The Curmudgeon


Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Thanks in large part to the policies of successive greenest governments ever, Halloween 2064 is expected to be the warmest on record, with sunburn, heatstroke and and skin cancer expected to hit record levels for the time of year.

The Government believes that hard-working families who work hard and want to get on are entitled to make their own decisions about how best to take advantage of Britain's rich heritage of traditional commercial festivals, or "holidays" as older dementians still sometimes call them.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that 99% of people have duties as well as rights, so the following guidelines should be borne in mind.

Each generation has its own monsters. With just under 29% of Britain now covered by Lake Paterson, costumes with an aquatic theme are recommended. Water-sprites, creatures from black lagoons and sea-monsters have a much higher buoyancy than cloaked vampires or over-sized Frankenstein creatures.

If you have been wading through the shallows of Lake Paterson or its tributaries, take care to dry yourself off before trick-or-treating at a wealthy home, as many such homes have electrical anti-terrorist devices installed. Mixing water and electricity without due care and attention can cause inconvenience to home-owners and occasional fatality to others.

The badger count tonight is expected to be medium to high. Wear protective clothing at all times. Remember that it is your responsibility not to hinder patrol boats, shotguns, grappling irons, water cannon, mini-nukes or drones with any part of your own or your children's anatomy.

Happy Halloween! Merry Pre-Christmas! Shop early for the warmest Easter on record!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

With Chums Like This

Britons arguing for a sane attitude towards immigration have suffered another setback thanks to an intervention on their side by the Ascended Incarnation of the Reverend Blair. Tony has been relaxing a bit now that his strenuous efforts to bring peace to the Middle East have started turning out so marvellously, and has bestowed an interview upon Progress magazine in which he proclaimed that it would be inadvisable to chase after the policies of UKIP. At the same time, anything would be better than a lurch to the left: what are needed are "strong values, but practical, non-ideological solutions", such as the eminently practical and non-ideological Blairite survellance state and, no doubt, a bit more wog-bombing wherever it seems to be called for. During his own, all too brief ministry among the children of Albion, of course, Tony's practical, non-ideological selling points were chasing after the policies of the Conservative Party and following Cheney's chimpanzee.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hard-Working Consumers

In a stark illustration of the moral dangers of stem cell research, scientists have grown the first artificial Young Conservatives. The miniature creatures were bred in petri dishes and when fully formed are brainless, legless, hollow and prone to ulceration, while their interior workings are ruled almost entirely by glands and pits; hence, virtually the only thing that distinguishes them from normal Young Conservatives is their size. Called flatulating eructoids by scientists, they are not quite so inarticulate as their natural-born counterparts, but researchers say they are nevertheless fully belch-capable and fart-ready at all times. Many of the more advanced individuals can already digest the Murdoch press and spew out gobbets of natural fragrance in response.

Since none of them are women, the creatures are expected to take little more than a generation to replace those parts of the parliamentary Conservative Party which have not already been replaced by UKIP, the English Defence League and the Labour Party. The Prime Minister was offered one to keep, but refused on the grounds that he thought there was still a bit of mileage left in Little Ivan.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Freedom of the Seas

A few years ago, when the Farage Falange and its Caudillo were still being taken about as seriously as they still deserve, the leader of the British National Party proposed a short, sharp deterrent for migrant wogs; namely, sinking a few of their boats. Nick Griffin denied that he was advocating murder at sea: "they can throw them a life raft and they can go back to Libya." The coalition has adopted Griffin's policy, with a couple of significant modifications. In the first place, there seems no particular reason to expend valuable ammunition sinking boats which are often quite capable of sinking themselves; and in the second place, it would be irresponsible to provide rafts when such provision might be interpreted as an open-door policy towards job-stealing benefits tourism. So far, the only Deputy Conservative to speak against this latest manifestation of tough love has been Sarah Teather, who will not be standing at the general election; while Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition have apparently been shocked into silence at the leniency of it all.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Swamp Thing

They're swamping the cities and towns,
Which are rightfully ours and the Crown's!
From over the sea
Their movement's too free:
Britannia gurgles and drowns!

