Tag Archives: war

War: it’s faaaantastic

To simply talk about it isn’t enough. If you weren’t there, you just don’t – can’t – know. They’ll tell stories, write books, maybe even film a movie or two, but they’ll never be able to truly know what it was like to be there, in the thick of it, boots on the ground, on April 20, 2012.

I was there and not even I can really put it across to you the horror, the heroism, the cowardice that I saw – and I’m only one man. I can only see so much. So much more will have passed me by; disappeared into the ether.

But I know one thing from my own war: I am a man. I am not afraid. I am unrelenting and brave. When it comes to it, I step up. I am the vanguard. I lead the charge. I inspire. I lead.

I wouldn’t say this lightly and if you know me you know I am modest to a fault. I wouldn’t even have cause to bring it up but, well – it was brought up for me. My efforts were rewarded and I think I’m right to be proud.

It was a hard war. A hard war we finished on the losing side of. Casualties were high. The dead will never be forgotten. But when the dust (and paint) had settled, they decided to give me a medal. Folks, I am The Ultimate Warrior:

Now sure, some might claim that maybe I was just given this because the guy running the place didn’t know who else to give it to. Sure it might have been because I got shot – at least visibly – more than other people did. Sure, it might be because I openly proclaimed to everyone “I got shot on the knob,” because I did. Sure, it might be because I’d actually shot this very guy even though he was a warden and only there to make sure people were abiding by the rules and not getting hurt. Sure, it might be that when he said “but you shot me!” I responded “you were in my way”.

Sure, some might claim all of those things, and they might claim that I don’t actually deserve this award, but… well, no, actually. They’d be right.

Still, I am The Ultimate Warrior. In your face, Jim Hellwig.

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How to solve the Greek crisis. No, really.

It seems Greece is fucked. They have no money – even less than me – and they need to sort things out. They’re in big trouble, and they are, as someone pointed out on Twitter earlier, pretty much the early warning that the Third World War is soon going to break out. Economic turmoil affecting normal people in very real ways leading to civil unrest leading to more extreme parties forcing their way into power leading a nation into blindly following their new, insane leader into whatever madcap scheme they come up with simply because it’s better than being the shit under the shoe of the rest of the world.

Or something.

But there is another way: a gameshow. Not just any gameshow, but a reality gameshow. A reality gameshow starring none other than Ian ‘Best In The World’ Dransfield.

Here’s the plan: put me in charge of Greece. Make it my mission to clean up this shitty mess the people have been left in as a result of the decisions of people who they are not. I got a B at GCSE maths – how hard can it be?

Each week I could be presented with a new task to overcome, whether it’s making sure enough buses run to rural areas every day while preserving jobs in another public transport office, or how much I want to spend on the army this week (clue: nothing). If I pass the test, I get a cake! Oh, also Greece pulls itself out of the misery it’s currently engulfed in.

But more importantly: I get a cake!

The idea of putting a normal, though awesome, person in charge of a country they’ve never been in charge of before – hard as it is to believe, I’ve never been in charge of any country, let alone a Greek one – would be a popular one. There’s no arguing that. Millions – billions – around the world would watch, and as a result the ad revenue would be immense.

Now I hate ads, as I’ve spouted off about before, but the idea of getting money from these twatty companies and funnelling it back into Greece sounds like a decent one to me. Obviously I’d bank 35% of all income both for cake and clementines, but the Greek peeps would still land 65%.

Basically, it would be brilliant entertainment, I would be able to solve the country’s problems and it would get them a batch of free money too – money they don’t have to pay back.

And anyway, you owe me Greece – remember when you nearly killed me in that fucking harbour, age three? Yeah, I don’t forgive, I don’t forget. The scar will never fade. I always have to live with the knowledge that when people shave my head they’ll remark “oh! You’ve got a scar!” AS IF I DON’T KNOW. Stupid Greece.

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Judgement day, part II

I thought the war was over. I’d forgotten it had ever happened. Well, that’s not true. There are some things you just can’t forget. Some images burned into the recesses of you mind forever, always popping back up when you least expect it. They haunt you. Remind you of what happened – of what you did. We like to think we have a tight grip – some element of control to what we think; how we react.

