Friday 7 October 2016

Note to Readers

For some reason, which is absolutely not my fault, my reading list, which I had kept on the left of this page - you know, the updates of your latest posts - has disappeared. Vanished. Utterly. And there does not seem to be a way to set it up again.

What this means is, unless I go to my dashboard, I don't know if you have posted anything. And the dashboard does not, on my mobile phone, show more than a few posts. And most of the reading I do is on my mobile phone, while I use my computer to write and draw.

This is extremely annoying. It is more than annoying. As far as my reading your posts goes, it is damned crippling, that's what it is.

I suspect that this is an attempt on the part of Blogger to reduce services to free accounts to compel people to switch to paid accounts, which is obviously not an option for me.

So, this is my request. If you are connected to me on social media, please tag me on links to posts you put up. Alternatively, post comments to this blog with the link. I'll see the comments in moderation, and I'll get to your posts.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks in advance.

I really must get my own website, where the TOS are whatever I want, soon.

Adopt a Cannibal Headhunter Today!


The poor innocent Cannibal Headhunters of  Lesser Jihadistan are in danger of extinction.

The causes of this are as follows:

First, habitat loss, owing to relentless Russian, Iranian, and Syrian destruction of the cities which form the natural environment of the Cannibal Headhunters.

The second threat is direct extermination by Russian and Syrian bombs and missiles, and Iranian, Syrian, and Hizbollah ground troops.

What does this mean? Why is it important?

Imagine the tranquil life of a Cannibal Headhunter in the wild – he gets up in the morning and extorts food from a civilian, thus ensuring that the civilian doesn’t get fat. This is, of course, evidence of his keen regard for the welfare of the civilian. He then thrashes a prisoner or two after breakfast, thus getting exercise and keeping fit and healthy. The combination of being adequately fed and well-muscled ensures that the lice in his beard and hair get good nourishment, making them able to rear healthy offspring of their own, preserving a whole ecological chain of further parasites and microorganisms. After this, he chops off the heads of a couple of prisoners, thus fulfilling the important function of “thinning the herd” and ensuring that the food and resources available are enough to go around.

After a frugal lunch of stewed human heart, which ensures that he gets a balanced diet, the Cannibal Headhunter spends his afternoon raping a few sex slaves. This is a highly important ecological function since it promotes gene admixture. If the sex slaves survive to produce offspring, the young will have hybrid vigour and be hardier than the previous generation.

Apart from this, the Cannibal Headhunter is an important agent in the balancing of conflicting ecological imperatives. By preventing  the local ecology from growing stable and peaceful, which in the long run can lead to overspecialisation, he constantly churns it with violence, forcing all other organisms to adapt or perish.

In other words, he is a vital and important part of the ecology, and if he becomes extinct, a whole ecosystem will be thrown irrevocably out of gear.

And this is precisely what is happening right now, as the Cannibal Headhunters are being exterminated before our very eyes!


How you can help:

Adopt a Cannibal Headhunter, for just $100 a month!

What your money will buy:

$100 a month will pay the monthly salary of a Cannibal Headhunter, freeing up funds for purchases that he also requires, such as TOW anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft MANPADS, and beheading knives, not to speak of video and audio equipment so he can get his messages – as well as films of his daily activities – out to the world.

Apart from that, you will have gained the priceless satisfaction of having helped save this rare biological treasure from extinction!

What you will get in return:

1. This FREE cuddly soft toy of an adorable Cannibal Headhunter, complete with hunted head:

2. A glossy photo of the Cannibal Headhunters in action.

3. A personalised certificate signed by noted patrons of the Cannibal Headhunters, namely Presidents Barack Hussein Obama of the USA, Francois Hollande of France, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, and King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

4. A full hagiographic article on the Cannibal Headhunters, written by the editorial staff of the New York Times and the Guardian.

5. Free copies for one full year of all issues of the Cannibal Headhunters’ various magazines and publications.

6. A full colour bumper sticker saying SAVE #ALEPPO START #WWIII.

Please do not wait any longer! Every moment counts!


The Canyon

She was sitting up in bed when I entered. Her eyes, holes in her pale face, turned briefly in my direction.

Her lips moved, bloodless lines of flesh. “Go away.”

“I’ll go in a minute,” I said. “I came to see how you were. That’s all.”

“So you’ve seen me. Now go away.”

