.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


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

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Where are Class War when we need 'em now?

Dear Ian Bone,

I have not made up this news article, honest.


From Sunday Herald, 27 January 2007

Anger over Glasgow University chief’s pay rise
By Paul Hutcheon

£27,000 increase comes alongside redundancies and education cuts

THE PRINCIPAL of Glasgow University has been awarded a 15% pay rise in the same year he oversaw drastic Education Cuts and hundreds of redundancies.
Sir Muir Russell, the former permanent secretary of the Scottish Executive, has accepted a wage hike equivalent to five times the rate of inflation.
One Labour MSP described the improved financial package as "shocking" and called on the higher education institution to explain its decision.

The pay rise is controversial as it comes against a backdrop of university cuts. It was revealed earlier this month that Glasgow may pull out of Crichton Campus in Dumfries due to funding problems. Officials are considering options ranging from reducing its activities in the south of Scotland, to full-scale withdrawal.
This follows last year's row over the university's cost-cutting exercise to hit a £10 million efficiency drive.

Several departments tightened their belts by making substantial savings, while around 230 staff accepted voluntary redundancy. At the time, Russell explained the cuts by saying they were necessary for the university's long-term health.
He said: "These budgets involve savings because the university cannot continue to run an operating deficit as we have for the past 10 years and rely on borrowing and disposal of assets to fund our operations."

The Association of University Teachers (AUT) suggested Russell makea contribution to the cuts by taking a £40,000 wage cut. However, not only did the principal ignore this idea, but he instead accepted an inflation-busting salary increase.
The university's latest accounts show the level of Russell's remuneration package jumped from £184,000 in 2004/05 to £211,000 in the last financial year - a 15% rise.

His "salary and benefits" increased during the same period by 11% from £170,000 to £189,000, while his pension contributions rose from £14,000 to £22,000.

It is not the first time Russell has benefited from a generous deal from the taxpayer. The 58-year-old former civil servant, who led the Scottish Executive during the calamity of the Holyrood project, will pocket a one-off payment of £215,000 when he turns 60. He can also expect an annual pension of £65,000 waiting for him at 65,on account of his years spent in the civil service.

Dumfries MSP Elaine Murray blasted Russell for his pay rise. She said: "People will be horrified by this, particularly in Dumfries. He is urging everyone else to make cuts while agreeing a big pay rise for himself. It is shocking."
Dr Bill Stewart, the vice-president of the Universities and Colleges Union at Glasgow University, said: "As a group, the senior officials award themselves pay rises that are always higher than the rate of inflation. It's an issue we've campaigned on for a number of years, and it's particularly relevant at times like these."

A spokesperson for Glasgow University defended the pay rise: "The salary of the university's principal is performance- related and reflects the responsibilities of running a large and complex organisation. The increase reflects the considerable success which the university has enjoyed in the past year. We are out of deficit for the first time in 12 years, having a £2m surplus to invest in our areas of excellence, and climbed 20 places in the world league tables to 81, one of only two Scottish universities in the top 100."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Paris, 1968: Dumfries 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Poverty of Academic Life

Here is my mate Ted looking very pissed off.I wonder why? I am pissed off too.looks as if my research on the Galloway Levellers Uprising will never get beyond my Last of the Westland Whigs pages see http://westlandwhig.blogspot.com

Monday, January 15, 2007

Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV and Situationists

Just found a fascinating piece on this blog exploring Situationist influences on Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV.


Check it out.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Leaving the 21st Century

Before leaving the 20th century [London] in 1997 to return to the 17th century [Galloway- see Last of the Westland Whigs blog below], I went to Compendium in Camden (sadly now no more I believe) and bought a copy of Society of the Spectacle to arm myself against a relapse into rural idiocy [ Marx quote].

With nothing better to do I read and re-read Soc.Spec. Here I found this:

Society of the Spectacle 157

Another side of the deficiency of general historical life is that individual life as yet has no history. The pseudo-events which rush by in spectacular dramatizations have not been lived by those informed of them; moreover they are lost in the inflation of their hurried replacement at every throb of the spectacular machinery. Furthermore, what is really lived has no relation to the official irreversible time of society and is in direct opposition to the pseudo-cyclical rhythm of the consumable by-product of this time. This individual experience of separate daily life remains without language, without concept, without critical access to its own past which has been recorded nowhere. It is not communicated. It is not understood and is forgotten to the profit of the false spectacular memory of the unmemorable.

Greengalloway is my attempt to redress this 'deficiency of general historical life' by creating critical access to my own past, a history of my individual life. [For non-individual history see http://westlandwhig.blogspot.com/

In so doing I was simply extending into cyberspace a practice which already existed - that of punk fanzines... Mark P, Tony D, Tom Vague, Richard Kick... to name but a few have been here before.

In particular, Tom Vague has fought against the forgetting and you can still get his work via AK Press http://www.akuk.com/ (click on the 'Situationism' link on their home page).

Twenty two years ago (ouch, is it really that long ago?) Vague 16/17 contained a 'Boy Scout Guide to Situationism'. It also had an Introduction piece by myself [in original edition, but apologetically deleted subsequently- reference to Flowers in the Dustbin dated it too much].

But that is not dead which can eternal lie as H.P. Lovecraft said... so have scanned the rant.
Click on image to enlarge.


Working Class Hero: Class of 78

Just finished Punk Rock : an Oral History [John Robb: 2006] and Bash the Rich [Ian Bone:2006].

Arguments about class are common to both, revolving around belief that working class = authentic and middle class = wanker.

