Tuesday, 28 June 2011

God Only Knows

For the past few days, following the publication of an interview with Brian Wilson in The Guardian, I've been obsessed with "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys, long considered to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written. I first heard Pet Sounds in 2006 when, having been long aware of its reputation, I copied a friend's CD to my iTunes library. The version I recently starred on Spotify contains both the mono and stereo edits, and it is in the latter form that my idea of music has been transformed.

The liturgical quality of the harpsichord and French horn intro is newly aired through with space. The moment the strings drop must be the most exquisite in all of pop and surely informed the first song I ever bought, Oasis' "Wonderwall". And yet, this was 1965/6, before even Sgt. Pepper, the album more often credited with revolutionsing pop.

When I suggested to a friend, a classical musician and disciple of the great J.S. Bach, that were his hero to have lived in the 20th century and become a pop musician, "God Only Knows" would be the sort of song he would have written, he laughed heartily and replied: 'I had not been aware of any genius within The Beach Boys. What did they sing again? Surfin' California? Fun Fun Fun?'

That comment was made at a dinner table for five, including three classical musicians - the eldest a violinist in his sixties - and yet I was the only one to give Pet Sounds the memory it deserves. It is an album with an abundance of beautiful chord sequences, melodies and harmonies, and for me, "God Only Knows" is the mortal man's "Air On a G String" just as "Wonderwall" is the common man's "God Only Knows". Brian Wilson hasn't made music to worship to at Easter, but the very perfection of some of his works must encourage listeners to at least remember their spirituality for a moment, in these more secular times. And far from the universal acclaim bestowed upon him in death, Bach himself was largely ignored in his lifetime.

Could it be imagined what would happen if a studio expert with 21st-century technology to hand, such as Timbaland, reworked "God Only Knows" for today's ears? The result would be the ultimate mating of music and sound, for the two are now seemingly separate causes. The fact that, despite all the studio wizardry possible in one's own bedroom available at a fraction of what Pet Sounds cost to record, no comparable music is being made to what Brian Wilson was able to achieve through sheer passion, piety and genius (and LSD), is as solemn an indictment on the decline of the art form as anything yet written. Music is dying; sound waits for its accession. Is there really no one out there who can put the two together in an original recording?

Monday, 13 June 2011

12-Pages Issue 7: Radicals Cover and Introduction

Introduction by Paul Mendez

A group of artists, writers, musicians and thinkers in the early nineteenth century, among them the British notables Mary Wollstonecraft, Lord Byron, Thomas Paine, William Blake and Mary Shelley, became known as the Romantics. Priding intuition and imagination over reason and empiricism, their original thought and free speech was a radical departure from Enlightenment rationalism, yielding a cannon of seminal works, such as Paine's Rights of Man and Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman, whose legacies are enduring.

It has become a topic of contention as to what the term 'radical' means today, such is its ever-changing context. Arguably, since the events of September 11, 2001, pejorative connotations have been dominant. Radical Islam and the threat of terror hang over the globe like the Armageddon of Revelation, precipitating a war between the secular and pious that has prattled on bloodily for a decade. Indeed, the 'radicalisation' page on Wikipedia focuses almost solely on the path to jihadisation and subsequent commitment to the performance of terrorist acts. It can thus be argued that, paradoxically, radicalisation today serves to create something conventional: a homogenous army of self-destructive followers as opposed to the individual, free-thinking, independent agent for positive change that each of the Romantics is remembered as being.

Indeed, worryingly, the gloved hand of the state, fearing the might of the people as demonstrated in the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, is frequently creeping round to silence such independent voices, even in the second decade of the 21st century. Following Ai Weiwei's arrest and detention by the Chinese government, the Booker-Prize-winning Indian novelist Arundhati Roy told The Guardian of the increasing persecution she has received as she continues to polemicise about the problems of the Indian state, its stance on Kashmir, its scant regard for the environment in favour of rapid development and its record on corruption.

