George Galloway and the Politics of Auto-Stupefaction

Recently George Galloway embarrassed – no, humiliated – the anti-Zionist forces by walking out of an Oxford debate with a (non) Israeli, because (he thought) he was Israeli. The audience, normally spoon-fed their anti-Zionism, booed Galloway’s exit and cheered the young man, Eylon Aslan-Levy.

Now Galloway has a comment on his Facebook page that… says it all (HT/A. Ostrovsky).

Me and the Palestinian cause: A number of questions have recently arisen I need to deal with. Firstly if people want to talk to the Palestinians they need to contact the Palestine Liberation Organisation. This is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and has been for many decades.

A bit out of date, but consistent.

Secondly, an organisation calling itself “BDS” does not own the words or the concept of boycott, divestment or sanctions. They are entitled to their own interpretation of these words but they don’t own or control me. I will make my own interpretation. And it is this – no purchase of Israeli goods or services, no normal contacts with individuals or organisations in Israel who support the existence of the racist Apartheid creed of Zionism. That’s what I mean by boycott. That’s what I do. Israelis who are outside of and against the system of Zionism are comrades of mine – like Prof Ilan Pappe. My opponent at Oxford University did not meet this test. The organiser of the event momentarily lionised by the liberal as well as the conservative establishment needs to know this, especially as he is a medical student. To compare Israeli Zionism to “Vegetarianism” is like a doctor not knowing the difference between a pimple and a tumor. Apartheid Israel is a cancer at the heart of the middle-east.

Because Israel is surrounded by liberal and tolerant democracies who assure everyone (including women and religious minorities) of full rights. Talk about a pimple on a pox-ravaged face.

Only it’s replacement by a bi-national democratic state from the Jordan River to the sea will cure this. That is what I am fighting for.

George Galloway MP

House of Commons


And just who in this neighborhood, other than the Zionists you won’t talk to is either committed to, or capable of, establishing and maintaining a democracy? The Syrians? The Egyptians? The hapless Lebanese? The endangered Jordanians? Oh, I know, the “democratic” Gazans.

It’s hard to imagine a more foolish political agenda. But the benefits – free rampaging racism and anti-Semitism in the form of Schadenfreude-indulging lethal narratives – are just too delicious to renounce.


22 Responses to George Galloway and the Politics of Auto-Stupefaction

  1. Galloway said:

    “Apartheid Israel is a cancer at the heart of the middle-east. Only it’s replacement by a bi-national democratic state from the Jordan River to the sea will cure this. That is what I am fighting for.
    George Galloway MP”

    A bi-national state, i.e. pushing Israel on the way to the gallows.

    Galloway is not the only one, but he is the only one suggestively named.

  2. Cynic says:

    anti-Semitism in the form of Schadenfreude-indulging lethal narratives

    Coming Soon: “Khaiber” The Genocide Of Jews In Arabia

    A pro­duc­tion com­pany in Qatar will report­edly start film­ing a multi-million dol­lar tele­vi­sion series next month com­mem­o­rat­ing the geno­cide of Jews in Ara­bia in the 7th century.

    The series, called “Khaiber,” is based on a script writ­ten by Yusri Al-Jindy, an Egypt­ian writer who has pre­vi­ously depicted Israelis and Jews as blood­thirsty sav­ages in his work. One of his plays about the 1967 war, titled “The Wan­der­ing Jew,” was banned in Egypt.

    It seems that they only thing they can attempt in life is to “create” schadenfreude.

  3. akmofo says:

    On the subject of deliberate and systematic auto-stupefaction,.. How come 80% of unvaccinated children are Catholic? What is it that the Catholics know about these VACCINES that the rest of us “heretics” and dumb and made dumber “useless eaters” are not told about?

    This involves the pharma corporations, the medical associations, the insurance corporations, the lawyers, the gov mafia, the media, and yet, Dionissis, not a peep on the subject from anyone.

  4. w.w.wygart says:

    I can’t really take George Gallway completely seriously, he’s just so rich a target though.

