August 28, 2014

had a dream about designing missiles. for someone?? one of my ideas was kinetic bombardment. which is rad

kosher was originally a form of distancing jewish tribes from others in the middle east by diet …

also there are claims that humanity was stronger, taller etc before the transition to agriculture heavy diets … was this engineered?? to make a docile worker population?????????????????????????????

August 28, 2014

Are Isis different from the taliban? yes:

What’s very interesting about ISIS is that they seem to reject the international order altogether, and I think that’s very unique and different. Even when the Taliban were in power, they sought international approval to an extent. I don’t think ISIS is necessarily more bloodthirsty than the Assad regime, or the Taliban, or al Qaeda, but what’s different about ISIS is that they are very happy to show their atrocities. They post it on Twitter. They put it on YouTube. And it’s because they have basically rejected the international order, and they’re rejecting working with the international order, and claiming their own order, an Islamic order harking back to the caliphate days, and because of that it seems like they’re much more bloodthirsty than any other group. ‘

and this is something no one should forget: ‘As monstrous as the Islamic State may be, its success is fueled by legitimate grievances on the part of a Sunni population that has been relegated to second-class status by the Maliki government, a government that came into power as a result of the United States’ recklessly short-sighted invasion and occupation of the country’

It’s not like a foreign power, a major power like the US can come in there and somehow defeat ISIS without causing unintended consequences or second- and third-order effects of the sort that gave rise to ISIS in the first place.’

Why is all this hapening??? 

'What we’re seeing, more broadly speaking, is the fact that we’ve had 30, 40, 50 years of dictatorship, secular dictatorship across the Arab world, in which you’ve had very weak left forces that can articulate a vision of social justice that’s also secular. Those forces have been extraordinarily weak, in large part because of these dictatorships, because of Arab nationalism and Baathism and a lot of these ideologies that garb themselves in left-wing rhetoric but actually, in practice, are very oppressive. And so I think that robs a lot of genuine social justice and left-wing political movements of their legitimacy. And instead what you have is left-wing dictatorships or Islamism as the alternative.

And so after the Arab Spring, the secular dictatorships have been overthrown for the most part, or they’ve been attempted to be overthrown, and there’s nobody else to fill that vacuum except for the Islamists, and so that’s what’s playing out across the Arab world.’

The failure of secular dictatorships. repression, etc, … secular dictatorships are overthrown, and an ideology people turn to is religious dictatorship

Is the middle east fucked for the near future? probably:

I don’t think there’s an easy solution to that. It’s a generational thing. It’s going to take rebuilding, rediscovering these forms of politics and resistance that don’t have to do with Islamism and don’t have to do with Baathism and these other ruinous ideologies. It’s going to take a lot of time, and unfortunately, it’s going to be very bloody.’

4:31pm  |   URL:
Filed under: isis 
August 28, 2014

this is a big one. people calling Isis ‘barbaric’ and saying British jihadis should not be allowed to return to the ‘civilised world’ … these are relative terms, and people are trying to paint the conflict like pure good and evil

al qaeda were mainly terrorists in their methods … but isis is essentially a fledgling state. they should be viewed as insurgents, not terrorists

August 27, 2014
next project

what’s it gonna be??? frcking??

old news but still good:

more independence stuff … maybe

Easterhouse. impoverished ‘scheme’ on the outskirts of Glasgae … 76% voting ‘yes’. Radical Indepencence Campaign targeting those hit by the cuts and/or those who haven’t voted before

huge quote: ‘, after the independence vote the question could become what happens to the political energy emerging in places like Easterhouse. “If the referendum only achieves one thing, I think that one thing will be that it has engaged people.”’

these are the people i hung out with in Edinburgh:


3:00pm  |   URL:
Filed under: politics life 
August 1, 2014

'At a time when the Crusades still serve as the historical starting point for many discussions of the modern Middle East, this map offers perspective on how these messy medieval wars became a go-to metaphor for Christian-Muslim conflict. Shown here are the geographic origins of the Normans and Seljuks, peoples who emerged from Scandinavia and the Central Asian steppe to conquer the Christian and Muslim worlds, respectively, before coming into conflict with one another during the Crusades. In light of their remote origins, the Normans and Seljuks were originally considered uncivilized barbarians by members of the civilizations they ultimately conquered. Both groups zealously embraced their new subjects’ religions to compensate. Thus, when the Normans and Seljuks faced off in the 11th century, the rhetoric of religious war helped each side prove its piety. That same rhetoric performs a similar function today.’

July 31, 2014

Later Jewish sources describe Leviathan as a dragon who lives over the Sources of the Deep and who, along with the male land-monster Behemoth, will be served up to the righteous at the end of time.

