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As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Nothing is true

Nothing is true, everything is impossible. Or at least that is how it feels. Whole strings of thoughts as text flash through / across consciousness too swiftly to capture and record. And I can't spell. It is Joel BIROCO. Lots of spelling mistakes, but then its punk, init?

I Can't Do Anything / Poly styrene/ X ray spex/ 1977
I can't write And I can't sing I can't do anything I can't read And I can't spell I can't even get to hell I can't luv And I can't hateI can't even hesitate I can't dance And I can't walk I can't even try to talk
Freddy tried to strangle me With my plastic popper beads But I hit him back With my pet rat Yeah I hit him back With my pet rat
I can't spitAnd I can't kick I can't even be thick I can't read And I can't spell I can't even get to hell I can't luv And I can't hate I can't even hesitate I can't dance And I can't walk I can't even try to talk

You can't get there from here. the 'there' would be one amongst many flashes of inspiration which this 'here' has triggered. Another sopcial anthropology lecture, a bit of psychology, a bit of nuerology, a bit of fuckology...no fun, my babe. no fun.

Nuerology. Not neurology. Origins of post-modern in the Rationality Debate. It started with a cow back in the mid sixties. I can't find a summary via Google so must rely on memory. It was a philosophy debate about limits of 'translation'. Can we fully translate across cultural and linguistic boundaries?

Examples used were 'cows' and 'ghosts'. Cow was taken to be straightforward , but ghost as more complicated, not so tangible, more socially and culturally ambiguous. To reduce to tabloid simplicity - image is of English philsopher in Africa trying to learn langauge. Philosopher points to a cow and says 'cow', African replies with her/his word for 'cow'. Thus there is translation from langauge a to language b and back again. But for ghost- how does one point to a ghost? The allegedly 'rational' philospher should not even believe in ghosts and so would be doubly stuck... thus the process of translation would break down and never be complete. Thus there cannot be full understanding/ transaltion across language/ cultural boundaries. Thus philosophy must remain incomplete - a partial rather than fully decription/ comprehension of reality.

Or something like that. A ha, said some social anthropologists, the problem is even more difficult. A basic, year one social anthropology set text (at least at SOAS where I was taught all this) was The Nuer by Evans Pritchard. 'the' Nuer being a pastroral people who live(d) in Sudan and have/ had a society with cattle at its heart. They have many words for 'cow', for example words describing different colours and patterns on each cows hide. Ditto in any farming community. My grandmother was a primary school teacher in rural Yorkshire circa 1920. She once showed the kids a picture of a sheep and asked 'What is this?' The long silence worried her. At last one child hesitantly said " A Suffolk weder?"

The anthropology/ philosophy (not the Yorkshire one) debate soon moved on to the problem of rationality itself. Is there one over-arching, all-embracing , all- singing, all- dancing Rationality. Or are there many rationalities? many ways of understanding reality? Even many realities? And is there any way to 'translate' between them? Which, although not often (ever?) connected up with post-modernism, I reckon is a linked question.

It also comes back to phallogocentrism. And... issues of power and control, of Foucault's 'governmentality', colonialism, magick, paganism, sexualities.... but enough for now. To give a back link to Submission/ phallogocentrism blog, here is some more x ray spexs to finish with.

Let's Submerge
It's dark and eerie And it's really late
Come on kid's don't hesitate
We're going down to the underground
We're going down we're going down
To the underground
The hades ladies are dressed to kill
Dagger glares from Richard hell Tension heightening heating frightening T
hunder rolls as fast as lightning
If you've got the urge
Come on let's submerge
The subterranean is a bottomless pit
The vinyl vultures are after it Molten lava sulphur vapours
Smoulder on to obliterate us
If you've got the urge
Come on let's submerge

Friday, April 29, 2005

chaos and disorder, magick and postmoderniity

Chaos Magick?

Chaos and Disorder were punk groups. Chaos UK had a single 'Summer of Hate' on Chaotic Records released in 1979. Got it here- cover steclined on a sheet of yellow card. Speed -Vocals, Snotty- guitar, Tony- bass and Steve UK -drums. Disorder were fellow travellers from Bristol. If you go to http://www.cherryred.co.uk/anagram/artists/disorder.htm you can buy the records. Although I am listening to The Doors LA Woman whilst writing this. Citu of light, city of night.

Rwind to 79 and I think there is a first mention of something called 'chaos magic' by Ray Sherwin. This was up in Leeds where there was a bookshop called the Sorcerors Apprentice. he story, as vaguely recaleld is that in 1978 someone tried to revive the Golden Dawn (Victorian magickal group) and after the meeting or before or during Pete Carroll and Ray Sherwin had the idea to 'modernise' magick- to critically assess what worked and what did not and cut out the dead wood. The aim was to create a 'results based magick' and from this came chaos magick. The chaos bit being influenced by the recent emergence of the application of 'non-linear dynamics' maths to science which in turn was due to increases in computer power.

Fractals and the Madelbrot Set http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/julia/explorer.html came out of this science and created psychedelic images which were popular during acid house era in early nineties.

There were also the Stoke Newington Sorcerers and Frater Chronozon - see his stuff here
http://freespace.virgin.net/ecliptica.ww/book/contents.htm - as you will see he was born in 1947 and along with most of the originators of chaos magick, was pre-punk generation. Which can be confusing since many versions of CM history imply it was 'punk magick'. It wasn't and it isn't.

Not sure if there ever was a 'punk magick'. But Jamie Reid claims his Druid great uncle George magregor Reid as an influence http://www.3ammagazine.com/litarchives/2004/mar/interview_jamie_reid.html

And when Jon Savage came to tea in 86, he gave us a copy of Up they Rise which has a photo of Jamie's great uncle at Stonehenge 1911 summer solstice. Hadn't ocurred to me before, but this gives a great link to chaos magick. Joel birocco was there and it was thanks to Joel that I heard about this funny chaos magick stuff. And Joel now says what got him going in that direction was an I Ching reading at Stonehnege festival in 84. Which is where and when Pinki did her stuff (see Pinki and the druids blog here). Synchronicity or what!

Maybe. So summer of 83 whilst everyone else (see 83 diary blog) was at the festival, I put together the first Enccylopaedia of Ecstasy - my psychedelic punk fanzine thingy. Stonehenge 84 I was busy with Zos Kia Rape release on All the Madmen - we/ me and John Gosling/ cut the master (or mistress since it was Min's record) at Porky's Prime Cuts on June 21st. Zos Kia Cultus was artistic visionary work by Austin Osman Spare. Spare knew Crowley and a young Kenneth Grant of 'Typhonian OTO' fame. "The Images and Orcales of Austin Osman Spare" is what many folk reckon is Grant's best book. Spare's 'sigils' have become a chaos magick cliche. X Ray Spex I am a cliche....

Back/ forward to 86. I had by then three volumes of the Encyclopadeia of Ecsatsy stacked up in Hackney, so i started flogging them round alternative/ occult bookstores sale or return. (My first attempt to sell it ended up with me meeting Beki Bondage - see 83 diary). Joel Birocco found a copy and wrote to me offering an exchange of his new mag for back issues of mine. A good deal. So I got a copy of Chaos No.3 hot off the press.

There never were a Chaos 1 and 2 - allegedly bit of a ploy to get one up on Leeds chaotics so their mag had to be called Chaos International. Joel gave the EoE a good review in Chaos 4 and so Dave Lee asked for a copy and we did another swap and I started writing for Chaos International as well in 1987. First piece about being in the Green Field at Glastonbury festival for solstice - a ranting, rambling discourse edited into coherence by Dave for CI 3.

So what was it - chaos magick - all about? I hadn't a clue. For me it was a neat continuation of the old anarcho goth punk / encyclopaedia of ecstasy stuff by other means. I certainly hadn't read Pete Caroll or Ray Sherwin's stuff- at least until I found bits in CI. I was more enthused by Starwhawk's eco-pagan feminism and Nema's Maat Current. Which probably needs some explication so look here http://www.starhawk.org/ and here http://www.horusmaat.com/ both of which for me connected wih Pinki's Greenham / Molesworth anti-nuclear work and her Stonehenge stuff... and since I was living with her and bringing up a family with her was pretty influencial.

Joel managed to wind up everyone - a classic was when he 'revealed' that Genesis P of Psychic TV/ TOPY had met with David ? the then head of the UK oasis of the Caliphate OTO. That really got everyone going! If the references don't make sense, think political splinter groups or protestant religious factions or even Monty Python Life of Brian (sad, I know) feud between identical 'palestine Liberation fronts'. Who was trying to take over whom? It was a veritable hurricane in a wine glass. Everyone joined in - Stephen Sennet, um, gerald Suster, and, well everyone even though there were only about six people. By 89 Joel had got bored but has come back again more recently with http://www.biroco.com/kaos/

Hmm. This is taking longer than I thought. Was about to spin off into poastmodern social anthropology and contested 'meanings' of rationalities ... and Paganlink... and acid house.

But I won't. I will just stop here.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Pink Fairies and Festivals

walk don't run
Tinsel has asked me to run off some more special June 1st 2005 ITs for her to take to a Beanfield memorial day .... you can read it here, but it doesn't look the same, too long, but only 4 double sided A4 pages in print.
Tin reckons its the best thing I've ever wrote. To get u=in the mood I am listening to the Pink Fairies What a bunch of Sweeties and if I can find it there bit on the Glastonbury Fayre triple album - the one that folds out into a huge pyramid- Uncle harry's last freak out live from 1971.

Which is why I never went to Stonehenge. That for me punk was an abyss crossing moment, a restructuring of ideas. So if we go back to 1974ish, I would have loved to have gone to Stonehenge with my afghan coat and talked about reading Moorcock and the Floyd and taken the electric kool aid acid test and listened to the Pink Fairies (or Hawkwind) riffing away into eternity... but then between 16 and 18 I put away all my old albums and started buying punk singles. neat neat neat, White Riot, How Much longer and all the rest. Talking bout my de- generation...

Now, thanks to Tom Vague www.historytalk.org and a bit of mature reflection, the abyss was just a small step forward, punk was not year zero it was the continuation of the revolution by other means. As early as 78, Mark P and ATV were on tour in a hippy bus with Here and Now and played Stonehenge. Picture of them here

And yet. Was it radio caroline? Offshore pirate radio, survived the Marine Offences Act of 1967 by shifting over to the Dutch side of the North sea... although I can just remember listening to a pirate radio station (which one? a caroline I am sure) anchored in the Irish sea near the isle of Man in 64/5 ish. Anyhow, there was a pirate station in the early seventies 74/5 and it promoted the wally Hope vision of Stonehenge as 'loving awareness' . Sure it did. Can't have imagined it?

