September 01, 2004

on the plaza we're dancing slowly, lit like photographs


Craner on Canary Wharf. (Permalinks a bit screwed.. scroll down to Wednesday, August 25, 2004 entry....)

In addition to everything else Oliver does so well (the incisive political analysis, the eyes-off-the-road enumeration of the teeming fauna and flora hidden in plain sight of the metropolis, is there a better writer on the slick appeal of Oed-I-pod consumerism and haute couture, of sad-eyed beautiful city girls? Like Baudrillard, Oliver has an innate understanding of the weakening seduction of glamour, of its feminizing allure... (btw Alderman Undercurrent, I blame Oliver for starting the cult of the sublime Nadine... lol) Nothing could be further from the blurry videodrome-fed monkeymatic pornoperception of the Lad (Localised libido Andro-iD) than this ultra-detailed microperceptive poring over - subordination to - the ice-cold unyielding 'serpentine sleekness' mother of pearl 'high brow holy soul shimmering melancholy' of the Masoch/ Ferry Femodel. (And what happens when the Newtonian Model speaks? Why the object becomes a femachine: Grace Jones, the anorganic, anti-oedipal non-neurotic neurobotic body through which all of k-punk passes...)

Of course, Oliver's elegantly turned out Prada and Agent Provacatuer sales assistants, catching moments amidst urban business to smoke and look melancholy-beautiful, are as much a part of the city's wildlife as the cormorants and the herons haunting the Thames...

I made my first visit to London's necropolis of finance with Oliver and Luke a while back... It now forms a rhizome in my psychogeographic map of East London with the nearby Mudchute farm (I was disturbed when I returned a couple of weeks ago with Glueboot to discover that the pigs were absent... though maybe they'd been taken inside coz it was hot - pigs get surnburnt don't they? And there were - though I can hardly believe this myself in retrospect - llamas there that time... And Gb took a photo of a cutely stupid-looking goat...) and Limehouse, whose riverside 'historic pubs' are now a favourite haunt (when Gb and I sat there on a respite from our punitive E London walking regime, a passing boat sent a wave crashing through the open window of the hostelry, drenching the diners and their plates of food as they sat looking out onto the Thames, so Turneresque vast and wide there, its grey whiteness blending with the big sky)... Limehouse, whose steampunk future-past - explored by Ackroyd in Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem and Dr Who in the Talons of Weng-Chiang (itself intertextually entangled with Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu mythos [which was also absorbed into the hyperfictional cosmos of Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen])...


Fitting that the Draculine AD 1985 London version of Gleamprog (Land: postmodern power is vampiric, it's dead but it carries on) should have fed upon the rusting relics of the docks... heronbone: 'i'm worried that there's plans to do away with the sewer banks in this whole troubling stratford city concept. the sewrbanks/greenway is a real sanctuary, a refuge and i love it to bits. i'd hate to see it go. i was reading in the paper a while back about how a lot of the plants you see growing round there are naturalised foreigners, from places as far afield as siberia and sumatra which established themselves when london still had working docks. (which is the most romantic thing i can imagine, ships coming in the dock from all 4 corners of the earth, imainging the men stepping off those boats like odessyeus returned from troy, superheroes with an air of magic about them, eyes which had seen wonders, things perhaps only gods had seen before)'

Blissblog: "There are flows, but there are silt deposits; a sedimentation builds up and takes on a character. The whole history of London and especially East London (hardcore/jungle/UKGís heartland) is bound up with being a port--the East End and the docks, the East End and successive waves of immigration -- Jews, West Indians, East Indians, etc. UKG has this odd combination of insularity and a total open-ness to new influences; Iím sure this must be connected to East Londonís blend of parochialism and hybridity, its ability to assimilate yet retain a fierce local identity. UKG isnít just the sum of all the influences that flow through it. '

That's why Wiley's 'Ground Zero' - the 00's equivalent of Foxx's 1980 London Alphaville elektrokosmetropolis, Metamatic, the blackcockney neurobotic 'claustrophobic-paranoiac' answer to the theatrobotic Euro-expansiveness of Kraftwerk's 'Metropolis' and 'Neon Lights' - always evokes for me not the twisted wreckage of the Twin Towers but the superheated Gleamprog heart of darkness of post-1980s UK-Kapital in the Wharf, where the Futures market endlessly sucks the unlife from Now... 00's Kurtz-Kapital-terminal opening up to an Outside not brought back in great big clipper ships but through the loa-stalked consensus hallucination of k-space...

the man himself.jpg
(image stolen from Untimely)

And of course, as Luke is well aware, the Gleamprog fantasy of the London Olympic bid is part of the SF Kapital retro-colonization of London's temporal lines of flight, the uncared for, un-mission-statemented, overgrown, uttunuloid intensive time zones where things can still happen without being business-planned into Kapital's always-deferred super-consummate bad eschatology....

