Chris Marker 1962
Think Iraq, Syria and the Middle East are a mess??
Those are boundaries, territories and countries drawn up by Colonial powers France and Great Brittan at the end of WWI from the remains of the Ottoman Empire. Everything is laid out in the Sykes-Picot Agreement.
"The agreement effectively divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian peninsula into areas of future British and French control or influence." -Sykes Picot Wikipedia entry
Were Mr. Sykes and Mr. Picot thinking of ethnic and cultural identities when drawing up their boundaries……..or power ?
One of the most intriguing figures of 20th-century warfare is T.E. Lawrence, the British army officer who immersed himself in the culture of the Arabian Peninsula’s Bedouin tribes and played a key role in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks during World War I. He became a well-known and romanticized figure in post-war England, and was immortalized in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.
Scott Anderson spent four years researching Lawrence and three other young men who were involved in the momentous events of the Middle East during and after the war. (Those other men include an American, a German and a Jew living in Palestine.) What Anderson discovered about Lawrence is different from, but every bit as interesting as, the popular image of the man.
Anderson on Lawrence’s affinity for understanding Arab culture:
"He spent three or four years as an archaeologist in northern Syria. He was one of those people … that goes to a foreign place and just seem[s] to have an instant recognition and affinity for a foreign culture, and Lawrence certainly had that with the Arabs.
"… He really studied the whole idea of the way society worked, the clan structure and the tribal structure. When he got to Arabia, those same structures and the lines of what land belonged to which tribe were even more ferocious … and Lawrence really understood this in a way that virtually no other British officer in the area understood it."
Photo: T.E. Lawrence outside his tent with staff; Marist Special Collections B&W glass plate 1262.36 via ClioHistory
If only the French and British colonial powers had T.E. Lawrence’s understanding when they carved up the former Ottoman Empire and drew national boundaries with the Sykes Picot agreement.
R.I.P. Legendary jazz singer Little Jimmy Scott. He was famous for singing behind the beat, so much so that he drove the great Charles Mingus nutz.
You can hear him singing behind the beat on Sycamore Trees, from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. The kickbacks amounted to more than $1 million.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned some 4,000 convictions issued by him between 2003 and 2008, claiming he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles – including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea. Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.
Ciavarella was convicted of 12 counts, including racketeering, money laundering, mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also ordered to repay $1.2 million in restitution.
His “kids for cash” program has revealed that corruption is indeed within the prison system, mostly driven by the growth in private prisons seeking profits by any means necessary.
Why might this not be a HUGE national story and his name not household? I’ll give you one guess what color those kids were.
what in the everloving fuck
Shellshocked Reindeer, Murmansk — Yevgeny Khaldei, Arctic Circle, 1941
Digital Media Strategist Chris Dorr shares some surprising insights regarding movie piracy from an unnamed Hollywood insider.
It’s laziness and a consequent unwillingness to adapt. Always has been. It will be their ultimate downfall.