Diana Spencer killed by high-speed car crash, inquest finds
Alcohol also involved
by Arthur King
April 22, 2008 – http://arthur-king.blogspot.com -- It took more than six months, and over 240 witnesses gave evidence, but finally the inquest into Diana Spencer's death has ended.
Based on the evidence, the jury found that the crash occurred because the car was driven at high speed, at night, in a narrow tunnel, by a man under the influence of alcohol, hotly pursued by journalists. So much for the obvious.
However, the jury also found the driver, Henri Paul, and the pursuing pack of journalists responsible for the "unlawful killing" of Spencer.
"Unlawful killing" can lead to charge of manslaughter. Since Paul died in the crash, he will not be charged. Since the inquest has no jurisdiction over events that took place in France, the journalists will not be charged.
What is missing from this analysis is the obvious truth pointed out by satirical magazine Private Eye over ten years ago, in the days immediately following Diana's death. The cover of the Eye at the time carried the headline "MEDIA TO BLAME" above a photo of the crowds that gathered outside Buckingham Palace. One of the crowd says the papers are terrible, and another agrees, saying you can't get one anywhere. A third says, "Borrow mine. It's got a picture of the car."
The Eye's satire inevitably drew the ire of those who mourned Diana's death as though a saint had died, leaving the poor bereft of hope and protection. Presumably then I will be assassinated for what I am about to write, for there is even more to it than that.
First let me say that there of course must be causes for all events, and the obvious cause of the car crash in question was the lethal combination of high speed and alcohol. Let me also assert that the relationship between the public and the press, and Diana and the public, was clearly beyond the purview of the inquest. It is not my intention to contest the verdict of the inquest. However, there is a truth beyond that verdict that cannot be discussed, because the prevailing Diana narrative will not allow it. This is what I want to talk about.
First, to return to the Eye's satire. If the press pursued Diana to her death, as the inquest decided, then by logical extension the public who devoured her tawdry private life killed her too – for without them there would be no press pack pursuing Diana and Dodi into the tunnel beneath the Seine. That was the assertion made by the Eye's satire.
Let me pause here for a moment, to allow the cries of wounded innocence to rise from the irate public. "I wouldn't have read it if they didn't write it," they insist. Indeed. And they might add, jabbing their fingers at someone else to blame, "She wanted the publicity."
And there they are right, and there is the addendum to the Eye's satire, for there was an incestuous and powerful relationship between the press, Diana and her public. This is the relationship that was beyond the purview of the inquest, and this is the truth that cannot be discussed.
Shoulda bin banned?
The truth is that Diana Spencer loved publicity, courted celebrity and fame, and was adept at manipulating an image. Born into hereditary luxury, she won fame through marriage and divorce. Over time she became increasingly accustomed to celebrity, learned the power of her sexuality – there is no doubt that she was sensual – and grew increasingly adept at manipulating her image. She loved and despised the crowd who pursued her through the press pack she courted. The crowd in their turn loved and despised her, and her life. She offered her private life for consumption, and they demanded more. And within this intimate and toxic relationship lies the truth of her death, and it is this that cannot be discussed, because it ruptures the convenient and hypocritical narrative that formed in the days following her death, and has since become a mantra to those who hold up her mediocrity as a role model.
Diana Spencer was sensual, and knew it. This cannot be denied. Diana Spencer was virginal, and knew it, and this cannot be denied. The crowd loved and hated her and her life; it was the stuff of the best idle gossip, the mundane stuffing for countless pages of filler which became the endless tattle of tepid lives, repeated over fencebacks, in cafes and brasseries, and across the counters of bars. She was the Fairy Tale princess and a whore to boot; the ultimate male fantasy and the ultimate feminine role model – the virgin-whore.
Never mind that she was mediocre, or that her affairs were tepid and stereotypical, the generic stuff of bodice rippers or Readers Wives. Her affairs titillated and offended Registered Readers, adding a frisson of sexual energy to mundane lives from Derby to Des Moines, from Dartford to Dusseldorf.
She teased the public, and they pursued. She wanted her fame and despised it. They wanted her and despised her, as Registered Readers always do. Had she been a character in a DH Lawrence novel, the public would have banned her, but since she was a princess they devoured her. Over time the relationship deepened and thickened. Her fame grew with her desire for celebrity. Their desire grew with hers. They pursued each other into the tunnel beneath the deep river. The night closed in. The deep river ran on.
Cause and effect?
The test of any causal relationship is to remove certain variables and see if the relationship persists. In this case, if we extract the public's desire for Diana, and Diana's desire for the public from the equation, what are we left with?
We are left with Henri Paul, sipping drinks in a bar somewhere, alone, and a pack of photo-journalists pursuing a different celebrity in a different town.
There would be no celebrity jetset car-crash. There would be no inquest thrashing around in a vain search for simple answers to complex questions, and in the process failing absolutely to allow the story what it ultimately requires: closure, and a loss of publicity.
Instead, we have witnessed the mob jabbing fingers and finding the answer it wanted all along: MEDIA TO BLAME.
And this farce has all been conducted on the public purse: the inquest is expected to cost over £10 million (US$19.9m).
It costs US$35,000 to clear a Cambodian minefield. (Source: http://www.rainbowworldfund.org)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Diana Spencer killed by high-speed car crash, inquest finds
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
California sues God
Global warming cited in landmark legal action
by Arthur King
February 19, 2007 -- Los Angeles -- California is suing God, in a landmark legal case. The case follows erratic snowfalls this winter which left many of the state’s lawyers and their yoga instructors stranded in the mountains without snow for days at a time.
Legal suits are among California’s main exports, together with pornography, yoga and 12-step recovery programmes. The suit is expected to generate trillions of dollars and will require an army of aromatherapists and dog psychologists to maintain the emotional wellbeing of the legal team, and their pets.
The plaintiffs claim they were caused undue emotional distress due to the lack of snow over the traditional holiday season. They felt a collective sense of betrayal that had led to the formation of numerous support groups, causing scheduling conflicts in busy lives, and at least one awful film starring Clare Danes.
“It says, ‘In God We Trust’ on the money, but I’m afraid God has betrayed that trust,” said a California Bar Association spokesman. “Frankly, God’s been getting away with these acts of his for a long time, but global warming is an Act of God too far.”
Asked whether it might be better to adopt green energy policies to cut carbon dioxide emissions, the Bar spokesman disagreed.
“A lot of my clients booked skiing holidays this year and there was no snow. They were severely traumatised. God claims he is responsible for everything. Well, it’s time for him to explain global warming.”
Theologians disagreed, arguing that God doesn’t need to explain himself, he just does whatever the hell he wants.
The Bar disagrees.
“You can’t be God and just have a clause protecting you from your own actions. It’s omnipotence of the worst kind.”
God did not respond to calls for comment.
Posted by Arthur King at 5:09 AM
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Letters exchanged with a young American on the subject of his first visit to Europe
Having been in Europe for two days, I believe I have learned enough about its several customs and peoples to write a book. I figure you might have a read, to fact-check it, seeing as you once were from Europe yourself (before you woke up, smelled the coffee, and went running for the security and freedom of American citizenship by impregnating one of our loose women and thus forcing her into marriage with you).
