Sectarian attempted murder of Irish folk musicians


This 11 June 2020 video about Ireland is called The Wolfe Tones’ rebel song Come Out Ye Black And Tans hits number one on UK iTunes charts.

This 2017 folk music video is called The Wolfe Tones – Come Out Ye Black And Tans.

This blog has noted before that German secret police targets punk rock music. And that British police targets punk rock music. And that British police bans rock band Babyshambles because some parts of their songs are slow and others are fast. And that British police ban Jamaican music.

However, ‘targeting’ sometimes goes further than spying or banning. Sometimes, it is targeting for murder.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Irish rebel musicians Wolfe Tones targeted by loyalist paramilitaries linked to British intelligence

IRISH rebel musicians the Wolfe Tones have said that they escaped a planned attack by a notorious loyalist paramilitary group backed by British intelligence services in the 1970s.

Singer Brian Warfield explained that before playing a gig in 1975 the band were told their lives were at risk from the Glenanne Gang — a group of police officers, serving British soldiers and members of the Ulster Volunteer Force responsible for about 120 deaths between 1972 and 1980.

The concert was at a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club outside Kileel in County Down. The band were told by the GAA committee not to go for a pre-concert drink in the pub as “the RUC and the UDR were drinking in the front bar.”

“After the gig I came out and the organisers said to me: ‘You can’t go home [by] the main road,’ Mr Warfield said on the Blindboy podcast.

“I said: ‘Why is that?’ and he said: ‘Because there is a blockade waiting for you down there’.”

The concert organisers instead took the band over the mountains of Mourne, whence they made their way back to Dublin.

“The day we got back to Dublin the [police’s] special branch said that the Wolfe Tones were not to go north again, that our lives were in danger.

“I believe that the Glenanne Gang were drinking in that front bar … getting locked out of their mind, ready to pick up the Wolfe Tones on the way home.”

In July 1975 members of the Miami Showband — one of Ireland’s biggest bands — were gunned down after a bomb attack at a bogus roadblock went wrong.

Lead singer Fran O’Toole, guitarist Tony Geraghty and trumpeter Brian McCoy were killed, along with two members of the Glenanne Gang: Harris Boyle and Wesley Somerville, who died when their bomb exploded prematurely.

Brazilian Bolsonaro minister quotes Goebbels


This 17 January 2020 video says about itself:

Brazil‘s culture secretary fired after ‘coincidentally’ quoting Goebbels

Brazil’s Secretary of Culture Roberto Alvim was fired Friday, after being accused of paraphrasing Nazi Germany’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, in a speech on the government’s vision of the Brazilian arts.

From the BBC today:

Brazil’s culture minister has been sacked after using parts of a speech by Nazi Germany’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels in a video, sparking outrage.

In the clip posted on the ministry’s Twitter page, Roberto Alvim detailed an award for “heroic” and “national” art.

Lohengrin by Wagner, Hitler’s favourite composer, played in the background. …

In the six-minute video detailing the National Arts Awards, Mr Alvim said: “The Brazilian art of the next decade will be heroic and will be national, will be endowed with great capacity for emotional involvement… deeply linked to the urgent aspirations of our people, or else it will be nothing.”

Parts of it were identical to a speech quoted in the book Joseph Goebbels: A Biography, by German historian Peter Longerich, who has written several works on the Holocaust.

“The German art of the next decade will be heroic, it will be steely-romantic, it will be factual and completely free of sentimentality, it will be national with great pathos and binding, or it will be nothing.”

Goebbels led the Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda, designed to brainwash people into obeying the Nazis and idolising leader Adolf Hitler. Its methods included censorship of the press and control of radio broadcasts, as well as control of culture and arts. …

Among those who called for him to be fired was the Speaker of the lower house of Brazil’s Congress, Rodrigo Maia, who said Mr Alvim had “gone beyond all limits” with an “inacceptable” video.

The Brazilian Israelite Confederation said: “To emulate [Goebbels’] view… is a frightening sign of his vision of culture, which must be combated and contained.”

It called for Mr Alvim’s immediate removal, adding: “Brazil, which sent brave soldiers to combat Nazism on European soil, doesn’t deserve it.”

