Now back when I was a wee nipper of a lad I had a perfectly normal teenaged boy’s interest in the mechanics of blowing shit up.
So fond was I of the mechanics of blowing shit up it was even one of the reasons why I did degrees in geology and geophysics; in the vague aspiration that one day they would enable me to use dynamite on a semi-regular and legal basis. I used to stay on after school with a group of like-minded boom connoisseurs and make all sorts of amusing substances and rocket-powered whatsits under the careful supervision of a friendly chemistry teacher who enjoyed nothing more than combining his twin loves of pyrotechnics and teenaged boys (but that’s another story) on his otherwise lonely Friday nights
Once a year, my and virtually every other school I knew in London, would organise a day trip to Boulogne or Calais which served absolutely no other purpose than to allow their pupils to buy and personally import satchels full of French bangers and shitty flick knives to throw at each other's faces for months afterwards...
Boy like things that go bang. We give them toy guns. We sell them violent games and movies. We take them to firework displays. When they grow up a little we recruit them into our fucking armies to make things, and people, go bang for Godssake
To cut a long story short, until a few weeks ago, I had a small pile of books, 30 year old books admittedly, sitting in my place, on the subject of making things go bang
Not any more
I slung them out
Actually, I shredded them and then slung them out
Because, the thing is, nowadays the mere possession of a provocative book, or a CD, can get you some serious time inside if the authorities decide to single you out
As with the lies that spun dummies into supporting the occupation of Iraq, there is now apparently no need to prove any malicious intent or even the capacity to manufacture or use the stuff mentioned in a book or CD. The mere ownership of media which are in themselves not necessarily illegal (or even practically usable) can be spun and used to put people away
And I’m not fucking stupid enough to think that this sort of treatment is going to be restricted solely to Brown people indefinitely
There is the small problem of me still remembering some of the stuff in those books, which I suppose means that my brain could be classified as illegal media until the day I die - but that's nothing a steady diet of aspartame-laced beverage products can't cure
And it’s not just books or CDs that can be used to bang people away. We’ve seen everything from tourist maps to camping equipment to food and kitchenware being used as ‘evidence’ to lock people up. It would seem that, in a country awash with illegal guns and drugs, that a well-funded multinational supercrime network such as Al Qaeda has decided to pass up on importing boring old AKs and Semtex and is planning to crush British civilisation with sacks of flour, copies of MS Flight Simulator and useless FBI produced terror manuals instead
All of which is a potentially self-incriminating, 500 word long preamble to posting this blog button featuring Khalid Khaliq I received in the post yesterday…
The background to which can be found on the J7T blog here
I don’t know the guy. I don’t know if he’s a saint or a sinner but what I do know is that locking people up for owning a CD is bullshit. So even though I only usually decorate this blog with sidebuttons which feature either ironic or fishy themes I’ll make an exception and haul this one up for a while
edit: two candidates for 'Quote of the Month' on the subject of Khalid Khaliq's imprisonment, as seen in the The Sun's readers forum of all places...
"I don't know enough about this individual man to really say anything about him in particular.
Generally, though, it is wrong to even jail someone for the possession of an Al-Qaeda manual. The only justification for jailing someone is if it can be proven that such an individual sought to use such a manual as a guide to commit a crime.
I mean think about it, I have a copy of Mein Kampf on my bookshelf. That doesn't make me a Nazi."
and, in a similar vein...
"I've got the Hobbit, but it doesn't mean I'm going to slay any dragons this week"
Yeah? Says who?