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Archive for October, 2017

HALLO PARAMARIBO
PIM DE LA PARRA WEET HET NIET MEER
AMSnote6092.02

Ik kreeg zojuist een email van Hans Plomp toegestuurd met een artikel van Pim de la Parra (1940-) uit Paramaribo. Het betreft een doorsturen van een in de Ware Tijd (dagblad) gepubliceerde kolom. Het schrijven van Hans Plomp is duidelijk als een verder publiekmaken bedoeld… doe ik dus bij deze…
Maar eerst… dat wat in mijn overvolle hoofd allemaal opkwam bij het lezen van Hans Plomp zijn intro en De la Parra zijn stukje.
Herinner mij De la Parra van een halve eeuw terug als een leuk schreeuwerig mannetje die opdook in Kriterion in de tijden dat dwarsheid en experiment daar nog de voorkeur genoten…. “De minder gelukkige terugkeer van Joszef Katus naar het land van Rembrandt” (1966) is een film die hij samen met Wim Verstappen (1937-2004) maakte die een ieder uit de Amsterdamse scene zich nog herinnerd… niet zozeer om het verhaal, maar omdat straat- en etablishement-beelden uit 1966, een klein tijdmachine… wie kan zich nog voorstellen hoe het er in de poffertjeskraam opzij bij het Weteringscircuit uitzag?

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Het toch maar even opgezocht, of ik dat wel goed onthouden had van die ‘poffertjeskraam op het hoekje bij het Weteringcircuit en de Vijzelgracht en nee ik verwar daar scenes uit de film uit 1960 van Fons Rademakers (“Makkers staakt uw wildgeraas”) waarin dat trefpunt van Leidse-pleiners en nozems voorkomt. Want zo wijs mij een zoektochtje door de digitale krantenarchieven en een samenvattend artikeltje in Ons Amsterdam terecht: die poffertjeskraam kwam er na sloop en plannen voor een soort snelweg in 1937, komt regelmatig in het nieuws of baldadige en crimineel geachte jongeren in de periode 1958-1960, in 1960 dus Fons Rademakers opnamen, maar wordt in 1961 gesloopt. Er een cafetaria voor in de plaats, of dat ook een verzamelpunt voor bohémiens was: Denk het niet…
In de film “Hans – leven door de dood” uit 1983 van de cineast Louis van Gasteren, komen die fragmenten uit de 1960 opnamen van Fons Rademakers van de ‘poffertjeskraam’ ook weer voor, omdat ‘pleiner’ Hans van Sweeden (1939-1963) er een rolletje in speelt als aanvoerder van een groepje jongelui die de spot drijft met de figuur van een burgermansvader die probeert zijn zoon uit dit kwade milieu naar huis te krijgen.
Al dat was blijven hangen in de warboel die ‘de herinnering’ vaak is.
De film van Verstappen en De la Parra, is na 1961 opgenomen. Wat mij wel op de gedachte brengt dat speelfilms met (candid) camera opgenomen straat en publieke ruimte scenes, ook een ‘documentair karakter’ hebben. Dat heeft de de ‘Joszef Kartus’ film wel in zich,
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Dat was een plek die ondanks de wasem van het poffen toen uiterst ‘cool’ was. (Er staat vrijwel niets van dit filmproduct on-line zie ik nu, enkel deze korte fragmenten met Rudolf Lucieer (ooit een jeugdvriendje van mijn zus) als Joszef Katus, onder meer met geënsceneerde happenende provos’s op het Spui: YouTube ) …
Veel over De la Parra en zijn compagnon uit die tijd Wim Verstappen is te vinden op deze kritische pagina met de titel “The not-so Great Director”, daar staat ook een foto van De La Parra als jong cineast met een expres omgekeerd boekwerk over Godard in zijn hand.
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‘Wan Pipel’ (een volk) had zijn meesterwerk moeten worden, maar het flopte. Een film over hoe de verdeelde bevolkingsgroepen van Suriname (indianen, bosnegers (ja dat woord werd/wordt gebruikt, stadscreolen, hindoestanen, javanen, chinesen, boeroes ..is dit lijstje nu compleet)  één volk konden worden, een reactie ook op de exodus naar Nederland vlak voor en na de “onafhankelijkheidsverklaring” in 1974 van Suriname.
Weer een verhaal/plot dat mij als kijker niet kan boeien, maar beelden van winti en andere seances die prachtig zijn… een rare kopie, die en deel van het beeld afsnijdt staat op YouTube.
Nu dit alles viel me in voordat ik Pim de la Parra’s esoterisch betoog uit Paramaribo van nu begon te lezen. Komt die drang naar het bovenzinnelijke op latere leeftijd vraag ik me dan af. Het doet nu in het jaar 2017 – zoals vaak bij De La Parra – gedateerd aan, alsof hij achteruit kijkend naar voren loopt, trends als: Boeddhisme, Zen, Krishnamurti (ooit een goeroe voor de beter standen tijdens het interbellum in Nederland met een eigen kasteeltje bij Ommen cadeautje van Baron van Pallandt)… Hij spreekt over ‘niet weten’, het leegmaken van het hoofd, gut zat er dan nog wat in bij De La Parra?
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Zou hij zijn plezierige dwarsheid verloren hebben in dit proces? Hoop het niet… wellicht ontbrak hem een materialistisch inzicht al die jaren.. zal ik hem dan maar “Das Wesen der Menschlichen Kopfarbeitt – Dargestellt von einem Handwerker – Eine abermalige Kritik der reinen und praktischen Vernunft” daterend uit 1869 geschreven door de leerlooier Joseph Dietzgen (een vroeg-Marxist) opsturen?
“De oneindige menigvuldigheid der dingen, de ontelbare rijkdom der eigenschappen heeft geen ruimte in het hoofd” schreef Dietzgen al in 1869 in de inleiding van het hiervoor aangehaalde boek. Laat ik nog een enkel materialistisch Dietzgen citaat geven voordat ik de vernieuwde esoterische Pim de la Parra uit Paramaribo aan het woord laat met zijn observaties buiten de verstandelijke waarneming:
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Evenals het gezicht niet de boom, maar slechts het zichtbare van de boom ziet, zo kan ook het denkvermogen niet het object zelf, maar slechts zijn kenbare geestelijke kant opnemen. Het product, de gedachte, is een kind dat door de hersenfunctie in gemeenschap met het een of ander object geteeld is. In de gedachte verschijnt zowel het subjectieve denkvermogen enerzijds als anderzijds de geestelijke natuur van het object. Iedere functie van de geest vooronderstelt een voorwerp, waardoor zij voortgebracht is, dat de geestelijken inhoud afgeeft. Aan de andere kant komt deze inhoud van een voorwerp dat daarenboven, op de een of andere manier, zinnelijk waargenomen is. Hetzij gezien, gehoord, geroken, geproefd, hetzij gevoeld. Kortom ervaren is.” [de Nederlandstalige versie staat hier on-line het Duitse origineel is natuurlijker fraaier wat taal betreft.


Hans Plomp:
Dierbare aardgenoten een inspirerend stuk van Pim de la Parra, een van onze tofste filmmakers. Pim en Wim, onze avant-garde van de jaren 60 en 70.
Hij woont in Paramaribo in een bescheiden huisje en schrijft regelmatig columns in De Ware Tijd.
Iris en ik houden van Suriname en bezochten hem daar. In veel opzichten precies het tegenovergestelde van Nederland.
Leve de ingeslagen weg, xxxhans plomp


