Saturday 4 April 2015

Sack of Rabid Weasels

You have your supercomputers, and you have your drones
You have your Conspicuous Consumption, you have your iPhones
You have your snooping software, you have your muscle cars
You have your stock options, you have your humanitarian wars

All I have is
A sack of rabid weasels.

Yes a sack of rabid weasels
And they love me so.
Foaming at the mouth
Itching to be let go –

Sooner or later they’ll get out
And then they’ll overrun the world
My sack of rabid weasels.

You have your ISIS, you have smart bombs
You have your cruise missiles, and you have mass tombs
You have your fracking wells, you have battlestars
You have people signing up for Mars,

But you don’t have the key
To the world, that’s with me –

My sack of rabid weasels.

You have your refugee camps, you have your flicks
Of Hollywood’s shiny heroes fighting savages with sticks
You create climate change, you fight religious wars
You argue politics drinking cocktails in bars –

All that you have, but not
Not the sack of rabid weasels. 

Don’t be afraid of my sack of rabid weasels.

They won’t rule you like capitalists sucking your resources
Like tyrant dictators crushing your liberties
Like democracies bringing freedom to your land.

They’ll just eat you alive instead
And then you can rest in peace in your bed
For ever and anon, one past eternity –

My sack of rabid weasels.

They're waiting to be free
To taste the sweet air of liberty

And they'll be coming, they'll come for you

My sack of rabid weasels.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2015 

Friday 3 April 2015


Once upon a time, in the Land of Far Away, there was a young raify called Griff.

Now, raifies, as I am sure you know, are shy folk who never usually leave their own shaded nooks and who are eager to stay away from the fearsome rush and bustle of the Great Wide World. But Griff was a special raify, because he was insane.

Why was Griff insane, you ask? Because he was cursed with curiosity, and this filled him with the desire to go out into the Great Wide World.

That was what his Fother and Mather whispered to each other when they thought nobody was listening. “What should we do about Griff?” they asked each other, these poor folk, weeping on each other’s shoulders. And they would think and think, but in the end they would come up with the same answer. “We can do nothing about him. Nothing.” 

Fortunately for Griff’s parents, they did have his brithers and sosters to spend their time on, and nobody tried to actually stop him from doing as he pleased. Of course raifies never do that anyway. But they were dreadfully unhappy when the neighbours talked behind their hands about Griff, and made a point to ask about him – very politely – whenever they visited.

“Please, Griff,” his Mather said one day, “give up this silly idea of seeing the world.”

“It’s not a silly idea,” Griff replied. “Don’t worry, Mather dear, I’ll be all right.”

“It’s not you I’m worried about,” his Mather muttered, but under her breath, so he couldn’t hear.

Not that Griff would have cared what she’d said anyway.

So one day Griff sat astride his favourite dragonbligh, Dangjo, and waved goodbye to his Mather and his Fother, to his brithers and sosters. “Goodbye, goodbye,” he called. “I’m off to see the Great Wide World.” And off he went.

Now, as you must surely know, the Land of Far Away is a very long way away from everywhere else, and Griff and Dangjo flew on and on and on, until both were very tired, and then they came to the Forest of Everywhen. Now, you must know that the Forest of Everywhen is not a nice place. It’s filled with things nobody should ever meet, with Grollops and Zackaloopies, with Singaronees and even a few Hambagoroos, whom not even a Fontiloona would want to meet, let alone a lone young raify and a dragonbligh.

“This is a dangerous place,” Griff said. “We should move along as quickly as possible.”

“I can’t fly much further,” Dangjo replied, flapping all six of her gauzy wings with increasing slowness. “I need to rest a while.”

“But where can we rest?’ Griff asked.

Just then, in the distance, they saw, rearing above the Forest of Everywhen, the great Tree of Everything, so huge that its top ripped a hole in the sky and vanished into the world beyond. “Let’s go to that tree,” Griff said. “I’m sure we can rest there safely.”

Now of course this was a foolish move on his part, because the Tree of Everything is in the centre of the Forest of Everywhen, and all its many, many dangers are most dangerous around the Tree. But Griff was only a young raify, and he did not know any of that.

Now, sitting on the lower branches of the Tree of Everywhen, watching Griff and Dangjo fly towards him, there was a snackadoodle called Ghoopti. And if Ghoopti was astonished to see a raify in the heart of the Forest of Everything, he was also already wondering how he could use that to his own advantage.

Yes, sad to say, Ghoopti was not a nice snackadoodle. Few snackadoodles are. Remember that you can always trust a boglin, and most of the time a pamvire will keep its word, and even an ocr can be relied on more often than not – but you can never, ever, for any reason, trust a snackadoodle. But of course Griff did not know this.

So when Dangjo landed on the tree and Griff stepped off her back, he wasn’t the least bit suspicious when Ghoopti sidled up to him, smiling ingratiatingly. And snackadoodles, of course, can look very trustworthy if they want, especially one like Ghoopti, who had short grey fur and eyes like blue faceted sapphires.

“Well, well,” Ghoopti whistled. “A raify, I see. And what are you doing so far from home, young sir?”

