Salvador Dali: Alice in Wonderland...

Alice in Wonderland.Salvador Dali.jpg



19:05 Posted by Jan Boeykens in Salvador Dali | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

George Orwell

Orwell 2.jpg

Why I Write

From a very early age, perhaps the age of five or six, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer. Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-four I tried to abandon this idea, but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I should have to settle down and write books.

I was the middle child of three, but there was a gap of five years on either side, and I barely saw my father before I was eight. For this and other reasons I was somewhat lonely, and I soon developed disagreeable mannerisms which made me unpopular throughout my schooldays. I had the lonely child’s habit of making up stories and holding conversations with imaginary persons, and I think from the very start my literary ambitions were mixed up with the feeling of being isolated and undervalued. I knew that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts, and I felt that this created a sort of private world in which I could get my own back for my failure in everyday life.Nevertheless the volume of serious — i.e. seriously intended — writing which I produced all through my childhood and boyhood would not amount to half a dozen pages. I wrote my first poem at the age of four or five, my mother taking it down to dictation. I cannot remember anything about it except that it was about a tiger and the tiger had ‘chair-like teeth’ — a good enough phrase, but I fancy the poem was a plagiarism of Blake’s ‘Tiger, Tiger’. At eleven, when the war or 1914-18 broke out, I wrote a patriotic poem which was printed in the local newspaper, as was another, two years later, on the death of Kitchener. From time to time, when I was a bit older, I wrote bad and usually unfinished ‘nature poems’ in the Georgian style. I also attempted a short story which was a ghastly failure. That was the total of the would-be serious work that I actually set down on paper during all those years...

The Spanish war and other events in 1936-37 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it...

What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing...

The problem of language is subtler and would take too long to discuss. I will only say that of late years I have tried to write less picturesquely and more exactly. In any case I find that by the time you have perfected any style of writing, you have always outgrown it. Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole...

All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand...'


George Orwell: ‘Why I Write’, 1946

First published: Gangrel. — GB, London. — summer 1946.


George Orwell - Animal Farm: A fairy story:


18:52 Posted by Jan Boeykens in George Orwell | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

Aldous Huxley


Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, film stories and scripts. Huxley spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death.

During the First World War, Huxley spent much of his time at Garsington Manor, home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, working as a farm labourer. Here he met several Bloomsbury figures including Bertrand Russell and Clive Bell. Later, in Crome Yellow (1921) he caricatured the Garsington lifestyle. In 1919 he married Maria Nys, a Belgian woman he met at Garsington; they had one son. The family lived in Italy part of the time in the 1920s, where Huxley would visit his friend D. H. Lawrence. Following Lawrence's death in 1930, Huxley edited Lawrence's letters (1933).

Works of this period included important novels on the dehumanising aspects of scientific progress, most famously Brave New World, and on pacifist themes (for example, Eyeless in Gaza). In Brave New World Huxley portrays a society operating on the principles of mass production and Pavlovian conditioning. Huxley was strongly influenced by F. Matthias Alexander and included him as a character in Eyeless in Gaza.

Starting from this period, Huxley began to write and edit non-fiction works on pacifist issues, including Ends and MeansAn Encyclopedia of Pacifism, and Pacifism and Philosophy, and was an active member of the the Peace Pledge Union.

In 1937, Huxley moved to Hollywood, with his wife Maria, son Matthew, and friend Gerald Heard. He lived in the U.S., mainly in southern California, until his death, but also for a time in Taos, New Mexico, where he wrote Ends and Means (published in 1937). In this work he examines the fact that although most people in modern civilisation agree that they want a world of "liberty, peace, justice, and brotherly love", they have not been able to agree on how to achieve it.

18:13 Posted by Jan Boeykens in Leonard Huxley | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


Kurt Weill


The composer Kurt Weill was born today March 2 1900. Best known for his collaborations with Bertolt Brecht on The Threepenny Opera,Rise and Fall of the City of MahagonnyDer Jasager and The 7 Deadly Sins, Weill was a committed socialist, who believed music must serve a socially useful purpose. However, it was politics that eventually split the brilliant partnership of Brecht and Weill, as the musician felt the playwright was pushing too far to the left without question, or as Weill joked, he felt unable to set the Communist Party Manifesto to music.

