Hagia Sophia

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

The decision of the Turkish regime to make Hagia Sophia, one of the most important monuments of Christendom, a mosque can only be considered as an unacceptable attack on culture and civilisation. Of course, no one can deny to modern Turkey, if its people want it, (something that is not at all certain), the right to become as “Islamist” as it wishes, abandoning the tradition of its founder Kemal Ataturk. But it can do so by building and honouring its own monuments and places of worship, not by using monuments and places of worship built by others. One also wonders why the Turkish elite seems to believe that it helps the prestige of their country to recall every now and then, in the year 2020, the conquest of the capital of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. Anyway, if there is one thing that humanity needs more than anything today, in so difficult a situation, it is the tolerance and respect of one nation for another, of the followers and representatives of each religion for the others. This is a one of the main criteria for the civilisation  of every human being and of every people.

What Will Happen Now to Hagia Sophia’s Byzantine Mosaics? http://www.defenddemocracy.press/what-will-happen-now-to-hagia-sophias-byzantine-mosaics/

Pantaktator

“Erdogan’s order making Hagia Sophia mosque …

brings cheers, mourning … its imminent conversion from a museum back to a mosque.I must be missing something here, but it was built by a Christian to be a Christian church. A mosque or museum, its historicity can never be denied or removed: its original dedication was as a church.

When I entered Hagia Sophia, I was informed that it was not a place for Christians to pray … I just smiled! And I smile today, when I think of Muslims going back to pray there, in a sacred space that will, in a very real and historical and spiritual sense, be always Christian.

I suppose you could say, that, by the Grace of God, it’s foundation will always be Christian.

Continued blessings on all who pray there in the future – a real historical inter-faith site.

And should Hagia Sophia’s exquisite mosaics be harmed and even ‘removed, ‘ it will still be, ‘originally,’ a Christian building and site.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Inventing ‘God’ …

How the Philosophers Invented “God”

A second idiosyncrasy of philosophers confuses the last with the first.

The rationalist philosophers begin with the “highest” concepts, when they would be at the end if they could be reached at all. The good. The true. The perfect.

Since being is static for these philosophers, the “highest” concepts could not have emerged from the “lower” ones.

Because they cannot come to be, they must be treated as causes in themselves.

Since these “highest” concepts must conform perfectly with one another, they are all located in a single being, the “most real being,” “God.”

The human race has paid dearly for this web-spinning by the philosophers.

Nietzsche

The Crowd

The Crowd outside The Jockey in Paris in 1923.
Front row: Man Ray, Mina Loy, Tristan Tzara, Jean Cocteau
Middle row: Kiki, Jane Heap, Margaret Anderson, Ezra Pound
Top row: Bill Bird on the left, Hilaire Hiler and Curtiss Moffit on the right

Mina Loy was a writer, poet, and artist who had a fascinating life. In Paris in the 1920s, she was friends with writers and artists like Gertrude Stein, Man Ray, William Carlos WilliamsMarcel Duchamp and Ezra Pound.

Mina Loy ‘Sans Titre’ 1933s

Destiny

Twice everything has already taken place that our personality or destiny is like a roll of negative film— already printed but unrevealable until it has found a camera to project it—and a surface to throw it upon.‘“ Mina Loy fragment.

As I contemplate the story of my The Fugitive Stag

Rowling, Rushdie and Atwood rally against ‘cancel culture’: 150 authors and academics sign open letter denouncing ‘public shaming’ and ‘intolerance’

The Harry Potter author has joined Sir Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood and other prominent individuals from the arts in signing a letter warning open debate is being weakened in favour of ‘ideological conformity’.

The 150 signatories say recent protests for racial and social justice are a ‘needed reckoning’ but fear freedom of speech is becoming ‘more constricted’ every day. The letter, published in Harper’s Magazine, comes amid a debate over so-called cancel culture, where public figures are boycotted and shamed for perceived offensive acts.

It states: ‘The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: An intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.

from Mail+

The Hero America Needs

LOOKS GIVE IN EVERY DEPARTMENT

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/david-simon-interview-the-wire-creator-on-turning-philip-roths-novel-about-a-fascist-becoming-president-into-a-devastating-tv-series-k6f30tgnc

‘It can’t happen here’: the horrifying power of The Plot Against America https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/mar/30/the-plot-against-america-philip-roth-tv-hbo?CMP=share_btn_tw

Sinclair Lewis laid claim to It Can’t Happen Here back in 1935 with a novel that imagined a populist demagogue whipping the United States into a fascist dystopia, complete with internment camps for dissidents and paramilitary goon squads.

 The Trump parallels come early and often, and while the writing occasionally prints its subtext in font a couple of sizes too large, it’s all in order to make the point that much more forcefully.

1935 – 2020
“The Senator was vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his “ideas” almost idiotic, while his celebrated piety was that of a traveling salesman for church furniture, and his yet more celebrated humor the sly cynicism of a country store.
Certainly there was nothing exhilarating in the actual words of his speeches, nor anything convincing in his philosophy. His political platforms were only wings of a windmill.”

― Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here

O HELL

O Hell by Mina Loy

To clear the drifts of spring
Of our forebear’s excrements
And bury the subconscious archives
Under unaffected flowers


Indeed —

Our person is a covered entrance to infinity
Choked with the tatters of tradition

Goddesses and Young Gods
Caress the sanctity of Adolescence
In the shaft of the sun.