Six Failproof Tips Guaranteed to get you signed by a Literary Agent. Probably.

cartoon-publishing gonna passIn the days when I (naively) still entertained hope that a literary agent somewhere might be interested in my work I came to form my own impressions of them and how they worked.

Drawing on the benefit of that experience, I’d like to present to you my own (not entirely) tongue-in-cheek list of tips that WILL get you signed up. And that’s a 100% money back promise!

The most important to thing to remember, if you want to get signed, is that literary agents are almost stereotypically white, middle-class, conservative and highly risk-averse ladies and gentlemen who lunch and they probably went to a better school than you did. It’s these particular characteristics of agents that have informed the construction of my list….

Here we go, top tips to get you a literary agent:

1. Have a BA (Hons) in Eng Lit from Oxford or Cambridge. This means that an agent can be sure that, even if you churn out plot-free, turgid nonsense at least it will be turgid nonsense with good grammar and spelling: and even if the grammar and spelling isn’t actually that good that’s because you’re being “clever” and “ground-breaking” in your “manipulation and reinvention of the English language.” In a literary agent’s eyes an Oxbridge BA Eng Lit (Hons) is the equivalent of Beatification and Papal Infallibility all rolled into one.

2. Be a celeb. Pretty obvious one this, really. You’re a celeb, people know you, you have a ready-made fan base who will buy anything with your name on it. To an agent, publishing a “book” by a celeb is a no-brainer (literally…). And if you have absolutely nothing to say and your writing skills don’t extend beyond “the cat sat on the mat,” don’t worry, it’s just your name we need, darling, and, anyway, that’s what editors and ghostwriters are for.

3. Be a journalist. Once again, pretty obvious. I mean, if you’re a journalist you’ll definitely be able to write a good book, right? After all, as a journalist, you will have had years and years of utilising your famed journalistic abilities of critical thinking and “having a great nose for a story”  by reproducing other peoples’ press releases word for word and surely all that copying must have taught you something about writing? Surely? Its also useful to note here that you will get double points for being a journalist if you work for the BBC (that being the most middle class of media outlets…) or a nice magazine like The Lady or The Spectator.

4. Be “P.L.U.” This is a slightly more complex concept. Let me explain. “P.L.U.” means “People Like Us.” This is the question a literary agent would have, invariably, asked him/herself before casting your unread manuscript into the never to be read slush pile. Agents like to deal in known quantities, they don’t like straying out of their comfort zone and they’re not happy dealing with people who, well, who just aren’t like them. So, how do you make yourself P.L.U.? Here’s a checklist:

  • Be (at least) middle-class.
  • Live in London or the nicer parts of the Home Counties (not Luton).
  • Express an interest in wholesome and class appropriate activities such as horse riding
  • Ensure that your targeted agent is a friend, a friend of the family, or the friend of a friend.
  • Do not be working class.
  • Do not live in The North.
  • Be white (which is blindingly bloody obvious, really).

5. Do not write about (I can barely bring myself to type the word..) homosexuals. Writing that features homosexuals scares the life out of agents. If they should accidentally pick up your manuscript because they’ve confused it with a copy of The Lady magazine or Sporting life they will, upon spying the gay bit, throw your work into the air and run screaming from the room. However, there are exceptions. You can get away with gayness if you’re an already established and famous gay media figure (preferably a bit silly and very camp, like proper gay people are supposed to be…) or your portrayal of gays might be acceptable if it features them:

  • Being extremely unhappy and tortured individuals.
  • Only able to find a modicum of happiness when they settle into a relationship and adopt/surrogate/steal a child (it being a well known fact that all gays are actually really desperate to have children to bring meaning to their otherwise empty lives).
  • Getting beaten to death by rough trade pick ups/rentboys.
  • Receiving their just desserts and dying horribly of AIDS (this is a particularly effective tactic for sneaking gayness into your work).

6. Be “gender-appropriate” in your writing and, for God’s sake, don’t write anything that mixes genres. This means that, if you’re male, you should only write books that involve guns, fighting, detectives and monsters. If you’re female you need to stick to romance, children and female detectives. Remember, blokes write certain types of books, and women write other types, do not confuse your potential agent by trying to blur any boundaries here…oh, and if you are a bloke trying to write a book for kids, you had better soooo forget that idea…and whatever your sex, do not challenge a literary agent’s (usually somewhat limited) intellectual capabilities by writing a book that mixes genres, that is entirely too complicated and just is not the done thing (unless you satisfy Point 1. above, in which case any old piece of meandering crap is wonderful, darling).

That’s it! Simples! Adopt my 6 tips and I guarantee that an agent will sign you up in six months…..probably.

