running with pirates bent cops old friends fucked-up mothers & a lonely old letch
Article #57: The Tulip Assembly instructions 1. Decide which version you want to print - colour or B&W 2. Download pdf ﬁle
Inquiry into the disappearance of privateer and captain of Queen Victoria’s man-o-war The Gull of Mercury, turned traitor, Henry Needsworth. Article #57 - Found in a bottle at sea believed to be scribed by Needsworth.
3. Print pdf ﬁle on A4 paper, select double-sided, and ‘ﬂip up’ not ‘ﬂip over’ 4. Sort in order of page number 5. Fold crease 6. Bind in centre using your own creativity; staple, string, ring-bind, ribbon tie 7. Enjoy The Rashomon Effect 8. Repeat steps 1 through 6 many times over 9. Distribute to loved ones, strangers, friends, enemies
In the year of our Lord1856, on the cusp of discovering nature’s biggest secret that will vanquish mankind’s faith from the vacuous sky above, I turn to ﬂowers. The rose – the people’s choice, becoming as widespread as the plague, is now on every bloody corner and its thorns shed blood from every maid. It may earn a fallen man points, but single-handedly won’t see him laid. You can buy a rose for your whore, but at the end you’ll still have paid. The Orchid – a beautiful monster, to this day still wild and unkempt. Yet to be harnessed or hybridised, the undine thrives exempt. Self-pollinating in the eyes of the lord without remorse or respect The Orchid aids the rise of atheism, the way it naturally selects The Poppy – the symbol for peace, shanghaied and set sail For the opiate Brits pack gunpowder, to ﬁght tooth and nail We’re killing in the east, for the throne to prevail The starry-eyed Orient, too high to curtail. The Tulip – picture-perfect, plain and simple, long stemmed symmetry Though I confess, manipulated through natural chemistry On the 8th day man has taken the reins, denouncing Christianity. The Tulip allows us to play God, reaching divinity. The bulb two hundred years ago, a form of currency A golden egg for a golden age, an in demand commodity Ignoring basic botany, they’d grown a money-tree Frenzied marketeers raised prices, towards the fevered Gentry Alas, the fever’s passed, yet she wants the status all the same A tulip for her thoughts, sweeter than a rose by any other name So a band of brother’s I’ve united, pushing poppies for the British Dame But it’s the whore I’m working for, so I can stake my claim For love she requires a fabled tulip, a new far-east bloom For her heart entire, for more than a red-lit room I’ll forage through the jungle ﬂoor, and war-torn certain doom So she’ll relinquish herself to me, for the mere price of a tulip’s perfume Note: Needsworth’s last rumoured sighting was in the bowels of Amsterdam’s De Wallen district, 1898. Detective Colin Delaney Scotland Yard, March 1899
02. The Rashomon Effect
The Rashomon Effect 35.
scribbled ravings. It seems that the power to write was one of the last sentiments of my old life to forsake me. I have learned from these notes that I had begun to study the birds. I would spend hours on the rocks imitating their movements and habits. I began to revere them, to worship a greater power; the great Gannet God, the lord of my avian brethren. I collected feathers and fastened them to each other creating a gigantic feathered cloak; it became my only garment during that time.
In the morning I would stand with my arms outstretched as the birds took ﬂight to the sea, a hurricane of feathered gods churned around me. I wrote extensively of the collective power of the gannets, something I still feel connected to as I recount this. I would spend all day in the salty spray, huddled and cawing, running across the craggy island.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– In 1609 Strasbourg, the ﬁrst paper was printed. Before that everyone received their news by word of mouth, gossip and unreliable hearsay in cafes, taverns, village squares and the occasional town crier.
Shortly after my writing becomes nothing but scrawled images and hieroglyphs of my own invention. But there are many pages of this, so many discoveries. I believe that it will offer much insight into the true face of our primal nature: the beast of man. Evans does not wish to return me to the island, he found me two months after he left with a broken ankle, halfstarved, covered in the ﬁlth of bird and man alike. I was rescued, but it would be weeks of isolated therapy, of electric shocks and deadening medication before my humanity had returned. Though something had been lost. A melancholic almost misanthropic attitude towards my fellow man had surged through me, had left me half a man. I poured over my writings in an effort to decipher the mysterious ﬁgures. But I had no Rosetta Stone. The connection was left with my mind on that island. I am Filius et Morus Bassanus and their cries still call me to rediscover what I once abandoned.
Now in the 21st Century, we live in a world reverting back to the days of the citizen press – but on a much greater scale. We text and tweet instead of talk, Wiki-sites and internet forums are the cafes of old. We congregate in the square of the blog and listen to the ‘hear ye’ of the blogger. There is no unbiased news. Our perceptions and opinions shape the way we understand and retell truth. In a way, we are all unreliable narrators.
The Rashomon Effect will be ﬂeeting relief from the digital age, its heart based in print. In an obscured matrix of ones and zeroes, we needed a tangible world in black and white. This will be our effort to produce something to stick in your back pocket and hold onto, an outlet for all the unreliable narrators and a refuge for the more dog-eared written word. We will take it to the street. Issue after issue will be deposited in cafes, pool halls, strip clubs, libraries and toilets; on trams, buses and trains. A tiny surprise on the long bus ride home. Those who decide to cash in all their chips and risk their livelihood by writing for us will be relied on to push the printed version. We hope the hunger to have their work out there will be enough. For the love of the art. As The Rashomon Effect was put together with a budget of zero, we have no sponsors or advertisers to pander to and because of that we are free to print what we like. And we will. We are for things rather than against. We are not interested in politics, social cures or economic remedies. We merely claim to be a cool breeze on a baking day. We prefer quality when we can get it, and if we can’t get quality then we want what is downright wretched. But we are not too insistent: we will give ground, we will compromise when it is dictated by necessity. There are so many people who profess to be in the right that we see no harm in being wrong now and then. The Rashomon Effect will be a magazine of free form and no boundaries. What is written is relevant. Welcome to Chapter One.
