September 24th, 2006

Chris Keeley

Uri Avnery on the Pope--Text--9/23/06

Uri Avnery on the Pope--Text--9/23/06

Uri Avnery

             Muhammad's  Sword

Since the days when Roman Emperors threw Christians to the lions, the
relations between the emperors and the heads of the church have
undergone many changes.

Constantine the Great, who became Emperor in the year 306 - exactly 1700
years ago - encouraged the practice of Christianity in the empire, which
included Palestine.  Centuries later, the church split into an Eastern
(Orthodox) and a Western (Catholic) part. In the West, the Bishop of
Rome, who acquired the title of Pope, demanded that the Emperor accept
his superiority.
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Chris Keeley

The Pope seems unaware that, for hundreds of millions of people,

The Pope seems unaware that, for hundreds of millions of people,
religious affiliation is not a matter of intellectual adherence to a set
of abstract principles, but a question of identity. Many Muslims, like
many Jews or Hindus, may not fully subscribe to the religious doctrine
concerned, and yet their Muslimness, or Jewishness or Hinduness, is a
central part of their make-up

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

Transmitted below is a further reflection on the pope's inflamatory
initiative from Jonathan Freedland.

*The Pope should know better than to endorse the idea of a war of faiths*

The freedom-of-speech defence is a sideshow. The pontiff has broken an
unwritten compact of religious leaders

*Jonathan Freedland
Wednesday September 20, 2006
The Guardian <>*,,1876391,00.html
Glenn Hoddle and Robert Kilroy-Silk were there first, of course, but
Pope Benedict XVI has joined the club. Like those two other great
scholars, the pontiff has found himself at the centre of a free speech row.
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Chris Keeley

Mr. Polidori is a connoisseur of chaos, and the beauty of his pictures — they have a languid, almost

The modern Pompeii: "2732 Orleans Avenue, New Orleans, La., September 2005." a photograph by Robert Polidori is in "New Orleans After the Flood," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

After Hurricane Katrina, Robert Polidori went to New Orleans, where he lived years ago, to shoot photographs of the devastation for The New Yorker. He stayed longer than first planned, then went back again and again, for weeks, taking hundreds of pictures with a large-format camera that produced wide, superbly detailed color photographs. The camera was awkward to manipulate through the wreckage and in the heat, without electricity and lights. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jeff L. Rosenheim, a photography curator, has selected a couple dozen of these big panoramas and interiors to make a pocket-size lament for a woebegone city.

They are unpeopled scenes: New Orleans as our modern Pompeii. Mr. Polidori stood near the corner of Law and Egania Streets where a plain, single-story cottage with a hole in the roof rests beside a telephone pole. A crisscross of power lines forms a shallow X against the empty blue sky. The house, pale green and white, recedes, diagonally.

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Chris Keeley

Karen Armstrong on the Papal Provocation

: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

Transmitted below is a commentary on the pope's recent contribution to
the war of civilizations by Karen Armstrong, a leading authority on the
word's religions and author of the definitive "A History of God".

*_We cannot afford to maintain these ancient prejudices against Islam_*

*Karen Armstrong*
*Monday September 18, 2006*


In the 12th century, Peter the Venerable, Abbot of Cluny, initiated a
dialogue with the Islamic world. "I approach you not with arms, but with
words," he wrote to the Muslims whom he imagined reading his book, "not
with force, but with reason, not with hatred, but with love." Yet his
treatise was entitled Summary of the Whole Heresy of the Diabolical Sect
of the Saracens and segued repeatedly into spluttering intransigence.
Words failed Peter when he contemplated the "bestial cruelty" of Islam,
which, he claimed, had established itself by the sword. Was Muhammad a
true prophet? "I shall be worse than a donkey if I agree," he
expostulated, "worse than cattle if I assent!"

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Chris Keeley

Bacon’s “Version No. 2 of Lying Figure With Hypodermic Syringe.”

Bacon’s “Version No. 2 of Lying Figure With Hypodermic Syringe.”

The most important works he collected were contemporary, to be sold the evening of Nov. 14. By far the star of the group, which includes works by Damien Hirst, Lichtenstein, Basquiat, Gerhard Richter and Carl Andre, is a 1968 Francis Bacon, “Version No. 2 of Lying Figure With Hypodermic Syringe,’’ in which Bacon took one of the most familiar subjects in art — the reclining female nude — and painted it as a tortured soul, as he often did. It is expected to sell for $9 million to $12 million.