“I’ve come to see the Great Wide World,” Griff said.

“Good, good,” the snackadoodle whistled. “That’s excellent. But you know what you should really do? You should marry a princess.”

“I don’t want to marry a princess,” Griff responded, surprised. “I want to see the Great Wide World.”

“You can do that, do that,” Ghoopti readily agreed. “But you should also marry a princess. A fine raify like you really needs to marry a princess.”

“I don’t even know any princesses,” Griff said. “I’ve never seen a princess.”

“Oh, you’re in luck,” Ghoopti whistled. “I’m the king of this tree, and I have a daughter. So she’s a princess.” Now this was a really shocking lie, since, of course, Ghoopti was not the king of anything and so his daughter was not a princess. But Griff had no way of knowing it. “Come with me and we’ll go meet her.”

“Dangjo –“

“Your mount can wait here,” Ghoopti waved a paw dismissively. “It will be fine.”

“If I were you, I wouldn’t go with him, Griff –“ Dangjo began, but I already told you how curious Griff was, didn’t I? He didn’t even look at the poor dragonbligh.

“That’s nice,” he said, as they walked along the branch, which was broader than the biggest highway in The Land of Far Away. “I’ve never really met a king before, either. Shouldn’t I call you Your Majesty, or something?”

“Well, yes,” Ghoopti acknowledged. “But I like you. I like you a lot. Also, if you’re going to marry a princess –“

“I’m not going to marry anyone,” Griff said.

“If you’re going to marry a princess,” Ghoopti continued, regardless, “you need to be a prince yourself. You know that just anyone can’t marry a princess.”

“But I’m not a prince either,” Griff said, with some relief. “So I won’t be able to marry –“

“I was going to say,” Ghoopti said firmly, “that I’m going to make you a prince.” He slapped Griff lightly on the shoulder with one of his paws. “There you are, I dubbed you a prince. Now you are one.”

“I,” Griff began, about to say he wasn’t sure about this at all. “I –“

“Here we are.” The snackadoodle whipped aside a bark curtain to reveal an entrance in the wood. It was quite a small entrance really, but to Griff, who had only seen the tiny doorways of his raify home, it seemed awfully grand, more than big enough for a palace. Why, he didn’t even have to bend double to pass through it.

“What a lovely door,” he couldn’t help saying.

“Ah, it’s only a back entrance, prince,” Ghoopti said. “The other one, which you’ll see later, is much grander. Now come along in and meet my daughter.” Without giving Griff a chance to hesitate again, he put a hand on the raify’s back and gave a hard shove. Poor Griff, losing his balance, stumbled in and fell flat on his face.

“Ouch,” he said, rubbing some of his limbs with the others. “That hurt.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Ghoopti said, not sounding sorry at all. He made as though to help Griff up, but let the young raify get to his feet by himself. “But, really, now that you’re a prince, you ought to be careful about these things, you know.”

“Why?” Griff asked, confused. “What does being a prince have to do with falling...”

“Oh, well, people are always trying to overthrow princes,” Ghoopti whistled carelessly, “and when you’re overthrown you fall down, of course. So you’d better be careful not to fall.” He led the way through winding passages in the wood until they came to a large hollow in the depths of the trunk. “Here’s one of my palaces,” he announced. “And,” he added, “here’s my daughter, Rikti.”

Griff hadn’t been looking earlier, or he might have noticed her. But then he might not have known what he was looking at, because, as you know, female snackadoodles look like nothing on earth. There literally are no words to describe them.

“Father,” Rikti hissed, “who is this?”

Griff barely heard her. He was still trying to understand what to make of her...and those...and that other thing...and failing. He did, however, remember to bow, because that’s how he’d heard one should greet a princess.

Now, there is one thing you should never do to a female snackadoodle. Remember this always. You can insult her to her...whatever the word for that is. You can even thumb your nose at her, or stamp on the floor and flounce away dramatically. But you should never ever bow to her. When someone bows to them, female snackadoodles react completely by instinct. when Griff regained consciousness, sometime later, it was to find that he couldn’t move at all. He was bound by so many sticky threads that he could barely even breathe. With great difficulty he managed to open some of his eyes, whereupon he discovered Ghoopti looking down at him sadly.

“Now you’ve torn it,” the snackadoodle said. “What did you go and have to bow to her for? Didn’t your parents teach you anything?”

“Mmmf ghmff nmmff,” Griff said.

“Yes, well,” Ghoopti whistled, “it’s true enough that one should bow to a princess...if one isn’t royalty. But you’re a prince now. I made you one. So all you had to do was shake her, um...”

“Rmmff umff kmff,” Griff protested.

“Well, yes, I’ll grant you that,” Ghoopti agreed. “I’m no happier about the situation than you, because I didn’t want you to end up like this. I was thinking of perhaps holding you to ransom, or, if that didn’t work, maybe I’d sell you to the humans. But that’s not going to happen now.”

“Grmfff?” Griff enquired.

