Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Future of Terrorism

Terrorism threat is not so much about what actually happens , but rather about what might have happened, or what might happen in the future. Just look at the latest incidents. What actually happened was an unsuccessful attempt to commit a crime. In the meantime, crimes on much bigger scale are actually being committed around the world. What we are scared of now is what might be coming next. And that, in its turn, depends very much on the spectacularisation of the "event" through the media, by politicians, etc.

As explained by Derrida, terrorism is not about "what is presently happening or what has happened in the past but the precursory signs of what threatens to happen. It is the future that determines the unappropriability of the event, not the present or the past. Or at least, if it is the present or the past, it is only insofar as it bears on its body the terrible sign of what might or perhaps will take place, which will be worse than anything that has ever taken place."

Will we allow the traumatic experience to carry away our common sense, or will we try to cope with it using patience and rationality? The choice is still ours. Personally, I am more worried about possible luggage overweight than terrorism when taking a flight next week.

Radio Jah Jah Attacking You

This is official! Svenskterror's radiostation is up and running. Enjoy music, not silence. (No offence to Depeche Mode - and by the way their song "Enjoy the Silence" is one of my favourites). So, just click on the icon below and delve into the mysterious world of sounds...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Warning... One! Oh! Eight!

The new album of 108 is out on the streets killing people!

And they put some of my photos from their show in Stockholm on their website. I suppose things like this can really make a dead heart making a new beat.

Style Competition

Is it me who looks like Jarvis Cocker, or is he trying to steal my style?

look and decide yourself!

Prophets of Mass Media Did It Again

So many angry, crazy Muslim radicals in the world... Scary, right? Or is just one rage boy enough to scare you?

Christopher Hitchens thinks we should be more laid back and consider that a few extremists do not represent the whole Muslim population: We may have to put up with the Rage Boys of the world, but we ought not to do their work for them.

Inshallah, indeed!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

History Today, History Tomorrow - Still This Side Of Heaven

The (International) Noise Conspiracy gigs this summer:

Jun 10 - Lisboa (Portugal) @ Alive 07 Festival
Jun 29 - Bilbao (Spain) @ Bilbao BBK Live Festival
Aug 4 - Lustenau (Austria) © Szene Festival
Aug 24 - Lüdinghausen (Germany) @ Area 4 Festival
Sep 20/21 - The Baltic Sea (Sweden/Finland) @ Rock'n'Roll-båten
Sep 28/29 - Hamburg (Germany) @ Reeperbahn Festival

Damn it, I have to wait until September! If I'm still in Sweden, which is fairly unpredictable in these times of change... But if you happen to be somewhere near where this band plays, go and see them, it's worth it, all 1000%. Sweaty boys of revolution rock'n'roll will shower on you experience of political entertainment (or entertaining politics) at its best. And don't forget your dancing shoes, for God's sake!

Posthuman Madness (In The Name Of Justice)

All animals are equal.
(Peter Singer)

Alice: But I don't want to go among mad people.
The Cat: Oh, you can't help that. We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
Alice: How do you know I'm mad?
The Cat: You must be. Or you wouldn't have come here.
Alice: And how do you know that you're mad?
The Cat: To begin with, a dog's not mad. You grant that?
Alice: I suppose so.
The Cat: Well, then, you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.
(”Alice in Wonderland”, Lewis Carroll)

.. deconstruction is mad about this kind of justice. Mad about this desire for justice.
(Jacques Derrida)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bigmouth Goes On Striking

Yesterday was the birthday of Morrissey, and I went to a really nice Morrissey birthday party in Stockholm. DJ played only Morrissey and The Smiths... And the crowd was crazy, singing along and dancing all over the place. Lovely, lovely event... Another sign that the world is not moving towards doomsday. Not yet, but who knows... So don't be a lazy sunbather, do something to make this world a better place! At least try to be gentle and kind in this otherwise often very cruel world...

Some photos from the party can be found on my Latvian blog page.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Touch Me (Not)

I have nothing against close body contact. Hugging, kissing, you name it. It's a nice way to show your affection for another human being.

It is not so nice though when close body contact means being searched by security personnel at the airport.

