Saturday, October 07, 2006

Desire No Shackles

Diane Carriere, our artist/blogger friend in Canada, and fellow artists are presenting a new show in Chicago at the d'Last Studios and Gallery at 1714 S Ashland, Chicago, Oct 7 - Nov 11, 2006. The show, entitled "Desire No Shackels", features the work of Amir Normandi, Maryam Hashemi, Marcia Middleton Kaplan, Tim Arroyo, Rosy Torres, and Diane.

Diane has focused her work in the last few years on the conflict between the forces of fascism and Islamic fundamentalism, and the strong desires for Freedom and Liberty. Of particular interest has been the plight of women and children, the bringers of life and the most vulnerable.

The current show has been planned for many months, but recent censorship events have placed an additional importance on the work of the assembled artists. As Diane has written:

Even in the Age of Information, it would seem that not all information is created equal: the closure of a successful 3-year-old production of Mozart's opera 'Idomeneo' because, said Berlin police, it posed 'incalculable risk' of inciting Islamic fundamentalists to violence is a stark reminder that censorship throbs with power while the lifeblood of art is wrung dry. Last year, outrage from Muslim students led Harper College, located just outside Chicago, to remove an exhibition of works by Amir Normandi depicting the oppression women suffer in many Islamic countries. Partly in response, Normandi, himself an Iranian-born Muslim, has curated a new exhibition of works by local and international artists, 'Desire No Shackles/ Imagine No Borders', to examine oppression and the notion of borders in Islam and other contexts.
The work of Amir Normandi, an Iranian, is often none too subtle. The images are forthright and unapologetically confrontational. One cannot ignore the crossing of boundaries as in "Women's Rights by the Book". The woman holds a book, presumably the Qur'an. The holy book of Islam gives permission to men to break the barrier of human decency by beating their wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers, treating them as meer objects. The woman in the image crosses the boundary between being the object on display and being a real human being by reaching out through the picture frame.

In another, we are shown what lies beneath the all concealing black shroud of the burqa that holds women in a portable prison. The same rigid religious ideas that keep women in thrall to the will of men also envelopes the entire state of Iran, Islam, and all who submit their freewill to the god, al'Lah. No matter what is used to hide, shield, cover, or mystify our outter selves cannot even begin to shackle what is inside, the glory that is our 'self'.

In "Rose", Tim Arroyo demonstrates the ephemeral quality of reality and life. He has created a beautiful red rose in a vase using smoke and digital photography. The image slowly wafts into oblivion as all matter must, reabsorbed into the greater connectivity of the cosmos.

Diane presents a stark fact of life of life under fascist Islam. The execution of women is a common occurrance in Iran. Tradgically, it is too often the only way a woman can escape the prison of the burqa and the shackles of Islam as depicted here in another masterwork. Seemly two women have been hanged - one clothed in a burqa with eyes blindfolded, the other naked with eyes closed, but unblinded. Are they really different women, or the same woman - one a body in death, and the other as the freed spirit. As with all of Diane's work, the layers can be peeled like an onion revealing far more than is evident at first glance.

I would encourge anyone in the Chicago area to stop into d'Last Studios and Gallery, 1714 S. Ashland Avenue, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Phone: 312/922-1400.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Internet Death

A year ago, Aug 2005, Bangladesh was rocked by a series of small bombs exploding across the poor Muslim nation . It was a puzzle as to how the 350 bombs were detonated - until now. Because you, dear reader, are reading this via the internet, this should make you feel ever so safe.

