Thursday, 20 December 2012

Sticking Plaster Childhood

What is it that makes the juxtaposition of saccharine children's characters with the realm of daily struggle so full of potential to disturb? This was the question I asked myself as I sat waiting in the blood test waiting room when my eye fell upon this simple piece of subversive intervention. Far more resonant than a moustache on la Giaconda but sitting quietly neglected round corner after corner in a largely unused Victorian hospital. The reason I swiftly concluded was that the image derives from the commodification of childhood. I was thinking specifically of Disney. This is not to say that Disney cartoons are completely without merit for they have large teams of creative people confused enough to let themselves believe that it is somehow not the violation of culture they are involved with, who are, by the laws of probability bound to give some of their creative soul to the endeavor. But all the plots and images are ultimately shaped by the drive to commodify as efficiently as possible. They say sex sells. I think what they mean is exaggeration sells. Experiments on the chicks of seagulls found that if the red dot on the beak was increased to more than one dot their pecking for food became more frenzied. Fact. Hence, if you'll forgive by brevity, Jordan's bosom and more relevantly the doe eyed creations of Disney. The rich creative passage of childhood has been warped out of shape in the name of bums on seats. This is not a puritanical defiance of all things fun on my part but rather a fury at the visceral manner in which commerce has shaped the imagination so much so that it has become the norm. These mutoid creatures are far scarier than anything the Brothers Grimm collected. Life can be tough and folk tales are a primal coping mechanism not a quick morality lesson designed to boost profit margins. This was the message I gleaned from the swiftly applied sticking plaster on the mural. Please don't be offended if you like Disney films I will continue to watch them with my children in the crook of arm picturing an idealized world. 

Monday, 3 December 2012

Candy Floss by Mikey Georgeson on Corporate Records

Candy Floss by Mikey Georgeson on Corporate Records
Mr. Solo AKA Mikey Georgeson with the whole beautiful wide screen Civilised Scene: On Drums Ben The Surgeon Handysides, on Bass Iain Duke 666 McCallum, on lead Guitar Simon Rare Breed Breed, on French Horn Nathan Mr Wolf Thomas, on Saxaphone Arec The Genius Koundarjian, on Guitar Simon Love Stone. These two songs were recorded in an eruption of psychic energy at Onecat Studios with Jon Clayton at the dials. Candy Floss radio edit was mixed by Luke Smith of Ulysses fame and the full version was crafted by the enigmatic Iain Duke McCallum. Daren Callow mixed the Civilised Scene's Revisitation of the Mr. Solo classic Industry. The twelve inch mix is by The Lavish Beast of Chiswick.
album image

