Tuesday, 9 February 2010
A War Between Tribes
This is a tale of two tribes. One wore red, and the other blue. Their many and particular differences became voided in the simple action of peeling back layers, to reveal skeletons that cannot be told apart.
High noon, full moon out on a summer’s day. Swift gunfire scatters, slices into the haze. Red dances to the beat pounding heavily on an old tin drum. There is the sound of a thousand wild pigeon wings jumping high into misty white air. Blue waltzes quietly, following the pattern of a million ancient feet. It’s like the sick old lion that has spent a lifetime on the beat. Too tired to carry on, but still hungering for more. He holes up, lying sick and weary at the cave door. Word gets out that their most odious king is nearly dead and gone, he will not be here for long. At long last! Hoist his limp flag at half mast. So roll up, pay your respects. Along come gazelle, imapala and ox, followed gingerly by the fox. Three sets of footprints go in. None come out. Along come zebra, warthog and deer. Six sets of footprints. Nine, twelve, fifteen. Scorning the fox for his indifference, they follow the pattern of a million ancient feet while the fox turns tail, he bails.
Meanwhile, back in the now, red and blue flash clashing sabres and swords. Two miles from front lines, dignitaries disguised as thieves pile high their shiny hoards. Five miles hence, Kings and ministers draw out a game of noughts and crosses. Generals and doctors mark them off, count their losses. The next grid is prepared as they review how they fared. A million purple soldiers line up at the mouth of a cave. There is the sound of a thousand captive dove wings jumping high into clear mauve air. Though the barometer reads fair, the weather spills out a snow shower of small white feathers. Reality TV audiences collect them to hand out to the sly old fox. This done, they turn back to their idiot box. Vicariously drink up, consume, piss out hours and hours of misplaced experiences. At the end of their day, wave goodbye to the bosses. Go home to watch the unfurling game of noughts and crosses.
[This image was sent to me a couple of years ago by the Arts Institute at Bournemouth/ ACUB and I wrote a story to illustrate the image. The story was bad. They didn't publish it. This is a new version of the same story. I wrote it a few moments ago so I don't yet know if it is bad. I do not know who drew this picture, other than that they were once a student at the AIB at the same time that I was a student at the AIB.]