Keep enjoying that freedom my ancestors fought and died for ... against your ancestors ... who hated freedom ... just like the terrorists of today do.
Much as it distresses me to write to your sort, I feel I must point out a few mistakes in your overall analysis. My fee for this sort of thing is usually a patch of land. I would take Vermont, but its natives drive Subarus, consult soothsayers and wear sandals with socks. Perhaps you could do something about that when you get home?
Anyway, to take your points in order:
#1 [you impregnated] one of our loose women, thus forcing her into marriage with you.
It can hardly be my fault if your women seek greener pastures. I see that recently you built a really big fence between yourselves and Mexico. You claim that this is to stop Latinos stealing your jobs, but you and I know this is not true: after all, without Latinos, your country would have to close.
The fence will not work my friend: women will always find a way to leave if they are not sexually satisfied.
Perhaps you should employ the Latinos in dildo factories?
#2 Apparently, not all European countries want to become future States of America.
Germany does not. France is in fact your mother, which is why you two don’t get along.
#3 Many black people in Europe don't realize they are free today because of Abraham Lincoln. They also don't like to be called African-Americans.
Who is this Lincoln? Are all your politicians named after automobiles?
#4 Most Americans, due to ignorance, think the British and the English are very similar, but when you get to know them you learn they are very different.
I always wonder why we did away with the terms serf and peasant, don’t you? No, probably not, anyway, things were much easier before, and everyone understood where they were. This naming of things is going too far.
What next? Will women refuse to be branded after marriage?
#5 Not everyone in Europe is grateful to the United States for saving them in World Wars 1 and 2, but they should be.
You were late. The whole thing was practically over when you arrived. The least you could do is send an apology.
Where were you by the way? Conjugating irregular German verbs under the bed?
The Soviets saved us, and we had to let them have half of Europe as a consequence. Dreadful state of affairs.
#6 Europeans don't water down your coffee when you ask for a cup of American coffee because they hate America. They water it down because they are dumb and don't know how to make a real cup of coffee.
Actually we water it down because that is American coffee.
#7 In Spain they speak a slightly different type of Spanish than Mexicans do in America. This is why I am having trouble ordering burritos and tacos. They keep giving me fish and rice, which is obviously what they think Americans eat.
I have no idea what you Americans eat, but whatever it is, it is making you all fat.
Your lord, master and better, etcetera,
Saturday, October 06, 2007
by Arthur King
After the Dead Diana Day #10 blog, there were email exchanges. Of course there were.
Sadly, these exchanges make me realise that my target audience is (i) intelligent, therefore (ii) small, and (iii) civilised, which means it does not like to conduct discussions on an open forum on the Internet, since the forum is always mobbed with idiots who have lost their village and won’t stop shouting.
Arthur King readers – all three of them – prefer the luxury of one-on-one inquiry. The following comments are therefore reproduced anonymously, and with permission.
As I post this, the British government, and more importantly the British tabloid press, are reviewing CCTV stills of Diana Spencer on the night that she died. They are doing this in a bid to answer a vital question: Just how did a blind drunk man speeding in a dark narrow tunnel manage to crash his car?
The following email exchanges do not answer that vexing question. Instead, they discuss hysteria and celebrities, whether Diana had a soul, and how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. Okay, they don’t discuss angels and pinheads. To read the original blog, go here.
On 9/4/07 Crouching Hedgehog wrote:
okay, identifying with Diana: absurd. the people's princess: even more absurd. a great humanitarian: of course not. and i'm no big fan, either. but i do think she could've spent her life ONLY shopping and shooting birds, and instead she loaned her glamorous face to several good causes--particularly AIDS--at a particularly important time. was this the very least she could have done if she had any kind of social conscience? probably, but that doesn't discount it. so yes, for the most part, i agree with you, but I don't think she was a completely useless twat either.
On 9/4/07 Arthur King wrote:
Don't think I said she was "a completely useless twat" did I?
My main thrust is now, and always has been that she was an anachronism, and she did the charity work because she had to, not because of her social conscience (philanthropy was something the royals took on to make themselves more palatable to the public, and she cut her charities back after the divorce).
On 9/4/07 Crouching Hedgehog wrote:
no, you didn't actually say she was "a completely useless twat," but it seemed your implication--or did I get that wrong? what i'm getting at is that when you start with jokes about her sleeping around and the myth of the innocent english rose, it seems to me you take seriously the notion of debunking the illusions surrounding her, which i think most intelligent people didn't take seriously in the first place--but perhaps I'm wrong about that? no one I know ever identified with diana or thought her a saint or thought her anything more than a fashion plate who led a life of privilege and occasionally used that privilege to do a small measure of good. "people's princess" was a phrase I found highly ludicrous. but perhaps the hysteria about diana has to do more with people--like your accountant--who need some sort of fairytale to cling to. after all, the PR machine can dish it out, but people have to be willing to bite for it to work, no? i always find the hysteria surrounding the deaths of celebrities--whether talented or not--fascinating: not just Diana, but James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, the thousands of mourners in the streets of Paris for Dalida and Edith Piaf. i'm fascinated by the intense emotion people pin on perfect strangers, and what it tells us about human aspirations, fantasies, etc.
as for whether she did the charity work because she had to, that's conjecture. just because it was advantageous to her PR image to do it doesn't mean she didn't believe in it. I agree with most of what you say, but I'm willing to grant her a soul. big of me, ain't it?
On 9/4/07 Arthur King wrote:
Yes, the hysteria has more to do with our lives, with our own pain, with the way that people transplant their lives onto the lives of celebrities. I don't, and you don't, but a lot of people do, and at her death it was as though we were living in a one-party state, as though Brezhnev or Mao had died and we all had to assume the correct posture. Those who didn't were often physically assaulted in Britain.
Absurd, but a lot of supposedly intelligent people got caught up in it, and a lot of intelligent people didn't speak out because they felt afraid to. I have received a slew of emails from people telling me they are relieved that someone said this: equally there are those who view me as a pariah, so yes, I take seriously the idea of debunking the myths surrounding her.
This I have to say has a lot to do with growing up with a hereditary monarchy, a dreadful, debilitating anachronism, much like professing that there is a god, he has a beard, and sandals, he made us and he loves us, but he will send us to hell if we masturbate.
I think she had a soul, could care less who she slept with, and used the joke to illustrate the hypocrisy of people. Like all of us she had competing sides. She was against landmines, but worked to raise the profile of this issue in order to raise her own profile.
On 9/4/07, Crouching Hedgehog wrote:
I see what you mean now.
I didn't get this notion of speaking out on the subject of Diana as important, I think because I didn't grow up in England with the kind of awful one-party state feeling you're talking about, in which case I understand it better.
On 9/4/07 Arthur King wrote:
To be honest, the whole thing took me by surprise too: I’d been out of the country too long, so my reaction was “So what?”
But to ask whether her death was important made people furious: you would have thought I had proposed her head be put on a spike on Traitor's Gate, there to turn green in the wind and rain. It was oddly the same in the US.
A few days after her death, I flew to the US for the first time, and got threatened by my brother (for saying among other things that her death was a Eurotrash tragedy). My brother spent several days glued to the TV, openly grieving for what I don't know.
People everywhere offered me their condolences, which was all very sweet but I think they were rather shocked at my indifference. "Oh, she wasn't a relative," I said to one, much to her horror.
