Excellent writing Douglas!!! What is the name of the book that you are reading?

Stay Tuned For...

From: Douglas Kelley <dks@thing.net Reply-To: dks@thing.net

Subject: The Great Great Grand Dada of Art Video DKS

Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 15:03:28 -0400

Welcome to the Dada's Kelley Show List http://dks.thing.net/

There two important things opening this week I'm very excited about. Both augment each other beautifully .

One is tonight's HANS RICHTER (1888-1976) Dada: Art and Anti-Art, an exhibition of rarely-seen works provides an especially comprehensive overview of Richter's artistic career with it four discernible periods: early artworks created before 1916, works from the height of the 1916-1919 Dada era, art produced from the 1920s through the 1960s, and late works of the 1960s to the 1970s at the Maya Stendhal Gallery, 545 West 20th Street, 6-9 pm, a show that is, to my mind, a perfect follow up to the Gallery's recent incredibly successful show about Fluxus: To George With Love, From the Personal Collection of Jonas Mekas, about Fluxus founder George Maciunas (1931-78), and the other is the Museum of Modern Art's big Dada show that is coming here from the Pompidou in Paris via its exclusive all star engagement at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, more about that in a minute.

Both shows seemed to address things I am interested in such as what happens to left and liberal artistic orientations when faith in progress is broken, when both the sovereign individual and collaborative community seem broken, tenuous, when desire seems as likely to seek revenge as freedom and autonomy, when all artistic conviction is revealed as contingent and subjective, but the world is revealed as only Hollywood objective reality?

The critical question that animates both of these shows is how do we navigate any contemporary artistic landscape when the traditional sign posts of late modernity (lamo) have been stolen by vandals and used to decorate their college dorm rooms?

Futurism to Dada to Fluxus all diagnosed a range of contemporary artistic tendencies-- from moralistic high-handedness with overt fascist tendencies to low-lying artistic despair, suicide, minus the rebirth part, while examining the difficulty of formulating artistic alternatives to reproaches against theory in intellectual life-- as the consequence of this disorientation. This certainly is probably asking way too much but I hope both will present compelling, provocative arguments in favor of a new approach to thinking about continuance of civilization-- one that forsakes the idea that Art history has any legit purpose and treats it instead as a way of illuminating openings in the present by, for example, identifying the haunting and constraining beliefs that necessitate generational revitalization of the relationship between intellectual and artistic life, or even art and life, or even life, or art...? Blah, blah, blah, etc., etc.

The most obvious difference between these two shows are, one is in a museum and you'd probably have to wait in line an hour for tickets and another half hour to get in and it officially opens on Sunday, even though there are member previews this week, and two, the Richter one's in a Gallery, it's free and it opens tonight. Both have incredible history and lineage but what's at the Museum is not for sale, while at the Gallery at least you can eat your heart out and dream about buying the whole thing.

The MoMA Dada SHow

I wasn't paying attention and I missed the press preview which was Tuesday but the poignant descriptions I've read of Dada's crippled, broken depiction of war veterans made me think of the Depression-era classic Remember My Forgotten Man (Lyrics: Al Dubin; Music: Harry Warren) (1933) As it was featured featured as the grand finale of Mervin Le Roy's "Gold Diggers of 1933", as delivered by Joan Blondell in her own inimitable popular Sprechstimme style, her narrative seems to be making a direct address to government to remind them of the social sacrifices of war.

"I don't know if he deserves a bit of sympathy, Forget your sympathy, that's all right with me. I was satisfied to drift along from day to day, Till they came and took my man away.

Remember my forgotten man, You put a rifle in his hand; You sent him far away, You shouted, "Hip, hooray!" But look at him today!

Remember my forgotten man, You had him cultivate the land; He walked behind the plow, The sweat fell from his brow, But look at him right now!

And once, he used to love me, I was happy then; He used to take care of me, Won't you bring him back again? 'Cause ever since the world began, A woman's got to have a man; Forgetting him, you see, Means you're forgetting me Like my forgotten man.

Europeans in 1919 were already experiencing the intense social alienation that Americans didn't catch up to until the depths of the Great Depression.

For the Europeans who lived it the Great War was anything but. While America lost about 125,000, the European participants basically lost 900-1000 troops every single week for the four year duration. And the veterans who survived were unceremoniously dumped back on society's doorstep ruined for life, ruined for their families, mostly broken beyond repair.

