Archive for December, 2006

December 24, 2006

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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December 18, 2006

The presumption of the beat


Then I found myself in the lift of the W on Washington square in New York. Another fucking hotel that thinks it’s a nightclub. Not as bad as the Soho grand where a spiteful Japanese DJ once greeted me from behind his haircut as I lugged my suitcase up the stairs looking about desperatly for a recognisable reception. Now in the W my ears are assailed by generic good times house music. I flash on coming down in the same lift, listening to the same music on my way to a big meeting. The music is designed for people who have very now meetings to attend, about either the commercial exploitation of whatever will replace U-Tube/My Space, or a presentation of the layout for the graphics of confidential global corporate rebanding project. The music brings you up. Up to the speed of the rarified world we all aspire to. It is a gutted, refurbished version of the music that used to dovetail with ecstasy to take you out of it. Now it takes you into it, zooms you into an emotional space from which you feel confident enough to suceed. A place from which to ooze confidence and contemporariness. They have done to music what developers have done to old buildings, the only original feature being the sampled slap and bass of the beat, a relentless metronomic upbeat, a death defying self centred thrum. Exiting the lift, heading for my room with it’s inevitable plug in Ipod speaker unit attached to the stereo awaiting me, I cherished the silence of the corridors and remembered fleetingly the startling disorientation and uplifting giddiness of my first E rush all those years ago to a very dissimilar similar beat that presumed only on my youthful inquisitive desire to experiament.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.