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pillboxARCHIVE 7a
Document extract:
NOTES made
21st March 2003

This site’s signature tune?
“Seat Fighting Man.”


DEAD AIR

6.23 a.m., BBC1:

“Day Two of the war in Baghdad for the 3rd night running…”

+“A huge finger of black smoke. . .hang on, there’s another huge explosion.”
“Rage, we heard it.”

+IRAQI Press conference. Bizarre. A gold–plated kalashnikov… ranting … forest of microphones…

+“…these are the images the world had been expecting…”

“Antique!
Every other sentiment an antique!
As obsolete as warships in the baltic…”


SHOT BY BOTH SIDES
Contradictory positions: to be ‘pro’ the war to a certain extent because you believe Saddam SHOULD have been dealt with a LONG time ago, purely for his treatment of his people (a trick, coincidentally - war against own population – in which he probably had instruction from his CIA elders and betters) But one can still persist in being against US expansionism. This is not contradictory. Far from it. It has an ethical unity. Because, surely, ETHICS, ethical action here, would consist PRECISELY in carrying out the ACT [regime change] FOR THE RIGHT REASON.
And there must be, surely, many people who feel thus: FOR a war against Saddam, but deeply suspicious of You-S expansionism.

When it comes down to it, I guess I’m something of a now-peevish now-quasi-anarchist now elitist now extremist left wing libertarian: I don’t THINK I would have too many private qualms about more or less covert assassination of people like Hussein. Why the hell not? It’s TACTICAL – and opens the way for genuine democratic overhaul, long haul, putsch.
If it IS in the name of democracy – and not oil. Or some oil.
One ethically relative assassination; as against this full scale war, in which civilians will be slaughtered, as well as (AS BLOODY USUAL) all the working class soldiers on both sides; a war being waged for an ever changing roster of dubious ‘reasons’ by a newly hawkishly energised expansionist US, which surely wants to install itself in the centre of the Middle East – which, in turn, can surely only bring MORE terrorism and conflict between East and West? But which finally gives a rationale for that WAR ECONOMY budget the US has been running since 1946.
(Oh, how the military complex must be singing!)

And this from a country [US] which is holding those guys in Guantanamo Bay… not to mention 2m of its own people in its own jails, and all the dubiously executed (not to mention all those luckless Palestinians on the receiving end of US ‘support’ for Israel) …

It’s impossible to feel easy supporting any manoeuvre of this Bush administration… for good reason; history shows that these are not people who can be trusted to tell you it’s midday when the sun is right above your head. There is ALWAYS a shadow plan – and that is not conspiracy, that is history. {GO out to a second hand bookshop now and track down a 50p copy of the Pentagon Papers if you don't already have one.

Whenever someone mentions Vietnam in passing … once again that uncanny feeling: where is the appropriate attendant culture? Where is MY purple haze black panther lenny bruce culture…? Rather than, I don’t know, Coldplay wearing protest ribbons and celebrity gossip and or, Orpheus forbid, one more dully rocky and conveniently ambiguous Springsteen thump a long.

Only two things so far have been “up to” my I MYSELF AM WAR dark moods.
Only one of those is contemporary: Coil’s “Remote Viewer”.
Other was Dylan’s 1965 “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”.

All together now:
“-but EVEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES must sometimes have to stand NAKED…”


DEMOCRACY, LOVELY DEMOCRACY

Random news items: HOME front:

· guy killed after a rock was deliberately thrown from a motorway bridge.
· 102 yr old woman robbed and killed.
· Milly Dowler

“Innocence, coming to grief
At the hands of life’s stinking car thief
That’s my concept of sin,”
as the wise & wonderful Paddy MacAloon once sang.


Commentators. Live pictures from e.g. tanks.
2 or 3 things here spring to mind here. First is that oh boy was PAUL VIRILIO right: the commingling of war tech and media tech: now virtually indistinguishable.

To the point where, as previously noted, the US is now building bombs solely designed to knock out other peoples hi-tech communications; and reporters are embedded to the point where ‘santioned’ coverage is an ESSENTIAL TOOL. And such is the all encompassing nature of all this, that someone like Ollie North say is virtually guaranteed a post-disgrace career in war/pol punditry. Like coaches become sports commentators, knowing all the coded moves and plays…

I bet the old guard 1950s cold war CIA guys can’t believe the landscape these days, what you can air openly as distraction, disinformation, spin and get away with…

14 men freed today in Copenhagen after being arrested in January as al-Al-Q suspects… well, as it turns out the the ‘poison’ found in their flat was washing powder…

+ more PALESTINIAN casualties today…

Prog last Monday about Israeli guy who blew the whistle on Israel’s dubious nuclear secrets. It has breached an uncountable number of sanctions in re weapons of mass destruction etc.
A US protestor (they do exist, not that you’d know from US TV, apparently) exclaimed: ‘How come if we’re a democracy we don’t know about this guy? How come he’s not hailed as a hero?’

