Monthly Archives: November 2015

So, I found my image in this weird corner….

GERALD PIPERS

Comments Off on So, I found my image in this weird corner….

November 30, 2015 · 7:36 pm

THEY WILL NEVER DEFEAT ROCK’N’ROLL !!

HENDRIX

The Paris attacks aimed at destroying Culture and our way of life.

1- There are some people who STILL don’t understand HOW different in nature these terrorist attacks in Paris were to all others
preceding them.

9/11 aimed at American symbology, power, money and so on. They managed to bring down the two tallest structures
in the world’s financial capital as well as hurting the Pentagon in the nation’s capital.

But the attack on the Bataclan was an entirely different episode. It aimed at destroying rock’n’roll, as a manner of speaking. Strangely enough, with a few degrees of separation  because the band playing there, the Eagles of Death Metal has as its founder members, Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes. Now, Josh was also one the founder member of THEM CROOKED VULTURES, along with John Paul Jones (Ex Led Zeppelin and with whom I was collaborating on an opera project) and Foo Fighter (and ex Nirvana) David Grohl.

EAGLES OF DEATH METAL

So, that’s HOW CLOSE they got.

Thus, attacking the very nature of what my generation stood for and still stands for, i.e. the counterculture movement, the Civil Rights movement, Gay Rights, The Black Rights, Feminism and so on. They struck the nerve !!!! A very nervous nerve which has been claiming for CALM for decades. Yet, they UNLOADED THEIR WEAPONS AND THEIR HATRED against THE SYMBOL OF THE PEACE MOVEMENT and against everything that Woodstock and derivates stood for (the anti Vietnam movement and so on). Rock and roll is MORE than just a genre of music.

WOODSTOCK

It’s a way of life. It’s a way of positioning yourself against WARS (“make love, not war”, remember?), it’s the epicenter of the flower power movement and it’s Hendrix in its purest form. And that is what they aimed for.

BUT WE ARE STRONGER.

Not once, but twice because, in early January 2015, when the offices of the satirical Charlie Hebdo were massacred, the great 80 year old cartoonist and friend of mine Wolinski was amongst the dead.

WOLINSKI

Two different episodes. Same city. Both were cultural ambushes. One of the victims I knew I and shall never forget. As for Josh, he’s in deep shock back in L A, together with the rest of the band, trying to come to terms with this HORRENDOUS situation.

As for me? Yes, good question…. As for me? 

Gerald Thomas – November 29, 2015

____________________________________________________

Italy’s Matteo Renzi response:

Culture X Terror 

Matteo Renzi has come up with what may seem a uniquely Italian solution to the security threat gripping Europe: to fight terrorism with culture.

The 40-year old Italian prime minister on Tuesday laid out plans for €2bn in new spending in response to the November 13 attacks in Paris, amid growing concerns that Italy could be a terrorist target. While €1bn would be used for security and defense purposes, another €1bn would pay for cultural programmes.

This includes more money for disenfranchised neighborhoods on the outskirts of big cities, where there are often clashes between Italians and immigrants, but also a €500 bonus for every 18-year old to spend at theatres, concerts and museums. The idea, according to Mr Renzi, is to reinforce their sense of being guardians of Italy’s vast cultural heritage.

“What happened in Paris signaled a step-up in the cultural battle that we are living,” Mr Renzi said at a speech at the Capitoline Museum in Rome. “They imagine terror, we answer with culture. They destroy statues, we love art. They destroy books, we are the country of libraries.”

Mr Renzi’s plan — which has yet to be approved by parliament — could face resistance from Italian business, since it is funded by delaying until 2017 a planned corporate tax cut that many saw as essential to reinforcing the country’s sluggish economic recovery.

Italy’s premier said the business tax cut could still happen in 2016 if Brussels would allow Italy to bend eurozone budget rules by raising its deficit from 2.2 per cent to 2.4 per cent of gross domestic product. “We want to forcefully ask Europe to respect a pact of humanity which is worth more than the stability pact,” he added.

