Scheherazade

For image of "Scheherazade" see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4288354117/ .

Gideon Polya, “War on Women & Women's Rights. “Scheherazade” Painting. Heroines”, MWC News, 24 August 2007.

War on Women & Women’s Rights. “Scheherazade” Painting. Heroines

Scheherazade was the Persian woman immortalized in the One Thousand and One Nights or Arabian Nights. This wonderful collection of stories from the Muslim World was introduced to the West in the 19th century through the translation into English by the famous Arabist, Orientalist  and traveler Sir Richard Burton. Generations of Western children have been brought up on these wonderful stories but it has taken only a few decades for Racist Bush-ites, Racist Zionists, complicit Western media and Bush-ite politicians to replace a legacy of affection with a culture of hatred and fear.

I have painted a huge painting “Scheherazade” (1.3 metres by 2.9 metres) to remind people of the World and of the West in particular of this heroine of the Muslim world and of the billion contemporary heroines of the Third World – the women, girls and mothers who day by day attempt to protect their children and families and deal with the exigencies of life on Spaceship Earth dominated by a greedy, racist and rapacious Bush-ite West.

We will recall the famous Scheherazade story. The Persian King Shahryar was upset over betrayal by his wife who he consequently beheaded. He then took to taking a new virgin wife each night and then beheading her the following morning. King Shahryar had killed 3,000 such innocent women before he was introduced to Scheherazade, the daughter of his Grand Vizier. Against the fearful protests of her father, Scheherazade offered herself to the King. However on the first night in the King’s chamber she told the King that she had promised to tell a last farewell story to her sister Dunyazad. The King remained awake and was enthralled by the story. Scheherazade remained alive and was ordered to tell another story on the following night. After One Thousand and One Nights and One Thousand and One stories, 3 sons and extensive moral instruction of the King, Scheherazade was made Queen and, as they say, they all lived happily ever after.

There are MANY contemporary, latter-day Scheherazades, latter-day heroines who inspire immense admiration for their courageous moral instruction of the world on behalf of the suppressed and downtrodden women of the Third World. Two stand out, namely brilliant Indian writer Arundhati Roy and the courageous Bangladeshi doctor and writer Taslima Nasrin.

Arundhati Roy (Kerala Syrian Christian mother, Bengali Hindu father) came to fame with the Booker Prize-winning novel  “The God of Small Things”.  She has used her fame to promote humanitarian causes in India and around the world, writing numerous books excoriating poverty and “internal refugees” in India (notably concerning the Narmada Dam and India’s nuclear weapons policies) and Western invasion and occupation of Asian countries (notably by violent, racist American imperialism). Some of these polemical books of humanitarian advocacy include “The Cost of Living”, “The Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire” and  “The Chequebook and the Cruise Missile”. In 2005 Arundhati Roy headed the World Tribunal on Iraq that condemned the war criminal invasion and devastation of Iraq by America and its allies.

Taslima Nasrin is a Bangladeshi doctor and writer who, while of Muslim origin, is an atheist, secular humanist and feminist advocate for the human rights of women. The Holy Qu’ran makes it quite clear that religious belief is personal and cannot be imposed by force. However Taslima Nasrina is a refugee from homicidal religious fanatics in her native land and elsewhere. She has written numerous novels (e.g. “Opposition”, “Revenge”, “Invitation”, “Return”, and “Shame”), autobiographical and polemical books and much poetry.  This gifted, immensely courageous, humanitarian writer and advocate has been awarded numerous prizes for her humane advocacy.

Arundhati Roy and Taslima Nasrin are two stand-outs in the War on Women and the War on  Third World Women being conducted both by Third World dictators and bigots and by racist Western imperialists. However there are so many more courageous women advocates of Womens’ Rights, Child Rights and Human Rights and hundreds of millions more who do their best -  day by day, with dignity and courage -  to ensure survival for themselves, their families and their children.

“Scheherazade” is one of a series of HUGE culturally-conflating paintings created to promote Humanity and East-West Amity, the other most notable efforts (all originally exhibited on MWC News) being  “Isfahan Matisse”:, “Alhambra Pollock”:,  “Terra” and “Bundoora Arabesque” (see these on Fllickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/ ).

