RE: [xmca] Fallujah

From: David Preiss (
Date: Mon Jul 24 2006 - 09:03:45 PDT

 In California During the Gulf War
  Among the blight-killed eucalypts, among
trees and bushes rusted by Christmas frosts,
the yards and hillsides exhausted by five years of drought,

certain airy white blossoms punctually
reappeared, and dense clusters of pale pink, dark pink--
a delicate abundance. They seemed

like guests arriving joyfully on the accustomed
festival day, unaware of the year's events, not perceiving
the sackcloth others were wearing.

To some of us, the dejected landscape consorted well
with our shame and bitterness. Skies ever-blue,
daily sunshine, disgusted us like smile-buttons.

Yet the blossoms, clinging to thin branches
more lightly than birds alert for flight,
lifted the sunken heart

even against its will.
But not
as symbols of hope: they were flimsy
as our resistance to the crimes committed

--again, again--in our name; and yes, they return,
year after year, and yes, they briefly shone with serene joy
over against the dark glare

of evil days. They are, and their presence
is quietness ineffable--and the bombings are, were,
no doubt will be; that quiet, that huge cacophany

simultaneous. No promise was being accorded, the blossoms
were not doves, there was no rainbow. And when it was claimed
the war had ended, it had not ended.

Denise Levertov

David D. Preiss Ph.D.
Profesor Auxiliar / Assistant Professor
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Escuela de Psicología.
Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860.
Macul, Santiago de Chile.
Teléfono: (56-2) 354-4605
Fax: (56-2) 354-4844.
Laboratorio de Creatividad, Educación y Cultura
Blog Lab:

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Mike Cole
Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2006 11:34 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Fallujah

I doubt if anyone on XMCA is failing to feel the deep crisis humanity is in,
Phil. Or the shame in our complicity. Internally, the country that brought
you Peter, Paul and Mary and Fried Chicken is undergoing a crisis of civil
liberties and civic participation that seems almost a perfect mirror of the
havoc that we are contributing to beyond our borders.

It is scarey. As professionals we have no adequate tools to confront the
issues at an adequate scale, so we continue to try to confront them at a
scale where we feel we have some, not much but some, leverage.

This morning I received a message from a colleague in Israel which indicates
how these feelings are expressed there: " I'm ashamed of living "as usual'
when people are being killed in my name (i am pessimistic about the
possibility to exorcise terror; terror is a medusa that grows thousand heads
for every one that it loses; thus, our choice seems to be, in the longer
run, between perishing as humans or perishing dehumanized)."

What occurred in Fallujah was terror too, by other means. Although the means
appear to become ever more symmetrical. mike

On 7/23/06, Phil Chappell <> wrote:
> Dear All,
> I was 10 when the image of the child running down the Vietnamese
> highway with napalm burns all over his body was being viewed across
> the world. In suburban Melbourne (Australia), in my comfortable middle
> class home, I wasn't even aware at that age that there was a serious
> infringement on world peace being dealt by the country that gave us
> Peter, Paul and Mary and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Way more
> sophisticated than Daddy Cool or a tepid meat pie.
> 34 years later and I feel like I am still in an eggshell. The
> destruction of Fallujah happened without me knowing, and how many
> others? A war crime of serious proportions - 7,000 citizens killed,
> the use of a new chemical (white phosphorous) that turns humans into
> "caramelised fossils". It even has a nick name - Willy Pete.
> We get so caught up in our busy lives that we don't get to intersect
> with seriously, depressingly and really real human activity that is
> going on around us. Okay, the use of pronouns for inclusion is a tad
> over the top, but am I the only one who didn't "spare a thought" for
> those affected at Fallujah? And where else in the world can we find
> these despairing activities happening - the list is, of course, way
> too long. And it keeps rolling on - Lebanon hot of the press...
> Okay, off topic, but I needed to say something, and folks here are
> sympathetic listeners.
> Phil
> There's a video at the link below that should be fact, many
> videos.
> Download video here
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Sep 05 2006 - 08:13:16 PDT