It for You Mr. Tax Inspector

Selminha para voce: –

Selminha likes for me to tell her stories and suggested that I write some of them down because she , although I am not sure why, finds them of interest, or at least she says she does.

Why the hole?

I think this was told to me many years ago by Alston over a beer as we sat outside Grenada Yacht Club overlooking the then still beautiful but rather delapidated natural harbour of St George’s.

He was from Petit Martinique so it was local folklore.

Between the wars a new young tax inspector was posted to St. Georges and being a keen sort of chappie he decided to tour his new territory, to the outmost reaches.

This meant heading to Petit Martinique and so one day he boarded a trader heading to Carriacou and slowly sailed up the peaceful Caribbean coast probably stopping at Gouyave and Crayfish bay before leaving the lee of the land and heading across to Carriacou.

The calm Caribbean gave way to a lively chop and possibly more as the boat had to cross Kick ‘em Jenny
an undersea semi dormant Volcano, before heading into the lee again across Tyrell Bay and rounding Cistern point, and past Sandy Island to arrive at Hillsborough.

Our inspector probably stayed the night in the sleepy little town of Hillsborough before setting out the next morning to climb the steep hill and then walk down to the village of Windward on Watering bay. There he would have negotiated a passage on a locally built fishing boat to carry him through the reefs and across to Petite Martinique with its collection of houses called Sanchez.

On arriving at Sanchez he found most of the islands inhabitants gathered on the beach standing next to a large and deep hole in the strand. Introducing himself and asking who was the head man of the village he also asked what the large hole signified and for what purpose it served.

The reply came immediately: –

Why Mr. Tax Inspector, it for you.

And so the tax inspector reboarded his little fishing boat and was steered out through the reefs and back to Windward and then he had the long hot climb up the hill and down to Hillsborough and onto a trading boat and across the turbulent waters of Kick ‘em  Jenny and slowly down the Caribbean shore and back to St Georges, never to return.

Carriacou traditional boats

Living in the Past

My Passion for Genealogy

Really kicked off one day in Dominica about 15 years ago
It came about at the very good little museum in Roseau where there was a copy of the
Byres map of land ownership dated 1776 which surveyed after the french ceded the island to the British
in 1763 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

Land was sold off to raise funds for the Crown and among the names listed on the accompaniying index was one John Tarleton of Liverpool with a couple of plots, one known as Belfied, on what was named on the map as the Ouanery River, on the Atlantic seaboard.

I asked about a bit of detail and was referred to the Island historian who, as luck would have it, popped into the museum some 20 minutes later.
Lennox Honeychurch was kind, patient, erudite and charming and helped me understand the time period.
It was only later that I found out more about his life, but I purchased his books the next day as a small way to thank him and also to educate myself a bit more.

Later I was to find out that John Tarleton was a shipowner, merchant and slave trader and had also purchased land in St Georges, Grenada, and what became the Mount Pleasant Estate in Carriacou.

 

Dominica 1776

A slightly depressing afternoon

So this afternoon I wandered off to the newly opened Casa Daros in Botafogo.

A magnificent building which for it’s opening has hosted an exhibition of  work by ten Colombian Artists.

That is where the depression starts, right at the start in the entrance hall with it’s  Colombian  Coffin by  Fernando Arias

Colombian Coffin

Colombian Coffin

And on through the Songs of the displaced people from Choco and the heartbreaking video of a double amputee washing himself.

As my ex  (una Colombiana)  so rightly says ”Es un pais de la mierda”.

The only joy is that of  Nadin Ospina and his highly original and irreverent take on Pre – Colombian art.

In fact this exhibition disturbed me so much that it has  been the impetus to restart  this blog again after nearly eighteen months.

I shall now cook  a pile of ratatouille and gambas to cheer myself up.

 

 

Wall Street Protests or Eat The Rich

Is this finally the spark that is going to kick off the new protest movement?

Brutal bank crackdown but crooks go free.
The police proved once again who they work for and who pays ther wages as this succinct cartoon shows.
Lamestream media does it’s best to ignore a Police officer; officer mind you not a patrolman; mace a group of women.
And it’s left to a citizen journalist to tell the story.

The people are getting angry.
The mob is getting restless.
“What’s behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?”>What’s behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?

It’s beginning to get ugly.
As the placard says
The Corrupt fear us.
The Honest Support us.
The Heroic join us.

Remember the Revolution will be tumbled

Further reading

The One Percent Nation    Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%
Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.

 

Getting Stiched up.

Or how to get some embroidery into your Art.

Mr friend Dobbs over at Metafilter posted The Embroidered Secrets of Maurizio Anzeri

I really liked this; so I dug around a bit and came up with some more
and also found an interview from October last year.

