Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The animal at nightfall

"Montgomery told me that the Law... became oddly weakened about nightfall;
that then the animal was at its strongest;
a spirit of adventure sprang up in them at the dusk;
they would dare things they never seemed to dream about by day".

H. G. Wells
The Island of Dr. Moreau

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Profound bullshit

Fortunately, another christmas is now definitely done. We must still listen to tons of more rubbish spouted by the defenders of this beyond shitty holiday, though.

The quote below is on example of the quality of the criticism I and others received when we pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of it all. The person in question even claims to be an atheist, which is somewhat typical for the problem humanity is currently facing. Christianity and religion obviously have deep hooks in us all, even in those claiming to have left it behind.

«I love Christmas ~ it has nothing to do with religion ~ it is a celebration of the core of goodness & light in everyone ~ Merry Christmas»

What profound bullshit

Christmas symbolizes greed, hypocrisy, oppression and the horror of religion. There is no viable excuse for defending this vile practice.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The invisible Palestinian liberation struggle

Today is the second anniversary of the Gaza massacre. Two years has passed since the beyond brutal attack by israel on what is basically a defenseless population, two years since israeli military and paramilitary forces murdered men, women and children, even young children and bombed to dust hospitals, schools, community houses, ambulances and just about anything both moving and not.

The obviously correct and meticulous Goldstone rapport offers a detailed and horrible picture of what happened. The Norwegian surgeons Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse and others present gave their personal account of «wading in blood», all of it pretty much ignored by western news media.

The Genocide of the Palestinian people, by israeli forces, ongoing since 1945 took yet another dramatic turn for the worse.

Let me once again remind you of what genocide is, according to Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948):

Article 2

...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article 3

The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.

Make no mistake, this is what is happening in Palestine.

The official international reaction to the massacre in Gaza was as predictable, as it is sad and inhuman. It was a shrug, really, and yet another attempt at blaming the victims for the acts of their oppressor and occupant.

Private citizens, like myself got totally fed up, though. I had been aware of the situation in Palestine for years, and written several articles about it, but I hadn’t actually engaged myself in its activism. Many felt like me. Thousands joined the various Palestine-friendly groups in Europe, United States and the world.

Western governments, however continued their fence sitting, continued being «friends with israel», a completely disgusting and unacceptable stand.

Anything putting pressure on israel, like the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement and South American nations recognizing Palestine as an independent state (worrying to no end the israeli cabinet minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer) is a good thing, but far stronger measures are sorely needed.

The attack on the international flotilla and massacre onboard the Mavi Marmara elicited pretty much the same reaction, the same lack of response. The Turkish government was pretty livid… for a while, but now says it wants a return to «normal relations» with israel.

There are the massacres, a new one every second year or so, but even worse than that is the ongoing, deliberate erosion of the Palestinian people from Palestine. Look at the map from 1946 and look at the same area today, and an undeniable truth appears even stronger than it does in the daily independent news.

Palestinian farmers on the West Bank have to beg Israeli soldiers for working on their own land. Practically every day they have to put up with hours of humiliation and degradation to do even the most simple of tasks. The Palestinians are terrorized while, israeli citizens are stealing ever more of their land.

Today Palestinians lack even the most basic of human rights, in Gaza, on the West Bank and within Israeli borders. It’s an intolerable situation that the world community is mostly ignoring and allows to deteriorate further.

More articles about Palestine on Midnight Fire:


Britain's unions commit to mass boycott

I believe it

Israel's inhumanity in Palestine exposed yet again

Definition of Genocide

Blood on their hands and worse

Israel reveals its true face time and time again

Israel's wanton killing of children

A land given them by God

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My christmas tradition

This is a tradition at least as old as the Internet.

Each year, or every second year I publish or republish three poems to give my thoughts on christmas. This year, as an added bonus I've added a fourth.


Christmas is finally over

I shit my pants today

The Burning

Nothing happened - a ballad

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Author’s word - Night on Earth

The novel Night on Earth grew out of London’s streets and back alleys…

Calling it «a London story» is indeed more than correct.

And even though I have also used London as a backdrop in other novels, it’s the first where the entire story takes place there.

I’ve always felt grateful, almost indebted to London because of all the inspiration it has given me. An artist, any type of artist gets a lot for free just by walking its streets. It’s a great city for most people, but for artists and storytellers it is an amazing place, filled with stories and moods and settings.

It’s a bit of a coincidence that I arrived in London the first time during the summer of 1983. I needed a European city, setting for my novel The Slaves, and I chose London, and I traveled to London because of that. I will always be twice grateful because my life as an artist enriched my life in general. It didn’t just help bringing me to London, but to all over the world. My life and art became even more one and the same.

Not many authors or filmmakers go deep into a setting today. If they describe a character’s surroundings at all it’s very often in a more technical, clinical way, lacking the depth and thorough effort the setting deserve. London makes it easy, at least to me, to describe it properly.

I’ve often visited the town, and I’ve lived there for five years. If I have a home at all, within civilization it’s there.

I had a quandary before writing the book, since I didn’t want to be too kind to the setting. The present day London, as it was, when I lived there, from 1988 to 1993 was difficult for me to describe in a bad way. So I struggled a bit, before I had the idea of moving it into the future, a strategic move that also fit well into other ideas I had about the novel.

