May 01, 2003
Gothic News Service: Astonishing Art Work Stops Traffic at Piccadilly Circus

(Gothic News Service, May 1, 2003) This May Day morning - at the busy rush-hour crossroad traffic around Piccadilly Circus - foot, bus and commercial traffic were brought to a stand still by the sight of four coffin sized aquarium tanks, each elevated on metal stands directly below the famous roundabout’s statue of Eros.

Carefully spaced and diagonally situated to face each other, the aquariums at first appeared to be another sensationalist sculptural work by Damian Hirst. However, instead of a lamb, a shark, or a cow’s head suspended in formaldehyde, a much different sight hypnotically stopped pedestrians and vehicles alike.

Naked mannequins of President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair lay face up, suspended in a pale yellow liquid perhaps a refined, though relatively thick lubrication oil. Both figures were centered between the aquarium’s transparent glass walls. Ironically, what appeared to be anatomical hearts were floated suspended towards the top of the tank, each held by a single thick artery attached to the cavity inside of each of the men’s chests, both of which appeared to have been surgically opened.

In the other two aquariums each at adjoining angles to those of the President and the Prime Minister the contents were quite dissimilar. Also similarly suspended and frozen in the pale yellow liquid, one contained another figure apparently tilted to face the street. It appeared to be an adult male, however one made difficult to identify because of the absence of a head, its neck area tightly covered over with a dark scarf. The rest of the body lay dressed in a loose blue tank-top, light gray, black oil smeared trousers and black flip-flops. Sharp red flesh wounds haphazardly appeared over exposed areas of the figure’s shoulders, arms and feet.

Curiously the other aquarium did not contain a body, but the model of an upright, golden harp, one with nine vertical strings, similar to those played in the courts of ancient Sumeria. In the angle of the morning sun even through the density of the light yellow - the singular harp appeared particularly radiant, invoking an ironic sense of absent royalty and song.

Pedestrians who were able to get close enough to the works discovered each aquarium to be meticulously subtitled with inlaid inscriptions on each of the metal tank frames. Under the figures of Bush and Blair, viewers could read an enigmatic, perhaps haunting phrase:

        I Don’t Speak German.

The words under the headless, dressed figure were a little more obvious:

        Unknown Iraqi Civilian. Cluster.

Under the golden harp there was a simple phrase, perhaps more difficult to immediately interpret, a seeming exhortation:

        Lament for the Makers.

At first the immediate crowd appeared stunned by the content of the works and then variously sad and furious. "Is this supposed to be us?" many asked while others resisted, "This is not us," repeating it over and over again, as if in disbelief that anybody would do this. Occasionally, a particularly angry person yelled out, "Why not Hussein? Why not Hussein?"

It took more than a hour for London’s Bobbies to break up the crowd and carry the works away in a Yard van for booking as evidence, and that still without any knowledge of the perpetrator. Indeed some of crowd argued whether or not the work was by Damian Hirst and how or why he could have gone "this far." "I cannot imagine Hirst being foolish enough to make this kind of career move," a man with a kind of knowing authority spoke. "His work, as the critics say, might be into interrupting urban boredom, but this kind of publicity will kill him. Rich collectors, politically conservative as most of them are unless maybe they are Arabs - will just say no way."

"It's hard to believe anyone can be this cynical," someone added. "The Iraq invasion and Occupation is just not this bad."

Damian Hirst’s galleries in London, Germany, Paris and New York were not available for comment on whether or not the artist was involved.

It took hours for normal traffic to resume at Piccadilly. In fact, the rest of the morning London’s Bobbies worked themselves to pull down dozens of climbers down from holding on to the wings of Eros.

© Gothic News Service 2003

Posted by Brian Stefans at 12:04 AM
April 26, 2003
Gothic News Service: Easter Morning at the SUV, Solar and Oak Grove

(Gothic News Service, 04/20) Easter morning, drivers along Highway 185 in Texas - the one that leads right by the President's White House in Crawford ­ found themselves treated to a brand new roadside attraction. Five SUVs ­ each one from a different manufacturer - are spaced 10 feet apart and stuck nose first at 65-degree angles into the earth. Only the back side doors, windows and rear ends remain revealed, each of the vehicle¹s alternatively royal blue, butterscotch gold, white, and cherry red colors oddly glowing like fresh spring growth in the face of the rising sun.

More curiously, on a small northern pathway from the SUV vista stop ­ on what is normally an arid, some say Biblical landscape ­ is the emergence of a large, circular Oak Grove that includes picnic tables at the open center and several winding paths into private alcoves with small benches under the awnings of the robust trees. Perhaps equally spectacular, extending out for several acres behind the SUV spectacle, are the parallel, reflective solar energy panels that rotate at different angles to best catch the sun's rays at different points of the day. Visitors are welcome to pedal the site's free bicycles up and down paths that extend in several directions across the horizon.

In the roadside parking area ­ on a stand shaped out of SUV hood ­ a small brochure printed on recycled paper provides some information about the site:

-- The solar panels steel rotational supports are one hundred per cent constructed from shredded SUV metal. Granulated glass and shredded synthetic upholstery units constitute the reflective material and chemical agents required to produce solar energy.

-- Bicycle frames, wheels and gears are also created from recycled SUVs. One
SUV will create 1000 bicycle frames and parts.

