ORGANISED LYING? No smoke without fire...
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EDITORIAL Have you asked yourself recently what the real cost and effect will be of the (so far) £95 billion bailout of the British banking system and the multi-trillion dollar US bail out? It means that we will be paying off that money through debt and our taxes for the next 20 years or more. Yes, we all now owe the banks lots of money! If there has ever been an opportunity to make a real difference to the mindless destruction of the planet, investment in clean energy, housing and transport, which would benefit everybody not just the banks, then surely it should be now! Bear in mind that the current estimated cost to save the rainforest is £30 billion per year. It is time to educate yourself on how the system works. The lies about 11 September, the economy and the agencies behind the facade. This issue of The Daily Terror includes some articles to get you started, but you have to make an effort yourself. Do your own research and make up your own mind. “If you want to remain slaves of the bankers and pay for the costs of your own slavery, let them continue to create money and control the nation’s credit.” Sir Josiah Stamp (1880 - 1941) “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
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words by Chris Sullivan photography by Djim Masrangar
MUCHO SWASH, LOTS OF LOOT AND A LIBERAL SMATTERING OF EARRING
Bradbury Rawshank was the finest author of his day. He travelled far and wide in search of tales of bloody intrigue. His adventures took him across seas so wild your hair would blow away, over mountains so high your brain would freeze and through deserts so arid your tongue would fall out, before you finally croaked...
On hearing the word pirate, or for that matter buccaneer, one instantly conjures up that ever so endearing image of a chap in kneehigh boots, gold earrings, one leg and an eye patch, singing ‘yo ho ho and a bottle of rum’. But, today, pirates are back in the news, albeit relocated to the Indian Ocean, where Somalian seafaring brigands are making headlines filching massive commercial vessels, cruisers, ships and anything that floats, holding both the crew and cargo to ransom. Recently they purloined an oil tanker full to the gills with £67 million of crude oil, netted some $30 million in ransom and held some 14 ships and 250 crewmembers to hostage. Thus, we at The Daily Terror consider the time is nigh to peruse the history of piracy
because, in truth, we all love a bit of the olde swash. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN The term buccaneer originally described a rather disparate group of individuals, largely from British, Irish, Dutch, Flemish and French stock, whose ranks included castaways, escaped convicts, refugees (both religious and political), escaped bondsmen, maroons (African slaves who had escaped the Spanish) and indigenous Carib Indians. Drawn together by their mutual hatred of the Spanish, they initially inhabited the forests of Northern Hispaniola and eked out a meagre existence by killing and selling the wild cattle and pigs that
freely roamed the countryside. Indeed, the name ‘buccaneer’, derived from the French ‘boucan’, refers to the wooden frame they employed to cure their meat. Unfortunately, the Spanish, in a reckless fit of pique, decided that the buccaneers’ rather unkempt presence was irksome – their very existence on the barren lump of rock, an annoyance – and so attempted to round them up and cart them off. When that failed, they then tried to starve them into surrender by killing and driving away the beasts they lived off. Of course, the end result of such ill advised action was that the once peaceful buccaneers joined together and made a determined effort to steal as much Spanish property as feasible,
kill as many Spaniards as they could and apprehend as many Spanish ships as was humanly possible. In 1630, with the Spanish hot on their trail, they moved to the small island of Tortuga, and banded together under the ‘Confederacy of the Brethren of the Coast’ and soon captured Spanish ships and arms with which they fortified the island. By nature lawless and by inclination violent, they existed under a stern code of discipline and sailed under a set of drawn up articles that were known as the Custom of The Coast. These were written down and religiously adhered to. The first of these rules was the ‘no prey, no pay’ edict, in that the plunder went into one kitty and the booty was shared out according to rank, status and disability pensions. For example, the loss of a right arm would bring compensation to the tune of some 600 pieces of eight or, curiously enough, six slaves, whilst the loss of a finger brought 100 pieces of eight or one slave. Entirely at odds with this rather egalitarian charter was the pirates’ treatment of some of the Spanish. The Frenchman Francis L’Ollonais, who was aptly known as the Flail Of The Spanish, was heralded for his penchant for torturing Spanish captives. He would often tear out the tongues of his victims in an effort to discover the whereabouts of their treasure (not that this modus operandi was that good a move, as they were then unable to tell him) and was once known to have cut out the heart of a Spaniard with his cutlass and then gnawed and chewed on it – no picnic, or maybe it was…? Curiously, L’Ollonais ended his days at the hands of native South American Indians who also made the decision to eat him. Another pirate captain, Dutchman Roche Brasiliano, roasted a few Spaniards over a fire while they were still alive, just because they would not tell him where their pigs were corralled. At other times, he would happily cut off an offending Spanish limb and let said victim watch his own appendage roast. Yet, however excessive many of these barbarities appear, they must be viewed in relation to the times. The Spanish had led the way in the International League of Qualified Torturers, under the auspices of the Grand Inquisitor Tomas De Torquemada. Many of the Tortuga-based buccaneers, such as L’Ollonais, had been indentured slaves on the Spanish plantations and had suffered unbelievable cruelties at the hands of their
captors from whom they learnt the gentle art of brutality. Brasiliano was tortured by the inquisition at Campeche Mexico. Of course, many might attest that the Spanish deserved such treatment. They raped, slaughtered and subjugated millions of un-godly South Americans. Every ounce of gold and silver that travelled through the Caribbean had been stolen from the indigenous civilizations. In the 16th century, to facilitate their empirical zeal when creating plantations and raising the crops therein, they initiated the slave trade from Africa to the New World. Thus your average buccaneer might be regarded as morally intact, as they were indeed stealing from thieves. Favouring small, fast and easily manoeuvred cedar sloops (akin to the small speedboats used by Somalians today) that carried as many as 50 men and 11-14 guns, the pirates were hard to catch, especially as they knew the waters far better than any foreign captain due to their residency in the islands. Lying in wait in some shadowy inlet, they monitored ships as they left port laden with goods and then boldly sidled up to a merchant vessel and attacked. While the English favoured the cannon, French buccaneers preferred small arms and knives and simply shot at the helmsman (ex-hunters, they were expert marksmen), incapacitated the rudder and then swarmed aboard, pistols cocked and knives clenched between teeth. Soon they realised that there was more to piracy than pure vengeance and, sailing on a wave of opportunism, they discovered that a good living was to be had by plundering not just the Spanish but also all who traversed the Caribbean. In fact it was the Tortuga buccaneer who precipitated the bankruptcy of the Dutch East India Company. And, as the word got out, their ranks were bolstered by all manner of seafaring folk such as mutineers and able-bodied seaman captured after an attack and easily coerced to sign the articles. Many of this willing body of men had been press-ganged to sea (some estimates state that 50% of all press-ganged sailors died at sea). They were grabbed from the docks of London’s East End, Bristol or Cardiff only to be encased in a floating wooden hell, made to work every hour god gave them, while the slightest slacking was rewarded with either the cat o’ nine tails or a simple drowning. And then they were cheated of their wages.
Many pirates had been indentured servants who had been kidnapped as children, thrown on a ship and sold. Others were petty criminals or political dissenters, all banished to the Caribbean by the courts to work out their sentences as slaves on the plantations. By the mid-17th century, the British West Indies had become a dumping ground for thousands upon thousands of so-called malefactors (some of whom had only been guilty of vagrancy) that had been sold by their governments to landowners to work the sugar plantations and were subsequently disallowed to return home when they had worked out their contracts. And, lest we forget, it was at this time that the slave trade was in full unbridled flow. It has been estimated that 40% of all pirates were freed black slaves, bound to work in the plantations. In fact, many would have been fearsome warriors captured in Africa (where slavery had existed between tribes for thousands of years) by other tribes and sold off to the white man. To be sure, the pirate community was the only community in the Western world where blacks were accepted and afforded them the exact same opportunities as their white confederates, which, as luck would have it, were many. By 1655, the British had wrested Jamaica from the Spanish and early governors offered letters of marque (papers that legalised their piracy) to buccaneers wanting to settle in Port Royal, just as long as they continued to harass the Spanish and thus aid the vulnerable colony. With a vast harbour able to shelter 500 ships, sympathetic bureaucrats and the perfect location at the centre of the trade routes, Port Royal became pirate heaven. They were able to plot up, repair, fortify and furnish their ships, offload their booty, while satiating themselves with every possible hedonistic distraction available to man and beast. Port Royal during the mid-17th century had more alehouses (41 licenses for ale houses were issued in July 1661), gambling dens and brothels (prostitutes were also herded off to the Indies and sold as indentured slaves) within its confines than any other place on earth. Soon, Jamaica became the centre of buccaneering activity in the Caribbean and therefore the world. One British clergyman sent to administer the ‘word’, came back on the same ship he arrived, saying: “Since the majority of the population consists of pirates, cutthroats and some of the vilest persons in the
Whilst sailing the Sargasso Sea, Rawshank happened upon the most terrible of scenes. Led by Anne Bonney, was a belligerent band of miscreant maidens. Disguised as their male counterparts, this marauding horde pillaged, plundered and violated with archaic ravishment.
whole world, I felt my permanence there was of no use.” In 1664, Sir Thomas Modyford was made governor of Jamaica and landed on 4 June with 700 planters and their slaves, representing the wholesale introduction of a slavery-based plantation economy in Jamaica. At first he tried to subjugate the buccaneer, but when Britain declared war on Spain in March 1665, he began reissuing even more letters of marque. And the pirates certainly made full use of this newfound legitimacy. Soon, the rabid buccaneers ruled the high seas and let the Spanish and Dutch seafarers feel the full extent of their odious wrath, securing the island for the British crown. As the eminent historian Edward Long declared at the time: “It is to the buccaneers that we owe the possession of Jamaica at this hour.” With their newfound wealth, the pirates let rip in the depraved enclave that was Port Royal and engaged in “all manner of debauchery with strumpets and wine”. The aforementioned Roche Brasiliano, a staunch and powerful leader at sea, was said to have lost the plot whilst on land – as the latter day chronicler and pirate butler Esquemeling states: “Being in drink he (Brasiliano) would run up and down the street beating and wounding whom he met, no person daring to oppose him or make any resistance.” Roche was not alone in his endeavours and was joined by a vast mob of tearaways who, as Esquemeling describes: “ Will spend two or three thousand pieces of eight [a piece of eight was about a dollar and is where the dollar sign comes from] in one night, not leaving themselves per adventure a good shirt to wear in the morning…thus upon a certain time I saw one of them of them give unto a common strumpet five hundred pieces of eight, only that he might see her naked. My own master would buy a whole pipe of wine and, placing it in the street would force everyone in the street that passed by to drink with them, threatening also to pistol them if they would not do it.” With legal prey, magnificent booty and the crack at every corner, piracy slipped into high gear with the likes of Henry Morgan, who upped the ante by fielding vast fleets of armed brigands, and so it continued even after the Brits outlawed the tradition. The Golden age of Piracy Curiously, it was peace that heralded the Golden Age of Piracy in the West Indies in
the first part of the 18th century. After the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, even though the European powers lived peacefully, many a legalised plunderer and pillager was left out of work and so they continued their practices without government sanction. Yet even though the situation had changed, one thing did not and that was the articles. Now even stronger and even more enforced, the captain was elected and commanded only due to his abilities in “fighting, chasing or being chased”. He received the same rations as his crew and might be voted out if guilty of cowardice or cruelty. A duly elected quartermaster doled out the booty according to rank (captains, musicians, carpenters and surgeons earned the most) and adjudicated in disputes, while a pirate council comprised of all the crew decided on who to attack and where to go. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls “one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the 18th century”. Moreover, the pirates ate and slept where they wanted. Many of the late 17th and 18th century British pirates were of Welsh or West Country origin, while others were drawn from French, Spanish, Scandinavian, Portuguese and mulatto stock. The average captain would be in his thirties or forties, while most of his crew would be in their twenties. However, among those wanted for plundering off the coast of Virginia in 1699 were: “ Tee Wetherly, short, very small, blind in one eye, about 18; William Griffith, short, well set, dark hair, about 30; and Thomas Simpson, short, small, much squint eyed, about 10 years of age.” By the dawning of the 18th century, piracy on the high seas had shifted slightly, in that the new breed centred on the Bahamas – particularly New Providence – that by 1716 had become a veritable ‘nest of pyrates’, all of whom preyed on the merchant ships travelling to and from Virginia. A new Port Royal, it featured a natural inlet big enough to contain 500 pirate sloops but was too shallow to allow entry to pursuing warships. Opportunist entrepreneurs opened bars, gambling houses and brothels that catered to the pirates’ every need and the craic was had. Subsequently, in 1717, English pirate captains Thomas Barrow and Ben Horn declared New Providence a pirate republic with them as governors, only to be joined by prominent pirate leaders Charles Vane, Calico Jack Rackham, Thomas Burgess and Blackbeard.
