forget me not: selective remembering

.. Hard to believe even Syrian president Assad dutifully enacts the ritual at the tomb of the unknown soldier, the fallen unnamed that seems to justify some perverted, twisted ideological mechanism used to justify the murder of his own citizens:

The United Nations says more than 2,900 people, including 100 children, have been killed in six months of protests. The figure does not include people who have disappeared.The 46-year-old Assad, who inherited power from his father in 2000, blames the violence on armed gangs backed by foreign forces, while his officials say 700 police and soldiers have been killed, as well as 700 “mutineers.”…


Image: Read More: ---Forgetting does not necessarily always depend on remembering. In our daily lives, we forget a lot of things that we had never intended to remember in the first place. Such impressions are not present in our perception but yet the unconscious has access to them precisely because of their absence. Any attempt to grant priority either to memory or to forgetting would meet with frustration. The question whether memory precedes forgetting or vice-versa is sometimes not above idle chatter. Neither memory nor forgetting is contingent solely upon the exigencies of temporality as the index of their existence. It is a matter of learning from experience how difficult it is to learn, or, as Alexander Kluge will say, how difficult it is not to learn. In any case, both memory and forgetting hardly need recourse to temporality to disclose their identities. Memory's position, as it essentially positions itself behind the facade of temporality in self-concealment, is clearly reflected in its reluctance to accept an experience imposed on it by the weight of past. Memory takes a deep breath and shakes itself loose from the weight of past.---

The authorities have dismissed the opposition organizing outside Syria as a foreign conspiracy to sow sectarian strife. Ghalioun said the opposition’s goal was the peaceful removal of the Assad government. He added that the international community had to do more to help. ”We demand that the international community assume its responsibilities and find ways to protect Syrian civilians,” he said, sharply criticizing Russia for helping block a UN Security Council resolution on Syria….

Read More: ---Even his wife, the fragrant graduate of London’s exclusive Queens College in Harley Street Asma al-Hassad, deserves to be investigated as part of that circle. Credulous journalists at American women’s magazines have extolled her charity and compassion, but she remains privately supportive of her brutal husband. (In international criminal law, Caesar’s wife is not above suspicion).---

…”It is scandalous that Russia accepts or even encourages … the Syrian regime to continue its violence against the Syrian people. I think that the democratic community has not done enough to oblige the Russians and the Syrians to respect Syrian human rights,” he said. Russia and China – like the United States, veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council – blocked a European-drafted resolution urging Syria to halt its six-month crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators. Read More:


“The similarity of one thing to another which we are used to, which occupies us in a wakeful state, reflects only vaguely the deeper resemblance of the dream world in which everything that happens appears not in identical but in similar guise, opaquely similar one to another.” The above statement of Benjamin in the Proust essay reflects some of his essential concerns. The “deeper resemblance” or the correspondence between the messianic and the theological, between language and memory (where the trace of language is not unlike the memory trace) is predicated on a mimesis. The self has a deeper resemblance with itself when it appears in the “guise” of memory. It does not appear as identical to itself in memory, but much like the self in the dream world. Similar but not identical.

The deeper resemblance, for Benjamin, corresponds to the mimetic feature of the image. This image is not the reflection that plagued Narcissus in the contemplation of his own beauty, for beauty has already been omitted from critical theory’s program, as is well documented in Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory and Benjamin’s critique of mechanical reproduction. For both Benjamin and Adorno, “the beautiful has no place in” art. What prevented Baudelaire from appreciating beauty, according to Benjamin, “is the image of the past…veiled by the tears of nostalgia.” The image of the past does not reflect itself in memory as identical; rather, it resembles itself. The imagery of the past and the image that a past produces in memory has something in common with the dream world. Benjamin writes, “the dream world in which everything that happens appears not in identical but in similar guise” is the “true surrealist face of existence” that expresses the “homesickness…for the world distorted in the state of resemblance.” Read More:

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