Weill was married to the brilliant actress and singer, Lotte Lenya, who starred in The Threepenny Opera and later played the SMERSH assassin, Rosa Klebb in the Bond movie, From Russia With Love. With the rise of Hitler, the couple quit Germany and moved to America, where they worked in Hollywood (as did Brecht).

Though Weill’s music is best associated with cabaret and political theater of Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s (influencing John Kander and Fred Ebb’s musical Cabaret), he also wrote two symphonies, several cantatas, a great number of songs, set the poetry of Rilke and Walt Whitman’s Song of Myslef to music, and worked with Ira Gershwin on the Hollywood musical Where Do We Go From Here?. Weill died of a heart attack in 1950.

03:03 Posted by Jan Boeykens in Kurt Weill | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

Lord Byron

Byron_in_Albanian_dress_Size4.jpgLord Byron in Albanian dress, by Thomas Phillips, 1813, collection of the British Embassy, Athens, via Wikipedia

Lord Byron's first collection of poems, Hours of Idleness, appeared in 1807. The poems were savagely attacked by Henry Brougham in the Edinburgh Review. Byron replied with the publication of his satire, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809).

In 1809 Byron set on his grand tour where he visited Spain, Malta, Albania and Greece. His poetical account of this grand tour, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812) established Byron as one of England's leading poets.

Lord Byron scandalized London by starting an affair with Lady Caroline Lamb and was ostracized when he was suspected of having a sexual relationship with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, who gave birth to an illegitimate daughter.

Byron attending the House of Lords where he became a strong advocate of social reform. In 1811 he was one of the few men in Parliament to defend the actions of the Luddites and the following year spoke against the Frame Breaking Bill, by which the government intended to apply the death-penalty to Luddites. Byron's political views influenced the subject matter of his poems. Important examples include Song for the Luddites (1816) and The Landlords' Interest (1823). Byron also attacked his political opponents such as the Duke of Wellington and Lord Castlereagh in Wellington: The Best of the Cut-Throats (1819) and the The Intellectual Eunuch Castlereagh (1818).

In 1815 Byron married Anne Isabella Milbanke but the relationship came to an end the following year. Byron moved to Venice where he met the Countess Teresa Guiccioli, who became his mistress. Some of Byron's best known work belongs to this period including Don Juan. The last cantos is a satirical description of social conditions in England and includes attacks on leading Tory politicians.

Lord Byron also began contributing to the radical journal, the Examiner, edited by his friend, Leigh Hunt. Leigh Hunt, like other radical journalists had suffered as as result of the Gagging Acts and had been imprisoned for his attacks on the monarchy and the government.

In 1822 Byron, Leigh Hunt, and Percy Bysshe Shelley travelled to Italy where the three men published the political journal, The Liberal. By publishing in Italy they remained free from the fear of being prosecuted by the British authorities. The first edition was mainly written by Leigh Hunt but also included work by William HazlittMary Shelley and Byron's Vision of Judgement sold 4,000 copies. Three more editions were published but after the death of Shelley in August, 1822, the Liberal came to an end.

For a long time Lord Byron had supported attempts by the Greek people to free themselves from Turkish rule. This included writing poems such as The Maid of Athens (1810). In 1823 he formed the Byron Brigade and joined the Greek insurgents who had risen against the Turks. However, in April, 1824, Lord Byron died of marsh fever in Missolonghi before he saw anymilitary action.

02:26 Posted by Jan Boeykens in Lord Byron | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

William Golding

William Golding.jpg


Golding Lord of the Flies.jpg

As a child and adolescent, William Golding, like others in the innocent years before the War, had a fundamentally simple conception of the world. During the years before the massive cruelty, devastation, and destruction wrought by World War II, the prevailing concept of man and society included two basic viewpoints: man was essentially good and society was inherently evil. Golding's belief in this concept can be seen in his childhood reading choices, which included  adventure stories like Tarzan of the ApesCoral Island, and Twenty Thousand, as well as in Lord of the Flies. (enotes.http://www.enotes.com/flies/overview)
The novelpublished in 1954, is set at a time when Europe is in the midst of nuclear destruction. A group of boys, being evacuated from England to Australia, crash lands on a tropical island. No adults survive crash, and the boys, led by the slightly older and more mature boy, Ralph, are forced to fend for themselves and survive against both the island and each other. In order to create some sort of structure and governing system, Ralph decides that the group of boys should form a tribe, and that each person in the tribe has a specific role, that each must carry out, in order for the tribe to function correctly. However as the story progresses, the darker, brutal, and ruthless behaviors of human nature begin to surface in each of the boys, especially an older boy named Jack. The extreme striving and wanting of supreme power begins to surface in Jack, creating conflict between Ralph, who is trying to keep some sort of structured system, and Jack, who wants nothing more than to control all the boys on the island. Eventually the animalistic, ruthless, human nature-derived behaviors are almost always present in all but a few boys, however Jack and his newly founded tribe become jealous and angered at Ralph and the few remaining boys who stand by him, and soon the two groups become engage in a heated conflict (http://students.westport.ct.us/fitzgerald/LordOfTheFlies....).  
The story of The Lord Of The Flies explains to the reader human society is plagued by a lust for power and greed and needs structure, democratic government and education in order to avoid descent into chaos, disorder, and evil.

02:13 Posted by Jan Boeykens in William Golding | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


Nina Hagen




21:45 Posted by Jan Boeykens in Actualiteit, Nina Hagen | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


Axel Springer - Springer-Verlag


„Jeder hat das Recht, seine Meinung in Wort, Schrift und Bild frei zu äußern“
Medienmonopole – eine Gefahr für die Demokratie
Von Eckart Spoo 

Bundestagsvizepräsident a. D. Dr. Burkhard Hirsch sowie der Rechtsanwalt und Buchautor Dr. Heinrich Hannover haben am 8. Mai den "Grundrechte-Report 2008 - Zur Lage der Bürger- und Menschenrechte in Deutschland" der Öffentlichkeit in Karlsruhe vorgestellt. Für ihren kontinuierlichen Einsatz für ein liberales Rechtsstaatsverständnis waren die Autoren und Herausgeber im April Jahres mit der Theodor-Heuss-Medaille ausgezeichnet worden. Im folgenden Artikel aus dem Grundrechte-Report geht es um Probleme der Pressefreiheit, die von den Medien üblicherweise nicht thematisiert werden. – Die Redaktion.  

In der verfassungspolitischen Diskussion über die Pressefreiheit ist selten von der Freiheit des einzelnen Journalisten die Rede, oft aber vom Grundrecht aller Menschen in Deutschland, sich aus einer Vielzahl und Vielfalt von Publikationen umfassend zu informieren, um sich am gesellschaftlichen Leben, besonders an der politischen Meinungs- und Willensbildung, aktiv beteiligen zu können. Als 1965 der konservative Journalist Paul Sethe (Mitherausgeber der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung) die Pressefreiheit suchte, fand er sie weder bei den Journalisten noch bei den auf Medien angewiesenen Bürgerinnen und Bürgern, sondern schon damals erkannte er, unter den realen Verhältnissen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland sei Pressefreiheit „die Freiheit von 200 reichen Leuten, ihre Meinung zu verbreiten“ bzw. durch von ihnen bezahlte Journalisten verbreiten zu lassen. Falls diese Definition zutrifft, wäre unser aller Grundrecht zum Privileg einer kleinen Gruppe von Unternehmern verkommen, die nach ihren Interessen öffentliche Meinung formen. Das Grundrecht wäre also in sein Gegenteil verkehrt. Tatsächlich erhob schon damals der Verband Deutscher Zeitschriftenverleger den Anspruch: „Pressefreiheit bedeutet nur, daß jeder, der will und kann, eine Zeitung oder Zeitschrift herausgeben darf.“ Ähnlich äußerte sich in jener Zeit der erste Großverleger der Bundesrepublik, Axel Springer.

Axel Cäsar Springer
Foto: NRhZ-Archiv

Vor vier Jahrzehnten war die Pressekonzentration erst in ihren Anfängen, doch namentlich die wachsende Macht des Springer-Konzerns begann aufmerksame Demokraten schon zu beunruhigen – vor allem in Erinnerung daran, daß in der Weimarer Republik der vom ehemaligen Krupp-Generaldirektor Alfred Hugenberg geschaffene Pressekonzern publizistisch das Naziregime vorbereitet hatte. Immerhin gab es Ende der 1960er Jahre in großen Teilen des Bundesgebiets noch Zeitungskonkurrenz. Inzwischen aber ist das regionale Monopolblatt zur typischen deutschen Tageszeitung geworden. Inhaltlich sind die regionalen Monopolblätter einander sehr ähnlich. Merkwürdigerweise sind sie sich alle darin einig, für eine Wirtschaftsordnung zu werben, als deren Erfolgsprinzip sie die freie Konkurrenz rühmen, von der sie selber frei sind.

Springer-Demo Dutschke
Nach dem Attentat auf Rudi Dutschke – Demonstration gegen Hetz-Artikel vor dem Springer-Verlag, Foto: NRhZ-Archiv 

Zeitweilig waren die regionalen Monopolblätter noch eigenständig. Doch immer mehr von ihnen werden von großen Medienkonzernen geschluckt. Ein Beispiel: Anfang 2007 übernahm der Konzern der Westdeutschen Allgemeinen Zeitung (WAZ) in Essen die Braunschweiger Zeitung, die einzige Zeitung in der zweitgrößten Stadt Niedersachsens und Umgebung. Der Verlag der Braunschweiger Zeitung war mit etwa 25 Prozent am Harz Kurier, der dominierenden Zeitung im Südharz, beteiligt. Ein halbes Jahr später erwarb der WAZ-Konzern auch die übrigen 75 Prozent. Dieser Konzern hatte in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten Schritt für Schritt den Zeitungsmarkt Ruhrgebiet erobert – rund sechs Millionen Konsumenten, an die sich der Handel über die Zeitungen des WAZ-Konzerns wendet. 
Die größte dieser Zeitungen, eben die Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, ist in Deutschland das Tageblatt mit der zweithöchsten Auflage nach Springers Bild.

WAZ Werbung
Öffentliche WAZ-Werbung für das umstrittene Mülheimer PPP-Projekt „Ruhrbania“ – nicht nur in der Zeitung, Quelle: MBI 


01:52 Posted by Jan Boeykens in Actualiteit, Axel Springer | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |





VIRUS 2/5: Metropia

Woensdag 2 mei 2012  22.50


'In memory of markus' 

Zweedse science-fiction animatiefilm uit 2009 van Tarik Saleh. Stig Larsson schreef mee aan het script. Metropia werpt een futuristische blik op een angstaanjagend Europa. De wereld zit zonder olie en de metrolijnen van Europa zijn met elkaar verbonden tot één groot metronetwerk. Het hoofdpersonage Roger vermijdt de metro liever omdat die hem in de war brengt. Hij vindt het vervelend en hoort soms stemmen in zijn hoofd. Op een dag ontdekt Roger dat zijn leven tot in detail gecontroleerd wordt en hij probeert te ontsnappen uit dit systeem. Daarvoor krijgt hij de hulp van supermodel Nina.

De gewone man in de straat stond model voor de personages uit deze animatiefilm. De foto’s die fotograaf Lind van Europese locaties trok werden met Photoshop en After Effects bewerkt. De stemmen van de hoofdrolspelers werden ingelezen door Vincent Gallo en Juliette Lewis. Het duurde 2 jaar om deze stijlvolle animatiefilm af te werken.

Genre: SF animatiefilm
Regie: Tarik Saleh
Producer: Kristina Åberg
Screenplay: Tarik Saleh, Stig Larsson, Fredrik Edin
Hoofdrollen: Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis
Jaar: 2009
Lengte: 86 minuten
Land: Zweden 


01:02 Posted by Jan Boeykens in Actualiteit, Metropia | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |