Southern Cross Review

Review of fiction, education, science, current events,
essays, book reviews, poetry and Anthroposophy

Number 76, May - June 2011

"Nude" - Amedeo Modigliani - Italy/France 1884 - 1920

Italian painter and sculptor. After studying art in Italy, he settled in Paris (1906), where he exhibited several paintings at the Salon des Indépendants in 1908. Following the advice of Constantin Brancusi, he studied African sculpture and in 1912 exhibited 12 stone heads whose simplified and elongated forms reflect African influence. When he returned to painting, his portraits and nudes — characterized by asymmetry of composition, elongation of the figure, and a simplification of outline — reflected the style of his sculpture. By almost eliminating chiaroscuro, he achieved a sculptural quality by the strength of his contours and the richness of juxtaposed colours. In 1917 he began painting a series of female nudes that, with their warm, glowing colours and sensuous, rounded forms, are among his best works. His work reflects his lifelong admiration for Italian Renaissance masters, as well as the influence of Paul Cézanne and Brancusi. He died at 35 of tuberculosis. See below for more.

Editor's Page

The Intelligence Analyst by Frank Thomas Smith

Jim Tate was kicked out of Military Intelligence unceremoniously, and he wanted to know why. I was reminded of Jim's story when reading about and sympathizing with Bradley Manning, that private-first-class who sent all the so-called “secret” information to WikiLeaks. I was reminded of how stupid, that's the best word for it, but one could also say inept, bureaucratic, clumsy and a whole list of adjectives from the thesaurus to describe the United States Army – or, probably, any army. It's just that my experience is with the American version.... Read more


The King of the Elves by Philip K. Dick

It was raining and getting dark. Sheets of water blew along the row of pumps at the edge of the filling station; the tree across the highway bent against the wind. Shadrach Jones stood just inside the doorway of the little building, leaning against an oil drum. The door was open and gusts of rain blew in onto the wood floor. It was late; the sun had set, and the air was turning cold. Shadrach reached into his coat and brought out a cigar. He bit the end off it and lit it carefully, turning away from the door. In the gloom, the cigar into life, warm and glowing. Shadrach took a deep draw. He buttoned his coat around him and stepped out onto the pavement "Darn," he said. "What a night!" Rain buffeted him, wind blew at him. He looked up and down the highway, squinting. There were no cars in sight. He shook his head, locked up the gasoline pumps....Read more

Cleopatra in Manila by Victorino Briones

Madam María Perez Rubio had just ended her last performance as Cleopatra at the famous Teatro Zorilla and was entertaining friends and admirers inside her dressing room, when a nervous young policeman weaved through the crowd to approach her, cupped his hands around her ear and whispered that her husband’s body had been found floating in the Pasig river. Would she please identify the body in the morgue? Her expression was impassive -- a surprise to the policeman, who often encountered shock, weeping or fainting after delivering similarly tragic news of death. María discreetly waved her right hand, signaling her mother to escort everyone else out of the room....Read more

Current Events

Osama bin Laden Dead and Alive
by Tom Engelhardt

Back in the 1960s, Senator George Aiken of Vermont offered two American presidents a plan for dealing with the Vietnam War: declare victory and go home. Roundly ignored at the time, it’s a plan worth considering again today for a war in Afghanistan and Pakistan now in its tenth year. As everybody not blind, deaf, and dumb knows by now, Osama bin Laden has been. Literally. By Navy Seals.  Or as one of a crowd of revelers who appeared in front of the White House Sunday night put it on an impromptu sign riffing on The Wizard of Oz: “Ding, Dong, Bin Laden Is Dead.” And wouldn’t it be easy if he had indeed been the Wicked Witch of the West and all we needed to do was click those ruby slippers three times, say there’s no place like home,” and be back in Kansas. Or if this were V-J day and a sailor’s kiss said it all...Read more

The Butterfly and the Boiling Point - Charting the Wild Winds of Change in 2011 by Rebecca Solnit

Revolution is as unpredictable as an earthquake and as beautiful as spring. Its coming is always a surprise, but its nature should not be. Revolution is a phase, a mood, like spring, and just as spring has its buds and showers, so revolution has its ebullience, its bravery, its hope, and its solidarity. Some of these things pass. The women of Cairo do not move as freely in public as they did during those few precious weeks when the old rules were suspended and everything was different. But the old Egypt is gone and Egyptians’ sense of themselves -- and our sense of them -- is forever changed. No revolution vanishes without effect. The Prague Spring of 1968 was brutally crushed, but 21 years later when a second wave of revolution liberated Czechoslovakia,... Read more

The Great Israeli Security Scam by Ira Chernus

Here are the Three Sacred Commandments for Americans who shape the public conversation on Israel:
1. For politicians, especially at the federal level: As soon as you say the word “Israel,” you must also say the word “security” and promise that the United States will always, always, always be committed to Israel’s security. If you occasionally label an action by the Israeli government “unhelpful,” you must immediately reaffirm the eternal U.S. commitment to Israel’s security
2. For TV talking heads and op-ed pundits: If you criticize any policies or actions of the Israeli government, you must immediately add that Israel does, of course, have very real and serious security needs that have to be addressed.
...Read more

Überlegungen zur Gestaltung gesunder gesellschaftlicher Verhältnisse
von Michael Schreyer

Die menschliche Gesellschaft wird von Menschen gestaltet.
Menschliche Einsichten, Vorstellungen, Wünsche und Ideale stellen den Hintergrund für die Gestaltungsintensionen und –formen dar. Hier wird der Mensch zum Schöpfer. Nicht irgendwelche Schwierigkeiten durch Sachzwänge, sondern nur wir selbst sind für die geschaffenen Verhältnisse verantwortlich. Die Gesellschaft ist Menschenwerk. ...
Read more

Berlusconi: Underneath the Arches of Rubygate by Gaither Stewart

Rubygate it’s called. The final act of the Berlusconi saga. Over fifteen years of comedy for the outside world. A comedy played out against a background of non-government and misery for many Italians. For years now, each new scandal, each new act of corruption, is identified with the suffix “gate”. Deriving from the original Watergate, even though the latter was not actually a “gate” as used today to pinpoint scandalous behavior and the resultant cover-up. During these last stages of the Berlusconi era there has been Noemi Gate, named for another of Sultan Silvio’s teenage favorites. Then, the Bunga Bunga Gate, in reference to the sex games and “orgies” in the Sultan’s luxurious private residences in Milan and Rome. In Italy, in Commedia dell’Arte fashion, the gate suffix means scandal, speculation and gossip... Read more


A Wasp's Story
by Paul Carline

I never knew my mother or my father. I will never see my children. I was impregnated by one of my brothers even before I emerged from the womb. My birthplace was a secret garden full of flowers on which the sun never shone. The garden was my mother's tomb, and would be mine also but for the help of my brothers, who gave their even briefer lives to allow me to make the escape which they cannot. Once free, I have only a few hours in which to accomplish the purpose for which I was born. I will neither eat nor drink. I may be captured and die before I reach my destination. But there are many of us and some will get through. ... Read more


Freedom and the Catholic Church - Lecture 1 of 3 by Rudolf Steiner

...Since then, of course, things have changed throughout the civilized world. That is primarily a historical fact, but it comprises something which is of the utmost interest to us. That is, that in the measure in which man loses the capacity to see the spiritual in the world, to explain the world of nature around him by the spirit, in that same measure must he place a special world side by side with nature and the ordinary world, that is, the world of miracle. The more natural science takes its stand on mere causality, the more the life of human feeling is driven, by a quite natural reaction, to accept the concept of miracle. The more natural science continues along its present lines, the more numerous will be those who seek refuge in a religion which includes miracles. That is why today so many people embrace Catholicism, because they simply cannot bear the natural-scientific conception of the world... Read more

