Your role in stopping the war against Iraq

Posted by ruth catlow | Mon Jan 27th 2003 1 a.m.

Copy of e-mail sent to
helga_benson@bristol-city.gov.uk
dudley_saward@bristol-city.gov.uk

Dear Helga Benson and Dudley Saward,

It has come to my attention that you are in a position to put pressure
on the Labour government (who incidentally, I voted for at the last
election) regarding the coming war in Iraq.
I hear that local elections are immanent in Bristol. If you were to
resign from the Labour government in protest against Mr Blair's
inexplicable support of Mr Bush's unilateral bully boy tactics, you may
have more success in getting the message across to the Prime Minister;
in a way that huge popular protests and polls of public opinion have so
far failed to accomplish.

If Mr Blair has your full support in his current policy, I would be very

grateful if you could explain to me why.
If you would like to know why I think the coming war is unjust,
degrading, damaging, barbaric, a diplomatic catastrophe and economically

counterproductive please do not hesitate to get in touch.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Very best wishes

Ruth Catlow

http://www.furtherfield.org/rcatlow/stop
  • Dyske Suematsu | Mon Jan 27th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Ruth,

    This particular sentence on your website puzzled me:

    "I am an artist but on this day I was one among 400,000 (or there abouts)
    protesters."

    What is implied in the use of the word "but"? Is being an artist supposed to
    be mutually exclusive with being a protester?

    "It seems more relevant these days, for me as an artists, to jump in with
    both feet, to be in the middle of a crowd of human beings when so much of
    our experience of the world is so passive and mediated by TV and film."

    This sentence is puzzling as well. It seems that you remove yourself from
    the category of "human beings" as if an "artist" is a different being. The
    sentence will sound natural if I wrote:

    "It seems more relevant these days, for me as a Briton, to jump in with both
    feet, to be in the middle of a crowd of Iraqis when so much of our
    experience of the world is so passive and mediated by TV and film."

    This makes sense because you are not an Iraqi.

    I do not mean to offend you, but it seems natural that if you feel you are
    outside of the category of "human beings", your experience of the world will
    necessarily be "passive and mediated".

    It is also possible that I am misinterpreting your statements.

    The reason why I bring this up is because I personally feel that the art
    world is becoming increasingly removed from real world and real life. So
    much so that art has nothing to do with anything else but itself. Any
    reference to real life is a mere symbol: as removed as writing a Chinese
    character and saying, "In Chinese, this is supposed to mean 'happiness'".

    --
    Dyske Suematsu
    http://www.dyske.com
    Where Nothing Is Everything
  • Ivan Pope | Mon Jan 27th 2003 1 a.m.
    --
    Ivan Pope
    ivan@ivanpope.com

    http://www.ivanpope.com
    http://www.tochki-inc.com

    "Faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death"
    Hunter S. Thompson

    > From: "Dyske Suematsu" <dyske@dyske.com>

    > I do not mean to offend you, but it seems natural that if you feel you are
    > outside of the category of "human beings", your experience of the world will
    > necessarily be "passive and mediated".
    >
    Not wishing to nit pick, but I dont see that, even if Ruth were outside the
    category of human being, that would mean her experience was necessarily
    passive and mediated.
    It is just as (if not more) likely that the opposite would be true: that her
    experience would be active and direct (or whatever the opposite of passive
    and mediated is).
    Someone has to step outside normality, surely this is just like lateral
    thinking?
    Cheers, Ivan
  • ruth catlow | Tue Jan 28th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Dyske

    >This particular sentence on your website puzzled me:
    >"I am an artist but on this day I was one among 400,000 (or there abouts)
    >protesters."
    >What is implied in the use of the word "but"? Is being an artist supposed to
    >be mutually exclusive with being a protester?

    My initial motivation for making this piece was not to make a piece of "art" but
    to document and communicate my experience of the protest to whoever was
    interested.
    I own that the sentence that you quoted above is a bit sloppy and plays to the
    popular conception of 'the artist' as concerned with an internal or
    institutional dialogue, a search for beauty, a philosophical line of enquiry,
    cultural criticism or commercial endeavor. It is hard to reconcile a commitment
    to these concerns with participation in a popular protest to stop the war
    against Iraq.

    >I do not mean to offend you, but it seems natural that if you feel you are
    >outside of the category of "human beings", your experience of the world will
    >necessarily be "passive and mediated".

    Or perhaps I give away more than I intended. As you so acutely pointed out, I
    do sometimes feel alienated. I am disturbed by the barbaric image of human
    society that I have shoved down my throat as I pass billboards or news stands or
    catch the TV news and I do KNOW that it serves the self interest of many vain,
    greedy and power-driven people for me to be "passive and mediated".

    > >"It seems more relevant these days, for me as an artists, to jump in with
    > >both feet, to be in the middle of a crowd of human beings when so much of
    > >our experience of the world is so passive and mediated by TV and film."
    >
    > >This sentence is puzzling as well. It seems that you remove yourself from
    > >the category of "human beings" as if an "artist" is a different being. The
    > >sentence will sound natural if I wrote:
    >
    > >"It seems more relevant these days, for me as a Briton, to jump in with both
    > >feet, to be in the middle of a crowd of Iraqis when so much of our
    > >experience of the world is so passive and mediated by TV and film."
    >
    > >This makes sense because you are not an Iraqi.

    No you're missing my point here.
    The point I was trying to make was about a experiencing a different kind of
    'local' news; creating a distinction between that information that we get
    through a screen, paper or radio and a distinct type of information gathered in
    proximity to a diverse crowd of 'other' living, breathing, human beings. People
    with a clear purpose, who have come together to express their dissatisfaction
    and disagreement with the politicians they voted in to serve their best
    interests; and very eloquently too.

    At the protest to stop the war against Iraq, I heard and joined in their their
    shuffles of agreement (and sometimes discomfort) as I listened to informed and
    impassioned speakers reveal their arguments, their oratory skills and their
    conceits.

    I saw other people absorbing and responding to news, according to their
    different views. I joined families, groups of friends and individuals of all
    races, ages and political perspectives on a grand scale news gathering exercise.
    A different level of communication entirely than I have experienced recently
    through any of our mediated forms of 'news'. More complex, more meaningful.
    This is the kind of news you can use.

    This is no small issue for two reasons:-

    Firstly there is the issue of bias when news media necessarily becomes a
    powerful tool for national propaganda (not the kind of news I can either create
    or use).

    Secondly to witness how a group of people you have never met before, respond to
    this different kind of news and the way it is presented. And to know that they
    will inevitably go on to share their experience with many people who they meet.
    The news has emotional and social context.
    One of the most important pieces of news that I received that day was that
    400,000 people in this country were prepared to be unconventional in their
    actions and to risk another expression of their minority status. In the weeks
    running up to the march, the news media reported steady, popular support for
    Blair's policies.
    That afternoon 400,000 "normal" people stepped out of their "normal" everyday
    activities and then returned to their everyday activities with a different kind
    of news. (Ivan helped me get this one straight- thanks Ivan).

    > It is also possible that I am misinterpreting your statements.
    > The reason why I bring this up is because I personally feel that the art
    > world is becoming increasingly removed from real world and real life. So
    > much so that art has nothing to do with anything else but itself. Any
    > reference to real life is a mere symbol: as removed as writing a Chinese
    > character and saying, "In Chinese, this is supposed to mean 'happiness'".

    I know what you mean, but don't you think it's funny that you should chose to
    pull me up on semantic issues when the "real world and real life" are, right
    now, threatening to explode into violence and that this is the relevant and
    functional subject of the website that I created.

    Also, I don't think that you have to look very far to see many artists who work
    in the "real world" with "real people" and with everyday themes. At Furtherfield
    we are always especially interested in work that connects and communicates
    functionally with a wide range of people who wouldn't necessarily consider
    themselves to be interested in ART.
    Unfortunately these artists tend to be less visible in the 'art world' perhaps
    BECAUSE they have different concerns and priorities to many of the more visible
    and well known artists.

    Thanks for your thoughts
    You're welcome to misinterpret my statements any time- it's been useful to bash
    out some kind of response to your questions.

    All the best

    Ruth

    http://www.furtherfield.org
  • Dyske Suematsu | Tue Jan 28th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Ruth,

    In your text on the website as well as in the response you wrote for me, I
    do perceive your schismatic view of the world: artists vs. ordinary people,
    you vs. barbaric society, those who are for the war vs. against, vain,
    greedy, and power-driven people vs. conscientious people, the media people
    vs. normal people. Those with schismatic views of the world must also
    embrace unity since unity is what defines schism, and vice versa.

    Let me clarify my position on the war before I go on (in order to avoid any
    confusions). I'm neither for nor against it. I understand both sides of the
    arguments and they both make sense to me, and I see no reason to force
    myself to choose one or the other.