Spread The Word

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Kimey Peckpo Hatches Out

Kimey Pekpo was inside his egg. Lately he had begun to feel very warm and happy indeed. “Momo has been hatching me very nicely,” he thought.
“ I am all cosy-cosy but it is time for me to hatch out and show Momo just what I am.”  So Kimey Pekpo began to bash at the shell until he had made a little gap like an escape hatch at the top of the egg. He stuck his head out and looked around at the outside with a smile on his face. The landscape was very strange, being mainly pink with very few landmarks to speak of. “Its like a blancmange desert,” chuckled Kimey Pekpo to himself (he liked chuckling to himself). Still he couldn’t wait to explore and climbed out of the hatch he had bashed for himself and called out “Momo!” feeling certain she would come and lead him on his exploration of the world outside. “Momo!” he called again but no response came. He noticed he was still very warm and guessed that Momo was asleep and had forgotten to turn down her hatching heat. He looked up at her glowing bottom above him but had to turn away as it made his eyes hurt. “I know,” he thought, “I will put the top of the egg on my head to keep the heat off me. I will walk around to Momo’s lap, climb up for a cuddle and then she will wake up.” So Kimey Pekpo set off and found himself walking a very long way without escaping the hot heat of Momo’s hatching behindness. He thanked goodness that he had thought to wear the shell top as a hat. He smiled to himself at the strangeness of his situation and shook his head. Presently he came to a tree and sat down for a rest in its leafy shade when a thought came to him, “I know I will climb up the tree and tickle Momo until she wakes up and turns down the hatching heat. So carefully Kimey Pekpo climbed to the top of the tree and raising his hands above his head he began to wiggle his fingers in the direction of the great glowing hatching behindness orb.
“This is sure to work,” he thought to himself and curled up on a branch whilst continuing to tickle with one hand. Soon he began to doze off with a contented smile on his face at the thought of all the fun he would have with Momo when she woke up. The motion of the tree in the breeze soon soothed him into a deep sleep. Sometime later he woke up to the fleeting smell of pine forests. He slowly opened his eyes and right next to his face he found a bird’s nest full of tiny eggs. Suddenly remembering his quest to Momo’s lap he sat upright with a jolt but seeing he was so high off the ground his head began to spin. Then he realised it wasn’t hot anymore. The hatching heat had gone but who had tickled Momo if he had fallen asleep? “Oh you are a kind and clever tree,” said Kimey Pekpo “ you have tickled Momo whilst I lay dreaming on your branch and now at last she has woken up and turned off the hatching heat behindness orb. Now Momo’s orb was a shimmering silver colour and he noticed that it no longer hurt his eyes to look at it. How beautiful it looked to Kimey Pekpo as he climbed down the tickling tree and determined once more to walk around to Momo’s lap for a cuddle. Just as he clambered down onto the lowest branch he saw a pair of eyes looking out at him from a hole in the tree. “Whoo whoo are you?” said a voice so barely there that it sounded like the sound of the sea in the tiniest shell. “ it is I, Kimey Pekpo and I am on my way for a cuddle from Momo. Who are you?” “ Oh I am the Woodle Owal and I sit in this tree catching mice as they scurry past.”  “How strange,” thought Kimey Pekpo “I have not seen many mice around here but perhaps that’s because the Woodle Owal is very good at catching them. Yes that is the most likely reason unless of course the Woodle Owal’s ancestors used to do this thousands of years ago and the Woodle Owal now sits in the tree believing mice catching is what he was born to do.” Kimey Pekpo shook his head wondering where such a strange thought would have come from. “I’ve got to get going” said Kimey Pekpo “but if I see any mice I will send them scurrying past you”. And off he set again into the shiny darkness. He hadn’t gone but twenty paces when the strangest feeling came over him. He felt that instead of him walking towards Momo, it was Momo who was following him. “Oh Momo I am trying to walk around you for a cuddle on your lap but shall never get there if you simply walk along beside me.” He carried on walking hoping that Momo would stay still but instead Momo’s glowing behindness followed him over his shoulder. So Kimey Peckpo turned around to walk back the way he came and as he did so a gust of wind came and blew the top of his shell down over his eyes. He had, by now, quite forgotten that it was on his head at all and surprised he pushed it back onto the top of his head and walked back to the tree where the Woodle Owal was sitting in his hole. Momo’s Behindness Orb glowed in the liquid black like a clock face above them. “Oh dear precious Woodle Owal won’t you help me?” cried Kimey Pekpo up to the hole under the lowest branch. “Whoo whoo said that?” came a papery voice. “It is I, Kimey Pekpo and I am looking for Momo’s lap but she keeps on following beside me. If you were to fly out perhaps she would follow you instead and then I could sneak around and get the cuddle I so desire.” Kimey Pekpo was not even sure the Woodle Owal could fly but before he had time to worry he spied two beautiful white wings gliding above his head. “Don’t forget to call out if Momo follows you!” cried Kimey Pekpo up into the sky. When he could hardly see the Woodle Owal any more Kimey Pekpo began to worry and called out, “Is Momo following after you?” “Whoo whoo” came the quietest paperiest of replies upon the pine scented breeze. “Yes!” thought Kimey Pekpo and holding onto his shell hat he set off to get the cuddle he so longed for. This time he walked straight towards the great hatching glow confident that Momo was distracted by following the Woodle Owla. Sploosh Sploosh went the ground under his feet. How peculiar thought Kimey Pekpo who now saw not one but two Momo Glow Behindnesses. One above him and one straight ahead of him. He looked down to see why the ground was splooshing and all around his feet he saw hundreds of tiny turtles. Kimey Pekpo had seen a turtle mirror in the dream he had dreamt up the tickling tree so was not alarmed (although he had not expected mirrors to go sploosh). He saw the turtles floating along in the great mirror and tried to copy the way they moved through its shimmering surface. In this manner he edged neared and nearer to the hatching glow below the one in the sky. “Oh gosh!” cried Kimey Pekpo after what seemed like a very long time “I am getting tired” and the turtles bobbed along beside him and tried to help him on his way. Just then a golden glow began to appear on the edge of the mirror and Kimey Pekpo cried out to the turtles, “Look look Momo is smiling because she has seen me and is laughing at how clever I was to trick her into following the Woodle Owal! Now I am going to get my cuddle” and he kept on swimming (although he didn’t call it that) harder and harder as Momo’s smile grew broader and broader. “See she is pleased to see me!” he kept on splosh sploosh splooshing until at long last the mirror stopped splooshing and his hand fell upon something warm and silky. It was such a lovely feeling and he called out “ This is Momo’s lap at last! And he pulled himself out of the mirror onto the gorgeous golden lap ahead of him. It was perfectly round and soft. He lay down on its glowing surface soothed by its warmth against his skin as Momo smiled down at him. He closed his eyes and snuggled himself up under the shade of Momo’s necklace that waved in the breeze like a palm tree. He put his eggshell hat down in front of him and soon the mirror came and carried it away. For a moment Kimey Pekpo opened his eyes and saw it bobbing up and down getting smaller and smaller and he smiled to himself. Now he had his cuddle on Momo’s lap and tomorrow he would wake up and go back to thank the Woodle Owal for helping him before setting off on his adventures. Until then he would simply enjoy his cuddle and Momo’s warm smile beaming down upon him.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Joe Ahearne, Doctor Who and the Secret of Crickley Bottom