And it was here that the pirate caricature came into being as these pirates, while on shore, aped English dandies, adorning themselves with plundered silks, satins velvet and lace, tricorn hats with plumes atop them and silver buckled high heeled shoes. They even took to applying a bit of powder to both wigs and their gloriously battered faces – their scars and stubble cheekily forcing their way out of the flour coloured powder. And then there was the jewellery: the forerunner of bling and as gaudy as any suspect latter-day US pimp or rap star. It featured long hooped earrings, massive rings, pearl necklaces and heavy gold chains with emerald and ruby encrusted crosses that were purloined from Spanish ships on the way back to the mother country. They were once the pride and joy of many a pompous bishop. A total dandy, one of the greatest ever pirates to roam the seas, the teetotal Welsh man, Bartholomew Roberts, aka Black Bart (Barti Ddu in Welsh), dressed to the nines before he attacked any of the 460 ships he so famously captured. And, as one observer noted after Bart was killed in battle in 1722 off the coast of Cape Verde: “Roberts himself made a gallant figure, at the time of the engagement, being dressed in a rich crimson damask waistcoat and breeches, a red feather in his hat, a gold chain round his neck, with a diamond cross hanging to it, a sword in his hand, and two pairs of pistols slung over his shoulders.” But pride comes before the fall, and while Bart’s ending was regarded as the death knell of the pirate, by the end of the 1720s, the Caribbean pirates’ day was almost over. To begin, the Piracy Act of 1721 had delivered a killer blow by extending the same sentences to those who dealt with pirates as the pirates themselves, thus ostracising a whole chunk of sympathisers now petrified of buying stolen goods. To add to this, times had changed – no longer were the pirates attacking Spanish ships that attracted little sympathy, but also innocent merchant ships that plied goods to needy settlers. Ipso facto, as pirate sympathy dissipated, more of the brigands were caught and hanged (44 were hanged in one month in Virginia in 1719), which in turn provoked a whole new level of pirate savagery most ably illustrated by the deeds of Edward Low and George Lowther. These two, as their contemporary Captain Charles Johnson wrote in 1723: “Almost as often murdered a man from their excess
The evil plunderers scoured the seas for unsuspecting travellers, killed the women and subjected the men to horrific abuses of all sorts of displeasure. They would then haul their bounty onto their ship, the Black Freighter ~ the fastest, most feared vessel in the world.
of good humour as out of passion and resentment… for danger lurked in their very smiles.” It was said that the two once lopped off a whaling captain’s ears and made him eat them with dash of salt and pepper. Piracy continued in the Caribbean on an almost daily basis until the 1830s, when the British navy, then at their most powerful, was able to suppress it. But the pirate legacy is still apparent in the West Indies today. Jamaica’s national maxim ‘out of many comes one’ reflects the entirely mixed bag
of nationalities from which the pirates, and as a result the country’s inhabitants, are drawn. And as colour was never an issue amongst these amazingly democratic and egalitarian buccaneer scoundrels, all procreated to create the melting pot that is Jamaica. The pirate captain Henry Morgan attracted a rather large contingent of Welsh, Scottish and Irish pirates. The resulting accent, as well as the fact that many of Jamaicans still have British names (Lloyd, Morris, Mc Gregor, Marley), is a di-
rect consequence of such pirate action. Pirates of note Henry Morgan Born in Llanrhymney, South Wales in 1635, Morgan was the man who pushed the buccaneers and Port Royal to their debauched zenith and took the art of piracy to an altogether different level. After travelling to the Caribbean in 1663 as a soldier (his uncle was Edward Morgan Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica after the restoration of Charles
11 in 1660), in late 1665 he commanded a ship amongst the expedition commissioned by Governor Modyford led by veteran privateer Edward Mansfield to recapture the former English puritan colonies of Providence and Santa Catalina, off the coast of Nicaragua. After the older man’s death at the hands of the Spanish, Morgan took over the captainship of the pirate flotilla and soon carved out a name for himself as a right nasty piece of work. He led his men into battle by example and used
the most extreme methods imaginable to discover the whereabouts of Spanish booty. Having earned both his letter of marque and the nod from Jamaican Governor Modyford in 1688, Morgan, now more ‘privateer’ that ‘buccaneer’, pulled together his 700-strong bunch of mad bastards and attacked Puerto del Principe. That same year, he attacked Puerto Bello at the Isthmus of Panama, then the third richest and most fortified city in the New World, with just 460 men. He routed the garrison and
wracked the inhabitants, to return to Port Royal with 500,000 pieces of eight, a vast cache of jewellery and loot along with 300 slaves, which were then divided according to the charters, with the king and the governor getting their share and Morgan a massive whack. His most daring move was to attack the so-called ‘cup o’ gold’, Panama City – the gateway to the Spaniards’ coveted South America – with 40 ships and 2000 men. He captured the quiet port of San Lorenzo
on the Caribbean side of Panama and then marched for eight days through the jungle to reach the city. Their hopes to live off the land were doused by a Spanish scorched earth policy, which left many having to eat their leather bags and shoes to survive. Once outside Panama and outnumbered 3 to 1 by the Spanish, many of who were on horseback, the ragged and starving buccaneers overcame the city and the wild bulls stampeded towards them. What followed was an orgy of bloodletting, torture and celebration, the like of which had never been witnessed, even amongst the absurd proportions of the buccaneering fraternity. Thus they exited, after blowing up the ancient city, in February 1671 with the princely sum of 750,000 pieces of eight – which in today’s money would buy a minor European principality, lock, stock and barrel – along with gold doubloons, silver bars, gold ingots, pearls and jewellery. Unfortunately for both Morgan and Modyford, England had signed the Treaty of Madrid in July 1671, thus making the Panamanian venture unlawful and both men were somehow arrested and brought back to the Tower of London. The pressure soon relented, however, with King Charles taking particular interest in the pair. Soon, Morgan was in the company of rich young nobles. Being largely perceived as a hero in London, he was then knighted in 1674 and made Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica the following year. On his return to the island, he took his new post far too seriously and was soon instrumental in the capture and hanging of many an old colleague and pirate. But as they say, the lord works in mysterious ways, as within 14 years, on the 25 August 1688, he died of tuberculosis. His huge fortune hidden somewhere in Port Royal (that today would be worth billions) was lost, just four years after his death, along with most of Port Royal in the Great Earthquake of 1692. A case of karma if ever I’ve seen one. Blackbeard Edward Teach, or Blackbeard as he came to be known, was said to have hailed from Bristol, Jamaica or Carolina, depending on who tells the story. A former privateer (licensed pirate) out of Port Royal Teach (or Thatch or Tash), began as a deckhand and, after serving his apprenticeship under Captain Hornigold, was soon given a sloop of his own along with 70 men. He soon re-
placed this with a purloined Dutch gunner that he re-named Queen Anne’s Revenge. A huge giant of a man, Blackbeard struck fear into his combatants by boarding ship with a pistol in each hand, six in his bandolier, black gunpowder smeared around his eyes with lighted tapers attached to his deadlocked hair, while at his back, his Irish drummer banged out a mighty rhythm. Of course it was all PR, as Teach, a great reader of history, knew that striking such fear meant an easy capture, little resistance and a modicum of fatalities amongst his crew. No fool, he realised it was far more sensible to let people go free than kill them and, although he often let whole crews survive, he did, at times, act on revenge for his many colleagues who’d been hanged from the yardarm after helping the British secure and rule the Caribbean. Always the first into the fight, he was entirely fearless and, although somewhat reckless, was entirely unpredictable. His final fight occurred off the coast of Carolina. Teach was trapped on deck with only two men as back up and fought like a demon only to be, as a contemporary reported: “wounded some 25 times, eight of which were made by shot and pistol, and as a result died – fighting till the last”. Undeniably, Teach was a legend that struck more fear into the hearts and minds of the Atlantic traders than any other pirate of the time. Once they spotted the Jolly Roger, they were totally distraught, but as soon as they saw Teach, they were genuinely suicidal. As he once said: “ Whatever hand fate may have dealt us, one thing you must remember... we will not be forgotten.” Anne Bonney and Mary Read Both were crewmembers on board the ship of pirate captain Calico Jack. The two ladies put up a memorable fight before being captured alongside their leader in Negril Bay, Jamaica, everyone else having scarpered. At their trial, to everyone’s utter bewilderment, it was discovered that the two crewmembers who had staged this entirely sensational last stand were in fact women disguised as men. So fantastic was this public revelation, that as Captain Charles Johnson states in his book, The General History Of The Pirates: “Some may be tempted to think the whole story no better than a novel or romance; but it was supported by many thousand witnesses, I mean the people of Jamaica who were present at their trials
and heard the story of their lives upon the first discovery of their sex.” The stories of both Bonney and Read are similar and totally remarkable. The pair not only ended up on the same ship, but were the only two left fighting a courageous last stand onboard, both having only recently become aware of each other’s identity and sex just prior to the fight. It was on board the West India Man, bound for passage to the Caribbean, that Mary Read first came across Calico Jack, Anne Bonney and their pirates. The pirates attacked the ship with Bonney in male attire alongside Calico Jack. Read was said to have put up such a good fight and showed such excellent swordsmanship that she, dressed as a man, was promptly invited to join the crew of buccaneers; an offer that she readily accepted. Both women pleaded pregnancy at their trial and, as a result, had a stay of execution. The poorer and less influential Mary Read, as is the case with prisoners of meagre means, died in the prison at Spanish Town. Bonney, with the help of her influential father, arranged a return to Carolina, not before she was granted one last visit to Rackham, her former sweetheart, who was awaiting the gallows in prison. The meeting was short and to the point, with Bonney chastising Jack, because of his lacklustre and cowardly performance at Negril. She demonstrated a complete lack of consolation towards the condemned man and stated: “I am sorry to see you here, but if you had fought like a man you would now not be hanged like a dog.” MODERN DAY PIRACY Most contemporary observers have, until recently, dismissed piracy as a thing of the past, but the whole ethic is very much alive and sailing and has been for the last 15 years. In the South China Seas, tattooed Oriental pirates peruse the sea disguised as fishermen, preying on unsuspecting tourists attracted to the miraculous sights on the Gulf of Tongkin. More serious aficionados prowl the South China seas in search of ocean going yachts, liners and freighters, stalking and then attacking their victims, employing the an impressive array of sophisticated weaponry left over from recent conflicts in the territory. Once the vessels are brought to bear, the brigands board them and steal the hitech radar and computer systems the ships
In a bizarre twist, the gang of girls mysteriously vanished ~ thought to be lost at sea, or abandoned on a far away island. The only survivor was the cabin boy, Charleston de K端el, who lived a life of luxury from the proceeds of the treasure trove.
employ as part of their everyday existence, along with the not inconsiderable cargo the ships carry. The pirates, to evade capture, then put these highly sophisticated systems to great use. Radar systems have proven to be an indispensable aid in side stepping specialist police squads, specially created to combat the rise in piracy. Much of the booty is the state of the art computer and electronic produce of South East Asia. But these are not the only criminals that earn a living out of piracy per se. In the Mediterranean it is now not uncommon for the luxurious yachts of the rich and famous to fall foul of gun-toting gangs of seafaring thieves. Some board and steal the not inconsequential personal belongings of the owners, whilst the Albanian pirates are to known to attack and kill their prey just to steal their paint and rope. In 1996, the threat of Albanian pirates was dropped right on our doorstep when British businessman Keith Hedley was shot dead whilst aboard his yacht in Gouvia, Corfu. Later in the same year, a Welsh couple were robbed on their chartered yacht by bandits armed with rocket launchers. Italian police have warned of piracy in the straits of Messina, after the disappearance of a yacht and its four-man crew. Putting that in the shade is the disappearance in the South China seas of the tanker, the Petro Ranger, along with its 22-man crew and 11,000 tons of diesel and kerosene. Such is the magnitude of this seemingly archaic problem in South East Asia, that the Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur describes the area as a ‘hotbed’ of activity, with all manner of pirates attacking any type of craft, armed with everything from machetes to rocket launchers. Their advice as far as Indonesia is concerned, is that one should not: “enter or harbour in Indonesian waters, and, wherever possible, employ the services of a vigilant and, if possible, armed guard on deck”. Statistically, if pirates do board you, there is a 30% chance of you and your crew getting killed. Well over half of these attacks occur in this ‘hotbed’, however piracy is on the increase all over the world. This makes a certain kind of sense, after all, the ocean is a pretty big place to get lost in and capture is unlikely. Couple this with the fact that most incidents occur on well-insured cargo vessels, and, as we all know, the police are not that concerned about insured lost property. The prevailing public attitude is that pi-
rates are pests and they engender the full wrath of the law as a result of this public opinion. One recent incident that highlights the pirates’ predicament occurred when the passenger vessel ‘Guia’, returning from Macau to Hong Kong with 129 passengers, mostly weekend gamblers, was boarded by gun toting pirates who relieved the assembly of over £1 million in cash plus a huge cache of valuables. The hue and cry the incident provoked caused a massive manhunt, resulting in the leader of the seafaring posse being caught and executed, no nonsense Malaysian style. For the trading vessel, the future is not so rosy. British captain, Ian Davis of the Petrobulk Racer, was boarded three times last year by pirates wielding old-fashioned 18-inch swords. Davis is rather perturbed, as it seems that no attempt has, or will be made to track down the offending brigands until either he or one of his crew is killed. Many of the pirates seem to be fishermen who, seeing a chance of booty, seize the moment and their victim’s possessions. Earlier this year, the bulk carrier Kenmare was boarded off the Ivory Coast by four knifewielding pirates who threatened the captain and stole... two ropes. “The paint and rope scenario is very common”, says Stephen Saville of the PRC, “and most go unreported as it’s not worth the captain’s while.” On the other end of the scale is big business piracy - the hijacking of entire ships - which is done either with the connivance of the crew, or with a fully manned pirate crew who board the vessel and take over, setting the real crew adrift on lifeboats. The ship’s cargo is then rapidly resold and the ship repainted, renamed and supplied with false documentation. The new owners then set up office in, at times, nothing more than a hotel room and go about their business. These ships are then employed as cargo carriers for a limited number of journeys, before being either abandoned or sunk. On a more normal note, the advice of the PRC to your general holidaymaker on board a yacht is to keep all valuables locked up, be extremely vigilant, particularly in vulnerable areas, and not to attempt any unnecessary heroics. As Saville says: “ Why be stabbed to death over a bit of rope and a few cans of paint?” Somalian Pirates Somali pirates have more in common with the pirates of yore that one might imagine.
Indeed, they employ fast motor powered boats and speedboats that can encircle their prey and disappear without a by your leave and use arms either captured in battle or left over from the many wars that have plagued their region. To add to this, settlements have sprouted up on the coast, just like Nassau or Port Royal, replete with bars, restaurants, whorehouses and gambling dens, while the pirates themselves, in true African fashion, have carved out a tidy little idiosyncratic fashion sense all of their own. Yet, perhaps the most remarkable similarity is that, just as the Brethren of the Coast were born as a result of Spanish aggression and disregard for their waters, so too did the Somalis take to their boats after such alien discount. After the Civil War in the early 1990s left the land ungoverned, thousands of foreign fishing trawlers took the chance to disobey prior regulations and relentlessly fished the Somali waters. If that was not enough, the Camorra (the Neapolitan Mafia) took to dumping millions of tons of nuclear waste in their seas, resulting in an uncommonly high rate of cancer amongst those Somalis living on the Horn of Africa. “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here,” testified Ahmedou OuldAbdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia. “There is also lead and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it. And there has been no clean-up, no compensation and no prevention from any government.” Taking the law into their own hands, the Somali pirates, who now run to an estimated 1000 armed men, joined together and started capturing ships and their crews and holding them for ransom. The most noteworthy of these is the recent capture of the Faina, a Ukrainian freighter loaded with 33 Russian built battle tanks and crates of grenade launchers, anti-aircraft guns, ammunition and other explosives. The leader of the ‘pirates’ that seized the craft, Sugule Ali, spoke recently to a New York Times reporter: “ We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits [‘sea bandit’ is one way Somalis translate the English word pirate]. We consider sea bandits to be those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.” He continues: “As soon as we get on a ship, we normally do what is called a control. We search everything. That’s how we found the weapons. Tanks, anti-aircraft and artillery. That’s all we will say right
now. We know everything goes through the sea. We see people who dump waste in our waters. We see people who illegally fish in our waters. We see people doing all sorts of things in our waters.” Of course, much of the international outcry is precipitated by the fear that such weapons might be passed on to insurgent forces throughout the region. “ We don’t want these weapons to go to anyone in Somalia,” says Ali. “Somalia has suffered from many years of destruction because of all these weapons. We don’t want that suffering and chaos to continue. We are not going to offload the weapons. We just want the money. What we want is US$20 million, in cash for the return of the ship and its cargo. We don’t use any other system than cash.” Now regarded as an international threat, the ‘pirates’ are surrounded by all sorts of global forces – the US navy being just one. “ We’re not scared,” says an unperturbed Ali. “ We are prepared. We are not afraid because we know you only die once. We’re not afraid of arrest or death or any of these things. For us, hunger is our enemy.” Entirely admirable, none of the Somalis’ hostages have ever been killed. In fact, indicative of their treatment of said captives, is that the ‘pirates’ have been known to hire caterers on board to cook spaghetti, roasted meats and grilled fish to appeal to the Western palate, while they also maintain a good supply of cigarettes and drinks just to keep their captives happy. “Killing or harming our hostages is not in our plans,” states Ali. “ We don’t want to do anything more than the hijacking. We interact with the hostages in an honourable manner. We are all human beings. We talk to one another, and because we are in the same place, we eat together. If you hold hostage innocent people, that’s a crime. If you hold hostage people who are doing illegal activities, like waste dumping or fishing, that is not a crime. We are patrolling our seas. This is a normal thing for people to do in their regions.” Who would have thought that in now, over 350 years since the buccaneers first set sail, the world’s governments would be sitting down to discuss a means to combat ‘piracy’. But here we are and it’s big news, yet it appears that the Somalis are in the right, just as the original Brethren of the Coast were. They are fighting against big imperial forces and, to be fair, we at the Daily Terror applaud that.