    Only it’s replacement by a bi-national democratic state from the Jordan River to the sea will cure this. That is what I am fighting for.
    ~George Galloway MP

    If Israel annexed the West Bank and Gaza and made all of those people Israeli citizens, wouldn’t that in some way fulfill Gallway’s requirements? depending on what exactly G.G. means by bi-national state. I don’t think that’s what he really meant though.

    On a more serious note. It seems that George Gallway’s idea of BDS is to in effect destroy the state of Israel, which is a vastly different stance than people were taking in earlier years against the apartheid of South Africa, which as I remember was about destroying the institution of apartheid and bringing equal protection under the law to all in South Africa.


    • @ Wygart

      “depending on what exactly G.G. means by bi-national state. I don’t think that’s what he really meant though.”

      I think that what Galloway has in mind is for the Pals to be able to vote out of existence the Jewishness of the state, and substitute it with an Islamic state. It’s too much of a humiliation to the Pals that a Jewish state has been established on formerly Islamic land. Later on, of course, their envy of the Jews will become of a more physical nature. I don’t think that (most of) the Pals want to coexist. I think they want to hurt and humiliate the Jews in any way they can. That’s why i think that as things stand now (and given that the Pals have been continuously rejecting the two state solution)the only moral solution to the conflict that can avoid bloodshed is to pay the Pals to relocate to other Arabic (or non Arabic) states. If they stay, given their hate and envy of the Jews and given the support they receive from the western audience and governments, they are bound sooner or later to overplay their hand and force the Israelis into harsh self-defense and then there will be blood – and it won’t be Israeli blood. Could it be that the West subconsciously wants this to happen so that westerners finally manage to get rid of their Holocaust shame and of their inferiority syndrome towards Jewish morality?

      Wygart, long time no see.

      • Isn’t it high time we substituted “western Holocaust shame” for “western Holocaust guilt”?

        I mean, do we really talk about someone as feeling guilty towards the Jews when all his actions and words are critical of the Jews of Israel?

        When we really feel guilty because we have harmed someone, we are willing to forgo even justified criticism against the person we have harmed. Something like “she might be wrong right now, but after what i have done to her there is no way i am going to be the one who tells her”.

        But if i proceed with the criticism, then it’s not guilt that i feel, but rather a humiliating annoyance at having shamed myself in the eyes of others due to my past actions. If others were not to see me as shamed, then i wouldn’t mind my past action and the harm i have brought about.

        And it is this mindset that i am willing to ascribe to the West vis-à-vis the Holocaust and the Jews, one of experiencing shame, not guilt.

        • Branche de rose says:

          Ils ne nous pardonneront jamais le mal qu’ils nous ont fait

          They will never forgive the evil they have done us

  5. Joanne says:

    As I understood it, the man Galloway refused to debate has joint Israeli-British citizenship. Of course, that’s neither here nor there. Galloway is a clown. I just wish the media would boycott him. I mean, it’s not as if he does anything really noteworthy…just antics. If the media would just decide that he’s yesterday’s news, and just not cover him, Galloway would fade into the woodwork.

    • @ Joanne

      “If the media would just decide that he’s yesterday’s news, and just not cover him, Galloway would fade into the woodwork.”

      Joanne i think you put your finger on what is the number one factor that perpetuates the conflict: the media.

      The media, by distorting the real picture and by presenting Israelis as the bad guy of the story, influence westerners’ perception of the conflict and turn them anti-Israel and, as a consequence, embolden the Pals to keep up undisturbed with their terrorism and their false hopes that they might some day see their dream (the complete annihilation of Israel) come true.

      The media need the clowns such as Galloway so as to make their case against Israel.

      They need such clowns as much as they need the staged footage and photos that they air or print now and again.

  6. w.w.wygart says:

    After my earlier comment, I had to give myself a preemptive ‘time-out’ for a couple of days while I let my thoughts on this subject ‘age’ [in the metallurgical sense of the word] – fortunately I’ve had lots of reading to fill the time.

    As polite people we tend to diminish the seriousness of the damage that pathological personalities like George Galloway do to our political process by using niceties like “clown” to describe him or his behavior. We want to be polite; we like to think of ourselves as being polite people; we fear being seem as too extreme ourselves lest we lose credibility among our polite peers, so we will never call a spade ‘a spade’. We don’t want to be the one to call ‘der trottel’, “Die trottel” to his face because we risk losing face ourselves by doing so – or getting slapped with a libel suit in a British court.