-- Individuals and families are welcome to donate their SUVs to the Ranch Recycling Center located at Crawford town limits. Free van transportation to your destination and back home is provided to donors.

-- Under the auspices of Solar Utility Vendor Inc. (SUV Inc.) the company provides energy through out Texas and adjoining states for community electrical, fuel and heating systems.

Easter Morning featured an egg hunt in the Grove with both adults and children fanning out across the paths to find blue, red, gold, and green eggs in and around the trees. Each egg also bore a stencil printed "RECYCLE" message. Egg shell waste cans were set up at the exit with fresh painted advice, "Partake of the egg and recycle as you wish. Shells hells convert to biodegradable plastic for practical use."

Houston art critics have been quick to claim the new site¹s significance. "This is a great contemporary re-interpretation of the both practical and sublime use of the traditional religious shrine," one said. "It's a magical combination of high-tech modern materials used to produce both illumination and power co-leveraged with the Oaks healing, restive and regenerative power. Joseph Beuys, the German artist who planted trees, and the Texas Ant Farm's Cadillac Ranch are influences here ­ but SUV Inc.¹s commitment to recycling, non-fossil fuel commitment, and implicit reverence for nature as a human partner is a clear artistic step forward to community, national and world health."

The Crawford White House refused to publicly comment on the value of the site other than to express its concerns about either pagan religious and/or terrorist uses. It is also not known whether the President¹s ranch will buy into SUV Inc.¹s solar power unit. At last look, on Easter morning, families were stopping ­ many in SUVS - to join in the egg hunt, picnic and quietly contemplate on Grove benches while man took advantage of bikes to pedal towards the horizon on the special paths between the illuminated panels.

© Gothic News Service
May be freely distributed through out the web.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 04:25 PM
April 16, 2003
Gothic News: Sumerian Harp Ritual On Washington Mall

(Gothic News Service, 04/16) They gather daily now, in contingents of 81,
dressed in black gowns ­ each bearing 9 thin vertical gold stripes - gold
caps and veils over half of their white chalked faces, each with a thick,
black greased arc under the one exposed left eye. On the Washington Mall,
between high noon and six o¹clock, in neatly defined rows and columns ­ 9
across and 9 deep ­ the figures move in a silent, uniform procession,
walking in diagonals across the Mall from one Museum to the next, starting
from the National Gallery of Art, moving back and forth to the National Air
& Space Museum, American History, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery,
Natural History, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, American History, and the US
Holocaust Memorial Museum. The procession stops momentarily at the porch or
entrance of each Museum, makes a slight, speechless bow, before turning
around in unison to slowly proceed across the grass to the next one, moving
from one end of the Mall to the other, turning around at the Holocaust
Museum, and retracing its steps to again momentarily bow before each Museum.

For many on-lookers, most of whom join the apparent ritual out of sympathy
or curiosity, the meaning of the procession becomes more clear when they
notice a discrete image of a golden harp that is sewn into the upper sleeve
of each gown. "Sumeria, National Museum, Iraq, the solid gold harp, 3500 BC,
stolen or smashed to pieces," several whisper. "Nine strings on the harp,
nine gold stripes on the gowns, nine lines in procession. It¹s a mourning, a
grieving."

"The oldest song - a ballad - in the world," one kind scholarly man offered,
"was probably first played on the Sumerian harp. The tone of each string was
connected to the movement and mythical powers of the moon, the planets and
the stars. This stolen or destroyed harp is at the origin of all western
music." Like a bunch of ancient Greeks, the mourners stay mute, as if ­
with the exception of the procession's color and movement - yet unable to
rise above the trauma of cultural loss.

A few if the on-lookers were less kind. "Get over it," one young person
yelled from the Holocaust Museum entrance. "Fragmentation defined the
Twentieth century and its going to define this one and probably the next.
The job of the artist and poet is to pick up the rubble and either weld it
into something beautiful or frame and enjoy the resonance of pieces in the
ruin." After pausing for a moment ­ probably because many listening were
shocked ­ he added, "And don¹t you worry, if American generals and soldiers
permitted it in Iraq, if it¹s in the Government¹s interest, they can do the
same thing here. The barbarians are always at the gates."

Not everybody bought into his paranoid vision ­ which was followed by a
demonic laugh - but it provided a curious juxtaposition to today¹s
procession on the Mall. This week it¹s been reported that several similar
mute processions have formed in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Athens,
Istanbul, Cairo, and Damascus ­ each of them representing the destroyed or
stolen treasures of Arts and Letters from Baghdad¹s Museums and Libraries.

(c) Gothics News Service
Please feel free to distribute through out the Web

Posted by Brian Stefans at 10:42 PM
April 09, 2003
Gothic News: Linguistic Reformulation: Forthcoming Challenges in a Democratic Occupied Iraq

Linguistic Reformulation:
Forthcoming Challenges in a Democratic Occupied Iraq

(Gothic News Service, 5/08) The White House today announced the formal creation of "Lang-Ops," a joint division of State and War Departments with a direct mandate to take charge of the reconstruction of the Arabic language in Occupied Democratic Iraq.