PIRATE JENNY Lyrics by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill You people can watch while I’m scrubbing these floors And I’m scrubbin’ the floors while you’re gawking Maybe once ya tip me and it makes ya feel swell In this crummy Southern town, in this crummy old hotel But you’ll never guess to who you’re talkin’. No. You couldn’t ever guess to who you’re talkin’. Then one night there’s a scream in the night And you’ll wonder who could that have been And you see me kinda grinnin’ while I’m scrubbin’ And you say, “ What’s she got to grin?” I’ll tell you. There’s a ship, the black freighter with a skull on its masthead will be coming in.
Now you gentlemen can wipe that smile off your face ‘Cause every building in town is a flat one This whole frickin’ place will be down to the ground Only this cheap hotel standing up safe and sound And you yell, “ Why do they spare that one?” Yes, that’s what you say. “ Why do they spare that one?” All the night through, through the noise and to-do You wonder who is that person that lives up there? And you see me stepping out in the morning Looking nice with a ribbon in my hair. And the ship, the black freighter runs a flag up its masthead and a cheer rings the air
You gentlemen can say, “Hey gal, finish them floors! Get upstairs! What’s wrong with you! Earn your keep here! You toss me your tips and look out to the ships But I’m counting your heads as I’m making the beds Cuz there’s nobody gonna sleep here, honey Nobody! Nobody! Then one night there’s a scream in the night And you say, “ Who’s that kicking up a row?” And ya see me kinda starin’ out the winda And you say, “ What’s she got to stare at now?” I’ll tell ya.
By noontime the dock is a-swarmin’ with men comin’ out from the ghostly freighter They move in the shadows where no one can see And they’re chainin’ up people and they’re bringin’ em to me askin’ me, “Kill them NOW, or LATER?” Askin’ ME! “Kill them now, or later?” Noon by the clock and so still by the dock You can hear a foghorn miles away And in that quiet of death I’ll say, “Right now. Right now!” Then they’ll pile up the bodies And I’ll say, “That’ll learn ya!”
There’s a ship, the black freighter turns around in the harbor shootin’ guns from her bow
And the ship, the black freighter disappears out to sea And on it is me.
illustrations by Sichi
THE THREEPENNY OPERA
Dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill’s collaborative musical the Threepenny Opera, set in a marginally anachronistic Victorian London, tells the tale of Macheath (nick-name Mackie Messer or Mack the Knife). It was adapted from John Gay’s 18th Century play The Beggar’s Opera. Mackie Messer is London’s greatest and most notorious criminal. The story starts with preparations for his marriage to Polly Peachum, daughter of the boss of London’s beggars, Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum. The bribery and exploitation that exists in this shadowy world is clearly defined through the menagerie of support characters and extras. Macheath is eventually dragged away to jail, having been turned in by Peachum, who then plans to cause chaos in the city streets by unleashing all his beg-
gars during the royal coronation parade. As Macheath faces the gallows, a sudden turn in fortune is granted in the form of a royal pardon, a title, a castle and a pension. The popularity of the opera resonated throughout the 20th Century. The English translation of the main theme “Mack the Knife”, which runs throughout the performance, was made popular by jazz performers including Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra. It’s constant recycling has led to the loss of the dark tale of the murderous Mack. Another song, Pirate Jenny (see previous page) launched the career of Lotte Lenya and was reinterpreted in 1964 as a civil rights protest by Nina Simone. The opera itself has been translated into 18 languages and been performed more
than 10,000 times, including on Broadway and the West End. At least four films have been made using the characters and structure of the original musical, with various alterations to its political undertones. In 1931, German director Georg Wilhelm Pabst made German and French language versions simultaneously. Another adaptation was filmed in 1962, with additional scenes featuring Sammy Davis Junior added for its American release. The 1990 film Mack the Knife featured Raúl Juliá, Richard Harris, Julie Walters and Roger Daltrey. Mack is set to make a come back in the soon to be released comic book The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume III, written by Alan Moore. Mack will be joined by Pirate Jenny, with new lyrics, to a host of the original songs, written by Moore.
words by Don Eales illustration by Sarah Naylor / www.sarahnaylor.com • portrait by Augustus John
MUSE OF MUSES
Marchesa Luisa Casati was the muse of muses! Like a siren with spells behind her bushbaby eyes, her one time lover, Augustus John, said of her: “The Marchesa ought to be shot, stuffed and displayed in a glass case,” a fate that would have immensely fulfilled this exhibitionist who was the muse for so many of the creative souls of her time. These included Diaghilev, who she fascinated, and TE Lawrence, who she intimidated. Poiret, Fortuny, Bakst and Erte enshrouded her in their most wondrous haute couture, while Arthur Rubinstein was just frightened by her! Epstein cast her head in bronze. Martini scratched her legacy in ink. Jean Cocteau was inspired by her extravagance and, being the Grand Master of the Order of the Priory of Sion, knew all about extravagance. Man Ray - who surpassed himself with photos of this notorious libertine with her ‘bushbaby from hell’ appearance, interest in the occult and menagerie of increasingly exotic animals. On her leisurely walks down the Piazza San Marco she was accompanied by two African cheetahs on turquoise leashes, being led by two shaved and oiled Nubians who held lighted torches aloft. At the cen-
tre of this urban tableau – Marchesa Luisa Casati, her very self, stark naked except for sables and stilettos. Whilst at home, snakes usually prevailed; sometimes entwined around her neck at lavish dinner parties, at other times slithering through her hair. In attendance at her palazzo the Belle Époque’s most wondrous idol of perversity surrounded herself with gilded youth, who catered for her every whim. That dissolute rake of a poet, Gabrielle D’Annunzio, who was her lover and occult assistant for many years, said of her: “She was the only woman who ever astonished me.” Praise indeed from this particular profligate, who eventually turned turtle and renounced his fabled anarchy to become Mussolini’s very own bard. Her hair, like an inferno, her face a pallor, kohl-eyed, with her skeletal form glowing, icily and moonlit, she strode nude through
the night in Venice and attended the ballet in Paris dressed in a gown of egret with peacock feathers in her hair and streams of blood from the slit neck of a chicken trickling in rivulets along her snow white arms. This muse intrigued and captivated the world-shakers of the day in some strange spell that was impossible to either resist or shed. Having spent £35 million of her banker husband’s vast fortune and running up debts of £26 million, she came to London to live in a tiny bedsit in South Kensington, surrounded by beautiful young men and a pack of Pekinese dogs. The world must not forget her – this muses of muses, glimpsing out of the halcyon dark, who died in 1957 and is buried in Old Brompton Cemetery. All pilgrimages are welcomed. Her grave reads: “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite beauty.”
THE BIGGER THE LIE...
Often when there is a great tragedy, there is a call of great conspiracy. Take, for example, the assassination of JFK – was it a lone gunman, a Mafia plot, a Cuban/USSR state-sponsored takeout or a US government coup? Was the royal family the cause of the death of Princess Diana? Were the moon landings an elaborate hoax to ingrain US military dominance into the world’s consciousness? Were the events of 11 September 2001 a big fat lie? We say absolutely they were! We can track back over historical events and piece together crucial evidence that reveals otherwise concealed proof of cover-ups. One famous hidden agenda of the 20th century was the arson attack on the Reichstag. The day after the fire, Hitler asked for and received from President Hindenburg the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended most civil liberties in Germany and was used by the Nazis to ban publications not considered ‘friendly’ to the Nazi cause. Despite the fact that
Marinus van der Lubbe (Dutch communist, charged and executed for the crime but posthumously pardoned in 2008), claimed to have acted alone in the Reichstag Fire, Hitler, after having obtained his emergency powers, announced that it was the start of a Communist plot to take over Germany. This sent the Germans into a panic and isolated the Communists further among the civilians. The Nazis were able to increase their share of the vote, emerged with a majority, a capitalisation
on national security concerns, establishment of the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler the right to rule by decree and, in effect, making him dictator of Germany. The event in isolation isn’t where the conspiracy lies; it is in the reaction to the event. This behaviour of political gain through instilled national outrage is what many conspiracy theorists pertain to when examining the events of 9/11 and the subsequent war in Afghanistan, Iraq and what many see as the establishment of US im-
perialism or further still an international capitalist political empire. Considered by many to be the biggest lie ever perpetrated against the American people, and the world in general, has to be the myth of 9/11. We say myth because in our months of research, we have found documented physical, eyewitness and forensic evidence by notable experts to back up our claims. The immediate after-effects of the attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and Flight 93 would, of course, come under close scrutiny by a nation feeling their basic political principles of freedom and liberty had been attacked. But it is exactly those principles that need to be questioned, whether they were cause of the attacks or the solution in the reaction to the attacks. The political principles of government should have been upheld to stop the attacks from happening or, at the very least, the chain of events leading to the continuation of the attacks on that day. Up until February 2009, there were just over 175 million web pages dedicated to the 9/11 conspiracy. Bearing this in mind, we realise that the job of writing a definitive article about the events of 11 September 2001 could fill volumes. Ultimately, what we would like to see is a criminal case against the Bush administration for genocide amongst its own people. To get the ball rolling, here are 10 key thought provoking points and links. Point 1 In the months leading up to 9/11, it was well documented that the security systems in towers one and two were switched off. Witnesses heard drilling and the moving around of heavy machinery in adjacent offices, which were supposedly empty. When they went to look at these offices, they saw what appeared to be fake walls, which masked the source of the noisy activity. Public records credit the company Securacom (now renamed Stratesec) as being in charge of security at the World Trade Centre (WTC) at the time of the attack. This company was owned by a private Kuwaiti-American investment firm that none other than Marvin P Bush, younger brother of George W Bush, was a shareholder and director of. According to its present CEO, Barry McDaniel, the company had an ongoing contract to handle security at the WTC “up to the day the buildings fell”. Yet instead of being investigated, the com-
pany and companies involved with it have benefited from legislation pushed by the Bush White House and rubber-stamped by Congressional Republicans. Stratesec, its backer KuwAm, and their corporate officers stand to benefit from limitations on liability and national security protections provided in bills since 9/11. Point 2 The buildings were specifically designed to withstand the impact of jet liners. The WTC towers were the first structures outside of the military and the nuclear industries whose design considered the impact of a jet airliner, the Boeing 707. It was assumed in the 1960s design analysis for the WTC towers that an aircraft, lost in fog and seeking to land at a nearby airport, like the B -25 Mitchell bomber that struck the Empire State Building on 28 July 1945, might strike a WTC tower while low on fuel and at landing speed. That the WTC was designed only to withstand a collision with a Boeing 707 that was seeking to land at a nearby airport, and therefore low on fuel, is an obvious lie. Why is it an obvious lie? Well, because if you take into consideration planes that are landing at an airport, then you must consider planes that are taking off, and such planes are fully laden with fuel. Point 3 Building 7 collapsed in a way similar to a classic controlled demolition. It was not hit by a plane or any other missile. Building 7 was the third skyscraper to be reduced to rubble on 11 September 2001. On that day, tenants using the office included the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Secret Service, the New York City Office of Emergency Management and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). According to the government, fires, primarily, levelled this building, however there was only a small fire on one of the floors and fires have never before or since destroyed a steel skyscraper. The team that investigated the collapse were kept away from the crime scene. By the time they published their inconclusive report in May 2002, the evidence had been destroyed. Why did the government rapidly recycle the steel from the largest and most mysterious engineering failure in world history, and why has the media remained silent? Could this have been the command centre for the entire operation, conveniently destroyed during the event?
Point 4 The list of official hijackers contains the name of people that are still alive. The muscle hijackers “picked by Osama Bin Laden” included: Satam al Suqami, Wail and Waleed al Shehri (two brothers), Abdul Aziz al Omari, Fayez Banihammad (from the UAE), Ahmed al Ghamdi, Hamza al Ghamdi, Mohand al Shehri, Saeed al Ghamdi, Ahmad al Haznawi, Ahmed al Nami, Majed Moqed, and Salem al Hazmi (the brother of Nawaf al Hazmi). How can the 9/11 Commission be taken seriously when they refer to ‘hijackers’ that are alive? Point 5 The US military have told a series of totally conflicting stories about why the planes were not intercepted by a US military scramble order. The matter is further complicated by the military ‘exercises’ conducted at the same time, controlled by Dick Cheney from a bunker in the White House, that involved the placing of up to 20 fake hijacked aircraft in the skies at the same time the aircraft struck the WTC. Point 6 There is absolutely no evidence that Osama Bin Laden was involved in any of the attacks. On 5 June 2006, the Muckraker Report contacted the FBI Headquarters, (202) 324-3000, to learn why Bin Laden’s Most Wanted poster did not indicate that he was also wanted in connection with 9/11. The Muckraker Report spoke with Rex Tomb, chief of investigative publicity for the FBI. When asked why there was no mention of 9/11 on Bin Laden’s Most Wanted web page, Tomb said: “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.” Point 7 The Bush and Bin Laden families have had close links for many years. In summer 1971, Osama and Salem Bin Laden enjoyed a holiday in Sweden with some of their 55 brothers and sisters. Yet, within a few years, the two teenagers’ lives had taken stunningly different turns. Osama embraced Islamic fundamentalism and, 30 years later, was named the world’s most wanted man. He is prime suspect in the murder of nearly 7,000 people. Incredibly, Salem went on to become a business partner of the man who
is leading the hunt for his brother. In the 1970s, he and George W Bush were founders of the Arbusto Energy oil company in Bush’s home state of Texas. Shortly after the events of 9/11, the Bin Laden family members who were living in the US were evacuated to Saudi Arabia. The private charter aircraft, under the supervision of the FBI was one of the first aircraft to take to the skies after the ban on commercial flights.
leged chief hijacker Mohammed Atta. The 9/11 Commission’s report stated that the source of funding for the attacks was of little practical significance...!?