“Because my daughter is going to eat you, of course,” Ghoopti said. “Once you’re all parcelled up like this, she can’t help herself, you know. She’s on a diet – doctor’s orders – or she’d have eaten you already.” He looked around to make sure Rikti wasn’t within earshot, and leaned over. “She eats a bit too much,” he confided. “I’m always telling her she needs to lose weight. But she wouldn’t listen to me. Well, maybe the doctor...”

“Srmff!” Griff said with a mighty effort.

“What do you want me to do about it?” Ghoopti said petulantly. “It’s not my fault you had to go and bow to her. I don’t want you to get eaten, that’s true, because you’re going to ruin my daughter’s diet and probably give her an well – which will mean even bigger doctor’s bills. But what can I do?”

“Smff bgmff hrmff,” Griff urged.

“No, I can’t cut you free,” Ghoopti said. “What do you suppose I have, claws or something? And I have no intention of getting all those sticky threads on me. The outer layer’s bad enough, and it’d dried.”

“Pmff,” Griff said sadly.

“You know what, though,” the snackadoodle said, “I’m not too keen on her eating you, as I said. But I can’t stop her once she’s started on you. She’s going to be back soon from her exercise session – and she’s going to be hungry.”

Griff would have winced if he could have moved, but he couldn’t, so he merely said “Frff.”

“So this is what I’m going to do,” Ghoopti told him. “I’ll roll you out of here on to the branch and throw you off. What happens to you after that isn’t my problem.”

“Gmff!” Griff protested.

“Oh, don’t look like that,” Ghoopti snapped. “I’m going to save you from being eaten by her, and let me tell you, being eaten by a snackadoodle isn’t a pleasant experience. Also, just think of how I’m going to snag my fur on the threads, even the dried ones on the top. I’d better do it fast, before she gets back.”

Without waiting to listen to any more protests from Griff, he began rolling the bundled-up raify up through the passage to the bark-curtained door. Luck was with the snackadoodle, and he managed to reach the branch before Rikti showed up.

“You’re lucky, you know,” he said, pausing to wipe the sweat from his fur. “At least you won’t have to listen to the ruckus when my daughter gets back and finds you’ve vanished. She does love her food.” He rolled Griff to the edge of the branch, and wedged a foot under the edge of the bundle. “Well, bye, then.”

Griff managed a yawp as he fell. Then he managed another yawp as he fell some more, and still another when he kept on falling. And after he fell some more, he was wondering whether he should yawp once again when he clunked on something and rolled to a stop.

He wasn’t on the ground. In fact he wasn’t even halfway down the tree. He had merely landed on another branch.

He didn’t lie there long when there was a snuffling and grunting near him...

Now, if you are ever in the Forest of Everywhen, remember this: that there is only one animal there which eats everything, and that is the Tree Nangkaroo. There is, quite literally, nothing it won’t try, and even if it can’t actually eat it, it’ll chew it to splinters and then spit it out. And one of these Tree Nangkaroos had just climbed up from the lower branches, and it was feeling hungry...

I won’t disgust you with the details of what happened the next several minutes. But the Tree Nangkaroo had just chewed off all the threads Rikti had spun, and was thinking of starting on Griff, when there was a great whirring of wings...

Dangjo had waited, and waited, and waited for Griff, and then she had waited some more. Then she had begun to get hungry. And as she waited even longer, she’d got even more hungry. And finally she couldn’t bear it any longer, and began flapping her way down the tree looking for something to eat...

A Tree Nangkaroo may be the most voracious animal in the world, but it isn’t exactly used to being confronted by a dragonbligh. I mean, would you? With a yelp of terror, the Nangkaroo jumped back from Griff and fled so suddenly down the tree that it almost fell, and only saved itself by biting a branch – which fortunately didn’t prove edible, or it would have eaten it and fallen after all.

By then, though, Dangjo was helping Griff to his Nangkaroo-saliva-slathered feet. “Are you all right?” she asked, even though she could see for herself that he wasn’t. Dragonblighs can be stupid sometimes.

“Oog broog,” Griff said, as he tried to wipe his face. “Groogh!”

“Are you going to go home now?” Dangjo asked later, as they flew away from the Tree. “Back to your Mather, Fother, brithers and sosters? It’s going to be safer, right?”

“Not on your life!” Griff retorted. “Fly on!”

Well, I did tell you that he was cursed with curiosity. And so they flew on to many more adventures.

But, as they say, that is another story.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2015


The Great Big ISIS Movie Extravaganza Part V

Copyright B Purkayastha 2015

Thursday 2 April 2015

At The Speed Of Life

Title: At The Speed Of Life
Material: Acrylic on Brick
Copyright B Purkayastha 2015

Wednesday 1 April 2015

For the Motherland

Dedicated to the people of Novorossiya, and their brave fight against NATO-backed Nazi aggression.

Material: Acrylic on Stone

Copyright B Purkayastha 2015

ATTACK demands 1st April be declared International Terrorist Day

In a top secret meeting somewhere in the Western hemisphere, representatives of hundreds of terrorist groups worldwide demanded that today be declared International Terrorist Day.

In an email statement to the media afterwards, the chairman of the Association of Totalitarian Terrorists and Associated Commercial Killers (ATTACK), Raghead E. Villdoer, said that it was a disgrace that when just about every other group had a day dedicated to them, terrorists should be left out in the cold.