I looked at her. One arm lay on the sheet, looking as thin as a pencil. The other bulked in a thick white cast, from which steel rods poked out. Something held up the sheet over her legs as well, angular and looking like a cage.

“I was terrified when I heard you’d been in the crash,” I said. “I thought you’d die.”

“Really?” Her mouth twisted. “You thought I’d die? You?

It wasn’t what I’d expected to hear. “Did I say something wrong?”

“Did you ever say anything right?” Her eyes blazed. “Why do you think we ever broke up?”

We didn’t break up,” I couldn’t help repeating something I’d said before. “You broke up with me. I didn’t break up with you.”

She silently turned her head away towards the window. The shadow of a branch moved back and forth across the frosted glass. I wondered again why a hospital would want to put frosted glass on its windows, blocking out the sights of the outside that might cheer a patient up. The second hand on the clock above her head moved all the way round the dial, and she still looked at the shadow.

“Don’t you have other visitors?” I asked eventually. I was still standing, and it was getting awkward. “Your sister – isn’t she here?”

“She came. I told her to go away. I don’t want to see anyone.”

“I’d have thought a lot of people would want to see you. You’re quite a heroine in the media. They’re all talking about your will to survive.”

“Will to survive.” She snorted. “When I think of...” She broke off. “Why haven’t you gone yet?”

“I don’t want to. I want to spend as much time as I can with you, even if it’s in a hospital room and I hate hospitals. Besides, there’s still an hour of visiting time left.”

She indicated the chair with a thin finger. She’d lost an amazing amount of weight, which wasn’t surprising considering what she’d been through. “What do you want to talk about, then?”

“Us,” I said. “The way you left me and...”

“Us? There’s no more us. That’s over, whether you admit it to yourself or not.”

“All right,” I said. “Tell me what happened. How did you end up...” I indicated her bed and didn’t finish.

Her thin lips curled in scorn. “You mean you didn’t get it all from the media?

“They can’t tell the truth to save their lives, as we both know. Anyway, all I heard was that you accidentally drove off the road and crashed into a canyon, and then crawled up all the way in two days with a broken arm, two broken legs and multiple other injuries. I’d rather hear it from you.”

“If I’m going to tell you,” she said then, “I’m going to tell you everything. I’ll tell you the stuff I haven’t told anyone. And when I do, you’d better not say I was lying or seeing things.”

“All right,” I said. “Tell me.”

“And I’ll tell only you.” There seemed to be some special significance to her words, the way she said them. “Remember that I’ll tell only you.”

“Thanks,” I said. “I think.”

“Give me some water from the bottle,” she said. “I’ll need it.”

I did.


I don’t remember fully how it all started [she said]. I’d been down to my sister’s, and there was a row. One hell of a row. I don’t recall now what it was about, mostly because it seems so unimportant now. So utterly pointless. But at the time I was blind with fury.

I stormed out of her house, got into my car and drove away so quickly that I almost struck two or three other vehicles. I couldn’t give a damn. If I’d hit them, I’d have thought they deserved it. I was that angry.

Then, before I quite realised it, I was out of town and driving up into the hills, and though I knew I was going much too fast, I didn’t care. It was already past sunset, and my headlights were two dull yellow tunnels carving their way through the night. Normally, I like driving at night, when it’s cool and the stars are out, but this time I scarcely noticed. And then it began to rain, water rushing down the road, making my tyres slip and slide.

I remember when the thought first came to me that I’d be better off dead. The only thing I remembered of the fight with my sister was her saying I was utterly useless, a burden to the world. Very well, if I was a burden to the world, there was no point in continuing to be a burden. That was what I thought. And it wasn’t as though I had anything to live for, anyway.

I drove on for a while, my foot pressing harder on the accelerator, until the pedal was almost down on the floor. I was wrestling the steering wheel, and around each corner I felt as though I’d run off the road. But I wouldn’t, not yet. I wouldn’t go off the road until there were canyons to go into.

I still don’t know if I did it deliberately in the end or whether it was, after all, an accident. I recall taking one corner a little bit too fast – too fast even for the wild speed at which I’d been going – and the left front wheel going off the road. There was a moment’s bumping, and then suddenly I was floating in the air. I had an instant of euphoria when I knew there was nothing more I could do now, and then I struck.

I regained consciousness inside the car, hanging upside down, the seatbelt taut between my breasts. Something warm was trickling down my face, from my chin over my lips, to become sticky as it accumulated on my eyes, gathering sticky on my eyelashes. I thought about it for a while before I realised it was blood.

