Sunday, 28 November 2010

resistance..Touched by Fire 2

another demo on Wed.Is this the start of a inevitable processes of resistance to a political/cultural disruption which may bring about a new dimension of Utopian idealism? young people,students are leading the campaign against a political elite which is now way out of touch with the reality of every day life and attitudes. We are forced to believe that the age of "mass" mass air travel,mass supermarket expansion,mass advertising compensates for the corruption of a financial system which is all but out of control.A system which reduces countries to poverty is nothing short of criminal.But we might be witnessing a"cut through moment"where by character-defence arguments which for the past decade forced us to believe nothing could be done,a system which wanted us to withdraw into conformity and privacy is about to turned on its head and the old hypocritical way of living is coming under attack from group of young people who had been written off as lazy and self indulgent.This is an unfinished revolutionary moment.
The 60s "radical movements2where more to do with a form of street theatre functioning at a level which attacked the pre war accord and emphasised the idealism of hedonistic youth over the society of our out mod ed cultural attitudes.
Under the guise of a deeply unpopular war the young took to the streets to advertise their new found self confidence,in many ways this out pouring of individual as against collective identity open the doors for the new right to enter on to fertile ground laid down by the demos of the anti war movements.
France was and is a different argument,although I will be arguing at a latter date,that we now have a great deal to learn from the French idea of "the street".
The sixties youth rebellion was self defeating because it tended to be ignorant of political and economic realities,it was to headlong in its rejection of the past and indiscriminate of Western traditions.
Today's student/young people are fully aware of the impact the banking system as had on their futures.They are attacking the fabric of a complacent political ideology which appears to hold most people in contempt.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

cats cradle might have hit upon something

On my last outing Istarted exploring the idea about resistance in popular culture,this was meant to be some kind of introduction to my quest into the alternative arts movements which flourished during the 60s,70s,80s, in London and other parts of England. But this morning whilst going out on one of my wanderings in the gloom of London watching the Themes flowing past and listening to the seagulls I realised that I had opened up a can of worms for myself.The history of resistance is not a simple this,that or the other,it is essence concerned with a shifting tide of movements which over spilled into a sort of historical fog.
There is a difference between demos and resistance so before I start on the history of alternative rebellions I will put something up tomorrow re resistance.
Sorry about the delay in all this folks...

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

resistance..Touched by Fire

Looking back on last weeks demo highlights some interesting comparisons with past street out breaks of democratically motivated out break of civil disruption.Ive highlighted in the past how memory plays tricks with our perception of reality.We exist in a media dominated environment a site where the past is instantly reproduced in some ordered presentation of nostalgic encounters.Something akin to land marks are laid down as a means of identifying with events we had nothing what ever to do with.The image becomes the focus point of an historical moment with out the discourse of narrative.
If we go back into the past we see images of the Jarrow Marches,we have some idea of what this march represented.But what did that march achieve?What was the actual political climate of the time?Who took part in the march?What happened to the men when reached London?How did they get back home?Did they stay in London and how long for?Did the march achieve its objectives?Did the men return to work?
These are questions which remain unanswered within the popular understanding. Yet the images conjure up powerful emotions of those days.The march is embedded in the history of "marches"But are we looking at resistance to a Coalition Gov,or, are we observing an event which is more nuanced than we have painted in our minds.
We can move foreword into the 50s and gaze upon the the grainy pictures of the early CND gatherings in Trafalgar Squ onwards towards Aldermaston.Here again we gaze upon the images rather than the actual political conflicts of the time.Where is the discourse concerning the end of Empire.What we get imposed over the images is the first introduction of popular culture via the introduction of music which reflects the age.The fear of nuclear annihilation is leached out of overall understanding of why CND was so important.Also,the concerns of American hegemony and Russian expansion is pushed into the background, suddenly we are served up a mixed dish of music and dramatic visuals which highlight our own sense of nostalgic yearnings.Memory/history becomes a form of entertainment.We are comforted by the black and white interpretations of a bye gone aspect of our decline within the Post Empire period.
The argument concerning resistance doesn't enter into the debate.
Its when we enter the 60s things start to go into overdrive.Popular culture takes centre stage and the image plays alongside the impact of popular music.Nostalgia/memory clash and invent a period of history which is non existent except within the manic confines of a dominate media.
The 60s where really a period of ambiguity/aggression.They where not a period of resistance except in the questioning of the role of the family.(but this is nothing new in English history).
The 60s where a period of youthful exuberance rather than an attempt to change the the status quo,look carefully at those images and you gaze upon a small,geographical,location London,London and Soho,Kings Road,Hampstead some how become confused with the whole of Britain.Poverty is non existent.When we arrive at the Grovesnor Squ demo we arrive at a gathering of people out for a party.This is not to undermine the very real anger surrounding the Bombardment and slaughter in Vietnam,never the less the event was hijacked by the celebrity engagement who needed to show their radical potententials.We see the likes of the Rolling Sones and the Beatles hanging out with the new radical left.This was an outing for the new elite. The real struggle for social change and resistance was taking place elsewhere.