“Terrorists”, Commandant Villdoer, who usually goes by the name Raghead, said, “are a vital component of the world’s economy today. Can you imagine where, for instance, the US Empire would be had it not had the excuse of fighting terror? On what basis could it possibly continue to enslave and occupy nations all over earth, while snooping on all aspects of its own citizens’ lives at home? And where would the military-industrial complex be, without the demand for weapons to send to terrorist groups across West Asia – and then to fight them? What about all the jobs that are dependent on this?

“What about India, where the excuse of “fighting Maoist terror” has led to the government sending troops into the forests to smash tribal villages and crack down on environmentalists? Where would the Indian economy be if the minerals under those forests remained there, instead of being stripped out to enrich multinational mining concerns?

“What about the brave democratic state of Israel? Where would it go with its God-given right to steal all of Palestine, had it not the excuse of fighting terror to contend with? How could it have coped with its internal stresses and rampant fascism?

"Please don't forget the TV studios and movie directors, who, as well, would be left at a loss without the bogey of terrorism to fuel their efforts. What would Clint Eastwood make movies on if he had no psychopathic murderers, er, war heroes, to fictionalise? And without the excuse of terrorism, where would the wars for those people to become war heroes come from?

"We give  our lives, literally, to the job. We put in a hundred per cent effort, live, eat and breathe terrorism. Who else can say the same about their jobs? And in return we get what? Insults and calumny. Is this fair?

“We are the greatest humanitarians the planet has ever known,” Raghead said. “For a tiny, almost infinitesimal effort, we have created conditions which benefit millions, and allow governments and the corporations and the oligarchs who fund them to prosper. In a world where even dentists have a day of their own, for crying out loud, we demand that the world recognise our efforts by granting us 1st April as World Terrorist Day.

"If our legitimate demands are not met," Raghead concluded, "we will immediately stop all terrorist activity and go on indefinite strike. Let's see what that does to your economies. Muhahahahahahahaha.”

In view of this, lapel pins and flags bearing terrorist images will be sold wherever greetings cards are available, or may be downloaded from the internet.


Ancient Hominid Found in Ukraine named after Adolf Hitler

As you all know, I don’t usually re-publish material from elsewhere on the internet on my site, which is restricted to my own writing and artwork. But as everyone ought to be aware by now, I’m more than a little concerned about the Nazi hordes which Western meddling has deliberately let loose on Ukraine since last year. But even by those standards, I think you’ll agree that things have gone too far in this case.

Remember that when scientists allow themselves to be yoked to the chariot of the prevailing ideology, they lose any objectivity that they may have had, and become merely propaganda outlets. Like the racist “scientists” of the eighteenth century like Rousseau, who “proved” that black people were not really human and could not feel any kind of emotions – thus justifying turning them into self-repairing, self-reproducing agricultural machinery – these “scientists” will then “prove” whatever they are told to. I’m afraid that the Ukrainian scientific community, or those of them who are left, have already succumbed to those pressures. I can only hope that they can turn back before it is too late.



Durakistan News Service, 1st April

By Eljee Peevan

With Bezumnaya Glupostayeva in Kiev, Ukraine.

In a statement released by the Department of Anthropology of the Stepan Bandera University of Ukraine in Kiev today, palaeontologists and human evolution researchers Dr Nichego Neznayev and Professor Praviisektor Chortenko made a startling announcement: the earliest known skeleton of a hominid in Europe had been discovered in the south west of the nation, near the modern town of Slava Ukrainii.

“We have been conducting excavations in a series of caves in western Ukraine,” Dr Neznayev said, “based on stone tools and other indications we had found that there had been prehistoric human activity in the area. We expected late Neandertal and probably some Cro-Magnon artifacts, and possibly some remains. However, what we found was much more than we’d expected.”

“In a cave system below the town,” Professor Chortenko said, “we came across a skull and most of the skeleton of a very ancient hominid, certainly predating the Neandertals, let alone the Cro-Magnons. Though we are still in the process of dating the remains, they seem to be not less than a hundred and twenty to a hundred and fifty thousand years old, and more likely towards the upper figure.”   

This hominid, according to the scientists, was very different from the Neandertal both in stature and skeletal form. “It had a finely-structured, relatively modern-appearing skull, with a brain much larger than the average Cro-Magnon, and larger also than the Neandertal. While the bones were not, naturally, as robust as those of a Neandertal, the muscle attachments are large enough to indicate a strong, athletic build. The skull, had somewhat heavy brow ridges, which would have given the hominid, in life, the appearance of deep thought. It would have been exceptionally good-looking in life, tall and muscular, a perfect specimen of the finest of European humanity today.” 

Even more startling than the skeleton itself, the scientists announced, were the tools and artifacts discovered in the cave. “These creatures, despite the age of the remains found, had already achieved a very high level of cultural development,” Professor Chortenko said. “It was obviously a burial place we had discovered, because the skeleton had been laid out as for a funeral, with blue and yellow flowers by its side and stone carvings and weapons as well.” The carvings, he said, depicted beautiful young women, who would have represented the society from which the hominid had sprung.

