Sunday, November 16, 2008


It is today, nearly ten years after NATO and the UN took over Kosovo. An elderly Albanian couple is sitting in their dark flat in Pristina. The electricity is out, yet again, and they are sitting in front of a blank television, lights out, food beginning to rot in the refrigerator which isn’t running, no hot water, and certainly no cooking to do. They are just sitting there, wondering what to do next when all of the sudden, the crackle of electricity is heard when the lights begin to flicker. The television comes to life, the hum of the refrigerator can be heard and the water heater starts up.

The old man looks at his wife and says “Honey, get my gun. The Serbs are back.”

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fighting Jack Churchill

A "Real" Hero

Apologies to Wiki who I stole the text from....but this gut deserves to be more famous.

Early life
Born in Hong Kong to English parents, Churchill graduated from Sandhurst in 1926 and served in Burma with the Manchester Regiment. He left the army in 1936 and worked as a newspaper editor. He used his archery and bagpipe talents to play small film roles in the movie The Thief of Bagdad.

Second World War
He resumed his commission after Poland was invaded, and volunteered for the Commandos after fighting at Dunkirk. It is said that Churchill was not sure what was entailed in Commando duty, but that because it sounded dangerous, he signed up. In May 1940, Churchill and his unit, the Manchester Regiment, ambushed a German patrol near l'Epinette, France. Churchill gave the signal to attack by cutting down the enemy feldwebel (sergeant) with his barbed arrows.

He led two companies in Operation Archery, the raid on the German garrison at Vågsøy, Norway on December 27, 1941. As the ramps fell on the first landing craft, Churchill leapt forward throwing a grenade and began running towards the bay. For his actions at Dunkirk and Vaasgo, Churchill received the Military Cross and Bar. He received the Distinguished Service Order in 1943 for capturing the battery at Salerno, while commanding Number 2 Commando. Leading from the front, Churchill infiltrated the town with only a corporal in support. He kidnapped a sentry and forced him to make his comrades surrender. Churchill and the riflemen walked out of town with 42 prisoners and a mortar squad.

In 1944, he led Number 2 Commando in Yugoslavia, where they supported the efforts of Tito's partisans. The commandos raided the German-held island of Brač and assaulted Hill 622. Only Churchill and six others managed to reach the objective. A mortar shell killed or wounded everyone but Churchill, who played "Will Ye No Come Back Again?" on his pipes as the Germans advanced. He was knocked unconscious by grenades and was flown to Berlin for interrogation after being captured. He was placed in Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

In September 1944, he and an RAF officer crawled under the wire through an abandoned drain and set out to walk to the Baltic coast; they were recaptured near the coastal city of Rostock, only a few miles from the sea. In late April 1945 Churchill was transferred to Tyrol together with about 140 other prominent concentration camp inmates, where the SS left the prisoners behind.

He escaped from Niederdorf, Italy in April 1945 and walked 150 miles to Verona, Italy where he met an American armoured column.

As the Pacific war was still ongoing Churchill was sent to Burma, where the largest land battles against Japan were still raging, but by the time he reached India, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been bombed, and the war abruptly ended.

Later life
In 1946 Twentieth Century Fox was making Ivanhoe with Churchill’s old rowing companion Robert Taylor. The movie studio hired Churchill to appear as an archer, firing from the walls of Warwick Castle.

After World War II ended, Churchill qualified as a parachutist, transferred to the Seaforth Highlanders, and later ended up in Palestine as second-in-command of 1st Battalion, the Highland Light Infantry. In the spring of 1948, just before the end of the British mandate in the region, Churchill became involved in another conflict. Along with twelve of his soldiers, he attempted to assist the Hadassah medical convoy that came under attack by hundreds of Arab militants. Following the massacre, he coordinated the evacuation of 700 Jewish doctors, students and patients from the Hadassah hospital on the Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem.

In later years, Churchill served as an instructor at the land-air warfare school in Australia, where he became a passionate devotee of the surfboard. Back in England, he was the first man to ride the River Severn’s five-foot tidal bore and designed his own board.

He finally retired from the army in 1959, with two awards of the Distinguished Service Order, and died in Surrey in 1996. Eccentric until the end, Churchill would toss his briefcase out of the window of the commuter train he rode home every day. Passengers and conductors were shocked because they did not know he was throwing the luggage into his own backyard as the train passed by. It saved him the trouble of carrying it all the way home from the station.

fucking awesome

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


“It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?”
—Charles Bukowski