Archive for the Indigenous Culture Category

In Talks With The BBC

Posted in British Empire, Change We Can Believe In, Cheesecake, FreeSouthLondon, Indigenous Culture, Media, South London with tags , , on May 17, 2010 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

I am delighted to announce that FreeSouthLondon are in preliminary negotiations with regard to me presenting a high profile BBC television program.

By “preliminary negotiations” I do of course mean I am leaving obscene answerphone messages demanding to present Newsnight and smearing excrement over Jeremy Paxman’s front door. But we all need to start somewhere. I am willing to go All The Way for South London. You can thank me in the future with statues & daughters.

Peace of cheesecake. Representations to your ‘bourhood.

I’ve Been Moonlighting… For The Revolution

Posted in Art, Change We Can Believe In, Elephant & Castle, FreeSouthLondon, General Election 2010, Indigenous Culture, Revolution, South London, Streatham with tags , , , , , , on May 9, 2010 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

Word up, my cherry-cheeked transpontine comrades!

Had two barely-contained-within-the-cage-of-written-prose truthblasting articles published last week.

Firstly, the second half of this post on StreathamPulse about the Nick Clegg electioneering machine’s visit to my beautiful hometown of Streatham.

Secondly, an article about the regenerbastardisation of Elephant & Castle – particularly the wonderous shopping centre – published in The Other Side magazine. Yes, a real paper magazine. I’m in print. Here’s the rather complicated digital version. My article is on page 14. AND PAGE 15.

Eat it. Beat it. Treat it. But most of all…. revolutionize it.

Peace & War

The “Decadent & Bourgeois” West of South London

Posted in Art, Change We Can Believe In, Clapham, Decadence, FreeSouthLondon, Gentrification, Greater South London, Indigenous Culture, Revolution, South London, SW, The Clapham Effect with tags , , , , on April 29, 2010 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

A young fan by the name of Eddie writes in to ask a difficult question…

Wolfgang: what is your opinion of the excessively decadent and bourgeois South West of London? Do you include it in the Empire of South London, or do you disown it and its shameful ways?

It’s difficult because it demands an uncomfortable probability: a wound within South London. A non-whole. A division. An implausibility. Not so much an overlapping intoxicating duality as a distinct dichotomy between two separates. There is a difference between much of the South West and The Rest. Be it the sweep of gentrification or the longstanding suburban Surreyness of places like Wimbledon, there is something… nice, poncey, comfortably unrevolutionary about parts of the South West.

South London is as much an idea in abstract space as it is an entity on physical geography. Even it’s most defined physical border – the gloriously gloopy Thames – is (in an age of bridges and tubes) a predominantly symbolic border. But I would imagine all interpretations of South London include at least some SW bourgeois hubs. This is problematic.

Hope lies in the proles. Can it lie in the bourges as well?

Eddie refers to a decadence of South West London. Or, as I like to call it, west South London. I see what he means. But my response may suprise him. I demand not a puritan reduction in decadence, but a reckless indulgeflation in it. The decadence of places like Wimbledon and Clapham is a very (culturally) poor, stoic, boring decadence.  We need a more rugged decadence. I’m thinking 1920s Berlin. I’m thinking opium dens. I’m thinking posh teenage girls on the game for the sheer experience of it. I’m thinking elite-yet-revolutionary culture that would make Adorno smile. NOT bloody Christmas decorations from Habitat. Spread the rebellion southwestwards. I want Walton-on-Thames to be Walton-on-Smack. Thames Ditton to be Thames Shit-on an escort girl’s breasts.

Not-decadent-enough west South London is perhaps our biggest revolutionary challenge. But, also, maybe, our biggest opportunity.

Hope does indeed lie in the bourges. As long as they’re fucked up enough.

Musical Differences

Posted in Art, Clapham, FreeSouthLondon, Gentrification, Gumbo, Indigenous Culture, North London, Protest, Revolution, The Lambeth Walk. Oi!, Video with tags , , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

I’ve received a few complaints about the music used in my revolutionary re-educational short film The Gentrification of Clapham?

Angry, of Tulse Hill, and Frustrated, of Woolwich, both complained that I used pop. songs with no link to South London. Instead, my music came from Sheffield (ABC) and Louisiana (Dr. John). My response is as simple as it is eloquent. Fuck off! South London is an international multicultural melting pot of various influences. Indeed, my choice of Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya is symbolic of this. I comprehensively explain this in the bastard video. Stupid cunts.