                                                            The Abandoned Mr. Blobby Theme Park
Last night we started to watch The Mystery of Crinkly Bottom on catch up television. Obviously I was shocked and saddened that Mr Blobby’s ghost did not haunt the cavernous mysteriously (it’s a mystery drama) dank hall that the plot swiftly nay judderingly relocated to. Not even a tidy beard was in sight but the husband character (a rather bohemian engineer who didn’t do a lot of engineering) had a nice coating of designer stubble (the eighties is back). Once this Blobby free game changer had been absorbed (is there nothing I can’t point CBT at and come away a better human being? Well!!?) A veneer of credibility seemed to have been removed and I found myself thinking that The Mystery of Crinkly Hall or MOCH as they no doubt called it in the development meetings looked what I can only describe as, now this is tough, shoddy. Shoddy like the panelled walls might wobble at an unexpected moment as the mystery guest lurks in the wings. That kind of, how do you say? ITV shoddy. There I’ve said it. I now find myself wondering if indeed the whole thing was not a hastily assembled allegorical mea culpa for the sins of the Saville era. This at least would make sense of the bordering on explotational use of child tragedy. At the time however I had other ideas. These notions like most of my ideas concerning other people’s creative outputs involved giving the benefit of the doubt. After all they don’t call me Mike the giver of the benefit of the doubt. My middle name might be GOBOD for all I know but perhaps not everyone knows me as well as myself nor do they set such store in the sense of order that a good acronym brings to life. And so it was as the self middle named Giver of the Benefit of the Doubt that I went outside and dragged the tarpaulin off my wife’s rather expensive vintage looking bicycle with the intention of pedalling off to the local library to see if they had any reference material that might point my enquiring mind in the direction of recent works by the director of this mystery unfolding. Perhaps in the children’s section. After all it had a feel of Lizzy Dripping to it I reasoned. I was just cushioning the swing of the front gate to stop it slamming behind me when I remembered Google. Google for those of you who weren’t here before is a memory devise or extension of our central nervous system that sits outside of the body thus creating the illusion that it is not really part of the user. Or is separate. If life was an exam (yeah right as if!?) then Google would be the equivalent of the little red LED calculator that your best friend had at school which you coveted every time he got it out but which he was not allowed to take into exams because the exam-board had not yet become that lax. Yes Google would be that if life were an exam. The reason for all this intended research was that I, in my GOBOD mode, believed that there might be an explanation in the past work of the director (if indeed this mysterious drama had been directed at all). After all Mulholland Drive would almost certainly appear to be shoddy if you didn’t know that David Lynch was a genius. Don’t get me wrong I would never deprive the great Lynch of my GOBODness for I am a true believer. It’s just that I could never watch one of his films with my wife. Again. That is.
 At this point we pause the catch-up player and switch on a real life happening-now-but-on-the-other-side-of-the-world programme. No not the rolling news of the seige of Gaza but I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Never before has the illusion of other side of the world ness been so apparent. Were we finally witnessing the overdue birth of the Global Village after a long and painful labour!? Do you remember how Nadine something or other a celebrated politician due to her decision to become a celebrity on IACGMOH went into the Australian jungle to highlight big political issues. Yeah go Nadine. The other night I sat stunned as she was ordered by public democratic vote to leave the jungle. As she traversed the swinging hopefully not to shoddy rope bridge one rapidly developed a sense of destiny and historic things coalescing. This moment would be replayed in slow motion in reviews of the early 21st century by future life forms. She sat down with Ant and Dec glass of Australian sparkling wine in hand resisting the temptation to grasp one last chance to win the public over with a reprisal of the Apprentice advert for English Sparkling wine and we knew that now was the time for her to turn the whole political shebang on its head. I felt sick with nerves. 
     “I’ve had some big discussions in there” she began. Whoa so big political discussions had been had in the jungle camp but ITV had chosen in their undemocratic public depriving arrogance to edit them out! This was too much. “ Politicians need to go where the public are,” she continued, powering ahead leaving me reeling as I tried to take in the magnitude. She means the public are all in the Jungle. This is profound. Had she swallowed McLuhan whole? We are all in the urban forest and everything is once more simultaneous she went on. But no she had not said this. There was no holistic metaphor she just meant that politics really ought to be even more patronising. Yeah go Nadine! Go! You have been democratically voted out of the jungle. Meanwhile last night back in the real time happening right now jungle real politics was being discussed. We’re talking going beyond the interface style politics to real how we live our lives politics. Not what fucking form the political system should be but what politics could be. So there we have Hugo, star of Made in Chelsea, wrapped in a hammock contemplating what I can only describe as Marxism. I can’t be sure due to real time subtitling errors but he may well have said “If the thing is useless, so is the labour contained in it; the labour does not count as labour, and therefore creates no value.” I know for sure that he was saying that he has learnt that we don’t need so much stuff and that it was a relief to be away from all the electronic exoskeleton that we allow to ourselves to be seduced by, little knowing that we are falling in love with ourselves. All right I may have misremembered but the gist was there. We don’t need so much stuff. Shit if only Nadine had been there we may have seen the birth of tory existential Marxism as Nadine poured some Feuerbach on the camp’s new found Promethean fire "In the consciousness of the infinite, the conscious subject has for his object the infinity of his own nature” but this discussion of not needing so much stuff was on the other side of the world and back in the real world we need stuff so we can keep track of the tragedies unfolding on the other side of the world. right!?
     Okay so much so Adorno let’s find out if the director of  MOCH really is deserving of our GOBODness. Okay I’m back from Google-land. First thing right is that its called The Secret of Crickley Hall so that’s SOCH? Thanks to the power of Google and an indepth online interview in The Sun I am almost instantaneously able to report that Suranne Jones who plays the down-right negligent mother who gets the BOD due to being tired or summat has been to a spiritualist church once and also she worked as a barmaid where there was a woman who read palms and she thinks she may have had hers read but can’t quite remember. And she calls herself a celebrity? Back in the day my palm was the back page of a pop magazine the name of which escapes even my Google enhanced memory. And get this folks, the story is by James Herbert. He wrote Dune I think. This is all too much because my friend who had the red LED calculator was a big fan of that book. But that’s not where the spookiness ends. Oh no. It was directed by Joe Ahearne who also directed Apparitions, which was a genuinely creepy and affecting drama not least because large sections of it were filmed in the now closed catholic boarding school my father attended. He and my mother went back to visit it on a recent trip to Liverpool and the film crew allowed them to wander the hallowed halls. My father retrieved a billiard ball from one of the tables in the common room and it now sits on the mantelpiece at home. None of this explains my GOBODness but perhaps Joe's Dr. Who writing credentials do. After all I did feel I could allow my twelve-year-old son to sit up and watch it. He is sitting here now and informs me that I need to use paragraphs to attain a level five so I have gone back and added some. he also asked me if blog's had names in and i realised that without google there would be no names in my blog at all.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Echo-gnomics story

