The death of queer theory. Gscene Magazine. Charlie Bauer Phd. December 2016
So, with Brexit and Trump triumphant, I hereby announce (because I’m drunk and
have every right) the end of queer theory. I would like to thank Judith Butler, Eve
Kosofsky Sedgewick, David Halperin…
I’m sorry - I’ve left so many people out but hey – that’s my idea of democracy, not
yours.This goes out especially to everyone who Googled ‘What’s the EU?’ the day after the
Brexit vote, particularly the LGBTQI ones who have contacted me directly to tell me
why. Here’s a quick lesson for those of you who fell asleep during your ‘all fees paid’
state university education.
Queer theory comes down to this;
The world is run by heterosexual white men.
Governments, banks, systems of law and everything else that effect your life.
They are perceived as a ‘majority’ because we apparently live in a democracy. This
makes everyone who isn’t a white heterosexual man therefore an outsider, or lets say,
peculiar or, lets say, for arguments sake - Queer.
Hang on professor Bauer, you say, I’m not a queer! Well, if you’re reading this far
you probably are - even if you’re not gay. Or Lesbian. Or Trans, or Intersex, or
Bisexual, or.. hang on, I’m sure I’ve missed someone out here…
So, everybody outside this SWM demographic is queer. But hang on professor Bauer,
there must be some within it, who are ‘other’too?
See what’s happening? Think this way and the ‘majority’ begins to shrink.
Let’s take everyone who isn’t identified as a white heterosexual man and see how big
the queer ‘other’ majority becomes shall we? Lets take out, the gays, the lesbians, the
Blacks, the Latinos, the transgendered, that angry white women, the disabled, the
HIV positive, the socialists, the capitalists, the racist homos, the Angelinos, the
communists, the beggars, the Haitians, Somalians, Syrians, Syracusans, the global
poor, the tree huggers, the goths, the writers, the home helps, the street fighters, the
nursing staff, the delivery boys, the dole office workers, the lame, the quick, the
dying, some Brisbanians, the dust bowlers, their Asian counterparts, the Sapphics, the
destroyers, the lovers of dogs, the haters of meat, the sly voters, the liars, the crimson
faced survivors, the so called legions of terrorists living within us, the Sicilians, the
East Enders, the lovers of Apartheid (those were the days…) the angelic faces of
every Tory, the guilty mothers of a bourgeois drug overdoser, the Kenyans, the
Mexicans, the grateful survivors, the wandering lost, the deceived, the Albanians, the
well read Nazis, the street cleaners, the hoppers down in Kent, the Mexican
revolutionaries because a war can never be won, the shameless, the dancers on
slutboxes, the wanton religious right, the Buddhist in a bare room, the woman baiters,
the gun-runners, the constitutionalists, the flagrant haters, the disenfranchised, the
coke dealers, the saddened face of a saddened Europe, the biscuit makers, the lying
fags who are in it for their own ego mania, the dead, the dearly departed, the lost, the
babies, the Columbians, the post-structuralists, the petty-thieves, the sad children of a
war, the sadder soldiers hunting them down, the essentialist, the Chinese, the numbertattooed
survivors of another war, the joyful, the East Anglians, the women, the dying
journalist in new media, the wrongfully convicted, the drowning, the East-Enders, the
condemners of hate crimes, the amputees, the frowning brexiters, the ruling majority,
the old punk-rockers, the druids amongst us, the pained, the ignorers, the
macraméists, the murders in Syria, the Swiss, the Casablancans, the unarmed
refugees, the Crowleyists, the soothsayers, the war wounded child, the Clinton voters,
the limbless veterans, the Manson family, the jarring polemicists, the
infrastructuralists, the omnivores, the class activists, the monarchists, the lap dancers
of days long gone, the political somnambulists, the rapists, the Viet Cong, the
Darwinians amongst us, the Luftwaffe, the shambolic, the ordered, the tidy, the
whores, the New Yorkers, the Twitteres, the murderers, the teaching assistants, the
journalists, the fly by night air BnBers, the townspeople, the horsemen, the women
selling ice cream in Red Square, the North Koreans, the Chicagoans, the fex-ex guys,
the rat catchers, the left of centre priests, the criminally insane, the groaners, the
loners, the stoners, the recently bequeathed, the drugged, the cross-dressers, the twins,
the spinally inept, the cravers of many a lost cause, the Angolans, the Cantonese, the