The Rashomon Effect 03.
THE RASHOMON EFFECT WAS CREATED AND EDITED BY Adam Warner Grant Walker
horizon watching the sea and birds until it grew dark. The Dalen light behind lit automatically sweeping light from left to right. Mercifully, at night the birds were quiet, barely stirring in the
DESIGN Colin Delaney
My duty on the island was to ensure the light never went out, a simple enough task and as it lit on its own accord at dusk, ceasing its arcing glow at sunrise. There was little else with which to occupy myself. I felt blessed on my ﬁrst night there; I could have been cast adrift amongst the stars. The gentle swell soothed my tired body to sleep.
COVER AND FEATURE ARTIST Meekins aka Sarah Gleeson email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS ANDREW WESTBROOK is deputy editor of TNT Magazine, but can be found stumbling around obscure parts of the world, looking for ‘the answer’, man. IAIN MURDOCH is a Welsh, bearded ex-philosophy and religion teacher with an unfortunate predaliction toward U2 and Goa trance parties ELLIE BLANEY is a drama darling grad with a penchant for accents, impersonations and Welsh, bearded ex-philosophy and religion teachers. AMANDA GOWLAND is a sarcastic, craft-loving journo grad who tells potty jokes like a ﬁve-year old. D.J. WEBB, also known as ‘Princess’, is one poety sonuvabitch; further examples of his work can be seen at: http://allpoetry.com/DJWebb GABRIELLA LAHTI, 25 y.o. Journalist for print and radio. Currently living in Stockolm. Loves: Cuba. Doesn’t trust: Small men in big suits. DAMIAN HALL Gloucestershire-bred, lives in Sydney and edits TNT Australia & New Zealand and has written a very small book about Arsenal. SUBMISSIONS We are continually looking for submissions of any form or genre of the written word. Contributors are encouraged to print and distribute The Rashomon Effect in their area. CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org http://the-rashomon-effect.blogspot.com 04. The Rashomon Effect
Uproar awoke me. It threw me from my sleep as ice water to the face. Drenched in sound, I lurched upstairs. It was daybreak. The giant bulb had switched off and the only light was a dull blanket from the east. I blinked, hugged my shoulders in the cold, and looked out across the crag. The sea and sky were an indistinguishable grey. The birds who also made home of the island had woken with the dawn. Hunger driving them out onto the sea they circled and cawed around the outcrop ﬁlling the ﬁrmament with their shrill cry. I couldn’t stand much of the sound and retreated to the security of the lighthouse. I found no escape, the din cut through the building as if I were standing bare on the island. I could not think let alone write, each wisp of thought lost in the tumultuous sea of noise. Even when I had, with cunning use of a curtain cord, afﬁxed a pillow to each side of my head, the clamour could be heard throughout the day. I paced, sighed, and tried to take comfort in the canned food feast I prepared for myself. All to no avail. I could ﬁnd no escape from inﬁnite cries. In the days that followed I began to lose any sense of time or date. Each evening in the twilight I would seize a ﬂeeting redemption but it would swiftly give way to an exhausted sleep. In time I even lost track of when I would be saved from my avian damnation. Indeed each day materialised a fresh hell. With my previous intentions to test my critical thinking and put answer to man’s eternal questions in considerable ruin, it was enough for me to keep my own mind in check. I was starting to erratically black out, only to revive some three or four hours later with no memory of the occurrence, sometimes in a different part of the building, once or twice outside laying in between the gannet nests covered in ﬁlth. These episodes culminated in a moment of intense anger. Bursting through the door of the lighthouse I fell upon the nests with fervent rage, tearing at wings, smashing eggs. For how long this slaughter continued I am unsure as I blacked out once again. I awoke wrapped in blood and feathers, the broken bodies of the gannets. I am not ashamed to say I wept for the humanity that deserted me that day. My descent had begun. From then on I have no memory of the events that followed and can only go on what was written in my journal. My physician has diagnosed it as stress induced amnesia. I myself believe I had de-evolved to a primitive state; a state that allowed me to survive in the relentless extreme of the island. I gather all my information from my The Rashomon Effect 33.
The Island. By A.Warner How do I ﬁnd myself in Gower? Well, for the price of another rum I’ll gladly tell my story. Not so long ago I was working the vast and unforgiving cockle ﬁelds of Llanelli. One day while enjoying lunch with the Ho Chi family, who had taken me under their wing during my time in the ﬁelds, I was approached by a gruff but not unfriendly Welshman by the name of Evans who had an intriguing proposition for me. “E’er worked on lighthouse, boy?” I answered in truth, “no”. But as a man always at home with my own thoughts as much as any other, and want of the peace and quiet to reﬂect on the questions of eternity and reason that always try a young and inquisitive mind such as mine, I exclaimed loudly and with great enthusiasm that it had always been my dream to work that windswept and solitary
The Rashomon Effect Chapter One
occupation. Little more encouragement was needed and I soon found myself in a small and somewhat rickety wooden boat chugging slowly towards Gannet Island. I sat there, eyes closed, my nose ﬁlling with the smell of the saline wash, my ears overﬂowing with the clamour of the ocean and cry of seabirds. As we approached the lighthouse island, no more than a rocky outcrop in the middle of the churning remorseless sea, it became quite apparent why the island had been so aptly named. The atoll was bare except for the lighthouse and thousands upon thousands (dare I even say, millions) of white Gannets, cawing and crying: a legion of hell-bound harpies. My heart sank, the displeasure obvious on my face. Evans, always the cheerful fellow, slapped my back with the force that could knock down a child, “Don’ worry lad, you’ll get used it.” I was surely tempted to back out of my promise and return to the back bending work of the cockle ﬁelds, but a man who as a child was always taught the importance of his word, I carried on as any Englishman would do: with a stiff upper lip and a solid resolve. The stained and worn wood of the jetty creaked as I awkwardly slung myself over the side of the boat. Slipping on rocks and bird excrement, we made our way perilously towards the lighthouse. It was late evening and it appeared the Gannets, my new neighbours I thought happily, were settling down for the night. I felt relieved after such a ﬁerce introduction. After a rudimentary overview of the workings of the beacon, I was left standing at its pinnacle as I watched Evans leisurely disappear over the surf. I would not see him again for two months, for the house was well stocked with food and fuel - all I would need to live a comfortable yet simple existence on the island. I stood there awhile looking out over the 32. The Rashomon Effect
The Rashomon Effect 05.