I am a stupid boy. I have been a stupid boy all my life in full knowledge of being a stupid boy. I think stupid things all the time. I am not so stupid that I mistake my stupidity for some kind of enlightenment but occasionally I have an insight to a stupid thing outside of myself. Take today for instance when I forgot to buy my daily reduced price newspaper. The monorail had just pulled into the station and I was in two minds as to whether I should run back to the campus tabacconist or to forgo the endorphin lift of the lunchtime crossword and jump straight on board. I then realised that If I chose to pay the full price I could catch the monorail and buy the paper at the other end. This is the convenience of capitalism I realised. I had the money and so I resolved to use it to avoid over exerting myself. A vision of an echo-nomy based around stupid boys forgetting to buy papers quickly formed in my head. Soon there would be a whole vast slew of revenue sources based around variously priced papers and levels of forgetfulness. We (the consumers) would soon forget that we ever wanted to read the news or indeed apply our brains to the lunchtime crossword and instead derive our endorphins from the sight of happy tokens appearing in our speculative accounts.
The next day at lunchtime I sit down with the paper. I unscrew my jumbo bottle of Bullpschit and pour it letting the glug glug fill up my senses. Now more than ever a good student such as I, Richard Britton, need it’s chemically sculpted stimulus. Glug glug fizz. I lift the beige plastic cup and toast the girl sitting opposite me in the newly revamped college canteen. We have the four corners of the globe all under one roof now each with its own respective tills and dishes of the day.  Harriet’s unremarkable prettiness makes me sad like it always does. She wants to feel wanted and it is written all over her face. Every move she makes reveals a longing to be loved. I am not the type of person to exploit this, however and it just makes me sad. Is life really this transparent? I pour another plastic cup of Bullpschitt and hand it to Harriet. She flashes her eyes and smiling takes a sip. “So what was that you were saying about homeo-watsistsname and advertising?” she giggles. I feel so old. “If by that you mean my observation that modern rationalist market forces bear more than a passing resemblance to the processes of homeopathic medicine then I shall explain. Fixing things has long been frowned upon and thus we are all filled with a desire to consume. Products leave us feeling empty and unsatisfied. This is because they have been distilled then further distilled down to the essence of pure desire. Now they all carry the faintest echo of practical substances. This being just enough to give the sense that we need them. Just enough being practically or rather essentially nothing. Pixels glowing in my palm remind me of the paper weight that once kept the papers on my fathers desk from blowing away while he click clacked on his Remington type writer.” Harriet bit her nails. I liked it when she did this as she seemed lost in herself and no longer studiously trying to get attention. “All of us has our own digi-pocket golf sale sign in our pockets pointing the way to more digi-pocket golf sale signs. These are the first things we see when we get up and the last thing we see at night. Now take something that can't fail to be practical like food. Even food sells the idea of what healthy food could do for you if you could be bothered to prepare it. Happy tokens are the digital capital sugar pills carrying the smallest residue of substance and material that we once had an idea that we needed. This needed thing or item became a wanted thing that we forgot about needing but we somehow replaced the word wanted with needed. Happy tokens used to be useful when your great grandfather wanted to trade a chair for some plates but the ceramicist wanted a clock. Now they are just an echo. The faintest echo of something we once needed. The essence has turned out to be nothing.” I look out the tall glass wall across the grand quadrangle and see another plane take off across the water. “Would you like to come with me to Switzerland Harriet?” I hear that there things still have value derived from labour, time and effort. We could visit the hills and taste the chocolate.” Harriet smiles, half pleased but with a note of confusion passing across her lips as she hesitates to ponder the correct response to such a request. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