La Libertad y la Iglesia Católica - Conferencia 1 de 3 por Rudolf Steiner

...Desde entonces, por supuesto, las cosas han cambiado en todo el mundo civilizado. Eso es ante todo un hecho histórico, pero encierra algo que es para nosotros del mayor interés. Y es que, en la medida en que el hombre pierde la capacidad de ver lo espiritual en el mundo, de explicar el mundo de la naturaleza que lo rodea a través del espíritu, en esa misma medida debe colocar un mundo especial junto al de la naturaleza y al mundo ordinario, es decir, el mundo del milagro. Cuanto más se base la ciencia natural en la mera causalidad, más será empujado el sentimiento humano, por una reacción absolutamente natural, a aceptar el concepto de milagro. Cuanto más continúe la ciencia natural con su línea actual, más numerosos serán los que busquen refugio en una religión que incluya los milagros. Por eso es que hoy tantas personas abrazan al catolicismo, porque simplemente no pueden soportar la visión natural-científica del mundo... Read more

Critique of Rudolf Steiner by Osho

- Osho, I was brought up in the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, but I could not yet break through my barriers towards him. Although I believe him to be right in the way he shows that for the west, the possibility to free ourselves from 'Maya' is to learn to think in the right way. By doing this and by meditating, he says we are able to lose our egos and find our “I”. The central figure for him is Christ, whom he differentiates from Jesus as a totally different being. Your way seems different to me. Can you please advise me? I am somehow torn between you and the way Steiner shows...Read more

Karmic Relations, Volume 1, Lecture 9 by Rudolf Steiner

In these lectures we are speaking of karma, of the paths of human destiny, and in the last lecture we studied certain connections which can throw light on the way in which destiny works through the course of successive earthly lives. I have decided — although needless to say it was a decision fraught with risk — to speak in detail of such karmic connections, and today we will carry our studies a little further....Read more


A Prayer
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Brothers, be not afraid of men's sins. Love man even in his sin,
for that already bears the semblance of divine love
and is the highest love on earth.
Love all God's creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand.
Love every leaf, every ray of God's light!
Love the animals, love the plants, love everything
If you love everything,
you will perceive the divine mystery in things....Read more

The Southern Cross and more light verse by Frank Thomas Smith

Gracefully the gaucho galloped through
The pampa's waving windswept grasses;
From time to time he stroked his beard,
Black as the eyes of the country's lasses.
Orion patiently made its rounds,
Dripping dust in the River Plate,
While over the rancho, his destination,
The Southern Cross guarded the gate.
...Read more

The Other Tiger by Jorge Luis Borges

A tiger comes to mind. The twilight here
Exalts the vast and busy Library
And seems to set the bookshelves back in gloom;
Innocent, ruthless, bloodstained, sleek
It wanders through its forest and its day
Printing a track along the muddy banks
Of sluggish streams whose names it does not know... Read More

Español: (El Otro Tigre)

Atadecer por Gabriela Bayarri

Tus manos
dibujan lirios
amarillos en mi cuerpo.
Y cuando/los zorzales/regresan/desde el horizonte,
tu boca,/ desenredándose
de mi boca,/ vuelve más violeta/ la tarde...Read more

Letters to the Editor

So if I understand you right, the nudes which you put on the cover of your Journal is a signal of your intention to drag Anthroposophia into the material world, a means to muddy the spiritual being, hence your pose as a literati type. No? If yes, it is too bad Frank, as what with your wide reading in anthroposophical literature you must be aware of the fact that we all do die, one day or another, we die, and must make an accounting for the actions of our lives. It is one thing if we act in ignorance, quite another if we have knowledge of how things stand but choose to act in a manner contrary to Reality. Read more

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You can find us under the Southern Cross constellation in the Traslasierra Valley, Province of Córdoba, Argentina. Visitors always welcome. Just follow the sign that reads: La Cruz del Sur.

Frank Thomas Smith, Editor
JoAnn Schwarz, Associate Editor
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