run with the bulls With balls of steel and a stomach full of sangria, Andrew Westbrook faces off with Pamplona’s locals. The rocket rises into the sky and thousands of people collectively gulp. It’s eight in the morning, I’ve not slept after a day of drinking my bodyweight in sangria and that ﬁrework means there’s now half a dozen bulls charging at me. For protection I have a rolled up newspaper. I’ve never felt so awake or sober. In fact, I’m absolutely shitting myself. I’m in Pamplona, in northern Spain, for the annual San Fermin festival, during which people test their nerves for eight days straight. I’m standing a few turns into the 825 metre course, to give me a chance of making it inside the stadium at the end before the gates are closed when the ﬁnal bull passes through. The cobbled medieval streets are stiﬂingly claustrophobic. It is clear that everyone is having second thoughts. Everyone is on edge. But it’s too late. The bulls are seconds away and there is no escape. 06. The Rashomon Effect
We start walking, my heart pounding so hard I wouldn’t be surprised to see it suddenly burst out of my chest. People around me start jogging. Runners nervously jostle each other, searching for a safer spot while knowing than none exists. I keep my eyes on the ground, watching my steps. I’ve been warned the chances of being injured by a frantic runner are far greater than getting gored by a bull. The whole gauntlet is meant to last three minutes. The bulls haven’t reached me but already it feels like I’ve been going for hours. Waiting for what is tearing up behind us is pure terror. On their way are six ﬁghting bulls, each a raging, terriﬁed tonne of solid muscle and
“Is the border this way?” I shout, slightly panicking. He nods casually, avoiding eye contact. We relax a little. The authorities are here. You can always trust a policeman. He’s got a gun. We’re safe from the see-through scam now. He helps clear us a path through the hectic market. He waits. We pull over. “Passports please”, he says, in Spanish. This isn’t the border. “Que?” “Passports por favor.” I show them, without letting go. He takes some mysterious notes. Which I try to read. “Hay un problema?” He nods. There’s a ﬁne. Forty dollars. What a coincidence. I give him a look. He seems to have a problem with his eyes. They dart about a lot, tend to look downwards, never into my eyes “Why can’t you look me in the eyes?” I demand, in English. But he can’t understand. Of course he can’t. ‘No es correcto!” I protest. “Si. Correcto”, he says and points to the police insignia on his shirt, as if that makes it 100 per cent correcto. “No es correcto!” I repeat. I shake my head. He knows. I know. We both know each other knows. The border scam: the oldest trick in the book. “Perhaps we should just pay it and get out of here?” says my girlfriend, wisely. “He’s got a gun.” But I can only ﬁnd a twenty. “That’s all we have,” I say, holding it up. They’re not thrilled. We’re not thrilled. It’s a score draw. We take our bags and walk off. Mullet’s friend follows. He says he’ll help us get the bus. He knows where to go. He’ll make sure there’s no trouble. And, hilariously, would I buy him a Coca-Cola? We laugh in his face and get in a cab - one with a driver sporting a much more sensible haircut.
COPS ARE ROBBERS Border crossings can be frustrating places, even more so when the police rob you, as Damian Hall found out, going from Peru to Ecuador. This is how we were robbed by the police. My girlfriend and I get off the overnight bus, which delivers us to the northern Peruvian border, but fails to deliver us any sleep. A throng of motor-rickshaw drivers ﬁght for both our attention and cash. We squirm through them with the idea of getting the bus, but a rickshaw driver with a spectacular mullet follows. After a minute we tire and listen to him. He claims there are no buses from this town – the guidebook says there is. His plan, to drive us to the border and put us on the right Ecuadorian bus, sounds good. But he’s too eager. Instinct pushes us on. A man pulls up in his car. His jacket claims he works for the bus company, the one that takes you across the border. “They no longer go,” he says. But he can drive us there. We don’t trust his smile. No thanks, amigo. We turn back. A cab then. But Mullet, seemingly randomly, pulls up again. We’re tired. The price is excellent value, almost too good to be true. The lesser of two evils. We may as well. Twenty minutes later, passing through banana plantations, with the early morning wind in our hair and sun on our faces, we feel relaxed. At the Peruvian border we get our exit stamps. Then we meet Mullet’s friend. He speaks some English, smiles a lot and constantly reassures us. The border has many problems, he claims (the guidebook didn’t mention this). He promises to help us cross it. But we didn’t ask for any help. It doesn’t seem necessary. He joins us for the ride nevertheless. We’re not sure about the friend. He smiles a lot, maybe too much. But why is he with us? We try and drive these thoughts to the back of our minds. The border can’t be far now. Then Mullet takes a sharp and sudden right turn. “The border is closed,” he says, speaking urgently. “Many protests in Ecuador,” he says. The friend nods. “We won’t get through for days.” His friend nods harder. But kind, clever Mullet can take us across the border a secret way. For only twenty American dollars. Each. The taxi fare is quoted at less than three dollars. We suggest, quite ﬁrmly, that we don’t mind waiting at the border. We’re not at all keen to pay forty dollars. We prefer the normal road, to the secret road. But Mullet seems to have mislaid both his brake pedal, and his ability to hear. His friend asks us to be calm. “Everything is okay. You’ll see.” He smiles, a little more nervously than before. “Hold onto your bags around here,” he warns. “It’s not safe.” He’s looking out for us. How thoughtful. What a nice guy. The rickshaw barges a way through a muddy, cramped market. We spot a policeman. Sweet relief! 30. The Rashomon Effect