Two hundred years after the Romantics paved the way for independent minds to help change the world for the better, and in a world where each individual has the capacity to express and propagate their opinions via free blogging software and microblogging sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it seems inevitable that governments will stymie the potential for anarchy these technological and social developments can engender, for better or worse. Individuals become more radical as societies homogenise. Something must break.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

12-Pages Issue 6: Movement

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Movement 1981/2011

The parallels between 2011 and 1981 are not restricted to trends in pop culture and fashion, and cannot all be put down to 30th anniversaries. A landscape of recession, high unemployment, unpopular Conservative government - albeit latterly in coalition form - and cultural flux has prevailed in both eras, and provided the background for other, equally telling reflections.

In 1981, Greece entered the European Community (now the EU). Charles, heir to the British throne, married Lady Diana Spencer. On 16th January, left-wing radical and former MP for mid-Ulster Bernadette Devlin McAliskey was the subject of an assassination attempt by members of the Ulster Defence Association. High unemployment amongst unskilled workers whose jobs had been lost to Thatcherist policies led to millions of women entering the workforce. Hundreds rioted in Brixton, Toxteth, Handsworth and Moss Side in protest at racial discrimination and mistreatment by the police. MTV launched in August. Hosni Mubarak was elected president of Egypt. Natalie Portman was born in Israel. New Order released their debut album Movement eighteen months to the day after the suicide of Ian Curtis, representing the action of the remaining Joy Division members to regroup and evolve, capturing both the detritus of what had occurred and the seeds of what was forthcoming.

In 2011, Greece finds itself subject to extensive national austerity measures to follow the EU's $110bn three-year rescue package, designed to tackle the country's overwhelming debt. Prince William marries Catherine Middleton. Artist Duncan Campbell's 2006 work Bernadette, shown at British Art Show 7 in 2011, demonstrated how the contemporary press championed McAliskey as a martyr, then targeted her as a victim. Universities secretary David Willetts attacks feminism for reducing the job prospects of 'ambitious young men'. Thousands marched in protest at government cuts, particularly in the arts sector. The ARK Music Factory packages hits for would-be teen stars; Rebecca Black's 'Friday' receives over 100million views on YouTube. The 2011 Egyptian revolution brought about the prized resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Natalie Portman wins the best actress in a leading role Academy Award for her turn as a ballet dancer in Black Swan.

Many of these parallels - including natural disasters, wars, political unrest and economic turmoil - will give short shrift to Armageddonists who insist we are living 'in the last days'; apparently this has been the case for at least the last thirty years. Whatever has gone before is permanent and unchangeable; all we can do is look to the future and try to change things while we can. This will involve some sort of physical act or gesture, a movement.

12-Pages Issue 6: Movement Cover

Cover design by James Tuitt

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

12-Pages: Movement Preview with Duncan Fallowell (Film by Sergey Stefanovich)

On Saturday 16th April 2011 I went to visit Duncan Fallowell at his home in West London, to chat about books and writing. It was a beautiful, warm spring day, and being in his library-like lounge, with the sun coming through the windows overlooking Notting Hill terraces, felt a lot like being in an Alan Hollinghurst novel (see the Sergey Stefanovitch film above).

I found this acclaimed novelist and travel writer a most genial and charming advisor, who was evidently extremely erudite and experienced (for example, he was once invited to become the lead singer of the massively influential German band Can, but turned them down). As a Joy Division/New Order fan, Krautrock was where it all started, and is, as I explained to Duncan, the next phase of my educative musical journey. Indeed, I found myself thanking him on behalf of my generation for all the work 'you guys' did in the Seventies and Eighties; people of Duncan's age are our spiritual contemporaries. Their initial thoughts, aphorisms and inventions are what whisper most clearly, compellingly, delicately and everlastingly into our ears.

Fallowell is a writer who understands art. 'A book is a physical object. Writing is a physical act, a sculptural act as well as an intellectual act,' he says in the film, and he told me something similar on my visit. He is full of wisdom and memorable quotes: 'They could all do a brilliant intellectual fireworks display,' he says of the scores of authors whose works line his walls. 'When I write, I try to seduce people,' he said, pursing his lips to sip his tea, somewhat felinely. In fact, I learned more about writing in two hours with Duncan than in several years of reading the often unwielding, opaque surfaces of high literature.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

12-Pages Online Project Space Call for Submissions - Issue 6

TBC Artists' Collective has announced the 6th Issue of the 12-PAGES online project space under the theme:


Edited by Charley Peters and Paul Mendez, this issue aims to capture the state of movement, form and gesture in contemporary art practice.