The Kippers are playing our game
Of finding some poor folk to blame:
They're turning some coats
And stealing our votes,
So we must behave just the same!

The march of the wogs must be ended,
The siege of our country suspended -
I shouldn't, you know,
Have phrased it just so;
I'm sorry if some were offended.

Fallon Crosby-Dysentery

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Most Heinous Legal Act Since Our Previous Moral Panic

An independent body, whose sale to G4S will doubtless only be hastened by this indiscretion, has decided that a man should be released from prison. He was sentenced to a minimum of thirty years for the murder of two police officers; he has served that minimum and a further eighteen years, and is now seventy-eight years old and quite probably less dangerous to society than certain fine young men doing a wonderful job under difficult circumstances. Nevertheless, Bernard Hogan-Howitzer, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club, is unhappy; the chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales is appalled; the Labour MP for Dudley North has come over all theological; the mad old cat lady in the Home Office has pledged to enshrine in legislation the idea that the life of a police officer matters more than the life of a civilian; and the London Haystack has decreed that Londoners shall be sickened. Personally I am not sickened, although I do find the idea that the prison service is purely for warehousing a little distasteful; but then I am not a real Londoner, only an immigrant.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Responsible Members of Society

Those charming people at Serco and G4S have made payouts to fourteen people who were assaulted while being detained in New Labour's "secrure training centres", which in Oldspeak would be designated child prisons. The companies have declared themselves innocent of all wrongdoing although, as with the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club, it remains unclear how they manage to keep hiring bad apples in such impressive and regular quantities. The companies' contracts with the Government state that force can only be used as a last resort, in order to prevent injury or damage; but those charming people at Serco and G4S, like the Ministry of Justice, evidently take a liberal attitude to the mere letter of the law. On the bright side, the régime has resulted in a high rate of re-offending, to the continued profit of Serco and G4S; and at least one former detainee committed suicide rather than be re-arrested, which certainly testifies to the lack of a holiday-camp atmosphere in the child prison system. Fortunately, lessons have been learned: children are still having their limbs broken by Government contractors, but the Government refuses to say what level of force is authorised in case the children learn to fight back.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Don't Treat Us the Way Our Chums Treat the Proles

Britain's Head Boy has been having a bit of a squeal because the Euro-wogs have demanded more money without paying for it in free holidays and other lobbyists' incentives. To add insult to injury, the pretext for the demand is the idea that stronger economies should pitch in and help the weaker ones; which of course is pure face-purpling anathema to the post-2010 Social Darwinist now in nominal charge of the Real Conservatives. Even were he not being taunted by the Caudillo of the Farage Falange, handing over cash just because a contract with the Euro-wogs requires it would go against every instinct in Daveybloke's bulgey Bullingon body; prompt payment in such circumstances would be a faux pas almost on a par with settling a tailor's bill on time.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

You Think You've Got It Tough

Like the hard-working families to which they are such a shining moral example, many members of the House of Expenses Claimants are supplementing their meagre salaries with an extra job or two. After all, an MP only has a guaranteed income for five years, after which they have to start picking up the pieces of their lives and recovering from the trauma of public service. A few are altruistically concerned to avoid creating a professional political class, which might easily result in our being ruled by a detached clique of rich white men. In any case, it is certainly reassuring that so many of our lords and masters can not only find their own arses with only a few private secretaries to help them, but can also manage to keep their snouts buried in one trough while their trotters are busy in another.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Holy Warriors

After only seven years of palaver, an American jury has cleared up a few misunderstandings about one of the more deplorable incidents in the last Iraq crusade. Some boots on the ground who were thought to be doing a wonderful job under difficult circumstances have turned out to be little more than trigger-happy mercenaries who caused damage above and beyond the acceptably collateral. Blackwater, the outfit for which the military advisers worked, was so proud of its record that it changed its name twice, first to the science-fictional Xe Services and then to the Orwellian Academi, and paid an undisclosed sum to slightly less than one-sixth of the victims. The contribution of these corporate heroes towards the cause of peace in the Middle East is described by Britain's leading liberal newspaper as "one of the darkest incidents of the Iraq war"; and certainly the Nisour Square massacre was a lot less clean and tidy than what can now be achieved merely by floating a drone or two on the warm updraughts of wind from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. As usual, no doubt lessons have been learned and precautions put in place, which will ensure that so distressing an indiscretion can never happen again until it does.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy Ever After