sharp horns. Two herds of stampeding bullocks follow them for good measure. The street is narrow, suffocating. It’s enclosed on either side by buildings rising up several storeys, on each of which is a balcony impossibly overloaded with spectators. Suddenly ﬂashes start going off everywhere. I look up to ﬁgure out what’s going on and realise it’s thousands of cameras going off. People are screaming and pointing. After a second of confusion, the horriﬁc reason for why people are taking photos dawns on me
– the bulls are here. I look behind and see the crowd parting. For the briefest moment I watch the lead bull as it thunders through the runners… And then all hell breaks loose. The ﬂashing cameras disappear, as do the people. Only fear remains. I have no doubt whatsoever that world
records are broken. I don’t even think I’m running, I’m ﬂying. At some point I remember one bull passing, and another, and another. People fall, there’s nothing I can do and no way I’m going to stop. I turn a corner and realise I’m on the ﬁnal straight. I can see the stadium. The gates are still open, which is good and bad. Good because that means I have a chance of making it in. Bad because that means there are still bulls behind me, bulls that might decide to maul me to death. And then I trip. Catching a cobble, one of my trainers somehow comes off and I tumble to the ground as the melee sweeps over me. I scramble after my shoe, crouching down to hurriedly put it on, clinging to the side barrier. But standing up to carry on, I’m suddenly aware of the crowd, hanging over the fence, screaming at me. Realising this can mean only one thing, I turn, heart in mouth. The ﬁnal bull is charging right at me, hugging the fence, the same fence I’m stood next to. Arms reach for me, desperate to pull me up, desperate to save me. But there’s no time. And even if there was, it would be useless as I’m completely frozen. Terriﬁed like never before, I’m unable to do anything but stare as the bull rips up the gap between us. However this bull, for some reason, decides to spare me. Brushing past my taut body, it swerves at the last second and I watch as those deadly horns gallop off into the stadium. Dazed but euphoric, I follow a second later. The Rashomon Effect 07.
Scenes through your window
The Final Humiliation Gordon Brown PM.
By Ellie Blaney.
Gordon Brown (Prime minister) Sat crying in his ofﬁce “What’s up?” Ed Balls (Secretary of Children, Schools and Families) Asked as he entered the room. “It’s all shit!” Howled Gordon Ed Balls drew closer “You know what must be done” He whispered Brown stood and wiped tears From a red and blotchy face. He kissed Ed on the cheek. Gordon Brown Sat smiling in his ofﬁce “Why?” Ed Cried as he entered the room. “You told me to?” Howled Gordon Ed Balls drew closer “I meant a general election” He hissed, Balls slapped a tabloid on the desk “FINAL SHAME OF PM AS HE BOOTS SWAN TO DEATH” “Ohhhhhhhh” Gordon said.
A woman and a man. In an ordinary house. Not particularly chic or stylish and not particularly run down or shabby. They are sitting together on a two seater sofa, not touching. The man is reading. The woman is watching television. “Do you want tea?” Asks the woman. “Nope.” Says the man. “Oh, (pause) a beer or something?” He looks up from the book he is reading, looks at her and says slowly after some thought. “No, I’m ﬁne”. “It’s just, it was no... I was going to the kitchen anyway so I thought I’d check, (pause) you know.” Man, again slowly, his face now back in his book. “I’m ﬁne”. She looks back to the television. “Well I’m going to get myself a drink”. She gets up and leaves the room and comes back with a glass of wine. She sits back down and accidentally puts her hand on his foot. He ﬂinches. Doesn’t look up.
“Just looking for the remote” she says then wishes she hadn’t. He nods his understanding. She ﬁnishes her drink with a cigarette. She moves towards the window, opens it and props herself on the ledge. “Oh, it’s bin day tomorrow”. No reaction from man. (Pause) 08. The Rashomon Effect
The Rashomon Effect 29.
Jokes are being made about how much it would cost to hire Wadsted as TPB’s own lawyer. In the background, a song is being played from a laptop that probably didn’t get there by any kind of payment, I’m guessing. “We dedicate this to you, Monique!” A sudden silence takes place, for a moment nobody says anything and then the sounds of The Beach Boys ﬁll the bus.
“It’s raining now”. He looks over the top of his book at her. The television is ﬂickering on the wall as she looks back out the window. Some time passes. “What would you like for dinner?” Asks the woman. “Umm... I guess some chicken?” “So... do you want chicken then? Because we have a few bits in there.”
I may not always love you But long as there are stars above you You never need to doubt it I’ll make you so sure about it God only knows what I’d be without you I ask TPB how they want to celebrate, or mourn, when all this is over.
“Oh, well cook what you want. If you know what you want to cook then do that.” “No I didn’t mean that. I’m happy to cook chicken, I like chicken. What sort of chicken would you like?” Man exhales loudly, “Chicken is fucking chicken. Do you want me to cook?”
Perhaps with a shot of Captain Morgan?
“No I’m happy to cook, unless you want to cook?”
“Yeah,” they say. “Our best friends’ names are Morgan, Jim and Jack”, Fredrik says with a smile. I thank TPB for letting me document the discussions that take place inside the red school bus, outside the district court, straight after the trial, on that cold February night. I leave them and, silly as it is, catch myself saluting them. Not knowing what will happen next week, next month or next year for ﬁle sharing, the internet and TPB, somewhere in my head, in the background of my thoughts, a song is still playing –
“I don’t want to cook, but if you do chicken can you make sure you cut it like I showed you because when you don’t it loses...” he exhales again.
