Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Radio Straka - Transmission Five

The fifth transmission from Radio Straka has begun.

Today's broadcast is discussing terrorism and political activism.

@RadioStraka has today changed his name to Bullfinch, which as you may recall was a theme on Transmission 3 (Phyrrula Phyrrula)

Lieutenant Giulio Gavotti, Libya 1911

Transcript of show 5 29.10.13 follows -

A beautiful introduction by the Synanon Choir for our broadcast today from www.radiostraka.com, so Straka's period was a time of struggle and change and his politics and novels and the romours around his life outside the pages of his books all suggest he was part of some of the greatest events of the early 20th century. Now your host, myself today is on air to investigate some of these events and motivations behind them to explore the period of political change that Straka was so much a part of, so the question I ask is have things changed since then. "It's much easier to bend the world to you will if bending the world is what matters most to you", that is Ship of Theseus.

Music (pianaola ?)

So we will be discussing the topic of terrorism and political action at time and it's relationship to militant action in the 19th and 20th centurys so this show asks the question about struggles against power, the nationalist movements in the imperial age to the anti capitalist movements in the era of globalised capital, what are these struggles all about ? So I invite you now to relate this to the crisis in modern Britain, how it relates to this early 20th centry conflicts and struggles.

Let us listen

Music - Laura Groves, Inky sea

Beautiful singing there, thankyou for listening to www.radiostraka.com. so the British empire was attacked from within by the Irish Republican Army, the IRA, whose deeds then inspired the Zionist groups Hagannah, Irgun and Lehi to fight the British throughout the 1930s in Palestine, they then inspired the Muslim Brotherhood who used bombings and assassinations to try to free Egypt from British control, now this was 80 years ago.

In imperial Russia political violence took the lives of several ministers including the prime minister Pyotr Stolypin, was killed by a leftist radical in 1911. Now the same year V M Straka's first book the Europe wide hit and Prix Brouchard award winner for literature in 1912 Miracle at Braxenhome was published. Now the assasination of the Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austro-Hungarian empire in Sarajevo in 1914 set in motion the events which led to World War I and the ripples of that deed defined a century.

Now here is a wax cylinder recording of sleeping Beauty

Music - Sleeping Beauty Waltz

So what is state terror and why do they always have the best bombs, well we talk about the violence by the minority against the powerful majority as terrorism, but our modern age in this 21st century is defined by our war on terror. But what about this terror caused by states by the powerful majority when they act against the minority. In 1911 Itallian troops retaliated to a defeat by Turko-Arab forces in the Makia oasis outside Tripoli in Libia by massacaring the population of the oasis. In 3 days children, women and men were systematically killed in houses, farms and gardens, hundreds of women and children who sought refuge in a mosque died there when toops set fire to it. The Itallians attempted to suppress the news of the massacre but it did not work, it came out, it became known. There are many ways to get the truth out, many ways.

Sombre music

A month later the pilot of an italian biplane brought us into the age of air warfare, Leitentnat Giulio Gavotti wrote in a letter to his father, today I have decided to try to throw bombs from the aeroplane it is the first time we have tried this and if I succeed I will be really pleased to be the first person to do it. 100 years later Italy joined NATO in the aerial bombing of Libya once again. Some scholars consider the deliberate bombardment of civilian populations a form of state terror and during the military conflicts leading up to World War II and the war itself bombing of enemy ciivillian population in order to terrorise it break moral was first employed. Aerial bombardment with bombs often packed with mustard gas was a major aspect of Italy's 1935 war against Ethiopia. Benito mussoluini's order to Itallian forces was to systematically conduct politics of terror and extermination of the rebels and complicit population. A year later King Fouad of egypt died and left his 16 year old son on the throne. Now the Egyption police still use the old nation al anthem as their offical song -

"Hey you who are trying to chain our orbits

There is no star in the sky is under your control

The homeland of freemen is a sky that can not be possessed

And the freemen owned it to its horizons"

But did they ever own the sky ?


Beginning early in the 1930's and with greatest intensity between 1938 and 1943 the Japanese used incendury bombs against Chinese citys such as Shanghai, Wu Yong and Zhong Ying.


Lord Cranborne the British under secretary of state for foreign afrairs commented on the 1937 bombing the military objective where it exists seems to take a completely second place, the main objective seems to be to inspire terror by the indiscriminate slaughter of citizens.


In it's air attacks on Japan US forces used a mix of incendries and high explosives to burn to the ground large sections of Japanese cities. A military aide to General Douglas Macarthur called one incendry attack on Tokyo one of the most ruthless and barbaric killings of non combatants in all history. This was the international news that Straka wrote.


Is there any quiestion as to why he was so adamantly opposed to the war mongers and bomb makers of this world ?


Shouldn't we all oppose them ?


And are there deed worse than those Straka was accused of ?

Now we provide an interlude.


