June 17, 2004

I've learned to live by hate and pain

* An essay arguing that the tortue memos reveal a fascist mentality concludes:

"Using fear and demagoguery after the terrors of 9/11 - an attack they knew was coming but did nothing to prevent or ameliorate - those ideologues manipulated the Congress and populace into giving them a blank check to go after those who perpetrated this terrorist mass-murder, and they've been riding that same horse ever since in service of their other, more extreme agendas. Bush&Co. even invented a non-existent tie-in to 9/11 to justify their invasion of Iraq - and then, much later, with very little attendant publicity, Bush admitted that there hadn't been any such relationship.

"Friends (and any Democratic office-holders reading this), we either stop this pack of wolves here - by forcing them to resign, impeaching them shortly, or in November throwing them out of the offices they've disgraced - or we wind up living in a police-state at home, and carrying out more disastrous imperial wars abroad. Is this the free country so many veterans have fought and died for? Is this the kind of government you want your kids raised under? Is this, finally, what we've come to in America because we didn't pay enough attention to what was really happening under our noses, and permitted ourselves to be snowed and manipulated so easily?

"I think not. It's time for us to raise our voices in a mighty roar to our elected officials, to organize our friends and neighbors, to shout out to the rest of the world that this is not the true America and will not stand. IT WILL NOT STAND."

* The Plain truth:

"Bush is right when he says he cannot be blamed for everything that happened on or before Sept. 11, 2001. But he is responsible for the administration's actions since then. That includes, inexcusably, selling the false Iraq-Qaeda claim to Americans. There are two unpleasant alternatives: either Mr. Bush knew he was not telling the truth, or he has a capacity for politically motivated self-deception that is terrifying in the post-9/11 world."

* Julian Cope rocks.

"Cope is singular. He was the lead singer of post-punk indie band, The Teardrop Explodes, who shone brilliantly for a couple of amphetamine-fuelled years in the early 1980s. He became a cult solo rocker, and author of two critically-acclaimed volumes of autobiography. He may, too, be the only bona fide antiquarian researcher to have performed on Top of the Pops while on acid, and to have posed naked (for an album cover) beneath the shell of a giant turtle.

"More recently, he gave two talks at the British Museum about the norse divinity Odin -an occasion noted for his appearance in five-inch platform shoes and the fact that his hairspray forced the evacuation of the building after setting off fire alarms."
"What of today's archaeologists, picking away at our past? 'They're like fucking mystics,' he says. He loves and respects them, but cannot help winding them up. "I went down to one site wearing my Archbishop Makarios hat. 'I'm here to declaim loudly,' I said. 'You spend 16 hours a day pissing around in the wind and the rain. If that's not mystic, what is?'

"'I think it's essential there's someone like me, if only to wind them up. I'm past the stage of trying to theorise about these places. I know what I believe, but I'm more interested in getting other people to see for themselves.'

"Cope stops for breath and, as if reviewing his role in life, remarks: 'In the end, I'm not a very good rock 'n' roller, but I'm a very good Julian Cope.'"


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