Thursday, January 25, 2007

Back door art

is the title of Culture Minister Farouk Hosni’s current exhibition at the Institute for Sycophantic Art.

As usual, Hosni’s art is spectacular. Touchingly ironic, it shows the naked power of wasta as nothing else really can. Raw acrylics are smeared across the canvas in sweeping, arrogant strokes that dare the viewer to deny this man’s right to hang anything, anywhere, anytime. Including you.

“If my daughter stuck that on the fridge,” observed a critic who works for the international press, “I’d burn it and take her for a psychological assessment.” Or maybe it was the other way around.

Security at the show is tight, with paintings hung high to avoid urine splashes.

The minister, who is also a women’s fashion consultant, was unavailable for comment. But then again, his painting speaks for itself.

An underprecedented surge in readership

and a staff crisis, are driving us to take extreme measures. Nation of Pearls is expanding its contributor base.

A word of warning. Nation of Pearls is not a forum for sticking it to your favorite politician or professional rival under the cloak of anonymity. Nor is it a platform for trumpeting weird political theories and ideas that you can’t tell your friends about. Just because you can make up a name and sign up for a email account is no excuse to get fucked up and post shit that you wouldn’t spout in the real world.


Nation of Pearls is a serious publication dedicated to journalism of the highest standards.

If you think you can meet our standards, email our editorial board.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fitna Ninjas

It's been a while since I saw something quite this impressive. Takes me back a piece, it really does. Must have been The Bogside, c.1974, when I awoke with a pounding headache on the backseat of some slag's Austin Minor, aroused by the sound of clattering feet and the whiff of burning rubber. We found this on the cover of The Middle East.

Minds me of an excellent documentary I co-produced a few years back.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hang 'em high

says Fox News, breaking the news that Barak Obama is a servant of the devil. Oh yeah! Seems Mr. Mixed Heritage forgot to mention his past in a terrorist training camp in Indonesia.

Coming hard on the heels of revelations that the guy’s middle name is “Hussein” this could be the final wind of the towel around this foreigner-loving bastard’s head.

Meanwhile “Look Out! Here come the nuclear-tipped Arabs!” says Scratch McClunky (seen here in a recent file photo) over at Timely Inc. Apparently the Bush regime has been “intensely focused on making the Greater Middle East a better place.” Apparently the Isrealies acquired their nukes “out of a sense of insecurity.” And apparently Rosie looks good in a little pink nightie.

Dirka Dirka Mohamed Jihad, and goodnight from Prague, where the beer tastes like wine and boiling oil is poured on invaders from the east.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Fuck you Pat

What the hell was that shit? This is supposed to be a respectable journal. You were brought on for your “steady hand at the tiller of a news department.” You remember that phrase from the interview, you drunken sot? You said you’ld quit drinking. “Learned your lessons” was the phrase we heard. You’re turning this whole project into joke with your obscene rambling.

And fuck you Hugh too, you lying bastard. Toilet paper and mascara? Where have we heard that one before? Where have you holed up this time you plagarizing bag of feces? The Four Seasons again? Blowing next year's hospitality budget on Manhattans, cocaine facials and handjobs, probably. You selfish bastard. Prison Diaries my ass.

Sandy’s the only professional in this organization.

I quit.

I woke up bruised

in this cell, the morning sun pouring in through the bars on the window, burning my retinas. I have no recollection of how I got here. The raw cement stinks of must and there is a bucket in the corner for a toilet. Fortunately I have made friends with the old man who empties it. He was the one who brought me the toilet paper and mascara pen that I’m using to write this. He has promised that he can smuggle out my writing and get it to HQ somehow.

If he does that, I can only pray that my colleagues, my friends, my brothers, with whom I have shared so much over the years will find out through their networks where I am being held and bust me out of this hole before I am eaten by the cockroaches or driven mad by the screaming.

Why can’t they turn that TV down?

Until that happens, these will be my prison diaries and when we—my brothers, my fellow-travelers—are safely established in our sea-fortress we shall learn my words by heart. And they shall shine like a lighthouse for all who come to dwell with us.

