Poems and Short Stories

Broken thoughts need words to heal them

halloween mushroom31st October 2015 – around midnight

He lives in ancient Greek towers, singing songs about nothing much in particular. One day he might tell a story about toast he ate for a lonely dinner, other times more of a sombre song about ducks. But it’s not important the words, its how he sings them, mournful. Or if happy, always with a manic grin, like he’s putting on a murderer act.

Days away from entering the boat of skies. It’s not fair, none of it. Neither justice nor peace. It’s believable though, all too much so. Fear is the little death bringing ultimate destruction. You afraid of fear? It’s hard not to be, when it’s the ultimate destruction.

So the songs get louder to drown out the thoughts. Broken thoughts need words to heal them. Healing words need writers to write them, singers to sing, readers to read, actors to perform and those people who go around making speeches all the time to do that.

Is it wise to take psychedelic drugs just before going to other continents for revolutionary purposes? It’s always how I’ve done things before. Tripping in Havana, tripping on the way to Ecuador, always smoking weed everywhere from Berlin to Mexico, Tangiers to Australia.

Come out as a user of psychedelic drugs. That’s what scientists are advising. Doctors and such. They want us to come out of the closet and wave the freak flag high, to be all like, ‘hey man, come on, its like, totally good for you and shit’ to all the uptight squares in the fascist regime. But do they care? I don’t know. At least books can get published. Some places I guess you can’t even talk about it.

Here in the West we are oppressed by a post-modern malaise that keeps us from realising anything, in the sense of manifesting a change in social reality that we can all feel proud of. We have no standards by which to judge anything, all such formulations being pulled out like rugs from under our feet, from our aching minds. But that’s a fuck of a lot better still than being blinded by theocracy and a vision of reality that refuses to share consciousnesses with others.

Away then, we go, to Morocco, the land where it seems like at least half the people are stoned all day, except what if they aren’t at all? Maybe it’s only a fifth or something, but still. It’s hard to imagine that people can get to grips with an ideology supporting the existence of the State. But then, it’s hard to imagine that anywhere.

Mostly people everywhere, East and West, North and South, are propelled along by the same basic bullshit at all times in all settings. When we’re startled, we act irrationally. It’s important not to startle each other, and get good at unstartling ourselves and one another. Really, it is.

If you tell someone that the whole basis of their system of government is a lie, some of them will take it in their stride, the ones who never really gave a shit in the first place. Others might get startled. The earlier in life this startling happens, probably the better, as long as they then get calmed down. If you leave it till your forties to really question anything, you’re probably never going to really understand anything.

You will just flap around, blaming Jews for everything, or if not Jews then some other people you don’t really understand. Maybe you’ll vote for a guy who will sell your teeth to foreign bankers and kick your grandma out of her pyjamas, and then STILL blame the Jews.

The last thing people like that want is for hippies who are friends with illegal migrants or whatever they call them – Jews from Africa? Like the Jews from Syria? I mean, you have to hate someone right? – the last thing they want is for them to go on TV saying that if they take magic mushrooms they might feel happier and be all connected with the universe, experiencing new states of consciousness.

They will probably try and claim that the mushrooms are Jewish, or Muslim, or some kind of Marxist-liberal-intellectual people with beards who want to enter your mind just to burn flags and rape women.

There’s even a guy on Youtube who calls him self a ‘former Jew’, who hates Jews more than most people on Youtube, making weird grins to the camera and saying that Donald Trump is too left-wing. He is a Russian Orthodox priest, and makes no attempts to hide it, wearing his hat and robes right there on camera with snowy mountains in the background.

So yeah, maybe all these fucking dickheads are just dickheads because of some traumatic childhood whatever and that’s why they want to build robots to bomb people and then make huge fences to create weird assault courses for the workers who will end up doing the bullshit jobs they need to even FUND their dickheadish antics in the first place.

I can see that. They arn’t reptilian aliens or any of that shit. Just people who’ve been fucked in the head by the world and are taking it out on the wrong people. But still. It’s hard not to hate them.

So, I guess I need to try harder, and the best way to distract yourself from hating the government is by doing something positive for the people, which empowers us and so acts against the oppressors without being a negative act in itself. Make the world a better place, because noone else is going to, and all that crap about things getting worse before they get better is some pitiful excuse for not doing anything.

The masses will not rise up once they are starving in the streets – because they will be too fucking hungry to. Some people want to just smash windows and write circled-As everywhere and actually make places look like shit just because they think that will piss people off enough to want to attack the state but it will only make them want to attack YOU, the anarchists.

When the people are organised, governments tremble. So fucking get organising, whether you are on drugs or not. Fucking beers are even used for doing it. FUCKING BEERS.

Now, some people might say that mushrooms, weed and other naturally occurring psychedelics have been used for psychological healing processes for thousands of years, and that we are now living in a time when humanity is mentally fucked up more than at any other time in history, so we should take some trips and meditate on their insights for a while, making art and poetry to help put it all into context, rather than GETTING FUCKING DRUNK ALL THE TIME, but hey, that’s just some people’s opinion.

