November 9, 2009
Geoff Leigh has uploaded some of his video experiments with ice formed under the influence of orgonite (with a soundtrack of some music work we did earlier this year). Orgonite, a dubious by-product of the Willhelm Reich school of pseudo-science, is an agglomerate of left handed metal swarf and acrylic resin said to have mysterious and mystical properties…
November 2, 2009
The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg – Pistoleros!: 1: 1:1918 (Paperback)
by Farquhar McHarg (Author), Christie Stuart (Editor), Helios Gomez (Illustrator), Paul Sharkey (Translator)
Pistoleros! Is the story of twentieth century anarchism as witnessed by McHarg, a Glaswegian anarchist sailor who became embroiled in Spanish revolutionary politics at the end of the First World War. Curiously echoing the editor Christie’s (author of ‘Granny Made Me an Anarchist’ and ‘Floodgates of Anarchy’) own life fifty years later, the youthful and naïve McHarg jumps ship in Barcelona and enlists with the CNT (the anarchist national workers union) in their struggle against the bosses proto-fascist murder squads and para-military catholic groups (which provided training for the likes of Franco in murder and suppression techniques).
Pistoleros! is written in the style of a genre thriller with all of the accompanying intrigues; double dealing spy networks, evil foreign agents, love and betrayal all framed within the romantic backdrop of post WW1 Barcelona – and in this way it’s is a gripping read, yet these characters and events are real, the colourful backdrop the grim reality of poverty versus the opulence and wealth of the Barcelona bourgeoisie.
Anarchists are often caricatured as firebrands and disorganised individualists and universally accused of being better at ‘analysing the problem’ rather than providing practical solutions. Pistoleros! shows that the history of Anarchism has been that of pragmatism; Anarchists were always on the frontline of providing real-world solutions through organised labour in effective opposition to the exploitation and corruption of the ruling classes – when the traditional left were constantly mired in internal power politics and global machinations.
October 20, 2009
“All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.” – Aristotle
From birth to death, work dominates every second of our lives ; ‘The working week’, ‘nine-to-five’, weekends, lunch hours, commutes and careers have completely supplanted the natural rhythms of the sun and the stars.
Since labour became industrialised workers themselves have become machine-like; we are now cogs, specialising in one task repeated until the worker is exhausted or broken(the final promotion; a cog heaven overseen by a benign bearded boss). As a cog we are led to believe we are promoting our own interest when in fact we are only keep the machine running for the benefit of the machines owners; the shareholders, banks et al.
Work defines our personalities and validates our existence yet most of the work we do is at best useless and meaningless (let’s face it, if you stopped right now, would it make any real difference?) or at worst harmful to ourselves and others. Our labour is wasted; endlessly focused at creating surplus for the profit of others rather than efficiently solving problems of global and urgent importance. Even when we have achieved ‘enough’ we are misled and oblivious to the fact.
Work distorts our behavior and forces us into aggressive competitions with our fellow humans, promoting an individualistic culture of backstabbing, greed and egotism rather than of cooperation and mutualism. Work deforms our relationships and separates us from our children – placing their upbringing into the hands of others (which in reality is nothing but a preparation for their ‘working lives’) .
The unanimity that work is beneficial, mandatory even, is reinforced by cultural, political (all political parties are primarily concerned with the promotion and control of labour; it’s ownership, organisation and value.) and religious proclamation: the inverse of work is defined only as sloth – a mortal sin in the christian canon.
Worst of all, work betrays the possibility of human potential by presenting us with a cul-de-sac of limited ambition; we’re continually kept on the treadmill by the promise of pay rises, twenty day holidays and retirement. A constant reiteration, if it was ever necessary, of our lack of control over our own destinies.
October 13, 2009
“As capitalism collapses around us in the market of ideas the anarchist pound is bouyant and the 28th London Anarchist Bookfair is back at Queen Mary College in London’s East End…”
for more details: http://www.anarchistbookfair.org/
September 29, 2009
It should be pointed out to the saboteur where the circumstances are suitable, that he is acting in self-defense against the enemy, or retaliating against the enemy for other acts of destruction. A reasonable amount of humor in the presentation of suggestions for simple sabotage will relax tensions of fear.”