Britain's Jews, of course, are the descendants of migrants. Having been thrown out of England in the thirteenth century, after Edward I had mugged them for every groat they had, they were allowed back in under the Commonwealth; which just shows what can happen when you start abolishing eternal British values like the divine right of kings. Anyway, the dubious ancestry of Britain's Jews doubtless helps explain their annoyance at the Caudillo of the Farage Falange, who is cuddling up to a Polish Holocaust denier in order to be allowed to continue milking the Euro-wogs for his election money.

Fortunately, since the Farage Falange are by no means all über-Tories, there is certainly no comparison with Daveybloke's earlier cuddling up to a Polish Holocaust denier, or even the Latvian Waffen-SS fan club, in order to appease his back-bench baboons. If any further proof were needed of the difference between the Farage Falange and the more papionine reaches of the Conservative Party, those same back-bench baboons are the ones now threatening to flock to the Caudillo's greasy little flag.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oh, the Unfairness of It All

Evidently the deputy governor of the Bank of England has not been adequately briefed on the causes of the late financial crisis. As we are all aware by now, the crash of 2008 was caused by migrants, the public sector, the Euro-wogs, the possibility of a yes vote in the Scottish referendum, excessive taxation of the extremely rich, and everything to do with the last Labour government. Sir Jon Cunliffe apparently thinks greedy bankers had some sort of hand in the affair; and more outrageous still, he has suggested that they might now think about taking a pay cut. Partly because of the alacrity with which the economy has recovered during the Osbornomic miracle, and partly because of penalties for past misdeeds, there is less money to go around; so of course the bankers have been taking most of it for themselves while throwing a few scraps to the shareholders. This campaign of responsible redistribution culminated in Barclays' recent reward of a ten per cent increase in bonuses for a thirty-two per cent drop in profits. Sir Jon Cunliffe thinks it's time for an end to that sort of thing until we have an underclass who can pay for it properly. It is certainly quite inexcusable for respectable stock-market gamblers to be treated with the same contempt as NHS personnel and other scroungers and shirkers.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Negative Custodial Assertiveness Excessivity

Not content with all the trouble he's already caused, the last British resident of Guantánamo Bay is still doing his best to embarrass Her Majesty's Government, even as it slips smoothly into its nice new war in Iraq. Another detainee, and a Yemeni to boot, claimed that Shaker Aamer was being subjected to increasingly assertive forcibility by the teams of armed guards performing his cellular extractivities. Deeply concerned, the suitful of stale air in the Foreign Office wrote to the US government; surprisingly enough, some officials of the US government replied that everything was tickety-boo. Her Majesty's Government has little choice but to accept these reassurances, since its own representatives are not allowed to verify them, and the only half-way respectable person contradicting them is merely an American judge. Although Aamer claims he was tortured by MI5, his release from Guantánamo remains such a high priority for Her Majesty's Government that he is still being held there despite having been cleared for release by the Bush and Obama administrations.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Dehumanising Divide

J Sewell McEvoy at the Numinous Book of Review has posted a generous piece on my recent excursion into alternate-world film criticism, I, Mengele. It was partly the NBR's appreciation of my novella The Foundations of the Twenty-First Century that started me thinking that this particular alternate world might be worth revisiting; so I am glad the result didn't disappoint. (Another factor was the publicity for I, Frankenstein, whose title exerted an inexplicable fascination even as the reviews made clear that the film itself was worthless.) As usual, Mr McEvoy's review looks beneath the surface tricks (I, Mengele has nearly as many cinematic in-jokes per page as a Tarantino script, but that was the easiest part) to find something hopefully worthy of more sustained interest. Decidedly worthy of sustained interest is the Numinous Book of Review itself, which gives thoughtful attention to genre works whose present obscurity is even less deserved than my own.