Ah, some say Straka was responsible for the anti capitalist attack on Wall Street in 1920 a bomb surrounded by sash window weights was hidden in a horse drawn wagon and detonated just after 12pm on Thursday September the 16th, at 19, in 1920 at the corner of Wall and Broad streets, in Manhatten. This bomb killed 36 and it injured 143 (?) it was the deadliest act of terrorism on american soil since the 1910 bombing of the LA times. This bombing was never solved. Now we occupy Wall street in tents, and they call us criminals.

In 1920 James Saul a 17 year old messanger stole a parked car and he used it to transport 30 injured people to an area hospital, he was a hero but he commited a crime to enable his heroism. After the Wall street bombing capitalism mobilised against peoples movements, at least 6000 suspected subversives were jaied in sweeps by J Edgar Hoovers FBI. Now, question, without this attack would we have ever seen the foundation of the FBI and franchisement of global surveilance society ?

Your Radio Straka host here with more truth for you today.

Music - Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Some have suggested that Straka was a communist that he was European Czech even. Now, eh, he has his villains say things like, "Only a madman would devote himself to being an impediment to progress, to political realities, to common sense and to the natural flow of cash and service and product." "Ship of Theseus" page 323. Was he, Straka, then a madman? Would any Czech writer have failed to sign the Manifesto of Czech writers partitioned for self determination in 1917? Certainly, the view of Straka as a radical might make sense again the backdrop of Czech history. During the 1920s and 1930s when Straka was so prolific, Czechoslovakia ranked among the ten most developed countries in the world. The communist party won the 1946 parliamentary elections in Czechoslovakia. This resulted in a change of regime and brought the country under the international communist movement led by the Soviet Union. Straka disappeared before that. We have to wonder, if he was a communist did he give up writing to join the cause behind the iron curtain?

(bird noises)

Well, nationalism and socialism were the driving forces of the early 20th century struggle after Straka's time. Social justice motivated the Black Panthers and the African National Congress in their struggles.

Music: "Soul Makossa" Manu Dibango

In the 1980s and 1990s, Islamic militancy in pursuit of religious and political goals increase many militance drawing inspiration from Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. Since the 1990s, we have also seen the rise of single issue terrorism representing and extension of repressive group politics into violent actions. Notable examples of this would be eco-terroism and anti-abortion terrorism. Then, of course, we have the first and second World Trade Center attacks. Now were this attacks on the World Trade or on the American military industrial complex. Islamist claimed responsibility. In 1993, the bombers demanded an end to US diplomatic relations with Israel and a pledge but the Unite States to end interference in the Middle East. They described their own bombs has terrorism justified because the terrorism that Israel practices which America supports must be faced with a similar one. The world turns and it all comes around again just the same.

Music: "Shut Up" by The Monks

Are we living in a era defined by terror? Questions. What are the motivations for the terrorist attacks? So, political independent as in the 19th and early 20th nationalists movements, in the early 20th century nationalist movements, social liberties and civil rights as in the mid 20th century struggles in South Africa and America, economic freedoms. Now when we take action today are we one with Straka's causes or are we not? When governments take action today, why, why? What is the link to chemical weapons? Why is it always chemical weapons? Like the black vine in the "Ship of Theseus." Those terrible weapons.

This is about times and places.


"Times and places were great numbers of people have suffered, died, disappeared." "Ship of Theseus"  page four hundred and forty-nine, 449.

So, 1905, June, Tangier, Morocco. It's the first Moroccan crisis, the imperial struggle between Germany and France. 1906, in October, the Balkan's is another center of tension in the build up to the Great War. 1908, in October, in Danzig, Berlin Germany where there are crushing the Bosnian crisis in violation of the Treaty of Berlin and then in 1910 in December in Los Angeles in the American, in America, the Times bombing, of course, the Los Angeles Times. In 1911, September, Tripoli, Libya, Tripoli Massacres, the massacres by the Italian troops including those arial bombardments we talked about. 1912, in March, Solonika, in Greece. This was the first Blakan War.  ? liberation of the Solonika. So, the powerful control us. Their control is not absolute. This is the story. "Ship of Theseus" three hundred ninety-six, page 396. [not in book]

Straka has had held fast to an ideology of the continuous struggle against power.

(sea gulls)

Music: "

Let us spread our wings and Twitter together. @radiostraka

So, the trading ship at the age of exploration were tiny, they were the size of a small house these day and usually had a small crew, a tight unit of sailors. This is way pirate ships were so feared. Pirate crews might have 80 men on board given them a ratio of 10 to 1 and the easy capacity to overwhelm and take over a merchant ship. "Readers may be interested in know that, just as sailor's referred to ship with feminine pronouns, so, too would Straka use them when referring to the principals of political and economic reform that were the foundation of his writing, his act of resistance, and his revolutionary spirit." "Ship of Theseus" editors footnote 6, page 209. [actually, page 219]

The Ari Aegne in Straka' first book "The Miracle at Braxenholm" and the Eponymus "Ship of Theseus" are connected through the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. However, they are inverse figures. The Ariagne is a party ship symbolic of the political and economic profligacy that Straka was satirizing. The ship of Theseus, in contrast, is a working ship with a monstrous voluntary indentured crew and a mission to create and deliver texted to the Obsidian island and to transport S on his missions. The Ship of Theseus is a xebec, a Mediterranean training ship, trading ship, pardon me, and it is an actual ship of Theseus, referencing the paradox recorded by Plutach in the Life of Theseus similar to the grandfather's axe or John Locke's sock, a thing who's parts change until it raises the question of whether it is the same thing at all. A reference to "Ship of Theseus" page 290. The metaphor implied here is that the ship is the cause Straka is advocating and elucidating in his writing.