Maybe Anzeri  was an inspiration for these works by the Lithuanian photographer
Ausra Osipaviciute which are then embroidered by Gintare Pasakarnyte.

In a further move on the theme;  artist Danielle Mysliwiec makes pieces that are built up with
ribbons of paint, woven in, out and under to create a three-dimensional, textured surface.
So there we have it; full circle, embroidery acting as paint, and paint acting as embroidery.
Thank Dobbs

Just a Fantasy

A Boston Globe editorial writes that the disclosure that the  Bush Administration asked the CIA to help discredit a blogger who was critical of the Iraq war should be treated as the possible relapse of a
bad disease.
This is not just any blogger but the greatly admired (from the left)  Professor Juan Cole;  Professor of History at the University of Michigan.
On his blog Informed Comment Cole states that Mike Rogers (R-MI) refuses to have the House intelligence committee look into it, trying to kick it to Eric Holder at the Department of Justice.
Salon has put together a reading list 2005 to 2006 a collection of his pieces from the time he was reportedly under the CIA’s watch.
There is concern that Feinstein may try to shut the investigation down.
Any investigation of the Bush administration investigating and trying to discredit Cole would be welcome as it would continue to pull at the thread
that is the Obama protection of the  crimes of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, David Addington, John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, Douglas Feith to name but a few.
I have this fantasy that as Obama is sworn in for his second term where all the great and the good of the recent past are in attendance
that suddenly a few are surrounded by the the boys in blue who take them away to be judged by their peers preferably in the ICC.
As I say it’s a fantasy, and it’s just a fantasy because we seem to be having to live with Post-legal America.

 

Letter to Hoder

Hossein Derakhshan aka Hoder aka The Blogfather is imprisoned in Iran.
DarlingBri has suggested we, his invisible internet friends write him a letter which I think is a wonderful idea.

dear hoder
this letter is an experiment in using my new phone.
that should. raise. a smile. from someone such as yourself who was blogging before most of us.there is not only yje challenge of
tjimns and small keyboard (Thais be for auto correct) but also the challenge of getting this of my phone and onto a computer.
l have the feeling. it is going to be a long. morning; however like you I have time to spare.
I am sitting in a quiet cafe across the road from the beach in Palma Nova watching the attractive
and the not so attractive stroll by on this one of the first mornings of what I hope will be a long hot summer. there are more of the
latter than the former – lastima
Not really a fair statement to make to you I suppose. This is going to be difficult
there are some large yachts in the background including a thfe masted schooner. These have been my life for thirty years plus, which is a little different.
ah new trick hold phone sideways and both screenspace and keyboard are bigger and thus more manageable – sort of
I don’t go to sea anymore, my relaxation is either walking in the mountainsvor on the beach. So it is excrutiating for me who loves freedom to
have to contemplate the life of one to whom freedom is being denied. Have strength brother, have strength.
As such this operation of writing to you will probably be of more benefit to myself than to you which is highly ironic as I am writing this
hopefully to benefit you. I hope you appreciate the Meta of this.
behind me two ladies north of fifty are discussing Facebook! ans someone is smoking so its time go move and continue later.
…..
Not really a great sucess that. I am now back on a computer and will attempt to make sense of the above. Here goes: –

Dear Hoder
This letter is an experiment in using my new phone.
That should raise a smile from someone such as yourself who was blogging before most of us knew what blogging was.
There is not only the challenge of thumbs and a small keyboard (Thanks be for auto suggest) but also the challenge of getting this off my phone and onto a computer.
l have the feeling it is going to be a long morning; however like you I have time to spare.
I am sitting in a quiet cafe across the road from the beach in Palma Nova watching the attractive and the not so attractive stroll by on this, one of the first mornings of what I hope will be a long hot summer;
There are more of the latter than the former – lastima.
Not really a fair statement to make to you I suppose. This is going to be difficult.
There are some large yachts in the background including a three masted schooner. These have been my life (large yachts not three masted schooners) for thirty years plus,
which is a little different.
Ahhh; new trick…. hold phone sideways and both screenspace and keyboard are bigger and thus more manageable – sort of.
I don’t go to sea anymore, my relaxation is either walking in the mountains or basking on the beach. So it is excrutiating for me who loves freedom to
have to contemplate the life of one to whom freedom is being denied. Have strength brother, have strength.
As such this operation of writing to you will probably be of more benefit to myself than to you which is highly ironic as I am writing this
hopefully to benefit you. I hope you appreciate the Meta of this.
Behind me two ladies north of fifty are discussing Facebook and someone is smoking so its time go move and continue later.
….
Getting this off the phone on to the computer was as difficult as I suspected. I ended up emailing it to myself as I can’t get “dropbox” to work because I am not a geek.
All of which is beside the point.
So Hoder my invisible friend from the internets (TM Coldchef); invisible but not forgotten; your mefite colleagues will try to ensure that somehow your name and thus yourself lives on.
We will pester those who should be pestered and try to give succor to those who need succor. Gordafarin kindly translated what I believe your sister wrote on her / your
wordpress page about spending the Noruz holidays with them. It bought tears to my eyes and I am a cynical sixty year old fart.
So my friend take a deep breath. Us on the outside will do what little we can. May your god(s) if you have them be with you. If not; when I see the skies, the mountains,
and the sea I will think a little of you and hope that one day soon you may see them again too. If you will excuse the phrase….Ahumdallilah.
You are in my thoughts,
adamvasco