‘SIMPLE SABOTAGE FIELD MANUAL’
Office of Strategic Services
Washington, D. C.
17 January 1944
Existing within the urban environment necessitates an escalating war of resistance over un-requested invasive messages – the high science of communication or the blunt hammer of advertising: billboards, subway lcd screens, street advertising, point of sale, free papers, guerilla marketing, the subliminal, the liminal and the blatantly overt. ‘Everything that is made can be unmade’ – in this spirit we explore the tactical opportunities to degrade, disrupt and ultimately reclaim our space.
September 8, 2009
“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision”
Mischief: ‘playfulness that is intended to tease, mock, or create trouble’ is an effective disruptive tactic. Use freely as a technique to reclaim your surroundings, neutralise the constant assault of the banal and eliminate unwanted messages from broadcasters, advertisers and corporations. In short mischief is an ongoing method of attrition, the low resolution cousin of direct action.
Mischief introduces doubt into a world of certainty, a playful way of introducing unexpected surrealism to the commonplace; a creative therapeutic act that confirms life and maintains sanity, civil disobedience in miniature, granular sabotage.
August 11, 2009
As work on ‘The New Album’ comes to a close i’m faced with the inevitable quandary of not only what to call it, but what to call the ‘band’ and also decide the names of all (well, most) of the songs. It’s not that the ‘songs’ aren’t about anything it’s just that describing them via titles would come across at best as either sterile – numbers, dates, sequences – or pretentious; trying to succinctly enunciate the meaning of the piece in short form. So, with this in mind i decided a good first approach would be to apply a logical process that will not only ensure commercial success but provide meaningful, memorable titles that will resonate with the intended demographic target…kind of:
- Find a list of song titles from the last, say, fifty years that have had some kind of chart success…
- Find the most repeated words within that list i.e. the most used song title words in the last fifty years…
- Stick these words together randomly to create two or more word song titles
so, the top forty words from the top ten songs of the last fifty years are:
ain’t around away baby blue boy cry dance dream eyes girl give gonna happy heart heaven home kiss lady life live lonely love man mine moon music night oh rain rock rose song star sweet theme tonight wanna woman world
It almost writes itself…
August 2, 2009
…Been something of a blog post hiatus recently due to severe cerebral malfunction and, more positively, the birth of our little boy Jian An, the latest addition to the Yeh-Crab clan. Lots of new posts to follow (when i have time)…
June 3, 2009
DMA was a record label and music promotion organisation based in Bordeaux who were best known for the annual DMA2 ‘Divergences/Divisions’ music festival during the late eighties. This festival became one of the most respected ‘experimental with an industrial slant’ music event in Europe and featured such stars as as Legendary Pink Dots, Nocturnal Emissions, The Hafler Trio, laibach and of course, Bourbonese Qualk.
April 2, 2009
This is a video i took after gaining access to the RBS Building (Royal Bank Of Scotland – notorious for incompetence, hubris and corruption) with twenty or so other individuals. The offices were quickly set alight and i made my escape up the fire escape persued by a number of portly riot cops, who, encumbered by shields, batons, armour, helmets and excessive body fat took several minutes to make the ascent. The short fideo clip shows the banking district of the City Of London occupied by massed anarchist hordes.
March 31, 2009
In advance of tomorrows events: a ‘print-out and keep’ map of all the happenings c/0 Indymedia:
see you’s there…
March 3, 2009
“Anyone who was working in the City in 1999 will remember how awful those riots were. There were riot police banked outside my office and all the tube stations closed so I had to walk for miles through what was effectively a war zone. It was absolutely terrifying and I’m afraid I can’t believe there is anything more behind it than a desire to cause as much damage and mayhem as possible. The mindset is no better than that of football hooligans, if not worse. I for one will be taking April 1st as a day’s holiday rather than risk putting myself through anything like that again.”