Pic: writingpublishing.com

The Little Girl Who Chased Snowflakes And What It Meant.

snowflakeOnce upon a time many, many years ago in a world long since forgotten, there was a country called Anywhere. And in the land of Anywhere there was a fine and prosperous city called Anyplace. In the hills surrounding Anyplace were the fabulous homes of those rich and wealthy people who would later become known as The Greedy One Percent, and who would be responsible not only for their own destruction but that of the land of Anywhere. But…I get many decades ahead of myself. Back to our little tale.

That particular year, Anywhere was having one of its Rare And Occasional cold winters and the city of Anyplace was abuzz, that particular day, with Rumours Of Snow To Come, something that had not occurred for many, many years.

Now, an old and wise Fairy, reaching the end of her 897 years and 13 days of life, had been listening to passing human conversations (as Fairies are wont to do) and had heard these Rumours Of Snow. Despite her many years of life, the Fairy had, as a result of Anywhere’s Mild And Temperate Climate, witnessed snow only a few times. She did remember, however, that snow was a very beautiful thing indeed and as she would soon be leaving this life, this would probably be her last chance to experience The Beauty Of Snow.

This thought in mind, she resolved to fly to the hills outside Anyplace, aware that it would be cooler and probably snowier there than in the city. (Fairy’s have a surprisingly and entirely instinctive knowledge of meterology).

So, the Fairy beat her Small But Powerful wings and flew. In no time at all, at least by the Fairy Clock, she was comfortably seated in a tall tree in the huge, walled garden (grounds more than garden, really) of one of the fine homes of the wealthy and powerful, high in the hills. And so she sat, in happy anticipation of The Beauty To Come. By and by, the wind got up, a sense of dampness could be scented in the air and the First Fat Snowflakes pirouetted gracefully downwards from the flat, grey sky, coming to rest on the cold ground: cool, white crystals of delicate intricacy blossoming like flowers of white gossamer.

And the Fairy sat in her tree and watched the snow flutter down. And she thought of previous snowy days, of her younger self, of Fairy friends now dead and gone, of a Happy, Long Life Well-Lived.

But her Wallowing In Pleasant Nostalgia was soon interrupted. A Small Back Door in the Big House at the end of the huge garden burst open and through the door came a small human girl (eight or nine years of age to the Fairy’s mind), dashing out into the garden, into the swirling snowflakes. The little girl seemed inexpressibly happy, her eyes shone and her face glowed with happiness and she began to chase the falling snowflakes round the garden and, whenever physics and opportunity would allow, she would jump into the air and snatch an individual flake into her mouth, a look of pure joy on her face as its refreshing coolness melted on her tongue.

The Fairy was entranced by the little girl: her innocence, her joy, her enthusiasm, her bright eyed wonder. Her being so young, it must have been the first time the little girl had seen snow. No wonder she was so excited. And yet. And yet the more the Fairy watched the little girl, the more she saw something in the way she moved: there was a certain desperation there, and all the joy in her glowing expression could not mask something the Fairy saw as an underlying sadness. Curious (for Fairies are Inveterately Curious Creatures) the Fairy decided to look into the child’s soul and see exactly what was going with this strange little girl.

Fixing the jumping, Superficially Joyful Little Girl in her gaze the Fairy peered through Flesh And Bone to locate the child’s soul. As always with a child, her soul appeared beautiful from the outside, like a fine jewellery box of the most expensive wood, inlaid with gold leaf and mother of pearl. But opening this fine jewellery box, the Fairy did not find the stunning jewels of jaw-dropping beauty normally found in The Soul Of A Child , but instead lumps of shit and rotting meat. There was something very wrong with this poor girl. And in an instant the Fairy saw it all. The poor, lonely, neglected little rich girl. A mother who was more interested in the trappings of wealth than her daughter and consistently undermining of her own child, that stemming from sheer, malevolent jealousy of youth and the daughter’s place in her father’s “affections.” A girl to whom nobody really talked and who, in turn, could not talk to others, who had never made friends at school. And the father. The monster. The evil, rich, sociopathic, successful businessman, ruthless and efficient. A man who took what he wanted because he knew his wealth and power made him untouchable: a man with political ambitions. A disgusting, perverse man, creeping into his daughter’s bedroom at night and sliding a corrupting, corrupted hand up her night dress. The daughter begging him to stop. Crying. Pleading. Please. Stop. But Daddy never stopped. Daddy always took what he wanted. Untouchable.