Point 8 Mohammed Atta had US$100,000 wired to his US bank account from Pakistan’s intelligence services shortly before the attacks. The CIA and Pakistani intelligence have well documented links going back years. If the 9/11 Commission is really looking for a smoking gun, it should look no further than at Lieutenant- General Mahmoud Ahmad, the director of the Pakistani InterServices Intelligence (ISI) at the time. In early October 2001, Indian intelligence learned that Mahmoud had ordered flamboyant Saeed Sheikh - the convicted mastermind of the kidnapping and killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl - to wire US$100,000 from Dubai to one of hijacker Mohamed Atta’s two bank accounts in Florida. Mahmoud’s involvement in 9/11 might be dismissed as only Indian propaganda. But Indian intelligence swears by it, and the FBI has confirmed the whole
story. Indian intelligence even supplied Saeed’s phone numbers. Nobody has bothered to check what really happened. The evidence that there were foreign governments involved in facilitating the activities of at least some of the terrorists will become public at some point when it’s turned over to the archives, but that’s 20 or 30 years from now. On 10 September 2001, the Pakistan’s daily The News reported that the Mahmoud visit to the USA “triggered speculation about the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council”. If he’d been to the National Security Council, he had certainly met Condoleeza Rice. Mahmoud did meet with his counterpart, CIA director George Tenet. Tenet and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had been in Islamabad in May, when Tenet had ‘unusually long’ meetings with General Musharraf. Armitage for his part has countless friends in the Pakistani military and the ISI. Mahmoud also met a number of high officials at the White House and the Pentagon and had a crucial meeting with Marc Grossman, the under secretary of state for political affairs. Rice maintains she did not meet Mahmoud at that point. Did Mahmoud know when and how the attacks of 9/11 would happen? Did Musharraf know? It’s hard to believe high echelons of the CIA and FBI were not aware of the direct link between the ISI and al-
The then President, George W. Bush
America’s Most Wanted, Osama bin Laden
The after effects of 9/11 continue to this day
Point 9 Amongst some of the only artefacts that survived the collision between the aircraft and the towers, plus the preceding inferno, was Mohammed Atta’s passport. After the planes hit, the WTC towers became an epic disaster, which melted structural steel designed to withstand a hellish temperature of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, incinerated both planes’ cockpit recorders and black box recorders, and vaporised the flesh and bones of nearly 3,000 human beings. The passport of suspected hijacker Mohammed Atta was found intact, in pristine condition, lying on the sidewalk below. Point 10 The heat generated by the impact and explosion of the aircraft on to the WTC was massively insufficient to cause the vast number of steel girders supporting the building to collapse. The internet is littered with video clips and information concerning the heat required to burn the steel in the WTC. Theories, some supported by demolition experts and structural engineers, as to the types of material required to destroy steel in this way include Thermite. It is a pyrotechnic composition, that, whilst not explosive, can create short
bursts of extremely high temperatures focused on a very small area for a short period of time – enough to cut through steel like a knife through butter. The same concerns can be applied to the plane that hit the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93 in a field in Pennsylvania. It is cited in official investigations that the remains were vaporised by the fires. Known technical data of aircraft fires dictates that it is not possible to achieve a temperature to vaporise metal using jet fuel. These and many other points surrounding the 9/11 attacks raise even more questions about the viability of the US government’s actions on that day and their reactions after the event. If the Reichstag event is used as a pattern against which to examine the political reaction, and with examination of prior political activity by the US government with allegiances to those powers they believed were responsible, it could easily be possible to create a multitude of conspiracy theories surrounding what was, undoubtedly, a world changing event. Take into account the following examples, such as the longstanding relationship between US intelligence networks and radical Islamists, including the network surrounding Osama Bin Laden. What exactly is Al- Qaeda? Is it a wellfunded international terrorist network out to destroy western principles that our government so wants us to believe it is? Or is it, and has it always been, a belief system adopted by religious fanatics to bring about a clear divide between the
religious and political principles most apparent in the West? Has the war in Afghanistan dissolved its capabilities or is it still the number one reason for us to fear leaving the house? The record of criminality and sponsorship of coups around the world by the covert networks based within the US intelligence complex and the sponsored attacks on their own people, fabricated the “cause for war”, created (and armed) their own enemies of convenience, and sacrificed their own citizens for “reasons of state”. Was 9/11 an update of the Pentagon-approved “Project Northwoods” plan for conducting self-inflicted, false-flag terror attacks in the United States, and blaming them on a foreign enemy? This is a system that was developed in the 1960s for propagating anti- Cuban and anti- Communist sentiment among the American people. What has happened to our principles of freedom? Have the after effects of 9/11 been exploited by governments worldwide to diminish our freedoms, uphold a questionable political agenda that works against the principles of freedom, establish new orders of political dictatorship, where the system is the power rather than single a figurehead leader, slowly erode our understanding of freedom and alter the rights of the people? Have government leaders, possibly unwittingly, used the Reichstag pattern to impose their political belief system? The war in Afghanistan was the first major military action in direct correlation to
FURTHER READING Complete International Archives of September 11, 2001. www.september11news.com
Explore the collection for stories, images, emails, documents, sounds, and videos of September 11. 911digitalarchive.org The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission), an independent, bipartisan commission created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush. www.9-11commission.gov
Educating about 9/11 Truth. Portal of the September 11th research community and truth movement. Staff members have accumulated vast practical experience in investigation and in campaigns for education, visibility, media, lobbying, street action and litigation. www.911truth.org Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy theories and Controlled Demolition Myths. www.debunking911.com To help people to understand what really destroyed Building 7. www.wtc7.net
the ‘war on terror’. The immediate purpose of the war was to remove the Taliban, whom it was perceived were sheltering the key-players of the Al- Qaeda network. The war in Iraq began as a military strategy to remove those infamous “weapons of mass destruction”. When no weapons were found, it became a military campaign to topple Saddam Hussein and bring about that infamous “regime change”. For what reason? Was it for a declaration of democratic achievement, or for financial control of oil reserves? Both these ongoing military assaults have been used as an initiator for terrorist attacks in Bali, Madrid, London, Pakistan, Indian and Indonesia, to name but a few. Without doubt, the events of 9/11 are interminably linked to the subsequent atmosphere of fear that propagates today’s society. It has to be accepted that the attempts to obliterate the proponents of terror have failed. It has to be understood that the governments we most accept as upholding the principles of freedom have failed. It needs to be time to stop all conflicts in foreign territories where wars are unwinnable and governments that profit from war are held accountable for their actions. It is time to end the terror. As Hitler said: “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one.”
Zeitgeist, The Movie’ and ‘Zeitgeist: Addendum’ were created as Not-for-Profit expressions to communicate what the author felt were highly important social understandings which most humans are generally not aware of. www.zeitgeistmovie.com News and archives on the events surrounding 9/11. Also examines the state of the world after 9/11 with news and information on civil liberty, globalism and the environment. Created by broadcaster Alex Jones. www.infowars.com/category/ september-11/
available at A Child Of The Jago, 10 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3NT
TERRORIST COLLECTION 2009
Threepenny Opera Jacket
Napoleon has become a worldwide cultural icon who symbolises military genius and political power. So what better way to pay homage to the Emperor than adorn yourself in this cotton jersey with fitted front flap and rubber buttons. Available in blue (shown above), black and red colourways.
The stylistic vision of Bertold Brechtâ€™s 1931 film version of the story of Mackie Messer (aka Mack the Knife) is strongly represented in the costume design. Terrorist have put together a 21st Century reimagining of the lead character with this sophisitacted, fully tailored, one button jacket.
Available in Milkman blue or Ice Cream Man pink, two varieties of the workers jackets have been created. Forget the economic hardship and look like a true worker. Heavy duty cotton, oversized pockets and accompanied by a workers hat (available in original or customised versions).
Terrorist have come up with two new hooded jerseys. Emblazoned with their signature Apache print design, the first (left) is a 100% cashmere hooded jersey, made in Scotland by Lochcarron, available in a variety of colourways (see swatches below). The second version (right) is 100% cotton and 100% reversible with an oversized hood to hide or reveal your identity. Both are the perfect accompaniment to the Apache pants (see The Daily Terror, issue 1) and Geronimo t-shirt.
above: Cashmere swatches left: Cotton swatches
words by Mark Donne
LIBERATION FOR SALE
Shopping, the non-accidental opiate of this generation and the marrow of a culture of turbo-consumption has always carried radically different connotations in East London, as opposed to any other English district. Its structures; the inns and delineations of land that currently and historically have formed shops within its honeycomb of streets are distinctive and live. Upon visiting Spitalfields when researching the “Shops of the Ghetto” section of his work “In Alien Land”, Victorian scribe George R Sims wrote giddily: “The younger are well dressed, with a tendency to brilliant colours and the “Paris fashion” that is displayed in the gay millinery shops of the Ghetto” And to even more vivid retail texture and tale: beneath an emulsified autumnal London sky one hundred and thirty years ago – the precise date still remains in question – Charles Jamrach opened the reinforced teak trading doors of Jamrach’s Emporium; his unique repository of natural exotica, to a fresh day of trade. The emporium offered captivated punters the opportunity to liberate live alligators, tigers, elephants, monkeys, birds of paradise or even a vessel of telescope fish from Shanghai. In its back recesses, wide eyes were offered fine china, armoury, inlaid furniture, idols and implements of savage warfare. On the particular day in question, to the stupefaction of passersby, a heavily streaked adult Bengal tiger, having freed itself from its crate at the front of Jamrach’s cove, strolled up towards Commercial Road glancing at the various displays presented by hung-over costermongers. In anticipation of lunch, the beast snaffled a curious child and with the boy petrified and trapped helpless within its jaws, sought out a quiet location to dine.
Generational repetition and the embellishment of urban mythology dispute what followed; some claim the boy was freed from certain death by a brave coffee-stand keeper, aided by a supportive medley of rushers in; others are recorded as saying that the boy was killed by a miss-struck crow bar during the frenzied struggle. No matter. What is certain is that the combination of stoicism, generosity of spirit and active reaction from a community to impending emergency united in an attempt to fend off peril and to subsequently guarantee that the Emporium was allowed to prevail, unimpaired by authority. The Jamrach episode remains anecdotal yet highly symbolic; the East End and its people are synonymous with a taste for the unique, the exotic and the spectacle well in advance of all metropolitan cousins and boroughs. Concord in diversity to the extent of violent defence of their own minorities when threatened, political fervour over and above the hubris of the political and ruminating classes and most notably, a prevailing sense of liberty and originality in existence are also accepted characteristics. In fact, for consecutive, tumultuous centuries, the East End collective psyche – forged in the memory of oppressed Huguenot weavers of astounding craft and Sunday markets of shriek and flair - has worn and vanquished the rash that accompanies social, cultural and political change with kaleidoscopic, motley charm. Present day pavement patch boot grids, emergent designer boutiques, hives of idiosyncratic club nights and nascent musical stirrings in disused sweatshops stand on the shoulders of cultural giants such as Music Hall, the penny dreadful, the Club Row bird market and lascars eastern paraphernalia and food stalls.
And as the singular personality of the area, its heart and senses, its frenetic trading areas and its constantly biting political debate have developed and evolved, so new layers of tradition have fortified around its trunk. Where Dockers once rioted for a fair days pay, cleaners and hospitality workers have now united in their war to secure a living wage within the plate glass citadels of Canary Wharf. And within the same ancient parishes where Mosley’s fascist black-shirts were told by assorted locals “No Paseran” or “ You will not pass”, young musicians came together last year to perform a free gig to send an identical message to the aspirations of the BNP. From romance to reality, are these elements inter-connected? Few would argue that independence of mind is hot-housed when our environs are diverse, our opinions well aired and our identities defended. That concentration and combination of factors remains hard wired into the contemporary east-end. It must be possible that from those critical conditions new ideas and thinking – couched in a terrific history – can prevail. In these stifling times of corporate/ cultural homogenisation and the failure of the political classes to inspire or even safeguard fundamental rights, it is the political element that is arguably more imperative than ever before. As novelist Jack London inked from his Middlesex Street hovel: “Society grows, while political machines rack to pieces and become `scrap.’ For the English, so far as manhood and womanhood and health and happiness go, I see a broad and smiling future. But for a great deal of the political machinery, which at present mismanages for them, I see nothing else than the scrap heap.”