On 9/4/07, Crouching Hedgehog wrote:
I love your answer about how she wasn't a relative!
I was in LA and heard it on the news. I immediately thought how sad, merely because she was pretty and young, and I'd grown used to her face, was a teenager when she got married in that fairytale dress. My next thought was, this is annoying, because now everything will be all about Diana's death and this is tiresome. Honestly. Just the tediousness of the media frenzy.
On 9/5/07 Arthur King wrote:
Comment from a friend, based on an essay on Diana by Joan Smith:
OK, in the spirit of honest enquiry I've re-read Joan Smith's excellent essay on Diana. She's not sympathetic at all really. She certainly sees Diana as a case of society rewarding traditionally 'feminine' behaviour, and that her main point is that cultures create myths about women to control them, but that doesn't let Diana off the hook. Some quotes that might amuse you (and which fit remarkably well with yr piece):
On her last US gala appearance: "audiences had responded with that sickly combination of awe, admiration and pity"
"..that her increasing resemblance to one of the most baleful female characters in Victorian fiction has gone unnoticed" ie Miss Havisham
On the BBC Bashir interview:
"the Princess looked and sounded drained, like a crime victim who had been persuaded by police to meet the press and talk about her ordeal"
"her carefully cultivated public persona suggests her awareness that the words "tragic" and "queen" have an ancient affinity which she is happy to exploit"
On her appeal:
"Anyone who has even been jilted or endured an unhappy love affair, which is to say the entire population over 14 with the exception of a handful of cynics and celibates, understood and empathized with her"
she has been able to "re-create herself as the archetypal wronged woman"
Smith's scary prediction for women playing this "role":
"they all wind up young, beautiful and dead".
Diana is a genuinely depressed, disturbed woman (stemming from a troubled childhood) who is "self-deluding in her assessment of her own situation, and that has been astonishingly successful in persuading vast numbers of people to collude in that deception".
"Lonely children frequently console themselves with fantasies" and the "price we would pay for imposing our fantasies [about women] on her slender form was to absorb hers in return, no matter how distorted a version of events they would turn out to represent"
Essentially, Diana represents how "we" reward traditional female behaviour and this is itself an indication of the "backlash' against the progress women have made over the last 50 years in fighting against culturally bound ideas of femininity.
On 9/5/07, Crouching Hedgehog wrote:
I think this passage in particular points to something:
“Anyone who has even been jilted or endured an unhappy love affair, which is to say the entire population over 14 with the exception of a handful of cynics and celibates, understood and empathized with her”
I think THAT'S precisely where you get accountants saying they identified with her: everyone has experienced an unhappy love affair, but most people feel miserable and pathetic about it. Here was someone whose unhappy love affair was splashed all over all known media (both with and without her help) and yet she's still a princess, still glamorous, still wearing bloody expensive frocks: the accountant gets to identify with her pain, but avoid the shame and humiliation. It's like picking and choosing at the opera--only going for the arias, not the boring or convoluted plot points. Never mind that life is made of very often boring and convoluted plot points. Or something like that.
On 9/5/07 Arthur King wrote:
Yes, they want the bloody aria, but sung by Bonnie Tyler, not Maria Callas.
That one particular sentence also struck me: that was the level of the sentiment, and it was all to do with the failure and pain of individual lives. It was a monstrous eruption of agony aunt columns, right there on the street, like a vast collective California therapy session, but it was in Britain and because it was in Britain no one was talking about what it really meant. It was all coded.
Decoded, everyone blamed the queen, because she’s our mum.
Is this too esoteric?
Monday, September 03, 2007
DEAD DIANA DAY # 10
by Arthur King
What’s the difference between Diana Spencer and a field full of landmines?
Nothing: they’re both incredibly easy to lay, but terribly expensive to get rid of.
---August 30, 1997
So many Diana jokes were going the rounds back in 1997 that I only bothered to note that one in my journals. It was all rather boring: you’d run into an acquaintance and they’d rattle off a stream of Diana jokes over drinks.
They all followed much the same formula: she was the town bike, she was bulimic, she was a gold-digger from the Eurotrash jetset. Since I didn’t care much about what was going on in England – which is why I was living in Asia – and had never been a fan of hereditary monarchy, many of the jokes went over my head, and I often had to ask for explanations.
Twenty-four hours after I recorded that joke, Diana was dead.
I’m glad I recorded it, because it provides the perfect contrast to the hysterical outpouring of saccharine sentiment that greeted her death.
When I say saccharine, I mean the likes of the 20-year-old English male accountant who stood outside the gates of Buckingham Palace and told the world, via the BBC, that he “identified with her.” Identified with her? With what? With her wealth, power, and influence? Her Versace frocks? Her life of luxury lived off the public purse?
For American saccharine, look no further than John Travolta: he offered to get on the first available plane and go over to help the poor little kids. Now John had famously danced with Diana at some celebrity bash or another, so presumably that gave him some sort of rights. Still, how the arrival of a Scientologist from Hollywood would help two princes whose mother had just died in a drunken car crash in Paris eludes me to this day.
But Travolta and England’s accountant spoke on behalf of an enormous number of people who had bought into the fairy tale myth of Diana Spencer.
The Myth of The People’s Princess
What people “identified with” was not Diana Spencer, but the Disneyfication of Diana, a carefully woven myth which ironically was begun by the Windsors, but elaborated by Diana’s PR people after her divorce. It runs like this.
Act One: Honest ordinary working girl, charmed by (slightly toad-like) prince, who marries her extravagantly, giving the nation’s poor a lift during a time of extreme unemployment, poverty and social unrest.
Act Two: Complication: wide-eyed innocent hard-working commoner girl with fawn-like limbs has married Brute Beast – People’s Princess is trapped in dungeon-like marriage by evil clan of ogres.
Act Three: Innocent doe-eyed fawn-limbed ordinary working girl escapes marriage to Brute Beast and rebuilds sex life, only to die tragically young (but still beautiful), murdered in the back of a car in the arms of her true (Muslim) love. In Paris.
Requiem: Iconic pop star sings at her funeral. A nation weeps. On television. End.
The truth about “The People’s Princess”
Let’s get clear on a couple of things. I did not “identify with” Diana. Sure, she was raising some profile for the serious issue of landmines, but hers was charity designed to raise her own profile, which is no charity at all. She did not die on her hands and knees sweeping mines from a swathe of Vietnamese rainforest; she did one photoshoot, in Angola.
She was not a “people’s princess.” She grew up in a mansion and her playmates were royalty. She had one ‘O’ level, despite an expensive education: she was a member of a social set whose women prided themselves on marrying well rather than achieving an education. Her family was well-placed socially, and she was more than willing to marry the prince of the realm and ultimately become queen, the matriarch of a family whose wealth is founded on colonial thuggery. In fact, for her social set, no honour could be higher than association by marriage with the ultimate in vicious luxury. She was an anachronism, and a shockingly bad example to set to young women. If I had a daughter, I would tell her not to imitate Diana Spencer under any circumstances: if my son brings home a woman like Diana Spencer, I can only warn him of the misery that surely lies ahead.