I, Mengele is available as paperback and as PDF; the page for the PDF version includes further reviews by the fine thriller writer Tim Stevens and by the grottily apocalyptic entity sometimes known as Chickyog.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Treachery Against the Taxpayer-Funded German Immigrant

The suitful of stale air which occupies the Ministry for Wogs, Frogs and Huns has hinted at the possibility of treason trials for terroristically-inclined Britons. The suitful of stale air was responding to a query by the back-bench baboon Philip Hollobone, whose residence in the early decades of the twentieth century has not permitted him to become acquainted with present-day anti-terrorism law. "Their actions are treachery against Her Majesty, and aiding and abetting enemies of Her Majesty is one of the greatest offences a British citizen can commit," blathered Hollobone, while the suitful of stale air nodded approval and promised to mention it to the mad old cat lady in the Home Office at the earliest possible opportunity.

The offence of treason is still on the statute books, but no-one has been prosecuted for it since 1946. The standard penalty of hanging, drawing and quartering had been tragically abolished some time before; although, in the view of Philip Hollobone, public emasculation, evisceration and dismemberment is doubtless little more than a jihadi holiday at the taxpayers' expense. Strangely enough, neither the baboon nor the suitful of stale air made any mention of the Reverend Blair, whose religious involvement in the illegal violence of a foreign power resulted in the deaths of many British citizens and caused permanent damage to the diplomatic standing of Her Majesty's United Kingdom. The omission is yet more remarkable in light of the Reverend Blair's first ministry having itself abolished the death penalty for treason, presumably in anticipation of the Reverend's moral convenience.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Do as You're Told or the Foot Gets It

Britain's Head Boy has given the Euro-wogs a bit of a ticking off for not bucking up their ideas and reforming sufficiently to keep the back-bench baboons on-side until next May. Nevertheless, he is magnanimously prepared to give them one last chance to mend their ways. Daveybloke was burbling from the Rochester campaign trail, so obviously his burblings were intended less for Brussels or Strasbourg than for any Little Englanders who may be voting in the approaching by-election. Daveybloke burbled about his patriotism, his passion and his pride, but seems for the time being to have refrained from waving Little Ivan about. Daveybloke burbled about Britain being a voice for free trade, deregulation and killing brown people; nevertheless, he believes that "the rest of Europe actually wants us to stay" because Britain has "contributed massively to European prosperity and progress, over not just the last few years but over centuries". In return for continuing to confer the privilege of our belligerent, whiny, law-breaking presence, Daveybloke wants access to Europe's markets and a say over how those markets work. Daveybloke also reminded the Euro-wogs that Britain is a country called Britain. How the Euro-wogs respond to the ultimatum will presumably depend on how much they enjoy the spectacle of a jumped-up office boy pointing a pistol at his own foot and threatening to fire if his demands aren't met.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Helping Daddy

Lord Freud, the minister for poor-bashing who thinks that food banks are proliferating because the proles like a free lunch, has been good enough to provide Britain's Head Boy with yet another excuse to wave the corpse of Little Ivan in the face of the enemy. Freud was asked at a fringe meeting about a few mongs, spazzes, mumbling idiots and others whom a Conservative councillor deemed not worth the minimum wage, but who could do with being shoved into employment in order to attain the sense of self-worth which is somehow eluding them even under the ever-sensitive Bullingdon cosh. Freud agreed that some people weren't worth the minimum wage, and promised to think about how best to get them working on the even-cheaper; the exchange was quoted by the Milibeing and disowned by Daveybloke, and that is where the corpse of Little Ivan came in. After several years of justifying the coalition's assault on the NHS, the child has now been co-opted as an alibi for his father's pre-election denial of the coalition's assault on the disabled. It is certainly jolly considerate of Britain's Head Boy to pile all that work onto the shoulders of a disabled child, especially a dead one who cannot express his gratitude for the sense of self-worth it undoubtedly gives him.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Nuremberg Unto Himself