An interview with Mickey Rourke by Chris Sullivan photography by Niko Tavernise
GETTING OLD AIN’T FOR PUSSIES
Mickey Rourke has already won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and 15 critics circle awards for his heartrending performance as fiftysomething has-been wrestler Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson. One of the finest onscreen performances in years, it tells of the disenfranchised, the lonely and the lost, and is simply astonishing. Of course, Rourke’s own personal life has paralleled that of his subject. He was the biggest, grooviest star in Hollywood during the eighties and could command millions for a role. He cut the mustard with films like Diner, Rumblefish, The Pope of Greenwich Village and Angel Heart. And then it all went to pot and he lost everything in a sea of over-excess and downright belligerence. Remarkably, his answer was to return to
his first love, boxing, and so stepped back in the ring in his mid-thirties, turned professional and battled it out some 12 times, winning a million dollars for his troubles. He retired undefeated only eight fights away from a world title shot. An uncommonly humble and enormously honest man, interviewing him was not a chore, it was indeed, an absolute pleasure. This interview was conducted in person at Blake’s Hotel on 27 October 2008. Chris Sullivan: Congratulations on your performance. It really hit the spot for me. I really felt for your character. I am now 48 and in many ways can really empathise with Randy (Rourke’s character in The Wrestler). I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house at the end of the film – me
included… Mickey Rourke: Yes. As Bette Davis once said: “Getting old ain’t for pussies.” CS: And you should know – not because you’re that old – because you’ve certainly been through the mill and back. When your phone first stopped ringing what did you think? MR: Well you never know exactly why – maybe the guy is getting a hell of a blowjob. CS: Well that is what we all hope for anyway. Was this role a gift from god for you? MR: Well that would be a good way to put it. Yes, certainly a gift from god. First of all, with me, I’ve always been as good as the directors I’ve worked with. I mean, because
where I have problems is if I take a job and go through the motions because I have to pay a bill or two, or I got to work on material I don’t care about, or with a director I have no respect for or don’t like. I’d heard about Darren Aronofsky for some time and I did some research and heard nothing but the best. It was the way people talked about Coppola in the early days – very intellectual, very innovative, he is his own man. And even though Hollywood wants him to do the big budget stuff, he does his own thing, beats his own drum and hangs his balls over the fence. Everyone has the highest regard for him. Then, when I met him, he was all everyone had said about him. He held his finger up and said: “Nobody wants me to do this movie with you as you’re not a star anymore and you fucked up your career for 20 years.” “Okay,” I said, “I heard that one.” Then he said: “Listen, if I get the money to do this, you’re gonna listen to everything I say, you’re gonna do everything I say and you are not going to disrespect me. Also, I can’t pay you.” And I thought, well you got balls to say that – this is my kind of man. CS: But the last time we spoke, you said you were living on $200 a week and so who else could have played this man? Few have been through what you’ve been through. MR: Oh yeah. Reading the script was like: “I hate this. I hate the man – what a piece of shit.” It was painful but I stepped away from the character for a while and thought about it. Darren wanted me to do the movie initially, but the money guys didn’t want me, so they replaced me with a movie star. Then something happened between Darren and him and next thing, we were talking again and I was back in. Also, there was fear because when I read the material, and then met Darren, I knew he was going to make me work and make me go to some very dark places and it would be very painful, both emotionally and physically. I had to put on the 36 pounds of muscle over six months, which was going to be a lot of hard work. So at first I really didn’t know if I wanted to work that hard, for that long, for free. But the bright Mickey, not the stupid Mickey, said to me: “ With this kid, you’d better go to work.” So when the part came around again I was like: “Oh fuck yeah, let’s go!” And then there was a lot of material that
Darren wanted me to rewrite – like the stuff with Evan and all the personal stuff at the end. But it wasn’t that difficult for me to write for Randy, as I had been there myself. Darren gave me the courtesy of allowing me to rewrite my role myself, which was very gratifying. There was a lot to add. I would say that I am a pretty instinctive guy and knew that Darren was the real thing. He told me that I was to do my own stunts, with no stuntman at all – diving off the ropes and all that wrestling stuff. He asked me if I knew what gigging is – that is when they hide a razor blade in their bandages and they cut themselves and make themselves bleed. Then he said he wanted me to do that. And I thought, “Fuck off, I can only hurt myself when my woman leaves me,” you know. And so the day that we had to do it, I had to cut my forehead with this little razor blade. It was quite hard because I was not upset about anything. But I had committed to do it and then he said: “Listen, you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to – we’ll get around it.” So I was like, “Fuck that let’s do it.” But it was wild. And as we shot it very quick, it took just five and a half weeks, he decided to shoot it in a very objective way – almost like a documentary – watching someone’s life with a handheld camera and that helped a lot, as it was very quick. We shot a lot of the wrestling scenes in real gyms and at real wrestling events, and after three months of training as a wrestler, some of the moves that we incorporated were added, which were very difficult. Thank god I was able to nail them because at times there were 3,000 people watching. CS: And talking of nailing, what about the hardware bout with the guy with the stepladders and bug spray? MR: The hardcore stuff ? That guy was actually putting staples in his head with a real heavy-duty stapler and all the scars on his back were real. That hardcore stuff is pretty crazy and was a total surprise to me, as I hadn’t seen a wrestling match in years. But there is a real big underground scene. CS: I must say a lot of people are saying you must win the Oscar and the only thing that stands in your way is that you pissed people off. Who did you piss off and how? MR: Oh my god, I pissed everyone off and it was very easy to do. At one point it came
easy to me. But I feel that I had certain things that happened to me in my childhood that I kept with me. I came from a very violent background and that was a way of life. So I became very hard – harder than I had to be maybe – you know you walk down the street and someone looks at you for maybe too long, then it’s on. And for years I was proud of that and I was also trained as a boxer. If you were going to go with me you’d have to be prepared for a battle and I didn’t care if you were two feet taller than me. What happened was, that the strength that I built up was the armour that became a weakness. All that rage and anger caused me to lose everything: it pissed everyone off. I lost my wife, my house, my money, my name and my career. Nobody really knew just how broke I was. I was paying $500 a month for a one room apartment with a yard for my dogs. A friend used to give me a couple of hundred of dollars a month just to feed myself; just to buy something to eat. I’d be calling up my ex-wife and crying like a fucking baby. People said I should go talk to a psychiatrist and I went for five years, for three days a week, to talk to this man and had no money to pay him and eventually owed him $60,000. But he said to me, because he worked with a lot of Hollywood people: “I know you’re the kind of man who will pay me eventually.” Steve stuck with me and I worked very hard and I have to admit that I went there. It was the final straw when the old lady left; I fell apart. CS: What happened there? MR: Well I really loved her [He touches a tattoo on his arm with her name on it], but we were like fire and fucking fire. I waited for her to come back and then when Joey (Rourke’s brother) died, I gave up. CS: And that was a turning point? MR: At the end of the day, everything was gone and I was left in a room on my own. Then one day I walked past a mirror and saw myself and I was like, “Holy shit!”, because I didn’t realise how I looked. It was no wonder people were scared of me. I looked like a madman and I didn’t want that anymore. That day I didn’t want that anymore because I had nothing, but I didn’t want to change because it was like, “Change into what?” I was glad of who I was in a way. I
just took it too far. But I’m a proud man. I’m a man’s man, I’m an old fashioned man and that’s the way it is. But I was hanging around with all the wrong people.
know any better. I worked really hard to change. I am not angry with anybody and I am now grateful for the second chance. CS: Well you seem a lot happier than when we last met five years ago. MR: Shit yeah! [He raises his eyebrows and sighs]
CS: I remember I met you with your brother Joey when he had the motorcycle shop. I was hanging out with Billy Idol and Steve Jones. MR: Are you kidding me? Jesus! Billy’s manager would allow him to hang out with me. CS: Christ that’s saying something… MR: Oh I know… I was off the map. But Stevie Jones, he’s a good man. Apart from the few who are still great friends, Mick and Paul from The Clash and Joe Strummer, god rest his soul – they were my guys. And we had a great time, but I was going through the motions for the first few months and I kept thinking how am I going to change? If someone looks at me or gives me a hard time, what am I going to do? But I realised that the strength I had was a weakness and I also realised that I had made myself that way to deal with a feeling of abandonment and shame. A lot of it began when I was a little boy – as it is a lot easier for a proud man to feel tough and feared than smallness and abandonment. And, I didn’t know why my father abandoned me and never came to see us. I didn’t know why my mother married a physically and mentally abusive cop and let things happen to Joe and me and never did anything about it. I don’t want to talk about those things. But all that was quiet for years; and when you’ve had enough of being quiet for years, it comes out eventually. Not vocally, but in a different way and with me it was my belligerence. I blamed everyone in Hollywood and I made him or her into this authority figure that had beaten me with a stick and it wasn’t their fault. I spent so long studying really hard to become a fine actor and then I threw it all away and I didn’t understand why. I threw it away, but it was probably because I got the adulation and the fame but it was like: “ Where were you when I needed you? I’m a man now I don’t need you.” I needed someone to go fishing with. You know [he stops and wipes a tear from his eye] I tried to protect Joe, not when I was little kid as I was too small, but when I got older I did [stops and sobs] because, even though I was just a year older, I really felt like his
CS: And, to be fair, your rise was rather meteoric and the adulation you received was intense. You were the hippest thing since sliced bread. I used to see you in Paris and it was like seeing Elvis – they loved you. Coming from the streets, that is hard to be able to deal with – and you had the hippest films. MR: And I also stayed up for seven days on the run. CS: Well there is that. MR: And that was seven days without the gear. CS: Christ I can’t stay up past 11 o’clock these days! MR: [Laughs] Me neither. CS: I read that you said that acting is no job for a for a man, but in The Wrestler what you’ve done via acting is prise open and expose all the difficulties there are in being a man and that is very brave. MR: I really regret saying that. It is a man’s job. The man that said that was masking all the pain inside. I was saying anything I could say to piss anyone off… I said it.
dad, ‘cause we were extremely close and I looked out for him. CS: What about your mother? MR: She got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three months ago and she doesn’t remember what happened, so now I’m OK with her. But I was angry with her for my whole life, maybe because she turned her back on it. She was supposed to be responsible for Joey and me and she wasn’t – she let it all happen. And it happened for a decade. It was easier to just get mad than to deal with it. I was kind of 50/50 about her until around two and a half, three years ago, when Joe died and, as he always blamed her, I stopped talking to her. All of these things have made me realise why I pissed people off. I did and I regret it, and I didn’t
CS: Is that why you went back to boxing? MR: I went back because of shame. I was a really good amateur and took a year off due to early concussion – really bad concussion. I was supposed to take a year off, but never went back and accidentally went into acting. I regretted it because I loved it so much and it was so natural for me. I was in the gym for so many years. I grew up in a gym in Miami, same gym as Ali, Angelo Dundee, you know. I was very lucky because I had power in both hands. I was good at it. I was a boxer before I was an actor; I started at 12 or 13. I was an amateur for seven years, and then I stopped. I had 142 amateur fights and lost three. When I came back, I was a super middleweight, light heavyweight – a different fucking ball game. I was only going to have one fight, but that never happened and
I carried on and, after the twelfth fight, I started to have the problems with my memory and my balance and the neurological stuff. But I wanted to have one last fight. Luckily, I got out when I was still relatively intact. I was three fights away from a title fight and I will never know what would have happened. I had already turned 40 and was fighting guys 20 years younger. But I had a great trainer in Freddie Roach and I was sparring with James Toney and Roberto Duran and a couple of Panamanian guys. Let me tell you, I didn’t lose any pro fights but I got my ass properly kicked every day in the gym. James kicked my ass for 18 months. He shattered my cheek, but now I look at him as the guy who beat Holyfield and think, hey, I am not so bad. CS: But not the usual career-path – boxer, A-list actor and boxer again? MR: Acting wasn’t planned. It was very odd, very hard at first. But after time, once you figure it out, it’s enjoyable. When I loved acting I was at the Actor’s Studio, because it was all about the work then. Either you were a great actor or you sucked. CS: Which boxer did the most damage to your face? MR: James Toney – I had five operations on my nose and one operation on a smashed cheekbone. I had to have cartilage taken from my ear to rebuild my nose, as I had none left and, even today, I still cannot feel the tip of my nose. The worst thing is that my hands shake because when you break the fourth or fifth metacarpal, you must bang it up. The short term memory stuff only affects me when I drink and I have no problem going up stairs, only when going down. [He sees that my teacup is empty and picks up the teapot] MR: More tea? CS: Yes please. MR: Milk, sugar? CS: Just milk. [He pours tea and milk into my tiny bone china flowered teacup] MR: Yeah where was I? [laughs] No, but my memory is bad when I drink …oh yeah. CS: And the surgery – what happened there? MR: Well, most of it was to mend the mess
of my face because of the boxing, but I made a few mistakes there and went to the wrong guy to put my face back together. CS: When did the downturn with the career begin? MR: After I did my best work. It was around Angel Heart. While I was making the best movie, Angel Heart, I was out of control. I didn’t think the party was going to end. The motorcycles, the nightlife, the pussy, you know, it’s all... blinding. It’s blinding to have enough money to stay in any hotel you want, buy any car you want, take all your entourage out to dinner. You don’t think that’s going to end and when it does, it’s real scary. I surrounded myself with a bunch of retards and idiots, guys from the street, and it brought me down, because they were goofballs and villains and stuff. I allowed myself to get very proud and angry because I could do the acting. I didn’t have any fear of falling. I thought, I’d have to be dead not to fucking work. And that’s wrong, because it was a poor judgement on my part, very arrogant on my part, because it’s a business. And I refused to see it that way. I wasn’t equipped or educated enough to see it as a business; that I had to take care of the shop. I didn’t see that I should have taken this commercial movie because it would have made $200 million, but I should have. That would have given me the juice to do the other stuff that I wanted to do. I always say that this is the second act of my life – the first act was fucking crazy and now, in act two, I’ve learned. If you’ve got the guts and the desire and the talent, the first time around is pretty easy. The second time around it’s murder. How many guys make it round the second bend? CS: What is your advice to a young actor? MR: I don’t think I’m the man to give advice, but I would say that you have to play the game. And if I ever said anything different, that was the stupid crazy Mickey talking. It is a business with a lot of money at stake. A game with proper rules. But I will not make my mistakes again. I will not trip over myself twice. [The publicity lady walks in and calls the end to the interview. But Mickey is having none of it. “I ain’t finished talking to my friend,” he says.] CS: But if you hadn’t done all that you might not have had the goods to deliver this performance.
MR: That is so true. God works in mysterious ways. I had to learn my lessons the hard way for a higher reason and I feel very, very thankful and blessed that I have been given a second chance. And it was very tough the second time around, very hard work. One thing I do know is that I will never return to my old ways, as that is a very dark place to be and I never want to go back there again. A lot of people never get back out and a lot of talented people too. Oh yeah... CS: And you’re back – all guns blazing. MR: Yeah and Axl Rose helped us by allowing us to use “Sweet Child Of Mine” and my old friend Bruce Springsteen wrote a song especially for us – what a nice thing to do. But things are looking good and the offers are not flying in, but they’re coming. A lot of people have seen that I have put the work in and redeemed myself and have learned to be accountable for the hell I caused. I am just grateful that people are judging me for the man I am today and not the fool I was yesterday. CS: Are you happier now then? MR: I am not a peaceful man. This thing with my brother still causes me pain, but that comes with age and I don’t know if I will ever get over it, but I am trying...
Fantastic Resurrections Lazarus’s was pretty good. Obviously, Jesus was very famous for it. An interesting but lesser known resurrection was Edward G. Robinson. The Hollywood actor built up a significant art collection, especially of abstract modern art. In 1956, he sold it to Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos to raise cash for his divorce settlement with Gladys Robinson; his finances had suffered due to underemployment after Hollywood’s anti-communist period in the 1950s. He eventually fought his way back to the top and purchased back all his art. Robinson was never nominated for an Academy Award, but in 1973 he was awarded an honorary Oscar in recognition that he had “achieved greatness as a player, a patron of the arts, and a dedicated citizen”. Gary Glitter’s come back however was less successful.