God only knows what I’d be without you. NOTE: In March the three members of Pirate Bay were jailed for a year. In June company Global Gaming Factory X proposed they’d buy Pirate Bay in August for $US7.8M, with customers paying for their downloads. The deal has not yet closed. 28. The Rashomon Effect
“Yeah, I’ll cook it like you said. You’re right, it tastes much better that way.” The woman gets up and exits the room. The man is left alone. He picks up his book and begins to read, we watch him for several minutes. We can hear the sounds of cooking from off stage, a pot clanging, the fridge opening, and chicken being chopped. The woman reenters the room with a board with chicken on it. “Is this about right?” She says. The man doesn’t look but says “its ﬁne I’m sure”. She hovers for a moment unsure of whether asking further is the right thing to do. She goes to leave but stops. “You didn’t even look.” She states somewhat timidly, coyly. He sighs, puts down his book and says “I must have shown you several hundred times how to cook a chicken... and look you still haven’t done it right. You’ve cut it too small. It’s just going to dry up and taste of nothing. It’s a waste of fucking money.” He delivers this speech with little emotion; it is simply well rehearsed, bored and tired. The woman stands, unsure of herself, unsure how to react and whether being upset will The Rashomon Effect 09.
simply fan the now well-lit and dangerous ﬂicker of his ﬁre. He stares at her awaiting the response, what’s it to be? Tears? Offers of apology? Threats to leave him? A chopping board full of chicken in his face? No, nothing so grand. “Um... well I’m sorry. You may have to show me again... Do you think the chicken can be saved?” He stares at her. (Pause) “Whatever I do to it won’t change the fact you have cut it too small.” He sighs and runs his hand through his hair. He takes the board from her and walks out of the room. The woman stops for a moment and then follows. “No, don’t come in. I will do it. Honestly just go and sit down or something. Watch some T.V” The woman reappears in the living room and looks around it a little lost; she goes to the sofa and sits carefully beside the indent his body has left on it. She sits closer than we can imagine her ever having the nerve to when he is there. She picks up the book then puts it down; she lightly places her hand on the empty space beside her. She looks to the T.V, drawn to it somehow...
I am in the batter of a body of people who sit in the bus that was driven here all the way from Belgrade. It was parked just a few metres away from the district court of Stockholm and it will not leave until next week, when the trial is over. The atmosphere inside the red bus provokes memories from when I was little and sat in my secret tree hut. This bus is like a clubhouse. The pirate coach is a mobile headquarters for three organizations; The Pirate Ofﬁce, TPB and The Pirate Party known for their positive feelings about ﬁle sharing over the Internet. They all have different functions in society. The only thing they have in common is that they believe in “free ﬁle sharing and free expression of thought”. That, and a shared obsession with the word ‘pirate’.
So here I am, sitting in a red bus ﬁlled with pirates, right?
“Yes. But although we are all pirates, we don’t want people to confuse us,” says Rickard Falkvinge, chairman of The Pirate Party. “There was one journalist who wanted to take a picture of me with Gottfrid and Peter, which was completely wrong.” A man with very blue eyes and pale skin, Johan Allgoth, member of The Pirate Ofﬁce continues to explain. “We have nothing to do with The Pirate Party, more akin to The Pirate Bay. But we’re still not the same”. The confusion is total. I curse myself for not doing my research properly. I turn to Fredrik, Peter and Gottfrid, since I am sure they are the guys from TPB. The ﬁrst trial week has ﬁnished. Something that normally should have ended here will last for another week. How does that feel? 10. The Rashomon Effect
“They want to make it more complicated than it is. That’s why this trial is taking so long,” says Fredrik. “They” are prosecutor Håkan Roswall and his crew: music and Hollywood company representatives. “They want to make a big thing out of this, blowing up the whole. However, we agree. We see ourselves doing a great show”, adds Peter. Can you give me an example of this show you are describing? “Sometimes we have to answer the same question thirty-eleven times because no one seems to understand what we are talking about, or they simply don’t want to understand, or they just want to try to confuse us but they are just confusing themselves”, Fredrik says and laughs. “Danowsky, for example, has got the younger brother complex,” he explains. Peter Danowsky represents the recording industry trade association, also called IFPI. Danowsky’s job is to prove to the judge all the problems thepiratebay.org, brings to life. “They just talk numbers all the time,” Gottfrid agrees, not looking up from the laptop on his knee. Do you think they honestly believe what you are doing is wrong? “They get paid to lie, but I like when the judge gets irritated with Monique because she ﬂoats away and does not have a clue about anything”, says Fredrik. THE SONG The subject of Monique Wadsted, another lawyer representing the Hollywood companies, seems to ignite a ﬂame in the bus and it is getting warmer. The Rashomon Effect 27.
God only knows what
I’d be without you
Yesterday By Grant Walker
By Gabriella Lahti THE COURTHOUSE It is cold in Stockholm in the middle of February. Outside the district court, there is a big crowd of journalists waiting; shaking, noses dripping. They are waiting for three young men who they believe will step outside any minute now, to give them a juicy quote about how the ﬁrst week of the trial went. That juicy quote will be the news bill on all the four major Saturday newspapers tomorrow. It will also be the teaser in all of tonight’s late news, because in this trial, juicy quotes are important. “What trial?” You might be wondering. Well, dear reader, call it the trial everybody has an opinion about. If they don’t, expect them to be living in a cave somewhere in Micronesia. And this is not just a trial, but also a show; a theatre play and ﬁfteen minutes of fame. On one side we ﬁnd three young men with shabby clothes and unshaven faces known as The Pirate Bay (TPB), creators of thepiratebay.org, the world’s largest bit torrent tracker (according to themselves). On the other side we ﬁnd the usual wellpaid lawyers with fat ties hanging from their necks. They represent Hollywood’s music and ﬁlm companies. Their job is to put TPB in jail for some years and also to make them pay some millions of dollars to the Hollywood companies. Thepiratepay.org had, when at its peak, 26. The Rashomon Effect
20 million users all there for one reason: to share ﬁles, to download movies, music and other documents which you normally would have to pay for. These three men are very much in charge of the show in courtroom nine, although they prefer to call it ‘improvisational theatre’. The show is about whether or not The Pirate Bay did something illegal when setting up thepiratebay.org. I met with TPB in the middle of the trial for a slightly confusing yet interesting interview, inside a red pirate bus. THE PIRATE BUS And so the Friday came to an end. Fredrik, Peter and Gottfrid walk outside the courthouse and share some comments with the massive crowd of journalists. Peter, who is the main spokesperson for TPB, is the one who gets most microphones squeezed into his mouth. He is also the only one who currently lives in Sweden. The other two live in Bangkok, or Amsterdam, or was it Kuala Lumpur... Clearly over it for the day and clearly in need of a beer or two, the three men continue walking towards a big red bus that reminds me of a school bus, parked close to the courthouse, where I sit waiting for them. Fredrik is the ﬁrst one to step into the bus. “I would like to go somewhere for a beer now”, he says. I knew it.
