Wednesday, 20 June 2012

"I want to create a new chamber"

A false start and a misplaced sense of history every time.
A whole heap of middles.

NinteenNinetyFive Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version.

Part one: Hatchings and Smashings. Easy on my balls they fragile as eggs.
What kind of eggs? Cuckoo eggs! Monstrous offspring, huge. Bastard eggs of the next man, inserted in the nest in the dead of night, who's the father? Rick James? Teddy Pendergrass? Raised in a velvet basement and then unleashed to make hideous love to the world. You know that line from Beowolf? You know the one:
It harrowed him to hear the din of the loud banquet every day in the hall, the harp being struck and the clear song of a skilled poet.
Well that's part of this mythos. That's part of it. But you have to remember who's writing the story, what is being made absent. What I'm saying is that's just one opinion, and you best hear another.

I watched Jackie Chan do drunken monkey kung fu when I was just a boy but even then I knew there was more going on than was being presented. Those drunken kung fus are hard on your body, hard on your joints especially. Watch the man do his thing it's as beautiful as swallows, as beautiful as cream going into your coffee. Strange attractors. Things are pulled in one direction and as intensity rises somewhere else another part of the body seems to become the head, seems to now take the lead. Well drunken kung fu is anything but, it isn't the result of damaged nerves, it's clarity. Watch the man move and it's more like micro-metrologicical-hypersensitivity, points of pressure rise and fall all around him, pull him in complex swirls feeding back into one another. The other combatant thought he was the only other there, thought it was just subject and object but that isn't the case is it? The drunken master is not just looking at you, he's looking at it all, you're just one relatively intense area, just one moment-by moment assemblage pushing air and throwing off waste heat and eventually getting your ass beat down and all the while all those other zones are a swirling riot rushing from point to point (headless) and they are going to keep on shimmying, keep drawing the man in the dirty draws this way and that, dancing to something you (doubly) can't hear because you're knocked the fuck out. 


The Ol' Dirty Bastard, first record, and ninteenhundredandninetyfive.
Try and focus on a hole, an absence. In terms of a style to which there is no father there is no Oedipal lineage to dwell on (Compare and contrast with Masta “who?” Killa). The Beowolf quote is bullshit precisely because ODB is not against anything stylistically, it's not a reactionary dichotomy. I like that story you'd hear a lot in old interviews of around this time, something like “I mixed rapping with singing, […] and I can't sing”. It's the cuckoo egg switch again, swap one part of the arrangement for something else and then reveal that something else as a negative value, as a yawning nameless negation, a black hole in the next. Singing has no aim but to unleash [animal] becomings. The singing eats up the words around it, beautiful non-sequiters (more so than Ghostface), points popping up all out of phase becoming phonic noise, eating themselves and defecating the magpie rattle of vocal chords, eating themselves again and sucking in the guest verses of other Wu Tang members, give me the mic so I can take it away


I felt the earth tremble underneath my balls. Sitting down with a wine cup on the Wudang mountain, the one plate met the other plate and this zone of intensity increased bringing forth heat and shivering in continual self correction and this energy just has to realize itself as a creative force, forcing billions of tons of rock up into the cosmos for some people to one day build temples and dragon-head incense burners on and found a discipline that bonded that mountain to the body. The was no one path this could have gone, every moment was local, every tremble was a moment of creation, an unplottable complex series, the only thing predictable with any degree of accuracy is from this point right here to what might be the next point, one single vibration. Maybe best not predict at all, no pretence of a plan, awkward as the RZA trying to hold it all together pausing between every line and trying to carry over some semblance of order through sheer angry frustration. Maybe best just go with it.
Look at Russell Jones dancing like a sailor, leaning back off/
to the right the shoulders both/
up and slumped/
the eyes back in the skull, the spit on the lips/
that line through the shoulders like the boom on a ship/
swaying as the pressure drops/
somewhere out to sea as the boom arm swings round over that sailor's head/
as the boom swings back to knock that sailor/
in the back of the head and out over the side/
out to sea down into the port side wash (we haven't left the dock)/
hitting a rock/ 
laughing bubbles back up to the surface all weightless and falling/
a honey Timberland slipping/
from one foot/
laces like linguine/
hung from the toe against gravity/
deep within the water exploding ordinances/
a lapping, wailing of molecular discordances/
Wudang son

Leaning back to the point of a fall, a hip out, a dinosaur rock n roll hip, the tremble comes down or maybe comes up. And then collapse. The violence of self-violence in a plane of immanence, communal infection I'm not saying I got it but nigga if I got it you got it.
[I had a whole paragraph here about the difference between the video for Shimmy Shimmy Ya and Sabotage from the year before. I couldn't get it to sit flat. Trying to explain how this video is a true carnival grotesque, whereas Sabotage is just the soft conservative cover of irony. One doesn't care and the other really does care. Like I said, it wouldn't lie down, so I sent it away. Shimmy Shimmy Ya is not a joke, that's for sure. It's a Swiftian hotshot.]