A man whose trial is being held partially in secret may or may not have been plotting to do something or other of a terroristic nature. On the other hand, he may have been trying to bestow upon the Reverend Blair the rare privilege of a martyr's death, according to the Nuremberg precedent for dealing with war criminals. So strong and legally sound is the evidence that it was originally planned to hold his entire trial in secret, so that no British values would be harmed. However, the meddling Trotskyites at the court of appeal ruled that some of it can be held in open court and observed by journalists, who will be permitted to pass on extracts of the proceedings once the security services have expunged from the record any hint of bias or untruth.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Available Now

Yes, I've gone and done it again. My latest is now available, as paperback and as PDF. Vaguely inspired by the Viking myth of Ragnarök (and originally conceived as a sort of supernatural perversion of Scandi-noir), this one concerns a corporate drone who is dispatched to his childhood home-town on a business trip, because his bosses have a bright new idea for dealing with the beastly migrants. Meanwhile a recent disaster has uncovered some intriguing archaeological remains, including several apparently non-migrant beasts of mysterious yet sinister significance.

Coincidentally, today is the twentieth anniversary of the untimely death of Karl Edward Wagner - writer, editor and publisher extraordinaire - who memorably defined the sub-genre to which this novella belongs as, "Here's an old legend ... aaargh! it got me!"

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fantastic Preparations

The London Haystack has had a bit of a blather about Ebola, which is bound to arrive at these shores sooner or later because nobody bothers to check piccaninnies for germs when they depart Bongo Bongo Land. The chief medical officer expects a handful of cases in the next few months, which is clearly grounds for a national emergency from which the London Haystack and his chums can later claim to have saved us. Fortunately, since armed intervention is the answer to everything these days, Britain has sent a hundred and seventy-five troops to Africa "to help with efforts to contain the disease".

Even in the absence of water cannon, such measures are not yet likely to be required in London: "We have very good healthcare in this city," blathered the Haystack; "considerably better, alas, than they have in Africa", although given a chance the Conservatives will undoubtedly remedy this. After five more years of putting the boot in, London's healthcare will almost certainly be equal to anything on offer in Mali or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, at least where the malingering proles are concerned. As to the remainder, Britain's Head Boy himself has proclaimed that the Conservatives will "keep our own people safe here in the UK", so we can all rest assured that the private sector will do its part to protect the people who matter.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Unnecessarily Explicit

The moral guardians at the British Board of Film Classification have been criticised for giving away plot information. Apparently a mere classification by age with tick-boxes for sex, violence and swearing is no longer enough, so specific plot details which may cause trauma to the unwary are now being shouted out prior to showings. Of course, when the traumatic incident is part of the film's conclusion, this can lead to some small deflation of the drama; but since the BBFC's entire raison d'être is the doctrine that adults are children and seeing is emulating, it would obviously be a gross dereliction of duty not to take precautions. The films which have been spoiled are respectable works of art rather than denizens of the lower depths of genre; so the BBFC has promised to tie itself in knots “in a pragmatic way without compromising the need to inform the public about a film's content”. In Standard English, this appears to mean that the information will be published online without being displayed at cinema showings. It is very charitable of the BBFC to assume that we will be able to find information online; but the policy will be reviewed in six months, just in case they have overestimated our intelligence.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Purely Symbolic

Parliament's House of Expenses Claimants will hold a debate on Monday to determine whether Palestinians have a right to statehood despite consistently voting for the wrong people and being Arab without due care and attention. Ministers will abstain from voting on the motion because the official British position is to support negotiations for a two-state solution. This is of course incompatible with recognising Palestinian statehood as well as Israeli statehood, because any two-state solution would be much too delicate to survive the existence of two states. The Labour vote will be whipped, but some expenses claimants may abstain because they are unhappy with the uncompromisingly anti-semitic stance of the Milibeing, who said that the shelling of schoolchildren might be a bit much sometimes. However, the motion is purely symbolic and therefore has some chance of being passed.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Devilishly Clever

