Monday, January 31, 2005

Fabric ~ The Underlying Structure

I am officially in exile. Let this be a lesson. Never go thinking you can change the world on bread and blogs alone. I have been banned. From a blog about elections. From a blog all about democracy. Oh yes. We knew we were outing grim realities that no-one was in the mood to face. Yes we did. And we were surprised that we survived the several weeks we managed. Rising early in the mornings for our 6 o'clock bowl of news and cup of cereal. Neglecting our other duties. Not cleaning our bathroom in preference of tuning into the abc hourly news broadcast. Letting the hairs on our chin grow long as we feverishly composed blasphemous issue after issue.

Oh yes. We knew we were living on the edge. And yet we felt compelled. By what I cannot say. Perhaps secure in the knowledge that no matter what we wrote somebody would flog us for it. We had nothing to lose. So we just posted what we thought. And what we saw. And we answered our detractors sometimes. And we were even Madame LeFarge. For a wee while. And we maintained our humor despite the rampant petulance of our tormentors. Yes. We were quite heroic actually. We even nearly cast ourselves into the heaving seething furnace of Mount Doom at one point. Or perhaps we were nearly pushed. However. Matters not. We were reborn. And we discovered our inner complexities. Our multiple facets. Our lighter side and our side that is willing to face shadow, being shadow itself. Oh yes. We became quite phrasaeic at times.

Alone. One even campaigned for the release of ones fellow exiles. And one was successful. For one was not the only banned member. Oh no. One was one of four. Including the ubique Jeffrey Schuster (who would have thought). Oh yes. One was quite successful in campaigning for the release of ones fellow inmates. Or should I say, ex-mates. For ex-iled they all were. But one cannot really be bothered petitioning for ones own un-exilation. For one would rather put up ones feet and have a wee rest after all that tireless seeking of truth and exposing of things that cannot be spoken.

So. What did I do? What possibly could that two-bit one pixel upstart emigre the meek have done? Oh dear. She posted about untouchable subjects. Yes. She did. And why did she do that? Yahweh only knows. Perhaps it was holocaust remembrance week that did it. Perhaps it was the trip to the Sydney Jewish Museum that day. For she went there, in her searching for answers. And what she found was disturbing. What she found, was how difficult it is to stomach frank bleak honesty. Yes. It made her wince it did. And it confirmed my convictions. Never again. Never again war. Never again torture. Never again in any form. It is not excusable to any degree. No matter whose army, whose government, whose blade or whose bullet. None of it is acceptable. An election alone cannot protect us from these things. A tick in a box on a piece of paper is not in itself enough if it is not accompanied by the denouncement of all tortures. And she said these uncomfortable things, to greater and lesser degree.

But did it end there? Oh no. She exceeded herself. She dug up history good and true. What was in it for her? You may ask. Well, nothing. Nothing but her conscience (she always was conscientious). For she remembered the last gulf war. In which Saddam Hussein was to have been overthrown. But was not. She remembered her stunned silence as she opened the Daily News one day in 1993 to find Saddam Hussein had suddenly become a paragon of hope for international relations within the Middle East! She was confused at the time. And dismayed. Something was terribly wrong. But she was a meek and mild artist back then. And she kept her misgivings to herself. Because nobody would probably want to hear them. And she went on indulging herself in the arts on her meager cleaners wage (which was really all anyone needed back then) living on art and bread and cheap red wine. What a hopeless idealist she was.

Anyway. This time around she decided to take action. Oh yes she supports democracy alright. To the end. But she is aware that to keep democracy alive and well, it needs to be strong enough to accept dissent. It needs to be gentle enough to for-go it's detractors. It needs to be brave enough to admit it's failings and supple enough to smile.

So what did she do? Well. She just went about observing all the tears in the fabric really. For the fabric is torn. Oh yes it is. When a fabric has threads running all one way it only has weft. And without warp when taken off the loom, the fabric falls apart in our hands. Unbound threads. We must reweave this fabric, or we shall all perish.

Anyway. After surviving three tormentous weeks in a thicket of polar opposites she did see a few small changes. Although she would have liked to have seen more. She saw someone confess that war is not all peaches and cream. She saw someone denounce violence, once.