The gross and colossal brutality and hitherto unknown and inconceivable atrocity of mechanized trench warfare had to be a terrible shock to the commonly accepted middle class tenets of civilization, that I assume still demanded a high degree of romance with respect to soldiery, valor and heroism. But when the refugee columns of zombie-fied Veterans started returning cruelly dismembered, disfigured, and mentally vacant from poison gas and shell shock it might have seen as if the whole concept of Western civilization as evinced by European industrialized society might have been an elaborate hoax by social leaders and institutions which here to for so often spoke softly of such lofty and principled sentiments when it was revealed that, when push came to shove, to repulse a Serbian claim to independence demanded mass murder and national calamity and then called it a necessity to preserve order.

Excuse me? But am I missing something? My feeling is Dada didn't assault Art, mankind assaulted civilization, and some artists correctly responded by attacking some of the traditions of Art as somehow in support of a social power structure that championed the continued explorations of the theoretical maximum depths mankind was willing to spelunk in search of its true inhumanity. Yes, there was anger and, yes, there with humor, but a lot of what needed to be let out during, and after the war, was just flat out sickened repulsion. As Daffy Duck used to say, "Despicable, isn't it?"

But for whatever reasons, I've always liked the modernized medieval grotesques of George Grosz. Even when they're relaxing and having a good time many of his collections of individuals look look like they were just hit by a rail road car sized mortar shell, their scattered images exploded like bomb shards all over the place, so German, but also a little like Italian futurism, in terms of trying to evoke the all encompassing spirit of an subject, object or event by showing it in time and motion and space with simultaneity, omniscience and speed.


About Richter

Continuing its brilliant new program of packaging Museum worthy concept shows uniquely related to my own peculiar interests in collaborative, revolutionary art movements of the 20th Century, the Stendhal Gallery has got its mitts on an unusually rich cache of Richter's work covering all periods....

Hans Richter was the Andy Warhol of his day, a painter, director, film maker, a performance artist, graphic artist, sculptor, editor, publisher, writer, and critical theorist, and considering how pleasant his comments about his colleagues were in his 1966 book Dada: Art and Anti-Art (World of Art), a skilled diplomat and a world class Statesman too.

I've been reading his book all week and loving it. It's best in the beginning, discussing the birth of Dada and the influence of their night club, the Cabaret Voltaire, and how the First World War helped amplify Dada's influence, and it also helps if you're an artist reading his writing because you need to visualize a lot of he says. He seems to have a very terrific memory and an extremely good ear for quotes, the detailed beginning of the Zurich faction is extremely interesting.

The other book I have to wet my Dada appetite is the very fine catalogue for the both the National Gallery of Art in Washington and The New York Museum of Modern Art Dada shows, that rather than dividing the movement along the lines of key individuals, art forms, materials or stylistic tendencies, rather instead, (perhaps to honor the distinguished theories about the functions of cities in the dissemination of ideas and culture of the late, recently departed Jane Jacobs) examines Dada through the contributions and relationships between the key cities that exemplified the movement, Zurich, Berlin, Cologne, Hannover, New York, and Paris.

Well, either that, or they decided that they would have a hell of a concept for a major exhibit if they just totally ripped off the table contents of the Hans Richter Dada book in which the first main six chapters are Zurich Dada, New York Dada, Berlin Dada, Hannover Dada, Cologne Dada, and Paris Dada.

Personally, I would have led off with New York Dada first. It's amazing to me that one of the biggest breakthrough phenomenon of the 20th Century had such an American twist. Even though it was because most of New York's leading practitioners were only slumming it here during the Great War, sightseeing, and trying to use Manhattan to pursue their personal romantic Casablanca fantasies, while they conveniently avoiding the scorge of active-duty through a lengthy busman's holiday in the U.S. of A.

Born to a Jewish family in Berlin, Johannes Siegfried Richter wanted to be a painter, however his well-to-do father wanted an architect son and began young Johannes Siegfried's artistic training with the year as a carpenter's apprentice. But from 1908 and 1911 Richter studied art at the Academy of Art in Berlin, the Academy of Art in Weimar, and for a brief period at the Academie Julian in Paris. In 1913 he had joined the mainstream of the expressionist circles of the avant-garde, meeting artists associated with Herwarth Walden's Sturm Gallery in Berlin, and the radical expressionists who formed the Brucke in Dresden and the Blaue Reiter in Munich. In 1914 he became part of Die Aktion, an association of expressionist artists and writers gathered around Franz Pfemfert's journal of the same name, who shared socialist and antiwar sympathies. In his graphic work for Die Aktion, which consisted of woodcuts, linocuts, and drawings, Richter began to make a decisive break with representational art and established in the context of Die Aktion between abstraction and engaged politics would be present throughout Richter's life and work.

