Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Of course the reason I'd rather be tuned to Babestation than the BBC is that I'd rather be in the presence of a pseudo lover than a pseudo mum and dad, it's a lot easier on the brain.
Especially if mum and dad are Clare Balding and Gary Lineker. Little England is a massive construction during these Olympics, local heroes come from everywhere, xenophobia is rife, everyone's suddenly salt of the earth. Nomatter that it's all built on McDonalds and Samsung and Walkers crisps.
The latest horror is that some people are not joining in quite sufficiently, and have scampered off, perhaps in search of some decent food, or a spot of genuine afternoon delight, anything rather than watch the mens tiddlywinks. I imagine the BBC will soon have a team of reporters down at Browns or the White Horse, accosting folk by the scruff of the neck and saying:
 'You are supposed to be in seat 43A Gate 6!....and you are NOT!!...What kind of Olympic Legacy is THIS!!'
No wonder the local councils did their best to close down these entertainments for the duration. I'm personally delighted Browns (top of Shoreditch High St if you are a visitor, tube Liverpool St, the White Horse is along the way up on the right) is proudly flying olympic flags and union jacks in a traditionally English expression of Up Yours! That is if you fancy some gymnastics without the hyperbole, and a bit of real England, which now incorporates quite a bit of Brazil, Russia, USA and so on.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

I've tuned to Babestation. Most interesting.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Olympic fever? I'll tune to Babestation

Having made such a cock up over the South Korean flag for the North Korean conquerors of the world yesterday in the football (I mean how stupid do we have to look? They have weapons, OK they don't work, but they have weapons and they will use them even if they don't work) I'm looking forward to the opening ceremony tomorrow where we will be dished up our slumdog delights.
Even Julie got caught up in the most interminable torch procession of all time today (which happens behind trucks of advertising and cheerleading incidentally). I can't see where one torch procession stops and another starts, torches seem to circulate ad nauseam all over the place, drumming up business for Coca Cola, Samsung and so on. You can't move for those torches, drumming up bogus enthusiasm and patriotic fervour non stopuss for bemused office workers out for a fag all over the place. Meanwhile the true blue colours of the BBC are up the flagpole, and their all inclusive Olympic coverage threatens to be so mindbendingly awful I'll be tuned permanently to Babestation.
If I were there on the street, being thrust a flag and asked 'Why are you here to witness this historic event, this arrival of the sacred torch?' I'd say ' Because I'm a gullible stupid bastard'.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Many of you may wonder what exactly Neoliberalism is, I mean, its not as if you can vote for it. Neoliberalism has no face, in fact it is a many headed beast, a hydra, some picture it's organization as super powerful giant green lizards who meet regularly in Radison hotels to lord it over kingdoms of wallys. So I'll draw you a picture:

There's a big crane in the street, and a team of jovial operatives in vans. It becomes clear this jolly troop are going to install quite a lot of things on our roof, in this case it's not a missile, I wouldn't really mind a missile, a nice pretty one could look impressive, it would be obvious, but it's actually more mobile phone rig allowing you to see better pictures of Katie Price enjoying an enema on your mobile phone. Celebrities are the bourgeoisie of Neoliberalism, it's oxygenated scum. 'Better pictures' the man in charge says, 'Do you want to help?' Of course, the money the mobile phone company pays to the council for use of block has never  been used for so much as a lick of paint on the actual structure of the thing.
On the back stair a couple of bedraggled scabby junkies descend, they have been living on a camp bed of piss and shit for four weeks under the rooftop. The council say they can't get rid of them because they are so busy with the Olympics. In fact nobody can be concerned with anybody currently because of the Olympics. 'We're busy with the Olympics' has become that giant euphemism for doing fuck all and saying fuck off (In fact they can't get rid of them because there is nothing to be done with them, they are officially labled as 'issues', and things officially labled 'issues' are things that nobody can do anything about, and that is one of the beauties of Neoliberalism).
The Olympics reminds me of the time when, in the midst of that colossal mass hysteria Lady Diana's funeral, a bloke in a Peckham pub said to nobody in particular -'All those old bill over there....what a day to rob a bank!'
You might phone all the council's agencies from the numbers inscribed on whole wedges of bright helpful 'We're here to help' postcards, delivered in the name of gaining 'stars' of credibility, but nobody will answer; the loony will still be screaming his version of the Koran all night long two doors down- he has issues, but his extended family are very well connected, but not so well connected as to actually look after him. The midnight chorus will still be the old East End refrain of 'You're a cunt!!! YOU'RE FUCKING WORTHLESS CUNT!!!! but now with the added hollering on crack pipes and whores as accessories while their children cry, yes literally cry, in the street.
Then the intercom rings, it's the jovial folks down below 'We need access to the roof!' Could be anybody. The estate manager pleads ignorance, but the guys down below have it under control, they have bodyguards to protect them from the junkies just in case. They say this has been organized months in advance.
And this computer program won't recognise Neoliberalism as even a word in spellcheck.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Million Pound Drop