These paintings all involve a conflation of Medieval Islamic tile art patterns (mathematically, the 17 plane symmetry groups defined by my great uncle Hungarian mathematician George Polya in the 1920s and exploited by Dutch lithographer M.C. Escher); Renaissance Italian Golden Rectangle geometries used in much Christian iconography and in subsequent painting up to the present day (mathematically based on the Fibonacci Sequence – the “Da Vinci Code” – 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34 …); figurative cave paintings of 20,000 years ago in Europe and Australia (notably the so-called Bradshaw Figures of the Bungle Bungles in North Western Australia); and with the end result being something akin to the secular, humanist art of contemporary French Henri Matisse and American Jackson Pollock abstract expressionism.

The beautiful idea  is that if these cultures can co-exist in a beautiful painting then they can surely co-exist in real life human rights-respecting world of the kind advocated by Arundhati Roy and Taslima Nasrin. There is a long way to go. I have recently published a huge book entitled “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007).  Post-1950 avoidable deaths (excess deaths, deaths that did not have to happen) total 1.3 billion (for the World), 1.2 billion (the non-European World), 1.1 billion (the Third World), and 0.6 billion (the Muslim World); annual avoidable mortality totals 16 million (mostly infants and mostly in the Third World); post-invasion excess deaths total 0.3 million, 1.0 million and 2.4 million, respectively,  in the Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Territories – and all this on a Spaceship Earth with a Bush-ite West  in charge of the flight deck.  Three quarters of the victims are Women and Children.

The Bush War on Terror can be seen in horrible actuality as a War on Terra (a greedy War on the Biosphere) and a War on Women and Children, or more specifically a War on Arab Women and Children, a War on Muslim Women and Children, a War on Asian Women and Children, a War on Non-European Women and Children, and a War on Third World Women and Children.

The War on Women continues. Humane, articulate, passionate advocacy by our present-day Scheherazades, Arundhati Roy and Taslima Nasrin has no trouble convincing decent humanity just as Scheherazade convinced even the murderous King Shahryar – but fails to convince the selfish, greedy and racist First World which IGNORES the carnage it creates. Arundhati Roy has commented thus in “The Chequebook and the Cruise Missile” on this simultaneous First World holocaust  commission and holocaust denial: “the ultimate privilege of the élite is not just their deluxe lifestyles, but deluxe lifestyles with a clear conscience.”

Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. We are obliged to inform others about gross abuses of human rights, following the examples of Third World heroines such as Arundhati Roy and Taslima Nasrin. The Pen is mightier than the Sword – but is it possible that the Brush is mightier than the Pen? On the basis of this possibility, please send this article and the image of “Scheherazade” to everyone you know.   



For image of "Scheherazade" see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4288354117/ .

Decent people around the world protest the carnage of US wars and occupations from Occuoiped Haiti and Occupied Somalia , through Occupied Palestine, Occupied Lebanon, Occupied Syria and Occupied Iraq  to Occupied Afghanistan and US robot-bombed NW Pakistan. It is estimated that 0.7 million people die avoidably in the US Overseas Empire every year under Obama with about half being children. However words having evidently failed – the carnage continues – I have tried to present the humane argument in pictures. I have painted a huge painting called “Scheherazade” to illustrate the beauty being destroyed this Western democratic Nazism.

The most fundamental of women’s rights is the right to life and for a mother the right to life of her children. Yet the US Alliance is engaged in a bloody assault on the women and children who represent three quarters of the population of the Muslim world. The Bush (now Obama) War on Terror can be seen in horrible actuality as a War on Terra (a greedy War on the Biosphere) and a War on Women and Children, or more specifically a War on Arab Women and Children, a War on Muslim Women and Children, a War on Asian Women and Children, a War on Non-European Women and Children, and a War on Third World Women and Children. Post-invasion violent deaths and non-violent avoidable deaths from deprivation in the Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan territories total 0.3 million, 3.5 million and 4.5 million, respectively, and post-invasion under-5 infant deaths total 0.2 million, 0.9 million and 2.4 million, respectively (see Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide: http://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/ ).

Scheherazade was the Persian woman immortalized in the One Thousand and One Nights or Arabian Nights. This wonderful collection of stories from the Muslim World was introduced to the West in the 19th century through the translation into English by the famous Arabist, Orientalist  and traveler Sir Richard Burton. Generations of Western children have been brought up on these wonderful stories but it has taken only a few decades for Racist Bush-ites, Racist Zionists, complicit Western media and Bush-ite politicians to replace a legacy of affection with a culture of hatred and fear.

I have painted a huge painting “Scheherazade” (1.3 metres by 2.9 metres;  see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4288354117/ ) to remind people of the World and of the West in particular of this heroine of the Muslim world and of the billion contemporary heroines of the Third World – the women, girls and mothers who day by day attempt to protect their children and families and deal with the exigencies of life on Spaceship Earth dominated by a greedy, racist and rapacious Bush-ite West.