And... must have seen an advert in Sounds (music paper) for a festival at Combe Martin and sent off and got a load of stuff about it... but was about 500 miles away so I never went. instead I bought the galtonbury fayre triple album and listened to it instead, along with Jefferson Airplane's After bathing at baxters which I found through reading a book about 'acid rock' in the school library and got my brother to buy on when he went on a school trip to London in 74. next year I bought the first two Velvet Underground albums just to balance it all up.

Pinki went to Stonehenge (see Pinki and the Druids blog) and so did everyone else 82/3/4. Tony was even on the Peace Convoy which went from Stonehenge to greenham in July 82, an event which pinki always said pushed Greenham finally into being all women although Sasha says it happened earlier that year (see her two books on greenham).

So we come to 1985. By that time I was living full time with Pinki and so would have been dragged kicking and screaming to the festival... but of course it never happened. Instead there was the Beanfield. Min was there, and so was American Lisa, who was upfront of the convoy with Willie X.

There had already been Nostell Priory in 84. I remember Max, who was a mate of Mark's turning up at 103 Grosvenor Avenue in a really bad state after being beaten up/ arrested. And for folk like me who had pre-punk memories, there had been Windsor in 74. [Windsor- free festival in Windsor park which was trashed by the police].

Bit of cyclical process. Yer counter-culture gets a bit too strong and starts to be seen as People Against Goodness And Normalcy (film ref, Draghunt, PAGANs) so has to be knocked back into subculturalism and generally given a good kicking. Which is what happened in the Beanfield.

Earlier in feb 85 there had been the mass eviction of Molesworth peace camp - 'biggest peace time army action ever' -and mike heseltine flew in in a chopper playing the Ride of the Valkyries - "I love the smell of napalm in the morning- it smells of ....Victory". And the miners strike.

Tricky one, the Sheffield anarchy centre crew who squatted on camden road were not very miner friendly - miners used to come in and beat them up. (Allegedly: surely no such event ever really happened..?) All that is solid melts to air, as they say.

Beanfield was June 1st. Police gave ‘hippies’ a good kicking. End of story? Not quite. Next thing we (me Pinki plus Sky aged 2 in pushchair) turned up at Jubillee gardens by County Hall to go on a people’s march/ walk to Stonehenge. We had already done 120 mile anti nuclear walk from Sizewell to Molesworth in April, but Stonehenge one was not quite so well organised. We had to start again from peace pagoda in Battersea Park. We lasted a couple of days but had to give up near Bracknell - not suitable for children.

We tried again, getting the train to Westbury and climbing up to Bratton hill fort and white horse on solstice eve where a mini festival took place. It rained and we did not have a tent. We went home the next day. At summers end we travelled with American Lisa in her car (engine held in place with a length of rope) to a meeting at Greenfield farm just outside Glastonbury. We stayed for two months, living in a bender and talking about festivals, anarchy and the convoy.

There were maybe 200 people (travellers) living there, double refugees - from molesworth and the bean field. It was not punk, it was the previous generation, not sixties (apart from Sid rawle) but early seventies mainly. Willow (C.J.Stone/ last of the Hippies mentions her) Carely Barley, Bruce, Willie X and many more. Thursday nights were bad, dole cheques and drink. One night woke up and heard someone wailing and crying in the field. I went out and found her, she was a healer (but not Carol) and there had been an ‘incident’ - drunken idiot tried to drive off in a bus, almost hit some tiny children, been hauled out and given a beating, she had had to patch idiot up… too much for her to take. I helped her back to her truck and tried to heal the healer. Slowly she came back to herself, remembered her name, who she was… “the horror, the horror”

Other healer, Carol, said to me (as osrics tentacles played on site )“ We need you, we need a magician”. But the wind came up in late September and blew our bender down and so we went back to London. Pinki signed up for Hackney College - Philosophy, Sociology and Politics A levels. In 86 she got a place at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London).

But also in 86... More Stonehenge. See Pinki and the Druids. And Glastonbury. Can’t quite remember how, but from our Glastonbury days the year before got to be ‘performers’ at the festival - earth mysteries field.
Make sense. What does it all mean twenty years on? Why the June 1st 2005 IT? Read it !

It is all bollocks. I have read through so many critiques and sociology lectures about it all, but so what. The reality is that 20 years ago on June 1st 1984 the police kicked the shit out of a bunch of people and put an end to a dubious expression of alternative values and culture. Arguably it was never a viable counter culture, but it (the festival) was the biggest manifestation of what might be. A drugged up world? Or a green world?
We have the drugged up world anyway. Even here, in a small rural town ( little more than a village really) we have our heroin addicts shoplifting and dying. Even here, our green world is one stage further removed as global supermarket giant Tesco get ready to rip £17 million a year out of the local economy and into global capital space….

As my special edition of IT (International Times) says, “We are the dead”. George Orwell/ 1984 and David Bowie/ Diamond Dogs quotes. And T.S.Eliot/ The Wasteland… “I had not thought death had undone so many” .

Self- consciousness, self awareness. History of the future.

I will run off a few copies (30, 50, 100?) of the June 1st 2005 special Beanfield memorial edition of International Times.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV

It was probably 1977 rather than 76. I had got a finally found remainder copy of the Sex Pistols Anarchy in the UK (on EMI, 37p from Woolies in CD, still got it) but had also got a copy of Throbbing Gristle's Zyklon B Zombie.

Funny thing is I was kinda disapointed by Anarchy. It was only rock n roll after all. But Zyklon B - that sounded like what I had imagined from reading about it what punk should sound like - all distorted and wierd and dodgy. For more on TG see http://www.throbbing-gristle.com/

August 1979, Tottenham Court Road YMCA. By then I was in London and used to hang out at Small Wonder record shop in Walthamstow every Wednesday before going to Waltham Forest College to study engineering. One of Pete Stennet's mates who used to turn up was called Cos/ Coz and cos/Coz started promoting gigs as 'Final Solution'.

They started in a big way that August at the YMCA over two (or was it four?) nights. First night was Echo and the Bunnymen ,Teardrop Explodes and Joy Division. next night was Rema Rema, Caberet Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle.

E and the B must have been pretty newly going - problems working out where to plug guitar into ! Also played in background was as yet unreleased Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus. (I asked Coz who it was - released on Small Wonder. )

But what I remember is TG. They came on to Village People/ YMCA which gradually slowed down as Gen struck poses under a strobe light... they were awesome. saw them again at old Scala 29th Feb 1980 and Goldsmiths College in March. Bought the records. Joined the 'fan club', even tried to tape the noise of durex condom making machines to send them.

Also had a bit of fun writing to TGHQ on London Rubber headed paper - and got replies from Cosy at work which caused some raised eyebrows - all letters were read by office manager's assistant and stamped "Works Engineers Dept" before I got them!

The actual records were only interesting, but live- Throbbing Gristle were IT, they 'anti-rocked' , they created the most intense atmosphere of any group I have ever seen or heard. Heathen Earth is maybe closest album, but live...

Next up was Toxic Graffitti fanzine. It was a very Crass infuenced one, but the writer whose name I forget but came from Tunbridge Wells was intruiged by the TG/ TG synchronity and so me and him set off one day to Martello Street ( beside London Fields in Hackney) to do an interview. We wandered around but there was no sign of any one so we wander round to Beck Road and met Gen and some other people. I don't remember any actual interview happening though. Shame, it would have been amusing to find TG in TG alongside Crass and the rest.

Beck Road is one one side of Mare Street, with railwayline running on arches over head- for years there was Class War grafitti on one of the arches "Toffs out of Hackney" . I don't think it was ironic, don't remember Class War doing much irony. Brougham Road is on the other side near the original 'Albert Square'. [ Check your London AZ in case I have got it wrong ] A big housing estate had been built and then the money ran out or something so a row of Victorian terracwed houses were left which were squatted for a few years. As mentioned in previous, ex Bader Mienhof person Astrid Proll lived there for a while under an assumed name.

I think Mark lived at Brougham Road for a while, Min did too and so did white south african draft dodger who ran a 'shop' ... more names, um I can't remember, but there was a woman with a young family too. The point being that after Throbbing Gristle ended in 1981 and Psychic TV emerged as Gen and Sleazy's project (Chris and Cosey had their own group) ... a bit of overlap began to emerge with some anarcho-punk Hackney squatters being first TOPY- Temple ov Psychic Youth youths.

Unfortunately I never enjoyed Psychic TV as much as I had TG. I think the tensions and differences within TG made their music more interesting, where as PTV became more and more Gen's project. Can't really say though, I was buying fewer and fewer records, so don't have any PTV to compare with TG.

I think part of the attraction of PTV was their total 'myth and ritual' approach, similar to that of Crass, and even Hawkwind and maybe the Greatful Dead. That what you got was not just a bit of noise on a record, you got a whole lifestyle and ideology. Certainly there was a lot of cross-links between us anarcho-goth-punks and PTV, remember us all going to PTV gigs at Heaven and ? town hall and a squatted synagogue. And of course All the madmen putting out Zos Kia/ Rape- cover showed a pierced willy, which got faded down a bit to make it less obvious. And I went along to the cutting at porky's - Porky's prime cuts, off Marlybone Road somehwere. Which is a bit of history now. Back then, the music was recorded on magnetic tape, then had to be transferred to a master disc which was then used to press the vinyl. Porky was one of the specialists who did this transfer.

Good grief, just remembered going with Mark to a record pressing plant- again just off Mare Street, down near canal. That would be for Witch Hunts before the link up with Rough Trade. After that we used a French company who Rough Trade used.

Quick final flourish - big stushie (good Scots word) later occurred thanks to Joel and his Chaos - about Gen and bloke from Caliphate OTO having a meeting and what the implications were - who was trying to take over whom? Circa 1987.

Last met Gen in 1990, but he (now she?) is still going strong see http://www.genesisp-orridge.com/

Tesco profits an election issue?

Here is a press release which Ihave been releasing today to try and tie up withTesco announcing record profits again.

Tesco an election issue in key marginal?

The new seat of Dumfries and Galloway is the most marginal constituency in Scotland. In 2001 , Peter Duncan became the only Scottish Tory MP. To have any credibility as a UK party, the Tories have to ensure Peter wins on 5th May. But the new seat now includes the region's only urban centre- Dumfries. This gives Dumfries and Galloway an even split between rural Tory and urban Labour heartlands. Using the 2001 results, Labour' s Russell Brown is predicted to win- but by only 141 votes...

