The scarface of Zagreb Airport
It was around noon as I have entered the Zagreb Airport or the so-called Pleso Zračna luka. I took the way to the main gate, the newly made exterior, the beton modernism could not fail me, because I was focused into the inside as if I would find the old images and architecture and as I stepped in I was amazed once again to see that everything was staying as it was. This is not the interior of one of these avant-garde, super modern, super hyper, space like – constant temperature based soulless molochs. Ok, the new phenomenon of cheap airlines made their corporate corner but they were entitled to use the former interior, which makes it more interesting. If you walk towards the main entrance you will realise the colour of the marble used in this building. I guess it was done during the old times and I would speculate that it has its own internal logic of the time. The marble is not white or grey as in newer ones, it is brownish, and it gives a wood feeling to you as you walk through the large corridor. It is a dark corridor and not overly illuminated arising the awareness feeling (of course to consume, to stimulate) as in other upgraded cases. Not these hyper bulbs are used but cheap fluorescents. You will realise the metal columns holding the structure on the right and left hand sides, again coloured brownish or even darker to black. As you enter the main hole you would realise that this is not a place for consumerist cheer. This is a serious building built during serious times. There is no place for bourgeoisie fanfare, no false individualism, this is a collectivist building constructed to serve the original need, namely to fly to reach another destination. If you look up you would spot the ventilation openings, and if you turn back you would see the extra floor, completely wooden decorated reminding the corridors of a top level Yugoslavian bureaucratic institution. Seriousness is the word to describe this, boring seriousness, and a suffocating colourless. I by no means claim that this is something to be criticised or disregarded, it has its own beauty and it’s own story that is what I try to show so try not to misunderstand me.
Continue to walk through the main entrance, leave the information desk at your left hand side and continue to the end of the corridor. As you have realised by now, this is by no means a heavily consume oriented “friendly” airport. There is no bombardment of soulless, lonely beverage boxes which serve without spelling a word, no souvenir shops, no boutiques selling ties or socks, nor bombastic book stores filled with every gadget. There is a simple newspaper stand which tried a little to integrate itself to the world of capitalist airports. This is micro-macro, you may imagine from this shop on, about the development of the Croatian state/society complex and the level of it’s integration into the transnational capitalist world order. But the main topic of this story is not now this; we want to reach the scarface of Zagreb.
In order to do so, please proceed to the shop you see at the end of the corridor. You see the tables spread around like a summer holiday garden. The shop is not illuminated with neon, nor you see McDon style appetite amplifying reddish signs or friendly mascots greeting us with big friendly Walt Disney eyes. As you enter inside you realise the whole fun is going on at the back of this strange place. That’s the smoking corner. There is hardly anybody inside the non-smoking area, you just have a look at the bar corner (on the left hand side), you will see some sandwiches, not hundreds of cakes, not carefully packed triangle shaped cold cheese and ham combinations, not a Tea corner full of hundreds of herbal infusions. This is not 2010, this is 1970s Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Even if you do not smoke, I would strongly recommend you to walk into the glass-covered area of smokers corner. This is the brightest place in the airport that you have seen up till now, because it is practically built outside the airport, and covered with glass so if you are lucky like me even in February you may experience this nice feeling of being in a bright place after a long way through the dark corridors of the airport. There you will meet, if you are lucky, the scarface of Zagreb. I do not know his name, but he looks like 50, and I remember that I saw him in 1998 because of the scar he has that cuts his face into two. But the most wonderful thing with this nice man is he has a genuine smile in his face. This is not fake customer satisfactory corporate sales person; this is a real human being. He is I guess very proud to speak in many languages easy forms, like thank you, hello my friend, what do you want and so on. It was very strange that after we spoke in English he told me “merhaba, arkadas”. I also remembered that he did this last time, it was a flashback, and to pick me up rightly was nice. You may realise the noise inside this place, and also that practically the backdoor glass was open and if there is no place you will be practically sitting outside the airport although you are located logically inside it.
So this is the first story, next will come
Beethoven with a horn stuck into his head against deafness
the impossibility the impossibility
Nietzsche gone totally mad
the impossibility of being human
all too human
in and out
out and in
these mad dogs of glory
moving this little bit of light toward us
“Beasts Bounding Through Time” (1986)
„Die Führung hat versagt. Aber die Führung kann und muss von den Massen und aus den Massen heraus neu geschaffen werden. Die Massen sind das Entscheidende, sie sind der Fels, auf dem der Endsieg der Revolution errichtet wird. Die Massen waren auf der Höhe, sie haben diese ‚Niederlage‘ zu einem Glied jener historischen Niederlagen gestaltet, die der Stolz und die Kraft des internationalen Sozialismus sind. Und darum wird aus dieser ‚Niederlage‘ der künftige Sieg erblühen. – ‚Ordnung herrscht in Berlin!‘ Ihr stumpfen Schergen! Eure ‚Ordnung‘ ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon ‚rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten‘ und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: ‚Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!‘“
The leadership has failed. Even so, the leadership can and must be recreated from the masses and out of the masses. The masses are the decisive element, they are the rock on which the final victory of the revolution will be built. The masses were on the heights; they have developed this ‘defeat’ into one of the historical defeats which are the pride and strength of international socialism. And that is why the future victory will bloom from this ‘defeat’.’Order reigns in Berlin!’ You stupid henchmen! Your ‘order’ is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will already ‘raise itself with a rattle’ and announce with fanfare, to your terror:
I was, I am, I shall be!
Luis Buñuel met Salvador Dali along with other forecoming prominent figures of 1920s Spain in Madrid while studying at the University of Madrid (today it’s called Universidad Complutense de Madrid). Buñuel, Dali and Federico Garcia Lorca were all staying at the newly opened University Dormotory (Residencia de Estudiantes).
