Not So Gentle

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Review of 'Get Your War On', David Rees, Soft Skull £7.99

David Rees's clip art cartoon strips first appeared just a month after the attack on the Twin Towers. In this world US office workers phone each other to laugh at Operation Enduring Freedom, the War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism, corporate condolence adverts and hysteria over suspected terrorists. Nothing escapes their notice--Bush, Ashcroft, Cheney, Enron, Sharon and Palestine. All the political hypocrisy that makes us retch is skewered here. Their laughter is as black and bitter as bile so they comfort themselves with booze, internet porn and skiving--as one man says to his boss, 'If you want me to hand over the planning report you're welcome to bomb my cubicle.'

But beneath the foul-mouthed cynicism their sympathies lie with Afghan refugees, minefield victims, Iraqis and Palestinians. In particular the epilogue is gobsmacking and explains why Rees is donating his royalties to the anti-minefield campaign.

With Bush's new war Rees's anger is as pertinent as ever and very, very funny but not a gentle read if you have delicate sensibilities. You have been warned.