The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Thursday, October 07, 2004

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Elfriede Jelinek's home page has a clay bambi on it. Here's an extract from Bambiland:
It breaks through, breaking through, the sun, first messenger of defeat, to the lord what's his name again, everybody knows what his name is, the army breaks through the city, mighty in mass the army, but not mighty enough, forcing its way, the army, through people hungering and thirsting through the menacing city full of people on its way, a force of more than moderate size, far too big, its sacrilege is matched in suffering, the city, resting familiarly on the ground, lying there in the desert, its inhabitants long since baked to an army of clay. How, after this reverse, shall we and Babylon now take action for the best? Whatever you say, all they do is growl water water water, food, food. My son, my son, my two sons, my three sons, my four sons. All gone. All gone. At best both together: water and food. Parcels with food, come on, off the vehicle, a little bit faster please, or else the city dwellers, no longer bedewed by water, will break the skull of the chosen ones of the lord and thus a whole world of feelings which only we only we in the west know and a wave of hatred which only they know. But we are also thirsty, yes sir, but at least we don't hate, yes sir, though we do have feelings about this, too. But at least we don't utter them. We are not totally without feelings, and where do they lead, the feelings? Where do they come from, where do they go? Where do they lead us? To the liberation of the people they lead us. So why then do they make such a fuss? Don't they want to be free? To be free under the condition of being understood? What? Either what is said is too much or too little. The claim to expose oneself completely, with each word that is spoken, is naïve. So let's not say anything. Better like this.

