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I only learned about Heathcote Williams by seeing his obit today in The Guardian. What a remarkable man and mensch, polemicist, artist, author, and poet. I can’t believe that I did not know about him.


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JULY 2 2017

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathcote_Williams (complete text at this link)

Heathcote Williams (15 November 1941 – 1 July 2017) was an English poet, actor, political activist and dramatist.He wrote a number of book-length polemical poems including Autogeddon, Falling for a Dolphin and Whale Nation, which in 1988 became, according to Philip Hoare “the most powerful argument for the newly instigated worldwide ban on whaling.”.Williams invented his idiosyncratic ‘documentary/investigative poetry’ style which he continues to put to good purpose bringing a diverse range of environmental and political matters to public attention. In June 2015, he published a book-length investigative poem about the ‘Muslim Gandhi’, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, ‘Badshah Khan’.

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=heathcote+williams
– Heathcote Williams, by and about https://www.youtube.com/user/Babylonroyal
Babylonroyal 144 videos > https://www.youtube.com/user/Babylonroyal
Exploring polemics through poetry and montage. Primarily inspired by Royal Babylon: The Case Against The Monarchy by Heathcote Williams

The Guardian, obit

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/02/heathcote-williams-radical-poet-playwright-actor-dies-aged-75

Heathcote Williams, radical poet, playwright and actor, dies aged 75

His poems blasted the arms trade, consumerism and the tabloids, and he was also an accomplished painter and sculptor

Sunday 2 July 2017 08.54 EDTLast modified on Sunday 2 July 2017 17.00 EDT

Heathcote Williams, the radical poet, playwright, actor and polymathic English genius, has died at the age of 75. He had been ill for some time and died on Saturday in Oxford.

He was the author of many polemical poems, written over four decades in a unique documentary style. They included works about the devastation being wrought on the natural environment – Sacred Elephant, Whale Nation and Falling For a Dolphin – and Autogeddon, a grim and majestic attack on the car.

Williams also wrote several successful stage plays including AC/DC, which premiered at the Royal Court in 1969, and The Local Stigmatic, commissioned by Harold Pinter and revived in 2014 at the Old Red Lion Theatre in London on its 50th anniversary. His most recent play, Killing Kit, was about the life and death of Christopher Marlowe.

Scruffy on screen and off, Williams appeared in several films, often in cameo roles. He was a notable Prospero in Derek Jarman’s 1979 production of The Tempest. Other credits were Sally Potter’s arthouse Orlando, based on Virginia Woolf’s novel, and Hollywood’s Basic Instinct 2.

Williams was a very talented figure. He was an accomplished painter – his vivid works hung at the Oxford home he shared with his partner, Diana Senior – and sculptor. He was an impressive conjuror and a member of the Magic Circle. One of his TV plays, What the Dickens!, featured Dickens performing magic shows for children.

His literary output was prolific. It included a book on Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, published when he was 23, and in later life he wrote several poems a month, driven by news and current affairs. As mainstream publishers dried up, these appeared online as YouTube video montages, often narrated by the actors Alan Cox and Roy Hutchins.

At heart, Williams was a revolutionary. The historian Peter Whitfield placed his work in a “great tradition of visionary dissent” stretching from William Blake and John Ruskin to DH Lawrence and David Jones. His poems – blasting the arms trade, consumerism and the tabloids – were “wonderfully innocent” and at the same time “wonderfully streetwise”.

There were comparisons with Percy Bysshe Shelley, the subject of one of Williams’s later long poems, Shelley in Oxford, published in 2012. Both were rebels who wrote with passionate social anger. Like Shelley, Eton-educated Williams didn’t finish his Oxford degree.

In his 60s and 70s, Williams found it difficult to walk any great distance. This confinement did nothing to diminish his creative energies nor his anger at the direction in which society was going in the hucksterish era of Brexit, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.

Williams retained his principled fury to the end. In 2016 he published Boris Johnson: The Blond Beast of Brexit – A Study in Depravity, an excoriating attack reprising the foreign secretary’s lies, evasion and adultery, sold as a pamphlet from the London Review of Books bookshop. Another work, Royal Babylon, lambasted the Queen.