So you know. Its not like indigenous communities are stronger and more able to withstand long periods of intense state repression than punk squatting communities is it? Like, a subculture that glorifies junkies and alcoholics, holding them up as the pinnacle of artistic achievement, has surely nothing to learn from cultures that have survived attempted genocide for centuries and still lead the way in ecological resistance movements in many countries?

I mean, we all know hippies are stupid right? And punks are the real revolutionaries? Like, no gains were made for progress in the 60s, but the eighties were a decade of undreamed of victories for the working class? Yeah?

Happy Halloween everyone. Celtic new year. Samhain, Sawain, whatever. These words are not my own, but those of faeries from the Side who have hi-jacked my brain for the evening. I hope you feel the same xx

Critique of “Pi” by Darren Aronofsky

“Pi”, a film about a man so alienated that he thinks the stock market is a natural organism, something you could study and figure out a formula for. Just a bunch of numbers in the newspapers everyday. He falls prey to Jewish mysticism and a corporate conspiracy, but what really does him in are the headaches. From being too smart I guess. He can do amazing arithmetic in his head, and uses an old computer system that fills up his apartment. What the hell year is this? Soundtrack implies at least mid-nineties. I remember my dad saying it’s the only movie he felt he had to walk out on, but I’ve seen it loads of times. The whole thing is in black and white.

So the stock market in question is presumably the one in New York, as that’s where the film seems to be set. Cos the thing is, there’s a few. One in London, one in China, one in Japan, in fact there’s loads.

It’s just a place for companies to get together and sell their stock, and for people who want to buy stock to go. Not all capitalist enterprises are on the stock exchange, not by a long shot, just the really big ones, and only ones which are structured in such a way as to have stock that is tradable in markets.

And, although it sometimes seems it, capitalist businesses do not control the whole biosphere, let alone the whole earth. So the idea of a magic number behind the whole universe being also a number you could use to predict the stock market is pretty stupid.

Add to that the fact that stock is listed in terms of prices, i.e. values of money. Money is not a natural thing. It’s a thing that central banks print, thereby controlling the production of, and so also the value. They can determine how much money there is floating around by printing more or less, and buy declaring old notes no longer usable. The people making the decisions guiding this are certainly not neutral agents of a divine law either, they are capitalists wanting to make a profit.

Let’s face it, the system is out of our control. It’s even out of God’s control, or the magic number, or whatever.

The idea that the stock market is somehow a representation of the whole global economy and can thus be used as data for predicting the future of the economy, is not just a fictional obsession of a deranged movie character. It has been an idea that has even determined government policy, with “predictably” disastrous results.

I prefer “Requiem for a Dream”. At least it’s in colour. And everybody loves the soundtrack.

At one point the guy says “You’re hittin a croaker for speed, ain’t ya?” to his mum. Cutting social commentary. For real.

I didn’t know people still spoke like that. Or at least, that they did in the nineties. William Burroughs talks about hitting croakers for morphine in Junky, his first book. Maybe they just got it from that, like using slang thirty years out of date just cos actually they’re completely out of touch with their subject matter.

Could be, I mean, I understand all the maths in “Pi” and I only got like a B or something at GCSE. I used to like doodling on graph paper. Celtic crosses and shit.

If I meet some American junkies I’ll ask em what they call bent doctors. Get to the bottom of it.

Anyway it made me start thinking about: Fibonacci Insurrectionism

Why I think Pentagrams are cool… and Rock’n’roll… and Anarchist… etc

pentagram2

That’s right, 5 elements. Who knew? In school they said there were loads more. But no.

anarchy sign

Ever notice how this looks like someone was trying to draw a pentagram in a circle in a hurry but then they had to run before they did the last two lines because the cops were coming?

Coincidence? Hah!

Lots of Anarchists will tell you that they don’t believe in organised religion. Duh!

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t spare a thought for the spiritual side of life.

One of the things that pissed me off about the Anarchist Federation (apart from that they were really rude to me) was that they insisted on everyone being a “materialist”.

A “materialist” means someone who believes only in material things. It doesn’t have to mean that they are “materialistic” in the sense of wanting to own lots of stupid crap they don’t need – lots of Materialists are total Communists, against anyone owning anything at all.

I was essentially brought up to be a Materialist, though my parents didn’t ever actually use that word, and now they seem a lot more open minded to spiritual stuff.

Basically, i was brought up my my parents, my schooling and my friends to believe that the universe, all existence, was just matter – stuff that had no “life force” or whatever. In the beginning there was a singularity and then it exploded, causing protons, neutrons and electrons to come into being, and then some of the electrons started orbiting around some of the protons and neutrons to make hydrogen atoms, then helium, then all kinds of other shit, till eventually there was our planet and a bunch of different atoms started interacting with each other in a way that had such a momentum to it that it started to replicate and make RNA, then DNA, then one day human beings came into existence, with brains capable of creating the illusion we called consciousness, because our ancestors whose DNA made them conscious did a lot better at surviving and reproducing in this universe of swirling matter than those that didn’t.