Sneering, of Tottenham, pointed out that the opening credits music, The Lambeth Walk – something of a national anthem, wasn’t even written by South Londoners… To which I respond thrice. 1. We classify them as a revolutionary converts to our transpontine brilliance. 2. I actually used a French recording of it for the video- Le Lambeth Walk. In a fucking French accent! Stick that beautiful lump of multiculturalism in your pipe and choke. And, 3. Do you think the English Defence League stop to worry about Richard The Lionheart being gay?! Course not!

End of.

ROAR!

The Pteranodon

Posted in Change We Can Believe In, Diaspora, FreeSouthLondon, Indigenous Culture, North London, Pteranodon, Revolution, South London, Wildlife with tags , , , on April 21, 2010 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

Comrades. A most wonderous thought struck my tired brainbox last night deep in the revolutionarium cellebellum. A staggering thought of equal poetic gorgeousness and political use-value.

Once-upon-a-time the mighty flying creature The Pteranodon flew above what is now our fantasplendid motherland of South London. Imagine this as you look outside your window, as you step outside you house, as you catch a bus. THIS used to be Pteranodon country!

And think deeper still. These brilliant beings used to shit over North London. A faecal future war of anti-imperialism ejected from the exit end of their digestive system.

Ladies, Gentlemen & Transvestite Streetwalkers, I present to you the latest iconoclastic symbol of South London…

South London's future freedom symbolised by The Pteranodon

JUST THINK!! Pteranodons used to fly over prehistoric South London. IMAGINE IT! Soaring high, then defecating fishy faeces over Finchley.

Wowzers!

I am moved to beautiful, heroic, euphoric, indulgent tears at the thought of a Pteranodon unloading its waste-filled bowels over prehistoric Islington.

Thamestastic!!

Westminster? More like WASTEminster after Mr. Ptreranodon, the renowned sexual beast, makes a visit to North London toiletry airspace.

"Have some of this, slaaaag!!"

Finsbury Park? More like Finsbumjuice Park. Go, Pteranodon, Go!

RIP my wonderful comrades. Until we meet again...

The Gentrification of Clapham?

Posted in 34496088, Art, British Empire, Change We Can Believe In, Cheesecake, Clapham, Coffee, Dualities, FreeSouthLondon, Gentrification, Gumbo, Indigenous Culture, London Underground, Postmodernity, Protest, Revolution, South London, The Clapham Effect, The Lambeth Walk. Oi!, Video, Vox Pop with tags , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2010 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

I, Wolfgang Moneypenny, took a revolutionary tour of the Clapham Common area last week. Here, pulsating with the roaring flames of truth, is the video of said event. It is something fairly remarkable. Intense. Never before have I felt so alive, so in love with my beautiful transpontine motherland.  The dualities of South London literally came vigorously alive on tape. Several innocent  bystanders shat themselves with joy/fear.

Oh well! You have to guillotine a few eggs to rape an omelette.

The South London Gumbo

Posted in Art, BNP, Croydon, FreeSouthLondon, Indigenous Culture, Protest, South London with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

Yesterday in Croydon at the BNP counterprotest, I was in conversation with a charming young revolutionary by the name of Phil. We discussed what South London would be like without immigration… Far less interesting.

It got my brainbox chugging away. We live in a SLUMBO. South London’s Ubiquitous Multicultural Brilliance Operation. Like gumbo – the famous Louisiana stew of countless geographically-displaced gastronomical influences – our half-city is meltingpot of intoxicating vibes & influences.

The Stockwell Question

Posted in Art, Brixton, Change We Can Believe In, Clapham, FreeSouthLondon, Indigenous Culture, South London, Stockwell, Video with tags , , , , , , on April 14, 2010 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

Well, well, well. Stockwell. There’s a tremendous synchronicity to the events of the last week. A General Election has been called and establishment politicians have poured out to meet “their” people. I too am a politician. Of the soul. And that same week I commenced meeting my people. I started canvassing hearts, minds & revolutionary spoilt ballots in sunny Stockwell.

My host was community figurehead and fellow member of “the South London twitterati” (according to @est1859) Jason Cobb, who blogs at the wonderful OnionBagBlog. It is he who is responsible for photographic, video and audio truthblasts (see bottom of the post).

It was during this trip that I had one of my fairly regular profound realizations. I shall call this one The Stockwell Question. You see, Stockwell is… nice. Give me Stockwell with its cardboard-mass-reproduced iconic bus station its muralled bomb shelter over any part of North London any day of the tenday revolutionary week.