According to the scientists, the hominid had, when buried, been clad in skin clothing of a high quality for the period, stitched with sinew and secured with bone buttons. The weapons buried with the skeleton proved, they said, that the individual was probably a warrior, who might well have gained fame and high social status from protecting the people from attack by enemy groups. And since no such remains have been discovered further west, they said, this made it likely that the enemies he would be defending against would be from the east.

“The most extraordinary weapon we found,” Dr Neznayev said, "was a stone trident, amazingly well fashioned, and very similar in appearance to the modern coat of arms of the Ukrainian nation. And on the base of it we found a device that is very reminiscent of the Wolfsangel symbol which, as we all know, has deep resonance in our society and which our patriotic defence forces use as their battle emblem while fighting the Russian invaders in the east.”

“In short,” Professor Chortenko added, “we have someone who was here before the march of history even began, but who was someone as much of Europe as to not be separable in any way from its modern ethos. From his elegant form to his large brain, from his high culture to the weapons with which he defended his people from enemies who almost certainly came from the east, he was a true son of Europe and in all probability would be more than welcome to it today.”

“As soon as the excavations have been completed,” Dr Neznayev said, “the skeleton and all the tools and other artifacts will be removed to Kiev and Western European and North American archaeologists and palaeontologists will be invited to examine them. We,” he added, in an apparent attempt to pre-empt any suggestions that the finds could have been faked, “have nothing to hide.”

However, in a move certain to raise a certain amount of controversy among palaeontologists and archaeologists worldwide, the scientists announced that the University had decided to name the newly found hominid Adolfopithecus hitlerus, in recognition of “another great warrior who fought against the barbarian hordes of the east, and who is only now beginning to get the acceptance that is his due.”  

Speaking in Paris, a spokesman for the French government responded by saying that according to international scientific naming conventions, the discoverers had the clear right to name the specimen whichever way they chose, and there was nothing anyone could do about it unless it was proved that it belonged to an already known and identified species, or unless the name had been already given to another creature. “Since neither of these factors seems to be operative in this instance,” he said, “we accept the new nomenclature and congratulate our Ukrainian colleagues on their discovery.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk issued a call to Western nations to immediately send troops to save the skeleton and burial site from Russian invaders, who, he said, were massing on the border to seize them and “find” them again in Russian territory so as to claim the discovery as a Russian one. “Putin,” he said, “is burning with rage and jealousy, and fears for his hold on power once it becomes known that a Ukrainian was the first modern human in Europe, and was already defending the nation against Russian barbarians.”

In Washington, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the US government had taken serious note of the appeal, and would make its position known in a couple of days.

Speaking in Moscow, however, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia would protest against the decision, and...

[Read the rest on the original website, here.] 

Monday 30 March 2015

Big Brother

I’ve just finished rereading Nineteen Eighty Four again, a book I first read as a teenager in, um, 1986. And at that time I wasn’t too impressed.

I actually first heard of Nineteen Eighty Four in, surprise, surprise, 1984, when the newspapers had fun drawing cartoons of a sad-faced George Orwell with little perky birds telling him to cheer up and not be such a grump. But I had to wait two more years before I got a copy. It was part of an Orwell omnibus, and the only other of the books in there I read was Animal Farm, which I liked one hell of a lot more.

But this isn’t about my reactions to Nineteen Eighty Four, and it’s not a review of the book, which is in any case so well known these days that anything I have to say on the plot would be superfluous.


So I’ll just make these points:

In Nineteen Eighty Four, you have a society which is under continuous surveillance of all its activities by a government comprising an overclass with no accountability, which comprises about 2% of the population, and has a lifestyle the rest can only dream of.

This overclass lords it over a global empire, where the inhabitants of distant lands are forced to produce everything consumed by the core areas of said empire. And these things are reserved almost entirely for the overclass, while the vast majority of the population starves.

You have the overclass triumphantly announcing that things are growing better economically by the year, while for everyone except its own members, things actually get steadily worse.

You have this overclass maintaining its hold over the populace by, in part, an endless war in which yesterday’s ally is today’s enemy, and the population is deliberately kept too brainwashed and ignorant to notice.

You have education carefully manipulated to ensure that children grow up imagining that all achievements in the history of the world are to the credit of the empire led by this overclass, and that the rest of the world has nothing positive to offer.

You have this overclass making false flag attacks on its own people to manufacture patriotism, which is enforced by carefully directed hatred (“Two Minute Hates”) of a Public Enemy, who allegedly seeks to overthrow the “freedom” enjoyed by the people.

You have this overclass deliberately luring people into nonexistent “conspiracies” in order to arrest them as enemies of the state, who are planning to commit acts of sabotage. They are then tortured into confessing not just anything they are accused of, but actually coming to believe in their own confessions.

And, last but far from least,

The empire maintains a military machine which is nurtured at the cost of all else, except for the internal “security” apparatus. The actual welfare of the people is not only of no interest, the state makes sure that the people do not prosper, since if they have enough food, leisure and education to be able to think for themselves, that might lead to them asking dangerous questions. Instead, they are fobbed off with trashy entertainment and the executions of carefully created hate figures, which are a public spectacle.