Mr Renzi also took a swipe at world leaders for rejecting his proposal at a Nato summit in September 2014 to exclude security spending from EU budget rules. “I won’t tell you the reactions I got, and now it seems obvious,” he said.

The prime minister’s plan comes amid growing fears among Italians that the approaching “Jubilee of Mercy” called by Pope Francis, due to begin December 8, will make the country a terrorist target. Millions of pilgrims from around the world are expected to flock to Rome for the occasion.

Italian police on Tuesday raided a prominent migrant center in the Tiburtina neighborhood in northeastern Rome, detaining at least 23 undocumented African migrants who were housed at the facility. Meanwhile, a solemn state funeral was held in Venice’s St Mark’s Square for Valeria Solesin, a 28-year old Italian who was killed at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on the night of the attacks.

Mr Renzi is due to meet François Hollande, French president, in Paris on Thursday, and Joe Biden, US vice-president, on Friday, to discuss the response to the terror attacks. “An international coalition requires respect for international law and a strategic vision for the future of the affected territories,” he said.

A poll released by Piepoli this week showed that 60 per cent of Italians are against joining France and Russia in pursuing military action against Isis in Syria.

BRAVO MR. RENZI !!!

 

 

Comments Off on THEY WILL NEVER DEFEAT ROCK’N’ROLL !!

Filed under Uncategorized

Christiane Amampour interviews Gloria Steinem (now 81 years old). Probably one of the best interviews EVER, and these two enlightened ladies…EVER !!!

 

Culture X Terror 

Matteo Renzi has come up with what may seem a uniquely Italian solution to the security threat gripping Europe: to fight terrorism with culture.

The 40-year old Italian prime minister on Tuesday laid out plans for €2bn in new spending in response to the November 13 attacks in Paris, amid growing concerns that Italy could be a terrorist target. While €1bn would be used for security and defense purposes, another €1bn would pay for cultural programmes.

This includes more money for disenfranchised neighborhoods on the outskirts of big cities, where there are often clashes between Italians and immigrants, but also a €500 bonus for every 18-year old to spend at theatres, concerts and museums. The idea, according to Mr Renzi, is to reinforce their sense of being guardians of Italy’s vast cultural heritage.

“What happened in Paris signaled a step-up in the cultural battle that we are living,” Mr Renzi said at a speech at the Capitoline Museum in Rome. “They imagine terror, we answer with culture. They destroy statues, we love art. They destroy books, we are the country of libraries.”

Mr Renzi’s plan — which has yet to be approved by parliament — could face resistance from Italian business, since it is funded by delaying until 2017 a planned corporate tax cut that many saw as essential to reinforcing the country’s sluggish economic recovery.

Italy’s premier said the business tax cut could still happen in 2016 if Brussels would allow Italy to bend eurozone budget rules by raising its deficit from 2.2 per cent to 2.4 per cent of gross domestic product. “We want to forcefully ask Europe to respect a pact of humanity which is worth more than the stability pact,” he added.

Mr Renzi also took a swipe at world leaders for rejecting his proposal at a Nato summit in September 2014 to exclude security spending from EU budget rules. “I won’t tell you the reactions I got, and now it seems obvious,” he said.

The prime minister’s plan comes amid growing fears among Italians that the approaching “Jubilee of Mercy” called by Pope Francis, due to begin December 8, will make the country a terrorist target. Millions of pilgrims from around the world are expected to flock to Rome for the occasion.

Italian police on Tuesday raided a prominent migrant center in the Tiburtina neighborhood in northeastern Rome, detaining at least 23 undocumented African migrants who were housed at the facility. Meanwhile, a solemn state funeral was held in Venice’s St Mark’s Square for Valeria Solesin, a 28-year old Italian who was killed at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on the night of the attacks.

Mr Renzi is due to meet François Hollande, French president, in Paris on Thursday, and Joe Biden, US vice-president, on Friday, to discuss the response to the terror attacks. “An international coalition requires respect for international law and a strategic vision for the future of the affected territories,” he said.