We will recall the famous Scheherazade story. The Persian King Shahryar was upset over betrayal by his wife who he consequently beheaded. He then took to taking a new virgin wife each night and then beheading her the following morning. King Shahryar had killed 3,000 such innocent women before he was introduced to Scheherazade, the daughter of his Grand Vizier. Against the fearful protests of her father, Scheherazade offered herself to the King. However on the first night in the King’s chamber she told the King that she had promised to tell a last farewell story to her sister Dunyazad. The King remained awake and was enthralled by the story. Scheherazade remained alive and was ordered to tell another story on the following night. After One Thousand and One Nights and One Thousand and One stories, 3 sons and extensive moral instruction of the King, Scheherazade was made Queen and, as they say, they all lived happily ever after.

There are many contemporary, latter-day Scheherazades, latter-day heroines who inspire immense admiration for their courageous moral instruction of the world on behalf of the suppressed and downtrodden women of the Third World e.g. former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (see: http://sites.google.com/site/nonjewsagainstracistzionism/mckinney-cynthia ) and Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire (see: http://sites.google.com/site/nonjewsagainstracistzionism/maguire-mairead ) who protested the evil incarceration of 1.5 million Occupied Palestinians (0.8 million of them CHILDREN) in what the Catholic Church has described as the Israeli Gaza Concentration Camp (see: http://sites.google.com/site/nonjewsagainstracistzionism/martino-renato ).  

“Scheherazade” (see Scheherazade: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4288354117/ ) is one of a series of huge,  culturally-conflating paintings created to promote Humanity and East-West Amity – links to some other paintings of this series are listed below.

Alhambra Pollock: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4288352915/ .

Apocalypse Now: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4289096468/ .

Bundoora Arabesque: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4288353489/ .

Bundoora Redgums: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4290122090/ .

Deep Mind: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4288356319/ .

Civilization: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4289096920/ .

Isfahan Matisse: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4290121654/.

My Country: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4289416543/ .

Terra: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4289095912/ .

These paintings all involve a conflation of Medieval Islamic tile art patterns (mathematically, the 17 plane symmetry groups defined by my great uncle Hungarian mathematician George Polya in the 1920s and exploited by Dutch lithographer M.C. Escher); Renaissance Italian Golden Rectangle geometries used in much Christian iconography and in subsequent painting up to the present day (mathematically based on the Fibonacci Sequence – the “Da Vinci Code” – 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34 …); figurative cave paintings of 20,000 years ago in Europe and Australia (notably the so-called Bradshaw Figures of the Bungle Bungles in North Western Australia); and with the end result being something akin to the secular, humanist art of contemporary French Henri Matisse and American Jackson Pollock abstract expressionism.

The beautiful idea  is that if these cultures can co-exist in a beautiful painting then they can surely co-exist outside the 2-dimensional canvas.

There is a long way to go. I have recently published a huge book entitled “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (for details see: http://globalavoidablemortality.blogspot.com/2008/08/body-count-global-avoidable-mortality.html ).  Avoidable deaths (excess deaths, deaths that did not have to happen) for a country is the difference between actual deaths and deaths expected for a peaceful, decently run country with the same demographics. 1950-2005  avoidable deaths (excess deaths, deaths that did not have to happen) totalled 1.3 billion (for the World), 1.2 billion (the non-European World), 1.1 billion (the Third World), and 0.6 billion (the Muslim World).  Annual avoidable deaths in the world from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease  in 2003 totalled 16 million and in 2008 totalled 22 million  (mostly infants and mostly in the Third World) (estimates from UN Population Division data).

As of December 2009, in the Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Territories post-invasion non-violent excess deaths totalled 0.3 million, 1.1 million and 3.5 million, respectively;  post-invasion violent deaths totalled about 12,000, 1.4 million and 1.0 million, respectively; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths totalled 0.2 million, 0.9 million and 2.4 million, respectively; and refugees totalled 7 million, 5-6 million and 3-4 million, respectively, with a further 2.5 million NW Pakistan Pashtun refugees generated under the war policies of Barack Obama (for details and documentation see “Palestinian Genocide”:  http://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/; Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide: http://sites.google.com/site/iraqiholocaustiraqigenocide/ ; Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide: http://sites.google.com/site/afghanholocaustafghangenocide/  ; and Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide: http://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/ .