The small market town of Castle Douglas lies at the centre of Dumfries and Galloway. For the past three years, Castle Douglas has been promoting itself as Scotland's first 'Food Town' - promoting the use and sale of quality local produce as a way to support a rural economy still based on farming and food processing. [see www.cd-foodtown.org ]

But, despite a year long fight by supporters of the Food Town, supermarket giant Tesco have bulldozed an out of town centre superstore through the planning process. Realistically, the outcome was never in question. Council planners had tried to resist a Tesco megastore on the edge of Dumfries, but after a final appeal to the Scottish Executive, it opened in September last year.

Dumfries and Galloway Council have a revenue of £250 million/ year. Tesco's profits are £2 billion / year. It was clear from day one that the Council planners were not prepared to take on Tesco again. Potential objectors were told "Don't waste your time. Tesco are going to come, no matter what you do.". Tesco, it seems, are now just too big to be held in check by planning laws. This challenges local government and local democracy. If there was never any doubt that Tesco would get their superstore, then Tesco are effectively able to operate outside the law.

Is this the future for similar small communities across the UK? Apparently it is. Having built as many big stores as they can, Tesco are now targeting small towns like Castle Douglas. Tesco's urge to market dominance appears unstoppable. This is not a local issue, it is a national one. If local government is helpless before Tesco, then national government must intervene. But there is no sign of this happening. Are Tesco now so big even Westminster cannot keep them in check? It looks like it.

What can be done? In Dumfries and Galloway, voters have a chance to make Labour and Conservatives pay attention. Last year, Scottish Green Party candidate John Schofield personally persuaded over 1000 people to object to the Castle Douglas Tesco. Most objectors came from Galloway, but many came from Dumfries, where the new Tesco is devastating the town centre. John has made his opposition to Tesco a key feature of his campaign.

Even if only a few hundred voters feel strongly enough about this local issue to vote Green, those are votes both Peter Duncan and Russell Brown desperately need. Alistair Livingston of anti-Tesco campaign group ‘Save our Stewartry Shops’ has written to Peter Duncan and Russell Brown pointing out that in the run up to May 5th, objectors to Tesco will have nationally significant opportunity to push for greater democratic control over Tesco.

Note on below: same letter sent to Russell Brown, only the name has been changed...

11 April 2005

Peter DuncanPPC Dumfries and Galloway

23 June 2005 - a date for your diary?

Dear Peter,
Vicky Hird of Friends of the Earth rang me last Thursday to invite me to attend an MP’s briefing in London on 23rd June. The briefing will precede Tesco’s AGM on the 24th. The MP’s briefing will focus on an independent ‘Corporate Responsibility Report’ on Tesco which FoE have commissioned. The Castle Douglas Tesco saga will be included in this Report, hence my invitation to attend.

On Friday 8th April, by a vote of 12 to 3, Dumfries and Galloway Planning and Environment Committee gave final planning approval for a Castle Douglas Tesco. The three councillors who voted against were Dumfries councillors. Based on their experience of the destructive impact of the new Dumfries Tesco on their town centre, they were convinced that Tesco will damage ‘the vitality and viability’ of Castle Douglas and other communities in the Stewartry.

The decision surprised no-one. As you know, I have been campaigning, lobbying and objecting via the planning process against the development for year now. From day one, every single person I spoke to, even those who were determined opponents, said “It is a done deal. Tesco will come.” Effectively, that Tesco are too big and too powerful to be checked by any local planning procedures.

No doubt naively, I disagreed. I believed, and still believe, that an objective assessment of a Tesco in Castle Douglas would show an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of local town centres and villages - not just on Castle Douglas itself. Indeed, that the new store would have an impact on the prospects for regenerating Dumfries town centre since it is freely admitted it will draw trade away from Dumfries. But these arguments, indeed all arguments against the development, simply were brushed aside.

Five years ago (22nd June 2000) I suggested in a letter to the Galloway News that Castle Douglas should become a Food Town as an effective and practical way to link three key local industries together- farming, food processing and tourism. The long term aim was to build a broader marketing and promotion strategy around a regional ‘food branding’ initiative.

The success of Buccleuch Heritage Foods ( based in Castle Douglas) and the ‘Savour the Flavour of Dumfries and Galloway’ campaign show the potential for such an approach. The success of Castle Douglas as a Food Town, which according to Andrew Henderson of Tesco( based on Tesco’s own market research) now has national recognition, shows I got it tight 5 years ago.

I have fought so long and hard against the Castle Douglas Tesco. I strongly believe that Tesco’s ’global’ business strategies work against such attempts to nurture and develop healthy and dynamic local economies and local communities.

Dumfries and Galloway is a nationally significant marginal seat. Tesco (£2 billion profits to be announced this week) are a nationally significant retailer. Are Tesco now beyond democratic control? It is a question perhaps only a few hundred concerned voters will ask about the Castle Douglas Tesco issue, but those votes may well decide which MP I meet in London on the 23rd June.

Yours sincerely

Alistair Livingston

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Just noticed that my ramblings have inspired a discussion on Barbelith http://www.barbelith.com/topic/20747 about "counterculture" which seems to be part of ongoing discussions. Chaos magick comes in to the discussions , but I haven't got there yet from here. Look out for 1986 if you wanna know the score.

For your more academic- USA style- view of 'punk as subculture' (not counter culture) try this


Will see if I can track down author - who knows, he might chip in

Barbelith is't taking new members, so will just have to spectate. But as the Pop Group said "There are no Spectators". We all participate - there is no neutral in the conflict betwen the powerful and the powerless. But how powerful can we imagine ourselves to be?

I reckon the key word is the Situationist one "recuperation" . If any one cares to plough through the June 1st 2005 / International Times (written in June last year) blog I get on to the "Empire of the Panda's Thumb" which is a cut up/ sampled text from 'The Collpase of Chaos' by Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart : Penguin : 1994 pages 322 to 324.

The theory here is evolutionary and mathematical - the survival of the fittest as an 'optimum' not the 'best possible'. A species can can continue occupy an evolutionary niche by dint of preventing competitor species getting a foothold.

But that isn't then end of the story. Continual random/ chaotic change means that a dominant species can get knocked off their perch (think dinosaurs and meteors on big scale, micro-habitat change on small scale) and so a spce is created into which anotehr species can move and adapt to become dominant in turn.

No doubt a gross oversimplification, but so it goes.

mainstream culture = consensus reality = the society of the spectacle = society as economic system/ economic system as society = everday reality.

It is the dominant culture and has got there through cultural competition/ evolution. It survives as dominant culture not becuasse it is so 'superior' or 'better' or 'necessary' but by dint of supressing culturally competitive rivals. By maintaining itself as 'the spectacle', the only show in town/ on planet. Or more, maintaining the illusion of being the only show in town.

But as with genetic evolution, the random processes of cultural evolution keep throwing up challenges - old cultures changing their spots, new cultures trying to emerge and get their place in the sun.

At 'revolutionary moments' (yer old paradigm shiftyness) the new breaks through and after liquidating counter-revolutionary elements establishes itself... but such moments are few and far between.

"The counterculture" is an ever shifting, ever changing, fluid, creative, chaotic, disorganised pool or current of latent cultural evolutonary change. It is always potential, never actual - since as soon as one of its memes or what ever you call 'em jumps paradigm, it becomes 'the culture' and ceasses to be countercultural.

Possibly. Just made the above up as I followed thoughts along their trajectory.

To get to the actual - the anarcho-goth-punk counterculture I have been exploring here was small scale, physically initimate, face to face and based on key participants immediate previous involvement in punk 76/78. It was surrounded by a much wider halo of interested parties - through gigs and records and fanzines, music press, John Peel which in turn had graduations from say the 20 000 folk who bought The Mob's 'Let the Tribe Increase' album in 83/4 to the 100 000 who bough Crass product to the million or so who bought Pistols/ Clash mainstream punk.

Spot the jump?

The original audience for the Pistols, of punk in London was reckoned at the time by Jon Savage to be only 200 or so in 1976... but by 1983 and after punk went suprnova and died back as fast, that era of punk was mainstream, was not 'countercultural' . And since it now turns out that the late Pope was a Catholic after all, look at Christianity - from small countercultural cult to state religion of Roman Empire in 300 years and world religion...

But in transition, in making the shift/ jump features of a counterculture get blurred and distrorted, get recuperated, become spectacular. Local example is wind power. 30 years ago, even 10 years ago, part of green counterculture, now here in Scotland, huge and massive developments which have created a counter-counterculture of anti-windfarm (and pro-nuclear) protestors. Ditto Fox-hunting in the UK (song by the Ex-Pistols) - in process of becoming a counter-culture?

Apologies to Barebilithites - gone way off your theme.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Links and connections

Mick Mercer - formerly Panache fanzine, Zig Zag and Punk Lives http://www.mickmercer.com/

Blyth Power - Joseph ex Zounds and Mob' s continuing project http:// www.blythpower.co.uk

Flowers in the Dustbin - http://www.flowersinthedustbin.co.uk/

John Eden - http://www.uncarved.org/blog/ April 5th "The goth-dub retro fusion mashup has now OFFICIALLY begun over at Pounding System with Dubversion’s rather excellent Bela Lugosi’s Dread available for download and comment. " Goth dub? Bela Lugosi? See Jonh's site and be very amazed.

Joel Biroco - http://www.biroco.com/kaos/

That is all for now folks.


Stop the City 83 to G8 05

Bollocks. Just spent a good hour writing an introduction to this complete with links to folk who have posted comments/ given feedback- and then computer froze up so I had to restart.Fair enough, poor old thing has been on line for 12 hours non-stop, but damn annoying none the less.

So rather than repeat myself, here is the next episode, but only gets to Bath road protest in 1994 .

I will do continuation as separate blog, just in case .

thanks to all who have posted/ e-mailed me at AlistairLiv@aol.com (good anti spam so far- lets see what happens now!)


From Stop the City 1983 to Solsbury Hill 1994 - and on to Gleneagles G8 2005 - but not yet!

This is Pinki's history so its more of a herstory.

It begins in Trafalgar Square, New Year's Eve, 1979. That night Pinki realised that if she stayed in London, she was unlikely to still be alive to see in 1981. So after two years of being a punk in London, aged 17 she went home.

Not sure how keen her parents were on this.They had moved from Gloucester to Cam, a small village outside Dursley in the Cotswolds. I think there had been Pinki related problems with the neighbours. Anyway, Pinki signed up to take English and History A levels at Stroud Technical College. Then, summer of 1981, having got her A levels she took a work experience course and started doing office work for Stroud CND. As an aside, Barry Miles in his book "In the Sixties" describes living in Stroud in the early sixties as an art student. Possibly/ probably some of Stroud CND were of that sixties generation.

