Weekend Noticings

Ahhh! Excellent! The Mets got back into it last night!

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Nate Mackey’s new book from New DirectionsSplay Anthem — is a finalist for the National Book Award. See article here and list of finalists here.

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Gillo Pontecorvo, the director of The Battle of Algiers, still one of the great movies on anti-colonial struggle died this past week. Here is the NYTimes obit.

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The limits of free speech (when it comes to Israel & Palestine) are tested again in these United States. Here is how two English papers comment the event. Last wednesday’s Guardian article by Ed Pilkington starts like this:

The British-based author and former publisher Carmen Callil has become embroiled in a growing dispute over the limits of freedom of speech in America after a party celebrating her new book on Vichy France was cancelled because of the opinion she expresses about the modern state of Israel.

Yesterday’s Observer / Guardian article by Henry Porter starts like this:

‘What caused me anguish,’ wrote my friend Carmen Callil in the afterword of her book about Vichy France, Bad Faith, ‘was to live so closely to the helpless terror of the Jews of France, and to see what the Jews of Israel were passing on to the Palestinian people.’

It is just one sentence in a long, fascinating and diligent book, but it was enough to gain the attention of the Jewish interests in America. Emails and blog commentary followed, and in no time at all the pusillanimous, craven nincompoops in the French embassy of New York had cancelled their party in honour of Callil and her book. Then, within a day or two of this cowardice, the French parliament provisionally passed a law that would make it a crime to deny that the Armenians suffered genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

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Meanwhile in New York City, while Punk Rock Poet Patti Smith closes down CBGB’s, the symbol of what is in fact a long by gone era,

the play based on Rachel Corrie‘s writings, “My Name is Rachel Corrie” finally opened after having been censored (see above for similar censorship, & see my blog here and here for this play’s battle with censorship). Here’s the NY Times review.

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