I’d no idea where I was or what had happened. For a while I didn’t even know my own name. It was as though I was a newborn baby, having appeared into the world just then.

I wasn’t in pain. It was uncomfortable, mostly because my head was pressed against the roof of the car and the seat belt was chafing me, but I wasn’t in pain. Finally, though, I decided to do something about it, mostly to get rid of the thing that was so tight across my chest. Mostly by instinct, I fumbled at the clasp of the seat belt until it gave, and I fell on the roof of the car. The near side door had burst open, and I felt rain and earth on my face.

It was then that I began to remember, and it was then, too, that the pain came. At first it wasn’t too bad, and as long as I lay in one place it didn’t hurt at all. But as soon as I tried to move, it began. It was like a wave building far out to sea, and you could see it racing towards you, but try as you might you couldn’t do a thing as it reared over you and crashed down and bore you away.

For a long time I just lay there, while the pain throbbed and flowed over and into me, until I thought it was all that I would ever feel again. And then it suddenly went away, and so was the darkness.

I was no longer in the car. I was lying in bed, in a room with high windows through which I could see blue skies. Warm sunshine spilled through the nearest window and fell across my hands. I felt wonderfully content.

In a little while I realised that I wasn’t alone. Someone was sitting on the bed next to me. At first I could only see a hand, and a sleeve of dark material. Slowly, I looked up.

I still can’t describe the face I saw. I can’t even tell whether it was a man or a woman. All I can say is that I saw it, and instantly and completely fell in love.

“Well,” the person said. “Are you feeling better now?”

Until this moment I couldn’t have imagined I could ever speak again, but the words came easily. “Very much,” I said, and sat up. “I’m feeling perfectly fine.”

“That’s good.” He, or she, took my hand. “You’ve been looking for this rest for a long time, haven’t you? All your life, in fact.”

“Yes,” I said, suddenly realising that this was just the truth. I got out of bed. The floor was smooth and cool. “Where are we?”

“In the antechamber,” the person replied. He or she didn’t explain what antechamber, and I didn’t ask. There was a door in the wall at the foot of the bed. It was ajar, and through it I could see sunshine, green grass, and the flicker of a butterfly’s wings. He, or she, stepped to the door and looked back at me. “Come along.”

“No,” a voice said behind me. “She is not going anywhere.”

I turned as quickly as I could. A man was standing behind us, at the head of the bed. “You aren’t going anywhere,” he repeated.

He was the cruellest-looking man I ever saw. His face was like a hawk’s, his eyes like two glittering black stones. And yet there was something extremely familiar about him – I could swear that I knew him as well as I knew myself. And I was terribly afraid of him. Just being in the same room almost drove me wild with terror.

“You will go out of that door,” he said to me, pointing. And I saw another door, set in the wall near the head of the bed, and this one gave on to darkness and freezing, gusting wind.

I tried to take a step towards the door with the garden and the sunshine, but he strode forward and was suddenly between me and that door. His eyes, that frightened me so much, were within centimetres of my face.

I tried to speak, but my tongue wouldn’t move.

“Out,” he said, pointing to the door opening on the darkness. And, turning, I rushed out.

The next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground, outside the car. Rain was crashing down on me, as hard as the pain that was now rushing through every part of my body. I clutched at the earth, trying to burrow into it, to bury the pain in it, and never move again.

All I heard was the same voice. Without even opening my eyes, or turning my head, I knew he was there. “Keep going.”

I began to crawl. I barely know, even now, how I did it. Every few minutes, I had to stop to rest, and I lay there hoping I could be back in that bed, in that room, and this time I could go through the door with the sunshine. But each time I’d hear that voice again. “Move. Keep moving.” And I would, because I was so terrified of it that I couldn’t bear to lie there a moment longer.

At some point during the crawl, night turned to day, and I could see a little where I was going. By this time I was pulling myself up the slope, and it was fortunate that I could see. The rain was still falling, and I licked it off my arms and the leaves of plants that brushed my face. But I couldn’t stop to rest. As I grew more exhausted and the pain more severe, his voice became more insistent. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I could see him, too, standing on the slop looking down at me with his cruel, cruel eyes.

“Keep moving,” he ordered. “Go on.”

And I went on.