    I watched on TV the anti-war protest in Washington DC. Various speakers came
    up on the podium and delivered their own agendas. They all had very
    different perspectives and reasons for protesting the war, many of which
    contradicted each other. Unity is a troublesome concept in this regard. At
    one extreme, you could be demonstrating with them because you adore Saddam
    Hussein. Even among those who hold seemingly similar views, if you dig
    deeper, you'll start to discover a variety of differences. You'd think that
    if you believe in the same bible, you'll agree on everything, but look at
    how many different Christian religions we have in this world. Take even one
    small school of it, say, the Quakers. Even within the Quakers, there are so
    many differences, and some people prefer to go to a specific church of
    Quakers. Where do these differences lead to in the end? To individuals.
    Ultimately unity, as well as schism, is an illusion that only your mind
    sees. Unity can give us a very powerful feeling of euphoria, but this
    euphoria has no basis in reality since both unity and schism are concoctions
    of our mind.

    Your analysis of the media seems to assume that there are facts independent
    of interpretations. Even if you were the weapons inspector in Iraq, at the
    moment you interpret your own experience it ceases to be reality. It is an
    interpretation that cannot claim any more accuracy than any other
    interpretations in the world. If your argument about the passivity and
    mediation were true, we should simply trust our government officials who are
    so much closer to the reality of Iraq than any of us are. Tony Blair has
    access to information that you do not have. You might be making a rash
    decision based on your limited knowledge of the situation. And, your rash
    decision does have an influence in the outcome of this event. What if your
    decision ended up contributing to something disastrous and inhumane?

    Your words, my words, the words of newspapers, the words of TV news: they
    are all interpretations. It is not possible to report reality as reality.
    All are interpretations. Depending on what you are looking for, any
    interpretation can be useful. In this sense, no interpretation can
    absolutely be better, more significant, or more accurate. Everyone has the
    right to broadcast their own interpretations. For me, it is all the more
    disturbing when any media or any individual claim their accuracy,
    objectivity, or higher awareness.

    For me, my analysis of your writing wasn't simply about semantics. I believe
    that language is the source of many of our problems in this world. Language
    concocts its own world and we project that back to reality, and we act on
    this simulacrum. As an example of how this takes place in our everyday
    lives, you can read my latest post on my website about the rape case in
    California.
    http://www.dyske.com/default.asp?view_ids6

    Projecting a schismatic view of the world end up creating schisms in
    reality.

    -Dyske

    --
    Dyske Suematsu
    http://www.dyske.com
    Where Nothing Is Everything
  • Michael Szpakowski | Tue Jan 28th 2003 1 a.m.
    <Let me clarify my position on the war before I go on
    (in order to avoid any
    confusions). I'm neither for nor against it. I
    understand both sides of the
    arguments and they both make sense to me,>
    well! you clarified your postion, we've avoided any
    confusion - great - that must be a relief to the
    parents of the 500,000 kids that have died because of
    sanctions, and the thousands of young soldiers who
    will die, or to those who will fall under the category
    of 'collateral damage'.
    What your apparently sophisticated arguments hide is
    a contempt for any sort of real engagement with life ,
    which inevitably means taking moral postions and which
    inevitably means trying to establish the truth of
    things which you dismiss so loftily.
    You know - rather Wally Keeler, who at least is
    passionate and cares, than your smug abstentionism.

    =====
    http://www.somedancersandmusicians.com/

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  • Dyske Suematsu | Tue Jan 28th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Michael,

    Let's take it easy.

    I didn't meant to imply that I condemn "real engagement". In my previous
    post, I have stated that I see everyone's interpretation as being equal in
    value. This gives a good reason for anyone to act on his or her own beliefs.
    If you go by the assumption that there is such a thing as "the truth", then
    you cannot make any moves because there is always more that you can find out
    about the truth. At what point is it justified to engage? And your
    engagement will not be as qualified as that of Tony Blair since he knows
    more than you do.

    The fact that I'm neutral on this issue is a coincidence, and just because I
    am neutral does not mean that other people must also be neutral, or that I
    condemn people who are not neutral.

    The fact that many people are pressured to decide which side to be on, is
    also an effect of our language. It is a manifestation of logocentrism that
    is especially strong in the West. As with good and evil, ugly and beautiful,
    black and white; we tend to want to draw a line and identify which it is.
    The situation with Iraq is the same. It is a spectrum, not a binary
    situation. Considering what I know of the issue, weighing the pros and the
    cons, I happen to be around the middle. And I strongly take a stance to stay
    wherever I feel appropriate. I'm not going to be pressured by others, nor by
    the effect of language. This does not mean that I am apathetic to the
    situation, nor uncaring.

    Regards,
    -Dyske

    > well! you clarified your postion, we've avoided any
    > confusion - great - that must be a relief to the
    > parents of the 500,000 kids that have died because of
    > sanctions, and the thousands of young soldiers who
    > will die, or to those who will fall under the category
    > of 'collateral damage'.
    > What your apparently sophisticated arguments hide is
    > a contempt for any sort of real engagement with life ,
    > which inevitably means taking moral postions and which
    > inevitably means trying to establish the truth of
    > things which you dismiss so loftily.
    > You know - rather Wally Keeler, who at least is
    > passionate and cares, than your smug abstentionism.
  • Ivan Pope | Tue Jan 28th 2003 1 a.m.
    > From: "Dyske Suematsu" <dyske@dyske.com>
    >I believe
    > that language is the source of many of our problems in this world. Language
    > concocts its own world and we project that back to reality, and we act on
    > this simulacrum.

    Cor blimey, well, we better abolish language then.
    Your words sound interesting, but where do they get us? Language is surely
    neutral in that language has no agenda of its own. Its us, the users, who
    are the source of problems. We have to deal with them, and we have language
    alone to do that.

    > Where Nothing Is Everything

    Quite.
    Cheers,
    Ivan
  • Ivan Pope | Tue Jan 28th 2003 1 a.m.
    > From: "Dyske Suematsu" <dyske@dyske.com>

    >Everyone has the
    > right to broadcast their own interpretations. For me, it is all the more
    > disturbing when any media or any individual claim their accuracy,
    > objectivity, or higher awareness.
    >
    Although you dont say it, I presume your disturbance applies equally to
    governments, political parties, politicians etc claim their accuracy,
    objectivity or higher awareness?
    Cheers,
    Ivan
  • Dyske Suematsu | Tue Jan 28th 2003 1 a.m.
    > Although you dont say it, I presume your disturbance applies equally to
    > governments, political parties, politicians etc claim their accuracy,
    > objectivity or higher awareness?

    Hi Ivan,

    Yes, it does apply to them. However, oddly, we tend to assume whatever
    politicians say are always only their opinions. It is only the media that we
    expect to be "objective", but that is only a pretense, or an illusionary
    premise that we buy into.

    -Dyske
  • Michael Szpakowski | Tue Jan 28th 2003 1 a.m.
    < Let's take it easy.>
    let's not actually -let's rage at the fact that in a
    world which could feed, clothe, house and educate
    everyone and then some, our leaders ( who do not know
    more than us -
    just would like to claim to) are taking us into a war
    in order to defend the interests of US big business
    and it's oil arm in particular.
    Your argument is a species of post structualism which
    purports to be intellectually heavyweight but which
    devolves down to a lazy 'everything is relative' , 'it
    all depends on interpretation' that an eleven year old
    would find unsophisticated.
    The next time I get on a plane I'm going to hope damn
    hard that the pilot's rules of physics are the same as
    mine.
    What is absent from your argument is any notion that
    the driving force of history is not the ideas of
    clever people ( and the clever person almost always
    seems to be the one putting the argument) but the
    material circumstances under which human beings labour
    in the world to sustain and reproduce life in order
    that anyone has time to philosophise.

    http://www.stopwar.org.uk/

    =====
    http://www.somedancersandmusicians.com/

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  • Jess Loseby | Tue Jan 28th 2003 1 a.m.
    sorry for interrupting but I'm tired, machines been tied up for 5 hours rendering video
    and this "I'm ok - your ok stuff" just pissed me off.

    >
    > I watched on TV the anti-war protest in Washington DC. Various speakers came
    > up on the podium and delivered their own agendas. They all had very
    > different perspectives and reasons for protesting the war, many of which
    > contradicted each other. >
    which is why rallies such as this are so important, people come out from in front of their
    tvs, lift their head out of their newspapers (or computer) and talk to other individuals of
    different background, views and opinions. They come together under one 'unifying'
    umbrella in this case to 'stop the war'.. Yes, difference exists and the 'unity' maybe be
    temporary or uneasy but any umbrella that provokes unity in public (even if that unity is
    confrimed by no more than the act of leaving their home and standing next to each
    other) should be looked at as an 'opinion' and its worth investigated...

    > Your analysis of the media seems to assume that there are facts independent
    > of interpretations. Even if you were the weapons inspector in Iraq, at the
    > moment you interpret your own experience it ceases to be reality.

    urg. this sounds like an academic bollocks to me. that is my interpretation but of course
    it may not be the reality.