Here is a photo taken outside a factory in November 1978. It is of the engineering department of the J. Allen Rubber Compan, part of the London Rubber Company. Are the people in the photo members of the working class? Apart from two- the Works Manager and the Engineering Manager - I reckon most people would say 'Yes'.

In which case one of these working class heroes is me.

The photo is also part of history. The factory was closed in 1981. The machinery in the container behind us was part of a rubber glove making machine sent to Malaysia. Once up and running the London Rubber Company transfered all production to Malaysia. Even their main factory in east London - where I moved in 1979 and where they made Durex condoms- is now gone. And the London Rubber Company itself is no more - owned by Scholl.

The experience of the 10 000 or so workers London Rubber employed in 1977 (when I started working for them) and who lost their jobs during the eighties was shared by hundreds of thousands.

There was a class war - and we lost.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

letterist manifesto 1942/ the clash 1976

manifesto of letterist poetry
by isidore isou 1942

photo of the clash 1976

A Commonplaces about Words

Pathetic I
The flourishing of bursts of energy dies beyond us.
All delirium is expansive.
All impulses escape stereotyping.
Still I An intimate experience maintains curious specifics.
Pathetic II
Discharges are transmitted by notions.
What a difference between our fluctuations and the
brutality of words.
Transitions always arise between feeling and speech.
Still II
The word is the first stereotype.
Pathetic III
What a difference between the organism and the sources.
Notions - what an inherited dictionary. Tarzan learns
in his father's book to call tigers cats.
Naming the Unknown by the Forever.
Still III
The translated word does not express.
Pathetic IV
The rigidity of forms impedes their transmission.
These words are so heavy that the flow fails to carry
them. Temperaments die before arriving at the goal
(firing blanks).
No word is capable of carrying the impulses one
wants to send with it.
Still IV
WORDS allow psychic alterations to disappear.
Speech resists effervescence.
Notions require expansion to equivalent formulas.
WORDS Fracture our rhythm.
by their Assassinate sensitivity.
mechanism, Thoughtlessly uniform
fossilization, tortured inspiration.
stability Twist tensions.
and aging Reveal poetic exaltations as useless.
Create politeness.
Invent diplomats.
Promote the use of analogies
Substitute for true emissions.
Pathetic V
If one economizes on the riches of the soul, one dries
up the left-over along with the words.
Still V
Prevent the flow from molding itself on the cosmos.
Form species in sentiments.
WORDS Destroy sinuosities.
Result from the need to determine things.
Help the elderly remember by forcing the young to forget.
Pathetic VI
Every victory of the young has been a victory over words.
Every victory over words has been a fresh, young victory.
Still VI
Summarize without knowing how to receive.
It is the tyranny of the simple over the long-winded.
WORDS Discern too concretely to leave room for the mind.
Forget the true measures of expression: suggestions.
Let infrarealities disappear.
Sift without restoring.
Pathetic VII
One learns words as one learns good manners.
Without words and manners it is impossible to appear in
It is by making progress in words that one makes progress
Still VII
Kill fleeting evocations.
Slow down short-cuts and approximations.
SPEECH Is always vice-versa for not being identical.
Eliminates solitary individuals who would like to
rejoin society.
Forces men who would like to say "Otherwise" to say "Thus."
Introduces stuttering.
Pathetic VIII
The carpentry of the word built to last forever obliges men
to construct according to patterns, like children.
There is no appreciation of value in a word.
Still VIII
Words are the great levellers.
Pathetic IX
Notions limit opening onto depths by merely standing ajar.
Still IX
Words are family garments.
Poets enlarge words every year.
Words already have been mended so much they are in stitches.
Pathetic X
People think it is impossible to break words.
Still X
Unique feelings are so unique that they can not be
popularized. Feelings without words in the dictionary disappear.
Pathetic XI
Every year thousands of feelings disappear for lack
of a concrete form.
Still XI
Feelings demand living space.
How remarkable the poet's disheartened absorption in words.
Things and nothings to communicate become daily more imperious.
Pathetic XII
Efforts at destruction witness to the need to rebuild.
Still XII
How long will people hold out in the shrunken domain of
Pathetic XIII
The poet suffers indirectly:
Words remain the work of the poet, his existence, his job.

B Innovation I

Destruction of WORDS for LETTERS

ISIDORE ISOU Believes in the potential elevation beyond WORDS; wants
the development of transmissions where nothing is
lost in the process; offers a verb equal to a shock. By
the overload of expansion the forms leap up by themselves.
ISIDORE ISOU Begins the destruction of words for letters.
ISIDORE ISOU Wants letters to pull in among themselves all desires.
ISIDORE ISOU Makes people stop using foregone conclusions, words.
ISIDORE ISOU Shows another way out between WORDS and RENUNCIATION:
LETTERS. He will create emotions against language, for the
pleasure of the tongue.
It consists of teaching that letters have a destination
other than words.
ISOU Will unmake words into their letters.
Each poet will integrate everything into Everything
Everything must be revealed by letters.

Anyone who can not leave words behind can stay back with them!

C Innovation II: The Order of Letters

This does not mean destroying words for other words.
Nor forging notions to specify their nuances.
Nor mixing terms to make them hold more meaning.
It is the role of the poet to advance toward subversive sources.
the obligation of the poet to advance in the black and
burdened depths of the unknown.
the craft of the poet to open one more treasure-room
door for the common man.
There will be a poet's message in new signs. The ordering of letters is called:
It is not a poetic school, but a solitary attitude.
Isou is awaiting his successors in poetry!
(Do they already exist somewhere, ready to burst forth
into history through books?)
There are things which are existent only in the strength of their name.
there are others which exist, but lacking a name are unacknowledged.
Every idea needs a calling card to make itself known.
Ideas are known by the name of their creator.
It is more objective to name them after themselves.
Letterics is a material that can always be demonstrated.
Letterics seeds already existing:
If this material existed before, it didn't have a name to recognize it by.
Letterics works will be those made entirely out of this element, but with
suitable rules and genres!
The word exists and has the right to perpetuate itself.
It is up to the Letterist to develop Letterism.
Letterism is offering a DIFFERENT poetry.

Situationist International vs Typhonian OTO

1. Links between Situationist International and Typhonian OTO

1.1Isidore Ducasse aka Comte de Lautreamont

1.2 Arthur Rimbaud

1.3 Kenneth Grant (born 1924)- Typhonian OTO

1.4 Guy Debord (born 1931) - Situationist International

2.Here is something to wonder about.

2.1 Just been reading ‘The Game of War’ [Andrew Hussey: Jonathan Cape: 2001] which is a biog of Guy Debord.

2.1.1 Pages 22/3 reveal that Debord was influenced/ fascinated by Ducasse/ Lautreamont Quote :

The true aim of Lautremont’s poetry was to launch a series of attacks against both his readers and the society which produced them, to ‘cretinise’ the reader with the poison of his poetic texts , which substituted evil for good, ugly for beautiful, the irrational for the rational, in the name of a dramatised perpetual conflict of the ‘all-powerful Self’ against the universal law of ‘the Creator’ . Lautreamont wrote that his poetry aimed to expose the hypocrisy of all moral structures.

2.1.2 Page 30 reveals that Debord was also influenced by the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud. Quote:

Debord was particularly inspired by Rimbaud’s hallucinatory and fragmented epic of disgust, denial and confession, A season in hell. He was entranced by the way in which Rimbaud had composed this work during a period of boredom and frustration… It was of key significance for Debord that the prose poems of A Season in Hell describe a world where visionary art, ‘a rational disordering of the senses’. overwhelms the misery and insufficiency of daily life.

2.2 In Chapter 1 of ‘Outside the Circles of Time ‘ [ Frederick Muller: 1980] Kenneth Grant discusses the importance of both Lautreamont and Rimbaud , as well as the Surrealists for his construction of ‘magick’.

2.2.1 But , whilst Grant developed and extended the work of his immediate forbears - Edward Alexander Crowley and Austin Osman Spare-, Debord distanced himself from his forbears - surrealist Andre Breton and letterist Isidore Isuo. . Specifically Debord rejected the later surrealists fascination with the ‘occult ‘ [but can’t find quote from Hussey].

2.2.2 However, it could be argued that Grant’s ‘development’ of Crowley and Spare was facilitated by their absence (Crowley died in 1947, Spare in 1956) and so was more free to interpret their work than Debord was to interpret that of Breton and Isou. Breton did not die until 1966 and Isou is still alive.

3. Beyond the Spectacle: the Magical Revival

3.1 Although there is no direct link beyond their appreciation of Rimbaud and Lautreamont between Debord and Grant , it is interesting and irrationally significant that 1972 marks both an end and a beginning. The end was the dissolution of the Situationist International and the beginning was Grant’s publication of ‘The Magical Revival’.

3.2 To conclude: I suggest that :

3.2.1 The work and life of Guy Debord and the Situationist International must be analysed, understood and critiqued from an occult perspective.

3.2.2 The work and life of Kenneth Grant and the Typhonian OTO must be analysed, understood and critiqued from a political perspective.

3.2.3 Only thus will the necessary Hegelian / dialectical synthesis of their contradictory positions and practices be constructed.

3.3.3 The development of ‘punk’ into and beyond ‘chaos magic’ can - for those with the imagination to do so - be ‘read’ as a necessary [if not yet fulfilled] synthesis of the Debord / Grant dichotomy.

Psychogeography of South London

Although I spent most of my yeras in London north of the Thames (in Ilford, Islington and Hackney) I was briefly a south Londoner - New Cross.

Thanks to Neil from New Cross I have found Transpontine at http://transpont.blogspot.com/

Part of the psychogeography of south London Transpontine are exploring are music links, and Neil has asked if I know of any...

Got three:

Mitch of Hagar the Womb / Snork Maidens / Flack lived on Nettleton Road 10 years ago.

Mouse of Psychic TV lived at 10 Nettleton Road mid/ late eighties (at no. 10)

Bob of Blood and Roses also lived at n0. 10 in late eighties.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Great Old Ones Return

Cthulhu Cults

My daughter (no longer a teenager, just turned 20) now has two screens for her computer and a seven speaker sound system, all the better to play World of Warcraft with. After helping her set up her speaker system she showed me some of the amusing images she has downloaded .

Amongst them were quite a few humorous Cthulhu ones.- like this Lego Cthulhu.

I told her that I knew people who take Cthulhu very seriously as part of their magic. She didn’t believe me. We looked up Wikipedia…. Masses on Lovecraft and Cthulhu spin-offs - whole wiki on Cthulhu / Cthulhu Mythos in popular culture but not a mention of Kenneth Grant or the magical Esoteric Order of Dagon …

“Why is Cthulhu so popular ?“ I asked her.
“It is a geek thing dad. “ she replied. Somehow Cthulhu has become part of geek (people who spend hours at at a time playing around on computers) culture. She told me she found most of the images on 4chan - http://www.4chan.org/

Which I had never heard of.

I then went off and did a bit of looking .. Google came up with 7 600 000 web entries for ‘Cthulhu’ and over 40 000 images. Although, to give context, ‘punk’ gives 98 000 000 web entries and 847 000 images, but only 470 000 and 1 900 respectively for ‘anarcho-punk’ .

Is there any significance to the pop culture / geek culture fascination with Cthulhu ? Is there much overlap with ‘popular’ occultism/ magic? There was e.g. sixties psychedelic group H. P.Lovecraft [have got their At the mountains of Madness’ lp] and - according to one of the Esoteric Order of Dagon websites
http://www.esotericorderofdagon.com/ there was a magical ‘Starry Wisdom Cult’ in existence in the USA in the sixties which in the seventies overlapped with that EOD. Also see/ hear (previous blog) Black Sabbath’s 1970 evocation of Lovecraftian theme via Behind [Beyond] the Wall of Sleep.

However, it seems likely that the occult/ magical (rather than literary / horror genre) aspect of the Cthulhu Mythos has developed out of Kenneth Grant’s work. Grant discusses Lovecraft in ‘The Magical Revival’ (his first book, published in 1972) and - as with his advocacy of Austin Osman Spare - thus ‘popularised’ the Lovecraftian/ Cthulhian Gnosis.

But did Kenneth Grant’s magickal work set a popular culture current in motion? For example, the fantasy role playing game ‘Call of Cthulhu ‘ was released in 1981by Chaosium (founded in 1975) - and thus post-dates Grant/ Magical revival. This is an interesting question. How are ‘ideas’ propagated? Do cause and effect work differently within the sphere of culture, of the imagination - of the Spectacle? Can one apply the methods of objective analysis in the realm of the subjective?

Maybe the answer lies in the expansion of cyberspace. I suspect that the Cthulhu Cult has multiplied and grown as an aspect of geek culture - which has in turn created and found a home in cyberspace. The internet / world wide web / cyberspace is therefore the ‘Gateway’ through which the Great Old Ones will return.

At which point I was about to post this blog yesterday and I had an all systems crash experience and a brief ‘ohm god - they are about to break through’ pan-ic. Fortunately for the world - if you are reading these words and not witnessing hordes of Cthulhu cultists seizing power - normal service has been resumed.

Or has it? Dot dot dot

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Mob on myspace


Behind/ Beyond the Wall of Sleep

We take our dreams for reality since we believe in the reality of our dreams. (Situ misquote)

We are turning electric dreams into reality (Hawkwind)

All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and we are at last compelled to face with sober senses, our real conditions of life, and our relations with our kind. [Karl Marx de-gendered]

The following is a vague ramble about imagined links between Situationist Raoul Vaneigem, Thelemic magickian Kenneth Grant, fantasy-horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and heavy metal heroes Black Sabbath (which in turn gives a William Burroughs link from his novels The Soft Machine and Nova Express).

To start with here is some Lovecraft:

I have often wondered if the majority of mankind ever pause to reflect upon the occasionally titanic significance of dreams, and of the obscure world to which they belong. Whilst the greater number of our nocturnal visions are perhaps no more than faint and fantastic reflections of our waking experiences - Freud to the contrary with his puerile symbolism - there are still a certain remainder whose immundane and ethereal character permit of no ordinary interpretation, and whose vaguely exciting and disquieting effect suggests possible minute glimpses into a sphere of mental existence no less important than physical life, yet separated from that life by an all but impassable barrier.

From my experience I cannot doubt but that man, when lost to terrestrial consciousness, is indeed sojourning in another and uncorporeal life of far different nature from the life we know, and of which only the slightest and most indistinct memories linger after waking. From those blurred and fragmentary memories we may infer much, yet prove little. We may guess that in dreams life, matter, and vitality, as the earth knows such things, are not necessarily constant; and that time and space do not exist as our waking selves comprehend them. Sometimes I believe that this less material life is our truer life, and that our vain presence on the terraqueous globe is itself the secondary or merely virtual phenomenon.

H.P. Lovecraft: Beyond the Wall of Sleep: 1919

This Lovecraft quote can be read as informing Kenneth Grant’s triple Typhonian trilogy and in turn as deriving from William Blake for whom the ‘real’ world was the world of imagination (: dreams) of which the physical world was but its ‘mundane shell’.

Lovecraft’s ‘Beyond the Wall of Sleep’ is believed to have inspired the Black Sabbath song ‘Behind the Wall of Sleep’. You can see the Sabs playing the song in France in 1970 here

Or listen to the album version here:


Behind the Wall of Sleep
Visions cupped within a flower
Deadly petals with strange power
Faces shine a deadly smile
Look upon you at your trial

Chill and numbs from head to toe
Icy sun with frosty glow
Words that grow read to your sorrow
Words that grow read no tomorrow

Feel your spirit rise with the breeze
Feel your body falling to its knees
Sleeping wall of remorse
Turns your body to a corpse

Now from darkness there springs light
Wall of Sleep is cool and bright
Wall of Sleep is lying broken
Sun shines in you have awoken

For as long as there have been men -- and men who read Lautréamont -- everything has been said and few people have gained anything from it. Because our ideas are in themselves commonplace, they can only be of value to people who are not. The modern world must learn what it already knows, become what it already is, by means of a great work of exorcism, by conscious practice. One can escape from the commonplace only by manhandling it, mastering it, steeping it in dreams, giving it over to the sovereign pleasure of subjectivity. Above all I have emphasized subjective will, but nobody should criticize this until they have examined the extent to which the objective conditions of the contemporary world are furthering the cause of subjectivity day by day. Everything starts from subjectivity, and nothing stops there.

From The Revolution of Everyday Life/ Vaneigem.

Note mention of Lautreamont.

Replete in the writings of the French poets Lautreamont and Rimbaud are contained imagery and references to an ancient occult tradition known as Typhonian. This Typhonian Tradition was part of a larger more ancient tradition known as the Draconian Tradition. This ancient lore goes back to Sumeria and pre-Dynastic Egypt. Typhon was the serpent goddess who was the mother of the god Set, Shaitan, otherwise known as Satan. The Typhonian Gnosis is concerned with contacting entities from the adverse side of the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is the symbolic, mystical system of the Qabalah that claims to represent all of the forces and elements of nature and the universe. This Tree is pictured with eleven spheres called sephirah with each sphere connected, in all, by twenty-two paths. It is believed that there is another side or dark side to this Tree of Life called the Tree of Death. This nether side is the side the Typhonian Tradition works with. Today's leading exponent of this tradition is occultist Kenneth Grant. Grant, one time student of infamous magician Aleister Crowley, claims that dark forces from the nether side of our world are seeping into our dimension and transforming this planet in strange and terrifying ways. Crowley called this transformation or New Aeon the Aeon of Horus, the bible calls it the Apocalypse, Satanist Anton LaVey called it the Age of Satan, and Grant and his associates call it the Ma-ion or Aeon of Maat. No matter what you call it, these groups are announcing a changing of the guard, an alteration of consciousness, a new world order whether we like it or not. Crowley wrote of this new order and the changes it would bring about:

Observe for yourselves the decay of the sense of sin, the growth of innocence and irresponsibility, the strange modifications of the reproductive instinct with a tendency to become bi-sexual or epicene, the childlike confidence in progress combined with nightmare fear of catastrophe, against which we are yet half unwilling to take precautions.

Kenneth Grant believes that certain poets and artists act as "sensitives" or receivers of these otherworldly forces that are seeping into our life wave. These "sensitives" receive impressions and images and impart them through their art. According to Grant these forces are the Qliphoth. Notorious in occult lore as evil and unbalanced, the Qliphoth are forces from outside our known universe trying to connect with us in order to complete our evolution, unite our "dayside" with our "nightside" or, in other words, open our conscious minds to the primordial depths of the dark unconscious. If the magician is properly prepared through the right rituals and has advanced far enough "spiritually" then contact with these forces will be relatively danger-free. The unprepared initiate can face insanity, destruction and the loss of his "soul" as a result of these encounters. However, there is a third way that combines both of these paths. That is the way of the artist or poet. Certain artists' neurons are so arranged as to act as antennae to "earth" these forces or invoke them and then to express their power through art. This can wreak havoc on an artist's nervous system but ultimately, through the expression of these forces they allow the rest of us a glimpse into this infernal domain. Lautreamont and Rimbaud are just these kinds of artists.

From http://www.rosenoire.org/articles/monstrous.php

Do I need to say more? Probably, but what?

Everything starts with an e? (What planet are you from?- Planet Ecstasy…)


And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the unfragmentary non-atomic fact of my universality. [original]


And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body. (AL I:26)

To vaguely conclude… here is a paste from Chaos Marxism


which mixes Maatian magic [ which works backwards in time -see Kenneth Grant/ Outside the Circles of Time and http://www.horusmaat.com/ with Marxist myth :

A successful memetic operation will work backwards in time - in other words, pick a possible future, and attempt to make it a real present. Dialectical materialism is the process of seeing which futures are possible, based on the contradictions of the present, and what kind of pressure on what kind of points right now will bring about which future. Believing that there is change, that the future will be more than the present with faster cars and smellier air, is in fact a revolutionary act in itself.

Hyperstition: a fiction that makes itself real. Example: H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos - after the ideas had been popularised in fiction, people decided to bring the Necronomicon (crappy Mysticism 101 versions of it, anyway) into existence and start worshipping the slimy, tentacular Elder Gods, for what reason I'm sure I'll never understand. Another example: Karl Marx's proletariat as a class-for-itself - the idea that industrial workers were capable of actually taking over the world - came into glorious life for just a few years in Russia. (Born 1917, certainly dead by 1928.)

I think it's one of the errors of vulgar magicians to just believe you can pick a meme, any meme, at random and use psyche-fixing technology to just bring it into existence. Doesn't work like that. It has to have resonance in the actually existing real world, physical and political. (To use an IT metaphor: you can screw around with the software all the time but it won't change the hardware - although it can put it to different uses.) People started worshipping Cthulhu et al - as far as I can tell - who would have been Satanists before Satan stopped being scary and devolved to a mere symbol of having a good time all of the time. The content of the Cthulhu meme is pure alien terror - and when it gets worn out through overuse, something worse will come along. (I sometimes wonder when nerds will legitimately start summoning Sadako from Ringu. That would be at least funny.)

A successful memetic operation will work backwards in time - in other words, pick a possible future, and attempt to make it a real present. Dialectical materialism is the process of seeing which futures are possible, based on the contradictions of the present, and what kind of pressure on what kind of points right now will bring about which future. Believing that there is change, that the future will be more than the present with faster cars and smellier air, is in fact a revolutionary act in itself.

Engels said that the struggle had to be carried on on three levels at once: industrial, political and ideological. This seems intriguingly similar to - although predating! - Freud's schema of id, ego and super-ego; or perhaps even Lacan's three "registers", the Real, the Imaginary and the Symbolic. In modern capitalism, industry (not just metalbashing, but mass-production on the basis of wage labour in all its forms) is a dirty, grotty, disavowed area which we are encouraged not to think about at all, but nonetheless is what keeps the whole system physically running. Like the id or the Real. The ideological level is the level of the abstract, of concepts, of memes; the political level is where reality and will interface. Since the industrial in the last instance determines everything, any real fundamental change must lead to real fundamental change in that very area which society - and pretty much every schema of magic I know of - doesn't want you to look at.

For we Chaos Marxists, we are carrying on a kind of "alchemy" on the ideological plane. But to be powerful and real, the thought-forms and concepts we are playing with must original on one of the "lower levels", and return to it. The most powerful magic of all is what causes change on the level of the subconscious mind; on the level of Industry; on the level of the reality which doesn't go away when we stop believing in it.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Blood and Roses and The Mob on myspace

Both Blood and Roses and The Mob now have fan sites on myspace.

see http://www.myspace.com/bloodandrosesuk


Meanwhile Gardens 1982

Paul Willson (brother of Mark Wilson of The Mob) has a new website at


Here is one of Paul's photos - Mick 'Lugworm' is facing camera with yellow t-shirt and purple hair - and -bit hard to work out who else is in photo. Or put names to backs...

Or who the group playing are.

Also note how colourful folk were then - it wasn't all black and white!

Chaos Marxism

This is very interesting - have a look.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Kenneth Grant makes first ever punk single in 1976

From Lashtal.com

An email sent to an e-list dedicated to the creative works of Austin Osman Spare includes some fascinating background to the excellent "Scarlet Woman" music single familiar to many students of Crowley and Grant...
From the online 60s psych zine Sweet Floral Albion:

"PC - Tell us about the Scarlet Woman 45."

BP - By Chakra - Me and Martin, so basically Pandamonium, with Ken Grant [Kenneth Grant = Aleister Crowley's executor and spiritual heir] doing the incantation. I wrote it from his books and sung on it. Martin was on drums, me on guitar, I think Lee Abbott on bass and Rick Wakeman (I think!) on piano. There's also a couple of witches in the background. Jimmy Page bought hundreds of copies from us. It was issued on our label - Maraybo Records (that's MA-rtin, RAY and BO-b!) in 1976."

Banshees/ Klimt/ Maat

The Monstrous Soul

Sin in my heart
Sin in my heart
sin in my heart flying like a dart
oh sin in my heart

Its beginning to start
when your lying like a tart
sin in my heart
when you grovel at my feet
oh sin in my heart its short and its sweet

Friday, January 05, 2007

Punk Situationist Magick

Just been reading through stuff on 'situationist influence on punk' and got bored.I spent more time trying to make sense of Kennth Grant's Typhonian Trilogy {Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God, Outside the Circles of Time and The Nightside of Eden) whilst listening to the Cramps than I did reading Situationists texts.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Crass not really anarchists- shock horror discovery

Just been fact-checking via 'The Story of Crass' about Crass' relationship with the 'traditionalist' anarchists and found the following on page 170.

The context is the release in May 1980 of the Bloody Revolutions (Crass)/ Persons Unknown (Poison Girls) single which financed the Wapping Autonomy Centre set up by Iris Mills and Ronan Bennett with support of Albert Meltzer and Stuart Christie after the persons Unknown anarchist consipracy to cause explosions trial of 1979. I think it is fairly clear from the following that Crass/ Penny Rimbaud (quotes are from Penny)were very wary/ dubious about the whole thing and that Crass' version of anarchism was somewhat 'untraditional' ie. not connected to the Black Flag (Christie / Meltzer) tradition of anarchism.

Possibly Crass were closer to the anarchism of Freedom newspaper which Stuart Christie describes [Granny made me an Anarchist, page 320) as run by 'Tolstoyan and Ghandi-influenced middle class-pacificists and academics... who used the paper to argue the case for permanent protest -as opposed to class struggle - and who believed the idea of revolution 'outdated'.'

However, as 'The Story of Crass' shows, post-Falklands War, Crass' postion did move from the pacifist-anarchist sentiments of 'Bloody Revolutions' (freedom has no value if violence is the price/ i don't want your revolution, i want anarchy and peace) towards a more 'anarchy and class war' position. "Now you see the violence inherant in the system" - Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The Quotes

1. We had a big debate , cos we didn't know, we thought, well if they are making bombs then we shouldn't really be supporting them . We turned a bit of a blind eye to the possibility they might have been. Suddenly we were hoisted on our own petard - we'd been playing around with it to some extent - using the anarchy flag ust to get the left and right wing off our backs. We weren't looking at what it might otherwise involve... that was the crossover point - that was when we stopped being just a band with something to say and tunred into something which was much more politically hardline and out there in the political arena.

2. Rimbaud denies the idea that Crass built up an ideology on the fly as people asked them about the meaning of 'anarchy and peace'

" No , because there was a fundamental ideology which was fundamentally anarchistic that I had. From organising the first Stonehenge festivals to Exit all the things that have gone on here, it was part of my ideology. I am posing the question : do I actually look at serious anarchists tracts to see to what extent I can defend them? Actually I choose not to . I thought bollocks, my anarchist tract is my life. I am not actually interested in what Bakunin or Proudhon said. I have read bits and pieces - more than bits and pieces since. There was this fear of being drawn into something we couldn't control - not in the sense of being control freaks, but we didn't want to find ourselves publically allied with something that we couldn't wholeheartedly support. I was very nervous about Persons Unknown."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Situ-punk vs anarcho-punk?