"No, this is not an ethnocentric exercise, nor one of political manipulation," Brad Stevens, the new Lang-Ops Director responded at a news conference to an Arab reporter’s question. "This is all about re-invigorating Gulf Spoken Arabic with old and sound Mediterranean values of trade, commerce and opportunity. Like Iraq’s damaged oil fields and cities, Lang-Ops' most exciting task is to restructure Arabic to take full advantage of new technologies and business models that have fueled the success of western economies. On a most simple level, Lang-Ops will introduce the Arabic version of English words and phrases that will operate as catalytic agents in the goal of integrating Iraqi national aspirations with global economic interests."

When asked if this meant bringing business and other teachers from the United States to work in Iraq’s economic institutes and universities, the Director replied, "Of course. Fortunately our country is currently abundantly filled with former business executives who are entirely advanced in introducing and using the language and tools of potentially prosperous economies. Power Point, Excel – for examples - and other computer programs are already being revamped for bilingual Arabic and English classes - both on-site in Iraq and world wide on-line. Conceptually our Lang-Ops staff members have already been very busy creating correspondent Arabic language terms to stimulate an aggressive sense and use of concepts for "brand identity", "traction", "critical mass", and other terms for multiple micro-market global domination. You have to realize Iraq is a country that’s been more or less out of it for over thirty years."

"What about the language of democracy – values of free speech, consent of the governed, public assembling, voting, honoring foreign agreements, religious freedom, those kinds of things."

"First and foremost is to introduce the English-Arab terms for purposes of Iraq economic stimulus. This process is not much different than reconstructing an oil well and instituting a new management to control its world financial and delivery operations. Without the stimulus of a rebuilt Arabic in a way that represents economic opportunity for the liberated, old-fashioned democratic values are not worth a dime. In other words an Occupied Iraq first requires linguistic reformulation in a manner forceful enough to assure integration with our world’s economic interests. Success there will permit the evolution of democratic Arabic language values. I think you will also find our linguistic success will lead to the mitigation of resistance from certain religious and other counter-democratic forces."

The Lang-Ops Director went on to say that both State and War Departments are actively recruiting its first what will be called "Business Language Mentors (BLMs)" in both Silicon Valley and its counter-part in Massachusetts. "The executive talent pool in the High-Tech sector is particularly deep right now," the Director said without explanation. "We will have no trouble filling our Iraq Mentor Sites. Lang-Ops looks forward to an aggressive Arabic language reconstruction program."

Director Stevens refused to respond to a question as nothing but "offensive" when another Arab reporter asked whether or not Lang-Ops was part of an over-all State and War Department strategy to "re-cradle Arab civilization, including the origins of the Muslim faith."

Posted by Brian Stefans at 09:59 AM
April 04, 2003
Gothic News: Code "Onion" at both White House & Fox TV

(Gothic News Service, 03/04) The White House and Rupert Murdoch¹s Fox TV
Networks have both become sensitive to International popular perceptions that the President's War Council and the station¹s Anchormen and women lack compassion for Iraq's war dead.

"There¹s been just too much glee expressed by staffs from both quarters," Psych-Ops spokespersons for both Government and Fox privately and jointly expressed. "We need to tone it down. Eliminating entire Iraqi divisions with uranium enhanced tank shells and Moab cluster bombs is fine in terms of meeting military objectives. But we ­ and that means the Secretary of War Rumsfeld, the Pentagon Press Office and all our Fox Anchors and ex-Military Experts ­ all look too full of glee at our success. The joint enthusiasm at these unanimous kills works to cloud the perception of the real goal in liberating and caring for the Iraqi people. The foreign press ­ Arab and European - is actually hitting us with the WMD word."

Fearful of militarily winning and, at the same time, internationally losing the war psychologically, Psych-Ops for the White House, the Pentagon Pressroom and Fox have created "Onion Closets." These are special way-stations that function to give a more tender and compassionate appearance to White House, Pentagon staff and Fox Anchors before they appear on the media. Each closet is stocked with boxes of onions, a knife rack, and lit with a singular yellow, low wattage, light bulb. Before going on the air, White House and Pentagon Staff, and Fox Anchors ­ either together or alone ­ may sit on a bench and cut onions into small pieces. Ample amounts of tissue are supplied for the onset of tears.

"If one of our guys or gals is going overboard on a particular kill, we call out "Code Onion" and get them into the room as quick as possible. "Yes, sometimes it is true that some can¹t stop crying. We have to do everything short of calling their mothers to get them back on program."

Asked if "Code Onion" is working, Psych-Ops suggested success in the more frequent use of the word "regrettable" particularly for unintended and large Iraqi civilian casualties, and to "Keep an eye on Fox's O'Reilly. Astonishingly, he's got an amazingly quick tear factor." No one would say if the President had yet to report to the Closet. When asked about the origins of the Onion solution, Psych-Ops said, "It¹s an old German device. Ex-Military personnel and citizens both spent much time in their onion cellars after Hitler fell."

Posted by Brian Stefans at 07:11 PM
Gothic News: Reviving Uncle Sam: Bicycles to Pull Corpse Across America

(Petaluma, California, Gothic News Service, 04/03) The descendants of radical and progressive chicken farmers of America - including many of Petaluma's new and anti-war citizens - gathered today for a public sendoff of Uncle Sam's corpse on a bicycle propelled pilgrimage across America. Destined for an August revival celebration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, crowds gathered around the float at the intersection of Main and Washington to witness the open wounds on Sam¹s large red, white and blue body which lay crumpled upside down on a large float - his haggard, sad and open eyes barely able to look out on the crowds that stopped City traffic for miles around.