So that’s the creation story i was brought up to believe in. It doesn’t have as many interesting characters as some of the others i’ve heard, but it’s mine. No snake telling a naked woman to eat fruit, no big eggs cracking and different races of people coming out, no mischievous coyotes, no magic turtles or fish or any of that shit. Just matter.

Well, that’s all very well, but it doesn’t really help when it comes to trying to actually BE one of these sacks of conscious matter. Consciousness is annoying like that. It insists on being dealt with as if it really existed and wasn’t just an illusion. It insists on being taken seriously, and when it isn’t then it asserts itself by plunging you into an existential crisis that often results in physical pain, as if to say to it’s host body “oi! fucking pay attention to me!”

So what are we to do? Ignore it and keep getting hurt? Or try and see what these spiritual types have to say on these questions, these people who take consciousness so seriously that some of them even think it exists completely outside of the material realm?

The great thing about being open-minded to spirituality as a materialist anarchist is that you can just use whatever bits and pieces work for you at that moment in time without being bound to any set of doctrines or laws at all, because you know deep down that its all bollocks, even if it massively helps you out in dealing with your existential crises, relationships with other humans, and can even leave you feeling like you’ve just taken loads of drugs even when you haven’t.

Pretty much a win-win situation i would say. Which is what brings me back to the Pentagram. As you can see from the diagram it supposes that there are 4 material elements and one extra one called the spirit. But the spike of the 5-pointed star that is labelled “spirit” is exactly the same size as the others, as if it’s saying that reality is 80% material, 20% spiritual, or even if it isn’t we should at least pretend it is.

Satanists put the pentagram upside down just to emphasize this point, that the material world is more important that the spiritual, but it doesn’t really matter. You just need to be able to count, and to know that 4 is a bigger number than one.

Pretty rock’n’roll, right? Just pretending to have a soul even if you don’t really think you do, just so you can feel like you’re really high on drugs when you actually arn’t? Flirting with pagan and satanic imagery just for the sake of it and making up reasons that it makes sense? Pretty damn rock’n’roll i’d say.

Just think about it. When you are going through some kind of crazy “mental health problem” or “spiritual crisis” or “whatever”, it is usually a fuck of a lot worse if you have not been eating properly, or sleeping, or if you are too cold, or too hot, or being whipped by a slave-driver, or being beaten around the head by a cop, or being locked up in a prison. All of those things are material problems, not spiritual.

So obviously, if you have all those material problems solved then you might still be left with a vexing philosophical/spiritual/mental health problem. But you can sit in a nice chair eating nice food and think it over in your free time without anyone interrupting your thoughts with their bullshit about “work hard! do what i say! make me rich! make me fucking happy!”. And maybe you might actually figure something out.

The problem with people who put “spiritual” or “insane” concerns ABOVE material concerns is that they are bloody annoying. They say things like “trust the universe” or “put your faith in the lord” or “inshallah” or “hare krishna hare krishna krishna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare” and smile at you with their dead, stupid eyes while refusing to help you out with your actual real problems. And that’s just no good.

But people who have their spiritual bullshit under control and only bang on about it, say, one fifth of the time, are usually actually BETTER at figuring out material problems in the real world than people who are 100% materialistic.

And that is why pentagrams are cool. And that is also why so many awesome rock musicians wear pentagram necklaces, or teeshirts, or tatoos, or put it on their album covers, posters or whatever else.

Because they know the truth. That rock’n’roll is mostly a material thing: a series of vibrations in the air bashing into your eardrums. But that REAL rock’n’roll has got something that just can’t be explained in those terms, and which can only be explained in terms of some hippy spiritual bullshit or other.

And what’s true of rock’n’roll is also true for political movements. Marxists and people like that might be able to tell you about the “objective economic conditions” that caused some riot or massive wave of strikes or insurrection or revolution, but they will not be able to tell you in their maddening jargon about the VIBE. The spiritual significance of it all to the people involved, or whatever. For that you need a whole load of other maddening jargon.

So the next time you are objectively analyzing the fucking economic and material circumstances of some shit, take a look at the pentagram and listen to some weird hippy nonsense. It may just do the trick.

All power to the people, hail Satan, and rock on!

The Spirit of Revolution is the Spirit of Rock and Roll

There’s only one great occupation that can change the world: that’s real Rock’n’ Roll.  I believe to the bottom of my heart – the last cell – that Rock’n’Roll can change everything, and I am a graduate of Warhol University, and I believe in the power of Punk. To this day I want to blow it up. Thank you.”  – Lou Reed’s acceptance speech as GQ Inspiration of the Year 2013, his last public appearance before he died – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNBQkWxnpLE.

IS it in your nature to be aggressive, to lash out at people and inanimate objects when things go wrong, to complain in curse words and envision vengeance against the perpetrators of injustices meted out against you, your kin and your friends?

Is it the sound of drums beaten till they are about to collapse and screetching electric guitar noises, huge booming bass and pained voices joyfully unburdening their anger at the world that gets your attention, gets your ears pricked up and your eyes rolling back in your head in ecstasy?

