Individual terrorism and The Great Terror (III)

Individual terrorism and The Great Terror (III)

 

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell
(Edward Abbey)

‘He was a truly remarkable man: he worked 18 hours a day’ and ‘Nothing and no-one could stop him: he was successful in every undertaking’ are two of the televised encomiums high figures of Romanian media, enterprises and culture have addressed to a business man. Part of Forbes’ top 500 billionaires, he had just died in a speed-caused boat crash. An actor from the old generation had tried to underline the innate generosity of the deceased ‘king of sausages’: ‘He always surprised me by sending me baskets after baskets of charcuterie from his factory’. Another actor presented the entrepreneur’s attendance at his company’s shows as a sign of character – which prompts me to suspect that the aforementioned baskets might have had a certain part to play in his high esteem.

The spicy-insignificant details of the departed that were now making headlines outlined an absolutely common personality: a ‘goodfella’-type of guy, an ‘adrenaline-lover’ of numerous marriages and unacknowledged children. By all of today’s standards – superseding values by prices – he was ‘a successful person’. I have met such compulsive businessmen and, as much as I try to see           anything remarkable in them in a positive sense, I fail to do so. I also fail to see in them the true generosity that – being good sense and measure – is rare and priceless, while acts of self-aggrandizing mercy are frequent and dreadfully cheap.

An issue of concern is the public opinion that a businessman is exceptionally praiseworthy if ‘nothing and no-one can stop him’, if ‘he succeeds in whatever he desires’. In a psychiatric office, such behaviour would lead the physician to suspect a serious diagnosis, prompting isolation and urgent medication. However, in the tumult of triumphant capitalism, where new toxins such as ‘employer’, ‘sanctity of property’, ‘competition’, ‘profit’ and ‘investment’ are presented as panaceas, those intoxicated with them are perceived not as mentally ill, but as paragons of health, success and collective ideals. Nevertheless, their lifestyle withers their bodies or kills them swiftly, as a conclusive proof that the disease in their minds, dependent on profit, image and adrenaline, is merciless. Unfortunately, the reason for writing these lines is the fact that such diseases affect more than those they infect. In a cruel, insane and arbitrary experiment, such illnesses leave an indelible mark upon countries and all they comprise: ‘living beings, soulless things, plains, mountains and waters’ – as the writer Ionel Pop aimed to summarize the Earth.

Capitalizing on social indifference and ignorance, politicians and moguls invest, disfiguring cities, concreting arable land and asphalting mountain wilderness. More recently, they place private hydro facilities on mountain rivers once deemed ‘reserved trout breeding grounds of republican interest’. Through their intercession, foreign investors (often chased from other parts of the world, such as timber behemoths Kronospan and Schweighoffer) succeed in ‘exploiting local opportunities’: gold deposits, the possibility of building overpriced expressways etc.

TERORISMUL3 FOTO1
photo: Nicolae Dărămuș

‘Nothing in this Charter shall be interpreted as implying any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognized in this Charter’, is stated in the ignored article 54 (‘Prohibition of the abuse of rights’) of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Consequently, an action aimed at the private interest of someone is not to be allowed to impair on the patrimony, on the interest of the community, or even of someone living moderately.

Not far ago, I had begun an ascent in the Carpathians: a majestic and clean peak, soaring at some two thousand meters, covered in blueberry groves and rhododendrons. A place where I had seen deer roam on more than one occasion. However, as the hour was late, I was forced to turn around. Nonetheless, a last glance through my binoculars towards the summit revealed the jeep of an ‘adrenalienated’ just arriving there. I see Providence at work here: had I been at the top at the moment the driver arrived – trampling under wheels both groves and silence – I would have firmly approached him, explaining the harmfulness of his activity and – had any hysterical protest ensued – I would have certainly assumed the risks of a very harsh lesson indeed, all legal consequences included.

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photo: Nicolae Dărămuș

Jurnalul Naţional, October 6, 2011

 

Individual Terrorism and the Great Terror (II)

Individual Terrorism and the Great Terror (II)

To arms, citizens!

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
(Edward Abbey)

‘Tell me, sir, what would you do were someone to enter your yard and…’ began the question of the reporter, halted by an abrupt, saliva-laden answer: ‘I’d whack him on the head!’