Stand by.

Total Confustication

PC Joyce got out of bed on the wrong side this morning. Considering his bed is a-next the wall, it was a considerable discombobulation for him. His post may be be somewhat confustulating.

NoP points with pleasure to The Patrician Today's analysis of The Agronomist's analysis of the state of freedom in the country. In a ho-hum piece, the worthy British journal says that Egyptians are, rather like one of those lovely Rubensesque ladies in a whalebone corset, feeling the pinch—and in more ways than one.

By virtue of Egyptian media reporting on Foreign media which has in turn being reporting on Egyptian media (satellite TV, etc), we half expected the world to explode with a resounding pop half-way through this piece. Such are the existential perils of globalisation, my chums.

In the latest item in our popular ""Blindingly Obvious" series", NoP brings your attention today to another snappy little number in The Patrician Today.


Megabrain-At-Law Doktor Mohammed Nour Hardhat has said that the constitutional ammendments that General Toad and his stooges are currently ramming down the well-worn throat of the Egyptian state aren't worth a flying fuck and that if only he was younger he'd give that saucy little wench from layout a good seeing-to.

Or did he?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Europe's engulfed

in the nastiest weather in decades. Hurricane force winds have been smashing up the shrubbery, tossing children about and fucking up the cheese. The top got ripped off Berlin’s central train station, and the Dutch have been ordered off their bicycles.

It’s the end of the world, and of course the Swiss don’t give a shit. They were out there windsurfing while the rest of us were having tree branches shoved into our bottoms. Honest to God, it was like waking up in an Egyptian police station.

Anyway, you don’t have to look too far to see who’s to blame. While the rest of the world was scratching its navel trying to understand why the Iraqies can’t hang a guy without ripping his head off, or what Kim’s really going to do with those giant bunnies, the Chinese went and shot down a weather satellite.

Could it be any clearer?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Nation of Pearls is proud

to announce that it has been picked as the official media sponsor of the HONK campaign. We received their press release last week:

HONK is Raid-based pubic awareness NGO and campaigning for public awareness of pollution and noise pollution issues in the Muddle Eats. Our slogan “HONK for a cleaner and brighter future” encourage moronists in the region to HONK their hones to show their awareness. We are sure we are meating with grate successes from the response that we have been hearing. Thank you for considering causes.

Stay tuned for associated contests and giveaways in the near—cleaner and brighter—future!

All in the family

We at NoP get all crackly and grinful when we look through the Diplomatic Pages of the sordid newsheets, and find that the Turd World has thrown up another confederation of dunces for our amusement.

This morning, The Gonorrhoea Daily has at last confirmed what we've been overhearing in the gents at the Nadi Diplomati: that horny old goat Nursultan Nazarbeyev, President Eternal of the Glorious Republic of Kazakhstan, will be in town in March.

Now, I hate the red carpet faffing that takes place when the red carpet gets rolled out for some visiting tin pot bone-breaker (except when the Yanks are doing them – then there's plenty of skirt to [THIS HAS BEEN CENSORED - ed.] over). Apart from sitting sideways in a monstrous gold Louis Farouq furniture, smiling like a hyenas and blethering on about bilateral ties, we hear that the old toads will be comparing notes on how to run the family business.

We know here, of course, that Jimmy the Kid is the shoo-in for the Cairo hot-seat, but pay attention to the fact that Nazarbeyev's charming female offspring Dariga is also lining up to be the next CEO of Daddy's business. And Dariga may actually have the balls to do it. Unlike our home Nivea poster boy, she's actually been known to criticize the paterfamilias.

She's also appeared on Kazakhstani Pop Idol, and seems to be quite smart and formidable. We certainly wouldn't want to meet her in an alleyway on a dark night. Jimmy, on the other hand, has not to my knowledge appeared on anything but daddy's Gulfstream.

But it won't be long, dear readers, it won't be long.

I am now a man on the run

from men in cheap suits.