[President] Bolsonaro, a former army captain with a conservative social agenda, has frequently accused Brazil’s artists and cultural productions including schoolbooks and movies of “left-wing bias”.

Brazil’s special secretary of culture, Roberto Alvim, was removed from his post on January 17 amid public furor over a video he posted the previous day on his official Twitter account in which he delivered a fascistic speech on art that directly plagiarized the words of Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of Hitler’s Third Reich: here.

Brazilian Prosecutors Charge Glenn Greenwald With Cybercrimes. Brazilian authorities have charged journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes, The New York Times reported, an alarming sign that Brazil’s increasingly authoritarian government is punishing a journalist for revealing explosive information.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro government charges journalist Glenn Greenwald with “cybercrimes”: here.

Ancient pre-Inca Pachacamac sculpture was coloured


This 2011 video is about the Pachacamac Idol.

From PLOS:

Pachacamac Idol of ancient Peru was symbolically painted

Chemical analysis of the statue reveals its age and original polychromatic design

January 15, 2020

The Pachacamac Idol of ancient Peru was a multicolored and emblematic sacred icon worshipped for almost 700 hundred years before Spanish conquest, according to a study published January 15, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Marcela Sepúlveda of the University of Tarapacá, Chile and colleagues.

The Pachacamac Idol is a symbolically carved wooden statue known from the Pachacamac archaeological complex, the principal coastal Inca sanctuary 31 km south of Lima, Peru during the 15th-16th centuries. The idol was reportedly damaged in 1533 during Spanish conquest of the region, and details of its originality and antiquity have been unclear. Also unexplored has been the question of whether the idol was symbolically colored, a common practice in Old World Antiquity.

In this study, Sepúlveda and colleagues obtained a wood sample from the Pachacamac Idol for chemical analysis. Through carbon-dating, they were able to determine that the wood was cut and likely carved approximately 760-876 AD, during the Middle Horizon, suggesting the statue was worshipped for almost 700 years before Spanish conquest. Their analysis also identified chemical traces of three pigments that would have conferred red, yellow, and white coloration to the idol.

This nondestructive analysis not only confirms that the idol was painted, but also that it was polychromatic, displaying at least three colors and perhaps others not detected in this study. The fact that the red pigment used was cinnabar, a material not found in the local region, demonstrates economic and symbolic implications for the coloration of the statue. The authors point out that coloration is a rarely discussed factor in the symbolic, economic, and experiential importance of religious symbols of the pre-Columbian periods, and that more studies on the subject could illuminate unknown details of cultural practices of the Andean past in South America.

The authors add: “Here, polychromy of the so-called Pachacamac Idol is demonstrated, including the presence of cinnabar.”

Young Rembrandt exhibition in his birthplace


This 1 November 2019 Dutch video is about the exhibition Young Rembrandt, rising star in the Lakenhal museum in Leiden, the Netherlands: the city where Rembrandt was born.

This video is the sequel.

There are about 40 paintings, 70 etches and 10 drawings in the exhibition.

Besides work by Rembrandt, there is also work by his teachers Lastman and Van Swanenburg. And by his colleague Jan Lievens, and by Rembrandt pupils.

It is the first-ever exhibition about Rembrandt’s time from 1624, when he made his first painting; till 1634, when he married Saskia van Uylenburgh and had definitely left Leiden for Amsterdam.

I visited this exhibition on 11 January 2019.

On my way to the museum, I saw four great cormorants sitting on a sail of the reconstructed windmill of Rembrandt’s father. A fifth cormorant flew towards them, landing on the same sail.

In the Lakenhal now, two paintings depicting ancient Greek mythology, as told by Roman poet Ovid, hang side by side.

Rembrandt, The abduction of Proserpina

The oldest of the two was The abduction of Proserpina, from 1630-1631. The picture depicts Pluto, the god of the underworld, abducting Proserpina (Persephone in Greek), daughter of Ceres (Demeter in Greek), the goddess of agriculture.