Any honest analysis of Diana Spencer finds her as she truly was. She was not naïve, nor was she a victim. To say that she was a victim is to trust entirely to the fairy tale of the innocent, doe-eyed, fawn-limbed, working-girl-turned-princess. That fairy tale is the product of a very effective PR campaign: Diana came from privilege, and had some good advisers in her own camp, which is how she came to be immortalised as the victim. In reality she was born into wealth, married into title, divorced to gain quite a few million pounds, a substantial annual income, access to a couple of castles, and to spend her life developing a celebrity profile with her trademark charity. She was not a victim.
Viewed in a clear light, her death reveals everything you need to know. She died in the back of a speeding car in the company of a member of the al Fayed family, a family whose members had freely admitted to buying the favour of British parliamentarians, in the same Paris Ritz where she dined the night she died.
She was not murdered because she was going to marry a Muslim. For one thing, there is no evidence to suggest that Dodi was more than a fling, but more importantly, if the royal family was going to murder someone don’t you think they’d be a little more efficient? Historically, haven’t royals led the field in the efficient use of violence? I mean, what is the likelihood that you will actually cause someone to crash by taking their bloody photograph? Surely there are other less chancy methods? A little poison perhaps? How about a late-night Caribbean drunk drowning? A blown-out tyre would have been far more efficient and more likely to cause the requisite damage, (assuming of course you could somehow get the car to travel at the required speed as you blew the tyre out).
The truth about fairy stories
No, the idea that she was murdered is a fantasy, and on the subject of fantasy and fairy tales, there are a few people out there who could do with reading something that pre-dates Walt Disney. The problem with Disney fairy tales is that they cut out all the necessary violence, and the violence is there to reveal the truth about life. That is what fairy tales do: they instruct us about life.
In their original form, fairy tales warned children and reminded adults about how vicious the forest is; and in this life, even your own parents can abandon you to wolves and ogres. If you don’t believe me, then read the original versions of Sleeping Beauty, where the prince wanders by, finds Beauty asleep, rapes her, then leaves her sleeping and beautiful, but pregnant.
Or how about Cinderella? In one of the originals of Cinderella, Cinder’s sister is so desperate to capture the prince that she cuts off her toes to try and make her foot fit the glass slipper. Do you really need me to explain that metaphor?
To recap Diana Spencer then. Born into privilege, married into title, divorced to gain castles, quite a few million pounds, a decent annual sum, and to spend her life as a celebrity with a trademark charity. Died in a car-wreck with a lover in Paris.
Ultimately, what does her death reveal? Ill-educated despite wealth and opportunity, star-struck and manipulated, but manipulating and famous, she was the best that so many could aspire to. She was everyone’s fifteen minutes of fame, and many a young English accountant’s masturbatory fantasy.
Not such a bad life when you get down to it. What people can’t get over is that she might have cut her own toes off to make the slipper fit.
© Arthur King 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Shared (Christian) Values
by Arthur King
Music Festival, Ipswich, England. July 1, 2007
Memphis, Tennessee, USA. July 3, 2007
There are few more fundamental differences between Britain and the US than their attitudes towards religion.
Christianity is at the centre of American life. The majority of Americans believe that they were made out of mud by a Supreme Being of some sort. It’s not unusual in the US to receive an email from a colleague with a footer that offers you a “Blessed Day in Our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.” If you sneeze, entire restaurants will bless you, and once you become accustomed to all this, it does not seem unusual for a Korean Evangelical to walk up to your heavily pregnant wife in a car park in Los Angeles and attempt to lay hands on the bump in order to bless the unborn child.
In Britain on the other hand, Christianity has been largely excised from public life. If someone offers you a blessed day you tend to look for the irony. If you find none, you tend to move swiftly away. If someone tries to lay hands on a pregnant woman outside a supermarket, there’s no surprise if they wake up in the back of a speeding ambulance.
Britain for the most part regards Christians as harmless crackpots, a species of shiney-faced loons who are rather too keen and a bit too sweaty. The majority of Brits are in fact non-believers, and the word Christian is interchangeable with the phrase God Botherer, a gentle term of abuse that implies someone of inferior mental stock.
This is because the predominant belief in Britain is in the secular. A belief that requires no proof is considered irrational, a symptom of mild mental weakness.
So, Christians are mildly mad, but harmless, and everyone has the right to their own form of madness in Britain. If you want to dress up as a druid at weekends, that is your affair. If you wish to believe we were made out of soil by a chap with a beard and fisherman’s rope sandals, so be it. All part of the rich tapestry of life. Perfectly harmless.
This is why, with few exceptions, the British media has largely ignored the religious beliefs of prime ministers Tony Blair and now Gordon Brown.
So, tell us about your STD
A large part of this is because religion in Britain falls into the same conversational category as piles, STDs and divorce: it’s private.
Americans on the other hand will happily discuss their haemorroids, their herpes and their second divorce with absolute strangers, especially at dinner. It’s an act of sharing that brings people together: I tell you about my bum, you tell me about your life with an STD. We share our private lives.
Americans will also readily tell you how they found God. However, if you are at a dinner party in Britain and someone starts rattling on about how they caught religion, correct form is to make a joke and swiftly move the subject on to the weather. But Americans never laugh if you ask whether they found God under the sofa cushions.
Who would Jesus bomb?
The British refusal to discuss religion has an essential social function: it prevents conflict, and allows for beliefs of all forms to coexist peacefully. However, this polite social silence is a cultural blind spot when it comes to dealing with the more violent strains of evangelical Christianity.
Imagine, as an example, that several million people believe that the Bible is the literal word of God. Nothing so unusual there, but imagine that as True Believers they feel they must do everything in their power to hasten the End Times. Imagine that they also believe the war in Iraq will hasten the arrival of Satan on earth, fulfilling part of the Armageddon prophecies, and signalling The Beginning of The End.
Now, imagine that these same people have positioned themselves at high levels in the US administration, and that a fictionalised book series about The End Times is among the most popular reading material among US forces in Iraq.
This just happens to be true.
But the British have ignored all this, just as they refused to discuss the fact that Blair is religious, he is a Christian, and he went to war against Muslims on the side of a man who says he talks directly to God, and that his discussions with Jehovah justify the invasion of Iraq. It stands to reason that if Bush is in league with people who believe that Jesus would want us to bomb Iraqis, then Blair was by default in league with the same. And so is Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown.
Brown is also a Christian, who recently professed that he and Bush have “shared values.” With 655,000 Iraqis dead by the best estimate available, London targeted by suicide bombers, and the Middle East in flames, sharing values with the man who believes God gave him the thumbs up to wage war on Muslims does not seem like a harmless private eccentricity. Worse still, Brown’s comments on shared values may serve a dual purpose.
While serving as an overt discussion of policy on Iraq, and stating a mutual position on terrorism, Brown’s words also present a covert message to the US Christian Right. Bush has long made a habit of sending out such coded messages, and it is abundantly clear how Brown’s comments will be viewed in a society that sees “values” as code for Christianity. Brown of course cannot come out and state his religion openly because of the electorate back home – he is already expected to struggle at the next elections, and could harm himself irreparably if he aligns himself on religious affairs with a man who would lose a battle of wits with a ham sandwich.
Is it possible though that he has stated his position on Iraq covertly, with a deft wink to the Christian Right?