Likewise, how come the US girl peace protestor killed in/by Israel this week, far from generating the scandal to end all scandals, has, rather, become the victim of smear and sneer and denigration? Isn’t this girl TRULY HEROIC? Truly a hero, truly a martyr? As opposed to those US troops who are already being hailed as ‘heroes” simply for accidentally taking a bullet in the leg, (quite possibly from one of their own side). Without in ANY way gainsaying the courage it takes to be there, on the ground, there is nothing ‘heroic’ about such passive/accidental ‘acts’ per se. Whereas facing down Israeli soldiers armed with all the best hi tech war goodies the US/UK can provide, with only stones…? Isn’t that some kind of heroism? The same kind of heroism Bush would doubtless eulogise if it were carried out by doomed Iraqi civilians against Saddam’s imperial guards… but not when it's raggle tag bands of Palestinian children.

And but: can you IMAGINE if the SAME GIRL had been KILLED by one of America's current ‘enemies’? If ANY other ‘Middle Eastern’ country been ir-responsible?

All the things that we are finding out about - all the infractions, contraditions, moral issues - were they being discussed, pored over, dragged out, in the time between 9/11 and the War? In that famed time when all the commentators suddenly decreed a moratorium on trivia and media gossip?
Well… no.
We – or “we” - were (supposedly) obsessed, rather, with Les Dennis mental state and home life; ditto Ulrika Jonson; ditto Leslie Ash’s lips …

Explain all THIS to your children, in the future.
Explain, first, the concept of ‘c’ list celebrity; it will be very necessary.

Oh, for the time of Bogart and Camus…

…in the Foucault book: Simone Signoret.
I always had a kind of crush on her. Not straightforward ‘sexual’ crush per se. Is there such a thing as a moral crush? Just… wordless oh-wow awe. Vibe she gave off. In that peerless Jean Pierre Melville film about the Resistance, she just radiates this ethical strength, stoicism, something or … other.
(Yeah, but she’s hardly Caprice is she, guy?)
If I was Paddy MacAloon, I’d write a song right now about dying in Simone Signoret’s arms… and about how our role models have (tragically) changed.

(Co-incidentally, the Resistance is always a good paradigm to introduce in discussions about so-called ‘Terror’ and “terrorism”. What is tabloid labelled ‘criminal’ in re Palestine resistance is remembered as matchless COURAGE from WW2…)

And now that we’ve abjured triviality… yeah?
That post 9/ll day that changed our world? The results?
What can you tune in to while “our boys” are being burnt alive by the latest hi-tech no-loophole hi tech US bombs (which unfortunately appear to have some serious UK service personnel loophole): D list Celebs running a club. The Peoples Records. Girls and Boys. You know.

Makes me think of that Virilio quote I used for Melbourne talk in 2000: “Reality is becoming a stereo reality.”

Well – this is one STRANGE mix. One channel – fake ethics. Completely FAKE ethics. The other channel: we are the cheeky girls. Or something. It’s not that I want to scour Norton and Ross et al from the world (altho getting rid of Johnny Vaughn and Dom Jolly would sure be a good start for all of us… altho, they seem to be doing a good enough job of it themselves right NOW come to think of it…) but it’s the fact that they are ALL there is.
There is no corresponding pole of even semi serious programming. Not serious as in the ‘old’ Channel 4’s idea of ‘serious’ as GRIM AS ALL GET OUT: four hackademics in a carpet warehouse with viewing figures of 12. Not grim grave solemn ‘serious’. But Internet serious. Website serious. Nietzsche serious: old sense gay science.
BURST OF LAUGHTER serious.
Camus serious. Angela Carter serious.
Bataille saying ‘I MYSELF AM WAR’ serious.
Oh yes.

In the absence of such, I have felt DRIVEN the last few weeks to search and scour and find it elsewhere… Books books books: Genet. Foucault. Bataille. Angela Davis. George Jackson. Ishmael Reed. Deleuze et al.

Try and try tho they may, all the ‘risky’ edgy comics of late are leagues behind the ONE place where this has OCCASIONALLY happened lately: Rory Bremner.
In the build-up to the war, this was virtually the ONLY PLACE where you could get a genuine history lesson on the region and the real historical reasons for the conflict.

This has been a partly political broadcast for the I MYSELF AM WAR party…

Dolente…dolore.

posted by Ian 4/23/2003 09:32:00 PM

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