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The Sunday Papers "Tolstoy-Scriabin-Molotov mystery" edition.

category international | history and heritage | opinion/analysis author Tuesday February 13, 2007 04:39author by iosaf Report this post to the editors

It has been long observed that people for some reason on their non-banking days readily absorb shite about Dangerous Places, Famous People, Sensible Saving Options, Holidays, Interesting facts, Sport results, Media, gardening and health as well looking ahead at “democratic evolution” or looking back at "how history was made". We will assume dear & attentive reader that you are one of those who has passed directly from Saturday to almost Tuesday with the sort of crumpled Sunday Papers a person uses to mop up spilt things like milk. Maybe you didn’t absorb your interesting facts & didn’t want to absorb more Dangerous places. We all have a limit of absorption, like that point where credulity ends & credibility is lost. This edition I will consider the mystical progress from Tolstoy's "War & Peace" and his accompanying anarchist beliefs to the composer Scriabin & his experimental music & then his nephew a.k.a. Comrade Molotov, Soviet negotiator with Hitler & daddy of the "petrol bomb".
Train our revolutionary offspring !! for Peace now War is ended!! practise your scriabin!!
Train our revolutionary offspring !! for Peace now War is ended!! practise your scriabin!!

First off we begin with Leo Tolstoy . He wrote a short novel called "War and Peace" which if you are in university you really must make a point of mentioning you've read ( twice from cover to cover). It wasn't his first book though, unlike some his contemporaries who struggled with their writing career because of the inordinate difficulty of finding a peasant or petty bourgoise with decent enough secretarial skills to record each page - Tolstoy had got around these problems by being born into a stinking rich family. At first he didn't do much writing though, prefering to buy drunken sex as much as possible instead. Which considering the social conditions of the mid 19th century meant he had to use a lot of harsh soap & really was lucky he didn't die a blind swarthy syphilitic.

Tolstoy went to war as a comissioned officer in the Tsar's army. This means he quite probably didn't do much getting dirty or anything exciting or dangerous. But it certainly had an effect on him & gave him the first subject he use whilst charming women apart from "how much?". This really is when he started writing and by himself. Most of the soldiers who took orders from him would not have made good secretaries because they were illiterate & so flackey with syphilis you wouldn't let them lick your envelopes. The Tsar got word of young Leo's dilema perhaps on account of him being already quite famous for his "french pronunciation". Tsar Alex the second spoke french as did all posh Russians of the time & probably misunderstood the jibe suffering as he did from the heriditary "Romanov" family condition. Tsar Alex the Second was as thick as packaged shite. It made a difference to his predecessors who had been thicker but cruel. He proved by this being the first autocrat of his noble line to consider giving in to the reformist demands of his subjects instead of just torturing them and sending them to Siberia. His subjects wanted things like self-rule, independence, self-determination, flags, languages which sounded anything but french & of course the most radical demand of all - "the right to indulge students & have young people following your ideas". Without distracting the reader too much, Alex 2 got upset when people didn't think he had conceded enough especially if he thought he had really given them too much. Only the Finnish seemed to do well out of Alex the second and if you mention his name there on holidays they'll give you a free drink. Eventually he was assassinated after quite a few failed attempts by members of a small group with big effects using the "light the fuse & throw a few metres hollow iron ball stuffed with chordite and powder bomb! ". The group claiming responsibility was fighting for the recognition of the Polish language and an independent homeland for the Poles so that they wouldn't be a mocked migrant community any more. (footnote 1)

Tolstoy had begun to grow up a wee bit by the 1850's. It happens to most well balanced people. Quite often they are completely different in outlook, expectation and temperment at 30 to what they had been at 18. He had started keeping a journal which is still extant and mostly not written in a code, which shows he was a happy open type. From this diary we learn a lot about his personal development and the things that worried him, and tellingly we don't learn much about his worry for unpaid bills or new darned socks such as the meagre testaments to the others mentioned in the Sunday Papers series. But he had developed a conscience & a sense of ethical responsibility & possibly the ineffective cures for syphilis were beginning to make him more cautious. Thus it is no surprise that he is arguably the first of the long list of Anarchists who started a school. & a simple little school it was. Not an institute nor an academy, no sophist masters cited their sources no malignant mediocrity choked the potential of the peasant children whose parents accepted Tolstoy's invitation to let them learn at Yasnaya Polyana his mansion. His effect was as great as Ferrer i Gaurdia but certainly not as widespread as Montesorri. Within a few years the bourgoise of Moscow and the other great cities began to joke at how erudite the serfs (peasants) he had taught were. We ought note by then peasants were enjoying their emancipation - or freedoms which included the right to travel over the horizon and beyond without getting shot for it. & not all landowners were happy about this, and so decided to ask all their serfs to go over the horizon especially if they were jewish to somewhere else called Pogrom. Anyone who had ever gone there never came back so it must have been well busy with loads of work).
The sophisticated types of the cities who had marvelled at his pithy little novels like "war and peace" having read them - really read them - many times - and increasingly having nothing else to do - decided to go visit him. For a few years Leo Tolstoy seemed happy to humour them and is even credited with taking on "disciples" which was once a polite way of saying "he took in paying lodgers with posh habits on the run from their creditors". But in addition to his little entourage who fervountly expounded his ideas of free love, vegetarianism, the Pacifist ideology of Thoureau and a synchretic christian anarchism were the composers Scriabin, Rakhmaninov and Rimsky-Korsakov and the writers Chekhov and Gorky. By then Tolstoy had already begun the very serious and long work & possibly his greatest achievement :- growing a manly patriarchal really long beard complete with room for small animals & birds whilst spending more a more time in his garden watching things grow & not being too clever or pomous.

