The Talking Gardens Of The USA

Americans and their garden signage are a curious thing..

You walk past these talking houses and you see placards telling you “Black lives matter” , ” Gay rights ” , ” Trans rights”
“Equality for women” …” I’m with jesus ”
and , for the goths ” I worship the devil ” ( this one is helpful as you know off the (flying) bat ..That lot are gonna be possibly over weight and certainly somewhat braindead )…. You get Xmas decor , Halloween decor , “Welcome to spring ” and ” I love Autumn ” bows.

You get the persons voting preference and pop culture choices as garage stickers …Their gate fittings,at times, tell you about their pets and they leave books to browse, borrow or keep ..They even leave take away philosophy quotes and homemade poems

In short the American garden is a social media post before social media was invented

 

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Hit The North

Thus, we left the lazy hazy LA dream world and headed North. In truth it wasn’t my idea to leave Los Angeles and move to Seattle. In fact, I was dead against it.
I liked the true blue skies, the romance of scenery used in films and the wild west aspect of LA. I liked the “anything goes” architecture- from Jetsons-like Googie designs to Flintstones like Spanish style bungalows. I liked the Americana shop signs and billboards. I liked bumping into people whos films, telly shows and music I, at one time, had used as a means to escape- after all even bad pop culture is often better than “real life”.

In contrast. I had not a slither nor a jot of romance for Seattle- I also thought, as I’m English, if I’m going to live in a climate which was like that of Britain and Ireland, then I may as well live in Britain or Ireland, spiritually I’d definitely be more at home, I miss the poetry of British conversation ….Not to mention the British and Irish dress better, Seattle seems to have a population who wouldn’t look out of place as castmembers in Ironside.

All that said, I can’t drive to Vancouver in 1hr or fly to LA in 2 and a half hours from the UK. Seattle also has some fantastic scenery and, generally speaking, is more civilised than Los Angeles. Its much cleaner, people tend to be more civically minded and most importantly the air quality is better.

You can never really breath in Los Angeles., it could be argued most people never actually live in Los Angeles either… Its a place where large swaths of people merely exist, fighting for every scrap, lots clinging to their pop culture heroes to try to make good of the bad. Obviously, there is intelligent life in LA, just as intelligent as anywhere else in the world, though these are mainly in West Hollywood, Echo Park, Silver Lake kind of areas…Beyond that, well….
For a major city that is home to the entertainment industry, it’s kind of amusing how backward it actually is there

LA is known to be a shallow place and this is true to a degree. It’s not that fakers, scene movers and life’s plastic people are exclusive to Los Angeles, it’s more that the city is Earth’s Mecca for this ilk of person. For these their design for living is simple, those that can do, those that can’t become “Influencers” and those who can’t manage anything become DJ’s or anything else that lets them grab at the slipstream of the popular.

Of course, there is more than one aspect to any city and I found some good friends in LA and still plan to be a frequent visitor, especially if I can get a credit card with frequent flyer miles.
Although my wife didn’t enjoy living in the city as much as me, she still likes the place, however, her family are getting on in years and she wanted to be closer to them..She had lived away from them for over 14 years, so that’s fair enough. Also, she never actually really wanted to move to Los Angeles, not really….Try as I might I can’t blame anyone for wanting, slightly, more out of life than having shopped in the same convenience store than someone who once made a fleeting appearance in St. Elsewhere. Although, that was enough for me, naturally.

On top of that, while I was working from home and Billy Liaring around town, she was the one commuting 4 hours a day and carrying most of the burden.
With all that in mind, it was only fair to give the North West a go, so on 10/12/2019 we boarded United Airlines and flew to a new adventure….

Dennis Hooper- The Photographer Side

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Denis Hooper is mainly known as an actor, starring in critically acclaimed films like Rebel Without A Course, Blue Velvet, Easy Rider and Apocolypse Now- he also made a slew of awful ” straight to video” films but let’s be kind and forget about them.

However, Mr Hooper was also a very good photographer who had a knack for capturing moments that summed up the 60s. His pictures told stories, they were photojournalism mixed with the poetry of French new wave cinema.
Hooper was an adventurer and wanted to be in the middle of whatever storm was around. He once said ” “When I was a teenager and moved to California, I realized there were a lot of artists and actors I thought were great–everybody from Van Gogh to W. C. Fields–who basically had the idea that you can’t make discoveries if you sit around waiting for something to happen. You’ve got to get out of there”

Before Easy Rider delivered stardom, Hooper spent much of the 1960s obsessively taking pictures of the counter culter and famous figures of the time. He followed protesters during the civil rights movement, hung out in cafes, walked the streets and took pictures of fellow artists. Regarding artists he claimed ‘The only people that I really found comfortable being photographed were artists. They asked me to photograph them. They wanted to be photographed. And that was cool.’