Prog rock never died, it turned into the Millennium Dome... and then London 2012


Follow the link, look at Evil Nice Toneee's face..... listen to his platitudes ('Good Writing' Luke lol')

SF Capital, 2001: 'The smooth transition from hippy to hyper-capitalist, from slacker hedonism to authoritarianism, from engagement to entertainment, retrospectively reveals what the punks knew so well when they cackled 'never trust a hippy'. Far from posing any threat to capitalism, the dope-smoking, soap-dodging rockers of the the 60s were acting as capital's reserve army of exploiters, whose time spent at festivals and on the experimental avant-garde did little or nothing to engineer collective lines of escape, but yielded instead resources for the new forms of enslavement that loom everywhere around us now. Exactly like those likely to have 'approved' of Kubrick's critique of corporate-controlled environments in 1968 are now administering their own 'total control' systems, all the more sinister for their shirtsleeves informality, all the more enveloping because the bosses wire themselves into the circuit, flaunting their own self-exploitation as both inevitable and exemplary. As Deleuz-Guattari had it in Anti-Oedipus, 'The bourgeois sets the example, he absorbs surplus value for ends that ... have nothing to do with his own enjoyment: more utterly enslaved than the lowest of slaves, he is the first servant of the ravenous machine, the beast of the reproduction of capital... 'I too am a slave' - these are the new words spoken by the master.'


For a chilling image of how SF Capital induces auto-zombification in the master class, you only have to look at the face of our glorious leader: that ashen carnival mask, its grim, cheerless, Joker-grin flashing with ritual efficiency, its blank eyes illuminated by empty evangelism, darkened by perpetual irritation - the PM's being run by Videodrome, and ... no-one owns Death TV.'

They are trying to turn London into a Roger Dean gatefold sleeve.

Don't let it happen.

Oppose the bid.

Death to Videodrome...

Long unlive the Now Flesh...

Posted by mark at September 1, 2004 08:51 AM | TrackBack

Perhaps a little bit of wishful thinking that E14ís beautiful city girls are sad-eyed, most always seem to my eyes perfectly happy with their consummate lot in the ravenous machine. A bit of melancholia may creep in after the fourth top-up into their cavernous wine glass, when they question their controlled hyper-capitalist existence, like the Abbey National Investment banker I heard about from a friend of a friend who jumped out of a fifth floor window last weekÖ

Posted by: murray at September 1, 2004 02:03 PM

depending on when you visited mudchute city farm i may have an answer to the pig conundrum, from a story i read in the hackney gazette a while ago, but it's not pretty.

Posted by: stelfox at September 1, 2004 02:25 PM

is it to do with stabbing, dave? Ruth can give you an eyewitness account, she used to have an allotment down there and watched kids climb over the fence to knife them for fun (sorry for giving east london a bad name and all that but its the truth). I'd be interested to hear what the news story said though.

Posted by: undercurrent at September 1, 2004 02:56 PM

sweeping use of "prog" as symbolic marker of whatever in this argument = very kneejerk and easyreach content-free! i reads like the stuart maconie sideswipes you'd get on a channel four "we love the 70s"!

if the city being built = eg the architectural equiv of "soundchaser" off relayer then it wd be a startling and fantastic thing indeed!! or that sinister osibisa flying-elephant series? (i heart roger dean hugely and will NOT be swayed)

(eg what's the diff anti-empiricist commonsense-wise between the roger dean aesthetic and that pseudo-pre-raph rhiannon pic you posted on the port meirion thread? punk's hostility to prog - beyond routine planned-obsolescence marketing and ordinary oedipal yatter - was WAY nervously more anti-imagination than it was pro it)

(i had an argt w.dadaismus on ILM last year: i totally associate punk and post-punk's anti-prog rhetoric w.bennite/blairite anti-OLD LABOUR rhetoric: the key word is the word DINOSAUR)

and anyone who is anti-dinosaurs is a dick IMO

Posted by: mark s at September 1, 2004 03:24 PM

no, it was a story printed in the hackney gazette last year detailing how "a trouseress pensioner was pursued by angry volunteers as he fled the pig enclosure".