    > interpretation that cannot claim any more accuracy than any other
    > interpretations in the world. If your argument about the passivity and
    > mediation were true, we should simply trust our government officials who are
    > so much closer to the reality of Iraq than any of us are. Tony Blair has
    > access to information that you do not have. You might be making a rash
    > decision based on your limited knowledge of the situation. And, your rash
    > decision does have an influence in the outcome of this event. What if your
    > decision ended up contributing to something disastrous and inhumane?
    and what if your prime minister holding the facts has more teeth than brain cells? Do you
    still trust him?

    We must be past the time when we (the masses) abdicate responsibility to the hand of
    the ''power-that-be' in some idealistic belief that they will 'do the right thing and if they
    don't it not my fault 'guv.... '
    The 'officials' have agenda of there own which may have nothing to do with the case
    they are presenting to the public. Yes, and this opionion may not even be their own
    personal one- just the party line. Isn't it then more irresponsible to abdicate
    responsibility to the man who is willing to start a war on a policy document or a political
    whip to which he himself disagrees?

    Leaving the tough choices to the officials can also work both ways. What if your
    government is the same as in the British and US officials in the 1930 who knew years
    before that Hitler was committing mass killings on the jews The people 'on the street'
    who were questioning (and who had relatives and friends in Europe) were told they'
    didn't have all the fact's and it took a further 3 years for the war to start. We (the
    masses) left responsibility to the officials who waited until Hitler was at the height of his
    popularity and millions of people had been disposessed and killed before we acted.
    Leaving it to the guys with the facts worked well eh? It works both ways leaving it to the
    officials in going to war or not. If we were too late then might we not be too early now?

    What about WW1 when insane british officials played knock down to gain a few of dirt
    between trenches? Were the US officials right to decide that the vietnamese were the
    'bad guys' ? What about the british who killed their soldiers over the falklands? The
    officials said that war was really about the island people and british history and not the
    billions of pounds of oil just off its shore. Were they being entirely accurate? When does
    responsibility become personal?

    Is it so beyond belief to think the officials may have other agendas than the 'right' thing
    to do? That the officials may not be as objective and truthful as we would hope. My point
    here is that government and citizens need to work in partnership not one holding the
    facts and the other reacting. This means that a government has a duty to listen to the
    people demonstrating and then be brave enough to respond. This also means that the
    public need to listen to the officials and then be brave enough to question them. Many of
    the people against the war are not doubting the fact that terrible and orchestrated
    human right violations are going on under the regime but the arguments over what to do
    are 'unified' under the 'stop the war' banners - that war is not their answer.
    >
    > Your words, my words, the words of newspapers, the words of TV news: they
    > are all interpretations. It is not possible to report reality as reality.
    > All are interpretations. Depending on what you are looking for, any
    > interpretation can be useful. In this sense, no interpretation can
    > absolutely be better, more significant, or more accurate. Everyone has the
    > right to broadcast their own interpretations. For me, it is all the more
    > disturbing when any media or any individual claim their accuracy,
    > objectivity, or higher awareness.

    Yes my truths may not be the same as yours and so on. Everybody has the right to
    broadcast their truths.... So when is it time to stop swinging your apathetic legs and get
    off the fence. Never? The belief that neutrality is proactive is an illution. One man hits
    another man, a third asks them to stop. Meanwhile you sit at the side and say men are
    just men and what is man anyway?. Could most people really sit and watch or do try to
    listen to the argument and take some action? It might be the the violent man needs to be
    restrained. Or it might be that talking resolves the original argument without the need to
    the men to beat hell out of each other. Yes, we might get hurt ourselves by taking action
    but the neutral opinion has no effect one way on the other. So why is the neutral guy
    shouting?

    j.
    o
    /^ rssgallery.com
    ][
  • marc garrett | Tue Jan 28th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hello Dyske,

    OK - you are asking Michael to take it easy at the same time as saying that=
    Tony Blair knows what's going on - so what if he does. Does that mean that=
    one (or many) are to blindly assume that he has our best interests at hear=
    t? Er...pull the other one it has bombs on it.

    I think that it is safe to assume that you do not know this either... not u=
    nless you went to the same university as 'Poodle chops'...and have dinner w=
    ith him on Sundays.

    As the whole world is being tugged by the collar into a 'false war', yet ag=
    ain. Denial is no longer an option because we are now global, not totally b=
    ut it is spreading. The internet has been an excellent medium to bypass con=
    ventional information. Everyday people are relating to each other on their =
    own terms about their own lives. This is a revolution, not a violent one bu=
    t a personal and a relational function which can also be recognized as evol=
    utionary. Offering lateral potential for all concerned, subjectively as wel=
    l as intellectually, why separate them? They could be amazing bed companion=
    s, metaphorically speaking.

    Things have to change and thought about more realistically, more honestly, =
    although that would be a revolution in its own sense, but say more collecti=
    vely. Because it is so obvious to anyone whom possesses a mutual empathy fo=
    r another human being, that killing does not work; it has been tried so man=
    y times. It's getting very boring - the same old 'male orientated' manneris=
    t reaction. The world is tired of it. It is not the solution. Unless we get=
    off our high horses and start pointing at the real issue(s) then the murde=
    rs of our friends - real people will continue.

    Deconstruction is such a bad doctor, as a tool it slices through the body t=
    o reveal guts and then cannot put the body back together again, leaving it =
    to fall apart, like an old car body part. Forgetting the larger picture, th=
    us looking in a singular fashion reliant on the micro ignoring the macro. I=
    t's a very human trait, fathers are very prone to this sort of function, it=
    is in part a type of autism and partly denial.

    Specialists also suffer from this, denying the links that are so obviously =
    staring them in the face but because the link does not fit into their speci=
    fic language structure or culturalized singularity, they poo poo it as 'ups=
    tartism', or something just as divisive.

    Non specialization offers a wider scope for viewing which is so easily forg=
    otten even by our leaders of 'men' 'women'. This is part of the problem, t=
    he leaders of this World are not informed enough emotionally or philosophic=
    ally to have a clear vision on how to move this 'muddy planet' into a cohes=
    ive and mutually progressive environment. This has been proven - it is not =
    hard to count the blemishes that many of our 'so called' civilized cultures=
    unwittingly and foolishly; have left for others to clean up.

    There is nothing wrong with people, from whatever walk of life, artist, tra=
    nsvestite, queer, polish, policeman - who cares? The more the merrier...goo=
    d luck to them for daring to be honorable (there's an old word for you) and=
    declaring their needs realistic and valid needs and honest heart-felt conf=
    usion. Anyone and everyone deserves the space to declare via their own deve=
    loped identity or undeveloped persona what they feel, for they are not the =
    problem. It is the killers (mostly simple minded greedy men) who are causin=
    g immense disruption in the World.

    To sit on the fence and to suggest that crucial situations in life, are 'ei=
    ther', or 'or', could be challenged and seen by some as a very simplistic c=
    oncept and weak view point. And life does not have to be like a game of ten=
    nis, winner and loser - dualistic myths. Some of the audience has no choice=
    , some of them are being murdered by various rulers and do not have the lux=
    ury of choice in this deadly game imposed by despotic sadists - whether the=
    y be spawned by capitalism, religion or Marxism, or Mickey mouse. The flag =
    in the end becomes meaningless because, we all know about pain and death wh=
    atever the flag that killer is waving. Sometimes flags cover things up.

    Everyone is involved in this horrible game, because it is global. And this =
    means that we are going to need more than just 'corrective language' ideolo=
    gies. Peacemaker - this means nothing. The United States administration (th=
    e imposters of the throne that is) has added Cuba, Libya and Syria to the n=
    ations it claims are deliberately seeking to obtain chemical or biological =
    weapons. By using reactionary and divisive language which is dangerous this=
    is creating a 'cause and effect' drop of mutual respect. And then there ar=
    e those who wish to not educate themselves on alternative view points, othe=
    r than the ones handed down by institutional default. These are the kind of=
    structuralist lovers, always believing that daddy knows best, well they ar=
    e wrong. And no, I do not suffer from penis envy. I enjoy the cunt, so much=
    deeper don't you think. More sensual and not losing itself to the predicta=
    bility of standardization of means testing, measuring - you know all that M=
    ensa ballshit.

    By deluding oneself that one is out of the picture, not involved is delusor=
    y; by actively taking this self-appropriated decision, one puts in place ce=
    rtain rules that follow.

    American hypocrisy is astounding almost laughable if it was not such a bad =
    joke.
    This is a statement that bush blurted out of his small hole after the 9-11 =
    incident. "States that sponsor terror and pursue WMD (weapons of mass destr=
    uction) must stop. States that renounce terror and abandon WMD can become p=
    art of our effort, but those that do not can expect to become our targets,"=
    he said.

