Last night I was driven in a Limo from sun-drenched Santa Monica to LA airport. How weird is that? I have never been in a limo before. It seemed kind of unnecessary to be honest. I am in New York now. It is fucking cold. "dear sir!" writes Luke. "I am enjoying reading your internet words at the moment, though as ever I might not agree the provocation of thought can only be a Good Thing. I distinctly remember a popular beat combo called Crack Village once mock-crucifying a member onstage, which some might have found offensive, but hey ho."
Well, yes. I remember this too. Druze's brother made the cross, and a gloriful huge silver thing it was too. As it was, Lois was supposed to be crucified, but chickened out at the last minute blaming inappropriate footwear. So I had to do it, wearing a white skirt and a Tony Blair mask, as I recall. Once up there, there was a problem with the backing tape, so I ended up hanging off of this goshdarned cross for what felt like an eternity, as the crowd got restless, and began to throw things. What a stupid band we were. Anyway. Point being, in staging a mock-crucifixion, we were hardly trying to kick off world war three, now were we? Neither were we pawns in an attempt to enrage a Christian population already livid after years of mockery, murder, and genocide. No no. We were a rap band, is all.
"One thing though," continues Luke, "from his past utterings I think we can safely say that Vladimir Zhirinovsky's prediction of the date for all the whizzbangs to go off is probably a bit off the mark. He is, after all, a big chum of Pat Buchanan, made himself rather unpopular in the '90s by praising Hitler, advocating military action against Russia's southern neighbours (possibly including the invasion of, er, Iran), threatening to have Alaska back for the Russians, and demanded that Yeltsin napalm Chechenya: "Chechen villages and the entire Chechnya will be covered with blue clouds of smoke from missiles and projectiles," quoth he."
Which is as maybe. I don't think Rummy is a nice man either, and he's made some gross and strange claims in the past ("Saddam has WMDs!" "Hugo Chavez is worse than Hitler!"). But, this cacophony of voices should not be ignored.
"I'm kind of distrubed by the fact that the russian dude you quoted thinks Americans want a war," writes Teg D. "we dont. that's a sad lie and i dont understand why so many people in other countries think that."
Which is a terrible thing to read, eh? But I don't think most people think Americans want a war. They think that those that hold power over the American people want a war. And they do. Cos war makes money, and war consolidates power, and war keeps those at home in line. Amongst other things useful in a faux-democracy. As it is, those in power are fucking on the American people in the same manner they are those abroad. Psychological warfare rages all over. Aside from the fact that over 40% of the population lives beneath the poverty line, there is the huge, and rarely considered mass mind-rape that has raged since the fourties, that leaves a people confused and angered and heartbroken and stupefied, with no way of knowing how, or why. To force oneself to think that torture is necessary, is to smash one's own brain into pieces. People over here are in bits. It is deeply disturbing, and very, very sad.
"Let me ask you something," writes Teg G, elsewhere in his letter. "What is your position on the troops in the middle east? i dont recall reading anything you wrote about it. personally i dont suport them. the way i see it they made the choice to go and i think everyone has to live with their decissions. do you think that's a bad way of looking at it?"
And the answer, Teg, is yeah, I do. Because most of those poor little bastards out there, shooting blindly at an "enemy" they do not understand, with crap guns and little body armour, aren't there out of choice. They're there because they had no choice. They're there because they're poor, and they got fucking piss-poor so-called educations, and joining the army was made to appear to them to be their only way out of a future of crime or poverty. They're promised a "career", these kids, where otherwise they have no hope of one. So they go to war, and they bleed, and they make bleed, and their brains are further destroyed, and they return home cripples, and you see them at them outside cafes, begging, faces torn apart with hate and disappointment. So, yeah, I think that's a bad way of looking at it. They're victims, just like the babies they murdered.
Jeff and Neil went to see Sigur Ros tonight. I didn't. I stayed in my hotel, writing, drawing, and dipping in and out of my new Bone collection, the single biggest comic book I have ever seen. It is so good. I'd read the first few books years ago, but now they've put all nine volumes in one massive package. It shits on Private Eyes and Daily Shows and ATDdotcoms. It says more about love than anything you'll read on Tuesday. Unless you read Bone.
Anyway. Last time I saw Sigur Ros - a beautiful late-summers' night outside at the Hollywood Bowl, it was - I was moved to tears, simply by the beauty of the combined music and imagery onstage, juxtaposed with the horrorful reality of what I knew to be happening in Iraq at the time. And tonight, as the gears shift and crank, and another war moves into focus, I am again so moved, alone, in my hotel room, at my laptop, by the awesome power of humanity to create beauty, as well as ugliness. Go look at this. It is so sick. I am all excited still, cos I can draw onto a piece of plastic with a plastic pen, and it goes straight into my computer. But this is something else.
"You'd think that the concept of a touch screen allowing multiple inputs at a time (ie: use two fingers or your whole hand instead of one finger to do things) is boring," wrote Melissa. "but shit, the stuff they're doing in this demo is cool."
Cool isn't the word. It is breathtaking!