Van: Pim de la Parra
Datum: 28 oktober 2017 om 19:12
Onderwerp: Hallo Paramaribo! = Column = Ik weet het niet meer Aloha bestelieve mati’s, Onderstaande aflevering van mijn column, ‘Ik weet het niet meer’, verscheen in dagblad De Ware Tijd van zaterdag 28 oktober 2017.
Apriori veel dank voor je aandacht. Gran Odi, Pim Sr.Jr.
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H a l l o P a r a m a r i b o !
I k w e e t h e t n i e t m e e r
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Een van de meest opwindende ontdekkingen van de afgelopen jaren was voor mij het inzicht dat ik me heb vergist in alles wat ik eerder voor waar had aangenomen. Bijna alles wat ik van kindsbeen af van mijn ouders en opvoeders heb geleerd en geloofd, bleek geleidelijk aan niet waar te zijn. Vroeger wilde ik alles weten en ging ik er automatisch van uit dat je door veel te weten ook vanzelf geluk en vrede zou kennen. Er moest toch een absolute waarheid zijn, die door mij gekend zou kunnen zijn, als ik maar steeds zou blijven leren en studeren. En zo bleef ik hongerig naar kennis en wijsheid uit alle windstreken, en las ik per week gemakkelijk in tien boeken tegelijk. Bij voorkeur autobiografieen van zowel klassieke als moderne kunstenaars, schrijvers en filosofen. En talloze boeken met monologen en dialogen van zogenaamde verlichte geesten.
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Rond mijn vijftigste moest ik afhaken van filosofen als Heidegger, Sartre, Foucault en Derrida, omdat mijn geest hun vergaande abstracties niet meer kon verdragen. Alleen Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) kan ik nog pruimen en van hem leer ik nog steeds. Hij stelt dat er geen zoekers naar waarheid zouden zijn als de mens alleen maar gedreven werd om te streven naar de bevrediging van behoeften. Het menselijke vernuft kenmerkt zich volgens hem juist door een verlangen naar iets wat onze dagelijkse werkelijkheid overstijgt. Een innerlijke drang om vreemd territorium te betreden, een verlangen naar het andere. (Een toekomstige aflevering van deze column zal gewijd zijn aan zijn gedachtegoed.)
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Veel toegankelijker bleken voor mij gelukkig mystici en spirituele gidsen uit wat vroeger ‘het Verre Oosten’ werd genoemd. Van hen leerde ik dat woorden niet de dingen zijn waar ze naar verwijzen. “Het woord is niet het ding”, las ik bij Jiddu Krishnamurti. Langzamerhand drong het tot me door dat mijn hoofd vol zat met zaagsel: nutteloze kennis en informatie. Dat mijn geest in de loop der jaren door ontelbare onsamenhangende gedachten en denkbeelden overwoekerd was geraakt. Zodat alles wat ik aan gesproken en geschreven woorden en zinnen kon voortbrengen, niet veel meer was dan een soort verbale en mentale diarree. Maar het ergste was nog de schok te beseffen dat ik geen meester was over mijn bovenkamer. Dat ik niet de bewuste denker was van mijn gedachten, zoals ik heel arrogant had aangenomen. En dat alles zomaar vanzelf in mij werd en wordt gedacht. Om die opzienbarende ontdekking diepgaand te onderzoeken, begon ik aan een roman, getiteld ‘De man die dacht dat hij kon denken’. Ondertussen bevat de twaalfde versie van het manuscript tweeentwintig hoofdstukken, en is de titel veranderd in ‘De schaamte van H.W. Bekomst’. Maar de drijfveer om deze roman nog te voltooien, is op wonderbaarlijke manier verdampt.
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Er valt helemaal niets te weten! Niets te begrijpen. Niets te verklaren. En er is ook niemand die iets weet. We doen alleen maar alsof we alles weten. Iedereen doet alsof. Dat is wat ik heb ontdekt. Vroeger dacht ik dat het zo hoorde: dat ik veel zou moeten weten. Dat het daar om gaat in het leven. Als ik niet zou weten, dan zou er iets mis zijn met mij. Daarom wilde ik van alles het fijne weten. Maar nu weet ik het niet meer. Ik hoef ook niets meer te weten. Ik weet al meer dan genoeg.
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De Engelse spirituele gids Unmani Liza Hyde geeft al jaren retraites overal op aarde en spreekt over dit Niet-Weten. (www.not-knowing.com). In haar boek ‘Ik ben het leven zelf’ schrijft ze: “Ik weet niets. Het enige dat ik altijd heb geweten is dat ik het niet weet. Herkenning van het leven zoals het is, is herkenning van wat er al is en altijd is geweest: niet-weten. Dit is wat ik ben. Absoluut onschuldig niet-weten. In niet-weten is er geen twijfel. In niet-weten is er absolute helderheid. Dit ben ik. Ik ben het leven zelf.”
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Pim de la Parra
Prins Hendrikstraat xxx
Paramaribo – Suriname
Tel: xxxxx
E-mail: xxxxx


Dietzgen_Krishnamurti
Het was meer dan veertig jaar geleden dat ik Dietzgen zijn betoog over onze bovenkamer las – op aanraden van de ‘radencommunist en eeuwig werkloze timmerman Gerard van den Berg (1909-1997)  – en ik vraag mij af, na lezing van De la Parra en herlezing van deze ouwe marxist, of  de ‘wijsheid uit het Oosten’ en die ‘uit ons Europees Westen’ wel zo verschillend is, neem nu weer die inleiding als het gaat om

Het reine verstand of het denkvermogen in het algemeen

Dietzgen zegt dan: “Met het anatomische mes kunnen wij de geest worgen, maar niet ontdekken. De erkenning dat denken een product van de hersenen is doet ons onderwerp zo nader komen dat het uit het gebied van de fantasie, waar de spoken rondgaan, in het heldere daglicht der werkelijkheid kan getrokken worden. Van een immaterieel onvatbaar wezen wordt nu de geest een lichamelijke werkzaamheid.”

De la Parra schrijft dat hij leerde (van Krishnamurti) “dat woorden niet de dingen zijn waar ze naar verwijzen” en komt dan na wat verdere overpeinzingen tot deze conclusie:

“Er valt helemaal niets te weten! Niets te begrijpen. Niets te verklaren. En er is ook niemand die iets weet. We doen alleen maar alsof we alles weten. Iedereen doet alsof. Dat is wat ik heb ontdekt.”

Nog een keertje terug naar Dietzgen die al schrijvend denkt en noteert:

“Het hoofd neemt niet de dingen zelf, maar slechts hun begrippen, hun voorstelling, hun algemene vorm op.”

Of een jet-set en internet goeroe wiens stellingen De la Parra aanhaalt “in niet-weten is er geen twijfel” en “In niet-weten is er absolute helderheid” … kan tippen aan die ouwe Marxist, ik betwijfel het. Dietzgen maakt dit simpel onderscheid tussen waarneming en gedachte:

Het hoofd neemt niet de dingen zelf, maar slechts hun begrippen, hun voorstelling, hun algemene vorm op. De voorgestelde, gedachte, boom, is steeds slechts een algemene.
De werkelijke boom is een boom als geen andere. En al neem ik ook deze bijzondere boom in mijn hoofd, hij onderscheidt zich innerlijke altijd nog van de uiterlijke. [Zo]Als het algemene zich van het bijzondere onderscheidt.

Ook Dietzgen spreekt over iets dat er is en geen (of nauwelijks meetbare) ruimte inneemt, zeg maar LEEGTE

De oneindige menigvuldigheid der dingen, de ontelbare rijkdom der eigenschappen heeft geen ruimte in het hoofd.



PS Ik heb de precieze adressen uit de email van De la Parra verwijderd omdat ik niet weet of die er ook in de Ware Tijd bij stonden.

PPS Wie wil weten hoe “Prins Pim” (zoals hij zichzelf ooit noemde er nu uitziet en zijn in 2011 opgetekend levensverhaal wil lezen doet dat in dit lange en fraai geïllustreerde interview van Emile Martens voor het tijdschrift ‘Imaginations, revue d’études interculturelles’, december 2015.