Will you tolerate the death of rock-n-roll? Will you stand by as record company capitalists and teenage boys with plastic smiles seek to corrupt the minds of the youth leading them away from the true path of spiritual development through primal, raw, ROCK AND ROLL and instead lose their individuality in a sea of gormless conformist morons ready and willing to be used as cannon fodder for modern-day fascist regimes?

would Jimmi Hendrix have stood idly by while the bombs rained down on Baghdad in 2003? No, he would have done a guitar solo. A fucking awesome one.

Hammers on the windows of arms factories, hammers on the machinery inside, fire to the rest of the buildings, masses of people camped out on train lines in front of carriages full of soldiers and military equipment, armaments depots being set ablaze, fascist cops fought back against when they would have tried to move us.

This is what would have stopped the war in 2003, not a million people marching peacefully. 10,000 people taking DIRECT ACTION would have been enough to stop the war, according to an article I read, age 19, and that article set me on a course that would find me an enemy of the State, a revolutionary with no option to turn back to normal life, no way to renounce what I have done and proclaim a false belief in reactionary ideology, for who would possibly believe me?

10,000 people doing radical things, things that would put their own bodies and lives at risk in the sake of a great cause, in the sake of saving Iraqi lives, in the sake of saving the lives of western imperialist soldiers, in the sake of saving the lives of victims of terrorist attacks not yet perpetrated that would be carried out in revenge for the war.

10,000 people being reckless, raw, ROCK AND ROLL. Listening to awesome guitar solos. And shit like that.

To some people rock and roll is called Hip Hop. To some people it is called Reggae. To some, Drum’n’bass (as if the ‘n’ wasn’t a total giveaway) Techno, Breakcore, Gabba, all kinds of crazy words. To some, it is even called Jazz. But I know the truth about any music that makes a crowd go wild, gets people shouting at each other with smiles on their faces as they pull aggressive postures and listen to lyrics depicting violence spat out by hoarse throats.

They are all imbued with the same spirit. The Spirit of Rock’n’Roll.

The Spirit of Revolution.

Revolution is not something that will happen in the future in accordance with some dialectical theory of history. We do not have to wait until capitalism has made everything even worse than it already is before we can begin to fight against it in the name of fairness, of liberty, of solidarity.

We can fight NOW to change things NOW. We demand freedom NOW. Always NOW, NOW, NOW.

We fight and we will win or not win but we will fight and fight in the Spirit in which we desire to carrying living if ever the fight is finally won. Muslims call it “fighting in the way of Allah”. A Holy War is not just a war against people who think something else is Holy than what you think is, it is a war you fight in a Holy way.

So, for those of us who believe not in Allah and the teachings of his Prophet Mohammed, but instead in the Spirit of Rock’n’Roll, how do we apply this?

Going to battle against the State as we would in a mosh pit – moshing the fucking system right down around our feet, smashing it the fuck up, SMASHING IT THE FUCK UP.

In a mosh-pit you don’t lay down rules at one another like a PRICK. You just let each other be, man, and dig it. Dig the vibe. It’s all part of the total scene. Another page in the history book of Rock’n’Roll.

A wise man said once “Be excellent to one another. And party on, dudes”. His name was Ed Solomon, the main writer of the Bill and Ted movies, and a man who fully understood the significance the Rock’n’Roll has on the world stage.

He prophesied that one day a band would be formed that would rock SO HARD that they would solve all the worlds problems and usher in a new age of reason and global unity and happiness for all, based upon that simple maxim.

This is not just a movie starring Keanu Reeves, like The Matrix. This is a movie foretelling the coming revolution, like THE MATRIX REVOLUTION.

I believe in the prophesy of Ed Solomon. I believe in the dying words of Lou Reed. I believe in the Revolution, and in Rock’n’roll. And I will not be silenced.

ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!

FREE YOUR HATE, FREE YOUR DESIRES!

BLOW IT UP!!!

ROCK’N’ROLL, MUTHAFUCKA!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Where would Camden Market be without Stalin?

“If it weren’t for Stalin would Post-Modernism have happened?

That is the thought which occurs to me as I look into the mirror brushing my teeth, staring at the tee-shirt I am wearing. It’s a stylised picture of a “worker” holding a hammer, with a slogan in German and the symbol of the former East German Deutsches Demokratisches Republik. The whole style of the shirt is unmistakably Modernist, and what’s more, Stalinist.

In the twentieth century the various State-Capitalist dictatorships going by the name “Communist” made heavy use of this kind of Modernist art, as did the Communist Parties of many Western Countries. When I went to Cuba in 2005 the legacy of this was still intact, as amazingly vibrant surrealist art was everywhere to be seen.

The styles of art used on old Communist propaganda are edgy, and in most peoples opinion, pretty cool. At the time they first came out they must also have seemed fresh and “modern”, hence “modernism” – signifying the ideals of the Modern Age: Progress, Technology, Big Hammers.