His last volume of poetry about Trump, American Porn, was published in January. Williams wrote that Trump’s real name – Drumpf – “suggests dumbness, even the passing of wind/ As well as the merciful transience of fame.”

 

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Putin out the Olympic torch. How the Greeks invented culture, sports and homosexuality.

February 9, 2014 Leave a comment

We act against our well being


Listening to a “This American Life” episode this morning, focusing on global warming. This addresses two of my favorite interests: humility and denial.

I was seven when I began to grasp some of the issues that have always concerned that small band of unhappy few who actually care to use more than 5% of their on-board computers; issues such as suffering, war, disease and as of the last 50 years, global warming.

For now, I’ll just cut to the chase. My father relentlessly abused my mother and me from the time I was six, and almost always behind closed doors. It was probably a lot earlier than that for Mom, but that’s when it started for me. Bottom line is that it was some combination of sociopathy, PTSD brought on by childhood and adult trauma, OCD and male Jewish anger. I only saw a relatively normal father in the last two years of his life. At that time he was put on a daily dose of an antipsychotic starting the very first day that he was admitted to a nursing home.

My point is that David (Dad) was convinced that my mother and I were deficient in various ways that necessitated regular exposures to his dictates and wisdom. He even went so far as to take us together to a venerable psychiatrist ( as I recall, a classic Viennese old-school Freudian) to get an evaluation of us two. We only went once and D made it clear that it was we two who were to be scrutinized, not him.

I won’t have time to finish this this morning so I will tie this all together this weekend, inchallah, but for now my point is that, in general, pride and denial rule human affairs, and now they rule our global environment. Most of us never seem to be able to make the tiny mental leap from witnessing the sheer craziness all around us to understanding that we can all easily fall prey to the illusion that everyone else may be fallible but we ourselves are the soul of sanity and realistic thinking.

(To be continued)

Meltdown in Spain and the Spanish Inquisition


ImageThis just occurred to me, and I know it’s mean, but in regards to the financial meltdown in Spain… to paraphrase Tricky Dick (a notorious anti-semite who loved kissing her, look it up kids), this time “you don’t have the jews and muslims to kick around and rip off anymore.”

Who knows, maybe Spain would be better today, by keeping her nasty mitts off of her jews and muslims huh? Ditto Russia, Poland etc….

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition

“Confiscations

It is unknown exactly how much wealth was confiscated from converted Jews and others tried by the Inquisition. Wealth confiscated in one year of persecution in the small town of Guadaloupe paid the costs of building a royal residence.[80] There are numerous records of the opinion of ordinary Spaniards of the time that “the Inquisition was devised simply to rob people. “They were burnt only for the money they had,’ a resident of Cuenca averred. “They burn only the well-off,” said another. In 1504 an accused stated, “only the rich were burnt.” …In 1484…Catalina de Zamora was accused of asserting that “this Inquisition that the fathers are carrying out is as much for taking property from the conversos as for defending the faith. “It is the goods that are the heretics.” This saying passed into common usage in Spain. In 1524 a treasurer informed Charles V that his predessor had received ten million ducats from the conversos, but the figure is unverified. In 1592 an inquisitor admitted that most of the fifty women he arrested were rich. In 1676, the Suprema claimed it had confiscated over 700,000 ducats for the royal treasury (which was paid money only after the Inquisition’s own budget, amounting in one known case to only 5%). The property on Mallorca alone in 1678 was worth ‘well over 2,500,000 ducats.”[81]”

See also: https://www.google.com/search?q=jews%20expulsion%20reasons%20inquisition

BTW, I’m speaking as an atheist jew, who lived in Spain as a teenager… and loved every minute of it. A wonderful country with wonderful people.

Could Dior management truly have been ignorant of John Galliano’s rabid anti-semitism up until Feb. 2011?


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-4B

RE: Galliano video and Huffington post link

Could Dior management truly have been ignorant of John Galliano’s rabid anti-Semitism up until Feb. 2011? Is it possible that Dior (and other firms that he worked with) did not know about John Galliano’s anti-Semitism until Feb. 2011?

To answer my own question: only if Galliano was having a psychotic break…. and I don’t think he was.

As a sidebar, this is funny, in a dark way, since as a gay man, Galliano would have herself attended said death camp wearing a darling little pink triangle.

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