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DRONE-TERRORISM
– still exclusively a form of ‘state-terrorism’ but not for long, non-state actors will acquire the ability and tools in the near future. I have chosen 15 long quotations from a recent academic study on the subject: Koch, Bettina. 2016. State Terror, State Violence: Global Perspectives. `They are not rendered to an easy format as in journalistic products, but for those who take their time and chew on these citations from one chapter of the book, it will help them to start thinking about how language eases the way for politicians and military to commit war crimes in the name of peace and democracy.
Drone_Terrorism
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“As Frank Sauer and Niklas Schörnig (2012, p. 370, p. 372) argue, the use of “killer drones” is particular attractive for democratic regimes: drones promise “casualty aversion,” avoid a “public-opinion backlash” (no boots on the ground), and, more generally, they “appeal to the utilitarian and normative characteristic of democracies.” Yet, as a response, the strategy of drone strikes “may invite guerilla warfare or even terrorist attacks as a response to their overwhelming conventional superiority,” which suggests that a military strategy involving drone strikes might create what is claims to defeat (see also Campos and Gassebner 2013). “
[Koch, Bettina. 2016. State Terror, State Violence: Global Perspectives. ; p. 152. ]
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“The second challenge is more specific: As it is commonly understood, one of the key issues about state terrorism is the simple fact that the state targets the very people it ought to protect. In the case of extraterritorial targeted killings through drone strikes, the first challenge seems to have disappeared. Instead, questions of national territorial sovereignty but also of a national government’s complicity in a foreign nation’s actions emerge.4 Michael J. Boyle (2013, p. 15) even implies that extraterritorial (violent) actions by other governments “provide a powerful signal to the population of a targeted state that the perpetrator considers the sovereignty of their government to be negligible.” Yet, the latter issue relates back to the first challenge, while the question of territorial sovereignty becomes even messier as soon as foreign fighters are involved (cf. Bryan 2010).5” [Ibid.; p. 153.]
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“The White Paper states that the U.S. is not at war with a foreign nation. Instead, the U.S. claims to be in “a non-international armed conflict in which one of the par- ties is a transnational, non-state actor and where the principal theater of operation is not within the territory of the nation that is a party in the conflict” (DoJ White Paper 2011, p. 4). Moreover, it compares the case to domestic law in which a police officer can also use lethal force in self-defense or in defense of others (DoJ White Paper 2011, p. 9). According to the White Paper, a threat remains imminent unless it is evident that the person associated with the treat “has renounced or abandoned such activities” (DoJ White Paper 2011, p. 8).” [Ibid.; p. 155.]
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“A similar confusion is evident in the discourse whether drones, used in response to “international terrorism” are a just weapon, compared to other weapons tra- ditionally used in warfare, and, thus, locate the targeted killing with drones as a problem of ius in bello. As Daniel Brunstetter and Megan Braun (2011, p. 344) note, they are only weapons of war in the context of warfare. Outside warzones, drones are weapons used to cause “acts of violence,” but not “acts of war.” Thus, both acts and means depend on the circumstances in which they occur and for the purposes they are used. In warfare, drones may be used for justified and legal actions as much as they may be used for unjustifiable and illegal action. Unless a particular weapon as, for instance, lethal gas or cluster bombs,6 is internationally condemned, the weapon itself is neither just nor unjust.” [Ibid.; p. 158.]
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“From the perspective of how a particular weapon can be potentially used, David Hastings Dunn (2013, p. 1244) considers drones as the almost perfect weapon for terrorist attacks: They can be operated anonymously and remotely; they present little or no risk to their operators; they can be acquired cheaply and easily; their operation can be mastered simply and safely; and they can be used in isolation or in large numbers (given their availability and cost) to devastating effect.” [Ibid.; p. 158.]
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“3.1 Preemptive Self-Defense The argument of the legality of the U.S. drones strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan (but also in Yemen, Syria, or Somalia) focus particularly on the notion of preemp- tive self-defense. Yet, the very argument and construct of preemptive self-defense is in the center of critique. The fundamental logic behind the concept of preemp- tive self-defense, although frequently associated with the U.S., South Africa, and Israel (Höfer 2013, p. 94), is a justification of old. For instance, Humbert of Ro- mans in his Opus tripartium, c. 1272–1274, applies a similar logic in defense of the Crusades and the killing of Muslims in the Holy Land (in Riley-Smith and Riley-Smith 1981, pp. 103–117; see also Koch 2015). Ironically, the rhetoric of the Crusades has also been utilized in the “international war on terrorism” (Lusthaus 2011, pp. 6–8).” [Ibid.; p. 159.]
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“Although defenders of the drone-strikes strategy usually highlight the humanity of the drone attacks because of their relatively low number of casualties compared to traditional warfare, the proportionality, particularly in relation to the wrong the U.S. have suffered, has been questioned (Shah 2010, p. 125; Ahmad 2014).” [Ibid.; p. 159.]
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“More significant than arguments based on international law are concerns re- garding the international and long term consequences of a new doctrine of pre- emptive self-defense that allows one state to target “enemies” in another state’s territory. The strategy would also allow for the oppression of local movements of independence (Gray 2002). This concern is also shared by Peter Bergen and Jennifer Rowland (2013, p. 8) who suggest that the “deployment of CIA drones to target militants could also provide some unwelcome precedents for countries such as China, Russia, and Iran as they develop the capacity to target with drones those individuals that they regard as terrorists.” Moreover, Michael J. Boyle (2013, p. 3) argues that “drone strikes corrode the stability and legitimacy of local gov- ernments, deepen anti-American sentiments and create new recruits for Islamist networks aiming to overthrow these governments.” In addition, “[s]tates with re- curring separatist or insurgent problems may begin to police their restive territories through drone strikes, essentially containing the problem in a fixed geographical region and engaging in a largely punitive policy against them” (Boyle 2013, p. 26). Stewart Casey-Maslen (2014, p. 290) concludes, [w]hat the USA may in fact be doing is—implicitly—seeking to introduce the inter- national law of law enforcement requirement of imminence for the lawful use of international lethal force into a scenario that it has already classified as an armed conflict […]. If that is indeed what it is doing, it mangles the law. Michael J. Boyle goes even one step further when he concludes that “the US will have normalized murder as a tool of statecraft and created a world where states can increasingly take revenge on individuals outside their borders without the niceties of extradition, due process or trial” (Boyle 2013, p. 25). If these concerns are only partly true, the proportionality of drone strikes, par- ticularly if one considers long-term consequences, is even more doubtful, although states that uses drone strikes in response to one particular problem, certainly deny responsibility for the long-term consequences of the strategy.” [Ibid.; p. 160.]
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“As documented substantially by the Stanford Law School’s Living under Drones project (2012), the problem with reliable data does not only concern the number of the total casualties, it also concerns the question who may and who may not qualify as civilian victim. Depending on (political) interests, the number of civilian victims vary from up to 50 civilian casualties for one killed “terrorist” to the absence of civil victims ( Muslims Today, 22.05.2013; Ahmad 2014, p. 71). Ac- cording to U.S. opinion, it is sufficient to sojourn near an identified “terrorist” or to be a male adult who resides in a certain territory to qualify as a legitimate target ( Huffington Post, 29.05.2014). The later definition relates to the strategy of signature strikes. Contrary to so- called individual strikes that target known individuals, signature strikes aim at tar- geting individuals or groups of people based on undisclosed behavior patterns. Particularly in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) in the Afghani- stan-Pakistan borderland, jirgas (traditional assemblies of tribal leaders) but also funerals and weddings have become targets of signature strikes (International Cri- sis Group 2013, p. 11). Whereas the individual strikes are already problematic, Kevin Jon Heller’s (2013) analysis shows how the signature strikes involve substantial violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL). Heller outlines that particularly four signatures can never be legally justi- fied under IHL: “(a) Military-age male in area of known terrorist activity,” “(b) ‘Consorting with known militants’,” “(c) Armed men travelling in trucks in Al- Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula-controlled area,” and “(d) ‘Suspicious’ camp in AQ [Al-Qaeda]-controlled area” (Heller 2013, pp. 97–99). Although some signa- tures may be legal under International Humanitarian Law, they nonetheless violate International Human Rights Law. Particularly targeting and killing people who are “‘facilitating’ AQ; being present in an AQ compound; and operating an AQ train- ing camp” may constitute crimes against humanity (Heller 2013, p. 117). Thus, one of the main reason for U.S. drone strikes in the region, namely that Taliban and other local groups harbor al-Qaeda fighters (Tarzi 2012, p. 17), does not justify the actions taken by the U.S.” [Ibid.; p. 161.]
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“Whereas it is already difficult to imagine how a drug dealer in Afghanistan or Pakistan can cause an imminent threat to the U.S.—the U.S. logic is based on the assumption that drug dealers aid the militants financially—, it is also doubt- ful whether Taliban fighters are likely to plan and undertake an attack against the U.S. on U.S soil. In this context it is of significance to ask who the Taliban actu- ally are and how they fit into the traditional tribal system of the FATA. The U.S. policy in the region is based on the assumption of a predominantly tribal culture. Yet, Shahzad Bashir and Robert D. Crews find it even “paradoxical” that “military planners and their civilian advisors seized upon the idea of tribe as the essential key to Afghan and Pakistani identities at a time when the concept had long been aban- doned by most anthropologists and scholars in related fields” (Bashir and Crews 2012, p. 3). Particularly since the Soviet invasion of the 1970s the existing tribal structures have been undermined; the invasion also caused an increased Islamiza- tion in both Afghanistan and Pakistan (Tarzi 2012, p. 19; Haroon 2012, p. 58).7 Partly, the rise of jihadist movements and the emergence of leaders who based their authority rather on religion than on tribal structures can be seen as an outcome of Pakistan’s politics that aimed at gaining more political and economic influence in Central Asia. Initially, Pakistani Taliban movements that crosses the border to Afghanistan did so with explicit and direct support from Pakistan’s military. “In addition, the Pakistani jihadist movements, largely born from the Kashmir policy of Pakistan, had a sanctuary in the border areas” (Dorronsoro 2012, p. 34).” [Ibid.; p. 162.]
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“Despite the fact that the Afghan Taliban’s agenda is exclusively Afghan and there- fore nationalist and local, the U.S. response to the Taliban, including attempts to target Taliban leaders, imply that the Taliban are suspected of plotting terrorist attacks against the U.S. Because the Taliban still operate within a culture of tribal identities and because after 2001 tribal communities were “unable to protect the returnees [from combat] against arrest and being killed,” the “key support for the Taliban comes from communities who have prisoners in the Guantanamo system” (Ruttig 2012, pp. 110–111). Thus, targeting Taliban with drone strikes and other means seems to be at best counter-productive.” [Ibid.; p. 163.]
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“Because the key element of terrorism is to terrorize, it is necessary to explore how the drone strikes affect the general population in the tribal regions of the Afghani- stan-Pakistan borderlands. According to some calculations, in 2008 “armed drones flew over Iraq and Afghanistan for 135,000 h (equivalent to 15 years of flight) and dropped 187 missiles and bombs” (Shaw and Akhter 2011, p. 1492). Drone attacks have been described as “lightening [that] comes down in the form of Hellfire” (Shaw and Akhter 2011, p. 1502). Because fear depends on perception, it is useful to outline some personal accounts from people who are living in areas frequently targeted by drone strikes. The following examples are taken from the Living under Drones project (2012):” [Ibid.; p. 163.]
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“The drones were terrifying. From the ground, it is impossible to determine who or what they are tracking as they circle overhead. The buzz of a distant propeller is a constant reminder of imminent death (David Rohde, U.S. journalist on his experience while in Taliban captivity). We are always thinking that it is either going to attack our homes or whatever we do. It’s going to strike us; it’s going to attack us […]. No matter what we are doing, that fear is always inculcated in us. Because whether we are driving a car, or we are work- ing on a farm, or we are sitting home playing […] cards–no matter what we are doing we are always thinking the drone will strike us. So we are scared to do anything, no matter what (Haroon Quddoos, taxi driver). When [children] hear the drones, they get really scared, and they can hear them all the time so they’re always fearful that the drone is going to attack them […]. [B]ecause of the noise, we’re psychologically disturbed—women, men, and children […]. Twenty- four hours, [a] person is in stress and there is pain in his head (Hisham Abrar). ” [Ibid.; p. 164.]
 ~
“Psychologically, the exposure to the (constant) threat of drone strikes causes “sub- stantial levels of fear and stress,” a feeling of powerlessness, anxiety, but also “an- ticipatory anxiety” (when is the next drone strike to happen?). In short, many of the interviewed persons showed severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some persons even showed symptoms at a level that made them unfit to work, which implies, in addition to the psychological effects, economic and social consequences (Ahmed 2013, pp. 83–84). In addition to the obvious impact on life and property, the drone strikes also cause changes in social and communal behavior. One social effect is the direct consequence of the U.S. strategy of the so- called “double top” strikes. Central to the strategy is to strike a second time soon after the first strike has occurred. As a consequence, the double top strikes “have increased civilian casualties, as families of the victims and emergency services are now reluctant to come to aid of those injured for fear that they will fall victim to a follow-on attack” (Boyle 2013, p. 8). The increased number of victims is one part of the effect; the other part involved a change in social behavior. Where, under normal circumstances, family members, neighbors, and first aid workers would come to rescue the injured, they are now reluctant doing so out of fear of falling victim to a second strike. Another consequence concerns the ability of local and regional self-organiza- tion and self-government. As indicated earlier, the traditional conflict-resolution institution, the tribal jirga has been weakened through a growing conflict over authority and legitimacy between the traditional elders and religious authorities. After tribal jirgas have been targeted by signature strikes, the traditional instru- ment of local governance and conflict resolution has become even further weak- ened. In 2011, a jirga that was held in Datta Khel, North Waziristan, was hit by a drone strike; 40 men were killed; only four of the victims were believed to be militants. (International Crisis Group 2013, p. 11). In the aftermath of the strike, elders have become far more reluctant to gather for a jirga or other cultural ac- tivities. Because FATA is governed under FCR (Frontier Crimes Regulations), “it has no police forces; instead, paramilitary, military, and tribal militia forces keep order” (Fair et al. 2014, p. 9). Thus, by targeting jirgas, a genuine political element of self-governance is lost; only relatively unregulated military and paramilitary units remain to keep order. Similar changes in social and cultural behavior occur in regions in which weddings or funerals were targeted by signature strikes. To avoid being targeted at similar occasions in the future, “communities have even become reluctant to hold funerals lest they attract drone strikes” (International Crisis Group 2013, p. 12). Yet, these are not the only consequences caused by the drone strike strategy: first, the drone strikes caused “a backlash of anti-Americanism” and, second, “Is- lamist parties have used the drone strikes to mobilize thousands of followers” (Wil- liams 2010, p. 872, 881).” [Ibid.; p. 164.]
 ~
“If the drone strikes do not qualify as a form of coercion, then they must be a form of violence and, thus, are illegal by nature. But is the violence terroristic? The examples on the psychological effects on people living under the permanent threat of drone strikes certainly indicated that the drone strikes strategy is able to create fear and anxiety. Thus, at least for the Afghanistan-Pakistan borderlands, it can be assumed, if terrorizing was the desired means to a political end, the means have succeeded. Because the drone strike strategy did not instantly come to an end after the psychological effects were publically known, it seems appropriate to as- sume that the terrorizing effects have been at least tacitly approved if not actively wanted. A rather different question remains how successful the strategy of terrorizing actually is. Whereas there seems to be sufficient evidence that, in addition to the psychological effects on the population that is directly threatened by drones, the strategy triggers further radicalization of people in the region, without having a direct effect on other regions in Pakistan or Afghanistan that do not live under drones. To end as we began with the young Yemini activist Farea al-Muslimi: “What radicals had previously failed to achieve in my village, one drone strike accomplished in an instant: There is now an intense anger and growing hatred of America” (cited in Bergen and Rowland 2013, p. 18). Thus, what the drone strikes strategy seems to have achieved in addition to terrorizing the people living in tar- geted regions, is an increase of violence.” [Ibid.; p. 166.]

