* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.


4 March 2002
Dan sees the Dawn in Daunia

Before we even get into this, I have a question.

Why is it that when somebody says "Rally the armies of the West," they always mean me? Trojans? "Rally the Armies of the West". Afghans - armies of the west. Fucking goblins - armies of the West, I dare say.

And what does that mean? It means that yours truly is going to end up bleeding and sweating, covered in mud and with some poor fucker's viscera halfway up my arm. Have you ever razored somebody's bowels open? It smells. It actually smells worse than shit. For some reason this always comes as a surprise.

And what thanks do I get for all this tireless bloodshed? For providing such banquets for the crows that the skies are black for two days after? You tell me.

Spoil? Stuff which I could have taken from the dead anyway? It's not as if I need to espouse a cause for that. I could just be the world's first mass mugger. If all I'm getting out of the whole sorry affair is several hundred pairs of slightly foxed army recently surplus boots, then ...well, why not save on the shoe leather in the first place, know what I mean?

And don't even imagine that I get thanks, or gratitude. Maybe once, but not now. Everyone's too fucking pussy. I tell you. Come into a room, and everybody gets this look, like they know that this is the closest they are ever going to come to feeling another human being's carotid artery between their teeth. And then hearing the little noise as it surrenders, all the way through the jawbone up into the brain...


Ah, well, my father, he was what you might call a real man. Definitely. No messing around. Didn't talk around the point. To be honest, I didn't see him much. But do me a favour? Don't go down that road. These days I get psych evaluations at the end of every job. What do you think about when I say "mother"? Who would you rather spend an evening with, Jennifer Love Hewitt or Jimmy Smits? What kind of a monster are you? That kind of thing. Like I say, it's a thankless task.

Oh yeah, the brains thing. The amount of stick I got for that at school. It's the laziness I can't stand... think of it like this. If you're burning corpses after a scrap, you're going to inhale a good few bits of crispy human. Lung tissue. That's floaty. And, you know, with the biting, tell me a little bit of somebody has never just slipped down there. But one minor moment of temper - and the man was in pain, you know - and all of a sudden he's like some big brain-eating pariah. It's just the hypocrisy of the whole thing. We gnaw skulls so you don't have to, you know?

It just makes me so tired. Tired of petty disputes and border wars. Tired of taking hostages, freeing hostages, killing hostages, killing one hostage every hour...dull dull dull dull dull. I miss the good old days; just you and the other guy, a few introductions, a quick speech and a spear-cast. One lives, one dies, everybody goes home friends. When did everything get so personal?

And if it isn't personal, it's impersonal. Sit there in a metal box picking people off from ten miles away. Squat behind a wall with sniper scope picking people off from half a mile away. Do people even bother to fix bayonets anymore?

I don't know. It feels like the whole machinery has been on a downward slope since forever. You'll just end up sitting in bunkers on opposite continents lobbing things at each other - that's where you've been heading all this time. And guess who'll be wandering around the wasteland finishing off the wounded and storming the bunkers? Who'll be breaking bones and crushing limbs? Who'll be cutting and stabbing and biting and getting the taste of dead skin and blood caught behind his teeth and -

Oh God. I don't care what it's for. Summon the armies of the West. Just please. Please. Let me hurt something.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
30 October 2003. Dan writes: My only goal
9 October 2003. Dan writes: The Knot
18 September 2003. Dan writes: The Engelbart Elephant
28 August 2003. Dan writes: The Amity Index
7 August 2003. Dan writes: This Sporting Life
17 July 2003. Dan writes: Touch
26 June 2003. Dan writes: Metadata
5 June 2003. Dan writes: Street Mate
15 May 2003. Dan writes: Usher's Well
24 April 2003. Dan writes: Medicamenta
3 April 2003. Dan writes: Weapons of Mass Construction
13 March 2003. Dan writes: David Sneddon, Bukake Secret Agent
20 February 2003. Dan writes: Mary Sue
30 January 2003. Dan writes: Bait and Switch
9 January 2003. Dan writes: What Never Happened
19 December 2002. Dan writes: Sermon on the Mount the Face
28 November 2002. Dan writes: Ballroom Blitz
7 November 2002. Dan writes: The Photographer
17 October 2002. Dan writes: Diaphragmatic
26 September 2002. Dan writes: A life in the day
5 September 2002. Dan writes: Different Class
15 August 2002. Dan writes: Story and sequel
25 July 2002. Dan writes: Fellatious
4 July 2002. Dan writes: Skin Mag
10 June 2002. Dan writes: The Ibizan book of the Dead
16 May 2002. Dan writes: The Sissons Situation
22 April 2002. Dan writes: UpsideClown and Out in Hollywood
28 March 2002. Dan writes: Nereus' Daughters
4 March 2002. Dan writes: Diomedes
7 February 2002. Dan writes: Text Only
14 January 2002. Dan writes: Civil Engineering
20 December 2001. Dan writes: Nativity
26 November 2001. Dan writes: The Wedding Band
1 November 2001. Dan writes: what dreans mecum?
8 October 2001. Dan writes: Stop me if you've heard this one before
13 September 2001. Dan writes: Mother of the Muses
20 August 2001. Dan writes: I say I say I say
26 July 2001. Dan writes: Bigger, Better, Brother
2 July 2001. Dan writes: Hecatomb
7 June 2001. Dan writes: Dispassionate Leave
14 May 2001. Dan writes: Small Town Boy
19 April 2001. Dan writes: Maintaining the Driving Line
26 March 2001. Dan writes: Cut and Paste
1 March 2001. Dan writes: Redemption
5 February 2001. Dan writes: Blyton the Face of the Earth
8 January 2001. Dan writes: Smoke Signals
18 December 2000. Dan writes: The Loa Depths
23 November 2000. Dan writes: The Limits of Melissa Joan Hart
30 October 2000. Dan writes: Shiftwork
5 October 2000. Dan writes: Dawson
11 September 2000. Dan writes: Testing Times
17 August 2000. Dan writes: Onanova
3 July 2000. Dan writes: Roboto il Diavolo

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