25 March 2008

Easter is over, piglet be gone, back to work

Richard Harrison, 1910 - A conversation with Thomas Harrison (iTunes U, 1h3min). This is without reservation the best, most in-depth conversation about this crucial point in history that I've ever come across. The focus is on expressionist artists and authors, and Richard and his brother Thomas have no illusions about the explosive irrationality and the dark that the people of this time finally probed, and saw in themselves and in the future. I have no difficulty understanding why some of Harrison's listeners write that their sanity depends on his show (listen live on Wednesdays 00:00 GMT). Googled 'scientific expressionism', thinking maybe, maybe, but all that comes up is a 2004 exhibition that I don't have access to.

Let me quote you some Nietzsche while I'm at it. From Ecce Homo, written one year before his mental breakdown, two years before his death, ten years before the publication of the book, and twelve years before 1910:

"I know my fate. One day there will be associated with my name the recollection of something frightful -- of a crisis like no other before on earth, of the profoundest collision of conscience, of a decision evoked against everything that until then had been believed in, demanded, sanctified. I am not a man. I am dynamite."


In other news, here's the best article I've read on the China-Tibet-Olympics issue: Why China might have Olympic regrets (Dominic Lawson, The Independent). And while I'm on about things I'm ashamed to say I didn't know: the number of civilians killed in the 1989 Tianamen Square protests is a three figure number. That's a big number and an instance of Lawson calls "the Chinese Communist Party's almost pathological inability to cope with any genuine form of political opposition". I've yet to find a good analysis of the reasons for this allergy.

Hu Jintao's new year's speech:


Hu Jintao on the road:


And some utterly unrelated schadenfreude:
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