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Nut_Proxy4
Maybe we need in cases like the recent Moscow stabbing (*) of a female radio journalist by a male lunatic who allegedly states to have been telepathically harassed by her during 5 years. She (Tatyana Felgenhauer) worked for an ‘independent radio station’ (Ekho Moskvy) in Moscow that has been object of threats to its staff several times. Threats that occur in the same time that official Russian media personalities criticise this radio station for its independent stance, especially in relation to the upcoming presidential elections in the year 2018. ….
As police sources said that the attack was not political but personal, so NOT a ‘terrorist attack’, maybe we need to use a new term for such a violent actor:
~
NUT-PROXY TERRORIST = a lunatic committing an attentat, combing personal obsession with a current news issue, a proxy of interests beyond her/himself. [my own definition]
~
LONE-WOLF-TERRORIST = “someone who prepares and commits violent acts alone, outside of any command structure and without material assistance from any group” [Wiki]
LoneWolfe_terrorism
Checking out an academic study this (new) class of terrorists came to my mind.
Here an abstract of the book:
~
Lone-Actor Terrorists : A behavioural analysis Paul Gill – This book provides the first empirical analysis of lone-actor terrorist behaviour. Based upon a unique dataset of 111 lone actors that catalogues the life span of the individual’s development, the book contains important insights into what an analysis of their behaviours might imply for practical interventions aimed at disrupting or even preventing attacks. It adopts insights and methodologies from criminology and forensic psychology to provide a holistic analysis of the behavioural underpinnings of lone-actor terrorism. By focusing upon the behavioural aspects of each offender and by analysing a variety of case studies, including Anders Breivik, Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh and David Copeland, this work marks a pointed departure from previous research in the field. It seeks to answer the following key questions: Is there a lone-actor terrorist profile and how do they differ? What behaviours did the lone-actor terrorist engage in prior to his/her attack and is there a common behavioural trajectory into lone-actor terrorism? How ‘lone’ do lone-actor terrorists tend to be? What role, if any, does the internet play? What role, if any, does mental illness play? This book will be of much interest to students of terrorism/counter-terrorism studies, political violence, criminology, forensic psychology and security studies in general.
 ~
Here two quotations that speak about the grey zone between ideological motivated terrorists and violent lunatics:
 ~
The role of mental illness and personality became so completely downplayed that one noted expert recently stated: ‘we also tried to distinguish terrorists from violent lunatics. Crazies, by definition, could not be terrorists’ (Jenkins, 2013: 9). Malkki (2014: 186) makes a similar distinction. ‘One of the key issues in this debate is how to draw the line between politically motivated lone wolf terrorism and mass murderers acting primarily motivated by personal grievances or mental health problems’. Others make the case that there is too much focus on mental health issues. The introduction of a special issue of Terrorism and Political Viol- ence on the topic of lone-actor terrorism complains of the overt focus on psycho- logical problems of lone-actor terrorists (Kaplan, Lööw, & Malkki, 2013: 5–6). Pantucci (2011a: 37) agrees: ‘a further complicating factor is how to separate and distinguish them from those individuals who for their own perverse reasons decide to act’. Sageman (cited in Pantucci, 2011b: 5) also expresses similar thoughts: ‘There are two kinds of Lone Wolves, real lone wolves and mass mur- derers’. While the former, according to Sageman, are part of a virtual com- munity, the latter works from their own ‘personal insane ideology’. Burton and Stewart (2008) distinguish between ‘lone wolves’ and ‘lone nuts’. The latter are ‘mentally ill individuals motivations for other reasons … not conducting politi- cally motivated terrorist attacks’.
[Gill, Paul. 2016. Lone-actor terrorists. Routledge. ; p. 105. ]
 ~
In other words, an act of targeted violence is either the action of a rational ter- rorist or an irrational mentally unstable civilian. Over the space of 40 years of research on terrorist motivation the literature has jumped from one extreme posi- tion (‘they are all mentally ill’) to the exact opposite (‘by definition, a terrorist cannot be mentally ill’). This is also reflected in some major criminological research. For example, Hirschi and Gottfredson’s (1983) control theory views ‘regular criminals’ as impulsive, whereas terrorists need higher levels of control and are implicitly more calculating and therefore less likely to be mentally ill. In reality, such distinctions are probably less clear-cut. A false dichotomy may exist that categorizes violent individuals as either a rational terrorist or an irra- tional and unstable individual.” [Ibid.; p. 106.]
~
http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/949913090