Posted by: stelfox at September 1, 2004 03:36 PM

no, it was a story printed in the hackney gazette last year detailing how "a trouserless pensioner was pursued by angry volunteers as he fled the pig enclosure".

Posted by: stelfox at September 1, 2004 03:36 PM

i'd actually forgotten about the stabbings - who'd be a pig in hackney, eh?

Posted by: stelfox at September 1, 2004 03:38 PM

so they didn't take any action when they were getting stabbed, but removed them instantly when a trouserless pensioner was involved - Tower Hamlets Council logic in action there...

Posted by: undercurrent at September 1, 2004 04:57 PM

re Roger Dean - I recon this beats Canary Wharf hands down...hobbit holes are the future.

Posted by: undercurrent at September 1, 2004 05:00 PM

"a trouserless pensioner was pursued by angry volunteers as he fled the pig enclosure".

So pensioners more likely to shag pigs than llamas then? Perhaps they're not happy with the exoticism of the latter, in the same way that they're often suspicious of foreign food.

Mark, everybody knows that punk rock turned into prog rock at the first available opportunity!

Posted by: johneffay at September 1, 2004 05:02 PM

So pensioners more likely to shag pigs than llamas then?

excellent! i have finally managed to drag some of the finest minds in blogdom down to my level. i liked the story, mainly because the word "trouserless" is just brilliant

Posted by: stelfox at September 1, 2004 05:05 PM

the people who come up with these headlines, eh, they must be geniuses!

Posted by: undercurrent at September 1, 2004 05:07 PM

"sad-eyed beautiful city girls" as city wildlife

this seems to me to be equivalent of talking about how wonderfully photogenic slums are; maybe these things in their devastation are photogenic, and interesting, but real people's lives are being destroyed for this satisfaction to exist.

This is a dominant culture looking at someone elses degradation and giving it status as some theoretical system("when the Newtonian Model speaks? Why the object becomes a femachine: Grace Jones, the anorganic, anti-oedipal non-neurotic neurobotic body through which all of k-punk passes" - whatever this means).

Mark - there _are_ women reading this, you know.

When I read this stuff, it makes me seriously wonder whether it is actually possible for a woman to do anything in this world that has any serious effect, and seriously wonder if there is any way out. I am talking about real life, me.

Posted by: ruth at September 1, 2004 05:13 PM

beaing serious now, "a sad-eyed beautiful" person (male or female) is not necessarily being objectified or turned into pornography, either sexual or emotional. the point of it is that cities can be cold, hard, emotionless, stark, broken, but in these sad eyes you see humanity and. for me, a derelict building brings its former life into sharper relief than a perfectly preserved one, because the fragility of life and the the effects of time are right there in its crumbling bricks and broken windows. i'm sure there are *ARCHITECTS* reading heronbone who are able to see this quite clearly.

Posted by: stelfox at September 1, 2004 06:17 PM


Ruth, wtf? Yes, there _are_ women reading this but I would have hoped that most of them would have left behind cult studs humanist whingeing that even the likes of Haraway and Sadie Plant had moved far beyond in the late eighties.

You think women can't do anything? Well, I do, that's why I write about Grace Jones, Stevie Nicks, Roisin Murphy and femintensity... but maybe that's 'only music' and isn't as important as 'doing something in real life'...

You think human beings are not wildlife? Interesting... I would like to be interesting wildlife, but visually I'm pretty boring wildlife really...

Why is glamour degrading?

Some people - men and women - are more attractive than other people. Get over it. :-) I just enjoy the fact that some people are beautiful; I'm never gonna be Bryan Ferry but it doesn't mean that I can't enjoy his beauty... that's just sourfaced joyless miserabilism that corresponds to the sort of lazy stereotype of what feminism must mean...

I know there are different issues with women, but surely the serious issues for women concern equality of pay etc, those are _real life_ issues...

I've never really understood why it is thought to be demeaning to be thought of as attractive by others really --- yeh, I'd definitely rather be a guy working in a factory than a lusted-after model, that's a much better life, far less degrading, obviously :-)

Why is it worse to be an object than a subject?

I'd rather be an object than a subject, but I'd rather be a machine than either.

So would Grace.

What has Grace got to do with degradation? She was a model you know... but what's interesting about her is that she didn't in any way buy into EITHER empowering subjectivity bullshit OR earth mother organicism OR today's vacuous consumer 'feminsim' .

My riff on Grace is of course nicked from Kodwo (would have cited it, but More Brilliant currently hidden in a refugee pile of books while awaiting ceiling repair).