They came yesterday late in the morning, or evening. They were dressed in flimsy houndstooth jackets that were bulging at the seams with their self-importance and loaded weapons. Three of them stood by the door while one crouched here, beside the bed, where I am writing this.

They wanted to know what I know about Sealand.

The Aichas were outside. Thank god (whoever you are) they were outside. Buying groceries and trying to rustle up some more opium. We had run out of supplies and the situation was desperate enough to justify sending them both out at the same time. But I am glad now that I did. These men were more than a pair of simple Imbaba girls could handle.

As soon as representatives of the state were gone I piled our meager belongings—no more now than a couple of bottles of rye whisky, our last four bottles of Xanex tablets, three tabs of acid, an envelope with the last of our cocaine and a couple of changes of underwear—into the back of the Caddy.

I am ashamed to admit that, in my ungallant panic, I was prepared abandon the girls to the tender mercies of the local farm hands.

But I was without success. The mill ground over a couple of times, coughed like coal miner on a winter morning, and gave up. The chill of doom sank into my heart as I headed back to bed. Now, in the gathering dark, I await the return of the girls so that I can send them out again, first to fax this in to HQ in the hopes that someone will read my words and come to our aid, and second to locate a mechanic versed in the mysteries of the Cadillac mill so that we can escape this place before the men in cheap suits return.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Iraqi people owe America

a huge debt of gratitude, claims George Bush, but he admitted at the same time that hanging Saddam Hussein might not have been such a smooth move.

Bush, a member of a cult that teaches that the brutal execution of a Jew by an army of occupation (an event commemorated by many in weekly ceremonies in which the cannibalistic consumption of the “messiah” is re-enacted) was sufficient to absolve billions of Whities of responsibility for pretty well anything, seems surprised that wacking Hussein hasn’t worked the same magic.

Such are the machinations of the Caveman Brain.

In related news, David Beckham and his Rocket Scientist wife have been recruited by Scientologist Junior Wizard Tom Cruise.

Seems the football Messiah’s intergalactic alien lizard soul (pictured above with it's human face attached) just had to come home to LA to collect its million dollar a week paycheck.

And that’s the galaxy today.

It came to me last night

in a cloud of smoke as we were having some shisha on the hood of the Caddy. It was a magic thing that rose like a genie from the grey paste that Aisha had coiled atop the coals, her black-draped outline silhouetted against this town’s single streetlight like a gamousa beneath the moon.

“Nation of Pearls.” That beautiful notion couched there on the bed of Rushde’s limpid prose like a lobster on a bed of lettuce. It’s us: The Nation of Pearls. We are a nation, and we need a homeland. This was the genie: this was the magic idea.

And as I watched the slow swirl of the sewage in the irrigation ditch drifting northwards to the sea, I realized that this was a Holy Truth.

And so I call on you, you denizens of this far flung national brotherhood. This Lost Tribe of Babylon. To come together and: BUY SEALAND.

Each of us shall tithe as we are able, and more. And each of us shall have a passport and it shall be purple in color and our emblem shall be the pearl, glistening white. Shimmering there. We shall reside resplendent on our platform atop the waves and from her, our immobile Ship of Unstate, we shall engage in periodic acts of international lawlessness.

And we shall be a necklace of pearls, hung about the neck of the world.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hiding from the Bad Men in Dark Glasses

From what we can see through the opaque windows of our secret Nile-side location, it seems that every bully in the playground is taking it out on the Brothers this week. And not in a nice way either.

Consider the cast:

1) The Presidency. King Toad belched out some bellicosity over the weekend that the Brotherhood is a "threat to Egypt's security."

Rumble Rumble Rumble. There's the mud-slinging. "Security" means nothing, apart from a bureaucratic segue to "More Oppression - Because We Need it."

2) Ministry of Fear. A well-Timed Round-up of MB'ers this morning. Nothing to unusual there, mind you.

3) The Council for False Teeth also got in on the action, the doddery old heads at the Shura Council managing to pull their tarbouches up over their eyes just long enough to nod assent to the 34 constitutional amendments that the Presidency slipped in just before Eid. Here comes a party-list voting system. Goodbye Brotherhood "Independents."