If it sounds paranoid, it just might be. It could well be that Gordon was just cosying up to the US public while telling Georgie in private that the British part in the disaster that is Iraq will soon be over. But remember too that at the heart of Christianity is a persecutory complex, and that Evangelical Christians often place “God’s Laws” above the laws of man. If that means that they have to lie to the masses, who are non-believers, then so be it. The ultimate aim is to do the work of the Lord, and if that requires hypocrisy, then the ends justify the means.
So for Gordon Brown, does the work of the higher father – whose existence cannot be proved – ever take precedence over the laws of earthbound men and women? And if so, under what circumstances? These are questions that need to be asked.
Trouble is, everyone in Britain is too busy talking about the weather.
Posted by Arthur King at 12:09 AM
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Letter to Champion Sports about Motion Control Requirements for modern breasts
No. 26, The Railway Cuttings
Department of Human Resources
5 New England Drive
Essex, Vermont 05452
Dear Sir or Madam,
I have recently become connected to the World Wide Web, and could not help but take note of your marvellous site. Indeed, it was among the very first sites I visited.
It occurs to me that you might need people like me to work for you ¬ you see, I am an avid fan of your "original sports bras," and have been since I was a very young man.
I am particularly impressed by the way your latest models "provide maximum breast motion control during intense activity," through their "blend of cotton, polyester and lycra." Marvellous work indeed, and you are to be commended for your "application of contemporary science to classic compression of the breast."
I understand also that you have devised a "rating system" all your own, to "determine the degree of motion control a sports bra must give for optimal support and comfort."
I firmly believe that I could make a valuable addition to any team involved in testing "Motion Control Requirements" for modern breasts. Although I wear glasses, my eyesight is very keen. If you have any vacancies for this sort of thing, do let me know, won't you?
I feel I would be very well suited, since I always look for coordinating Champion apparel, even when I am riding my bike to the shops for a loaf of bread and some sardines, (which I must say have gone up shockingly lately). It is one of life's redeeming pleasures to catch a passing glimpse of Champion apparel, particularly when it is providing "superior support under intense conditions."
Posted by Arthur King at 12:30 AM
Monday, May 14, 2007
by Arthur King
Tony Blair resigned last week, and said that judgment on his 10 years in office was “for you, the people, to make.”
Tony Blair will be remembered mainly for the fact that he would never have wanted the people to pass judgment on his 10 years in office.
Posted by Arthur King at 8:45 AM
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Dear Fellow Hunter,
Would you mind very much if I sent you a free rifle or bow to try next time you hunt?
Not at all. I should point out that I don’t hunt. I think you got me on your mailing list because I filled out one of those Product Registration cards incorrectly. You know, they ask you for lots of personal details, like what you read, and what your hobbies are?
I think it was the registration card for The Wife’s Breast Pump. I put down that I earned over $250,000 a year, and my hobbies were flower gardening, hunting wild boar, and knitting blankets for orphans. I guess that’s how come I’m on your mailing list.
Sorry, I was just fucking around.
How about a free rain suit? A free knife? A free box of ammo? Or a bottle of scent?
Okay, okay, slow down. Let’s think about this.
I don’t need a rain suit, a knife, ammo, or any “Essence of Oestrating Deer Vagina.”
But send the rifle.
I wouldn’t use it myself, but I could do with the extra cash now that we have the nipper, and can probably sell the rifle to my crack dealer. He can shift it on to some bipolar kid who needs it to fulfill his schizoid fantasies.
Yeah, send the gun.
Our 800,000 members enjoy all types of hunting: whitetail, big game of all kinds (elk, muleys, moose, bear and more), turkey, upland gamebirds, waterfowl and more.
I take it there are no supermarkets near you then? We have an Albertson’s near us, which I find is overpriced and not very good. We go to Koreatown mostly for groceries; you get a lot more for your dollar there I find. And Trader Joe’s is just perfect for those little must-haves in sachets. I find that their vacuum-packed Saag Paneer is just perfect for those evenings when you really don’t want to cook.
You’re exactly the kind of person our Club is looking for.
That’s very sweet of you. I have to say that blowing the faces off of dull, meandering beasts of the field and forest has never really appealed.
And smearing myself in “Essence of Moose Pussy” and crawling around the countryside waiting for a Big Buck to show up isn’t really my idea of a good time either.
However, it is flattering to be invited.
Please don’t delay. Return the enclosed Acknowledgment today.
Okay, I’ll ask The Wife.
PS Start enjoying your membership today by using the FREE gifts I’ve enclosed in this envelope. Use your FREE Hunting License Holder the next time you hunt. Keep your Notepad handy for jotting notes. Display your hunting pride by putting the FREE Big Buck and Club decals in the window of your truck or car.
The Wife said no, but thanks for the notepad. She just gave me a shopping list.
“Saag paneer. Sanitary napkins. Chardonnay. Tofu."
Posted by Arthur King at 9:47 PM
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Babies are Reptiles; ask Jesus, he was Breastfed
by Arthur King
So it’s Easter and I have a six-week old baby to write about (The Wife and her friends are insisting that I blog His Majesty). So I’m going to try and blend the two into one blog. I’ll warn you ahead of time that this is going to get random, and offensive, so if you believe in God – do read on, won’t you?
So it’s Easter and you’ve got your Rising from the Dead to complete the process of your Supernatural Life. It all falls into place at Easter, doesn’t it? Immaculate Conception, followed by Death, then Rising From Death and Life After Death. Finally, you’ve got your Eternity (in a place that sounds rather dull, but you have to be dull to gain entry; so Heaven is a bit like a golf club?). So far, so suburban.
Right, I’ll grant you the Immaculate Conception bit, if only because it isn’t worth arguing over. You can have that. So we’ll assume the Hand of God pointed at Mary, and Mary (poor girl) got really really large and started baking an awful lot of chocolate-chip and blueberry scones and getting up frequently at night to pee.
Next thing you know, Mary’s dad is over at Joseph’s dad’s having a word.
So Joseph had to marry Mary.
I’ve always wondered why. Was he the only available chap? Was the Immaculate Conception the progenitor of an early gay-straight arrangement? Did Joseph say, “I’ll cover for you Mary, but only if Bob can live next door”?
I mean he might have been her boyfriend, but I’d do a runner if my girlfriend told me she got pregnant “by God” and insisted I had to be hubbie. I’m sorry, you won’t even let me sit next to you, but you’re in the Bun Club, you say it was God, and you want me to marry you? Yeah, right. You’re having a laugh, ain’t yer?
Or, maybe Joseph was a bit of a thickie, and you can see I’m just stretching this out looking for a connection here. Maybe he believed that girls could get pregnant if you sat next to them? I think I’ve found my connection, and here’s what it is.
I always wanted to ask Ms C, my Catechism teacher, about all this, but I was worried it might kill her. She was old-school Catholic and did believe you could get pregnant by sitting too close to people: to avoid pregnancy, she’d say, always keep the width of a telephone directory between you. (Because I couldn’t ask Ms C any really good questions, I have no clue what she would have said to my old beau Patricia’s question: “What if he’s longer than that?” But then, what do you say when Convent girls ask such things? Nothing: giggle and have done in my experience.)
Ms C wore only brown tweed, and in a more enlightened age might have been a Women’s Studies teacher. Or openly lesbian. She wasn’t, and there’s a sadness.