The model who spoke --- or sang-spoke, who talked back, and coldly.... She wanted to be a machine, and was, the theoretical grid came from her, and it was far more sophisticated than anything produced in the academy by Haraway or Sadie... because it involved total immanence, real conceptual Art, her body and image as editable fragments ... to be cut up and assembled at her...


If I may so, I think you're being kneejerk... in assuming that I'm dissing prog _music_ per se: some of what is called prog is interesting, we had this discussion last year didn't we? But let's face it, most of even prog music is as advertised: indulgent, embarrassing and worst of all fucking boring...

Come on now, admit it :-)

Making a defence of it in the interests of questioning a supposed punk orthodoxy is just aesthetico-deconstructive quibbling and distraction....

These things might have been important fifteen years ago when punk's puritanism had some cultural force; but that is long gone now, everything is allowed back... time for some restraint, coldness, involution...

But but but: its Prog as an _abstract program_ that is the real problem. Progressive temporality, the story that things are getting better, New Improved, we can't do it unless we have fifteen offices, ten drum kits, fifty seven twin-necked guitars and a dancing paper clip to say 'it looks like you are going to type a comma now, should I do it for you'.

To me it's self-evident that this is program on which microsoft (shirtsleeves) power = SF Kapital runs.... i.e. it's opressing us everywhere we look, every time we walk on to a Gleamprog concourse, mission statements letter perfect and mantra-recited, trains not arriving; every time you have to turn on a computer and run Gates' stupid software (Matt Fuller's show a few years back espesh hilarious on this: he filled walls and walls with all the crap that's in Word --- chipboard backgrounds for fuxake); every time you see a fascinating area of teeming urban flora and fauna being 'developed'....

The crappiest computers with the tiniest memories could run word processing packages twenty-five years ago. WP packages should be getting smaller, not bigger --- but have you seen how much memory and space bloody Word takes up?

You think it's an accident that the new power elite ($ Bill and Toneeee etc) were all down with prog rock? btw what do you mean OLD labour --- what, like NEW labour is better?

(btw John: I've very little investment in punk rock (which is pretty much a contradiction in terms as far as I'm concerned any way), so what particular punk bands did, who cares?)

It's punk as an abstract anti-authoritarian distributional program that I'm interested in.. fanzines and better blogs are more punk than any record (ROM) or performance (spectacle).

It goes like this:

Windows is SF/Prog Tech...

html is cyberpunk... html code is simple, you can do it on the most primitive and basic software (notepad is more than adequate)... then you can make something happen NOW...

I know that Kodwo also likes Dean, it must be an age thing lol, I look it and laugh, I still think it's the naffest thing ever, completely embarrassing, it's all that gleam and sleekness -- it just makes you long for some dirt and anger and cut-up.... But I hate SF, I hate Star Wars and Star Trek, I only like steampunk and cyberpunk.....

As for the pre-raphaelite thing --- wtf? Where but in the very lumpen punk imaginary yr attacking would there be any link between pre-raphaelite paintings and Roger bloody Dean? (btw didn't especially like that Rhiannon image, but it was the only one I could find!!!) ---- But attacking that kind of Stevie Nicks imagery is surely lumpen-punk at its worst...

Posted by: mark at September 2, 2004 12:52 AM

But i do like War of the Worlds --- I'm going to post on STEAMPROG tomorrow ---

Posted by: mark at September 2, 2004 01:34 AM

On the pigs: just to keep the discourse rolling in an unthinking way, I have a post coming up on pigs actually.... but does that mean they have been permanmently removed from the farm? That's tragic.... Glueboot will tell you I was heartbroken not to see the pigs... llamas were no consolation....

lol... i remember a feature on I think Nationwide years ago (well it would have to be if it was on Nationwide right) about ppl keeping pigs as pets... but animal welfare had to come round periodically to check that they hadn't been eaten lol

Posted by: mark at September 2, 2004 05:03 AM

Mark, my rather gnomic point was that rather than prog turning into the Millenium Dome, it really is more of a punk to prog thing.

If the building to celebrate the Millennium had really been prog, we would have ended up with a bllody great stainless steel and turf, solar powered cathedral spurting lasers out the roof, and containing the largest pipe organ ever built. However the punk to prog thing works by punks getting better at playing their instruments and having loads of money to waste on daft projects, thereby undermining the whole ethos and producing 'sub-prog'.

So what do we get?

"Let's have a Big Top in the middle of London in which people can come and celebrate the Millennium."