London Evening Standard march 2009
January 19, 2009
January 11, 2009
I’ve always been of the opinion that people over concerned with surveillance and data security are displaying the first stages of clinical paranoia. It’s well known, for those that care to look, that the UK police and military have in their possession technology which enables them to track individuals movements visually and electronically (think of google maps ++), trace your behaviour (spending, travelling, health, political persuasion), listen in to conversations and so-on – our only real defence against this intrusion has been the plod/MOD’s incompetence at cross referencing and interpreting the mass of data they’ve so carefully collated.
Britain is one of the world’s most surveyed society; It is estimated (2002 figures) that the United Kingdom is watched by over 4.2 million CCTV cameras. This equates to one camera for every fourteen people; each UK subject is recorded on average by up to three hundred cameras a day. Surveillance has become part of our lives; we’ve become used to accepting surveillance as a shield against crime and terrorism, sacrificing our privacy for the apparent greater good. However a recent trend is the movement of commercial organisation into the field of surveillance and “dataveillance” – using similar unregulated techniques and technologies global corporations are starting to watch you. Is it time to get paranoid?
January 1, 2009
“We are on the verge of moving into the music business in a big way – something with enormous cultural, political and financial potential.”
BNP Chairman Mr. Nick Griffin 2005
What would British music sound like if it was free of racial ‘impurities’ and foreign influence, what would the undefiled, ‘indigenous’ British top ten sound like? The obvious answer would be that it wouldn’t sound like anything because music has been for millenia a fertile mix of multiple cultural influences echoing the mixed racial and cultural profile of the people who make it. Despite this, white supremacists seem intent on defining ‘M.O.W.I.’ – Music of White Origin – as the genre of choice of the true white indigenous British race.
December 23, 2008
Ibrahim’s encyclopedic book on the history and music of Muslingauze is finally finished “Muslimgauze: Chasing the Shadow of Bryn Jones” will soon be available from amazon:
“A decade after his untimely passing, Bryn Jones, better known as Muslimgauze, left behind a staggering catalogue of published and unreleased music that continues to be appreciated by dedicated fans as well as converts to industrial, techno, hip-hop, dancehall reggae and dubstep styles. Manchester-born Jones was both prolific and controversial. Working alone in his bedroom studio, Muslimgauze’s music highlighted the struggles of the Muslim world against the West, with the Palestine/Israel conflict as the focal point.”
December 12, 2008
‘Anarchist’ riots continue for the fifth day in Greece triggered by the police murder of teenage boy and popular disgust at the self serving and corruption ridden right-wing government. Here in London our own home-grown police murder goes almost unnoticed and without a stone being thrown. The verdict from the Jean Charles De Menezes killing inquest is expected today, yet in an outrageously blatant attempt at controlling the outcome – echoing the history of Police lies and attempts at cover-up throughout the proceedings- the Coroner (Sir Michael Wright) instructed the jury to only deliver an ‘open’ or ‘lawful killing’ verdict.
November 28, 2008
To Londoners, The old Kent rd has been for many years a byword for poverty; the cheapest, dismal brown coloured property on the monopoly board and in reality a grimy thoroughfare providing the boundary of two of the most neglected regions of London, Peckham and Bermondsey. Once the heartland of a solid white working class population the area was bombed close to complete destruction during the war and then rapidly rebuilt with monolithic high-rise housing estates which by the 1980s had begun to be abandoned and crumble.
In the cold winter of 1984 we – bourbonese qualk and crew – occupied the Ambulance station, an empty five story castle-like building on the Old Kent Road. Our ambition was to create a radical ‘cultural-political centre’ (though we would never have used that term) and a general base for our activities – performance space, recording studio and office for the Recloose organisation label – in the middle of this piece of un-picturesque South East London. After lengthy renovation (removing 1 meter deep layers of dead pigeons, replacing piping, windows and tiles on the vertiginous roof) The top two stories were converted into artists studios, the middle storey our living quarters. The first floor was taken up as meeting space for anarchist groups, a free cafe and offices for the local squatters organisation, ‘S.N.O.W’ (who housed more people in 1985 than the local council). The ground floor was changed into a large performance space and bar as well as a recording studio, sculpture studios and print workshops.