Friday, April 18, 2008

Seven Against Phoebes

Quick reprise of the life ambitions list. Not so much a mid-life crisis, as a mid-morning tea break:

  • Learn to drive. Only so it can afford me the opportunity to lean out of a car window and shout 'FUCK YOU, YOU HUMP' at the top of my voice. Then, and only then, will I be able to say that I'm a proper New Yorker.
  • Sarah Silverman throws herself at me. Still not happening. Maybe if she lifted the restraining order on me, that might help.
  • For someone other than myself to laugh at my Aufheben/Mike Leigh joke before I die. It doesn't help that the bastards have yet to release 'High Hopes' on DVD in the States. You can get a copy of 'Career Girls' in the States but you can't get hold of one of Mike Leigh's best ever films. You fucking kidding me?
  • Abolition of the Wages System. It might help if St Marks Bookshop stocked the Socialist Standard. I must get back to them on that. If they can stock Direct Action, they can stock the Socialist Standard. Who reads Direct Action in New York? Who reads Direct Action full stop?
  • Stop being so judgemental about anarchists that I meet on my travels. It can't be helped that 9/10 7/10 of them come across as smug, sanctimonious middle-class wankers. (Yep, I attended the NYC Anarchist Bookfair.) Want to cut off the American anarchist movement at the knees? Cut off funding for PhD programmes. It doesn't do me any favours anyway. I come across as the living personification of the SPGB's hostility clause, and I'll get an ulcer before they get any integrity.
  • Read another novel before the end of the year is out. No, not re-read Ian Rankin, Denise Mina or Gordon Legge, but to actually pick up a book I haven't read before and to get past the first thirty pages. Suggestions please.
  • For the blog to be linked to in a Guardian Sportsblog 'Joy of Six' post. Result. (Look under the sub-heading about Celtic snatching the title from Hearts in 85/86. The link is the mention of the Albert Kidd and Billy Connolly anecdote.) My cheeks are moist; my sitemeter is doing a work out and I'm embarrassed that individuals other than my immediate family, Reidski and someone in Mountain View, California has caught sight of my sawdust prose.
  • Now, when is Sarah Silverman back in New York again?

    9 comments:

    Highlander said...

    Whilst the individual anarchists you meet might not be 'cutting the mustard', isn't there are a fair amount of overlap between SPGB doctrine and anarchist views? (More of an education question for me than a dig you understand)

    Darren said...

    H,

    Apologies, and hope you didn' take too much offence.

    Despite the sourness of the post - with regards to my low opinion of the Anarcho-Hipsters - on the whole, it was meant as a jokey post that had more to do with the fact that the blog got linked to on Guardian Footie Blog than anything else. The rest of the post was light fluff so I could be terribly British about hiding my excitement about the blog being linked to. (Sad, but true.)

    I can now die happy despite never seeing socialism in my lifetime (or a quorate SPGB Birmingham Branch meeting, for that matter.)

    But I was only half-joking. Sadly it appears that Anarchists in both the States and Britain at their Bookfairs can come across a bit like the SWP at its Marxism event. "We're mob handed so we can be as obnoxious as we like. Fuck you and your politics." (Despite the fact that they didn't even know what my politics were.)

    It's playing the numbers game and I still hold out the hope that Anarchists are better than that. And despite my socialism/communism, I can be a bit of a contrary bastard at the best of times, and to see everyone look the same, dress the same and sound the same is sadly disconcerting. Is it about the politics or the lifestyle? It's an old gibe about anarchism, but there is a grain of truth about it.

    Maybe I have the luxury of being an SPGBer. The last time we were tested on the matter of how we would conduct ourselves if we were "mob handed", Marie Lloyd was top billing at the Hackney Empire.

    I hope we wouldn't be as mindless and arrogant, but I can't vouch for Glasgow Branch. ;-)

    Sorry again if you were a bit put out by the comment. I can assure that is wasn't half as much as I was by the Anarcho-Graduates at the NYC Anarchist Bookfair.

    And of course, you're right that there's an overlap between the SPGB and some Anarchists. Just don't tell my Central Committee. They'll have my guts for garters. ;-)

    allsurrogate said...

    I can now die happy despite never seeing socialism in my lifetime (or a quorate SPGB Birmingham Branch meeting, for that matter.)

    Hey! West Midlands Branch (née Birmingham Branch) is back to quoracy these days. We even submitted a Form C this year! :-)

    Darren said...

    Wait up. Someone from Birmingham Branch is reading my blog? Give me a clue as to who you are. I can't stand the torment.

    Are you based in Mountain View, California by an chance? (That would be one of the better excuses for not attending Birmingham Branch meetings.)

    allsurrogate said...

    Wait up. Someone from Birmingham Branch is reading my blog? Give me a clue as to who you are. I can't stand the torment.

    Heh, my name's John. I'm new to the SPGB, as of October 07, so you wouldn't know me. The branch sort of reformed to properly admit me as a member, amongst other things.

    Are you based in Mountain View, California by an chance? (That would be one of the better excuses for not attending Birmingham Branch meetings.)

    I might try that when I can't face the trip to West Bromwich, though I doubt anyone would confuse Walsall with anywhere in California.

    Darren said...

    Welcome to the SPGB, John.

    You're a very brave man. ;-)

    Say hello to Mike F for me the next time you seem him. One of the most talented bods I ever met in the SPGB. (What I would do to have an American version of the spoof rail ticket.)

    allsurrogate said...

    Welcome to the SPGB, John.

    You're a very brave man. ;-)


    Well, you can blame yourself in part - reading this blog helped to convince me to join. Apart from all the football stuff (you won't convince me on that front), it's great! I can barely remember my own birthday, and yet you come up with all this info about left-wing history, magazines and articles. Plus, you're funny with it.

    Say hello to Mike F for me the next time you seem him. One of the most talented bods I ever met in the SPGB. (What I would do to have an American version of the spoof rail ticket.)

    Crikey, that was Mike?! I must've read the name on here, but not put two and two together. Yep, a real nice, clever, guy. He's currently organising the Summer School, somewhat single-handedly; I wish I was of more use. I'll pass on your regards ... whenever the next meeting is ;-)

    Darren said...

    John,

    cheers for the kind words. It's nice to know that I have a fourth reader.

    Good luck with the Summer School. Let me know when the programme is finalised, and I'll post the details on MySpace and the blog.

    Highlander said...

    Absolutely and definitely no need to apologise Darren, I am not so sensitive :)

    I was asking more from a perspective of where you would differentiate socialism, or your particular 'flavour' via the SPGB, from anarchism. Being happily described as socialist, anarchist or both I wondered where you would draw your distinction.