(*)  – The Guardian 23/10/2017: ‘Nobody defends us’: Russian journalists respond to knife attack – Reporters decry climate of hatred after Tatyana Felgenhauer is stabbed in neck at Ekho Moskvy radio station
The Moscow Times 23/10/2017: “Ekho Moskvy Editor Felgenhauer Expected to Survive Stabbing Attack (…) St. Petersburg-based Channel 5 television aired a police interrogation with Grits in which he said he’d had a telepathic connection with Felgenhauer for 5 years. “I was motivated by the fact that she has been sexually harassing me for 2 months,” he said. “Every night, using telepathic means of contact, she entered and sexually harassed me.” Channel 5 earlier reported that Grits had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The Investigative Committee has opened a murder case. Ekho Moskvy is among the last independent media outlets in Russia and has been repeatedly been issued warnings by state media watchdog Roskomnadzor, which said in February the station was violating a Russian law passed in 2016 restricting foreign media ownership to no more than 20 percent of shares. Earlier this month, Russian state media accused Ekho Moskvy of working with unspecified “Western non-profits” to influence Russia’s 2018 presidential election. Asked if the topic of her most recent radio show could be behind the attack, editor-in-chief Venediktov declined to speculate and said he would leave it to the police. He cited a string of attacks and threats against female journalists at Ekho Moskvy which he said authorities had not prosecuted. These included Yulia Latynina, whose car and home were attacked before she fled Russia last month, Ksenia Larina and Karina Orlova, who also left Russia. “It is precisely this impunity that enables psychiatrically unstable people to commit these attacks,” he said. In a statement on the attack, the Journalists’ Trade Union said part of the blame fell on state television.

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HET STEDELIJK & BEATRIX RUF : THE END OF THE AFFAIR
Wie lekten er nu weer en waarom?
StedelijkMuseum_Afvloeiingsregeling
Overal in dit stedelijk gebouw – zeker sinds de badkuip aanbouw – lekt het al jaren. In dit klamme klimaat houden museum-directeuren het niet lang uit. Ann Goldstein 2010-2013 en nu Beatrix Ruf (2014-2017), want of die afvleiingsregeling zoals die nu in de krant staat met haar aanblijven tot februari 2018 gaat lukken is maar de vraag (het gaat hierbij natuurlijk om het beperken van de haar (zelf) toegebrachte reputatieschade).
In september 2017 wordt er als opmaat tot de val van Beatrix Ruf een nieuwe voorzitter van de Raad van Toezicht van het $tedelijk Museum Amsterdam aangesteld:
Ferdinand Grapperhaus.

Even zijn Wiki bekeken. Drie zeer relevante publicaties op staan er op zijn CV:

☂ “Werknemersconcurrentie: beperkingen aan concurrerende activiteiten van de ex-werknemer ten opzichte van zijn voormalig werkgever” (1995).

☂ “Afvloeiingsregelingen in het arbeidsrecht” (1997).

☂ “The end of the Affair: on the ménage à trois of employment, contract and termination” (gepubliceerde openbare lezing aan de Universiteit van Maastricht, 2006). [1]

Het moge duidelijk zijn het was niet voor niets dat Grapperhaus uitverkoren werd om de stop uit de overlopende stedelijke badkuip te trekken. Dat kan een ieder uit publieke bronnen afleiden. Daar heb je geen ‘inside informatie’ voor nodig.
Heeft Grapperhaus zelf direct naar de pers gelekt? Denk het niet een bedreven bestuurder doet dat altijd indirect. Zo kwam het dat Bas Heijne – na een reeks van publieke lekken – al bijna concluderend op 14 oktober een opinie-stuk in de NRC zo kon openen: “Deze maand stapelden de onthullingen over Beatrix Ruf, directeur van het Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, zich in hoog tempo op. Wat eerst nog slordigheid leek, kreeg vervolgens het aanzien van creatief boekhouden. Inmiddels riekt het naar belangenverstrengeling.” [2]

Drie jaar geleden bij het aantreden van de nu in opspraak geraakte directeur schreef ik een langer artikel en portretteerde haar ook: “Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam: Beatrix RUF komt als geroepen, maar wie riep haar en wat is haar ROEPING?”
Daarin ga ik naast het ‘debunken’ van euforie over de aanstelling van een dame die nummer 7 op de wereldranglijst van ‘art curators’ staat, vooral in op de aan het Stedelijk Museum in het jaar 2006 (in de tijd dat de Partij van de Arbeid het nog voor het zegen had in Amsterdam) opgelegde bedrijfsstructuur:

De bij coöptatie samengestelde Raad van Toezicht van de Stichting die het Stedelijk Museum sinds het jaar 2006 is, bestaat enkel uit Nederlanders. (2) Van de elf directeuren sinds het begin van het museum in het jaar 1895, zijn er twee niet Nederlanders, met inbegrip van de nieuw aangestelde Beatrix Ruf. Tot het jaar 2003 kan men spreken van langere periodes van directeurschap, met Cornelis Baard (1906-1936), Willem Sandberg (1945-1963) en Eddy de Wilde (1963-1985) als directeuren met een bewind langer dan een decennium. Deze benoemingen waren allen door het stadsbestuur.” [3]

Dit is van belang nu omdat het structurele probleem van het Stedelijk Museum, de opgelegde halfzachte vorm van privatisering is, met die 21ste-eeuwse-regenteske ‘Raad van Toezicht’. Is het niet zo dat Ruf – als zij ten tijde van het bewind van de vorige toezicht raad aangevallen was, dat dan niet enkel zij, maar ook die raad ontslag had moeten te nemen? Nu is dat slinks zo gemanoeuvreerd dat enkel weken na de aanstelling van een nieuw ‘bloedraad’ Ruf ten val gebrcht wordt en de raad zelf blijft zitten. Stel je dat eens voor in het stelsel van de parlementaire democratie!

Jazeker alles is geheel geschiedt volgens de ‘Governance Code Cultuur’ die 9 punten telt, een regenten-code zeg maar, want lees het zelf maar na, nergens is enige sprake van het feit dat van overheidswege gebrachte cultuur ook een democratisch vertegenwoordigend aspect dient te hebben. De code begint direct met te spreken over:

Principe 1) Het bestuur is verant­woordelijk voor het in acht nemen van de Governance Code Cultuur“.

Wie dat bestuur kiest en hoe daarover wordt niets gezegd. Zo ook

Principe 4: De raad van toezicht stelt rechts­positie en bezoldiging van het bestuur zorgvuldig vast en is hierover zo open mogelijk.”

Maar wie bepaalt nu wie erin zo’n toezichtraad zitten? Dat staat nergens. Die hele Governance Code is een lege huls! [4]

⚒ Het wordt tijd dat al die schimmige Nederlande constructies van bijbaantjesjagers en onderhandse regelaars ontmanteld worden. Ontwar ook de kluwe gesponnen door de ‘eigen-belangers’, de commissie-en commissaris-netwerkers. Hak de dikke knopen erin door. Kortom sociaal-econosmiche transparentie in de kunst.
~
⚒ Een Stedelijk Museum behoeft een directeur die door het stedelijk bestuur van de stad aangesteld wordt. Die is verantwordelijk. Is er debat over een kanidaat dan vindt dat debat in het openbaar in de Amsterdamse gemeenteraad plaats.
~
⚒ Een Stedelijk Museum dient ook meer belang te hechten aan de inbreng van gespecialiseerde conservatoren, eigen en als gast, in plaats van per decreet vanuit de directeurskamer aangestuurd beleid. Een directeur is sturend, maar dan niet in één enkele richting, maar met voortdurende variërende vaarroutes. Een goed modern museum is vooral ‘groepswerk’ en niet afhankelijk van internationaal op de kunstmarkt schitterende curatoren, die jet-set-klasse met hun driedubbele agenda’s.
~
⚒ Zo zou ook de vroeger door de directie van het museum zo gehate regeling van beschikbaar stelling van wat toen ‘de Nieuwe Vleugel’ heette, waar lokale kunstenaarsverenigingen eens per jaar een door henzelf samengestelde tentoonstelling maakten, in een vernieuwde vorm dienen terug te komen.
Onvoldoende kwaliteitswaarborg? Wat zou dat een keertje in het jaar. We moeten dat wat lokaal leeft toch niet wegdrukken. Hetrogeen is geen vies woord.
~
⚒ Het totalitaire aspect van ‘international branding’ dient ondergraven te worden. Immmers alles wat nu ‘groots’ en ‘inetrnationaal’ heet te zijn, is ooit lokaal geboren.
~
Zo beëindig je – om met Grapperhaus te spreken – een affaire – THE END OF THE AFFAIR – door niet op dezelfde voet door te rommelen, maar met een geheel nieuwe aanpak.

