posted on November 11, 2008 at 8:12 pm

i was angry and sickened
to see
the bali bombers execution
so lovingly raked over by the local rags
including headlines like
“straight to hell”
“this is what weve been waiting for” etc
isn’t it enuff that they were executed?
in the weeks leading up to the executions
certain papers gave us long lingering glimpses
into the bombers fate
including the absurd(ist) sight
of a man being given a medical check up
to see if hes fit for facing the firing squad(!?)
like a headline i saw once
“cow injured in a slaughterhouse”
is this fucked up or what?
no the newspapers were overplaying their hand
the people do not want garish bloodthirsty revenge
the people wanted justice
we are not interested in the gory details
a small sentence could have said
the bali bombers were executed today at 5 pm
that says it all
dont the cheap sensationalist rags realize
that in attempting to whip up this fervour n fever of hate
against 3 misguided foreign criminals
they become the very thing they hate?
they are instruments of ignorance.
the death penalty….
that is beyond my scope
like abortion
like euthanasia
real questions of life n death
i go deep in my heart
i can find no pithy answers
there are always arguments for and against
i dont even want to open any of this up
it ends up with people cursing at each other
which at the age of fifty four
im tired of all the cursing at each other
so dont fuck around with me you bastards
yes i been enjoying the peace on here lately
i used to enjoy a bit of discord
but now…ah i long for peace
i remember a phrase
oh it was so long ago
i was watching an abc version of the emperors nightingale
which you must all surely know the tale
if you dont
i will quickly retell it in killer new speak
but will stop for the poignant phrase
(which is the reason for all this malarkey)
in china i s’pose
or maybe tai wan
there was a bit of a spoilt olde emperor
not content with being a (fuc)king
he needed to go the whole eton-hogge
and become a bloody emperor
which means
he owned several kingdoms
including the animal kingdom n kingdom come
anyway this olde emp
he really digs the singing of this nightingale bird
which sings outside his window
(presumably for chicken feed…)
i mean
have you ever heard a nightingale
i hear even jokermen sing to their tune
theyre certainly up there with larks
as in you could say
steve kilbey sings like a bloody lark
steve kilbey sings like a bleedin’ nightingale
and both would be correct
the nightingale is a lovely singer
the emperor is always listening to his feathered friend
(i saw mick jagger play this part once….he was great
as the fey monarch)
and you know
to tell ya the truth
the little nightingale is flattered by the emps attention
(could be the imperial birdseed…)
and he hangs about singing
until one day
one of the emperors flunkies
brings him a mechanical nightingale
its a little pre-sampler device
a wondrous singing machine
driven by clockwork
(maybe this eastern potentate has never seen clockwork?)
and anyway
olde emperor rubberlips is smitten
the freakin’ birdietron can sing over n over n over n over
whenever he likes
not like the real bird which has lice
and quite frankly
has sometimes relieved itself on the imperial furniture
the real bird that moults n lays eggs n builds nests
(however the nests could end up in the soup, i guess)
the birdietron is instant gratification
the emp loved to wind it up n let it go
n he listened to it over n over n over
sort of like my neighbour pru daly
who one hot night in 1968
listened to “stand by your man” about 100 times in a row
uh huh
the emp gave the birdietron a good caning
meanwhile the nightingale is feeling like
the proverbial spare prick at a prostitutes wedding
hes pissed off with the emp
and so he should be
the emp has disregarded the real deals improvisation
and variation and composition and the bird
wears a badge which says
keep music live!
all the emp gets is that mech repetition
but he kinda digs it
the nightingale pisses off
in an avian huff (great name for my next band!)
and the emp dont even notice
the birdietron blew its fucking head gasket
and no one in the whole empire
could sort it out
it was kaput
it was over
it was gone
the birdietron was mess of springs n sprockets
it had sung its last swan song
it was now silent
now the olde emp
kinda hooked on the b-tron
he goes into massive withdrawals
uh huh
just like the gear
he starts to shake sweat shudder n shiver
he loses his appetite
he lies in his beddy
wasting away
i’m very young
i had never seen death personified before
i’m watching a blacknwhite tv show in the early sixties
the old emp is about to cark it
death approaches
its…a pale faced man dimly glimpsed beneath
a heavy black cowl
the emperor is crying out now
crying for his real nightingale
who appears
assesses the situation
and sings a beautiful tune
death withdraws from his business with the emp
and turns as if hypnotized
and says to the camera
i must go
the bird sings of a quiet churchyard
the grass wet with tears…..

and that is the thing that has stuck in my head forever
that even death needs a sanctuary a haven
and that the bird could sing it to him
which illustrates the power of music
when death has buggered off to find the churchyard
the bird sings for its emperor
who gets immediately better
everyone is happy
except the emps son
who was hoping for a bit of throne
too bad
the greedy debil

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