Archive for November, 2014

Why Do We Put Up with Spin?

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , on November 29, 2014 by kathydasilva

IMG_6125I had this thought today. I had watched a piece of the interview that the BBC had carefully orchestrated with Noam Chomsky.

”Neo-liberal democracy. Instead of citizens, it produces consumers, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralized and socially powerless.”


I think the program was Newsnight. The grand man of philosophy and social comment, at the age of 85, had to bear, the jaunty and rather unusual attack on his theories, by Evan Davis, in  a really slightly contrived situation. The members of public when asked about whether they felt (disenfranchised from the politics of our time, did they feel powerless, he might just as well also said ineffectual). The quotes from Chomsky’s writing were being used to ‘show him up’, well, if you take a thing so abstractly to pieces and out of the context of intellectual conversation…then, it could sound a bit insulting perhaps. However, if the questions had been do you agree with bedroom tax, do you agree with banks charging huge fees for minimal borrowing, do you agree with warring against nations that have not declared war against ours. And then if you had examined the same questions of feeling powerless. Wouldn’t half of us said well, yes! If the interviewer had pointed to chemtrails in the sky, and said David Cameron does not admit the chemtrails are real, or happening. Would the lady have said what she did say. The interviewer spoke only to the well clad. No homeless person was asked a question about Chomsky.  Amazingly there seemed little respect for this man shown by the BBC, so why did they do this interview at all? And why so lopsided in the opinion expressed that perhaps Chomsky was ‘out of touch’. It was a boob by the BBC, in my opinion. If Chomsky had been allowed a share experience of views with other authors, and maybe someone like Glenda Jackson around a coffee table then, perhaps fans of Chomsky might have gleaned some wonderful wisdom.

copymessageonwallB&WThe question above, Why Do We Put Up with Spin, came from reading about the Iraq war scenario, the very loose reason for the invasion of Iraq, based on threat. And, because of the death of a weapons inspector, because of the upset, the death of this man caused, the government under Tony Blair, had done everything it could using the press, to impress on the nations conscience, that they should accept the decision for war. We, if you remember, did not all agree with Tony Blair. Not In My Name, hit the headlines as millions of people filled London streets with banners angry, at the decision.  The reality, the angry masses were ignored, and we definitely felt powerless, and frustrated, and ineffectual. I wonder, if any one in the cabinet has a conscience now? Surely the disgusting situation with ISIS is now proof of the need for reflection, and thought about the interference in these rather antique cultures.

‘The more you increase fear of drugs, crime, welfare issues, single mothers, aliens and migrants....’ Chomsky

Ah ha. Funnily enough, just lately we have seen plenty of this fear-mongering, with police powers increased to deal with any rioting, and possible looting. Where has Evan Davis been for the last decade. Well, this last month saw the march of Anonymous against the surveillance state, and also against the austerity measures of our government. But, also, where in the world is Evan Davis, when clearly the Spanish also near rioted against austerity a few times over, the Greeks too, and certainly a very big riot against the building of a shopping mall occurred in Turkey, with deaths, injuries, and a lot of frustration being pounded out on the streets. Uh huh?! Evan Davis must live in Wonderland.  But, just maybe he is in his safely guarded million dollar apartment way far above the streets of our fair city. Yes um…think that might be nearer the truth. Well done Chomsky for keeping your cool. Wow where’s the book signing?