For those who would like to do a little more
Contact page for Amnesty International in Canada and in USA and UK and Australia

The Forgotten Prisoners by Peter Benenson

F is for Franco but not for fascist

The new Spanish Dictionary of Biography’s historical revisions tell us more about what’s
wrong with Spain now than in the past. Is well worth the read as are many of the comments.

The good news is that the Spanish academy admits Franco bio may need fixing.

Miguelanxomurado in the Guardian comments section goes on to point out that
“PP, (Conservative party) like its predecessor AP were founded by former Francoist
minister Fraga (albeit a reformist in that context) and Aznar described himself in his youth as “an indepedent Falangist” and rejected democracy and the Constitution until after many Francoists did.
I don’t think, though, that the PP or Aznar are Francoist in the sense that they would like to see a dictatorship in place. They are a (hard) righwing party, but I don’t doubt their commitment to democracy.
What’s infuriating about them is this anomaly of accepting democracy but rejecting its history in Spain.
It’s like saying “I’m a pacifict, but I think Gandhi should have been shot and my favorite character in history is Gengis Khan”

The editors of the Biography commissioned the article  from Luis Suárez, a historian who is actually a specialist of the Middle Ages who was the Head of Department for National Education during the
Dictatorship and currently a patron of both the Valle de los Caídos Foundation and the Francisco Franco Foundation.

Miguelanxomurado continues:
One of the most pervasive myths about Franco is that he kept Spain out of WWII, no matter how many historians debunk it time and again. The opposite is true: Franco was eager to enter the war.
It was Hitler who stopped him. He didn’t want having to protect Spain’s extensive coasts, the Spanish army was of no use to him and, most of all, Franco was demanding all of French Morocco just when
Hitler had reached an agreement with General Petain. Still, Franco did join the war: he sent 75.000 Spanish troops to fight in the Russian front (the “Blue Division”) and, in terms of Intelligence and supplies,
wholly cooperated with the Nazis until it became clear they were going to loose.
There’s no reason to believe that Spain would have become a Communist country in the event of a republican victory, in the same way Britain didn’t become a communist country in spite in spite of its
alliance with Stalin to defeat Hitler.
Communists in Spain, in 1936, were a negligible force they got 3,5% of the vote
and got 17 seats in a parliament of 473. Even at the height of its influence in the war there were no more than 10.000 Communist militiamen in the whole country.

On a more cheerful note one Spanish Institution recently got things very right:
Leonard Cohen has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Letters
One connection to Spain came through his personal interest in the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca..
Several years later, Cohen and García Lorca came together spiritually when flamenco singer Enrique Morente used their poems as the basis of his seminal 1996 album Omega.

Amour Fou or Limerence

Eideteker on Limerence….
..like sticking your dick in an electrical socket. You know it’s bad for you, but it feels so good you can’t stop doing it. In the end, it becomes an end to itself.
Limerence could also be known as Amour Fou which was one of the core beliefs of the surrealists;  obsessional love, the kind of love that deranges the senses and tips those who feel it into a helpless vortex of appetite and feeling.
Limerence or Amour Fou is espoused by Sappho whose almost lost poetry is probably best presented by Anne Carson – If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho.
The Angels Within blog has more
André Breton’s 1937 novel Amour Fou was illustrated at his express request by Roberto Matta.
Mary Caws published a translation in 1988

Amina Abdullah is a Brave Lady

Amina Abdullah should have your attention.

Just over a week ago Syrian Security forces tried to arrest her for speaking her mind on her blog.

She is Syrian, a women, and gay and brave, very brave.

Syria in case you were unaware is the country where hundreds of intellectuals are forbidden to travel, 150,000 have gone into exile and 17,000 have either disappeared or been imprisoned for expressing their opinion.

It is ruled by an oppressive torturing regime which has been described as Brutal but also Stupid.

Successful Regime change could also prove to be a powerful challenge to Hizbullah, which receives most of it’s arms through Syria;  yet the Obama government is silent.

Women both individually and collectively are playing an increasing and vital role in the Arab Spring. More Power to Them.

A History of the Feminist Movement in Syria

Ahumdalillah.

 


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