Glittering generality – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ξ September 28th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |

Glittering generalities are emotionally appealing words so closely associated with highly valued concepts and beliefs that they carry conviction without supporting information or reason. They appeal to such emotions such as as love of country, home; desire for peace, freedom, glory, honor, etc. They ask for approval without examination of the reason. They are a typically used by politicians and propagandists.

A glittering generality has two qualities:

1. It is vague
2. It has positive connotations

Words like "strength," "democracy,", "patriotism", "freedom", and "hattifattner" are terms that people have powerful associations with, and people may have trouble disagreeing with them. It is as if to say, who could argue against "freedom"? However, these words are highly abstract, and meaningful differences exist regarding what they actually mean or should mean in the real world. For instance, while few may argue against "freedom", how it is judged what exactly "freedom" is or should be in a given scenario may be completely contradictory between different people."

Dogs sometimes bite propagandists on the leg.
This is a Good Thing.


Tom Kumpf Photography – Home

Ξ September 27th, 2005 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Arts, Photography |

From his blog:
Spent much of my life working as a photojournalist, documentary photog. Have time in Somolia, East Africa, middle and near east, other places. Most recently, Ireland, the Irish people and landscape, and "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland. Six award-winning books published on Ireland since 2000 and working on another. Recent grand adventure was crawling on hands and knees down the collapsed passage of the chambered passage tomb, Knowth, on summer solstice 2005 to photograph the oldest map of the moon known to man, carved on a stone inside the chamber around 3200 bc. Only thing better are the friends I've met along the way . . . I am indeed blessed.


TIMEasia Magazine: Best of Asia – Extreme Yak Sports

Ξ September 26th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Regional |

    From the page: "In the Indian hill resort of Manali, Tibetan Peter Dorje runs an operation dedicated to the most implausible extreme sport in the world: yak skiing. In winter, he takes up to five skiers and his herd of beasts to the hills above town, making overnight camp. Come morning, Pete heads to a high slope with the yaks, trailing out a rope behind him. You wait below, wearing your skis and holding a bucket of pony nuts. When Pete reaches the top, he ties a large pulley to a tree, loops the rope through it and onto a stamping, snorting yak.

    Now it's your turn and this is the important part. First tie yourself onto the other end of the rope, then shake the bucket of nuts and quickly put it down. The yak charges down the mountain after the nuts, pulling you up it at rocket speed. If you forget yourself in the excitement and shake the bucket too soon, you'll be flattened by two hairy tons of behemoth. Or as Pete says, "Never shake the bucket of nuts before you're tied to the yak rope."

    This piece of Himalayan sagacity can be restated in many ways that apply to everyday life: do things in their proper order, make adequate preparations before embarking on a risky venture, and so on. "


Lebanon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ξ September 25th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Misc |



111101 – Letters

Ξ September 25th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Misc |


And there it came, like a far familiar cry from long ago. You hear it, you turn you head, not knowing if it is in your head, boring at you, telling you that it's time you go to sleep, or if it is really out there. A voice so familiar and yet so distant that it could be from within you. You heard it, once, and never again. You strain your ears, but there is nothing but its muffled echoes in your head. Slowly it recedes into silence, into oblivion.

"We're all going to die," she said, "So what's the use of living?" You didn't know what to tell her, but you knew she was wrong. Somewhere deep inside you knew she was dead wrong. It couldn't be. Somewhere deep inside you just knew that it is nothing but the interim between two long silences after all. But that cry, that short resounding cry, makes it all worth it. You just knew she was wrong. And you knew that all she was saying was "Hold me. Hold me tight; never let go." That's all she wanted; that's all she cared for. For really, after all, that's all that mattered. And you knew it.

And then the third movement begins, begins with an old familiar melody. It transforms, it twists and turns, and writhes and convulses on the floor beneath your cold view. And then it returns, its same old familiar self, as sweet as ever, but faint. And it passes in front of you, and you, you just look on in bewilderment and amazement, you just watch it go before your eyes. It doesn't bother shut the door; the door is as good as shut in its absence. And yet till now you can still close your eyes and see its glow reflected at the inside of your retina; a halo, a spectre, nothing but a ghost. A ghost that is nevertheless just as real as you are.

So that is how I am, and that is how we are, and that is how we continue to be, a persistence of memory and forgetting, a harassment of songs, images and oblivion. You continue in me when you lose yourself, and I remain in you when I no longer exist. And yet on the way we become strangers and one and the same person, even when we look in the mirror and no longer recognize each other. For the persistence of memory is all that matters, as much as we ignore it.

I am fine, and not fine, and exuberant and ravaged and exultant all at the same time. I am nothing and everything and all and nothing in vacant repeating cycles, and you and I and him and noone once and again. What does it matter? What does matter? I don't know. I know nothing but the silence I sink in when I know I know it all.

Ashraf Osman [ 08/07/2004 ]


Lebanon War Pictures

Ξ September 25th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Misc |

Lebanese girls, all members of the right wing Phalangist Party, man a sandbagged barricade and point their guns down a street in downtown Beirut in preperation for an assualt, November 2, 1975.

Bashir Gemayel reassures a little girl, Beirut, 1975.

Left wing Mourabitoun light tank and gunmen advance through Beirut, May 1976.

Ξ September 25th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |

U.S. Marines land at a Beirut beach 1958.


Ξ September 25th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Misc |

Druze members of the rebel army led by Kamal Jumblatt in Lebanon in 1958.

Rebels take cover during a brief encounter in the ruins at Baalbek.
Pillars dominate ruins in the background. June 22, 1958

Druze rebels under Kamal Jumblatt, stop and search a car at gunpoint
on a dirt road near the Chouf mountains. Lebanon, June 24, 1958.

Smoke rises from the shattered wreckage of the large ABC department store. Scores of people were injured when a rebel terrorist bomb exploded in the crowded store.
July 8, 1958


Lebanon War Pictures

Ξ September 25th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Misc |

A typical day in Beirut. Summer, 1982.


Lebanon War Pictures

Ξ September 25th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Misc |

East Beirut under Syrian artillery assault, 1978

A Lebanese Army trooper draped in a 23mm cartridge belt.