New revolutionary short film regarding the decline of the tie, the City of London, the decivilising process & medieval torture…
Archive for Art
Don Johnson, the dastardly-yet-inept blacklisted CIA agent who tracked me for months after my heroic attempt to blow up the Millennium Dome, has finally been punished by the world of satire…
Writers Jamie Manners and Aug Stone have created a radio comedy, The Oxford Dons, based on Johnson’s time making ham-fisted attempts to fight crime and indulging in a crude homoerotic relationship with a Professor of Eighteenth Century Albanian Poetry at the vile bourgeois Oxford University.
(Free to play, free to download. Don’t pay the £1 for god’s sake!)
And listen out for the “voice actor” who makes a complete mess of the word “gondolier” – what a complete cunt!
Today I visited an old friend. An old friend on death row. Haphazardry may have delayed the execution by two years… but they are definitely beyond reprieve. Bulldozers and cranes – a particularly savage deathodology – will rip them apart in 2012.
South London is a world leader in bittersweet concurrent dichotomies. She is at once central and provincial – or, to use the sociological language, both core and peripheral. Andfore, I willfully believe, beautiful/ugly for it. Much as the Virgin Mary is both saint and slut, South London too straddles seemingly incompatible dualities at once. And where else could be the epiphany of such be but our Cathedral of now & then, good & bad – the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre.
I set off from my Anarcho-Situationist Commune expecting to find a wreck. A useless shell echoing faintly with former glories & nagging regrets. Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, sentenced to death for someone else’s crimes: the post-war town planning of modernity’s rationality. Knock it down. And dance upon its grave immediately with the hoisting of a new contemporary development.
But… my friend was… alive! Vibrant. Vivid. Vivacious. It’s a mess, certainly, a mandarin-enraging crumblejumble of not-neatness. What we have is an abandoned 1960s brutalist shopping mall – there is something of the post-apocalyptic here – but like fungus growing in a dampridden flat, life starts anew. The 20th century supermarket meets the medieval village market. Stalls selling crap, fabrics, tat, bits, bobs, gloriously delicious foodstuffs, boomin’ reggae vibrations, and general material titillations, have, over long years, popped up hicklety-picklety/fractal geometry/in your face/what a lovely place. From a ridiculous beginning – an absolute failure – South Londoner’s inherent transpontine truculence (a fair reaction to being an unwanted appendage) has seen them make something of nothing.
This is the exact kind of thing, a sort of “natural” or “chaotic” multilayered living-irony, a kind of playful fractal mix, that inspires postmodernism. But South London’s organic analogue dualities are under threat from a hypercapitalist hunger to continue their project of rationalised – McDonaldized – postmodern homogenuous designed dualities. And to think that hypercathedral of pomo, the glass’d & steel’d mall-centric Redevelopment Project, is going to knock this beauty of a social hub down into dust… Put bluntly, this grand artefact is going to be literally destroyed because the likes of Starbucks and Gap can’t be arsed opening up in a heterodox shopping centre.
This isn’t a call to arms, although I wish it could be (and I am bloody tempted to chain myself to the beautiful red E&C statue when the bulldozers finally come). Rather, I am documenting the faint echo of an already lost possible future. Oh, the pathetic tides we are swept along in.
So, Elephant & Castle is threatened with the ghosttownisation of homogeneous rationalisation. The irony is (and my word don’t they love lashings of it!) that the implementation of this project – “Europe’s biggest” (as was Auschwitz) – will kill what it hopes to recreate. Stupid bastards.
Some people accuse me of being a rebel without a pause, willing to revolutionise my limbs against anything I find.
Well, maybe. The purity of Total Revolution is attractive, if a little abstractly implausible.
But I don’t take many prisoners.
Norbert Elias wrote extensively in The Civilising Process about how the medieval development of courtly manners, etiquette and other micro-rituals created a framework in which a contemporarily recognisable form of civilisation could develope in the modern word.
A Total Revolutionary should seek to throw all that out of the window, with the dirty bathwater of functionism.
And with that in mind, enjoy this act of profound rebellion by none other than Mother Nature herself:
I was offered a last minute invite to the Orwell Prize, the increasingly famous political writing award ceremony dancing, er, I mean built upon the memory of George Orwell’s work. I didn’t accept the invitation. In fact, the thought of going filled me with a profound counterrevolutionary nausea.
I don’t need to go to the privilidged core of the International Bourgeois City of Central London to hobnob with a load of self-promoting establishment-reshaping educated intellectualagencia types to be told how bad life is going to be for everyone else.
I don’t need to suckle that untrustworthy info-nozzle. I get my information from the streets. And, recently, a complicated system of demographically questionable focus groups. But predominantly from the streets.
It’s only a few physical miles away from tonight’s privilidged core event, but a metaparadigm shiftwards whole bunch of miles (metaphorically).
I remain, dancing, nonchalantly on the cusp. The wrong side of the butterknife. The free thinking cowboy rounding up the joint herd of Truth & Hope in the wildest of liminal zones.
Also, I have toothache.
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
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.
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!
St. George’s Day. The patron saint of England. And Georgia. And Milan. And syphilis suffers. And, more generally, anyone with a skin condition. But St. George does not represent South London. We are at once truculently independent and systematically ignored by England. And not least by the hypercapitalistic hub of The City, which has its own take on the St. George cross:
Now, whilst the public debate over South London’s adoption of their own patron saint carries on, I suggest that for tomorrow, the 23rd of April, rather than celebrating St. George we South Londoners pointedly celebrate La Diada de Sant Jordi - the day of San Jordi, the patron saint of the city of Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia, who shares a Saints day with George…
Indeed, Jordi IS George, but celebrated with romance & literature & roses & public appreciation of fabulous architecture. Not a warm pint of Carling with a dead wasp floating in it.
And, after all, South London is twinned with the revolutionarily utopian & classless Barcelona discovered – however briefly – by George (ahem) Orwell in 1936.
VISCA SOUTH LONDON I VISCA CATALUNYA
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.