Tuesday, November 08, 2011

My plain coat, a lamppost, on a bridge An autumn night, on my cold lips the rain

First, via N., a great piece of writing on whether OWS will make a difference. It's on Facebook, so I am quoting more than I normally would for all of you who (like me - I am looking over my wife's digital shoulder) don't do Facebook:
The road to political change is twofold: incremental change through politics, or outright popular revolution that forces the issue. The former is the rule, the latter the exception. I used “paradigm” advisedly earlier. What OWS is proposing is a sea change in the way business is done. No nipping around the edges, no legislative fix, no candidate, no standard bearer, no (big) funding, no party, no co-option/invasion. It has exempted itself from the political narrative by proposing ideas that are just Too Big, no matter how resonant they are. It is creatively attractive anarchy (and I mean that in a good way) that is pragmatically untenable.

More revolutions are crushed than are successful. Those few successes are often co-opted and redirected. Ask me, I was a Trotskyite long ago. Utopia, and Justice, and Fairness, these are ideals to strive towards. These are part of our common aspirational humanity, and striving is in our nature. Without pragmatic methodology, OWS is an inert expression of cumulative and common angst. We do, as humans, dare to dream. But we also have to act in a waking world.
Sticking with Occupy, my comrade Spencer has a piece on The Occupy Movement, Populist Anti-Elitism, and the Conspiracy Theorists published on-line at Shift.

My friend Daniel has a long and moving article in OpenDemocracy on the possibility and impossibility of living together, starting with his late father's hometown in Poland but also taking in urban inner London and Israel/Palestine.

Finally, at The Point, via my friend Christine, a great piece by Michael Berube on Libya and the left.

Oh, and the title of this post is from a poem by Alexander Penn, whose daughter Ilana Rovina features in the video above, singing his "Vidui". Penn is the subject of a fascinating post by Noga, whose translation I have lifted.


The Contentious Centrist said...

Bob: The post on Alexander Penn was written with you in mind. Thanks for everything.

The Contentious Centrist said...

This is Ilana Rovina's singing:


The singer featured here is the wonderful Yehudit Ravitz. My hand must have stuttered a bit when linking. Sorry.

bob said...

What an honour!

The sound has just gone on my speakers, so will have to decide later which I prefer. I will change the link meanwhile.

eM said...

On OWS, you can find the entire text of the above excerpt on the blog I just started. I'm unsure of the protocol, so here's the url. Slap me if I'm being rude:



bob said...

Not rude in the least! I look forward to following the blog.