I cannot help but contrast the style of the art on the teeshirt I wear to bed with those I saw just earlier that day for sale in Camden Market. I used to go there as a teenager to actually buy things – rather than just go busking as in the case now – and I remembered seeing (and buying) a great number of old Communist propaganda tee-shirts, with just a few that would make reference to silly things in popular culture like Star Wars and Supermario, as well as a shit-load of teeshirts for rock bands.

There were always a few that were examples of what the Situationists called “detournement”, which basically means “subversion”. These would be shirts where a politically or culturally significant piece of art would be altered in some way so as to change the underlying message.

This process was highly popularised in the UK by the Punk movement, such as with the iconic Sex Pistols images of the Queen with safety pins through her face. In that case the message being expressed was clearly a rejection of Monarchism in favour of a nihilistically destructive, yet fun-loving attitude – Punk.

These days it seems that ‘detourned’ teeshirts are the main sort sold in Camden Market, but rather than signifying any anarchistic political messages there are, in the words of Hamlet, “signifying nothing”.

Take for example the “Obey” brand. This, as I understand it, was a fiendishly clever social experiment by a subversive street artist, to create a new brand that simply contained the word “obey”, sometimes with a funny picture of an angry old wrestler. In so doing I believe he was trying to make a comment on the fact that modern consumer-capitalist society has become so focused on Brands that they have become authority figures in themselves.

The experiment worked extremely well, as the brand has become commercially successful; with the result that now you will see “Obey” written on the fronts of clothing shops next to other brands like Nike and Adidas. This means that rather than having to go around putting stickers on all the shops, he has found a way to make the system itself do the work for him.

Unfortunately I do not believe that too many of the people who actually spend money on clothes which say “Obey” on them really realise that this was the original intention. Ironically most of them are simply taking the brand’s injunction to Obey at face value, which only proves the original point, that our society’s culture has become dominated by Brands to a scary degree.

The “Obey” story doesn’t end there, however, for now in Camden market you can see a great number of tee-shirts which have been “subverted” to say “Disobey”, and the wrestler’s face has been replaced with the V-for-Vendetta mask. This V mask has become something of a brand-name for “revolution”, with new activist groups like Anonymous and Occupy appropriating it as a symbol, and thus advertising the film V-for-Vendetta each time they do so, to the benefit of the production company of that film.

The film itself was already an example of capitalistic appropriation of a genuinely revolutionary piece of art, the V-for-Vendetta graphic novel by Alan Moore, an Anarchist. The film version takes out all explicit mentions of anarchism or even the word Anarchy, and changes the lead female character into a potential rape-victim who needs to be saved by another man rather than a sex worker being oppressed by the government for her choice of profession. This obviously makes the film character much less of a strong female role model, as you’d expect from a Hollywood film.

So now some smaller scale capitalists – the people who put up the capital to make all these shirts in Camden, and the people who own the stalls and shops selling them – are making money from the fact that some people never understood the original intention behind the Obey brand and who furthermore cannot understand a revolutionary message unless a watered-down Hollywood film version of it has been made. It would be interesting to know how many people wearing these “Disobey” shirts even know who Guy Fawkes was.

Generations of graphic designers have detourned so many images from popular culture already that they have started to detourn things that were already, in my opinion, subversive enough. In this process all meaning has started to become lost. Rather than expressing some clearly understood message such as “Fight for revolution against capitalism”, they more and more express an absence of any kind of over-arching coherent meaning at all.

This is called “post-modernism”, the idea that we must consciously do away with any “meta-narratives” such as “society is progressing towards a better capitalist world for us all” – which is still the official narrative of most Nation-States, or “society is progressing towards a better Communist/Islamic/New Age world for us all”.

I have no objection to Post-Modernism in itself as an artistic or political theory, for great damage was indeed done to the world by blind acceptance of these kinds of meta-narratives, and indeed is still being done.

Post-modernism – I believe – was born partly out of the realisation of many genuine revolutionaries that the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary project had become corrupted to the point of representing a reactionary and extremely violent threat to the liberty of the global working class, rather than a force for it’s liberation.

This realisation prompted a crisis within revolutionary circles in the West, with some turning to “Trotskyism”, a mythological version of Marxist-Leninism which portrays Leon Trotsky as a messianic figure whose ideas can save the whole project. Many others dropped out of the Marxist movement and became Anarchists instead, as anarchists had not been tainted by association with the Bolsheviks, and had actually been the first to criticise their corruption. Others just dropped out of revolutionary politics altogether.

Some however – the Post Modernists- began calling into question the fundamental assumptions of Marxism itself, assumptions which many Anarchists had also shared, as they too had been influenced by Marx, even if they did not see him as an authority figure.

The greatest of these assumptions was that capitalism will inevitably collapse in on itself due to the nature of its own contradictions. This prediction of the future relies on belief in some abstract historical forces that have nothing to do with decisions that we as revolutionaries make in our real lives.

It is similar to a religious belief that the final victory of good over evil has already been foretold, and therefore we don’t have to worry too much about it. We just have to do what the Church, or the Communist party tell us, even if they tell us to do “evil” things like kill innocent people in the name of the cause.