With war was declared in September 1914 Richter was inducted into the army, where with friends, Ferdinand Hardekopf and Albert Ehrenstein, they made a fateful pact-- if they survived they were to meet two years hence at the Cafe de la terrasse in delightfully peaceful, secure sensible, neutral, and free from strife Zurich, Switzerland, far, far from the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, and the blood and the guts and the "veins in my teeth" hardcore realities of the European front lines.

So as fate would have it, a short time later, while serving in a light artillery unit in Vilnius, Lithuania, poor Hans was severely wounded, partially paralyzed, and sent to recuperate at a Berlin military hospital and in March was thankfully removed from active duty. After some hasty August nuptials, he and the Frau were sent off to seek some Swiss specialists to consult about his war wounds, and there, on September 15th 1916, as fate would also have it, he just happened to drop by the very Cafe de la terrasse in question, where guess who were waiting? None other than his two beloved and not so long lost art school chums, who quickly introduced the young Richter all around to other Dada homies sitting nearby; Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco, and Marcel's brother Georges. Pretty soon, no latter than two shakes of a rabbit's tale, Richter was immersed up to the eyeballs in Dada Events, Exhibitions, and Publications, and showing his paintings with the Dadaists for the first time at the Galerie Corray.

In 1917 he was churning out is a radical new visionary portrait paintings at the rate of about four day that were so abstract you needed to hire a psychic to consult the price list to just tell who was who?

In order to get his desired effects, and to properly escape from the limitations of the visible world, he deliberately painted these portraits at twilight in trancelike states, sometimes in complete darkness, under a blanket without even as much as a candle or flashlight, so that his pictures, "took shape before the inner rather than the outer eye," in order to transcend the stagnant, empirical exposition of the knowable in favor of the romantic ideal of the truly cosmicly unattainable and universally unknowable.

In the Dada drenched atmosphere of 1917 Zurich, believe it or not, you could set up shop as a automatic painter of Abstract Portraiture, hang out your Dada shingle, and get customers.

In spring of 1918 that rakish Romanian raconteur and Dada manifesto writer (Supreme Team King) Tristan Tzara introduced Richter to Viking Eggeling, a young Swedish painter who'd developed a systematic theory of abstract art and Richter, who had been experimenting in his Dada heads with opposing fields of black and white, positive and negative, found in his new friend of Viking a fellow traveler on the highways and byways of theoretical abstraction. In 1920 they coauthored "Universelle Sprache" (Universal Language), a text defining abstract art as a language based on the polar relationships of elementary forms derived from the laws of human perception, a kind of visual abstraction equivalent to Esperanto. For Richter, the central tenet of this text was that such an abstract language would be "beyond all national language frontiers." He imagined abstraction could be a new kind of communication that would be free from the kinds of nationalistic alliances that led to World War I.

(Ninety years later they have a common language, I think it's called the euro?)

In order to devote themselves fully to the development of thedevelopment of their theories of the universal language of forms, Rhythmus 21 and Rhythmus 23, introduced the element of time into the abstract work of art, and culminated with Richter and Eggeling sojourning back to Germany to cloister themselves and set up shop in a Richter family residence where together they produced an entirely new form of art work the Abstract Film, and this is one reason I think of him as The Great Great Grand Dada of Art Video.

Knowing When It's Time To Go

Subversion is often in the eye of the beholder, particularly as expressed by the subject's own host country's censorship policy and Richter's now classics of art cinema, often merrily showing shapes and objects moving and interacting in the vortexes of time/space, set to musical scores came to the attention of suspicious authorities early on.

For his 1927 masterpiece, Vormittagsspuk (Ghosts before Breakfast), he developed a delightfully whimsical, but thoroughly Abstract Busby Berkeley-esque flying hat dance routine to illustrate ever so gently his main Dada ideas, conerning German symbols behaving badly, by showing everyday objects, by means of invisible fishing line, flying about obstinately rebelling against their dutiful Deutsch owners: derby hats, potent symbols of bourgeois propriety and stability, take on lives of their own, parodying their inept masters, and this sweet little Art film, that almost no one would look upon as subversive today was immediately understood in 1927 as a political threat, and subversive to the German social order, and was censored accordingly.

