed by US regulations. To criticise Israeli apartheid colonialism is not anti-Israeli, neither is it antisemitic, of course. What is antisemitic and racist are the current regulations of the party, and until they are changed, Jews and others who support Palestine have no reason to support a party which treats them in this way.
The Labour Party regulations are what they are; However, I have no intention of stopping my activities, toning them down, or abandoning my principles in order to satisfy the twisted logic of the Labour Party. I insist on my right, indeed, on my duty as an ex-Israeli, as a Jew, as a citizen, as a socialist and last but not least, as a human being, to openly act against and criticise Israeli Apartheid and injustices, for as long as I am able to. I also believe that as a party member of what I believed to have turned into a progressive political organisation, this should be my right and duty; but I realise that my activities are against Labour Party dogma, regulation and current interests, so am accusing myself openly through this letter, and asking you to refer me to the Compliance Unit, so that justice may be done, and that I would be treated equally to my many friends who found themselves in the same predicament – Prof. Moshe Machover, Jackie Walker, Elleanne Green, Tony Greenstein, Glyn Secker, and many others faced with the Stalinist inquisitorial system developed by the Labour Party. If you are to separate the ‘good Jews’ from the ‘bad ‘ones, please include me in the latter group, as nothing in my academic output, teaching history, publication record, or political activity can support the claim that I am not an antisemite according to your rules. I demand that justice be done.
I trust that my request will be taken seriously and acted upon, with the same combination of dispatch, bigotry and prejudice showed towards other members already accused of this offence. Failure to do so will be tantamount to evidence that the criteria for judging the existence of antisemitism are not uniformly applied.
I am ready to provide all evidence which may be required by the investigators of the Compliance Unit, to prove my guilt. Please do not hesitate to ask for assistance on points which remain unclear.
Dear Santa, I want one thing. (sic) I been a good girl and I want to ask you if you please get me a power wheelchair. My wheelchair is very old and it does not want to work. I am very sad. Please Santa, bring me a power wheelchair. I don’t want nothing else.
“Dear Santa … My wish is money for my (sic) perents. $100 dollars would help us a lot. They are having a rough time with the bills.”
“Dear Santa, how are you and your reindeer? It must be cool riding a sled in the sky…. this year for Christmas I would really like a couch that is also a bed. The reason I would like a couch with a bed is because I have a[n] apartment that only has one room. My parents sleep in the living room on the couch and they always wake up with back pain. My dad works a lot, so his back pain stresses him out.”
Even prior to the pandemic, the United States lagged other developed nations in child poverty levels. More than one out of every five American children lives in poverty, according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data. As the pandemic continues to exacerbate the underlying crisis of American poverty, 45 percent of all children now live in households that have recently struggled with routine expenses, according to a report out this month from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, or CBPP. Black and Latino households have been especially impacted by the economic starvation that the mishandling of this pandemic has wrought, and these populations were already disproportionately likely to grow up poor.
But apparently people do. They call it journalling. It’s a way of inflicting your interesting thoughts about coffee or your new t-shirt.
“If journaling is on your 2021 goals list, then Day One needs to live on your macOS dock. It’s the best tool for journaling on the Appel (sic) platform with built-in sync from Mac to iPhone/iPad. Day One makes it easy to document the funny things your kids say, great school projects, or the best cup of coffee you had on an overseas trip.”
Speaking of the play rebound – scientists can label it, but can’t understand it. And I think you have maybe done a similar incompleteness. ‘Mortality’ isn’t quite right either. On occasions like this, I get etymological on yo ass. Later maybe.
Now what the boffins call a rebound was probably (90%) observed in INDIVIDUAL rats. Free Sturrockesque term for you – a lubound. It’s as good as any of his clever wordmanglings , like ludiddo, ffs.
But what you watched was a GROUP PHENOMENON.