His street pictures of Los Angeles, are somewhat reminiscent of the work of Lee Friedlander. Hooper said ” LA was Pop…LA was the billboards. LA was the automobile culture. LA was the movie stars and LA was the whole idea of what pop was about – commercial art’

There are a few published collections, of Mr Hoopers work out there, My favourite is Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967

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Cancel House

“Cancel Culter ” is a culture born of the modern “Left”
Its a movement derived from self-appointed tastemakers deciding what fits in with their moral/ethical belief systems.
These systems, these days are packed and labelled as “Woke”. They are essentially based on well-meaning but abstract idea’s that used to only be found birthed, breathing and dead on the college campus.
“Woke”, used to be a student phase, like listening to Devo, watching Dogme 95 cinema, having bi-sexual threesomes, thinking wearing a shirt with the buttons done up the wrong way makes you eccentric, wearing an Ironic T-shirt means you are rebellious and thinking everyone in the world must know you are “Pansexual, actually”- even though you don’t know what it means and are really just “ambidextrous “
These idea’s never could stand toe to toe with the reality of the “real world” ..Thus, they were thrown away within the first day of leaving University (along with henna hair dye, army jackets with slogans written on them with marker pen, Manic Street Preacher’s and John Grant merchandise and the books of Martin Aimless…I mean Martin Amis.
That was the old world, at least …In the new world, over the last 10 years, the rules of the campus became the guiding hand of the media.
Twitter, FB, Reddit and 4chain created an audience for extremes. The “kettling” effect of modern algorithms pushed each tribe into a cyber reality that only reflected their own idea’s of reality. Isolation breeds distortion.
The right-wing became a more extreme version of itself, the left became a more extreme version of itself … So extreme in some ways, it’s now more fascist than the actual right

These days “woke” is the mainstream and if you don’t want to subscribe you are “Cancelled”. ’cause you see there is no sense in modern life.

Surely, a movement that seeks to “cancel” art, is fascist by very nature?

The worst thing is, often the cancelling isn’t even done for moral reasons, the outcry is usually just from some “journalist ” or blogger, trying to make their name by ruining another’s- an old trick, that the modern call “Trolling”
The hunter aims to kill it’s prey, with accusations of lack of virtue. Whether there is no lack is here nor there.
Its all click to the bait
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Exile Smiling

 

To start, I should be clear, as much as I like Israel, I’m not keen on Zionist shills like For Britain but their leader Anne Marie waters seems ok to me, she is right when she says she isn’t extreme right wing, the extreme Muslims are.
However, I would add so are extreme Christians, extreme Catholics and extreme Jews. Also her youtube videos do have a habit of making her look like she’s in search of that last Xanex, she just can’t find.

When the singer Morrissey pinned his name to their cause and, on an American chat show , wore their pin on his lapel, it caused more outrage than follows a terrorist attack.
Headlines, a tsunami of social media attacks and even his records being banned from a record shop and advertising posters for his new LP being banished from Liverpool  train stations.
You would think the singer had abused an underage girl or sold crack to his mother or  hit a woman or showed his admiration for Hitler. All of which other music artists that are NOT banned from anywhere have done.
The simple truth is Morrissey, although often breaking taboo’s, has broken not one law-although he did once wear an ill-advised James Dean tie that, clearly,  should have been a criminal offence.
He hasn’t even said anything racist- in fact, he took the NME to court and won when they called him racist in the past.

I’ve said for a while, I tend to think,  Morrissey has deliberately caused this carry on over the last few years.  It seems to me Morrissey is aiming for exile – so Catholic him, so Wilde

Morrissey, it seems, wants to remain on the edge of the ledge. I think it was all getting a bit “knitted Morrissey”  for him. That is to say, too comfy and safe .

The way the press keep twisting things is hateful  BUT expected…..Also Morrissey is keen on winding the press up . There is a history.
I won’t rake up, the previously raked.  However, I did a post about a recent campaign against Morrissey that gives a sense of the background. Here is a link to the blog post  Operation Snide 

I’m not really political but I am a humanist that detests bullying and witch hunts….
Thus, I actually find it disgraceful when an elected official who is in a position of power
says what they say in the following tweet- apart from anything else it shows the official is so thick they either don’t read what is said or so dumb they don’t understand it.

