Sunday, August 28, 2005

Grey is the colour...

When everyone who is in any way connected with your imprisonment - from the supervising procurator through to the censor and the doctor - persists in lying day in, day out , you begin to feel as though you are in some huge lunatic asylum. The only difference is that here it is the overseers who are the psychopaths. Who try to incorporate you into a hideous, contrived reality. Shalin's insistence that we do not exist is a case in point: "There are no political prisoners in this camp!" he would aver. Yet at the same time he and all his colleagues invariably referred to us as the "politicals". The pots in which our skilly was delivered from the kitchen had the words 'Polit. Zone' marked on them with brown paint. And Shalin himself, in an attempt to make us see reason would say: "Everyone in the men's political zone wears identity tags, so why can't you?"...

Is this any less bizarre, than, say, proclaiming 'I am a teapot', or 'There's a Martian in disguise among us'?

...They all lie, but in different ways. Some of them derive a perverted sense of pleasure from the process: the more cynical and barefaced the lie, the more they enjoy it. These will watch your face as they mouth their falsehoods, and their greatest achievement is to make you lose your temper. Their trick is to present an innocent front while provoking you into a state of stress.

Irina Ratushinskaya, Soviet physicist and poet sentenced to seven years of camps and five years exile for "the manufacture and dissemination" of poetry.


It's the same story. The same tools in any system, twisted in ever familiar contortions. You can tell, when a system is decaying, because craven practice is the last thing left of it - as if not even ants find those parts edible.

Even here, on the web. Supposedly "free" of regime. Still subject to the distortions and manipulative powertripping that warped broken minds can't contain themselves from playing out. And it is a play, a macabre theatre, it's wretched enactments, it's drooping props and embezzled scenery snuck through, crunched up sedatives in a spoonfull of gritty jam. And the weak, seeking sustenance, gulp it all down. Starved of any real kindness, unable to distinguish another suffering from the charade. Unable to tell light or levity from gravity and shadow from deceit. Unable to tell, let alone discern. Why post it? Why write out fate - a warning? Or witness. To humanity in all it's falibility. Even in words, one preying on another.

Solemnity mistaken for spite

and pastries, for sincerity.

Is this heartwarming? Or palatable? No these are the indigestable stones and bones lodged in my throat while I choke and you read, both of us secure in the knowledge that our countries and half a dozen ideologies are at war over half five thousand million minds. You see, there is very little else for me to eat. Truth, how nourishing it was. Before war opened it's maw.

A grim and entirely unwholesome way, imaginary or not.

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