I told you I was sick


Israeli school children eagerly sign messages on a row of bombs bound for Lebanon. I only saw this photo today, in a sunday newspaper review of the year in pictures. I looked at it ‘over my breakfast’. That and the photo of a polar bear stranded on a tiny ice floe drenched in the blood of his catch which lay at his feet. The bear looked like he was about to topple off the ice his feet were so close together. He looked unbalanced, top heavy. Like a polar bear hot air balloon.

The faces of the bomb signing kids could be described as happy, almost eager. The messages on the bombs were things like ‘From Israel with Love” or ‘To Hizbollah’. From what I could see they were quite polite messages. There is a heart sign above a Star of David Flag. I mean they were written by kids. Nothing like ‘fuck you you muslim scum’ or ‘death to your filthy kids arab cunt’. I may be bothered to scan this photo and put it on the blog. I may not, it’s Christmas eve and I have gifts to wrap. They used marker pens on the difficult cylindrical profiles of the missiles, given to them I assume by thier teachers or parents. Words are hard to decipher as the pens slipped across the surface, words chasing themselves around the circle, illegible signatures like when you try and sign the back of a new credit card. These innocuous messages remind me of other things I have seen written where you wouldn’t expect them. In a Jewish cemetary in Warsaw. Graves with words in Yiddish and Polish like “Murdered by nazi german scum”, “slaughtered by the Nazi German barbarian invaders”, under the names of the dearly departed. Rest in peace would have been an insult to them, beside the point even. These words weren’t written in haste, but were chiseled. Words conjured with such anger that they read like a halting second language. And surely it is, this language born out of hatred and horror. On seeing those childrens words maybe this is our natural cadence, words that toll our feelings for others, in which we can read how we feel about ourselves. I flash on another cemetary, another Jewish gravestone I have found myself standing infront of, this time in Key West Florida, on which was written “I told you I was sick.”

Now that’s fucking funny.

I can’t help myself but ask do the hands that signed those bombs for Lebanon also light the menorah, for they are surely also the hands that fell’d a city…

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One Comment to “I told you I was sick”

  1. Bombing from the air has always been a jolly affair. (Sounds like the first line from a ww2 song.) And that’s where my mind immediately flashed to when I saw the photograph.

    I was in a seasonal bad mood. At my mother in laws fighting off wave after wave of shit food. Taking cover in the paper as another tray of incoming hit. Am I labouring the tasteless bombing analogy too much?

    But that’s what I thought of when i saw the photograph. Those pictures from the books of my youth, B+W shots of land crews loading big bits of what looked like plumbing into the bomb bays of Lancasters. A cartoon of Hitler drawn on the side with ‘This one’s for you Adolf’ written underneath. The yank B17 bombs had sexy pictures of girls on their planes and much more direct messages written on their bombs. Things like ‘See you in hell kraut bastard’.

    Dropping bombs on people from miles up allows you to do this. you get the huge casualties but you don’t actually see the bodies. All very distant, like the gods dispensing justice from heaven.

    And then there’s the kids. Think of Pol Pot and Hitler. If you get ‘em young enough you got ‘em for life. Children have proved themselves to be the most unflinching of servants to a cause.

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