golan_horizon

Seventeen horizons

There is nothing here that I haven’t photographed many times, and shared on this blog and elsewhere.

But this week I had the opportunity to view the Sea of Galilee from a different perspective – from the middle of the lake itself during a brief boat trip.

Once again, of course, I attempted to capture something of the light through a hundred photos. The overwhelming impulse is to want to simply step into the blue, as with a Rothko painting.

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Another look at The Man Who Fell To Earth

And so it was I entered the broken world
To trace the visionary company of love, its voice
An instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled)
But not for long to hold each desperate choice.

Those enigmatic lines from Hart Crane’s The Broken Tower preface Walter Tevis’ 1963 novel The Man Who Fell To Earth, a sci-fi classic that has been somewhat overshadowed by Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 film adaptation, currently being replayed in British cinemas.

That’s unfortunate. Roeg’s interpretation has many memorable scenes and images that entangle themselves in the mind, and is electrified by a charismatic lead performance by David Bowie, an elegant alien presence. But while the film captures something of the book’s strangeness, Roeg’s habitual desire to shock through the shoehorning of several gratuitous scenes into his movie adds nothing to Tevis’ subtle tale. Since the film has gathered so much attention I thought it worth writing a few lines about the novel.

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blue_and_gold_feature

Blue and gold

No photograph can capture the luminous light here, an intense blue and gold. A couple of days ago I drove along the east shore of the Sea of Galilee, across from Tiberias.

Here are images of the lake, the Golan, and a lookout that affords a wonderful view of the north shore, the little strip of land where most of the Gospel stories are set.

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chaplin_soviet_city_lights

Charlie Chaplin: hero of the Soviet avant-garde

Just as Marx praises capitalism in the most extravagant terms in The Communist Manifesto, the early Soviet avant-garde was entranced by the idea of America.

The Chaplin Machine: Slapstick, Fordism and the Communist Avant-Garde by Owen Hatherley explores the Soviet intelligentia’s fascination with the America of the early 20th century, a mythic land of technological wonders, vast mechanised industries, spectacular cityscapes and the startling new medium of cinema.

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trotsky_red_commander_propaganda

What’s so bad about being a Trotskyist?

So what exactly is so bad about being a Trotskyist?

The extent of the far left’s infiltration into Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party depends on who you ask.

For Corbyn’s opponents the presence of a virulent new revolutionary strain within the ranks seems very real. Wherever one looks, it seems, the Militant undead are rising under the cover of the membership surge to resume their abortive 1980s takeover project, lobbying aggressively to consolidate power in the hands of the party membership to enforce a form of Bolshevik ‘democratic centralism’, and employing the pro-Corbyn Momentum group – a cuckoo in the Labour nest – as their vehicle.

For Corbyn’s supporters such fears have more to do with the desire of the party’s old guard to hold on to power than the genuine threat of a leftist insurgency. They see the membership surge as the British expression of an international anti-austerity movement exemplified by new European parties such as Podemos and Syriza, Scotland’s Radical Independence Movement, and, across the Atlantic, the Bernie Sanders phenomenon.

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