And all this carnage on a Spaceship Earth with a holocaust-complicit and holocaust-ignoring, neocon,  Bush-ite West  in charge of the flight deck.  Three quarters of the victims are Women and Children.

The Bush (now Obama) War on Terror can be seen in horrible actuality as a War on Terra (a greedy War on the Biosphere) and a War on Women and Children, or more specifically a War on Arab Women and Children, a War on Muslim Women and Children, a War on Asian Women and Children, a War on Non-European Women and Children, and a War on Third World Women and Children.

The War on Women continues. Humane, articulate, passionate advocacy by our present-day Scheherazades, Arundhati Roy and Taslima Nasrin have no trouble convincing decent humanity just as Scheherazade convinced even the murderous King Shahryar – but they evidently fail to convince the selfish, greedy and racist First World which ignores the carnage it creates. Arundhati Roy has commented thus in “The Chequebook and the Cruise Missile” on this simultaneous First World holocaust  commission and holocaust denial: “the ultimate privilege of the élite is not just their deluxe lifestyles, but deluxe lifestyles with a clear conscience.”

Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. We are obliged to inform others about gross abuses of human rights, following the examples of Third World heroines such as Arundhati Roy and Taslima Nasrin.

The Pen is mightier than the Sword – but is it possible that the Brush is mightier than the Pen? On the basis of this possibility, please send this article and the image of “Scheherazade” (see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/4288354117/ )  to everyone you know.

A further article by Gideon Polya, “Lies & Slies by Orwellian Mainstream Media.  Scheherazade, Murdochracy Paczmen & Climate Criminals ”, MWC News, 27 June 2008.

 

Lies & Slies by Orwellian Mainstream Media. Scheherazade, Murdochracy Paczmen & Climate Criminals.

 

We are all familiar from childhood with the fabulous stories of The Arabian Nights, the One Thousand and One stories told by the courageous princess Scheherazade to stop the deadly mass murder of innocent princesses by the vengeful Sultan and indeed to change his heart to a course of humanity.

 

This story is illustrated by my huge painting “Scheherazade” that was created in the interests of Peace and Humanity and to honour the Scheherazades  of this world such as 2007 Literature Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing (Iran-born UK novelist), Booker Prize- and Sydney Peace Prize-winner Arundhati Roy (Indian writer) and the courageous poet, physician and activist Taslima Nasrin (free-thinking refugee from Bangladesh) (for a detailed discussion of this huge painting see “War on Women & Women’s Rights” on MWC News: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/16294/42/ ).

 

What is the world that these wonderful women want to change for the better in their own unique ways? Imagine that some visitors from a far-off galaxy land in my garden and – because they are busy inter-galactic tourists writing a Lonely Galaxy Guide – they want a very quick run-down on the situation on the Earth (aka Terra) and allow me only a few minutes to “tell it like it is” before they transport themselves to the next planet with intelligent life forms in this part of the Galaxy.

 

I say “Honored visitors - Terra has a population of 6.5 billion human beings and is acutely threatened by nuclear, greenhouse and poverty threats. Nuclear arsenals currently threaten virtual total destruction of humanity from blast, radiation and nuclear winter. Run-away global warming due to profligate greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuel burning threatens to kill over 6 billion people this century. Poverty due to violence-backed First World hegemony over global resources already causes the avoidable deaths of about 16 million people each year from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease. But the technical solutions to this nightmare are already available and some of us still plead that truth, science, system change and, above all, LOVE can yet save Terra ...”

 

My appalled intergalactic visitors (who have unfortunately encountered this scenario of life-forms being “too smart for their own good” on so many other devastated Planets) rapidly depart before my allotted time is up, to prevent any damage to their highly refined spiritual sensibility networks.

 

Great writers (and artists in general) tell stories – like Scheherazade – so that we can better understand ourselves, others and our interactions.  Scientists largely confine themselves to quantitative data, scientific assessment (this involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses) and proposals for sensible system change for the betterment of man and other unique life forms on Earth. Scientists and artists have at their moral core a common commitment to truth and beauty. As John Keats put it in his poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn”:

 

When old age shall this generation waste,
        Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
    Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," - that is all
        Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

 

Unfortunately blind capitalist expansionism and Western imperialist violence and propaganda have perverted human sensibilities. The nightmare world of George Orwell’s “1984” has already arrived.  Pick up any major newspaper and you will quickly discover  - either explicitly stated by commission or implicitly stated by omission  – Big Brother’s  injunctions that “war is peace”, “ignorance is strength”, “slavery is freedom” and “2 plus 2 does not equal 4” .

