The Argentine writer Hernán Zin has written an article on my work with the Committee to Protect Bloggers for the Spanish daily La Voz de Galicia. It’s very flattering, considering it’s part of a series on genuine do-gooders. Hopefully no one will find out I’m a cynical fraud. I’m counting on seeing a plaque unveiled someday in Spain with my profile in relief and beneath it the words, “El Curtillo.”
Archive for March, 2006|Monthly archive page
I have disagreed with Microsoft’s Robert Scoble in the past. In particular, I found his defence of his employer in the MSN Space China debacle to be unreasoning and his change of heart unconvincing. (Though I think his later offer of blogging space to Michael Anti was awfully decent.)
But now, irritated by what he considers irresponsible and unsupported reporting regarding the Vista delay, he made a perfectly reasonable call for bloggers not to link to unsupported posts, for which he was repeatedly attacked, by, I presume, people who perhaps are not fond of Microsoft. Otherwise, I can’t figure out the reason for the tone of their disagreement. It’s sort of weirdly vicious.
I pointed out, however, that his antique desire for three sources in an article is something he is unlikely to find anywhere anymore. I said, “the pressure to fill up inches/minutes is the order of the day. As ‘credible’ news organizations continue to consolidate, the bottom line (I mean profit at any cost) will contine to dominate. This is not just happening with the big guys. When a newspaper wants its reporters to write up to 5 articles a day? You can rest assured there will not be a single article with three sources.”
One of the things about blogging I have grown to dislike is that although “digests” seem to me to be a nice begining, but only a beginging, few bloggers have moved beyond it. What about getting out and interviewing people, seeing things with your own eyes and, yes, finding multiple sources? It seems like it would be the next logical step.
I don’t see anything wrong with refusing to link to bloggers, journalists or blogging journalists (or journalizing bloggers) who don’t engage in credibility-enhancing practices. I just think there won’t be as much to link to as he hopes.
Stop posting your links. A random handful of your links are not a post. They’re a useless irritation. I have little enough time. From now on, each time I click through my feed reader and find a garbage pile of your links I’m going to erase you. If you have nothing interesting and or important to say, then don’t say anything. Even if you were the authority you imagine yourself to be, your links would still be of no interest to anyone. You’re not Picasso, and your detritus is of no interest.
Spain is a unique place for many reasons, not all of them good. Among all the countries who have had brutal internecine conflicts, as well as those who were ruled by fascists, Spain seems to be alone in not having done anything to address its history. Once when I mentioned Communists in Granada’s Gypsy quarter I was shushed my a friend. “Everyone around here is Socialist,” he said, to my befuddlement.
Simply put, in Spain, no one talks about the Civil War. Or so I understand and that was my experience.
Now, the European Council, according to Backseat Drivers, has “unanimously approved a proposal for an international condemnation of the ‘multiple and serious human rights violations perpetrated by Franco’s regime between 1939 and 1975’.” Hopefully, the lumbering, hair-splitting bureaucracy of pan-European government won’t utterly shitcan this move. (With apologies to V.)
The full text of the proposal, entitled, “Need for international condemnation of the Franco regime,” is available for download at the website of the Parlimentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
According to BSD:
The report also highlights the work carried out by ‘Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica’, a Spanish NGO devoted to unveiling the abuses of Franco’s regime (more here). This international condemnation supposes a moral triumph for the association, which has independently financed and manned the unearthing of mass graves, identification and reburial of the executed, as well as a laborious process of documentation of Francoist crimes long overdue in Spain.
The prison culture of Franco Spain inspired “…And They Put Handcuffs on the Flowers” by expatriate Spanish playwright Fernando Arrabal. Worth reading despite the horrendously pretentious ’60s stage business in it.
The Falange squealed constantly about “saving Spain” from the “decadence”and “brutality” of the “Reds.” Perhaps black brutality and perversion was different from red in some way my eyes can’t distinguish. For forty years Spain’s culture was the death culture, death, torture and prisons.
I’m rarely more fond of one group that silences dissent over another. They all have the unfocused eyes and slavering chops of the imbecile, the true believer. But the Repubic, had it been allowed to grow, could hardly have done worse than that cruel child in a soldier costume, Franco.
I would like to read more about the role of the United States and the United Kingdom in the perpetuation of Franco’s regime. Was it as enthusiastic and direct as the support given to the Junta in Greece?
Update, March 21: An association of Welsh veterans of the International Brigades is looking for about $1,000 to place a plaque in the Big Pit Mining Museum in Blaenavon. The plaque is to commemorate the Welsh miners and trade unionists who died in Spain. If you can find a thousand bucks for a worthy cause like this, check out the Homage to the Welsh International Brigaders page. The unveiling is scheduled on July 16.
Technorati Tags: Spain, Fascism, Falange, Franco, Spanish_Civil_War, European_Council, International_Brigades
After reading “Summer Snow,” by Rebecca Pawel, the fourth and latest in a series of novels set in the years after the Spanish Civil War, I realized that I had never read a history of that war. I had read plenty about the supposed causes of it, I had read memoirs and biographies of lives that been effected by it, but never a history of the war itself. So, I stopped by a local used book store and picked up a paperback version of the 1962 book “The Civil War in Spain” edited by the remarkable polymath Robert Payne.
The book is contructed from police reports, diaries and other accounts by common citizens, military men, writers and journalists who were either Spanish or resident in Spain during the civil war, like Payne himself, who covered the war for a newspaper called the London News Chronicle. Payne provides the connective tissue that brings the disparate accounts together into an extremely lively and moving history of that conflict. Reading it is like reading a dossier. The book can’t be experienced with a sense of history being safely past. It is in the first person and the present time.
I would recommend it for anyone who is a student of that time, interested in Spain or in the phenomenom of civil war.
Karim, at One Arab World, has started a remarkable petition directed at the Muslim religious community. It says, in part:
Firmly believing in Allah’s divine mercy and compassion, and sharing his love for all his creatures, the undersigned members of the peace loving and moderate majority of Muslims, revolted and repulsed by blasphemous bloodshed in Allah’s name, reject as un-Islamic conduct all acts of terrorism including but not limited to: * school bus attack at Nahariya/Avivim (1970) which killed nine innocent children
* Ma’alot massacre (1974)
* Karni crossing bombing (2005)
* World Trade Center attacks
* Madrid rail bombing
* London rail bombing
* Beslan massacre
* genocide in Darfur
* Bali night club bombings
* decapitation of Danny Pearl
* decapitation of Nick Berg
We condemn, regardless of the identity of the victims, terrorism in all its forms, bombings, shootings, knifings, hijackings, abductions and mass casualty attacks because they do unjust injury to innocent people and irreparable damage to Islam.
We call for the exclusion of incitement to terrorist violence from our madrassah curriculum, kittab & kutbah and from the mass media of all Islamic nations.
We call for withholding Zakat from all organizations which teach, incite, facilitate or organize & perform acts of terrorism.
It’s unequivocal. May G-d bless everyone who signs it.
On Sabbah’s Blog is a post about Rachel Corrie. Corrie’s writings were the source of the canceled performance in New York of the Royal Court Theatre’s “My Name is Rachel Corrie.” From the post:
Why are people afraid of Rachel Corrie’s words?
Rachel Corrie was 23 years old when she was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer on March 16, 2003. She was working with others trying to protect the home of a Palestinian pharmacist from demolition in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Palestine. “My Name is Rachel Corrie” is a powerful one-woman show based entirely on the writings that Rachel left behind, telling her story from the time she was a small child, leading up to the days before her death. The play, edited by Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner from Rachel’s diaries and emails, was produced by the Royal Court Theatre in London. Starring Megan Dodds, it played to sold out audiences and wide acclaim.
“My Name is Rachel Corrie” was scheduled to open at the New York Theatre Workshop on March 22nd. It has been postponed indefinitely, sparking much debate. Director Alan Rickman said, “Rachel Corrie lived in nobody’s pocket but her own. Whether one is sympathetic with her or not, her voice is like a clarion in the fog and should be heard.”… Click here for the growing list of endorsements and add your name or your groups name to this list of support for Rachel’s Words!
I support a multiplicity of voices, critical as well as supportive of what I believe, and I encourage you to do so as well.
For a less breathlessly hagiographic take (read: psst! Jews!), click here.
From the Committee to Protect Bloggers:
Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter working for the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, was kidnapped in Baghdad over two months ago. All indications are that she is still alive. The Monitor has started a campaign, using Iraqi television, to distribute a video asking for Iraqis to help find and free Jill.Jill is not a blogger but she’s got that spirit. She’s an independent intellect who is fascinated by the world and has a desire to speak what she sees. So let’s not leave it up to the newspapers and television stations. She’s ours as much as theirs.
So, I would like to ask every blogger who gives a damn about individual human life and the individual human voice, to post a link to this video on their blog, to blog about Jill and to pass along our concern to friends, family and other bloggers. Of greatest import are Iraqi blogs and blogs in the Arabic and Muslim worlds that may be read by people in a position to do good for Jill.
Here’s a link to the Jill Carroll video.
And here is the CSM’s feed for their Jill page.
Let’s tag these posts “blogjill.”