Thursday, February 02, 2006

On Berger

I'm reading John Berger at the moment - a short text entitled, "and our faces, my heart, brief as photos". The depth and fleshly poignancy of his prose and the process of his thought is extremely rare for an English man. The anglo-saxons, invaders, imperialists, marauders all, are usually weak at abstract thought, preferring the false safety of a world of facts and figures. Ask yourself this: when was there last a great British thinker? Bertrand Russell - 50 years ago? Is that all we can come up with? The English (and Anglo-Saxons elswhere across the Atlantic) are a nation of quizzers - in pubs, on telly etc. Abstract thought frightens them. Which is why it is so refreshing to read passages like this:

"The problem of time is like the darkness of the sky. Every event is inscribed in its own time. Events may cluster and their times overlap, but the time in common between events does not extend as law beyond the clustering.

A famine is a tragic cluster of events. To which the Great Plough is indifferent, existing as it does in another time."

Of course, Berger is an exceptional English man - a true European (he left the dark and dank island many years ago for a French life near the Swiss Alps).


nigeria, what's new 11:00 am  

Bertrand Russell was great. OK, not a great thinker, but wait for it, George Galloway! Until his c4 gaff, (hope he is not guilty as charged). I think he gave the americans a bloddy nose.

Here are some of the quotes from British MP George Galloway as he confronted his accusers on a US Senate sub-committee.

"Who paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars? The answer to that is nobody and if you had anybody who paid me a penny you would have produced them here today."

"I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns."

"You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever having written to me or telephoned me, without any contact with me whatsoever and you call that justice."

"Senator [Norm Coleman, committee chairman], this is the mother of all smoke screens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth."

"You have nothing on me Senator [Coleman], except my name on lists of names in Iraq, many of which were drawn up after the installation of your puppet government in Iraq."

"I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one, and neither has anybody on my behalf."

"I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice."

"One of the most serious mistakes you have made in this set of documents is such a schoolboy howler it makes a fool of the efforts you have made."

"Senator [Coleman], in everything I said about Iraq I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 have paid with their lives, 1,600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies."

Shango,  10:26 pm  

Why do you hate your country so much? You ungrateful sod.

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