Stockwell is the kind of place that showcases the gentrification of innercity South London isn’t isolated. It’s a process sweeping through huge swathes of South London. On the most immediate level, South London is getting what she deserves after decades of toil. But on the imaginative-revolutionary level, this is the shackling of South London’s revolutionary potential into a normative hegemonic global project of postmodernity.

To burn, or to earn. That is the question. The Stockwell Question.

Artefacts Of My Tour

Ah, Stockwell is one of the few places in South London deemed worth of having a tube station by the estabLIESment. But these few crumbs brushed from the table of centralisation will forever be compromised by the tragic shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. RIP.

The Stockwell bomb shelter, decorated with a mural featuring South London’s own French revolutionary Violette Szabo.

Outside the iconic and cardboard reproduced Stockwell Bus Garage. Once glorious. Now trashious.

When Jason told me he wanted to take me to “the Priory”, I thought he was an MI6 agent. But before you could say “Michael Foucault” I realised it was a public house, where we recorded this interview on the subject of South London independentis politics:

Listen!

And why not settledown with your loved ones, with your favourite Meantime brewery drink and perhaps a few Brixtonian herbals for the kids and watch the video of my Stockwell tour:

{{{TECHNICAL FAULT!!}}}

War In My Heart: Childhood Memories of Sport #3

Posted in Art, British Empire, Change We Can Believe In, Croydon, Football, FreeSouthLondon, Indigenous Culture, South London with tags , , , on April 13, 2010 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

(Last week I started exploring how three separate and seemingly unimportant childhood experiences of sport went a long way to forging me, both politically and as a man. To complete the trilogy, it’s attending an especially profound game of football…)

Comrades. This is difficult for me to write. In today­­’s article I go back to the night I realized South London needed to change. The night I realized weeds needed purging. The night I realized the wonderment of an international influence. And the night I realized my love of the nocturnal flip of huimanity…

After this event, football was never the same for me. It expanded. It grew. It matured. It became erect. Glorious. Huge. Profound Multifaceted. Interesting!! Interesting enough to hold my interest, my fascination out of the simplicities of childhood and into the complexities of adulthood.

At the age of 13 I went to a football match in South London with my dear old mother and a few other children.

Crystal Palace v Manchester United. 25th January 1995.

I was at this game. Aged 13. My George Best-obsessed, United-supporting mother had managed to get hold of some tickets – amongst Palace fans, in their dreary hole of Selhurst Park. Their bitter jealousy of United electrified me, made me proud. I was only young but I knew resentment like that was a compliment. I was always slightly embarrassed by United being the best supported team in the land, but always exhilarated by them also being the most hated. Ridicule is nothing to be scared off, it’s a source of energy to nourish you soul’s most outlandish excesses.

I really feel the paranoid arrogance of that identity helped forge the person I’ve grown up to be, for better and for worse.

The Palace fans’ hostility towards United manifested itself most spectacularly, most venomously, most complimentary, in their seething jingoistic hatred of Eric Cantona – the figurehead and catalyst of United’s recent and long awaited success (strange to think nowadays in these times of absolute sporting hegemony, but they hadn’t won the English league championship for twenty-six years, between 1967 and 1993).

That was the night of the Cantona “incident”…

…the splendid kung-fu attack, the madness, the red mist, the Kicking Of Racism Out Of Football. It happened after he’d been sent off for what I believe was a second bookable offence – a nonchalant little kick out at some anonymous waste-of-cultural-space Palace player. He was walking off the pitch, Matthew Simmons, mouth bomber jacket wearing Palace fan, ran down the stand to hurl abuse at Cantona, who then landed not only the above flying kick but also this rather tasty jab to the face…

… This was followed a predictable moral panic, a lengthy ban (9 months), rumours of transfers to continental clubs or even retiring from football, and of course the brilliant “Seagulls” line:

My favourite experience of the night came after Cantona’s event. Myself and two similarly young friends stood on our seats amidst the increasingly hostile Palace fans and heartily sang “Oooh-Aaah, David May!” and then, “UNITED! *clap clap clap* UNITED! *clap clap clap” repeatedly. In response HUNDREDS of enraged Palace fans turned their backs on the game to respond “SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!” A number of policemen rushed over to shut us up as we were on the verge of sparking a riot. To feel such hatred was an incredible buzz (an ecstatic feeling that I’m still yet to better).