Scriabin was reputedly Tolstoy's favourite pianist. He had attended lessons with the same teacher as Rachmaninoff. Russian music in the Western Classical tradition was a cosy closed and often cliqueish affair. As Scriabin & Rachmaninoff attended to their scales, arppeggios and sought control of their touch - many children of similar age who had not the benefits of a free education starved to death or became chimney sweeps. & they did not do so in any sentimental way. There is nothing melancholic about having no bread. And the stage where they could expect others to have read Dickens from cover to cover & understand them standing with their noses pressed to the windows of the restaurants had not - & would not come. Only in the propaganda movies of the Soviet state or possibly Charlie Chaplin. Even a century later their offspring would still have no bread. Scriabin possibly noticed the reality outside the concert hall. His musical notation (meaning his directions to be read by the musician) sought to encourage them to shock the mediocre audiences who as in their eating habits or their politics sought neither change nor dischord. He told his musicians to play "poisonously," "satanically," or "with a chaste ardour". The last perhaps a nod to Tostoy's influence the grand old man by then finally having given up on his libido. Scriabin tried to present a symphony entitled " glances, perfumes, and caresses". But for the most part he had been a better pianist than composer. If he had noticed the misery of 19th century life in more than sentmental or melancholic terms perhaps he would have turned to another art. Though admittedly he did write the usual crap poetry. Considering he had (like other great pianists) damaged his hand for a while stunting his career (though he did make full recovery)- he wrote the first music for only "Left hand performance". He was one of the European composers who contributed to the theory of synasthasia. Being the most obvious syansthete of modern times. Liszt had already suggested that a minority of musicians "saw colours" in music. Siginicantly however, his colour scheme though psychedelik did not match the colours of others. But in theory - the historic listener was being prepared for LSD culture and even childrens telly programs in the late 20th century when you the attentive reader & I the careful writer came into it the great narrative.

Though an attendent at Tolstoy's sessions and his "favourite pianist", Scriabin had preferred to follow the philosophy of Nietsche and use his vision of the human being and the dirty little U word Übermensch. and concepts of nihilism as an explanation for his life. We all do this to some extent. But it oten changes. Someone may quitepassionately believe something at 20 and not at 40. It may be that reading and believing Nietsche (which involved less pages than Tolstoy) helped Scriabin become a meglomaniac.
Perhaps he had fancied like many of his class, that it was not mere chance that he had sat at the piano every day whilst other kids starved - but somehow the result of his talent & worth or that of his family line. The choice between "proto-Anarchist" & "proto-Nazi" wasn't so stark then. But to be honest it still isn't. If people bother to get past living for a home, meal & some sexual / procreative function - they often without too much difficulty fall for the purpose of classification into the "far left" or "far right" vision of the individual at the level of sentiment. Meaning they "feel" one or other of the paradigms - not meaning they vote for the neonazis or fight for the other extreme or even consciously support them. But they would have been in their time a passive supporter of either Hitler or Stalin.
Tolstoy saw that his garden grew - and quite without contrariness knew it grew the same way as the serfs. He had well learned how to hoe (say that in a US accent and it's a pun) he became used to the plough - & liked it. He "could" which is why he "did". Everything he believed had been put pithily into War and Peace: If he had played piano every day as a kid and been sparred opposite Rachmaninoff as a metre stick with whom to be compared - maybe Tolstoy would have played better....."maybe" But simply by changing his food - or running a marathon - or using "sheer will" could he - or anyone become a "superman"? Would they want to? Simply by living his long life which had seen Tsar's killed - Serfs freed - railways and mechanisation arrive - and the crippled scarred veterans of Napoleon's wars die - Tolstoy knew that human nature does not change nor does it need to be changed. There are inate conditions to our existence. Our condition as human means not being super-human. Some will always accept that as granted & as complimentary to the human condition - "it is good" , others will not and see life as something which needs to be "made right". Our political system, be it in Brussels, Dublin, Belfast, London, Pamplona, Donasti, Barcelona or Babylon herself - is always left in the hands of those whose function is the merely theatrical working out of these oppositions. Naturally for no-one else bothers. Not because so long after the emancipation of Russia's serfs whilst the already "free" Irish starved, just as the first steps of anglo-africans to the noose of the lynch mobs - "we individualy became different" or "humanity is better or worse" now. Neither Democracy nor Dictatorship neither the alien rule or independence alter the individual - only the arbitrary actions such options allow agents of the state to take against the individual or the arbitrary actions they provoke the individual to take against such agents. Then there is change. At its most extreme that change is war from which only peace is change. We can not properly say war "gets better" or "gets worse". It is or it is not. Honestly reading War and Peace and spending time with Tolstoy watching him scratch his bollox whilst farming the orchard would have taught more than one general a lesson. For in war - we lose sight of the paradigm of life. The fields are not ploughed, the characters in chekhov's drama have no orchard to look at, plague comes because no new cess pits have been dug. Yet there on the battle field some individuals feel more alive than at any other stage in their lives. War ends when no fighting can be done. When only the children raised on the stories of war wish to continue. I leave arguably one of the greatest novels of history " to nod at and mix up " one of contemporary writing's talents "Gunther Grass" : there was always & will be so - the little drummer boy who even when he saw Napoleon's sledge return from the Russian front at record-breaking speed (he did in days) still drummed for the battle front. He saw only "the man" - he gawks. he points. he tells the soldier dying of frostbrite that he has seen the revolution! "the man"...made god...made satan ...made emperor. Years later he walks in circles insane in the sanitorium or prison yard. With arm thrust in his coat. gone blind. The "man".