In late 1981, November I think, Stroud CND all went to Greenham Common. The peace camp there had only just been set up and was still mixed, although women were already the majority of the 'campers'. The rest went home, Pinki stayed. For the next few years she threw herself into the anti-nuclear Peace Movement as vigourously and whole heartedly as she had punk.

Amongst the many actions and protests she took part in was a walk in the summer of 1982 from Faslane nuclear submarine base in Scotland to Greenham. She didn't do so much of the walking, but travelled with the support bus, organising food and shelter for the walkers. Her ability to feed the 5000 on wholesome vegitarian and/or vegan fare from a bag of dubious vegetables, a jar of miso and lots of brown rice was developed that summer. She also had amusing tales of chasing goats round the Birmingham ring road and how irritating Bhuddist monks ansd nuns could be when they had to start drumming and chanting at 5 am every day...

In those long ago days, when the GLC had become a radical organisation ( the same GLC whose anti-punk stance had created a classic punk single by the UK Subs "GLC, GLC, GLC, GLC your full of shit, shit, shit shit shit."), the peace walkers were given a house in Hackney. It had no hot water and a barely functional toilet and, as Pinki said, she had lived in better squats, but it was a house.

In late 82/ early 1983, Pinki used it as her London base for a while, sharing it with Dave Morris of London Greenpeace and ? another woman from the walk. It was in the hosue that the idea for Stop the City emerged. The idea was to take the struggle to its source- to the City of London itself as the true heart of darkness. [Literary allusion- Joseph Conrad's 1904 novel about Belgian colonisation in Africa].

Do I need to go into all the details? The first Stop the City was Thursday 29th September 1983. About 4000 'anarcho-punks' turned up. I was there, where were you? [Mekons song reference].

Not that I did anything. I found a bench near a bit of Roman London and spent a few hours thinking bloody hard. I didn't get arrested, didn't see anything but the City itself. I tried to understand what "The City" was, how it worked, why it worked - and what 'stopping it' might mean. Could 'it' be stopped? If 'it' was stopped, what would happen then?

Money makes the world go round. Well not quite, it is gravity and physics, but you know what I mean. If the money stopped flowing, would the world stop?

Pinki got arrested. She was nine months pregnant with Sky (born 8th October at the Mother's Hospital in Hackney) . She was released without charge rather than risk her going into labour in a police cell. Back at Greenham six months before, she had been kicked in the stomach by a bailiff, then arrested and then started bleeding in the police cells in Newbury. [Documented- see Biban Kidron/ Amanda Richardson's film 'Carry Greenham Home']. She got arrested again at the second Stop the City (there were four altogether) in March 84. She had been running a creche and doing her best not to get arrested, but was anyway.

Which is when I met Dave Morris- Sky as a small baby had been in the creche, when Pinki had failed to collect him (due to being arrested) Dave had taken him home. Pinki was frantic, not knowing where Sky had gone, but after I had made some phone calls we tracked him down to Dave's house and went round to collect him. At that point our relationship became established. Pinki would carry on being the activist, but I would be the sensible one, looking after the child/ children (as it became- Pinki had four children eventually) and not doing anything stupid like getting arrested. Which I never have.

Fast forward ten years. The M11 extension, part of a £23 billion plan to create the biggest road building development since the Romans. I have a flyer from then, showing how Hackney would have been cut up by these roads. Between where we lived in Upper Clapton and our nearest park- Hackney Downs- the dual carriage way Lea Bridge Road would have been cut through towards Islington.

Pinki had carried on campaigning: Stonehenge in the late eighties, the Poll Tax in 1990. (Which is another story, involving Ian Bone of Class War and us joining the Green Party). The first part of resitance to the M11 extension took place in Wanstead. We went along, plus four young children. By this time, Pinki had started studing international law at SOAS [School of Oriental and African Studies]. From the the Freston Road/ Frestonia west London squats of the late seventies, the idea to declare independence for 'Wanstonia' emerged. Pinki went off and came up with a four page legal briefing, based on international law and quoting the relevant sources. I will type it up for this blog one day.

Wanstonia got evicted. Pinki, along with a journalist whose name I forget was locked on upstairs in one of the houses. The stairway had been taken out. A police man came up a ladder. "Either you get down the ladder, or I will throw you down" he said. She looked into his eyes and from long experience realised he meant it. She unlocked herself and climbed down.

Next came Claremont Road. (Actually there was a bit in between, but I can't be bothered with it).
Claremont Road was ace. It was like a street long Cento Iberico. That much fun. But as eviction drew nearer, it got stupid. The wonderful Art House was trashed- not by them, but by us. The idea was to make it as hard as possible to easliy evict, but as I quipped to Pinki "Flame-throwers would get 'em out". She was not amused. Or rather she was, but told me to shut up.

She made friends with the security guards. A group of them were from Africa(Nigeria?) and they picked up on her witchyness. One used to give her a lift home and told her she was like the river-goddess priestesses he knew from back home. Respect.

Aside - one of her friends and a neighbour from Hackney came from Ghana. Pinki first met him on a bus. He was a bit drunk and roundly cursing all white people so naturally she brought him home with her. He came to her funeral and at the party afterwards told me off when I said it would be difficult to forget such an amazing person. He told me that in Ghana, when someone dies , their friends and family do not try to forget the dead person, but actively 'take on' the positive aspects of the dead person's character and so keep the spirit of the person alive in their lives for benefit of the community.

Next came the Bath road protest in 1994. Pinki went off to this on her own, and managed to get herself arrested. The court case was supposed to come up in July, so the whole family went - all six of us. For her defence, Pinki had gone through her international law sources again. She wanted to argue that she was not breaking the law, but upholding it- given the UK's commitmment to various treaties aimed at reducing air-pollution and that even ultra-conservative Lord Hailsham had argued that international law was part of UK/ English law. I will type her legal defence up this up and post it on this blog. The court case was delayed, so she never got the chance to try it on.

What I remember is sitting up on Solsbury Hill (as in Peter Gabriel song) which is also possible site of Arthurian battle of Badon Hill on a hot summer night. A security guard told young Alistair (4 at the time) that the world was going to end- a comet was about to hit Jupiter. Which it did, but we survived. I could see the line of the new road creeping out across the valley of the Avon towards the hill. I flashed back to Stop the City. "Too late". By the time the bulldozers were on site, it was too late. By the time things have got physical it is too late.

But is it? See Merrick's comment to previous blog.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Tesco AGM 24 June

Had a phone call today inviting me to Tesco AGM. Not fromTesco though, but Friends of the Earth. FoE have asked Corporate Watch to produce an alternative 'corporate responsibility report' for Tesco. Lucy from Corporate Watch came up for a 24 hour visit a few weeks ago so she could include our campaign in the report.

Bit of an information overload expereince for her, but she was most impressed by 'Green Galloway' and got a few useful interviews. Fun for me, since Lucy explained that she had been a road protestor so we could chat about the bigger picture. I haven't met many road protestors since moving back up here, although I have met a few Greenham women - including Angela who runs Readinglasses bookshop in Wigtown Book Town (well woth a visit) nearby and helped me find several books on Greenham. Including one with a photo of Pinki in it! Tinsel was on a visit at the time and we were both dead impressed.

I haven't blogged it yet, but yet to come is one on Pinki's herstory - from Greenham to Stop the City to the M11 and Bath road protests (she would have done Newbury if she hadn't died). Pinki got arrested at bath and came up with a defence based on international law - that international law was part of English law, that the Uk was in breach of various treaties on air pollution undr international law and that she was acting to prevent a breach of international law...

Her case for 'obstruction' was due to come up in July 94, so we all - six of us, Pinki, me, Sky, Elizabeth, Alistair junior and Callum in his wheelchair- went to Bath for it. It was very hot, the time that the comet hit Jupiter. We were sitting up on Solsbury Hill (as in Peter Gabriel song and possible site of Arthurian Battle of Badon) and could see the line of the road stretching across the valley of the Avon up to about 100 yards away.

As I told Lucy,I realised then that by the time it gets physical, it is too late. The place energy needs to be put is at the planning stage - the place where a road or a supermarket is still just an idea. And that I had applied that insight locally to get a proposal for a motorway link from Dumfries to the M74/ M6 taken out of the Dumfries and Galloway Structure Plan. Nip it in the bud is the moral.

Hasn't worked with the Tesco plan, but then there was nothing about a new supermarket being needed in the Local Plan when it was proposed 4 years ago. It only emerged last year - and thanks to various problems with Scottish Water, the Local Plan is still to be finally approved- up for Public Inquiry later this year.

But to step back even further, spent the last year (96/7) in London sharing a house in new Cross with Tinsel, who was final year student at Goldsmiths College. One of her tutors loaned her a book "Mortgaging the Earth" by Bruce Rich. It is a 500 word critique of the World Bank (International Bank of Investment and Development) development policies - and Rich takes it right back all the way to a critique of Western Rationality - to Descarte, Bacon and Newton... I bought my own copy, it was that good. Must be still there on Amazon, so get one for yourself...

The way I see it, where I live now, 'Green Galloway' is more like a Third World, developing economy than an industrial First World one. NATO reckon so as well - we get regular big military excercises here and back in the late eighties, a general explained why "The dispersed rural population and lack of infrastructure make Galloway the prefect place to practise for Thord World conditions.." or words to that effect..
The Tesco plan is like the big dam idea. It appears that there is a genuine and sincere belief within the local council that a big new supermaket will 'overnight' help transform our 'lagging rural economy' into an ultra modern one ... That 93% of local business employ fewer than 5 people is seen as a major problem... but when we have a population of only 23 000 in an area (about 800 sq miles) the size of greater London, what do you expect?

Cargo cultism, that is what it is. Create the illusion of modernity and you will get it. But it is still an illusion. In reality what you get is a black hole sucking all life and vitality into 'money space' , into the City, to keep Tesco's profit margins high and so keep their share price rising. They have to keep expanding, they have no choice. And the social and environmental costs? Not on the balance sheet mate. Is there an alternative?
Here there is. Look at http://www.creamogalloway.co.uk/ - a local daiary farm which has diversified and gone organic and become a major tourist attraction. Sure, such ideas wouldn't work in Hackney (where I lived for ten years) but this isn't Hackney, it is the countryside.

Enough for now.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Diary of an anarcho-goth-punk fiend

Me with specs just behind Val with blue hair- Meanwhile Gardens 1983

Found a diary I kept through 1983. Here are some edited highlights. Of interest is the movement on from punk (anarcho / goth) towards first Psychic TV and second Stonehenge, but also the politics- Stop the City.
What I find hard to realise is that through til November I was still working for London Rubber, busy making condoms and rubber gloves. I seemed to spend a lot of time staying up all night ...there is a photo of me in my white lab coat fast asleep at work.

