At the risk of perhaps speaking too soon... well, it's the 29th, and nobody has yet showed up to forcibly escort us away from this junky beat writer's paranoid idea of heaven known as Interzone... I think that means that our lawyers and their lawyers are yukking it up back in the States and so all of this will be handled in a more lawyerly, and therefore slower, manner. So, barring any more wackiness, it looks like once again we've managed to buy ourselves more time. I feel that I should offer a clearer explanation of our situation here than I have in the past at this point. The reason I haven't until now is that it's really just a bunch of minutia, and I didn't want to bore anybody's computer into standby mode. So, please feel free to skip to the end; I'll understand. But if you're at all worried that, despite all of my protests, I have in fact been involved in illegal activities by remaining in the Interzone employed by a known (and jailed, I might add) criminal, and wish to set your mind at rest, well, read on until you find yourself waking from a stupor with drool on your keyboard.
Anyway, I'll try to make it as painless as possible. The gist of the matter is that the property upon which GBG built it's 100 Man Camp was given to us by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) back in the wild wild east days of American Occupation in Baghdad. The problem with this is that the CPA of course didn't have the right to give out any properties, as all property in the Interzone belongs to the Iraqi people. Now the Iraqis didn't have a government at the time; we were still trying to set one up for them after demolishing their original one, so the CPA took a lot of such liberties, assuming that there was no one to tell them they couldn't. When the CPA left town, replaced by the Office of the US Embassy (Once again, The Castle) after the Iraqi government we created had begun to function, (well, sort of function) there were quite a few such imperialistic messes to clean up. In the case of property issues, all American squatters such as us were given new contracts. These contracts said that we could remain on the land until the Iraqi government issued eviction notices asking for their land back, which was likely to take a while as property issues in the Interzone were hardly their primary concern at the time. Well, the day of reckoning did eventually come, as it always does. The thing is, our eviction notice didn't come from the Iraqi Municipality; it came from the Joint Area Support Group's (JASG) property management office, which is a US military office inside The Castle. They said that they were going to officially turn the property over to the Iraqi government, and before they could do that, we had to leave and take all of our things with us. So when we got the initial eviction letter, we contacted an Iraqi company, who hired an Iraqi lawyer to look into leasing the property from the Iraqi government once it was handed over, and our arrangement is hopefully to then sublease it from the Iraqi company. So that is why we think we'll be able to stay. If some of you are confused as to why exactly we want to stay here, well, so am I, but a company is as a company does, and ours is schizophrenic, and so is ours, I think.
Anyway, the problem is, we are fairly certain that the JASG is lying and does not, in fact, wish to turn the property over to the Iraqis. The only way they can make us leave is by turning it over to them, and that's why they're saying that, but there are a lot of other people in the Interzone having the same problem. One company in particular that I know of actually did the exact same thing that we are doing, except they actually physically left their property with the understanding that once it was actually turned over to the Iraqi municipality, with whom they had a pre-arranged sublease agreement like we're doing, they'd move back in. But once they left, their property was not in fact given to the Iraqis as stated, but signed over to some people from the Japanese government (or a Japanese company... I'm not clear on that exactly) for an undisclosed "donation." Now these poor guys are screwed; they physically left their property because their company had current contracts with the government, and didn't want to rock the boat, and so they lost their property. Incidentally, the Iraqi municipality is also extremely peeved with the JASG over the affair, as they thought they were getting their land back, but were instead subjected to the peacup con as well.
So, we are not playing it so easily. We have kept ourselves and our assets on the property in defiance of The Castle, as we have nothing to lose, really, and our lawyers in both Iraq and the States are working the case. And at the moment, it seems to be working... after we issued a legal letter on the 24th stating our case, and our intent to sublease the property and therefore not pack up and leave, we have had only silence in return. Which of course could be a bad sign or a good one, but they didn't apparently feel that they could forcibly remove us on their stated eviction date as threatened, so that's hopeful.
So that's where I'm at now. I apologize for the keyboard-shaped imprint on your cheek. If drool has in fact ruined it, please feel free to send me the bill.
No, not really. You could've stopped reading at any time, you know.
Anyway, as you've probably already noticed, I recently added a little mp3 player to my website...* if you don't want to hear it, just hit the pause button once the music starts. There's no stop button, which is annoying, especially as I have a very slow internet connection and it takes like ten minutes to load a song, so it starts and stops, starts and stops. For those of you with much faster connections, you'll have to let me know if it plays smoothly and is worth me keeping it. If it's too annoying to bear even for the best connections, I'll remove it. Also, for those of you with sensitive natures, a few of the songs have rather explicit subject matter. For instance, if there are children around whose ears will shrivel up and fall off upon hearing some foul language, avoid the following tracks: 'Nuclear War' by Yo La Tengo, 'I'm An American' by Dennis Leary, (But that's not even actually the name of the song. I committed some minor censorship there for the sake of a spot of clean humor; so spank my *** and call me Tipper Gore) and while 'Heterosexual Man' by The Odds has no explicit words per se, it does deal with some humorous adult situations.
And so there, now you've been explicitly warned, and it's time for me to go as it's the busiest part of my day: Lunch.
*The mp3 player widget has since been removed because the website that had offered it as a widget has ceased.