"Good idea, but the budget is huge, so let's make it a really Big Top. Also, I'm getting the hang of doing really complicated stuff with fibre galss, so lets make it with that; it won't last very long, but it will look lovely!"

I rest my case.

Posted by: johneffay at September 2, 2004 10:11 AM

this doesn't answer my point - I do strongly suggest you read Germaine Greer's Whole Woman, and Female Eunich, which I am now going to re-read too

Posted by: ruth at September 2, 2004 10:29 AM

...It is the abject fluff-flame of hair stage-central on blair's forehead that transforms the man into a sub-satanic figure, no? a demonic minion, with his chimpy fear-grin ready for anything/nothing at all.

From Laurie Anderson, "Difficult Listening Hour", open on my bed next to me:

"Hey Pal! What's going on here?"/And he had this smile, and when he smiled he had these big white teeth/Like luxury hotels/On the Florida coastline.
And when he closed his mouth, it looked like a big scar./And I said, "Holy Smokes!" Looks like some kind of guest/host relationship to me!"

I am drunker than drunk...and...its all...

Posted by: julian at September 2, 2004 11:56 AM

the problem have with this kind of feminsim by numbers is the proscription of admiration and the general detachment from real life. speaking as a heterosexual male, i feel pretty safe saying that seeing a woman and thinking she's beautiful is a natural reflex.
noticing these things does not immediately and automatically turn a man into an oppressively leering, sweaty pig, unless, of course, he acts like one.
oliver, a real gentleman incidentally, wandering around london, seeing the beauty in the everyday is in no way threatening or about reinforcing any kind of power dynamic.
people are fascinating and can be wonderful, it's just that few of us take the time to notice and appreciate the minutiae of the things and the events occurring around us.
this is what oliver and luke do. they are not white van men honking horns and yelling "get your tits out" or characters rvelling in the pornography of shattered urban landscapes, just perceptive writers looking at the world around them.
personally, i think it serves us well to have people admiring real, unphotoshopped, working people, rather than buying into the false archetypes of media-endorsed "beauty". really, isn't it a good thing to take a bit of time out to notice the people we share this city with and the sights you can't see unless you really look? these things are what make a place relevant and real.
these sixth-form gender barriers are exactly that: barriers to writing about the world and paint a worthwhile, true picture.

Posted by: stelfox at September 2, 2004 11:58 AM

would have thought that if spinozism is anything then it's an escape from or at least a questioning of
>natural reflexes
-for the same reasons, it's not an issue of whether the 'object' 'enjoys' being looked at either, it's not to do with 'defending a minority' or making sure everyone's 'happy' but rather with extirpating stupidity.

-the trouble with looking is that when it's disengaged from thinking about what you're looking at one ends up with platitudes that unwittingly or not feed into a cripplingly pseudo-tragic mode of discourse (ie American Beauty's awful carrier-bags-blowing-in-the-wind-are-sublime routine) where all you can do is lie back and stare imprecatingly; a pathetic introversion of panoptic aggression which avoids thinking about how these sublime spectacles are _produced_.

The only sense in which this is a 'true picture' then is from the impoverished phenomenological perspective of tortured-monkey-pain, which is of course precisely what spinoza wants us to escape.

Glossy print media are full of (even defined by?) this listless superficiality because they don't need to be bothered to try any harder and the economic imperative to produce _something_ is strong. It'd be nice to think that blogs weren't subject to the same pressures.

Posted by: baruch at September 2, 2004 02:21 PM

i have never read any spinoza and if it makes me think like that, i don't want to! i am not talking about trite stupidity here, but engaging with reality and seeing it, reading things into it, finding it beautiful or possessed of other powers of affect - for instance, looking at a rotting snooker or bingo hall in hackney you can't aoid thinking about its past, the changes in the area's demographics, the ephemeral nature of communities etc. this isn't harking back to a bygone working-class age or anything, because often decay is neither positive nor negative, just a signifier of changing landscape. !

Posted by: stelfox at September 2, 2004 02:55 PM

I never mentioned their sad eyes, I mentioned their clothes. Does that make me more or less feminist?

Posted by: oliver at September 2, 2004 08:10 PM

I mean, more OR less. I wouldn't even think of posing the question to myself. I had a love affair with a Dorothy Perkins model for a couple of weeks; she didn't move, she didn't say a word, she smiled (in a seductive manner) the whole time. It got a bit boring after a while, but we parted on good terms. Then, one day, she just disappeared. The whole thing was very romantic.

Posted by: oliver at September 2, 2004 08:19 PM

Dave, I think that's a lovely comment on oliver... but I would agree with Baruch that just because something is natural doesn't mean it's OK... but what I find straightforwardly bizarre about reheating the 70s bourgeois gliberalism of Greer (which might have had its place then, but...) is the idea that there is something _wrong_ with men finding women attractive, whether it's 'natural' or not. Actually this sounds more like Dworkin or something... y'know, a man looking lasciviously at a woman is equivalent to rape, all that nonsense...

Can't see from a Spinozist point of view why you'd want to alter that default...

I just lol at the thought that 'lads' would know prada from Tesco own brand... lads aren't interested in clothes... except in the most crass abi titmus in stockings way or something...

I really do think that there is incredible Art in women's much care and attention goes into the much more than you get from 'Artists'... those blahnik ads on the tube are just wonderful for instance... i don't really see any necessary relationship between beauty and TMH pain... just the opposite in fact...

the sad eyes were my invention, bit of poetic licence, sorry oliver....

Posted by: mark at September 2, 2004 11:42 PM

deleuze asks in Logic of Sense: why is superficiality considered a lack of depth, but depth not considered a lack of surface?

surely depth is the phenomenological heartland...

as for machineries of production: that's why I'm interested in the early Ferry and in Potter and the Lynch of MH: they are endlessly fascinated by the machineries that construct their libido, even as they are in thrall to them...

think this is seduction rather than tragedy...

though it has its melancholy aspect...

that's what makes 'mother of pearl' such a great song...

Posted by: mark at September 3, 2004 12:09 AM

Mark thinks that's a lovely comment on me because of the time he caught me and jim eyeing (and sniffing) some fine gal up and him going "you're like dogs on heat" (sorry Jim) BUT

right (the thing is)

ok look

(I'M OBESESSED WITH/BY WOMEN) (embarrased now)

that's not theory; or even to do with having a girlfriend or not (it was the same anyway; roaming eye never stops) (let's not go there)

and it's a fantasy and reality thing: they're the same really, or (anyway cut across each other)

I worried about Deleuze (until he died, which was before I knew about him; hmm bit weird)

the whole pleasure/desire BOOM BANG SCHISM thang

good debate twixt im and Foucalut if that's yr thing (now I sound like mysterious Mark S); have a copy with a recipe for mexican chile on the back if you want to borrow it MaRk (2 birds with one stone I'd say)

yeah well anyway

(stop to sip an spark up)

what was I talking about?

Skomer! Puffins!


Ok, look, I'm a machine and I like birds

is that alright?

Posted by: oliver at September 3, 2004 01:14 AM


but being obsessed with women --- what's wrong with that?

Again, it's so opposite to lads... the key marker of the lad is not what they like but the way in which they like it .... It's about laziness, lack of effort and care.... the whole way in which something that Loaded interpellates its readership is based on that... 'C'mon lads, admit it, you don't want to make the effort, have a fishfinger sandwich...'

It's not about aestheticization, for sure; just the opposite, a kind of blurrily brute functionalism.... i.e. it's not about women as objects but images of woman which save you the bother of dealing with women (you have to leave your armchair to actually meet a woman): no need to do that if you can have a wank with one hand while making a pot noodle with the other....

Posted by: mark at September 3, 2004 06:58 AM

i.e. it's not about women as objects but images of woman which save you the bother of dealing with women

Which is to say that it's not about women at all; it's simply an internal fantasy about self-gratification.

I do wonder though whether what you're calling the laddish treatment of these images or whatever is in fact demeaning to women no matter what Glueboot's friends in the sex industry claim?

Also. I think it's important when talking about imagery like this to stress the role of of the camera, or whatever. There is clearly a huge difference between that photo of Grace Jones in a cage and the current vogue for 'voyeur' pornography, for example, even when the voyeur shots are consensually staged. Of course this opens up a whole can of worms with regard to complicity/coercion.

I don't disagree with you, but somewhere between Grace Jones and paedophile rape movies, there's a very big grey area which is not as clear cut as you seem to be making out.

Posted by: johneffay at September 3, 2004 11:06 AM

The hunter gets captured by the game

I don't think I was doing that john--- one of the most important things about Grace's images was that they DID involve her complicity --- she and Goude worked together on her image, on the scarification and beautification of her body, which, for once, does not mean the cult studs Butlerite 'body' (i.e. the represented organism)but the body in the most abstract Spinozist sense (i.e. not an organism which is photographed but a set of affects which can be differently potentiated in different media: photographs, sonics, art, fashion) --- and from what a height does what they produced piss on the currently feted bourgie white subjectivist hoxton drunkards --- real conceptual art, not silly self-justifying middle class girl self-pity...


girl with chip: but mummy some boys are looking at a picture of a girl whose pwettier than me... aren't they being seeeeeex-isstttt

Get out the wet lib life

Grace was the punkmodel, punk fashion icon, the machine

Posted by: mark k-p at September 3, 2004 11:23 AM

I wasn't accusing you of doing anything, just pointing out that the difference between these things isn't very clear cut for me. Another sliding scale:

I agree with you about Grace Jones. I think Kate Bush achieved something similar in a different fashion.

Madonna I'm not sure about.

What about Kylie, the Lad mag's darling?

Posted by: johneffay at September 3, 2004 12:15 PM

luke's opinion-punk is shit. punks are easily as embarressing as hippies, maybe more so. it's was probably me talking about sad eyed shop girls, they might just be tears of boredom but they look sad to me. i can vouch for olivers penchant for womens fashion magazines, though i don't condone it. i wish you'd close these comments boxes mark, they're shit, good for nothing but creating rancour, no one ever says anything clever or interesting or witty, and we can't even delete the boorish, reflex reactions we post on them. kill them, you know it makes sense.

Posted by: luke.. at September 3, 2004 02:04 PM

> "sad-eyed beautiful city girls"
instant wank fantasy innit

roger dean -- alright, can be ace. BTW some of his architecture is a lot like HTML -- self-assembly Fuller-esque pods. Cheap and neat.

> i wish you'd close these comments boxes mark,
> they're shit
luke, you scamp! you'll be saying k-punk was better in the old days!

Posted by: paul "Relentlessly Middlebrow" meme at September 3, 2004 05:13 PM

he's right, they need an eraser. It's like looking back on last night's drunken escapades.

Posted by: oliver at September 3, 2004 05:50 PM

Comments boxes are highly important to me, so I won't close them, even though they make me very nervous sometimes. Sometimes I don't even want to look at the site for fear of what attack I'll be under next. But it's important to face whatever ppl have to say because (a) either it is relevant and will produce greater machinic consistency or (b) it is irrelevant, in which case it can elicit clarification.

But It would be good if people could observe basic etiquette:
1. Is what you are about to write likely to make a positive contribution, or does it arise from a resentful will-to-power and desire for one upmanship? (If so, ILM is very welcoming for this sort of thing).
2. Are you actually interested in discussing the issue at hand or do you want to airily dismiss the whole enterprise? (If so, see above)

Comments are ways in which more ppl can become involved.

Most commenters here are excellent. Everyone can see that, surely. And though the comments boxes put me under a lot of stress, it is worth it.

But if people want specific comments that they have made removed, I will consider it if they ask me.

Besides, if I closed comments boxes I wouldn't have had the biggest laugh of my entire life. 'I've showed this to David Brent and Gareth --- and they think YOUR the twat' (a certain 40 year old manager)

'sad-eyed city girls' --- instant wank fantasy --- says more about the poverty of Paul's fantasy life than about me or Oliver I reckon lol. The whole point of the glam aesthetic is that beauty and eroticization are not inevitably related to monkeymatic emission phenomena.

Luke -- I agree with you about actual punks in the main --- but punk is an abstract program, not reducible to TMHs who dress in its uniform ----

As for Oliver's predilection for women's fashion magazines: another sign of the man's elegance and taste. More people should read them (especially those who (a) take the likes of Emin seriously and (b) those who airily and contemptuously dismiss the whole of the mass media without 'spending time with the work'.

didn't mean to accuse you of accusing me of anything lol
obv agree about Kate Bush
also think Roisin Murphy another example
Kylie should be shot dead

post later on Grace verus Greer (or why Greerism IS laddism)

Posted by: mark at September 3, 2004 06:16 PM

r & r are saying no more than asking you to think. very sorry that you think that lacks intellectual integrity. i am asking you to read a book which i had resistance to reading for a long time, and since reading have recommended a lot - and received very weird, unexpectedly antagonistic reactions every time. i'm sure germaine greer will get through to you a lot better than me - considering your reaction to me so far. for me now, it's ccru deja vu, so please no more hurtful remarks until you've given serious thought to what greer says (which isn't what is being argued against above).

Posted by: ruth at September 4, 2004 11:27 AM

I just lol at the thought that 'lads' would know prada from Tesco own brand.

what lads are you talking about, mrk. depending on whether you're referring to your own acronym or the accepted demographic i think you're possibly wrong. explain, please, because i'm quite intrigued by this idea.