Anarcho-punk or Situ-punk? With the benefit of hindsight, I reckon there was a tension / contradiction right from the start. But as this anonymous comment on my Situationists vs. Anarchists in 68 blog (see below) points out, the Wapping Autonomy Centre may not be a very good case study.

I don't think the disagreements between Situationists and anarchists in May 68 can really be compared to the tensions between punks and mainstream anarchists at The Autonomy Centre etc. The former were political disagreements, the problems at various squats and centres were not so much political rows between old school anarchists and anarcho-punk pacifist idealogues (although these existed) but between both these groups and some of the less political 'anti-social' 'brew crew' types who tended to trash everything they came across. Hippy, punk and subsequent scenes (e.g. anti-road camps) have often attracted people with nowhere else to go and with heavy alcohol and drugs problems (sometimes mental health too). Many a space has been destroyed by the difficulty in dealing with this and the behaviour that results.

So I have tried to develop the theme here.

In 1978 I became a supporter of Stuart Christie’s Ceinfeugos Press - for £2 a month got sent copies of all their publications. Still got one or two. In 1979 moved to London and got invite to Cienfuegos/ Black Flag Readers Group - in Roebuck pub on Kings Road, later in Conway Hall. Here I met Albert Meltzer, Iris Mills, Ronan Bennett and Stuart Christie. This was at time of Person Unknown trial, with minor echoes of Angry Brigade trial. Through these meetings I knew about plan to set up an ‘Anarchy Centre’ - still have (will find and scan) copy of my membership card.

But then, after Crass got involved, some punks turned up at one of the meetings in late 78 - including Tony, Brett and Val of Kill Your Pet Puppy. We chatted in the pub after the meeting and … I jumped ship. I don’t recall going to any more of the ‘proper’ anarcho meetings. Instead I became a part time Puppy / part time punk (la la la la as the Television Personalities song goes see / hear http://freespace.virgin.net/reggie.vardy/punk1.htm )

I was 21 and KYPP was much more fun / exciting than the Ceinfeugos/ Black Flag meetings . As a result I never visited the Wapping Autonomy Centre until it became a punk venue.

As I recall the situation, the straight anarchist version failed to get enough members to pay the rent. To help keep the place going, in late 1981 a series of Sunday afternoon benefit gigs were held in the Centre. These raised enough money to pay the rent. I went along as part of the Kill Your Pet Puppy Collective’s contribution - we provided veggie food, sold fanzines and books and beer. However, the landlord was not amused by this alternative use of the space and pulled the plug in early 1982. This led to the relocation of the punk aspect to the Centro Iberico.

Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, this parting of the ways does connect with the French 68 situ/ anarcho conflict. Traditional anarchists could not see the revolting youth as part of their revolution. The Situs could (just about). The Situationist ‘s understood that 19th century / early 20th century political and economic analyses were no longer relevant in the society of the spectacle - in the era of mass popular culture. The failure of 1968 reveals the usefulness of the Situationists approach. By using/ abusing Situationist theory (esp. via Jamie Reid’s input), punk developed and extended the Situationists’ French intellectual theory into English/ British practice. As such, punk was ‘Situationism’ - the very thing proper Situationists held in abhorrence. The first issue [ 1957] of the journal Internationale Situationniste defined situationist as "having to do with the theory or practical activity of constructing situations. One who engages in the construction of situations. A member of the Situationist International".
The same journal defined situationism as "a meaningless term improperly derived from the above. There is no such thing as situationism, which would mean a doctrine of interpretation of existing facts. The notion of situationism is obviously devised by antisituationists."

On the difference between anarchist and Situationist theory practice , here is Debord from Society of the Spectacle http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/debord/4.htm

The illusion more or less explicitly maintained by genuine anarchism is its constant belief that a revolution is just around the corner, and that the instantaneous accomplishment of this revolution will demonstrate the truth of anarchist ideology and of the form of practical organization that has developed in accordance with that ideology. In 1936 anarchism did indeed initiate a social revolution, a revolution that was the most advanced expression of proletarian power ever realized. But even in that case it should be noted that the general uprising began as a merely defensive reaction to the army’s attempted coup. Furthermore, inasmuch as the revolution was not carried to completion during its opening days (because Franco controlled half the country and was being strongly supported from abroad, because the rest of the international proletarian movement had already been defeated, and because the anti-Franco camp included various bourgeois forces and statist working-class parties), the organized anarchist movement proved incapable of extending the revolution’s partial victories, or even of defending them. Its recognized leaders became government ministers, hostages to a bourgeois state that was destroying the revolution even as it proceeded to lose the civil war.

To conclude - I don’t know. But maybe I should throw a new cliché - situ-punk - into the mix as a way to distinguish Crass influenced anarcho-punk from KYPP style punk?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Situationist vs Anarchists in 1968

Enrages and Situationists in the Occupation Movement , France May 1968

Stuart Christie’s dismissal of a Situationist role in the events of May 1968 (see blog below) has been critically commented on. Here is the quote from Stuart’s book ‘Granny made me an Anarchist‘Scribner: 2004 :

One myth that has to be scotched here is that of Situationist influence on May’68, at least according to my Nanterre friends from the 22 March movement who were present at the birth. They assure me that although both Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle and Raoul Vaneigem’s Revolution of Everyday Life were both published in 1967 and surreal graffiti were on the walls, Vaneigem and Debord provided little if any intellectual inspiration during the uprising. Their main contribution came later. [ page 278]

There follows a discussion (pages 275/ 278) of the events and Stuart’s reaction to them - a piece of graffiti ‘Paris Today, Hornsey Tomorrow’ on Hornsey Town Hall. It would seem from the context ( p 275) that the ‘friends from Nanterre’ mentioned were Jean Pierre Duteuil and Dany Cohn-Bendit.