We always want to be understood benevolently, or nobody would say anything into the many cameras and microphones. We hide from what is foreign to us. We only say about ourselves what we want others to think about us, we don't say what we think. What? What? They don't want to be understood? So why do we bother? It's all the same to us. We do what we want anyway. No, we can't always do what we want. But we don't make a fuss about it. We are genuine. We take to robbery when we want something. It robs us of our sense when we don't get it. So where is all the oil now, unused? Burning. Burning. Explosives round the wells where the oil builds up and burns uselessly. Hard to imagine and difficult to predict. Whoever managed to rescue themselves from drowning in the sea, at least them we would kill. You can set our house on fire, you can also set our icons on fire, but not our oil and not our television set, this we keep, our altar, this can't disappear without trace, it is the trace! It is our tracer ammunition so that we can see in the dark. So that we can also see in the dark how lightning hits the flow of the hostile army. And this is, of course, our depleted uranium ammunition, I was looking for it earlier, because we definitely need it. Look, I will explain in simple words why: a missile draws the energy it contains from velocity and mass. It can't eat a Mars bar, right. It can't eat a muesli bar or that Kinder Surprise chocolate to help it work, rest and play to gain energy that it does not have, the missile. It can't and needn't eat, how lucky. In this one point where its force of impact first originates and ours unfortunately ends. The guns of the combat tanks only have a small diameter, not more than 12 cm, so how can this make a decent impact force? Our problem is that we need to develop a high impact on a little space, and uranium has a high density, that's its bad luck. That's also our bad luck because it might also make us sick. Yet it is rather our good luck than our bad luck when we look at it from the point of view of war. Charging ungainly ships prow to prow, that doesn't do the trick any more. But the uranium really hits the spot. As it hits us what this gentleman has just told us. There is a constant flow of supplies, but he doesn't have to run himself, this guy. But I can't get this out of my head: the feelings, are they now really all dead, really all of them? Because you had to witness such horrible things and so much suffering or what or why? All of them? So you did have some, and the others don't have any at all? That can't be! No, I can't believe that, they are still alive, no, they aren't after all. They are dead, no doubt about that. Perhaps you know none of these feelings personally. You who believe in God. But this is not enough for you. You want to set the fatherland free. But they can't because we alone resist the seducer who would only hold us up, and we query religion and we query the stones and we query the sand and we query the water, only we know God and have recognised that we don't want him, we seducers of nobody, we seducers of the image alone. When we get home, we immediately switch on the image. It must work. And it does work. Immediately. They never disappear without trace, the images of our deity that we can see, that only we can see there on the glowing screen. Right, so we strip this people of their faith, and we give them at last our icons for it, and finished. Then all will be well. Then this people will be totally finished, this people who has no notion of the primacy of the individual, for a people without any individuals, this doesn't exist. But God they know. And this is the main thing. They know nobody, they love nobody, but God they know. They don't know feelings but a God they know, so they claim. So they say. And they know that this God is theirs. They will get to know us now. Let's bet that we will soon be their gods? No? Well, then not. He who doesn't want one has already got one. It breaks through, breaking through, the ruler's army, menacing each city, here come all the names that we know or don't know, never mind, Arabia or whatever it's called bursts with names, some of them known to everybody, no one knows nobody, even he who does not know a person knows at least somebody who knows a person, for Babylon spits out a colourful mixture and now does not take it back. And all those, the lords in command, the name bearers they are heavily burdened with their golden vehicles, I mean the cars really carry them and not the other way round, they only carry the petrol behind our cars where we sometimes get killed. Thanks nevertheless, we take it gladly gladly, the golden liquid, watering with it such flowers of manhood, that has marched away to the Babylonian lands. What was I going to say. Yes. All those who threatened their neighbours find pride more alluring than the fact that everybody is equal. That's a fact. Really. This is why we now find them, wherever they are, where the king's dread word is spoken. Perhaps somebody will flee from them, but many more will come. Those of the British people and of the American people that went marching, for example. It is them, from houses rich and golden. But of course they want more. They always want more. The rich get richer. The clever get cleverer. Not everybody who wants something will get it. This one gets something, not from a coddled people, that's why he gets something. He gets something. Do you know him from before? Have you heard the name Halliburton and the name of Cheney, the holy lord, offspring of I don't know what or who, but certainly of a mother, and since then he has wrestled with the numerous soft feelings. Dick Cheney. But his feelings won't win. Halliburton will win, the company, they can build cages in Cuba, well, even I could build a cage if I had to, but it would only be strong enough for rabbits, if anything, they also built Corpus Christi in Texass, they managed that. And it earned its name. He will rebuild everything, the lord of the energy industry, Mr. Chairman of the Board, lord of the fiddled books , lord of jobs for the boys. But such boys are only found in Arabia. You can bet on it that this company will win irrespective of whoever else wins. Hang on, and what about the British with all these brave guys who so diligently butchered foreign flesh, and of course also the other way round, because nobody wants to owe the other a favour, but sometimes it has to be. They have dragged themselves to the foreign land, illusion of the avenger incarnate, and now several of them are six feet under, in the sand, and now they should get nothing? Well then. I proclaim it to you. They must get their contracts, and not too few. At the moment they haven't got any. But they are still negotiating. Flawless in beauty and in gait, sisters of one race, such that the building companies will come running. One after the other, and which comes first, all this is strictly laid down. I proclaim it to you. As the fatherland they had – won in a draw – no, not in a draw, but through common law, connections, lobbies, family ties, tradition, whatever, anyway, they got the best of the contracts. The list of contracts bends like a willow but none that weeps. Boys, the early bird catches the worm! Bush and Blair, they argue with each other in English in the summer residence Camp David, the little one with a sling shot, you know, and Goliath, Leviathan, praying for deliverance from evil and making sacrifice, there's no getting away from it, what did I want to say, never mind, the British companies have so far not had their share, but Blair wants his share, that goes without saying. That's clear. When he heard about Halliburton, he raged, then Bush soothed him and yoked them to his chariot, the lads, and fastened harness on their necks, but his own companies are like a number, with lots of zeros at the end, well, not exactly a yoke, and only for his boys, and they, proud of their trappings, were obedient to the rein to allow the contracts to run smoothly. They keep their mouths shut. And we ours. If they keep their mouths shut, then so can we. But Cheney doesn't keep his shut. And he doesn't have to. He's got something to say. He has a say. He's speaking again. But he doesn't have to, as long as he's closer to the beginning of making money than to the end of it. How is the war doing? It's still closer to the beginning than to the end. Birds of a feather flock together. Dick Cheney. Yes. He and his lot will reconstruct it all. With a sum of 100 billion dollaros, day after day counting the money, while time is stretching.

Oh dear, I can see something horrible, and it hits parents and women equally, it hits children and old people equally, what hits them is penance. Thank God it is the only one, the only penance that exists at all will be inflicted, of all people, on the tourist industry, and they are really the last ones to be blamed.
And so on and so forth. Well, it's longer than Pinter's Iraq poem. You can say that about it. Definitely longer. And that was just an extract.