Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Fires of Raziel



I want to talk about the notion of Evil. It’s easy to see it as something of an abstraction, something nebulous, belonging to a medieval world of religion, superstition and folklore. It’s not something we take very seriously in this age of subservience to the State, this age of atheism and reductive materialism.  We have very little patience for the Mysteries, the paranormal and high strangeness, let alone patience enough for serious meditations on the nature of evil.  There is a thirteenth century Catholic hymn I’m fond of; Dies Irae.  The Day of Wrath. An apocalyptic incantation that describes the Final Judgement. I’ve always found it interesting that the strange hymn, perhaps far older than the thirteenth century, came to be used as a key sequence in the Requiem Mass. Dies Irae, I would argue, is full of a kind of misunderstood necromantic power.  For the uninitiated, necromancy in its broadest sense is death-magic – either communication with the spirits of the dead, or the manipulation of the very energies, materials and secrets of death itself.  As any true practitioner or operator of magic will be well aware, death itself is not evil, and neither is magick.  The truest magicians, the truest seekers and the truest scholars all exist in a realm of nuances, subtleties and occluded interrelationships.  They discount nothing outright, and are always willing to be surprised or humbled by new knowledge and new experience.  But evil – the capacity and desire for control, defilement, desecration and abuse – this is something that very few men and women are truly willing to comprehend.  After all, if such a thing exists, either energetically or experientially, who in their right mind would willingly traffick with monsters?

Since I was a child I have been asking myself the same basic questions, before I even had the intellectual finesse to formulate these questions properly.  I knew back then, as I know now, that something is very wrong with the world.  I was a weird kid, but apparently very astute.  Gifted, many adults called me.  But what they didn’t realise was that my acuity came from a far deeper and stranger place than mere natural intellect.  Many sensitives, intuitives and psychics will relate to this, I think.  Childhood is usually not an easy time for us, especially considering we are not really supposed to exist in the eyes of the scientific mainstream.  But I’m still asking myself the same questions, still trying to unravel and gain wisdom from a spectrum of very dark and very strange personal experiences.

 
I’ve encountered evil in my life, both physical and spiritual. It changes you forever.  And yes, I’m fully aware that such labels are inexorably tied up with my own particular psychology and perception, my own private mythos.  But at what point and through what mechanism does the chthonic become evil?  Or to put it another way, at what point does the chthonic become something that could be resonantly if not ‘accurately’ described as evil? I would argue that when the chthonic interfaces with a particular kind of sentience, a dark intelligence utterly lacking in empathy, horrors can be born.  I’m no expert on either the human mind or philosophy, but I studied psychology at university and I was particularly fascinated with psychopathy.  Or what I later came to define as predator-psychology.  But I’ve also personally encountered individuals and energies for which the term ‘evil’ is the most accurate and intellectually honest description I can think of.  Forms of consciousness that don’t seem to be mentally ill in the classic sense of the term.  Rather they seem to revel, burnish and exalt their own psychopathy, their appetite for the most deviant forms of abuse. Unless you’ve personally encountered such things, you could be forgiven for writing it all off as nonsense or mental illness.  But I believe it’s more than that.  Much more.

In a Gnostic sense there are those individuals who seem to imitate what we might define as an archonic consciousness.  But there are also those – far fewer in number but exceptionally more dangerous – who seem to rather embody this archonic consciousness. From an energetic viewpoint there is no imitation involved.  Most people commit evil because they are in spiritual, emotional or physical pain. Most people feel guilt, and empathy.  But there are some among us who don’t, I would argue.  They really don’t feel or experience human connection the way we do.  For these individuals, especially among the ever-warring multinational predator-elites that rule this planet, deepening their perversity whilst attempting to maintain basic cognitive function is their highest thrill.  The razor-edged thrill of the truly powerful.  I understand that the notion of evil is really just a shorthand that arose out of religionist-thinking. A shorthand that’s been abused throughout history by the forces of the State to vilify and demonise both potential enemies and domestic minorities.  But I also understand, as the oldest fairytales have tried to tell us, that sometimes you can be unfortunate enough to cross paths with a monster.

