N A D A
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones" - Albert Einstein
Aug 1 R: I'm going to send out a theme soon. It's most likely going to be "Is It World War Three Yet?" Aug 4 M: That's a great theme. The north korean icbms are now landing so close to the japanese shoreline that people can video them. funny, i always thought world war 3 was gonna start in middle east Aug 4 M: but at least now i get to have a front row seat Aug 24 M: this isn't my submission, i'm still working on that but eh....? https://japantoday.com/category/world/update1-russian-nuclear-bombers-fly-near-n.-koreain-rare-show-of-force Sept 15 R: how you been? Sept 15 M: Things are goin. another missile flew over japan this morning and a statement by North Korea said, “The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us,” [sic] but other than that things are picking up. public school starts next week so i'll begin my first official, on the books, job. it's only part time but fortunately my girl friend's a dentist and can afford to lend me my half of the rent money until I get on my feet. How's Seattle?
2017 年 8 月 31 日 So apparently the new NADA theme is, “Is it World War III yet?” J________ always comes up with great themes for NADA issues and usually we take them figuratively in various ways but seeing as I live in Japan now and North Korea says it has the capacity to miniaturize an atomic bomb and so be able to fit it into a ballistic missile and on Tuesday they shot a missile across Japan and there was a meeting at Yale where a bunch of psychologists decided to discuss whether or not the President of the United States of America is, well, I guess just let met quote, “As a doctor, I believe that questions about Donald Trump’s mental health now need to be met with investigation.” end quote. It’s hard to figuratively interpret this one. There are literally air raid sirens going off in Hokkaido. So far all I’ve managed to do is copy and paste news articles to send to J_______ that say, basically, “no it’s not World War III yet but all the world’s militaries are on red alert.” Having said that, I’ve taken enough history and political science classes to understand that this is a nuanced situation and this “brinksmanship” – that’s been the buzzword going through the media right now: “brinksmanship.” – this brinksmanship is probably more like bargaining chips being tossed onto a green, glowing, radioactive poker table. Hence, I am not living in fear of my imminent death, but, however, I am struggling to find a way to take “Is it World War III yet?” and twist it into some clever metaphor about the human condition or whatever the fuck we Dadaists do to, um, I don’t exactly know what the fuck….
When the big one drops, I wonder if everything will be obliterated immediately or if we’ll have a minute or two to think. Will there be panic? Will there be silence? Will the skyline be peppered with falling bodies hoping to eternally preserve a sense of control? Will it be tragic? Will we think of our loved ones and be overwhelmed by the sorrow of losing them? Losing love certainly does feel like the end of the world. Logic tells us that it’s not, but we still have a hard time convincing ourselves otherwise. We fall apart. We turn into pathetic versions of ourselves that only showcase why we were broken up with in the first place. We do stupid things like slash our wrists or express final feelings in a horribly creepy love song. The latter happened to me once. I was never lucky enough to hear the song performed, but the lyrics were sent to me in the second most romantic fashion known to modern man – a Google doc. Looking back, I’m actually quite impressed that he managed to loosen his jazz ponytail, find a Greek myth to flagrantly reference, and reveal some honest emotion. I feel that the only way to adequately describe its cringe-worthiness and overt desperation is to share with you the original teenage masterpiece.
Before you dive in, I do think that it’s important to note that I really did love him and that my ability to poke fun at his pain has only come after thoroughly doing so to my own.
In the drinking hall yesterday I sat with a man. I never ask their names now and they do not tell me. I wonder at times if I can tell who they are before I even meet them. I wonder if they have in fact lived within me for some time and I have premonitions of their presence before I come into contact with them. I think sometimes too that I have had dreams about this plague that they speak about, that it has lived within me for years and finally now it has come out into the world. But no. He was a man like any other. I like it when I do not learn their names because they are now all men, they take on the characteristics of all men and it is as if I were speaking of all men. We were talking about trivial topics for a short time when he then said, ‘Have you heard about the massacre?’ I said that I had not. He leaned in closer. ‘There is a village not far from here, maybe a day’s journey on foot where all the serfs were killed off.’ I asked him when this had happened. ‘Not long ago.’ ‘Not long?’ I asked ‘A month? A week? A year?’