So Ritcher got the chance to see clearly what the writing on the wall was going to be, as far too few Germans got to in those days, and as a German Jewish contemporary artist politically opposed to the way things were going in the long run-up to World War II, understood when it was time to get out, eventually emigrating to New York where he got a job at the Film Institute of the City College of New York, where he founded the very first artist film program in United States, which is another reason why I call him the Great Great Grand Dada Of Video. Retiring from teaching in 1962 he returned to Switzerland however visiting often I hope.

MoMA's Dada And Our War

One of the problems for Dada I have felt was that even though it wasn't so nihilistic to the point that it sought not to examine and consider the ethical dilemmas of World War I, despite Marcel Duchamp said in 1915, shortly after his arrival in New York. "From a psychological standpoint I find the spectacle of war very impressive, the instinct which sends men marching out to cut down other men is an instinct worthy of careful scrutiny. What an absurd thing such a conception of patriotism is!... Personally I must say I admire the attitude of combating invasion with folded arms." That very sub text seemed to lose stature with the unspeakable atrocities of World War II?

Still it's very hard to imagine how such an incredibly honest and intelligent well-educated industrious cultivated and civilized people got suckered into being brung so low by War in the 20th Century? Who, in the last century, had the smartest scientists and engineers, and doctors and philosophers, and led the way as often in art as in commerce, and always in world-class research?

Perhaps they should have listened to their little Artist friends a little bit more carefully; those highly educated, generally law abiding, sophisticated international individuals who, for all their outrageous behavior, chaotic imagery, wild costumes, cacophonous language, and inspired adolescent attempts at humorous sound play, were generally committed to Dada because it held at its core a serious ethical stance against the inequities of some contemporary social and political conditions. Its assaultive strategies, manifestoes and media pranks, and exploitation of media as a nontraditional art material, and attacks on art history, and challenges to the destruction of meaning in language and justice, as well as their commitment to the exploration of the unconscious, the exultation of the human spirit and their radical devotion to the examination of their own states of mind were all forms of peaceful protest that sought to challenge or counter act the mindless aggressive tactics and brutality witnessed in World War I.

May be if Europeans had listened, really listened to their little Dada bretherin in the early 1920's, the German child born in 1945 would of inherited more than a pile of stinking, smoldering rubble, only good for use as an aggregate in the cold hard austere concrete construction of postwar/cold war Germany. But seriously folks, there was one very very small, but notable upside to all of this, unlike Germany after World War I (or perhaps the children of this country after this World War on Terror is done), that baby was thankfully born debt-free because all German institutions; social, financial, legal, ethical and moral been completely obliterated. Our future children are gonna be paying our bills for a long long time unless we choose to honor the advice of some of our artists and get a grip on our environmentally exploitive, scorched earth, planet killing, corporatist money grubbing beef eating class warring elitist pigish evil Imperial ways.

Did I provoke you?

I hope New Yorkers will remain open minded enough consider our own knuckle-headed Homeland predicaments as they saunter through the big MoMA Dada show? Dada Curator Leah Dickerman observes: "Dada was a profound, ethical response to historical circumstances, it was a very calculated form of nonsense - protests against a civilization they thought had failed them."

Dada was the quintessential first late modernist experiment to identify many of the 20th century's artistic and stylistic reactions to the onslaught of industrialization of modern life. And so completely on target with its spooky foreshadowing of late modern (la-mo) style that it is so often characterized by eclecticism, digression, collage, pastiche, irony, even bitterness and disdain, but somehow retaining within its self a self-consciousness a faint notion, with just a hint of, or within the frame of reference of, idealism.

It will be good to see Marcel Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, again. The last time I saw her she was hanging out in some dimly lit Museum in Philadelphia propositioning young art students like myself. Excuse me if this makes no sense...

In my lifetime mostly Dada got no respect. It was absurdist, which meant in this country- anarchistic, which meant terrorist, and it was anti-statis, which possibly meant anti-capitalist and certainly pro socialist even pro Communist, which used to mean worse than terrorist, in that it also was also uniquely German, sarcastic, rebellious and possibly extremely decadent, which meant to many Americans Dadaists might also likey be Nazi pervert motorcycle gang bangers. So it was a period of "European" Art History that I was never taught, and if ever mentioned, usually darkly associated with the destruction of art and the end aesthetic values and in hushed tones and passed over extremely quickly. A reviewer from the American Art News once stated that "The Dada philosophy is the sickest, most paralyzing and most destructive thing that has ever originated from the brain of man."

