2003: Sadism Over Butterfly Collage
My shadow follows me wherever I should chance to go
All these words of dissent, assertion, and denial. Argument covers movement as if to displace fear, or suspicion. The unknown tackled with untried technique: bunker bust mountains, cluster bomb villages, assemble an intelligence database from scratch. A power complex that specialises in covert surveillance, detection, eradication. A decentred network that must connect and route within
the visible world centre and perpetuate symbolic war events. Questions bear no answer, but exist
. For those involved it's a terminal process, one way. Dragonflies are divided into two types: 'hawkers' and 'darters'. Hawkers are mostly airborne, flying to and fro in search of prey. Darters rest on vegetation and dart out when prey approaches. Evolution proves both to be effective.
The war goes on, and we are winning.
You are butchers, liars, and hypocrites.
However: we define the battlefield. You think that resistance in Iraq is a surprise, but don't you see: we drew them there. The battle plain, designated, laid forth: that was our
plan. Now all that's left is to master it and our own systems of command and our political knots, ties, and blockages. Smooth it out: make the battlefield smooth space. Contract networks to a dead centre. Make Iraq safe for capitalism.
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: We are going to have an election, which the resistance is not calling for.
TARIQ ALI: They should be calling for it. And if a political -
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: They -- whether they do it -- come on, you're making me lose patience now.
TARIQ ALI: Lose patience? Don't be stupid and arrogant. Control yourself. Just control yourself.
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: I'm under --
TARIQ ALI: I didn't interrupt you when you were waffling on, Christopher, and you know, I did not interrupt you.
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Very well. I'll be quiet.
From the southern limits of Kabul, south, through Wardak province, to Kandahar. The Taliban have gone. Gone to: Zabul and Uruzgan (600); Kandahar and Hilmand (300); Pakita and Ghazni (200). Professional low-level guerrilla warfare and terrorist operations (platoon raids, assassination runs on motorbikes). Creeping over the Pakistan border, westwards into UN territory. Deep patches, a clotted maze. Somewhere here surveillance fails. "The neoTaliban": whatever! Whatever forces persist in whatever combination (which connections?). The globalisation of Terror: alliance (deal struck) and merger. Saddam with a case of cash in a small, cold hole. Al Qaeda business fronts ratted, money flows and accounts frozen.
Let's put it this way - they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies.
Everything goes to subzero: fingers stick to steel, frozen gun metal. There's this aim and it will arrive: where every tactile surface is alive with information or material so pure an environment can encompass every sensory process.
It's a world seen in a Spielberg movie (Minority Report
): the cartoons in a paper are animated on a flat surface; cars move in uniform pattern; clothes are bioengineered texture, fabric, fibre; adverts are personalised, they address you on the street. Surveillance is subliminal: a current of encryption. The mass must be frozen, outflow caught, a torrent contained otherwise...well, this may be impossible. For example, terror trading on the stock exchange. Investing in oil before a terror attack in the middle east, a small amount, nothing too large or complex. Do not attract attention. One small flutter among millions.
Plutonium merchants, anthrax production, atmospheric conditioning. Melting the earth onto the body. Impregnable media/security State to seep in and extend. Friendster
boosts dotcom confidence: contact commodified. That man is wrapped in Gore-tex with gadgets and technology hanging off him.
Can what is playing you make it to Level 2?
/ Europe x 2
One fixes a flimsy federal superstructure onto a seething base. An attempt to amass fragments - fix them together: links just rot. There is something fetid and damp about Europe and its dripping walls, dying cattle, stinking pools. Static white suburbs are dragged in: the rot is parasitic. Federal Europe fights for New Europe: its weapons are civic architecture, economic zones, neoliberal reform, democratic systems. Beneath this, the old colonial and post-colonial trade deals are restruck invisibly in a time of transparent trade agreements
... Britain is the Eurozone exemplar: high labour market flexibility, welfare cuts, privitised utilities, service industries, emphasis on high-end services (law, finance, media and advertising).
The other Europe, designated with sarcasm and contempt by Donald Rumsfeld, is Old Europe (Manufacturing Europe, Ideological Europe) - and these are the streets we get lost in, an atmosphere threatened by heritage or reform. Decadent grandeur: lost clamor of revolution, spent glamour of royal courts. Slowly Federal Europe erases these thick, dark, dirty streets by two methods: 1. level and replace with plastic, aluminum and glass; open plan offices or shopping centres, 2. renovate: turn wharf or warehouse into luxury flats (turf war). The streets are drained of faces, fateful encounters, or memory traces. The Industrial Revolution is wiped away, factories fill coal valleys, oil refineries dismantled like Meccano models, rented rooms devour warehouse space. Cities erect hollow landmarks (Norman Foster and Renzo Piano skyscrapers) and inbetween, the spacefillers: the HSBC building at Canary Wharf, Sainsbury's HQ at Chancery Lane, Cardiff Millennium Stadium.
