End of news mags, More on scribbling

End of news mags, More on scribbling

Doing four news mags has convinced us not to continue, because they don’t really add anything to the portfolio of WWW ideas and activities. If you’re a fan, sorry! This blog concerns that always fascinating topic of scribbling.

On a grim note, scribbling has been in the news recently regarding scraps of scribbled-on paper and notebooks found among the remaining traces of some IS members killed near the Tigris river and reported on the BBC News app. Most seem to have belonged to the very young man shown above, with other photos showing him with a girl aged 5 or so, probably his young sister and both making the IS-supporting sign.

The scribble here, on a torn sheet, is about munitions.

A number of the scribbles, on diverse topics but all connected with fighting in some form or another, are in a now battered notebook.

A number of the scribbles were intended as notes for other people and torn out, but with the writer having been killed before sending them.

A scribble on a post-it note also makes an appearance, complete with small crossing-out in the bottom right, but with its main message not a jolly one, for it provides the coordinates for an attack of some kind, either of fighters or of bombs.

What these things remind us of very sharply is that scribbles are often not ephemera and nor are they inconsequential. These particular instances were intended to be highly performative, to do a job of work in expediting activity of an unpleasant militaristic and death-bringing kind. And they would have been performative and brought death and destruction in their wake, except of course this was prevented because they were killed by other young men, who perhaps also made scribbles in notebook and on post-its, although in the derby race between evils, IS must come pretty high on the list.

The BBC News app and its various add-ons in the shape of essays and magazine item is a wonderful resource and is very highly recommended.

Last updated: 13 July 2017


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