Monday, 18 November 2013


This promises to be very interesting indeed... Full lineup and biogs (except mine because I somehow haven't been able to get that together yet, but I will, really.)


This was the performance at the Recluse Networking event. Very good day all round. Here I used an ebow to create a feedback drone on the guitar, which is just going into my crappy practice amp. The other instruments are a thunder tube (the thing with the spring on it) jew's harp and kazoo. What I was saying was directly inspired by the discussions that were going on at the event concerning "value" - what value is and how we arrive at the idea of value.

The piece is me ranting about the so-called ethical turn, as has been my wont lately; Carl Schmitt warned that liberal governance ultimately devolves into a form of managerialism on the one hand, and morality on the other. This tendency has been made utterly clear at our present moment of neoliberal governance. Opposition to the prevalent economic (read managerial or technocratic) rationality presenting itself as punitive (and pointless) austerity (in fact, it is a vast expropriation of public resources) is far too often framed as the exercise of some form of personal morality. This version of capitalism is wrong because it is immoral and unfair etc. everyone should pay their taxes/contribute and so on, it is unfair to demonise the unemployed as scroungers because they really want to work.

Postcard/poster Robin Bale 2009

But what if you don't want to work or contribute but still demand change and your own bit of the collective on exactly those negative grounds?

Our current regime seems to like to denigrate citizenship in favour of a (particular and approved) individual subjectivity - a clear example is the emphasis on the moral culpability of the unemployed, and even the disabled, for their plight and the necessity of privatised initiatives to inculcate the correct virtues. Where citizenship was a legal status that did not depend on the content of the individual, status is now accorded by the possession of the right personal characteristics. When  Cameron talks of the "faceless, distant, bureaucrats of the welfare state"  that is what they are critiquing; a state that accords rights impartially. However, a great deal of the opposition to the depradations of the current government is framed in almost the same terms. The word fairness gets bandied about quite a lot on both sides. What the fuck is fairness, anyway? It's not the same as equality (of both opportunity and outcome) I'm sure. People have the right to material equality, not because they are good, or that they recycle, or work hard and pay their taxes, or that they aspire, and not because they are striving to make a better world either. People have the right to it just because they do.

Note that there was a stage being used in this video, this is a subject (the stage, and all it implies) that I will return to, as I think that it has some bearing on what I discussed here above.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Should be well worth a visit. Performances Friday, Q&A Saturday afternoon. Great venue, always an interesting program.