And as I has said before, we don’t have any tools or concepts to talk about that, yet. All we have is parallel, solo and group play. That is stamp collecting, trainspotting, botany, not biology. I ‘m thinking that Maturana will have the answer to this. Its to do with ENACTING a STRUCTURAL COUPLING. Maturana studies the BIOLOGY of COGNITION. He is also the only scientist I ‘ve met who talks about love. It sounds bathetic (b not p)and possibly a bit rude (lol) to say that ‘Love is structural coupling’. Oh, but it is.
He tells a story of walking through a field full of thistles with his small son, using his walking stick to heroically beat down thistles to clear a scratch-free path for his beloved boy. The boys says ‘Papa, why do you hate the thistles so much?’ And Humberto is mortified. Stopped in his tracks. I imagine that at that point he dropped his mighty warrior’s stick and picked up his son and held him aloft and spun them around wobblingly out of sheer joy as the sun smiled done upon all the lifeforms of the field, plant and animal.
Living systems are about cooperation. Competition and ‘the survival of the fittest’ is a lie told by capitalism. The true story of nature is not red in tooth and claw it is cooperation, symbiosis, commensalism. It is ‘life will find a way’. What persists is the most fitted to its niche not the biggest and baddest. When there is a drought or a poisoning the first to die are the kings at the top of the food chain. The cheetah, the peregrine, not the antelope or the sparrow. Wolves change rivers. And make deer healthier.
So, yes, a rebound. Or rather a reBOND.
How many times have you seen little kids check out ‘are you my friend’, then carry on, not actually with the affirmed friend? They check that the BOND is still there. Then they can fly.
Behind every succesful man is a successful pair bonding. And behind every successful woman is a pile of washing, LOL. If you are truly bonded, you don’t need to be cuddling all the fecking time.
I give you BOND as a key concept in our work. Bowlby knows it, Winnicott knows it, children need it, and as they grow up they bond in more complex ways. But you can’t fecking BOND over fecking ZOOM. The magnets demand contact. Clack as they come together.
This beauteous latinic tintinambulationing reminds me that I have never understood American racism. Maybe it’s jealousy; that might make some kind of sense. But I’m not jealous; instead I’m awestruck. Of course it helps if you know the tune: start with Doris Day’s ‘straight’ version (nothing straighter is available!), then check out Cannonball and Mileses version on Somethin’ Else, then this. Jazz is play, bitches: if they aren’t having fun, and crucially, if WE aren’t having fun, then why the fuck would anyone bother? Watch the video closely to see the magnificent fun being had! Btw, Ahmad turned 90 in July. “We don’t stop playing when we get old, we get old when we stop playing…”
A musicological socio-sexual gender-fluid analysis of a poodle-rock classic: ‘Jump’ by Van Halen.
If you are not pissing yourself laughing at this video within 45 seconds, you’re missing the point.
First observation: oestrogen or testosterone?
It doesn’t matter. Socioologists and endocrinologists and shagnologists will tell you that human sexual response is incredibly complex and that in part the female sex drive is governed, suprisingly, by male hormones and something complicated about blokes here also, whatever.
Let’s be more blunt – is this video gay? Now, to be clear, I don’t mean this in a homophobic way, I mean “are there aspects of this performative behavioural episode* which might be related to the sorts of performance traditionally embraced by the gay community, characterised by the extremes of anguished emotionality of such divas as Piaf, Mercury or Judy?
Is this video camp?
Does the Pope shit in the woods?
Hegel** memorably said “All opposites shade ineluctably into their opposites”
“Ineluctably”, brilliant word. Very gay word. “early 17th century: from Latin ineluctabilis, from in- ‘not’ + eluctari ‘struggle out’.” As in ‘impossible not to fight its way out’. How gay is that?
But we’re not here to mince words —LOL, I said mince— we’re here to discuss this song and the video.
OK I lied. If you want all that arpeggiated B flat minor over the root in G, on F and G which gives it a Lydian feel, then this rather RAWK dude has all the muso-malarkey you desire. Did you know that part of the guitar solo was punched in? No? Well’ you do now. Don’t know what ‘punched in’ means? googlit, biatch.
