Showing posts from February, 2009

The Denazification of MH (Martini Heidegger)

The Struggle with Being and the Philosophical Confrontation with the Ancient Greeks in Heidegger’s Originary Politics

by J. M. Magrini

I. Approaching Heidegger and the Film: James T. Hong’s experimental documentary, The Denazification of MH is neither an apology for ’s involvement with National Socialism nor a condemnation of that involvement. Rather, the film is a critical philosophical confrontation (Auseinandersetzung) with Heidegger’s thought and the issue of his involvement with National Socialism. The film addresses the perennial concern as old as philosophy itself: the relationship between the philosopher’s life and his philosophy. While the film does not adopt a definitive position regarding Heidegger, Nazism, and the issue of personal responsibility, it does suggest an affirmative response to the question posed by both Levinas and Blanchot regarding the possibility of philosophizing after Auschwitz. Considering Heidegger’s influence on contemporary philosophy and literary studie…

The Ister

At the height of World War Two, one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century delivered a series of lectures on a poem about the Danube river, by one of Germany's greatest poets.The philosopher was Martin Heidegger, who in 1927 achieved worldwide fame with his magnum opus, Being and Time. Heidegger embraced the National Socialist 'revolution' in 1933, becoming rector of Freiburg University. His inaugural address culminated in 'Heil Hitler!'After clashing with the Nazi bureaucracy, he resigned the rectorate in 1934. Nine years later, as the tide of the war was turning against Germany, Heidegger spent the summer semester lecturing on the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin. He focused on a poem about the Danube known as 'The Ister.'Rather than an esoteric retreat into the world of poetry, Heidegger's lectures were a direct confrontation with the political, cultural and military chaos facing Germany and the world in 1942, a time the philosoph…

Derrida on American behaviour and its relation to cinema

The Battle of Algiers

Women as Weapons of War: Iraq, Sex, and the Media

by Kelly Oliver*

Ever since Eve tempted Adam with her apple, women have been regarded as a corrupting and destructive force. The very idea that women can be used as interrogation tools, as evidenced in the infamous Abu Ghraib torture photos, plays on age-old fears of women as sexually threatening weapons, and therefore the literal explosion of women onto the war scene should come as no surprise.

From the female soldiers involved in Abu Ghraib to Palestinian women suicide bombers, women and their bodies have become powerful weapons in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In Women as Weapons of War, Kelly Oliver reveals how the media and the administration frequently use metaphors of weaponry to describe women and female sexuality and forge a deliberate link between notions of vulnerability and images of violence. Focusing specifically on the U.S. campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, Oliver analyzes contemporary discourse surrounding women, sex, and gender and the use of women to justify America&…

A Warrior's Religion- A new film about gang-violence in Punjabi community in Vancouver


People are angry, frustrated and fed up with the brazen nature of gang violence which has jeopardized public safety, especially with the spate of violence that has occurred this week.

The number of youth who get sucked into the underworld of gangs has been disconcerting for Mani Amar, a young writer who decided to make a film about it. It took Mani close to three years to complete his film titled, “A Warrior’s Religion,” which will be released next month.

A few weeks ago, Mani came to Langara College so I could preview the film with him and at the time he said to me: “It had to be done. How many more people need to die? We are past the 130 mark of deaths in our community. The issue is not slowing down.” This piece aims to shed light on what led to making the film, the interviews with the high profile gangsters and questions about the title which might be consi…

Rhythmic Silence

Yesterday, I. sent this poem to me. It is by Khalil Gibran.
Gibran is the one author who initiated me into the world of literature. When I was a school boy, every Sunday morning I would read his translated work in Ajit newspaper. I can still remember those sunny winter days, when my imagination took flight at the wings of Gibran's tender words.

I am taking the delight to share it with you all:

And then a scholar said, Speak of talking.
And he answered, saying: You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.
And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.
For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed
unfold its wings but cannot fly.

There are those among you who seek the talkative thorough fear of
being alone.
The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape.
And there are those who …