Fascist salute by ‘Pius X’ priest


This is a video from Italy about Giulio Tam at the fascist demonstration in Bergamo.

Usually, as a rule, I do not quote from, or link to, extreme Right sites.

Today, I will make one exception to that rule.

This is from Angelus Online, a site on the extreme Right fringes of Roman Catholicism; excommunicated by the Vatican, until very recently:

Fr. Tam is presently heading up the Society of St. Pius X in Mexico.

From the Austrian Times today:

A right wing Italian priest who is a member of Richard Williamson’s Pius [X] fraternity caught giving the Hitler salute at a neo-fascist rally claimed he was just trying to bless his flock.

Catholic priest Giulio Tam, well known for his extremist right views, raised his right arm when speaking at a rally of the neo-fascist Forza Nuova party in Bergamo, northern Italy.

The ultra-conservative Pius fraternity hit the headlines recently as British Catholic bishop and Holocaust denier Richard Williamson is a member.

After a picture revealed Tam raised his right hand, he argued: “The young people of the Forza Nuova wanted me to bless them. I’ll always be on their side.”

Tam regards Italian dictator Benito Mussolini as a martyr and calls for blessing the fascist leader. In the past, Tam held masses at Mussolini’s grave.

See also here.

British BNP nazis: here.

Picasso exhibition in London


This video is about Pablo Picasso‘s works.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Picasso: Challenging the Past

Monday 09 March 2009

Exhibition: CHRISTINE LINDEY witnesses modernism in the making with a return to the very roots.

SO prolific an artist was Pablo Picasso that it makes sense to focus on a single aspect of his output. This exhibition explores how he pitted himself against the past.

This may seem odd since his works have epitomised modernism. When he and Georges Braque invented Cubism a century ago they found the visual language with which to speak of their own day in its own unique way.

Picasso later combined this with expressionist distortion and surrealist surprise to convey the preoccupations and ethos of the first half of the 20th century.

Yet it was the previous century that had shaped him. Born in 1881, Picasso was already 19 when he first visited Paris in 1900.

He was as steeped in the art of the past as were most artists who were educated around that time.

Throughout his life, his conversation was peppered with references to past artists including the Greco-Romans, Poussin, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Goya, Manet, Ingres and Cezanne.

Picasso referred to past art in his subject matter, composition and style, sometimes as subversive taunts to the received orthodoxies which they had come to represent, sometimes as homage and sometimes as a complex and contradictory mix of the two.

For example, Guernica borrows from Poussin‘s, David‘s and Goya‘s moving indictments of the horrors of war while using modernist shallow space and distortions of form and scale to convey a 20th century sense of urgency and heightened emotional impact.

In its original state at the Grand Palais in Paris, the exhibition had the actual works referred to by Picasso hanging alongside his own in a spectacular and enlightening feat of curating.

I looked forward to seeing the exhibition again when it travelled to London. But we only get Picasso’s paintings in the National Gallery, so the exhibition unfortunately misses its own objective.

The display and accompanying booklet do encourage us to go on to look at works by artists who influenced Picasso in the National Gallery’s permanent collection.

But this excludes African and Oceanic art, which were crucial influences. Moreover, it is a lame substitute for truly engaging in a visual dialogue between the old and new.

For example, observing Picasso’s nudes alongside idealised ones which were commissioned by rich men from Titian or Ingres allows one to understand more fully Picasso’s angry cries for truth against the contradictory forces of male desire.

The savage distortions of his late, tormented nudes convey raw physicality while the more lyrical nudes speak of wistful tenderness. None, however, masquerade as mythical goddesses.

Yet the smaller scale and focus of the London exhibition has the unintended consequence of offering us a pleasurably digestible introduction to Picasso’s painting.

Each room includes works spanning his entire career which are organised according to some of his major subjects including self portraits, still lifes, nudes and variations on iconic works from the past.

In this way, the exhibition manages to provide a focused overview of the sheer range of Picasso’s stylistic inventiveness and restless refusal to be straight-jacketed into a single way of seeing.

Subtlety may not have been Picasso’s strongest point, but he was a profoundly humane artist.

He concentrated on the fundamental themes of birth, sex, death, war and peace, seizing them by the jugular and conveying them with the realist’s unblinking refusal to ignore harshness and hardship.

Surprisingly, some of the most powerful works at the exhibition are the still lifes.

Undistracted by the emotiveness of the human form, the cubist figures allow for concentrated experimentation with form, line and space.

The stylistically simpler wartime images, in which human or animal skulls placed next to frugal domestic objects become metaphors for the horrors and privations of nazi occupation, are painful to look at, so powerfully do they convey their meanings.

But Picasso’s political commitment to the Spanish republic and to communism are ignored. So are his sculptures which, together with his prints, are arguably his strongest works, although a few of the latter are displayed free of charge in a separate room where you can peruse them next to two Rembrandt prints which inspired them.

If you can afford to, then go. It is a golden opportunity to study paintings by one of the giants of Modernism.

Exhibition runs until June 7. Price £12 concession/senior £11, Tuesday afternoons £6, unemployed/students £6, under-12s free.

New Antarctic Fish Species Discovered


Gosztonyia antarctica, the newly discovered fish

From LiveScience:

A Spanish researcher has discovered a newfound species of fish in an area of the Antarctic Ocean that has not been studied since 1904.

