14 November 2007

I should apologise?

As much as it may appear to be impersonal and to offer the option of anonymity, yet the Internet is as human as any other product of human labour.

Our Cuban comrades are so sensitive to this. They are publishing the words of the commander in chief, Fidel Castro, just as they come. They are not perfect, yet they are wonderful. They appear more fragmentary as time goes on. Yet they are full of wisdom. They produce feelings of profound emotion, love and gratitude. More particularly, Fidel’s letters remind us, gently, that we are going to carry on, and are in fact already carrying on. How we love this man!

Fidel’s is still the most valuable report of the Latin American – Iberian summit that took place in Chile, and the extraordinary scenes there, even though the commander in chief was not himself present. See the link below for two of the commander in chief’s messages put together in one document.

Phil Hall is “ishouldapologise” and is also the son of Eve and Tony Hall. How to explain? In Monday’s CU we
had a link to Linda Grant’s “comment is free” blog from the London Guardian’s web site (where many of their journalists “blog”, or in other words they publish writing that is subject to instant comment by anyone who cares to do so.)

The story so far is that Linda discovered that the commenter “ishouldapologise” is Phil Hall, son of Tony. Tony Hall had given her (and many, many others) a good start in her working life. This discovery coincided with the death of Tony’s wife Eve, and Linda wrote openly about these things. What happened next, as Tony put it, was that a huge string of comments appeared under Linda’s blog “like a flower opening up”.

One more thing: What Linda Grant may not know but which we can reveal, thanks to Tony, father of Phil, is that “I should apologise?” comes with a question mark, a shrug and a spreading of the hands, and it is the punch-line of a story having to do with Stalin and Trotsky. The meaning of the phrase comes out in opposite ways, depending how you read it, or say it.

So now, read Linda Grant’s latest blog, linked below, called “I should apologise” (straight), and if you want to read the huge new crop of comments there,
click on this link and scroll down.

People continue to send links. From Rasigan Maharajh
comes a link to the Red Shadow Economics Rock Band - some great, very funny, vintage Marxist rock and roll, where you can play many of the songs for free right off the Internet.

There was a time, not so long ago, when we used to think that our truth in word and song was going to carry all before it. Maybe that time is coming again. Remember to have fun while it lasts!

From the great Dennis Brutus, no mean poet himself, comes the link to
Marx in Soho. What is that? Well, it’s a true mash-up. It’s a web site, obviously. It is also a book by Howard Zinn, and a one-person play which you can hire, performed live by Brian Jones, and it’s a DVD or two. And a photo album (see the photo above). Probably there is even more to it than all that. Explore for yourself.

Don’t forget to check out the Coming Events, below. Two that will be added shortly are the last 2007 BGM of Johannesburg Central Branch of the SACP on Sunday, 2 December 2007, usual time and venue, and the branch’s year-end social function on 8 December 2007, at a venue yet to be arranged (any volunteers?).

Click on these links:

The value of ideas, the summit debate, Fidel Castro Ruz (609 words)

I should apologise, Linda Grant, Comment is free, Guardian (1000 words)

Coming Events


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