Saturday, 15 March 2008

A bitter laugh.

My last day in the army, i remember everybody was trying to steal the cloths or any equipment really, I started cutting all my military clothes in tiny stripes and I went on like a madman, unaware of anything else, I was in fact the last of my group to leave the barrack, i returned , compared to the other , a heavy baggage, they were surprised, they were thinking: we'll steal this loser's stuff, they were up for a surprise.

As I left the barrack, i fell on the ground outside and i kissed.
I had been to no war, in no way my life had been in danger, but i had just lost one fucking year of my life. I had learned nothing but i had nearly lost my mind; i saw people jumping out windows, i actually did; i saw someone who had cut their veins; someone in my own room broke one of his fingers to get xmas holidays. he actually did.
i discovered that inside the military, it's like mussolini had never died. in those days i think there was no officer who wasn't fascist, nostalgic, and admirer of mussolini, a collector of memorabilia.
i still remember that night, up on my tower, alone, cold, tired, nearly asleep, when i heard someone moving in the grass nearby, i knew it was the lieutenant, but i had had enough, so i still remember i started shouting: "so you wanna fuck with me , you bastard loser? I am gonna fuck you instead". I loaded the shotgun, and in the silence of the forest the noise of the magazine being loaded, 6 shots, echoed through trees and bushes. I loaded the first bullet, that was when the stupid fuck

Friday, 14 March 2008

Johannespassion (Passio Secundum Johannem, BWV 245) or St. John's Passion, the Barbican

a long silence marked the death of christ, at the end of the Aria Dein Jesus ist tot. a sign of respect of the director to those of christian's fate? hard to say. it's kind of eerie when the entire barbican auditorium, nearly at full capacity, remains silent for 30 seconds or perhaps even 60.
a second eerie silence marked the end of the concert: silence of people, of music but also frozen musicians, with their instruments as they were when they played the last note.
until, 60 long seconds later, the first violin (who later would travel on our same circle line train to farringdon) finally moved to a rest position.
then a flood of applause exploded and lasted for a very long time, the longest i have ever witnessed at the barbican (why? because of the britishness of the cast?).
Anyway it was a great performance, and it was great to be there.

yes i was in the army (beware, strong language)

"did you and X go to the army?" she asks.

yes we both were in the army. X went far away, xxxxxxxxx i think, but perhaps he did stuff for computer people.
i stayed closer to xxxxxxx (xxxxxx, xxxxxxx , xxxxxxx), but xxxxxxxx was like a fucking nightmare, i got robbed, pointed a knife at, insulted constantly, harassed every day and night, and i got to the point where I pointed a loaded shotgun to a stupid lieutenant while doing a week shift watch to a bunch of abandoned equipment.
after that i lost it completely and i started behaving erratically, and i am talking pre full metal jacket, and i wasn't obese.
i started cleaning the shotgun, talking to it, pointing it to people, i started going around unlock and loaded, i refused to give the shotgun back.
thing is, we were in total mayhem, the officers were missing, so a gang of motherfuckers was taking advantage of us rookies.
my mum worried she spoke with someone who knew someone else, and this someone finally got to the commander of my barrack, a colonel.
now this guy was a serious psycho, he liked to dine with these 2 guys, one a train driver, the other a total madman smoking a pipe,
and they used to talk of serious stuff, but because they were uneducated and crazy, they made up stuff.
the colonel thought he was garibaldi or that he had to save the country from the commies (they knew i was a member of the communist party - i was at the times), so basically it was then that the fun started.
this guy called me and shouted at me for 30 min solid. he insulted me like a spineless commie who ran to mum because the life of a soldier was too much for a fucking faggot.
so as i had just dismounted the truck from the week shift, i had time to get a clean change of clothes and i went back to the week shift.
that was prison dude, we had no phone, no way to communicate with the outside world for a fucking week. my parents freaked out. i freaked out too, i was in a state of semi unconsciousness, we were only allowed to sleep if our break from watch was in the night, 4 hours shifts followed by 2 hours break for a week.
this place was so big that the change of guard was done with a truck driving around the perimeter for almost 45 min. the driver was another crazy motherfucker and i don't know why we didn't die at his hand. every so by the time you were back it was nearly time to go back, climb the stairs of your little tower and be left alone in the middle of fucking nowhere, day and night, guarding a semi abandoned factory of weapons.
sleeping most of the time, couldn't get high, people there were horrible.

