May 14, 2004


Two friends of mine managed to turn up in the background of a TV program called Born Sloppy out of their heads on ketamine. I thought about making this pursuit a competition for a website called "On drugs on TV", getting people to send in clips of themselves out of their heads infiltrating TV programs. In truth I had given up all drugs by that point for about 2 months. Giving up dope was a hell of a struggle. All my painting, computer artwork and music seemed to come from the herb. Being straight made reality quake all over the place. I went to the doctor and he prescribed me an anti depressant called cipralex, A Serotonin Reuptake inhibitor or SSRI.

I watched the BAFTA awards. At the end Saul Gantz got up and made a mind-blowing speech. America had been temporarily taken over. We shall overcome - and we will. All the audience, including people like Martin Scorsese, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones rose to applaud. For a week or so I became obsessed with the idea that there was going to be a celebrity led peaceful revolution. I remember I was feverishly waiting for it but it never happened. I watched news of how the British Soldiers were campaigning for hearts and minds in Iraq. British politeness seemed to be exporting well. I hoped they were there to return Iraq to the Iraqi's, but with the corporate Bechtell in the middle things looked dubious.

The Stop the War campaign was having a national meeting in Hammersmith. The Stonehenge festival was on the same day. Someone suggested that I bring my film down to show in the interval. I phoned up and this was confirmed. I brought a copy of my film down to the Stop the War HQ in Britannia st. One of the volunteers loaded it on a computer and a few other volunteers came over to watch. A woman came over who I had seen making speeches. I remembered she had a foghorn of a voice and could see how she had become a leader. My dislike of speechmakers made my back go up. She started complaining

" This is an office you know, not a cinema. "

Whatever, I thought.

I left the CD with the volunteer. I was about to leave when they all congregated round a video. George Galloway had prerecorded an interview for channel 4 news denying Saddam Hussein had rewarded him financially. They all watched adoringly and came away pleased with their hero's efforts.

" So why did he say to Saddam Hussein " I salute your indefatigability? " " I asked. No one answered.

" And why is he using a word like in-de-fat-ig-a-ble (I counted the syllables on my fingers) with someone who doesn't speak English? "

John Rees, Andrew Murray, Mrs. Fog horn, the glittering courageous wafflers of the biggest dissident movement this century, and associated volunteers all stood there with nothing to say. I had to ask. The question had been burning in me since I had seen Galloway’s meeting with Saddam Hussein on TV.

" And what does indefatigable mean? "

One of the volunteers actually chimed in with the same question. No one knew the answer.

" I think I'm going to ask him. On camera." I said. I genuinely wanted to know the answer. They drifted away.

Needless to say when I turned up at the meeting my film had been pulled and everyone ignored me. 600 people from all over the UK missed the chance to see what kids had actually done, on their own in Parliament Square. I had missed Stonehenge for this. In one of the side meetings I got a chance to speak.

" 2 million people marching to listen to speeches in Hyde Park, yet when war breaks out, who in London tries to stop it? Just children. It seems to me that if any of us are serious about stopping wars rather than just talking about it you actually have to do it. " (I was holding up a still from my film of a kid being lifted from the street by the neck by a policeman.)

" Unfortunately this is how you do it. This kid is Gandhi."

I told them my Ken Livingstone story during which I was told off for swearing and showed them all my roached Mayor of London card. No one took any notice. Worse still I felt like one of those fucking speechmakers I despised. Galloway was top of the bill. It was like a fucking Galloway fan club meeting. One old guy was actually stamping his feet and clapping at the same time. " Good old George! " he shouted. I didn't have my camera and didn't really care. The room seemed full of people who like to talk and go to meetings. I stood at the back, arms folded. Furious.

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