MOVEMENT is the title of New Order's 1981 debut album. Released just eighteen months after the suicide of Ian Curtis, it represented the action of the remaining band members to regroup and evolve, capturing both the detritus of what had occurred and the seeds of what was forthcoming.

MOVEMENT implies performativity. Whether it incorporates the whole body, as in the case of dance, or just part(s) of it, artists have investigated the effects of movement in their works since natural dyes were first used on cave walls. The drawings of Henri Matisse, for example, uncover a lifetime's approach to his stated desire to 'reconceive in simplicity'. The direct and honest marks left by him are a testament to his belief that drawing is the most intimate means of artistic activity - that it is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.'

The need to make marks, record our experiences visually or indulge our desires to leave a physical impression on the world is part of our makeup as human beings. The simple movement of mark-making instruments across a surface and the traces left behind is as old as humanity itself, and will endure forever as a record of what has been and an anticipation of what is to come next.

MOVEMENT (Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus) NOUN 1 an act or the process of moving. 2 a group of people who share the same aims and ideas: the women's movement. 3 a trend or development. 4 (movements) a person's activities during a particular period of time. 5 a main division of a musical work. 6 the moving parts of a mechanism, especially a clock or watch.

SYNONYMS 1 motion, move; gesture, sign, signal; acton, activity. 2 transportation, shifting, conveyance, moving, transfer. 3 group, party, faction, wing, lobby, camp; division, sect, cult. 4 campaign, crusade, drive, push, initiative. 5 development, change, fluctuaion, variation. 6 trend, tendency, drift, swing, shift; march. 7 progress, development, change, advance, improvement. 8 part, section, division; act.

relating to movement - kinetic
fear of movement - kinetophobia

Please submit all works related to MOVEMENT to paul.mendez@tbcartistscollective.org. View the submission guidelines here.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Economy

J.M.W. Turner's Boats at Sea, photo courtesy of Tate

One of the best paintings at Tate's Watercolour show was Turner's Boats at Sea, a ruthless, elementary yet evocative dash-off that nevertheless perfectly captured the architecture and tone of ships sailing as the sun began to set.

It is usually more difficult to express an idea in the simplest of terms than it is to 'throw the kitchen sink' at it - one need only listen to a politician or curator ad-libbing for confirmation of that. The great challenge of abstraction is to create real meaning from the least possible resources; what can be achieved with a precisely chosen word, a strategic fold or perfectly weighted brush stroke?

Turner provides a surprising, and surprisingly contemporary, example.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Natural Disaster

Automobiles caught up in the March 2011 Japanese tsunami are flung about like empty crisp packets on a high wind
Natural disasters do not wait for TV cameras. Like a child or animal Hamlet they clear their lungs and begin their grand soliloquies "with feeling" in one profound, unique take, often when the crew is still asleep.

Once the cameras start rolling, however, affected voyeurs shed tears, as if at a movie. As arresting as the images are, we've seen them all before on the big screen. We are desensitised to violence and destruction, and almost revel in the live action. "The BBC has an incredible video..." Only in the real light of day can such disasters profoundly affect us. Twenty-four-hour TV coverage and analysis of such events is the armchair version of crowds gathering in the immediate aftermath of a car crash, hoping for a glimpse of a severed arm, broken leg or charred face. We condescend to appraise others' pity, knowing we can do nothing to help, as if watching every move is somehow to "be there" for an old friend.

We want an apocalypse, for the spectacle of it, and it will be televised.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

An Immersive Journey

Douglas Gordon k.364 installation view, courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

I walked into a mirror on my way into the space, but was mesmerised until a group of shrill American teenage girls bounded in hysterically, as only shrill American teenage girls can, and do. Otherwise, the Mozart concerto is exquisite, and one finds oneself sharing with the two violinists the beauty of performance and observation. The alternate expressions of glee and intense concentration on their faces is affecting.

It is rare to experience such an intimate perspective on an orchestral performance, unless a musician buried in the orchestral pit, but even then one is too entirely preoccupied with the nuances of one's own sheet music to worry about the fit of a violinist's trousers at the ankle. The conductress looks like Iris Murdoch.

k.364 is as dissonant as it is harmonious, a document of two journeys happening simultaneously, each with the same end. The entire film is a diptych, a duet. The first part of the film - detailing ethereally the journeys of two Jewish violinists as they make their way by train to perform in Warsaw - is free of music but not of sound, and even then, two soundtracks are layered over one another to denote the performance of a duet.