Gameshows generally work on the principle that the more successful you are, the more money you acquire. What is striking about TMPD is that this process is reversed, that as you proceed, you lose money, and your aim is to lose less of it. It sort of suits people on fixed incomes or benefits, who are well used to the idea of dwindling assets, and is directly the opposite of Who Wants to Millionaire, which is about production, acquisition, TMPD is about consumption, lack of production.
The show asserts that being a millionaire is easy, it comes to you like magic, it's hanging on to it that is the problem. Eventually of course, since the task is all but impossible, the money drops back in to the hands of the anonymous donors for recycling. And of course in the mean time you don't get much use of it, Vic and John don't pocket the odd wedge.
I like to think of Newsnight's long suffering economics editor Paul Mason watching this show with lightbulbs going off above his head. He's tried to describe the European debt crisis in so many ways, but surely this show is not only apt for the unemployed, but on a much bigger scale, neatly illustrates how pouring money in to a country and asking them to make particular decisions with it, will usually mean the vast amount of money returning to the banks which lent it in the first place.
Of course in this parody of parodies, Davina McCall is perfect at providing a rather disturbing parody of her parodious self, and last night provided the ultimate drop, her trousers.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Is Pop-Up Architecture Stalinist?

It's a jolly image I suppose, but a meaningless jolly image. I feel sorry for the person who had to create it. How unlike Stalinism this looks, it's not heavy, it's not wedding cake, in fact it is just the opposite, it's so lite it doesn't exist, it's froth, it's just air. But hold on, this is a real vacuous empty statement, not even a metaphorical one! All that's solid has indeed melted in to air, inflatable air, pop-up air, actual air.
I was eyes and ears pricked for the documentary on Victoria Pendleton, the British champion cyclist, sexy pin up and so on, the other night. She's clearly fabulous, fantastic, and her great crime, her betrayal, to do that most human of all things, to fall in love, and fall in love with the person closest to her, her trainer, so forsaking the team, other trainers, so breaking the sacred bond, so wasting everybody else's time and money, so letting the great cause down, the nation down. How insane are these people? She fell in love! Is this any worse than those tales of soviet athletes, hothoused and deprived of all humanity, pumped with steroids and starved of love at fourteen?
But more than that, and much worse if you can bare to contemplate it, it seems that to be 'great' now, to be truly great, you have to do a whole lot more, and the superstructure is right there to give it to you. You have to overcome incredible odds, come from nothing, beat every addiction, have crawled from the lowest point you can ever imagine, to have thrown it all away, and then to have recovered, rehabilitated and come to your senses. It just doesn't work if you haven't. Nobody can 'just do it', you have to do it 'against all odds'. And you have to time it right.
Victoria Pendleton had to blow it and fall in love, it was imperative she did something of the kind, otherwise they wouldn't be able to make the program, otherwise, there would be no hook line, no built in tears, no melodrama, no sentimentalism, no hero.
It appears, we are not far from the Roman amphitheatre, it just doesn't look like one, it's bouncy.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Art Crowd 2

