The distractions of war

22 October 2007, 5:11 pm

Taking some time out from work, I glanced at the National Priorities Project’s Cost of War calculator. At the time of writing this, the total cost to the US of its occupation of Iraq stands at a conservatively estimated $462 billion. The National Priorities Project briefly explains how it calculates this cost, what figures are included, and which are excluded, here (e.g. operations in Afghanistan are excluded; regular pay for soldiers is excluded; combat pay is included). The figure is also reset every now and again, and will be reset once requests for 2008 war funding is approved by the US Congress. Read the rest of this entry »


The logistics of withdrawal

10 October 2007, 1:18 pm

Via Tom Raworth, here’ s an interesting piece from the Washington Times on the logistics of US military redeployment, should the US withdraw from Iraq.


Lazarus 3

5 February 2007, 5:05 pm

Not quite Lazarus 1

Not quite Lazarus 2

5 February 2007

I am at home, which still sometimes seems like a strange place. Where to start finding it again? Music, my music.

Generally, I veer between organising my music neatly – alphabetical by last name or stage name, within broad genres: soul, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, rock/indie/folk, etc. – veer between organisation on the one hand, and, on the other, a lounge where music is listened to: CDs in haphazard piles all over the place.

But now I order, and play music as I go. From Aswad to Mingus to Waterboys. On the stereo right now, the latter’s “Fisherman’s Blues”. Next maybe some Peaches ‘n Herb or George Benson. Yep, my tastes are all over the place, as it should be. There is place in my life for soufflé and fried chicken.

Occasionally, I catch myself wondering what the hell I am doing here, in this house, with its dusty corners, and gigantic spiderwebs all over the place. Above the kitchen sink, fruitflies hang caught in these magnificent structures.

Slowly, slowly, the audio-visual corner of the lounge finds order. I sing along to favourite songs, happy that I remember lyrics…


Not quite Lazarus 2

5 February 2007, 4:35 pm

Not quite Lazarus 1

1 February 2007

I sit here, in a friend’s flat, where I am convalescing. I have just had a cup of coffee. Miles Davis on the stereo.

I remember lying in the holding ward, drifting off to sleep, waking, then leaning over the edge of the bed to see what of my belongings are discernible in the plastic bag lying in the wire basket underneath the bed. The green shirt I was wearing, tan leather sandals, a red bag from the Winternachten festival – it contains my toothbrush and toothpaste. Was it then that I considered the options if I were to walk out of the hospital? (click title for more) Read the rest of this entry »


Not quite Lazarus…

31 January 2007, 3:34 pm

On Friday evening, 26 January 2007, I suffered what is suspected Transient Global Amnesia. My closest friend happened to be with me and took me to hospital.

Snatches of memories return, but most of the week leading up to the ‘event’ seem to have been wiped over with an oily rag. I remember being examined, on the evening of the event, by doctors – count backwards from 30 to 1, who is the president of South Africa? And I remember two nurses giggling around me as they fucked around trying to jab a needle in my hand for the drip. I remember giving them angry looks. Read the rest of this entry »


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