Monday, March 29, 2004


Licking each other all over in a drug-fuelled orgy of lustful abandon! We are the hippies, come to bugger your dog and feed your children to each other! We like sex and we want to do it with YOU. Right now! We love drugs and we are going to make sure that you love them too. Whether you want to or not! There's nothing we won't do to mess with your heads and fuck with your preconceptions. We want your soul and when we get it we'll shag the arse off it!
Yes this is the sickening credo of these long-haired nihilists. Living in a filthy squat near you, all they want to do is diddle your sons and daughters while sucking deeply on a big fat dooby! They're dirty, drug-addled heathen scum. Let's kill 'em all! Lets tell these pricks the east end is for decent, law-abiding, church-going, tax-paying, car-driving, mince-eating, telly-watching, labour-voting, dog-owning, pile-scratching, farty-breathed pillocks like us! Not them!

from A Dennistoun Bestiary, or Colourful Scenes of Yore. No 24. December 13, 1970. (price 4d)
It is curious to note to what extent memory is unfaithful, even for the most important periods of ones life. It is this, indeed, that explains the delightful fantasy of history.

Marcel Duchamp

Sunday, March 28, 2004

PHILOSOPHICAL CLASSICS. Religion of Science Library No 46

On the Pleasures of Fiesta Magazine circa 1977, with particular reference to the epic public toilet scenario described in the 'Readers Wives' colum of issue 320 (vol 3) of that year, featuring 'Bob' from Dennistoun and his wife 'Sylvia', wherein 'Sylvia' entertains several off-duty policemen whilst 'Bob' looks encouragement from the adjacent stall.

The Plain Truth Publishing Company. Chicago.
Myths are necessary. We couldn't live together without stories to tell and listen to, without "heroes" whose example we can follow or reject. Our language, our memories, our imagination and our need of forming communities are the things that make us human beings, and the stories keep them all together. There is no way we can get rid of myths, and why the fuck should we? Instead of wasting our time listening to some bullshitter who poses as the most radical of all, we ought to understand the way actual social movements want to fullfill their need for myths and mythologies, and help them keep mythologies lively, flexible and in motion.
As far as this kind of experimentation (radical "mythopoesis") is concerned, Italy's always been an exciting laboratory. For many historical and social reasons , the Italian social movements were able to emerge as multitudes of people describing themselves by an endless, lively flow of tales, using those tales as weapons in order to impose a new imagery from the grassroots. When we talk about "myths", we mean stories that are *tangible*, made of flesh, blood and shit. As we tried to explain several times to people who live in other countries, *mythopoesis* is what enriches the Italian movements.
Wu Ming Collective

The bloodlust of our youngest citizens knows no bounds. On a nightly basis they will savagely attack any and all who stray into their territories. Often times they will dress as ladies of the evening to confuse the poor peelers, who at times find themselves running hither and thither, at once chasing young ladies , as seems, and of a sudden said 'ladies' throw of their garments but to reveal a cunning and filthy vagabond!
The 'Eastend Laydeeboyz' as they affix themselves will then descend on some vile hostelry, or 'shebeen', and disport themselves with said bawds and even partake of the dreaded 'Blackdrop', curse of the working man and general scourge. If this were not depraved enough the scoundrels shall mix the aforementioned soporific with the hellish brew that is known amongst the common folk as 'Mad Dog'. Then, the aforementioned depravity descends to hitherto unparalleled depths. En masse, the dreadful crew shall make their way to the nearest House of God and disport themselves in every despicable fashion until at last, they be sated and sickened and propped willy-nilly in a Great Heap of repulsive humanity!

from 'A Dennistoun Bestiary or Colourful Scenes of Yore'. No 23. December 6, 1836. (price 1d)
 This inquiry and pilgrimage to the soul of the city is deeply dependent on a view of the world that I call the mythopoetic, a term borrowed directly from the Greeks -- [muthopoiein, to relate a story : muthos, story + poiein, to make.] --and used by Robert Bly and consequently the men's movement here in America, and now popularized in numerous literary and critical essays. (For instance, a recent book by Leonard Wessell with the unlikely title, Romantic Irony and the Proletariat: the Mythopoetic Origins of Marxism, bespeaks the extent to which the term is now "in.") What is significant about this worldview is that it attributes to the storyteller a creative power not normally awarded this activity. It is related to the term 'imaginal' which was coined by French orientalist, Henri Corbin, to describe a particular state of consciousness sought by the mystics of ancient Persia, but later became a much used term in the post-Jungian archetypal psychology movement. A traditional discussion views a mythology as reflecting the values of the status quo in relation to the dominant culture, and imagination as being outside of or beyond the bounds of reality. But, as theologian and mythologist David Miller suggests, "a mythopoetic reimagining of a mythology reverses this oppressive function by offering an iconoclastic critique of existing social and political norms. In postmodern mythological theory, a question is raised as to whether all so-called "mythology" is in fact "mythopoesis."

In architecture, urban design, and public art circles, we often refer to "genius loci" or "spirit of place" as a phenomenological concept which can be experienced more easily than described. I have often thought of it as "places as art." We all recognize that there are places either created or natural which embody a power and mystery evoking something deep inside. Christian Norberg-Shulz in "Genius Loci: Towards a phenomenology of Architecture" explores these ideas in great detail. As artists and designers, we concern ourselves with influencing the spirit of a place from the materials we chose, setting out spatial relationships, the building forms, to expressing the cultural idioms in design details, all in a desire to infuse a place with meaning. Who among us has not been transformed upon entering a Gothic cathedral or a baroque garden? Conversely, we have been transfixed by places we find abhorrent. Certainly, those places have spirits as well.

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