Friday, 16 April 2010

More obscure moments in the life of a home counties teenager

Thanks, then, to YouTube, here are some more links which might help to explain what has gone before...!v=_q3TiwBBDmc&feature=related Orange Juice from the days when it was possible to make videos involving both dansette-style record players and the hammer & sickle Possibly the only pop song ever written about post-structuralism - Scritti Politti are in love with Jacques Derrida Slightly disturbing interpretation possibly by Japanese film-makers and definitely unofficial video to go with the Violent Femmes's 'Add It Up'. This one's a slightly (but not much) less disturbing version:!v=xmo6qyhdav8&feature=related Arguably the reason the hideous distortion afforded the word 'indie' by the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Snow Patrol is such a thorn in the side of anyone born before about 1985. And Roddy Frame in his finest form. God knows where they filmed this but it's definitely a snippet of one of punk's most underrated bands in full flow Magazine sing 'Model Worker' in Los Angeles. No irony required. "I need a holiday, I've not been well..."

Poem: War and Concrete

War and concrete

Stories, cupolas bulge in these fields
we're passing through: these infamous
bunkers ranked across strategic slopes
refuse to let history disperse.
Stubborn, they endure at roadsides,
in vineyards, gardens, the city’s asphalt brink.
Goats graze along their silted mouths
and, garishly painted, one would draw
in clients for a rash and hasty tattoo.

Just when you think you’ve forgotten
the landscape’s overlaid again
with a grid of war and concrete
giants might use for stepping stones.
Too solid ruins outdo grey crags
where beech woods sheltered partisans.
Sunk shafts and gun-slits mark
a whole world gone. Count fifty
and you’ve barely even started.

It took an old Chinese tank to drag
one clear of sodden sand at Vlora,
and 800 Euros to dismantle it.
Elsewhere, too, you might have read
of how, to turn a dictator’s scheme
into this geometric, defensive terrain,
the architect became the first test case,
emerging from the shelled prototype,
deafened, unspeakably loyal, triumphant.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

This be the book

Whatever your interest, whether it be French beaches, critical theory or military history, architecture, anthropology or poetry, you should probably spend at least one rain-drenched day sitting in a layby reading Paul Virilio's Bunker Archaeology - almost certainly the finest book about WW2 bunkers ever written and possibly one of the best books about war, culture and concrete as well.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Quotation: Hugh of St Victor

"The person who finds his homeland sweet is a tender beginner; he to whom every soil is as his native one is already strong; but he is perfect to whom the entire world is as a foreign place."
From Hugh of St Victor's 'Didascalicon', a philosophical text from the 12th century - and a favourite quotation of Edward Said.