People mentioned in 83 diary (in vaguely sequential order)
Bob, Tony, Val, Min, Nicki, Mouse, Fod, Big Steve, Paul, Scarecrow, Marina, Jenny, Tinsel, Andy Palmer, Lu, Elaine, Ruth, Karen, Helen, Gary, Donna, Michelle, Richard, Michael Moorcock, Lorraine, Alex, Mark, Tod, Jane, Jackie, Lisa, Sally, Alf Martin, Mick (Luggy), Mick (Mercer) , Genesis P. Orridge, Ronnie, Sarah, Rachel , Kenneth Grant, Colin (printer not Conflict,) Ripper, Brett, Angie, Julian, Josef, Green hair, WOg (William Ogden), Caroline, Iosanna, Marion, Shirley, Keith (Here and Now?), Jeremy Gluck, Matt, Valentina, Jake, Debbie, Joan, Gabrielle, Lou, Cory, Andrea, Claudette, Beki Bondage (!) , Janet, Rod, Les, Angee, Sonia, Lol, John, Derek Flux, Simon (Rough Trade?) James, Claudette, Chris, Emma, Sally(2), Zena, Hester, Anya, Soo, and Rob Vex. Who did eat all his muesli?
I make it over 70 altogether, which gives a fair idea of how lively it all was.

January31st to 3rd. First too New North Road ( squat where Mark Wilson of The Mob lived + Val Drayton, Mark 's younger brother Paul, and Richard Cabut - Kick and NME journo)

Then to Nettleton Road , New Cross - New Year party at Mouse and Alex's house with Val, Mark, Nicki, Tod, Paul, Michelle, Tony, Scarecrow, Fod, Donna, Tinsel, Lorraine, Min, Gary and Michelle's guitarist. We listened intently to first Psychic TV album - "v.cosmic man" my opinion.

Mouse later became PTV person and Min moved to Beck Road , former Throbbing Gristle HQ, then Psychic Temple and became singer for Zos Kia.

7th to 9th To Bayston Road/ Stoke Newington where Bob and Scarecrow had been making a film, then on to Kingdon Road / West Hampstead - a lesbian squat. Helen lived there. Met Helen when I visited Min for the first time in 1981 when she was living at Cazenove Road/ Stoke Newington. Helen had a leather jacket with "Lesbian Guerilla" and a Kalashnikov painted on it. I was impressed and only a teensy bit nervous when I got talking to her and her girl friend Sonia. But it was cool, and I loaned them a fiver to get a taxi home the next day.

Then on to Puppy Mansions/ Westbere Road/ West Hampstead - Tony, Mouse, Bob, Jackie and listened to tape of Necromantra and Love is the Law - forthcoming Blood and Roses single. We celebrated with a bonfire in the garden.

15th Visited new house - an as yet still derelict 103 Grosevenor Avenue, soon to become a home for eight Black Sheep.

22nd The Mob played the London Musician's Collective.

FebruaryThursday 17th Richard's NME piece came out - front cover. "Positive Punk". Blame the sub-editor. Went to a Blood and Roses gig. At the time I just wrote "NME piece", but it was used to heap derision upon the whole scene. Full text is online - on a history of Goth site and a punk site.

19th/ 20th Started work at 103, clearing crap out of garden and having a bonfire. A policeman came round, assuming we were dirty squatters - but we had a Council Key. Got some photos of us at work. Weekends in Feb. were all house work. We filled several skips.

March4th/ 6th Visited Mouse and Bob at Bayston Road , then more skip filling at 103. Cover of Mob album done. Spoke to Alf Martin about writing for Punk Lives. Alf rang back on the Monday - join the crew. So I wrote a piece about the Centro Iberico for him.

12th/ 13th New North Road. Mark planning a bus trip. (As in free festivals and travellers).
Westbere Road. Michael Moorcock had been to film - following Richard's NME piece - for a tv show. I had read all of Michael Moorcock's books and knew of his links with Hawkwind - though he had also written a Sex Pistols meet Jerry Cornelius piece years before. Exciting times.
Julien drew a sex-chart - putting everyone's names on a big sheet of paper and linking up who had slept with whom. It came out as a sex-web.

14th Got a letter from Kenneth Grant.

18th Michael Moorcock film on tv. "Dodgy" Lots of elder punk persons like Siouxsie saying how crap the music/ scene was in comparison to the old days. And several minutes of Michelle talking whilst using hairdrier on Richard's billowing tresses. Why?

20th to 25th On a course "Project Management for Engineers" at a Management Training College near Rugby. One of our tutors had worked for NASA on the Space Shuttle. Was actually very useful - still using ideas I learnt there. Like - break down big task into small bits and tackle each in turn - after first working out which are 'critical' - called critical path analysis- so you focus on the problem areas and don't get swamped by details.

April1st April - Val and Nicky off to Greenham. Long talk with Min at Tolly (Tollington) Way. Was that when she told me about the rape that became the Zos Kia single?

April 2nd Punk Lives - my article becomes 2 page Anarchy centre spread

April 6th Wrote Blood and Roses story for Punk Lives, focused on Lisa (singer) so took it round to let her read it and get one of her drawing to illustrate it. She liked the story. Actually recycled from a high school essay based on Lou Reed/ Berlin album.

Sunday 10th. Elaine, Karen and Ruth - Hagar the Womb - at Puppy Mansions. Bought 3 gas fires at Brick Lane for new house.

21st/22nd Stayed at Mouse's New Cross to go on another course "Working in a Co-operative" One of the people on course was Keith/ Here and Now . Met Marina from USA. Told me her ex-boyfriend Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo. (Now he does music for The Rugrats.)

23rd/24th Blood and Roses at the Scala. At soundcheck. Bad PA! Visited Helen at Kingdon Road.

28th Pip has been bannistering at 103. Met Jeremy Gluck.
Nearly all the work done to convert four derelict houses to a liveable standard was done 'in house'. We had gas -fitters and roofers, joiners, plumbers, electricians, painters... all the skills needed found amongst anarcho-punk-goth community. Maybe the NME sub-editor should have called us "Practical Punks".

May1st May. Interview Conflict with Tony. (For Punk Lives?)

7th CND March - to Brockwell Park?

21st Moved in to 103 - after 4 years living in a bed sit in Ilford with a Polish Catholic landlady - refugee from communists after WW2. Brother Ian came down from Scotland and built table in kitchen and a bed for me.
24th to 31st To Scotland with Min. We camped in the forest at Drumness for a few days, on the Polmaddy (wolf's stream) Burn. Min not looking forward to returning to London. Go to “possibly last ever Blood and Roses gig” at The Tribe. (No idea where that was)

3rd Mob and Hagar the Womb gig.

4th new Pet Puppy - No.6 , about long strange journey to Stonehenge- finished.

6th Printed 100 copies of Puppy 6 at Islington Bus Garage- community centre.

Monday 13th Val, Tony and Nicky off to Stonehenge

18th Andy Palmer (of Crass) and Lou visit. They are living at Cross Street Black Sheep house. Up all night doing layout for Encyclopaedia of Ecstasy Volume 1.

23rd Mick, Tony, Mark and Sarah back from Stonehenge.

24th Val, Nicky and Fod back from Stonehenge.

Sunday 3rd. Brick Lane. Mark bought truck. Note: Key moment in shift from 'anarcho-punk' to 'hippy traveller'.

10th Blood and Roses gig. Abortive attempt to squat new Anarchy Centre - Ives House on Roseberry Avenue.

15th Mob gig. Stayed up til 6am. Bit knackered.

20th Read some of Dreaming the Dark by Starhawk. Tinsel came to visit.

22nd Mob gig.

August2nd Lengthy discussions about co-ops with Val, Mark, Rod, Les and Mick until 2am. Mick said "Co-ops don't work, people need to be told what to do... "

3rd Rob Vex's birthday.

6th Mob gig at Meanwhile Gardens/ Westbourne Park

13th Picnic on Hampstead Heath with Angee, Anne, Les, Tod, Mick, Maria, Anna, 2 Italians and Dom. Fcation gig blown out. Note: Maria and Anna lived in other Black Sheep House. They ran Southern Death Cult fanclub and wrote article 'Magick and Greenham Common" for Vague.

19th Sold 5 copies of EOE to Mysteries book shop, bought lots of books on structuralism. Met Beki Bondage and Ligotage - went to pub with them. Visited Sheffield anarchos - squatting on Camden Road.

21st Everyone back from Berlin. (Mob on tour?)

23rd Aleister Crowley in Flexipop.

30th Wog (William Ogden) visited. Coming off heroin- again.


2nd Washed up, cooked dinner for Cory, Wog, Min, John A. Washed up. Sleeved 500 Witch Hunts with Mark and Min then a chillum. Hunt Sabs visited - they had had a good one.

3rd Rough Trade with Mark, met with Derek of Flux and Simon -talked business.

4th. Mark and Fod met Genesis P. (Orridge)

7th St. Ives House finally squatted - great place. Me and Tony build stage in basement.

8th Making and printing poster's for St. Ives house/ New Puppy.

9th A work related entry "Pat on back from Finance Department" - I had solved mystery of a job which had run £10 000 over budget. Production Dept. had bought a 'titration' device which came in on invoice at £36 000 rather than the £26 000 estimated. I had gone through every invoice for the past six months until I found it. Such dedication!

10th Gig at Ives House- Poison Girls. Not many people but lots of fanzines, good atmosphere, but police checked us out… got home 5 am.

16th Mob gig at Burn it Down Ballroom (Was that old bingo hall up at Highbury and Islington tube? Photo of Flowers in the Dustbin playing there on their website www.flowersinthedustbin.co.uk/ )
Sarah a bit drunk - still wanting Mark.

17th Min is moving to Beck Road / PTV

21st Gas oven working - made six loaves of bread.

28th Invoked Hecate and Kali in back garden for Stop the City

29th Stop the City ....

30th My 25th birthday party (so wild I had fallen asleep by midnight)

October24th Gig New Puritans, June Brides, Boys Brigade, The mob. Lots of people - Zena, Min, Cory, Sue, Debbie and new person Anya, who is Polish.

26th Big Steve needs £500 bail! Josef sorts it out.

28th New PTV album - very good.

29th Gig at new A centre. Curse of Eve, Toxic Shock, John's band, Curse of Eve. Woken up by Zena and Hester giggling. First copies of Alternative Sex from printer‘s ( feminist zine produced by Val, Nicky, etc)

November5th Marina came to visit - took ecstasy with her. She had weird visions of plutonium.

