Have I been conditioned to believe that if I am not solicitous, if I am not forthcoming, if I am not a never-ending cornicopia of entertaining delights, they will take their collections of milk-bottle tops and their mangy one-eared teddy bears and go away into the woods by themselves to play snipers? Probably. What my mother thinks was merely cute may have been lethal.
The biggest problem in countries that don't have a tradition in animation or a film industry, is that precisely, that it's not an industrial activity as it is in Hollywood where there are clear production procedures. Because of this we all become snipers making our films any way we can and crossing our fingers to get distribution so people can see them.
The Chinese poet George Wu... recorded on his comlog: "Poets are the mad midwives to reality. They see not what is, nor what can be, but what must become." Later, on his last disk to his lover the week before he died, Wu said: "Words are the only bullets in truth's bandolier. And poets are the snipers.
Occupation, curfew, settlements, closed military zone, administrative detention, siege, preventive strike, terrorist infrastructure, transfer. Their WAR destroys language. Speaks genocide with the words of a quiet technician. Occupation means that you cannot trust the OPEN SKY, or any open street near to the gates of snipers tower. It means that you cannot trust the future or have faith that the past will always be there. Occupation means you live out your live under military rule, and the constant threat of death, a quick death from a snipers bullet or a rocket attack from an M16. A crushing, suffocating death, a slow bleeding death in an ambulance stopped for hours at a checkpoint. A dark death, at a torture table in an Israeli prison: just a random arbitrary death. A cold calculated death: from a curable disease. A thousand small deaths while you watch your family dying around you. Occupation means that every day you die, and the world watches in silence. As if your death was nothing, as if you were a stone falling in the earth, water falling over water. And if you face all of this death and indifference and keep your humanity, and your love and your dignity and YOU refuse to surrender to their terror, then you know something of the courage that is Palestine.
When a war is over I think it's a cowardly thing to leave the war behind you in minefields that hit women and children and the most vulnerable. Imagine the war is finished and you go to work and there are snipers shooting at you. Imagine taking your kids to the beach and you find that the beach is blowing up beneath you. Like there's nowhere safe.
war. Or, rather, wars. Not one, not two, but many wars, both big and small, just and unjust, wars with shifting casts of supposed heroes and villains, each new hero making one increasingly nostalgic for the old villain. The names changed, as did the faces, and I spit on them equally for all the petty feuds, the snipers, the land mines, bombing raids, the rockets, the looting and raping and killing.
Some of the events in the Olympics don't make sense to me. I don't understand the connection to any reality... Like in the Winter Olympics they have that biathlon that combines cross-country skiing with shooting a gun. How many alpine snipers are into this? Ski, shoot a gun... ski, bang, bang, bang... It's like combining swimming and strangling a guy. Why don't we have that? That makes absolutely as much sense to me. Just put people in the pool at the end of each lane for the swimmers.
McChrystal's defenders at the Pentagon were making the case Tuesday that the president and his men-(the McChrystal snipers spared Hillary)-must put aside their hurt feelings about being painted as weak sisters. Obama should not fire the serially insubordinate general, they reasoned, because that would undermine the mission in Afghanistan, and if that happens, then Obama would be further weakened. So the commander in chief can be bad-mouthed as weak by the military but then he can't punish the military because that would make him weak? It's the same sort of pass-the-Advil vicious circle reasoning the military always uses.
Walking the streets on winter nights kept him warm, despite the cold nocturnal passions of uprising winds. His footsteps led between trade-marked houses, two up and two down, with digital chimneys like pigs' tits on the rooftops sending up heat and smoke into the cold trough of a windy sky. Stars hid like snipers, taking aim now and again when clouds gave them a loophole. Winter was an easy time for him to hide his secrets, for each dark street patted his shoulder and became a friend, and the gaseous eye of each lamp glowed unwinking as he passed.
Sami and I had exactly one day together in the old world. On Tuesday the jihadists came to our front door and knocked down our buildings. Our new world was hijacked planes, anthrax, and Afghanistan. Then we had snipers inside the Beltway. Then came Iraq. With every military action we were told reprisals were not just probable, but a foregone conclusion. An intelligence officer with a fancy PowerPoint briefed teachers on 'our new reality.' He called us 'targets.' He said 'get used to it.' He told our Webmaster 'get off your ass' and remove bus routes/stops from the school's website. Johnny Jihad would find that information especially helpful if he decided to plow through our kids one morning as they stood half-asleep waiting for the school bus.
The traffic warden looked up. "This your car?" "It is, " said Skulduggery. The traffic warden nodded. "Very nice, very nice. But you can't park here, day or night." "I wasn't aware of that." "There's a sign right over there." "I didn't think it applied to me." "Why wouldn't it have applied to you?" Skulduggery tilted his head. "Because I'm special." "Don't care how special you think you are, you're parked in a no parking area and as such you're-" "We're here on official police business." The traffic warden narrowed his eyes. "You're Garda? I'm going to need to see some identification." "We're undercover, " said Skulduggery. "This is a very important undercover operation which you are endangering just by talking to us." He opened his jacket. "Look, I have a gun. I am Detective Inspector Me. This is my partner, Detective Her." The traffic warden frowned. "Her?" "Me, " said Stephanie. "Him?" "Not me, " said Skulduggery. "Her." "Me, " said Stephanie. "You?" said the traffic warden. "Yes, " said Stephanie. "I"m sorry, who are you?" Stephanie looked at him. "I'm Her, he's Me. Got it? Good. You better get out of here before you blow our cover. They've got snipers.
You. Man at the machine and man in the workshop. If tomorrow they tell you you are to make no more water-pipes and saucepans but are to make steel helmets and machine-guns, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Woman at the counter and woman in the office. If tomorrow they tell you you are to fill shells and assemble telescopic sights for snipers' rifles, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Research worker in the laboratory. If tomorrow they tell you you are to invent a new death for the old life, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Priest in the pulpit. If tomorrow they tell you you are to bless murder and declare war holy, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Pilot in your aeroplane. If tomorrow they tell you you are to carry bombs over the cities, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Man of the village and man of the town. If tomorrow they come and give you your call-up papers, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Mother in Normandy and mother in the Ukraine, mother in Vancouver and in London, you on the Hwangho and on the Mississippi, you in Naples and Hamburg and Cairo and Oslo - mothers in all parts of the earth, mothers of the world, if tomorrow they tell you you are to bear new soldiers for new battles, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! For if you do not say NO - if YOU do not say no - mothers, then: then! In the bustling hazy harbour towns the big ships will fall silent as corpses against the dead deserted quay walls, their once shimmering bodies overgrown with seaweed and barnacles, smelling of graveyards and rotten fish. The trams will lie like senseless glass-eyed cages beside the twisted steel skeleton of wires and track. The sunny juicy vine will rot on decaying hillsides, rice will dry in the withered earth, potatoes will freeze in the unploughed land and cows will stick their death-still legs into the air like overturned chairs. In the fields beside rusted ploughs the corn will be flattened like a beaten army. Then the last human creature, with mangled entrails and infected lungs, will wander around, unanswered and lonely, under the poisonous glowing sun, among the immense mass graves and devastated cities. The last human creature, withered, mad, cursing, accusing - and the terrible accusation: WHY? will die unheard on the plains, drift through the ruins, seep into the rubble of churches, fall into pools of blood, unheard, unanswered, the last animal scream of the last human animal - All this will happen tomorrow, tomorrow, perhaps, perhaps even tonight, perhaps tonight, if - if - You do not say NO.