Saturday, 10th November 2007: Hopefully It Rained On Their Parade Too
When I got to the shop around noon today there were three policemen sitting outside of Bau-Bau Cafe. All of them resting on yellow chairs, nicely laid out in one single row facing the balcony. They were all armed. One of them had what looked like a machine gun resting on his lap. One was attempting a nap, sitting up with eyes shaded in Ray-Bans, moments away from slumber.
They perked up when I passed by but there was no joy on their young faces. I think I may have startled them a bit. The inviting balcony, with its many chairs and huge canopy must have been the one place when they can stay out of their superiors gaze, with possibilities of having a cigarette or two and steal a few winks from an expectant day. A refuge for the shirking men in uniforms.
Minutes earlier the skies opened up a wee bit, letting through a lovely drizzle. It was just the right amount of drops, none too thick to wet my backpack but enough to make me reminisce about a picture I treasured; The Ramones walking in the rain with their black leather jackets and skinny Levi’s, hands jammed into tattered pockets, the bodies huddled against the cold. The caption says, “London sucks!”
As per usual, everyday I walk from home to my shop, ears jammed up with punk rock and thoughts wandering on another new day. Usually it would be pleasant daydreams but today I was a bit perturbed by the faces I saw on the front pages of the morning papers. I’ve been seeing them for a few days now. It’s no longer comical.
Mugs of smiling, laughing, happy back-slapping politicians taking up more precious columns space than usual. And I saw them again and again as I walk through the news stands, each one framed by glowing advertorials of the party; written, tweaked and prepared long before the party’s General Assembly began last Wednesday.
These people, they must have been having a ball. Life is good and all is well, it seems. The whole feel is “what, me worry?’, complete with Alfred E. Neuman’s absolute lack of care for anything (“apart from mischief,” as Mad magazine editor Harvey Kurtzman observed). It’s the exact same abandoned recklessness displayed constantly by George Bush the Third and his merry men.
What were they thinking? I thought. Is there a smidgen of sanity between all that toothy grins. Morrissey once sang, “most people keep their brains between their legs,” but I fear these politicians are keeping theirs further up; all tucked-in snug-like-a-bug-in-a-rug in their fatty obnoxious colons.
I believe, these people are far off in other dimensions. Their homes are in the district of The Twilight Zone. Cocooned in comfy hives of abundance; giddy-headed, light-footed and floating out of our windows.
I also believe that people afflicted with such rude happiness should be bludgeoned, preferably with something prickly enough for them start having a pulse like all of us again. At the very least, they need a firm hard slap right on their wobbly cheeks, so their now dormant, cold blood would run through their veins again.
And as we swing the determined palm, we throw in a pinch of hope that they would then feel the heat beyond their tinted, air-conditioned luxuries; that their masks punctured for a whiff of black smog rushing into their lungs and their ears unclogged for the cries and the sirens plaguing our days and nights.
The list of such kind wishes, hope and expectations for the thoughtless laughing morons would flow off this very page, for the people are indeed merciful.
And I sincerely hope what happened today on Saturday, the 10th November of 2007; as the choppers hovered, batons swung and tear-gas canisters a-flying, that the message is soundly delivered, if not drilled into the thick skulls of these shameless zombies masquerading as our benefactors.
That beautiful rain surely meant something.
watch the reports by Al-Jazeera here