April 8th, 2010

Collateral Murder

They're saying the footage that's up at Wikileaks under the title Collateral Murder comes across like a bunch of guys playing a video game, but that's not the only cultural resonance. As we watch the dying journalist try to crawl away from the killing zone we hear one of the soldiers in the circling gunship urge him to, "reach for a weapon." Sound familiar? Yes, of course; it's an echo of Dirty Harry's, "Go on, punk, make my day". So I guess art does have a corrupting influence after all.


Samina came to the door to borrow the Yellow Pages- so she could ring a bunch of cowboy builders from her past and shout at them. What they'd done was lay a floor down over joists that weren't properly secured, but resting on crumbly piles of old brick.  I went to have a look at the damage.  Ailz's mother thinks the joists could have been left that way by the Edwardian builders 100 years ago . Samina's Uncle, who is now in charge of the project,  just sort of shrugs and says "Another job I'm going to have to put right for her."

Her uncle, needless to say, is being very thorough. The only reason she didn't employ him in the first place is he had a backlog of work and wasn't immediately available.  As it turns out she should have waited. A couple of weeks back there was a final show down with the fat, racist, Irish builder who was paid £6000 up front, did about £1000 worth of shoddy work, then walked out demanding more money. He turned up at the house with three Asian heavies, only- unfortunately for him- Uncle was there- and the heavies turned out to be more of Uncle's relatives. "What are you doing with this man?" asked Uncle and the boys went all sheepish and said they didn't know they'd be strong-arming family- and left promising Samina she'd get her money back- as she has done.