Petaluma, now a mainly white suburb north of San Francisco, spent most of the first half of the 20th Century known as the chicken and egg capital of the nation. Founded and sustained by secular socialist, Yiddish speaking chicken farmers, the community was internationally known for its contriubtions to the defense of Sacco and Vanzetti, the Scottsboro Boys and the Spanish Republic, including the participation of some of its members in the famed anti-fascist Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

"Much of the leadership was threatened and quieted during the McCarthy period, including the executions of the Rosenbergs," said Eileen Fishman, one of the daughters and organizers. "We¹ve come back to revive our roots as well as join with our fellow citizens. Our pilgrimage is to send a message of defeat to the neo-McCarthy/Ashroft alliance and to revive and protect our Constitutional liberties."

In the morning crown many concerned citizens lined up around the float to cover Sam's costume with fresh and familiar stickers, including:


Take Back America
Rage Against the Coup
Resist Repression
Democracy Not Hypocrisy
If You Are Not Outraged
You Are Not Paying Attention

Others took turns to place painted eggs, chicken feather pillows, as well as other procreative symbols under and around Sam's body and face.

At eleven o¹clock, the float - pulled by the "Abe Wheeler Brigade", its volunteer members drawn from Bicycle Peace Coalitions up and down the West Coast slowly pedaled out of town. The cross-continental trip will stop to rally citizens in town rallies across the country including a major July 4th stop in Wichita, Kansas on July 4th. There, in a nocturnal gathering, 100 poets will join in a rare choral reading of the "Wichita Vortex Sutra," considered by many as one of Allen Ginsberg's major poems.

"Allen was the visionary baby of our elders," is all Ms. Fishman would say as to why the poem was chosen. "You might go read it or get the recording of Allen," she told reporters. "The work is really quite tender."

In addition to providing muscle power, the bicycle coalition forces expect to fend off attacks from O¹Reilly and other Fox Network Cable SUV brigades, some of whom have already publicly promised to threaten the highway pilgrimage.

"When we get to the Lincoln Memorial, there will a public celebration in which we crack fresh eggs, revive Sam with feather ticklers, stand him up, show off his stickers and let him dance and sing a little to the bike coalition brass band - nothing too corny while we let Lincoln¹s shrine invoke the bravery of our Petaluma elders and this country¹s many other progressive ancestors," Ms. Fishman said, just before hopping on her bike to leave town.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 06:57 AM
March 31, 2003
Gothic News Service: Petroleum Jelly Kids Cover the White House Via Monument Valley

(Gothic News Service, 03/31) The Petroleum Kids Studio ­-- a breakaway branch of the sculptor Matthew Barney¹s infamous film crew ­-- is reported about to complete a ten-minute work for Network News television. Filmed by the Studio at night on location in Monument Valley, New Mexico ­-- site of numerous cowboy features, including John Ford's "Stage Coach" --­ the Newscast features the White House's War Counsel. Framed against one of the Monument's most dramatic high-rise cliffs, the white petroleum greased theatrical set included elaborate multi-platform scaffolds, thick ropes and pulleys, a razor sharp, leather bull whip, a free wheeling Bradley steel tank tread, and an illuminated empty missile tip. Dressed in transparent body suits --­ also thoroughly greased in white jelly -­members of the President's War Counsel are filmed in an intense workout that is designed to revive the Administration's commitment to roll over Iraq in an ideologically consistent and timely manner.

Consistent with the work of Matthew Barney -- a Studio statement reads -- the Petroleum Kids’ work leaves no doubt as to the ambiguities of the power relationships within the Counsel. Vice President Cheney, while being raised and lowered from platform to platform, cannot stop rubbing large gobs of petroleum jelly into his heart. War Secretary Rumsfeld -- while held upside down by General Tommy Franks -- repetitively applies little dabs of the jelly lubricant to the muscles around his squinting eyes. At the same time, the General appears to use his feet to tightly enwrap the War Secretary inside the grip of the loose and greasy tank tread. Running up and down the ladders between scaffolds, Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser snaps the whip with a grace and ease, the white tip apparently stinging each Member in sensitive places in ways that cause their torsos to wince into rigid and freshly familiar postures. Only the President is spared the whip. Through out the sequence, while embracing a white missile tip, he struggles not to fall off a western saddle that is raised and lowered up and down the cliff by a barely stable, but well-oiled leather harness. Ironically General Collin Powell appears wrestle with Richard Perle and Paul Wolfolitz in a jelly mountain at the bottom of the set.

Back in New York, the Petroleum Kid’s reported great satisfaction with the first round of edits. Today’s film studio statement went on to say, "The use of malleable use of the white petroleum jelly in the Western context is perfect for showing the War Counsel’s slippery oscillations between covert and overt behavior. As a Studio we realize it as our public duty to dramatize and envision the ways in which the forceful members of this particular group­ especially in light of battleground realities -- are working to regroup and reframe the invasion and mastery of Iraq." At Press time it is not known whether or not the News Feature will achieve domestic distribution by any of Networks, however worldwide exposure appears a sure opportunity with much international interest immediately expressed.

The National Monument Park Service -- when asked - reports that no props were found on the reported film site. "We did find some odd white filaments of what looked like grease or jelly at the bottom of one the cliffs. Nothing serious. It did not seem to have anything to with making a cowboy movie, but we did pause to wonder if some Native American Church Group had secretly got in here to re-enact a version of The Ghost Dance. The remnants did have a scary, ghostly look about them."