When the Jewish midrash (explanations of the Tanakh) were being composed, it was held that God originally produced a male and a female leviathan, but lest in multiplying the species should destroy the world, he slew the female, reserving her flesh for the banquet that will be given to the righteous on the advent of the Messiah (B. B. 74b).

Rashi’s commentary on Genesis 1:21 repeats the tradition: “God created the great sea monsters—taninim.[3] According to legend this refers to the Leviathan and its mate. God created a male and female Leviathan, then killed the female and salted it for the righteous, for if the Leviathans were to procreate the world could not stand before them.” [4]

In the Talmud Baba Bathra 75a it is told that the Leviathan will be slain and its flesh served as a feast to the righteous in [the] Time to Come, and its skin used to cover the tent where the banquet will take place. The festival of Sukkot (Festival of Booths) therefore concludes with a prayer recited upon leaving the sukkah (booth): “May it be your will, Lord our God and God of our forefathers, that just as I have fulfilled and dwelt in this sukkah, so may I merit in the coming year to dwell in the sukkah of the skin of Leviathan. Next year in Jerusalem.”[5]

The enormous size of the Leviathan is described by Johanan bar Nappaha, from whom proceeded nearly all the aggadot concerning this monster: “Once we went in a ship and saw a fish which put his head out of the water. He had horns upon which was written: ‘I am one of the meanest creatures that inhabit the sea. I am three hundred miles in length, and enter this day into the jaws of the Leviathan’” (B. B. l.c.).

When the Leviathan is hungry, reports Rabbi Dimi in the name of Rabbi Johanan, he sends forth from his mouth a heat so great as to make all the waters of the deep boil, and if he would put his head into Paradise no living creature could endure the odor of him (ib.). His abode is the Mediterranean Sea; and the waters of the Jordan fall into his mouth (Bek. 55b; B. B. l.c.).

In a legend recorded in the Midrash called Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer it is stated that the fish which swallowed Jonah narrowly avoided being eaten by the Leviathan, which eats one whale each day.

The body of the Leviathan, especially his eyes, possesses great illuminating power. This was the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer, who, in the course of a voyage in company with Rabbi Joshua, explained to the latter, when frightened by the sudden appearance of a brilliant light, that it probably proceeded from the eyes of the Leviathan. He referred his companion to the words of Job xli. 18: “By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning” (B. B. l.c.). However, in spite of his supernatural strength, the leviathan is afraid of a small worm called “kilbit”, which clings to the gills of large fish and kills them (Shab. 77b).[6]

In the eleventh century piyyut (religious poem), Akdamut, recited on Shavuot (Pentecost), it is envisioned that, ultimately, God will slaughter the Leviathan, which is described as having “mighty fins” (and, therefore, a kosher fish, not an inedible snake or crocodile), and it will be served as a sumptuous banquet for all the righteous in Heaven.

July 30, 2014

joe sacco compared his not showing some israeli soldiers’ eyes in ‘footnotes in gaza’ togoya not showing us the french soldeirs’ faces in ‘third of may’
goya’s firing squad is a dehumanised machine. with no individuality
sacco said he didn’t have that idea in mind. he didn’t draw the israelis’ eyes because he couldn’t understand what they were thinking when they beat unarmed victims etc

July 29, 2014
really interesting post about the origins of FSOG (fifty shades)

9:23pm  |   URL:
Filed under: fanfic 
July 24, 2014

Fellow combat artist Michael D. Fay refers to what we do as “witness art.”

from a good GQ article by Victor Juhasz:

'A good drawing walks an interesting tightrope of being in the moment and reflecting on that moment, from the visual impact of a subtle gesture to the energetic desperation of concentrated activity. In between those successes are all the false starts and failed attempts at capturing that which at times eludes even the fastest of hands and sharpest of eyes.'


12:19am  |   URL:
Filed under: war art reportage 
July 7, 2014
interesting article about british jihadism

As inequality continues to deepen, the lower rungs of British society are responding by getting angrier. They’re feeling severe economic pressure, and are dismayed at the ineffectiveness of elected institutions to address social issues. This underlies the appeal of the far right, in every community. It doesn’t matter which manifestation of it ultimately captures their imagination. British members of ISIS are being spawned by the same Dickensian realities that are making UKIP more popular.’

jihadism’s ideological appeal is linked to ongoing social processes. It’s not about ideology, per se.  Due to the persistence of the War on Terror, and the ongoing economic crisis, surveillance and racism are the norms of the day, making young Muslims like Reyaad and Nasser feel as though they don’t belong in countries like the UK, despite being natives. This nurtures a desire for acceptance that they find in radical groups like ISIS. It’s very similar to joining an inner-city gang, albeit a far more violent one.’

I’d probably agree with the first part, that radicalisation (of any sort) is caused by rising inequality … and it also says that turning to jihadism is a result of not feeling at home in your own country