[-empyre-] more and the question about performance

Murat Nemet-Nejat muratnn at gmail.com
Mon Nov 17 06:52:02 EST 2014

"SIS uses beheadings, other violent acts to crush civilians, UN report says
Newsday - .5 hours ago. UNITED NATIONS -- Beheadings, stonings and
mutilation are common weapons of terror employed by the Islamic State in
its campaign to subdue civilian populations that have come under its
control in Syria, according to a UN monitoring group."

By referring to these, to us, unspeakable acts of violence as terrorism, we
are describing them implicitly as "instinctive," irrational acts of
violence ignoring their ritualistic, imitative, therefore, rational, almost
bureaucratic, self-perpetuating aspect. Let us pick up, for instance, the
recent news that ISIS has been picking up little girls,
ten-twelve-year-olds and marrying them to ISIS fighters as spoils of war.
These acts, along with the beheadings, are, perhaps parodic, "recreations"
of Koranic universe (girls married at pre-puberty age,soldiers of Holy
Jihad rewarded even prior to death). In that respect the the violence by
ISIL, reinforced by TV images ISIL itself shoots, has a theatrical,
self-consciously ritualistic aspect. ISIL itself, it seems to me, sees what
it does as a performance. As I said before, attached to rationality,
violence becomes self-perpetuating, reinforced by its own act. At one time
(that God we are not there yet, I think) we arrive at the banality of
terror. Ciao, Murat

On Sun, Nov 16, 2014 at 9:36 AM, Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Amery and others talk about the dissolution of the self in torture; the
> 'ego' to me is actually a knot that's fairly easily dissolved in dire
> circumstances. The selves are varied, at times they've been related to
> different intelligences (Howard Gardner) or roles in classical capitalism -
> torture, horrendous pain in general, transforms the ego into something else
> entirely, seems to dissolve it. It may just be a matter of nomenclature?
> - Alan
> On Sun, 16 Nov 2014, William Bain wrote:
>  ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> ==
> email archive http://sondheim.rupamsunyata.org/
> web http://www.alansondheim.org / cell 718-813-3285
> music: http://www.espdisk.com/alansondheim/
> current text http://www.alansondheim.org/sw.txt
> ==
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