    I have no ‘Lian'[social reputation or prestige] and thus nothing to lose, or I am maybe somehow ‘buyao lian’ [don’t want face] to a strong enough degree that I will risk ostracism [at least in the internet sense of the word] and say what I think.

    I’m also not psychologist enough to have a [public] opinion on what diagnostic criteria in the DSM-IV that George Galloway might meet in regards to any particular personality disorder, but as regular reader of this blog I will submit that Mr. Galloway’s public record seems to fit almost all of the diagnostic criteria of the ‘demopath’.

    George Galloway is fundamentally undemocratic in outlook and behavior, yet is perfectly willing to use a democratic society’s institutions and the self-restraint of its public to get his personal/political will done without any regard to anything other than his ability to impose his will on someone else – at least it seems this way to me.

    Since George Galloway defines his opponents, Zionist Israelis, as fundamentally undebatable he has formally departed the democratic process and is now into something else. Galloway simply cannot be interested in a genuine debate if he defines his ideological position as being that he will not debate his opponent, they must simply submit to his will immediately, or be forced to do so – no debate. That’s not democracy, that’s a naked will-to-power.

    By walking out on this debate, Galloway really underscores what a demopath he actually is. He wasn’t interested in a debate, much less a fair one. He showed himself to be someone who simply wants to be able to denounce his Zionist enemies safely and from a distance rather than risk confronting them directly from a position where he could possibly ‘lose’ face to them. I’m sure Mr. Galloway has some vast pseudo-intellectual rationalization for this behavior of his, but I’m not buying it and I doubt that many, outside of the demopath world, will now either.

    On the internet, as I’m sure we are all aware, there is this concept of Godwins Law, that: ‘as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.’ [a value neutral expression if you notice] The unfortunate side effect of Godwin’s Las is a muffling effect that the social fear of ‘violating The Law’ has on polite society when perhaps “a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler” is legitimate, needed, or required.

    I tend to run the ragged edge of polite.

    So, to remain in the bounds of polite society I will apply some ‘upaya’ [skillful means] here and slyly avoid the quintain of Godwin’s Law by directing you to the personality analysis of an earlier rabble-rouser and let you decide if any comparison is warranted. It’s a good read, and enlightening:

    I would point out that ‘that other’ rabble-rouser was much more successful in getting his way than the present one seems to be – at least for a while.

    To be fair I will even go so far as to say that the degree to which Mr. Galloway being a boy: “…born in an attic in a slum tenement in the Irish quarter of Dundee…”† and has self-identified with the plight of the Palestinians, is a stretch towards the genuinely human in him. That he then seems compelled to psychologically compensate for this “stretch” with a process of ‘splitting’ [in the psychological sense of the word] by then demonizing and dehumanizing the ‘Zionist’, this is a slide back into the slope-browed-retro-troglodyte. It is also a particularly zero-sum move that in order to humanize one person or group that someone[s] else has to be dehumanized. It is also in a word ‘sick’ [in at least two senses of the word].

    Unfortunately malignant personalities like George Galloway rarely just go away, no matter how we might ignore them, they find ways of attracting attention. Seem to me it would be unlikely for him to voluntarily fade into the woodwork, however much it might be wished.

    In my homework reading the other day the subject of ‘Ostracism’ came up. I first learned about the concept [in the Greek sense of the word] from my old rowing partner Barry Strauss a professor of History and Classics at Cornell who would lecture me from the dock at the Casscadilla Boat Club, [instead of from his usual perch high above Cayuga’s waters at McGraw Hall], on the subject of all things ancient and Athenian. The Athenians if they decided they wanted to ‘ostracize’ someone could arrange, once a year, to simply vote somebody they didn’t like or didn’t trust out of town for ten years. That person didn’t have to done anything criminal, there was no charge, there was no trial, and there was no defense, if you were ostracized you just had to leave within ten days [but you didn’t even have to pack up]. If you came back early [unless recalled to fight the Persians] you were put to death, no trial, no defense – just the axe. What’s really interesting about the process is that it was rarely used, was used exclusively against the elites, no single person or coalition was responsible for pushing the process, and in practice it was almost always used against people who’s continued presence was considered to be directly dangerous to the workings of the democracy [tyrants] or supporters of enemies of the state [the Persians]. Ostracism was used in other words as a preventative measure, not a punitive one. No need for show trials or mucking about with fake, phoney, trumped-up charges – just the boot.