Scriabin by the beginning of the 21st century was a serious pharaceutical non-prescripition drug abuser ("for his syanaesthasia") He had dropped Übermensch for Theosophy & Blavatsky and firmly put himself in the proto-fascist leaguge of WB Yeats. He was now becoming popular with nationalists who had scorned him before. The first Revolution occured 1905. He played no part being out of the country & then conveniently for this narrative - he died. But his nephew did play a role in the Soviet revolution..............................................

& his nephew Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Scriabin is the shiney glossy paper bit in your Sunday Papers. Having grown up proximate to the great names in this article - having not only read the books and heard the music of his time - little Vyacheslav thought "christian anarchy" was for girls - and blavatsky for gypsies (whom he didnt like). He did absoultely nothing in the 1905 revolution. But a year later when all the fuss had died down he joined the local section of the bolsheviks. He then chose a nom-de-guerre. (footnote 2) A tradition which stretches down to this day- Even now some people are to be known by their "code names" rather than fight their ideology with their given name. It is indicative of the changes membership of organisations engaged on "subversion" effect in the young as much the great risks that then went with being a bolshevik.

Reader! I ask you to imagine the scene in Russia from 1906 onwards. Everyone joining the Bolsheviks or helping at the newspaper wanted a cool name. But obviously everyone couldn't be "Lenin" or "Stalin" or even "trotsky". Little Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Scriabin being a tough one - who would never give up - had to make do with the russian for the word "hammer". And so he adopted the name Molotov. .

From the October revolution 1917 till his death in 1986 - the exact circumstances of his origin are an airbrushed mystery. Historians are still not sure if Molotov was "the" Scriabin's" nephew or a distant (possibly illegitimate) relation allowed to keep the same name. Because all of a sudden Scriabin was un-popular. Lenin had quite famously called on all artists to rally to the revolutionary cause. He had written to Gorky (who had been a regular at Tolstoy's house) thus :-
I know nothing which is greater than the Appassionata; I would like to listen to it every day. It is marvelous, superhuman music. I always think with pride—perhaps it is naïve of me—what marvelous things human beings can do! . . . But I can’t listen to music too often. It affects your nerves, makes you want to say stupid nice things, and stroke the heads of people who could create such beauty while living in this vile hell. And now you mustn’t stroke anyone’s head—you might get your hand bitten off. You have to hit them on the head, without any mercy, although our ideal is not to use force against anyone. H’m, h’m, our duty is infernally hard!
But as the Soviet musicologist Vyacheslav Karatygin put it - "No name in Russian music awakened more passionate or more critical interest during a lifetime. For some, the word Scriabin smacks of fearsome madness. For others, and each year our number increases, he signifies the daring innovations of genius... yet he was a man bayoneted for his novelty." or the first Soviet Encyclopedia :- "No composer has had more scorn heaped or greater love bestowed..." Lenin.

Others weren't scornful merely pointed, Dmitri Shostakovich ( the subject of a previous "sunday Papers" ) said simply "Scriabin is the common enemy we fight against".