"A [The] ship:a dying aviary." "Ship of Theseus" page 325. Yes. [uh, no. 326 and "the" not "a"]

"It takes more than destruction to destroy a ship like this," Ship of Theseus, page 396, three hundred ninety-six.

Thank you for listening to this remote broadcast at www.radiostraka.com

bird sounds

For the centennary of the publication of  "Miracle at Braxenholm" the celebrations were little more than cursory commemorations for such a towering figure of early 20th century literature. There was barely a mention in the press or mainstream media. "Braxenholm" was the toast of Europe in 1911, Straka was a household name, and certainly a society darling figure. Oh, ho ho, how the generations forget the fascinations of their grandparents, the mysterious, illusive author of such a staggering comedy. Straka took the continent by storm. Yet two years I heard, I only heard anything about him from a passage someone quoted on a thread on dissensus.com. So, haunting, so potent, it was instantly recognizable, pure Straka. I guess that is how most of us feel. We hear his voice, we feel his power and his mystery and his stories help us to shape a chaotic world, to accept our lack of control over nature, or others, or ourselves. Like so many others, like you, I was drawn to the man and to the work, the mind, the legend. This author, massively published contemporary of E.M. Foster of Ford, Maddox Ford, H.G Wells, D. H. Lawrence, J. M. Barre, and Beatrix Potter. An author whose mysteries were popular a decade before Agatha Christy began writing, whose gothic haunting mode was so much more than the scribblings of Bram Stoker and Joseph Conrad, a figure who loomed large in literary and political worlds. A figure who emerged to fill a void left by ?evsky ? and Poli?a?. A figure who was adored by Hemingway, of all people, um. Why does no one know Straka's name? Why weren't there festivals of Skraka in 2011?

A century after he wrote him, his books are more relevant than ever. His topics, his themes, the questions probed in his work, the philosophy of his attitude to his era, the mystery, the mystery of who he really was? We are living with Occupy, with Wikileaks, of the Arab Spring revolutions, of the repressive militaristic regime in Syria with all those disgusting weapons with mustaches and beards that Straka would have recognized immediately.

Oh, we are talking about a time of culture a time of sophistication of birth of an era, our era. They are living in his shadow and they don't even know they are in the shade. Here was a genius that published 10 works of such stunning sophistication and complexity whose very name is synonymous with danger and mystery who was one of the most wanted men of the interwar era whose books were published in half a dozen languages at a time when books were the movies of the era. And yet nothing was being made of him. A legend forgotten. Forgotten.

Well, not by me.

Here's to you, Straka. Here's to you. Whoever and wherever you are.

Find what you love and fight like hell when people try to take it away from you.

I thank you for listening.

Music: "Carmina Burana Dance" Berliner Philharmoniker


  1. The music in all of these Transmissions are fantastic.

    1. It was definitely an eclectic selection, but worked really well with the content of the broadcasts.

  2. Hi, I'm Danielle. I've been looking for something to occupy my time since spending many hours over at Lost.com/forums during the LOST years. I couldn't get past the title page without googling 'the Miracle at Braxenholm' and after following a bit of a trail I've ended up here. Looking forward to solving some puzzles with you all.

    1. Hi Danielle, welcome aboard.

      Hope we get some puzzle solving done soon as things have stalled a little at the moment.

  3. Just went back and listened to these broadcasts. It definitely seems like the host of the show is "in game", in that talks about Straka's works, when they were published, and so on.

    There are several points at which he quotes from Ship of Theseus. But, has anyone else noticed that the second last line of the last broadcast ("Find what you love then fight like hell when people try to take it away from you.") is an exact quote of something that Eric wrote in the margin on page {xi}? I can't believe it's a coincidence, so either Eric is quoting from Straka without attribution (a quote the host also knows), or the host has somehow seen "our" annotated copy of SOT (or the host is Eric!).


    1. I also have noticed that!
      I dont think Eric would have quoted Straka without mentioning it (or without Jen saying something..).
      by the voice of the host, I dont think its Eric. if it was him, he would say a lot more about Straka, wouldnt he?
      I am starting to think that the host had seen the book with Jen and Erics notes (AND I think he was the one who did the S that nobody knows who did it!!!)

  4. We listened before the book came out- very well done I think. Yes, tied in- Radio Straka source

  5. Yes, we have made lots of connections- which is exciting. But have we really cracked anything but the Chapter 10 cipher? DD recently said there is more to solve in BOLO interview.

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