Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

Berlin Wall Potsdamer Platz

February 17, 2020

At Potsdamer Platz can be found a few small remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall.

One section covered in graffiti, a slightly longer section with information about the Berlin Wall.

Worth visiting, The Barn Potsdamer Platz, housed in Haus Huth, the only pre-war building remaining in Potsdamer Platz.

It could not happen to a better person … Katie Hopkins

January 31, 2020

Katie Hopkins is flown to Prague to receive an award.

In her acceptance speech she tells us what she really thinks.

Katie Hopkins so toxic, dropped by Daily Mail, banned from twitter.

The same should happen to racist troll failed hack Piers Moron.

The Times They Are a-Changin

January 16, 2020

Very moving video produced for Bernie Sanders campaign.

Bob Dylan classic The Times They Are a-Changin performed by Lia Rose.

Rosa Luxemburg Platz

December 26, 2019

A Plaza named after the German-Polish revolutionary Marxist philosopher and writer Rosa Luxemburg.

Freiheit ist immer nur Freiheit des anders Denkenden  — Rosa Luxemburg

A strange sculpture in the square, no idea what it is. 

In the ground long strips, with words of Rosa Luxemburg or tributes to her. 

A little way off from the square, a statue of Rosa Luxemburg around the back of a radical publisher. 

Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of a party - however numerous they may be - is no freedom at all. Freedom is always the freedom of the one who thinks differently. Not because of the fanaticism of “justice”, but rather because all that is instructive, wholesome, and purifying in political freedom depends on this essential characteristic, and its effects cease to work when “freedom” becomes a privilege.

Rosa Luxemburg (1871–1919) was awarded a PhD at a time when few women went to university, reputed to speak eleven languages. She was opposed to the First World War for which she spent time in prison. She was murdered by German soldiers, her body thrown into the canal. 

Her thoughts on democracy are apropos today as they were when she wrote them, when we see how the recent General Election has been perverted by a corrupt media and facebook.

Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element. Public life gradually falls asleep, a few dozen party leaders of inexhaustible energy and boundless experience direct and rule. Among them, in reality only a dozen outstanding heads do the leading and an elite of the working class is invited from time to time to meetings where they are to applaud the speeches of the leaders, and to approve proposed resolutions unanimously – at bottom, then, a clique affair – a dictatorship, to be sure, not the dictatorship of the proletariat but only the dictatorship of a handful of politicians, that is a dictatorship in the bourgeois sense, in the sense of the rule of the Jacobins (the postponement of the Soviet Congress from three-month periods to six-month periods!) Yes, we can go even further: such conditions must inevitably cause a brutalization of public life: attempted assassinations, shooting of hostages, etc.

Her last known words written on the evening of her murder were about her belief in the masses and what she saw as the inevitability of a triumphant revolution.

The contradiction between the powerful, decisive, aggressive offensive of the Berlin masses on the one hand and the indecisive, half-hearted vacillation of the Berlin leadership on the other is the mark of this latest episode. The leadership failed. But a new leadership can and must be created by the masses and from the masses. The masses are the crucial factor. They are the rock on which the ultimate victory of the revolution will be built. The masses were up to the challenge, and out of this “defeat” they have forged a link in the chain of historic defeats, which is the pride and strength of international socialism. That is why future victories will spring from this defeat.

Order prevails in Berlin! You foolish lackeys! Your “order” is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will “rise up again, clashing its weapons,” and to your horror it will proclaim with trumpets blazing: I was, I am, I shall be!

Paul Mason draws on the writing of Rosa Luxemburg in Postcapitalism.

Friday 13th Pepsi Trump Horror Show

December 13, 2019

The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the Axe, for the Axe was clever and convinced the Trees that because his handle was made of wood he was one of them. — Turkish proverb

Thursday night exit polls showed a massive swing to the Nasty Party. As the results poured in, exit poll confirmed.  I turned off the coverage, it was too depressing.

A nightmare.

A decade of the Nasty Party — zero hours employment, pay less than living wage, poverty, mass closure of libraries, food banks, serfs working for apps, human robots in Amazon warehouses, class warfare, mass transfer of wealth to the rich, tax dodging on an industrial scale, austerity, neo-liberalism, shock doctrine, NHS on point of collapse, disintegration rail infrastructure.

Labour offered a radical progressive future, a green new deal.

But hey what the fuck, let’s vote for Pepsi Trump.

What went wrong? Why did people on the doorstep say No Jeremy Corbyn.

Why?

Wherever Jeremy Cobyn went, he was greeted to rapturous applause, he related to people, in debates he was calm and measured, had good grasp of the issues.

The problem therefore was not Jeremy Corbyn. The problem was the perception of Jeremy Corbyn.

We had the most vicious smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn. And it was not only the usual suspects, Murdoch and The Scum. It was fake-Left Guardian, too often the originators of the smears.