The Bridge

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2014 by kathydasilva

IMG_6466 A funny thing happened this week. I was walking back from a bar, in Wembley Park, and the sky was dark, it was the kind of wintery atmosphere, that makes most people, shrug their shoulders, and seek shelter. I stood still for a minute as I approached the railway bridge, and realized, this had been the home of my Father when he was small. I often feel a million miles from home, but, my dad was born in Wembley, and later moved with his parents to Reading. I was stood there on the bridge, momentarily reflecting, and then there was that feeling of being home. Not some strange place, that I had never visited. I think my dad’s spirit must have been near. Drizzly London. And yes possibly that feeling of home might just be the right indicator of where to seek accommodation in the near future. And then too, this begot some writing. If a person could see their life ahead of time, I could not have predicted this feeling. It seemed very spiritual. I originally came to London when I was just 19 years of age, to study art at Middlesex. My friend ahead of me, had already settled in a nearby suburban district, just a few stops from Woodgreen. I remember the day I was interviewed with my portfolio, and Quentin, had asked me back for tea. Quentin, had found life tough in the first year of art school, and I think had had a breakdown, that summer, for when I returned having gained my place at the art school, Quentin, was not there. And what can a person say about this city. ‘Outsider’, like the book Quentin had been reading by Camus, ‘Outsiders’, have to tough it here. You leave all the people you’ve known behind when you go away to study. And that just means you start all over again, with new faces, and even new habits. The world, was an ‘oyster’ shell, and the contents a person sought were something of delight. That’s what the packaging promises, doesn’t it. The bar was near empty when I entered. Just one female bartender, serving, and some friends of friends to each other, gossiping about their day their working day. The whole time I sat to drink and eat snacks, there were about four flat screen television’s pinned high on all walls playing the latest football match, fast running feet across the brilliant green pitches made super green by a kind of Kodak color electric signal, message, subliminal. I am colorful, watch me. The decor in the bar, was partly old and shabby, in places, but the front of house, had been newly covered with smart stripy almost traditional red cloth, and paler threading. It seems absurd to say time seemed to have stopped. That I was there again, being nineteen. That suddenly the universe, had been put right, and sanity returned. For a minute. I must take stock. That’s such an English expression. Nation of shop keepers…stock. It is even pleasant remembering this moment. I remember fondly now, though not at the time, my journeys to art school, and walking there, always a long walk through Woodgreen. Haringay Council, libraries, shopping city and my first glance at John Paul Sartre’s ‘Words’, a story of his childhood and developing intellect. And listening many times to something like radio 4, review of books, and around this time they were looking at the novels of existentialists. Quentin had already been aware of Camus, Albert Camus. I had not. So reading for myself, was this very ‘hot pot’ affair of modern novels, versus, nineteen century classics, of all nationalities, in back drop. I had no idea of the way forward at the time, just an avid need to know everything. My new friends, the people I hold dear to myself currently are all actively involved in the progression of politics. This is not an easy arena. And if a person should feel so strongly, strongly enough to become arrested for a particular cause. I was mindful just this minute of William Blake because the government then was prepared to accuse him of sedition. He often spoke about the plight of the poor. And here in our time too, we have people who care, trying to tell the ones who do not about this unequal behavior of government. So how are the ‘poor’ supposed to scold the ‘elite’, in any other way than through demonstration in the street. The English Charter movement, made waves, made the changes, made things happen. That’s almost if not at least one hundred years ago. Is it surprising, to find dissent amongst the poorer classes? I am now singularly worrying about Ciaron O’Reilly. He puts his whole being into the arena of demonstration, in order to prove a point I should say several points about the unequal behaviors of this time of government and it’s planning. We currently have a prime minister in denial of the existence of ‘chemtrails’ , these toxic sprays as far as can be discerned are being used daily in the sky above to ‘re-arrange’ the weather patterns, of our winters, and our summers. There is debate about whole lifestyles, of the problematical, extreme weather conditions producing flooding now regularly a feature of news, particularly in winter time and spring. The world leaders summit in Brisbane, was wholly excluding one demonstrator in particular, and that was Ciaron  O ‘Reilly. His intention was to speak with or get near enough to be heard by Barack Obama, and the other significant Western leaders. The government of Australia, has singled him out, completely excluding him from entering the area which was designated for the summit and it’s visitors. An Outsider. But, in my mind Barack Obama is more outsider, how can it be, that if your birth place is Brisbane, you have no right to be there where the chieftains of world politics gather. No question, no answers allowed. Comments are welcome!