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The recent interview with the singer, that lead to the above tweet can be found  here

The main quote that has been abducted from its natural and actual surroundings, is in regards to immigration.
The singer, states that people prefer their own race.
He didn’t mean we all prefer our own race in terms of “I like white skin, I don’t like brown” or “white people are better than people of a different colour” .
Though of course, that is the story that’s gone global.

He was talking about the eternal truth of the human condition, that in the end, we are all more comfortable with what we are used to ..Which is why our childhood friends remain our best friends, which is why our home towns create a poetry of thought, so deep you can never outrun it ..Which is why the majority of people don’t move too far from the postcode they were born in .

If you go to any country you will see most nationalities group together with their own kind. All over England and America, the Muslim, Jewish and black communities tend to stick together.. In Europe and America, the Brits huddle together.
That’s just the way it goes

The fact this elected official, who looks like an ex-cast member from Albian Market, can say to someone they don’t belong in their own hometown is kind of shocking. Who gives anyone the right to say such a thing?
Morrissey has probably done more for Manchester than anyone or anything since the cotton industry- although Tony Warren isn’t too far behind.

What is more worrying is how very irresponsible and dangerous it is for an elected official to say what this MP said. Especially, in these savagely divided and violent times in British history.
It’s a “green light” to incite possible attacks on the singer and his kin- the singer still has an elderly mother and father who live in Manchester and Salford .

On top of that, just the sheer hypocrisy on show, is universe bending. Can you imagine if anyone, let alone an MP, said to a Muslim that because of their opinions they “shouldn’t be welcome ” in any town, let alone their home town. It would be all over the news, there would probably be legal action, loss of job and maybe even a fatwa.

Intellectually speaking,  England is yet to be fatally ruined, but make no mistake England is in ruins.

 

Racism In Reverse

It was a rainy day, in the desert town, so I sat down and watched a documentary about Elvis (my first fave and still one of my top fave’s all these slated years later) it was an enjoyable watch, alas I have forgotten the name of it and I can’t be bothered to google it- lazy I know, sue me sister.

During the documentary some decided to take Elvis to task for “Cultural appropriation” (oh, momma throw me a yawn, thankyouverymuch). This was regarding the hoary old criticism that Elvis stole from black music…Blah de BORING blah..
Well, this charge is true and its false…He did cover black artists BUT he also covered lots of white blue grass and county artists, furthermore lots of blues music actually has its roots in old country and Celtic folk songs …

Really, “cultural appropriation” (as its defined today) is a form of reversed racism, as its only really used, as an insult, against white people .

If you said “Oh no, a black person can’t study Wilde, Shakespeare or The Greek Philosophers, its taking from the white culture ” or “a black person can’t study classical music that’s white music” people would (rightly) have a fit, yet that is cultural appropriation…

In short (for the dim out there) culture at its very essence is cultural appropriation.

Yes, Elvis did take from black culture BUT then Prince stole wholesale from white artists, especially Bowie and new wave artists (whatever they are )

All that said , the truth is, lots of things Elvis and Bowie (and Prince) get praised for starting .. Little Richard did first

Speaking of racism and accused racism , all this Liam Neessan carry on , says more about the “click bait”, fake “outrage” of our times than it does about actual racism
In fact it seemed to me, to some the part about Liam thinking something ‘racist’, 30 years ago, was worse than a man raping a woman.. At least that’s what I was getting from the comments I’d read.
which can only make a logical being think “What a pathetic little culture we live in.”

Liam said his thoughts (30 years ago ) were wrong.. And guess what if someone you love is raped you may not think too clearly.. You may say and do something which may cause a stir in a library in Surrey..

Treating Liam Neeson like some hard to the core racist and placing him next to the Richard Spencers of this world does nobody any favours, in fact it helps real racists as they can hid among the muddle .

These are dim wit times, where fake outrage takes the place of considered opinion and where people use another’s momentary lack of virtue (imagined or otherwise) as an excuse for malice and pittyless attention seeking spite.

Life as it’s lived and sold today is fake. Films, music and books remain the real reality

The end

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Operation Snide

It seems Dave ‘I got a post card from Morrissey ‘ Haslam is advertising a free anti Morrissey gig to coincide with the singers concert in Manchesterford in July .
Haslam took to social media and said

“How can we respond to Morrissey’s hatful of hate, and his support for the far-right? With a free LOVE MUSIC HATE RACISM party on the Sunday he’s in Manchester, July 8”

Div Haslam says he’s putting on the show to protest against the singers ‘Hateful hate’ Now if you feel people are spreading hatred and racism then having any form of protest is fair enough.. However I have to ask myself what hate?In another social media post he elucidates on his reasoning for the protest party – anyone would think he has a new book to sell….Oh yeh, he does .