Part two: Heart of a dog (glands of the ol dirty doggy)

  I must succeed in endowing the parts of my body with relations of speed and slowness that will make it become dog, in an original assemblage proceeding neither by resemblances nor by analogy. 
That brief collision of participles that make up the body can become a changing process that acknowledges both the body and the brief collision of particles. A loose and formless delivery, a slack stance, images into sound, into a logos-less sound of childhood (Wu Tang is for the children) remember when you was young and you used to go a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-aaaaaaaaaaaaaa [...] remember when you used to say who could do this the long[est]? Sound as matter, like a punch as percussion, like all relationships between men and women being based not on signs but on smells. Like that very relationship being an entity. The interface is an object itself with emergent properties not found in either part separately but accessed through an encounter with the material world.

When her feet walked across the floor/ 
without a smell/
but with a smell/
that you can smell/  
your own smell/
and you know that feet stink/
it got an aroma to it/
and you're calculating how her ass moves from side to side with that aroma/
and you know that it's aroma in that ass too, but you can lick that asshole too and you won't get no aroma/
but you know that the aroma exists/
and then you can kiss her neck and/
suck this and suck that/
lick that and lick that/
and you can, you can actually feel/
you can feel the prophecy of a woman being sexy/
called a sex object and a sex tool/
and a, a fine scandalous romantic most moveable object/
that a motherfucker couldn't even get/
if he didn't have a motherfucking woman/

The Ancient Earthly Anti-Oedipus

All italicized quotes are taken from Ol Dirty Bastard, Deleuze & Guattari or Seamus Heaney.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Annus horribilis

The first time I came across punk was on a school trip to (I think) Madame Tussaud's. At the end of the museum there was a ride that took us through the history of pop music. It must have  showed Elvis and the Beatles, but the only ones I remember were an animatronic waxwork Madonna doing ‘Like a Virgin’ and Sid Vicious doing ‘My Way’. I can’t remember the Vicious waxwork, but the video for ‘My Way’ shocked me. I didn’t know whether he really had shot audience members at the end of the song or if it was just an act. The ride moved on to the next pop milestone, but I couldn’t pay attention. I asked my Dad as he drove me home what punk was. He said it was a group of people who hated everything.

Years later I got into 90s American pop punk and delved into punk history. I read the Sniffin Glue anthology and Please Kill Me, and watched The Filth and the Fury. I remember Jon Savage’s England’s Dreaming was one of the books that sat uselessly on the table in my A Level Media Studies class. Dropping out of A Levels was probably a big part of what drew me to the era and the music, but the Casualties-style reenactors you’d see at gigs served as a warning of the perils of nostalgia.

A major aspect of documentaries and histories was the Jubilee. It always had to be emphasized how different it was back then, how seriously people took the monarchy. One part of Filth and the Fury details Lydon’s attack by royalists, who knifed him in the knee with a machete. The bunting and the street parties all seemed like bizarre period details that aging punks laughed about when they reminisced and tried to emphasize that people really did feel so strongly about the Queen, as if no one today would believe them.

It’s an obvious point to make and I know lots of people are making it. But there is something wrong with the fact that 35 years after ‘God Save the Queen’, despite all the upheavals between then and now, the one thing to stay constant is the pageantry and adoration of royalty.

It’s not that I’m surprised they’re still here — nothing short of a revolution would get rid of them. No, it’s that I am staggered by the deference and fawning over these unbearable cretins. In an age where we apparently can’t afford education, healthcare or wages, what we can afford is a nuclear warhead and parties for the fucking Royal family.

I’ll leave you with the words of punk hip gunslinger and easy target Tony Parsons:

“An old punk until the day I die, I still loathe much about a system that elevates mediocre non-entities like Cameron and Clegg to the highest office. But – like the overwhelming majority of our people – I have nothing but respect, admiration and love for the Queen. She is of course more of a true punk than Johnny Rotten will ever be. Her Majesty has followed her destiny, done what she was born to do – surely the very heart of the punk ethos. [...] The Queen does not represent a life of privilege for a few pampered toffs. The Queen embodies the best of us.”

2012: annus horribilis.