Shaking Quakers, the Jazz magicians, the hippies, the nerds, the hard-hitters, the
vegan rich, the bootmakers, the potters, the farmers, the Women of Greenham
Common, the tortured, the injured, the elderly, the hod carriers, the whistleblowers,
the volatile veterans, the unnamed dying, the Guatemalans, the immigrants, the
shepherds, the braying Catholics, the misbegotten, the needy, the bricklayers, the
newscasters, the chicken packers, the right, the left, the haven’t made my mind ups,
the slow, the mean, the cowardly, the fat, the lonely, the overpaid and the underfed,
the carpet cleaners, the gas man,
Tuesday, 5 July 2016
Great - now that’s out of the way lets get on with the real things at hand.
Perhaps now we can build on all the disasters circulating. Perhaps not. Perhaps Theresa May will become prime minister. Perhaps England will win the European cup. Perhaps not.
People only care when it is really on top of them. At least the common response to global and national disasters of ‘Well at least my house went up forty grand last year” no longer applies. Because they wont. So I can’t.
Because its really about complacency. The instability staring us in the face for so long has now come to pass before our very eyes. Not the jittery financial markets shaking or America sneezing somewhere, but a titan of greater proportions than we could ever believe. Right now. On this little island, a flotilla of deluded divisionism forever responsible for what is about to follow. Because in one day the UK has become blame taker for the horrors of the future. The seat of global chaos. The home of the ‘global right’. The child waiting to be bullied who will fight back through the shame of a yet unpenned doctrine of exclusion. The fearful bully who has no choice but to retaliate before a strike.
The fact that this country has destabilized so many others and given the monsters a platform is a global shame. The other nations of a union once trying to make a better world for all queers – women, gays, the disabled – the contents of every society in every age. Putting any victory up for grabs by the scared and the meek, by the hubris of the great misinformed.
...of non British controlled ‘Human rights’ like minimum wages - all because of racism, a straight banana or a Snickers bar tasting the same in every country.
Dismantling the newly build steps of the disabled in accordance to non EU regulations, the healthcare of the elderly, of non British controlled ‘Human rights’ like minimum wages - all because of racism, a straight banana or a Snickers bar tasting the same in every country. How about the anti-cancer drugs halted by a panicked Big Pharma, because nobody knows of the global implications of the new, unknown British drug statutes? Corporations in fear of future litigation halting the supplies of live saving drugs to the dying or preventatives for the living?
Did the Brexiters think of this? Or where they too caught up in Murdochia to think anything else? Have they since been placated by the same source? They have tuned their fight onto anything but the real culprits? Answers on a postcard please to Brussels for immediate recycling. Another EU directive.
Lies uncovered before our very eyes, still ignored. Mass resignations resulting in our country going into free-fall, ignoring the outstretched arms of our nearest and dearest.
Trapped on this Lilliput of hate surrounded by the little people who pushed it out into the uncharted oceans of ‘wait and see’. Our worst nightmare. Unfolding. Right here.
Yes - there really is nothing to be proud for anymore. This hubris has destroyed any fight made by anyone in the age of modernism and social reform. The gays, the blacks. And it seems like the country will be again run by a white tory woman all over again. Who, because of a hateful patriarchy, her role becoming more about ‘growing a pair’ than doing the unspeakable – having other women in her cabinet – a throw over from the dark days of her mentor. A new leader who has systematically over the last five years, made it her priority to log every email, text, and internet communication not of the so called jihadist cell, but of her own people – postulating them as the potential terrorists but really (more lies) as a system of social control. Forcing them to regulate their online selves as GCHQ and whoever else ‘perhaps’ watches. Growing a database of discrimination so that the ‘Agitators’ can be arrested and held before and in the event of a social standoff. All covered up by the Murdoch press - all eaten up by the global poor.