Yesterday, i turned sixty-ﬁve. looking back, what have I become? a drunk. yes, i drink more than the common man. a husband two times over. an ex-husband twice again. a father. three times over. i wonder: what do my children think of me? have i inﬂuenced them? what kind of inﬂuence have i been? my son. i wonder: will he turn out like me? is he what they call, “his father’s son”? i hope not. i wonder: what would he make of these ruminations? married to a woman for twenty-ﬁve years.
twelve years my junior. what was I thinking? a sweet piece of ass, that’s what. what a pervert. and I still am – that much I can admit. beating off to porn every night in my garage. only God knows how I still get off. the thought of a young girl’s thigh. that milky white ﬂesh. it’s not enough anymore. although, there’s that new young waitress at the diner. what an ass. she’s not even enough to make me cum. “you old letch” they’d say. if they only knew. “you’re nothing but a dirty old man.” but what the fuck do they know? they don’t know i’m just a lonely old man.
The Rashomon Effect 11.
six word stories, trickier than expected By Iain Murdoch
Six word stories are said to have originated with the legendary, American writer Ernest Hemingway, who bet his friends he could write a story in 6 words, with the result being, according to Hemingway, ‘the best story he ever wrote’. It read For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn. This story, helped by the internet, has spawned an ever-increasing (yet naturally still small) body of literature; with established writers to rank amateurs all making a contribution. This is one of the great things about six word stories, the enforced brevity and extreme economy of prose very much levels the playing ﬁeld. Anyone can have a go. The power of a good six word story lies in what is not said. It leaves your imagination to ﬁll in the gaps, creating an immediacy of understanding that can be arresting, amusing or tinged with sadness. An ‘amuse bouche’ for the imagination, if you will, that can spark an instant understanding of something beyond the six words written. A great six word story will often have an ambiguity of meaning that makes you think and second guess yourself and the author. 12. The Rashomon Effect
Fifteen months later, my sister was born. A few months after that, my mom’s oldest sister ﬂew across the country to help my mom ‘escape’ from my father in the middle of the night. She ﬂew back out east, my sister and I (both too young to remember) in tow. My mom said my dad threw her down the stairs. In theory, they were married for 11 months, but she waited more than 20 years to actually ﬁle the divorce papers. I don’t remember much from my childhood. What I do recall comes in bits and pieces and is probably fabricated from stories I heard growing up. Like how my sister once painted the kitchen with yellow oil paint while she was sleepwalking, or me spitting McDonald’s ‘orange drink’ in my aunt’s face when I was two. That sort of thing. I don’t remember thinking that it was strange that I only had one parent around. My sister and I ﬁrst ﬂew out west to visit my father when I was ﬁve years old. I don’t remember that trip, but we went out for two to three weeks every summer after that. We didn’t know much about our father growing up; we’d get our Christmas presents in April, and I’d get my birthday presents in October (I was born in August). Every once in awhile - two or three times a year - the phone would ring long distance and, begrudgingly, my mother would let us have a few minutes with him. What was constant, however, was the mom-hates-dad tirade and vice-versa. Key memories from dad-visits include his girlfriend’s Pomeranian biting through my sister’s top lip when she was ﬁve and, the following year, having a beer poured on my head by his new girlfriend. She said it was good for my hair. Crazy fucking bitch. Most of my memories from childhood
revolve around the small, white-sided bungalow that we spent six years in (the longest period we’d ever spent in one house). During that time, my mom had this young, Portuguese boyfriend named Terry. He was six years younger than my mom and quite thin, with long, curly, black hair. He could eat ﬁve Filet o’ Fish and ﬁve Big Macs in one sitting. I remember my sister and I liked him a lot. He bought me an Etch-a-Sketch once; I was pretty happy. One day, I came home and my mom was curled up on the sofa, her face swollen with tears. He had left her for some 19-year-old (my mom was about 27 at the time). My sister and I were heartbroken, not only because we never saw Terry again, but also because we became invisible behind this heavy veil of my mother’s heartbreak. She cried for days, weeks, months. We thought it would never end. When my mother did ﬁnally stop crying, she also stopped coming home. I remember cooking dinner for my sister and I with increasing frequency. There was also a never-ending stream of new faces hanging around the house. I would often spy on my mom when she had people visiting. If I looked outside my bedroom window, I could see directly into the kitchen. One night, I looked out and saw my mom and her new friends sitting around the table. I can’t remember exactly what I saw, but it prompted me to peel open my door and belly-crawl across the living room so I could sneak my head around the sofa for a better look. I saw my mother holding a lighter under a spoon and I felt the threadbare childhood I was desperately holding on to evaporate in those fumes. That was my most vivid childhood memory. I was eight. The Rashomon Effect 25.
Recollections: a childhood to remember, pt 1 By Amanda Gowland Art by Meekins
6 Six word stories, some more examples. all by Iain Murdoch unless indicated
Drinking alone, curtains drawn... he smiled. His tooth fell out. He sighed.
Observing, he felt powerful. She didn’t. Numb. She pulled her pants up.
Cynical drunks leered on street corners. Like apes they strutted, seeking trouble.