No wonder young Vyacheslav preferred his great new name "Molotov". & what else can I tell you?
You must know the petrol bomb was named after him. It is a cheap and effective short range defensive weapon. It served the bogside which it got a graffiti. It was more user-friendly than the
lit fuse throw a few metres hollow iron ball stuffed with chordite and powder bomb which you, the very clever (much respected for getting so far & getting the allusions) reader of the Sunday Papers remembers killed Alex 2nd "after a few tries". True it was not as effective as Gustav Princep's revolver. Granted the Red Army Fraction / Baader-Meinhof Group who are the only terrorist organisation in the news today prefered proper guns and explosives. But young people could almost always get their hands on a bottle and fuel. Oh yeah he signed the deal between Stalin and Hitler.

If you're curious about what happened to Molotov, he stuck close to Stalin. Which not only explains his amnesia and its place or void in the records but justified it. Details of a family somewhere else far and distant from the first free school for serfs in Yasnaya Polyana were left. He was so close to Stalin he can be considered as taking part in the purges of close colleagues. He was in many ways a war criminal. in 1953 Stalin died or was murdered. We don't know nor can we know. & quite honestly we don't give a damn. I don't think any one of us would have sought charges. "oh yes is that the guards!?!? well I want to tip you off - Beria killed Stalin". But those who believe he was murdered cite Molotov. Who claimed Beria had claimed responsibility. By then of course Beria had himself been killed. (and called the cops) Molotov was present for the death of Stalin (if not in the room), he was in the inner circle - but within the short time it took to organise an empire with literally a hundred million subjects to pay homage & go into mourning - he began his slow departure. Stalin lay in state in the Trade Union palace whilst only 5 of the inner core took their place next to the coffin. in suitable make-up (to emphasise their harrowed grief for the cameras) Molotov had to queue to pay his last respects as a good atheist and gawk like millions of others at "the man" - to know he had seen the revolution! "the man"...made god...made satan ...made emperor. I believe it was a very special moment for a lot of those ordinary Russians, who for the first time saw their emperor in the flesh even if it was painted. Stalin thus buried (or rather installed next to Lenin) all those too close to him had to go. Molotov as his uncle Scriabin before was to become "un-popular" not for having been a meglomaniac (none would have survived next to Stalin) but instead for having been his acolyte. By the 20th congress of the Communist Party in1956 (when Kruschev told a stunned audience that really really honestly and truly no one had ever liked Stalin (Napoleon....."the man".....Emperor......Satan.....god) but that he had done absolutely nothing about his insanity and evil....... because no-one would believe them.).........

........." you wouldn't have believed us." ........."standing ovation 10 minutes"
the emperor is dead - long live the emperor!
........." we had no choice. Stalin had made us incapable of doing the right thing so we just lied to you."
the divil is dead or did he rise agin?!

[ "Molotov was denounced in the summer with Malenkov, Kaganovich and Voroshilov, as part of an "Anti-Party Group" which had plotted to restore Stalinist methods. Molotov was expelled from the Politburo and the Central Committee, and banished as ambassador to Mongolia. In 1960 he was appointed Soviet representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was seen as a partial rehabilitation. But after the 22nd Party Congress in 1961, at which Khrushchev carried his anti-Stalin campaign to a new level, Molotov was removed from all his positions and expelled from the Communist Party. In March 1962 it was announced that Molotov had retired from public life."...."Molotov was partly rehabilitated during the Leonid Brezhnev years, and was allowed to rejoin the Communist Party in 1984 under Konstantin Chernenko. He died at the age of 96 in Moscow on 8 November 1986, only five years before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. At the time of his death he was the last surviving major participant in the events of 1917. He was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow. A collection of interviews with Molotov, Molotov Remembers: Inside Kremlin Politics, was published posthumously by Felix Chuev. At the end of 1989, two years before the final collapse of the Soviet Union, the Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union and Mikhail Gorbachev's government formally denounced the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, acknowledging that the annexation of the Baltic States and the partition of Poland had been illegal."]Because oh yes! As well as inventing the petrol bomb - Molotov signed a pact with Hitler for Stalin. One of the few men in history to serve two Devils.

it was all so mundane.

Obviously it is not complete. Sad as it may seem, even in western Europe in the last 10 years both writers and journalists have been assassinated for their political or ideological standpoints. In addition to the usual targets - cops, politicians & capitalist pigs. This is because of the easy availabilty of the 9mm pistol which when pointed at the nape of the neck and fired adds one more name to your list. But I'll tell you about automatic pistols another day. This week I'm just talking about petrol bombs. So back to Tolstoy. We don't have all week. I really hope you didn't skip all the text just to read a very short list of killed people which only includes "important people" already on wikipedia. Lots of people get killed for writing. very few get killed for playing Scriabin which is strange. Scriabin is so much more offensive. I hope that if there is ever an united Euskal Herria or a united Ireland, there will be no scriabin. Not even if people can't agree how many hours of gaeilge or euskera get taught in the unitary states. La la la. It took Tolstoy a lot of paper to write that book. There should be no plastic bullets either. lalala,

Related Link:
author by 26 foot wallpublication date Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The hunt for the 'amber' room went from Berlin, to South America.
This is a symbolic re-construction of the room which 'cemented' russian/german relations.