Posted by Brian Stefans at 06:38 PM
March 30, 2003
Gothic News Services: United Nations, Secretary-General Koffi Annan's Washington, D.C. Address

(Gothic News Services, 03/29) United Nations, Secretary-General Koffi Annan's Washington, D.C. Address at an undisclosed location where the Secretary-General briefly spoke on Britain and the United States¹ Refusal to Comply with the Inspection Process and the Joint Decision of these two former Member countries to secede from the rule of the United Nations and Invade the Sovereign Nation of Iraq:

Two score and eighteen years ago, our nations' leaders brought forth on this globe, the United Nations, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all member nations are created equal. Now we are engaged in an international civil war, testing whether the United Nations, or any global body so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are not yet met on the great battle-field of this war. We have not yet come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who will give their lives so that these United Nations will live. It will be altogether fitting and proper do this.

But in a larger sense, we will not dedicate ­ we will not consecrate ­ we will not hallow this ground. The brave men and women, living and dead, who will have struggled here, will have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it will never forget what they will have done here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who will have fought here will have so nobly advanced. It is for us to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us ­ that from the to be honored dead we may take increased devotion to that cause for which they will give the last full measure of devotion ­ that we here highly resolve that the future dead shall not have died in vain ­ that these United Nations shall have a new birth of freedom ­ and that the government of nations, by the nations, for the nations, and for the peoples of these nations of the world, shall not perish from the earth.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 02:48 PM
March 27, 2003
Gothic News Service: Viz-Ops Shifts Media Point of View in Iraq

(Gothic News Service, 03/25) Viz-Ops ­ the White House/Pentagon organization in Iraq responsible for still photography and cinematic site management - has withdrawn its Cecil B. De Mille group from Media control of ground operations. The De Mille group - with an expertise in ancient Biblical and desert landscapes - was responsible for training and embedding network and cable film crews to shoot from inside Bradley tanks as they rolled into Iraq.

In off-the-record remarks, Jay Cagney, Viz-Ops new Director, revealed that the DeMille group achieved exactly what Command wanted in the visual capture of sublime and enduring patriotic views of hundreds of American tanks cruising in formation across the desert towards Baghdad ­ while no doubt simultaneously terrifying possible enemy resistance. These lead caravan images paired spectacularly with T.V. images of the golden clouds that lifted and hung radiantly over Baghdad during the first Air Force strikes on the City. Like a great symphony, it was a first class overture and feed to networks around the world."

Replacing the DeMille Group is B-Movie Enterprises (B-ME), a Culver City, California Group noted for its expertise in re-mixing fresh 35MM Prints of Thirties classics with remakes that already include Angels with Dirty Faces, Little Caesar, The Public Enemy and Dead End - titles that Viz-Ops suggests prophesy conflict conditions and prospects in cities through out Iraq.

"As troops now face house-to-house urban warfare," Cagney continued, "Viz-Ops has asked B-ME to provide Network and Cable film crews with review training in panning roof jumps, interior black and white shots, up-close weapon manipulation, and, most important, the skills required to portray urban combat personnel with a sophisticated, non-stressed appearance of accomplishing immediate objectives while keeping an overall grasp of their difficult mission. Viz-Ops is also studying the Bruce Lee¹s Kung Fu film techniques as well as the urban feel of Spike Lee¹s works ­ though it is already understood approaches of both these filmmakers may present problems for Fox Network's viewers at the white male right and center."

When asked about the finale of the war, particularly images of surrender and liberation, Cagney said, "That will require another kind of expertise and represents the huge challenge to balance the arrest of combatants with Iraqi joy at liberation from the grips of Saddam. We obviously have to make the Iraqi surrender as cordial as possible. Soldiers will have to do a quick turn around from fight-mode to a stance of generous care including medical and nutrition support. Viz-Ops is currently studying community scenes in Broadway Musicals ­ everything from West Side Story to Chorus Line. The War Finale and it's opening to U.S Occupation has to be uplifting, hopeful and optimistic for everyone."

The Pentagon refused to characterize Cagney's off-the-record remarks other than to say, "It would be totally erroneous to have Viz-Ops' work interpreted in a cynical manner. These are the lives of young American men and women soldiers who are at war with a ruthless dictator bent on creating harm and terror across the world. Media Images of this conflict and the portrayal of our peaceful objectives remain at the heart of our business."

Posted by Brian Stefans at 02:26 PM
March 21, 2003
Gothic News: Sticker Attack On Cups in US Senate Cafeteria

Sticker Attack On Cups in US Senate Cafeteria

(Gothic News Service, 03/21) The United States Senate Press Office reported a strange event in the Senate Cafeteria this morning. When Senators sat down to take breakfast, each one found themselves surprised to look at a puzzling image uniquely glued to the outside of each of their coffee cups. Inserted between a gold Roman Capital letter "I" and the letter "M" was a picture of a big orange peach nesting on the black branches of a dead bush.

Senate cafeteria workers - many of who are reported to be against the Iraq war - reported that Senators raised their cups and looked both confused and attracted by the colorful image. Out of curiosity ­ maybe because he's classically educated ­ several Members walked over to Senator Byrd¹s table where, these days, he¹s normally camped out alone or with Senator Kennedy.