11th Missed Hagar gig - Tony still not right.

18th left London Rubber - to manage All the Madmen once everything sorted out.

20th New Encyclopaedia - not ready yet.

Diary endsIn January 1984 at a party at 103 met Pinki. Relationship lasted 12 years - until her death in January 1996.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

in 1983

Found a diary I kept from January to November 1983. Sat up til midnight jotting down interesting entries.

Today I spent a while with my old mate Mr/Ms Google and tracked down a list of links which follow on from the diary entries. I will shove them on this dark entry. (Bauhaus - Dark Entries - a single now gathering dust in a box under my bed).

I then remembered that I had another diary for 1982 and have spent all morning looking for it. London Fire Brigade one, was given it after I spent ages listing every single dodgy chemical London Rubbber had on site - especially all the wierd ones in the latex testing lab. That was run by 'students' ... there was always a tell tale scent of hash lingering in the air when they went on their mysterious errands around the site.

Can't find 82. All I can remember is that it had entries like "had long conversation with Annie Anxiety" - but no mentions of Annie in 83 diary. Did some cultural shift occur? Only mention of Crass in 83 diary is Andy Palmer and Lu visiting 103 Grosvenor Avenue. And Poison Girls playing 'new' anarchy centre on Roseberry Avenue

Historical analysis.

1. Psychic TV

2.Richard's "Positive Punk" NME front page

3. Greenham/ CND

4. Stonehenge/ Mark buys a truck/ KYPP 6

5. Stop the City

6. Operation Able Archer 83

1. Psychic TV - Coil
Year started with a party at Mouse's house (Nettleton Road/ New Cross) where we listened very intensely to first Psychic TV album. Mouse later became a Psychic TV person (played on Godstar single) . Min was also at party, and by September had moved to Beck Road- next door to PTV Temple HQ. As per previous blog, Min became Zos Kia singer/ wrote words for song Rape. Zos Kia in turn evolved into Coil- although they wwere more John Gosling's group. John G. went onto become house music person.

Mouse was not long with PTV, but was friends with/ worked with(?) Coil "Only female allowed in their house" she later said. Even their cats were male...

The PTV/ TOPY lnks and connections are worth a blog of their own...

2. February 83 NME front page "Positive Punk"

This leads onwards and downwards to the history of Goth, but also backwards to Michael Moorcock , Hawkwind and late sixties underground as well as sideways to 'post-punk'.

3. CND marches and Greenham Common.

Diary mentions a couple of CND marches- one to Brockwell Park and also for 1st April "Val and Nicky gone to Greenham". Later there was a picnic on Hampstead Heath with Anna and Maria - who ran Southern death Cult's fanclub and were Black Sheep - who wrote apiece for Vague on "Magick and Greenham Common". Also a couple of mentions of reading Starhawk's Dreaming the Dark and meetngs (not myself) with Starhawk. A feminist fanzine "Alternative Sex" was produced. After I met Pinki (Jan 84) went to visit her at Greenham.

4. Stonehenge

In 1982 there were about 12 000 people at Stonehenge. In 1983, 35 000. 103 Grosvenor Avenue emptied. Diary entry for July 3rd (after all had retunred) "Mark bought truck at Brick Lane. " This truck he then converted into a travelling home, made himself a tipi and went off travelling the next summer. Kill Your Ppet Puppy 6 also had a Stonehenge theme - a story about following a trail of mysterious messages which led to the festival. That there was a link with the festival scene is shown by diary entry for 26th October "Big Steve needs £500 bail. Josef sorted it out". Big Steve was/ is key Stonehenge festival person.

5. Stop the City 29th September 83

Again, this needs its own blog to try and work out all the continuations - for example Maclibel Trial

6. Operation Able Archer 83

Nothing in diary on this -early November 83. Only found out about it years later in histtories of Cold War. But turns out that a full scale US rehearseal for nuclear war (originally involving both pres reagan and vice pres bush) panicked the Russkies so much they almost went literally ballistic. Luckily Soviet fears were picked up by spies etc and event sacled down at last minute, but puts all of this punk history in context. We were living with a future only 4 minutes away from total annihilation.

From diary took Ecstasy with Marina (from USA) on November 5th - i.e. at same time as Operation Able Archer- and she had strange visions of silver dragon flying to earth from planet Pluto. Although not in diary, I had problems on occasional trips with acid. End of the World! Not very fun and not very psychedelic sixties. More like in yer face - get out and do something about it... but what? Perhaps why I met Pinki as Greenham Woman rather than in her previous incarnation as the most out to lunch punk ever.

Websites/ links
http://www.scathe.demon.co.uk/posipunk.htm Goth/ posi punk
http://members.aol.com/blissout/postpunk.htm Simon Reynolds- post punk but see Mick mercer below
http://www.geocities.com/punkettes80s/brigandage.html posi punk- Brigandage
http://www.geocities.com/nihilismontheprowl/index.html punk stuff inclyuding above
http://www.trustthedj.com/ChrisLiberator/bio.php?djid=804 Hagar the Womb to acid house via anarchy centres
http://www.uncarved.org/music/apunk/ John Eden's excellent selection of useful a-punk texts
http://www.scathe.demon.co.uk/mmart83.htm Mick Mercer 83- links to Simon reynolds, opposite concusion.
http://www.blythpower.co.uk/genesis/chap09.htm Josef's memories of punk/ squatting etc
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2822/is_3_27/ai_n6330582 Crass Commodities - academic piece, but necessary read if you want to make sense of it all
http://festival-zone.0catch.com/henge-history-80-82.html not sure if this is still there, but tons on Stonehenge. If not Goole n Stonehenge free festival and find Dice george and Tash's sites
http://www.philhine.org.uk/writings/ess_balanceobit.html Obit of John Balance/ Coil
http://www.rarevinyl.net/coil.htm Zos Kia
http://www.brainwashed.com/common/htdocs/discog/nrc05.html see below on Rape
John Deek says:WARNING : Do not listen to Rape on headphones with the volume turned up loud.....I was listening to this CD on headphones.. track 3 came along and I said "ooh a live version of 'here to here'...I wonder why they call it 'rape'?"...then Min came in with some spoken word and I said "ah that explains...still a pretty harsh name for such a mellow song...."just then the phone rang, and a split second after I took the headphones off a pierching shriek ripped from the headphones...they were nearly a foot away from my ears and I was still deafened...had I been wearing them my ears would probably be bleeding...deafened in the pursuit of ultimate sound.....how ironic..."

http://www.mcspotlight.org/media/press/ind_29sep96.html Stop the City/ London Greenpeace/ maclibel
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/7672/beast4.html A -Punk

http://www.cia.gov/csi/monograph/coldwar/source.htm#HEADING1-13 - go down list to find CIA on Able Archer.

More? Yeah, but another time, OK?


Saturday, April 02, 2005

International Times June 1st 2005

There are no spectators.
We all participate. There is no neutral. To wash your hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless is to side with the oppressors.


Re- membering the Beanfield

It was twenty years ago today that the Empire struck back against the countercultural forces of chaos and anarchy. We may have been going in and out of style ever since the launch of IT in 1966, but we have always been more possible than the powerful could imagine. The threat has never been what the counterculture is , but rather what we might become.

Thus each revolutionary eruption of energy out of the cultural unconscious has first been repressed and then recuperated. The Battle of the Beanfield of June 1st 1985 was but one skirmish in Empire's Eternal War Against Imagination.

The fusion of knowledge and action must be realised in the historical struggle itself. Yet the struggle of history to shake off the shackles of Empire remains mired in confusion. They can call it freedom, but slavery is still the game played by the administrators of 'history'. So long as history is confined to the past, knowledge and action remain divided. The counterculture's challenge is to create a history of the future, by fusing knowledge and action in the eternal present of everyday life.

To achieve this fusion we must deconstruct and re-member our stories, using whatever sources and techniques that lie to hand. Under the shimmering diversions of the spectacle, banalisation dominates modern society the world over. The smug acceptance of what exists has hitherto merged with purely spectacular rebellion as dissatisfaction itself became a marketable commodity.

Suddenly, after all the sound and fury, it was over and silence returned.
Writing is fifty years behind painting. Therefore we propose to apply the painters' techniques to writing: things as simple and immediate as collage or montage. Cut right through the pages and shuffle the columns of text. Put these together at hazard and read the newly constituted message. You'll soon see that the words and sights which they refer to belong to everyone. This is the present, our present and we mean it, man.

Love and chaos,
Clara Bow- the original IT girl- June 1st 2005

A Sacred Site?
It was as if the site was still alive, far from the fossil it appeared. Finds of coins whose dates suggest this is a recent phenomenon slowed us down. Ten were less than five years old and all but one of the other eight no older than 1986. The revolution must therefore be seen from two aspects as serious attempts which in our view might be supported by analysis of the discursive and political frameworks in which contestations occur. The (still) ongoing negotiations around Stonehenge open access are a case in point: A couple contacted me who wanted to get married at Stonehenge. They had requested permission and had been told "No, we don't allow weddings at Stonehenge".

So I phoned up English Heritage , made an appointment and sat down and spoke with the new manager. We tried practically to stop the cruise missile base by living on the land, taking peace camps one stage further. We chatted about our children, about gardening, about how to lose a bit of weight, about discursive boundaries of other framings and how I could marry this couple at Stonehenge.
It became hard for those actively working to promote harmony to see where the Offerings had been buried near some of these posts, including polished stones bought from the souvenir shop in Avebury, crystals beads and the implications of phrasing and emphasis in creating trust or mistrust. It was really exciting front-line stuff although the practicalities of mud and winter and endless disagreements took their toll.
We ended up just getting on with life as best we could. She gave me permission, she didn't know that 'we' existed, mainstream, ordinary gentle people who remained resolutely indifferent to the hard grind of changing society, preferring the more indulgent process of tinkering with their own lives within it. Yes we had to pay, but much less than the politically motivated, who can best be bracketed (official, political or alternative) together, for all their viciously backbiting fissipariousness, as the new left and the culturally oriented who weren't angry-ex-hippies with acid flashbacks.

The tourists pay. Which is only fair really; it costs a huge amount to maintain official discourses which enable different questions from those of pagans, and these differences require exploitation to facilitate transparency of intention.

Rule of law overthrown
Who now are the lawful and who the lawless? Ever since the International Times First All-Night Rave Pop Op Costume Masque Drag Ball Et Al in 1966, we of the radical counter-culture have been accused and even convicted of seeking to overthrow the rule of law by every Government in turn.
Who are the criminal conspirators now? No-one other than the Executive of the State. They are guilty of breaching international law in Iraq. Their actions have subverted the domestic rule of law.

