Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Opening Gambit

Overwhelmed with emails:

learning German can be fun:


Monday, 19 January 2015

Another close shave

heavenly smooth
 pro glide
 fusion flexed
ball razor
max/ing closer contact
all directions
and dimensions
 seafresh gel
to lather
sleepy face
to clearly face
the day
that dawns in  steamy
before the mug
 of wake and
smell the instant 
the front page
photo brings from far away
Manila in the Philippines
for there 
the clean shaved man
in sun brite yellow pacamac
 gently showers
 his love 
like rain
 into their hearts
 and minds 
and souls 
to demonstrate 
his point.

- the above is a tribute to Pope Francis (78) on the occasion of his visit to the Philippines in January 2015

Sergej & Lusine Khachatryan with Narek Hakhnazaryan

Sergej (l) and Lusine (r) Khachatryan  

The most passionate and enthralling concert it has been my pleasure to attended for some considerable time. The applause was immense. I even bought a cd in the interval. 

The programme performed at the Vienna Konzerthaus on 15th January 2015 by Sergej Khachatryan (violin), Lusine Khachatryan (piano) and Narek Hakhnazaryan (cello) included the following works: 

Ludwig van Beethoven - Klaviertrio D-Dur op. 70/1 "Geistertrio"
Sergej Rachmaninoff - Klaviertrio Nr. 1 g-moll "Trio elegiaque"
Arno Babadjanian - Klaviertrio 

But the real reason I am mentioning this concert here is because of the on-stage appeal made by Lusine Khachatryan to alert us to the fact that 2015 is an important year for Armenians. 

The month of April will mark the 100th  anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian holocaust (or whatever various politicians want to label it). 

It is an interesting aside to me, as a Welshman,  that the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament recognize the event as a holocaust or genocide, but the Westminster Parliament in London refuses to label it as such. Such is the world of politics. 

For my small part, I was duly moved to find some relevant quotes which I present below: 

"The Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war." Theodore Roosevelt

"In 1915 the Turkish Government began and ruthlessly carried out the infamous general massacre and deportation of the Armenians in Asia Minor."  Winston Churchill

The Saviour of Europe - 'Der Standard' front page

"There is no reasonable doubt that this crime was planned and executed for political reasons."  Winston Churchill

"When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race, they understood this well, and in their conversations with me they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact."  Henry Morgenthau 

"Undoubtedly religious fanaticism was an impelling motive with the Turkish and Kurdish rabble who slew the Armenians as a service to Allah, but the men who really conceived the crime had no such motive. Practically all of them were atheists, with no more respect for Mohammedanism than for Christianity, and with them the one motive was cold-blooded, calculating state policy."  Henry Morgenthau 

"In the province of Armenia, Abdul Hamid and the Young Turks had deliberately set themselves to the simplification of the Armenian difficulty by exterminating and deporting the whole race, whom they regarded as infidels and traitors."  David Lloyd George 

"After all, who speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"  Adolf Hitler 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

all alone on a concrete memorial

a l l  a l o n e is a concrete poem in the form of an X by Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925 - 2006).

The Memorial for the Victims of Nazi Military Justice  by Olaf Nicolai was erected in Vienna in 2014. 

The poem must be viewed by climbing onto the sculpture. A notice warns visitors that there are no handrails and that lying snow will not be cleared away. 

Religion and Open Shape

Having some time to kill, as the once harmless saying goes, I wandered about. My stroll took me through the MQ complex in the city. 

Suddenly my gaze fell upon a work of art displayed in the Art Box in the public space; a thought provoking installation by Austrian-born artist Uli Aigner, called Open Shape (curator Elisabeth Zeigt). 

An information leaflet was available. I took one, and perusing it I found an apposite quote from the year 2005 by Bruno Latour:  

It is an entirely different thing, for instance, whether one regards religion as something slowly drifting away into a faraway fairytale land or whether one sees it exploding in front of one's own eyes as something that makes people die in the present - and (will do so) in the future. It is a vast difference whether nature is a giant reservoir of power with an unlimited capacity for storing refuse, or whether it suddenly turns into something that interrupts any kind of progress - something that cannot be appealed to or got rid of.