“Let’s dance!” The relationship ended there. She popped her gum. He winced. “I’m a writer.” He lied easily. His bald spot stole the show.
Going home alone. The night disappointed. Rolling hips drew his attention. Fatally. Parodying youth did him no favours. “Guilt don’t tell time” He said.
The cheap jacket gave him away. - Ellie Blaney
Jim the archaeologist. Found years later. - Emily Court
Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket. - William Shatner Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time. - Alan Moore
A couple summers ago, my sister and I walked in our mother about to hoover a line up her nose with some scrawny 18-year-old kid she met 12 months ago. She told me in an email that he had ‘saved her life’. My mom is 47-years-old. She got together with my father when she was 17, after my grandmother had sent her packing with a one-way bus ticket out west. She was a middle child of ﬁve, and my grandmother just couldn’t deal with her shit anymore. So off she went. Shortly thereafter, she met my dad (the details on how they met are unclear). She then got pregnant, gave birth to me (boy was I fucking cute), and got hitched in someone’s backyard. My grandmother ﬂew out for the wedding with my aunts. I’m sure it was a gas. 24. The Rashomon Effect
With bloody hands, I say good-bye. - Frank Miller Kirby had never eaten toes before. - Kevin Smith
Automobile warranty expires. So does engine. - Stan Lee Longed for him. Got him. Shit. - Margaret Atwood
The Rashomon Effect 13.
Deep In The Dale
Transcontinental Toad Trip
Streamers ﬂame for a false crusade. Where Gargoyles hang, fear is laid. Sooty smoke ﬁlls the pier by night, over ivory bridges, shadows ﬁght.
Burning rubber with time on tap. Turning corners on a whitewashed map. A car full of scars, an electric guitar, which he plays to some old school rap.
Below the Gantry, a twisted trail, when erring rider’s skin turns pale, they’ll tell of kinsmen lost in the mire, mislead at the Fork, by a saint and a liar.
Hiding vices in fumes full of lead, White rabbits running through his head. Pulled to the side, for his trafﬁc guise And a tyre with a run-down tread.
Passengers believing those lyrical signs, never drawn to read through the lines, seldom dare to ﬁre up their torch, in case they burn the ties they scorch.
So pray if you rally in the rear. If you scream he is not going to hear. A sub-woofer to suit, an amp in the boot and a cradle to harness his beer.
Crusted gems for a bale of brass. Deep in the dale beyond the pass, in a hidden cavern in a sunken keep, under crystal gaze, ﬁreﬂies leap.
Not all would play in this storm His girlfriend blasted the horn. With pedal to metal and a score to settle It’s a curse that reaps his scorn.
Here rests the oracle, forever still, bound by a mirror against his will, rasping in rhyme, assulting their plight, rewarding the just with all of his might.
Tearing down that Tuscan road, beaming like a sprawling toad. The past eats dust, while he keeps trust in the wheels, which carry him home.
By D.J. Webb
14. The Rashomon Effect
inseparable. Even the children, despite their age difference, got along famously. The second man reached into the pocket of his denim overalls and pulled out a silver hip ﬂask. The other looked out of the corner of his eye and scratched the side of his face. “Well, Bob, whaddaya got there?” Bob grinned that shit eating grin once again and unscrewed the cap. “This here, my friend, is a silver ﬂask my old man gave to me when I turned eighteen.” Bob said, raising his head slightly, looking past his friend and across the yard. Bob nodded to himself and took a healthy swig, grimacing slightly. “He picked this up in France during the war. When he was on his last legs, dying in that rotten hospital over in Beamsville, he gave it to me. I got the call the next morning that he was dead.” He took another drink and passed the hooch over to his friend. “Y’know somethin’,” he went on, “I’ve carried that thing around with me since I was just a kid. When Charlene took up with the kids and left me, I had a strong feeling I’d be carrying it around with me ‘til the day I bit the bullet myself.” The second man, looking over at Bob, nodded solemnly and took the drink that was offered to him, recoiling in horror at the sharp taste of the spirit. He looked up at Bob with a kind of halfway grin, “Jesus, Bob,
whaddaya got in there, turpentine?” Bob couldn’t help but laugh at his friend’s inability to appreciate a good homemade liquor when he tried one. “It’s my own batch,” Bob said, smiling. “Whatsamatter, never drink the homebrew before?” The second man shook his head in disbelief; he didn’t like to admit it, but he hadn’t. “Sure.. beer, wine. But nothing like what you got in there. When did you cook up that wild man juice?” “About four months ago. Got three or four jugs in the basement, I’ll grab one for you later.” The friend took another sip, grimacing yet again. “I admit it, it tastes a bit harsh,” Bob said with a mischievous look in his eye, “but it gets you tanked!” They laughed for along while at that remark. The two men stood around the automobile, passing the ﬂask back and forth slowly, sipping at it sparingly, not really working, but merely sharing the moment, that cold December night which both of them would go on to remember for the rest of their days.