Ms C didn’t get pregnant by god, and neither did my wife, at least not as far as I know. Sometime in May 2006 The Wife came home from work at around 4pm. At around 5pm we gazed up at the ceiling together. The sperm charged forward, and the egg, for once, was not otherwise engaged (doing its hair, talking to its girlfriends on the phone, and so on).
Next thing you know, sperm meets egg, sperm buys egg a drink, sperm and egg find a mutual passion for early 60s Britpop, sperm and egg go back to her place, smoke pot, perform oral sex, adopt multiple positions, sperm disappears, egg starts to subdivide (feminists will recognize a familiar pattern in those final moments).
If you’ve ever seen a sub-divided cell it looks a whole lot like, well, a sub-divided cell. It doesn’t look human. It can’t walk, talk or accept your offer of a drink and invite you back to its place for oral sex. It can’t get pregnant or insist on its opinion in stentorian tones after one vodka too many. It’s a sub-divided cell.
According to the Catholic church though, when sperm meets egg, human life is already fully present. Clearly the Catholic elders have not met my son.
He is a full-blown six-week old external foetus. I call him the Reptile among other names. I love him to bits, and he’s mine. But he is a Reptile.
Reptiles need breastmilk
So my son’s a Reptile and he can’t fend for himself. All he can do is cry, pee, barf and poo. Sometimes he can cry so much he goes purple. Sometimes he can do all these things at once, usually when mummy has just gone out for two hours, but that’s another story for another day.
We breastfeed our Reptile, for all sorts of healthy reasons. Like, breastmilk prevents allergies and passes on the mother’s immunities directly to the child; breastmilk alters in composition according to the age-specific needs of the child; breastfeeding helps contract the uterus after pregnancy; and so on. (Baby formula does none of these things.)
So here’s the deal. What you have to realise when you start breastfeeding a child is that breasts, and especially women’s nipples, are very very dangerous. So dangerous, that in Memphis (where my wife is taking our Reptile this summer, hence the interest), a woman breastfeeding an infant over 1 years old in public can be arrested.
I’ve been thinking about why this should be, and I think I’ve come up with a reason.
Savage French Witches Nipples
As we know, Adam and Eve were nudists until they ate an apple. Not sure how that works, but stay with me here, okay? Nowadays, as we know, only Savages and Frenchwomen have nipples. God-fearing Christian American Women (about 84% of the population) don’t usually have nipples. Take a walk through any American city, stare at women’s breasts, I challenge you to find a single visible nipple. This is why they have to feed their babies with bottles. It’s true that a minority of American women (about 16% of the population) do have nipples, but these women are usually Witches. Even if they are not Witches, they are not allowed to breastfeed their children in public after one year, because at that point they automatically become Witches in league with the devil, and Witches Tits can paralyse Christians.
So much for Memphis.
But now I’m really puzzled.
You see, I’ll give you that the Infant Baby Jesus was conceived by the Hand of God (not you Diego, sit down). But you can’t tell me Jesus didn’t eat. In fact, he seems to have done rather a nice line in catering with fishes and loaves.
So, in the absence of Ms C, my old Catechism teacher, could someone please explain this to me: given that Mary lived in Palestine 2,000 years ago (sorry Zionists, but it’s true), and even Nestle was not around then ramming formula down babies throats, surely Jesus was breastfed? If so, did Mary have nipples? And if so, was she a Witch?
Where’s a Catholic priest when you need one? What’s that? Oh.
Right then, off to the pub.
Posted by Arthur King at 10:51 AM
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Letter From Amerika – On Blowjobs, Beckham and Sunsets
By Arthur King
LOS ANGELES – A few years back now, Hugh Grant got caught by the cops with his cock in a prostitute’s mouth on Sunset Boulevard. What has this got to do with David Beckham? Bear with me.
By a delightful irony, Divine Brown, the hooker who gave head to Hugh on Sunset, saw the sun rise briefly on her own film career. The incident got made into a porno, featuring Brown as herself, thus proving that the time-honoured methods are best for entering any profession (in this case, performing sexual favours for someone who’s already in film in order to get into film).
Meanwhile, Hugh got an extreme makeover, becoming a lad with a bad streak. Rather than the sort of chap you’d take home to meet your mother, Hugh Grant became the sort of chap who might jump your mother if you took him home to meet her.
Ironically, the blowjob on Sunset did not prove to be the sun setting on Hugh’s career: on the contrary, mothers all over America were very happy with the idea of getting jumped by Hugh, and as I write this, you can drive down Sunset’s boulevard of broken crack addicts, and Hugh will stare down at you from vast billboards that glitter in the neon night. In the ad for his latest movie, he remains the confused and charming Englishman, in this case exchanging saccharine grins with Drew Barrymore over a keyboard and some sheet music. Of course, we can now imagine him exiting the billboard, getting loaded on something thoroughly evil, and heading downtown for a skanky $10 blowjob. It adds an edge to his performance on screen to know that his is a fully-rounded male character. Frankly, many Americans will tell ya, he had a little too much of the faggy Englishman about him before: Divine’s intervention improved him.
The lesson of all this should not be lost on young David Beckham, who recently announced his retirement to play “soccer” in Los Angeles. And let’s cut through the crap right away: it is a retirement, because Beckham has been a passenger on the international soccer stage for several years. And if we’re being honest, David Beckham has never been a great player: his greatness has always been his ability to make money from his own image.
David Beckham’s LA retirement plan is of course all about money, and that’s what all the principle players mean when they talk about “taking soccer to a new level in America.” They are not talking about raising the standard of the game here, enlarging audiences, or muscling in on the space occupied by other American sports. What they are saying is they think they’ve finally found a way to milk the American cash-cow using soccer.
Milking this America has been the European football dream for at least three decades now, and all attempts have failed. Milking this America inspired the irrelevance that is the penalty shoot-out (it was believed the familiarity would inspire an American audience that always expects a winner); it produced the execrable World Cup 94, played in atrocious midday heat that only through sheer good fortune did not kill a player; and it inspired former FIFA president Sepp Blatter to propose a game of four quarters with larger goals (simultaneously producing more goals, and squeezing in more ads).
This America has resisted all attempts to sell it soccer. For the last 11 years, this America has had Major League Soccer, and has watched attendance at its games remain static. Only two teams have so far turned a profit. But this is the America that David Beckham believes will open up its wallet to his essential masculine appeal, get down on its knees before him, and be forever altered.
You can certainly find a lot of MLS fans who believe that the arrival of Beckham signals a new dawn, not a trick done with mirrors, chemicals and balance sheets. But you can also find a lot of Americans who believe that sending more soldiers with guns will magically make violence disappear in Iraq.
In much the same way, David Beckham may actually believe he is going to change the face of sporting America: after all, he knows that celebrity breeds it’s own celebrity. He’s an extremely good footballer who has made a fortune by turning himself into a brand. He’s huge in Asia, big in Britain, and if Spain doesn’t want him and his charms, well why shouldn’t he be something big in America?
Well, for one thing, American TV still rates American football, basketball, baseball and ice-hockey well ahead of soccer. Come to that, the average Bud-gulpin’ All-’Mercan Nascar fan would probably pick international dwarf-throwing ahead of Man Utd versus Juventus. The sport is not growing here, and there’s a couple of very simple reasons why it never will: firstly, Americans perceive soccer as the preserve of upper-class teen girls or working-class ghetto immigrants; and secondly, it doesn’t feature enough ad breaks.