Along with challenging the ideas of Modernism – which Communism and Capitalism were both examples of – came challenges to Modernist art work. Post-modern artists began to juxtapose images of progress – like big factories and workers with hammers -with images representing the pre-Modern world – like big old Cathedrals or idyllic countryside scenes – with other images that were just completely chaotic.

The overall message behind this kind of collage is that Modernism is a myth and progress is not necessarily happening at all. Elements of the pre-Modern world are still very much with us now in the 21st Century, as a quick glance at the Islamic world, or indeed most of the former colonised world will prove. These exist alongside elements of “Modernity” – big skyscrapers and constant advances in technology – and of course the chaos of War, Climate Change and Nuclear radiation tearing at the very fabric of reality.

So when post-modernist art is a reflection of this reality in which we live today in the twentieth century, then it’s all well and good. But what the fuck am I supposed to make of a tee-shirt I saw in Camden where the faces of the Olympic athletes making the Black Power salute had been replaced by those of Imperial Stormtroopers from Star Wars? Are they saying that the Black Power movement has been incorporated into the Western Imperialist superstructure? Or are they just “signifying nothing” again?

 

 

Scraemin’ Daemons

Scraemin’ Daemons

I remember those guys.

Used to play gigs in little venues I used to go to in London. Used to.

Maybe they’re still goin, I’m not into that scene so much any more.

Industrial metal covers of pop songs. Helped you to realise that some of the lines in these pop songs were actually pretty dark and sinister. They just sing em with a smile, and it goes into your brain without you noticing.

Infecting you. Infesting you. A thousand little bugs crawling in to your skull to nest and lay eggs, every time you hear the radio, see an advert, watch a screen…

But when a guy in a silver suit he probably got from a charity shop, with so much black and white facepaint dripping all over him cos he’s covered in sweat that he looks like a tortured panda’s dying hallucination, fucking fullon screams it at you, looking straight in your eye, mind, with all kinds of effects to make his voice echoey and deep…

It’s like communing with the Devil himself.

All the dark and twisted shit cluttering up your subconscious that most of the time you try and pretend isn’t there. All there in the music, talking to you. You can’t help but listen, give them the time and attention they crave from you.

I mean, I was pretty stoned at the time. You know some of that skunk in London that they put all those chemicals in, I mean, it goes a long way. Depends on who you know.

Anyway, just try it sometime, when you hear a pop song, just saying the words like a real life person would say them, if they were being really creepy and intense.

“You can stand under my umbrella any time, darlin, just come up close to me now…eh, baby?”

“Ella, ella, eh? Eh?”

Or what about the other way around? All these songs where women are singing about how their man is everything, how they’re so sad if he’s not there, and how theyre gonna sex him up good. Or whatever it is they say these days.

I mean, these women should not be giving relationship advice to little girls. They got some pretty screwed up priorities.

Don’t be moping over some man, girl! You don’t need that piece of shit, get out and build your own life up. Sing a song about that.

A lot of men singing about basically stalking women they used to go out with. “I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU! ALWAYS!”. They’re gonna set themselves on fire. They are going to make their ex’s lives hell, trying to guilt them into taking them back. They are obsessed to a degree that is ruining all their future chances of happiness, and they are proud. They are singing to the rooftops about it. They are calling on other men to join them

To create an army. An army of men stretching across the globe, bound together in an age old secret conspiracy. They won’t let their women get away. They belong to them.

If a man owns a women, and another man has sex with her, or even looks at or touches her, the first man has the right to declare battle. That is the ancient code, as it has been since ages past.

Men listen to and take orders from other men. Even if a man and a woman are saying the same thing, it is always the man who is right. So just listen to them.

Whichever man you choose as leader, make sure they are loud, and intimidating. Hope they are smarter than you, but don’t worry too much about that.

On these principles the army of men is created and sustained, passing it’s legacy down through the ages. Some men have tried to desert from its ranks, to pursue different kinds of relationships, but the Army marches on, the deserters usually trampled underfoot.

You imagine the tramping boots as you hear the pounding drums.

Synthetic beats mixed somewhere behind the scenes, combining with this guy right here, with his shirt off. It was a good shirt too, fitted in well with the whole aesthetic. But he must be working up quite a sweat just keeping these beats going. They may be repetitive, but they’re fast and strong.

You can imagine the tramping sound, with screeching sounds of guns and bombs, planes and tanks, even submarines and aircraft carriers, through the guitar amps, bass amps, whatever the fuck speakers all this crazy shit with the laptop and the keyboard is plugged into. Does he really need all that to make this noise? Or is he just showing off? Surely he could be replaced with a tape? Unless he does some awesome keyboard solo at some point… could still happen…

The army of men is suddenly REAL, right there on stage, too real for some it seems, judging by how many of the paltry crowd are wallhugging.

But the real embodiment is the solitary mosher. He has been going for almost half an hour, punching imaginary rivals, square in the jaw, on every 8th beat.

Every now and then someone comes and joins him for a bit, sometimes a small group. At one point there were even 16 of us up there, almost for a whole song.

