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29 April 2011

The royal wedding, a true rant

UPDATED APRIL 29, 2011 AT MID-DAY: The rant which follows notwithstanding, I did watch the damn thing. What can I say, Kate Middleton’s dress looked smoking, though the provence of said dress in the studios of Alexander McQueen makes me sad in ways that are hard to explain at this late capitalist moment, as did the elegantly designed advertisement that appeared as I watched the webcast on The Telegraph.

Sublime? Really? Yesterday, I posted my own take on the sublime. This thing just seems like the most perfectly targeted advertising ever. May it live here on the web, in perpetuity, even as larger answers elude us.


Hey people, I hate to piss on someone else’s wedding, and it’s not exactly a cutting edge position to hate on the royals. As my favorite wedding-related Tweet read, “People who don’t care about the royal wedding are so edgy.” So, uh, yeah, the issue here is not that I’ll pretend not to care about the royals. My issue is that the world cares way too much about them — myself included and, hey, the self-regarding royals themselves included too. I can barely stomach the occasional affectation of the minor rock stars (and, sometimes even worse, art & classical world stars) I find myself in contact with; I definitely can’t stomach the affectations I, myself, need to put on to do the job I do within various creative communities.

So, why exactly am I supposed to care about the affectations of a group of people for whom affection seems a point in and of itself?

Without further adieu, a kind of **** you to all things royal from Crass founder Penny Rimbaud, who talks at length here about the death of his friend Wally Hope. Kick back and relax because this sucker takes about 40-minutes, it rambles and digresses, picks-up and slows down, and covers everything from the hippie movement to Stonehenge to the birth of Crass and all the connections therein. Over 25 minutes in Rimbaud complains “We’re under a time sort of confine now.” Dude that’s not even English! And he’s English!

Note: It was filmed by Gavin McInnes, the co-founder of Vice, a dude who admirably got off one culture cash-in train mid-journey to do his own thing. (As McInnes’s Wikipedia entry reads he is “often credited with starting the contemporary hipster movement.” Ahem. We’ll save complaints about that for another blog post.)

Roger all that?

For more on Crass dig into this blog’s archive or, better yet, I’d suggest starting with this article I wrote for LA Weekly in 2008. Or, for a bit of counter-programming, peep this official program from today’s event (aka the longest JPEG ever) after the jump (via The Daily).
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Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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17 August 2010

Crass & Mary Margaret O’Hara de-recluse themselves

In the overmediated age we find ourselves in, I have a kind of kneejerk negative reaction to the entire notion of the recluse. Especially when the semifamous are accused of such behavior, it strikes me less as a desire for obscurity, than an assertion of self-respect, a meek demand for privacy, and/or a slide into a more decent sort of existence. Viz Salinger, admittedly a tad more famous than some of the “obscure” musicians whose work I admire.

In any case, there’s no denying two of my favorite icons of ’80s music have been accused of reclusive behavior. But today I woke up, fired up the internets, and bumped into two fine examples of them speaking loud and clear. So, without further adieu:


One of the great archival photographs that appears alongside the great Crass interview appears above. Another right below.

And here is the Mary Margaret O’Hara interview in its entirety.

If you click on the tags to this post you can find a fair bit more of my internet ramblings about these two folks. And, because I’ll always appeal to prurient interests when given the chance, there’s one last image of Crass — a nudie shot! — after the jump.
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Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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