To understand what’s really going on, and what Beckham’s really getting himself into (and why football will never take off in the US), you have to understand a little bit about the traditions of working-class sport in the US, and a little thing called Title IX.
The traditions of working-class sport in America are simple: they are decided by television. Baseball was the working man’s sport until it was usurped in the 1950s by American football, which is more TV-friendly simply because it follows the classic three-act structure required of all good dramas. Act One: Pan back for the long shot. Act Two: Close in for the snap back. Act Three: Pan out for the play. The End. Cue ads. Come back for the next play, and so on. It’s an advertiser’s dream sport, and advertisers decide what gets seen because they place the money.
Soccer doesn’t offer enough ad breaks, hence Blatter’s dream of a game of four halves. It’s also seen as an immigrant sport and to become American, you have to play American sports with their emphasis on explosive strength, constant scoring, and statistical analysis. There is enormous social pressure placed on each new immigrant group to prove that it has integrated into the mainstream; anything that suggests you are a FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) is off limits to the second-generation immigrant with a powerful need to fit in, which is why soccer has always placed behind dwarf-hurling as a sport of choice.
You play like a girl
As well as being an immigrant sport, soccer in America is also peculiarly an elite sport, a game dominated by predominantly white, predominantly upper-middle class, and more recently, predominantly female interests. Women’s increased involvement in the game stems from Title IX, a federal law introduced in 1972, which mandates that women’s sports at the school and college level must receive equal funding alongside men’s sports. Casting around for a home, women most likely to act on their rights under this new law – the educated and upper class – hit on soccer as a sport to call their own (“This is my game” was the rather parochial slogan the Americans chose when they hosted the Women’s World Cup in 1999).
Women in America do not play American Football, the ultimate male preserve; the players weigh up to 400 pounds, wear body armour, and play in short bursts in controlled patterns that generate enormous quantities of readily digestible statistics. In a similar way, cars must be strong and go really fast, but only round in really enormous circles: even Formula One racing looks suspiciously gay to the average Nascar fan.
Extreme Makeover Needed
Enamoured as he is with celebrity, Los Angeles is a natural home for a man obsessed with his own brand status. Problem is for young David, he ain’t gettting any younger any time soon, and he’s playing an elite feminine sport in a country that will not accept the game as working-class until it gets some time-outs and shoulder pads. Added to that, this country changes its stars every fifteen minutes: Beckham’s going to get confined to the B-list, famed only for his fading beauty, and celebrated for his association with other stars who are fading fast. David’s future, if he’s lucky, is to exist on the edge of a diminishing photo opportunity.
The Hollywood Hills are filled with B-List Beckhams, people who had their fifteen minutes of fame but now are forced to wait, eternally, to see if they can get fifteen more. You see them wandering on Sunset, among the dildo emporia, and the mad homeless, the flocks of beaten tourists, and the bearded trannies wobbling on white high heels. The formerly famous pass by and you wonder briefly why you think you’ve seen them before: they stop, hoping you’ll recognise them. You hurry on. They hurry home to lurk in the hills, hoping for the call that never comes. Occasionally they go mad and make the headlines. Mostly they live on residuals from their former fame.
If he really wants to crack the American market, David Beckham has to do something serious about his image. It appeals to educated teen girls, but it’s completely unintelligible to mainstream America right now, with its penchant for beer-bellied baseball players, Nascar drivers and 300-pound footballers. What Beckham needs is a sex scandal, something grim, sweaty and essentially testosterone; preferably involving hard drugs, a hooker, Sunset Boulevard, and a car chase. Otherwise, and I hate to be so blunt about it, to the average American, he’s just another faggy Brit who plays a girl’s game.
Written February 10, 2007 for publication in The Alternative, Hong Kong
Posted by Arthur King at 12:43 AM
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Germans seek arrest of “shadowy figure” on war crimes charges
By Arthur King
BERLIN, Montag – In a radical philosophical departure, German lawyers filed suit against God for crimes against humanity today. A German state prosecutor has issued a warrant for God’s arrest, on a charge of war crimes committed during the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Under German law, courts can prosecute people for war crimes regardless of where the crimes were committed, or where the individual lives.
The legal suit follows remarks made by U.S. President G.W. Bush regarding his Crusade into Iraq. When asked whether he spoke to his dad before he ordered the invasion, Bush Jr said he spoke to a “higher father.” The term is common code among religious fanatics for God.
Bush has also claimed that "God wants me to be president," and "God speaks through me,” comments made in 1999 and 2004 respectively. However, most damning of all was his insistence that “God told me to strike at al-Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did.”
The team of lawyers considered Bush’s comments evidence enough to file suit against God, a shadowy figure who has never been captured on film, but who commands armies of “God-botherers” across the world.
Fuelled by Armageddon prophecies and unhealthy attitudes towards sex, God-botherers are bitterly opposed to women, women’s bodies, the clitoris, the labias majora and minora, and multiple orgasms. They vehemently dislike the word lubrication, and will go bright red if forced to say it.
They are particularly angry about breasts, and believe that the emergence of women’s nipples in the 1960s heralds the coming of the End Times.
Ordinarily, God-botherers are harmless, despite their remorseless leafleting and the way they harp on about the “Good Times” you can have if you don’t masturbate.
However, extreme sects of “God-botherers” try to push the Armaggedon boat out early, hence their support for the invasion of Iraq, a country they believe could be Satan’s holiday apartment, and a potential catalyst for Armageddon.
Though armed with an arrest warrant, the lawyers now have to find and arrest their man.
Since God’s botherers claim He is omnipresent, technically that means you can bother Him at any time, even in Germany, which does tend to close fairly early.
Some argue that the lawsuits could make life difficult for God, and will force Him to reduce His omnipresence, or face arrest.
However, prosecuting divinities for war crimes has a patchy record according to legal experts, who argue the lawsuit might just be too ambitious. For one thing, no one can agree what God looks like, or how to get in touch with him directly.
Many do not even believe in his existence, and others say that while he might have created Planet Earth, he deserted us a long time ago. Some argue that Dick Cheney is the man Bush refers to as his “higher father,” and since God would not shoot his friends in the face, Cheney cannot be God.
Others insist that, based on their experience of life, he could be.
Posted by Arthur King at 12:52 AM
Saturday, February 17, 2007
US Purchased Iraqi Democräcie from Ikea
Military tries to return product in Burbank, California
By Arthur King
Los Angeles, California – Startling leaked documents suggest the United States administration purchased its Iraqi democracy from Ikea, in Burbank, California, then tried to return it when it didn’t like the way it looked. However, the military lost the original packaging, and exceeded the 45-day limit on returns, which is why it is now stuck in Baghdad.
The product, Democräcie, was a special order, and is said to have cost US$2 trillion. Ikea’s policy is that goods may be returned up to 45 days after the purchase date, provided they are unused and in their original packaging. The invasion of Iraq has now lasted 1,430 days.
Doubt has been cast on the authenticity of the Democräcie documents, but many analysts say they appear genuine enough to have hoaxed the US administration, which would explain the current situation on the ground in Iraq. The documents are published here for the first time.