"It's an old fashioned 'rebus'," Byrd said, holding up his cup.

"Rebus?"

"Yes," said the Senator, rose from his table, cup in hand, to give a little lecture to his colleagues. "A rebus is a hieroglyphic riddle, "non verbis sed rebus." The origin of the word and custom is this: The basochiens of Paris, during the carnival, used to satirize the current follies and events of the day in squibs called De rebus quæ geruntur. That these squibs might not be accounted libelous, they employed hieroglyphics either wholly or in part."

"What hieroglyphics do you see here," Senator McCain asked.

"It¹s simple, Senator. The "IM" goes first, followed by "Peach" followed by "Bush". Put it all together and it's "IMPEACH BUSH". I guess someone or some ones are trying to get a message through to this Body"

"Out with the cups," yelled several Republican Senators. McCain reportedly left his cup on Byrd's table. "Support the troops," he said and turned away.

"I think I will stay here and enjoy my coffee," said Senator Byrd.
Later this morning Operation Rebus Insert (OPI) - an anonymous unit of Washington Cafeteria Workers Local 101 - left messages with several Washington media groups to take responsibility for the event. "Operation Rebis Insert," they are quoted as saying, "is not based on military "Insert" models currently in operation in Iraq. OPI is non-violent. We will continue to strike ­ riddle by riddle ­ and insert wherever necessary to impeach this President."

Senate Security did not respond to questions as to whether or not Senators may be endangered or further confronted by actions that may be carried by out secret OPI cells among Washington's local Union of Cafeteria Workers.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 02:09 AM
March 18, 2003
Gothic News: Bush, Blair & Aznar Sculptures Planned for the Edge of Salt Lake

(Gothic News Service, 03/17/03) The "National Purge & Shape" Sculpture Competition has just awarded Salty Dog Productions this year's Prize for a proposal to create salt encrusted figures of President George Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar that will be placed together on the edge of the Great Salt Lake. In today's Press Release, it is announced that "The sculptures -- absolutely realistic in height and shape -- will be composed of crystals filtered and hardened from a special processing plant that sits on a barge in the middle of the lake. The Lake's crystals--especially under full sunlight--are noted for the way they absorb, refract and distill translucent light in a manner described by many as "purifying."

Salty Dog Productions--in a joint statement with the National Purge & Shape Foundation--declared that the sculptures will be sited on a flat steel base on a beach within easy driving distance from Salt Lake City. Asked why the sculpture was not located closer to the Spiral Jetty - the Lake's world renown sculpture by the late Robert Smithson -- Salty Dog representatives indicated that they did not want to sew any visual or critical confusion with the other work. "Our platform of the figures of Bush, Blair and Aznar will only resemble the Jetty experience in the way the seasonal level of the Lake's water will also rise up to cover the work. Occasionally the public will not be able to see the figures at all. As the work's principle figures re-emerge, additional salt will have further encrusted their shapes and re-introduce them into another cycle of purification. It will be a process that the American and International public can take years to witness and appreciate."

According to the Press Release, site Drawings and Location will be released as soon Utah State authorities hold hearings to approve the plans and location.

Posted by Brian Stefans at 10:50 AM
March 17, 2003
Gothic News: Music & Tears: Bush's Friday Cabinet Meeting

(Gothic News Service, 03/14) The White House Cabinet DJ today was asked to change the music that greets Bush Cabinet Members before opening the morning meeting.

In recent weeks -- in the spirit of creating a "Coalition of the Willing" -- officials typically arrive and tap their shoes and shake their padded shoulders while Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones belt out multiple choruses of "Under My Thumb."

The week at the United Nations, however, has been a United States' embarrassment and public relation's disaster. "A Non-starter" is how Bush's aides privately sum up the Administrations attempt to coerce and/or finance six practically bankrupt countries into supporting the British/US Resolution to eliminate UN Inspections.

"Jagger is no longer on the menu," Bush told the Cabinet DJ. "Unfortunately, all of us have to get into the spirit of letting Blair know that we are about to hang him out to dry.  Make the song as sad as you want."

Arriving at this mornings meeting, Cabinet Members soon pulled out their tissues, sat down and hung their heads over the table and listened to repeated cuts of Neal Young singing, "Helpless, Helpless, Helpless."

"That's just what I wanted," the President nodded approvingly to the DJ. "Helpless is it."

"I think he's a whiner," Rumsfeld announced. .

"If the shoe don't fit, Mr. Secretary," the President shot back, "Dont wear it. Let's Pray!"

Presidential spokespersons refused to confirm or refute the story, particularly whether or not Cabinet members were actually shedding tears. "We do not -- in any way, shape or form -- ever approve of or comment on Cabinet leaks."

(Stephen Vincent)

Posted by Brian Stefans at 10:39 AM
March 14, 2003
GOTHIC NEWS: Possible "Shock & Awe" Candlelight Procession at Washington Mall

(Gothic News, 3/13/03) A t a first time, private meeting in Washington, D.C. is said to be now taking place between a group called the "Light Sculpture Collective" and Leaders of the Peace Movement. The meeting with the artists is to consider emergency proposals for a "Shock & Awe" Candle Light Procession to take place on the Capitol Moll this Sunday evening, March 16. At the moment rumors are cyber-flying around the globe that President Bush ­ unilaterally and/or with a couple of other client states ­plans early next week to launch devastating "Shock & Awe" attacks on Baghdad.