Does this all sound familiar?

I said I didn’t like Nineteen Eighty Four all that much when I read it first. I thought I was reading a dystopic novel, you see.

I did not know it was an instruction manual.

By Ted Rall. Used with the cartoonist's permission.

Sunday 29 March 2015

Trembling Tales Of Terror

Dramatis Personae:

[In order of appearance]

CHICK                      >>>>>>>>>              Exactly What It Says On The Tin
ICEGUY                   >>>>>>>>>              The Nice Guy, but without the N.
BUTCHER MAN      >>>>>>>>>                Utter and Complete Psychopath
DICTATOR             >>>>>>>>>                Voice Heard Offstage
WHAMBO               >>>>>>>>>                One Man Army

[Dramatic Music plays]

[CURTAIN RISES on typical average terrorist den, ill-lit and evil-looking. Posters of famous terrorists such as Raghead, George W Bush and Ball Quackeray decorate the wall. There will be racks of weapons against the wall, the more primitive-looking the better. One a shelf to one side there is a very old cabinet radio.

In the centre of the room is a table around which there are several chairs. As the CURTAIN rises, the CHICK is doing something at this table which involves a screwdriver, a hip flask and a couple of beer bottles. She is so engrossed she doesn’t even look up when the ICEGUY enters, carrying a large rolled up poster.]

ICEGUY: Chick? What are you doing?

CHICK [starts violently, almost upsets bottle, grabs it in the nick of time]: Damn it, Icey, don’t startle me like that. If this bottle had fallen...

ICEGUY [looks at bottle]: Kingsquisher beer? What’s so special about it?

CHICK: It’s not beer in the bottle. It’s nitroglycerine and [indicates the flask] one or two other things.

ICEGUY: Nitroglycerine?

CHICK: And other things. Don’t forget the other things.

ICEGUY: All right, I won’t. But why are you putting nitro and other things in a beer bottle?

CHICK: Isn’t it obvious? I’m making bottle bombs. I’m planning to sneak these into liquor shops. Then when someone buys them, and drinks them?


CHICK: Well, I think so. I haven’t actually tried it. You wouldn’t want to volunteer as a test subject?


CHICK [persuasively]: Come on, it’s very tasty. I can offer you beer and Bailey’s Irish Cream flavours. What do you say? Anyway, probably nothing will happen.

ICEGUY: Um, no, thanks all the same.

CHICK [glumly]: Um, yeah, it’s probably a waste of good alcohol anyway.  [Brightens up] Hey, you know what? I could probably put it in orange juice or something. I hate orange juice.

ICEGUY: Or Coke. It would be a blow against neoliberal imperialism if you put it in Coke.

CHICK: I’m glad I chucked the idea of wasting booze. [Takes a gulp from one of the bottles, sighs with pleasure.] Ah, that’s good.

ICEGUY: What was that, Bailey’s?

CHICK [peering short-sightedly at bottle]: No, actually, I think it’s the nitroglycerine. [Belches demurely] Well, it proves that you don’t go boom if you drink it. Besides [takes another swig] I think I’ve just found a new favourite drink.  

ICEGUY: Don’t drink it all at once, we might need some for later. [Unrolls poster] Look what I’ve got here!  [Holds up poster for the benefit of the audience. It reads, in huge red letters on a black background, DEATH TO, and below that is an indecipherable squiggle.] I’m having ten thousand copies printed.

CHICK: What’s that at the bottom?

ICEGUY: That’s the beauty of it. We can use it for literally anything. You see, the way the bottom bit is put, you can read it anyway you want.

CHICK: I don’t know, it looks like a pair of drunken spiders danced the bhangra on it to me.

ICEGUY: You just need to read it in better light. Hey, Chick, wasn’t the Butcher supposed to come here tonight?

CHICK: He said he’s on the way.

[Enter BUTCHER MAN, carrying a large bag.]

CHICK: There you are. Hey, Butcher.

BUTCHER MAN [irritated]: What do you mean Hey? Weren’t we supposed to use the secret greeting when meeting each other?

CHICK: Yeah, but I’ve forgotten what it is. Icey?

ICEGUY [Scratching head]: So have I. What was it, Butcher?

BUTCHER MAN: Um, actually, I’ve forgotten it too. I was hoping you two would remember.

CHICK: Oh well, doesn’t matter. [Raises nitorglycerine bottle] Cheers!

ICEGUY: That was it! That was the greeting. We were supposed to raise our hands like we’re holding glasses, and say “Cheers” three times.

BUTCHER MAN: Oh yeah. I remember now. [Puts down bag on table.] Well, I –

CHICK: So what have you been doing all day, Butcher?

BUTCHER MAN: Well, I began with writing an epic revolutionary poem featuring the three of us. Then –

CHICK: Ooh, really, an epic revolutionary poem? I’d love to hear it.