And the thing is, many of the bad things I describe, like the extensive surveillance and oppressive police presence has already come to pass. The bad stuff was there in the early nineties, too, of course, but not as prevalent as it is today.

For one thing there were countless truly alternative and radical bookshops and venues. Now, there is hardly any left. You could also find radical books in ordinary bookshops, something that is very unlikely today. The horrible and pervasive pressure from above has more or less made any free expression that much harder. That the free expression and wild human being is still present says a lot about both London and the prevalent human spirit.

This is as close to a genre book I’ll ever come, I guess. It has some of the elements of the horror story and some of the Gothic, dark fantasy elements, more so than my other stories, perhaps.

But on the other hand it has a lot of other elements usually not used in those genres. I abhor genre-stories, really…

I’ve been told before that I do write Gothic stories, even though many of the classic trappings are missing, because my characters often have wicked and unsavory traits. To me that means I’m merely describing human beings, not the paper dolls so much present in mainstream storytelling. My main people are just that, people, not heroes, not anti-heroes or anything fitting into any preconfigured notion of how they should behave.

Btw I wrote this between 1992 and 2004, long before vampires became super-popular…

It’s a classic vampire and London story without being a classic vampire and London story. The word «vampire» btw isn’t mentioned in the novel at all. I’m quite proud of that.

I’ve always loved vampire stories, their nocturnal and feral nature, vampire stories with bite, that is, not the diluting, ruination of the legend we’ve witnessed the last twenty years, in both film and books. This is a far cry from the countless «young adult» vampire stories we suffer the presence of today. I have also totally removed the religious trappings, and returned to basics, far removed from the christian morality that has also ruined many a potentially great story. You won’t see my vampires recoil from the sight of crosses or being unable to enter churches and such. To me they’ve always been enhanced humans and not supernatural beings.

I feel a little ambiguous writing this, at least publishing it on the Internet, since I would prefer that you have read the story before reading this commentary. It takes a while before the presence of the vampires becomes apparent, as it should. As always I let the reader dive slowly into the story and discover the puzzle in his or her own way. I would guess that the presence of vampires doesn’t come as a shock to the aware reader, however. It is certainly not meant to be a secret, or a surprise, for that matter. Many people that are into paranormal literature and art would know or at least suspect that vampires are present by reading the blurb, the back cover description.

It’s a Mystery of the mind and the flesh, slowly unfolding and exploding, one more story about the Wild Man in the modern world.

PS: I’m always surprised by the thought and contemplation that has to be done in order to write even a brief commentary like this...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The christmas sickness

I usually do an annual or at least biannual attack on christmas and its sick celebration, both with (gallows) humor and seriousness, and this year, by a bit of coincidence I started early. It usually results in some controversy. When people are told a truth they don't want to hear, they grow angry, of course and so also in this case.

During my first years on the Internet, when I sent out mail to the people on my mailing list, all fairly radical I could receive replies such as this:

«Why did you send this message to me? Many of us were very distressed by it. Please remove me from your mailing list immediately».

I told her I couldn’t understand why she was on it in the first place and obliged. I got rid of lots of dead meat that way…

I’m gonna document it, in a bit more detail this year, to see if it leads anywhere.

The first person has blocked me on Twitter because of this subject already and it’s just the 11.

@StephenBBagley I know it's not sophisticated or smartly cynical or even snarky, but I love Christmas. Despite the darkness of this December, I still do.

@HoodedMan @StephenBBagley christmas symbolizes greed, hypocrisy, oppression and the horror of religion

@StephenBBagley You must be fun at christmas parties

@HoodedMan @StephenBBagley I don't go to any, of course

And that was that.

The latter link is to an excellent article by Maxine Montserrat ( @LucidGlow ) on the subject and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Beyond insane

There is no nation on Earth where Freedom reigns, just tiny pockets of it besieged by the armies of oppression. The insanity is pervasive, everywhere, and on all fronts. It’s easily identified, almost no matter where you go, from top to bottom in society.

It takes a series of minor and major forms every day and night.

Humanity has, for a while now dug deep holes in the ground to find poisonous compounds, compounds they knew early were poisonous. And we continue this horrible tradition today, when our knowledge about its poisonous «qualities» is better known than ever. We make ever more poison, more artificial chemicals in addition to those we dig from the Earth, thousands new and beyond dangerous every year.

This wretched stupidity goes beyond even insanity, into suicidal behavior.

We live in a society where both the leaders and most of its people are both deeply ignorant and irresponsible, where humanity, as a species is committing collective suicide.

Alternative information is suppressed.

Any truly alternative way of living is sneered at and its proponents are persecuted.

Our extensive use of coal and oil is about to transform Earth from a fairly pleasant globe to an inferno. Coal brings death below to the people digging it up and disaster once we start using its «bounty».

Our equally extensive use of chemicals in all parts of our life is making us sick and threatens to make most of the life on the planet infertile.

What is currently seen as viable alternatives, like nuclear energy is even worse. Its fuel is the most dangerous compound in existence.

Advanced technology makes us ever better in the art of destroying nature, ruining all life. We have transformed 50 percent of the wilderness into cities and other lifeless, truly desolate areas. It’s a process speeding up year by year.

The modern human society is steeped in oppression, intolerance and devastation. Civilization is destroying everything making life worth living. If not all the physical aspects of the present day horror make you stop and think, this aspect of modern existence should definitely do it.

Current humanity is totally fucked up!