Naschrift …
inmiddels weten wij dat Beatrix Ruf per direct opstapt en zij nog wel drie maanden doorbetaald krijgt. Die afvloeingsregeling is dan 3x haar maandsalarais à 15.000,-  = 45.000,- Euro.

[1] – https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Grapperhaus
http://www.ferdinandgrapperhaus.nl/bibliografie
http://www.stedelijk.nl/…/nieuwe-voorzitter-en-lid-raad-van…
[2] NRC: “Kunstschandaal”, Bas Heijne, 14 oktober 2017https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2017/10/14/kunstschandaal-13481113-a1577263
[3] https://limpingmessenger.wordpress.com/…/stedelijk-museum-…/
[4] https://www.governancecodecultuur.nl

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ARTIST WITH BALLS ON RED SQUARE:
an attempt at understanding the self-mutilation protest of
Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky
AMSnote6075.04~
SELF-MUTILATION as ESCAPE FROM THE NEW GULAG

Originally posted on November 11, 2013 on my Flickr site (*); reposted on October 16 2017 on my blog Limping Messengerafter I did read this Message in Le Monde today: “L’artiste russe Pavlenski arrêté à Paris pour avoir mis le feu à la Banque de France”

An attempt at understanding the artistic protest of Pyotr Pavlensky on the Red Square in Moscow, who nailed his scrotum to the pavement in front of the Mausoleum of Lenin and the Kremlin walls, yesterday. Shortly after he was cut loose and arrested for his deed. Pavlensky said his action was to “protest against the Kremlin’s crackdown on political rights.” (1)
~
Self-mutilation in public has a long and varying history and a diverting set of meanings. The re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is performed in many places all over the world. The Islam knows the self-whipping men parading through the streets. Fakirs show their overcoming of the body by the mind by all kind of piercing actions. Piercing of body parts is of all times, often as an act of initiation or embellishments of the body. Modern art has a whole a whole score of body art, whereby some form of self-mutilation is performed, from the enactment of (self)castration by the Austrian artists Herman Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler, to the suspending in space of his body through wires and hooks in his skin by the Cypriot-Australian artist Stelarc.
~
All these examples differ in meaning from the action of Pyotr Pavlensky yesterday on Red Square, in front of the walls of the Kremlin and the Mausoleum of Lenin. His action points to the self-mutilation of soldiers and prisoners who try to escape from their dire situation, who are so desperate to get out of their actual situation that they re willing to hurt themselves, even badly. Soldiers that shoot themselves in the hand or leg (a common occurrence during the long lasting trench warfare of World War I), prisoners that try to poison themselves, harm their body or twist their mind and behavior in such a way, that they may be transferred to a hospital or a mad house. In the case of the long history of the Russian deportation camps from the time of the Tzars to the Stalin period and even beyond that, an attempt to escape to some form of hospital was a desperate act indeed, as the medical facilities in most of the Gulag camps were below any standard and in some cases more hellish than the actual concentration camp itself.
~
Nailing down oneself with a pin through the scrotum, between the balls, has been registered by several witnesses, and such examples did appear again in recent anthology of testimonies on the Russian Gulag by Anne Applebaum, published in the year 2003:
~
“A prisoner tells the story of a thief who cut off four fingers of his left hand. Instead of being sent to a field as invalid, however, did sit invalid snow and seeing others work. Forbidden to leave, afraid of being shot for attempted escape, “he soon himself and asked for a shovel, using it as a crutch, with his hand survivor, put it in the frozen ground, weeping and cursing. ” Still, many prisoners felt that the potential benefit they made was worth the risk. Some methods were rude. The criminals were particularly known for his simply cut three fingers intermediates with an ax, so that they could not cut more trees or hold a wheelbarrow in the mines. Others cut off a foot or a hand, or rubbing acid in his eyes. Others still, to leave for work, a wet cloth wrapped around the foot, at night, came back with frostbite of the third degree. The same method could be applied to the fingers.
~
In 1960, Anatoly Marchenko saw a man preaching his testicles in a bank in prison. It was not the first: Valerii Frid describes a man who preached his scrotum in a tree stump.”
~
[Applebaum, Anne. 2003. Gulag: a history. New York: Doubleday; pafge 445 in the eBook edition I used]; I attach a longer version of this quoatation in note
~
The use of the verb ‘preached’ is odd, and hardly used in English, as far as I could ascertain. I took the quotation on line, once more from Google Books and there another rendering of this sentence is given:
“In the 1960s , Anatoly Marchenko watched a man nail his testicles to a prison bench. Nor was he the first Valery Frid describes a man who nailed his scrotum to a tree stump.” (2)
~
It seems that the action of Pyotr Pavlensky did find its inspiration source right there. Or, if not so, it is a way to read his action, as it is not only the actor who determines how others perceive his performance.
~
However gruesome the act – piercing a long nail through the tender skin of the scrotum straight between the most sensitive part of a man’s body, his balls onto the cold pavement of a huge square – it is still a few steps away from the public sacrifice of one’s life. Self-immolation is such a final act, being of another order. It can hardly be called an ‘artistic act’ when one drowns one’s own cloths and body in an inflammable liquid and sets it afire. Examples galore with certain strains of Buddhism and Hinduism accepting this form of self-sacrificing acts. Russia has its own horrid history with the persecution of the ‘old believers’ in the 17th century, whereby whole villages in fear of a horrid end at the hands of their persecutors preferred to burn themselves to death, in what was called their ‘fire baptism’.
~The most recent political use of self-immolations were in Bulgaria in a protest against the against the Borisov government. The protest of a Tunisian street vendor, Tarek al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi, against his maltreatment in December 2010 triggered in the end the Arab Spring movement and when we move back through time we meet Tibetans, Czechs and Vietnamese monks that use this form of ultimate protest.
~Back to the action on the Red Square and the intent and effect of such actions. It was not Pavlensky ‘s first radical action. Another one was preceding it. As is explained on a Wikipedia page about this artist:
~
“By suturing my mouth on the background of the Kazan Cathedral, I wanted to show the position of the artist in contemporary Russia: a ban on publicity. I am sickened by intimidation of society, mass paranoia, manifestations of which I see everywhere.” While commenting on the questionable originality of his action in one of the later interviews, Pavlensky mentioned: “Such practice has occurred among artists and prisoners, but for me it did not matter. The question of primacy and originality here for me does not exist. There was no goal to surprise anyone or come up with something unusual. Rather, I felt the necessity to make a gesture that would accurately reflects my situation.”[Wikipedia Petr Pavlensky ]”
~
Does nailing your balls to the pavement of the most central and symbolic square of Russia “reflects accurately” the situation in Russia in general, or does the desperate act only reflect the state of mind of the artist? As a non-Russian it is impossible to come up with an answer, still there is no doubt that Russia of today is a society which carries it’s repressive and violent past with it, like all powerful nations do. When reading the nailing action from the perspective of the Gulag history, the artist is willing to risk – at least – parts of his body, in order to escape from what he feels to be his imprisonment within the confines of a society full of paranoia. Self-mutilation was seen as a crime within the Gulag system. It could be heavily punished. Refusal to fit as an exploitable part within the Gulag (production system), could lead to a death sentence, however paradoxical that may seem. Pavlensky has already been arrested and examined to see if he would not better fit in the infamous Russian classification system of those who are mentally ill. After his action with sewing his lips, he did get out, and was declared sane. The question is if he will be so ‘lucky’ next time.
~
One may also question whether the need for dramatic acts, grandiose symbolic performances that aim at the heart of the power system, is what will change the system. Grotesque gestures seem to me – as an outsider – an expression of the bombast of power as displayed by Tzars, Party Secretaries and other ‘great leaders’, a cultural phenomenon that has been aptly named in new-speak of the last century: ‘Palast-Kult’. The artist as martyr for the great cause of the Great Russia… I see analogies with the the style of the National Bolshevik Party of Eduard Limonov and their need and ways to produce martyrdom (like the recent case of the bad luck of Alexander Dolmatov asking for political asylum in the Netherlands, that treated him so badly that he ends up committing suicide in a Dutch prison cell).
~
Can the opponents of a power system be more than a reaction movement, mirroring in their actions and gestures the system they are fighting? One needs a lot of imagination to see any relationship between the ‘nailed down balls’ of the artist Pyotr Pavlensky and the ‘free roaming big balls’ of the ruler Vladimir Putin. The fragility of the male apparatus may do the trick: that is what the ruler and those who are overruled do have in common. We know that one day – at a moment least expected – the fragility of yet another ‘big ball system’ will come to the fore and what seemed most strong proves to be weak.
~
Maybe there is yet another association: what seems to be omnipotent is nailed down so much to all those strata of society that try to secure their interest and extend their control with such a force that there remains no more free roaming for potent policy. ‘The potentate’ is constantly pulled from one side to the other, until his scrotum can not withstand the contradicting forces exerted on it and it tears apart… leading to a collapse of what once was the towering pride of the ruler.
~=====
(1) There are several video versions on YouTube, comparing them I choose this (sensational kind of web site) but good version of a video registration, without initial advertisement and so on. One has to click first to agree not to be younger than 18 years. This is the caption:
~
“Guy nails his scrotum to the ground as protest against police brutality Artist Peter Pavlensky nailed his testicles to a nail on the cobblestones of Red Square, the correspondent of “Fringe.”The action is timed to the Day of Police, which is celebrated on November 10. The action began at 13:00. Around 14:30 the artist was taken by ambulance to the First City Hospital. After going to the hospital to deliver him to the police station, “China Town”. In a statement about the artist’s action, called “Freeze”, it is noted that it can be regarded as a “metaphor of apathy and political indifference and fatalism of the modern Russian society.” Pavlensky known for other high-profile protests. May 3 this year, he went to the building of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg naked and wrapped with barbed wire. Campaign “Carcass” symbolized “man’s existence in a repressive legal system, where any movement causes severe reaction of the law, bites into the body of an individual.” In July last year Pavlensky held a rally in support of prisoners participating Pussy Riot. He sewed his mouth and stood at the Kazan Cathedral with a placard “Speech Pussy Riot has been famous action replay of Jesus Christ (mf.21 :12-13).”http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=777_1384084283&#8221;
~
(2) Anne Applebaum cites Anatoly Marchenko’s book “MY Testimony” (trad. Michael Scammel, London, 1969). I see that the eBook edition (what a shame does have neither page numbers nor foot- or end notes, so I can not give here the right page number.) Let me give at least a link to worldcat.org, as many libraries in the world do stock this book in one of the many editions that exist.http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/16922410
~
Added on 15/5/2014: I took the book from the library and had it laying around (and prolungued) for months, other things came in between, but today I phoographed, the pages from Marchenko’s book and took out the text by OCR. Here is the full passage which is relevant to this case:
~
Chapter: Self-Mutilation

