Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has died. I don’t often write about particular deaths on here because when you read those pieces it’s more of a shout by the writer about themselves rather than the person. This is going to be like that. I pretend it’s about Genesis Breyer P-Orridge but in reality I write about me.
I first came across Throbbing Gristle in the early 2000s. A friend talked about them and I was curious. So, I have some of their music. I listened to it. It hurt. But I liked just how different it was. Then I heard about COUM Transmissions and the ICA installation called Prostitution. When I read descriptions of that show I was fascinated and amazed at the same time. The undercurrents of sedition were real and the establishment didn’t like any of it. I do believe we can thank those early artists who “rebelled” for our liberties today. They planted the seed. The mold breakers have been there in most ages and they push the boundaries allowing people to feel more normal.
The ninety eight percent of you out there who fit the norm of our current society never have anything to fear except your normality being threatened. What you don’t realise is that the other two percent don’t share your views and want to be different and want to feel comfortable in their own skin. Those people with different feelings and needs should be listened to. They should be allowed to exist and feel normal because that is a basic human right.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge kept pushing those boundaries to the end. I am sad they have died. I am also sad that as I grow older more of those who influenced me die. It’s inevitable and a reminder that one day I too will cease to exist.
Long live the boundary pushers, for the sake of all of us.
There used to be a time when protesting caused changes. When a massive show of anger by the people caused politicians to stop doing what they were doing. I wouldn’t say they changed their minds because I honestly don’t think that’s what happens. Politicians cow down to massive disruption because they fear for their own futures and it makes them look as though they listen.
In 1981 there was the Brixton Riots. I remember the news of these. It scarred my impression of Brixton for a long time. But at then end of the riots there was an inquiry and things changed. The racist policy of stop and search was covered with a new code of conduct for the police. It didn’t do enough and nearly twenty years later the Macpherson Report pretty much said that lots of the previous recommendations had been ignored and the police were still institutionally racist. I guess change is slow, but it does happen.
The Poll Tax riots of 1990 caused the eventual downfall of the Thatcher government and the Poll Tax was removed by John Major and replaced with the council tax. In this situation the riots changed the direction of the government.
On the 15 February 2003 easily over one million people marched through London to protest the imminent Iraq war. Those people were right. But it did fuck all. Look at the shit we are in now with the middle east.
On 10 November 2010 over half a million people marched against the conservative policy of austerity [which has killed thousands]. It did fuck all.
On 20 July 2019 London’s streets were filled with people protesting the imminent leaving of the EU by the UK. Regardless of the fact that pro-Brexit marches can only get a few hundred people together this march has done fuck all.
When the political class is as entitled as they are [consider Rees-Mogg lying on the benches] then they don’t give a shit about what they are doing to the country. They will carry on with their idealistic policies whatever happens because there are no consequences to them. They don’t give a flying fuck about the poor, about the weak, about those struggling. They have a complete lack of empathy. They just don’t understand what actual real fucking life is like.
So. The world and this country needs to change. Radically. We can look after everyone while at the same time making sure that things will work for the future. It is possible. But it isn’t possible with the current political leaders in power. Revolution is needed. A fully written constitution and a decent respect for all people must happen.
Lisa was a friend of mine. We spent about six years going to air cadets together. And then, when I was at university she died.
Eventually I hope that some of the communications in this site are about people who influenced me. People I am proud to have known. People I remember.
Lisa and I lived in the same village. I think she was a year older than me. We didn’t socialise in the village. We met when we ended up at the same air cadet squadron. In those days the Sqn put on a minibus to collect kids from the “villages” so we could get to parade nights. Eventually, once we were older, we ended up giving each other lifts into town so we could attend cadets. We would chat a lot and discuss the latest episode of “Happy Days”. Lisa was also a campanologist. I have no idea if she was religious or not, but on Sunday’s that was her thing. Once for my birthday she bought me “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols” on tape. Quality.
One day when I was at university I met my dad for lunch and he told me that Lisa had died. She was playing football and collapsed. They didn’t find out what happened. I was slightly shocked at first but I accepted it. I was sad. Of course I was. The pain I felt was at the thought of losing the person I had spent quite a bit of time with. But I knew it would get better.
Lisa’s funeral was in the village. There was quite a large contingent from cadets there and the church was packed. People were sitting in the aisles. After the service her coffin was lowered into the ground outside the church. I didn’t go and look. For some reason I had a “Home And Away” quote in my head: remember them as they were, not as they are. I have no idea where it really came from but I did watch Aussie soaps at that time. That evening our group went out in Sawbridgeworth and celebrated the life of Lisa in the traditional fashion.