Mystery, sexuality, decadence, deep layers of sorrow, raw tenderness and obscure romance, desire and more desire, death versus life, bestial lust: these are all elements of the photographic works of Cornelie Tollens. Published in November 2008, Hard Love is the latest photographic collection of provocative images from the Dutch artist. Beautifully designed and totally in line with its title, each page is filled with an enlightening and revealing surprise.
An interview with James Chance (aka James White) by Chris Sullivan
He’s almost black... Damn nigger’s white!
(Lyrics from James White and The Blacks’ track Almost Black rel.1979)
When James White (aka James Chance) took the bull by the horns 30 years ago and fused strident New York punk with rocking funk and a peculiarly erudite jazz mentality to create the legendary album Off White, featuring the great disco free form of Contort Yourself and the inimitable jazz sleaze of, Stained Sheets, he made history. It was an album that influenced a generation of style mongers who saw that caucasians could actually deliver their own special brand of off-kilter frenetic sawbone James Brown/Ornette Coleman influenced funk and still feel proud. It was as revolutionary and as influential as punk itself and spawned 30 years of rhythmic experimentation. Now, still doing the rounds playing a predominantly jazz set, Chance lives in New York’s Upper West Side - where I went to meet him for a cup of tea and a chat. JC: My original name is Siegfried. I was born on the same day as Hitler on 20th April 1953 and I was brought up in a middle class Milwaukee suburb. The first record I bought was Wool Bully by Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs, but I loved The Stones, Spencer Davis and The Yardbirds - all that
black influenced British rock music, which is better than all the rock you see now. I also loved The Young Rascals and Count Five, and Question Mark and the Mysterions. I first got into jazz and horn players through, Blood, Sweat and Tears. Then I started tuning into this college radio station that got me into Coltrane’s Love Supreme, Thelonius Monk, Charlie Mingus and Charlie Parker. I’d been playing piano - as it was taught to me by nuns from the age of seven - but it wasn’t working out, so they took me to see this old guy in a jazz shop who taught me jazz standards like Nearness of You and stride piano. Then I got into free jazz and took Thelonius Monk as my ideal. How did you end up in New York? JC: Well, in 1976, I left this Milwaukee college and met some Detroit guys who were into MC 5 and Pharaoh Saunders, and they had a band called Monkey Lust - maybe the first punk jazz band ever - but they didn’t have an electric piano, so they gave me a saxophone. One day we did all these hallucinogenic mushrooms and played on campus and there was this huge riot against the Vietnam War; and we all got tear-gassed. Af-
ter that I decided I could not do any straight career, no nine to five. It was music for me. Then I started with this group called Death, which started out as a Stooges/ Velvet Underground cover band and I played sax for them. And then the singer killed himself, so I moved to New York. Was it all kicking off punk style when you hit New York? JC: I saw these ads for CBGB’s in The Village Voice, with tiny pictures of the Ramones and the Heartbreakers and that intrigued me. Punk in New York then wasn’t punk like the English punk rock, in that they weren’t all like the Ramones .You had bands like the Talking Heads and Television, all of whom had their own style. I liked Richard Hell and the Voidoids and Suicide. But most were too conservative for my tastes, although I was impressed that each had their own style in both fashion and music – not like in Britain where everyone slavishly followed the same formula. But when I moved to New York City, I really wanted to be a great jazz musician. There was this real free improvisational jazz thing called loft jazz with Lester Bowie, Joe Bowie and David Murray, who
I took lessons with. It was really hard for a white guy to make it on this scene, as all the white guys tried to talk like black guys, which got them no respect at all. They just seemed like idiots. They weren’t even dope [heroin] fiends like Chet Baker or Art Pepper. They thought smoking grass was really crazy; and when I suggested we get some dope, they were really offended. My attitude would not fit in with these jazz squares, so I started a little band called Claiming Youth that played at Max’s Kansas City. At the time I wore sort of hippy women’s velvet jackets and seventies boots. How did The Contortions come about? JC: In 1977 I met Lydia Lunch and she was in the Jerks and I played with her until she kicked me out. Then I started The Contortions because I wanted to get gigs at Max’s and CBGB’s. I didn’t want to appeal to jazzbos. I’d been listening to James Brown, so I decided to take Superbad as my template – screaming sax over heavy funk. There were only two clubs to play in then: Max’s and CBGB’s. You could only play one or the other, so I played at Max’s because Hill Crystal the owner of CBGB’s didn’t understand what I was doing. What I picked up from CBGB’s was using people who were not trained musicians, which was really liberating. Most schooled musicians are limited by their abilities and have all these prejudices. Curiously, most of the loft jazz clubs were very near CBGB’s – there was a club called The Tin Palace on 2nd and Bowery, and two lofts a block away from there - but there was no communication between jazz and ‘punk’ and both looked down on each other. At that time I met Arto Lindsay, so I was aware of the No Wave thing, which was all non-musicians. If you saw that someone looked good and thought they’d fit in with your band, you’d see if they played anything and if they didn’t, you’d try to find something for them to play. That was how I found most of my band. But I was the first man to mix hard black funk with punk. The Talking Heads did, Take Me To The River, but they didn’t really get funky until they saw me. Didn’t you used to regularly attack the audience at Max’s? JC: A lot of people ask me about that. It was pretty spontaneous but I was a huge Stooges fan and loved that whole stage act thing, so I had it in my mind to do something. The Contortions got their name from that. I did
this concert at this loft jazz club and you had to take your shoes off as you went in and there were these fucking hippies sitting on the floor with their fucking beards, in their fucking stocking feet and I just hated their fucking stocking feet and so I got on my knees and started blowing my sax in this girl’s face and started writhing about on the floor. Then there was a terrible review of the show in The Village Voice and it said there was this terrible sax player who was more like a contortionist act - and that is where the name came from. But I started attacking the audience at one of these concerts when they were again sitting on the floor, so I started going through the crowd kicking them. I hated them. They were all these people who called themselves artists because they lived in Soho and created one ready made they found in the trash. They thought they were so cool. So I started kicking them. Then I continued the tradition at Max’s. Did you get hurt? JC: Yeah one guy hit me above the eye and knocked me out. He really cut my head with a ring or something and I realised that I could have lost an eye. But when I went to hospital I told someone that I’d been hit in a club and they said they’d heard there was this crazy guy in a band jumping off stage and attacking the audience and hitting them. It was giving me a lot of publicity at the time. But people were turning up to watch me attacking people and I was expected to do it, so it lost its shock value and spontaneity, so I stopped. Is that when Anya Phillips got involved? JC: Yes. She was the biggest star on the scene that was not in a band. She was a photographer and fashion designer, and she had this great style and was known for being very bitchy. When I first started attacking members of the audience, I waded through the crowd and came to her and saw her and thought ‘shall I attack her or not?’ And I walked up, looked her in the eye and thought ‘no’. Then she came backstage and we became friends and she started to manage me and then we became lovers and we moved in together. We first did this thing called No New York with Brian Eno - who lived above the Mudd Club in Steve Maas’s apartment - and she was having sex with him as well - but it wasn’t a big deal .In those days everyone had sex with everyone. But we did this No New York recording
with Brian Eno, which was considered one of the best things The Contortions ever did. It has since only been reissued once. And then there was Ze Records with Michael Zilka and David Esteban. JC: Yeah and they’ve reissued a lot of Ze compilations recently and a lot of the Lizzy Mercier stuff. We did Off-White with them. Where you aware how big the OffWhite album was amongst hipsters in London and Paris? JC: Well we played at the club Le Bains Douche in Paris in 1979 and recorded a live album there. But I didn’t play in London until 1981 at the Venue. Half my band didn’t show up at the airport, so I arrived in London with a day to get half a band together. Luckily I met with Keith Levene [Public Image Ltd], who shared the same dope [heroin] dealer as me when he was in New York. He had just escaped over the wall from some rehab place, so I got him and I got Toby from Funkapolitan and a drummer from somewhere else and another guy who used to kop with me again. Contort Yourself was almost the theme tune for 1980 groovy underground London. JC: Yeah it was Michael Zilka’s idea to do a disco album, because he loved disco. It was huge in Paris. Was it a group effort? JC: Well, we all played our parts, but I wrote all the music and the lyrics and wrote all the musicians parts out individually. Contort Yourself – very funky but very off kilter. JC: That’s just the way it came out. It was the jazz influence I think. Also the rhythms are almost backwards for funk. But Off-White swings like a motherfucker throughout. JC: That was my point. I always wanted to make music that people could dance to that had substance. I love tradition and the tradition of showbiz. I love Johnny Ray. I love Sun Ra. I love this idea of dressing really sharp and putting on a slick show and being an entertainer and not being some guy who walks out in T-shirt and jeans and plays music. I just don’t think that that is good enough.
interview by Hicham Yezza
Noam Chomsky: an interview
Sixty books, hundreds of academic papers, thousands of lectures, interviews and talks over five continents and five decades: at 80, Noam Chomsky is an intellectual, cultural and personal phenomenon. Chomsky’s ‘academic’ work is now seminal and, whether you agree with its tenets or not, it is undeniable that he has reshaped the face of linguistics and cognitive theory. It is this ability to bring the mind of his listener out of its atrophied comfort that continues to excite and stimulate. In his interview you can see the trademark rigour, intellectual honesty and genuine humility that have characterised his life and his work.
Is a two state solution to the Middle East conflict still possible? A two state settlement in accord with the very broad and longstanding international consensus remains possible. An agreement along those lines was almost reached at Taba Egypt in January 2001, the one significant departure of the US and Israel from the rejectionist stand that has been primarily responsible for undermining this outcome. And though there have been changes for the worse since, they are not irreversible. My own view, since I reached political consciousness in the 1940s, is that a bi-national state would be the most reasonable solution for all concerned. From 1967 to the mid-1970s, steps could have been taken towards federalism and, in the longer term, bi-nationalism. I wrote and spoke about the matter quite extensively at the time. By the mid-1970s, that opportunity was lost, and the only way to approach federalism and closer integration is in stages, the first stage being a two state settlement. It is intriguing that when the proposal was feasible, it elicited utter outrage, but now that it is not feasible (except as a late stage in a long term project), it is welcomed within the mainstream (New York Times, New York Review, etc). The reason, I suspect, is that the proposal is basically a gift to hard line rejectionists, who can claim that “they want to destroy us” so we had better take all we can. We should attend carefully to the crucial distinction between proposal and advo-
cacy. We can propose that everyone should live in peace and harmony. It rises to the level of advocacy when we sketch a feasible path from here to there. The only advocacy of a bi-national state that I know of is the one I described: in stages, beginning with a two state settlement. Supporters of a one state settlement often argue that if Israel takes over all of Palestine, it will face an internal struggle for civil rights resembling the anti-apartheid movement. That is an illusion, however. Israel and the US can simply persist in their current programmes of incorporating whatever is of value to them within Israel, while taking no responsibility for Palestinians in the scattered fragments that remain, and leaving them to rot and turn on each other, as is happening in Gaza.
Looking over a long historical stretch, China and India are now beginning to recover their leading role in the global economy up to the 18th century, before they were crushed by Western (later also Japanese) imperialism. It is highly questionable, I believe, whether they can return to anything like the status they once had. Both countries face enormous internal problems, social and environmental. As one illustration, in the latest Human Development Index, China ranks 81st and India 128th (about where it was when the neoliberal reforms were initiated 15 years ago). That is only one indication of very severe problems, which will not be easy to overcome. Any progress they make should be, on balance, a positive development, though the world is too complex for any simple judgment.
Do you think there is a real chance that anarcho-syndicalism will ever be implemented on a large scale? Prediction in human affairs is a very uncertain enterprise. Too much depends on will and choice. There is also little point in speculation. Those who regard these ideals as worth pursuing should do what they can to lay the basis for implementing them, whatever their (necessarily uninformed) guesses as to the likelihood of success.
Do you think the global anti-war movement has failed to achieve a critical mass of support over the past five years? The notion ‘critical mass’ is not well enough defined to respond. It has registered achievements as well as failures. Take Iraq. It has failed to bring the war to an end, but it has succeeded in preventing US escalation to anything remotely like the level of Vietnam. The ‘why’ question would require a lengthy disquisition, not a brief response.
Do you agree that the 21st century will be dominated by the rise of China and India? If so, would this be a positive or negative development?
Does the term ‘public intellectual’ still carry any meaningful weight in the 21st century? Do they have a role to play? As much as ever.
Hicham Yezza is currently fighting against deportation after his arrest under the Terrrorism Act 2000 and Immigration Act. Find out more and support his campaign at www.freehicham.co.uk
Yellow-Bellied Journos? The beating heart at the centre of Sidney Lumet’s 1976 film Network is a deeply cynical one that, despite being four decades old, still has resonance today. The machinations of fictional network UBS are reminiscent of the television networks today and the celebrity preaching of alcoholic anchorman turned messianic televangelist Howard Beale (excellently played by Peter Finch and for which he won a posthumous Oscar) could easily have been commissioned by ITV or Channel 4. After all, they are the vehicles by which the drooling viewing masses are subjected to such tripe as Big Brother and I’m a Celebrity… The story begins with Beale’s downward spiral after he is fired from his job as anchorman on the network’s news flagship programme. The fact that his threat to commit suicide live on air boosts ratings and that the network then decides to make him a celebrity as a result, seems in keeping with current ethos of the gogglebox. It is indeed testament to the medium of television’s ability to pander to the lowest common denominator – we’re already subjected to the sight of vapid celebrities who choose to reinvigorate their mouldering careers by ingesting the genitalia of woodland creatures, how long before the torture becomes that bit more cutting edge? I can hear the network boardrooms thinking ‘out
of their boxes’ already… The depiction of 1970s corporate America and its callous use of death and suffering as commodities, is far more relevant today than it was then. The pedestrianisation of death by many news networks, especially in the US, where horrific war casualties are given 10 seconds of air time, sandwiched between celebrity gossip items, is a case in point. “Here are some foreign people that died in excruciating pain as a result of poor choices by the West, but don’t worry about that, look at this insightful exposé of celebrity plastic surgery gone wrong and laugh instead.” So-called human interest stories are yet another example of television’s delight in other people’s misery – Channel 4’s Half Tonne Son, anyone? The film can therefore be seen as more than just a rather witty piece of satire, it’s nigh on prophetic – although the live broadcast of a homicide (which closes the film) hasn’t yet been carried out. It’s only a matter of time after all. Beale’s reinvention as the “mad prophet of the airways” and his ascent as a celebrity can also be likened to the fall and rise of any Z-list celebrity on television today. The exploitation of a man who is quite clearly in the throes of a nervous breakdown boosts ratings after all.
words by Virginie O’Shea
The Howard Beale Show with its marketed catchphrase and yellow journalism (that’s a type of journalism that downplays legitimate news in favour of eye-catching headlines, to the uninitiated – see box) is considered prime fodder for daytime viewing for today’s housewives. Scandal mongering and sensationalism are also standard practices for most journalists of the tabloid variety (and, in certain cases, of the broadsheet variety too). Where would the free London papers be without their daily updates of which crack addled star is shagging who? It also isn’t too far a stretch of the imagination that the backstabbing ruthlessness displayed by the network executives in Lumet’s film actually goes on today behind closed doors. The recent souring of the relationship between Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross and the BBC over what is now known in tabloid-ese as Sachs-gate epitomises this ‘et tu Brute’ ethos. It is easy to see why Network netted four Academy Awards (back when they perhaps meant a little more than they do today). Its acidic wit and spot on social commentary is due in part to Paddy Chayefsky’s script, as well as Lumet’s turn as director. As a film, it’s an unparalleled success, but as an exemplification of the times that we live in, it’s scarily on point.