    Er... hello. Didn't America bomb Japan? Didn't they try to invade Cuba, Cam=
    bodia and many more that I am these days so, so bored of mentioning over an=
    d over and over again? America's self referential child-like psychology max=
    im, has much to be desired, the only saving grace is that many of America's=
    more fluid and more thoughtful dudes are not willing to let such nonsense =
    be believed. Because the real issue is that war is not appropriate. People =
    all over the World do not want this 'stupid male' dominated attitude to rui=
    n our lives anymore - surely this is not a naive assumption but an honest r=
    eflection of genuine need.

    > The fact that many people are pressured to decide which side to be on, is
    > also an effect of our language.

    True - but language is not the signifier, it is part of the greater sum. Me=
    aning it has a source, a beginning, then a motion, a mechanistic drive, Car=
    tesian mix-ups and assumptions that are not so relevant in the 21st Century=
    . Amazing discoveries of cognitive thought and subjective intelligence from=
    Quantum physics and psychology are blowing the Newtonian and Cartesian tho=
    ught patterns apart.

    This is where the Western world falls on its face, too reliant via self- re=
    ferential and singular notions, not taking into account that money no longe=
    r has national stability, now it is in the chaotic and inter-relational rea=
    lm of computers, in accordance to multi-lateral programming demands. This m=
    eans that control of it all is reliant on global influence, if one blows a =
    country up over there it will thump the market over here. So it is not very=
    clever to start thumping the next door neighbor, because not only will the=
    y thump the idiot back, the market will crash into recession. And selling w=
    eapons to despots will not cure this cuz now everyone's kind of getting the=
    jist of this irresponsible behavior.

    The cowboy is simply gonna have to get off his horse and drink his milk. =

    > Hi Michael,
    >
    > Let's take it easy.
    >
    > I didn't meant to imply that I condemn "real engagement". In my previous
    > post, I have stated that I see everyone's interpretation as being equal in
    > value. This gives a good reason for anyone to act on his or her own belie=
    fs.
    > If you go by the assumption that there is such a thing as "the truth", th=
    en
    > you cannot make any moves because there is always more that you can find =
    out
    > about the truth. At what point is it justified to engage? And your
    > engagement will not be as qualified as that of Tony Blair since he knows
    > more than you do.
    >
    > The fact that I'm neutral on this issue is a coincidence, and just becaus=
    e I
    > am neutral does not mean that other people must also be neutral, or that I
    > condemn people who are not neutral.
    >
    > The fact that many people are pressured to decide which side to be on, is
    > also an effect of our language. It is a manifestation of logocentrism that
    > is especially strong in the West. As with good and evil, ugly and beautif=
    ul,
    > black and white; we tend to want to draw a line and identify which it is.
    > The situation with Iraq is the same. It is a spectrum, not a binary
    > situation. Considering what I know of the issue, weighing the pros and the
    > cons, I happen to be around the middle. And I strongly take a stance to s=
    tay
    > wherever I feel appropriate. I'm not going to be pressured by others, nor=
    by
    > the effect of language. This does not mean that I am apathetic to the
    > situation, nor uncaring.
    >
    > Regards,
    > -Dyske
    >
    >
    > > well! you clarified your postion, we've avoided any
    > > confusion - great - that must be a relief to the
    > > parents of the 500,000 kids that have died because of
    > > sanctions, and the thousands of young soldiers who
    > > will die, or to those who will fall under the category
    > > of 'collateral damage'.
    > > What your apparently sophisticated arguments hide is
    > > a contempt for any sort of real engagement with life ,
    > > which inevitably means taking moral postions and which
    > > inevitably means trying to establish the truth of
    > > things which you dismiss so loftily.
    > > You know - rather Wally Keeler, who at least is
    > > passionate and cares, than your smug abstentionism.
    >
    > + ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gniht ym tup
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
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    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > +
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    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
  • Dyske Suematsu | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    > OK - you are asking Michael to take it easy at the same time as saying that
    > Tony Blair knows what's going on - so what if he does. Does that mean that one
    > (or many) are to blindly assume that he has our best interests at heart?
    > Er...pull the other one it has bombs on it.

    Hi Marc, Jess, and Michael,

    Sounds like I got myself into trouble. Right now, I don't have time to
    respond to all the points raised by you all, but one thing I do have to
    clarify, since many of you seem to have misunderstood my statement.

    I am not in any way in support of Tony Blair and George Bush making
    unilateral decision on the war. All I meant to say was that if you went by
    the logic of "the truth" (which I DO NOT), it would make sense that you let
    someone who knows better rule the world. I am absolutely against this. I
    value everyone's opinions equally, precisely because I believe that there is
    nothing more than interpretations, and no such thing as "the truth".

    So, all those things that you wrote in response to this misunderstanding,
    I'm in agreement with. I am disgusted by American arrogance myself. I'm
    disgusted by American double-standards. In fact I feel depressed every time
    I see Bush on TV, especially tonight with the state of the union speech.

    But I still insist that we take it easy. Anger can distort our thinking.
    More than ever, we need to think clearly. I very much appreciate most of the
    comments you've all raised. They are valuable perspectives. For me, this is
    only a part of the learning process.

    Dyske
  • Dyske Suematsu | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Michael,

    Little by little, I would like to respond to some of the points raised in
    response to my post.

    > What is absent from your argument is any notion that
    > the driving force of history is not the ideas of
    > clever people ( and the clever person almost always
    > seems to be the one putting the argument) but the
    > material circumstances under which human beings labour
    > in the world to sustain and reproduce life in order
    > that anyone has time to philosophise.

    This notion is not absent in my argument. In fact, it is the point of my
    argument. My "all are interpretations" justifies everyone to act on their
    own beliefs regardless of the amount of knowledge, education, and
    intelligence. In the end, I believe that the inherent good of the humanity
    will prevail. If you could not believe in the fundamental good of the
    humanity, that is, if the humanity as a whole was evil, then we might as
    well go extinct. Our trust in the good of the humanity will eventually work
    itself out, and part of that process is for each and every one of us to act
    on his/her own belief.

    Though you do not see me ostensively acting for the Iraq situation, that is
    a result of my careful consideration of my own beliefs. My attitude may
    change later, but by no means, I am apathetic. If I were, I would not be
    involved in a discussion like this.

    --
    Dyske Suematsu
    http://www.dyske.com
    Where Nothing Is Everything
  • Dyske Suematsu | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Jess,

    I've read your post carefully, but most of it seems to be based on your
    misunderstanding caused by my lack of clarity in my original post. So, I
    agree with most of them. There were some interesting historical facts and
    arguments based on those facts. I agree with them too.

    "The belief that neutrality is proactive is an illution."

    The actress Halle Berry who won an Oscar last year is half black and half
    white. The story that I heard (not being an expert on Hollywood facts) is
    that she used to resist being categorized as black or white. This is rightly
    so. The circumstances of the situation calls for a neutrality which is
    reasonable. But there is just too much force in our society, driven by the
    effect of our language, to label her either or. Last year, she gave in and
    identified herself as African American. This was disappointing to me.

    When reality presents a situation where it is only reasonable to be neutral
    (i.e., for me personally, not to imply that it is for all), that is, all the
    factors to be considered (within my knowledge and capacity) happen to be
    equal in significance, then, just as in the case with Halle Berry, it is
    hard to stay neutral. It takes a great amount of effort to stand there,
    because the society wants you to decide.

    Another instance of where this happens is when a sexually ambiguous child is
    born. These hermaphrodites are subjected to various surgeries to normalize
    their sexual status. In this process, their otherwise perfectly healthy
    bodies are forever ruined. They go through these processes simply because
    the society is not capable of accepting them as they are. Our society is
    structured in such a way that you must be either or. These are forces of our
    language, a categorical thinking.

    --
    Dyske Suematsu
    http://www.dyske.com
    Where Nothing Is Everything
  • Ivan Pope | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>
    > The actress Halle Berry who won an Oscar last year is half black and half
    > white. ... she used to resist being categorized as black or white. This is
    rightly
    > so. The circumstances of the situation calls for a neutrality which is
    > reasonable. Last year, she gave in and
    > identified herself as African American. This was disappointing to me.
    >
    > When reality presents a situation where it is only reasonable to be
    neutral
    ... as in the case with Halle Berry, it is
    > hard to stay neutral. It takes a great amount of effort to stand there,
    > because the society wants you to decide.

    Sorry, I don't get this. I don't understand why you are personally affronted
    or feel it impacts on your when people make decisons about where they stand
    and who they are.
    Just because something takes a 'great deal of effort' does not mean it is
    inherently a good thing.
    I think you language about Halle Berry being 'half black and half white'
    betrays a simplistic view of the world. No-one is 50% anything or 100%
    anything. Halle Berry isn't some perfect shade of grey which allows her to
    sit neatly in the middle of the colour chart. She is a human being. Skin
    colour is a construct dependent on a range if issues. If Berry decides to
    call herself African American, then that is her right and it is nor our
    place to be 'disappointed', surely?
    Ivan
  • Dyske Suematsu | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Ivan,

    I certainly do not want to imply that she has no right to call herself
    black. My disappointment is indeed a selfish one. I simply wished that more
    people would be willing not to identify themselves so much in terms of black
    and white, which end up contributing to our schismatic way of seeing people.
    But, this is a free country. She can do whatever she wants.