So, shame again on us. Me. You.
So, don’t be proud to be free and gay because this is a time that we failed and lost.
My mistrust lays in the eyes of the angry white mother with two kids and a pushchair staring sideways, hatefully at her Somalian equivalent on a bus somewhere. Two scared women - two faces of the same fear. Or ‘our’ representative in the European parliament delivering instigating a hooligan rhetoric to doctors and lawyers - representatives of a freer state - while every piece of so called elitist intellectualism melts before the eyes of the world.
The voided ancient Greek theories that we can never see the future, that we walk backwards into it as we look to the past stretching out behind us. Learning from it. And now this past blurring into a certain future which we all can see and dread. A future where every narrative we ever latched onto, is thrown into the void of our own making. Destroying the buffer between my face and the broken bottle of my own ranting townspeople.
There is no pride anymore. There is only shame. No Europride. No Eurovision, No European cup or European travel because the people have now voted. And when the other 49% (and a fair proportion of the rest) realise this, they will only be able to take up arms against each other. And when this happens this new PM knows exactly what to do because this is what she groomed into the state as we all celebrated the increased value of our houses. Of how we will cash them in closer to retirement and move in Marbella in the Spanish sun. The retirement village of the future has become a prison of our own making.
I really do hope that the EU thrives from this point. It’s the best we can hope for. If it falls into chaos then again it is this tiny sad island that will be responsible for the global misery that ensures. And not only will this new bloody war be within the boundaries of the UK but also against this tiny island from every civilized country in the world. Because any other dictatorship or hateful junta republic has just become civilized, by referendum.
Eat that one up!
Thursday, 8 October 2015
Not that I’ve never written about where we were with AIDS or anything. It’s been a major bleat of mine in this column and other magazines. Or, indeed, covered the AIDS conferences or Big Pharma exposés about creaming a community of all their financials. Now that its been handed over to the medics and financiers completely, we enter a newer tender in the so called war on AIDS. The war on AIDS still being available through medication. We enter the age where, no medical institution or corporation takes control but a lowly hedge funder who publicly buys the medication for pennies and sells it for dollars before our eyes. All with more of a markup than a kilo of Tina. Nothing is wrong with this because this is exactly what drug companies have been doing forever. But here it shamelessly out of the closet for all to see.
And so we get to the hedgefunders controlling the lives of the once dying. Now controlling the monetary value of staying alive, hoping that the rich white western gays can still cough up enough profit - without a second thought about anyone else, Africa perhaps. Then posturing themselves in the media and the media then celebrating their gains.
An AIDS now without a history. Gone are the legions of lesions slipping away under clean white western sheets. The old deaths, now forgotten as merely a debt to the impoverished still-living. A crisis dissolved into a spreadsheet. A vector chart representing a few standing soldiers on the horizon, once limping and badly bruised. Of fervent shouting, reminding us they are still here as we shunter along. All now for a health service to pay a hedgefunder a fixed price of his own choosing. Unwarranted, unstable and still holding a linage to ransom- from the drug companies to the bullied NHS and its shallow-panting out-patients.
All justified by the second term of the democratically elected band of fools and sons of bust stockbrokers from days gone by. Gently pressing on the forehead of every degenerate, drowning in designer cesspools of their own making.
Where are we with AIDS again? Back to the days of ignorance where the dying are now farther away. A disbelief about the perils of contraction of a disease. The ability to look the other way, again. Not through lack of knowledge or shock or disbelief - we know this sleeping demon well - but from an assurance that it can now be corrected by expensive pharmaceuticals and the taking of comfort in that - where it once was abhorrent. The meds for life culture that HIV flagged up first and then became the paradigm for an increasingly unhealthy populace. ‘We have a tablet for that’ – and a life -long tablet for bogus diseases brought about by modern existence.
