Monday, February 23, 2004

1. You're being coaxed or pushed into a fight.

2. You can't help feeling like a fight because you're sick to death of


To otherwise be happy in the field recording statistics, events, and

the same tales of his exploits in different versions because the original stories were fundamentally untrue

The most concerted air campaign since World War II delivered by B-52s and Stealth Bombers. Cruise and Tomahawk targets hit with inevitable limited collateral. Watch the centre of Baghdad erupt on Sky. You feel the air full of fire and electricity, then wash your hands like Macbeth. We've been in it for a while. It ended up being the most difficult concept of all. Ottoman. Saud. Damascus. Over and down to South Asia:

Two firearms hidden in a refrigerator were also seized.

AK-47 and M-16 rifles from southern Thailand to Aceh. Smuggled firearms were brought to the Idi Rayeuk village using a fishing boat. To outwit authorities, the firearms were concealed in gunnysacks. With $15,000 cash, they went back to Thailand, via Port Klang in Malaysia. From Malaysia they went overland to Hat Yai.

The army shot dead deserters. Took from one cold body a notebook containing the cell phone numbers of separatist guerrillas.

The rebels move through the villages mingling with the local population. The military follows close behind, rounding up anybody deemed suspicious.

We've been in it for a while, in one way or another. Something terrifying that is invisible, or inevitable. Mass graves or a young man locked in a cell and left to decompose with insects. Pits full of bones opened up to punishing desert sun. Sudan under Egypt to Desert Fox F-16 swarm.

Clinton bombed a Sudanese factory that made medicine. At the same time, displaced terrorism by designating it a criminal act to be dealt with in court. One word fatally obscured by the politics of non-intervention happened to be the most precious and important definition we could ever hope to uphold.

Here's the smell of blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.

The global net and dilation.

Bashar, Bashar, set the world on fire!

Ibn Saud, the Bedouin. Rein in Ikhwan killers when necessary. Unleash, when necessary. Raids launched deep into the territory of Transjordan and Iraq.

The Shammar tribe suffered 410 deaths, the bani Khalid 640 and the Najran a staggering 7000. And the cities were not far behind.

Then, with the coal face chipped, slums clumped and stained, the stench of steam and rain:

there was, in the sun, dazzling Cairo. The ambition of the Suez canal, or the way progress could undercut autonomy, and the occult rule of power. (Talking of which...)

Rommel driving onto Alexandria.

Sixty miles from the Capital: a radio announcement details imminent occupation. Time for Monty.

abjure sea warfare

And Persian endgame.

Cities are always older than countries, states and borders. Can a city survive an Empire? The requisite sacrifice, the humbled subject. Carthage. London.

The roots of oil wealth. Endless palaces, OPEC, St Tropez, Marbella, the Bush Dynasty. Yamani and yachts. US air bases. Etc.

The "house of the people" will be declared an illusion. The Council of Guardians veto any legislation.

F-15s and F-16s over Iraqi airspace; M-1 tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles in the heart of Baghdad; soldiers and marines deployed to Japan and South Korea.

Nasser stocked with Soviet jets after the Zionist rout.

The American Civil War created a boom for Turkish cotton.

1865. The Young Ottomans are the first political party in the Empire. Stemming from literary roots (Namik Kemal and Ziya Pasha) and the influence of French theory and poetry, their eventual expulsion, due to political agitation, is inevitable. Exiled to the European capitals, they continue to publish reform journals and pamphlets and smuggle them into Turkey. Ideas survive. In the end, there is Ataturk.

Troops dispatched from Istanbul via the Suez canal.

The defeat of the Wahhabis at Mecca and Medina, 1811-19.

Henceforth, we are all brothers. There are no longer Bulgars, Greeks, Romanians, Jews, Muslims; under the same blue sky we are all equal, we glory in being Ottomans.
Enver Bey, 1908.

William Knox D'Arcy scoured the Persian Empire for oil, on a sixty year concession granted by Shah Muzatta al-Din. The British lobbied very hard for this. Then they sent the Navy.

Negligence is an extreme thing
Yamamoto Tsunetomo

The beautiful ruin of symmetry or the allure of the cosmopolitan centre: its irresistible orbit another crash state and test case.

It was de facto. Expensive imports to Kuwait to cushion them from their surroundings; smart fact that during the Palestinian 'Stone Revolution' there was a spirit of liberation and defiance pulsing and it was human. They threw stones, because they could not take up arms. The last kick of dignity. De facto intifada (that was then).

This is now:

The goal is to create a web of far-flung, lean forward operating bases, maintained in peacetime only by small permanent support units, with fighting forces deployed from the US when necessary.

