You prefer fiction?

The grenades from China are cheaper than Coke. The mourners from Zimbabwe want to attend their five year-old granddaughter’s funeral. She was hit and killed by a car. To reassure the British government, the mourners have offered to be electronically tagged for the duration of their stay. A two-and-a-half year-old plays drums with a national orchestra, performing for thousands, and won’t stop. In a television studio in Australia, a nine year-old rips a T-shirt over his head and throws it to the admiring adult audience before sitting down to beat the shit out of some drums. A middle-aged judge holds her hands to her head and screams, hysterical for her idea of the boy-being-man. A teenage cartoonist in France is arrested on charges of inciting terrorism for an intelligent reworking of a cartoon drawn by an adult who was murdered. Asylum seekers from Syria who have made their way to Germany will be held in Nazi barracks. Real Nazi barracks. Merkel says there is no place for extremism in Germany. In Germany, a few days after a Swastika was drawn on the door of the flat where a group of asylum seekers lived, one of those asylum seekers was stabbed to death. At first, the police said his death was not suspicious. In east London, a local council ruled against selling parking tickets in a car park saying it would discriminate against poorer drivers who were able to afford a car but not a parking ticket. In another part of east London, local home-owners campaigned against bicycles because they are dangerous. Across the land, water is more expensive than milk. In Nairobi, a crowd of children are tear-gassed to stop them protesting the closure of their playground. In London, a man is squeezed to death in the back of a plane, but some of the best paid lawyers in the land can’t work out how he died. A philosopher says there won’t be world war. Another philosopher says there is world war already. Another philosopher moves to the United States. Another philosopher jumps from her balcony. I receive a phone call from a man who says he is Special Branch. Then another. Then another. A popular politician says he wants a US-style health system and his ratings soar. A woman in Australia registers Je Suis Charlie as a fashion trademark. An Oscar-nominated film by one of the world’s greatest directors is banned in a part of Paris because a mayor who hasn’t seen it says it’s an apology for terrorism. He is wrong. In central Europe, homeless dogs are fed in return for plastic bottles while homeless people starve. In southern Africa, employees in the oil industry say their payments have fallen behind because of the drop in oil prices. In England, car owners celebrate because of the drop in oil prices. In private homes across the land, elderly people remember slogans they’ve heard throughout their life-times, like “never again”. But it’s happening again, they mutter. And this time, they’re relieved.

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