    George Galloway is someone the British might seriously consider ostracizing. Send him to the West Bank or Gaza to hang with his buddies for ten years, then after what ever power he may be clinging to now has passed to somebody else you can safely let him back home. If he starts acting up again you just send him packing a second time till he comes home in a wheel chair.

    Ostracism is actually about the kindest thing British society could do to Galloway – really. Malignant personalities like Galloway almost never end well, they either become destructive and have to be put down, or self-destructive and do themselves in in some tragic way. Oh, I guess some just slip into senility more or less quietly and are eventually just wheeled away.

    That’s what I think.


    † Andy McSmith (31 March 2012). “George Galloway: The political rebel with a cause – Profiles – People”. London: The Independent.

  7. @ Wygart

    “George Galloway is someone the British might seriously consider ostracizing. Send him to the West Bank or Gaza to hang with his buddies for ten years, then after what ever power he may be clinging to now has passed to somebody else you can safely let him back home. If he starts acting up again you just send him packing a second time till he comes home in a wheel chair.

    Ostracism is actually about the kindest thing British society could do to Galloway – really.”

    Wygart, i disagree with you on this one.

    People have a right to free speech, Galloway should be legally allowed to say stupid things.

    If we open the door to silencing those we disagree with, how can we feel safe that some day the one doing the silencing won’t come to silence us?

    • w.w.wygart says:


      My better angel tends to agree with you, that is, of course, how positive-sum game players like to act, and also like to think of themselves as acting isn’t it? However, my more pragmatic angel wonders how does a modern democratic society protect itself and its institutions from its own members [or other people in its midst] who are fundamentally uncommitted to positive-sum play and instead use the society’s own freedoms to subvert and destroy it? – the demopath in other words. Isn’t this what Nietzsche was referring to with: “Wille zur Macht” [will to power] the pathological desire to make other people obey your own will? – Evil.

      So here we are again talking about the “Oslo Syndrome”, [I missed the lecture today] that apparently suicidal tendency built into some positive-sum game players, that the seem to prefer their ideas about fair play to the survival of their ideals in a functioning society. I’m trying not to make light of this, its a real problem.

      The question of the day is, ‘what do we do about evil [political evil] in our midst?

      What do democratic societies do when such a person, [who may also have significant mental health issues], actually gains control over some or all of the reigns of power of government?

      Well, obviously we wind up with a situation exactly as you described, where everyone fears for their liberties, and by-the-way adding an institution like Athenian ostracism isn’t necessary to get there [I’m not proposing the idea in complete seriousness, since it was famously ineffective at dealing with oligarchies], but we all also know it is possible to get to that point with out such a custom. Consider that ‘other rabble-rouser’ I referred to above. Once he had actually done something really wrong, it was already too late, he had effectively seized control of all of the governmental institutions that could have easily removed him – prior to that he was just being a rabble-rouser.

      It’s a risk. Of course even as benign an institution as ostracism can get it wrong [like anything fundamentally majoritarian], much like these so called ‘recall elections’ certain states here in the USA make use of from time to time, you never know who you’re going to wind up being governed by, could be someone from Austria. [historical resonance??]

      Plutarch in his “Lives” describes the occasion of the ostracism of Aristides [first famous as an Athenian general at Marathon]; a voter [who did not know him] approached Aristides in the agora desiring to have Aristides’ name inscribed on his voting token [a pot sherd] for him since he was illiterate. Aristides asked the fellow if Aristedes had wronged him, “No,” the voter responded “and I do not even know him, but it irritates me to hear him everywhere called ‘the Just’.”† Aristides then wrote his own name on the ballot [according to legend].