This may explain the ‘situation’. In July 1968, Rene Vienet wrote an account of the events in
‘Enrages and Situationists in the Occupation Movement, France, May 1968’. This was published in 1968 by Editions Gallimard in France. An English translation was published by Autonomedia (New York) and Rebel Press (London) in 1992. At various places in the book, - pages 21, 22, 23, 30 and 35- Vienet criticises Cohn-Bendit from a Situationist perspective.

The critical factor (pages 20/23) was that the Nanterre March 22nd group (which Stuart mentions and included Dany Cohn-Bendit) was a group of ‘traditional’ anarchists and leftists and were opposed and provoked by the ‘Enrages’ who were inspired by and collaborated with the Situationist International [Vienet’s footnote 3, page 59].

This is interesting - can some of the tension and confusion within ‘anarcho- punk’ and between anarcho-punk and mainstream anarchism be traced back to the Engrage vs. March 22nd movement conflict? And which re-surfaced again with the Wapping Autonomy Centre… as this quote from Albert Meltzer from http://www.spunk.org/texts/writers/meltzer/sp001591/angels21.html shows

by the time 121 was being squatted I had committed myself both to it and to an entirely different venture, the Autonomy Club in Wapping. It was Ronan Bennett's brainchild. Ever the optimist, I hoped it would take off, against reasonable expectations and my own expressed judgment. Iris Mills and Ronan put a tremendous amount of work into funding, finding and then building and decorating the place. Ronan, possibly misled by the backing the Persons Unknown had received, which numerically might have been about the same as that of the Republican Clubs of Belfast, not unreasonably thought at least one club on those lines could be established. In some capital cities on the Continent there are up to a dozen anarchist clubs or centres.

But the amount of committed support was limited. Ronan decided to appeal for support from the punk anarchists, then a new phenomenon, saying the punks would pass anyway and would be useful for the time it was around. The punk support, especially from followers of Crass and Poison Girls, was substantial. Punk has lasted a couple of decades, long outlasting the proposed club. With the punks' money came the punks, and in the first week they had ripped up every single piece of furniture carefully bought, planned and fitted, down to the lavatory fittings that had been installed by Ronan from scratch, and defaced our own and everyone else's wall for blocks around. In the excitement of the first gigs where they could do as they liked, they did as they liked and wrecked the place. Loss of club, loss of money, loss of effort. End of story. Ronan was not unnaturally disheartened and returned to even more chaotic Northern Irish politics.

Enough for now.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Stuart Christie/ Granny made me an anarchist

Midnight. Someone just let off some fireworks. Guess it must be a new year.

I have just finished reading Stuart Christie’s Granny made me and Anarchist . It stops at 1975 though, just after he has met Iris Mills and Ronan Bennett.


1. Stuart’s granny came from Wigtownshire/ Galloway and was a Presbyterian protestant. He doesn’t mention it, but if she was ‘of that ilk’, then should would have been brought up on tales of the Covenanters… so there could be a link from Richard Cameron and James Renwick to Stuart’s version of anarchism. The later Covenanters like Cameron and Renwick were ‘political’ - Cameron took up arms against the state, and his Sanquhar Declaration could be read as a radical republican tract. To the extent that the later Covenanters refused to have any dealings with the UK state (rejecting even William of Orange) and placed liberty of conscience above/against respect for the rule of law they were almost anarchists. But they derived their politics from religious belief and so were not.

2. Situationists not directly involved in events of May 1968 - what Stuart says is that having known and talked to folk who were directly involved, Situationist theory/practice was a background rather than foreground influence.

3. Having been released from Spanish prison in summer 1967, he returned to London at height of ‘underground’ (UFO club etc) period but did not think much of its dope-smoking/ acid taking atmosphere, although he does rate IT (International Times). He ended up working as a fitter for the Gas Board, during conversion from coal gas to north sea gas. Anarchists have a protestant work ethic? Doesn’t quite say that, but implication there. Anarchists engage with the everyday world of work and working people‘s lives. They don’t drop out.

4. Anarchy is not Freedom. Stuart distinguishes the anarchist practice he advocates from that of the Freedom Press in Whitechapel, who he describes as following a Gandhian (pacifist) version of anarchism.
This is important for any discussion of anarcho-punk and Crass. The version of anarchism promoted by Crass was closer to that of the Freedom Press than that of Suart’s Ceinfeugos Press/ Black Flag.

5. CND - Stuart was actively involved with CND in late fifties, but followed the more direct action approach adopted by the Committee of 100.

6 Angry Brigade. Makes the point that he was the only actual ‘anarchist’ amongst those put on trial, others claimed to be ‘ libertarian socialists’. In context of Angry Brigade, flags up right-wing paranoia [stimulated by events of 1968] directed against Harold Wilson and plans made for a right wing coup in the UK…. Also discuses the 1970-1974 Heath government’s attack on the working class. But with cut off date of 1975, does not carry theme on into Thatcher era, and way in which this has shaped New Labour.

All in all, a rattling good read.