Thats a heck of a lot of amber and richness , when the submarine captains of the
Russian Navy do not eat adequately.

Its really a question of political symbolism- but does not put shoes on feet.

(100 million to 250 million)-


in 1979 the soviet government iniated reconstruction of the room- 8 million.
Germany's Ruhrgas (russian gas- 1999 donated 3.5million)

Is this as big a folly as the chimps 'Star Wars' programme?

A Symbolic room?
A Symbolic room?

No-one knows where the amber went...
No-one knows where the amber went...

Related Link:
author by iopublication date Tue Feb 13, 2007 15:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the disappearance of capital assets during the last war have filled books and books. The story of amber in Europe has filled books and conspiracy theories - (why were the templars so keen to control its supply?) the largest theft in history was the reichsbank gold, much of which had been stolen from the central reserves of each conquered state. It's "disappearance" which was taken for granted before the fact - had bearing on the final rejection of returning to gold as a standard. But that sort of stuff would better be left "for prosperity" under the Anton Wilson thread. It's not really adding to the story of Tolstoy and his school or his influence. Because most probably no-one will ever read his book from cover to cover ever again. We don't have that concentration span anymore.

And of course the question of youth - is important. if not in Ireland in other places the drift to nihilism as understood in both philosophical & vulgar colloquial sense - and the paradox I outlined which have always retarded & ultimately spoilt "revolutionary" movements or goals is very apparant. Too apparant. Maybe Irish kids were taught how to use scriabin's cocktail by the most traumatic long-term deployment of a foreign army on their streets. No other European people suffered such for as long. It made some of Ireland's youth & more importantly their "primary movers" very considered in the political action the kids were directed to take.....

author by 26 foot wallpublication date Tue Feb 13, 2007 19:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Two things:-

Today Mr Putin has been given editorial space in the Guardian.

He speaks beautifully on the need for democratic evolution, yet the same newspaper- not two
weeks ago had a report of what he said of the sex abuse charges against Israeli president
Matsav - "we did not think he had it in him".

Russia is controlling the gas.
involved in the UN/EU secession negotiation (supporting serbia- the Negotiator is Finnish)
He is a member of the G8.
He likes King Abdullah and had a czarist room re-created to symbolise Russian-German

Some empires build their wealth on the backs of ordinary people- the one child rule
in China causes enormous problems to both sexes.
The episode which was Putin's Homeland test -The Sinking of the Kursk- he failed.

The eastern front is about Gas= the Moslem communities will suffer again
be it Kosovo or Lebanon.

Chancellor Merkel (benedict's BF is hosting the G8 this year- and interesting it should be).

author by iopublication date Tue Feb 13, 2007 19:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That the spokespeople of the group which is only important because after 40 years it still contains those who are considered close to the group ETA who have never changed their name or tactics - have not used the name of the group or displayed their logo in any of their last appearances whilst explaining their new ideas of a union of 2 regions within the Spanish state.
You know who I am talking about - Gerry Adams went and gave his papers in to contest elections for the NI assembly. You know - his name. his party name. "oldest party name in Ireland". Stood for photos with the dapper man who has never been seen in a shirt with collar before.

You didn't get that did you?

You probably haven't been following the petrol bomb thing either. anyway tell us about Russia.

author by iosaf - "behold I tell unto you a mystery"publication date Tue Feb 13, 2007 19:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yesterday Gerry Adams handed in his papers so he could be elected a representative in the assembly after asking supporters of his party to go with the recently changed police policy. After that he met 2 leaders of the political organisation which is important because after many decades it is closely associated with ETA. It was the first time many people had seen the leader of that group in a shirt. At the same time other leaders of the group.... travelled to Catalonia to discuss their new proposals for a unitary Euskal Herria entity within the Spanish state. At the same time other leaders of the group which is important..... met with people in Pamplona the capital of Navarra to discuss their proposals for a unitary.... and to say it would not be "annexation". They pointedly did not use the name of the group people generally think they belong to and represent that group which is important because...... even when asked by journalists. Leading to speculation that a new office with the name "Orain" which is basque for "Now" might be the name of a new organisation which may be important for being linked to the group ETA or may not be important because it isn't . Sure you wouldn't know. You'd just have to wait and see. It has something to do with a "process" & a desire for "peace" & would require lots of reading.

At roughly the same time a man who in the last 18 years was sentance to a few centuries short of 3,000 years for 25 murders and since then was sentanced to just over 17 years for 2 articles had his case discussed in the Supreme Court of Spain. Who finally decided to reduce the sentance to 3 years - he finally this afternoon decided to reject that and will continue with his hunger strike.