“Here is one out of a number of similar stories, from which it differs only in its originality. It took place before my very own eyes in the spring of 1963. One of my cell-mates, Sergei K., who had been reduced to utter despair by the hopelessness of various protests and hunger strikes and by the sheer tyranny and injustice of it all, resolved, come what may, to maim himself. Somewhere or other he got hold of a piece of wire, fashioned a hook out of it and tied it to some home-made twine (to make which he had unravelled his socks and plaited the threads). Earlier still he had obtained two nails and hidden them in his pocket during the searches. Now he took one of the nails, the smaller of the two, and with his soup bowl started to hammer it into the food flap – very, very gently, trying not to clink and let the warders hear – after which he tied the twine with the hook to the nail. We, the rest of the cons in the cell, watched him in silence. I don’t know who was feeling what while this was going on, but to interfere, as l have already pointed out, is out of the question: every man has the right to dispose of himself and his life in any way he thinks fit.

Sergei went to the table in the middle of the room, undressed stark naked, sat down on one of the benches at the table and swallowed his hook. Now, if the warders started to open the door or the food flap, they would drag Sergei like a pike out of a pond. But this still wasn’t enough for him: if they pulled he would willy-nilly be dragged towards the door and it would be possible to cut the twine through the aperture for the food flap. To be absolutely sure, therefore, Sergei took the second nail and began to nail his scrotum to the bench on which he was sitting. Now he hammered the nail loudly, making no attempt to keep quiet. It was clear that he had thought out the whole plan in advance and calculated and reckoned that he would have time to drive in this nail before the warder arrived. And he actually did succeed in driving it right in to the very head. At the sound of the hammering and banging the warder came, slid the shutter aside from the peephole and peered into the cell. All he realized at first, probably, was that one of the prisoners had a nail, one of the prisoners was hammering a nail! And his first impulse, evidently, was to take it away. He began to open the cell door; and then Sergei explained the situation to him. The warder was nonplussed.

Soon a whole group of warders had gathered in the corridor by our door. They took turns at peering through the peephole and shouting at Sergei to snap the twine. Then, realizing that he had no intention of doing so, the warders demanded that one of us break the twine. We remained sitting on our bunks without moving; somebody only poured out a stream of curses from time to time in answer to their threats and demands. But now it came up to dinner time, we could hear the servers bustling up and down the corridor, from neighbouring cells came the sound of food flaps opening and the clink of food bowls. One fellow in the cell could endure it no longer – before you knew it we’d be going without our dinner – he snapped the cord by the food flap. The warders burst into the cell. They clustered around Sergei, but there was nothing they could do: the nail was driven deep into the bench and Sergei just went on sitting there in his birthday suit, nailed down by the balls. One of the warders ran to admin to find out what they should do with him. When he came back he ordered us all to gather up our things and move to another cell.

I don’t know what happened to Sergei after that. Probably he went to the prison hospital – there were plenty of mutilated prisoners there: some with ripped open stomachs, some who had sprinkled powdered glass in their eyes and some who had swallowed assorted objects – spoons, toothbrushes, wire. Some people used to grind sugar down to dust and inhale it until they got an abscess of the lung .. . Wounds sewn up with thread, two lines of buttons stitched to the bare skin, these were such trifles that hardly anybody ever paid attention to them. The surgeon in the prison hospital was a man of rich experi- ence. His most frequent job was opening up stomachs, and if there had been a museum of objects taken out of stomachs, it would surely have been the most astonishing collection in the world.”

~[Marchenko, Anatoliĭ, and Michael Scammell. 1971. My testimony. Harmondsworth, Eng: Penguin Books. ; p. 138-141. www.worldcat.org/oclc/562119565 ]

(2) “Even with all its flaws – even when doctors were venal, poorly equipped wards, medication low-life in the hospital or infirmary seemed so attractive to prisoners, to get it delivered to them were willing not only to hurt or threaten doctors but also to injure themselves. Soldiers trying to escape from the battlefield, the zeks also resorted to samorub (self-mutilation) and mastyrka disease (staged) in desperate attempts to save their lives. Some believed that an amnesty would end up receiving disability benefits. In Actually, there were many who believed that the Gulag at least one occasion issued a statement denying that the disabled would be released (though they were, occasionally). Most, however, was simply happy to able to avoid work. The punishment for self-harm was particularly severe: an additional award in the field. This reflected, perhaps, the fact that a disabled worker was a burden to the state and a delay to the production plan. “Self-mutilation was punished so morbid, with sabotage, “wrote Anatolii Zhigulin. A prisoner tells the story of a thief who cut off four fingers of his left hand. Instead of being sent to a field as invalid, however, did sit invalid snow and seeing others work. Forbidden to leave, afraid of being shot for attempted escape, “he soon himself and asked for a shovel, using it as a crutch, with his hand survivor, put it in the frozen ground, weeping and cursing. ” Still, many prisoners felt that the potential benefit they made was worth the risk. Some methods were rude. The criminals were particularly known for his simply cut three fingers intermediates with an ax, so that they could not cut more trees or hold a wheelbarrow in the mines. Others cut off a foot or a hand, or rubbing acid in his eyes. Others still, to leave for work, a wet cloth wrapped around the foot, at night, came back with frostbite of the third degree. The same method could be applied to the fingers. In 1960, Anatoly Marchenko saw a man preaching his testicles in a bank in prison. It was not the first: Valerii Frid describes a man who preached his scrotum in a tree stump. But there were also more subtle methods. A criminal could steal more daring a syringe and inject into your melted soap penis, ejaculation result was like a venereal disease. Another prisoner has found a way to simulate silicosis, a lung disease. First, he limava a small amount of silver powder in a silver ring to it had managed to keep among his personal belongings. He then mixed the dust silver with tobacco and smoked. Although did not feel anything, he went to the hospital coughing the way it turns the victims of silicosis coughing. X-ray that was done in Then a terrible shadow appeared in his lungs – enough to disqualify him for heavy work and to was sent to a camp because of incurable disease. Prisoners also tried to create infections, or chronic diseases. Vadim Aleksandrovich treated a patient who had infected himself with a sewing needle dirty. Gustav Herling saw a prisoner stick your arm in the fire, when thought nobody was watching, he did it once a day, every day, so keep a wound mysteriously persistent. Zhigulin purposely fell ill after drinking cold water and breathing cold air. This caused him a fever high enough so that he could be excused from work: “Oh, that ten happiest days in the hospital!”

Excerpt From: Applebaum, Anne. 2003. Gulag: a history. New York: Doubleday; page 170.

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(*) The Flickr post had 90,995 views, but as the owner of Flickr Yahoo has about two years ago decided to censor all my 700+ posts, mostly well studied tableau pictures with small essays and documented with foot notes and other references, branding them all as “adult content” I have stopped posting at Flickr, the site is still available and I will slowly transfer that huge amount of content to this blog in the coming months. And, yes of course I protested, but I did get only automated answers of Yahoo and as I failed time, money and energy to conduct a court case against Flickr (I am a paying user) I only stopped adding content. Digital censorship is often worse than being condemned by a kangaroo court.