TERORISMUL IND2FOTO1
photo: Nicolae Dărămuș

The ‘sir’ was one of those poor peasants, the prematurely aged barfly, with scant teeth and a meagre body: the always-ready-for-a-quarrel brawler, the type that usually starts the fight and loses it as well. The televised dialogue occurred on the street of a Romanian village around 2006, a few days after then-Minister of Agriculture, Gheorghe Flutur, had publicly pleaded for the enclosure and the protection ‘by whichever means necessary’ of agricultural and forestial properties. Undoubtedly, the voice of the (drinking) people had confirmed Flutur’s ‘foresight’: it did not matter whether the stranger in the yard would have asked for a glass of water, would have been running from an assailant or from a pack of dogs.  Nor did the hypothetical legal mix-up matter, if the innocent refugee, having more sleight of hand, decided to strike back in self-defence when attacked by the owner.

In July 2011, a Romanian newspaper published an interview with the Minister of Agriculture, in which – amongst haphazard considerations on God, poverty and the benefits of GMOs – he advocated the right for peasants to protect their property by shooting thieves, following the American fashion. Since the inner vacuity of many politicians is easily disclosed by their glances, their strut, their wriggling lips and their way of wearing clothes, I did not have high expectations from the two aforementioned ministers, having noticed how peasant shoes too often appeared from under their Armani trousers. Such people, although of rural provenance, seem to have forgotten the specific temperance of the countryside. Shocked by their own political ascensions, they have embraced the capitalist values en masse, oblivious to the irreparable capitalist replacement of value with price; a price which is never too big for a newly-lined pocket, not even when life is at stake.

Time and time again, the primitive exponents of neo-capitalism have extolled the ‘sacred’ private property. Hastily and ignorantly, they have succumbed to an anachronistic concept, cause of the gigantic capitalist crisis that has been panting from 1929 onwards, trying to halt its fatal symptoms either by occupation of resourceful territories, by export of democracy through ‘peacemaking’ warfare or by integration of ‘useful’ countries into ‘panacean’ state unions.

Not missing a chance to grandiosely cross themselves when filmed in churches, peasant-shoe-neoliberals advocate restitutio in integrum and the sacredness of private property only with their own great properties in mind. Concerned with their amassed fortunes, usually torn from national patrimonies (forests, lakes, hunting grounds, oil and mineral resources), such neoliberals dread thieves – like all thieves do – clutching onto their riches just as an anguished, wide-eyed spider would possessively spread his legs over his treasure. Anxious to be able to legally kill any starving lad depriving them of a couple of melons off their grand sacred property, the newly-rich give populist speeches about the peasant’s right to shoot the impoverished neighbour, just as they did when ‘the rights of the people’ were being put forward as veneer for the interest foreign lobby and former great landowners had in large properties being restituted. Thus, while common people age and die during trials for minute restitutions, the magnates thrive. It is through such a mechanism that 100 000 hectares of farmable land in Transylvania are now owned by the descendants of baron Bánffy, that the Retezat Mountains are possessed by the descendants of count Kendeffy, that tens of thousands of forest hectares are now prince Sturdza’s and the examples can go on, as though the Romanians born meanwhile from families devoid of large properties must always till on the former domains, without a right to patrimony and country. Patriots become estranged on home turf, terrorized by laws neoliberals have passed knowing that by giving away ‘the fat of the land’, something would stick under their dirty nails as well.

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ACT KENDEFFY 2

Unlike private property on arable land – which is barren, save for human action – crony possession of natural patrimony – i.e. the great vital ecosystems that are the guarantee of life – represents the darkest side of the Great Globalized Terror, nocuous to whichever country it occurs in and to Earth. Therefore, it is at this time of humanity that planetary patriotism becomes a necessity, since the Terror has started to act upon Life itself. And if a stolen melon gives its owner the right to kill the hungry thief, then it may happen that the destruction of national and terrestrial property – a chopped forest, a mountain river plagued by private hydro facilities – will signify a call to arms for true patriots fighting of greed. Day after day, more and more citizens of the Earth find themselves deprived of the selfless right to find and stroll through a familiar landscape, to feel the seething caress of a trout-filled river or to resonate, in frosty dawns, with the callings of deer nuptials.  This world’s ‘corolla of wonders’ is in dire need of stern defenders.