And then the urgency of the cure which is only really a race to a patent. Then selling the cure in tablet form to the highest bidder. Mixing a combination into a newer patent and starting the billing cycle all over again.
So where are we with AIDS?
AIDS has become the unspoken again, although not for any reasons of shame. AIDS is unspoken because people now live. AIDS is off the checklist, replaced by alcohol induced hypermarket multi- morbidities such as Diabetes. Then multiple drugs for possible side effects of one ailment, unnecessary, yet keeping the drug-lords in jets and their own private health care. And when the patent is up on these drugs, just like HIV, they will be recombined, re-patented and reevaluated all over again. It’s the oldest trick in the book to sell the same thing twice.
Where were we, again?
Are we at a place where there are no more battles to be fought and won by people like us? A place where the LGBT community has ceased to exist. Did we want this? We wanted no more than this? What we seem to have left are the surviving screaming desperados wailing for anther party drug. Bars and organizations flying the flag for us all. The ship upon which we were Shang-hai’d has sailed and reached a different port. We’ve got what we wanted and we find that we’ve arrived at a place where equality still doesn’t exist. The best we could hope for is visibility and assimilation and if you look at every chat show on network telly on a Friday night - that’s all we have.
So, that’s where we are. Homeowners all. Media whores all. Camp and visible. Hand holding in public without a right to fight for anyone. A time where KS is forgotten along with the swollen glands and the loosening bowels. All gone. Because now someone is paying a fortune to keep us alive. A tax on the just-about living. But this time without the kicking.
So, with all this in mind, I’m a bit shamed that I enter the hospital this week for the second tonsillectomy this year. (Who knew you had two) And I thank my once gay stars that we’ve arrived where we all wanted. Pat yourselves on the back.
Posted by Charlie Bauer Phd at 2:14 am
Thursday, 16 July 2015
I knew I had to make it to New York, not just for the Pride parade but for the historic ruling on gay marriage that happened in the same week. Again it was a tiny margin within the Supreme Court that forced the change. Even smaller than the one that broke the back of Proposition 8, the clause that prohibited Gay marriage in California.
We also knew the ruling was significant and could only have been achieved under the term of office of a Black president (A Queer president is some way off yet and will require an even craftier hand with the religious right). This legislation will take years to destroy and since, unlike the UK where a tory can slip a white paper under a disaster or act of terrorism, in the US everyone is in on the debate. You may have heard of it. It used to be called democracy.
So, on the day of the Supreme Court ruling I made my way down to the Stonewall Inn. There would be celebrations around the country but the centre of any Gay struggle has to be this tiny bar in a side street of Greenwich village. The sleazy cavern that was given official Landmark Status the same month – a protection that prevented it being demolished for more badly needed, multi-million dollar homes.
Being at Stonewall was significant. Thank god that the interior is also being preserved. Nothing special inside except that it doesn’t represent the gay bars that we know today. No glitz or glitter just what looks like the seedy, old school pick up joint so many of us came of age with. Which, of course, are a huge part of our culture and should be preserved. Stonewall has stonewalled every opposition before and after the riots that spread from its loins and into queer consciousness. It’s name has countered every seed of religious bigotry, act of congress and bag of human waste posted through its virtual letterbox. It surroundings became the waiting room for the nearby Saint Vincent’s Hospital, the vanguard of the east coast Gay cancer epidemic and later the centre of the surge of something called AIDS. (Saint Vincent’s having recently lost its own cancerous battle with the land developers).
‘Stonewall’ was a safe place where everyone inside could truly understand what the Queer condition was before the outbreak of AIDS and so dealt with it accordingly through the verbatim stories that preceded the mass contraction of the virus.
