I’ve spent a long while not commenting on the war. Is there even much to say? But now I feel angry. Last time, we let our helicopters circle overhead and take souvenir photographs for the wives and kiddies back home of Shi’a rebellions being crushed by the Republican Guard, we allowed our armies to open up the front line to allow the death squads through to kill the civilians, and in the 12 years that followed we abandoned the northern No Fly Zone every time the crypto-fascist government of Turkey got a hankering for a bit of indiscriminant bombing and burning and pillaging and invading because, you know... Borders. International Law. National Security. All that jazz.

And this time, we don’t even have Hussein to kill the people, so we’ve got them to do it themselves. As America ducks it’s head and charges ever forward muttering about “free people being free to do bad things”* and that “this is still a military operation”, they are leaving the hospitals to be stripped bare, and the population to organise into vigilante groups presumably rounding up posses and driving people, if not out of town, then at least to the nearest tall thing so they can hang them. Bush, in his spurs and his holsters and big, stupid hat would be proud.

And so, with every prominent local figure killed in horribly brutal ways in mosques and halls and their homes in the coming months, The Free World can breathe easy, safe in the knowledge that when it turns the country over to the only Reasonable Moderate Moderniser, their new best friend Ahmad Chalabi** with the aid of ballot papers handily printed by Wolfowitz on his own personal printer at home, providing the Iraqi people with the really fucking democratic choice of Ahmad Chalabi, or Do this again next week and not get any aid or health care or police or water until then, nigger, it can jump up and down going “It’s OK! He’s Iraqi too, you know! And they elected him! Because they’re so fucking free they can fly!” and, when he sells off the water and the electricity and the police and the schools and the hospitals and the child care and the fucking everything to American companies who proceed to charge 30% of a the average monthly wage for each amenity, it can be attributed to the Iraqi’s democratic personal assertion of their own democratic personal aims for their own democratic personal economic development.

Should we really be giving the destiny of such a large group of people to the same men who, last time around, thought the best way to defeat their stated enemy the last time they were in the country would be to not give his enemy’s guns??

*Unless you’re black and in Florida, in which case you’re not even free to do legal, good things like not vote murderous crack-heads into power.
**Based, somewhat optimistically, on the assumption that Garner isn’t going to open the borders to Israel claiming that “But they’re black! Not even America protects black people! And America’s the fucking Land of The Free!!” before receiving the Greatest Briton award for Services To Racist Fuckwits Who Really, Really Hate Arabs and the Nobel Peace Prize for saving Israel money and killing so many people that there won’t even be enough for any conflict to be classified a war anymore, and can instead be called, erm... looting, anyone?

_chris! // 13:58



She's right, you know.

_chris! // 20:30


I sat in Lucy’s room and watched the statue come down today. I sat in her room eating toast and watching the American army drive past the marvellously full of journalists Palestine Hotel. It was like a cut-price Berlin Wall, horribly marred by the scenes of looting and anarchy (you know, bad anarchy) in Basra and, presumably, less camera-intensive areas of Baghdad too.

As much as I liked the images of the crowds of people dismantling the regime’s symbols, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was disingenuous, in some way. It was probably because of the long shots of the roundabout, showing a small cluster of people at the base of the statue ad not a lot else, and maybe also because of the constant remarks about this being THE MOST PROMINENT AND STRONGEST STATUE OF SADDAM IN THE CITY, but I ended up feeling like I was being lied to, like the Iraqis were blowing up their own markets, like the oil is for the Iraqis, like we can get a cruise missile down a chimney, like it’ll be over in a week.

I’d like this to be a popular uprising, the start of a great reform of the country, the creation of a lovely, fluffy, cuddly Sweden right in the middle of the desert. But these people aren’t naturally falling into constituencies, and it’s gonna be a bastard of a task getting all sides to agree, what with the Kurds being kept out of Kirkut for fear of this becoming a local religious war, and the Turks up in the north securing their borders form having to have a damn stenking legitimate Kurdistan next to them, and with America proposing a get-in,-buy-up,-get-out regeneration programme where, presumably, they present the local warlord with the biggest guns with a big shopping list of industries they’d like, and he gives them to them in returns for keeping dissidents out of the way to prevent the world from twigging that this is democracy, Jim, but not as we know it.

Will it change? In the end? Eventually? When they’ve paid of the debt with the helpful restructuring of the IMF and the World Bank and the fact that they just happen to have a lot of oil? We can hope, but then maybe the whole region will collapse in on Iraq as they all fight to secure their borders, leaving Israel to continue to missile innocents for having the impertinence to not just fucking die from starvation safe in the knowledge that no one’s looking at them.