And as a background to all that a group of young people in masks made a "co-ordinated" attack on the council building of Pamplona and various banks in that city with petrol bombs - This happening parallel to near daily use of such incendiaries in the cities of the Basque complete with the building of barricades. It is thought they wanted to disrupt the carnival. At the moment they don't seem to have a name - and are just a lot of masked up young people who are pro-something and very anti-something else & not quite intent on making pals or complex theoretical revisions of any known political position they might be the same people who threw molotov cocktails into hip-hop clothing store in San Diego California last week.

Just to top it off, the Basque court decided they would continue with charges against the leader of the branch of the PSOE there and his deputy for meeting on July 6th with 2 individuals who are generally thought to be the leaders of a party which has had a few names over the years whilst progressively reducing in size yet remained important because it was & is associated with the group ETA which in 40 years has changed almost everything about itself except its name & what it does.

At this point Tolstoy might have made an excuse about needing the soap and a scratch.

there is a search engine called google & this stuff is now in English.

author by couldn't read this Sunday Papers. it's too long.publication date Tue Feb 13, 2007 22:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

At standard recording speed it took a 72 year old pensioner a total of 70 hours to recite over a 23 day period. "As with so many jobs as an actor, when they asked if I was interested in doing it, I thought, 'How wonderful,..."Then you get into it and you think, 'What have I let myself in for' ?"" Neville Jason, said in an interview with the Washington Post who described as a "a remarkably young-looking 72-year old who speaks with the sort of British accent that makes you want to put on a tie". .

THe first use mystery comes in the 5th book chapter 3 (1806 - 1807) when "Count Pierre" seeks initiation into the free-masonic order whose ideas "Joseph Alexeevich" had introduced him, at St Petersburgh through the sponsership of the Polish Willarski.

"I imagine that Freemasonry is the fraternity and equality of men who have virtuous aims," said Pierre, feeling ashamed of the inadequacy of his words for the solemnity of the moment, as he spoke. "I imagine..."

"Good!" said the Rhetor quickly, apparently satisfied with this answer. "Have you sought for means of attaining your aim in religion?"

"No, I considered it erroneous and did not follow it," said Pierre, so softly that the Rhetor did not hear him and asked him what he was saying. "I have been an atheist," answered Pierre.

"You are seeking for truth in order to follow its laws in your life, therefore you seek wisdom and virtue. Is that not so?" said the Rhetor, after a moment's pause.

"Yes, yes," assented Pierre.

The Rhetor cleared his throat, crossed his gloved hands on his breast, and began to speak.

"Now I must disclose to you the chief aim of our Order," he said, "and if this aim coincides with yours, you may enter our Brotherhood with profit. The first and chief object of our Order, the foundation on which it rests and which no human power can destroy, is the preservation and handing on to posterity of a certain important mystery...............

.......The important mystery mentioned by the Rhetor, though it aroused his curiosity, did not seem to him essential, and the second aim, that of purifying and regenerating himself, did not much interest him because at that moment he felt with delight that he was already perfectly cured of his former faults and was ready for all that was good. Half an hour later, the Rhetor returned to inform the seeker of the seven virtues, corresponding to the seven steps of Solomon's temple, which every Freemason should cultivate in himself. These virtues were: 1. Discretion, the keeping of the secrets of the Order.
"In the seventh place, try, by the frequent thought of death," the Rhetor said, "to bring yourself to regard it not as a dreaded foe, but as a friend that frees the soul grown weary in the labors of virtue from this distressful life, and leads it to its place of recompense and peace."
"Yes, that must be so," thought Pierre, when after these words the Rhetor went away, leaving him to solitary meditation. "It must be so, but I am still so weak that I love my life, the meaning of which is only now gradually opening before me." But five of the other virtues which Pierre recalled, counting them on his fingers, he felt already in his soul: courage, generosity, morality, love of mankind, and especially..........

You may buy & listen to War & Peace from the label "Naxos".

Or read it / download it from the links available at the wikipedia site on Tolstoy in the article above.

author by punk redpublication date Tue Feb 13, 2007 23:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

re :- ("Liszt had already suggested that a minority of musicians "saw colours" in music. Siginicantly however, his colour scheme though psychedelik did not match the colours of others. But in theory - the historic listener was being prepared for LSD culture and even childrens telly programs in the late 20th century when you the attentive reader & I the careful writer came into it the great narrative.")

Episode 9F11 of "the Simpsons" series "Selma's choice".
Aunt Selma brings Lisa and Bart to "Duff Garden's Little Land of Duff ". Lisa drinks "water" & trips out.
"aahhh, I can see the music."
" I am the Lizard Queen".

Media critical analysis of the many drug references in "the simpsons" classifies Lisa's experience as "household chemical abuse". Kandinsky was fascinated by the connections between colour and sound. His painting "Succession" (1935) is a great example of "I dont know what it is but I recognize it."