(4) The Justice System (cue canned laughter). Last week 12 or so political parties, most of them jokes, but with one serious one - the Wasat - had their applications to be licensed turned down again. If the regime were canny, they'd have licensed the Wasat to divide-and-rule the Islamist vote. But they're not, so they didn't. They're preparing the ground so they can get heavy on everything with a beard and short trousers, including Cat Stevens.

And finally, (5) The US State Department. Condi's something of a backroom bully, but her inaction is what really packs a punch in this playground. She's in the vicinity this week, ready to roll out the deafening silence when it comes to opposition parties and human rights in Egypt.

Seems simple. I wish I'd thought of it. Put your only political opposition through the wringer for a while, physically, to soften him up. Then slip through a truck-load of punitive legislation trussed up as a "democratic breakthrough." Watch as nobody cares. Retire to a safe distance. Write last will and testament. Have some more plastic surgery.

I would do something about it all, but I can't leave our secret location. And there's another Kahlua on the way.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Holy Shit!

Srinivasan Nageswaran, a recent immigrant to New Jersey from India, had a close call when a meteorite the size of a golf ball punched through the roof of his house and ended up in his crapper.

"It could have done great damage and destruction," said the understandeably shaken Nageswaran, seen here in a recent file photo. "It could have hurt our people." (Had our people been taking a dump at the time.)

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Egyptian police have brought Imad Kabir to justice despite the whining of local bloggers. Kabir, caught on video smearing feces on a policeman’s broom handle, became the darling of vegans and Western pacifists by claiming that it was the police, not him, who were the aggressors in the incident.

Reform-minded President-elect Jimmy "The Nightstick" Mubarak has yet to release a statement, but is rumored to have exploded when he heard about the incident. A member of the Press Corps unfamiliar with the specifics of the matter is saying that Mubarak responded "What a fucking asshole!" after an aide passed him a screen capture from the video.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

God, Vengeance, and the AC-130

Your normally benign Political Editor is not often stimulated by pictures of military equipment. Not a warlike man, PC Joyce. But, upon hearing of the apocalyptic airstrike wreaked upon al-Qaeda evil-doers in Somalia we thought we'd take a look. Last time, the US got their little BlackHawks in something of a pickle down in the Mog. So, this time, they came back with something bigger. Much bigger. Like this evil fire-breathing dragon of the SKY!

I hereby renounce peace. I am getting one of these. Fuck democracy with an airborne Howitzer.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

International man of Law

Philippe Sands uses the Guardian to lay out the options for tossing Two-Faced Tony in the hoosegow once that fat Scottish guy takes over, and Blair loses his immunity from prosecution. Seems the “Charles Taylor option”—a specially convened tribunal and a bedsit at Den Haag Crowbar Hostel—offers the best chance of nailing TB's lying ass to the wall over the invasion of Iraq.

Meanwhile, the pudgy chancellor's hometown rag is taking the lead with “birthday-suit parties,” stretching a point to pump up the junior Blair's rumpy-pumpy options with a report on the kind of orgy smorgasbord that Pittless the Younger (shown above following in his father's rock and roll footsteps with his band Babyshambles) will have laid before him at his new school.

Do we smell conspiracy? You bet we do!

Meanwhile, The Daily Gleaner got badly burned by The Onanist for whitewashing a little nastiness about General Goha off their front page back on December 19. “Printing error” my birthday-suited ass.

Up the creek

with a pack of Cleopatras and two women, both named Aisha. Head pounding, the flech of sink-brewed arak gumming up my tongue. In the street below I can see where I parked the Caddy. Angled under the awning of the ahwa, next to a Russian built tractor from the 1960s. There’s a donkey hitched to the bumper. Beyond, some lesser arm of the Nile. Reed lined, choked with weed. Garbage strewn.