    "Sorry, I don't get this. I don't understand why you are personally
    affronted or feel it impacts on your when people make decisions about where
    they stand and who they are."

    Aside from my selfish disappointment, I agree with you. That is why I'm
    defending myself from the criticisms on this list for my neutrality. My
    neutrality seems to be offending some people, which I do not see why it
    should.

    "Just because something takes a 'great deal of effort' does not mean it is
    inherently a good thing."

    True also. This also applies to the views of anti-war and pro-war.

    --
    Dyske Suematsu
    http://www.dyske.com
    Where Nothing Is Everything
  • D42 Kandinskij | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    On Tue, 28 Jan 2003, Ivan Pope wrote:

    > Your words sound interesting, but where do they get us? Language is surely
    > neutral in that language has no agenda of its own.

    Actually, it does. Very much so.
  • joseph mcelroy | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    > defending myself from the criticisms on this list for my neutrality. My
    > neutrality seems to be offending some people, which I do not see why it
    > should.

    Actual neutrality would require a tremendous amount of knowledge and an
    advanced emotional maturity. People are not buying either, thinking it is an
    artificial pose. You have a long way to go to create belief in your ability to
    be neutral. And the full course of neutrality would require not only inner
    convincing, but outer as well. You fail to be neutral.

    joseph & donna
    www.electrichands.com
    joseph franklyn mcelroy
    corporate performance artist www.corporatepa.com

    go shopping -> http://www.electrichands.com/shopindex.htm
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    Quoting Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>:

    > Hi Ivan,
    >
    > I certainly do not want to imply that she has no right to call herself
    > black. My disappointment is indeed a selfish one. I simply wished that more
    > people would be willing not to identify themselves so much in terms of black
    > and white, which end up contributing to our schismatic way of seeing people.
    > But, this is a free country. She can do whatever she wants.
    >
    > "Sorry, I don't get this. I don't understand why you are personally
    > affronted or feel it impacts on your when people make decisions about where
    > they stand and who they are."
    >
    > Aside from my selfish disappointment, I agree with you. That is why I'm
    > defending myself from the criticisms on this list for my neutrality. My
    > neutrality seems to be offending some people, which I do not see why it
    > should.
    >
    > "Just because something takes a 'great deal of effort' does not mean it is
    > inherently a good thing."
    >
    > True also. This also applies to the views of anti-war and pro-war.
    >
    > --
    > Dyske Suematsu
    > http://www.dyske.com
    > Where Nothing Is Everything
    >
    > + ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gniht ym tup
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
  • Dyske Suematsu | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Joseph,

    My original intent of this discussion was not to clarify what my neutral
    position consist of. It was only a circumstantial point. But I appreciate
    your agreement that neutrality can be a legitimate position. Perhaps, I
    "failed to be neutral" but I can only try what I am capable of. It is not
    like there is a clear line between success and failure.

    -Dyske

    > Actual neutrality would require a tremendous amount of knowledge and an
    > advanced emotional maturity. People are not buying either,
    > thinking it is an
    > artificial pose. You have a long way to go to create belief in
    > your ability to
    > be neutral. And the full course of neutrality would require not
    > only inner
    > convincing, but outer as well. You fail to be neutral.
  • joseph mcelroy | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    Quoting Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>:

    > "failed to be neutral" but I can only try what I am capable of. It is not
    > like there is a clear line between success and failure.

    You will have to explain to me the degrees of neutrality for this I do not
    comprehend. I would expect an actual state of neutrality to be a state where
    success/failure, pro/con, yes/no, for/against does not exist.

    joseph & donna
    www.electrichands.com
    joseph franklyn mcelroy
    corporate performance artist www.corporatepa.com

    go shopping -> http://www.electrichands.com/shopindex.htm
    call me 646 279 2309

    SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER CUPCAKEKALEIDOSCOPE - send email to
    CupcakeKleidoscope-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

    Quoting Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>:

    > Hi Joseph,
    >
    > My original intent of this discussion was not to clarify what my neutral
    > position consist of. It was only a circumstantial point. But I appreciate
    > your agreement that neutrality can be a legitimate position. Perhaps, I
    > "failed to be neutral" but I can only try what I am capable of. It is not
    > like there is a clear line between success and failure.
    >
    > -Dyske
    >
    > > Actual neutrality would require a tremendous amount of knowledge and an
    > > advanced emotional maturity. People are not buying either,
    > > thinking it is an
    > > artificial pose. You have a long way to go to create belief in
    > > your ability to
    > > be neutral. And the full course of neutrality would require not
    > > only inner
    > > convincing, but outer as well. You fail to be neutral.
  • Dyske Suematsu | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Marc and Michael,

    Let me address the criticisms towards Deconstruction/Post-structuralism.

    "Your argument is a species of post structuralism which purports to be
    intellectually heavyweight but which devolves down to a lazy 'everything is
    relative' , 'it all depends on interpretation' that an eleven year old would
    find unsophisticated." - Michael

    As I argued in my previous posts, from my perspective, "everything is
    relative" is what can encourage actions, not laziness. If things weren't
    dependent on interpretations, our job would be to find that "truth" instead
    of acting on incomplete knowledge and understanding. You could forever be
    learning and studying before you can do anything about it. In this instance,
    who decides at what point one is deemed qualified to act? In this sense,
    Post-structuralism should encourage action since none's view can be
    determined to be absolutely correct, just, or true.

    "Deconstruction is such a bad doctor, as a tool it slices through the body
    to reveal guts and then cannot put the body back together again, leaving it
    to fall apart, like an old car body part. Forgetting the larger picture,
    thus looking in a singular fashion reliant on the micro ignoring the macro.
    It's a very human trait, fathers are very prone to this sort of function, it
    is in part a type of autism and partly denial." - Marc

    The colloquial definition of Deconstruction is to destruct or destroy, but
    this is not what it aims to do. It does not aim to put back what it
    destroyed, it is meant to build something entirely new; a new kind of
    actions that is not based on the absolutism of "the truth".

    My embrace of Deconstruction is accidental. I did not learn anything
    fundamentally new from reading Derrida. The ideas of Deconstruction is built
    into Eastern philosophy, especially in Zen Buddhism. The Ying and Yang logo,
    for instance, is a neat representation of what "Differance" is: a whole
    divided by opposing forces constantly at play.

    I am not claiming that Japan has no logocentrism or that everything in Japan
    is de-centered. It is again a matter of degree. The vast majority of
    Japanese are godless. Godless in a sense that they have no central notion,
    figure, or symbol that they rely on to be stabilized spiritually. Most
    rituals of Japan are without god, or anything central for that matter. This
    is where I come from. I only use Post-structuralism lingo, because it is
    convenient in the West.

    Logocentrism is a powerful stabilizing force but only within its center and
    its components. The fact that we have multiple centers is ultimately the
    problem of Logocentrism. In order for it to work, we would need a center
    that can stabilize all of the sets of a center and its components, what
    Derrida calls "Transcendental Signified". Unfortunately we do not have such
    a thing. So any efforts to stabilize by centering will necessarily cause
    instability among all the centers. This ultimately will fail, though it may
    solve some problems here and there. Since it seems to partially work, we
    keep on hoping that eventually we'll find the absolute center that will
    stabilize everything once and for all. This will not happen. This is why
    Derrida is proposing that we begin a new type of discourse where we make no
    such assumption.

    "True - but language is not the signifier, it is part of the greater sum.
    Meaning it has a source, a beginning, then a motion, a mechanistic drive,
    Cartesian mix-ups and assumptions that are not so relevant in the 21st
    Century. Amazing discoveries of cognitive thought and subjective
    intelligence from Quantum physics and psychology are blowing the Newtonian
    and Cartesian thought patterns apart."

    Marc, you lost me on this one. You have to elaborate this for me. I'm not
    sure what you are trying to convey.

    Regards,
    Dyske
  • Dyske Suematsu | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Joseph,

    Your question:
    "You will have to explain to me the degrees of neutrality for this I do not
    comprehend. I would expect an actual state of neutrality to be a state where
    success/failure, pro/con, yes/no, for/against does not exist."