All through that day, and the night, I crawled, beyond the point of pain and exhaustion, beyond the point where I could even feel my body. I was like a machine, fuelled by fear, controlled by his voice. And morning came again, and I found I was lying on the road.

I don’t remember much after that until I woke up here, in this hospital.


Even now, I want to be back in that bed. Each time the sleeping medicines they give me wear off and I wake up, I’m bitterly disappointed I’m not there.” She took another sip of water and looked at me. “I’ve told you,” she said. “Now please leave, and never let me see you again.”

I got up. It was almost the end of visiting hours anyway. “I won’t come anymore if you don’t want me to,” I said.

“That’s not what I meant,” she said. “Don’t let me ever see you again. No matter what happens. Ever.”

I nodded. “Bye, then,” I said. “I’m glad you’re alive. That’s what I wanted to tell you.”

She stared at me, biting her lip. She waited until I was at the door before she spoke.

“I didn’t know you hated me that much,” she said.

I turned. “What?”

“You said you were glad I was alive.”

“I am. How’s that hating?”

She looked as though she’d have loved to spit in my face. “You certainly made sure of that down in that canyon, didn’t you?”

Copyright B Purkayastha 2016

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Sweet Child In Crime

There’s a new propaganda game in town.

If you remember back to the days of 1990, there was a certain girl who claimed to have been a nurse in a Kuwaiti hospital when Iraqi soldiers threw babies on the floor to steal incubators. Her “testimony” went a long way in persuading the American Congress to authorise war against Iraq. Only, later, it was admitted that she wasn’t even in Iraq at the time. She was, in fact, the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador in Warshington, and had been coached by a marketing firm to sell the case for war.

When the Killary Klingon-created war against Libya was in preparation, the internet was filled with claims that Gaddafi was feeding his troops Viagra to commit mass rapes, and one woman claimed to have been a victim. She subsequently not only turned out to be a hoaxer, she found a home...where else...but the Imperialist States of Amerikastan, where she ended up in jail.

Then in Syria, there was the case of the so-called Gay Girl In Damascus, who was soon exposed as a 40-year-old British man. The idea of this hoaxer was to present a case for a western invasion of Syria, but he was exposed fairly early on. And at that time it was assumed in the imperialist nations that the Syrian government would fall without any overt invasion anyway.

Things are a bit different now. It’s late 2016, and the terrorists are on the run. The remnants of several groups are cut off and surrounded in East Aleppo, under relentless Russian and Syrian bombing and Syrian and Hizbollah ground assault. A jihadi counteroffensive on Hama to try and take the heat off Aleppo failed disastrously. As America’s pet Al Qaeda cannibals cower under the bombs, and lose one sector of Aleppo under another, the only hope they have left is if Amerikastan enters the war on their side.

Enter Bana Alabed.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, appeared Bana Alabed. Apparently a seven year old girl in East Aleppo, she tweeted, literally from under Putin’s and Assad’s bombs, begging the “world” to save her, even “at the cost of nuclear war”. The usual suspects where mediaganda go – the Brutish Bullshit Craporation, the Telegraph or the Guardian – eagerly lapped her up and regurgitated her, without caring about how utterly unlikely this would be. After all, it was no business of theirs to expose a transparent fake for a fake.

But Bana Alabed is fake. She is fake even if you don’t think about the utter implausibility of some kid with no previous history of tweeting suddenly appearing out of the blue, speaking perfect English at that, and being able to tweet more or less nonstop while the bombs that are allegedly falling all around don’t seem to affect her WiFi signal. All you have to do is look at this photo, which “Bana Alabed” claims shows her reading in order to “forget the bombs”:

Note the strategically placed doll, the impeccably combed hair and clean clothes, the deliberate appeal to the middle class market. Bana Alabed is a packaged product, almost certainly created in consultation with an advertising agency, to gather the maximum attention by pretending One Of Us is under threat from Evil Assad. And note the strange distortion on the right of the photograph. According to a friend who knows about these things, it’s almost certainly the result of bad Photoshopping.

Why would a seven-year-old girl need to Photoshop herself?

Let me make a prediction: when East Aleppo is liberated, hopefully within the next few days, “Bana Alabed” will abruptly disappear. Not only will there be no trace of her, no evidence will be found to show any such person ever existed. The True Believers, of course, will keep on believing.

Because, as Mark Twain said, it’s easier to fool someone than to convince him that he’s been fooled.

I probably spent more time on this cartoon than they did on their fake "Bana Alabed", honestly