been away and coming back

been away for a while,living in hope that the idea of resistance to the savagery of this Government's assault on the poor might be coming under some direct action from the young/students.Last week 50,000 students took part in a well organised demo which ended in an attack on the offices of the Tory Party.Then some nut took into its head to throw a fire extinguisher from the roof of Millbank Tower into the crowd below.
Of course the media went into over drive,which is to be expected,sometimes I live in hope.
The following night I slept out rough on Spitafields Market in support of Centre Point and its campaign to help young homeless people who will be sleeping rough over Christmas. It was cold,windy and damp.350 people turned up to support the event.Most of these people were young people.It felt good,it felt like the young where finding their voices and leading the fight back.
Then today we have the news that this Kingdom will be having a royal wedding some time next year.All day long the media have been standing outside the big House talking about a united nation.Will be back tomorrw with toched by fire!!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


"The figure of the "flaneur "pre figures that of the detective.The "flaneur" should find social legitimation for his behaviour.It suits him perfectly to see his indolence presented as a facade behind which the sustained attention of an observer never letting his eyes off the unsuspecting criminal"

"The "flaneur"emphasises the individual.The "flaneur" indulges in non rational pleasures"

Baudelaire was sometimes forced to compose his poetry while walking.

Flanerie is more specific than strolling.It is a spatial practice of specific sites; the interior and exterior public spaces of the city.These include parks,sidewalks,squares and shopping arcades or malls.
Flanerie is public and "other"directed.The Flaneur is out to be seen.The crowd is the audience.Flanerie is a"crowd practice" the art of doing crowd behaviour.

The Stranger is thus a foreigner who becomes like a native,where as the flaneur is in ones time and home is most probably a virtue.More than this,it is a state of melancholic grace opening up the vistas on the human lot.

The "flaneur"is like a detective seeking clues who read peoples characters not only from the physiognomy of their faces but via a social physiognomy of the streets. The image and activity of a " flanerie " is tied to the emergence of the popular genre of the detective novel and also the literary practice and social justification of labour time of journalists who,like the "flaneur",put their observations both for sale on the market and wish to pursue their own purposes.

Forests are never virgin,except metaphorically.
The fuller implication of this term is that land or forest in question is unclaimed or unconquered within the the discursive formation of European expansion.

Monday, 1 November 2010


Flanerie can, after Baudelaire, be understood as the activity of the sovereign spectator going about the city in order to find the things which will occupy his gaze and thus complete his otherwise incomplete identity; replace the sense of bereavement with a sense of life.
Flanerie is the doing through and thanks to which the Flaneur hopes and will be able to find the truth of his being.
It is away of going on because it is ultimately so utterly futile.

FLANEUR: emerges as a new sort of hero, the product of modernity.He is the spectator of the modern world.
The Flaneur enters history along with capitalism.