But I was disappointed at the role South London had played in this farcical but exhilarating spectacle. South London’s representatives on this knight-of-nights had been the cultural rump, the baying mob of great unwash’d and the frenzied village idiot – namely, Crystal Palace, their fans, and the high priest of provincial cuntness, Matthew “should’ve been aborted” Simmons. I wished South London had a big football club. Not even a United, but something bigger. Something that would dwarf even FC Barcelona. A monolithic mothership of a team.

Alas, no. But I have grown up, grown wiser. Realised there is more to life & death than football – well, perhaps not – but certainly there is more to life than having a huge hypercapitalist football club whoring its soul and other orifices out for loose millions in your patch..

But because of the pettiness of South London on 25th January 1995 – showcased lest we forget in what was probably the most famous match of the entire decade! – this was the night, ultimately, that I realized South London needed an El Salvador. A revolutionary, heroic figure, a lone warrior, a Cantona-esque je ne sais quoi embodiment to flying-kick the unacceptable face of South London, so that it’s many other faces – for it is a multifaced beast – can represent themselves

Ladies & Gentlemen. This was the night Wolfgang Moneypenny was born. Wrenched in a splatter of gore from the vagina of possibility.

Let us harness what is good about South London with what is great across the rest of the world. Whatever we choose, it will be inherently South London.

My position on international influence is a bipolar one. Reject – visciously, loudly – anything forced on us. Embrace – warmly, energetically – anything we so desire.

And when we do have our independence, I call on the as yet hypothetical Minister for Sport to make Eric Cantona the Republic of South London’s first national team manager.

NEXT GOAL WINS: Childhood Memories of Sport #2

Posted in Football, FreeSouthLondon, Indigenous Culture, Revolution, South London, Sport, Streatham with tags , on April 8, 2010 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

(Yesterday I started exploring how three separate and seemingly unimportant childhood experiences of sport went a long way to forging me, both politically and as a man. Today, the second in the series, I look at a vital game of playground football…)

When I was in Year 5 of my Streatham primary school, 9 or 10 years of age, we were challenged en masse by the cocky self-assured ONE YEAR OLDER Year 6 to an epic game of football that would episodically navigate many playtimes. Aside from the chaotic semi-selective interpretation of official Association Football, there was one rule: first to 100 goals wins.
Now, I was never an adept footballer. Too clumsy, lacking grace. Even my boundless enthusiasm couldn’t plug the gap. But this was Year 5 v Year 6. A year group rivalry. Like all good playground and park football, player numbers mattered not. If you were in the Year you were in the team.

Year 6 were The Favourites. Age, Strength, Cleverness. That was and still is the Natural Order of things. Phrases like “the Year Above” and “the Year Below” showcase a hierarchy so bluntly obvious – and ingrained – that it’s almost impossible to consciously notice! But still we indulgently imagined winning. I for one pleasurably fantasized the outraged faces of certain Undesirable Types in Year 6. The win would have been worth so much more presicely for its being unlikely, incorrect, unnatural.

And so, without pre-season training, without transfer window wheelerdealer-ing and agonised television contract negotiations, the game started almost immediately.

The “formation” would make a Opta Index machines explode. The self-defined star players of each side hovered ball-hungry up front, dreamingly certain of their starring role. Meanwhile a herd of lesser mortals camped in the background, a defensive crowd, a legitimized pitch invasion, or rather the medieval mob from the folk games of Association Football’s distant antiquarian origins.

Goals would be scored with almost basketball regularity, each team swarming into alternating counterattacks after the quickfire post-goal instant “keeper starts” restart of play. Goal. Goal. Goal. Goal. Miss. Goal. Goal. Goal. Miss. Goal. Miss. Goal. Goal. Goal. It was the failures to convert chances that were most noteworthy. Most memorable. If normal association football ritualises the heroic penetrative symbolism of The Goal, we children had built an alternative version that anti-celebrated the erectile dysfunction of The Miss. Playground embarrassment ritualised in real life real-time theatre. This had the potential to be A LOT worse than kiss chase…

Although the goals rattled in, the race to One Hundred spread out over more than a week of playtimes. Long enough in/a high enough proportion of our little short conscious lives to be well worthy of the obsession we had quickly lavished The Event with.

And so, about six school days later, we had finished playtime with the scores tantalisingly balanced at 98-98. The cockiness of Year 6 was rocked, their audacity reeling. Each side was two goals from a literally Vital victory. They desperately hoped to save themselves from profound shame. We were wild eyed in our eagerness to stick our snouts in the euphoric Champagne of this impossible victory.