Two Days Before Christmas By Grant Walker
It was a cold and windy evening, two days before Christmas. Their breath produced a faint mist in front of their faces that clung to the air like a newborn to its mother’s breast. Despite the chill, there wasn’t a hint of snow on the ground, or even the faintest trace that it would soon be on its way. As was usual for that part of Southern Ontario, it looked like they were due for another green Christmas. The two men stood around the front of the automobile, bought at Ed’s Eazy Auto for next to nothing. The car’s hood was propped open with an old baseball bat that they had found stuffed away in the back of the shed, long been forgotten since the children had grown up and moved out of the house. The two men were gazing into the front end of a ’49 Mercury Ford. The vehicle, despite its prestigious make, was not a thing of beauty. Rust and time had eaten away a good part of the chassis, also corroding the bottom trim of its body; the wheels were held on by a thread. The car was green in colour – not necessarily a colour that was nice to look at, something like a forest or ofﬁce green, but an altogether horrible shade of green: puke green. It was painted in possibly the most appalling colour one could imagine a car to be. It was a shade not ﬁt for an automobile, but a shade one might imagine their grandmother’s kitchen to be decked out in. 22. The Rashomon Effect
This was an ugly car, there was no doubt about that, and smoke had been billowing out of the engine for the best part of an hour, the two men staring down into its eye with a look of bewilderment. “Ahh, the internal combustion engine,” one man said in awe to the other. “A sheer work of marvel, isn’t it?” The second man looked over to his friend, grinning like a prized idiot, “Y’know, its genius never ceases to amaze me. Yet even after all these years, I can’t help but ﬁnd that it’s still a source of constant frustration.” He spoke his words like a tried and tested mechanic, as though he had been working under cars for the last thirty years, but in actual fact, he didn’t know a damn thing about them. He was, after all (and had been for the last twenty years,) just an exterminator. He knew bugs, not cars. The two men laughed anyway - good, clean, pleasant laughs, nodding in agreement. They had been friends for nearly ﬁfteen years, becoming friendly when one of them moved just down the street not too long after the other. It was the wives who started chatting to each other at the local grocers. They bonded over politics, and the husbands soon followed. One invite for coffee turned into barbecues, family gettogethers, and games nights once a week. Within months the couples had become
The Delicious Revenge Of Perfafanu Ignius Flot By Colin Delaney Art by Meekins
Wretched, cretched Old Sebastian Flot grew tomatoes and roses on next door’s vacant lot. The lot, the same spot where teenage kids smoked pot and fornicated. With the odd missed shot.
Word got round town of this shrub-human’s fruit. As ugly as sin But his produce was beaut. As the townfolk picked Flot they laughed and they hoot and sliced his ‘good-eatin’ limbs to ﬁll their car-boot.
‘Tween twines and vines and thorns and knots,
Not quite a real boy not quite a scare crow
through poop and goop toe-jam and snot, grew a small boy out of the compost rot. His name you ask? Perfafanu Ignius Flot.
he stood in the lot of rose and tomato. Wore a green bean frown, cheeks wildberry-stained glow. And when he passed shat soiled-seeds would sow.
Flot’s physical ﬂaws were Below repute, stuck in the ground His feet were roots. His hair were straw and his ﬁngernails, shoots. He was home to ﬂies, ﬂeas, ﬂords and newts.
Manure manoeuvred Perfafanu to grow. Above the shrubs, Beyond the hedge-row. Til it rained ten nights straight For the soil to erode and Flot’s feet wriggled loose, from the boggy below. The Rashomon Effect 15.
The Preacher The preacher stands on his makeshift stage, throwing his arms around in broken English to the crowd slowly forming around him. Wild red One root, two root, three step, four. Went Perfafanu’s feet through the garden ﬂoor Tomatoes were squashed into a bloody red gore. Roses were trampled And the scent over-awed.
With a hideous wail dirty Julie Jones was ﬁrst. Smoking in the girls room His strong vines - her lungs burst. He devoured fat Hans Which saw roles reversed. As Hans would eat Flot’s tubers With gravy and bratwurst.
When dawn broke wind, grabbing Flot’s funk and spore the township knew this odorous roar That their kids’ evil doings Had rotted to the core. Revenge would be sweet For this fermented folklore.
Flot fed on the football squad drank their blood, quenched his thirst. Cos at his lot, with the cheerleaders, the team oft emersed. Though, this was a routine the girls had not rehearsed, as he ate their legs for dinner and their breasts, just desserts.
Perfafanu’s trail, one of grossness and grime moved through the town, slithering on slime. Warning bells rang out not rung since wartime, but the townfolks’ wails deafened the chime.
So Let this be a lesson to you rotten fornicators and ﬁlthy ﬁends fondling each other’s pornicators. Mixing sodden seeds in Eden, makes you one of God’s traitors. And you’ll face the evil wrath Of our Almighty creator.
A conscious path Was Flot’s snail line. As he lurched through streets Oozing wild booze and brine. School was just in, It was a quarter past nine. But ﬁlthy ﬁfteen-year-olds had only sex on the mind.
And Kid’s, don’t eat your greens. Who cares ‘bout dessert later. Just think about the cuisine of Perfafanu Flot’s haters. Those hunters became the hunted of the vengeful Vegitator... So only eat meat and always and forever remain… masturbators.
16. The Rashomon Effect
hair frames an untroubled face, a long beard ends in a gallows knot. His sermon, caught within the cooing of the doves that surround him, ﬂoats in the air above his assembly. ‘One second of your life is one second of eternity! I can teach you how to live forever!’ These lucky few, his chosen disciples, blessed with the knowledge of eternal life. His congregation murmur and clutch at each other at the news. ‘My children,’ he exclaims, gesticulating wildly. There is no build up. His truth bursts from his lips, covered in spittle, as if desperate to escape. His words however do not ring with the crowd and fall to the straw covered ground in doubt. The crowd disperse as abruptly as it had gathered and the preacher is left standing there, brushing the wild hair from his face, pitying those that gathered for reality. They had the chance to reﬂect the sun, but had shunned an undesirable truth. By A. Warner The Rashomon Effect 21.
20. The Rashomon Effect
The Rashomon Effect 17.
Meekins Meekins is an Australian artist and graphic designer residing in Den Haag but about to make the jump to Toronto for work. We rather fancy her skills, from Tough Gene Pool above that reminds us of Daniel Clowes (author and artist of Ghost World) and The Spaghetti Eater further on. She also painted the artwork for dirty old Perfafanu (p17) and young Amanda (p24). Meekin’s poem, Two Brothers is rather sweet too. ‘Sometimes I draw, sometimes I paint, sometimes I press a button which freezes a moment in time. But I’m always thinking, sometimes too much.’
18. The Rashomon Effect
The Rashomon Effect 19.
Published on Aug 12, 2009
An underground literary magazine featuring short stories, flash fiction, poetry, journalism, non-fiction and anything else with words