      Fortunately for Aristides, ostracism [as far as we can tell] was actually a very low impact form of banishment [actual banishment could be quite severe], which allowed him to be recalled a few years later to play a such an important role in the battle of Salamis [did I get that right Barry?] beating off the Persian foe once again. And, of course as an institution ostracism eventually was abandoned, once people figured out how to game the system.

      Oh, as an aside, another quote from Plutach’s Life of Aristides relevant to week IV’s readings: “the ostracism, which was not usually inflicted on the poorer citizens, but on those of great houses, whose elation exposed them to envy…”†

      Is George Galloway such a man? Who knows?? but he’s never gotten hold of much real power either. He has been kicked out of this or that a couple of times, but he has always come back for more – and not changed his habits even slightly. On the other hand we know that ‘other rabble-rouser’ was about the most unlikely person imaginable ever to succeed at rising to the top of a modern industrialized state, by all rights he should have ended as an indigent in a Viennese flop house, but something happened, or didn’t happen, that allowed that trajectory to be altered – millions perished as a result.

      Could a simple vote to ostracize Adolph Hitler prior to 1933 have prevented WWII? [likely] Would he have ‘won’ such a vote? [Who knows?]

      Democratic societies [even the Hobbesian ones] are in constant threat from this subversion, just look at the ancient Athenians, as we both know from our reading last week, envy got the better of them in the end, and eventually the Romans just walked in and made a province of them all. [there was also much to be said about the Roman republic being able to generate more ‘good’ decisions faster than Greek democracy, but that’s another essay]

      Getting back to Galloway for a moment as a possible example of a ‘dangerous’ type, the ‘rabble-rouser’. The term rabble in common usage refers to some specific element of the public, usually a socially inferior or uncouth one. What I mean here is more in line with the original Dutch sense of the word ‘gabble’, that is ‘a string of meaningless words’ or ‘a pack of animals’, in other words the power of the demagogue to turn the public into a pack of animals, slope-browed-retro-troglodytes, by appealing to their basest motives and prejudices. This is a very, very dangerous thing for a democracy – if anything can kill a democratic society, this is it. We saw what happens last century when the demagogue actually succeeds in his mad quest for power.

      Still, what to do about a demopath? Ignoring them and hoping they will go away doesn’t seem like much of a strategy to me – kind of like ignoring tooth decay.


      † Plutarch. Life of Aristeides

      • @ Wygart

        “Still, what to do about a demopath? Ignoring them and hoping they will go away doesn’t seem like much of a strategy to me – kind of like ignoring tooth decay.”

        The demopaths can be fought back with cognitive self-defense war: we can try to beat their ideas with ideas.

        Anyway, the real threat is not the demopaths and i have in mind the situation with Islam: the demopaths might succed in presenting a benign picture of Islamists. But sooner or later the Islamists are going to break some law, e.g. by rioting because of cartoons. It is at this point that civil society must not loose it, and should respond by applying the law and not with Islamist-appeasement BS.

        The Islamists should get the message that violence does not pay. And the civilized society can sent them this message simply by applying the law and arresting every single violent Islamist. No need for restricting their right to free speech (provided that the speech is not inciting to violence. If it does then they should be arrested, incitement is a criminal offense).

        Civil society can also respond by holding steady to its ideals and by not, for example, allowing the application of the barbarous sharia – to my understanding the legal issues are quite clear and practices such as those that sharia espouses are clearly illegal.

        We have no need for more extreme measures, all we have to do is apply our laws. We should not shun the application of the law just because we think that by capitulating to Islamist demands we will appease them – we will not appease them if we capitulate, we will turn them even more aggressive because we will have in effect rewarded their violence by capitulating to it.

  8. Martin J. Malliet says:

    I very much agree with Joanne’s thinking impulse. Only, expressing just the wish is not enough, you have to ask yourself the question: what can be done to make it happen?

    Argueing with Galloway is not going to draw the attention away from him. For that you would need to draw the attention to somewhere else. Normally the most effective way to draw attention is by setting yourself up as the center of attention. That’s what Israel should do: by accusing the world of routinely denying the crime against humanity of which Israel is a victim since 1948, i.e. for 65 years now, no less. And Israel could easily do that, because it is true and easy to prove.