Rick Beato explains all here:
What Makes This Song Great? Ep.61 VAN HALEN (#2)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XhKSXeT2OI
We’re actually here to discuss the video. WTF is it? For me it is a bunch of extremely heterosexual white males adopting the performative language of a southern Californian thirteen year old girl posing in her bedroom mirror. Is that gay? Fucktifiknow.
Is David Lee Roth, sexually threatening? Yes. Is that a good thing? Depends, I’m not answering that. Is he really sexually threatening? Nah. It’s too much of a parody of a parody to be that. Does he know what he is doing? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe at some level, whatever
Check out the ‘hair-muss’ and head toss at 0:17. Compare and contrast with a handy 13 year old girl. (I haven’t actually done this, officer, so don’t call social services, thank you very much.) 100% the total self absorption of a teen gazing full-on into their bedroom mirror. slightly disconcerting. Meant to be. Gotcha!
At 0:34, the turn away – total teen girl. The first of many, then at 0:37, MCU, and we see what he is wearing in detail for the first time. Are those leather chaps? I fear so, m’lud. Possibly rubber or vinyl, as if that makes a difference. A black mesh slip over a sleveless orange vest. An outfit which a mere ten years earlier, if worn on Top of The Pops would cause every dad in the UK to splutter into his cocoa., and, when emulated by a teenage girl (or boy) would inelucatbly elicit the expostulation: “YOU ARE NOT GOING OUT DRESSED LIKE THAT, YOUNG LADY!!!”
Then the hands on the lower rib cage. Need I say more?
On the other hand, here’s the infamous Aztec Camera cover, in which a Devon fudge-toned Roddy Frame, takes the piss right back at the Halen’s for their their ‘twee guitar playing’ comment in the NME. Totally devoid of machismo, it’s a song to brighten any shoe-gazing indie boy’ bedroom. Lot of ‘Sweet Jane’ in there, and a dash of ’Waiting for a Friend’ by the Glimmer twins. you have to listen to the full long version with the ‘fuck you, I can rock’ guitar solo… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bzKzbucdnE
Hello! Hey you! Just found this. Boy in a band who looks like a girl ripping the piss out of a bloke in a band that looks like a girl for looking like a girl. Nice one, Rodders – live version: https://youtu.be/RvCYMeY0CEE At 2:16 is that a bit of Stairway? Or the intro to Layla?
But I digress…
At 0:59, some obligatory puppyish “we’re not gay” male bonding
At 1:02 a drumkit so huge that it has its own postcode, constructed entirely from the ruins of vanquished T-800 Terminators. This is actually irrelevant, but I don’t care.
There is some debate about the origins of this song “”I heard this song was about some woman who sent David a letter saying “marry me or i jump off a bridge.” see comments below the video. Is the song a response to her? Search me guv.
Others claim that the song has provoked suicide. When we say others, I probably mean Newt Gingrich or Nancy ‘Parental Advisory just say no’ Reagan. Whatever. Nice joke in response to that moral kerfuffle: from SMAXZO, 4 months ago “ “Your call to the Suicide Prevention Hotline is very important to us. Our crisis counselors are busy at the moment, please hold” this song is played while you’re on hold”. Find their comment, and the next one, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq-potK_7Ts
“There’s so many comments about suicide here, funny this is— most of those commenters may not know that David was inspired by a news coverage of someone jumping off of a building. However, the song is more “jump into love/life” rather than, well, kill yourself.”, opined one Keith Gunshot, probably not the name on his birth certificate.
Interestingly, they allegedly knocked ‘Karma Chameleon’ off the Billboard Number#1 position , a track that featured the massively gay but weirdly non-threatening, liked by your nan, cross-dressing, Boy George and Culture Club. You have to feel for dads watching TOTP back then. Confused.com.
Where was I? Ah yes, ‘pouty stare’. At 1:24, the uber pouty stare. At this exact moment in time, Mick Jagger’s crown and cheekbones were passed to the next generation.