A poll released by Piepoli this week showed that 60 per cent of Italians are against joining France and Russia in pursuing military action against Isis in Syria.

BRAVO MR. RENZI !!!

 

 

Comments Off on Christiane Amampour interviews Gloria Steinem (now 81 years old). Probably one of the best interviews EVER, and these two enlightened ladies…EVER !!!

Filed under Uncategorized

Sad Brazilian Metaphors. Tristes Metáforas Brasileiras. Tristes Tropiques.

Chapada da Diamantina: charred

Chapada da Diamantina: charred

"Mariana", considered to be one the 5 worst ecological disasters of all times.

“Mariana”, considered to be one the 5 worst ecological disasters of all times.

“E quem não dormiu num sleeping bag nem sequer sonhou”, cantava Gilberto Gil.

“And those who never slept in a sleeping bag, never even had a chance to dream”, sang Gilberto Gil.

 

Comments Off on Sad Brazilian Metaphors. Tristes Metáforas Brasileiras. Tristes Tropiques.

Filed under Uncategorized

Deliriums at dawn and Hearts of Darkness.

GERALD EIGER

“Deliriums at Dawn”

Turkish police have detained a Belgian man of Moroccan origin on suspicion that he scouted out the target sites for Islamic State in attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, according to the country’s Dogan news agency.

Counter-terrorism police first became aware of the man when he arrived on a flight to Antalya and tracked him to the hotel in the Manavgat district of the city, Dogan said.

Separately Turkey deported a group of Moroccans detained at Istanbul’s main airport this week over suspected links to Islamic State.

The eight, who said they had arrived at Ataturk airport on Tuesday night from Casablanca for a holiday, were detained by border police and questioned by profiling experts who flagged them as suspected militants, a government official said.

Lucky me? Unlucky me? This last week I booked and then cancelled flights and hotel reservations for those two countries: Morocco and Turkey. I’m still sitting here in panic (somewhere in Europe thinking if and where the next coordinated attack by these lunatics will be and who exactly will profit – since The Prophet – no longer has anything to do with this: these are not Muslims: these are petty criminals, thieves, gangs members. Little ‘Pirates of Penzance’, somewhat mirrored in Johnny Depp, sword of AK47s in hand, Black Flags, black berets, dark minds, nomads, no-man’s lands, the Che Guevara aesthetic of the 1950’s guerilla, the forest fighter and the running GUMPS!

In 2009 I wrote a MANIFESTO saying goodbye. Here it is, in case you might be interested (https://geraldthomasblog.wordpress.com/manifesto/). I was tired then. I am tired now.

But, somehow, I still found some strength in something that I can’t explain. Barack Obama maybe? Call me naïve, but I still had hope and I resurfaced in London with the London Dry Opera Company and did some (in my opinion) good stuff. I released a book of my (old) drawings and paintings (Arranhando a Superficie / Scratching the Surface). Yes, scandal here, scandal there. The usual.

But, these recent attacks, beginning with the “Charlie Hebdo” in early 2015, together with the suicide of Robin Williams in August of last year (which deeply, deeply affected me!), did something to me, brought me back to a horrible state of mind and… Right after that, I myself, tried committing suicide. And it was for real. I just didn’t want to live another day. I was saved by Dr. Urs and by Air Glaciers. Yet, it took me a while to fully comprehend what had happened.

Plus the loss of more friends this year than in any other year, put me in a place I hate to be in: PANIC.

I am where I was just after the 9/11 attacks and where I hate to be: in panic.

Finally, after eleven years in the making (yes, 11 years!) I handed in my autobiography “And Dead, We Walk”. I cannot quite believe I’ve done it but I have! It’s there, with the publishers and I’m waiting to proofread it.

AND I’ve managed to finish my goddamn novel “The Lost Case of a Brief Case”, also delivered to the publisher. AND a compilation of my plays, in both English and Portuguese will also be published.

