There was a massive outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, causing thousands of deaths, devastating fragile healthcare systems and damaging the economies of countries, some of which were still recovering from civil war. At the peak of the epidemic, in autumn 2014, infections were doubling every few weeks.
Some here have wondered, in these pages, what mr ishmael would have made of our current Coronacrisis - the following essay may give you a clue or two:
Good evening and welcome to the SixaClock News from the PBC, with me, Huw Welshman,
and the top story tonight is this fucking plague that's heading our way, it'll get us all if they don't get their fingers out,
a fucking case of Death's own chariot, rolling all over us and never
fucking mind a Star in a reasonably-priced car, look you, isn't it. But
to bring us up to date we are joined from outside a hospital somewhere
by our End of the World correspondent, Jayne Tits, Jayne, what can you
and thank you, Huw and what I can tell you is that the prime minister
has just left a meeting of COMA, the govament's Special Panic Committee
and outside Number Ten he had this to say
Unelected Prime Minister, David Cameron
evening ladeezangennulmen and welcome to another edition of the
Post-COMA statement show, altogether now, Ni-i-i-ice to Vote For Me, To
Vote for me Nice, that's right, you look like a wunnerful audience and,
if I may, I'd just like to make a short announcement about this Ebola
thing and basically, well, ladeezangennulmen, I haven't a fucking clue, I
mean whadoo I know about fucking diseases, I'm a fucking song and
dance man, conferences, quiz shows, houseacommons, that's me, good for a
birra knockabout with the other acts,
but fucking diseases, no, definitely not, ladeezangennulmen, shit like this, you mean?
no way, Jose, as we say in Chipping Sodom.
No that's for a speciality act, maybe an animal act, The Fabulous Four Horsemen,
but not me.
for the first act, anyway, and I'm proud to introduce a man who calls
himself The Incredible Foreign Seckatry, you and I know him - and lets
give him a great COMA round-of-applause - as the late Philip Hammond
The Right Honourable Philip Hammond, MP, PC
doing his impression of not only being in charge of the Ebola outbreak but of being alive.
Give him a big hand, ladeezangennulmen, diddeneedowell?
Not every day we see an act like Philip's but moving along we have that great stand-up comedian and Defence Seckatry, Mr M-i-i-i-i-i-i-key Fallon
KBO, chaps, Keep Buggering On
And in our current crisis, can I caution all Ishmaelites not to follow the advice of President Donald, who can't be arsed to attend his own news briefings, and please refrain from injecting disinfectant. T'internet tells us that Covid 19 was manufactured in Wuhan City’s Biosafety Level (BSL) 4 facility, as a part of China's military strategy - maintaining the balance of power with the USofA's war machine. Here's a link to an interesting documentary about it. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/04/24/how-did-covid-19-start.aspx
The interest is in the stone mad commentators, who seem to be building the case for World War Three and to persuade the "free" world that it is okay for America to get mediaeval on China's ass. Here's mr ishmael's take on a tricky situation in 2014:
RAF Tornado jets
today were not poised to fly over China in a show of solidarity with protesters in Hong Kong.
Lord Chris Fatso Of BBC Corruption, is not poised to enter the fray on behalf of his former subjects,
I say, do I get any money for doing this?
nor are members of COBRA
urgently carrying their folders into Downing Street; laughable Defence Seckatry,
Spiv Fallon, is not blowharding his stupid arse off to any mad
enough to listen and as many as no Brigadiers General Rupert Golightly
Jockstrap have urged extremely professional and highly-trained
For Heroes, however, has pronounced itself disappointed with this lack
of aggression towards Beijing, saying, we in the heroes business are
committed to the maintainance of a continuing supply of limbless
footballers, basketballers and North Pole crawlers and the govament,
frankly, in ignoring the huge business potential of a war with China,
however brief, is letting-down current and potential amputees, plastic
surgery patients and even common or garden headbangers, all of whom rely
on HM govament for their hero status, even if they aren't. Which
nearly all of them aren't. Obviously. Joining-up isn't heroism, getting
injured isn't heroism; doing something heroic is heroism, and it is
something highly unusual, that's why it's called heroism, if everybody
did it it wouldn't mean anything, so, saying that what everybody does is
heroism, is actually shitting on heroism proper. Help for Injured
Soldiers, that would be the right title. But it would still be wrong
because the government which sent them should help them. Not me. I never
wanted them to go in the first place. What they should do is every
other Cruise missile, just don't fire it, won't make any fucking
difference to anything, apart from killing innocent people and making us
even more enemies, every other Cruise missile that the Ruperts want to
fire, just don't fire it and instead, give the half a million quid it
costs to H4H; just don't fire a hundred, fire fifty and send 25 million
pounds to the North Pole Nutters, on the condition that they stay at
A choir of topless army wives has already volunteered to Sing for Sino-War
any TeeVee channel which will have them and as many as no programmes
have expressed an interest in hosting the concert. And Imelda Blair
only a small fee, promised to extend her expertise in drumming-up war,
as a very meaningful adjunct to civil liberties and human rights; her
Blessed are the warmakers.
For they shall have their mouths stuffed with gold.
China, are they muslems/ if they are we must...
ever agog at the prospect of war and stories as we set small countries
ablaze is strangely silent, too, perhaps this unaccustomed temerity is
in some way connected to China having two-and-a-half-million men under
two-and-a-half million in their Territorial Army; having ten thousand
tanks, three thousand aircraft and five hundred warships. China,
depending on who you believe, has between two hundred-and-fifty and
three thousand nukes of the inter-continental variety.
