Dead Men Left

Friday, April 30, 2004

Still having some problems with publishing on this thing. Whilst I work out what I'm doing wrong, here's something I wrote I while back. It was buried on my hard-disk as "a load of old cobblers.doc" and I have very little idea what purpose it served. Anyway:

Fischerspooner is a challenge; its very materiality is a stance against the Mobification of culture. Symptoms of crisis: music is diverging once more – on one side is the privatised retreat, the turn to the (fictive, ideologically-constructed) “inner”, represented best by Moby himself and the ersatz mysticism of “Play”, but cropping up everywhere: a sort of musical cotton-wool, something to plug the ears with, and ignore the screams from outside. (How far, I wonder, does Ani Difranco fall into this category? I don’t think I’ve heard enough to form a reasonable opinion, though I have my suspicions…) On the other, a material, a turn to reality in all its grim and dreadful glory: Fischerspooner is the exemplar, but to a lesser extent so to are Peaches, and – before the Mobified “Private Press” – DJ Shadow. No sanctum, no haven, no retreat; barbarism triumphant cannot be met with a merry whistle. The Blairs may well crawl back from the corpses to a mystic charlatan murmuring sweet lifestyle nothings, who shall wipe their troubled brows and close their fevered eyes – but the bodies remain, their charred and accusing fingers point in one way, and one way only; and, alas, our guru can do nothing about the terrible stench.
Frustration abounds: they are going to invade Iraq, they are going to do it on my dad’s birthday (coincidentally, I presume – I’ll ask him later). A relentless diet of pap is shoved down gullets for week upon week: it’s not quite working this year, a careful eye on the consumer spending statistics suggests the wind is going from the consumer boom – but the pulpy mash continues, gulp gulp, lines upon lines of tanks readying themselves in Dover and helicopters overhead. (Ever heard a fighter jet, up close? I was buzzed by a Tornado whilst doing the Pennine Way, no more than 300 metres above my head: they needn’t bomb anywhere, just send in jets to fly low over houses and schools, terrify the population that way.) I’ve been reduced to reading, no bad thing I suppose, driving myself mad in the Quad café by ploughing through all the books I should’ve read some time ago, pausing to hold long, self-indulgent discourses on literature with Andrew, who works in the bookshop there.