    I did give several examples of this. (e.g. Halle Berry and hermaphrodites)
    With respect to my own stance for Iraq, the only binary pair that I am
    neutral to is for/against. This neutrality is a result of my careful
    consideration of the merits and demerits of the war, but of course this is
    limited by my knowledge and understanding of the situation. All the
    arguments that many people on this list have expressed against the war has
    been taken into consideration, and they have influenced my position to a
    degree. But there are also arguments for the war in order to counter the
    violence that Saddam inflicts on the people of Iraq. I agree with many that
    this is only an excuse for Bush to go to war when in fact his main motive is
    oil. However, independent of Bush's motive, the facts still exist for the
    need of a humanitarian intervention. I am not completely convinced that
    despots such as Hitler could have been countered by non-violent measures.

    If what they are telling us about what Saddam is doing to his people are
    true (various tortures and threats) then I sincerely feel for them. How many
    more people must he torture and kill before we do something about it? My
    concern for this isn't about who is more evil. The US has been, and probably
    still is, involved in evil deeds. Some may view it as just as evil as Iraq,
    but that is a separate issue we need to discuss. What we do with Iraq is the
    topic of discussion here. And, my honest answer is: I don't know, since the
    pros and the cons seem to balance each other out. If this offends some
    people, all I can say is that I'm sorry.

    -Dyske
  • joseph mcelroy | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    Quoting Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>:

    > Hi Joseph,
    >
    > Your question:
    > "You will have to explain to me the degrees of neutrality for this I do not
    > comprehend. I would expect an actual state of neutrality to be a state where
    > success/failure, pro/con, yes/no, for/against does not exist."
    >
    > I did give several examples of this. (e.g. Halle Berry and hermaphrodites)

    There are no degrees of neutrality, it is an infinitly thin door which
    seperates the air inside and outside.

    > With respect to my own stance for Iraq, the only binary pair that I am
    > neutral to is for/against. This neutrality is a result of my careful
    > consideration of the merits and demerits of the war, but of course this is
    > limited by my knowledge and understanding of the situation. All the
    > arguments that many people on this list have expressed against the war has
    > been taken into consideration, and they have influenced my position to a
    > degree. But there are also arguments for the war in order to counter the
    > violence that Saddam inflicts on the people of Iraq. I agree with many that
    > this is only an excuse for Bush to go to war when in fact his main motive is
    > oil. However, independent of Bush's motive, the facts still exist for the
    > need of a humanitarian intervention. I am not completely convinced that
    > despots such as Hitler could have been countered by non-violent measures.
    >
    > If what they are telling us about what Saddam is doing to his people are
    > true (various tortures and threats) then I sincerely feel for them. How many
    > more people must he torture and kill before we do something about it? My
    > concern for this isn't about who is more evil. The US has been, and probably
    > still is, involved in evil deeds. Some may view it as just as evil as Iraq,
    > but that is a separate issue we need to discuss. What we do with Iraq is the
    > topic of discussion here. And, my honest answer is: I don't know, since the
    > pros and the cons seem to balance each other out. If this offends some
    > people, all I can say is that I'm sorry.
    >

    You are not neutral - you are undecided due to lack of knowledge and unwilling
    to make a commitment with only gut instinct to go on and unwilling to pursue
    the knowledge needed to make an informed decision.

    I still am struggling with a decision for the same reasons you give.

    joseph & donna
    www.electrichands.com
    joseph franklyn mcelroy
    corporate performance artist www.corporatepa.com

    go shopping -> http://www.electrichands.com/shopindex.htm
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  • Dyske Suematsu | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Joseph,

    > There are no degrees of neutrality, it is an infinitly thin door which
    > seperates the air inside and outside.

    If you define it so, but this definition does not have much relevance to
    what we are speaking of. By this mathematical definition, Halle Berry, or
    anyone who is half black and half white, will be forced to side with one
    race or the other. Say, for instance, your mother is white and you traced
    her side of the family and found that your great great grandfather was also
    half black. Say, this will make you roughly 51% black and 49% white. By your
    definition, you will be forced to declare yourself black because there is no
    degrees of neutrality. For me, for all intents and purposes, I would respect
    your stance to stay race-neutral in your identity.

    > You are not neutral - you are undecided due to lack of knowledge
    > and unwilling
    > to make a commitment with only gut instinct to go on and
    > unwilling to pursue
    > the knowledge needed to make an informed decision.

    This is only your speculation, so I can't comment on this. I personally feel
    that I make enough efforts to learn from others and share my views with
    others in order to better inform myself, but if you are telling me that what
    I am doing is not enough (though you have no way of knowing), then be that
    as it may.

    -Dyske
  • joseph mcelroy | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    Quoting Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>:

    > If you define it so, but this definition does not have much relevance to
    > what we are speaking of. By this mathematical definition, Halle Berry, or
    > anyone who is half black and half white, will be forced to side with one
    > race or the other. Say, for instance, your mother is white and you traced
    > her side of the family and found that your great great grandfather was also
    > half black. Say, this will make you roughly 51% black and 49% white. By your
    > definition, you will be forced to declare yourself black because there is no
    > degrees of neutrality. For me, for all intents and purposes, I would respect
    > your stance to stay race-neutral in your identity.

    Why take sides? If you accept a dualistic approach, then you entered the
    mathematical and must be precise. If you don't recognize the difference, then
    there is no side. You answer is mixing different domains.

    >
    > > You are not neutral - you are undecided due to lack of knowledge
    > > and unwilling
    > > to make a commitment with only gut instinct to go on and
    > > unwilling to pursue
    > > the knowledge needed to make an informed decision.
    >
    > This is only your speculation, so I can't comment on this. I personally feel
    > that I make enough efforts to learn from others and share my views with
    > others in order to better inform myself, but if you are telling me that what
    > I am doing is not enough (though you have no way of knowing), then be that
    > as it may.
    >

    This is not speculation, you told me of your lack of knowledge and demonstrated
    your unwillingness.

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  • Vijay Pattisapu | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    >colour is a construct dependent on a range if issues. If Berry decides to
    >call herself African American, then that is her right and it is nor our
    >place to be 'disappointed', surely?

    I think Dyske's articulation of the "disappointment" many of us feel, if you could really call it that, stems not from some sort of disapproval of Halle Berry's personal decision-making, but of the society that influences her (and many like her) to that end.

    It's like what you called it--a "construct."

    Vijay

    > "Ivan Pope" <ivan@ivanpope.com> Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Your role in stopping the war against IraqDate: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 15:45:28 -0000
    >Reply-To: "Ivan Pope" <ivan@ivanpope.com>
    >
    >
    >----- Original Message -----
    >From: Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>
    >> The actress Halle Berry who won an Oscar last year is half black and half
    >> white. ... she used to resist being categorized as black or white. This is
    >rightly
    >> so. The circumstances of the situation calls for a neutrality which is
    >> reasonable. Last year, she gave in and
    >> identified herself as African American. This was disappointing to me.
    >>
    >> When reality presents a situation where it is only reasonable to be
    >neutral
    >... as in the case with Halle Berry, it is
    >> hard to stay neutral. It takes a great amount of effort to stand there,
    >> because the society wants you to decide.
    >
    >Sorry, I don't get this. I don't understand why you are personally affronted
    >or feel it impacts on your when people make decisons about where they stand
    >and who they are.
    >Just because something takes a 'great deal of effort' does not mean it is
    >inherently a good thing.
    >I think you language about Halle Berry being 'half black and half white'
    >betrays a simplistic view of the world. No-one is 50% anything or 100%
    >anything. Halle Berry isn't some perfect shade of grey which allows her to
    >sit neatly in the middle of the colour chart. She is a human being. Skin
    >colour is a construct dependent on a range if issues. If Berry decides to
    >call herself African American, then that is her right and it is nor our
    >place to be 'disappointed', surely?
    >Ivan
    >
    >+ ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gniht ym tup
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  • Dyske Suematsu | Wed Jan 29th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Joseph,

    > Why take sides? If you accept a dualistic approach, then you entered the
    > mathematical and must be precise. If you don't recognize the difference,
    > then
    > there is no side. You answer is mixing different domains.

    I'm not sure if this is going to lead to any constructive discussion, but my
    argument is based on the understanding that Halle Berry, and my example of
    51% black person, do recognize the difference between black and white, which
    is not difficult to imagine. Given this situation, if she is to adapt your
    definition of "neutral", then she will not be capable of staying neutral and
    will be forced to take sides. Otherwise, you will criticize her of being
    unwilling to commit. If your definition of neutral is this precise middle,
    and if you refuse to use the word in any other looser form, then I would
    have to use some other word. However, in this sort of discussion where two
    parties must keep redefining words, it never leads to anything constructive.
    This is another manifestation of the impossibility of "the truth".

    > This is not speculation, you told me of your lack of knowledge and
    > demonstrated
    > your unwillingness.

    Everyone's knowledge is always limited. One can always learn more. In this
    sense, yes, I could say that I have lack of knowledge, but unwillingness?
    Where did I give you the impression that I'm unwilling to learn more?