As the clock ticked down teasingly to playtime it was obvious that the match would be decided there and then. Two goals. Only two goals.

It was to be decided there & then, in an anonymous South London arena of primary education, but to us a cathedral colleseum of unbearable drama…

We ran out to the concrete playing… er, field. We found Year 6 already there. Waiting for us. The episodic match started its final chapter with tangible intensity, both physical and emotional. Year 6 attacked immediately, but their play was broken up, and we counterattacked with the speed of Llewellyn, a kid who rumour had it was once run over playing football BUT HAD CARRIED ON. He skipped past The Year Above enemy and shot impressively… beyond the goalkeeper… GOAL! 99-98. One more goal! One more!

Glory on the streets of Streatham was within our grasp.

Year 6 surged forward like a wounded beast. I think I shouted at some still celebrating Yearmates “DEFEND! DEFEND!” But it was too late. Wham! They shot from (relative) distance to equalize. 99-99. You couldn’t write this script and all that bollocks. I was struck with horror at the delicateness of the situation, on a knife’s edge above ecstasy and misery. I dreamed immediate sorrowful hypernostalgia for the 99-98 comfort of only a few seconds previous.

With a mixture of luck and panic we broke forward. With zeal I galloped in front of the play. One kid was tackled hard in midfield and the ball rolled into my path. Thomas, a kid whose parents were involved in the local Labour Party, was (appropriately) on the left, SCREAMING for the ball. “PASS!! PASS!!” But I was in a better position, I was closing in on the goalkeeper. The goal was so big. So wide. So gaping. I realised we were going to win. I realised I was going to taste the pinnacle of rapture. I was going to score the 100th goal!

Glory on the streets of Streatham beckoned me.

I swung my foot at the ball with rare, beautiful certainty… a feeling of a such joyous conviction that I am still yet to re-experience such deep clarity. Every dance move I’ve ever pulled, every girl I’ve ever kissed, NEVER has it felt the way it did as I kicked the ball goalwards for number 100…

Ready to explode with roaring passion and throbbing self-worth, I looked ahead at the ball as it flew into the goal.

Erm… Except… it wasn’t there. Where the fuck was it?! My eyes darted in dread, up, left, right. Where’s the ball?!? To my left I began to hear Thomas erupt with the inaudible words of utter rage. And then I saw it. The ball. Still trickling along its path. I hadn’t just near-missed a shot. I had completely failed to connect. I had clumsily swiped my foot through thin air. The ball was collected by a grateful Year 6 before I could move. Thomas descended on me. “When I say ‘PASS!’ you FUCKING PASS!!!” His speckled scream-projected saliva shimmered wet on my hot shamed face. I turned to make amends, but within a second of running back to defend I saw Year 6 strike at our underbelly: our goal, so big, so wide, so gaping. Omar, the cricket-loving goalie, bravely saved one shot but was powerless as the rebound was scuffed into the top right corner. Year 6 had won. First to 100…

I can see it now, the way the football bounced off the brick wall inside the white paint right-angle of the goal “frame”. And the feeling. My heart dropping into my gut. The miasmatic air expelling from my lungs. The weakness overcoming my knees. The stooping of my back. The frantic wish for the ground to swallow me up and vomit me out anywhere else.

The aftermath was, frankly, vicious. Thomas didn’t stop screaming for ages. Everyone blamed me. I was the proverbial scapegoat, true. But I was also Judas The Clown who had utterly fucked up when heaven was before us (and most of all before Me.)

There was no glory for us on the streets of Streatham.

For what seemed like an eternity of cruellest purgatorial punishment (but in truth probably only lasted a few days) The Mob, my former teammates, banned me from playing football. I had to stand on the side and cheerlead with a bunch of proto-bitchy J17-aspiring girls.

What small confidence in the little footballing ability I had never ever recovered. I became a goalkeeper by choice. Well, “choice”…

But I’m not unhappy about this. This is Sport. I think. I was involved in a glorious drama. Exciting. Unpredictable. And, at the time, so very meaningful. Sure, I was the loser. I ended up as this drama’s Clown, Joker, Jester, Fool, Village Idiot, Comedy Villain, Unknowing Judas. And there are the famous Tears of a Clown, I can assure you. But… this is who I am. I’m not normal. I have been forged in the strangest but most exhilarating of furnaces. Why bother being sad? Live! (I try…)

The one sadness that I allow myself is political: the missed opportunity of the age-revolutionary upset using the cultural vehicle of Sport. Alas. Alas. Arse!

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