It starts of all smiles, people approach him cautiously. They try and replicate his swinging motions and punching movements. Some of them risk an early assault. Some of them don’t. When there’s a few of them they start jumping into each other and see whether he joins in.

After a while they start to feel embarrassed, slightly freaked out, and they go back to the wall.

But I’m loving it, just standing in the middle. I would dance if there were more people or if I was more drunk, but these were London prices. I was making this rum and coke last as long as possible, but it was slipping away quickly.

The barlady had told me I didn’t look 18. I thanked her for the compliment. And it worked.

That was when I was seventeen, when It started getting harder, just as I should have been getting asked less, because surely I looked more like I was 18 then than I did when I was 14? I never had any problems then, unless my obviously really young, drunk friends came in at the wrong moment and spoke to me.

No-one at a heavy metal gig ever gave me vibes like I shouldn’t be looking at their girl. I mean, a lot of them didn’t have girls I guess. I certainly didn’t.

People were moshing instead of fighting each other in real life. Some of them. Some of them probably were more aggressive than the average person in normal life too. But loads of metallers are just like hippies dressed in black with more of a spikey vibe.

That’s how the music came about after all, straight out of the psychedelic rock scene in the late sixties. Music for people whose trip’s gone bad, perhaps. Or just dark, which isn’t necessarily bad.

It was times I found myself surrounded by young men out at nightclubs that I felt like I had most to be afraid of. People who’s professed taste in music, clothes and lifestyle just happens to almost exactly match the adverts aimed at them. These are people that I am scared of.

The army of men. Dressed in shiny suits. Waxing their hair and their bodies. Wearing sunglasses and driving around in sports cars with house music and RnB blaring out of them. In this day and age!

They got the same up tempo beat pounding in their head the whole time. But to them it’s not harsh and loud, like its coming from outside, like with heavy metal. With mainstream party boys the house or techno pulsing beat is softly packaged for them, so that it slips through their ears and right into their chests, synchronising to their heartbeat, bypassing the brain, which is assaulted by siren like noises and auto-tuned voices speaking in the imperative tense. Unconsciously the code is programmed into them and they find themselves marching in step, repeating the code to others as if it is a divine law the holy spirit has revealed to them, that they may tell all the world and destroy all blasphemers against.

I’m not trying to imply that all guys who listen to heavy metal are cool, non-threatening guys sympathetic to feminism, and who you could trust not to rape you. No way am I saying that.

But I was there, in that scene, or at least, on the edges of it, but feeling like part of it, like it meant the whole world to me, was what defined me and everything. And I wanted to be defined against all this shit that was being advertised at me, cos even if I didn’t understand what it was as well as I do now, I understood enough.

And that’s the same reason a lot of other people were there, and are still there. Dressing in black, listening to bands no one else likes.

I used to wish one day a band who had really gotten everyone going would have the balls to call for the whole crowd to just march right then and there to the houses of parliament and try and start a revolution. Because it felt powerful to be there, like an army, but a fucking crazy one, and army of freaks who couldn’t be controlled, even by each other.

An army with a different code:

I’m gonna just freak the fuck out, right? Right here next to you and I don’t give a fuck what you think about it. My arms are gonna be flailing about and I’m gonna jump around and shake my head around and I am probably gonna bash into you an awful lot.

As are hundreds of other people. But the thing is, you can just do the same thing. Go wild, let yourself loose. Free all that fucking tension, get out your anger your hatred your grudges your jealousy your bitterness your RAGE!!!

And if you bash into me, its fine, I mean, I’d be a hypocrite to object when I’m gonna do the same to you, right? And hey, if you fall down or get squished or get into a real fight or just generally are having a bad time, we’re all gonna help you out, and theres a whole lot of us here, don’t be afraid. We ain’t hitting you cos we don’t like you.

It’s a different code, and one which I found difficulty in explaining to the uninitiated. That it didn’t matter what we looked like to one another, or it did, but in a totally different way. That we all wanted to look as unique as possible, even if we ended up copying each other a lot for lack of ideas, at least we were still looking different from how a society we hated was telling us we had to look.

We weren’t there to pick up chicks. That’s something some mainstream clubber girl asked me once.

“So you just bash into each other? What if you like some girl, you just bash into her?”

Maybe. Why the fuck not? But it never happened to me.

And the girls I knew were feminist girls. They talked about things I didn’t understand, but I knew that most guys never even heard about these things or would even try to understand them if they did. I liked these feminist girls more than I liked most guys, even though I never managed to have sex with any of them. And I liked them more than girls I probably could have had sex with if I’d just played the game more.

I was a freak, self-conscious, hiding my emotions, obsessing over girls I would never talk to or even try and learn anything about. Waiting till wild house parties would come along so I would hopefully be drunk enough to kiss some drunk girl, or do more if I could. I did things I’m not proud of now, of course, but I never raped anyone.