The little girl’s story struck the Fairy like a slap to the face. The girl’s frantic chasing and swallowing of snowflakes was not the Exuberant Happiness of a child seeing snow for the first time, rather it was a girl who saw chasing snowflakes as chasing a freedom she could not envisage and swallowing snowflakes a way of taking a small, icy slice of beauty inside herself to brighten the barren, ugly space that was her life. The Fairy rocked back and forth on the branch of the big tree she had settled herself into and she cried a silent tear, which crystalised into a solid diamond as it rolled down her cheek (for all Fairies cry diamonds) and she remembered a similar little girl in a similar situation almost nine centuries ago and she Resolved To Rescue this poor sad, abused child.

With a Decisive Beating Of Wings the Fairy flew into the air, leaving behind, for now at least, the Little Girl Who Chased Snowflakes. The Fairy knew two fearsome Trolls who owed her a favour. It was for their Troll-hole she was bound.

Had she stayed, she would have witnessed the little girl’s mother running out into the garden and calling her Bitch, Idiot Daughter back into the house. She would have seen the light go out in the girl’s face and eyes to be replaced by a Hopeless, Blank-Eyed Sallowness, would have noticed how the little girl shrunk in on herself, exuded a hopelessness that was palpable and took on the demeanour of a dog that is beaten daily by its master. The Fairy did not witness any of these things, but would not have been surprised by them if she had.

The very next morning, all was chaos outside the Opulent Home where the little girl and her parents lived, with Police And Neighbours milling around, all with Grave Looks Of Concern upon their faces. Or should I say had lived. For the little girl was nowhere to be found and her parents were dead, torn limb from limb, beheaded and disemboweled. A Grisly Scene indeed and one that was, in Official Speak, “entirely consistent with a Troll Home Invasion.” The little girl had, no doubt, been taken alive by the Trolls to be sold to Pirates: it was highly unlikely that she would ever be seen again.

The little girl had, indeed, been taken, not by the Trolls (who had simply discharged their debt to the Fairy by killing the parents, a duty they found most agreeable) but by the Fairy. She would take the child to A Place That Is Secret And Sacred to all Fairies where, she would perform A Ceremony Of Magic incomprehensible to humans, which would relieve the child of the burden of her short human life, so prone to the vicissitudes of the Blind Old Weaver Of Fate and so sparse in its understanding of the Duality Of All Things, and see her reborne as a Fairy, a being of Magic And Grace who would have 897 years and 13 days of living in which to gain a full and proper understanding of the Way The Universe Works.

Just as another Fairy had done for another scared and lonely little girl nearly nine centuries past.

The BBC lets slip the truth about Flight MH17, gets told off, changes its mind.

MH17_cockpitThe nepotism and crony riddled journalistic disgrace that is the BBC is still lying about Flight M17 and who shot it down. It seems, though, that at one point today they weren’t lying quite enough and somebody had to have a word…

Earlier this morning the BBC reported that evidence from Dutch flight investigators pointed to a large number of “high velocity holes” in the fuselage of the plane had caused it to break up in mid-air and crash. These could be (let’s be honest they ARE) consistent with canon fire from a fighter jet or shrapnel from an exploding air to air missile, but (here’s the important bit…) that there was no sound of an explosion in sound recordings taken from the flight deck, which there would be if an air to air missile had exploded meters from the plane. The implication of the BBC report, then, was that Flight MH17 had been shot down by a fighter jet. Now, of course, the story that the Western presstitute, compliant, plutocrat-serving scum media have been told to tell is that MH17 was shot down by a surface to air missile launched by Russian-backed rebels, or the Russians themselves.

Oh, dear, seems the dear old BBC accidentally strayed off-script.

And somewhere in the depths of Whitehall, some slimy, scaly-skinned civil servant flicked its pointed tail in irritation and put a call through to its counterpart at the BBC.

And, surprise, surprise, a mere three hours later, BBC coverage of the Dutch crash investigators report has changed completely. There is now no mention of the lack of an explosion on the sound recordings and the “high velocity holes” are definitely, without doubt and in the name of all that is holy, entirely consist with the plane being hit by a surface to air Buk missile and, more to the point, Western governments have masses of evidence that the missile was fired by Russian separatists/the Evil Russians/Vladimir Putin himself.

The truth is Flight MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet, as shown in Russian radar imagery.

Still don’t believe me? Then answer these questions:

*Western governments have “evidence.” Okay, what is it and why don’t they release it?

*Three famous facebook conversation between a Russian commander and a Russian separatist in which the shooting down of MH17 is discussed…why was it uploaded to facebook the DAY BEFORE MH17 was downed?

*Why was the US State department “satellite image,” with the Buk missile trajectory handily photoshopped in, subsequently shown to have been taken in 2012?

*Why has America not released any other satellite imagery?

*Why did Kiev air traffic control divert MH17 300 miles off its planned route?

*Why does Kiev air traffic control not want to release transcripts of its conversations with the pilot of MH17?

*Why does Russian radar imagery show MH17 being tailed by a Ukrainian fighter jet?