I understand the MoMA exhibition shows that Dada was in fact by and large a positive and highly productive movement where you get a taste of the exhilarating freedom many artists experienced back in the day when when their minds were originally blown by the positive potential of the 20th Century and realized that despite however messed up things had become, suddenly anything seemed possible.... certainly conceivable, possibly actionable, and in time, executable.

What I so liked about Dada is that here you have a crucial revolutionary chapter of "the historical avant-garde" with solid New York quotient. According to Tristan Tzara, "God and my toothbrush are Dada, and New Yorkers can be Dada too, if they are not already." We are my man, we are.

The spirit of New York Dada perhaps was most beautifully exemplified by that serial cross dresser, the French-born self-styled "an-artist" (neither an artist nor an anti-artist, as he used to say) Marcel Duchamp's transformation into Rrose Selavy, boldly escaping from the claustrophobic gender and social pecking order of a monarchy dominated Europe, once safely ensconced here in the borough of freedom- Manhattan, he decided to take a walk on wild side and became a woman to shock and provoke Art.  

Duchamp, who first found fame with "Nude Descending a Staircase" his own particularly French take on Italian futurism and time in space at the 1913 New York Armory Show, first asserted his inalienable rights of free expression and individual power and personal choice, like so many after him, by transforming himself into who he felt he was, an old French whore with a come-hither heart of gold.

If Dada were all about losing the stuffy pretensions and crippling dislocation of the unity of art and life of the 19th century, this is where he lost his, New York was the place where Dada beget its anything-is-art if you accept it mantra.

Of his most well-known artistic provocations, "Fountain," the hardware store purchased men's urinal he unsuccessfully tried to show as a readymade at the 1917 exhibition of the New York Society of Independent Artists, I always thought had a very literal meaning, strongly redolent of similar contemporary opinions on life, Art, and personalities often expressed by Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog, "As a New Yorker and no longer a Parisian refugee, I regret to inform you that I piss on your European traditional art values, they bore me." I kid, I kid!

Soon after arriving from France, Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia met American artist Man Ray all arriving only days apart in June of 1915. By 1916 this ultimate poawer trio became the center of radical anti-art activities in the United States. American Beatrice Wood, who had been studying in France, soon joined them. (More on this incredible character who died in 2000 at the age of 104, who served as the inspiration for James Cameron character "Rose" in his epic remake production of "Titanic", giving it an extremely obscure Dada reference next week!)

Hello I Must Be Going

As an artistic survivalist, I like to think that I would have beat it out of Europe faster than Speedy Gonzalez at the first rumor of whiffs of mustard gas or faint rumblings of long-range artillery.

For me to the term "over the top" is a stylistic compliment that I like to hear quite often and nothing I'd ever want to hear in a bloody trench, shouted by a French sergeant against the incessant relentless clack clack clack of Prussian machine fire. As Woody Allen said in Love and Death, "What do you mean sent to the Russian front, I can't even shower with other man?"

I'm a little bit perturbed that my initial clever preconceived attitude that Dada was the perfect Modern Art movement to revisit and contemplate in the present because our the present imperial militaristic tendencies seem to have become as much out of control and off kilter as they were then seems to have been challenged slightly by what I've read in Richter's book Dada? It wasn't so much about the pain and realizations of war as it was about their insatiable curiosity and lust to understand what was next what was going to be "New".

I had been thinking that there were certain striking parallels between The War On Terror and World War I, except that The War On Terror hasn't really began yet, but similarly contains its own hornet's nest of missteps and miscalculations to potentially become just as disastrous, and sweep away governments and empires and established social order just the way World War I did.

It's not really clear what really caused the first World War, sadly historians are still scratching their heads on that, but it didn't help that there was that incident in the classically politically confused Sarajevo when the Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand, (not the pop group), a possible heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist and the Germans decided that they had better stomp on the notion of Serbia independence before it got to big for its britches.

My feeling is that Germany had already, for what ever over reaching imperialist reasons of its own, pissed off a majority of the world's coalition of a willing and they had had quite enough thank you. I don't think that had they all known that The Allied Powers, led by the British Empire, France, and Russia until 1918, and the United States after 1917, would defeat the Central Powers, led by the German Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire and cause the complete disintegration of those three empires and Russia, too, radically altering the European and Middle Eastern maps, and/or 10 million would die, and that the majority of the then royal monarchs and Grand Pooh Bah of their day would be tossed out on their ears, or that the whole sorry episode would beget a very bad sequel, World War II, they wouldn't have been so eager to have it one another.