 

Westerners live in Murdochracies in which the democratic process is subverted by Mainstream media (of which the Murdoch Empire is the most powerful and notorious) and an unaccountable and secret political Establishment. I have referred to the Anglo-American  political Establishment as run by PACMEN (Prosperous Anglo-Celtic men) but the horrors of the Bush Oil Wars aka Zionist colonization of the Middle East and the War on Terror (associated with an estimated 11 million avoidable Indigenous Asian deaths, 1990-2008)  calls for some revision. The Western Murdochracies can be seen as dominated by PACZMEN (pronounced, after the Hungarian fashion, “Patchmen”) i.e. Prosperous Anglo-Celtic and Zionist Men.

 

We live in a world of lies of commission and omission that after 8 years of George Bush is now heavily dominated by “spin”. Whereas “Science” is about critically testing potentially falsifiable hypotheses, anti-science “Spin” is about selectively using “asserted facts” to support a partisan position.

 

My country is Australia, aka the Land of Oz, and famous as a “sunburnt country” (see “My Country” on MWC News: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/21449/42/ ) in which the “Australian salute” refers to Aussies endlessly waving away FLIES. The lying and spin in Murdochracy Australia (the birth place of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, now an American citizen) is such that I refer to Australia as the Land of Flies, Lies and Slies (spin-based untruths). There is a huge list of examples of INCORRECT REPORTAGE in Murdochracy Australia but several recent, illustrative examples are given below.

 

1. Iraqi Genocide – I recently had occasion to publicly ask the evidently Zionist former editor of a top Australian newspaper why Australian media don’t report the expertly-documented Iraqi Genocide. He dismissed my detailed concerns as “nonsense” and a vigorous public exchange ensued. A major Australian newspaper “The Sydney Morning Herald” (from the same media conglomerate) recently reported that “91,000”  Iraqis had died post-invasion – however the appalling REALITY is that post-invasion violent plus non-violent excess deaths in Occupied Iraq totalled 1.7 - 2.2 million as of March 2008. In addition one can estimate 1.7 million Sanctions excess deaths (1990-2003), 1.2 million under-5 infant deaths under Sanctions, 0.2 million Iraqi Gulf War deaths, 0.6 million post-invasion infant deaths (UNICEF) and 4.5 million Iraqi refugees (UNHCR). This is an Iraqi Holocaust and an Iraqi Genocide as defined by the UN Genocide Convention (see: http://www.brusselstribunal.org/Messages190308.htm#polya ) .

 

2. Global warming – I belong to a Melbourne-based Climate Action Group (CAG) which in turn is associated with a national-based Climate Emergency Network  (CEN). CEN attempts to make Australia and the world aware of the current Climate Emergency and the urgent need – most cogently expressed by top US climate scientist Dr James Hansen – to return atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to a safe 350 ppm (parts per million) from the present 385 ppm at which all Arctic sea ice  may disappear within 5 years (e.g. see: http://climatefactsheets.blogspot.com/ ). However the following shocking story illustrates what we are up against.

 

The leading Australian and Murdoch Empire newspaper “The Australian” (23 April 2008; see: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23583376-7583,00.html  ) INCORRECTLY reported under a false and alarmist headline that, QUOTE: “All four agencies that track Earth's temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007.”

 

In ACTUALITY the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York (report updated 28 January, 2008; see: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2007/  ) provides  sobering graphs of increasing global temperature since 1880 and states a TOTALLY DIFFERENT current reality, QUOTE: “The year 2007 tied for second warmest in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005, in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. 2007 tied 1998, which had leapt a remarkable 0.2°C above the prior record with the help of the "El Niño of the century". The unusual warmth in 2007 is noteworthy because it occurs at a time when solar irradiance is at a minimum and the equatorial Pacific Ocean is in the cool phase of its natural El Niño-La Niña cycle.”

 

What can decent people do? We must INFORM others following the examples of outstanding scientists like NASA’s Dr James Hansen (recently awarded the 2007 AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility from the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science) and outstanding humanitarian writers - and latter day Scheherazades - such as Doris Lessing, Arundhati Roy and Taslima Nasrin. We can also APPLY Sanctions and Boycotts against the goods and services of corporations of the Paczmen (Prosperous Anglo-Celtic and Zionist Men, “Patchmen”) whose greed,  racism, lies and slies (spin-based untruths) are devastating the Planet and threatening the biosphere with Terracide.  

 

Comments