The picture on the right hand side was painted by Dali as a present to Buñuel. In an interview,Buñuel tells that this is the only picture hanged on the walls of his house. This derives from Buñuel’s arachnophobia, and his paranoia that spiders can hide themselves behind the picture frames :)
So, this is for today, tomorrow I will continue to write about Buñuel’s relationship with Dali and other figures.
I can write a lot about the film but, I will recommend you to read what Zizek wrote about it.!
I liked expecially these quotes in the film:
The Preacher: Outside the limit of our sight, feeding off us, perched on top of us, from birth to death, are our owners! Our owners! They have us. They control us! They are our masters! Wake up! They’re all about you! All around you!
Drifter: What’s wrong with having it good for a change? Now they’re gonna let us have it good if we just help ’em. They’re gonna leave us alone, let us make some money. You can have a little taste of that good life too. Now, I know you want it. Hell, everybody does.
Frank: You’d do it to your own kind.
Drifter: What’s the threat? We all sell out every day, might as well be on the winning team.
The Drifter, with his smokine and champaign glass in his hand, clearly symbolises the co-opted ones. His friendly attitude towards the two protoganists, and his desire to be friends with them reveals his background and his desire to talk with the one’s which can understand him. However, he is co-opted and became a part of the big machinery, or what Susan strange calls, the casino capitalism. The selling-outs represents the rules of the game in casino capitalism, to be ont he winning team, you are allowed to sink the potential adversaries.
Frank: The steel mills were laying people off left and right. They finally went under. We gave the steel companies a break when they needed it. You know what they gave themselves? Raises.
Frank summarises the logic of casino capitalism, very similar to what we have experienced during the 2008 world economic crisis and it’s aftermath. The banks, which were bailed-out by the tax-payers’ money, gave themselves raises! This is also a fundamental criticism towards the logic of the market.
Bearded Man: The poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are non-existent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices.
Bearded Man: They are dismantling the sleeping middle class. More and more people are becoming poor. We are their cattle. We are being bred for slavery.
Similar to the Preacher’s vision. nothing to add fundamentally.
In this entry, I would like to visiualise some “things” and “places” mentioned in George Orwell’s marvellous book of “Down and Out in London and Paris”. The book I have is anew copy of the Penguin Books, but I realised that they kept loyal to the page numbers.
I. The OXO Tin
The First “thing” I would like to visualise, (roughly, I am never sure if this is what he talks about in this case, but at least it gives and idea) is the OXO-tin of the Irishman where he kept the cigarette-ends. (p.140)
In 1899, the company introduced the trademark Oxo for a cheaper version; the origin of the name is unknown, but presumably comes from the word ox. In 1908 Oxo sponsored the London Olypmic Games (despite claims by Coca Cola to being the ‘first’ commercial sponsor of the Games) and supplied athletes with Oxo drinks to fortify them. The first Oxo cubes were produced in 1910 and further increased Oxo’s popularity as the cubes were cheaper than the liquid. During the first half of the 20th century, Oxo was promoted through issues of recipes, gifts and sponsorships before fading into the background as a part of the fabric of English life in the latter parts of the century. For the beginning of the 21st century a new image was promoted with modern television advertising and sensibilities. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OXO_cube)
II. The Twopenny Hangover
This is what a twopenny hangover looks like: the photo is from the http://www.learnhistory.org.uk/website/Jan28~01.jpg, taken around 1930s. So fits the time of the book written.
III. The Embankment
This is how it looks like, sleeping on the Embankment. I took the photo from this webpage (http://www.theorwellprize.co.uk/life-and-work/media.aspx?category=138&item=1471). The original photo is taken ´from ‘The Tramp: his Meaning and Being’ by Frank Gray, published in 1931, courtesy of Gordon Bowker.
IV. The Tower House – The Rowton House in Whitechapel:
This is a photo of the Whitechapel Rowton House. The first of its kind established in London by Lord Rowton in 1892 in Vauxhall, and this was the fifth established in 1902 and provided 816 beds.
I took the photo from the wonderful website on Workhouses in the UK. (http://www.workhouses.org.uk/index.html?RowtonKingsCross/RowtonKingsCross.shtml) The Photo is from 1902.
(Whitechapel Rowton House from the north-east, 1902. © Peter Higginbotham.)
To see how it looks like today: (http://www.flickr.com/photos/doilum/375418118/)
V. Hammersmith Rowton House
The Hammersmith Rowton House was established in 1899. The photo is (again) from the Workhouse website:
Hammersmith Rowton House admission ticket, 1899.
© Peter Higginbotham.(same webpage)
VI. Newington Butts – Rowton House
Newington Butts sleeping cubicles, 1897.
© Peter Higginbotham. (same website as above)
Newington Butts Rowton House lavatories, 1897.
© Peter Higginbotham. (Same webpage as above)
VII. Camden Town Rowton House
Established in 1905.
Both photos from the same webpage
VIII. King’s Cross Rowton House
established in 1896
(photo from the above mentioned webpage)
IX. Vauxhall Rowton House
This is my friend TifTif, his favourite hobby is to hide my keys and let me search for them for some time.
The first part of the BBC “Hardtalk” (by Stephen Sackurwith). The guest ist Alain Badiou, interview conducted on 24 March 2009.
This is the first part of a seven part voice recording of a seminar delivered by Eric Hobsbawm. I was not able to locate the time, but i guess early 1990s.
The problem solving thinking though perpetuates the existing order, can be useful in its portrayal of the events. the pictures, without the commentary can tell a different story. i would suggest, watching this documentary from this perspective.
cengiz candar’s article
Los Angeles Times Article on the buffer zone