BUTCHER MAN: OK. It’s called The Lime of the Suicide Bomber.
[Pulls out a piece of paper from pocket, takes up declamatory attitude]
It is a blood-drenched terrorist man
He shooteth one of three
“Now, by the mad gleam in my ruthless eye
You two will come with me.”

He takes them to his secret base
“There is a tale,” quoth he.
“Hey now! We’re thirsty, terrorist man!”
So some beers opened he.

He put them in a former sty
Iceguy and Chick sat still
And listened to the terrorist man
Who called himself Butcher Bill.

Ice and Chick, they sucked their booze
And settled down to cheer
The dread tale that the terrorist man
Meant to kill them both with fear.

“The car bomb made, the suicide brigade
Was charged up, on the hop
Drove down the road, past the pond
Past the old bus stop.

Drone Man flew by on the left
On the left flew he!
Then made a loop, and, turning back
Crashed right into a tree.

No flat tyre, no engine fire
Would stop that car bomb too soon –“
Ice and Chick laughed loud and long
As Butcher Bill attempted to croon.

For the terrorist man could not sing
Though he loved to think he could
And he had a singing voice
Like death watch beetles boring wood.

Ice and Chick laughed loud and long
And sucked upon their beer –
But mumbled on the terrorist man
To try and kill them both with fear.

“Now the suicide car hurtled fast –
Through ruins spread all around
The back seat men went paper white
But never made a sound.

With souped up engine, growling low
Rushing on towards the foe
To try and strike a mortal blow
-Not sit back chewing bread –
The car drove fast, towards its final blast
And into the sunset red.

And now there came a distant glow
From burned out cities old
As though rotting wood, turned maggot-food
Covered with phosphorescent mould.

And through the night the stars so bright
Did light up far too well –
The enemy began firing shells
To send the car to hell.

The shells were here, the shells were there
The shells were all around!
They blammed and slammed and flashed up fire
With a deafening blast of sound.

At length there came a drone on by
Which bombed the other side
And opened a way for us to stay
On our happy final ride.

It provided the cover we needed so bad
And round and round it flew –
And we could only guess at the motives
Of that drone’s PlayStation crew.”

“What makes you shiver, Butcher Bill
As though you want to moan?”
“Stomach filled with bile, I took a missile
And shot down the drone!

Drone Man now came from the right –
Out of the night came he!
And turning round to rocket us
Crashed again into a tree.

And still we drove past strife and shrine
But no drone flew for us
To blow the foe out of our way
Or bring pizza without fuss.

The tracers flew, the landmines blew
The machine-guns fired free –
We dodged first, and burst for burst
Forced them all to flee.

Down dropped the fuel gauge, the engine coughed
The car rocked and hurdled, tossed
Over dead bodies by the dozen
It was plain that we were lost.

Minute after minute, we sat in the car
Watching the fuel gauge flop
Down to zero, and told each other
That there still must be a drop.

Corpses, corpses everywhere –
And all the road did stink!
Corpses, corpses everywhere
But of fuel not a hint.

The very night did burn. Oh Bush!
That ever this should be!
We were stuck in Nowhere Land
And had zero velocity.

About, about, both thin and stout
The dead men swelled up tight –
And burst open with pops and bangs
That gave us quite a fright.

‘Tis your fault, the rest assured me
We’d not be here alone
If you hadn’t brought on calamity
By shooting down the drone.

And as we sat, the dawn’s red light
Grew sullen in the east
Half mad with stink, we mouth-breathed in
And then we saw the beast.

It was a tanker truck so sweet
Turned turtle by the way
And its bulk had fallen on
A high stack full of hay.

We all rejoiced, and found our voice
Rushed to fill ‘er to the brim
And then we found, sad to recount
A fact both sad and grim.

We had no hose, no jerrycan,
No bucket to fill it up
For receptacle all we had
Was a tiny porcelain cup.

Then looking around, on the ground
I saw a pipe of green.
Fit it up! I cried to them
And let the fuel trickle in.

That is how we came to town
Where I do not know –
So far from our destination that
We were meant to blow.

Let’s do it here, my crew all cried
This town of glittering sin
We’ll park the car before the mall
And blast the sucker in.

So this they did. I meanwhile
Went to get a juice
For my throat was desert-dry
And my thirst craved a truce.

While I sucked on my lime and soda
Those morons in the car
Bombed the mall to fragments, and
Got dead drunk in a bar.

Since then, at no certain hour
My yearning fast returns
To tell my tale to some victims here
More painful than torture-burns.

And when my words sound in their ears
Much sharper than the steel –
So you’re bored to bitter tears?
Just think of how I feel.”

ICEGUY [Wiping away bitter tears]: Now, about the plan for the next –

BUTCHER MAN: Wait, I’m not through. I told you I wrote that to start off with. Then I...[swells up chest with pride]...I stole a Bomb.

CHICK [finishing the last of the nitroglycerine]: What’s so special about a bomb?

BUTCHER MAN: Not a bomb. A Bomb.

ICEGUY and CHICK, together: You mean The Bomb? The Bomb?

BUTCHER MAN: Yes, got a lead that there was one available, so I stole it. It’s in the bag here.

