Archive for the Gentrification Category

Pervert Gentrification, or, Paedo-Diplomacy?

Posted in Gentrification on April 2, 2012 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

The Scottish Sun has roared howls of derision at what they see as the latest kiddie-fiddling outrage.

The paper argues that there is a systematic clustering of child sex criminals in deprived areas.

You’re probably asking yourselves, Is this shocking news or a positive move? Thankfully I’m hear to give you a radical urbanist interpretation or two.

On the one one hand, since these ex-con paedophiles are likely to be single men, and therefore with a higher than average disposable income (assuming they get jobs of course, which I admit may be a slight hole in this theory) then they will represent a gentrifying influx into a poor community, making life tougher for all. That’s fucked up.

On the other hand, paedophiles are perhaps the one sure-fire way to get the rabid right wing press to give a hoot about inequality. This pervert dumping could therefore be a progressive development.

Given this confused dichotomy, I’m pleased to welcome the political cartoonist AMRMI to shed some light onto what a cautionary search on Twitter reveals to not quite be the hot-potato issue of the day… (but I owed AMRMI a favour due to my failure to payback a donation to my now defunct mayoral election deposit fund, and Comment is Free weren’t interested – snooty bastards – so I’m publishing it here.)

(Note to AMRMI: for fuck’s sake why didn’t you do a picture about the bloody email surveillance? You’re bloody perv-obsessed.)

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The Dulwich Hamlet, SLHC Podcasting & Angela Carter: a round-up

Posted in Clapham, Elephant & Castle, FreeSouthLondon, Gentrification, Transpontine, Video on February 16, 2012 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

Time for a round-up (and, no, not of the gulag kind)…

First, I visited The Dulwich Hamlet and recorded this charming little vlog about the day:

Secondly, have you listened to the South London Hardcore podcast yet? You should. Aside from their football alleigances the SLHC team are a pair of decent, hardworking, sponsorship-obsessed transpontines debating the issues that effect us everyday: the capitalisation of “south London”, our cultural heritage, and international antichrono terrorism.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with them in the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre (drinking that lovely £1 Mamuśka coffee) to record an episode about my transpontinist mayoral campaign which should be up next week, so I’m giving you the heads up to listen to the other episodes before I blow them out of the water.

And thirdly… It’s twenty years since my fellow transpontine figurehead Angela Carter passed away. The as ever librarian fantastique republique Transpontine has dished out a lovely overview of her Southdom writings. I was once told, by a madly staring wide-eyed convulsively shaking gentleman at a squat party no less, that the exact moment he had heard of Angela’s death someone (never identified) launched a brick though their flat window. I bet Iain Sinclair would love that, the muppet.

Let her epitaph be the beginning our own:

“When the bourgeoisie got priced out of, first, Hampstead and Highgate – how long ago it seems! – and then from Camden Town and Islington, and the alternatives got priced (who’d have thought it?) out of Ladbroke Grove, there was nowhere else for all, repeat all, the poor sods to go, was there? That’s typical south London usage. Every statement is converted to a rhetorical question.”

Hmmm… controversial lack of a capital “S” there, Angie… On top of that, in today’s London Planned city of state-negotiated mass-produced gentrification (regeneration, urban renaissance and other cat-belly-tickling euphemisms) the old days of a few posh buggers drip-drip-dripping down here seems positively quaint, almost idyllic. Sort of.

Keep it real* comrades.

* = Enjoy defining that one.

Pre-Memoriam: Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre

Posted in "Tradition", British Empire, Dualities, FreeSouthLondon, Gentrification, Indigenous Culture, Postmodernity, Protest, Southwark with tags , , , , on August 23, 2010 by Wolfgang Moneypenny

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.

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 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.