TERORISMUL IND.2 FOTO2
photo: Nicolae Dărămuș

Jurnalul Naţional,  August 10, 2011

The Individual Terrorism and the Great Terror (I)

The Individual Terrorism and the Great Terror (I)

Breivik – murderous and unbalanced. But not insane.

The Norwegian Breivik is a murderer and, according to his country’s laws, he will pay. Undoubtedly, he will pay too little for the harm done to all those unconscious people, since claiming a life – any form of life! – is an unforgivable sin.

Nonetheless, I have serious doubts concerning his alleged insanity, with which all sorts of free individuals, ranging from political analysts to journalists and psychologists, readily and frivolously diagnose him. Conversely, I have no doubts regarding the risk of filing him under ‘insane’ solely on the account of his murders, since ignoring (and thus perpetuating) the reasons that have prompted his actions will lead to another individual terrorist rising to kill. Reprehending murder does not suffice, just as reprehending cancer does not cure; only a diagnosis followed by the removal of causes can help prevent any disease, be it in the human body or in society. The recurrence of isolated terrorists stands as proof, yet the preponderant frivolity in public opinion – always craving for ‘spicy’ criminal details – seems to show that humanity has not had its quantum of murders yet.

Choosing to disregard this unassailable reality will mean a toll of countless lives. Individual terrorism represents the last resort of the unheard people, often following a moral code but feeling powerless who – whether we like it or not – do exist. It is a weapon of the powerless, but not of the weak or insane. As for the aforementioned causes, they are embedded within the commonplace white-collar ‘legal terrorism of power’ which, annihilating common sense and the true precepts of faith – be it Christian, Islamic or Buddhist – condemns us all to live under the Great Terror. Terrorizing through its familiarity, we learn to accept our own destruction – ‘democratic’ petrol wars with thousands of ‘collateral victims’, deforestation, black tides, toxic food in supermarkets, vulgar gay parades and profitable debauchery enterprises, idiotic commercials and hyper-consumerism – with the resignation of any living organism gradually succumbing and getting accustomed to its own cancer. The Great Globalized Terror has purged democracy of its fundamental virtues, rendering it a mere tool serving wealth itself and those rapacious few presented as the idols and masters of the hungry saddened crowds soon to be dead in an agonizing tomb as big as a planet.

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photo: Nicolae Dărămuș

Granted, Breivik is an unbalanced person, but he is not insane, as the media irresponsibly claims. The difference residing, amongst many other things, in the way in which he has assumed full responsibility for the murders – which he described as ‘horrible, yet necessary’ – and has not attempted to avoid his punishment, not even by killing himself.

Accustomed to their ordinary mad men – murderers of old ladies, child rapists, debt-laden suicides, avaricious politicians, all common faces of the Great Terror – the blabbermouths on TV and their zealous followers believe that being ‘balanced’ today is a virtue. Having a ‘hard stomach’ – the asset of shameless and remorseless party leaders – is presented as normality by the preachers of legalized unconsciousness. Breivik’s imbalance represents a soft-stomached guy’s refusal of unconsciousness. The grounds for his state are also the grounds for the daily imbalance of many of us: a schizoid breach between what we speak at home and what we speak in public. We are appalled by gay parades – with their explicitly vulgar and aggressive street display – yet we mutter that they are just ‘different’ people, while, at the same, time we are happy when a few tidy Christian youths protest against them. We simmer with revolt when behemoths like Egger-Schweighoffer and Kronospan, led by autochthonous cat’s paws, chop off our forests, yet we confine ourselves to silence, since ‘we are to small’, ‘it is futile’, ‘the country is lost’, ‘the world is lost’ etc. In the days following the Oslo and Utoeya events, the internet saw a commercial for a brand of sweets, targeting children: two people engaged in sex until the moment when a burst of colored candy springs from the man’s penis towards the avid mouth of the woman. Afterwards, the name of the producing company appears on screen. I confess: it would not have bothered me if its owner had been amongst the victims on Utoeya. Indeed, the world seems to have gone astray. Is Anders Behring Breivik the only one to have led it that way?

The Great Globalized Terror imposes everything on us: what to say, what to eat, how much to work, how and why we should be happy. It enforces lies, silence and, cynically, it provides a refuge: treating our imbalances with alcohol, cannabis, anxiolytics, sleeping pills, foods rich in E numbers and especially with stultifying entertainment. The unbalanced Breivik refused such a haven. Only that – being human and being much too alone – he erred: to save ‘the Ten Commandments’ he direly breached one of them, by killing the young future politicians which he believed would serve promote the Great Terror in Norway.