Music only exists when it reaches our ears, the subtitles say. Otherwise it is written notation, or drawing, or maybe even less: Gordon sets fire to the score, yet still sees fit to frame it. There is destruction elsewhere - the November 2006 issue cover of Awake! magazine, published by Jehovah's Witnesses, makes an appearance amongst the adjoining miscellany: '"Why?" Answering the Hardest of Questions' is its title. References to the Holocaust abound, clumsily or tastelessly according to some critics. Perhaps the allusion is a little trite, but as an expression of eulogy this exhibition is triumphant, mourning the great lost whether profound or trivial, whether lives of the great and good or the ephemera we collect, into which our identities bleed indelibly when we die.

Douglas Gordon k.364, Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Row, London WC1X, until 26 March 2011

Thursday, 10 February 2011

12-Pages: Windows

Smartphones: To access this and previous issues of 12-Pages, please click here.

Trainer Guy

For 12-Pages Issue Three: Windows

22nblk: no, but my conductors fucking stink
tite4u: like rancid bad?
22nblk: give it six months
tite4u: dude can i get my face deep inside ur conductors?
22nblk: the opening is huge so they'd be ideal for pushing right in your face
tite4u: wud u be up forthat?
22nblk: sure. don't know how I'm gonna fit all this into a rape scene though
tite4u: wud u then be up for using some like duct/gaffer tape around em n my head to keep it there?
22nblk: yeah, saw a pic like that recently and it gave me ideas
tite4u: wat ideas it give u dude?
22nblk: taping my shoe to your face and binding you while I do whatever the fuck i want
tite4u: sounds fuckin good to me :) wanna do that to me?
22nblk: yeah i wanna do that to you. there can be nothing more humiliating for a sub than to have his master's shoe glued to his nose and mouth, breathing his foot smell
tite4u: exactly u cud put tape around the opening n face too so i really cudnt breathe nethin other than thru ur conductor taking in ur foot smell, if u wanna, like a gas mask but with ur conductor n sweaty foot smell heh
22nblk: exactly
tite4u: u serious up for that?
22nblk: yes
tite4u: ever wear em barefoot?
22nblk: no i always wear socks
tite4u: cool cud stick ur sweaty sock in my mouth b4 u tape conductor up? so im gagged
22nblk: don't wanna suffocate you, so we might have to install a stop signal
tite4u: thats cool wud be hot to breathe nothin but ur foot smell n all air thru ur conductor
22nblk: cool
tite4u: wat wud u do with the other 1 ?
22nblk: foot fuck u ;-)
tite4u: heh wat u mean?
22nblk: push it in your hole
tite4u: lol ur conductor? no way
22nblk: joking. I dunno.
tite4u: heh u wanna wear a pair as u rape me?
22nblk: sure. what colour are your new dunks?
tite4u: ones i got 2day are black with yellow swoosh n other bits, white sole, hi
22nblk: cool. i want a pair all in black, no other colours, hi of course, low dunks are shit
tite4u: y black?
22nblk: cos they look cool
tite4u: nice can i get u a pair like that if we get on n go regular?
22nblk: that would be cool
tite4u: dude they are on fire
22nblk: to wear with an army surplus jumper & skinny jeans, bomber jacket and cap/beanie. sick
tite4u: fuck man with loose dunks n tongue forward?
22nblk: yeah man, jeans gotta be tucked in to show off the whole hi top
tite4u: shit that wud be a hot as fuck set up. that how u wear ur conductors n reebs?
22nblk: yeah
tite4u: man u r on fire dude :) wanna get u them dunks bad now lol
22nblk: looking at those dunks makes me realise how much I need several new pairs of trainers
tite4u: lol i get that all time. wanna fuck in exchange for new trainers? lol
22nblk: sounds good to me, they normally cost around about what i charge for an hour anyway
tite4u: wat is ur rate dude?
22nblk: £80p/h. Pair of dunks £60. Bargain
tite4u: :) u only do outcalls?
22nblk: usually
tite4u: where inlondon are u?
22nblk: north. i live with four other people so can be difficult to accommodate, particularly if the client is getting raped – my housemates might not understand that
tite4u: heh is cool u travel outta london?
22nblk: yeah, no problem. I just asked for train travel costs to be reimbursed
tite4u: thats cool am in derby here trains go direct from kings x takes bout 2hrs that ok?
22nblk: cool, just say when