The Light Sculpture Collective ­ it¹s been learned ­ is introducing an urgent proposal to attract at least 40,000 people with "long burning" candles for a Procession to start on the grounds below the Capitol. Monitors will align participants in columns ­ stretching from one side of the Mall to the other ­ and walk West towards the Washington Monument. A central phalanx ­ 5 columns wide and 160 rows deep ­ is to be "manned" by participants who will carry 10 foot high replicas of the 800 Cruise Missiles, the number set to be unleashed on Baghdad during the opening days of the attack. The black fiberglass Missiles will symbolize attacks to be made under the cover of darkness. The Missile noses are illuminated by a red LED flashing out the letters "NO".

The Procession will start at nightfall and begin with a ritual lighting of the candles and include a bow toward Congressional Offices that Members immediately reconsider their vote in support of the War. After walking silently to the Washington Monument, the columns will reconfigure for a Casting of the Light into the White House and, in particular, President George Bush. Each Procession member is invited to walk as close as possible to the back of the White House and point and shake their candle toward the President¹s windows.

"In the manner of the President¹s Christian faith, if 40,000 of us can get Mister Bush to take in the accumulations of light ­ the "Shock and Awe" of it ­ we will have at least a slim chance at reconfiguring his and the Pentagon¹s plans for an Iraqi slaughter," a Light Sculpture Artist is quoted as saying.

The Procession will finish with a configuring of the 800 Cruise Missiles in a circle of "NO" noses pointed in toward the Washington Monument.

The Meeting is expected to reach a decision by late this afternoon.

(Stephen Vincent)

Posted by Brian Stefans at 02:09 PM
March 13, 2003
Gothic News: "Relief Not Bombs" Group Responds to Florida MOAB Test

(Gothic News Service, 3/12/03)

Ashington, the small Florida community next to yesterday’s MOAB (Massive Ordinance Air Blast) test site on which the Air Force exploded an 18,000 pound bomb became the center of actions by a group known as the Banana Relief Collective. The MOAB - which is considered almost as "as good" as an atomic bomb - is designed to send a devastating wave of fire over hundreds of yards to kill troops and civilians, flatten trees, destroy buildings and take out significant portions of cities. These potential effects were not lost on the shattered nerves of the Ashington community. About 20 Banana Collective Relief members arrived in the village shortly after the bomb’s detonation. Each Member mostly in their twenties and early thirties - was easily and somewhat humorously identifiable by a conical-shaped, single banana leaf hat, carefully held together by a white and lavender pen inscribed with the words, "Relief Not Bombs."

The Collective’s members each standing besides shoulder-high stacks of banana leaves on several of Ashington’s downtown corners generously offered to make and put hats on each of the local adults and children. In an hour’s time, the streets, local groceries, ice cream and coffee shops were filled with the sight of a wave of bobbing green hats as citizens worked to dispell MOAB’s intense vibrations and aftershocks. (Gothic News Services’ Google investigation of healing oriented web sites revealed that the banana leaf is, in fact, alleged to absorb heat and anxiety among traumatized populations.)

One of the most popular distribution sites was the parking lot outside the local drugstore where the pharmacist, Dale Rogers, reported a huge run on Kaopectate. "Incidents of diarrhea are epidemic and affect every age," he reported. "There is also a run on tranquilizers. People are almost too nervous to count their change. Maybe the banana leaves will work just as good as the pills."

"We welcome the efforts of the Banana Relief Collective," a Public Health Services Officer announced to a small gathering of reporters. Without elaborating, he continued, "We realize a Government bomb of this size sends all of us including the Iraqis - a message. Anything this group with its banana leaf hats can do to absorb the current epidemic of psychic apprehension, terror and physical fear this Administration’s plans for war is deeply appreciated."

Banana Relief Members as is apparently their custom refused to take questions from reporters and offered no web site contact information. One Ashington citizen, pushing back on the top of his hat cone, publicly spoke out against the test. "First it’s the election that turns Florida upside down. I still don’t know if that was legal or not, but this is worse. First we are maybe cheated, and now the President permits the Air Force to practically drop a bomb on us. Don’t they have any sense of decency, consideration or respect?"

As evening darkened, and the supply of banana leaves was exhausted, Collective members disappeared as quietly as they arrived. No one at the White House or Elgin Air Force Base claimed to have information on the group or whether or not the Collective has plans to go to work in a similar manner in Iraq and Baghdad.

(Stephen Vincent)

Posted by Brian Stefans at 11:55 AM
March 12, 2003
Gothic News: New Bush Portrait Found Hanging Upside Down from Mount Rushmore

[I just got this one a few days ago.]

(Gothic News Service, 3/10/03) Early Sunday morning visitors to Mount Rushmore reported that they were astonished to find they could not look up the 5,725-foot mountain and see the 60-foot high carved stone heads of U.S Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Instead, they found themselves looking at a large painted portrait of President Bush hanging upside down on a cable stretched several hundred feet between the barely exposed foreheads of Lincoln and Washington.

Visitors reported that not only was the painted Bush upside down, but that his bright red cheeks and much ruffled dark hair indicated signs of considerable shaking, an effect that was amplified by the canvas rippling in the early March wind. Indeed it appeared had been picked him up by his feet and held him hanging down while the portrait was in progress.