They might have treated the assassination provocation incident as a criminal matter for police to handle rather than squandering their blood and treasure settling scores the old-fashioned way, with trench warfare?

So I don't care if Dada's founders were a bunch of "draft dodging deadbeat dads who left their dying wives," (oops that's Newt Gingrich's ID,) reluctance to die in wars with such nebulous, ill-conceived, or indistinct objectives seems very sensible to me. Frankly, I would rather be writing manifestos in Zurich?

The problem in this country is that we're rapidly approaching some hitherto unexperienced singular historical poignant peak of piquancy in a time when politics and government really matter and we can choose to re-engage and wrest the steering wheel of State from its looming collision course or we can sit back and enjoy the view as we do the Thelma-and-Louise big finish thing.


Before the invasion, which was supposed to be greeted with flowers, I said that we should be thinking instead Algeria or Vietnam.

The administration, politically seeking to steady its troops, and with it, hopefully America's resolve for victory, has provided little more than a ratcheting up their noise machine rhetoric of the noble crusade against the ruthless evil-doing killers (whom behead women and children because they hate our freedom), a deadly syllogism that conflates a population that broadly supports an insurgency with all terrorists that has led to a military culture of revenge that has diminished all distinctions between civilian and military targets in Iraq.

In the 1960's a popular conservative bumper sticker about Viet Nam was, "Kill them all and let God sort them out." I thought that was a joke but it's turned out to be policy.

A resurgence of such a bloodthirsty ethos in America was apparent on the front page of the New York Post last week that had the death picture of that terrorist guy, Al-ze-Whats-His-Name that had a cartoon balloon caption coming from his mouth- "Time to warm up the virgins." I had to laugh when I saw it at the Deli because, as I said to a fellow late-night shopper, "That is just so wrong when so many levels." That was a Dada moment.


A Dada Postscript

Let me tell you, after the last six years of the Bush administration I feel like I have lived through The Big One, The Great War, The Bore To End All Bores. Our unnecessary war has been a war of imagination waged by the people with none, against a small minority with very medieval imaginations, but soon expanding to attack the vast majority who have very little, but who, as well as anybody, understand pain and hardship.

He, the president whose name we dare not speak, is not the War President you silly people, he's the Big Oil President, the Big Business President and Big Government President who want to be the big shrinker of your government, now if he only had some talent for governance? As a President with some experience with puppet governments staffed with no show jobs for political cronies transitioning to the private sector where they can pillage the treasury even more, has just returned from Baghdad where he seems very pleased that they finally found a couple of guys just dumb enough to be photographed with him in the safe zone. I wonder how long those guys will last, better get those wills filled out fast.

As I've said all along that we didn't invade Iraq to get the oil, we invaded it to prevent others from having at it, developing it, drilling it, pumping it, much less selling it. In return for the $40 million Big Oil have contributed to his campaigns they have been nicely rewarded with profits in the hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars each, and while he might seem to shed some crocodile tears at the prospect that Americans might be being price gouged the vice president's former Big Oil colleagues can't believe their good fortune.

Unfortunately for the Iraqis, Iraq is our real long-term strategic oil reserve. The Iraqis might feel they have every right at this point to be is mad as hell and be unwilling to take it anymore, but it's a snowball's chance in hell that they will ever get the opportunity to get control of their situation unless things get really, really, out of control. The way it is now, they are going to have accept subsistence level poverty as they eat it financially for the rest of the life of 'our' oil in 'their' ground. When their last barrel has finally been pumped, it's remains spewed out some American exhaust pipe, Iraq will free at last, free at last, My Great God Allah Almighty, free at last. But mark my words, Iraq's oil is going to be some of the very last oil ever pumped, we're saving it for something special. Not invented yet.

All present and future U.S. conflicts are shaping up to be resource grabs to maintain corporate Globalisation strategies. It's your Impirial defense  dollars in action. The great empires have all done this, but its in this, their final greedy empirical militarist decline phase that they usually squander the peaceful fat easy set ups they've attained... Trying to desparately to protect that which recently required, they didn't need to attempt to steal in the first place.

I hope my lifetime I live long enough to see another historical period where creative and intelligent people, like the Dadaists, actually get fed up paying for these conflicts and start spending it on energy sustainability, education, Art, environmental protection, etc., Anything but energy war?

So like Dada, it's been funny, angry, silly and confrontational, hope to see you tonight. More next time.... Chow, Auf Weidersehen. -DK