Among the primary uses of religion, virtuous homicide is rivalled only by crowd control; and an army black ops unit with the Minitrueful name of Information Policy apparently put this fact to good use during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. A Sheffield University academic has published a book in which intelligence officers claim that they whipped up "subtle" artificial panics about Satanic rituals, going so far as to plant black candles and inverted crucifixes in abandoned buildings, in order to propagandise against paramilitary movements. Since the feuding Christian churches evidently did not sense the devil's presence in mere murder and mayhem, it was necessary to invent him so that Protestant and Catholic clerics would exert their moral authority against the troublemakers. It didn't help much, presumably because the churches, like Whitehall, considered the murder and mayhem sinful or meritorious according to which side carried them out; but there were also the additional bonuses of ensuring that buildings used for surveillance were left alone, and of keeping teenagers, children and British Military Intelligence from blundering into anything at night.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Manufactured Panic: Export UK

The mad old cat lady at the Home Office is dispensing new orders to the Euro-wogs, some of whom still think human rights apply to migrants and other terrorist suspects. Before Britain leaves to set up a surveillance state of its own, Daveybloke's mad old cat lady wants restrictions on free movement, tracking of "suspicious" itineraries, passenger lists handed to MI5, and G4S guarding any road that might conceivably lead to Damascus. Presumably inspired by the brilliant Iain Duncan Smith's famous IT success story, she wants everything in place by the end of the year so that the first jihadi arrests and show-trials can take place in good time for the general election. It is as yet unclear whether Daveybloke's mad old cat lady considers implementation of all this protective democracy to be Britain's price for staying in the EU or the price for finally picking up her remaining marbles and staggering off the international stage for good.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Plausible Deniability

Some stalwarts of the Metropolitan Firearms and Headbangers' Club, who swore the thing that was not after a mentally ill black man was restrained to death on their watch, will not be prosecuted for perjury. The Crown Prosecution Service has decided that enough time has elapsed for the men to convince themselves that they believed what they were saying at the time, and one of them has even developed a disease which numbers among its symptoms a pathological inability to self-incriminate. During an earlier, botched investigation of the incident, the men were not pressed about the discrepancies between their testimony and the facts, and the epistemological wing of the Crown Prosecution Service evidently feels that the mists of time have blurred fact and myth into a single, convenient blob of reasonable doubt. Along with several other officers, the men are still under investigation; but it is as yet unclear whether any of them have sufficient melanin or terroristic facial hirsuteness to warrant other charges being brought.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Coming Soon

Sunday, October 05, 2014

A Slight Hitch

The latest phase of the generational crusade against extremism appears to have taken an unexpected turn. A Kurdish official in the Syrian city of Kobani has stated that the terrorists are not sitting still to be wog-bombed, but are running away and hiding whenever they hear a jet approach, in defiance of any imaginable rules of civilised behaviour. It is as yet unclear whether the fiendish cunning of this tactic was anticipated by Britain's Head Boy and his chums; expecially as the present crusade is only expected to last a couple of years. Still, there is every possibility that the witness in Kobani is unreliable, since he also stated that "fighter jets simply cannot hit each and every Isis fighter on the ground", which contradicts almost all available information about the civilian-sparing powers of the modern Just War.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

I, Mengele

An extract

On 23 April 1941, while Mengele is in Poland, he is told of the British request for an armistice and, listening illicitly to the BBC, hears Winston Churchill's official broadcast stating that the war "has not developed necessarily to the advantage of Great Britain and her Empire" and urging co-operation in Europe's fight against Bolshevism. This brief scene elicited much amusement from critics in both the Reich and the United States, who assumed that Churchill's plummy tones had been unintentionally caricatured by an inept actor; in fact, an authentic recording was used.

Churchill's wish was, of course, swiftly granted: Operation Barbarossa began on 1 June, less than six weeks after the Anglo-German truce. Mengele is posted to the Ukraine as a medical officer in the Viking division of the Waffen-SS, and the transition to the battlefield is handled with all the portentousness such a moment deserves.

