eyescratch on 22 Nov 2000 21:38:16 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> chomsky

i didn't have the 23 ecus to pay for the mon, tues, thurs talks 
advertised in the subway so i went to the law school chomsky talk. 
the evening started off nice enough - with a real glass of real red 
wine in the halls of the law school. on one of the bulletin boards 
was pinned a budget which stated that they were spending $658 for 
wine and cheese this semester.
we were let into the hall and immediately i tried to remember whether 
jacobiners sat in the left of their assembly hall as seen from 
someone in the stands or as seen by the speaker in the middle at the 
podium. at any rate this was the kind of architecture more 
reminiscent of the writing of laws rather than their interpretation - 
political rather than judicial.
we sat on upolstered two seaters behind long oval tiered desks 
encompassing the pulpit. in the wait that ensued i watched a 
chinese-american woman listen to a packistani-american speak - and he 
liked to talk. her eyes became unfocused, staring yet still knodding 
and laughing at the punchlines, yet as she drifted i did too and the 
noise of 300 people talking filled my ears. so this is the sound of 
comfort, i thought, as i sought comparison to the mumur on the night 
tram in brno five years ago.
and then it started. first the columbia person spoke, introducing 
chomsky as a "column".
the moderator ended up being this white south african who was talking 
about successful interventions in east timor -- and what the 
constructive role of western leaders might be in deciding to 
intervene in problem areas. a kind of constructive call to action. it 
was also said that this would not be a speech per se but rather a 
discussion. this got me slightly giddy because i could not imagine 
what was going to emerge from the sound of comfort - i wondered about 
this semester's syllabus and took a sip of red wine.
just before chomsky spoke my row had filled with three blond chicks 
carrying prada shopping bags and i was forced to share my two seater 
with a tie and sweater guy.
and then it really started. chomsky stood bowed to the mike and set 
off. his logic just flowed forward, without humor, instead cynical 
sarcasm, without passion, instead calculated rightousness, without 
echo, instead holy envelope. it was like a freiland tekno record 
cracking the shell that two weeks of television news reporting can 
grow around your world view. it was a dismembering  of the puppet 
beast that is american action abroad such as can be witnessed in 
brecht's lehrstuecke. it went on and on and on in a flow of words 
that did not bubble, that did not flow, that did not create 
goosebumps, that did not.
the mess age that kept being emphasized after a long wind of 
what-is-happening logic :: just don't kill people. you privileged 
students, don't fuck up your chances of getting into power by joining 
amnesty international (or worse) but simply when you get that power 
:: just don't kill people. just don't kill people. just don't kill 
i dare saw that at the end of two hours of this explicating 
atrocities in yugoslavia, turkey, israel, indonesia, columbia the 
prada bag was gone, i had my seat to myself and chomsky started to 
let people ask question. the moderator had broken in, objecting to 
this america bashing. chomsky also seems to have this unwritten rule 
of only letting people who are darker than he is ask question. his 
little way of affirming affirmative action. it took the moderator to 
call on some short-haired red-headed guy, who ended up restating some 
obvious point.
so one ends up perusing some sort of chomsky landscape, with its 
rules of resistance, perhaps following a kind of grammar of human 
signs behind which statistical nightmares are hidden. perhaps one 
would get a dichotic view from a sex tourist.
beyond the visuals of statistical killings with heavy weaponry, 
chomsky spoke of maps, israeli and south african, which show a kind 
of landscape imposition not unlike say the parc dela vilette, a 
fractured landscape which, split through by superhighways connecting 
"built up areas" or "settlements", cause the space between to 
disappear into a ha-ha security zone. now these maps he said had 
never been published in the united states media and one of the kids 
called upon said they had been deleted regularly when the students 
had posted the maps on the new york times discussion forum. just 
yesterday, after a school bus was bombed which goads this landscape 
architecture, the maps, courtesy the state of israel, made it into 
the new york times on page 12. i suppose the non-violent way to 
proceed for the palestinians would be to listen to the sound of 
comfort issuing from the superhighways and lobby for either exits or 

>  >
>>  Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 19:11:47 -0500 (EST)
>>  From: ronda@ais.org (Ronda Hauben)
>>  To: NETTIME-L@bbs.thing.net
>>  Subject: Noam Chomsky speaking at Columbia University this week
>>  For those in the NYC area - Noam Chomsky is speaking at Columbia U
>>  this week. He is speaking Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights at the
>>  Miller Theater at 8 pm. There is a charge for tickets to those talks.
>>  Look at the Columbia U web site under Miller Theater for info on
>>  those or write me. The Columbia U website is http://www.columbia.edu/
>>  He is also speaking on Wednesday night - announcement below. There
>>  is no charge for the Wedesday night talk, as far as I know.
>>  The Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, SIPA Human Rights Program,
>>  Center for the Study of Human Rights, and the Society of
>>  International Law and Politics in International Affairs (SILPIA)
>>  present:
>>  The 2000-2001 Human Rights Speaker Series:
>>  Human Rights from Inspiration to Impact
>From: Timothy Druckrey <druckrey@interport.net>
>>  Subject: FotoFest> Wednesday, November 15
>>  6:30pm Reception
>>  7:30pm Talk
>>  Room 106 of Jerome Greene Building
>>  (435 West 116th Street, off Amsterdam)
>>  This event is co-sponsored by:
>>  Columbia Society of International Law,
>>  The Human Rights Committee of the New York City Bar Association,
>>  Columbia College Human Rights Program
>>  The notice also listed the URL
>>  www.law.columbia.edu/humanrightsspeakerseries
>  > ----

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