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Polite Fictions spacer Issue 5
Polite Fictions
by om lekha
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The country which is nowhere is the real home
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Thomas Merton
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Daybreak; a TV screen, a window - quiet, clouds, the mind's eye, a sleeper dreams. Alamût: a mandala or magic circle
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Morning; the city fills, musings and memories, the mountain, the garden, a sleeper walks the streets. Alamût: past all locks & guards
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Afternoon; a crowded restaurant, a plaza, a last meal, a sleeper eats and drinks. Alamût: pomegranate, mulberry, persimmon
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Evening; an explosion, poison, gunshots, a knife striking, animal screaming, bodies rent, a sleeper in motion. Alamût: an unsheathed scimitar
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Night; the corpse of an assassin, the corpse of a martyr, a sleeper awakens. Alamût: outside profane time
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Hark, O my brothers and sisters to the glorious fanfare that declares our destiny, the song of our blood, the call to arms and to action, the struggle of the communal bond. This ludicrous hoot of a fart, its didactic refrain beating on, the heartbeat of the nation, of the tribe. What a worn and deadbeat bleating, not because of any inherent abhorrence, but because of the complicity in an obvious, habitual and laboured dichotomy, to wit self and other.
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The supposed alternative, multiculturalism, like all 'alternatives' is merely a mirror of the same tendencies - a multiple choice scenario where everything is equally acknowledged and accounted for because everything is equally valueless. Let's get this principle clarified - equality signifies the absence of value; sin é.
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Most of what makes us uncomfortable does so because it contains that which is useful and exciting. Acknowledged racism and xenophobia is no exception.
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That my Tamil/ Palestinian/ Saudi/ Afhan/ Irish/white supremacist neighbour is a sleeper cued to one day awaken at the given signal to carry out some atrocious act of terror is as useless a myth as any other cultural bugbear. Except inasmuch as the fear of such an individual or act is palpable and real; it is this fear that is a cue to ourselves to WAKE THE FUCK UP from the torpor of the cultural haze that constitutes our own identity. Although it is not essential to live under the threat of imminent death to be made aware that one is alive, it can help.
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The reviling of those different to oneself is a clandestine form of worship, because of course self is created by the boundaries of what one is not; both are subjugation to the same fetishistic standard that is identity. What is needed is not a bleaching out of difference, but an exalting of the fear that difference can inspire. That which is truly alien is that from which our own presence is entirely annihilated. The sense of this alienation that fear indicates is the coming into realisation that we as beings are vacuum, void of sense and meaning.
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Alamût, outside profane time, is simply then the accession to existing unconditionally. The year 2001 of the common era was also year 911 from Hasan Bin Sabah's seizure of the mountain-fortress of Alamût and the founding of the sect of the assassins. The heavenly gardens of hashish, sexual and sensual pleasure where minds were washed pure inaugurated and consecrated the bloody murder that would be carried out by the omnipresent agents subsequently scattered to the courts of power; each murder, each sacrifice, testament to the immanence of Hasan Bin Sabah and the glory of Alamût. The door to the library at which was, and is, apocryphally inscribed with the legend 'With the aid of God, the ruler of the universe destroyed the fetters of the law'.
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