Then we had back bench MPs who thought they had a sinecure for life, wanted to back to the good old days of corrupt Labour, who spent their time sabotaging Labour, aided and abetted by the media, especially BBC News and fake-Left Guardian only too willing to grant them a soapbox.

Again we have to ask why?

Those in poser were scared shitless of radical change. The Deep State was under threat.

Had Labour a leader who would tinkle at the edges, policies that were businesses as usual, the choice of Tweedledum or Tweedledee but no real change, they would have been happy.

Therein lies the dilemma. Labour must not lose sight of the prize, dealing with tax dodgers, bringing in a fairer society, a green new deal.

In the meantime, take to the streets, direct action, form the resistance.

To those who say it was democracy, I suggest visit an exhibition in Berlin at the foot of the Berlin Wall which drawing upon Nazi archives shows how Adolf Hitler and the Nazis rose to power. Adolf Hitler was elected.

In Hungary and Poland, Fascists have been elected. They are shutting down a free press, destroying the judiciary.

When Pepsi Trump failed to attend the Channel 4 Climate Debate and in his place a block of melting ice, unnamed Tory sources threatened to remove the broadcast licence of Channel 4.

We have had Laura Kaunsberg and Robert Peston act and still acting as Pepsi Trump propagandists, drip drip drip of propaganda from unnamed sources. If not on record then do not regurgitate as news. Otherwise being played like a fiddle.

What of the climate?

Five more years of no action on climate. We have seen COP25 collapse with no firm commitment to cut carbon emissions by the levels required, zero carbon by 2030. The climate will not wait, the planet burns whilst corrupt politicians fiddle. What we can guarantee is cataclysmic chaos, brought about by climate change and the rapid deep cuts in carbon emissions that will have to be made.

The longer we leave action, the greater the impact, the deeper the cuts will have to be. How much more flooding, when do we act, do we wait until London is flooded?

I fear for this country. I also feel ashamed.

I know how they felt in US when Donald Trump was elected.

This article has been expanded on Medium under the same title Friday 13th Pepsi Trump Horror Show.

Olympic Stadium of the First Modern Olympics

November 14, 2019

Wednesday three weeks ago in Athens, trip up Lycabettas Hill as the sun was setting, a descent in the dark, I was lost, not a clue where I was.

I ended up at Ohh Boy, asked to use their wifi.

It was only when passing Olympic Stadium of the First Modern Olympics I realised where I was.

Panathenaic Stadium, the Old Olympic Stadium in Athens Greece, hosted the first modern games in 1896.

it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.

A stadium was built on the site of a simple racecourse by the Athenian statesman Lykourgos (Lycurgus) c. 330 BC, primarily for the Panathenaic Games.

It was rebuilt in marble by Herodes Atticus, an Athenian Roman senator, by 144 AD and had a capacity of 50,000 seats.

After the rise of Christianity in the 4th century it was largely abandoned.

The stadium was excavated in 1869 and hosted the Zappas Olympics in 1870 and 1875. After being refurbished, it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and was the venue for 4 of the 9 contested sports. It was used for various purposes in the 20th century and was once again used as an Olympic venue in 2004.

It is the finishing point for the annual Athens Classic Marathon. It is also the last venue in Greece from where the Olympic flame handover ceremony to the host nation takes place.

Christening Ayia Anna

November 5, 2019

Sunday, two weeekends ago, a christening at Ayia Anna in Ayia Napa.

Three priests, two Greek Orthodox, one Russian Orthodox, parents Russian and Greek-Cypriot, godmother Greek-Cypriot.

The godmother organises everything, at the ceremony holds the child.

Various incantations, then the child is undressed and baptised, twice in the water then full immersion, then annointed with olive oil, a change of clothing. Two girls walk around the font.

No one is allowed to touch the child.

Two days later, the child washed and a change of clothes.

An interesting church. A balcony runs around, at the back, a second balcony.

After the ceremony, a celebratory buffet lunch at which parents and godmother great all the guests. The guests in turn presented with a cake and an icon of the patron saint of the child.

Ayia Napa Medieval Carnival

November 4, 2019

Following afternoon trip to Laranca, Intercity Bus could not go as far as the main square outside the Monastery where I would change for the local bus, roads closed for Ayia Napa Medieval Carnival.

A procession through the street, followed by a concert in the square in front of the monastery.

Ayia Napa International Sculpture Park

November 4, 2019

Change bus from local bus to Intercity Bus en route to Larnaca.

Time to walk through the sculpture park.

Fleeting visit Ayia Napa International Sculputure Park

October 30, 2019

En route to Larnaca to visit Larnaca International Food Festival, local bus to Ayia Napa, change to Intercity Bus to Larnaca.

Time to alight from local bus, walk through Ayia Napa International Sculputure Park to pick up Intercity Bus to Larnaca.