By contrast the actual event in Luton wasn't that bad at all, the last sonorous strands of Arts Council funding for the arts being plucked with alacrity in an old bank above the FredBet on the precinct through the shopping centre. This seemed to me the first time Julie had had an exhibition without having to put it up herself, and that is quite a milestone in the art world, that and that she had been chosen by a curator in the first place. She was now what is known as 'An International Artist', but in Luton.
If Engels was to somehow return to Britain, it wouldn't be the smoke stacks and shit heaps of Eccles he would survey, but the detritus of the consumer society, the wasteland of TKMaxx, Primark, McDonalds  and Virgin Media in places like Luton, a land of grizzly couples howling with laughter and looking for a fight across the emptiness of that precinct, he would see despair and stupidity everywhere, he would wonder if there was actually anywhere to eat, he would peer worrisome in to pubs with care for his own safety, and look wearily at the continual exhortations to personal freedom via personal media that Neoliberalism brings as it's public face, and then wonder if he could find his car. For that reason alone, this effort, ALL THAT I AM: New Portrait Photography, showing the work of Julie Cook, Jane Hilton and Nancy Newberry (until 15th Sept wwwdeparture-lounge.org.uk) is very decent indeed, and not just because Julie's in it.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Art Crowd

                                         (Above, Kings Cross station: crap)

I don't hang out with artists every often. Artists unfortunately seem to have to hang out with other artists almost all the time, and whilst I like art quite a lot, the events associated with it can be excruciating. Indeed, looking at the art crowd, the impression is that their identity, far from being anything to do with the production of art itself, is as just a load of gregarious drunks and bores who have learnt at least one cardinal rule: BeAmDo.  First be an artist, then  become an artist, and then finally get to do what an artist actually does.  I never thought ideas so thoroughly honed in Las Vegas would ever catch on so universally. Either that, or they comprise folks inordinately good at filling in grant application forms.
So if you are an artist, you can feel slightly ill at ease in the milieu, liable to either rant (like Scott) or feel plain peculiar (like Julie) and adventures in being an artist, even if you are one, can become incredibly stressful.
Anyway, such painful things would include standing in the new Kings Cross railway station concourse waiting to go to Luton to attend just such an art event, this was an exercise in the hideous. Not only do you find yourself ensconced within this child's blamange of so called architecture, something that looks as if it just wants to mutate in to more goo, and finally become it's inherent state, just crap on the floor, but you have some opera singer yodelling Ave Maria at full volume in the name of Macmillan nurses (which is a good cause but I would pay you to stop) and this periodically annotated by incomprehensible station announcements (no progress there) and to add ladles of agony, Boris Johnson, like some posh Big Brother, telling everybody to buck up every ten minutes in the name of the Olympics.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Olympic Balls

There's a fella on Bethnal Green Rd painting a newly installed Giles Gilbert Scott phone box a fresh coat of red. That's a new addition I thinks to myself, comparing it to the Austin Allegro crapolla version just fifty yards down. Then of course it clicks, and I ask the guy 'So will this work or is it just there for the Olympics?'  and he says 'Oh no, just for the Olympics, they're not even wired in, there just there for people to piss in really'. Just pathetic.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Ian Dunlop RIP

I'd just been reading AA Gill on Soho when I got the message that Ian Dunlop had finally died. We sat in the vague proximity of Ian for years and years doing precisely the fuck all that AA Gill disparages so  smartly in 'The Angry Island'. These days, confronted by all sorts of bureaucratic enthusiasts who could all have done with a good ten year sentence in the Coach I miss it. OK the whole thing championed non-achievement on a monumental scale, but it wasn't the same as non-achievement in Halifax or Cowdenbeath, this was a very sophisticated form, exemplified by Ian who appeared to have done only a couple a weeks work for the Tattler (like AA Gill) before his retirement to nothing in particular except sipping Burton and offering rude commentary on the prospects awaiting certain young girls.
Really this generation is much maligned by reformed alcoholics like Gill, for whom it is a little less easy to slide on to the bar stool and waste your time in such a pointless yet in the end highly endearing way. There is always cause and effect, and the things that allowed, even fostered, such behaviour are now systematically ironed out by a bunch of priggish moralists in grey shoes touting first no society at all, then a big one; no wonder Ian had to exist. I mean, walking in to the Coach and Horses at opening time was an undeniable pleasure, and you managed your resources around being able to do it as often as humanly possible, and there was definitely something in that.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Here You Go