‘All of these,’ he replied, ‘and none of them. You see the story of the massacre came to us some years ago, and some members of our village went to investigate. And lo, there were bodies everywhere. We called the army and they came and cleaned the place up but they could not tell us who had done it. A few months later, some men from the village came to trade with us. They acted as if nothing had happened. We were sure we had seen their bodies only months earlier, one man Vitaly Subotnik I had known well. I had heard a report that his body had been stuffed into a well. I spoke with him face to face after the report of his death.’ ‘So,’ I interrupted, ‘you had not seen the dead in the village?’ ‘Not directly, no, but I spoke with many of the members of the party that went to investigate.’ He shook his head. ‘No, no but here, listen. A month or two after we had seen those that we had previously thought to be dead, we went again to trade in the village. I myself went, and the bodies had returned. The massacre had happened again. Again the army was called in, they came to view the scene. No one could believe it. The men who had been there before said it was exactly as it had appeared before. One of the men buried the same body twice, the same body pulled from the same spot in the middle of the road. Exactly the same! Two separate times! The massacre happened again!’
‘But this is not possible. Who killed them? How were they brought back to life?’ ‘He shook his head as he drank.’ ‘And again, only a month or two ago those men came to us. Those men who had been seen dead twice and buried twice. They have come to us again! And again, men from this village have seen the whole village massacred! Except this time they did not report it to the authorities. They thought we were mad enough last time, let alone a third time. Men were beaten here for speaking about the second round of deaths, even by the officer who oversaw the second round of burials.’ ‘And so what do you make of it?’ He seemed to have lost my attention. He was gazing off and taking a deep drink of kvass. He looked at me then and raised his eyebrows, as if he had just noticed that we were speaking. ‘Eh?’ ‘I said what do you make of it?’ ‘Make of what?’ ‘The village.’ He shrugged. ‘It’s all just part of living in the far east I suppose.’
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In World War III, we will melt down metal and mix it with our ideologies and shape them into the bullets we’ll use against our enemies, but in World War III, each shot will rip out the backsides of the guns and strike those who fired it. In World War III, the planes will drop bombs that catch in the air and float up into the atmosphere to drift aimlessly through space. Our armies will march in reverse, putting as much space as they can between them and their opposition. Our missiles will melt and spread and sink into the ground beneath. Our tanks will take to the sea, and our Navies will beach their boats on the nearest land. Our trenches will be hill tops, where we stand and scream our beliefs at each other across the battlefield. But our voices will be taken on the wind and the other side will never know our words. In World War III, we’ll run brazenly forwards towards enemy lines, only to find them melt away with the morning fogs. But some facts of war never change. World War III will start on the streets and end in the offices of men who never saw blood fall, just like before. WWIII will be fought with the best technology we have and the worst reasoning we can shamelessly reiterate, just like before. WWIII will end without any understanding of how it began, even though all the signs were there. Just like before. And we’ll put up our monuments for the men who fought bravely for their countries creed. But it was never about the men. I know what WWIII will be fought with. We will use the same weapons we have always used: ideas, worked into the shapes and the forms that serve our motives best.
Okay, can’t come up with anything for “Is it World War III yet?” so instead I’m gonna go with a story that I thought up while I was shopping at the mall with my girlfriend, Mami, while shopping for a birthday present for my Mommy. So we’re at this shop called, “Jour et Jouet,” which I guess from French translated to ‘toy day’ or some shit but I think ‘play time’ is what they meant to say. Anyway, the mall in Sasebo is called, Oh fuck! I just remembered, if you type ‘Sasebo’ into Google, the very first thing that comes up is “Sasebo slashing.” Okay, so back in 2004 during lunchtime when the classroom was empty, an 11-year-old girl took a utility knife to another girl’s throat resulting in a… well, a national debate about the, “age of criminal responsibility.” Was it murder? I dunno. How old do you have to be to technically make it murder? Can a child have criminal intent? Intent was, well, I’ll quote Wikipedia this time. The victim had, “slandered,” the assailant on the Internet… “commenting on her weight and calling her a goody-goody.”
