I have been thinking a lot about the ‘end times’ that are looming, thanks to the global economic crisis. Mirroring the social and political mood of the 1970s, the recession has distracted us from the ecological game that we were always going to lose – due to the very nature of prevailing global capitalism, which is tied up so closely with the ecological problem, both heading for catastrophe. This is something I wrote a long while ago on the topic of the distracted global political system that so closely resembles a disorganised schoolchild. I just wanted to revisit it because I had just started out at the time and was very proud of it… and I’m still pretty sick of hearing phrases such as “…the revolution WILL be televised!!!” or the derivations thereof that appear ad nauseum in commentary. Hilarious. Not hilarious: missing the point.
Proletkult, an early 20th century independent soviet organisation with designs on cultural education for all, was a lot more than just a collection of avant-garde artists. This struck a chord with me, not least because so many people I meet in rural Bulgaria aren’t exactly as literate as you might expect in an EU member state, and I think Proletkult’s rise and fall also mirrors a lot of the revolutions that are going on around the world. On top of that, one of its ideas was to dismantle the artificial borders between art and science with the notion that critical enquiry and creativity are fundamental to both.
Too much control ends in disaster. Control can bring about efficient and radical change, but it also harbours resentment in those that are its subject, as the Proletkult movement of the first half of the 20th century Soviet history, and more contemporary revolutions, ought to be reminding us.
I am listening to a lot of Kate Bush. She’s what one might call The Man. Except she’s The Woman. For a woman with a squeaky voice, she has balls. Or, to continue the feminist theme, she has ovaries… big ones, full of eggs.
I only heard Kashka from Baghdad for the first time last week. It is said (but who knows, the things that people are known to say!) that it is about a gay couple. Whether this is true or not, generally Bush writes about alienation very well – here, she sings as an outsider herself, observing Kashka and his/her feller, seemingly concluding that the pair have realised true happiness with each other even though they live their lives outside of society. (Incidentally, Kashka can be a girl’s name too, which is why I’m not sure if it really is about a gay couple. But then, Kashka also means a kind of mushy food in Polish, which provides another obvious statement about the song.*)
I was wondering today what the effects are of detachment from one’s homeland. I am, perhaps, a useless subject on the matter because I have been adrift upon the European continent since I was but a twinkle in my father’s eye, who himself lived the life of a wandering agricultural salesman, of the plough and the planter alike. A life of a cock, and of a bull. While I feel the constant pressure of losing out on friendships that, frankly, have not been so easy to acquire, I also fear the loss of myself that will render me unrecognisable. I can honestly say that minds work differently in different parts of Europe. And this is not only evident in language. The social rules are different, and the unwritten rules are different too.
I always detested Scooby Doo as a kid, because it was so mind-numbling formulaic. But I have been dragged into that particular element of nostalgia by having a daughter who is crazy about the intrepid five, so much so that when she couldn’t find her hairbrush the other day she said, “it looks like we’ve got another mystery on our hands.”
It was on our last all-morning Scooby Doo and pancakes-athon (YES, send me your angry letters) that I was struck by various elements of the show that serve as a commentary on the post-modern construct, as well as drawing a broader parallel with the machinations of democracy.
I refuse to comment on such things as the death of Thatcher. Her death has been going on this week. Far be it from me to comment on the whole sordid affair, because really there has been no need now, and noone outside of the UK cared in the slightest anyway. I will now attempt to illustrate, though, for the sake of posterity, what goes on in the wake of such an event of a figure that divides an audience so we don’t have to alienate our acquaintances via social media with our uninformed, irrelevant, agenda-driven and idiotic opinions when it happens again.
I attempted to get an early night tonight, but as you can see I am still awake.
My semi-slumber reverie was arrested due to the most troubling of domestic issues. Nothing romantic, but the issue of domestic servitude, although perhaps that does it for some folks. Not me unfortunately – or fortunately, as is my current opinion. What I am getting at is this: I forgot to put the laundry on.
This idiotic internal monologue which I have been compelled to share with you was my mind’s homage to my current literary beau, Nikolai Gogol. His work has given me a rudimentary insight into the machinations of the feudal system in the days of the Russian Empire. And what a handsome man he was to boot: Nikolai Gogol there, with his cane and his dark, mysterious brow, twinned most pleasingly with the bristles of his triangular moustache (this is what happens when I do housework. It’s a cry for help.) Continue reading →