Jeezny Horrorshow Mar07

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Jeezny Horrorshow

Guerrilla

“Guerrilla,”from the Spanish meaning “little war” comes from the time the Romans were attempting to conquer Spain. It allowed “bandoleros” or smugglers and bandits to legitimise their activities. But these original Spanish guerrillas, from their advent to at least the time of Wellington, needed to work in tandem with a regular army. For instance, Spanish guerrillas worked in a symbiotic relationship with Wellington’s British forces against France.

The downside of guerrilla warfare is that the distinction between combatant and non-combatant becomes blurred. This is attested to by the Prussian Prince Frederick Charles who said, “There is for a commander nothing more oppressive than a situation which is not clear”. The Prussians, according to Bismarck, didn’t treat these French guerrillas as combatants but as murderers.

Mao and Orwell

It’s uncanny how prophetic Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four was, especially considering Orwell died in 1950. Take this account by Jung Chang of what Mao Tse-Tung hoped to achieve and bear in mind it relates to the late 1950s:

“What Mao had in mind was a completely arid society, devoid of civilisation, deprived of representation of human feelings, inhabited by a herd with no sensibility, which would automatically obey his orders.”

And not only that: Mao used the supposedly veracious diaries of a dead soldier called Lei Fend to try to exhalt the quality of being mindlessly enthralled by a will to obey Mao:

“This cult of personality, the necessary obverse of the cult of Mao’s personality, was cloaked in a deceptive appeal to be selfless – for “our” country, or “the people”.

Land and Freedom

Land and Freedom is a movie by Ken Loach in which Ian Hart plays a Liverpudlian called David who, upon attending a lecture, is inspired to go to Spain and fight for the POUM, the Spanish militia. There, he realises with time that the revolution is corrupt and that Stalin is sabotaging their efforts in order to gain respectability on the international stage.

Knights

Knights, as we all know by now, had to be valiant and courteous. It was said at the time that knights were “lulled to sleep by mighty thunder.” They died in the service of the Lord as did one knight called William Longespee II who died in 1250 in the Holy Land. Knights rode the best horses and were used to wearing heavy armour. They shared a chivalric culture – their etiquette was exclusive. A knight needed to exercise though. A small belly, straight legs, broad shoulders, wide chest, elegant fingers and grim visage were ideal. They also had to climb tall ladders from underneath.