Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Vindication of Ginger John

Norris had come to realise that he owed Ginger John a retrospective and silent apology. Ginger John had been/was/is a performance poet from the “punk wing” of what was a decade or two ago, a movement to politicise and popularise an art form that had, like a hat made from an ornamental chicken, become simultaneously effete, over elaborate and dead.

Norris could only remember three or four things about Ginger John: he was big, he had cropped ginger hair, he wore army surplus olive green combat trousers and he performed a poem about the Falklands (Malvinas) War which had the refrain: “No Blood for Oil”.

Back then, just after the Falklands (Malvinas) War of 1982, there had been no announcement of any oil field in or near these islands. The war then looked like a political manoeuvre driven by the demented patriotism of Margaret Thatcher. Some say that then she was clinging onto power by manicured and varnished fingernails; and that if she had let Argentina have the islands, she might well have consigned the Conservative Party to at least a generation of political oblivion. Thanks to some expertly organised killing, it took her about another decade to manage that, and thanks to the preceding expertly organised killing of its own population by the Argentine Junta, her military adventurism made even elected government by crass monetarists preferable to an unelected government pursuing a policy of selective political genocide.

Anyway the point of this convoluted rambling is to assert that some British lefties, (Norris included), thought that Ginger John and his ilk were wrong when they alleged “Blood for Oil”.

Thirty years later, as a South American shipping Boycott kicks off against the Falklands over the issue of British claims to own South Atlantic oilfields because Britain holds the islands. Ginger John, who did seem like a moronic yob at times, now seems like a lost prophet equipped with incredible perspicacity and foresight.

Looked another way Norris and his ilk now seem very stupid and na├»ve. After all every twentieth century war and probably very human war ever, and even the Chimp tribal total wipe-outs recorded by Van Lawick-Goodall, were basically resource wars. Death-dealing weapon-penises may be lightly covered by fig leaves such as nationalism, religion, liberalism, fascism, humanitarianism, and even colonialist feminism, but they are all aimed at consequence-free imperialist resource-rape. And the more black, viscous and useful as vehicle fuel that the resource concerned is, the worse the wars are. It is and always has been “Blood for Oil”.

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