Saturday, May 27, 2006

variousing, mate

Hello again George. I've enjoyed our banter. Glad it's been a distraction for you, too! Thanks for your kind words. I try! Discipline was a landmark for me. It changed the way I play. I was 17 or 18 when it came out, just started playing bass. By-the-by, I aped Levin's Chapman Stick techniques as far as I could on the bass. Plus, all that Belew wang bar stuff I got into - bending the neck, bending harmonics, etc. I'm playing an improv festival later today, and I'll be playing my six string bass in damned odd ways, like a would-be guitarist; all traceable back to that KC moment! Beat and Three of a Perfect Pair were not as good, but together they sat there like something to aspire to. All that poly-rhythmic stuff, the aesthetic stance, Fripp and Levin's restraint and Belew and Bruford's circus tricks, the minimalism with the excess. Never heard 'L' by G and C. To twat someone is to hit them! Hence: I'll twat him; he needs a good twating - all of which can reasonably be applied to Greg Lake and those of his ilk! I think I'll put it around that he's testing his new melodies out on lab animals. Give him some trouble! Can one have a PhD and be working-class...? Well, wide and deep waters, mate. I think so myself; as, to assume one cannot, is to say that that class itself cannot ever be so educated. Being a Dr. hasn't changed my perspective on the important stuff one iota. I barely tell people about it. I do, though, know lots of big words! ...and in an argument or discussion I always win if I'm in the right, right on an issue etc. In short, I have the tools for argument. Many less well-educated can be right but nonetheless lose, as it were. So, with the swanky vocabulary, one comes across as having 'bettered' oneself. I have few middle-class traits, though. I am, however, somewhat bourgeois - I was before the PhD, before the degree, before the A Levels, before the GCSEs! Your upbringing sounds interesting, mate. Mine was massively conventional. The first books in my parents' house were mine - encyclopaedias, then Marvel things. My dad was a lorry driver. My mum worked in shops. Getting the PhD was a rite of passage for me; passage into a world doggedly immured from my kind by those with fancy accents and good educations who nonetheless, once one peals back the surface, have little but tradition and empty rhetoric to keep them at the top of the British pile. I may not have the graces and know which knife to use, but I have my mind, and it kills aresholes at a billion paces. Simple as that. Britain is backward, mate. There's a social inbreding that, like the physical kind, leads to weakness, illness, and squalor. The upper-classes are fucked up because of their paranoia and pretense. So much in this country is sorted out at clubs and on the golf course. It's not what you know, but who you know; and it's changed little really. Freedom is an absolute concept. One is either free or not free; and the limited nature of freedom in the West means that, really - at bottom - we are still in chains, mate. If dumb consumerism doesn't get you, they'll get you hooked on art problems, on reading broadsheets, on brown rice, on ebay, on making your own music, on ranting about The Illuminati in an email, on reading Chomsky and thinking 'he's right, I'm gonna tell my friends'. We should be on the streets, but we're not. It was Trotsky and not Marx who was barking up the right tree! C'est la vie, though, eh?! Best wishes, Anthony


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