But we don’t. And the memories never fade. You just get used to dealing with it. You become complacent, and justify it to yourself. “It had to be done,” you’ll say, “it just had to be done.” And for a time you can make yourself believe that. You buy into a self-facilitated delusion, and for a time it makes everything feel alright. For a time.

But the world has a funny way of reminding you.

I thought they were gone forever. I thought I had won. I wasn’t proud of myself, but it was for the greater good. I had learned to deal with my guilt – my grief – at the massacre that had unfolded by my hand. I suddenly understood just what the Mahattan Project scientists must have gone through, knowing their actions wrought untold destruction on thousands of innocent lives. I understood, because I too had done the same thing.

It was a massacre. A genocide. They didn’t stand a chance. I had won, but the victory had cost more than I ever expected it to. I left a piece of my soul on that battlefield, and sometimes I would argue with myself that maybe they were the true victors. After all, they didn’t have to live with the burden of guilt I had forced upon myself.

But complacency is an enemy we all have to contend with, and I let my guard down. I was consumed with guilt, I was so wracked with decisions I had made that I stopped paying attention. And they took advantage of that. And now they have come to seek their vengeance for my past transgressions.

Whatever I did, whoever I was, whatever I will do and whoever I will be – I am not going down without a fight. After all, I already have the guilt of what I did. I’m already having to deal with it. So if I have to inflict another ant-genocide on these crawling little bastards once again encroaching on my territory, I will. I will. No remorse, no retreat, no surrender.

In preparation for what has to be done – again – I’m going to watch Starship Troopers. Ask not what you can do for your flat, ask what the ant-killing device in your flat can do for you.

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War, it’s good for me (what’s my name? THUNDERCLEESE!)

I, as a person with a brain and stuff, obviously abhor war. It is a terrible thing, shows us all up for the barely-developed apes we are and is always the most ruthless and merciless in its treatment of those on the bottom rung of life’s ladder. It’s shit, basically.

At the same time I, as a person who likes watching things explode, can’t get enough of war as entertainment. Naturally I mean through movies, books, games and whatever else, but also in the news. I find it gripping to watch the footage of fiery death raining down on these distant cities around the world, and I don’t think it makes me a bad person to admit that I do find it entertaining.

Why wouldn’t you? It’s a fireworks display more powerful than any you’ll ever see at your shitty local park. It’s thrilling in more ways than one – the simple, visceral excitement you get from watching things blow up goes hand-in-hand with the fact that your leaders of your countries have decided – on your behalf – to be the alpha male for once, rather than their usual ‘let’s talk it over’ attitude.

Violence is bad. It’s rarely a means to an end that can be taken in good conscience. But that doesn’t stop it from triggering something in your brain and getting your Wow Gland tingling. They weren’t lying when they said shock and awe, and it truly is a time where the word ‘awesome’ can come into play.

The destruction of nations and their people is a horrible thing to think about. So let’s just not think about it, yeah? Let’s sit in our cosy armchairs and watch the big booms going off, placated by the mesmeric flashing imagery until we finally tire of it, switching channels to catch the rest of Take Me Out. And don’t ruin


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It’s here. I knew the days would arrive, as they do every year, but they hadn’t arrived with the force they normally do. As such I let my guard down. I became complacent. When it did strike, it was with the fury of a thousand nerds screwed out of a Q&A appearance by Edward James Olmos*. My body revolted, my face ejected all the fluids it could produce as fast as it could produce them and everything itched. Fuck you, hayfever.

But like I said earlier this year (this time last month, actually), I am trying new treatments. I am taking the fight to the pollen – though unfortunately not how I’d actually want to do it. With napalm. No, I’m adopting the newfound technique, as suggested by the also-suffering Swissgirl, of taking more than one hayfever tablet a day.

I know – it’s fucking mental.

But you know what? So what. If it kills me, it kills me – at least I’ll have died doing what I did all my life: trying to stop my nose from running as much as it always, always does. I considered lopping the schnozz off, but I couldn’t find a good enough knife. Or at least, a good enough knife that I would be allowed to use to de-schozz my face. As such, the only method available right now – as I’ve forgotten to bring my nose laser with me – is to take multiple tablets to ward off this pollenial incursion of epic proportions.

Wish me luck.

*Honestly, no idea why I went for this reference.

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