Saturday, 2 June 2012

Long To Rain Over Us

Whilst purchasing the three or so appealing items Iceland stocks, I noticed their displaying a new advertising banner reading 'That's why Ma'ams shop at Iceland!'
Now,  I'm not trying to be horrible or anything, but my initial suspicion on reading this was actually, that the Queen probably does NOT shop at Iceland-  a suspicion, which by point of the checkout, had developed into grave conviction that to suggest so constitutes no less than insult and Treason.

Tomorrow, a dear friend of mine (we made our acquaintance exchanging our shared taste in the noble art of Ruining Things, coincidentally) has seen fit to organize a subtly titled " FUCK THE JUBILEE " street party. My feeling about these things is always that a party is a party. But I like parties, so I don't care.
On the Royal wedding, WE THE PEOPLE had in our possession, an occupied ex-jobcentre in Deptford - this was just after Poly Styrene died, so we had a huge roof-full blasting 'Spex etc, and, er, it was amazin'. Earlier that day I'd ventured into central London to document, it transpired, the poor ignoramuses of this country who thought that they'd pop down from Leicester, or Leyton Buzzard, or Leigh, or whatever it was and get a glimpse of our white young hopes, our Royal mid-to-highnesses -
No such luck, a huge fence had been erected around the entire City of Westminster, so thousands of poor, Union Jack-decked buggers were locked out of the Nation, reduced to craning through shop windows, and in one bizzare moment, scaling the fences of green park in vain attempt to see It, Anything, even a screen. Here's a few shots, and apology about the quality of the scans but this is just off the cuff..

(John Major appears to have infected everyone with his greyness in this series, perhaps explaining why he was not invited to the official event.)

Any way, the point is Things Are Different, for me at least anyway, this time.
Last year I was content to wear a Union Jack t-shirt myself, ride high on the fluffy cloud of irony and indifference, fagged out from recent protestations reaching the dank depths of caring far too recently anyway.
Not so this weekend. Our household has constructed  our very own jubilee decorations to drag to New Cross for the celebrations, using the golden technique of 'being so nauseatingly sycophantic as to be indisputably sarcastic, however to an extent which would not stand up as evidence in court'  in the construction of these monuments, which you will no doubt see in the very near future.

As everybody knows, there ain't no crack in the Union Jack, a point which rammed home hard as I sat flicking through an old Select magazine, from 1998. Pulp on the cover, Father Ted feature, Spiritualized, Bernard Butler, etc, etc etc, etc.
This true time-piece, choking hegemonic relic of Brit-pop's overbearing, ingratiating dieing days featured on almost every page some now-'seminal' something or other,  inviting one a dangerous nostalgia for some kind of identification to a dominant popular culture.
This is the sort of thing that get's you thinking about the past, present, future. Shortly after,  I climbed under my old school desk taken from Goldsmiths to retrieve a plug, with a strange mix of revulsion and joy at my head brushing against some stone age chewing gum deposited under there from godknowswhen, it struck me - When, oh When can we move on? Do not assume the irony of wishing this whilst in the same time subjecting myself to reading 15 year out of date magazines is lost on me, but the problematic comes in that, actually, if you favour the physical, there aren't any now.

We, left in this physical world, find it derelicted.   Perhaps you have noticed, more and more people are dropping like flies from websites like facebook.  My main reason, personally for this, is that more important than the wasting one's hours, weeks, days and years on unfulfilling, fillering, voyeuristic, over-public shite; is the waste of Wit.

If you're wondering why all the freshness you long for illudes you, consider this; Since they got clever enough, the literary efforts of a younger generation have been pissed down the plug-hole of first MSN conversations, later Facebook status updates, dissapearing into the ether of sharp blue and white aloof detachment.

We who don't have these social engagements in our bedrooms, find ourselves out on the now deserted dystopian streets of night-time Deptford, watching H&M film a commercial, whilst security hold back the usual occupants of the high street, who can only, and untruly shout "I PAY MY BUMBERCLAT COUNCIL TAX"   as the vainly try to breach the lines out of stark reality and into, again we find, the dream, the screen..

Ascending the back stairs of a flat, choking through a Parker, on advice to 'hold your breath as much as you can because a one of the rats's got under there and died' to watch this soap from the balcony, the Gods, it is entirely forgivable to momentarily forget how to spell the word 'future'.
A glance at the peeping Canary Wharf, over the distant roofs, reassures one, for a moment, but, drizzle-drivven back in-doors, and listening to newly-remastered Beatles recordings of songs you've not heard in 12 years, time-quake shudders are felt afresh.  We're way off the Richter.

This is the supermegapresentfuture.  The filth of the past with none of the well made appliances or attractive commercial packaging .
I've typed 'Dystopian' - Google underlines it as an incorrect spelling,  it's only suggestion being 'Utopian'. Funny, uh?

'Where are all the angry young men and women, where are all the good young bands?' ask the same 40+'s who increasingly tell you how 'sorry' the feel for 'your generation, it's so difficult.'
My theory is this- as with terrible would-be writers, there are man millions terrible would-be musicians in the world.  The people you want writing, and writing music, are too rightly, debilitatingly impassioned, in-awed and categorically well-informed about music past to dare step up to the mantle, discarding every riff on the creeping suspicion that it rips off a Warsaw demo, Googling every inspiring turn of phrase, to discover it's the title of a long-abandoned blog. 

When you look at some of the faces in the above photographs, (most notably the girl propped up with a flag, and one of those slum-clearance-documentation expressions) it's clear that in all this acceleration, nothing's really changed, merely our exposure levels- another thing one is encouraged, in this Utopia, not to have to mind, with digital cameras et al, taking care of all that.  The very first photograph in the essay, was on the same roll as the Wedding lot, and was probably the last photo I took of the Marden estate when I had a claim to the place, as my mother's moved on..

It could be any time ever, because nothing ever, ever, ever changes there. You know what to do,  Because, God, who wants to..<<<<<<<<<<

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