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The Jungle Revisited

The Jungle Revisited
Apologies to Upton Sinclair

The floor
half an inch deep
with blood

Work with furious intensity
on the run
the pace
no rest for a man
his hand
his eye
his brain

The speeding up
more savage
new devices
to crowd the work on
it was all the world
like the thumbscrew
of a medieval torture chamber

In shirt sleeves
over 100 degrees
phosphates soak through
the skin pores
in five minutes
a headache
in fifteen
blood pounding in
his brain
an engine throbbing
innards torn to shreds

Meat tumbled
onto the floor
in dirt and sawdust
spittings of consumption germs
a rats race track
poisoned bread
rats, bread, dirt, sawdust, consumption
went into the hoppers

The line speed jumped
pigs per hour

fingers slipped towards the blade
blood spurts
index finger hangs by a flap
the line goes on

inhaling areosolised
porcine brain tissue
antibodies confused
human brains destroyed

2002 900 pigs per hour
2007 1350 pigs per hour
50 - 50 chance
of serious injury
to the
largely undocumented labour

Inspectors found
lesions from tuberculosis
septic arthritis
faecal matter
intestinal contents
the chain goes on

‘I felt like a piece of trash’ – Life inside America’s food processing plants
A new book offers a damning insight into conditions for low-paid, non-union, immigrant workers helping to feed our huge appetite for cheap meat

What a day!


The trickle most have been labouring under

defies gravity

The trickle has turned into

9.5 times

the bottom


by the top.

from 7

Since maggie and ronnie

While 10% poverty could be

stigmatised, marginalised and forgotten

the gravity of 40% tells an OECD worrying tale.

“The wealth gap holds back the UK”

And now we have food banks


‘people only need them because they are there’


‘Poor people just don’t know how to cook’

Did I mention

stigmatised, marginalised and forgotten.

Whereas the Lords of the Realm must have

good champagne while they rubber stamp laws that

stigmatise, marginalise and forget

what it’s actually like to live in this country.

And while we remember the Great War for

it’s barbarity

We tend to forget the huge number of civilians

that died in the Greater War that followed.

Even greater barbarity.

And now



‘just a stain on our values.’

Skid marks and a drop of oxy

(call it a report)

that’ll do


brutal and ineffective

rectal rehydration

rectal feeding

staged mock executions

sleep deprivation

water boarding

At least 100 tortured to death


redactions aplenty

What about our cooperation Tony?

And of course

There were no weapons of mass destruction

Otto Dix & Trite Poppies?


The Tower of London poppies are fake, trite and inward-looking – a Ukip-style memorial

Four million people will flock to see the 888,246 ceramic poppies deposited in the Tower’s moat to mark Remembrance Day. It’s disturbing that, 100 years on, we can only mark this terrible war as a nationalistic tragedy

Jonathan Jones - Guardian 28/10/2014

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas!Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Jonathan Jones on art + First world war

History and all its grisly facts are worth more than the illusion of memory
Cameron is wrong. Poppies muffle the truth about world war one

Jonathan Jones - Guardian 31/10/2014

Prescient Indeed


First world war ministers were warned of ‘eternal stalemate’ in January 1915
Cabinet papers show Lloyd George despairing of ‘throwing away’ Kitchener’s citizen army as cabinet colleagues searched for a ‘blow to end the war once and for all’

Alan Travers - Guardian 30/07/14

First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers
On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe

Adam Hochschild - Guardian 28/07/14

You really shouldn't laugh


Turkish women defy deputy PM with laughter
Bülent Arinç said women should not laugh in public, prompting backlash and highlighting state of women's rights in Turkey

Constanze Letsch - Guardian 30/07/2104

Man. You should be ashamed of yourself.

The Current State


From BullingdonMorons

TUC counts cost of austerity on public sector pay
Trades Union Congress says government policies have had a big impact on the spending power of almost six million UK households

Angela Monaghan -
Guardian 09/07/2014

If it were humans it would be called genocide!


Europe's vultures under threat from drug that killed millions of birds in Asia
After an ecological disaster in India, wildlife groups call for ban on vets using diclofenac in Italy and Spain

Robin McKie - Observer 07/062104


Edward Snowden
John Kerry
Come to my parlour
said the spider to the fly
Man Up
Administrative Conditions
for the rest of your life
Man Up

Man Up
Why would I
Said the fly
1917 Espionage Act
public interest
Man Up
Would be stupid
but then
Man Up?

Daniel Ellsberg Thinks 'Very Much Less'
Of John Kerry For His 'Despicable' Snowden Comments

Kira Brekke - Huffington Post 29/05/14

Edward Snowden: 'If I could go anywhere that place would be home'
Snowden tells NBC it was his duty to reveal sprawling NSA surveillance but going home meant 'walking into a jail cell'.
Tom McCarthy - Guardian 29/05/2014