OMG! What’s this? At 1:57, Lap dancer pose! Don’t want to get too David Attenborough narrating mating dingos in the Outback, but this is classic female mating behaviour – the open mouth and all-fours pose, back slightly arched, signalling oestrus to nearby males. We won’t mention anal glands, mainly because humans don’t have any, thankfully.
“The estrous cycle or oestrus cycle (derived from Latin oestrus “frenzy”, originally from Greek οἶστρος oîstros “gadfly”) is the set of recurring physiological changes that are induced by reproductive hormones in most mammalian therian females. Estrous cycles start after sexual maturity in females and are interrupted by anestrous phases or by pregnancies. Typically, estrous cycles continue until death. Some animals may display bloody vaginal discharge, often mistaken for menstruation.” Thanks for that, Wikipedia.
Moving on, thankfully, it gets traditionally rockist for the solo. At 2:19, what a nice smiley young man, says your mum. Followed by the Oberheim OB-Xa keyboard solo. Me want. Me wanna OB-Xa.
Followed by a reprise featuring aerobics and silly walks.
“All opposites shade ineluctably into their opposites”, said Hegel. The song has a reprise, so I can too. Whatever. How anyone could think this song encourages suicide is a fucking moron.
Up, doesn’t begin to describe it. High on life maybe.
Are we having fun yet?
File under: PROGRESSIVE COCK
(like a proper academic tosser)
*I made that up.
** Hegel. Bloody googlit yourself, I’m not doing all the work for you, jeez.
One of my less appealing habits is the consumption, stood over the sink, of a tin of sardines. Omega 3 n shit. Cause for celebration, I actually enjoyed them, little fishy tomatoey bony little fuckers that they are. Don’t ever get them from Lidl. Scales, yeurgh. Why am I telling you this? Because I actually enjoyed them.
I actually enjoyed them. I actually enjoyed them because…
…my sense of taste has come back! Not because of the covid, avoided so far, don’t touch wood, or plastic or metal, or your face. Well, because of the covid, but indirectly. Instead of dental extraction —don’t forget to brush regularly, unlike me— I’ve had two doses of antibiotics. Yep. Proper antibiotics. Metronizadole. One of the very few Antibiotics Of Last Resort.
Not an ordinary antibiotic. Ordinary antibiotic, being shortchanged from a fiver. Metrofuckazine, having your car stolen and watching them set it on fire. Hallucifuckingnations. Metallic taste in my mouth for 3 months. Every time I take the pill, 4 times a day, precisely two hours later, instant heavy flu symptoms. Ever-present metallic taste, throbbing headache, bunged sinuses, aches, pains. Two hours later, gone. Just in time for another fucking pill. And the ever-lasting metallic taste, like welsh mizzle, dreich of the palate, blehque, bleurgh. Ugh.
Today food tasted like actual food for the first time in months. Yay. Fuck you, covid. Yep, covid, because you don’t deserve a capital letter.
A friend is at home wishing she could attend her friend’s father’s funeral but she can’t because of lockdown, immediate family only. She could drive to Barnard Castle though. If she had a car. And knew how to drive.
It’s raining here. Good for the garden and the crops. I like it when it rains, it means I’m not pining to go out.
Not that i like the sun, it’s too hot. My favourite thing was sitting under an umbrella outside a pavement cafe, nursing a coffee or a tiny foreign beer, on a sunny day in Lisbon, watching people.
I like the idea of the sun more than the greasy sun cream, sand and flies, gusts of wind blowing my newspaper about, reality of it.
Rain is British. Once we are out of the EU with no deal it will rain incessantly and all the brown and black people will dissolve; there’ll just be muddy water stains on pavements and a faint smell of curry.
The NHS will dissolve as well, melting in the dark, like a cake in the rain.
“…fire all the teachers and replace them with cooks and gardeners and artists and woodworkers and scientists, all pursuing their interests in the company of the neighborhood kids who would spend their days pursuing their own.”
Another superb blog from the man in the superhero suit: