Eduardo Galeano – Novels about Pirates

eduardo_galeano_efeEduardo Galeano:  03.09 1940-13.04.2015

Should you have some connection with Latin America, the Spanish speaking world, history, Uruguay, literature, oppression, exploitation, IMF, then you are aware of the humble giant who possessed a prose that was profound yet on the surface, easily accessible.  His history of the milking of Latin America by the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, the US, Canada etc. were first contained in ¨Las venas abiertas de América Latina¨  (The Open Veins of Latin America),  was written in a six week period when he was twenty-seven years old.  He would later say he was too inexperienced to have written such a book, however it reading it now, as I have recently done again, it still holds as an insight into manuals of operations that have been played out by corporations, dictators, governments, business etc. aka well-organized crime.  This was the book Hugo Chavez presented to Obama, on the latter’s first conference down south. “Read this, then you will understand, what we are saying.”

Upside Down is another personal favourite, his style now infused with a humour that was not present in his opening salvo.  He was raging then, quite rightly so.  However with Upside Down, I found myself breaking out in a laugh as I followed the lines with my eyes.  Shit like this ain’t supposed to be funny, It eases the pain momentarily though, and we are in need of relief, and he was a medicine for a continent and beyond.

Below, his long-time translator and friend, Mark Fried talks with Sharmini Periest of The Real News Network about Galeano’s life.

Filastine & Videocratz Live


The insightful nomadic beat warrior known as Filastine has some new tricks up his constantly moving sleeves. Peak the new collaboration with video mapping artist Videocratz, which will hit the road next year, along with Nova Ruth on vocals and percussion.

The Twilight Zone – The Obsolete Man


In a future totalitarian state, Romney Wordsworth is a man put on trial for the crime of being obsolete. His occupation as a librarian is a crime punishable by death as the State has eliminated books and literacy. He believes in God, a crime also punishable by death, as the State claims to have proven that there is no God. He is prosecuted by the Chancellor, who announces in front of the assembled court that Wordsworth, in not being an asset to the State, shall be liquidated.

As my good friend Troy the Goblin, who originally spotted the link below, said, ¨there isn’t anything of TV these days that is as poignant as this fifty year episode.¨ Holler if you disagree.

We can kill you. It’s good for business

Rapier missile system, London

In today’s Guardian,  a piece  by Andy Beckett on the British arms industry, the excuses used to justify government involvement, “it supports 300,000 jobs”, and often used quote that doesn’t add up. It’s ties with government. Quite interesting that is these years of free market theories and “orthodoxies, how pivotal the state is.”  Maybe in a somewhat humorous point, “There are only a few other businesses – such as pharmaceuticals and pop music – where Britain is still so internationally prominent.”  Bomb them with arms, pop music and drugs. Class.

Where is Mark Thomas when you need him?

Plaza Joe Strummer

News just in, a plaza in Granada, Spain is to be renamed in honour of the Clash singer / guitarist / poet Joe Strummer. Officials confirmed on Tuesday they had chosen a square to be renamed Plaza Joe Strummer, after receiving a petition to honour the musician, who went there from London in 1984 as the Clash began to disintegrate.
“A square has been identified and now the proposal has to be approved by the committee of honours and distinctions,” said a city hall spokeswoman, María José Anguita. “There was a popular petition for this to happen and the city hall accepted it.”
Strummer, who died in 2002, travelled to Granada, in southern Spain, after he and bandmate Paul Simonon provoked the Clash’s greatest crisis by sacking the guitarist, singer and songwriter Mick Jones in 1983. “He was basically fleeing, running away from the problems he had created in London,” said Nick Hall, a Barcelona-based film-maker who is working on a documentary, I Need a Dodge! Joe Strummer on the Run, that tells the musician’s Spanish story.

Strummer’s connections to Spain went back to pre-Clash days when he shared a London squat with a Spanish girlfriend, Paloma Romero, the future Slits drummer known as Palmolive. The squat was also shared by Romero’s sister Esperanza and Richard Dudanski, drummer in Strummer’s pub rock band the 101ers.

“They would talk a lot about politics, the Franco dictatorship and [the poet and playwright Federico García] Lorca. That is the root of his interest,” Hall said

Full story here

2012 – Some images

The Guardian has got some great images taken over the course of this year. From the aftermath of a tornado in Spain; Protests by Dairy Farmers in Belgium; Something you never equate with Gaza, people having a good time; Snipers in Syria; Horses running through bonfires in San Bartolomé de Pinares, Spain. More here

Aftermath of tornado Spain

Milk protests in BrusselsParkour in GazaSyrian snipersLas Luminarias de San Anton Festival

Franco, come back you weren’t that bad!

In light of the recent 25S public action in surrounding the parliament in Madrid, and the ensuing violence, which neatly overshadowed the purpose of the action, the Spanish Interior Ministry is proposing an amendment to the so called Public Safety Act which prohibits the collection, treatment or Internet diffusion imaging agents in the exercise of his office unless endanger his person or the transaction in which they are working. The Director General of Police, Ignacio Cosidó has advanced, thus, is to “find a balance in protecting the rights of citizens and security forces.”

Specifically, the new rule will prohibit “the recruitment, reproduction or processing of images, sounds or information of members of the security forces in the exercise of its functions as may endanger his life or risk the operation that is developing”.

They warn of “increasing violence against police” and the existence of “a culture of violence that undermines the foundations of a democratic society.”

Public Safety? We are not safe, that is obvious. Democracy as it was taught to me is school is a lot different that what we are breathing now.  How easy for them to justify their blatant bullshit.

Eat A Dick Assholes

Fact: Violence is sewn into austerity plans.  Reading Greg Palast’s book Vulture Picnic, he refers to documents from The World Bank, after it ordered a thirty-fold increase in the cost of cooking oil in Ecuador.  It warned the government to expect ‘social unrest, which the bank said should be met with ‘political resolve’.  Palast writes, “What? It seems to me the Bank and its partner, the IMF, were saying in euphemistic fashion that the harsh austerity programs would lead to mayhem in the streets adn the government should get the police readied for the crackdown”.  Joseph Stiglitz, former head man at The World Bank and IMF, who apparently is very critical of what he calls free market fundamentalists, said in response, “We had a name for it: the IMF riot. When the IMF has nations down and out, it takes advantage and squeezes the last pound of blood out of them.  They turn up the heat until, finally the whole cauldron blows up.”

The government here and bloody everywhere is very ‘ready’ to deal with our frustrations, which are being forced upon us.  Have you seen the kit the police have? Every single one of those bastards is wearing thousands of euros worth of stuff, helmet, visors, batons, its fucking roller ball on the street which the public being pummeled by pumped-up humandriods. Rollerball was supposed to be a fucking movie Rajoy, a fucking movie man.  The veneer of democracy is continues to fade like it ain’t no big thing.  This is deep shit we are talking, on many levels, levels that I have no idea about, however I do feel that I am getting a little bit closer to a truth I may not be able to comprehend.

There are lots of politicians that have something really great to give society shame they are being beaten up and thrown in jail for being democratic.  Yes, I mean us.

Truth is Concrete

A 24/7 marathon camp on artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art. 21– 28 Sept. 2012, Graz.

While in Graz, Austria a few months ago, a representative from ‘Truth is Concrete’ informed me about their event.  Pleased to say they have incorporated Fun Da Mental, The Kominas plus a DJ set from myself, D.WattsRiot (…anyone else?).

The following is from their home page: These have been months, years of unbelievably fast change all over the world. Uprisings in the Arabic world. Revolutions and counter-revolutionary attempts. Islamistic threats and the fetishisation of Islamistic threats. Demonstrations and repercussions in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia … Persecution of artists – sometimes under a bright spotlight as in the cases of Pussy Riot or Ai Wei Wei, but more often unnoticed by a broader public. The nuclear disaster in Japan. The appearance (and disappearance?) of Occupy all over the world. The rise of the right wing in many countries – often as a side-effect of the financial devastations that threaten the whole European project. The fundamental destruction of social, educational and cultural structures … Where to start, where to end?

On our travels during the last one and a half years – be it to Zuccotti or Tahrir Square, to Japan after Fukushima or to Moscow during the wave of demonstrations, to London, Budapest, Athens, Istanbul, Ramallah, Tel Aviv, Tunis, Rio or Buenos Aires – everywhere artists were among the first to get involved, among the first to join the political and social movements. But how did art, how did artistic strategies and tactics play a role? At a time when art, theory and practice seem to be constantly lagging behind reality? When art is seen more and more as a mere leftist hobby rather than a foundation of humanity?

Sounds and looks good to me.