Archive | January, 2015

French imperialism’z brutal colonial rule

17 Jan

A very interesting article about imperialism; I recommend it, at least to understand a brief chronology of North African struggles under colonial rule.

Moorbey'z Blog

By John Catalinotto

Algiers, 1960

On Jan. 11, the French imperialist bourgeoisie mobilized and manipulated a massive demonstration in all the country’s major cities under hypocritical slogans extolling Western civilization and alleged “freedom of speech.” Their goal — which they share with U.S. and European Union imperialism — is a reactionary modern crusade against colonial peoples, mostly Muslims, in the guise of a “war on terror.”

One piece of French history that clashes with this ruling-class argument concerns the massacre of Oct. 17, 1961. If you don’t know about this massacre, it is because the imperialist defenders of “French civilization” have made every effort to keep it secret.

Between 1954 and 1962, French imperialism waged a bitter colonial war to hang on to its North African colony of Algeria. As is often the case with peoples of an imperial colony, many Algerian immigrants and their descendants lived in Paris in October 1961…

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The Daily Post Challenge: “Connect the Dots”

15 Jan

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Connect the Dots.”

This post is part of the Daily Post Challenge I tend to participate in, and this time the challenge was about taking the closest book to you and developing a full post with the third sentence of page 82.

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The book I found was The Last Report of the Miracles at Little No Horse from Louise Erdrich (a book I recommend a lot, by the way, and one of my favourites), and this was the sentence:

She would fire up a blaze to heat stones for a sweat and to purify herself

Somehow, a fitting quote during a time like this. Who wouldn’t want to relax and purify oneself after so many struggles and hatred and violence of these days…? Who wouldn’t want to set up a little blaze and take a time for oneself and pretend that there’s actual harmony and peace on the world…? I’ve never been in a spa myself, or any of those hot rooms for relaxation (Jacuzzi doesn’t count!), but I’ve been always fascinated by the mesmerizing power of nature to tranquilize our senses and return us the humanity we lost in, curiously, our human creations, like weapons, war, guns…in where fire becomes quite a deadly protagonist.

The book, which is about a woman taking the identity of a priest who travels to an Indian reservation to convert the local Ojibwe, kinda makes it its point. Kinda. Because the woman ends up learning lots of fascinating Indian philosophy and fitting it with the Catholic dogma she preaches in disguise. And this quote itself captivated me by that very reason: how nature tends to be our actual answer for everything and our actual solution for problems, in comparison to the handmade stuff—Church, machines, pills…—and the artificial things.

This sentence comprises so much with so few words, and would fit in any kind of context thanks to that, which is something I’ve liked a lot in Erdrich’s writing. But in this time, I liked it a lot because of the naturalistic interpretation I found on it when I read it out of its context and my actual longing of relaxation…of forgetting…of getting away from all the violence that’s lashing out the world and leaving irreparable wounds…

And fire… Fire! I’ve always loved fire. But not any kind of fire. A sacred fire. Not the one used to set blaze in the buildings or to burn down the houses of innocent families in the brink of war. No. An actual fire. An actual purifying fire. Fire these days has become a terrific element, most usually related to war and destruction, whereas it could mean purity and burning passion as well…

Ah, fire… What if we could turn again fire a sacred element that shouldn’t be used lightly, and that should be revered as a cleansing energy, instead of an ideal weapon to make your foes surrender…? Ah, those good days of the cavemen, in the Age of Wonder, when fire wasn’t a weapon, but the beginning of a new era. A tool for humanity.

I know the context of this sentence is MUCH more different than what I am talking about. But let’s face it: who wouldn’t want to pretend, at least for once, we’re not in a mad, mad world, rather in a most relaxing spa, dozing off, just to open your eyes and realize…

…everything was just an awful nightmare caused by fire…?

And this is my post for the Challenge. Hope you liked it!

Thanks a lot for reading!