Whatever, because I've gone on about about it so much here it is, within a lovely Roehampton model 1961 two bed in Bethnal Green, there's me in the kitchen.
You might note our 'Bad Corbu', a couple of etchings by Martin Barratt, a Nan Goldin, a couple of young Nazi's, very young Nazi's, like so young they cannot be Nazi's (that is the point) me in a field in Cork (a prized Julie Cook) and the edge of a Kit Allsopp as he moves, inexorably in retirement, to total abstraction, plus Danish mod draws, as all should be. Due to the wide angle, I have to say the bed looks narrower than it really is (an excellent 800) and the legs look longer than they actually are at 270mm or so, which of course is just perfect in actuality.

End of Year

You know it's the end of the academic year when your e-mail traffic stops. Otherwise it just trundles on forever, and to stop it, you just have to take the initiative and leave, go on holiday, say 'fuck it', or in our case, say fuck it staring at the kitchen. That the e-mail traffic has stopped must be the final sign that everybody is exhausted with examining everybody else and can't bare it anymore.
It's a curious feeling, the scope of a summer's noodling about. Jetstream permitting, Boris Johnson's pop-up universe (the origin for which I think lies in Potemkin's villages for Catherine the Great, will be a wash out, we shall host the drowned Olympics, with it's abiding edifice it's aquatic centre, and mass canoeing around and about. Johnson's phraseology is truely horrific, he's put sunglasses on County Hall, and begs us to 'get stuck in' as if the whole metropolis had become his private sunday lunch with him being the ever hopeful, ever positive host, dolling out the plastic boaters (made in China).
I've set myself to reading some bad stuff, evil stuff, to counter what is coming. I shall be reading Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West, now apparently newly and ominously popular. But right now, I'll be happy with simple observations, such as the Harrison Ford film 'The Fugitive' (that we watched last night) is actually 'Die Hard' for academics or that 'American Pie' (which we watched the other night) is possibly one of the greatest films ever made, even though I feel sorry for the guy who plays  'Stiffler'. He'll be stuck with being 'Stiffler' for the whole of your acting career, and that can only spell doom.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Main Offender

Perfect after a visit from the RIBA, lie back and enjoy Keef at his perfectly produced sloppiest best, and that isn't a contradiction, it's what's called art. With all that space between, stare at the ceiling, feel the riff, latent and ridden, soft mostly these days, feel the old echoes in 'Bodytalks' and savour 'Demon' and it wouldn't be right if you didn't launch yourself upright to practice your Keef riffing to 999 and pour yourself a decent drink at the same time. 999 is his excellences tribute to ZZ Top I think, but once the opening track is done you can pretty much flop back down on the day bed for the duration.
Sometimes you gotta lie down, take it, and thank god for your speakers.  

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Love the Bed

I love my day bed. Twenty five minutes on there in the afternoon and I'm a new man. It gives a new perspective for sure, an upward one, I stare at the blades of the revolving fan like in the opening scenes of Apocalypse Now. You can't really read on it, so you think on it, things drift around your head, must do this must do that, probably can't do any of it because you've spent so much on the view from 50cm up, and then you nod off. It encourages me to clean windows, not buy more silly things on E-Bay and buy a good birthday present for my ninety year old dad, even to put my picture on Facebook. My god, the things a miracle worker, a total replacement for sitting in the pub for hours on end, which is where I used to dwell on such things for much longer periods.
Mine's an 'inspired by' version, not precisely the one above, but you'd be a fool to care. The bolster is without the fancy detailing, which saves you about a grand.