Pieter Lastman, who taught the young Rembrandt, had inspired his pupil to make paintings about biblical history, antique history and mythology. Yet, if we compare what Rembrandt painted about and what his older contemporary and inspiration Rubens painted about, then we see a striking difference. 75% of Rubens’ work had religious or antique historical and mythological subjects. With Rembrandt, only 25% of his work fitted into these categories. While 70% of Rembrandt’s work were portraits, including self-portraits. Only 15% of Rubens’ work were portraits; 0% self-portraits.

So, Rembrandt painted far less historical and mythological paintings than Rubens. Five of his works have themes from Ovid; less than many other 17th century artists.

In countries other than the Dutch Republic, these types of paintings often made complimentary allusions to contemporary princes and nobles, and/or were often commissioned by them.

In The Netherlands, there was no monarchical court comparable to this.

There was only the Stadhouder‘s court.

Which would have liked very much to be a princely court like elsewhere in Europe; but constitutionally wasn’t.

Rembrandt got a commission from that princely court (princely, as the Stadhouders were also absolute monarchs in the tiny statelet of Orange in southern France).

But when his portrait of Princess Amalia von Solms, wife of Stadhouder Frederik Hendrik, turned out to be not flattering enough, his relationship to that court deteriorated.

An Hermitage Amsterdam exhibition noted that Stadhouder Frederik Hendrik prefered painters from the feudal southern Netherlands, though that region was the military enemy, to “bourgeois” northern painters like Rembrandt. He also prefered Gerard van Honthorst to Rembrandt as a painter of portraits of his wife. Honthorst was not from the Spanish occupied southern Netherlands. However, his home province Utrecht in the central Netherlands was less bourgeois rebellious than Rembrandt’s Holland. And Honthorst had spent much time in feudal Italy.

Nevertheless, if compared to Rubens, Rembrandt painted many more portraits.

The sky in the Abduction of Proserpina painting is a special blue: lapis lazuli, which is expensive. He could afford that as the painting was commissioned by Frederik Hendrik; in 1630-1631, before that 1632 conflict on the portrait of Princess Amalia von Solms.

The Amalia van Solms portrait is not in Leiden. A Lakenhal worker explained to me that it had been complex to borrow Rembrandt works from other museums. It had not been possible to borrow the Amalia portrait from Paris in France.

Which is a pity, as that painting and its history are important for understanding the relationship between Rembrandt and his clients, whether princely aristocrats or urban bourgeois.

The Dutch weekly Leids Nieuwsblad of 18 July 2006 has a report by Werner Zonderop of a lecture, by Christopher Brown, of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, in Leiden. Chistopher Brown has put together this 2019-2020 Leiden rembrandt exhibition.

Brown’s subject in 1906 was Rembrandt, then born 400 years ago in Leiden.

Rembrandt, portrait of Princess Amalia von Solms

From the report (translated):

[Constantijn] Huygens [private secretary of Prince and Stadhouder Frederik Hendrik] made it possible for Rembrandt to get his first commissions at the Stadhouder’s court [in The Hague].

In this way, in 1632, Rembrandt was allowed to paint the portrait of Amalia von Solms [1602-1675], the wife of Frederik Hendrik.

[She was thirty years old then; eighteen years younger than her husband].

However, the princess of Orange, [nee Countess of Solms-Braunfels], did not like the portrait as it turned out, at all.

She thought her appearance had not been idealized.

To her indignation, Rembrandt painted her too much as she really was: the mouth stiff and grim, knob-nosed and fat, with a rather stern look.

The Abduction of Proserpina painting, now in Leiden, is usually in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.

Next to it in the Leiden exhibition is a Rembrandt painting of one year later: The Abduction of Europa. No longer commissioned by the Stadhouder, but by an Amsterdam businessman.

Rembrandt, Abduction of Europa

It is about the Phoenician princess Europa being abducted by the Greek god Zeus (Jupiter in Latin), disguised as a bull.

Normally, that work is in the J. Paul Getty Museum in the USA. The two museums were only willing to send these two similar paintings to Leiden, because now for the first time ever they would hang next to each other.