I’m banging this out on a rusted Royal. The kind that stands up and looks you in the face as you type. Like an upright piano or a marmot. I guess I’ll send Aisha—the bigger of the two—down to the landlady with the carbons in a bit and have her fax them into the office.

Not that I have much to say.

This wretched ruined remnant of the countryside gave birth to Mubarak. Dowsed now in cheap chemicalia banned in the first world and dumped on the fields of the third, choking on the refuse that won’t burn and hacking up the particulate of that which will. Cemented over and pissed on. Its children herded from classrooms without desks to factories without windows.

It’s a bit depressing. Especially if you like 320 thread count sheets.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Dante's Devils Smuggle Guns to Gaza

I was poking my mulberried nose around on the interweb for a bit this afternoon, as I was waiting for the lounge in the Sheherezade to open (opens later than the Palmyra, but with more, eh, benefits once you get your crapulent frame in the door) and I found this beezer little diagrammatic thing, that some smart little chaps in some zionist newsletter dreamed up. Here we see the evil Palestinians, not represented as cockroach-like vermin as usual, but as dinky little red men. There they are, pushing the explosives through the gloomy under-earth, devils on secondment from Dante's Inferno. Look carefully for the sign reading "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" or "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Once I find my other horse-whip I'm off to the Sheherezade. There's a Libyan man with a glass eye who goes there on Mondays, and I mean to give him a piece of my mind. Ach.

So Hugh's run off

somewhere. Last seen in that ridiculous hearse of his careening up the corniche toward Qanater with a half-empty liter bottle of Old Blackie on the seat beside him and a couple of Imbaba bints trussed up on the back seat. It thus falls to me to announce the newest addition to the news team here, Patrick Cromwell-Joyce, brought on to counter allegations that this newsletter has slipped away from the highminded ideals of its founders to become a vehicle for personal attacks and drunken rantings.

Fuck you Hugh, by the way. Wherever the hell you've gotten to. You saw me. Don't pretend that you didn't, and if that tree hadn't been there for me to climb, you could have taken my leg off. So I hope you've driven that death wagon into the fucking canal with those two little whores of yours.

Next President Must Be Jimmy, says authors of "How to Win Friends and Dominate People"

This morning, the ever-alert Patrician Today announced that a group of Ambitious Report Writing Freaks from America (otherwise known as the Dale Carnegie Endowment for Being Nice to People and Making Valuable, Earnest Suggestions to the Leaders of Other Countries) had written an ambitious report. What did it say? It said that the Son of the President is Expected to become The Next President of Egypt. That's what Patrician Today said, in any case.

Well, there's no getting past those ARWFs is there? You have to get up really early in the morning to sneak anything under their radar. Here at Nation of Pearls, we never shy from the mixed metaphor. Nor do we shy from the blindingly obvious.

Neither does the Patrician Today for that matter. No shying away.

Where's that shagging bottle? I'm sure there was a rabbit here a minute ago. Shagging catholics. Burn them. Fergal!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Disease in a dish

is how a Brit researcher referred to some about-to-be-banned chimeric toys—petrie bred critters jumbled together from the DNA of humans, rabbits, cows and whatever else was laying about on the day.

Seems the boys and girls at Number 10 are getting chilled toes at the idea of cows with floppy ears and opposable thumbs roaming the hallways of England’s research hospitals, and are about to ban cross-species breeding.

Pity, really. The commercial possibilities in the porn industry alone are staggering.

Meanwhile, Marilyn Manson’s stripper wife, “Dita von Teeze,” is dumping him. Neither Teeze nor or about-to-be ex Manson have responded to allegations that the split has something to do with the upcoming British ban.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Christmas rolled through Egypt

like a scrap-cart full of high sulphur coal pulled by half a dozen hungry reindeer. A fat guy in a gold braid hat on top cracking the whip. “On Ahmed, on Mohamed. On Magdy, on Michael.” Then came the New Year and the killing began. Children paddling in cow blood, smearing it on their faces and sucking their thumbs. Which would be all very well, if the animal hadn’t bled to death in the gutter, shitting itself, legs flapping like the paddles on a blender amongst the discarded candy wrappers and thrown away nappies, whipping the mess into a frothy bacterial borsch of the merriest sort.

