Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Blast from the Past

You don't expect to hear about people being arrested for possessing Semtex anymore: up-to-the-minute British terrorism seems to involve explosives made in your kitchen, which I suppose shows that the drugs trade is better funded than Islamic fundamentalism. Semtex, like the phrase "Christmas bombing campaign", belongs to a bygone era. It's only a matter of time before Peter Kay does a "Do you remember the Provos?" routine.

Thinking about it, I'm also amazed that Luke Haines has never formed a band called "Christmas Bombing Campaign", but that's another matter.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Dustbin of History

I've deliberately not been commenting on Libya here, for fear that I'll end up issuing orders to General Steiner, but a turn of phrase in one of Gaddafi's speeches this week conjured something up from memory:
You are pitiful isolated individuals; you are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on - into the dustbin of history!

- Trotsky to the Mensheviks, at the Second All-Russian Congress of the Soviets, 25 October 1917

"The dustbin of history" is one of our terms for finality, for putting history behind us, where it seems to belong. There it was as Trotsky spoke on the stage of world history, our present-day ironies curling around him like an invisible snake. There it was in Hanover, New Hampshire, materializing right before your eyes if you were reading a certain story in a certain moment: no thing of the past or even for it, but a trap, a death sentence, or maybe a goal, a promised land, that can be found at any time. It can suck you in; perhaps it can be escaped. Leon Trotsky consigned the Mensheviks to the dustbin of history in 1917, and there they remain, with his shade now keeping their company.
- Greil Marcus, The Dustbin of History (1995)

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Inspired by this post:

1981 - Living at home in Stockport with my parents and sister.
1991 - Living at home in Stockport with my parents and sister.
2001 - Living in a student house in Nottingham.
2011 - Living at home in Stockport with my parents.