    I wrote an email to Angela Merkel saying the same thing, but got no reply yet. They cannot very well reply officially: you must be out of your mind, not even Israel is making such an absurd claim. Because that would involve them in an explicit denial of the crime. Not replying on the other hand leaves them the excuse of not having received my message (it was ‘lost’).

    Dionissis, I think, is reading too much psychology into Western politics (holocaust shame or guilt, inferiority complex towards Jewish morality), and the subconscious is an empty concept in any case. Unconsciousness or unawareness on the other hand is very much at the center of Western political decisions with regard to the ‘conflict’: unconsciousness of the inconsequential attitude that recognises Israel’s ‘right to exist’ without recognising at the same time that those who are refusing to make peace with Israel are the criminals responsible for the conflict and not its victims. Unconsciousness which is dangerous because it can lead to well-intentioned decisions that are wrong, self-defeating, and amounting to blaming the victims themselves for their unfortunate fate.

    To Wygart I would say: political attitudes towards the ‘conflict’ are more of a sideshow in Western politics, not symptoms of some new menace to democracy (beyond the usual). Which isn’t meant to say that making wrong decisions in the Israel-islamist conflict cannot have seriously menacing consequences for Western civil society. But the Jews now have a state. That state should behave like any other state, and not like a Jewish state. It should accuse the world, and especially the Western democracies, of being inconsequential and anti-semitic by not recognising Israel’s right to exist in peace. George Galloway is an idiot; Jakob Augstein also is an idiot, and a far more influential one, I would think; but they are not really valuable targets: the valuable targets are David Cameron and Angela Merkel. And it is my conviction that there are still enough decent Europeans who feel ashamed of their governments’ participating in that charade of a ‘peace process’ that rehabilitates the criminals. They may even be a majority. But they are quite naturally a silent majority that will never step up to shout down the loud-talking intellectuals and politicians occupying the front of the scene. The only chance you have to get this silent majority to express itself (find itself some representatives to speak out for them) is by creating a focal point for them in public discourse. In Germany, this debate about Jakob Augstein’s condemnation by the Simon Wiesenthal Center looks like a great opportunity to do that. The Israeli government should adopt a leading role in seizing that opportunity. (I mean, Jakob Augstein is defending Günter Grass’s assertion that it is nuclear Israel that has become the principal menace to world peace! And he seems to be winning the debate! How can the Israeli government NOT react to such irresponsible and idiotic nonsense? In my opinion, they cannot simply leave that kind of defense to the SWC. It would be a show of unconscious irresponsibility on their part not very dissimilar of the irresponsibility displayed by the European governments themselves. Moreover, Angela Merkel herself has already complained(!) that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the German government to maintain a reasonable stance with these idiotic nonsensical ideas gaining traction in German public opinion. The Israeli government should take her up on her own words and show her how she, as chancellor, is supposed to deal with such idotic nonsensical ideas.) This is a fight. A fight Israel must win (i.e. cannot afford to lose – and Richard Landes is of course right that Europe can also not afford to lose it): in such cases you must go for the jugular, because there is no other way to win the fight. There is now a 65-year long history that proves that point, I would think.

    • @ Martin

      “Dionissis, I think, is reading too much psychology into Western politics (holocaust shame or guilt, inferiority complex towards Jewish morality)”

      On the first of the two (Holocaust guilt) it’s not me but explicitly Dr Landes:

      “Some explain it as a reaction against to the legacy of the Holocaust: Al Durah offered Europeans a get-out-of-Holocaust-guilt-free card. And there is surely some truth to that in the responses from the European continent.”

      On the second one (inferiority syndrome) i think that this is what Dr Landes meant when he said:

      “Could the “progressive left” have a secular form of replacement theology? Certainly the first representatives of the “left,” the more zealous of the French Revolutionaries, demanded that Jews become citizens in the place of being Jews, a world view in which the revolutionaries replace the Jews as the moral “cutting edge” of humanity, in which the “Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man” replace the ten commandments”.

      So, it wasn’t me who potentially overread the situation, but Dr Landes. I merely found the suggestions extremely plausible and adopted them, after thinking about them.

