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Artefact

Try somethin’ different for a while. Various Manc mags with their pertinent articles of local musical talent. This one New Manchester Review, Jan. ’79.Wrote before about going to the Aaben in the depths of winter to see The Zimm’s 4 hour endurance test “Reynaldo and Clara”. Well except for the latter part footage of the Rolling Thunder Review and the much needed light relief bits where Mick Ronson chipped in ( a bit like Alan Price did in “Don’t Look Back”), it really was a pretty dull affair. I would have dozed off except for fear of hypothermia in that Dickensian theatre. The next day I painted a wall to see if the old adage was true and in fact, there were interludes where watching that paint dry was more compelling; the fumes may have had something to do with it....
This was in the depths of the “Winter of Discontent”, as mentioned before, with striking firemen stood round braziers near the Big Alex on Princess Rd, where the old army barracks used to be, Luty’s the photographers etc...feel a stroll down memory lane coming on, best not... Buses were on strike; all sorts of things afoot under the leadership of a very old Michael. When Kenny Everett joked about kicking the beleaguered Labour Leader’s walking stick away I thought “up yours scouser”, true colours and all, with the likes of Ken Dodd et al pinning their banner to the good ship Thatcher, who would set Brittania back on the course of exploiting Empire, the colonies and most of all, us wage slaves who worked hard for our pittance, all in the service of Mammon and the new global economy. But as Ewan McColl used to sing in “The Manchester Rambler”, “...I may be a wage slave on Monday but I am a free man on Sunday...”. Nicely put ol’ fella. It surprises me that whenever I think off Thatcher (which thankfully isn’t very often!), or more accurately what she and her kind represented (self above all, or what used to be called old fashioned greed), I’m sure my blood pressure shoots up in an auto-suggestive/ Pavlov’s dogs sort of way, even up to the time...All that mantra about privatisation being for the greater good is just a lot of baloney. All I know is, pretty much every time without fail, I’ve clocked services bought from the public purse, then sold back to “us”, the first thing that happens is that prices go up in direct proportion to the quality of service going down. It’s a fact man, it’s a fact....
It doesn’t bother me if someone wants to dedicate their every waking moment to the collection and accumulation of assets, almost to the exclusion of all else; good on ‘em, but there’s a price to pay for everything: i.e. you give up to get. I’ve clocked a lot of this winners / losers mentality and its exponential increase over time; where the credo is “life’s a race/ a competition” (no it's not!!), with parks teeming with, for the most part, smart young things, mostly of the female persuasion, doing the boot camp /pounding the pavement routine as I drive to work in the 6 a.m. hour. It all smacks a bit of desperation with a slight nuance of unhealthy compulsive behaviour , which is what can happen when you buy into that sort of a belief. I’ve worked a lot on what are basically mansions in the affluent Eastern and North Shore suburbs of Sydney and, for the most part this aspirational lifestyle comes at a hefty price; you can see it in their kids. Lots of teenagers in private school straw boaters, carrying ruck sacks crammed with books, probably weighing almost as much as they do, and in many of these households, you can’t but notice the distinct lack of warmth and laughter; bit sad really; (not everyone’s a W.A.S.P. sipping cocktails by the pool all day, or lives by the beach waiting for surf’s up in this other Eden). Same thing pretty much happens in every so called sophisticated urban metropolis and gated community in the Western world....can’t stop progress hey! Mind you, in the year of our Lord 1969 a.d., there were 52 kids in our class (lmainly Irish back ground, hence the high numbers), so not an obvious hotbed of academia or a cornucopia of future career choices there. All so-called career officers would suggest you do was to study hard and you just may, one day, make it to the dizzying heights of an insurance salesman, or if you reaaaally applied yourself maybe you might make it all the way to the lofty position of bank teller. One of my trips before the council of these higher beings was deemed as me wasting their precious time, when I came up with the half-arsed idea of becoming a forest warden, maybe in the Highlands of Scotland; just trying to think outside the box.... I think the bit about me wanting to drive round in a land rover all day, with a squirrel on my shoulder may have tested them to their limits and I was told never to darken their door again! Who’s laughing now though, ha!. None of us went on to become leaders of the free world, though I’m sure most went on to do just fine.
It just irks me that there is more than enough to go round and yet, under this jaded free market capitalist system it’s still mostly a matter of winner takes all, often times very wealthy widows with large porfolios who need every penny they can get to pay their exorbitant golf club fees, and usually to the detriment and deprivation of the developing world, from whom we’ve looted at will for centuries. I’ve traveled a lot through large parts of Asia and in most of these rural areas you can’t help but feel and see the joy , love and laughter in these peasant poor communities, it’s palpable. Life on their land is tough but engaged and so has deep purpose, belief and meaning. Probably not much different to our forebears not so long past; simpler, less complicated and not such a high maintenance life....nowt wrong with that; it’s how the human specie thrived and is born to do. This is not the same thing as the concept of “poverty”, which infers an endemic sense of injustice, inferiority and indignity....feelings more prevalent in poor communities in Western countries. Like I say, you give up to get. Of course it all sounds a bit simplistic; I could go on and on and on..... alright I will...Naah, just my little jest for today.
I feel the likes of Gnome Chomski, John Pilger, Ken Loach etc. know a thing or two, and as for climate change pfff! Just a lot of hot air. As anyone with half a brain knows, the earth is flat, the moon is made of cheese and to think otherwise is heresy. Mother earth seems to have a bit of a bee in her bonnet about something or other at the moment and it pays not to upset the good lady, even if the whole “global warming” thing is only a 1% possibility of being true. People take out insurance and buy lottery tickets for possible outcomes infinitesimally smaller than that, trial drugs for 5 years or more before using ourselves as the ultimate guinea pigs and still, on occasion get it wrong etc. So why fuck with the good earth, and ultimately and most importantly what for!!?? Just seems incredibly short- sighted and self destructive to me. What mindset or creature shits on its own doorstep or deliberately toys with the future of its ownproginee? There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark when we vote for parties who espouse policies that will knowingly jeopardise the life and quality thereof of future generations. I’ve yet to hear a climate sceptic/ septic (" need some clarity, check the similarity....") put forward what they think should be done. Nothing? Carry on regardless? Run all appliances and taps 24/7 just because...(fresh water;the most precious resource we have.... but that's a whole other matter.....). When you consider that, of all the power ever generated by fossil fuels in the last 200 years( i.e.post industrialisation), 50 % of that has been consumed in the last 20 years, I think that’s a cause for concern. Mind you I think it’s our own vanity that spawns the doom sayer school of thought. In the great scheme of things we ain’t all that, and when all this blows over in a couple of lifetimes from now ,I think future generations will quite rightly, judge us very poorly for our arrogance and folly and continue righting the depletion and damage done in these times. Ultimately I choose to believe “ she’ll be right mate”.....
Right, time to hang me hair shirt back up in the wardrobe, get down from me soap box and get back on the straight and narrow....If I knew how to write songs I may be very well tempted to go and bang out a choon right now. “ Mother earth, you gave birth / but our mirth’s turned to dearth...yeah baby...” The muse must be upon me; should give Steve Hillage a call........
Artefact added : 12th March 2011
by dubwise-er
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