*Why is damage to the fuselage of MH17 consistent with fighter jet cannon fire?

*Why was “photographic” evidence of a Buk missile launcher (which the rebels have consistently denied having) in rebel-held territory disproved when people noticed the road signs in the picture showed that the picture was actually taken several hundred miles away in government-held territory?

Lastly….remember that the current Ukrainian government was installed by the CIA and various American Neo-Cons, the same people who bought The Fabulous, The Amazing, All Singing, All Dancing Saddam Hussein Weapons of Mass Destruction Roadshow.

If you’d like to know WHY flight MH17 was shot down, please read my previous post:

Is Obama’s meddling in Ukraine leading us down the road to Nuclear War?

 

 

 

The Poor Man, the Rich Man & the Blind Old Weaver of Fate.

ratsOnce upon a time many, many years ago in a world long since forgotten, there was a country called Anywhere. And in the land of Anywhere there was a fine and prosperous city called Anyplace. One fine summer’s day a Poor Man was walking to work. Now this man lived in a run-down house in one of the Deprived Zones that encircle the Bustling And Golden Financial District of Anyplace, which is called The Anytown, and to get to his place of work (for he was employed at as a cook at The Asylum For The Strange And Different) he had to cross The Thriving Hub Of Finance.

So there he was, a Poor Man, strolling along the affluent pathways of this wealthy area. As he walked, he whistled, for the sun was bright and the sky was blue and there was Happiness In His Soul.

Coming in the opposite direction, walking towards the Poor Man, was a Rich Man. He was a trader in the new Financial Product that had taken Anywhere by storm in recent years, the HORFIOD (Highly Opaque and Risky Financial Instrument Of Death) and, as such, was a member of the families of The One Percent and lived, like the rest of his kind, in a Vast Mansion high in the hills outside Anyplace.

Now today was not a good day for the Rich Man for he was particularly weighed down with the Troubles And Cares Of Wealth and was running frantically between business meeting and business meeting and he was not happy, not happy at all.

He was somewhat affronted, then, to see the Poor Man. After all, here was this chap coming down the street towards him, smiling, whistling and obviously In Love With The World, yet from his Demeanour and Ragged Clothes he was equally obviously a Poor Man of No Means And No Money. What right had he to be happy? What possible cause could he have to be happy? Unacceptable. He determined that he would Find Out What Was Going On with this strange fellow, this Poor Person

With this thought upon his mind and being by now in a Very Bad Mood, the Rich Man, upon drawing level with the Poor Man said:

“You, Poor Man, stop!”

And the Poor Man stopped, looked the Rich Man in the eye and, smiling in an infuriatingly pleasant way replied, “of course, sir, how may I help you?”

“Well, I’ll come straight to the point. I found your obvious happiness an effrontery and most annoying and I wish you immeadiately to cease smiling and stop whistling. You have no right to be happy, I can tell simply from looking at you that you’re a Man Without Money And Means and as such your position in life should be one of abject misery.”

“But, sir,” replied the Poor Man, “respectful of your position and all as I am, I have to beg differ. You’re right, of course, that money is a constant worry but I have a roof over my head and food on the table and a job of work. I have a wife who I love very much and who loves me and I have two beautiful, healthy children who are the apple of my eye…these things are Jewels Beyond Price, why would I want more?”

“Harrumph!” Harrumphed the Rich Man and, concluding that there was no reasoning with this insolent fool of a man, span on his heel, walking away, leaving the Poor Man to continue his journey.

What a deluded idiot! Good grief, “why would I want more,” how stupid, after all one always wants more, getting more is the point of everything. What kind of life can one have if one doesn’t have more? And yet…he can still hear that stubborn, insolent stupid, happy Poor Man whistling as he walks away down the street. Happy. Happy. Hah, happiness is wealth, plain and simple.

But with that thought, something strange happened to the Rich Man. Maybe it happened because he was having a bad day, too much stress, too much to do, or maybe it happened because a passing Fairy observed the conversation between our two protagonists and offended, perhaps, by the arrogance of the Rich Man, decided to bestow upon him one of those Notoriously Double-Edged “Gifts” that Fairies are so fond of Bestowing…

Whatever the cause, the Rich Man was suddenly struck by an intense bout of Insight: something which people of his class and wealth are normally Blissfully Free Of. He saw his life for what it was. His pretty, younger wife. Married not for love, but as a trophy. He didn’t love her. And she didn’t love him, not for a minute, his touch repulsed her. But she did love his money, the clothes, the parties, the house, the jewels. The two children. They were far from being the apple of his eye. In fact he barely knew them, certainly didn’t love them: they were just something that had to be produced by a Man In His Position, and to his wife giving birth to them was part of the financial contract that was their marriage. Raised by nannies and governesses his children were growing up unloved and unwanted and would become Troubled And Difficult Adults. And that big, beautiful mansion of his. Upon reflection it was big, but not beautiful, rather a cold, empty space devoid of meaning and feeling.