A free party to coincide with Morrissey’s forthcoming visit to Manchester, featuring more than a dozen of the city’s top DJs – in response to Morrissey’s divisive views, and his support for the far-right.

In recent years, the ex-Smiths singer’s views on race have become particularly strident. Morrissey has described the Chinese people “a sub-species”, heavily criticised Angela Merkel for opening German borders to refugees, and has gone on record supporting far-right figures like Anne Marie Waters and EDL founder Tommy Robinson. He does, however, claim to have “Muslim friends”.

Morrissey hasn’t lived in the city for thirty years – he lives abroad in tax exile – and has now joined the ranks of various right-wing politicians, tax exiles, tabloids, and media hate-slingers seeking to divide our community.

Manchester is our home, it’s a city built on immigration, a city with an amazing legacy of great bands and wonderful clubs.

How do we counter the hate? Let the music do the talking; by throwing a free party, a celebratory all-dayer of beautifully diverse soul-filled, hope-filled music… ”

Now it’s true Morrissey, over the last 8 years, has shown elements of being misguided, being a bit of a twit or maybe even displaying the worsening of a malady but I wouldn’t go as far as suggesting he is trying to spread “hateful hate” as such. It’s true the party For Britain that he has shown support for does spread hate BUT Morrissey hasn’t himself .

This isn’t the only element of truth bending in Haslams glory seeking comments, the “Chinese are a sub-species” comment were actually a “Stitch up job” by The Guardian and Poet and fan with an Oedipus complex Simon Armitage- Simon is a talented enough poet, that unfortunately has a face designed to be nothing other than the first point of contact at a Ramsgate unemployment office.

The Guardian were swift to run a teaser campaign for the interview between Morrissey and Armitage, that went along the lines of “Tune in and see what the singer said this time” trying to gain maximum interest for their hurried hatchet job.

In a breezy interview, in regards to a news report on the Chinese Cat and Dog trade , which included very graphic footage of dogs and cats being maimed , murdered and even skinned alive, all Morrissey actually said was “Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies.”

Now in the context of what the singer was talking about, is his comment racist or merely a human reaction to inhuman acts? I personally would consider it the latter. It’s no different from any conversation that goes on up and down Britain (if not the world) on seeing humans inflict such cruelty on defenceless creatures, especially dogs and cats that are seen as family members by millions of pet owners .

This is Simon Armitage’s response when being quizzed about the singers comments , after the interview had come out “I thought at the time it was a dangerous thing to say into a tape recorder. He must have known it would make waves, he’s not daft… But he’s provocative and theatrical, and it was one of dozens of dramatic pronouncements. I’m not an apologist for that kind of remark, and couldn’t ignore it. But clearly, when it comes to animal rights and animal welfare, he’s absolutely unshakable in his beliefs. In his view, if you treat an animal badly, you are less than human. I think that was his point.”

A couple of points that may be worth nothing but are worth noting the newspaper that were asking for Armitage’s thoughts on were part of the same organization that ran and hyped the original interview.

Armitage is clearly saying Morrissey wasn’t being racist just stating he considers anyone who mistreats animals to be inhuman .
Thus, if Armitage thought he wasn’t being racist, one would think he would have spoken to the editor of the paper that is running the piece, thus they would know he wasn’t being racist ..So why write the article and advertise the article as if he was ?
The answer is obvious , the lying press were lying again ..Anything to make up the numbers . They don’t care if they ruin careers as long as they sell copy

Haslam states Morrissey “heavily criticised Angela Merkel for opening German borders to refugees”.
This is true and its false. The interview Haslam is referring to was with Der Spiegel. Again the interview (you can listen here)was a laid back affair , Morrissey remained, as usual , softly spoken and playful ..Though admittedly this interview wasn’t his brightest hour and he came out of it sounding very ill informed.
Morrissey, was critical of Merkel (is that now a crime?) but not because of the opening of boarders to refugees per se , more about the amount of unchecked immigration in Germany, and Europe in general – which is a concern for people , to use last centuries terms, on the “left ” as well as the “right”.
I suspect Merkel represents to Morrissey a bland version of Europe where all nations mingle and merge and lose their identity..Which is something he’s always seemed to be against. Now thinking like this may make him a reactionary but it doesn’t, in of itself, make him a racist .