"Drop The Thought" - the visitor went on to report - was painted in large block letters across the top of the canvas which hung down at least 60 feet to cover the sight of the other Presidential faces.

Before News reporters could be called to the scene, two what looked like Park Service or Military helicopters arrived to lift the cable and canvas from the Monument. "That was also quite something," a visitor reported. "The canvas shook terribly when they lifted Bushs face up into the air. It was as if he was having an exorcism or some kind of letting go. Then, when the helicopters got him balanced enough to leave, they turned the canvas around and, and on the back side, all we could see were big lavender colored letters saying, NO WAR IN IRAQ. Frankly, it was kind of powerful sight. Like a lot of people, I am not particularly for going into this war."

It was hard to find much other information. Mount Rushmore ? carved over a period of 14 years by sculptor Gutzon Borglum - was created to embody the spirit of the foundation, preservation, and expansion of the United States. Tight lipped, The National Park Service said it did not have any information on the perpetrators of the mornings event and no arrests had been made.

"At a time when the country and the President most need the support of the American people," Ari Fleischer at the White House was reported to have said, "It is disturbing to hear that there are individuals out there who will abuse an historic Monument that represents our nations ambition, power and democratic purpose. As to the alleged portrait, let it be known, one more time, this President will not be shaken in his resolve to go to war, if that is his decision."

Posted by Brian Stefans at 02:12 PM
Gothic News: Heritage and New American Century Seek to Dispel Sharon Rumor

(Gothic News Service, 3/11/03) The Heritage Foundation and the group called Project for the New American Century (PNAC) sought to dispel rumors of plans for a joint spring symposium under the auspices of MilleniumMoveOn, a new joint umbrella organization. According to rumors, Ariel Sharon and a group of associates have been invited to address two subjects: "Preemptive Assassinations: Furthering the Foundations of Civilization" and "Wall Materials and Strategies for Protecting and Serving Indigenous Populations."

The two non-profit Foundations - both of which are considered major Think Tanks and essential contributors to the development of Bush Administration global policies - are said known to be developing white papers on new administrative controls for Iraq once the planned war has achieved its immediate military aims.

Expertise  in "Preemptive Assassinations" is considered essential to eliminating the leadership of any internal Iraqi or outside groups that may aggressively challenge or terrorize the military and political authority of a United States led Occupation. Ariel Sharons example in dealing with the Hamas and other groups in the West Bank and Gaza has apparently been accepted by the Bush Administration and is being considered as an efficient way - when required - to deal with both armed and unarmed civilian opposition groups.

The interest in Israel's wall building materials and strategies is also seen as potentially essential in controlling potential conflicts between conflicting national and religious groups ? whether Kurdish, Sunni, or Shia Muslim. In the case of a Balkanized Iraq, it will be considered essential that the boundaries be under United States military control.  Its rumored that portable, sustainable walls are in development that can extend for hundreds of miles and be well used as population containers. The walls may also be built to contain complete surveillance and weapon needs. Their smooth Teflon surface is impossible for civilians to slip over and is considered grafitti resistant. Wall panels may also be conveniently unlocked to permit the passage of military and/or equipment for maintaining food delivery and oil operations.

"This is one more flagrant example," complained officials from both Foundations, "of the American and European left using Israels democratic leadership and totally false - and what some may interpret as anti-Semitic rumors -  to undercut the legitimate democratization objectives of President Bush. The world is going to deeply surprised by how well we are received by Iraqis who are innocent of the Saddam regime."

Neither the White House nor the Israeli Consultate  could not be reached for comments on what are still considered rumors.  The Internet has no current web site listiing for MilleniumMoveOn and there is no indication of a public mission statement for the organization.

(Stephen Vincent)

Posted by Brian Stefans at 02:01 PM
March 10, 2003
Gothic News Service: US Plans Readings in Occupied Iraq

(Gothic News Service, 3/07/03) The White House sought to dispel rumors today that the National Endowment for the Arts was in the planning stages for a series of poetry readings by American poets in Occupied Iraq. For weeks it's been rumored that the Endowment was in consultation with Laura Bush's office on ways in which both contemporary and classic American authors could be best introduced into a post-Saddam Iraq.

The First Lady is apparently convinced that the transmission of American cultural values - especially as represented in the voices of American poets - is essential to building a country in which its citizens will be entitled to practice free expression. To best foster the most attention from the Iraqi public, it was said that the Endowment was trying to determine which one of Baghdad's symphony halls or museums would be an ideal performance location for the invited poets. Earlier on, a Pentagon consultant was reported to have suggested that the Food Distribution Centers would be more ideal since they - in terms of collateral damage - would be the least likely to be damaged or destroyed during the bombing of Iraq.

"First," in refuting these claims, the unnamed spokesman for the White House was quoted as saying, "Though we expect it to be soon forthcoming, there has been no final decision to either invade or occupy Iraq. Further, any such program would undoubtedly include other art forms, choirs and such. But, at this time, we want to remind you, any such planning is totally premature."

When asked whether or not poets to be invited will include those who have written poems against the war, the spokesman said, "When the time is right, you will have to refer that question to the head of the Endowment. It's a free country but we believe he has strongly held views on the questionable value of combining politics and poetry."

Posted by Brian Stefans at 08:57 PM