And it was a place to house the twice marginalized - the Black, Latino and Trans communities - before there was even an acronym.
A bar where a New York police officer would collect protection money for The Mob each week and the very same squad would raid every month on behalf of The Law. Stashes of booze were hidden locally so that Larry Boxx, the manager, could reopen within an hour of a raid that everyone knew was coming. And these raids just became a way of life. Until one night something snapped.
As always it was the lowest of the low on Police Inspector Donut’s crib sheet that caused the commotion - the Dykes and the Drag Queens.
A Drag Queen's photo ID never resembled the dreamy vision lined up before the cops. And women had to have 3 pieces of ‘feminine clothing’ so as not to be arrested. Both parties failed admirably, so these were the ones thrown into the back of the Mariah.
Ooooooh - bad move, officer Krupke.
Ooooooh - bad move, officer Krupke.
A Lesbian who was too tightly cuffed was lead by the hair to the van where a crowd had gathered. She screamed out to a Drag Queen, asking if they were going to do anything about it or just stand there. And here-in lies point of fissure. When one solitary Drag Queen threw that first size 13 high heel at an arresting officer. Around 600 Queers from every surrounding club and bar then chased the police around the block and back into the Stonewall, where they barricaded themselves in. Like all major disasters in downtown New York every available police officer was drafted in until the Queers were dispersed. But by then a different bar had been set.
The following night Queers from every borough came to The Stonewall and refused to move. Many not even knowing why they were there, other than they had to now stand up and be counted. Again, the same explosion resulted and the police were outnumbered all over again. And this is the day that became ‘Gay Pride’. The day we commemorate a size 13 woman’s shoe thrown in the face of authority. A single article of clothing that represents, in some way, everyone inside and across the globe when it comes to this struggle. And then through time to something called LGBT or whatever it is - the acronym that carries no Q because whatever the legislation in our names and for our cause, it will always be ‘Queer’. Just as we are always ‘Stonewall’ - a place where everyone is outside, always ready to charge.
And so, whether the ‘Stonewall’ tag becomes professional global agencies - Queer community support mechanisms like housing associations or advocacy centers around the world - it retains its once and always Queer origin. It represents only one movement. Just a call to action from a single Dyke to a Drag queen. And a protective response that forced every Queer out of the closet and onto every street - a response that would eventually be repaid from within a later plague.
Carrying us onwards to every place where we now stand.
Carrying us onwards to every place where we now stand.
So, happy Stonewall everybody. Happy Pride.
Sunday, 5 April 2015
Hedge your bets Gscene Magazine May 2015
So, as we edge our way to a new election we learn that Mr. Cameron senior had been hedging his funds, tax free, for the benefit of his sons political future. Nothing wrong with this, unless that son then goes (with complicit banks) into the bank accounts of the low paid and unemployed looking for ‘unpaid tax’. What are politics coming to when we can’t even trust our elected elders? I expect prime ministers to be honest decent chaps (and a woman). The real problem is, just as this was kept aside for the run up to the election by the opposition, which is only supposedly fair politics, we’re left with an obvious embarrassing fact we will end up doing nothing about.
Oh dear - direct proof that the system of bankers and hedge funders (who have screwed the financial system) have also been bankrolling the Prime Minister. How embarrassing is that. And what’s worse, that the Prime Minister has been paying them back to save the ‘country’ - because of the low interest rates - with ‘quantitative easing’. Or basically giving the bankers back the money that is ours and that they’ve publically squandered. Strange that it was immediately after Thatcher abandoned the tax controls in 1979, within a few weeks of her being in power, that Ian Cameron, father of David, started redirecting his wealth to tax havens around the world. Anyway. What can WE possibly do about that? We should all go online and vent our spleens. Then we can do dinner.