Ah well. In the meantime Iraq Blog Count has reached 100 blogs. Almost without fanfare. 102 actually. And guess what. That makes being in exile all worthwhile. Because, I would never have started reading blogs if I hadn't been reading the Sydney Star Observer in a Sydney Pub one evening. And I would never have been in that pub if my seventh great great great (greats x7 generations) grandfather had not been exiled from somewhere for offending someone and landed of all places in some small village... and etc etc till several hundred years later there is me sitting in the pub reading an elitist free rantmag published on newsprint in one colour with the ink smudging in a puddle of con-joined beer-rings. Yes. If all that hadn't happened I may never have read about Salam Pax. And I may never have read his whole blog in one sitting. And I may never have read Riverbend's first post, or G's photoblog or Raed's return, or Zeyad's epiphany. And that's the way it is really. Just a bunch of people sharing their greatest dreams and their darkest hours. That's all blogging is about.

Oh damn. I have done it again. Taken up too much space. Somebody ban me.


#1/31/2005 07:59:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger praktike

Which blog?

#1/31/2005 08:48:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Iraqi Sadness

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#1/31/2005 09:02:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

The insanity of the previous post is amazing. This is in the same vein as Khalid and his brother Raed. Not credible in any rational sense of the word.

Sorry to hear that you have been ousted, but you gave the wrong people credibility.


#1/31/2005 09:08:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Perhaps you will be reinstated, if that is your wish. Both Shrill Shirin and Bizarre Jeffrey were pardoned... for a time.


#1/31/2005 09:39:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

If the previous comment was so un-incredible then why did you bother posting it I wonder, Blue.

Lay of Raed and Khalid, they get enough crap as it is. Are you trying to drive them to insurgency?

As for "reinstatement". Why would I desire that? Everyday enduring such nettlesome friction as I did there daily. Why would I to go to another blog when I can experience foment right here with you?

#1/31/2005 09:52:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Oh, I'm easy to put up with compared to some of the things that were tossed at you over there. I'm perfectly harmless.

I agree with your line of reasoning on the other thread. But, just because you are garunteed a voice and a room to say it, credibility does not have to follow.

Er, did I read that correctly? You were not suggesting that I posted the prior ugly comment, where you. You have IP numbers...right?


#1/31/2005 09:52:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Finally! Stephen and Daniel woke up!!

Emigre, after awhile people get sick of all the negativity. I'm sure that is why they banned you....I mean for cyring out loud, you, Raed, Khalid, are so unbelievably negative. Now that you have more time on your hands, go outside and get some sunshine!

Remember the old saying: As you think, so shall you be.


#1/31/2005 10:25:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger khalid jarrar

your tears run over my wounds, and make them bleed.
your sighs coming out so hot, inflames my sadness...
but long long long time ago, our wise forefathers said:
Do not be Saddened foe how few walk with you on the path of truth!
you chose a rugged path and a tough time you shall have.
people like you my dear, never live an easy life!
may God help you always, and be on yourside, as you are on his!

#1/31/2005 10:52:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey


What's the big deal? So what if you were banned? Get over it. I was banned for cursing you. I knew I would be banned, but, as Hazel points out, your negativity and "useful idiot" denigrations of anyone who sincerely hoped for successful elections must have finally been too much for Stephen and Daniel.

Listen, if we discount your contributions, Iraq Elections Blog has been a very, very good blog. Informative, constantly updated, and with reasonable summaries of news items.

Stephen and Daniel are good bloggers and we need more like them.

Emigre, your rambling story is sad. THIS is NOT about YOU! This is about the Iraqi people and those who stand with them.

Oh, Khalid. I've never seen such a shameless display of bitterness than Raed's last two blog entries. I have hope for Faiza and Majid, not for you and Raed. BTW, I had a nice hour-long talk with Majid when he was in New York. He's nice.

The Iraqi bloggers have been watching you guys for a long time now, Khalid. Your response to the courageous and uplifting actions of Iraqis yesterday says a lot. In fact, we don't need to know anymore about you and Raed. Get yer AK, Khalid, and start your AK dance with Raed.


#2/01/2005 05:35:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

Oh it's alright Khalid.