All he had was money. Lots and lots of money. But money can’t share a joke or a confidence with you, it cannot be your friend. It cannot hold your hand, or kiss you or hold you near.

With this shock of insight the Rich Man suddenly felt very alone. He felt a sense of rising panic and anxiety, of sorrow and loss. He stopped walking. He felt hot and sick and dizzy and…at that point his heart, weakened by years of Stress And Rich Living decided to give up the struggle and ceased to beat any more.

The Rich Man fell to the ground, aware of an Absence Of Motion in his chest and An Inability To Breathe. This was it, he was dying. This could not be for surely he was Too Rich To Die?

And just before the Rich Man made the Final Journey from this world to the other, his insight suddenly widened (in my mind this points to it being Fairy-inspired Insight, but I suppose we could debate that point until the Trolls came home..) and he had a vision of the very inside of his Soul, and his last living feeling were ones of endless and deep despair. He saw his Soul for what it was: a vast, empty, barren desert in which there was not a living thing except a myriad rats, scuttling pointlessly and desperately back and forth in search of something they didn’t even know they were looking for, and across the the thick, black fur of each of these rates was emblazoned, in blood red capital letters, the word GREED.

At this point the Rich Man’s existence passed into the Fog Of Forgotten Stories which makes up so much of history.

And the Moral Of This Story is very simple. When the Blind Old Weaver Of Fate decides to spin together the last few threads of your life, not even all the money in the world will help you. Only Love endures.

 

A Ragged Man Sang from his Soul, and a Kingdom Trembled.

tearsOnce upon a time many, many years ago in a world long since forgotten, there was a country called Anywhere. And in the land of Anywhere there was a fine and prosperous city called Anyplace, and in this city there was a park. Now this park was generally considered to be not only the most beautiful in the city of Anyplace but, indeed, the Most Beautiful in the whole of Anywhere.

In this park was a bench, ideally situated near the lake, giving a pleasant view out over said lake and to the thronging ducks and swans who inhabited the lake’s warm and fertile waters.

One day, an ordinary summer’s day, a man sat alone on this desirable bench. He was a man of unremarkable appearance and indeterminate age. If you were an ordinary citizen of Anyplace, upon seeing the man you would notice only two things about him. You would have been surprised by his clothes for they looked Ragged and Poor, and poverty had been banished from the land of Anywhere many years before you were born, and you would have been drawn in by the Ragged Man’s eyes for they were large and of the deepest, Most Striking Blue and had a quality that suggested that what they were seeing was Not Of This World, but something else, something far beyond.

Then suddenly, completely without warning or apparent reason, the Ragged Man began to sing.

Sitting on his bench, sitting upright, hands on his knees, staring straight ahead with those remarkable eyes that viewed something in a different time and place, the Ragged Man opened his mouth. And from that mouth, the mouth of an Otherwise Ordinary and Unremarkable Person, came a song. It was a song of such beauty and redolent of such sorrow, sung in a tone that was like honey to the ears, that people walking by the Ragged Man stopped to listen and people elsewhere in the park, hearing a thing so spell-binding hovering upon the soft summer breeze, made a bee-line for him and his bench.

In no time at all, a large crowd had gathered around the Ragged Man. Oblivious to the commotion he was causing, the Ragged Man sang and sang. His song seemed to consist of two verses and a chorus and no sooner had the song come to an end than he would start it again. And again and again.

The crowd were spellbound. Silence reigned as the listeners let the ragged Man’s sorrowful singing caress their ears and senses. Nobody knew for sure what the Song was about, for the Ragged Man sang in a language they had never heard before, yet somehow, on some level they knew exactly what the words of the Song meant. Then, as one, the crowd understood completely. The Ragged Man was singing from his very Soul, and the language he sang was the Language of the Soul. And as the Ragged Man’s words traveled from the his Soul to the Souls of the people of the crowd they saw that his song was so deeply beautiful because he sang of the loss of love, and that loss was a thing of rare and precious beauty, something more valuable than diamonds, a loss that could be clutched to the chest forever like a huge, warm, glowing nugget of gold. The song was a song of tenderness, memory and deepest affection and it created a  pain so exquisite and intense as to be irresistible, a pain that would remain part of a person, every day of every year, until the day they breathed their last.

As word spread throughout the city of Anyplace that a thing of Such Rare and Naked Beauty was Issuing Forth from the Soul of An Otherwise Unremarkable Man, the crowd grew and grew and several hours later it was so large that it stretched out of the confines of the park into nearby streets. And still the Ragged Man sang.