ICEGUY: That’s wonderful! [Curiously] What, uh, are we going to do with it?

BUTCHER MAN: Um, I’m not sure. We’ll think of something. Meanwhile – [goes to turn on ancient cabinet radio] I wonder what the Dictator is saying. They must have found out by now that the Bomb is missing.

ICEGUY: How would we be able to listen to the Dictator on that? He must have all kinds of secure ultra-secret communications.

CHICK [woozily waving a bottle]: Don’ worry about that. Big shtron...strong communicamations. No good against old radio.

BUTCHER MAN: Shhhh. I think I’m getting him now.

DICTATOR [Voice on radio]: ...and this theft of a Bomb is an intolerable danger. Who knows what the terrorists might not be able to do with it? They could blow up the capital...including me. They could hold the country to ransom!

CHICK: There you shee, that’sh what you can do with the Bomb. He’s telling ush.

DICTATOR: I will stop them before the smoking gun becomes a mushroom cloud. After all, the world looks to us for leadership. We’re the one indispensable nation, the exceptional one. Destiny has conferred on us not just the right but the responsibility to rule the world.

ICEGUY: So how does he intend to stop us?

DICTATOR: There’s only one man who can stop them. That is why I have sent a message immediately recalling Whambo from retirement.

ICEGUY, CHICK and BUTCHER MAN together, gasping: Whambo!

DICTATOR: Yes, when Whambo gets on to them, those terrorists are toast. I will personally see to it that...[voice breaks off in static]

BUTCHER MAN [turns off radio]: Whambo!

CHICK [waves around bottle]: Whambo!

ICEGUY: Who is Whambo, anyway?

BUTCHER MAN: How should I know?

[Enter WHAMBO, with his red headband tied over his eyes so that he stumbles and falls to the floor with an almighty crash. Struggles to his feet, waving machine gun.]

BUTCHER MAN: Who on earth are you?

WHAMBO: My worst nightmare. [Pauses] That didn’t come out properly, did it? I meant your worst nightmare.

BUTCHER MAN: You aren’t a cop, obviously, and you’re far too incompetent to be a soldier, so what are you? Lost tourist?

WHAMBO: I’m no tourist.

ICEGUY: So do you have, um, a name or something?

WHAMBO: Whambo, James Whambo. [Adjusts headband to uncover eyes and sees bottles] I’ll have mine shaken, not stirred.

ICEGUY: Oh no it isn’t, and you don’t. That’s verging on copyright violation.

WHAMBO: Just Whambo then. No-first-name Whambo. Terrorists tremble in total terror when they’re told my tagline. [Thrusts knife into table] Mission...accomplished.

CHICK: Wha’ mission?

ICEGUY: This isn’t your mission.

WHAMBO: It is now. [Picks up bomb bag and drops it on foot]  They taught us to ignore pain, right? It’s not working.

BUTCHER MAN: I see you’re no stranger to pain. [Picks up bag and puts it back on table] So, what do you want?

WHAMBO: To survive a terrorist, you gotta become a terrorist. [Points gun at them] You, the woman.

CHICK: You talkin’ to me?

WHAMBO: Pick up that bomb bag and come with me. These two others are expendable.

ICEGUY: Expendable?

WHAMBO: It’s like, you’re the flat tyre on the car and it doesn’t really matter. You’re expendable. [To CHICK] You comin’ or not?

CHICK [Weaving drunkenly to her feet]: Not. [Belches loudly]

WHAMBO: In that case, goodbye. [Pulls out the pin from a grenade with his teeth.] Ow, that hurt!

BUTCHER MAN: I thought everybody knew by now that you do not pull out pins from grenades with your teeth.

WHAMBO [Thinking]: I’m sure they told me back in my last film that’s how you take out a pin.  Any of you boys wants to surrender, now’s the time. Not that I care either way. I’ll get a Hollywood movie out of this.

CHICK [Belching again]: Surrender? Eff you.

WHAMBO: Die for nothing, then. [Throws grenade. It touches CHICK’s belch in mid air and explodes instantly after leaving WHAMBO’s hand. There’s a tremendous blast that knocks everyone down.]

CHICK [Sobering up fast]: What happened?

ICEGUY: Must have been all the nitro you drank. Turned you into a bomb launcher.

BUTCHER MAN: In order to survive a bomb, you gotta become a bomb. What happened to Whambo?

ICEGUY [Peers at WHAMBO, turns away]: Don’t ask.

CHICK: Well, now that the only man who could stop us, didn’t stop us. we have the Bomb. Let’s have a look at it.

ICEGUY: Yeah, so many things we can do with it now. The Dictator gave us good ideas.

BUTCHER MAN [opens bag, takes out bomb. Bomb is a round black ball with a fuse sticking out of one side.]: Here you are.

ICEGUY: Uh. Wow.

CHICK: At least it’ll make all the other terrorist outfits in the world jealous as hell, there’s that.

BUTCHER MAN [proudly]: We got the Bomb!

ALL [Including WHAMBO’s corpse, the DICTATOR on the radio, and the Bomb itself]: We got the Bomb!


Copyright B Purkayastha 2015