There are no tears. Only a residual dry kind of wonder that a site which was supposed to be all about Elections and Free Speech and Democracy was in actuality banning on average one person per week.

After the first few exile-ations I pretty much realised my time there was on a tenure and not being one to suffer under anybodies thumb I threw all caution to the wind. It's a shame you missed the show. It was never about me, it was more about testing the limits of integrity. Which would appear to be quite frail.

#2/01/2005 07:07:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger 0023

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#2/01/2005 07:11:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger 0023

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#2/01/2005 07:59:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

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#2/01/2005 11:57:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger richsanter

?migré –

Wow, a rather long and interesting post. I’m impressed by your persistence. Step back from the brink of Orodruin and take a break. There’s plenty of humdrum housecleaning to be done here, I’m afraid. Lots of monotonous sweeping that can calm you down, so long as you don’t look at *what * you are sweeping out of the comments …

Jeffrey –

“Get yer AK, Khalid, and start your AK dance with Raed.”

Still recruiting for bin Laden, Jeffrey?

0023 –

Riverbend I’m guessing is far too genteel to wade through the crap that people would rush over to post on her site. Really, why bother? There are many sites that, like the previous commenter, go out of their way to lambaste her. Comment there, why don’t you? They need the traffic, anyway.

Raed answered the challenge by opening comments and ignoring them. They are a pest -hole of flames. Sometimes amusing, but hardly worthy of the title of ‘discourse’.

Khalid repeats all his posts here. You are free to comment at any time.

What, exactly, is the problem?

#2/01/2005 12:01:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

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#2/01/2005 12:04:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

this is stupid and gay.

#2/01/2005 12:05:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger richsanter

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#2/01/2005 12:08:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre


That post was posted in support of Hammorabi. Any critism was reserved for the commenters who trashed his comments to the point where he withdrew them.

I have never criticised any blogger for not having comments. I have criticised commenters for making such a big issue out of it though, and for trying to "split" people by labeling blogs "commented" and "non-commented".

I suspect you know this rather well.


#2/01/2005 12:11:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

Woops, sorry Bruno

Missed the trash can - didn't mean to delete yours. Damn didn't even get a chance to read it.

#2/01/2005 12:25:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

what exactly is the point of a comments section if you're just going to delete all the negative comments and leave all the comments that claim you to be the son of God? i read the blogs to get an idea of what people think, not to hear your opinions than 500 other people agreeing with you. this is lame


#2/01/2005 12:41:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

Dear John

I delete comments that revolve around name-calling. Although sometimes I do leave them up, as curios. One could almost open a small museum to the macabre if one saved up all the comments one receives here.

#2/01/2005 02:13:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Exadios


A "Dear John" posting on a blog. A first, I think. :-)

#2/01/2005 05:18:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger 0023

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#2/01/2005 05:19:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger 0023

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#2/02/2005 05:56:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre


Something that appears to have passed you by ~ Khalid did open comment threads on his blog when he first began but after enduring, as did Hammorabi, an inordinant amount of trash from commenters he switched them off. The irony is that Khalid's posts at that time were relatively harmless bits of gossip pertaining to school and friends and yet some commenters (not naming names) were unable to contain their penchant for lamb~basting and burnt the barbeque.

#2/02/2005 06:14:00 am Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

My dear Miss Em,

Innocent Khalid is the unwitting victum of abusive commenters on his blog?

Em, you are a brillient, talented woman with much to offer. But, you have given your heart to the wrong side of a worthy cause. I don't know if you were fooled or just romantically innocent yourself. But, whatever the reason... soon is the time for new leaves, in this hemisphere anyway.

Einstien was on the fringe, yes Em. He was on the fringe of exploration of something new.. Not something that is as old as time, knowledge that is common to all DNA.. life. It's time for new leaves, Ms Em. Be strong.

I do wish you the best.


#2/02/2005 07:51:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger fjb


It's nice to see I'm in such good company.:) Did they give you a pleasant parting shot, such as "most people don't want to hear the truth", like I got when I was banned from a so-called "open forum". Isn't it interesting that obscenities, demeaning remarks, even outright hatred seem to be so widely accepted on many sites, yet when you question, or have an "alternative" point of view, people tend to become so frightened of you, they have to dispose of you.