Why can’t they quantitavely ease the NHS with a few billion? Surely that’s more important than bankers salaries? I’m not complaining, but this week I’m at the end of a 6th month wait for a tonsillectomy. I know that my pub singing days are over, but I’m less and less able to rasp even an order for a do-nut these days. But I was prepared to wait it out because there is no way that I’ll criticize that system, just the powers that are starving it out of existence. And all of us here at Bauer International believe the wait for surgery has been worth it and since it’s only a quick snip, I’ll be singing again as soon as the anesthetic wears off. Of course I’m sure that when I do come round I may see less nurses, doctors and equipment than before I went under. But at least I managed to get it done before the new NHS pay structure comes in. Although we shouldn’t worry, the miniscule amount we will pay our GP’s for basic services will remain in place for years to come, we’re told.
Or, perhaps, it may just increase on a sliding scale like other countries, slowly rising up and up until insurance companies have to come on board (for those who can afford it) just to pay for a tetanus or a course of Amoxicillin. Then the drug companies will see their arses and start to hike the low-price, non-generic drugs up and up, because they can and because the insurance companies will be paying. Then before you know it a single visit to the GP will cost in access of £200, but you wont worry because the insurance (that you only pay £100 per month for) will be covering it! Bargain!
Nothing new. It’s what every Tory government has been trying to make us head towards since the 1950’s, so why change it now. If only they could do a reverse tonsillectomy on the front bench and sew them all closed, I’d cough-up for that.
The fact that we may have another round of Tory government is depressing, but not unexpected. Political apathy and lack of voter turnout is dreadful in our country. And, for some reason, having some form of camaraderative discourse online still placates everybody into a feeling of solidarity. Unfortunately, that doesn’t put a dint in the side of public and private policy, it just makes everyone feel a bit better in themselves. Until the next time.
However people, portable media now means that you can actually leave home and contribute. You can surf for porn anywhere, even on demonstrations. You can even play games on demonstrations. You can involve yourself in your online fabulous identity and social media sites AS you demonstrate. You can even do a selfie on the march from the Houses of Parliament and if you want to. And you can caption it “Look everyone I care! I really care! #Ireallycaresolikemeyoubastard #lovinglondon
You can now leave the house and take the computer with you, so there’s no big sacrifice anymore. This is particularly important for young people trying to top up their bank accounts online to pay university fees.
So, as they roll me in on the gurney I’ll be grateful. Grateful for the NHS and grateful that I managed to convince my GP to refer me and my tonsils for surgery before we reach the point where I have to pay him a back-hander.
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
The indiscreet charmlessness of the bourgeoisie Gscene Magazine. 2015.
Don’t you just love it when the papers warn us about the spreading denizens of skid row and the shunting of the mobile masses making way for the new homeowners. Land where the homeless slept one week, as if by magic, becomes worth millions overnight. Ah, the alchemy of the wasteland.
What’s actually happening is that ‘skid rows’ across the world are growing. But somehow not morphing into the surrounding areas - they use exactly the same footprint but grow at an ever-expanding rate. And as these communities become even more of an ‘eyesore’ more middleclass homeowners encroach on the areas like vultures (I so wish we would have bought here ten years ago…) and so the homeless are relocated yet again. Of course the problem with this expansion is that the space just turns it into a ghetto, with people on top of more people, eventually disbanded by law. (Actually, so we don’t see that eyesore from our new dining room window - call the council!)
Of course these same people wouldn’t have touched Hackney or Streatham ten+ years ago. Hackney et al was filled with the low-lifes they so desperately needed to avoid. Hackney represented the bottom rung of society in the same way Rachman once did to the residents of Notting Hill - two black and mixed-race areas considered slums in the 1950’s. So, where did those first generation diaspora communities go?
‘Oh - elsewhere…’ comes the clarion call from the nouveau bourgeois.
It was the same in Harlem when all those white people bought up the brownstone cold-water, walk-ups in the 90’s, then waited up to ten years before the areas became gentrified by oiling palms at City Hall. They were actually waiting for their investments ‘change of use’ contracts - from crack-house to banker-palace - before they would consider moving in. Most bought off-plan, that is before they’d even seen the property. It happens all the time, however not on houses built over a hundred years ago.
