Sunday, January 18, 2009


Questions about torture seem intended to deliberately confuse. As soon as the questions, 'Is this torture?' or 'What is torture?' are asked a line has been crossed. A willingness to entertain the idea of inflicting harm on someone has been shown. This, alongside the acts that are known to have been approved and committed, has been in my mind for the past few weeks watching the current administrations swan song in the media.

I finished reading Q by Luther Blisset this week. It was rough going at first but I became totally caught up in the novel and the characters. And I like the etchings and quotations that follow the epilogue; the are demonstratively against the violence and torture that sickeningly pervade the novel.

"We have never been interested in generic calls to peace: there is an extremely strong rationale for the existence of war today, just as there was four centuries ago [the novel is set during the Reformation]. Itis deeply rooted in the criminal economic and political choices made by the states and multinational powers, whether they are the United States or the empire of Charles V. And similarly there is a rationale behind the ethnic cleansings and reprisals, one to which we do not adhere and to which we have always been fervently opposed [...]. It would be immoral and incoherent not to use every space and every public occasion to denounce the madness of those in government and the apathy of those governed by them." (from the press communique by the authors of Q against the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, 1st April 1999).

Q is available for online.

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