Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The revolution at home

Tony Benn spoke at a public meeting in Stoke Newington on Monday night, and I seized on the opportunity to see the big friendly giant of the British left in the flesh, sidestepping the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea on the way in. There's a write-up of the event here, so I won't bother reiterating everything that was said - but there was plenty of compelling pacifist rhetoric, calls for justice for the dead and displaced of Gaza, and enriching historical context, delivered Grandpa Simpson-style by Benn ('I remember being in London during the Blitz when...').

I just wanted to account for one of the audience members who spoke at the end. He was about 22 or 23, and spoke with deliberate, learned passion about the need to "shut down" the G20 when it comes to London on 2 April this year, to loud applause. He said it was the responsibility of young people like himself - like myself - to stand up and resist, to crush the international capitalist system that has brought the current economic crisis upon us. He spoke with anguish of his own personal plight, being without work for months, struggling to get by in recession-hit Britain after finishing his degree last summer. Our blighted generation are suffering the most, he said, and it will only get worse.

What I haven't told you is that this poor, impoverished young man, struggling just to survive in a country brought to its knees by global capitalism, had just graduated with a degree from UCL (one of the best universities in the UK), and was wearing crisp new Adidas pumps, a new Nike sweater, expensive looking jeans, and Georgio Armani frames to his glasses. I actually felt like punching him, but I didn't want to get moron on my knuckles. God I despise the left sometimes.

As Alan Parker Urban Warrior put it: "ignorance is a weapon: use it".

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Nasty, Londonist and Short

He's actually neither nasty nor short, it's just a silly pun on one of my favourite blogs.

Asked by the New Statesman last year "Do you love your country?" Roots Manuva replied: "I love London so much it should be a country. London, love you until you die."

Roots Manuva @ Koko for the New Statesman

The Hardcore Continuum? A discussion.

Presented by the Centre for Cultural Studies Research, University of East London
In association with The Wire.
UEL Docklands Campus (Cyprus DLR)
April 29th 2009 2:00pm-6:00pm

Simon Reynolds' commentary on the "hardcore continuum" - the mutating sequence of dancefloor music to have emerged from the breakbeat hardcore matrix of the early 1990s - has recently generated intense debate in the musical blogosphere. What is the value of this concept? Does it still usefully describe the context from which dynamic new beat musics emerge? Can the conditions of creativity in the 1990s be replicated in the era of web 2.0? Should we even want them to be?

Speakers: Mark Fisher (K-Punk), Alex Williams (Splintering Bone Ashes), Steve Goodman (Kode 9), Lisa Blanning (The Wire), Dan Hancox (Guardian, New Statesman), Kodwo Eshun (Author of More Brilliant than the Sun), Joe Muggs (Mixmag, The Wire), Jeremy Gilbert (Co-author of Discographies)

Attendance is free but pre-registration is recommended. For info or to register contact