    -Dyske
  • Ivan Pope | Thu Jan 30th 2003 1 a.m.
    > I think Dyske's articulation of the "disappointment" many of us feel, if you
    > could really call it that, stems not from some sort of disapproval of Halle
    > Berry's personal decision-making, but of the society that influences her (and
    > many like her) to that end.
    >
    > It's like what you called it--a "construct."
    >
    Yes, I accept that! Ivan
  • joseph mcelroy | Thu Jan 30th 2003 1 a.m.
    Quoting Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>:

    > parties must keep redefining words, it never leads to anything constructive.
    > This is another manifestation of the impossibility of "the truth".

    You can't define "the truth" but you can know it. I know if you jump up you
    will come back down...however you will then try to define your way out..."what
    if I were in outer space and such and such" The truth is subject to our
    experience of reality. You can "say" all is possible, but action makes it
    possible.

    >
    >
    > > This is not speculation, you told me of your lack of knowledge and
    > > demonstrated
    > > your unwillingness.
    >
    > Everyone's knowledge is always limited. One can always learn more. In this
    > sense, yes, I could say that I have lack of knowledge, but unwillingness?
    > Where did I give you the impression that I'm unwilling to learn more?
    >

    You demonstrated a compassion for loss of life on both sides of the equation
    (to put it in neutral terms), yet are not making the effort to calculate (via
    knowledge acquisition) where the balance lies. Rather, you are defending
    inaction (unwillingness to pursue further) with a neutral position. I would be
    speculating if I called the reason for this as insensitivity, cowardness or
    laziness.

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  • Dyske Suematsu | Thu Jan 30th 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Joseph,

    > You demonstrated a compassion for loss of life on both sides of
    > the equation
    > (to put it in neutral terms), yet are not making the effort to
    > calculate (via
    > knowledge acquisition) where the balance lies. Rather, you are defending
    > inaction (unwillingness to pursue further) with a neutral
    > position. I would be
    > speculating if I called the reason for this as insensitivity,
    > cowardness or
    > laziness.

    I know that this discussion has been going on for a long time and it is a
    lot of text to read if you were to catch up with everything that we
    discussed. So, I'm not going to criticize you for missing these statements
    that I made before you posted your first one. And I also made it clear
    several times that I am more than willing to acquire knowledge on this
    issue. And also, it seems rather irrelevant to me to have to prove to you my
    willingness.

    "But I still insist that we take it easy. Anger can distort our thinking.
    More than ever, we need to think clearly. I very much appreciate most of the
    comments you've all raised. They are valuable perspectives. For me, this is
    only a part of the learning process."

    "Though you do not see me ostensively acting for the Iraq situation, that is
    a result of my careful consideration of my own beliefs. My attitude may
    change later, but by no means, I am apathetic. If I were, I would not be
    involved in a discussion like this."

    > You can't define "the truth" but you can know it. I know if you
    > jump up you
    > will come back down...however you will then try to define your
    > way out..."what
    > if I were in outer space and such and such" The truth is subject to our
    > experience of reality. You can "say" all is possible, but action makes it
    > possible.

    Be that as it may. This is not something we can constructively discuss, for
    it is, as you said, impossible to define.

    -Dyske
  • joseph mcelroy | Thu Jan 30th 2003 1 a.m.
    > I know that this discussion has been going on for a long time and it is a
    > lot of text to read if you were to catch up with everything that we
    > discussed. So, I'm not going to criticize you for missing these statements

    I didn't miss, they are not applicable.

    > that I made before you posted your first one. And I also made it clear
    > several times that I am more than willing to acquire knowledge on this
    > issue. And also, it seems rather irrelevant to me to have to prove to you my
    > willingness.

    Willingness is not passive acceptance of conversations. You converse with me to
    prove your point of view (your are not expressing, you are proving), to
    convince me of your point of view you must convince me of your willingness.

    > Be that as it may. This is not something we can constructively discuss, for
    > it is, as you said, impossible to define.

    It is possible to know. We discuss here, for I see your argument for neutrality
    to be an argument for apathy.

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    Quoting Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>:

    > Hi Joseph,
    >
    > > You demonstrated a compassion for loss of life on both sides of
    > > the equation
    > > (to put it in neutral terms), yet are not making the effort to
    > > calculate (via
    > > knowledge acquisition) where the balance lies. Rather, you are defending
    > > inaction (unwillingness to pursue further) with a neutral
    > > position. I would be
    > > speculating if I called the reason for this as insensitivity,
    > > cowardness or
    > > laziness.
    >
    > I know that this discussion has been going on for a long time and it is a
    > lot of text to read if you were to catch up with everything that we
    > discussed. So, I'm not going to criticize you for missing these statements
    > that I made before you posted your first one. And I also made it clear
    > several times that I am more than willing to acquire knowledge on this
    > issue. And also, it seems rather irrelevant to me to have to prove to you my
    > willingness.
    >
    > "But I still insist that we take it easy. Anger can distort our thinking.
    > More than ever, we need to think clearly. I very much appreciate most of the
    > comments you've all raised. They are valuable perspectives. For me, this is
    > only a part of the learning process."
    >
    > "Though you do not see me ostensively acting for the Iraq situation, that is
    > a result of my careful consideration of my own beliefs. My attitude may
    > change later, but by no means, I am apathetic. If I were, I would not be
    > involved in a discussion like this."
    >
    >
    > > You can't define "the truth" but you can know it. I know if you
    > > jump up you
    > > will come back down...however you will then try to define your
    > > way out..."what
    > > if I were in outer space and such and such" The truth is subject to our
    > > experience of reality. You can "say" all is possible, but action makes it
    > > possible.
    >
    > Be that as it may. This is not something we can constructively discuss, for
    > it is, as you said, impossible to define.
    >
    > -Dyske
  • Dyske Suematsu | Thu Jan 30th 2003 1 a.m.
    > Willingness is not passive acceptance of conversations. You
    > converse with me to
    > prove your point of view (your are not expressing, you are proving), to
    > convince me of your point of view you must convince me of your
    > willingness.

    I do not understand what this convincing consists of. As an illustration of
    what you mean by convincing, perhaps you can convince me of your willingness
    to learn from me.

    Dyske
  • joseph mcelroy | Fri Jan 31st 2003 1 a.m.
    Quoting Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>:

    > I do not understand what this convincing consists of. As an illustration of
    > what you mean by convincing, perhaps you can convince me of your willingness
    > to learn from me.

    What do you offer to teach?

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  • Dyske Suematsu | Fri Jan 31st 2003 1 a.m.
    > What do you offer to teach?

    The same issue that we have been discussing.

    -Dyske
  • joseph mcelroy | Fri Jan 31st 2003 1 a.m.
    Quoting Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>:

    > > What do you offer to teach?
    >
    > The same issue that we have been discussing.

    You have no truth or facts to teach, and dictating a state of mind is
    essentially murder. Your "insight" into the personal nature of "truth" is a
    stage many go through. It is a convenient excuse of the intelligent mind to
    justify the superiority of its opinion in the face of superior knowledge or
    conviction. There are stages past this.

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  • Dyske Suematsu | Fri Jan 31st 2003 1 a.m.
    Joseph,

    This isn't convincing me that you are willing to learn from me.
    So, in your own words:

    You fail to be willing.

    OK, that's a bad joke.

    > You have no truth or facts to teach, and dictating a state of mind is
    > essentially murder.

    I have no power or authority to dictate anyone's state of mind. What I say
    are only my opinions. You take it or leave it. I have no interest in having
    you believe in what I believe. If you feel that I have nothing to offer you,
    then, by all means, ignore me.

    > Your "insight" into the personal nature of "truth" is a
    > stage many go through. It is a convenient excuse of the
    > intelligent mind to justify the superiority of its opinion
    > in the face of superior knowledge or conviction.
    > There are stages past this.

    Obviously I'm not there yet. So, you'll have to be patient with me, and
    perhaps look me up 10 years from now.

    -Dyske
  • joseph mcelroy | Sat Feb 1st 2003 1 a.m.
    Quoting Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>:

    > This isn't convincing me that you are willing to learn from me.
    > So, in your own words:
    >
    > You fail to be willing.

    I never stated I was willing.

    > I have no power or authority to dictate anyone's state of mind. What I say
    > are only my opinions. You take it or leave it. I have no interest in having
    > you believe in what I believe. If you feel that I have nothing to offer you,
    > then, by all means, ignore me.

    I will ignore as it pleases me, or not. You are unconcerned about your
    opinions, yet are insistent upon their expression. The reason is to establish
    power.

    > Obviously I'm not there yet. So, you'll have to be patient with me, and
    > perhaps look me up 10 years from now.

    Yes, run.

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  • Dyske Suematsu | Sat Feb 1st 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Joseph,

    > I never stated I was willing.

    > I will ignore as it pleases me, or not. You are unconcerned about your
    > opinions, yet are insistent upon their expression. The reason is to establish
    > power.

    > Yes, run.