then i was transferred to xxxxxx, this was because they had to let me go by law, a long story. the bastard commander tried all ways to stop me, they sent this lieutenant, member of the fascist groups, he had tattoos all over his body but one in particular on the back of his hand. his father would later make the news when he was caught in a coup attempt while chief of the military secret service, but this kid, he was an albino, he was nothing, so he attacked me and he threw at me a desk (no really, nonetheless than a office desk with all the stuff on top of it), and i dodged it but I couldn't touch him, cos that would mean prison, so I just kept telling him he was a dirty fascist bastard or stuff like that and that I was a communist and this stuff was enough because no one there would dare declare being a communist or even vaguely leftish; we had to sing fascist songs everyday even if it's against the goddam fucking law!

last thing I remember in xxxxxxx is my captain giving me a farewell speech and quoting his greatest hero, this african dictator whose name i can't remember, who was allegedly found keeping human flesh in his cellars.
the quote was about all of us being equal regardless of colour, religion or political inclination, and as I was listening to this nonsense, i was wondering if the translator had gotten it wrong and the african dictator had actually meant that we all "taste" the same , regardless of religion and skin color.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Iain Sinclair at the Docklands Museum

my first time back in canary wharf since september, when we moved out of our luxurious flat on brother thames to the multicultural shores of bayswater, it's to attend iain sinclair's talk at the docklands museum. yes it takes at least Iain sinclair to snatch me from one of my 2 routines (home - work - home ; or home - home - home when I am working from home) on a work day and push me to the fringes of the metropolis. For the first time i have a chance to steal a visit of the docklands museum.
I am obviously early enough that they are barely opening.
there is an exhibition about gay culture but I am not sure i understand what it is exactly about, it's a little bit confusing.
the museum stuff is very interesting, but it's only at the third floor that I find something that make the visit and the ticket to this museum worth: there is a 2 sided reconstruction of the London bridge, THE one and only bridge in London for many centuries, which is fantastic, awesome, you have to come and not watch it, but admire it, worship it, drool over it!
it's fantastic, and on each side it represents the bridge in 2 different historical ages.
In the meantime the man himself, iain sinclair has arrived, probably with his wife, a elegant beautiful lady.
some time is wasted in arrangements, the museum staff is over excited, probably not used to the large crowd that is gathering outside the venue? orders are given to the public that they can't bring the drinks from the bar to the venue, then , after a short reconsideration, drinks are suddenly allowed.
a japanese bicycle deliver boy has made himself comfy by laying on the floor, he is out a gibson's novel. this london audiences are unreadable to me. if i were back home, I would know what sort of people are attending a certain type of event. like this case, minor author, very hard to read, very cryptic, very much everything is about london. here there is a mix, delivery boys, middle aged anonymous people, older people, couples, singles, girls, young girls, student age? the mix is unreadable, my social skills are lost in translation, i know no one, i can't even read.
i end up sitting near one of the delivery bike boys, he pulls out a big bloc notes from his bag to take notes.
eventually in fact we are admitted, some with drinks, some without , to the venue, a nice room with comfy chairs.
To introduce the evening is Sara Wajid, editor of Untold London, a website about immigration etc.
when sinclair starts talking , again as in the previous case (see this blog back in ???) , he immediately captures the audience. he has a charisma, a way of telling stories in a natural and magnetic way. he doesn't read from a script, yet his narrative is uninterrupted, a flow that takes you places, flash backs of his other lives and jobs, the truman brewery, with an open bar for truck drivers and the morning "brew" waiting on the desk;other endeavors, like the orbital, but also flash forwards into new ventures, like his new books , Hackney, the 2012 olympics.
At the end a book signing occasion, a guy has brought his 2 bags full of sinclair's books, he his piling them out of the bag to sinclair's surprise, he wants them all signed. I buy one of the many I am still missing but queue primarily with the one i am reading (the orbital).
an opportunity to speak to sinclair, i asked him, do you have many italian readers? he replies, as a matter of fact the orbital is being published in italy, with the dvd. i ask the name of the publisher, he can't remember , but he mention a luca something (surname lost in translation ) who will translate; i promise to advertise the book.
he sympathize with my cause (it will be easier to read in italian), his books are very hard to read for me.