We have our own
aircraft carrier potential, the one without aircraft.
There's no business like war business like no business I know
Everything about it is appealing, everything that traffic will allow
Nowhere could you get that happy feeling when you are stealing that extra bow
There's no people like war people, they smile when they are low
Angels come from everywhere with lots of jack, and when you lose it, there's no attack
Where could you get money that you don't give back? Let's get on with the war.
I tried, mr bungalow bill, I tried, until I'd worn out my fingertips on the keyboard, but I couldn't upload the garden photos I took. Each photo turned onto its side. It's a Blogger thing, according to t'internet. Maybe a tech savvy ishmaelite will send me instructions. In compensation, here's the gardening colour supplement from autumn 2014:
once knew someone who simply couldn't bear cut flowers in the room,
couldn't stand their prolonged, dying disintegration; I am always
reminded of that delicacy when I buy them or when mrs ishmael cuts
flowers from the garden; even so, I love flowers in the house and having
them makes me plant and grow more of them. I did read all that stuff
about tomatoes - a bunch of tomato plants in one room was wired-up to
sort-of tomato ECG sensors; a technician went into an adjoining room,
chopped-down and hacked-up a load of other tomato plants, re-entered the
room containing the monitored tomatoes and the moment he did all the
readings went off the scale, the tomatoes could sense that here came
fruiticide. It was serious research, have a look if you don't believe
me, you'll find it. And regular readers will recall that I can work
myself into a comical-tragical neurosis faced with the task of squirting
poison into the realms of our resident, indestructible billions of
woodlice. I don't eat flesh, I love dogs, I like animals but even so I
can kill flowers, bunch 'em up, shove 'em in a vase, watch them wilt and
them throw them in the compost. What sort of person am I?
read in James Clavell's Shogun books that the Shogun, a mediaeval Nip
warlord monarch, could sit, peacefully composing a haiku, as he
listened, inspired, to the screams of a prisoner being boiled in oil;
liking cut flowers isn't that bad.
one day, someone's gravity will nudge me from my floricultural
trajectory, as mr mirage made in heaven's nudged me from flesh-eating,
but for now, bought or grown, the absence of them always makes me wonder
where have all the flowers gone, even in darkest, blowiest winter, mrs
ishmael can display twigs and branches and evergreens to remind us that
Creation is the original showbusiness.
Sex appeal, fertilisation, breeding, exhibitionism, say it with flowers.
I had thought these Tesco lilies were the latest hybrid.
Until mrs ishmael told me they were just dyed,
maybe in the dyer's garden.
It's Autumn, now. Escallonia as hedging. I must have half a mile of it, all told. Very good it is, clips really well, mr rosevidney rustic,
too; I have some little privets but they struggle in the salt wind;
the escallonia turns black every year, as though treated with a
flame-thrower but it always strikes back, glossy green, and tough as a Belfast undertaker. mr mongoose felt my streets were paved with gold; fuck all, is what they're paved with. Weeds. And if the tide is high, seaweed.
These two appeared recently,
nesting, in September; is that OK for pigeons,
if they are pigeons?
dipping point is streaking across the horizon, now, from North to
South, low brilliant sunshine blinding, forming September's
Late Summer's Cowparsley is now gone. He's groomed every day, the blog dog, it's just that he doesn't know that and quickly shakes himself back to himself. I was worried that he might react badly to small persons coming into his territory but he has proven to be a good boy, a proper dogbloke.
lot, kye, however, in the fields, have been none so gentle. They come right
up to this wall, well, all the low walls; 'smy own fault, I feed them
with grass clippings and hedge trimmings but this year, down one
stretch of the low wall, the Pampas grass has completely died back and the bastards could see into the garden
and all the lovely green stuff, hitherto invisible to them.
There came a shriek one morning, Ishmael, come quick!
There were about eight of the great hulking brutes, stomping and shitting and pissing and mooing all over the garden.
dozen years' work and thousands of pounds, under hoof; if I'da had a
gun I'da shot them all. I'da shot the fucking farmer who owned them,
too. And his fucking wife and children. And his parents, if he had any.
If you have never tried herding cows, well, believe me, it is a shit job. You can't hurt them and they simply don't understand fucking English. But they understood angry dogbloke when he came to the rescue.
well as yelling curses at the kine I was shouting at the dog to go
indoors, I could see one of those hooves just killing him stone dead but
he was as nimble as could be, yap-yap-yapping at them,
How-very-fucking-dare-you-come-in-here, snapping and snarling but
keeping out of their way and in just a couple of minutes he and mrs
ishmael had seen them off, crashing back over the wall. I threw some
stones at them to try and shift them up the other end of the field but
they just bounced off. They'll be back, I muttered, come Sun-up, as
though they were Apaches, they'll rush us, come from two directions, got
the taste of shrubbery, now.
went to town. I want an electric fence, please. How big? How big are
they? Well, how big do you want? I suppose about twenty-thirty metres,
to go on the other side of a wall. That'll be ninety pounds please. And
you'll need batteries. Batteries, do they work on fucking batteries?
Howd'ya think they worked? Well, I dunno, I'm not a farmer. Yes,
instructions are in the box.
When I got home the cows were on the patio, trying to squeeze through the conservatory door, into the house.
The Daily Ebola drafted 17/10/14
A Bamboo Autumn drafted 1/10/14
Horticultural News drafted 12/10/14