“Go to Harlem? Just give me the floor plan and I’ll see you in ten years!”
In the UK, the embourgeoisment of the land-grab is now reaching saturation. It seem that there will be no financial crash leading to more homes for the poor. There will just be now a sprawling mass of middleclassness which will look to the average eye to be ‘progression’. Meanwhile, we won't consider where all the homeless people have gone. We passively watch on as all that 20th century social reform turns to béchamel before our very eyes.
This is unless they too are bought out by Saatchi. Like Hirst with his diamonds and Tracey with her particular brand of McFeminism
This sinking back into bourgeois entitlement or ‘The Bourgeois Zeitgeist’ as the poet Gerry Potter aptly calls it, will not follow through. He’s right when he says these ersatz values permeate every single crevice of our very existence. And then to think, the media have got it all wrong, the homeless and the born poor don’t even want this so-called mobility, they just want the money. Their money ‘Step aside Cameron, I think that’s my house you’re spending…’
Unfortunately, like the suffragette movement and the anti-slavery drive that preceded it, the change will only come from the compassion of bourgeois consciousness. And usually from a solitary soul, be it Wilberforce or Pankhurst.
This bourgeois barmcake was firmly in place at the end of the 19th Century, before the middle class was even invented and was reinforced by the growth of capitalism. It has become again the Zeitgeist - the spirit of the age - to hoard both capital and property, but this time its different. Back then, the specter of modernist thought, radical socialism and global social reform were bubbling under. Now sadly, they’re not.
Social reform translated into the hubris for middle class people to own their own homes and spread out to the suburbs. Then, along came that damn working class aspirationalism - aspiring to some outdated middle class model which of course only bankrupted them. Hells legs - the nastiest trick in the book is to sell you something you already own. Just like Thatcher did during her rein of terror.
Culturally, we are in a cesspit of mainstream blandness where it’s going to take a coagulation of millions to make up a single unit of vital force. (cf Quentin) At least, that is, in the mainstream. What may happen, something that won't be seduced by The Bourgeois Zeitgeist, will be the movement of artists, writers and poets; as there was Van Gogh, Genet and Lorca - those who refuse to be bought off simply because they are the ones who put their heads on the line. This is unless they too are bought out by Saatchi. Like Hirst with his diamonds and Tracey with her particular brand of McFeminism.
In the late 19th century, the writer Emile Zola mentioned in passing that he’d had it up to the back teeth with all the shite on the Parisian stage – nonsense that only luxuriated in the profits of industrial progress. He announced publicly that he wouldn’t get through another summer with the constant round of cheap pap of Boulevard Theatre thinly disguised as culture.
However, toward the end of that summer, Henrik Ibsen premiered his new play Ghosts and things changed. Ghosts is the fine story of a bourgeois family with inherited venereal diseases. In this case the bourgeois audience left their own lavish dining rooms in opulent Oslo and witnessed a staged version of their own lives but vile, rancid and decaying under the strains of its own heredity. This symbolism summed up the culture and the zeitgeist perfectly and became the rock that eventually cracked the mirror. And after this play, this piece of art, things were never to be the same.
Saturday, 7 February 2015
Hurrah, these bricks sure are tasty!
Stepping away from all things Kardashian, it’s becoming more and more transparent watching how the government is financially shafting us all. Whether you have any money or not, they are increasingly finding ways for you to spend and be taxed on it. In return we’re sold a vision of bricks and mortar as food.
Hurrah! Die mörtel ist alle!
Hang on - I think I broke my tooth on a door handle.
Are you are a homiliionare? Yes? Well then, that’s the rest of your financial life sorted out, Phew! Well, I’m happily not a homillionare or a homomillionare. The 20 year old equivalent of myself today only has a real future of homelessness and not so much as a Walk-in centre to their name. (Of course by then Theresa May will have implemented her far-reaching surveillance to stop those awful terrorists. A handy offshoot being that it will be a great tax pull as you are questioned by the Inland Revenue for using your debit card).