A Guide to Yellow Journalism American historian Frank Luther Mott defines yellow journalism in terms of five key characteristics: Scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news. Lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings. Use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudo-science, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts. Emphasis on full-colour Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips. Dramatic sympathy with the ‘underdog’ against the system. Sound familiar?
Much wine had passed, with grave discourse Carmen, divines, great lords, and tailors, Of who fucks who, and who does worse Prentices, poets, pimps, and jailers, (Such as you usually do hear Footmen, fine fops do here arrive, From those that diet at the Bear), And here promiscuously they swive. When I, who still take care to see Along these hallowed walks it was Drunkenness relieved by lechery, That I beheld Corinna pass. Went out into St. James’s Park Whoever had been by to see To cool my head and fire my heart. The proud disdain she cast on me But though St. James has th’ honor on ‘t, Through charming eyes, he would have swore ‘Tis consecrate to prick and cunt. She dropped from heaven that very hour, There, by a most incestuous birth, Forsaking the divine abode Strange woods spring from the teeming earth; In scorn of some despairing god. For they relate how heretofore, But mark what creatures women are: When ancient Pict began to whore, How infinitely vile, when fair! Deluded of his assignation Three knights o’ the’ elbow and the slur (Jilting, it seems, was then in fashion), With wriggling tails made up to her. Poor pensive lover, in this place The first was of your Whitehall baldes, Would frig upon his mother’s face; Near kin t’ th’ Mother of the Maids; Whence rows of mandrakes tall did rise Graced by whose favor he was able Whose lewd tops fucked the very skies. To bring a friend t’ th’ Waiters’ table, Each imitative branch does twine Where he had heard Sir Edward Sutton In some loved fold of Aretine, Say how the King loved Banstead mutton; And nightly now beneath their shade Since when he’d ne’er be brought to eat Are buggeries, rapes, and incests made. By ‘s good will any other meat. Unto this all-sin-sheltering grove In this, as well as all the rest, Whores of the bulk and the alcove, He ventures to do like the best, Great ladies, chambermaids, and drudges, But wanting common sense, th’ ingredient The ragpicker, and heiress trudges. In choosing well not least expedient,
Converts abortive imitation To universal affectation. Thus he not only eats and talks But feels and smells, sits down and walks, Nay looks, and lives, and loves by rote, In an old tawdry birthday coat. The second was a Grays Inn wit, A great inhabiter of the pit, Where critic-like he sits and squints, Steals pocket handkerchiefs, and hints From ‘s neighbor, and the comedy, To court, and pay, his landlady. The third, a lady’s eldest son Within few years of twenty-one Who hopes from his propitious fate, Against he comes to his estate, By these two worthies to be made A most accomplished tearing blade. One, in a strain ‘twixt tune and nonsense, Cries, “Madam, I have loved you long since. Permit me your fair hand to kiss”; When at her mouth her cunt cries, “Yes!” In short, without much more ado, Joyful and pleased, away she flew, And with these three confounded asses From park to hackney coach she passes. So a proud bitch does lead about Of humble curs the amorous rout,
Who most obsequiously do hunt The savory scent of salt-swoln cunt. Some power more patient now relate The sense of this surprising fate. Gods! that a thing admired by me Should fall to so much infamy. Had she picked out, to rub her arse on, Some stiff-pricked clown or well-hung parson, Each job of whose spermatic sluice Had filled her cunt with wholesome juice, I the proceeding should have praised In hope sh’ had quenched a fire I raised. Such natural freedoms are but just: There’s something generous in mere lust. But to turn a damned abandoned jade When neither head nor tail persuade; To be a whore in understanding, A passive pot for fools to spend in! The devil played booty, sure, with thee To bring a blot on infamy. But why am I, of all mankind, To so severe a fate designed? Ungrateful! Why this treachery To humble fond, believing me, Who gave you privilege above The nice allowances of love? Did ever I refuse to bear The meanest part your lust could spare?
When your lewd cunt came spewing home Drenched with the seed of half the town, My dram of sperm was supped up after For the digestive surfeit water. Full gorged at another time With a vast meal of slime Which your devouring cunt had drawn From porters’ backs and footmen’s brawn, I was content to serve you up My ballock-full for your grace cup, Nor ever thought it an abuse While you had pleasure for excuse You that could make my heart away For noise and color, and betray The secrets of my tender hours To such knight-errant paramours, When, leaning on your faithless breast, Wrapped in security and rest, Soft kindness all my powers did move, And reason lay dissolved in love! May stinking vapors choke your womb Such as the men you dote upon May your depraved appetite, That could in whiffling fools delight, Beget such frenzies in your mind You may go mad for the north wind, And fixing all your hopes upon’t To have him bluster in your cunt,
Turn up your longing arse t’ th’ air And perish in a wild despair! But cowards shall forget to rant, Schoolboys to frig, old whores to paint; The Jesuits’ fraternity Shall leave the use of buggery; Crab-louse, inspired with grace divine, From earthly cod to heaven shall climb; Physicians shall believe in Jesus, And disobedience cease to please us, Ere I desist with all my power To plague this woman and undo her. But my revenge will best be timed When she is married that is limed. In that most lamentable state I’ll make her feel my scorn and hate: Pelt her with scandals, truth or lies, And her poor cur with jealousied, Till I have torn him from her breech, While she whines like a dog-drawn bitch; Loathed and despised, kicked out o’ th’ Town Into some dirty hole alone, To chew the cud of misery And know she owes it all to me. And may no woman better thrive That dares prophane the cunt I swive! words by John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester was an English libertine, a friend of King Charles II, and the writer of much satirical and bawdy poetry. He was the toast of the Restoration court and a patron of the arts. The film The Libertine, starring Johnny Depp, while taking some artistic liberties, chronicled Rochester’s life.
words by Charles Eisenstein - edited by Virginie O’Shea illustrations by Sichi
Money and the Crisis of Civilization
Suppose you give me a million pounds with the instructions, “Invest this profitably, and I’ll pay you well.” I’m a sharp dresser – why not? So I go out onto the street and hand out stacks of notes to random passers-by. Ten thousand pounds each. In return, each scribbles out an IOU for £20,000, which they have to pay back in five years. I come back to you and say, “Look at these IOUs! I have generated a 20% annual return on your investment.” You are very pleased, and pay me an enormous commission.
Now I’ve got a big stack of IOUs, so I use these pieces of paper, or ‘assets’, as a guarantee against which to borrow even more money, which I lend out to even more people, or sell them to others like myself who do the same. I also buy insurance to cover me in case the borrowers default – and I pay for it with those self-same IOUs! Round and round it goes, each new loan becoming somebody’s IOU on which to borrow yet more money. We all rake in huge commissions and bonuses, as the total face value of
all the assets we’ve created from that initial million pounds is now 50 times that. Then one day, the first batch of IOUs comes due and it’s time to pay up. But guess what? The person who scribbled his name on the IOU can’t pay me back right now. In fact, lots of the borrowers can’t. I try to hush this embarrassing fact up as long as possible, but pretty soon you get suspicious. You want your million pounds back – in cash. I try to sell the IOUs and all the other IOUs that came from that piece
of paper (their derivatives if you will) that I have in my hands, but everyone else is suspicious too, and no one buys them. The insurance company tries to cover my losses, but it can only do so by selling the IOUs I gave it! So finally, the government steps in and buys the IOUs, bails out the insurance company and everyone else holding the IOUs and the derivatives stacked on them. Their total value is way more than a million pounds now. My fellow entrepreneurs and I retire with our lucre. Everyone else pays for it. This is the first level of what has happened in the financial industry over the past decade. It is a huge transfer of wealth to the financial elite, to be funded by taxpayers, foreign corporations and governments, and ultimately the foreign workers who subsidise global debt indirectly via the lower purchasing power of their wages. However, to see the current crisis as merely the result of a big con is to miss its true significance. I think we all sense that we are nearing the end of an era. On the most superficial level, it is the era of unregulated casinostyle financial manipulation that is ending. But the current efforts of the political elites to fix the crisis at this level will only reveal its deeper dimensions. In fact, the crisis goes all the way to the bottom. It arises from the very nature of money and property in the world today, and it will persist and continue to intensify until money itself is transformed. A process, centuries in the making, is in its final stages of unfolding. Money as we know it today has crisis and collapse built into its basic design. Let’s go back to some finance basics. Money is created when somebody takes out a loan from a bank. A debt is a promise to pay money in the future in order to buy something today; in other words, borrowing money is a form of delayed trading. I receive something now (bought with the money I borrowed) and agree to give something in the future (a good or service which I will sell for the money to pay back the debt). A bank or any other lender will ordinarily only agree to lend you money if there is a reasonable expectation you will pay it back; in other words, if there is a reasonable expectation you will produce goods or services of equivalent value. This ‘reasonable expectation’ can be guaranteed in the form of a de-
posit (a family member perhaps, or a piece of jewellery), or it can be encoded in one’s credit rating (when the computer says ‘no’ or ‘yes’ to your request to borrow money). Any time you use money, you are essentially guaranteeing: “I have performed a service or provided a good of equivalent value to the one I am buying.” If the money is borrowed money, you are saying that you will provide an equivalent good/service in the future. Now enter interest. What motivates a bank to lend anyone money in the first place? It is interest (money begets money, after all). Interest drives the creation of money today. Any time money is created through debt, a need to create even more money in the future is also created. The amount of money must grow over time, which means that the volume of goods and services must grow over time as well. If the volume of money grows faster than the volume of goods and services, the result is inflation. If it grows more slowly – for example through a slowdown in lending – the result is bankruptcies, recession or deflation (like a bursting a boil on your bottom, only more painful). Governments can increase or decrease the supply of money in several ways. First, they can create money by borrowing it from the central bank. This money ends up as bank deposits, which in turn give banks more margin reserves on which to extend loans. You see, a bank’s capacity to create money is limited by margin reserve requirements – banks must hold a certain percentage of cash in its coffers to cover the possibility of a cock-up for example. Government spending of money borrowed from the central bank acts a seed for new money creation. (Of course, this depends on banks’ willingness to lend! In a credit freeze such as happened recently, banks hold onto their cash and the repeated injections of government money have little effect.) Another way to increase the money supply is to lower these margin reserve requirements (so that banks don’t have to hang on to as much cash). In practice this is rarely done, at least directly. However, in the last decade, various kinds of non-bank lending (for example by mortgage lenders and building societies) have skirted the margin reserve requirement, through the alphabet soup of financial instruments you’ve been hearing about in the news. The
result is that the value of each pound has been inflated to a huge number due to the creation of weird and wonderful financial instruments – which are essentially based on the principles of betting. Pork futures for instance are based on betting about how many fat little piggies will be slaughtered in a given year. Each new dollar that is created comes with a new dollar of debt – more than a dollar of debt, because of interest. The debt is eventually redeemed either with goods and services, or with more borrowed money, which in turn can be redeemed with yet more borrowed money... but eventually it will be used to buy goods and services. The interest has to come from somewhere. Borrowing more money to make the interest payments on an existing loan merely postpones the day of reckoning by deferring the need to create new goods and services. The whole system of interest-bearing money works fine as long as the volume of goods and services exchanged for money keeps growing. The crisis we are seeing today is in part because new money (essentially bits of paper promising the holder something in the future) has been created much faster than goods and services have, and much faster than has been historically sustainable. There are only two ways out of such a situation: inflation and bankruptcies. Each involves the destruction of money. The current convulsions of the financial and political elites basically come down to a futile attempt to prevent both. Their first concern is to prevent the evaporation of money through massive bankruptcies, because it is, after all, their money. There is a much deeper crisis at work as well: a crisis in the creation of goods and services that underlies money to begin with, and it is this crisis that gave birth to the real estate bubble everyone blames for the current situation. To understand it, let’s get clear on what constitutes a ‘good’ or a ‘service’. In economics, these terms refer to something that is exchanged for money. If I babysit your children for free, economists don’t count it as a service. It cannot be used to pay a financial debt: I cannot go to the supermarket and say, “I watched my neighbour’s kids this morning, so please give me food.” But if I open a day care centre and charge you money, I have created a ‘service’. GDP rises and,
according to economists, society has become wealthier. The same is true if I cut down a forest and sell the timber. While it is still standing and inaccessible, it is not a good. It only becomes ‘good’ when I build a logging road, hire labour, cut it down, and transport it to a buyer. I convert a forest to timber, a commodity, and GDP goes up. Similarly, if I create a new song and share it for free, GDP does not go up and society is not considered wealthier, but if I copyright it and sell it, it becomes a good. Or I can find a traditional society that uses herbs and shamanic techniques for healing, destroy their culture and make them dependent on pharmaceutical medicine that they must purchase, evict them from their land so they cannot be subsistence farmers and must buy food, clear the land and hire them on a banana plantation – and I have made the world richer. I have brought various functions, relationships, and natural resources into the realm of money. In The Ascent of Humanity I describe this process in depth: the conversion of social capital, natural capital, cultural capital, and spiritual capital into money. Essentially, for the economy to continue growing and for the money system to remain viable, more and more of nature and human relationship must be turned into promises on pieces of paper. For example, 30 years ago most meals were prepared at home; today some two-thirds are prepared outside, in restaurants or supermarket delis. A once unpaid function, cooking, has become a ‘service’. And we are the richer for it. Right? In ancient times, entertainment was also a free, participatory function. Everyone played an instrument, sang, participated in drama. Now we pay for those services. The economy has grown. Hooray. The crisis we are facing today arises from the fact that there is almost no more social, cultural, natural, and spiritual capital left to convert into money. Centuries, millennia of near-continuous money creation have left us so destitute that we have nothing left to sell. Our forests are damaged beyond repair; our soil depleted and washed into the sea, our fisheries fished out, the rejuvenating capacity of the earth to recycle our waste saturated. Our cultural treasury of songs and stories, images and icons, has been looted