The fish, given the name Gosztonyia antarctica, was found at a depth of 2,000 feet (615 meters) in the Bellingshausen Sea, an area between two islands along the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The area has been little explored by scientists because it is relatively inaccessible and the ocean floor beneath it has not been mapped, said the researcher who made the discovery, Jesús Matallanas of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Since the expedition of the boat Bélgica, which obtained two unique specimens of fish in 1904, no one has fished in the sea.

Matallanas collected four specimens of the newfound species — measuring between 10 to 12 inches (25.4 to 30 centimeters) — during Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) campaigns in the southern hemisphere summers of 2003 and 2006. His findings were detailed in the January issue of the journal Polar Biology.

The fish is from the family Zoarcidae, a dominant group of fish on continental slopes that has some 240 species.

The discovery yielded some insight into the makeup of the fauna of the Bellingshausen Sea.

“One of the most significant results is that the ichthyofauna of the Bellingshausen Sea, contrary to what was previously believed, is more closely related to that of the Eastern Antarctic than the Western,” Matallanas said.

See also here. And here.

Israeli Leftist Dov Khenin interviewed


This video from Israel says about itself:

MK Dov KHENIN (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality / Israeli Communist Party) speaks on the event of the 90th anniversary of the October revolution. History of the revolution and current affairs in Israel.

From Socialist Unity blog in Britain:

Ending the vicious circle of hate and blood: an interview with Israeli Knesset member Dov Khenin

Dov Khenin is a member of the Israeli parliament (the Knesset) representing Hadash, the alliance which is led by the Communist Party of Israel. In November 2008, Khenin stood as mayoral candidate for Israel’s biggest city Tel Aviv, where he received over 34% of the votes. In part one of this interview, Dov Khenin talks to the editors of 21st Century Socialism about the Middle East conflict and prospects for a renewal of the left in Israel.

Kidepo National Park in Uganda


This video is about Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda.

By Geoffrey Bakulu in East African Business Week (Kampala, Uganda):

East Africa: Kidepo National Park Speaks to the Soul

The feel of Kidepo stems from the wide variety of things to do and see. For those interested in wild game, Kidepo Valley National Park provides a wealth of wildlife including 86 species of mammals of which 28 are not found in any other Ugandan park. Some of the wild game includes the dik-dik, cheetah, lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, zebra, eland, Bright’s gazelle and greater kudu.

Game drive loops through Narus Valley and around Kanangarok hot springs across Kidepo River will most likely enable you get the opportunity of seeing the eland, zebra and giraffe feeding together.

For the ornithologist, over 462 bird species have been recorded among which are the ostrich, kori bustard and the giant ground hornbill.

Addo Park in South Africa: here.

August 2010: In a historic move, the boundary fence between two sections of Addo Elephant National Park was taken down, providing new habitat for many of the park’s wildlife species: here.

Hunting in Uganda: here.

Tragelaphus nakuae: evolutionary change, biochronology, and turnover in the African Plio-Pleistocene: here.

Brazilian church excommunicates mother and doctors, not rapist


This video is from The Young Turks in the USA.

From British daily The Independent:

Brazil rocked by abortion for 9-year-old rape victim

Church excommunicates mother and doctors – but not accused rapist

By Guy Adams in Los Angeles

Monday, 9 March 2009

Declaring that “life must always be protected”, a senior Vatican cleric has defended the Catholic Church’s decision to excommunicate the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old rape victim who had a life-saving abortion in Brazil.

See also here.

German NPD neo-nazis


From British daily The Independent:

Defectors expose plans of Germany’s ‘real’ Nazis

Inside report reveals the violence and Hitler worship of the National Democrats, an overtly racist party on the brink of electoral success

By Tony Paterson in Berlin

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Germany’s main neo-Nazi party pretends to be democratic. But its members hoard weapons, plan to rebuild Hitler’s Reich and are using the economic crisis to try to make sweeping gains in this year’s elections, a new and disturbing study of the extreme right has revealed.

To write their exposé on the increasingly influential neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), the authors spent two years infiltrating Germany’s far right. They interviewed party leaders and defectors who have since quit the organisation in disgust. “The NPD is a dangerous organisation,” warned Olaf Sundermeyer, one of the two journalists who wrote In the NPD, published in Germany last week. “It pretends to be democratic, but make no mistake about it: these people are genuine Nazis.” …

Some of the most disturbing revelations about the NPD, which began life in the mid-1960s, are provided by former members who were shocked by the violence of its members and their hero-worship of Adolf Hitler. Uwe Luthardt, a taxi driver, was in the NPD leadership for three years, but resigned after watching his party colleagues severely beat a punk rocker who had shouted “Goodnight white pride” at the group. “It was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Mr Luthardt said.

He revealed that the party’s regional headquarters in Jena is deliberately called the “Brown House” after Hitler’s Munich HQ. The cellars of the building contain a weapons cache, and are adorned with photographs of SS men. Party members sing the outlawed Nazi “Horst Wessel” anthem and a song called “We’re Going to Build an Underground Train Line from Jerusalem to Auschwitz”.

Mr Luthardt described how the party is funded by donations from expatriate Nazis and their families who fled to South America after the Second World War. Cash also comes from concerts staged by far-right skinhead rock bands. “The objective is to bring back the Third Reich,” he said.

See also here.

HUNGARIAN police detained top neonazis on Sunday after several thousand extremists held anti-government protests in Budapest on the anniversary of the unsuccessful 1848 revolution against Habsburg imperial rule: here.