Power projection hubs and forward operating sites: a new lexicon of force. The Penatgon owns and rents: 702 overseas bases in 130 countries, with an additional 6000 bases on US territory. 44, 870 barracks, hangers, hospitals etc. plus 4, 844 on lease. That doesn't even begin to cover the actual number on the global range

called the arc of instability.

+ the mining of resources in zones of conflict.

After two to three years of exploration, the Blok A gas field is expected to start production in 2007. Rachmat said the country currently had some 160 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, including critical regions such as deep seas and remote land areas. He also said the government should provide incentive for investors to develop gas reserves in the critical regions. He said the incentives could be in the form of more favorable production splits or cost recovery.

Indonesian fire is heavy, and not just like, say, lead. You can still smell that stench, can't you?

The question is: can the clamour translate?


It turned into a question of survival, rather than, say, success.

That stench on a fresh breeze. Ignore it, and it may pass.

To return at a later date.

Exxonmobile and Conoco, minutes away and years from the horizon, with all-new stainless steel and chrome equipment.

Ready to dig!

Revise the production split and

Never drink Diet Coke. Diet Coke is for fat people.
Paris Hilton

posted by oc  # 4:02 PM

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Valentine's Day Message

I was always subtle about this: there was posture or the way her legs looked in nylon, skirt and heels, when crossed. The eyes, their colour, what they convey - humour, mischief, mystique, occasional genius, joy, loss, or sorrow. Even spite - now that was something - just NOT blank, bored, or self-serving. Charisma contained like a secret revealed in body language and movement - for example, the way she walked down the street, flicked hair out of her eyes, or smoked a cigarette. The feel of clear skin or a cold body warming up.

I was overtly romantic at some point, and still there seemed to be a problem. Well, yes, apparently there was a problem. I just wasn't told. You think that could mitigate it? Her desire was mobile, moved continually, or died. To be left standing still, or to be caught, or trapped, was to be left in silence with her own thoughts. To be left with nothing. In the end, it came down to this:

vanity. In retaliation I learned to love it and so revenge its covert form; I admired its extremes. The best dressed and the mirror-struck. I began to afford them the simple respect they deserved. They would be judged on personal taste, self-obsession, or detachment. I knew where to stand and there would always be reflected glory. There was also The Image all over the rest.

How words betray us, for in saying your image I did not want to make you believe I saw you. No. If only I had! I sometimes tried desperately to see you, by shutting my eyes or just the opposite, by opening them very wide upon the darkness of the room.

There was also "my eye for the ladies," twitching like a maniac, with insane industry, converting someone on the street into something as flat and fleeting as a bus stop Versace poster. (George Melly said that losing his sex drive was like being untethered from a wild beast!)

Not just images and bodies but every material: metal, glass, plastic, fibre. So tactile! The connection between Guy Bourdin's early slides of LA doorways and curbs and his later fashion photographs make exact and perfect sense now. He made connections that would come to define the link between lust and consumerism. He realised this subtle intimacy between things, how it would, in the future, finally determine reaction and response, undercurrent and contours.

This is more to do with blank and obtuse visual dynamics, the awkward and cruel pose of bodies, the sheen of skin glossed into a plastic (fetishist) desire, the sharp colours and angles of concrete curves and corners, corrugated iron doors, road signs, and the discreet order of rock formations (Bourdin's early photos of cliffs and granite structures, and his Kodak slides of LA buildings and road patterns set up the visual lexicon of his fashion photographs - a tactile and textural language is worked out before and directly informs these pictures). Bourdin creates an impersonal visual world (coldness and cruelty) that remains glacial and grotesque in its distance and distortion, and is therefore necessarily and inescapably seductive. A cold eroticism that freezes LA sun. (atff)

It's the distance that compels a desire to touch, or be absorbed. Which makes lust a little sick, or sickly - a total glut, and only those with a taste for the suffocation of hardcore pornography can bypass it completely.

But it is human to search, from lure to lure, for a life that is at last autonomous and authentic.

Otherwise you are caught; and not caught because disgust is inescapable, yes, and also, with luck, there can be personal and physical rapport. Contact of bodes is an escape from image and cloth; the obscure magnetism of smell, touch, humour, empathy, desire. The unraveling. Something mortal and mortifying. Love is a tangle of physical reactions and mental telepathies and a spark of laughter. That's why it fades, or comes undone. Then it leaves the obtuse impression that wrenches.

Dear Darling. Damn your enormous eyes.

This is the short story of our loss, what a fucking waste, or waste of time. It still makes me angry. Incensed, I should say! Speechless! I still blame you, totally. You probably blame me, finally.

The one I loved, no I wouldn't go so far as to discuss her again.


Soft answers.

The good things of life - caviar, plovers' eggs, champagne - it seemed to me it was all as if he had never heard of them, but had discovered them all by himself.

posted by oc  # 4:20 AM

citta vecchio

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