tite4u: u cud wear ur conductors here n by time u get here theyll be real hot n sweaty?
22nblk: yep
tite4u: cud u bring other pairs too?
22nblk: can bring reeboks, zx500s & black DMs if you want. Converse too fragile to travel, lol
tite4u: heh those 3 pairs plus ur conductors wud be HOT :) which u wanna wwear as u rape me?
22nblk: black DMs. Conductors only other suitable pair for fucking in. Guys look stupid naked wearing low trainers
tite4u: hah i agree. u wanna wear a pairof mine?
22nblk: Pair of yours would be cool. Could choose whether to cum in them or on you
tite4u: like spunk my dunks up?
22nblk: yeah
tite4u: wud u find that hot?
22nblk: yeah
tite4u: like over it or inside it?
22nblk: inside
tite4u: dont wanna see ur load creamed all over the hitop?
22nblk: if we go regular we can mix it up. you scared of me cumming in your shoe?
tite4u: nah dude wud be hot :) u shoot big loads??
22nblk: yes
tite4u: so wud proper cum up the inside of my dunk? 
22nblk: yeah mate
tite4u: wud u want it left there to soak into em or wipe it out after?
22nblk: keep me inside em
tite4u: mark ur territory ;)
22nblk: you got it mate
tite4u: hey i havent even taken em out the box yet here, u want me to keep em box fresh for u? so u can be first to put em on?
22nblk: cool
tite4u: wanna do that or prefer em just loose n left nearby?
22nblk: you're a patient guy. as soon as i get new trainers i can't wait to get them on my feet. keep them in the box
tite4u: heh well i opened it to check em but not worn em yet - they still got the laces bunched n the cardboard inside em lol that ok?
22nblk: yeah, and i'll lace them up the way i want to wear them while i'm fucking you
tite4u: sounds cool :) wud u sign or tag em?
22nblk: sure
tite4u: whereabouts u wanna do that? permanent marker?
22nblk: permanent marker, somewhere around the heel
tite4u: they are all black tho apart from toe n swoosh, black marker on black ok or u wanna sign the yellow? http://www.footasylum.com/NIKE-Dunk-High-Trainer-P028567/ these are them
22nblk: i'll customise the swoosh
tite4u: with ur name?
22nblk: there's plenty of yellow to be defaced. i'll decide what to write
tite4u: u wanna proper go to town with pen on em or just ur name?
22nblk: i didn't say I was gonna write my name. maybe I'll write yours - my bitch
tite4u: lol ud write "bitch" on me dunks??
22nblk: I could write JOHN'S BITCH
tite4u: lol for real??
22nblk: You wouldn't be able to wear them out would you? You've got lots of other trainers to wear though. You scared of everyone knowing you're JOHN’S BITCH?
tite4u: heh true wud u want me to wear em out tho?
22nblk: I'll let you wear em out with JOHN on the back of each, a john being someone who cruises prostitutes
tite4u: nice make sure everyone knows im a john - like across the back or down the spine?
22nblk: Across the back would look best
tite4u: in big capitals or just little?
22nblk: big
tite4u: cool but that only thing ud do to em?
22nblk: Apart from wank and cum in them and sign them JOHN?
tite4u: yer lol that all?
22nblk: Steal them?
tite4u: ud do that? but they a 10?
22nblk: Sell them
tite4u: with JOHN on them? lol
22nblk: I'd get more than I paid for them, lol
tite4u: lol true, u wanna do that for real?
22nblk: nah, too much hassle. would be funny if someone bought them though
tite4u: lol true true - wud u mark em before u wore em or after uve fucked me in em?
22nblk: maybe i should sign them and put them on your feet while I'm fucking you
tite4u: that cud be hot, label me as a fucking john ?
22nblk: yeah. we haven't talked about what you're gonna wear yet
tite4u: wat do u want me in?
22nblk: dunks and a jock
tite4u: i dont have a jock :(
22nblk: what size are you?
tite4u: med/large
22nblk: maybe i'll make you squeeze into my small jock
tite4u: nice naked just in jock n dunks?
22nblk: do you wear trackies
tite4u: yer got 3 pairs
22nblk: what colours
tite4u: black with white adidas 3 stripe n grey with white adidas 3 stripe and nike grey sweatpants
22nblk: grey trackies are FUCKING HORNY. want you wearing them when we meet
tite4u: no probs :) nethin else?
22nblk: would you describe yourself as a chav?
tite4u: err kinda lol i dress that way a lot
22nblk: do you wear a chain?
tite4u: nope been thinkin of gettin a thick gold or silver 1 tho y?
22nblk: chains look hot with the chav look, always gold