If you think you could be a synesthete (not on drugs) you can do a test here :- If that's too academic for you (& you're spooked by MIT wanting to hook you up to a computer - check out this interview with a synesthete
There is debate over Scriabin's synesthesia. He might like Rimbaud just been interested by it. 0.5% of people have some experiences. A very small amount of people "smell" sound too.
this is the best site with links to all languages -

author by news::content - iosafpublication date Thu Feb 15, 2007 00:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This morning at 7am Philippe Bidart, nom-de-guerre "Patxi" the leader & founder of the French Basque terrorist group "Iparretarrak" (which disbanded for the 1998 ceasefire in the Spanish state) was released from Clairvaux maximum security prison in northern France. The appeals court in Paris has given him conditional liberty (until 2014 he must reside in Beziers - french side basque pyrennes) after 19 years in prison. Bidart a former basque-language school teacher spoke briefly to journalists in euskera the basque language whilst holding a basque flag and wearing a basque beret, the message being "he's still very basque". He told them he was happy to be out but sad there were still 600 basque prisoners in the French and Spanish state. Bidart who earned a degree in history whilst in prison, added that his happiness was marred also by de juana's hunger strike reaching its 100th day (who had his sentanced reduced earlier this week but still isn't eating) and that the French state still hadn't recognised the Basque country. Though a supporter of the formal and institutional creation of a Euskal Herria state - where people won't need to look the part anymore - he did support the 1993 iniative which allowed anyone who could speak euskera in the french state part to speak it and also to put road signs in both languages. This meant basques could rub out the french language on their road signs but still know where they were going. Bidert who is going to have a welcome home party on saturday next in the village where the French state will keep him under surveillance till 2014 will now be very active in the political party Abertzaleen Batasuna. It is thought that 250 people from all over the basque lands will go to see him according to the leader of his prison support group Totte Etcheveste - so it is really thoughtful that the road signs are half legible now. Etcheveste (an ex-member of IK) has been in a wheelchair since he got shot in the spine by a member of the French security forces in 1988. In total the group IK was credited with 150 violent actions, mostly attacks on tourism or assassinations or attacks on french police.

The Catalan "estatut" (national constitutional reform and reform of financial relationship to the central Spanish state) which most people probably think done and dusted - so long after it's ratification by the Catalan government, subsequent revision and alteration to "nationality" clauses by the Madrid congress, and ultimately ratification by referendum by the Catalan people - has in fact been in a process of consideration by the Spanish Constitutional court after the PP (Spanish right wing party) brought a case for "un-constitutionality". Of the 8 judges to decide the case, 4 are PP and 4 not. One judge was dropped from the bench recently for being "partial" and "biased" to the Catalan side. Only in the last hours has the current president of the Catalan Generalitat been able to suggest a replacement. If the court finds the estatut "un-constitutional".... most people will remember it got mutilated anyway & fell short of their declared aspirations.

Perhaps a bit far from the Pyrennes, but Monday this week, the highest court in the Asturias region of Spain finally removed a stained glass window from above the door of the Franco era eagle with the motto of the dictatorship "one and one only - not two - not three - just one -"

The leader of the PSEE (or the basque equivalent of the PSOE which governs Spain [it says so on wikipedia ] who is the leader of the opposition in euskadi & this week learnt that he too will face criminal charges for meeting with members of the party Batasuna - today suggested that hunger striker de Juana (who still isnt eating) be allowed serve out the final three years under house arrest. The Lehendakari (taoiseach) of Euskadi has already faced questioning in relation to his charges for the same offence hasn't said much in the last week or even been in the news. He may be on holiday. Look out for him - he's got strange eye-brows and his telly satire image is Mr spock from Star Trek. He's much thinner than he looks because he often wears a bullet proof vest. These are popular amongst all types of basques regardless of nationalist persuasion because even after thousands of years of speaking a language no else understands they haven't developed any resilience to the Pyrennean weather. It has been suggested that frequent use of carbon fuels might melt the glaciars & young people always enthusiastic to lend a hand may be seen doing their bit. The lehandakari learnt euskera at 40 years of age thinking it would help him be prime minister of euskadi and so can drive all around the pyrennes without any problem.

Over christmas a PP mayor of a tiny village in Aragon (population 90) which is the only bit of the pyrennes which no-one says isn't spanish was murdered on his way home. Every resident of the village has been DNA sampled and questioned and despite some weeks of taciturn reticence (know nothing - what murder? mayor's murdered? didn't know we had a mayor - though we were an autonomous collective...) the forces of law and order are holding the PSOE candidate for mayor.

Andorra has been quite peaceful through the winter season, though the lack of snowfall did cause a dip in the stock market due to less tourists, fortuanately for the only independent country & tax haven between Spain and France - money laundering needs in the modern globalised economy have remained solid.