I’ve always been rather skeptical of publishing these texts since my theater is more than just words words words. It’s the entire Gesamtglücksfallwerk (the work of total chance). But, upon reading some of them again, lately, I thought that some of the texts do register some part of the idea so…why not?

It is hard to think of ART in a world under siege and in a state of emergency practically run by FEAR. Brecht managed. Yes, but it wasn’t a world invaded by devices and APPS and social media and so much instant crap and a ‘bombardment” of another kind.

THUGS! I really did think that the era of George W and Cheney and those thugs was over. Foolish me. When I hear Trump and the like, I don’t know whether it’s a show or if he means it. Because, should he make it to the Oval place there (God forbid), the US will have WALLS around it and will become everything that the US isn’t. These WALLS keep popping up, don’t they? How bizarre! Walls! So, the GOP has gone mad, more than ever before! I mean, this time it’s back to the Black Lists and the McCarthy era and the Theater of the Absurd.

And, if The Theater of the Absurd has finally made it into mainstream politics, by which I mean, to the United States Presidential Race, then we the orphans of Samuel Beckett and Ellen Stewart and the entire Off Off Broadway movement have been conned.

Am I bitter?

Probably. No, not bitter. Angry.

Personally, I’ll say what I said back in that MANIFESTO in 2009: I’m incredibly grateful for the amazing life I’ve had. After all, only a few of my generation have achieved what I’ve managed to achieve and I am proud (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Thomas_(theatre_director)

I’ll be around. How? Not sure how. Maybe thru these “Deliriums at dawn”. Yes, I have a lot to complain about.

It will just be another side of me.

Just wait and see.

And you will see me here (and only here)

http://www.geraldthomas.com

http://geraldthomas.net (videos)

Instagram ‘geraldthomas1’

and here, on this blog

Gerald Thomas

November 21, 2015

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on Deliriums at dawn and Hearts of Darkness.

Filed under Uncategorized

Folha de São Paulo (MUNDO) – Article re: Letter to François Hollande

MUNDO Hollande

Comments Off on Folha de São Paulo (MUNDO) – Article re: Letter to François Hollande

November 19, 2015 · 1:39 pm

The Guardian – Open Letter to President François Hollande

GUARDIAN GUASQUE

Text in full

FROM: GERALD THOMAS

Dear François Hollande,

I have a question for you:

Is this a WAR, as you claim?

Sorry but although I’m also caught in the heat of the moment and in “riverrun” of emotions after the Paris massacre, it may seem out of tune but I am shocked by your affirmation: “This time it’s WAR.”

No, Monsieur Hollande, it’s not! “It’s a terrorist attack”.

Of course, the French always break our hearts! And your café culture of existentialism and structuralism, your philosophers in general who see flies on walls and “think therefore they are”, like Descartes thinking Rimbaud thinking Artaud and all in the hardened mind of Rodin’s real thinker. It’s complicated, I know. Yet, your Your “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” and your Constitution, your Revolutions have taught the world huge lessons and are undeniably moving!

And that is precisely why I was so shocked to hear you say that “This time it’s WAR.” No, Monsieur Hollande. A WAR is something different than what just took place in Paris.

I’m writing this in a country that borders yours and I don’t hear a thing. If this were a war, my lights would be out and this article would probably not make it to print.

In fact, this planet has rarely enjoyed a 70 year period of (relative) peace. And I’m kind of hoping we can stretch that.

You heard me, Monsieur Hollande.

And by relative peace I don’t mean to overlook the unnecessary atrocities of Vietnam, Cambodia or Korea. Or, even, Rwanda (and I could go on and on pointing out the miscarriages of geopolitical pros and cons, ambushes here and there), until it all comes to a sudden HALT, right in front of my window, on the East River, at barely past 8 in the morning when two planes hit the gigantic towers of the World Trade Center. Yes, that was, for us then, a WAR.

Nobody in the US had ever seen a spectacle like it. I saw it live, the whole thing, till the end, the cascading collapse of it all, the rubble, the mushroom cloud of ash, the burning asbestos, the 3 thousand burning souls. Yes, read whatever metaphor you want into it. But there will be none that matches the sadness and hatred and fear of this era we’ve come to live in, Mr. Hollande.

