Friday, February 05, 2016

Two new articles: ISRAEL MOVES TO CHECK ITS ARTISTS & THE 'BERN' AND THE INTERNET @ This Can't Be Happening!


Trying to make art support the Zionist cause:

Israel Moves to Check Its Artists

By John Grant

“A new thought occurred to Rami. It soothed him like a gentle caress. Not all men are born to be heroes. Maybe I wasn’t born to be a hero. But in every man there’s something special, something that isn’t in other men. In my nature, for instance, there’s a certain sensitivity. A capacity to suffer and feel pain. Perhaps I was born to be an artist.”

- Amos Oz, ‘Elsewhere, Perhaps,’ a 1966 novel of kibbutz life

As a writer/photographer and a tax-paying American citizen, a story in the New York Times about Israel’s culture wars made me cringe. It seems the powerful, militarist right in Israel -- so committed to expansion and settlements in the West Bank -- is now trying to suppress ideas among the nation’s artistic and literary minds.

Human creativity amounts to an individual human mind with its rich, active sub-conscious engaging in a dialogue with the outer realities of life. The mash-up that results is called Art. It’s a process that’s often infused with a subversive sensibility at odds with established power. In his perfect republic, Plato banned poets. Tyrants throughout history have been threatened by artists and writers. Hitler, of course, gave up on an artistic career in order to rule Germany and the world as his own personal work of art; he had men like Joseph Goebbels to assure artists and writers weren’t a threat. Art that didn’t promote Aryan purity and German superiority was “decadent” and banned; careers were destroyed. The impulse to attack artists and to cut off their patronage and funding is as old as tyranny itself.

It’s the perennial struggle between Power and Truth. In the short-term, Power can, and often does, run over Truth like a tank in the streets; while in the long run, Truth has the tendency to eat away at, and undermine, that Power. It’s at this juncture -- when Power has made its play and relegated Truth to writhing in the dust -- that the book burners and the state culture warriors begin to attack the arts for disloyalty, a failure of patriotism or in the end with trying to destroy the state.

In the novel Elsewhere, Perhaps, Amos Oz uses a mixture of third person and first person narration that ends up making the kibbutz called Metsudat Ram a character in his story. The character Rami, referenced in the quote at the top, is a sensitive young man. His father is dead and his older brother Yoash was killed in the Suez action. Part of him wants to be a hero like Yoash. He doesn’t want to be a mama’s boy. So he joins the infantry to fight Israel’s enemies. While away, his girlfriend Noga takes up with an older man. Rami’s artistic sensibilities haunt him. In the end, he becomes a synthesis of tough and sensitive and marries Noga...

For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening!, the independent, uncompromised, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to:

Article Two:


He’s the best, but is he all we need?:

The ‘Bern’ and the Internet

By Alfredo Lopez

Bernie Sanders' stunning success in the campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination, highlighted by what is effectively a victory in the Iowa caucuses this past Monday, provokes serious thinking about what a Sanders presidency would look like.

Were he to take office, he would be doing so at a moment where the human race is considering the possibility of its extermination and thinking about ways to survive. In that conversation about survival, the Internet takes part of the center stage. It is not only a critical tool for education and information on our present and future but the communications tool in the struggle to have a future.

It is here that Sanders can mark his progressive territory because the Internet is so important to people's lives and our movements of struggle. If Sanders is serious about this "political revolution" he talks about and has yet to really define, we're going to need the Internet to make it happen.

So the question is how good are Bernie's politics on Internet issues. The answer is better than any other candidate's. On issues of the Internet, Bernie is a vocal and public supporter of the Internet's progressive movement but he's not yet a leader. Whether he becomes a leader may impact the Internet's freedom and, in the process, his own presidential aspirations.

There are three major Internet issues that every candidate must take up: net neutrality, universal access and privacy. These issues define not only how we use the Internet (and how much we can use it) but what communications in our future world will look like: a question that will define what our world looks like.

None of the candidates speak much about these issues except Sanders and that alone makes him unique and way ahead of his opponents. That his positions and statements reflect progressive thinking on almost all the issues makes him even more attractive.

Net Neutrality

Sanders has been an advocate of net neutrality since the issue seriously arose.

To quickly summarize, net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should treat all data that travels on their networks equally. You pay for your connection -- and usually the amount you pay defines your connection's speed -- and then everything that flows into your computer should flow at that speed. If there's a variation, it should be due to network conditions, traffic or some other act of god or technology but never an outcome of a company policy. No website is allowed to pay more to stream content faster.

The principle (which the FCC made law last year) protects smaller websites since, without net neutrality, content providers could be charged for speed. Larger sites would be able to pay while smaller ones (like This Can't Be Happening!) probably wouldn't...

For the rest of this article by ALFREDO LOPEZ in ThisCantBeHappening!, the independent, uncompromised, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to:

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