Wednesday, September 22, 2004


The New York Times might like to dwell on the implications for international diplomacy of Eurocorps, the sooper-futuristic name for Europe's rapid reaction force. As a Brit that abandoned and frequently despises their homeland, we think the abolition of the army, pound and monarchy, in that order, would be good steps towards the disintegration of the arbitrary amalgam that is the "United" Kingdom.

But we digress, because after two days of near-drowning in proofs, we are bored with words and concepts. We just want to take a gander at that fella in the pictchah they took, in homage to Go Fug Yourself, a recent enthusiasm of Gringcorp's companion that is a sight more infectious than 60 Minutes.

Now, we understand that ever since Jean-Claude Van Damme (full disclosure, Gringcorp knows someone other than his wife with whom he's been, uh, intimately involved) appeared in Universal Soldier there has been some pressure for life to imitate art, and soldiers, at least the ones that aren't wiry, to look like badass mecha-cyborgs from the fighting pits of Robot 1. We understand, just as we know that faced with a choice between showing the local populace your eyes (as the old British recruiting ad noted) and wearing shades while carrying a gun, you take the shades/firearm combo every day. We understand that having a handsfree microphone thing is part of the ensemble. In fact, throw in the bronzed arms and you're looking pretty kewl.

And then the hat. The hat whose only possible use would be to obscure a mime's face. The hat that has appeared in countless old masters and adverts for disreputable Belgian banks. The hat that even clowns and artists have to deploy with the utmost care. And Eurocorps is going to send them into the centre of Kabul. knowing from watching Mr. Karzai that the Afghan taste in headgear is exquisite, we fear that such a presence will be construed as a mortal insult.

Bit flippant, but we hope it is a half-useful contribution to the "will anyone be able to clear up Dubya's messes?" chorus.


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