Between now and your old age – i.e. the time you can cash your house in - there will already be a whole host of stealth financial legislation to ease a continuing financially crippled system (hang on it can’t be financially crippled - I own my own 'studio' flat in Wigan. And it’s already worth £750.000 !!!). I’m sorry, you won’t be able to eat your house after all. That’s all part of the lie we’re caught up in.
What will the government do when they’ve exhausted Capital Gains Tax (or taxing the tax you’ve already been taxed on), Bedroom tax (Duh), Window tax (Duh), Poll Tax (you can’t vote if you’re poor) Stamp duty (what stamps? Green Shield?) VAT (Erm.. value?). And the beat goes on.
The transparency of the financial system for the poor (and by poor I mean anyone who owns a home worth more that 2 grand) means that you will be hounded as time goes on when the government has to find more and more ways to generate capital. The only place they can get more capital from is – you. Your capital. Not by raising taxes, but by introducing more. And you’ll accept it and move on because, well, you have no choice really, do you?
To live in any country is to be subservient to its elected government - we all know that because we elected them. But the question of social support or, lord forbid - reform, is now moot. It’s gone into reversal with the advent of the surveillance laws. Laws which themselves are used to generate income, thus rendering all homeowners as the new poor. As we know every Englishman’s home is his castle. Hence all those horse brasses and faux stone chimneystacks. I’m sure English women may have a subtler approach, but as the trappings of what once were working class cultural tastes subside into an acquired version of yesterdays nouveau riche (get your arse off there – that countertop’s genuine granite) so the myth betrays us. Let’s face it, if someone said when I was a child that one day I would be living in a one million pound bedsit I’d never have believed them. (Yeah, and I’ll be James Bond one day too) But that was in 1970 when today's one million pound home was only four and six and a loaf of bread a tanner. Financial deception abounds. I can almost hear the economist Keynes turning in his gay grave.
Hurrah! Die Mortel ist alle! (Hurray, the cement has gone) is of course a shout back to the anti-Third Reich propagandist, John Heartfield. Although Nazi Germany appeared affluent when Goering stated in 1935 that iron ore was making the Reich strong, Heartfield parodied him because, well, at the end of the day people couldn’t eat iron ore. (But come on - they had money in their pockets and new autobahns – so things were definitely on the up!) The good old Nazis were excellent propagandists. They conned an entire nation into believing that they had never had it so good (a sentiment later picked up by tory PM Harold Macmillan). After a disastrous recession in Germany people wanted to believe anything, especially when they had real results (did I already mention motorways?) Well, the Reich also said that every family would have a Volkswagen Beetle to drive on the new motorways and that didn’t happen. But at least they didn’t sell everyone a Volkswagen on higher purchase.
Now, replace the image of Goering with that of The Right Honorable George Osborne MP and think again about house prices
Now, replace the image of Goering with that of The Right Honorable George Osborne MP and think again about house prices. Remember, an empire only feels good when you are told so by the leaders and their cohorts. And you now own your own house. And another one in Spain! All on a mortgage. Hurrah!
The problem for Keynes was finding a ‘working class’ who would accept regulated wages. This was not to be the case - hence the continual increase in taxes since the 1930’s. Keynes never factored in Thatcher’s vision of the ‘free economy’ as much as he could visulise the emptying of the fire-grates of Treblinka seven years later. But the ideas about workers pay that Keynes proposed was put into place by western societies - something which was extorted by every government since. It was also based on an early 20th century model of industrial production which has now ended. Now, the only form of empowerment for the 'poor' is to give them their own houses. Well not give exactly - mortgage to them by a corrupt financial system. Hurrah! This makes the banker rich.
And when the banks fail, who bails them out?
And when the banks fail, who bails them out?
Hurrah! We the people!