Can’t remember what’s halal there and what’s not.

Here at Nation of Pearls, the holidays were a time of quiet contemplation. We piled into the Caddy and hit the Palm Club out in Saqqara for a couple of days. Wrapped in blankets, huddled around shishas by that kidney shaped pool. Only Snatch—who was ridiculously high on some Afghan weed he bought from a Saudi prostitute at the Marriot—went in for a paddle. He was blue in minutes and made Terence give him CPR. That wasn’t a pretty sight at all.

Thank God it’s over, though I for one would have thanked Him more if it had never begun, but there we are. Respect for tradition and so on.

Come on kids. Time to go home and wash up.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Daily Gleaner has the big scoop:

"outraged citizens" of Egypt, and well armed ones at that, reacting to the Shia's recent Bush-sponsored offing of the erstwhile Great Leader.

A big NoPe award there for journalist acuracy.

Whatever. Mirette Mabrouk, scribe-extraordinaire, saves the day with this insight into the matter:

“Saddam Hussein was not a particularly good or noble man” but “Arabs will ration” (what the hell?) that “He may have been a thug … but he was our thug.”

Cue some of those “bloodcurdling screams.”

Meanwhile, CNN misses similar honors by the finest of hairs for captioning a piece on the search for Al Quada’s leader “Where’s Obama?” Ooops.

If you look reeeeeal close, you'll see him on the front page of the Daily Gleaner. He's the guy with the towel wrapped around his head saying "Dirka dirka."

Monday, January 1, 2007

A belated welcome

to the Nation of Pearls for Nigel Kenworth. Nigel will be contributing in his inimitable fashion to the newsletter on (we hope) an irregular basis. The idea is that he will bring his knowledge of the cultural world to bear on issues of topical concern. I hope that you will enjoy his posts.

So there we were

three of us, four. Maybe five or seven. Hiding, frankly; I’ll be honest: huddled, holed up, laying low there on Saturday morning. The dull thuds of a blood spattered peasant’s axe in the garden, hacking through the sternum of some half dead creature of the field, resounding through the boat. The sound dulled by He only knows what volumes of liquids modified and unmodified, and some pills that Terry was good enough to drop by on Friday.

Christ. We were clinging to each other for some pathetic simulacra of comfort and Hugh was being fucking useless. High as a kite in the May breeze, swinging in the hammock and singing when the lights come on again. And me with a novel, half a novel back home, swinging in the wind like its been lynched, and a profile of Ahmed Muhamed al Mua’fin three days past deadline and the TLS beating down my mobile like they have some kind of right to the piece just because they’ve already paid and blah blah blah.

Sandy rolled in around half past the aftermorning, spattered with blood and Snatch in tow, with Cyclops dangling in his right hand. Heil fellas well met. Guess where we’ve been. Jesus.

Fuck them, and Hugh especially.

And fuck you too.

Only the good ones die

it seems. But we never know it till they’re gone. Gerald Ford, one of the blander stooges ever to settle buttock upon the oval throne turns out to have been a great leader—after he dies. James Brown: helmet haired, gun toting crack head turns out to have been a civil rights leader… but only after his lifestyle finally caught up with him.

And now, according to the New York Times, we have a crew of renaissance men, sensitive new age metrosexuals and righteous family guys getting tragically offed in Eye-rack.

There’s Jordy Hess. At the same time a poet who could bench press a motorbike, and an amateur glass blower who reinvented the silicon wafer computer in his down time. Tragically smashed to death by an ungrateful towelhead. “Angel faced” Eric Bowman, blowed up by same. Fun lovin’ Jason Burnet, who built houses for poor people. Lousy Eye-racky engineering got him when his tank fell in a canal.

Makes you wonder who did the 60,000 or so Iraqis mown down from helicopters, driven over, shot in the head, beat to death, incinerated and so on since 2003. Must be a couple of bad, and very very hard working, guys out there somewhere.