Lastly Div Haslam states that Morrissey ” has gone on record supporting far-right figures like Anne Marie Waters and EDL founder Tommy Robinson. ”

Again this is true and it’s false , Morrissey has , unfortunately, given strong, support to For Britain and fired off praise for the parties leader Anne Marie Walters.
Anne Marie Walters is a handsome man that just happens to be a woman. Think a young Bryon Ferry, albeit a young Bryon Ferry with rickets.

Now it’s true that Annie Marie Walters seems askew and fulled by muslim hate but she isn’t a “far right figure” as such , in fact she was only in the labour party a few years ago and came to For Britain via UKIP , which in the UK in 2018 is virtually centrist right.

As for Tommy Robinson, Morrissey hasn’t given any public support to him (yet). All he said, in a soft bowl interview was he thought the treatment of Tommy was “shocking”.
Saying you think someone has been mistreated doesn’t mean you support the person .

Morrissey’s views on Tommy being mistreated aren’t even extreme, lots of people think that . Lots of us in the UK don’t agree with Tommy’s views and don’t like him as a person , however it’s obvious he has been misrepresented in the media and treated badly by the law….
13 months prison time for contempt of court, reporting on FaceBook about a court case, is a harsh, to say the least . I know of people who have tried to kill people who have done less time than that .
13 months hard labour for filming yourself , on your mobile phone, outside a court is “shocking” and this is very much the common view in the UK

If you have been a visitor on Haslams social Media pages over the years you would be witness to his limitless anti Jeremy Corbyn posts and endless name calling and putting down of people who voted for Brexit .Aren’t his own comments a form of hate?
Of course, the only reason Div has ago at Brexit and Corbyn is because almost everyone else who works in the British media does and Dave is too much of a coward to think and act for himself .

I’m all for protests against racism, hatred, bullying and the bedroom furnishing of mismatching eiderdown and pillowcase sets . The trouble is it’s a bit rich when Div Haslam (who remarkably has a head that looks more like a King Edward potato than a King Edward Potato does and has a face even an acid attack victim would consider “unfortunate”) , whom for years, has been dropping the singers name when it suits him posting his ‘Morrissey postcard’ on, seemingly any and all social media outlets. Boring the world with his gushing, groupie like encounters with the singer.
Even this year after the singer had made ‘iffy’ remarks he took part in a Mozarmy event (a get together for the singers fans) in Manchester. Not to mention using his meetings with the singer to sell his awful new book- which is basically a book that says ‘ooh guess which pop stars I met’.
I would suggest if you don’t like the singer, if you see nothing but hate and malice in him then stop trying to make money from him and using him for publicity . Essentially Div Haslam sticks me as incredibly disingenuous and incredibly snide
The type who will never take a real stand, only ever doing what is considered popular, the type who can only make their name on the backs of others but then he is a DJ and what are DJ’s but people whom make their name and status playing other peoples records . Hip by Proxy merchants.

What the media and people like Div Haslam leave out with their clumsy , ripped screaming from context, collection of remarks and incidents that are meant to prove the singer is an ultra right little Englander and a hate filled racist is that Morrissey is and for years has been a vegetarian, pro women’s rights, pro gay rights, anti war and anti royalist. As well as being anti England’s rule of Northern Ireland and The Falklands. He also wrote a song called See You In Far Off Places, which is anti USA’s Middle East operations.These are hardly the opinions of someone on the politic hard right.

The singer routinely travels the globe has stated his love yes for England but also Ireland, Scandinavia, Mexico, America and Israel as well as singing about the wonders of Turkish city Istanbul. This doesn’t strike me as the actions of a St George tattooed little Englander

Morrissey has been a long time fan of black author James Baldwin, he dedicated his last LP Homo In Highschool Low In High School ( which was rather good thank-you-very-much ) to black comedian/social observer Dick Gregory,. At gigs he’s been supported, among others, by David Mcalmont ( black singer), Sonya Madan (an Indian singer, born in Delhi), Murray Lightburn (black singer), Buffy Sainte-Marie (indigenous people’s of Canada singer ) and of course Kristeen Young (a singer who may not even be from this Galaxy, let alone Earth). Morrissey also dedicated his autobiography to a lady called Tina who happens to be from Iranian Muslim stock. This may not be a faultless defence against being a racist but it’s also not the role call and choices of you’re average BNP, EDL or even UKIP member….Even a member only on the part time Saturday cleaning rota.

Being a pilok doesn’t make one Heinrich Himmler

I here finish , as I’m Finished

Love music, Lamp Haslam

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