    All three statements make you guilty of your own criticisms. I stated that I
    am willing to learn from anyone including yourself, though you did not feel
    that I "proved" it. You are flat out admitting that you are unwilling. Or,
    perhaps you are saying that you are neither willing or unwilling, i.e.,
    neutral, the very state you also criticize.

    "yet are insistent upon their expression" What about your own insistence?

    Yes, I believe in Nietzsche's will-to-power. Those who protest the war,
    those against it, or neutral; they all have it. Everyone is entitled to
    their will-to-power. It is a social mechanism that works well as a whole,
    and it is in the basis of democracy. To "dictate" is a different issue. To
    dictate means to force someone against their will. I have no such power or
    desire to dictate. If someone wants to listen to my opinions, then that is
    great, if not, no problem.

    "Yes, run." Here you express your wish for me to be in the state that you
    describe. Though I do not know what this state is, I am willing to be
    open-minded of the possibility of the state of my mind changing in the
    future, as it did in the past. You criticize me for being insistent of my
    opinion, and you even call it "murder". Yet you insist that I reach the
    state you describe. How do you reconcile this?

    -Dyske
  • joseph mcelroy | Sat Feb 1st 2003 1 a.m.
    Quoting Dyske Suematsu <dyske@dyske.com>:

    > All three statements make you guilty of your own criticisms. I stated that I

    You are not on the recognized list of judges.

    > am willing to learn from anyone including yourself, though you did not feel
    > that I "proved" it.

    You are willing to passively accept knowledge transferred via conversations,
    you have not demonstrated a willingness to take action beyound this email list
    to advance your knowledge to the point where you feel comfortable making a
    committed decision. You are not neutral, you are apathetic.

    >You are flat out admitting that you are unwilling. Or,
    > perhaps you are saying that you are neither willing or unwilling, i.e.,
    > neutral, the very state you also criticize.

    I never stated the condition of my willingness and I pointed this out to you.
    The argument in question is whether you are neutral or apathetic and has
    nothing to do with my state.

    >
    > "yet are insistent upon their expression" What about your own insistence?
    >
    > Yes, I believe in Nietzsche's will-to-power. Those who protest the war,
    > those against it, or neutral; they all have it. Everyone is entitled to
    > their will-to-power. It is a social mechanism that works well as a whole,
    > and it is in the basis of democracy. To "dictate" is a different issue. To
    > dictate means to force someone against their will. I have no such power or
    > desire to dictate. If someone wants to listen to my opinions, then that is
    > great, if not, no problem.

    Your attempt to turn the argument into a contrast of personal abilities
    demonstrates a desire to overpower. Will to power allows Nietzsche to see self-
    transformation as a creative art form. We are speaking of your will to
    overpower and control some other person's transformation into a weak imitation
    of yourself.

    >
    > "Yes, run." Here you express your wish for me to be in the state that you
    > describe. Though I do not know what this state is, I am willing to be
    > open-minded of the possibility of the state of my mind changing in the
    > future, as it did in the past. You criticize me for being insistent of my
    > opinion, and you even call it "murder". Yet you insist that I reach the
    > state you describe. How do you reconcile this?
    >

    You are not making sense, "yes,run" was a description of your final action. If
    you stop attacking me, perhaps we can return to the argument of neutrality.

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  • Dyske Suematsu | Sat Feb 1st 2003 1 a.m.
    Hi Joseph,

    > You are not on the recognized list of judges.

    The judge is not me. It is yourself. I simply used your own arguments and
    logic, and applied them back to you.

    > You are willing to passively accept knowledge transferred via conversations,
    > you have not demonstrated a willingness to take action beyound this email list
    > to advance your knowledge to the point where you feel comfortable making a
    > committed decision. You are not neutral, you are apathetic.

    As I said many times before. I am willing to learn more. I do read various
    articles, listen to other people who are more well informed, tune into TV
    and radio programs discussing the issue. You do not know me personally, so
    there is no real way for you to see or know my willingness. Yet you assert
    that I am apathetic and unwilling (guilty until proven innocent). So, beyond
    what I have conveyed to you, there is nothing more that I am capable of
    doing to prove my willingness. That is why I asked you how this
    "demonstration" can be accomplished. Since you insist on calling me
    "apathetic", I ask you again, please demonstrate this to me, so I know what
    you mean.

    > I never stated the condition of my willingness and I pointed this out to you.
    > The argument in question is whether you are neutral or apathetic and has
    > nothing to do with my state.

    As I said above, I am trying to show you that I am not apathetic, and am
    willing, but it seems impossible to achieve this since you have some sort of
    strict model for what demonstrating willingness is. This is why I am asking
    you to do this yourself, so that I know, and possibly follow the example and
    demonstrate my willingness back to you.

    > Your attempt to turn the argument into a contrast of personal abilities
    > demonstrates a desire to overpower.

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean here. Do you mean that if someone wins an
    argument, or if someone can explain something, then that person is right,
    and those who lose an argument, and those who cannot explain something is
    wrong?

    > Will to power allows Nietzsche to see
    > self-transformation as a creative art form. We are speaking of your will to
    > overpower and control some other person's transformation into a weak imitation
    > of yourself.

    Aside from stating or defending my own positions (just as everyone else did
    in this discussion including yourself) what did I do that is different from
    everyone else that makes my statements or opinions "overpower and control"?

    > You are not making sense, "yes,run" was a description of your final action.

    Are you saying that you meant to say, "Yes, you are running" ? If so, what
    gave you the idea that I am running, or rushing towards the state you
    describe? In English, when you use the verb by itself without the subject,
    it is an imperative sentence, and it expresses commands.

    > If you stop attacking me, perhaps we can return to the argument of neutrality.

    All I did in my last post was to redirect your own criticisms back to you. I
    applied your own argument and logic to your own statements. So, if you feel
    that it was an attack on you, then it originated from you.

    -Dyske
  • D42 Kandinskij | Sun Feb 2nd 2003 1 a.m.
    On Sat, 1 Feb 2003, Dyske Suematsu wrote:

    > "Yes, run." Here you express your wish for me to be in the state that you
    > describe. Though I do not know what this state is,

    The state of a catatonic rabbit with no will, tail in the air,
    eyes and ass wide-open (for suggestion), so it's more comfortable
    for him to feed.

    His entire modus operandi is "competitive" power posturing,
    even though he has none, as well as cheap techniques which
    "paralyze" humans from self-defense such as attempting to
    induce fright, misinformation, authority posturing (again
    he has none), abuse of state of blindness (you aren't seeing
    what I am doing, you misunderstand) (btw, it's not necessary
    to "see" him or "understand" him in order to act accordingly,
    as the latter are cheap mesmeric techniques anyhow), as well
    as disbalance / undermining attempts via either data overload,
    emotional bleating.

    What a shame that it's not Joseph doing it even.
    But that ego always makes one feel so "tough".
    For 5 minutes. Until you need another hit.
    On and on, until you die in the ditches like a
    rotting piece of human flesh.

    A fate to die--and murder for. But the former
    demands the latter. A necessity.

    Why do humans murder?

    `, . ` `k a r e i' ? ' D42
  • joseph mcelroy | Sun Feb 2nd 2003 1 a.m.
    Quoting "-IID42 Kandinskij @27+" <death@zaphod.terminal.org>:

    > On Sat, 1 Feb 2003, Dyske Suematsu wrote:
    >
    > The state of a catatonic rabbit with no will, tail in the air,
    > eyes and ass wide-open (for suggestion), so it's more comfortable
    > for him to feed.

    I am not interested in feeding. His position on neutrality I disagree with.

    >
    > His entire modus operandi is "competitive" power posturing,
    > even though he has none, as well as cheap techniques which
    > "paralyze" humans from self-defense such as attempting to
    > induce fright, misinformation, authority posturing (again
    > he has none), abuse of state of blindness (you aren't seeing
    > what I am doing, you misunderstand) (btw, it's not necessary
    > to "see" him or "understand" him in order to act accordingly,
    > as the latter are cheap mesmeric techniques anyhow), as well
    > as disbalance / undermining attempts via either data overload,
    > emotional bleating.

    I have stated that I am equally in a state of investigation, thus have no
    authority to judge his actions, though I am free to disagree with a particular
    position (neutrality vs apathy vs investigative) he places the state.

    >
    > What a shame that it's not Joseph doing it even.
    > But that ego always makes one feel so "tough".
    > For 5 minutes. Until you need another hit.
    > On and on, until you die in the ditches like a
    > rotting piece of human flesh.

    Dramatic bit of writing, however I am not engaged in such behavior.

    >
    > A fate to die--and murder for. But the former
    > demands the latter. A necessity.
    >
    > Why do humans murder?

    Their feet are locked in mud and thus unable to leap over obstacles other
    beings present.

    joseph & donna
    www.electrichands.com
    joseph franklyn mcelroy
    corporate performance artist www.corporatepa.com

    go shopping -> http://www.electrichands.com/shopindex.htm
    call me 646 279 2309

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