But in my conscious, sober life, there was no one. Years and years went by like that. Music and what I thought of as “politics” or “philosophy” filled up my brain, my life. And TV of course, for though I hated, or professed to hate everything on it, I was still hooked in. And after we got cable it was a place I could sometimes be exposed to good music, on the right channels, if I was lucky.

I felt like I was dark and twisted and I wanted everyone to look at me like I was dark and twisted, to say dark and twisted and deep sounding things to affect something in them. To make them think I was interesting, even if they still didn’t like me. It seemed easier than just trying to get them to like me.

Being nice to people seemed like some kind of betrayal. But I was never really that evil. All in my head, most of the time. I gradually grew out of it, realised a lot of the music and stuff surrounding it was just the same bullshit as what I thought I was against, just in a different wrapping.

But that was what was so great about the Scraemin Daemons. They didn’t care. They loved this music, and they loved playing silly big riffs, unoriginal as fuck, to pop songs everyone knew the words to so could scream along with as they got drunk. They weren’t making any money out of it, none of the bands I used to see made money, except maybe the big ones the magazines told me I should go and see.

Scraemin Daemons were just a bunch of forty something guys with a hobby. They probably didn’t have the same dreams as I did as a seventeen year old of being a big rock star and travelling the world, starting revolutions everywhere I played. But they were HEAVY METAL.

You had to give em that

The Multiple and Awesome Jerome

“Nightmares are not your business” said Jerome. “Leave that to us”

Miss Tracy was not at all endeared by his tone. She felt he was mocking her, loving her only for private gain, and not even his own. These days it was all about “us”.

“You’re just one man!” she cried, “Why do you believe you can do all these things at once? The work of ten men a day done by one man in an hour? It’s crazy!”

He shrugged. “That’s what gets results” he said, plainly, the corners of his mouth starting to turn upwards into a wry grin. “Now, tell me about this dream of yours”

Miss Tracy sighed. This was going to be a long morning. The rest of the children were starting to look anxious, as if they would actually prefer to be discussing their maths homework. Little freaks. One day she’d show em…

“I don’t remember how it started, I never do, but I have a very clear image, a recollection, that right at the end you were dying while I was paralysed, as if tied down by a thousand wires. Cobras featured heavily somewhere in the middle, I don’t think they were anything to do with you dying though. They weren’t bad cobras, you understand, they were talking to us, trying to help us at some point”

“Help us do what, Miss Tracy?” said Jerome, his voice taking on urgency…”What were we trying to do?”

“I…. I don’t remember… there were curtains… yes, red… red and yellow curtains. I felt like I would throw up, like I was in McDonalds or something”

Gasps from the patiently waiting children. To them, McDonalds was not something to joke about, or even dream about. Such dreams would only bring disappointment in the mornings, when parents would inevitably refuse to dine there for breakfast, resorting to mind games and riddles such as “you’ve already had your porridge, remember?” as if that meant a damn.

“One time I actually convinced my parents to take me there before school” one of the children had boasted one lunchtime in a thick Guajarati accent. Being a white supremacist, Miss Tracy had never even bothered to learn his name.

“I just told them that it was what Jerome’s parents would have done” the brown child had concluded, with a wink.

This revelation had prompted a flurry of phone calls to Miss Tracy, the Head Master, and Jerome’s parents themselves (who, of course were no-where to be found) from irate parents sick of their children’s constant attempts to belittle their parenting skills by comparison with these fictitious (and in any case reckless) parents of cool-boy “Jerome”, a child the school claimed to have no record of at all.

The whole thing had nearly brought their love affair right out into the open.

“Feelings of fast-food nausea coupled with friendly snakes and perilous endings for the love of your life, if I may say so myself. It’s a clear signal from the boss”

She cursed his arrogance, inwardly, but knew that after all, it was true. She loved him, or them, more than she had ever loved anything more than she could even imagine loving anything, even her parents, race traitors that they were.

She thanked him, again inwardly, for at least speaking in the first person this time. Sometimes she felt he was rubbing her face in the fact that he could exist as several entities whilst she could only perceive him as this small child whose name did not appear on the register.

“The boss?” she said, wanting to say a lot more but conscious of the sixty tiny eyes looking up at her.

“Yes, it’s time” said Jerome, and walked out of the room.

“Fuck!” She said, knowing what was about to happen, in both the short and medium term, neither of which was good.

“Miss!”

“Miss Tracy!”

“Miss, can we go out too?”

“Can we say fuck, miss?”

“When are we going to start learning some maths?”

What a scene. These were some of the biggest squares she had ever laid eyes on. All they cared about was either studying pathetically easy exercises from these twenty-year-old books, or “playing” outside on a tiny piece of concrete with a few faded pictures painted on it. And Jerome, but she could at least relate to that. He was awesome.

“No you cannot go out and no you cannot say Fuck. You can go out when it’s ten thirty and you can say fuck when you’ve passed your GCSEs, in fact I recommend it. We will, however, be learning some maths, well, I say we, I learned this shit thirty years ago, probably from  the same textbook, due to this greedy, Jewish government and their permanent fucking budget cuts caused by artificial crises. Now, somebody volunteer to recite their nine times tables. Somebody white”