Monthly Archives: July 2012
The London diaries # 1
“The Olympic Nightmare”
the surreal estate.
It surely looks like a conspiracy, even if it isn’t one. They’ll be placing a half assed anti aerial missile base on top of an apartment complex in East London, close to the Olympic Park. Nobody can offer a reasonable explanation as to why! I mean, either the London air space is already protected against terrorist attacks or this apartment building has had the worst luck in the world.
However, a High Court judge has ruled that the British army will be allowed to install high-velocity missiles on the roof of a high-rise building to provide security during the London Olympics later this month. This all makes me wonder is a ‘slow velocity missile’ would make things any easier!!!
Tenants in the Fred Wigg Tower public housing project had argued that the missile installations endangered their families.
“It’s kind of scary now, to be honest,” resident Iqbal Hossain said. “If it’s about safety for the Olympics, what about safety for us? If there is a terrorist attack, the first thing they are going to attack is the missiles.”
Well, if your name happens to be Iqbal Hossain, the only thing you need to be scared of is yourself, I’d have argued in the Upper Bailey Court of Surrealism!
Not even the dead flies / cows / sharks, in Damien Hisrst’s exhibit at the Tate Modern, could have or would have counter argued! And I haven’t even mentioned the M4 yet ! For those of you unfamiliar with the (Motorway) 4, lucky you!
But we are in the midst of a Diamond Jubilee era and let us not forget that these are Shakesperean times we’re living in, with conspiracies taking place in hotel lobbies and…people whispering behind Persian rugs about all things Persian and, well, the bloodshed. The bloodshed! Shaftesbury Avenue the other day: a flooded river. A river of blood.
“Careful when eating Chinese food in a dodgy environment”, my mother used to warn me when I moved here as a teenager coming from Rio and New York. Now, the blisters in my mouth and my stomach cramps tell a similar story of food poisoning, Laerte’s style. Yes, food posining 3 times in a row, from a Dim Sum place, the “Palace” on Wardour Street which I’ve frequented for years.
But I’m not Qatari and therefore a quarter of Sainsbury’s isn’t under my control, or, by the same token, neither am I the Spanish Authority that owns Heathrow airport. How can a country sell the sovereign rights of the world’s busiest airport and Europe’s tallest skyscraper?
Roger Federer steals the English “dream” of the UK player, Andy Murray, at Wimbledon. Well, some team in Kiev had stolen the English dream from the European Soccer games and the English Dream, different from the American Dream, \died along with Ronald Biggs, the famous train robber who ended up in Rio.
I knew Biggs. He never said much until the Sex Pistols descended on Rio to visit him and the strange convoy ended up on Copacabana beach to play soccer!!! Yes, the same Copacabana beach where the Rolling Stones performed to nearly 2 million people some years ago. Mick Jagger is, obviously, the great grand son of “The Madness of King George”!
“The English dream is to vomit on one another”, says a Scottish voice on TV, “just as Johnny Rotten did so long ago”. Yes, I can remember.
“We get along so well with each other, in spite of our hatred for each other”, says a caller to LBC Radio, during the day long talk-chat- talk radio. Was it really a caller or a voice from King Lear? I wonder. Oh, yes, Boris Johnson in Latin: “This is our way of propelling the economy out of recession”, during the extraordinary sipping campaign of champagne sipping during the (still under construction) the Shard sipping eyesore – Christ! Oh yes, the champagne was provided free – for sipping – by Sainsbury’s as the Queen was yet to hit another home run at Windsor Castle whilst receiving the passing by Olympic torch!
But, Boris….English please!!! “Why?” the master sipper responds. “I take my cues from Donald Trump! And, furthermore…why?”, as Trump was golfing alone in his newly opened Scottish Golf Course. “Why?”, Boris would keep on asking in a sort of champagne bubble of disbelief!
Well, because Polonius said so, I guess.
Oh, Nick Clegg! Read your Shakespeare when arguing in Parliament about the possible (500th attempt) at getting rid of the House of Lords.
