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As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The forgetting of history- a Crass conversation

I don't know if many other people will give a damn, but here goes anyway. The theme is 'anarcho-goth-punk'
and Crass and the wider context of 'cultures of resistance'.

Note: in case anyone has missed it, George MacKay in his Senseless Acts of Beauty : Cultures of Resistance since the Sixties: Verso : 1996 gives a whole chpater (Chapter 3 , pages 72 to 101) on Crass.

George has written several books on 'the counterculture' and is based at the University of Central Lancaster

There is also an article by Stacy Thompson on the wider culutural context of Crass here

George Mackay has a stab at linking various ' cultures of resistance' together- but it is difficult, everyone has their own version.

Tom Vague has produced a huge volume of ' research' on the history of it all- going way back into the 18th century. Just re-reading his 'King Mob Echo: English Section of the Situationist International" / Vague 31 : Dark Star Press : 2000.

Finally - in answer to Daragh's question on magick , tryPhil Hine's website -it has tons of fascinating material

Dear Daragh,
just added some pics of a Mob gig at Meanwhile Gardens http://greengalloway.blogspot.com/2005/10/mob-at-meanwhile-gardens-1982.html which give an impression of the vitality of the scene in summer of 1982 - i.e. at same time as Centro Iberico.

Tom Vague was never very keen on Crass/ anarcho-punk so not sure if he would be able to help you much - but he has covered the era as it impactwd on W11 in his section of the Historytalk website http://www.historytalk.org/ .

What about Gerard of Flowers in the Dustbin see their website http://www.flowersinthedustbin.co.uk/ - I am sure Gerard has said he is writing a book on Crass.

Or ... it really depends on what you are trying to do - to use a chaos magic analogy, what is your 'Statement of Intent' ?

I started the blog after being inspired by Mogg Morgan (Mandrake Books of Oxford/ Thelemic magickian)'s blog and being frustrated that so little material from what was an important part of 'my' history did not seem to exist in cyberspace- apart from in a section of John Eden's Uncarved website.

I was also thinking of Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle -I forget the exact quote - that our individual lives as yet have no 'history', that the Spectacle (as in Orwell's 1984) makes us forget our own lived experiences, replacing them with the 'false' memories of the Spectacle. Or to use a science fiction analogy, Philip K Dick's theme of 'false realities'.

And - if you can find the 'Pinki and the Druids' post - that even major events, like the Battle of The Beanfield, or the whole herstory of Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp are elided , skipped over, marginalised,intentionally forgotten / displaced.

The personal is political. The political is personal.



hi again>

And - if you can find the 'Pinki and the Druids' post - that even > major events, like the Battle of The Beanfield, or the whole herstory > of Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp are elided , skipped over, > marginalised,intentionally forgotten / displaced.>

this is largely where I'm coming from. I think that as a cultural artistic project, Crass was significant for a number of reasons. i think that in their successes and failures, their project roadmaps certain uncharted spaces on the periphery of art and politics.and i know that coming from dublin a decade later, being in a band that did rock n roll (not punk) for years in both ireland and the UK, and having a lot of friends and acquaintances that (crudely speaking) consider themselves 'alternative' , there is no knowledge of, no history of and no acknowledgment of Crass.

on researching it, i've unearthed a lot of material. there is knowledge, history and acknowledgment of crass. But it's mostly venerational and mythic in a manner that i find similarly unproductive. if Crass were the best, most important thing ever and nobody can ever be as good, as 'right on'; if everything else is by contrast a sell out; if they are untouchable and venerated by people who never distinguish fiction from incredible achievement, then they may as well be unknown.on researching, i've also uncovered a lot of other threads, such as those that you are charting yourself ... and decided that understanding Crass involves understanding those threads with which the Crass project became interwoven ...

So a statement of intent?- is firstly to find answers to questions, to separate certain facts from certain fictions, for my own reasons- then?- ideally to write a book that reinstates the Crass and anarcho punk project, primarily the Crass part of that project, to write a fiction that corresponds best to the facts as i see them falling together.I know that others are working on books about the same material. Gee and Penny have mentioned Gerard a few times ... his book may make it unnecessary for me to write mine. it may not.Also Gee from Crass has been compiling material for a book of Crass related documents and she has asked me to assist with editing that. alongside doing that i'm going to continue asking my questions.I'm aware from the few Vagues that I have read that Tom was not fond of the anarcho punk project.

I'm interested in talking to people who disliked Crass and anarcho bands as much as to people who liked them. I've read some of his History.Following posts on your site with interest. Will inevitably have more questions for you.I am LOST on the whole subject of magick. Any good places to start would be welcomed.

thanks again


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked crass' graphics, but always found the music a bit tiresome.

I preferred jazz funk, you know, something with a beat that girls would dance to.

I always thought Crass shows were held in places that would probably stain your Farahs, if you know what I mean.

3:43 pm  

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