I was going to take the plane from Riga to Stockholm, it's a flight that takes just some 40 minutes. If anybody wants to blow up any plane, I think this one would be the last option. And me? Did I have any of what those anti-terror warriors call signal elements? Hmm. Was it my blue jeans, my newly acquired Brainstorm t-shirt, or perhaps Gucci glasses? I have no clue. The fact is that after entering the security check area (and by the way, I was the only passenger there at the moment) and calmly walking through the metal detector, I was called aside to be searched. Hands up, and I had to experience finger gliding all over my body, at one point almost touching my balls. Disgusting.

I thought that confiscating my hair spray (it was bigger than 100ml, and the fact that the bottle was almost empty was ignored by the security personnel) on the way from Stockholm to Riga was enough. Apparently it wasn't.

So you see, there is a reason why I hate flying and prefer taking train or bus. Unfortunately, it's not always possible. Therefore now and then I am forced to enter an airport - which is undoubtedly a mystical place, since just by entering the building you automatically lose a part of your human dignity. Go there, stand behind the line, take off your belt, show your passport, drink your water here or we will take it from you, etc etc ad nauseum.

Am I mad? No, I just want to keep a bit of privacy and secrecy. The absence of secrecy is a totalitarian society. And I still have some hope that we are on the way towards something better, not falling back to repetition of yesterday's mistakes.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Take Care of Yourself

"Take care!" How many times have I said this when leaving or written at the bottom of letters... But not often I have thought about it in the meaning that Viktor Tsoy entailed in his song Следи за собой (Take Care of Yourself). Curiously enough, he himself died in a car-crash in my homecountry Latvia... And the final album of his band which features Следи за собой was released posthumously.

You can listen to it on his band's Myspace site. Here are the lyrics translated to English...

Today they say "Goodbye" to someone,
Tomorrow they will say "Farewell, forever"
And the wound in your heart bleeds profusely.
Tomorrow someone returns home,
Only to stand upon the ruins of their own city.
And someone will fall from the top of a crane...

So take care of yourself... Be careful...

Tomorrow morning, someone lying in bed
Will realize that there's no cure for his sickness,
Someone leaving home will get into a car accident.
Tomorrow, somewhere in a hospital
The hand of a young surgeon will slip.
Someone walking in the woods will fall into a mine...

So take care of yourself... Be careful...

Tonight an airplane flies above us,
Tomorrow it will crash into the ocean
And all the passengers will die...
Tomorrow, somewhere, who knows where?
There will be war, an epidemic, a huge blizzard...
And black holes in the vastness of space...

So watch out for yourself, Be careful...

Integration Problem in Latvia

Finally somebody said it. Latvian politicians live in their own world, disconnected from society they are supposed to rule. Integrate them, now!!!

What kind of integration can we brag about, if even the government has problems to integrate in Latvian society? Therefore we have society not with two communities, but with three communities, the third one being the ruling class.
(Newspaper DIENA)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Swedish Comment on Tallin and Moscow Incidents

Swedish minister for foreign affairs comments after the latest developments...

Sovereign states have the right to take sovereign decisions about where to place their statues and memorial signs. This is what Estonia has done.

Sovereign states have the responsibility to respect international rules regarding international contacts. This is what Russia has not done.

With all this said, it should be added that we all probably have the responsibility to treat European history with a dose of carefullness, and try to show mutual respect.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Estonian Lesson about Historical Symbols

Riots in Tallin. Who has not heard about them by now? One must be deaf and blind to have missed the hype.

Lots of talking about different views on history, (un)successful integration, Russian pressure, European attitude etc. It's all fine. Political analysts have something to chew on, and journalists have something to fill the editorial columns with.

But for me there is only one question. What the heck was the point with moving the damn monument? Some Estonian scholars (and I want to stress this - all of them were Estonians!) warned about the consequences. Does not seem that Estonian politicians have listened though. Symbols are powerful tools for power politics. Logical and rational thinking can easily be put aside when the heat of hurt feelings kicks in, especially when it comes to such violent outbursts like riots.

Why stir people's feelings then? The monuments from the Soviet time in Baltics that could and should have been removed have already met their destiny of destruction in the beginning of 90-ies. I still remember how a huge statue of Lenin was removed from the central square at my hometown. What I don't remember is any protests, what to speak of riots. Just a huge crowd of people watching how the statue is being uprooted by a powerful crane and brutally thrown down to the ground. Clapping hands and smiling faces. Singing some patriotic songs. In other words - sort of reclaim the city party! I have no idea what happened to te monument. But it was certainly never reinstalled in any other place, as it was done with the Bronze Soldier in Tallin.