      “and the subconscious is an empty concept in any case”

      Daddy, daddy, look what Martin is doing to get your attention! But i corrected him!

      Martin, i swear, if we let ourselves relax (and if the time is ripe) we might even grasp the upper layers of that elusive entity called “subconscious”, and just laugh at ourselves with what we are acting out.

    • @ Martin

      Maybe now you want to reconsider your views about the possibility of getting in cafe-trouble with the IDF girls? Ha ha.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Sure, Richard Landes says such things as well, but I see it either as part of his blogging style (‘fisking’) or as part of a larger explanation, from which I tend to take things selectively by applying Occam’s razor. That’s all I wanted to say, as I am far more interested in understanding politics by reducing the explanation than by enhancing it. And fundamentally I am convinced that the most powerful explanations are the ‘negatives’, the things not said and done that would make a real difference.

      But Dionissis, the IDF women you showed me before were lovely! Why would I reconsider? I never doubted they knew how to defend themselves, but the thoughts they gave me were not thoughts of abduction or stabbing, God forbid! Mind you, in the mean time I learned a bit about how to defend myself with a pocket-knife, because when I was bragging earlier about running around with my pocket-knife in my pocket I didn’t have the slightest idea of how the knife is to be held and used, except for peeling an apple. Someone showed me, and I’m better prepared now, although still much less interested in confrontation than in seduction.

      The psychology I would be interested in is that of the 72 black-eyed houris. Here is a compilation from islamic sources you can find on the wikipedia page on houris: “a houri is a girl of tender age, having large breasts which are round (pointed), and not inclined to dangle, … with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes, … her sweat will smell like musk.” These same people then complain about houris being used in Western adverts for lingerie or cars. OK, I tend to agree that this is a form of wasteful underemployment for houris. But these people also shoot living houris through the head with kalashnikovs! And then bomb pizzerias with people inside or fly airplanes into tall buildings also with people inside only to get their imaginary houris in paradise! That’s not shortsightedness. It’s more like toofarsightedness! I once suggested the idea of forming a living houri brigade to teach these boys some sense to a Moroccan girl in that same café. And she didn’t find the idea stupid! She wasn’t afraid of my staring either. And not interested at all in covering her hair. Which was lush and not something that should be covered. On my demand she uncovered more things for me. So sometimes you can see glimpses of hope. But they are rare, far too rare to make a difference. (Philippe Sollers made a big splash in 1983 with his book on “Femmes”: “Le monde appartient aux femmes, c.à.d. à la mort. Là-dessus tout le monde ment.” He made a big splash, but nobody listened, as usual.)

      PS: The same Moroccan young woman (30) said very nice things about Jewish people she had known in her childhood in Morocco. It wasn’t always clear to me what she really meant, because I had thought that these Jewish people had been driven out before her birth. But we agreed entirely that it is all such a waste of human happiness! And all because of politics, and the general stupidity to fall into that trap of expecting good things from politics. That was mainly my conclusion, because she couldn’t anymore follow me there, thought that the big people who had studies so much more than her probably knew what they were doing! People taken individually always should know better. But for that they need to trust themselves. Which they don’t, most of the time. If I knew how to insert pictures into these comments, I would show you another fascinating Jewish girl having Franz Kafka’s eyes, a picture I took from Pierre Rehov’s film on the “Jewish Nakba”. She’s behind bars, and there is a smugly smiling soldier guarding her. I find it an emblematic picture of this ‘politics destroying human happiness’ idea. Westerners tend to brag about ‘freedom’, but most of the time they don’t know what they are talking about, reducing their idea of freedom to either political freedom (elections) or economic freedom (choosing your model of a car). It’s childish and stupid. Muslims, and even islamists like Sayyid Qutb, often complain quite sensibly about that emptiness in Western life. I would think that that is also a good subject for a dialogue with them. Do you know of a good islamic blog where one could try to do that?

      • @ Martin

        “Muslims, and even islamists like Sayyid Qutb, often complain quite sensibly about that emptiness in Western life.”

        But they want to fill the vacuum with oppression and blood. For me, better dead than Green.