At this point the authorities, fearing for the Everyday Commercial Life of Anyplace and the Possibility of Civil Insurrection, decided Something Had to be Done about the Ragged Man and a detachment of Police Officers was dispatched to the park. After much struggling to find a way through the huge crowd, and another hour just standing around listening to the seductive Song of his Soul, the officers gathered the Ragged Man into a black van and, as previously instructed by The Powers That Be, drove him north of the city to be incarcerated in The Asylum for The Strange and The Different.

And the Ragged Man sang his mournful, intoxicating song. He sang as the officers put him in the van, he sang on the way to The Asylum, he sang at The Asylum and when placed in a cell, he sat on the bed provided, hands on knees, striking blue eyes staring into Another Place and he carried on singing.

The Ragged Man spent six days in The Asylum for The Strange and The Different. During those six days he never stopped singing, nor did he eat or sleep. And nor did fascination for his song wane. Large crowds of ordinary people made the trip out of the city to The Asylum, gathering outside its high walls, where the Song of the Ragged Man’s Soul could be faintly heard. The great and the good of the city of Anywhere bribed and bullied their way into the Ragged Man’s cell to see and hear this extraordinary phenomena with their own eyes and ears, whilst the guards smuggled in their friends and families by night.

And then, at the end of the sixth day, the Ragged Man stopped singing. He sighed, closed his eyes, fell silently to the ground and died.

His death was witnessed by several people. They have since told me, though I cannot confirm this, that his death seemed to be very peaceful, that in death he was smiling, his face wearing a look of contentment and tranquility, that he looked like a man who was going home.

Fearful, as such types always are, of something that could inspire Such Emotion in Ordinary Folk, The Powers That Be had been secretly planning to smuggle the Ragged Man’s body out of the Asylum and bury it quietly in an Unmarked Grave. However, an unknown and brave journalist leaked the plan and, as a consequence, the city of Anyplace was convulsed in two days and two nights of ferocious rioting, the like of which hadn’t been seen in the land of Anywhere for a hundred years.

Fearing revolution, The Powers That Be relented in their plan and the Ragged Man was buried in the Great Cathedral of Anyplace  with Full Honours, the city turned out almost in its entirety to mourn the passing of a man about whom they knew nothing but his Song.

Some month’s later, a massive bronze sculpture, paid for by Public Subscription, was raised in the park in memory of the Ragged Man. At the base of the sculpture was the simple inscription: “For one day we must all sing his Song.”

Is Obama’s meddling in Ukraine leading us down the road to Nuclear War?

nuclear-bomb-explosionFirst off, this post is not a criticism of Americans. Truth be told, I’ve never met an American I didn’t like. They are warm, friendly, open-hearted, hard-working and dynamic people.

Rather this is an attack on the clique of plutocrats, corporate leaders and Neo-Con madmen who seized control of and subverted American democracy way back in the 80’s (some would say 70’s). These are the people who now run (current front man & puppet-in-chief, the JP Morgan funded and groomed Barak “kill-list” Obama) the American government, ably assisted by elected “puppeticians” and an in the pocket “presstitute” media. The aim of that government is exclusively to enrich the already rich. And sod the rest of you.

To this purpose, American foreign policy has two driving forces: the Wolfowitz Doctrine and “resource extraction.” The Wolfowitz doctrine states, broadly, that no other nation should be able to rise to a position of power that might threaten American Hegemony (read, the American Corporate Hegemony).

“Resource extraction” is about destroying central governments of resource rich nations (read oil & gas) to crack open and loot their natural resources: weak governments can’t negotiate favourable terms with Multinationals. Thus US funded attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government and the destruction of national governments in Libya and Syria (where the US armed and funded extreme Islamic groups to do its dirty work) are about looting oil and gas. And Iraq. Poor bloody Iraq. That was always about oil. Freedom. Nonsense. Democracy. Nonsense. Instead you have the grotesque situation that as that sad country comes apart and descends into utter chaos, oil production is at a thirty year high.

And so we come to the Ukraine. Ukraine is a Neo-Con Holy Grail. It is resource extraction and Wolfowitz Doctrine all rolled up into one juicy package.

So what exactly is going on in Ukraine and why is it so very, very dangerous for the world?