Whelp, so here’s where I’m gonna be a public school teacher. Oh, and the other day, yesterday actually, I’m teaching a grammar lesson to a group of children which is: ‘I have’ vs ‘I don’t have.’ I ask the students to write a sentence using each. So, I have an eight-year-old girl who has a very pronounced mark underneath her left eye which leads me to deduce that her father is right-handed. She writes, “I have a belt.” And I say, “That’s correct. Very good!” Next, she proceeds to take off her belt and she begins, in a very playful fashion, to whip at the other students in the class. Is it World War III yet? I dunno, maybe it always has been.
--Euridice I want to see you tonight With your clothes tossed to the side your body Pressed against my loneliness My hand pressed to your hair In the middle of the night When the moonlight crawls in through the window We’ll hide beneath the sheets Deny to anyone we’re there
Of the other guys in your pursuit I don’t know why you fell for me but I know why I fell for you Euridice I love you But darling now that you are gone I only have the comfort of this song
I want to see you tonight But I can’t look at you That serpent could have only come to Until we’re back in the light soon Attracted to your beauty silhouetted by I went through the depths of hell for you the moon After all the pain you suffered through Maybe it was a mistake I talked to Persephone Maybe it was your fate She listened to my lyre she But I’ll talk to Hades at the gate I want to see you tonight But I can’t look at you Until we’re back in the light
And Hades said I could take you To live the lives that we’re used to Once I thought that I was free Cast you once more away from me
Come on Euridice darling Not again will I touch the likes of you Come and take my hand and charm me The flower had been picked before the The sight of you is like a song I knew bud had bloomed Matched in wonder by the prize I see it’s all my fault that cast us to this fate Between your thighs and of your breasts But I wish somehow it wasn’t now too Which many men are so obsessed late But your modesty is all I see You fell for me not all the rest Now I’m lost and alone Lonely and afraid Wanting only to hold you once again. --
I wonder if, when the big one drops, it’ll feel like heartache. Maybe some of us will be able to laugh.
“I started studying what the nature of a monument is and what a monument should be. And for the World War III memorial I designed a futile, almost terrifying passage that ends nowhere.” -Maya Lin Their Einstein once said he didn’t know what weapons World War III would be fought with but World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. Typical Eurocentric arrogance, as if the world ends at the shores of the Mediterranean. The once great cities of Europe and America lie in ruin but Africa remains. The once teeming populations of Asia are no more. Africa remains. The Arabs have no one to sell their oil to; the Brazilians and Argentinians have no one to buy their beef or their junk bonds. Africa remains. The Americans and Russians burrowed their missile silos deep into North Dakota and Siberia only to guarantee that the most remote and desolate parts of their continents too would become vast swathes of nuclear incineration. Africa remains. Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin, Rome. New York, Washington, Moscow. Beijing, Tokyo, Pyongyang and Seoul, Islamabad, Delhi. All are now rubble and cinders as cockroaches feast on their bloated corpses. Fitting as they have always been hives of vermin. They called us fools and cowards for remaining non-aligned during their cold war. Now we stand vindicated by history. Romans and new Romans, Arabs and Indians, Chinese and their ilk: all came to Africa to rape and rob, to pilfer and plunder. And all are now victims of their own insatiable hunger and worship of their own destructive capacity. Only we Africans knew this to be inevitable. To us it was naked and plain to see. Now Africa, the mother of humanity, is all that remains. Messrs Bush and Cheney planned in vain for a New American Century. Now the day we Africans always knew was inevitable dawns before us. As the sun rises over a free Africa, an Africa which will never again know the chains of colonialism, an African Century, nay, the African Epoch is born. - Robert Mugabe 18/10/2017
ÂŠ 2017 Rockwell Press Collective, Seattle, issue 36
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