It will rub you raw for a while, then slowly it will fade. You'll realize that their vision may have been a little too "narrow", or that perhaps they just wanted to hear the sound of their own hot air, and weren't really commited to anything meaningful, at all.

I've needed to vent that for quite some time now. Wow, did it feel good!

Anyway, you hang in there, Emigre. We love ya.


#2/02/2005 09:20:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

Just can't keep your fingers off this thread, can you Blue.

One might wonder if perhaps it was *your* heart which has given it's self to an ignoble cause ~ that of inciting friction in ibc's comments, or perhaps just seeing how far you can push me. Well, keep trying. But you're pursuing a course in vain ~ I don't ban commenters, I only play with them.

#2/02/2005 02:57:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger richsanter

0023 –

“I have no interest in "lambasting" anyone or making personal attacks. The fact that you are accusing me of character assassination, when Emigre found my comments "sincere" enough to respond to, suggests that you are more interested in lambasting people.”

Uh … fair enough. I did not really mean it to sound as though you *personally* intended to flack people, so I hope that clears things up.

“The sites you mention have low traffic for a reason.”

I’m glad somebody agrees with me on that count.

I have corresponded with RB in the past, and I just don’t picture her as the type to dig through 100 ‘richsanter’ type comments to find one interesting one. That is also not even counting the fact that there is precious little electrical time with which to moderate the comments, and if comments are unmoderated, we have a situation like Raed’s place. I hop over to Raed’s from time to time to exchange a few amusing cannonades with the trolls, but really, the comments there have degenerated into a rare type of slimy muck indeed.

?migré –

Sadly, my extremely amusing and almost Shakespearean post is tragically lost forever …

#2/02/2005 03:02:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger 0023

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#2/02/2005 04:50:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger 0023

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#2/02/2005 05:47:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

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#2/02/2005 05:50:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

Bruno ~ I know I know and the worst thing of all is that these comments are also auto-directed to ibc's email address so I thought I could get a quiet little read of it there but then I went and accidentally tidied up all those too before I realised what I had done ~ picture Emigre merrily clicking away delete-delete-dele - . damn.

Alas, poor Yorick.

#2/02/2005 05:50:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

0023 ~ funny you should say. I just posited something along those lines. See overhead (upwards scroll).

#2/02/2005 07:07:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger 0023

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#2/02/2005 07:19:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

0023 ~ forgot to mention, you may not find those earlier threads that were removed, I think they were haloscan comments originally.

Anyway, the whole kaboodle was cleaned up. That's the way it is when people are forced to disable their comments (blogspot technology is simple to use which is great but it is a bit short on nifty gadgets, blogspot didn't have it's own comment hosting at the time khalid started posting).

#2/02/2005 07:20:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

The posit ~ on a new thread, re small minorities inciting fracturous activity.

#2/02/2005 10:28:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger 0023

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#2/02/2005 11:27:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre


LOL, are you pulling my leg or have you just been up too late, lately? Well, it's ok I understand. Just click the "home" link below and it'll take you back to the main page where you will be able to see all the posts I have been tirelessly composing here, now that I am no longer tied up somewhere else.

I must go and rest myself now.

See you later.

#2/03/2005 12:21:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger 0023

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#2/04/2005 01:14:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

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#2/04/2005 01:32:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

Dear 0023

Oh my, and you cannot tell when I am pulling yours? Dear, dear me.

You may not find a direct reply to your posit re "terrorists" because I didn't directly post one, just was noting that had published several things prior to reading your comment in which you might find answers. Or might not.

Goodness, this subversity down here in the subterranean commenting realm grows more abstruse each day.

Meaning well


#2/08/2005 02:26:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Louise

Emigre, why do you use the word "we" so often? Do you have multiple personalities? Is it tapeworms? Do tell.

#2/08/2005 04:20:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre


Because the web is a communal ocean and the moment I get online my mind begins to melt, I slip in and out of other peoples streams and occasionallly like minded entities weave around mine. I do not expect you to understand this.

We are everything and nothing.


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