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

Monday, November 28, 2005

Creative Intelligence vs Institutional Power

I guess I have to backtrack here. I have been arguing that Crass' role in the development and extension of punk as part of the counterculture has been exaggerated. The problem with this argument is that it can easily be misinterpreted as implying that the influence of both punk specifically and the counterculture generally on mainstream society has been inflated. This is not so.

Both Penny and Gee of Crass were ex-art school students and so had a knowledge of 20th century art movements history e.g. Dada. Dada, as an 'anti-art' /art as political movement, had its direct origins in the Great War/ World War One. I don't know, but strongly suspect that knowledge and awareness of Dada were a factor in the construction of Crass. If so, then just as those involved in the original Dadaist 'Cabaert Voltaire' used their creative intelligence to oppose and negate the institutional power of the patriarchs/ paternalists who instigated and perpetuated the Great War, Crass used their collective creative intelligence (mediated via punk) to oppose and negate the eighties manifestation of institutional power.

Crass were able to focus their assault on consensus reality by picking on the symbolic date of 1984 as an endpoint. But 1984 has been and gone for 21 years past and Dada will soon be 90 years old. The forces of insitutional power aginst which three (nearly four now) generations of the avant garde of creative intelligence [the counterculture spawned by Dada, Surrealists, Situationists, Freaks and Punks] have railed against appear to survive with undimished strength. Millions have died as sacrifices in the pursuit of a New World Order, but the promised land of peace and security remains as much an illusion as it was in 1916.


The Situationists have given the best explanation. The mass culture of the Society of the Spectacle negates and denies historical conciousness and historical awareness. It instigates collective amnaesia, a form of social Alzheimer's Disease in which as fast as events happen they are forgotten. In particular, what is most forgotten is our own personal and subjective recollection of history.

Wake up!

The world is not a dream. History is reality. The horrors happened. The horror continues as a nightmare- until we can awaken from this dream which is reality.

Celebration Of The Lizard
------The Doors

Lions in the street and roaming
Dogs in heat, rabid, foaming
A beast caged in the heart of a city
The body of his mother
Rotting in the summer ground
He fled the town

He went down South and crossed the border
Left chaos and disorder
Back there over his shoulder

One morning he awoke in a green hotel
With a strange creature groaning beside him
Sweat oozed from its shining skin
is everybody in?
is everybody in?
is everybody in?
the ceremony is about to begin

Wake up!
You can't remember where it was
Had this dream stopped?

The snake was pale gold
Glazed and shrunken
We were afraid to touch it
The sheets were hot dead prisms
And she was beside me
Old, she's no, young
Her dark white hair
the white soft skin

Now, run to the mirror in the bathroom
shes coming in here
I can't live thru each slow century of her moving
I let my cheek slide down
The cool smooth tile
Feel the good cold stinging blood
The smooth hissing snakes of rain . . .

Once I had, a little game
I liked to crawl, back in my brain
I think you know, the game I mean
I mean the game, called 'go insane'

you should try, this little game
Just close your eyes, forget your name
Forget the world, forget the people
And we'll erect, a different steeple

This little game, is fun to do
Just close your eyes, no way to lose
And I'm right there, I'm going too
Release control, we're breaking thru

Way back deep into the brain
Back where there's never any pain
And the rain falls gently on the town
And over the heads of all of us
And in the labyrinth of streams
Beneath, the quiet unearthly presence of
gentle hill dwellers, in the gentle hills around
Reptiles abounding
Fossils, caves, cool air heights

Each house repeats a mold
Windows rolled
Beast car locked in against morning
All now sleeping
Rugs silent, mirrors vacant
Dust blind under the beds of lawful couples
Wound in sheets
And daughters, smug
With semen eyes in their nipples

There's been a slaughter here

(Don't stop to speak or look around
Your gloves and fan are on the ground
We're getting out of town
We're going on the run
And you're the one I want to come)

Not to touch the earth
Not to see the sun
Nothing left to do, but
Run, run, run
Let's run
lets run

House upon the hill
Moon is lying still
Shadows of the trees
Witnessing the wild breeze
C'mon baby run with me
Let's run

Run with me
Run with me
Run with me
Let's run

Dead president's corpse in the driver's car
The engine runs on glue and tar
C'mon along, we're not going very far
To the East to meet the Czar

The mansion is warm, at the top of the hill
Rich are the rooms and the comforts there
Red are the arms of luxuriant chairs
And you won't know a thing till you get inside

run with me
run with me
run with me
let's run

Some outlaws lived by the side of the lake
The minister's daughter's in love with the snake
Who lives in a well by the side of the road
Wake up, girl! We're almost home

We should see the gates by mornin'
We should be inside by evening,

sun sun sun
burn burn burn
burn, burn, burn,
i will get you

i am the lizard king
i can do anything

We came down
The rivers and highways
We came down from
Forests and falls

We came down from
Carson and Springfield
We came down from
Phoenix enthralled
And I can tell you
The names of the Kingdom
I can tell you
The things that you know
Listening for a fistful of silence
Climbing valleys into the shade

for seven years, i dwelt
in the loose palace of exile
playing strange games with the girls of the island
now, i have come again
to the land of the fair, and the strong, and the wise
brothers and sisters of the pale forest
children of night
who among you will run with the hunt?
now night arives with her purple legion
Retire now to your tents and to your dreams
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth
I want to be ready'


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