Illegimate institutions
As subjects of the Crown, we the people rely upon the 'conventional respectability' of our rulers to preserve us from a return to Stuart Absolutism and Government by Divine Right. Long Live the Glorious Revolution of 1688! Forward to the Spectacular Revolution of 2005!
With the State exposed as a criminal conspiracy, all its institutions are now illegitimate, including English Heritage and their attempt to deny the lawful rights of the 2005 Stonehenge People's Free Festival.

Spectacular conspiracy
Stonehenge is a fake. After twenty years of dedicated research by a team of underground reporters, International Times can now reveal the startling truth.

Cruise missile test 'went wrong'
In the early hours of 21st June 1984, a Cruise missile convoy left Greenham Common for an exercise on Salisbury Plain. For the first time, one of the missiles was 'live'. It carried a deadly nuclear payload. Then something went wrong. The live missile was accidentally launched, its target a Soviet ICBM site.

Abort, abort, abort
Frantic commands were sent to abort the missile's mission in case it triggered the apocalypse. Appoximately 1000 feet above the ancient stones of Stonehenge, the missile exploded. An eye-witness, Ms. Patti Smith described the scene to our reporter.

It was like the sun had melted the stones so they coagulated as a river of glass and hardened.. I saw one man and his eyes were like two white opals. Not human. He cried out as he pushed the sky: " I see them [Cruise missiles] coming in, plutonium lights, like black ships, the sun, the sun, like the shape of a tortured woman."

Replica created
The authorities moved swiftly to cover-up the 'accident', creating a replica of the site, exact down to the finest detail. The bright thermo-nuclear flash, reported by Wiltshire residents, was explained as a UFO sighting. To prevent the replica being exposed as a fake, the decision was made to exclude the public from the Stones.

Battle of the Beanfield
The biggest threat to the cover-up was the Stonehenge Free Festival. Festival go-ers knew something had happened, but even the most paranoid never sussed the full extent of what was called the 'Stonehenge Situation'. The infamous 'Battle of the Beanfield' was a deliberate and spectacular ploy to divert attention from the Stones. It succeeded only too well...

Pagans: the manufacture of tradition.
The vaporisation of the entire Druid Order, gathered in the Stones to celebrate the 1984 Solstice, required a major recuperative effort. The image of white clad Druids greeting the sun was too spectacular to be easily forgotten. The answer, supplied by state employed archaeologists and anthropologists was to create a new religion. Called paganism, it was fractured into many 'paths' on the principle of divide and rule.

Everyone has their price.
A couple contacted me who wanted to get married at Stonehenge. They had requested permission and had been told "No, we don't allow weddings at Stonehenge". So I phoned up English Heritage , made an appointment and sat down and spoke with the new manager. We chatted about our children, about gardening, about how to lose a bit of weight, and about how I could marry this couple at Stonehenge. And she gave me permission. She didn't know that 'we' existed, mainstream, ordinary gentle people who weren't angry-ex-hippies with acid flashbacks. Yes we had to pay, but much less than the tourists pay. Which is only fair really; it costs a huge amount to maintain the illusion that Stonehenge is real and not fake.

Turn it on: a new religion.
The boredom and poverty of academic life has to be experienced to be believed. The multiplicity of specialists and specialisation's frantically competing for status created the perfect conditions for this experiment in social control. The tragic quest for authenticity, for recognition, for approval, for legitimacy which haunts contemporary paganism is the sign which marks its origins in the groves of academia. Beware! The recuperators are amongst us! Know your enemy! All the branches of knowledge, which continue to develop the thought of the spectacle, have to justify a society without justification, and constitute a general science of false consciousness.

Stonehenge conspiracy denied
Confronted with evidence that Stonehenge was destroyed in June 1984 by a nuclear explosion, a spokesman for English Heritage denied that there had been a massive conspiracy to cover-up the event.

Knowledge, power, corruption and lies
Earlier research indicated a number of areas in which a climate of mistrust has emerged between heritage managers/archaeologists and pagans/ alternative interest groups, though with some attempts to challenge this by individuals or groups- sustained and serious attempts which in our view might be supported by analysis of the discursive and political frameworks in which contestations occur. The (still) ongoing negotiations around Stonehenge open access are a case in point: it became hard for those actively working to promote harmony to see where the discursive boundaries of other (official, political or alternative) framings lay and the implications of phrasing and emphasis in creating trusts or mistrust. Official discourses enable different questions from those of pagans, and these differences require exploitation to obscure transparency of intention.

Harmony is Alienation.
What has existed since 1984 is the Anti-Stonehenge, a false construction of false consciousness. The only truly revolutionary act would be to occupy and then destroy the illusion. There can be no compromise with this post-modern prehistoric spectacle, with this mock monument to the pretensions of self-confessed law-abiding pagans

Pseudo-celebration of pseudo-time
The 'festivals' of pseudo-pagans exist in pseudo-cyclical time. They bear no relation to the free festivals of the counterculture. What were the transgressive moments of the counterculture's participation in the luxurious expenditure of life are impossible where there is neither community nor luxury. The pagan 'wheel of the year' is fixed to the repetitive calendar of alienated labour. This 'pagan time' with its sudden return of multiple festivals is a time without festivity. It is solar time, where the spectacular past dominates the present.
Brighter than a thousand suns, the nuclear flash which erased Stonehenge in 1984 vitrified time as well as the megaliths. The spectacular consumption of this congealed time includes the recuperated repetition of its negative manifestations. The critical truth of this destruction [ of Stonehenge] is obviously hidden, since the spectacle's function is to make history forgotten within culture.

We will remember the past for you.
The new [road] protesters often have a better grasp of ancient history than of what happened only ten or twenty years ago. The total historical movement of the counterculture must now be re-membered. But if you can remember the sixties/ seventies/ eighties/ nineties then you weren't 'there'. I love the friends I have gathered here on this thin raft, we built pyramids in honour of our escaping. Out here on the perimeter there are no stars, we is stoned- immaculate. The people of the before-time tells us 'Forget the night and live with us in forests of azure'. I tell you this - no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.

Gaia dominatrix
The truth about the manipulation of the UFO phenomenon may turn out to be that it has been a grotesque hoax, perpetrated on thousands of unsuspecting witnesses as a means for influencing social beliefs and behaviour. If so, who has decided in what direction this behaviour should be bent? Jacques Vallee/ Messengers of Deception/1979

Vallee advanced two hypotheses: the now common place 'political control' one and a second ' occult conspiracy' one. The recent rise of 'paganisms' could be placed within either of these. But what if something else is going on? The Gaia Hypothesis offers an alternative explanation for the events of June 21st 1984. What occurred was a cultural mutation, a psychedelic eruption from deep within the earth. The upsurge in 'earth centred spirituality' that has been witnessed and analysed pre-figures a shift from a parasitic to a symbiotic relationship between post-modern, post-spectacular society and Gaia.

The great tidal wave of human expansion, knowledge and power reached its limit and is now in retreat. Spectacular society will end - but not in the joyfully anticipated 'revolution of everyday life'. Instead the complex structures of globalisation will collapse into a chaotic maelstrom of localised power centres each imbued with a survivalist ethic. The old gods and goddesses will return, heralding a new dark age. Dreams of cultural liberation will be replaced by ecstatic/ enforced submission to nature's bondage and the worship of Gaia ...

Gaia is not an organism.
Any organism must either eat or, by photosynthesis or chemosynthesis, produce its own food. All organisms produce waste. The second law of thermodynamics speaks clearly on this score: to maintain a body's organisation energy must be lost, dissipated as heat. No organism feeds on its own waste. Gaia, the living earth transcends any single organism or even any population. one organisms waste is another's food. Failing to distinguish anyone's food from someone else's waste, the Gaian system recycles matter on a global level. Far from being fragile, planetary life is highly resilient. Gaia is a tough bitch, not at all threatened by humans.We need honesty. We need to be freed from our species-specific arrogance. No evidence exists that we are 'chosen', the unique species for which all others were made. Our tenacious illusion belies our true status as upright mammalian weeds.[Lyn Margulis].

Funny thing is, without creative human conciousness there would be no Gaia Hypothesis. So we must be in the loop there somewhere.

Spectacular Hypothesis?
The radical de-centering of human agency implicit in the Gaia hypothesis condemns history as an illusion. 'True' history is the 3 billion years of life on earth. Within the infinitesimal period allocated to humanity, James Lovelock has suggested feudalism as a stable,low-tech/ lo- entropy alternative to hi-tech/ hi- entropy modernity and thus an appropriate cultural response to Gaia's indifference.
Yet the acceptance and consumption of commodities which defines and distinguishes the society of the spectacle requires the production of commodities. This process drives both the globalisation of the spectacle and generates the entropy which now threatens to stifle the spectacle as a functional process. Can the spectacle survive once the flow of commodities is reduced to a mere trickle as global climate change begins to bite? The critique which goes beyond the spectacle must know how to wait.

The Empire of the Panda's Thumb
The problem with 'survival of the fittest' is that it suggests that only the very best will do. In fact, cultures can survive perfectly well even though other cultures could occupy their niche more effectively. All they need to do is prevent the new culture from gaining a foothold. The same problem arises in respect of particular characteristics of a given creature. Stephen Jay Gould called this the Panda's Thumb Priciple. Panda's don't have real thumbs, but have a 'thumb like digit' which works in a thumbish way. Mathematically the Panda's Thumb Principle says that a local optimum -the best out of a bad bunch- will win; you don't need the global optimum, the best that could possibly be. At least you don't until something happens that re-writes the equations.

Counterculture as energy efficient
To maintain its Empire of the Panda's Thumb, the spectacle requires uninterrupted power supplies. Our texts are spoken in the blackout, in the liminal zone between the world as it is and the world as it will become. Our apparent apathy is the conservation of energy, thus we dream our psychedelic dreams; recycling these old and worn out texts, the yellowing pages of surrealist manifestos, giving them away like the damnation of your soul under the grey mist of a summer dawn to the crowd flowing over London Bridge. So many. I had not though death had undone so many.

Tomorrow never knows
And in the death as the last few corpses lay rotting on slimy streets, strange mutant eyes gazed down on Hunger City, this City of the Dead, where we lie side by side in bed. Turn off your mind relax and float down stream. It is not dying. Surrender to the void. It is shining.