_chris! // 18:07


The arrival of AfroBarber on Barbelith is scaring me. Knowing ‘Lithers in real life is fair enough. Knowing Real Lifers in the ‘Lith is just Not On. I suddenly don’t feel like I can talk so openly there, like I’m gonna have to constantly be checking my butt for stains cos I sat in something. It doesn’t help that I’ll be checking my butt for a guy who once wittily stuck the words “Cock Face” between my first and last names for two years.

But then that’s an obvious reaction to have, and what’s far less obvious, and far more dumb, is my reaction to Jack Fear’s reaction to him. The good Mr. Fear, amongst other things, hasn’t bitten his head off. He’s possibly made it all a bit red and sore with his scratchyscratchy beard, but he hasn’t bitten it. I don’t get either from him, instead existing in an emotionally stunted state of pinning. Frankly, Mr. Fear is just one of those shockingly... something people, and I can’t put my finger on it is about him, or why it rankles me so much that Barber’s getting the attention and I’m not.

Christ, I’m a wanker today...

_chris! // 18:07


Considering how much traffic I’m getting simply for having Anna Stothard’s name on my blog right now, it seems only fair to actually have a review of Isabel And Rocco, too...

First of all, it’s really really clearly published simply so the copywriter could put phrases like “Observer column when she was sixteen”, “starting Oxford University in autumn 2003” and “Isabel And Rocco is her first book”. It’s a boring, plotless dirge with some pretty ideas and a nastily rammed-home metaphor about family, relayed to you thru the medium of architecture. The whole thing is full of those horrible exaggerations and everything feels over-sized, like the way to get across an emotional resonance is in sheer scale. It’s not quite House Of Leaves in it’s I AM CLEVER. SEE HOW I AM CLEVER. quoting, and it doesn’t read like she NEEDS you to know that she’s there, all the time, but it would probably be comforting if it did. As it is, it’s just a limping, tired little books bereft of all those fun things like POINT.

If it felt like she wanted this to be written, then it would have been OK. As it is, it just feels like she wants it to be read.

_chris! // 18:07



I have nothing to add except this little tale of regreat:

This little guy in Year 10 asked me why I thought everyone was laughing at me. I told him I didn't know everyone was alughing at me. He told me they were. I told him oh. He asked me when they called me the ugly one. I idi nothing and walked straight out.

Why I did tell him it was cos all the boys fancies me and it made the girls jealous, blow him a kiss and leave wiggling my butt, I will never, ever know...

_chris! // 22:25



Yeh, thanks Mr. Blunkett. This is really helpful. I was just sat here thinking “Why doesn’t our home secretary take policy advice from a bunch of stupid, ignorant, lazy, racist, knee-jerking wankers with disturbing “men of the people” affectations, because even just about everyone constantly derides them as such, I’m sure that’s only because they’re woolly and misguided and liberal and Politically Correct Gone Mad” and then he does!

I feel so much safer knowing that, imminently, some guy who hates me and has a fucking HOOK is about to go to a place full of Muslim extremists, and then come back and launch a crusade on me. I mean, let’s face it- keeping the guy under surveillance is probably just a waste of money. After all, what sort of investment doesn’t get you cheap votes from dumb nationalists? Better just to cut my tax burden losses, send him home, let him round up some more recruits who really hate me and have them come in tourist visas so they can give me anthrax and blow me up.

God, just imagine a world where we kept all the really fucked up bastards who want me dead where we could see them- no threat of terrorism means no terrorism, and no terrorism means no having to vote for weird, dangerous right-wing lunatics with enormous wangs MADE OF GUN under the bizarre pretence that, because they started it, they can stop it too. I can’t even imagine a world where I didn’t have to fear black people, and I have Tony to thank for that.

And afterwards, you can just take the photos of the dead and put them on a big billboard with a handy slogan like “Again? Under the Liberal Democrats, the number of irrational, stupid policy decisions that mean we have to spend all the money on more guns to kill people with would actually FALL” and we can all go “My God, those sick bastards! Everyone knows that three year old children with AIDS because rich people are too cheap to save lives, and cancer absolutely not from depleted uranium shells at all God know what ever gave you that idea I mean they’re only, like, radioactive should be killed swiftly with the aid of bomblets that look like cans of fizzy pop! Those damn Liberals have had their fun, but now it’s time to get back to work” and vote you back in again.

Thank you Davey! A life imposing yr own fear of blacks and women and men who delve too deep on everyone else through a cunning combination of lying to them, issuing irrationally broad statements to the tabloid press and doing things seemingly designed to make their commutes to work tangibly more dangerous simply by virture of the fact that they have to breathe is surely the only way an honest working-class God-fearing heterosexual male Socialist can get into Christian Heaven™!

_chris! // 15:32


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