The news that Barbarossa has begun is conveyed in the short scene where Mengele is shown informing his wife of his transfer. His face shows exhilaration, although in one shot he appears both guilty and hesitant. Significantly, this occurs when he is in the bathroom, looking in the mirror: alone with himself and with his image. Irene displays both pride and concern for his safety; when Mengele departs, the camera lingers poignantly on her half-outstretched arm, poised in mid-gesture as if undecided whether to wave farewell or try to call him back. The camera then cuts to Mengele as he is driven away; his eyes wander and eventually are drawn towards the sky. The camera follows his gaze and stops for a moment in the empty blue, which slowly turns a dull, threatening grey as William Jacks' orchestral march music fades into the distant noise of the Wehrmacht's engines. A magnificent eagle descends into the frame, hovers for several seconds and then disappears as a vast, brown leathery form obliterates the sky from screen right. Blood-curdling screeches fill the soundtrack as the monster flies away from the camera, accompanied by eight more monsters of the same type. The film crew called the species a "death ray" because Tod Blount's effects team based their design on that of a deep-sea predator: almost the whole body consists of a wing made of soft pulpy flesh, from which a long tail projects at the rear, ending in a complicated bulbous appendage bristling with stings and spikes. At the front, as the approaching aerial dogfight will reveal, is a horizontal row of eyes, each set above a flexible limb on which a gun can be mounted; and on the underside is a set of anus-like orifices which excrete explosive pellets full of poisonous gas and corroding slime.

Keeping perfect formation in three sets of three - a grotesque and haunting detail, imputing to the forces of racial chaos an evil discipline - the nine monsters flap slowly into the distance, where the careful viewer will observe that the eagle has retreated. But the pursuers are themselves pursued: a flight of Luftwaffe fighters attacks the monsters, and the film plunges into the first of its two major battle sequences, in which troops, tanks and Stukas are pitted against the subhuman yet demonically powerful Slavonic horde.

This battle scene is both a bravura visual performance and a clinical display of horror. Although a number of specimens have been visible during the earlier scenes, it is here that the racial threat is first shown in its full, epic scale. Perhaps the most unexpected detail is in the individual soldiers: far from attempting to surpass the deformities already seen in Munich and Leipzig, the film shows the enemy troops with smooth, pale skin and normally proportioned bodies. Of course, the film-makers exercised this restraint partly in order to avoid diluting the impact of the Auschwitz inmates later on; but there is a symbolic logic at work too. With their wide cheekbones, their rudimentary noses, their lack of individuality and their relentless, emotionless fighting style, the creatures demonstrate their Asiatic blood and robotic, communistic pseudo-culture.

Additionally, there are huge pale-grey four-footed creatures like giant naked bears, which can absorb incredible quantities of bullets and shrapnel before they fall; their skins are equipped with pouches in which the enemy troops apparently ride, and their heads have strange bridle-like deformities which accommodate weapons controlled by the creatures' jaws and teeth. All the different creatures are apparently able physically to combine and separate according to the requirements of the moment, leading to the climactic sight of a vast, shapeless mass of ever-changing flesh bearing down on the troops. "We walked quite a tightrope with these creatures," the director said. "We didn't want people to look at them and shrug, thinking they'd seen it all before in The Lord of the Rings. And we also didn't want these creatures to resemble the creatures in the later scenes at the KZ. So we decided to take our cue from the location and the history. We tried to come up with a specifically Slavonic fighting force." In this Atkins and his colleagues resoundingly succeeded; even the Völkischer Beobachter, which had little else good to say about I, Mengele, praised the "authentic racial vision" of its monsters.

Mengele disappears from sight as the battle rages. A few critics objected to this, accusing the director of losing sight of his plot among the special effects. However, it could equally be argued that Mengele's temporary disappearance has a wider meaning in itself: Mengele has at last found a way to escape the dilemmas and uncertainties of his life by dissolving his individuality in the great adventure of conquest, so it is quite appropriate that he should appear on screen, if he does appear, as a single indistinguishable unit among thousands of other field-grey units. Perhaps another reason for Mengele's absence from the screen is that the audience is, as it were, looking through Mengele's own eyes at the various degradations and perversions of the human form which now confront him.