Being Christian and anti-Islamic is tantamount to being Islamic and anti-Christian. Unbalanced by the Great Globalized Terror, people still blame each other, although enlightenment is not far away. If however, by having its causes ignored, individual terrorism strikes in a village in the Andes, Siberia or Lapland, it will mean that the Great Terror has irreparably won.

TERORISMUL INDIVIDUAL 1,1
photo: Nicolae Dărămuș

Jurnalul Naţional,  July 28, 2011

The damsel and the dragon

The damsel and the dragon

As they fly, only briefly resting on leaves or fragile vegetal stalks, the dragonflies’ restlessness is almost carried over to the observer. Different from the serenity of butterflies and bees, and different to the caution felt next to other beings with chitin bodies and foamy wings.

38. DOMNISOARA SI.1
photo: Anca Dărămuș

Though a familiar presence, every time my camera lens reveals the intimacy of their design, the magic works anew, as if I’d just discovered these beings.

38. DOMNISOARA SI.2
photo: Anca Dărămuș

Seen only in short reposes, the architecture of their bodies is a masterful proof of immateriality. Pure energy, the dragonfly – outlines from the wand of the Great Conductor, one of many moments of inspiration.

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photo: Nicolae Dărămuș

38. DOMNISOARA SI.4
photo: Anca Dărămuș

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photo: Anca Dărămuș

Perhaps that is why entomologists resisted the temptation of a dull, what-you-see-is-what-you-get classification, otherwise a normal practice for reputable men of science. On the contrary, the two main species, the dragonflies and the damselflies were christened based on what is felt, on that restless magnetism I mentioned. The damsels, whose wings align with their thread-like bodies as they rest, seem to lighten everything they touch, enlivening the discretion of those truly daring. The “dragons”, whose wings lay horizontally upon their somewhat more real bodies, seem to involuntarily stab the air, masters of their fleeting resting ground.

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photo: Anca Dărămuș

Yes, there are researchers who believe.
They “do not crush the world’s corolla of wonders and do not kill,
with their mind,
the mysteries they meet
in flowers, eyes and lips…”

April 12, 2016

 

The lively and the alive

The lively and the alive

With their snapping selfies, genuine or fake holiday ease, chatter-filled cigarettes and sodas, the other passengers had driven me to the stern of the ferry. The roar of the sea under the muffled thrashing of engines elicited in me an admiring ‘technical thrill’, perpetuated by the skillful assembly of these massive, yet graceful metallic structures. A mournful shriek drew my gaze.

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photo: Nicolae Dărămuș

I’d heard it before. Others followed and, as if the sky had given birth, hundreds of seagull wings blazed the patch of sky above the eddies.

CEI VII SI CEI.1
photo: Nicolae Dărămuș

The dogged noise of machinery faded suddenly, and their flight settled like a caress on the foamy wound. Finally, as the sky reclaimed his children, one by one, I felt the toil of the propellers under my feet again, and the lively voices on the deck grew stronger. Life had just paid us a visit.

April 11, 2016

The sharing of joy

The sharing of joy

It had been a frosty night, and at dawn I was waiting for the fox. In other days, it was at this smoky hour that I’d seen her from afar, making her way towards the forest. Now, finally, I was in her path, crouching amid leafless shrubs. Bearing the promise of warmth, the light grew lazily over the still valley, in whose depths I could decipher a meandering creek. The whispers of the ripples passed unevenly through the rare ice holes strewn softly into the weight of the snow. Sign of an inclement night, strings of tiny footprints vanished into the woods, crisscrossing the stream. The skyline, blood-red for too long, was turning to yellow. At least the Sun will reward my patience; to feel the gentle caress of sunrise on your face is pure bliss. Almost makes you close your eyes. But the shrubs quivered under a flutter of wings. I turned and discovered my companion: a bullfinch. A rosy ball of down, swollen in the cold.

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photo: Nicolae Dărămuș

I caught myself smiling as the first ray touched the breast of this morose little fellow. The thicket around us now alight, I’d forgotten about the frost. The sharing of joy is no buzzword – the light was there for us all.

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photo: Nicolae Dărămuș

April 7, 2016