        “I would think that that is also a good subject for a dialogue with them [Muslims].”

        A more indicative of their mindset subject for a dialogue would be the permissible treatment of “wives”.

        “Do you know of a good islamic blog where one could try to do that?”

        I know the real thing, a physical location, not just a blog. It’s in Iran. Take Mohamed Avenue from the start, and turn right at the third hanging homosexual. After 50 meters you should see the building i’m talking about, the one with the stoned to death adulteress at the entrance – watch your step on the stairs too, too much blood spilling from the chopping of the fingers of criminals.

        PS. Martin, i’d say we are both weirdness-addicts: me engaging with the m/w crowd, you with the Islamists. People will start thinking we are like the crowds we engage.

        I’ll let you know if i find a site such as the one you asked for. Right now i don’t know any.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      About the silent majority of decent people: I remember my Belgian grand-mother almost spitting on her own carpet each time Yassir Arafat appeared on the news! “Den duvel” (the devil), she simply called him, missing the words and education for a fuller explanation of her thinking.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Dionissis, you do know how to pick them for me! Rana Raslan looks even better than the Moroccan girl I mentioned, with the same uncovered lush hair. So Israeli Arabs are role models as well, or could become role models, if I understand things right.

      Dialogue is about the mystery of human nature and thought revealing itself. You cannot let yourself be impressed too much by the known facts, especially not when you want to abolish those facts! It’s simple, and at the same time very hard apparently for many people. Two days ago I tried with Geisha(?), an Eryka Badu look-alike Rwandan woman wearing the same high turban, hanging out in some other café. I tried for the whole evening, not insistently but intermittently, as there were other nice people around. The broached subjects as far as I can remember were: children, their education and how adults don’t know how to be adults anymore with children (she was pregnant with her first child and a kindergarten teacher herself); Mozart, his Requiem and Western music compared to popular African and Malian music; Africans and their politics of colonial self-exploitation; the ‘hole’ in women (and hers in particular). Towards the end of the evening, when the café was closed, the staff was cleaning up and only the friends remained, and when I had finally succeeded in getting Mozart’s Requiem on the internet based music installation, she clearly told me that she found my opinions “too rigid, not fluid enough”. The next time I see her I may try to explain to her how for the whole evening she had never done anything else but acting on her own interpretations, without ever giving me the benefit of the doubt or asking to understand better what I meant. And how this IS the ‘hole’ I was talking about, talk she simply dismissed as “vulgar”. I for my part also had my interpretations of what she said (a lot of easygoing nonsense), but kept them to myself, trying hard to steer the conversation in some more revealing direction. Without success. My suspicion: she’s cut, because that would explain a lot.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Weirdness-addicts? I don’t see it like that. I’m occasionally perceived as such by people, but am increasingly able to make them feel weird themselves when they make such conventional judgments about me. People will start thinking? If only they started to think! I haven’t engaged with islamists yet, as I don’t know any. (I’m writing islam, prophet and quran systematically in lower case now, and upper case only for Muslims, because they are people.) Sayyid Qutb was hanged, so he isn’t around anymore. I can’t say I know much about him, but I have the idea that he was quite interesting, Jean-Paul Sartre-like. The contemporary islamist thinkers, like the one sitting in Khartoum, or the one in Tunis, aren’t thinkers at all as far as I can tell. And Arthur Schopenhauer’s first lesson in dialogue was that you must start by choosing the right partner, a partner capable and interested in dialogue, or it will all be a waste of time.

      The French in 1990 brought out a little book “L’art d’avoir toujours raison” by Arthur Schopenhauer. The 38 tricks to outwit your debating partner are taken from an attempt made by Schopenhauer (and found in his notes) to make an inventory of all possible logical or dialectical fallacies. He gave up on it, as he understood that there was no end to the system of fallacies, and he didn’t think it interesting enough to be published as part of his writings on “Eristic Dialectic”: ad rem/ad hominem and direct/indirect mode are the possible choices of argumentation, and only the combination ad rem and direct mode can lead to valid or truthful conclusions. The French of course were happy to translate these discarded notes, which is typical for how the French understand debate or disputation: as a fight to gain the upper hand no matter how.

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