When Mengele reappears, in the aftermath of an engagement between two of the bear-creatures and half a dozen tanks, he does so more as a doctor than a soldier. In bringing down the monsters four of the tanks are destroyed outright and only one remains in a condition to advance further; the sixth is crippled and is still under fire from surviving enemy troops in one of the fallen bear-creatures. As Mengele's unit approaches, another bear-creature can be seen advancing over the horizon. Mengele's men attack the troops in the dying bear-creature (leading to the horrid revelation that they are biologically fused with it), while Mengele himself enters the crippled tank and finds two of the crew still alive. With the help of a subordinate, he gets them out and administers medical aid, despite having been injured while inside the tank. His injuries result from being repeatedly bitten by yet another species of monster, a sort of over-sized rat which scavenges among dead soldiers, both for their flesh and for whatever ammunition and valuables they may be carrying. The bites appear trivial at first, but quickly grow worse: his flesh blackens like gangrene, acquiring a texture tellingly similar to the skins of many of the creatures he will soon be seeing at Auschwitz.

Buy the paperback or download the pdf

Friday, October 03, 2014

Victory in Afghanistan

Still in full-on Big School Assembly rah-rah mode, and fresh from being allowed to start a nice new war in Iraq, Britain's Head Boy has had a bit of a burble at his brave boys in Afghanistan. British soldiers are being pulled out of Afghanistan, after a war of pure self-defence (akin to stopping the "Prussian domination of Europe" a century ago, rather than to anything that might have occurred during the Great Game) which has cost the lives of four hundred and fifty-three Britons and, no doubt, a few less significant persons as well. Daveybloke burbled that al-Qaida had been formed in Afghanistan, rather than among his chums in Saudi Arabia, and had now been driven from its safe havens, which explains why peace is breaking out all over the Middle East. Daveybloke burbled that the number of terrorist attacks which are plotted in Afghanistan or Pakistan and then do not happen in Britain has fallen from nine out of ten to "somewhere near half" since the Bullingdon Club took over. Daveybloke burbled that combat resources should put "for your tomorrow we gave our today" on their CVs so that they can take all due advantage of the Conservatives' nation fit for heroes. Daveybloke burbled that Britain's glorious military achievements in Afghanistan will live for ever; a thousand years can be a short time in right-wing politics, but hopefully there will be no blatant embarrassments until after next May, not least because Daveybloke also burbled that there would be no leaving of Johnny Afghan to his own devices. Before the troops went in, the Taliban were lurking in their strongholds and there were frequent suicide bombings; today the Taliban are lurking in their strongholds and there are frequent suicide bombings, so the situation certainly appears quite robust.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

You Can Take the Christian Out of the Oil Man, But...

The Archbishop of Canterbury has overruled his Saviour on the matter of loving one's enemies and not resisting evil. It is all very well to turn the other cheek and go the extra mile, but not when your enemy has been voted for extermination by the House of Expenses Claimants. Speaking in the House of Donors, the Archbishop proclaimed the latest crusade to be justified on "humanitarian grounds to enable oppressed victims to find safe space"; the collateral damage will no doubt find its way to Paradise in good time. Meanwhile the Church will be doing its part, apparently by using abstract nouns to beat jihadis into Anglicans.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Terror Suspect Walks Free

Terror suspect fury at suspect terror

Terror suspect Moazzam Begg is to walk free once more after the terror prosecution team presented no evidence at the terror trial.

The terror suspect had been detained for seven months in the Belmarsh high security warehouse after being arrested on terror charges which the terror suspect denied.

The terror suspect has a previous record of detention, having spent three years detained in Bagram and Guantánamo Bay at the pleasure of Britain's staunch allies in the War on Terror.

The terror suspect did not deny terror charges during this time, having cunningly arranged matters so that no terror charges were brought.

The recent terror charges against the terror suspect were dropped when police discovered new evidence behind a sofa, and then put it straight back in case it embarrassed anybody.

However, it is expected that questions will still be raised as to why it was necessary to spend scarce public funds on a public trial when convictions could be obtained much more smoothly with private funds at a private trial.

The terror charges against the terror suspect included going to Syria, possession of a terror laptop, doing terror things with funds, lending out a terror generator, wearing a beard without due care and attention, and having extremist thoughts at the sight of Theresa May.

It is now thought that the terror beard in Syria may have been a different beard.