tite4u: want me to get a cheap 1 from like argos or somethin b4 we meet?
22nblk: lol yes, and a sovereign ring
tite4u: heh np - here a question for ya - wat u wnt me wearin wen i pick u up at station?
22nblk: hoodie, trackies, dunks, cap
tite4u: new dunks or 1 of my other pairs?
22nblk: Might be cool to wear the new ones
tite4u: even tho it means u wont get firstwear?
22nblk: Yeah, I wanna take your pristine dunks off you and deface them, like taking your virginity
tite4u: nice :) want me wearing ne underwear or sox wen i meet u at station?
22nblk: no underwear, wanna see your dick moving about in the trackies. Wear white socks
tite4u: nice tuck trackies into sox or trackies inside the dunks?
22nblk: trackies inside socks inside dunks
tite4u: cool :) u into piss?
22nblk: i was wondering whether you might ask me about that
tite4u: haha are ya?
22nblk: it was one of the things i was considering doing to your dunks
tite4u: pissing in em?
22nblk: yep
tite4u: u def shud
22nblk: or over your feet while you were wearing them
tite4u: i had an idea, not sure if ud be up for it tho, wen we meet at station go to toilets n pass u dunks under cubicle n u piss in em both then pass em bk n i wear em or stand at urinal n u just piss then get  it over em - ne good or too risky?
22nblk: are you serious about all this?
tite4u: i am 110% up for all of this dude, are u?
22nblk: Yeah m8, everything
tite4u: sweet as :) cud  usend me those pics of ur in ur reebs n conductors pls dude?
22nblk: either one of those piss ideas would be cool
tite4u: which wud u find more horny?
22nblk: if we went to some dirty, dingy cottage-style toilets somewhere i could just stand at a urinal and piss on your dunks - that would be horny
tite4u: just all over the fronts of em?
22nblk: i could piss all down the front of your trackies too, make it look like you wet yourself. would be humiliating for you
tite4u: u serious?
22nblk: yes
tite4u: wud be v hot n i know some toilets we cud do it at - u proper into humiliation?
22nblk: not especially, but it seems our chemistry's heading in that direction
tite4u: was just thinking u cud tell me to lick some of the piss of the toilet floor after if u wanted to go that far? or not into that?
22nblk: i've done all this before mate, nothing fazes me
tite4u: so ud tell me to lick ur piss off the toilet floor?
22nblk: all around where you were standing. i wouldn't be kissing you after that though
tite4u: heh wud u prefer me not to n for us to kiss or watch me lick tha up?
22nblk: i might want to taste your mouth at some stage, and anyway, we don't have to do everything at the same time. what car do you drive?
tite4u: bmw fella
22nblk: which model?
tite4u: 1 series
22nblk: ever been fucked in it?
tite4u: nope....
22nblk: wanna be?
tite4u: def mate, u lke that?
22nblk: love it
tite4u: fucked in a 1 series b4? heh
22nblk: never fucked in a BMW
tite4u: pop ur cherry den ;) how do u  fuck in a car? it aint biggest place in der world
22nblk: will be hot just trying to find a way, turning your ass over and pulling down your trackies, forcing it in
tite4u: def up for that man :) u wanna do this b4 we go bk to mine?
22nblk: yes
tite4u: so ull fuck me first time in me car?
22nblk: just to taste. i'll ask you to drive somewhere secluded. how tall are you?
tite4u: 5ft10 y?
22nblk: what kind of build?
tite4u: average, not fat, not thin, not defined or nethin. that ok?
22nblk: shouldn't be too much of a problem doing you on the back seat then
tite4u: like me kneeling on back seat lookin out bk window?
22nblk: it won't be that comfortable
tite4u: heh wat u got in mind then?
22nblk: something a bit more forced. just wanna pull down your trackies any way and fuck you
tite4u: u still want me to breathe thru ur conducor n tie me hands in car or not that for car?
22nblk: nah that shit can be saved for your place. you live on your own?
tite4u: nah i share but place is free in day. wud u wanna cum from fuckin in the car or just get ur dick in me n fuk for a bit, then pull out without cummin n go bk to my place?
22nblk: dunno, depends how hot your ass is
tite4u: if u cum in car, want me to eat ur cum outta the rubber after?
22nblk: yeah that would be hot. you're a fucking dirty cunt. nothing's beyond you
tite4u: heh yer i am, is that a prob? 
22nblk: you'd eat my shit if i told you to, wouldn't you?