How to install Democräcie?
The box on the top left of the plans shows how not to install Democräcie, (indicated by the really big X through the middle of the picture). The box directly below it shows an inventory of equipment needed for correct installation. The easy two-step process for installing Democräcie is shown in the two panels to the right. Panel 1 shows a bombing campaign, while Panel 2 shows a successfully installed Democräcie.
An elaborate hoax?
Hörst Hörstenson of Malmö, an architect and expert in Ikea design, claims that while the plans appear genuine, they are in fact an elaborate hoax. “They certainly carry all the hallmarks of Ikea designs,” said Hörstenson. “They cover complex issues in broad brushstrokes, and in no way reveal the incredible complexity or inordinate amount of time required to complete the installation. For example, the Iraqi people are portrayed without religious, ethnic or social complexity. They are one-dimensional stereotypes.
“What is most deceptive about this though,” said Hörstenson, “is that this appears to be the kind of Democräcie plan that was used in Iraq. It was ill thought out, and painted in the simplest of terms. In fact, if you had to define the invasion of Iraq, you would say it was perhaps designed by a 12-year-old Boy Scout; someone who has been taught that violent cleansing methods, like cold baths, are solutions to long-term, complex problems.
"However, the fact is these plans do appear to have been hand-drawn by a 12-year-old. Again, that could accurately reflect the kind of Democräcie that has been established in Iraq, and the minds behind it, but what gives it away for me, what shows me that this is clearly not an Ikea product is this: it is much too simple.”
Hörstenson did concede that the US Administration could have been fooled by the plans, and may have even used them. “Certainly, these plans are not going to convince an intelligent person, but they could easily have deceived these people, particularly because they wanted to believe that you can establish Democräcie by bombing people.”
Few international leaders were willing to comment on the drawings, though Tony Blair did take a typically optimistic view. “If this is Democräcie,” said Blair, “then that is what the Iraqis have. In which case, the installation of Democräcie in Iraq has been a success. Clearly the situation on the ground is Democräcie, and that is what we set out to establish. I take this as very positive news.”
Are the plans genuine? Does Iraq have a Democräcie? Post your comment. Okay, don’t.
With thanks to Andreas, for suggesting this as an Arthur King column.
Posted by Arthur King at 10:37 AM
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Americans building really really big mirror to stop global warming
By Arthur King
Wonderland, Saturday – The US administration announced plans today to put a really really big mirror in space to deflect the rays of the sun and stop global warming. Several senior members of the administration were seen wandering the aisles of Ikea stores late yesterday evening, filling their trollies with bathroom mirror tiles.
The plan is to take all the bathroom mirror tiles into outer space in a special vehicle, called a space shuttle, and to have specially trained people, called astronauts, assemble them into one really really big mirror which will sit outside the earth’s atmosphere and reflect the sun’s rays back into the sun. This will cause the earth’s atmosphere to cool down, which means global warming will stop.
The astronauts, or spacemen, will join the many mirrors into one mirror using Ikea instruction sheets, fiddly little Ikea tools, and weird Ikea screws. Plans for the really really big mirror are being put into place now, since there may be some problems following the Ikea instructions, and the astronauts may need to return some of the mirrors.
“Depending on what time you go to Ikea, it can take a while,” said a NASA official. “You have to line up, drop the mirror off, get a refund on your credit card, then you have to go place a different order for a new mirror. And wait.”
However, while preparations are already under way, the really really big mirror will only be built if it gets too hot to live on Planet Earth; and in his recent State of the Union address, President Bush unveiled his big plan to stop Planet Earth getting too hot to live on: grow more corn.
Bush yesterday also announced a new, top secret weapon to fight the “War on Terror”TM: a super-giant whipped-cream gun. Bush thought of the gun while in his bathtub, and has requested $2 billion to build the weapon in his garage and run tests in his backyard.
In addition to winning freedom in Iraq, Bush claimed the super-giant whipped-cream gun could be fired at the really really big mirror in outer space if the mirror sends too many rays back to the sun, and the sun gets so hot it could maybe even blow up.
Some scientists said that if the gun was used for this purpose, they feared the potential of a vast meringue filled with bathroom mirror tiles falling to earth. However, NASA scientists said that this was not probable, since meringues are traditionally made from egg whites, not whipped cream.
Posted by Arthur King at 1:12 PM
Monday, January 15, 2007
New for 2007, from Dershowitz & Gonzalez! The Neo Con Bible!
Resolves Hundreds of Everyday Bible-related Conflicts in a Handy Q&A Format!
PROBLEM 1: You have a mission to accomplish. You need to kill hundreds of thousands of Muslims in order to define your legacy as president, and simultaneously hasten The End Times. But the Bible says, “Thou Shalt Not Kill!” What can you do?
PROBLEM 2: You need to have hot tamale methamphetamine-inspired anal sex with a cute little rent-boy, but you’re the leader of a powerful Christian evangelical movement, and Leviticus says your bottom must burn in hell if you have anal motel love. Now what? You’re burning up either way, but which way is the Right Way?!!
Now the True Path to God is Illuminated, with the exciting Neo Con Bible, from Dershowitz & Gonzalez! With its handy Q&A style and portable format, the Neo Con Bible fits the needs of even the busiest Public Figure with a Need to Appear Morally Upright. Designed for Busy Hypocrites the world over, The Neo Con Bible tells it like it is now, was then, and ever shall be, with added amendments. This Good Book pulls no punches, as it resolves thorny issues and leads you to the path that’s best for you!!
Use the Neo Con Bible to guide you at school, at work, or while invading oil-rich third-world nations.
Our experts spoke directly to God, and here’s what He said about their problems!
Neo Con: Hey God! Can I kill people?
God: Thou shalt not kill! Unless the person is of another religion (Deut 17:2-7); or, if she’s a priest’s daughter who has become a whore, you know, sleeping around and so on, in which case she should be burned at the stake (Levi 21:9); also, anyone who dreams or prophesies against God, or anyone who tries to turn you from God, should be killed (Deut 13:5); and if anyone, even your own family, suggests worshipping another God, kill them (Deut 13:6-10); and of course, if you happen to find out that a city worships a different God, you should destroy the city and kill all of its inhabitants . . . including the animals (Deut 13:12-15); oh, and kill anyone with a different religion. Did I already say that?
Neo Con: You did, but thanks God! Now about having lava-hot anal sex in a motel under the influence of methamphetamine while being leader of a large Christian evangelical organisation . . .
God: Dwarves are not allowed near the altar of God (Levi 21:20).
Neo Con: What?
God: They may eat the bread of God – both the Most Holy and the Regular Holy Stuff – but they have a defect and can’t come near the altar. (Levi 21:23). Also, you shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin (Levi 19:36).
Neo Con: Oh. Thanks.
God: I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt.
Neo Con: No you didn’t.
God: It’s a metaphor. It’s not meant to be taken literally.
Neo Con: What? None of it?
God: No, none of it. It’s like, you know, a way of being, dude. A path. You’re meant to interpret it and apply it to your life as needed.
Neo Con: Thank you.
God: You’re welcome. And don’t wear wool-linen mix scarves (Levi 19:19).
Posted by Arthur King at 10:25 PM