Well, there are still some ugly monuments reminding of the Soviet era for many people in Latvia. As well as Estonia and Lithuania I guess. I would say - let these monuments stay where they are. As reminders of the past. History cannot be erased, it can be only interpreted in different ways. Good scientific arguments about the history would at this point, more than 15 years after regaining independence, be much better than messing around with historical symbols.

Hopefully Estonian lesson will not be forgotten.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Shoot 'em Bastards?

I think this happens all the time. In the face of pointless, mad, irrational violence people often get these equally pointless, mad and irrational proposals for how to diminish chances for such violence taking place. Thanks God not all the time. But there is a certain tendency... When we see something which we cannot comprehend, we try to escape the real problem.

This time I am talking about Virginia Tech shooting.

While looking through some commentaries kindly provided by Svenska Dagbladet's editorial blog, I came up on this one. And I almost exploded by just reading it. Does the author really want to suggest that shootings like this one can be rooted out by giving more guns to people? Any human being in his sane mind can see that too many guns in too many hands is the overall problem in U.S.

Of course, just having some gun-free zones is not gonna solve the problem (though there certainly is a reason behind why places connected with education should be kept gun-free). But giving anybody both the right and possibility to act like a sherriff is nothing else but madness. Shooting down one mad gunman in one case is not gonna solve the deeper prolematics. And even less so will do just the probability that perhaps, maybe some bystander might have the possibility to take the guy out.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Gender Trouble, Why Make It Double?

Scenario A: a woman puts on slacks and sneakers, a metallica t-shirt, no makeup and a baseball cap

Scenario B: a man puts on a skirt and blouse, heels, a little makeup and curly hair

the interesting point is that the male and the female are BOTH "cross-dressing" - however the oddness of a female doing so wore off about 45 years ago.

why are male gender roles SO TIGHTLY controlled and enforced?

(honestly stolen from vic108)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Survival Sickness in the World of Terrorism

Nearly 500 terrorist attacks in Europe last year, according to Europol. Don't you wonder how it is possible that we are still alive after all these attacks? And how many of them did you notice?

The ones who certainly noticed the attacks are those ca 700 who got arrested in connection with them. Though not too many of them got convicted for the supposed crimes...

Infinite justice, here we come! Everyone has the right to be accused of terrorism and get arrested, just to be announced innocent a bit later! Though positive discrimination is reserved for islamists, separatists, left-wing activists and, of course, anarchists. And poor nation-states, they are still completely exempted from the very possibility of involving in terrorist activities. The same poor states which are "often powerless to ensure the protection and the liberty of its own citizens before terrorist menace, whether or not it has a religious or nationalist alibi", according to Derrida.

We still have some things to work on... The fight goes on, comrades!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Everything Sounds Like Propaganda

Is this propaganda too?

Well, they dare to pose the question towards themselves. That might as well be the propaganda test... Real propagandists would never accept questioning their position.

God Bless Iceland

This weekend we lost one hour of our day. You think it's all about saving electricity and giving us more sunlight hours during the day? Well well, the idea was actually intended by a golf player who wanted to play longer in the afternoons... Apparently upper middle-class capitalist lobbies knew how to use propaganda already more than 100 years ago.

I think I will move to Iceland, they do not participate in this fucking up my daily rhythm. And besides that, it seems to be a nice country in other ways too. Not member of EU, the first to recognize my homecountry's independence. And an exotic country both with regards to nature and culture (just think about their language...).

So, I'm almost packing my bags. At least mentally.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring Things

This is what makes me feel spring-time also inside...

These berries contain 6 times more vitamin C than orange, besides vitamin A and E, and flavonoids and antioxidants... And no, I don't go around crawling in thorny bushes, I buy a health drink at the local food-store. Not too expensive, tastes very good and refreshing. In other words - perfect!

Shakti & John McLaughlin
Indian tunes with a touch of jazz, or the other way around... Simply lovely. Makes you feel like dancing, flying, and being completely free.
And bear in mind - this is not some cheap new age bullshit. This is about a bunch of very skilled musicians doing something profoundly innovative. They are not playing gods, they ARE gods...