Earlier this year, the democratically elected government of Ukraine was overthrown by a cabal of anti-Semitic fascists (encouraged, financed and resourced by the US government), which then began a war against the sizeable Russian population in the east of Ukraine who had (predictably) democratically voted in a referendum to split away from a Ukraine now ruled by people whose forefathers fought with the Nazis. The Neo-Cons’ thinking was that at this point Russia would invade Ukraine to protect its citizens. Russia could then be portrayed as an aggressor state, operating outside international law and a series of economic sanctions could be applied to damage the Russian economy and Russian resources would be further drained as it got dragged into a war. Bish bosh, a potential threat to American power removed. As an added bonus, Ukraine, too, would descend into economic and social chaos with its government entirely dependent on US financial and material support and corporate America could swoop in for some lovely resource extraction: in particular in Ukraine’s case, shale gas. Funnily enough US senator Joe Biden’s son just became a director of Ukraine’s largest gas producer…

Unfortunately, Putin didn’t rise to the bait and kept his troops firmly on the Russian side of.

Time to up the ante. So, just as Assad used chemical weapons in Syria (no, he didn’t, turned out it was Qatari financed Islamic rebels), just as Saddam had chemical weapons (enough said…) Russia would commit a terrorist atrocity. It would shoot down flight MH17, killing nearly 300 people.

So, on that particular, fateful day, Ukrainian air traffic control instructed flight MH17 to divert its route 300 mile north and somebody shot it down with a surface to air missile.

And it was Putin that did it. Or at least that “fact” was never disputed by the Western presstitute media, who pinned guilt on the Russians from minute one. And the evidence? Let me see, there was a Youtube video of a conversation between a Russian “military commander” and a Russian “separatist in” which they discuss shooting down the flight, but it was uploaded the DAY BEFORE MH17 was shot down. And then there was the satellite picture released by the US State Department that subsequently turned out to be an image from 2010 with a line photoshopped on it. And then there was…well nothing. In fact there’s not a shred of evidence to support the assertion by Western governments and media that Russia shot down MH17. Strangely the US government has never got round to releasing evidence that could be conclusive…the real satellite pictures taken over Ukraine that day which it has in its possession. Wonder why?

So, ante successfully upped (and unquestionably parroted by our so-called “journalists”) America’s Neo-Con nutters got to work, presenting Russia as an international pariah, imposing sanctions designed to hurt Russia’s economy. Sanctions were also set in place by Europe, led into the charge by America’s lap-dog in chief, the United Kingdom. The fact that these sanctions will hurt European economies as well as Russia (and that’s even before Russia gets round to switching the gas off this winter…) does not matter. European politicians are just as much the willing puppets of big money and big business as their American counterparts: they have no patriotism for their country or connection to the people they supposedly serve, they just want to get their snouts into the most lucrative position around the plutocrats pig-trough.

Right. This is where stuff gets very dangerous. This is where the law of Unintended Consequence comes in. You see, plutocrats and Neo-Cons, in their unholy alliance, are blinded by two things: ideology and greed. They want what they want NOW and this makes them very poor at taking a long-term view of their meddling in other peoples’ countries. They consistently fail to allow for unintended consequence, or “blow back,” if you like. For example, they financed Islamic extremists in Afghanistan to fight the Russians, and created Al Qaeda. They financed ISIS in Syria to overthrow Assad. Now the Neo-Cons are panicking because ISIS has gone (very successfully) into Iraq and is perilously near the Kirkuk oil-field (hence the recent “humanitarian” air-strikes by the USAF).

So what potential “blow back” is there with the Russia/Ukraine situation. The worst: nuclear war.

Russia is progressively being backed into a corner. Its economy is being undermined by sanctions, its leader is being pilloried by Western politicians and media, it is being accused of being a terrorist and supporting terrorism. In short, Russia sees the same approach to itself by the US and its allies as was taken to Saddam in the run up to the Gulf War. The demonisation before the invasion. They see the US an out of control, ruthless, hegemonic, militaristic empire that is prepared to do anything, to commit any atrocity to get its own way: looking at the calamitous effect American policy has had Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt, who can blame them.

Senior Russian officials now talk openly of their fear that America will hit the country with a nuclear “first strike.” Meanwhile the sanctions get tighter and the demonisation continues on a day by day basis. This has created a tinderbox atmosphere that is one unfortunate incident away from a war that could quickly turn nuclear.

We are living in very, very dangerous times. Keep your fingers very firmly crossed.

And don’t think for a moment that no-one would be stupid enough to start a nuclear war. The Russians might do it from sheer desperation, sincerely fearing that American first strike. And the plutocrats and Neo-Cons? The Neo-Cons are true nutters, Dr. Strangeloves on crystal meth: they include in their number people who sincerely believe that the birth of a red heifer in Israel signals the start of the “End Times.” And the plutocrats? They’ve grown so obscenely rich over the last thirty years or so that their arrogance has become overweening, they believe they are untouchable. They are certain that they could sit out a nuclear war in splendid isolation, emerge after the last missile has been shot and the last ordinary person has died, rake through ashes and make money doing so.