Posted by: stelfox at September 4, 2004 12:31 PM

I am going to try to say everything in one, I find this painful and draining too so, imposing some spinozist self-discipline, I will promise myself not to return.

Let me start by saying that the background to my reading this is that I'd just spent several days in an office with brent-drones jovially bantering about women (alternately ugly slags or untouchable goddesses). So it's not from some disconnected 'PC' point of view I write, but from indignation firstly at the 'real' world and secondly at any intellectual acceptance or reinforcement of it.

(nb oliver I haven't read much of your blog so I don't presume to pass any judgment on it, this is just in ref to what you said here)

[oliver]>The whole thing was very romantic.
yes, romanticism is the enemy because it is precisely the abdication of thought and change for comforting nostalgia and wistfulness; or giving up on the (difficult) possibility of loving a person for being aroused by the impossibility of an image.

A romantic encounter is _not_ a joyful encounter. In fact I'd say it's constitutive of romantic encounters that even when they seem to be sweeping and cosmic they are about subjective-shutdown-disconnection not connection.

>endlessly fascinated by the machineries that
>construct their libido, even as they are in thrall to

(incidentally I don't think this is true of lynch)
In thrall...precisely why it's categorised as bad affect, something to be escaped - the febrile theoretisation is just a extra reflexive level to the capture. Fascination becomes addiction, and whilst the Velvet Underground are fine in small doses, there's nothing essentially interesting in listening to a heroin addict talking about how nice it feels if they simply persist in wallowing in their slavery.

Obviously if romanticism is your thing then you've made a lifestyle choice: but it makes for a monotonous closed-circuit eroticism which is imaginary and solitary, but whose media-virulence has corrosive effects in the reality of people's (lack of) connections with each other.

[stelfox wrote:]
>derelict building brings its former life into sharper
>relief than a perfectly preserved one, because the fragility
>of life and the the effects of time are right there in its
>crumbling bricks and broken windows)

if this old buildings=tragic enduring soul is what it's all about, then why is Dylan Trigg the enemy since that's precisely his credo?

'Glam' is something else again:making your consumer choice between girl-next-door and glam queen, and cooking that up into a cosmic theory, is missing the point: both those roles are obviously constitutive cyclically-marketed points of reference of male mag culture just as much as 'blonde or brunette' were for a previous generation. And do you seriously think high-earning prada-buying loft-living fashionistas, or sensitive thoughtful fey popsters, are not infected by the same disease as factory-working lads-on-the-street. They've just got more money and leisure in their case

>images of woman which save you the bother of
>dealing with

are _more_, not _less_ unacceptably lazy.

And I have to agree with jeffay: obviously people working in the sex industry will say it's not degrading, just as bankers will say that offshore finance is exciting, that's just basic psychic self-protection, and can't be used as a rational argument.

Embarassingly, what's being said here exactly reflects the 'you've got yer feminism, now shut up' of the very worst of postmodern homosocial 'it's all been sorted' lockdown (which is of course also complicit with the transcendental regimes of 'everything's cool' blairism and thatcherite 'classlessness'):

>girl with chip: but mummy some boys are looking at a picture
>of a girl whose pwettier than me... aren't they being

Total unearthing of crypto-chauvinism : woman (er, no, sorry, 'girl'), if you're still complaining, it must be because you're ugly and I don't fancy you. A cringingly horrible example of power-legitimating-realism from someone who doesn't want to think about the types of age-old powers they are using/being used by. Talk about begging the question...

>positive contribution
You of all people should realise what role you're playing when you tell people only 'helpful' comments are acceptable.
Friends are those who tell you you're wrong, even when your gang is telling you you're right, even when you _know_ you're right, even if the world is telling you you're right. Friends are those who try to destroy you, not those who build you up.
To be always on the edge of clubs, a small sorrow; to be part of a club, a miserable comfort; to be leader of a club, fatal danger (There is no 'Greerism', just like there's no 'Nietzscheanism' or 'Deleuzism', except that concocted by their enemies explicit or otherwise to block their ears with; because their thought isn't oriented to victory, but to providing an effective rational account of reality.)

Posted by: undercurrent at September 4, 2004 01:01 PM

I just lol at the thought that 'lads' would know prada from Tesco own brand.

what lads are you talking about, mrk. depending on whether you're referring to your own acronym or the accepted demographic i think you're possibly wrong. explain, please, because i'm quite intrigued by this idea.

Posted by: stelfox at September 4, 2004 01:29 PM