9/11 changed the course of History and, well. You know the rest. What I’m afraid of this time, is what I was afraid of when a certain Mr. “W” plus a Cheney and an Ashcroft, a Rumsfeld (can you hear the earth tremors?) decided for all the wrong reasons to endanger our existence. And so they have. This gang and this gang alone has put our lives in danger forever and here is where you, Mr. Hollande, come in to the equation.

At that time, in 2003, France did everything right and did not invade Iraq, since Saddam, surely a bad SOB, did not pose a threat to our existence and did not have any WMDs.

Now, all this ISIS garbage is, as you well know, nothing but bad mixture of left overs from tribal wars between Sunnis and Shiites and a super well trained military army left over from Saddam’s Ba’ath Party. But what do I know? What do I know about Assad being an Allawite and the Curds and the Yazidis being eternally persecuted by all of them and what do I know about the dozens of dissidents within the splinter groups ever since the PLO had a huge fight with the Life of Bryan and John Cleese deciding to form a party of his own?

In all seriousness, dear reader, the concept of a REAL WAR is something you would not know unless you happen to be 90 years of age. Are you? I guess not. I’m only sixty one, but I did lose almost my entire family in concentration camps, so, I know.

A WAR engages ALL countries in the world and involves the Army, the Navy and the Air Force of All NATIONS.

Is this what’s happening?

NO !

In hindsight, we will look at this Paris tragedy with sadness, but that’s all. Just like we look at London July 7, 2005 with a lot of sadness, but that’s all.

Again, I’ll remind you: we have rarely enjoyed a 70 year period of (relative) peace on this planet as we do now.

Things have never been so good, in the field of human rights, in spite of the 35 million slaves, victims of human trafficking, in spite of so much abuse and starvation”, says a friend, when I complain about the online radicalization of the lunatic losers who join this idiotic cause (which, by the way, kills more Muslims than it does any other religious group put together).

These losers found a fun game to play with real weapons, instead of street gangs in the poor urban neighborhoods of our capitals.

A WAR is something else.

With no “SMARTbombs” or Drones, the Second World War left a death toll of something between 65 million and 75 dead. THAT IS WHAT A WORLD WAR DOES after 6 years.

Please remember that, between World War 1 and World War 2, there was only a short breathing space of 21 years.

Twenty one years and the entire thing begins again. Imagine that! That is why I insist on the 70 years of relative peace we enjoy.

Nowadays , a world war would probably kill 2.2 billion people. Imagine. That’s what wars are: huge unimaginable numbers.

Huge wars  like in WW2 where 12 million died in Hitler’s Germany (6 million only in Auschwitz), and in Stalin’s Soviet Union (an approximate 13 million) and it brought AIR RAIDS ( blitzes) over England, by the Nazis, where sirens went off and people had to hide in the ‘Underground’ or in bunkers. And, when they came out, there was nothing or little left.

Yet, Europe rebuilt.

Even Dresden, flattened by the Brits, rebuilt.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have rebuilt.

Yes, in a World War, they use ATOMIC BOMBS.

So, Monsieur Hollande: was this TERRORISM or WAR?

PLEASE THINK carefully before you incite the younger population of the world into thinking that the tragic death of 128 people was an act of war. It wasn’t.

WAR begins by signing a treaty. It is a strange thing.

Have you signed it? Did De Gaulle?

If, tomorrow morning, a household in Colorado turns on their lights and makes their coffee and says good morning to their dear ones or in Tokyo, a couple makes green tea and smiles to their kids and, say, in Rio, people make plans to go to the beach in Ipanema, Monsieur Hollande, I guarantee you: THIS IS NOT A WAR.

IT’S TERRORISM !!!

Gerald Thomas

Playwright, Theater and Opera Director

 

Comments Off on The Guardian – Open Letter to President François Hollande

November 19, 2015 · 1:37 pm