 

 

 

 

 

The Gruesome Story of the Parents who Killed their Own Child & ate the Evidence.

stew

“…the stew really was extremely comestible!”

Once upon a time in the land of Anywhere, in the city of Anyplace in a world long since forgotten, there lived, in one of the finest neighbourhoods of a fine city, a Respectable Couple. Both husband and wife had Well Paid and Responsible jobs in the Public Services and were well-regarded for their Professionalism and Competence. In short, they were Pillars Of The Community.

The Lovely Couple had two Beautiful Children and, to all intents to those looking in, this was the perfect family.

But, as so often in life, there was a worm wriggling around in this particular beautiful apple.

For the Lovely Couple Adored And Worshipped the first of their children who was graceful, polite, courteous and well-behaved, a real Credit To The Parents. But the second child? Well, the Perfect Parents were not at all sure about this second child. Unlike its sibling, the child was clumsy, apt to question instruction and had an annoying habit of saying the Wrong Thing At The Wrong Time. On more than one occasion the second child had caused the Lovely Couple embarrassment at Social Functions, something which they regarded as completely beyond the pale.

So, our Respectable Couple set aside time in their Hectic Schedule to talk about the future of the second child. They came to the conclusion that Something Had To Be Done about their disappointing offspring. The simple fact of the matter was that people like them, people of their Important Social Standing simply could not afford to have a child of this nature, its behaviour was unacceptable, a real let-down to its Perfect Parents and a possible threat to their Hard-Won Place In Society.

The Loving Parents came to the only Sensible Conclusion. The child had to go.

How to achieve this aim was the subject of much discussion. They could take the child out of the city and abandon it, but the child might be found and returned to them. Or perhaps they could sell the child to the Savage Pirates who plagued the remote and wild east coast of the land of Anywhere, for it was well known they had an insatiable appetite for slaves, particularly if young, attractive and healthy.  However, perhaps the child would be rescued in one of the Governments on-going and frequent anti-piracy raids, that would not be good and then Questions Might Be Asked.

For a few short minutes, the Doting Parents even considered having the child committed to The Asylum for The Strange and The Different, but the Social Embarrassment resultant from such an occurrence would of course be unbearable.

The Lovely Couple eventually came to the Obvious Answer. The child had to vanish and vanish without trace, with no possibility that it might be found at some point in the future. The child had to die. That was it, they would kill the child, dispose of the body and claim that it had been abducted by one of the gangs of Trolls or Fairies who wandered the land of Anywhere and often stole human children for their own Nefarious Purposes.

Of course it was unfortunate that the child had to die, but if the child were an adult it would surely understand that its parents Social Position And Respectability were far more important than its life and, indeed, upon such understanding would probably do the Decent Thing and kill itself thus saving its parents the work.

Now the Professional Couple regarded themselves as being People Of Action, so, that very night, as the child lay sleeping, they snuck up to its room and smothered the life out of the child with a pillow made of the Finest Goose Down.

But now what to do with the body? How to ensure it vanished without trace? The Lovely Couple were Forward Thinking people and had already thought of a solution to his thorny issue. They were going to eat it.

Together, the Industrious Parents carried the child’s body down to the cellar of their Beautifully Furnished Home. There, they broke the body’s bones with a hammer and chopped it into small pieces with sharp knives.

The bones were further smashed with the hammer and fed to the family dog, whilst the flesh and organs of the body were cooked up into a big stew flavoured with red wine and basil.

The next morning the Lovely Couple reported to the Police that their child had disappeared. When Officers arrived at the couple’s home, the Perfect Parents voiced their fears to them that a Troll, or perhaps a Fairy, had entered their house at some time during the night and carried their child away. The Officers nodded sagely and agreed, for this was a Wide-Spread Problem in the land of Anywhere and why would such a Respected Couple tell them anything but the absolute truth? They even partook of some of the delicious stew offered to them by the Lady Of The House and complimented her on her outstanding Culinary Abilities, for the stew really was extremely comestible!

After a long and fruitless search across the length and breadth of the land of Anywhere, the child was considered to be officially lost, probably dead, the evil-doer no doubt being a Troll.

The Lovely Couple played the part of Grieving Parents with Consummate Skill and saw their already considerable Social Standing Considerably Enhanced, now their lives had been Touched By Tragedy. They even set up a highly successful Charitable Fund in the name of their Sadly Taken child (which they would later, with the advice of one of the highly skilled lawyers who worked for the Greedy One Percent, legally but immorally plunder, using the money “released” to live the High Life).

The child who had been murdered and eaten was forgotten about, slipping silently and unnoticed into the dense fog of Forgotten Stories which makes up so much of history.

And the moral of this story is: with a modicum of wealth and a degree of respectability, you can get away with anything.