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Retrieved: Waking Dream

It’s funny; I had a dream about Levi Duckett (who is married to Jael Gandy, oh my God. Poor girl – I wonder what she thought when she saw his little dick (no sex before marriage. I would hope that more sensible couples would reveal themselves to each other from a distance, across a room, so as to know what each is letting the other in for, before committing to a lifelong partnership. Sarai, her twin, is the lucky one; Joseph Thompson, Levi’s mixed-race, same-age nephew, probably has a schlong the size of a hot dog)). Levi was cutting his wet hair with clippers, and I think I borrowed the same ones to shave down my afro. We seemed to be in my parents’ house circa 1985, but were both in our twenties. The clippers, with their extraordinarily long cable, were plugged into a socket in my parents’ bedroom, which had that familiar, sickly smell of my mother’s hair products, congealed with my father’s acrid Sunday morning body odour, while we cut our hair at the bottom of the stairs. The bed had not been made.

Levi seemed to be churning his not-overtly-thick hair up horribly. I worried what people would think of us sitting together at the Kingdom Hall, especially Levi’s aristocratically angular and beautiful sister Kasha, both with our disastrous haircuts. Levi then went to start his car, or something, and accidentally locked himself out. The rose bush out front was full of red flowers and it was my parents’ old front door that I opened to him.

I also remember being outside, lying down in the street, where there were plastic bins all around with their lids open, and I was actually licking one. A small green van came round to douse all the bin lids in a substance that obliterated germs but I’d already ingested all such gremlins into my system. I began to be very worried.

Even though I hated him perhaps more, deep down I quite fancied Levi Duckett, or at least what he represented. His family were the most solid and deep-rooted I had grown up with, arguably apart from the Dellers, who were spread very thinly. Garth and Katharine Duckett were the old King and Queen of the district; Katharine’s mother Mathilda was the Queen mother, and they had seven children who remained close to them and never strayed from the organisation. To marry into the Ducketts was basically to guarantee yourself everlasting life, for only the most upstanding spiritual characters would get past Garth Duckett to one of his five daughters in the first place.

There is something very 1950s-husband about him, which I find attractive if only because it upholds a traditional aspect of manliness. He is the sort of guy who would get up in the morning and expect his breakfast to be laid out on the table by his wife. He would then kiss her on the mouth and pat her bottom before going to work with a packed lunch, unless he lives within reasonable driving distance from work, in which case he would come home for lunch, which he would expect to be laid out on the table, and when he is finished, a ten-minute ravishing of his rosy little wife would ensue before he waved her goodbye upon jumping back in the car.

When he arrives home from work, he expects his dinner to be laid out on the table, and his slippers and newspaper ready. He will then proceed to spend the rest of the evening with one eye and ear on the TV as his wife gossips incessantly about the banality of the day’s events, before taking her to bed and rendering her inarticulate beyond staccato gasps and screams, on those days when he doesn’t go to the pub with his cousins Joseph and Malachi.

