Thursday 22 April 2010

When empty terrors overawe

If you can bear to watch – even just the shorter version (about 18 minutes long) – then have a look at this video from Wikileaks. People die, be warned, and the detached, (occasional) video-game mentality of the commentary from the soldiers as they go about their work should be enough to give most people a sensible pause for thought.

Entirely unrelated, but David Cameron, leader of the British Conservative Party, met a black man in Plymouth. I know. He told us this during the course of The Great Debate last Thursday, a televised chance for our would-be leaders to strut their electoral stuff and unveil their General Election Haircuts in a risible pastiche of American presidential head-to-heads. Cameron feels sure that Britain needs tighter controls on immigration – with a special Border Force set up to zonk would-be Britons on the head. It’s not that he didn’t like the black man in Plymouth. Far from it. The black man in Plymouth was worried – "ashamed" - about immigration and Wanted Something Done. That’s Cameron’s sort of black man in Plymouth, for sure.

But David – Dave - black people can be stupid, as well, you know? It’s not mandatory to take their self-interested views on immigration to heart. It’s okay to say: “I strongly disagree, exotic black Briton, and feel you may have shit for brains”. (By singling out his blackness as somehow being worthy of mention in the first place, of course, you’re halfway towards calling him exotic, anyway, so you may as well go for broke. Don’t worry, he’ll love it.)

Looky, you’ll either instinctively feel creeped by Cameron’s (revealing, slyly assumptive) terminology, or you won’t. You’re on your own.

Anyway, on BBC1’s Question Time, straight after the debate, a member of UKIP – I forget his name, face and message – said that nobody would remember a single line from the discussion, such was the intensity of drabness on offer. Wrong. I remember the fact that David Cameron said he met a black man in Plymouth, whilst singularly neglecting to mention the colour of all those other ghostly stooges who appeared in his sickly personal anecdotes. Everything else, true enough, flew right on by, as I watched in stupefied horror and my skin began to crawl - more of a sprint, really - all the way back to the 1970’s.

In further unrelated “news”, I find myself looking after two cats, two chickens, and a morbidly immobile gang of goldfish. Depressed, lowbrow readers of this blog – all of you, frankly – may be familiar with what it means to have cats or goldfish. But chickens? You need to try it.

I’ve reached 500 words exactly (or I will have by the time I get to the end of this sentence) so I’ve no more space, unfortunately, to reveal why chickens are so utterly magic - and I can’t even make an absorbingly weak joke about chickens flying, then asking “who knew?” before going on to say probably those Iraqis, which is a great shame.

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