John D. Caputo
Brilliant in his elaborations on Derrida and deconstruction. He makes it much easier to digest Jackie's thoughts without unnecessary over-simplifying the content. And on top of that he adds his own insights, which for me seem to be very interesting. And very inspiring, which is of utmost importance of course...

This "list" was of course by no means exhaustive... Waiting for more to come. Á venir, avenir...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Some Sounds

Oh, and here is my 1:41 minutes for Anna Politkovskaya broadcasted by Radio Latvia. Sorry, only in Latvian. BBC has not employed me yet.

Moving On

It is spring, finally. Besides quite a lot of wet snow on Monday the weather has been perfect.

And things are changing, as usual in springtime, hopefully for the best. Just got a new table today, there is a couple of vacancies to apply for, and perhaps taking that course in human rights and modern genetics (what a subject, right?)... The future is still unwritten, but it seems bright.

And of course Israel saying that what happened in Lebanon last year actually was war is a welcome admission. Better late than never.

Some things take time. Just like my job searching.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Eyes of Anna Politkovskaya

Today I went to the reading in memoriam of Anna Politkovskaya in Stockholm. Such readings were held in different countries, to make a stand against the political lie, and for the truth.

I saw her once. It was at the Gothenburgh Book Fair. She was telling about her newest book, and I made a radio feature about it when I returned to Stockholm.
Look at her eyes... It is said that eyes are the part human body that is least affected by aging. Which means that we keep our childish eyes for the rest of our lives. Though I think some try to hide them, even to the point of looking like dead, like machines and not human beings. Anna still had these eyes, and not only in the physical sense. If there is anything that can be called spiritual, I think that's what I saw in her eyes. And if you read her books, you can feel it too. That stare of truth that cuts right through your heart without any mercy. This world needs more of such eyes - the eyes that are not ashamed to be the eyes of a child, and not afraid to seek and see the truth, at any cost.

At any cost... Also life. But the bizzare thing is that the ones who silenced her have made her voice (through her books, through readings like the one today, through other journalists inspired by her, etc) only louder. Indeed, it is possible to make a lasting impact even by ones death.

Maybe the eyes never die?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

And I Thought I Was Pretty Conservative...



political description that
fits you best is...



LIBERALS usually embrace freedom of choice in personal

matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded "safety net" to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.

The RED DOT on the Chart shows where you fit on the political map.

Your PERSONAL issues
Score is 80%.

Your ECONOMIC issues Score
is 40%.

You can find the test HERE.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Mystery of Women and the Mystery of USA

USA has always been, to put it mildly, inconsistent in its policies regarding many different spheres. Also regarding women.

Today Condoleezza Rice gave Courage Award to a number of women who have been especially successful in advocating women's rights and advancement, including Latvian journalist Ilze Jaunalksne. After she made several TV programs on political corruption, recordings of her private phone conversations (taped by Secret Police) were leaked to the media. Now she is about to get a compensation from the state, and I think this prize comes right in time.


Meanwhile, a well known Swedish singer Eva Dahlgren (if I remember correctly, she was Anna Lindh's (r.i.p.) favourite) has been indirectly blacklisted in USA. Her crime - contribution for CD Lullabies from the Axis of Evil. Apparently, women from the countries of so called axis of evil singing together with western artists is too much for the land of freedom.

Well, what can one say except stealing some words from Morrissey:

In America
The land of the Free, they said
And of Opportunity
In a just and a truthful way
But where the President
Is never black, female or gay
And until that day
You’ve got nothing to say to me
To help me believe
In America

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Rule of Law, Kafka Style

It is about to happen again. Somebody, not me or you of course, but one of those others (arabs, palestinians, immigrants, refugees - you name it), is called a terrorist and is soon going to face deportation to a country where torture is practiced...

Reading news can sometimes be like reading Kafka. What a process... Swedish secret police claims that the man is security risk, but refuses to give any grounds for this accusation. Nothing. Not a single shred of paper. Neither to the terrorist, nor to his lawyer.

The only reason why this terrorist still is not thrown out of the country is his poor health condition. What a nice and humane message - "as soon as you get better, we send you to the torture chamber, so you better stay sick, or what about getting even sicker?"

I think the real sickness is somewhere else though, it's in the heads of those who make decisions such as in this case. The proof is obvious.

And regarding Kafka's writings - I would prefer them to stay where they are, without making apparition in the real life, in Sweden, year 2007.