Lastly but not least, as the EU parliament voted 382 for 256 against 75 abstentions to formally condemn the CIA for illegal rendition flights and abuse of national sovreignty in Europe (which means putting a notice in bold print quite probably in italic print too on the EU website in as many languages as the translators' union can wrangle & I'm one of the union men.) it might be interesting to know that plucky and brave little Mr Aznar former caudillo of Spain sent a contigent of police to Guantanamo bay in Cuba.
"No-where near the Pyrennes!" I hear you groan. quite right. no-where near Afghanistan, Shannon, Turkey, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Canary islands, Barcelona, Balearic islands, Azores, Aport, Greece or any muslim community either. Anyway - Aznar sent this team of police to interrogate suspects over a period not less than one week in 2002 without anyone's permission, grace, leave or favour.
It is quite astounding that he was able to do something like that, approaching more an executive order decision of a US president rather than a premier of the spanish state who normally as we know . can't do anything at all. it's more like an honorary position for people who tell lies.

The trial of the 11March atrocity will begin tomorrow in Madrid the 15th of February 2007. The 4th anniverary of the largest mobilisation this century against war which Spain took part in on the basis of WMD which Aznar admitted last week never existed.

author by C Murraypublication date Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors,,2013400,00.html

Giles Tremlett:-

Guardian coverage
Guardian coverage

author by news::update::links - iosafpublication date Thu Feb 15, 2007 15:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

March 11th 2004 & the days after were a turning point in my life as in the lives of the others. We went to the offices of the PP & demanded the truth. We took to the internet & said the government was lying. I will report on the trial as soon as there is something substantial to report on a seperate thread. I see no benefit in the deliberate confusion. It took almost 3 years of preparation of evidence for the forensic teams of the Spanish state to declare 99% sure that there was no link in the explosives used to those ever used in Basque terrorism related attacks. The first accused has this morning refused to answer questions from the court. Pilar Manjon the leader of the M11 victims who lost her son - & left Madrid because of death threats from the far right (she refused to discuss ETA or link them) has said she hopes the conspiracy theories (which formed a central part of PP rightwing opposition to the government of Zapatero) will finally end.


Arnaldo Otegi in an interview with Basque TV has this morning said he believes the Zapatero government have broken all channels of communication with ETA. He has reiterated the plan of his formation to contest municipal elections in less than 4 months. He has not as I pointed out in a comment above used the name of his party continuing to use the formula (which I've been using here for many weeks now) of "left abertzale" yet talked of their intention to "present as they are". It is possible that castellano works linguistically in a very different way to euskera - because that end of the spectrum have an ability to say 2 diametrically opposed things in one sentance which no-one else has. The oxymorons of ETA statements push hermenuetic analysis to the limits.

the Molotov craze has in since 11pm yesterday seen the party office of the PNV (basque moderate & governing nationalists) attacked - & the the offices of the PSE (socialists psoe in basque) in San Sebastian. Also the party offices of the PNV-EA (one of the 3 basque government coalition parties) were attacked. Superficial damage is reported. More serious damage was caused to another PSE offices but the firebrigade extinguished the fire. Also attacked with molotovs were a court house in Navarra and another court house in San Sebastian. And then 2 vans belonging to the telephone company "telefonica" were burnt to a crisp in Vizcaya.

the link to the amazing murder story of Fago the tiny village of Aragon I mentioned in my last comment - where DNA evidence put the murdered PP mayor in the PSOE candidate's car - but feuds, hatreds, vendettas and skullduggery gave almost every 2nd resident of the village a motive - is yet to be resolved. This issues of hatred include issues like when he didn't allow cows to be driven through the streets, and that other time when he wanted to raise a tax to put tables outside the bar. Likely suspects now only number 12% of the village -

The Catalan government is studying the possiblity of objecting to one of the 4 PP judges on the 8 member constitutional court who are now testing their "estatut". This is after one of the 4 "nonPP" judges was dropped as being "biased".

The man Bidert in my last comment who was released from French high-security prison yesterday may face charges for "encouraging terrorism" in the statements he made. This might be because he made them in the language of "oxymoronic hermeneuticism" rather than the very safe language of "philosophical jargon" (like I do), accordingly my last link is to the pro-independence basque language site Berria

author by DumbReaderpublication date Wed May 09, 2007 22:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Excellent article on imaginary Tolstoy, Scriabin and Molotov. Brilliant observations, fresh and unorthodox thinking. "There is nothing melancholic about having no bread", "human nature does not change nor does it need to be changed", "in war - we lose sight of the paradigm of life". I wept.

We lazy surfers need more reading material like that - the real history is so boring, and the real literature is so "mundane" that no precious time of us sophisticated Web people should be spent on it anymore.

There still may be those who are curious about what the words on propaganda picture translate to. I must say two things to you:

1) It says - top: "Warmongers be damned!", bottom:"Mothers of the World, struggle for Peace!". Really aggressive, just as you'd expect.
2) you are sick, sick people. This kind of attention to detail ultimately will cost you your sanity as you strive to learn more and more true facts. Better stop now until it is too late!

author by mutewriterpublication date Wed May 09, 2007 22:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

a true honour - thank you :-)

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