I have occasionally been to speak to Lisa. Once I went after the tenth anniversary meal of the cadet squadron. Rich and I left our dates at my parents house and ran down to the graveyard to speak to Lisa. I was quite drunk. I haven’t been to the grave for a long time. Life has been busy and got in the way really. I intend to visit over the Xmas period while I’m in the village. Hence this the other day:
Just had an incredible urge to go and talk to Lisa. Let her know everything that has happened since I last spoke to her.
I can’t encapsulate years of friendship in this communication. But I can at least write a little. I still think of her. All of my readers needn’t worry. I don’t go to speak to her or her “soul”. Once you are dead, that’s it. The end. Nothing more. It’s a nice idea that we live on but one that reduces our real life to a time of fear. Embrace life and accept the truth. I go to speak to Lisa (I do very little actual speaking), to remember and keep her alive in my heart.
Lisa sent me the coolest Christmas card I ever got. She used to work in the printers workshop in the village. On the front was a snowman I think with a red scarf. Inside the card read:
Wishing you a piss poor Christmas and a fucking horrible new year.
While out running the other day I was pondering the end of the world. I was listening to After The War, an album by Gary Moore [the Gary Moore concert at Wembley Arena is another tale]. The songs made me think of all the times as a youngster I worried about nuclear war. I reached self awareness towards the end of the 1970s and with that came the realisation that I lived on a tiny planet orbiting in the middle of nowhere.
The news used to be full with suspicion of the Russians and what naughty things they might be up to. Russian invasion seemed inevitable and so did the possibility of mutually assured destruction. Spies and diplomats were being expelled from various countries in tit-for-tat manoeuvres. We regularly took part in war games as did the Russians.
I clearly remember talking with friends about what we would do if the 4 minute warning was sounded. Who would we try to see or spend our last minutes with. I grew up close enough to London to know that the blast wave might not get me but the radiation and collapse of society probably would. What plans could I make to ensure that like in the movies I ended up one of the survivors.
There was a film on TV in the mid-80s which started with a nuclear bomb exploding above Sheffield. This affected me. I don’t think I watched past the first few minutes but I was always bothered with the vision of a mushroom cloud rising above the city. My dad said probably the best thing ever to me, although he might have been lying. I asked him if there would be a nuclear war and he responded:
If I thought there was going to be a nuclear war I wouldn’t have brought you into the world.
I found this remarkably calming. Looking back I think the threat of war caused immense stress. However, I do wonder what adults thought about the threat of war. Was it as high as I imagined or was I too sensitive. I liken it to the threat of terrorism now. The public perceived threat is far greater than the threat of real events occurring.
So it happened again. My re-conditioned 60Gb PS3 from Sony has died. We were watching Wall-E on blu-ray and we got about 2 minutes into the film when:
The Ps3 turned off and the red light just flashed. The unit is still under warranty and so will be replaced with another re-conditioned 60Gb model, which is good because that is a classic model.
WW agreed I can suggested that I buy a brand new PS3 as well. So Amazon had a great deal on a 320Gb version bundled with a game and blu-ray movie. So until it arrives I am in limbo.
I managed to get the GT5 game save file copied when I tried turning on the PS3 to check it was FUBAR.
Tues 3 Oct
New 320Gb PS3 arrived with Resistance 3 and a blu-ray film. Plugged in and now vertical next to AV amp. Looks very nice. I have noticed though that the disc grabbing motor is much noisier than the old version, the disc reader motor makes a bit of noise and the buttons are real buttons rather than touch sensitive. However, the fan noise is much quieter and so much preferable.
Firmware update completed and GT5 save file copied after a bit of hassle. I’d been saving game files on a SD card because the 60Gb has lots of lovely memory card slots. Had to transfer the files to a USB memory stick using my PC before I could get them onto the new PS3.
Weds 4 Oct
Installed lots of the extra GT5 files onto the PS3 to reduce load times. That took about 40 minutes. Planing to install every game I’ve bought from the store over next few weeks as I now have the space for them. Also looking forward to DLC for GT5 by end of October.
PS3 stand arrived so I don’t have to worry about it falling over. It’s much thinner than the old version and so less stable. Now have a few more USB ports and some snazzy blue LED lights if I want to impress WW.
Old reconditioned 60Gb now taken and on its way to console heaven. Just waiting for the return of the next one.
Fri 7 Oct
New old PS3 delivered. Sony have kindly replaced my recondition PS3 with another (although it was within warranty). I have not yet checked it works as I need to be free of children to do it. New PS3 is wired in so this 60Gb will have to wait until half term.
Tues 11 Oct
GT5 version 2 download released and so very excited. Just waiting for DLC.