TV Experiment Over

The great T.V. experiment of the late twentieth century is over.
That little white dot on your screen
Has finally popped
Will fix it

Last Night's television

Last night my wife left me. She went out and I was thus alone to watch the television. This morning she asked how my evening was “did you watch bottom face”? This I understood was DCI Banks the man who regularly pulls a face like a face that knows that it looks like a bottom. Yes I did after dabbling with a movie on the x-box Love Film ap I plumped for the soothing immersive experience of terrestrial television. I feel connected to my fellow citizens when I watch one of the first five channels. Even on hd. ITV eh? I can never fully shed the feeling that they make the TV programs that are the equivalent of Top of The Pops covers albums from the seventies. Last night the new lady detective played an admirable cover version of the lead actress in The Bridge. We, the viewer, think she is perhaps autistic and unable to bond with colleagues and yet is still remarkabley efficient at her job. In the Bridge this picture is painted slowly and with real depth but in the DCI Banks cover-version it’s all over in ten minutes. Still the line about pornography making your hair fall out was very funny. Last night Detective Chief Inspector Banks played his cover version of a philandering Scandinavian detective when he went all puppy dog over a clarinet player. Her face when she said she played the clarinet was a picture – or was that just me? She left the room to fetch a rare seven-inch of Ella and the Chief Inspector’s face of bottom went into overdrive as it attempted to outwardly manifest such inner turmoil. I can hear the director “Okay Steven maybe tone down the face a bit darling. Oh is that the time okay well done everyone see you in the morning!” Thanks to the sneak trailer which is now part of the episode we know that next week the suspicious looking man with lanky hair gets to say stuff on camera and not just behind a closed door. He was in the entire first episode but on the script it just said suspicious looking lurky man with lanky hair lurks. For lovers of street art detective mash ups (and let's face it who is not!?) we learned that DCI Banks reacts strongly to being called Banksy. Will a mystery that has plagued art students for a decade finally be solved? My magnum moment could finally be at hand.