Explosions in Bangladesh Last Year Set Off Through Internet
By Willard Payne

TEHRAN - Debka reports that investigators and experts, based in Paris, have discovered that the 350 small bombs that exploded across Bangladesh on Aug. 17, 2005 were set off by 350 mobile phones that were all connected into a network based in Tripoli, Lebanon. The technology involved used Skype or MSN software and was programmed into a master computer based in Tripoli that was able to transmit the signals, which set off the bombs, through the internet. For years the news would mention that bombs set off by terrorists were triggered remotely by cell phones. [DEBKA]

Tehran has obviously made it more difficult to trace the actual agents used to plant the phones-bombs and the transmitting signal which set off the explosions came from hundreds of miles away. Nor was it mentioned how far in advance the bombs were placed. 36 districts across Bangladesh were hit simultaneously and with this infomation it seems it was done just to demonstrate the possibility. Again all the bombs were small. Only one person was killed and 115 wounded, no major damage. Government buildings and facilities were targeted, hotels in the capital Dhaka and 16 other towns across the country.

Bangladesh - Dhaka are obviously not one of Tehran's main objectives. Iran is in the process of preparing, if not already, a larger demonstration of the same computer-internet weapon, but this time using much larger explosives, against similar targets in any enemy capital - country. If recent terrorist attacks are any indication, like the ones in Mumbai two months ago, then transportation networks could be the next target, including airports. Any central computer, from anywhere in the world could be used and they are most likely to be found in Iran.

The investigation concluded that satellite phones may be used the same way, to trigger explosives remotely, receiving signals from satellites. It is quite possible that Iran's satellite launchings in October last year and January this year were done partly in preparation to use satellite phones for this purpose. One of the satellites Tehran admitted was for telecommunication.
Now anyone can execute a coordinated attack anywhere, anytime all by themselves. No al-Qaida needed. I feel much safer now. How 'bout you?

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hey, Gringo, you're swimming the wrong way, man!"

A new song has come out of Texas. Johnny Bradshaw and Mike and Rita Jones, whose humorous, yet serious take on illegal immigration, “So Long, Texas — Hello Mexico!”, has fans from Texas to Canada to New Zealand.

Ernesto Fraga, publisher of the local bilingual newspaper Tiempo, “I talked with a DJ for a Tejano station and he played it, and some of the calls he got were from people who were quite offended by it,” Fraga said. “I personally am really offended by it. I think it’s very racist. Anytime somebody sings a song about how Texas no longer looks like Texas because there are too many Mexicans, that’s racist.”

Come on, everybody! Let's all gather round the ol'campfire with coffee and frijoles, in a racist sing along with Johnny Tex and the Texicans , with special guest Indigo Red!

Note: Indigo Red will be serving-up the joe and frijoles 'cuz he can't carry a tune in a bucket.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Al Gore Fearmongers Another Global Warming Danger

Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and former tobacco grower, inventor of the Internet and Global Warming , muse for the novel "Love Story", writer, and full time loon was at the United Nations. He was there to warn the hundreds of diplomats and staff about the newest peril of climate change. Gore said, cigarette smoking is a "significant contributor to global warming!" The world is facing a "full-scale climate emergency that threatens the future of civilization on earth."

The Uberweatherman was introduced by Secratary-General Koffi Annan, and then got into his PowerPoint presentation with computer generated pictures of the ocean's waters rushing in submerging San Francisco, New York City, parts of China, India, and other ickey parts of the world that need a good cleansing bath of sea water if the Antarctic and Greenland ice shelves slip into the sea and melt. Despite all the death, destruction, and property laid waste Gore said,"The planet itself will do nicely, thank you very much. What is at risk is human civilization."

This was the cue for Gore's staff crack open the stack of cardboard boxes to sell his new book, An Inconvenient Truth, The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It, at $19.95 a pop to the UN dignitaries ($13.17 at Amazon.)

All this because of cigarette smoking. What about cigars? Or pipe smoking? Does pipe smoking add to global warming or just cigarette smoking. How about marjuana smoking? Those doobies can really put out some clouds, ya know!

Remember a few years back, when methane gas production by cows was a major cause of global warming? Whatever happened with that? Now that the Guru of Global Climate Change has hit on cigareete smoking, can human farting far behind?

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.