and copyrighted. Any clever phrase you can think of is already a trademarked slogan. Our very human relationships and abilities have been taken away from us and sold back, so that we are now dependent on strangers, and therefore on money, for things few humans ever paid for until recently: food, shelter, clothing, entertainment, child care, cooking. Life itself has become a consumer item. Today we sell away the last vestiges of our divine bequeathment: our health, the biosphere and genome, even our own minds. This is the process that is culminating in our age. It is almost complete, especially in America and the ‘developed’ world. In the developing world there still remain people who live substantially in gift cultures, where natural and social wealth is not yet the subject of property. Globalisation is the process of stripping away these assets, to feed the money machine’s insatiable, existential need to grow. Yet this strip-mining of other lands is running up against its limits too, both because there is almost nothing left to take, and because of growing pockets of effective resistance. The result is that the supply of money – and the corresponding volume of debt – has for several decades outstripped the production of goods and services that it promises. It is deeply related to the classic problem of oversupply in capitalist economics. The continuation of capitalism as we know it depends on an infinite supply of these new industries, which essentially must convert infinite new realms of social, natural, cultural and spiritual capital into money. The problem is, these resources are finite, and the closer they come to exhaustion, the more painful their extraction becomes. Therefore, contemporaneous with the financial crisis, we have an ecological crisis and a health crisis. They are intimately interlinked. We cannot convert much more of the earth into money, or much more of our health into money, before the basis of life itself is threatened. Faced with the exhaustion of the cultural and physical items that it consumes, financial capital has tried to delay the inevitable by cannibalising itself. The dotcom bubble of the late 90s showed that the productive economy could not longer keep up with the growth of money. Lots of excess money was running around frantically, searching for a place where the promise of deferred goods and services
could be redeemed in the future. So, to postpone the inevitable crash, financial regulators slashed interest rates and loosened monetary policy to allow old debts to be repaid with new debts (rather than real goods and services). The new financial goods and services that arose were phony, creations of deceptive accounting on a vast scale. Obviously, the practice of borrowing new money to pay old debts cannot last very long, but that is what the economy as a whole has done for 10 years now. Unfortunately, simply stopping this practice isn’t going to solve the underlying problem. A collapse is coming, unavoidably. The various governments’ bailout plans will at best postpone it for a year or two (who knows, maybe until 2012!), long enough for the big players to move their money to a safe haven. They will discover, though, that there is no safe haven. As the US dollar, the euro and the British pound sterling lose their safe-haven status (which will happen all the more certainly when the governments take over bankers’ bad debts). The present crisis is actually the final stage of what began in the 1930s. Successive solutions to the fundamental problem of keeping pace with money that expands with the rate of interest have been applied, and exhausted. The first effective solution was war, a state that has been permanent since 1940. Nuclear weapons and a shift in human consciousness have limited the solution of endless military escalation. Other solutions – globalisation, technology-enabled development of new goods and services to replace human functions never before commoditised, and technology-enabled plunder of natural resources once off limits, and finally financial auto-cannibalism – have similarly run their course. Unless there are realms of wealth I have not considered and new depths of poverty, misery, and alienation to which we might plunge, the inevitable cannot be delayed much longer. In the face of the impending crisis, people often ask what they can do to protect themselves. “Buy gold? Stockpile canned goods? Build a fortified compound in a remote area? What should I do?” I would like to suggest a different kind of question: “ What is the most beautiful thing I can do?” You see, the gathering crisis presents a tremendous opportunity. Deflation, the
destruction of money, is only a categorical evil if the creation of money is a categorical good. However, you can see from the examples I have given that the creation of money has in many ways impoverished us all. Conversely, the destruction of money has the potential to enrich us. It offers the opportunity to reclaim parts of the lost commonwealth from the realm of money and property. We actually see this happening every time there is an economic recession. People can no longer pay for various goods and services, and so have to rely on friends and neighbours instead. Where there is no money for transactions, gift economies re-emerge and new kinds of money are created. Ordinarily, though, people and institutions fight tooth and nail to prevent that from happening. The habitual first response to economic crisis is to make and keep more money – to accelerate the conversion of anything you can into money. At a high level, the debt surge is generating enormous pressure to extend the commoditisation of the commonwealth. We can see this happening with the calls to drill for oil in Alaska, commence deep sea drilling, and so on. The time is here, though, for the reverse process to begin in earnest – to remove things from the realm of goods and services, and return them to the realm of gifts, reciprocity, self-sufficiency, and community sharing. Note well: this is going to happen anyway in the wake of a currency collapse, as people lose their jobs or become too poor to buy things. People will help each other and real communities will re-emerge. In the meantime, anything we do to protect some natural or social resource from conversion into money will both hasten the collapse and mitigate its severity. Any forest you save from development, any road you stop, any cooperative playgroup you establish; anyone you teach to heal themselves, or to build their own house, cook their own food, make their own clothes; any wealth you create or add to the public domain; anything you render off-limits to the world-devouring machine, will help shorten the machine’s lifespan. Think of it this way: if you already do not depend on money for some portion of life’s necessities and pleasures, then the collapse of money will pose much less of a harsh transition for you. The same applies to the social level. Any network or community or
social institution that is not a vehicle for the conversion of life into money will sustain and enrich life after money. On a personal level, the deepest possible revolution we can enact is a revolution in our sense of self, in our identity. The discrete and separate self of Descartes and Adam Smith (the founder of capitalism) has run its course and is becoming obsolete. We are realising our own inseparability, from each other and from the totality of all life. Interest denies this union, for it seeks growth of the separate self and the expense of something external, something other. Probably everyone reading this essay agrees with the principles of interconnectedness, whether from a Buddhist or an ecological perspective. The time has come to live it. It is time to enter the spirit of the gift, which embodies the felt understanding of non-separation. It is becoming abundantly obvious
that less for you (in all its dimensions) is also less for me. The ideology of perpetual gain has brought us to a state of poverty so destitute that we are gasping for air. That ideology, and the civilisation built upon it, is what is collapsing today. Individually and collectively, anything we do to resist or postpone the collapse will only make it worse. So stop resisting the revolution in human beingness. If you want to survive the multiple crises unfolding today, do not seek to survive them. That is the mindset of separation; that is resistance, a clinging to a dying past. Instead, allow your perspective to shift toward reunion, and think in terms of what you can give. What can you contribute to a more beautiful world? That is your only responsibility and your only security. The gifts you need to survive and enjoy will come to you easily, because what you do to the world, you do to yourself.
Are they on your bedroom wall?
Peter Wyngarde is an actor best known for playing the suave womaniser Jason King, a bestselling novelist turned sleuth, in two television series in the late 1960s and early 1970s: Department S and Jason King. Wyngarde became a British household name and when his TV shows were sold overseas he briefly became an international celebrity, memorably being mobbed by adoring female fans in Australia. He dabbled in a music career with the release of the 1970 album “ When Sex Leers It’s Inquisitive Head”, desribed by the NME as, “A master piece of fine, pseudo-psychedelic orchestrations and inpeccable bad taste.” In 1975, he was arrested and convicted for an act of “gross indecency” with a truck driver in the toilets of Gloucester bus station. He went from pin-up to cravat wearing camp lovey in a very short space of time.
Nine questions by Douglas Hart What kind of music were you listening to? I listened to various types of music back then. A lot of blues, some jazz, everything Dylan, always rock. You were described as hitter chicks. Where did that come from? Actually I never heard that, at least not at that time. I didn’t hear that until way after the fact. None of us liked the standard garb of the day. We just were not into dresses and heels. In a very rigid time period, we just did not fit the mould. Were there lots of those rebels in black leather in your neighbourhood? No, there were some, like most neighbourhoods. How crazy was Shadow Morton? Who said he was crazy? We are friends to this day.
How old were you when you first started with the Shangri-Las? 14 years old.
How come your sister Betty wasn’t in lots of the photos? Actually, if you look at old pictures, there
were four members, three members etc. Margie, MaryAnn and Betty (Liz) were missing from various photos. People always seem to focus on Betty missing. There are photos with Margie missing (65 fan club card) also MaryAnn is missing from many photos. I was the only consistent member of the group. Our schedule was insane; everyone took time off from the group, except myself. How long did it take to make “Remember Walking in the Sand”? Do you honestly think I would remember? Was the Nu-Loves “So Soft, So Warm” by the Shangri-Las? No. Ellie Greenwich said you were “foul mouthed street kids” and that she was scared of you. Is this true? I have heard her rants in various interviews. I have no idea why, she sounds very unhappy. I did not have many dealing with her. I guess you would have to ask her.
MILK AND HONEY
These days, during the credit crunch, there is plenty of scaremongering about money, financial ruin and all that rubbish. I would like to point out to the women of suburbia that there are plenty of other ways to pay the milkman. Have you ever tried blow-jobbing the gasman? Or wanking off the insurance collector? Sexual favours have been a tried and trusted method of payment since time immemorial... Bear it in mind the next time a £600 bill gets shoved through your letterbox and lands firmly on your carpet. One morning, my husband had left for work bang on time, in play with his tradi-
tional leaving routine. I’d noted that after 12 years of marriage, there was still something special missing from our relationship. I’d often enjoyed a little extra milk and a free knob of butter from my regular milkman Ernie, but he was a kindly old gent. I never expected, that after his retirement, his replacement would offer me an alternative means to pay my weekly bill. I heard a clittering and clattering outside. Peeking through my bedroom nets, I was intrigued by the vision of Adonis coming up my driveway. I slinked down the
words by Mary Contrary illustration by Cecilia Lundqvist
stairs and opened the front door just as he was putting the milk bottles on the doorstep. He slowly stood up. I positioned my body to enhance my best assets. I was still half dressed, wearing practically nothing under my dressing gown. I could feel his eyes taking in every part of me, rising up my legs, over my crotch, across my waist, up to my heaving bosom and staring me directly in the eye. “Good morning Mr Milkman,” I said in my most alluring manner, “you’re up early.” “It comes with the job,” he said, his voice deep yet soft, his tone reverberating through me. “I’m good at getting up... in the morning.” Whilst there was nothing even slightly erotic in what he said and I frantically searched his words for any double entendre, there was something in the way he said it that made me know he wasn’t just being polite. His eyes were staring deep into mine, a flicker of lust danced between us. My vision was distracted by the sight of the enormous bulge in his trousers. Through an uncontrolled, ravishing need to submit to my desires, I fell to my knees, pulled out his enormous cock and started rubbing the throbbing end around my face. I licked around his bell-end like my life depended on it. He then shoved his throbbing hampton down my throat and I took it like a professional hooker on £1000 a night. All of a sudden, the most extraordinary thing happened, he whipped out a bottle of milk, ripped off the gold top and poured it all over my face. The cold white liquid dribbled over my breasts and down to my wet crotch. “Looks like you need to get cleaned up a bit,” he said, his voice penetrating my whole person. I pulled at his jacket and led him into the kitchen, where we had the filthiest session ever concocted on a kitchen table. I wouldn’t advise every sex mad woman to invite the milkman in, as he could have been a psychotic maniac, but in my experience, it was nothing but enjoyable. Out of my greatest memories in life, it was the most exciting thing to happen to me, apart from my occasional trysts with the paperboy that is…
Native American activist Leonard Peltier has reportedly been severely beaten shortly after his transfer to a new prison. According to his defence committee, other prisoners attacked Peltier after he was put into general population. Peltier’s sister, Betty Peltier-Solano, says she believes
the attack could have been encouraged by prison officials seeking to discredit Peltier as he comes up for parole. Peltier suffers from diabetes. After the attack, he was put into solitary confinement. The 6 February marked thirty-three years since Peltier’s arrest. He was convicted of
killing two FBI agents during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. Peltier has long maintained his innocence and is widely considered a political prisoner in the United States. He is currently being held at the Canaan Federal Prison in Pennsylvania.
To raise awareness of Leonard Peltier’s imprisonment and continuing case of appeal, the Clemency for Leonard Peltier petition is online. Read the statement below and sign the petition at: www.PetitionOnline.com/Clemency/petition.html Mr President: We the undersigned come together before you to request the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Leonard Peltier from Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. Mr Peltier was convicted for the 26 June 1975 murders of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. There were four defendants originally charged before the Grand Jury. Two of the defendants were tried before the court and found not guilty by reason of self-defence. Charges were dropped on the third defendant. Mr Peltier was tried after a change of venue to North Dakota. In this trial Mr Peltier wasn’t able to put up a self-defence argument. Any evidence that could have proven Mr Peltier’s innocence was not allowed in his trial or, if it was allowed, it was not allowed in front of the jury. Witness testimony wildly diverged between Grand Jury testimony and trial testimony; further,
several of the witnesses recanted their testimony after the trial, claiming perjured testimony because of threats from the FBI. Despite testimony, prosecuting attorneys have stated on several occasions that they don’t know who shot the agents that day. The FBI coerced Myrtle Poor Bear into signing three mutually exclusive affidavits in order to extradite Mr Peltier from Canada. In Mr Peltier’s trial, Ms Poor Bear testified that she never knew Mr Peltier; that she had never seen Mr Peltier prior to the trial. She testified that she signed the affidavits as a result of intimidation by agents interviewing her. The jury never heard her testimony. Despite the fact she had originally been scheduled as a government witness, her testimony was excluded on the basis of her “incompetence”. A few FBI officials and/or agents have launched campaigns to publicly proclaim the guilt of Mr Peltier. Thus propitiating
the original cover up through dissemination of misinformation in editorials, websites and full page newspaper adverts, in what is seen as an effort to discredit the common sense and credibility of many national leaders and their organisations. These leaders have studied the case indepth for over 23 years since the reign of terror on the Pine Ridge reservation and areas supposedly under the protection of this county. Mr President and elected officials of all people, we ask that you no longer ignore the voices of the tens of millions of signatures and letters of the last 23 years, and the results of the most recent polls in favour of his immediate release. We ask all politicians and officials to support true justice. Honour the voices of your constituents. Call for immediate unconditional executive clemency for Mr Peltier. Sincerely, the Undersigned
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