Another conspicuous 1631 painting in the Lakenhal was a depiction of then 12-year-old German Prince Rupert and his tutor. An article suggests that the prince’s father was not satisfied with the portrait, thinking there was too little emphasis on his son and too much on the non-princely tutor. So, Rembrandt left Leiden for Amsterdam and had his artist pupil Gerrit Dou finish the Prince Rupert painting. Prince Rupert would later play a role in the English civil war.

Prince Rupert and his tutor, by Rembrandt

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England will show this exhibition from 27 February till 7 June 2020.

Donald Trump’s Iraq-Iran war, parody song


This 5 January 2019 satiric musical video from Britain is called Frank Sinatrump – Yuge War, Yuge War.

It is a parody of the song New York, New York by Frank Sinatra.

It says about itself:

Donald Trump‘s Frank Sinatra tribute act sings of the oncoming war with Iran.

LYRICS:

Start sending the troops
Get ‘em leaving today
I wanna be the start of it
Yuge war, yuge war

These larger-than-average-sized hands
Are longing to push
The big red button on my desk
Yuge war, yuge war

I wanna wake up to a muffin with sausage meat
And find I’m still President
King of the Tweets

Those barrels of oil
Are wasting away
Let’s get ‘em outta Iranistan
Yuge war, yuge war

If I can blow up there
I’ll blow up everywhere
It’s up to me
Yuge war, yuge war

Trump threatens destruction of ancient Iranian monuments


This December 2016 video says about itself:

The Shah Mosque (Persian: مسجد شاه), also known as Imam Mosque (Persian: مسجد امام), renamed after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and Jaame’ Abbasi Mosque, is a mosque in Isfahan, Iran, standing in the south side of Naghsh-e Jahan Square. Built during the Safavid period, ordered by the first Shah Abbas of Persia.

View of the Mosque from Naqsh-e Jahan Square

It is regarded as one of the masterpieces of Iranian architecture and an excellent example of Islamic era architecture of Iran. The Shah Mosque of Isfahan is one of the everlasting masterpieces of architecture in Iran. It is registered, along with the Naghsh-e Jahan Square, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its construction began in 1611, and its splendour is mainly due to the beauty of its seven-colour mosaic tiles and calligraphic inscriptions.

The mosque is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20,000 rials banknote.

In 2007, the United States George W Bush administration threatened this beautiful ancient mosque with destruction.

Today, Dutch NOS radio reports (translated):

The United States has selected 52 Iranian targets to be attacked if Iran launches an attack on Americans or US possessions. President Trump writes in a series of tweets about the liquidation of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on Friday.

According to Trump, some of the selected goals are “very important for Iran and Iranian culture”.

I would not be surprised if the Isfahan mosque is on that list of destruction by Donald Trump.

Recently, first a missile killed a soldier of fortune mercenary at a United States military base in Iraq. Without providing evidence, the Trump administration blamed that attack on an Iraqi Shiite militia, part of the Iraqi armed forces, and on Iranian general Soleimani.

As revenge, the Trump administration killed scores of people in air raids on Iraq, Syria and Somalia. Implying that the equivalent of the life of one United States mercenary is supposedly the lives of scores of Iraqis, Syrians and Somalis.

As a reaction, thousands of Iraqis protested at the United States Baghdad embassy. They threw water bottles. United States Marines fired tear gas and stun grenades at them. No one was killed. The embassy itself was not invaded. The demonstrators went away.

As revenge for that demonstration, the Trump administration killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and other ‘collateral damage’ people about whom the corporate media don’t tell much, at Baghdad international civilian airport.

Now, maybe there will come revenge violence for that from the Iranian regime as part of a circle of violence maybe leading to nuclear war.

I would not be surprised if the Trump administration would not wait with destruction of the Isfahan mosque and the 51 other targets in Iran until the Iranian government would really retaliate violently. After all, they killed scores of Iraqis, Syrians and Somalis without providing any proof that they were connected to the death of that one United States mercenary. Etc. Just like the Isfahan mosque and people inside it are unconnected to that death.

‘Get Out Of Iraq’ – US Abandons Citizens After Its Terror Attack: here.