I don’t fancy Levi Duckett because I want to be his housewife. Indeed, I don’t think his dick would be big enough even to have an affair with; indeed, from what I’ve seen, I hope for both his and his wife’s sakes it’s a grower. But I wouldn’t mind having an affair on that ass one day, when he takes an afternoon off from work to come and see me. My dream of him is all the more strange as, looking through my calendar this morning to see which events I have coming up, I skipped past his birthday, April 26, which is in five days’ time. He will be 27, as I will be next month. We’re not quite old enough to have an affair yet. I think when we’re both 37 or 38, would be the ideal time. I’ll be well-kept and handsome; he’ll have come into his age beautifully. He does have a sweet, blue-eyed, cherubic face, unless he’s allowed it to slip. I haven’t seen him for close to ten years. He’s certainly better looking than his brother Vedran (where do they get these names from?) anyway, whom all the fourteen year old girls in our year group might have been hot over (surely they must have wondered why, living next door to the school, he wasn’t picking them off one by one, but there you go, it seems that if you want it too much you never get it), but to my eyes he resembled Sylvester Stallone with the silly lip but minus the raging muscles. Don’t get me wrong, he was very good looking in a toned, wiry, tall and dark kind of way, but give him a wife and he’ll end up a barrel, albeit a snarling barrel with huge balls, just like his father.

There was always something slightly mad about Levi’s character too. He was by no means the godliest of all His children. He hung out with the thugs at school, and only because they thought I was his cousin was I spared the full gamut of the bullys' wrath. I often had to explain to people that I wasn’t his cousin, but that our parents had been friends since we were little kids. His mother ‘studied’ mine, as the Witnesses would put it. I actually lived there with them for a little while; I remember it as four weeks but it was probably more like four days, when my mother was close to giving birth to the twins, and the happiest years of my life ended. I can picture Ruth’s cherubic little face and baldish head right as I write, but for now I have to use the bathroom before The Beast gets there first. Another story.

Retrieved: Waking Thoughts - The Meaning of Beauty




I have discovered the meaning of beauty in two things - a chord from Joy Division's "Disorder", and the name of Celia-Jane Ukwenya.

The former is probably my favourite song of all time already in its Martin Hannett-produced, bassy, whooshy, spacey Unknown Pleasures splendour, but the chord I refer to, the greatest moment in the entire recorded history of Joy Division as far as I've heard, opens a seven-second tune-up before the soundcheck of "Disorder" on the live CD accompanying the 2007 deluxe reissue of Still.  Bernard Sumner's exquisitely extruded guitar leans forward to kiss, and simultaneously, Peter Hook's muscular bass approaches gently from behind to caress; I, the delirious object in the middle, swoon. Annoyingly, this delicious moment, that has me reaching for the repeat and high-speed dubbing functions of my mp3 player, comes at the very end of one of my least favourite Joy Division tracks, "Ice Age", throughout which Ian Curtis's voice falters (the track was subsequently omitted from the final setlist - a riled Curtis can be heard later saying "We're not playing it, no").  Probably a good thing, because the soundcheck of "Disorder" is one of my very favourite Joy Division tracks, behind only the album version, the revelatory (wall-of-)soundcheck to "A Means To An End" from the same disc, and several versions of "Isolation"; if it was, as it should have been, included as the introduction of the "Disorder" soundcheck, I would quite certainly play it to death (executive producers do sometimes need their heads testing when splitting and ordering tracks). I would perhaps even go as far as to fake my own death so as to hear it played at my funeral.

The latter refers to BUCK Magazine's Junior Fashion Editor.  I have no idea what the girl herself is like - I might be endorsing a complete bitch - but she has an absolutely glorious name.  From the moment I saw it on the Masthead of the first issue in November [2008], it has remained in my head, and on occasion since, involuntarily slips off the velvety tongue of that deep little voice in my head.  I read once that someone suggested the most beautiful sound in words to be "c'est la d'or", or "cellar door"; I would suggest "Celia-Jane Ukwenya" for its broader range, replete with the smooth edge of the "juh" and shimmering, dark emerald gloss of the "kwuh".  It is also, to my mind, the first time the name Jane sounded sexy since whoever first wrote about Tarzan.

In conclusion, whenever I feel like I want to die, I shall think of these two things and hopefully, all my depression will dissipate, unless I actually want to be depressed, which is another subject for another day.

Having met Celia-Jane Ukwenya since this stub was written, I can gladly say that she is a woman as beautiful as her name.