War and tradition recede into strategic, economic alliance - compromise gracelessly achieved and terminally factionalised. Success rests on acknowledging the force of The Big Four: Britain, France, Germany, Italy. With any illusion of prestige salvaged or 'intact' relations can continue. Old and new boundary definitions of Europe expand or return to old ties: in May ten more countries join the Eurovision State structure (Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia). Go East and halt nervous at the borders of Russia and Turkey. We walk beaches and forests, hills and towns and villages. We just want to be left alone.
money communicates addiction
Continue to live on the edge of debt, a hard precipice that you can ignore, with felicity, just be careful, eat well, chew vitamins, quaff bargain Merlot, save a cig for later, stock up TDK C90, stretch out a bus pass. In the meantime: digest anything, any fact or event, or beautiful line, face, or body silhouette. Scoff oxygen and roughage: sausages, tomatoes, rice, oranges, a gulp of outside air. On a horizon, in view of the room you sleep in, a financial icon, whose mystery is entirely blank, like Arctic tundra when the ice recedes. Philip Lader, chairman of WPP Group says:
As markets rebound, the City's vast, global financial system will play an even greater role in the national economy. London will, more than ever, belong to the world. Canary Wharf, with a revival of residents and restaurants, will finally get a soul.
Deregulate, transact, trade, cut, swipe, win. Burning Wall Street through to Main Street. (Ad)venture capital and credit finance. Don't need to be smart (failed French) - just hard, canny, fast, and keep wits keen. Covered in gold like a good servant in Egypt. Drenched in honey like a rapacious bear. Imagine all these invisible lines of currency and credit like flying arrows sweeeping out of dazzling towers, across oceans - or even just one mass, fluctuating, unpredictable...the ocean, an empty ocean, a glass ocean, or perspex. It's not even there! There's no control: crash economies, undo banks.
cant be bothered to write as im way to cool for this lark, but briefly, as ive got a hangover after last nights antics at spearmint rhino and china whites. am working for merrills, trading and loving it, long hours and all the bonuses on champagne at various clubs around the capital. living in camden, so weekends are spent at different eateries in north london, yoga and alcoholic hazes, with trips to the ivy where i get my favourite lavabread made
Castro and Chavez are done.
The display of parts is depletion: advert models multiply, without limit. So I can't unwind, I'm coiled and rusted right through. Love lost, like: phased out. Seduction fades into CGI and Photoshop colour, outline, texture. The hypertactile loses actual touch, sense, physical perception and subtle raport. Bodyparts, indeed: vision is glutted with chopped limbs. The impression of flesh is like a pink polythene bag wrapped tight around a face. Flesh stripped all over buildings, buses, bill-boards, booths - that's the gorgeous thing. It's not flesh. It can sap the libido: light and air take on a clammy atmosphere. It's like, dodgy sets everywhere, cheap lines, and accents. But later, things change, leave unreal for Real: the glare, the glint, and hard gloss. Bisexual terrain, a large plasma screen: lips smear lips, hips hug hips, the implied orgy, always. The city ("urban") landscape swallows everywhere and sexual spells swallow space and everything loses its charge: a delibidinised zone, the lost art of secrecy and seduction.
Love Bug (aka Sofig.F) eats at dreams like an itch that can derange entire bodies and empty minds.
This virus doesn't exploit any vulnerabilities or bugs in Microsoft's code, what it is doing is exploiting a bug in people's heads.
Five of us on the coach that night. The motorway otherwise empty. All down the M4, buildings each side, the sky stained orange. No forest, wood or meadow. Just high rise blocks, estates, car parks, retail zones, leisure parks, cul de sacs, high streets, alleys. Residential clusters and decentered CBDs. A field, a farm and a village church here and there. Until we arrived at the city.
Predictions for 2004:
Peter Pan gang-raped in prison.
Holy tears like the Flood.
Oracle makes Linux unbreakable.
Equatorial-Guinea, Chad and Sao Tome set to eclipse.
Marry a girl who works in Agent Provocateur
, Soho branch.
Sandy Denny, 'John the Gun'
George W. Bush, State of the Union Address 2003
Ramzi Yousef, on trial in 1993
Christopher Hitchens debates Tariq Ali live on Democracy Now!
George W. Bush, State of the Union Address 2003
Nick Land, Meltdown
Nick Land, Machinic Desire
Phillip Lader, The Economist
George Edwin Colville, Friends Reunited
Man like Mr Cluley of Sophos