Rebel sources said that an angry prime minister (Cameron) confronted Jesse Norman just outside the House of Commons division lobbies as it became clear that scores of Tory MPs would defy a three line whip.
Cameron behaved in a “disgraceful way”, marking the return of his “Flashman character”, one leading rebel said after the prime minister rebuked Norman as 91 Tories rebelled against the Lords reform bill.
The House of Lords! Not, not God’s residence, or the residence of the Gods, but the House of Lords, the “piers”, all 800 plus of them!
While this is happening, the main highway in and out of London (connecting the main airport, Heathrow to the city), the M4 has been closed for 4 days now, making an already long trip to the airport, virtually impossible. “We found a crack in the road”, some Highway Maintenance official said. Wow. Great finding! Days before the Olympic nightmare is to start.
But what does it matter? If coming IN to the UK, via Heathrow, you’re bound to be standing in a line longer than the Alaskan pipe line because the border patrol or immigration Police is operating at half mast.
Well, thank God you’re not a bus driver in inner London. Because, if you were, you’d be demanding (and be granted) a £500 per week increase in salary to be “driving’ during the Olympics.
Ah, Yes. The Banks have collapsed. If you’re Lucky enough to confer that your Money is still in your account, it’s a whole different Ball game to try to get some out.
But if you are a citizen of Qatar, then you’re happy. Why? You own London’s tallest tower, The Shard. Well, that’s not all. If you’re Qatari you also own Harrods and much of London’s real estate.
I’d call it surreal estate.
If you haven’t been in a flood game here, then you don’t know what you’ve missed. But if you’re heavily into Sherlock Holmes, you’d be glad to find this murdered body of a woman in a more than bizarre case, at 62 Cadogan Place.
If you’re familiar with the Chiswick roundabout (just before you hit the M4) then you have experienced hell on earth. If you’ve heard the Mayor of London (or the Beckettian characted Lucky in duplicate) recite poetry in Latin, then you can happily say “I’ve lived”.
Gerald Thomas – London July 12, 2012
Next article: “MEIN KAMPF”
Hitler, Goebbles, Henry Ford, Hugo Boss and Their War on Jews
When Trust ends.
On his fifty eigth birthday, the chief financial officer of a theater company, Gerald Thomas, is unexpectedly arrested by two unidentified agents from an unspecified agency for an unspecified crime. The agents’ boss later arrives and holds a mini tribunal in the room of Thomas’s neighbor, of Italian descent. Thomas is not taken away, however, but left “free” to await instructions from the “Committee of ‘Legal’ Affairs”. It is important to say that this Committee also sells truffles, of the chocolate kind, and invests heavily in people’s weaknesses and emotional states.
Thomas goes to work, and that night apologizes to Fräulein Z, his neighbor for the intrusion into her room earlier that day. At the end of the conversation he suddenly kisses her.
Thomas receives a huge bill for services never provided to him as well as a phone call summoning him to court, and the coming Sunday is arranged as the date. No time is set and the address is given to him. The address turns out to be a huge tenement building on the main street where the local tram runs through.
Thomas has to explore to find the court, which turns out to be in the attic. He does notice that there is a formality of sorts and a huge table in the center of the room, at the center of which are neatly laid out arrangements of chocolate truffles, tea and coffee pots.
However, the room is airless, shabby, and rather empty, and although he has no idea what he is charged with, or what authorizes the process, makes a long speech denigrating the whole process, including the agents who arrested him, and during which an attendant’s wife is raped. He then returns home.
Gerald Thomas later goes to visit the court again, although he has not been summoned. He is reminded by a friend that, a long time ago, he visited the court out of his own free will.
Court is not in session. He instead talks with the attendant’s wife, who attempts to seduce him into taking her away, and who gives him more information about the process and offers to help him. Thomas later goes with the attendant to a higher level of the attic where it turns out that the offices of the court are housed, which are shabby and airless.
(Based on Kafka’s The Trial) yet close to a real life situation which is very very sad indeed.)
NEXT CHAPTER: “sleeping with the enemy”