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AMSnote6068.09
An Ex Libris I found on a Facebook page of a new contact I added today… it comes from one of those de-contextualized ‘pinterest’ pages, “artist unknown” the caption says, but that is for the maker of the ex libris… so I did a little research and at least I can notify that Knud Schønberg lived from 1928 to 1999 in Denmark and was a well known and well appreciated theatre critic writing for a.o. Ekstra Bladet.
~
Of course what makes us sad, when seeing this ex-libris, is the fate of books and how they tend to survive their collectors, but then have to face the hordes of book-thrashers that clear the shelves and with it all the love of knowledge that had been stashed on them.
~
Now as a collector myself and a librarian for decades I have witnessed many acts of ‘bibliocide’ but I am well ware of the fact that a big part of my collection does not come directly from a bookstore or publisher but from other’s peoples collections. At home I tend a collection that is in the range of 10.000 volumes, many do come from the golden days of the Waterlooplein fleemarket which I can see from my window, also from hundreds of second hand bookshops I did find on my way while travelling, living abroad and of course in Amsterdam. [1]
~
What will happen with them afterward? Who will want to inherit such a mass? Even more what about the bookcases, the shelves, do they remember what they carried, on which shelves and in what order books were placed; if a book taken from a shelf would come back to the same place, or better said shelf-region, did these regions have a name, or only a hidden system of rubrics in the mind of the owner? Very few personal book collections do have readable classifiers attached to the shelves or cupboards, though in some cases bookshelves also carry objects that may function as content indicator. [2]
~
I am developing for many years now a database system which also takes care of this problem. It has modules that let you register and visualize a collection of books, or parts of it. One does not need to catalogue each title by entering the bibliographical data from a keyboard, with the input of only a few search terms it will find the ready made description on-line, linking a record in the local database to the greatest catalogue of all times, worldcat.org (a catalogue made up of catalogues of thousand libraries (national, academic, special collections from all over the world). If a collection can not be kept physically, then at least virtually (in effect not in fact). [3]
~
Thus a personal information landscape can be mapped and shared when – in the form of virtual bookshelves – it can be put on line…(either with restricted acces or open to the general public). All that passion, care, love for knowledge, as well as divertimento will thus not be thrashed, but can live on in another form.
~
This evening I started with an additional module for my database system that makes it possible to share, re-distribute, books with others, be it family, friends, booksellers or libraries… (best during life time, if fate makes that impossible, after death).
~
My system (in constant development since 1986, as each good bibliographical tool should be) is called Ars Memoria System (AMS) [4] and I named the module {AMSxlib} as all my database submodules have a 4 letter name extension). It will have a list of people who are invited to share, to be part of a ‘sharing ring’ whereby a book which belongs to a collection of specific person (Ex Libris) will be eXchanged from one LIBrary to another. Both physically and virtually.
Those who are made members of such a ring, will have access to a visualised inventory of items (not only books but also documentation of any kind and objects). These items can be tagged to show one’s potential interest…
~
Now I will have to do a lot of thinking how to program/visualize such a sharing which needs to go in steps (select, deselect, approval, disapproval). The question is – as with all change of possessions – how to avoid ‘greed’ and enable a convivial process of re-distribution. [5] As said before it will be not just for books, ‘bound knowledge’, but also for ‘objects, with as an important sub-category ‘personal memorabilia’. [6]
~
This re-distribution process will be a stand-alone or locally shared database system, totally off-line. It works both on a desk/lap-top computer and tablets or smart phone. At a later stage it could also function ‘on-line’ which is more complicated because of all the needed safety options of protected logins and passwords and proper updating.
~
There is a possibility – after a redistribution ring has finalized its work – that remaining parts of a collection will be opened up to wider circles… though with several precautions and restraints as on the ‘wild internet’ good ideas tend to be recuperated, twisted an killed. The wordlwide net is about sharing things in the ‘public domain’, let’s not forget that potential, but the exploitative commercialized capacities of the medium seem to have taken the overhand. So this project forms a tiny counterbalance.
~
My intend is to develop something that denies or at least disables such a negative development. It will be possible. When one thinks about something, someone else has done so before. So if anybody has suggestions, let me know.
SUUM CUIQUE TRIBUERE, ‘to give each his due’.
~
PS The {AMSxlib) module does have an extra-option built in: it can potentially check automatically (using a so called API protocol) which books in a personal collection, that has been entered into the AMS system, can be found in which library (libraries part of the worldcat.org. pool). Of course doing such a task is only meaningful when one limits the search to libraries in a certain country, province/state, town, or one specific library. Thus donations can be proposed or negotiated putting an end to the wasteful practice of packing whole collections in towering heaps of boxes, dragging them out of a house in and out of a van and dumping them on the marshalling yards big libraries and archival institutions tend to have.
~~~ 
AMSnote6121.08

Test version of the AMS system checking a booktitle and seeing which libraries in a specified country (or region of a country) hold a copy of a specific title. With one click this information can be added to a database of a personal book collection. [click image for full size view of the screen-shot]


[1] In 1984 Clara Hilen published “De boekhandels van Amsterdam : deze gids bevat een overzicht van alle algemene, buitenissige, antiquarische, specialistische en tweedehands boekhandels”, which described and classified in 216 pages 362 bookshops, of which 110 antiquarian or second hand (including also all book-stalls on Amsterdam markets). I did made an extensive series of indexes and maps for this book resulting in 40 pages of dense references. As a curator and acquisition librarian for the University Library of Amsterdam, second hand bookshops in the main cities of (Western) Europe would be part of my hunting fields, whereby on the side I would acquire some materials for my own collection. The internet has had a strong impact on this trade with less second hand shops as places to visit, and more on-line re-distribution of personal collections, which are now directlt searchable, which leaves us with the loss of wandering in between real bookshelves and loads of books, one can better search on line for specific books, but the browsing and perusing of a real book in hand has gone…

ClaraHillen_BoekhandelsVanAmsterdam
http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/905419821

[2] Petroski, Henry. 2000. The book on the bookshelf. New York: Vintage Books, a division of Random House. Is one of the few academic monographs on this field of personal library history: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/442888137

[3] – WorldCat is a union catalog that itemizes the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries and territories that participate in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) global cooperative. Some dazzling information about: https://www.oclc.org/en/worldcat.html
To try out the potential check some rare books in your collection and see if they appear in worldcat.org, via this catalogue search link: https://www.worldcat.org

[4] – A visual scroll lecture explaining the stage of the database system in the year 2002 can be found here: http://imaginarymuseum.org/AMS/

– Interview published in the magazine ‘Open! – platform for Art, Culture & the Public Domain’ in 2004 “Unbombing & Ars Memoria; an Interview with Tjebbe van Tijen by Geert Lovink”: https://www.onlineopen.org/unbombing-ars-memoria

– In 2005 a project that uses the AMS system was launched: “ART – ACTION – ACADEMIA – social and technical context of events and collaborations 1966-2006” This is the on-line archive version, as it will get an overhaul in the coming year, as it shows bith the technical limitations of the internet at that time and my more limited programming abilities a decade or so ago: http://imaginarymuseum.org/imp_archive/AAA/AAAintro.html

[5] In 2012 shortly after my good friend Auke Bijlsma died and his direct family had shown very little respect for the paper parts of his inheritance, there was a cellar of one of his friends full of books and documentation thrown in an unordered way in boxes, as he lived in a rented house which had to delivred back empty. We did some hard work sorting out that mess, parts went to the International Institute of Social History (as he had a history as a biologist, but also as urban activist and memeber of the Amsterdam city council). Main parts of his book collection were then laid out on several tables on sunday afternoon and all of his friends we could trace did get an invitation for an afternoon tea to converse about him and re-distrution of his books. Each book did get a memorial sticker with a simple text and his portrait… so when you would take such a book from your own bookshelf you would think about him and possibly about why he had that book and what he would have thought about it.
UitnodigingUitAukesBoekenkast17Juni

[6] – About memorabilia see my essay ‘The arts of oneself’ in “”Memoraphilia: a love of memory and things memorable, a disposition toward remembrance; Studio Parabolica; Tokyo; 2005; text in English and Japanese]
http://imaginarymuseum.org/TjBIB/TobuMemoraphilia.html

– The essay is also availbale in a slightly different from on the web site of the International Institute of Social History: https://socialhistory.org/sites/default/files/docs/arts-of-oneself.pdf
(more…)

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RUTTE’s PORSELEINKAST

PorcelienKabinetRutteIII2017

democratie = 1/2 + 1
& niemand die ooit voor dit kabinet gekozen heeft,
behalve dan de 200 dagen achterkamertjesoverleggers.

Uit de parlementaire geschiedenis hebben we ook geleerd dat één stem raar kan rollen. Zo krijgt het ‘hondje’ (*) een wip met ‘t kontje van een ieder die ervoor kiest om aan de ladenkast-discipline te ontsnappen. Nu zitten alle laden stevig op slot en enkel de fractievoorzitters hebben er een sleutel van.
~
(*) hondje is een verhuizersterm voor een vlakke plank met vier zwenkwielen, wielen dus die alle kanten uit kunnen draaien, afhankelijk van uit welke kant de duwkracht komt.

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