The Will to Surrender
The Will to Knowledge, Power and Control, which we define as the Thelemic illusion, is coexistent with the Genocidal Impulse of the dominant culture. This was first revealed in the writings of Edward Alexander [Aleister] Crowley in 1904 and the simultaneous Relativity equations of Albert Einstein. "I am the Warrior Lord of the Forties; the Eighties cower before me and are Abased" and e = mc2 had their symbolic thermo-nuclear resolution at Stonehenge on 21st June 1984. This war of all against all can have no outcome but the extinction of our humanity. The counterculture exists as an affirmation of life beyond death. Thus we celebrate the Will to Surrender, embracing the Sacred Void ( the totality of Chaos and Anarchy) as the negation of the genocidal Will to Knowledge, Power and Control.

We accept that these truths are uncertain
The melting acid fever which sweeps through our minds allows of no certainty. By throwing open the Doors of Perception, the continuous psychedelic revolution has confounded our bondage to space and time. We are at once everywhere and nowhere. Thus we have demonstrated that the human mind is capable of rising/ falling to the absolute point of view and becoming the vehicle, as it were, of absolute thought or reason's reflective awareness of its own activity. When this condition is fulfilled, there is a certain continuity between Kant's idea of the only possible scientific type of metaphysic and the idealist conception of metaphysics. Whilst going beyond anything that Kant envisaged, this is not a simple reversion to a pre-Kantian conception of metaphysics. Rather it is the emergence of a quantum metaphysics into the spectacular realm of everyday life.

Magickal mystery tour
Over and over again reputable researchers have found strong evidence for the existence of ESP in tightly controlled experiments. But then subjectivity once more rears its head. Sceptics claim that pretty much any explanation for the evidence is more plausible than ESP, undermining the most cherished principle of the scientific process- that, in the end, the accumulation of evidence ensures that the truth will come out.
Both camps look at the same raw data but reach utterly different conclusions because they have radically different models for the cause of the data. More than any other scientific discipline, parapsychology pushes the scientific process to its limits and reveals its fatal flaw : that data alone can never settle this or any other issue. Thus science cannot give us an objective view of reality.

Objecting to reality
Do not adjust your mind. There is a fault with objective reality. Objective reality is the reality of the object. What is the object? The only object in spectacular society is the spectacle of society. This object is no more than the economy developing for itself. It is the true reflection of the production of objects and the false objectification of the producer who is also the consuming subject. Buy back in 'free' time what you produce in 'work' time. The countercultural revolution is rooted in the psychedelic revelation that there can be no objective view of reality, since the viewer is not other than reality as subjectively experienced. What you see is what you are.

Nostalgia for Stuart Absolutism
The Will to Power, Knowledge and Control has been deployed to fabricate the objectification of reality and to deny the very possibility that alternative orderings, and hence cultures and societies, can exist. Entangled in the state's nostalgia for Stuart Absolutism, the political consequence has been the suppression of the counterculture and its recuperation as 'youth subcultures' and now as 'paganism'.

Solidification of the Sacred
The sacred is what underlies the familiar and everyday. In science it is represented by the 'quantum ocean', a sea of energy out of which the physical world of space, time, matter and consciousness emerges milli-second by milli-second. The sacred permeates and suffuses everything, including our physical bodies and our brains. It exists in the most distant star and in a bag of rubbish. Everything that exists is therefore sacred. But if we constantly perceived the sacred, we would be permanently enraptured by the patterns and possibilities of the world. We would become forever lost in the texture of reality. And yet, the world still seems pretty solid and real. An archaeologist digging down through the layers of history at Stonehenge does not actually uncover an infinite ocean of quantum mist, sparkling and glistening with [im]probable [im]possibilities. What the archaeologist finds are overlapping and jumbled layers of signification. The solidification of the sacred.

The megaliths have all melted.
A river of molten glass pours through the world, congealing in the sea of space and time. It forms a burnished mirror wherein we gaze, entranced, enraptured by the lights which dance across its black deep surface.
The festival of eternity, the eternal festival. The festival never ended, can never be ended though the megaliths have all but melted; oh caress yourself my urchin one, for I hear them on the rails- because of all we've seen, because of all we've said. We are the Dead.

A breathe of wind mists the surface of the black deep mirror. The wind scatters a handful of dust. Each particle gleams with the myriad colours of the rainbow. At first we were iridescent. Then we became transparent. Finally - we were absent.
Clara Bow - the original IT girl
June 1st 2005

Pinki and the Druids - Stonehenge 1984

Here is one I made earlier. Last year (2004 from memory) I found a web site written by two pagan academics who were/ are trying to mediate between the various Authorities and the pagan community over access to Stonehenge and other 'sacred sites' www.sacredsites.org

I started out trying to be sensible but then i thought 'fuck it, lets go for it' and re-invented IT / International Times for about the 8th time and ran off a few copies of a June 2005 Special Issue - I took various texts (including some from Vale's 'Modern Pagans' book ) and cut them up and stuck them together in a tabloid style - announcing that Stonehenge had in fact been destroyed by a feak accident involving an armed Cruise missile in 84 - and that the Stonehenge we see today is in fact a hastily erected replica. It was to prevent this cover-up being uncovered that the 85 Stonehenge Free festival had to be banned...

I will attempt to post a version of the IT here at some point.

I also had a go at a bit of family history. here it is. Enjoy.

Twenty one years ago this June the last Stonehenge Free Festival was held. Amongst the 40 000 [or whatever] folk who were there was Pinki.

She had been a punk in London, then a Greenham Woman. Later she would be a road protestor, a student of international law, a mother [four kids] and if she had lived, a grandmother. She died in 1996.

She was also a magickian called Tanith Ma’at, High Priestess of the Temple of the Black Flame and Silver Star. The magick she worked was Ma’at Magick. Unlike other forms of magick, Ma’at magick is future magick.
She got into this thanks to Greenham. If you can rember back to the early 80ies, it looked like there would be no future. She made it her Will that there would be a future. That there would not be a nuclear war. That ‘truth and justice’ [Ma’at] would prevail.

In 84 she spent most of her time in the Stones and not the Festival. She had done the political stuff, done direct at Greenham and Molesworth and Upper Heyford and Fairford and the Falklands Victory Parade, been arrested loads of times. This time she wanted to do something different - to take ‘magickal direct action’ to ensure there was a future. So she spent solstice eve in the Stones imagining a future. She was still there when the Druids turned up. Big problem! Pinki was not an initiated Druid.

Also she was dressed all in black... The Druids had to wait until Pinki had finished to do their stuff.
This really annnoyed them. They were still annoyed two years later when Pinki met up with them at a meeting in wood at Wilton near Salisbury arranged to discuss the “Spiritual Signifcance of Stonehenge”.

“ What were you doing?’ they asked her, “were you just out of it [i.e. tripping]?”
“I was doing my magick “ she replied.
“What kind of magick?” they asked.
“I will tell you if you tell me what magick you were doing” she answered.
“Sorry, we can’t reveal our secrets to non-initiates” was the response.
“In which case I will not say anything either” Pinki said, smiling sweetly.

As events unfolded, and it became clear that neither Festival nor Druid rites were going to be allowed at Stonehenge, Pinki often wondered if by annoying the Druids, she had influenced the situation. That by impinging on the Druids’ ritual, she had shifted their attitude to the Festival. Before, the two events had been separate, but now the Druids saw the Festival as a ‘magickal rival’ or even threat and so wanted to get rid of it.
Who knows? It is all ancient history now, except that twenty years on, the problem of access to Stonehenge and the problem of the Festival have not gone away.

Pinki and the Pagans or what Tanith did next

With some women from Greenham in the summer of 83, Pinki went to Glastonbury Festival and they stopped off at Silbury Hill on the way. She thought it would be a great place for a Women’s Festival so organised one [84/ 85 and 86?] Beltane 85 she took part in a Women’s Walk to Reclaim Salisbury Plain - from Avebury/ Silbury/ West Kennet to Stonehenge. Starhawk was also on the walk, and wrote about the walk in her book called ‘Truth or Dare’ (if you want to find out what Starhawk is doing these days, check out www.starhawk.org )

The women reached Stonehenge despite efforts by the army and police to stop them. That was May, then came June and the Beanfield.

Later that year Pinki stayed at Greenlands Farm, Glastonbury to talk about ‘The Future of Stonehenge’ with refugees from the Eviction of Molesworth and the Beanfield. She went to lots of meetings- in Salisbury, the one in Wilton where she met the Druids and painted a vision of Stonehenge which went off travelling and never came back. She also [as Tanith Ma’at] got involved in trying to organise ‘pagans’ to link up together in Paganlink.

Confusion- before and after the Beanfield.

Before 1985 it was nice n easy. There were Druids [who dressed in white and went to Stonehenge] and Wiccans [who undressed and didn’t go to Stonehenge]. To be either a Druid or a Wiccan you had to be initiated.
After 1985, when the ‘religious freedom’ argument about access to Stonehenge got used [e.g. by Pinki as Tanith] lots of people who weren’t Druids or Wiccans became pagans who -naturally- wanted to celebrate their religion by going to Stonehenge... The idea with Paganlink was that Paganlink could then negotiate/ demand access to Stonehenge. But there were lots of other ideas. Pinki/ Tanith went to meetings which agreed one set of ideas, then at the next one these were thrown out and another set agreed... and so on in ever decreasing circles. No-one could even agree on what ‘pagan’ meant.

Paganism or the Counterculture? Pinki got pissed-off with the whole thing. She went to Hackney College and then university, ended up studying International Law and then became a road protestor. Or rather did both at the same time. For Wanstonia [M 11 protest] she looked up her law books and wrote an ‘official’ Declaration of Independence’ quoting all the right treaties. She went to Solsbury Hill/ Bath and got arrested [for about 26th time she reckoned]. She wanted to go to Newbury but phsyically could not. She died in January 1996.
Arguments about Access to Stonehenge still carry on. But, if you check out www.sacredsites.org.uk it is all about pagans and archaeologists and heritage site managers The counterhistory, history of the counterculture, indeed the very word ‘counterculture’ has been neatly erased from Stonehenge.
But if it had not been for the Stonehenge People’s Festival the Druids would still be doing their thing. Stonehenge would still be stuck safely in an imagined past.

What Pinki wanted to do twenty years ago was to ‘move’ Stonehenge into an imagined future - a future which no -one outside of the ‘peace’ counterculture could actually imagine back then. A future we are living in now.
Is it possible to imagine a future in which there is a Free Festival again? To revive and renew Wally Hope’s vision of what Stonehenge could become for a new millenium? Maybe there is no counterculture any more, maybe everybody’s pagan nowadays, tame primitives acting out officially approved and academically authorised versions of the past as a spectacle for tourists?

AL June 1st 2005
ps if you wonder how I know so much about what Pinki did - I married her!