There’s something that many people don’t realise about monsters.  They don’t just desecrate, defile and abuse.  They covet.  They covet all sorts of things.  People, places, stories, energies and knowledge.  These predator-elites, who for so long have had a stranglehold on this world – they see themselves as Collectors, as Carrion Angels.  They feed, and pocket what remains. They believe they are the only ones powerful enough to hold an ouroboros of divine fire in their hands. They believe their desecration is the highest magick. They are wrong.  

There are secrets we know, aren’t there? Things we’re not supposed to reveal, or even discuss with outsiders.  The histories of ritual magick and indigenous shamanism are multidimensional, multifaceted.  We know that recognition and comprehension of a thing can literally invoke that thing.  We know that our reality is darker, brighter, stranger, and infinitely more complex and nuanced than we first believed.  We know this now.  We know there are entire vistas of lost and suppressed histories, concealed from our understanding by various predator-elites, many of them with agendas and appetites far more sinister than even our fictions will usually contemplate.  We recognise that networks of meaning slide back and forth across thresholds of semantic drift.  We understand that there are languages, energies and entities that speak laterally.  We know there are beings and dreamscapes and strange thriving societies hidden within our various forms of art.  Fiction is not just fiction.  It’s the architecture of infinity.  We know the power and sometimes unfortunate necessity of code.  And we will not be vanquished by hate, intolerance, desecration, abuse, torture, slavery, or evil by any other name.  Here’s something else most people don’t know about monsters.  They are always afraid.  They’re afraid of us, of you and me.  They’re afraid of what we have within us.  They’re afraid of fire.



Thursday, 17 December 2015

Thro' Midnight Streets




I love this city.  London is a strange and haunted place.  It’s terrifying and glorious.  A city of unparalleled power.  Once upon a time it was from here that the Earth was ruled.  But not just the Earth, also the dreamscapes of those who lived upon the Earth.  Perhaps, in ways occulted to us, it still is.  For me, London is a city of dreams and nightmares.  No matter how deeply its filth and macabre history is prettied by modernity and gentrification, the past still howls beneath it all.  Closer to the surface than we think. 
 
To paraphrase the visionary poet William Blake; harlots still curse at forced subsistence, and blood still runs down palace walls.  The violence of former atrocities never really washes away, and in certain lights can still be seen.  These chartered streets mark sigils, icons and ancient flows of harnessed power.  The Highest in the Land, the predator-elites, they think they created this city, and every blackening church of dreams within it.  Infurnum est ars.  But London is far greater than they are.  My city is irreducible; full of secrets, hidden places.  And magick.  London is magick.  It’s an ancient and dangerous city, and I love it with all my heart.  My soul is bound with London in various ways. 
 
Like the saltire or X-shaped cross upon which St Andrew was crucified, an icon of which was placed by Christopher Wren above the south transept of St Paul’s Cathedral, London cannot die.  ResurgamI shall rise again.       
 

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Lost Knowledge


There is an ancient Gnostic adage that states ‘Knowledge is Power.’  Of course, like everything, such a notion is multi-layered and multidimensional.  But for the moment let’s look at power from a social, political and historical perspective.  From these perspectives we can argue that true power concedes nothing.  Every single freedom, human right and protective legislation we have in society today was fought for by individuals and collectives who were brave enough to stand up against terrifying and overwhelming odds.  Every positive social reform – be it for the rights of women, children, or sexual, social and racial minorities – was fought for by brave men and women putting consistent organised pressure on the existing power-structure.  Protests, decentralised collectives, new community alliances; multi-layered grassroots activism.  Sometimes these warriors of freedom paid for such bravery with their lives.  But today, I would suggest, the ruling predator-elites and power-broking oligarchs are attempting to purge such truths from history, or else repackage these truths as toothless confections largely nostalgic in nature. 

 
Icons of Inequality


I have written elsewhere at Amid Night Suns about the predilections and machinations of the Victorian predator-elites in Britain that arose out of the industrial revolution, and how those elites set the blueprint for the rapacious elitism of today.  We still have a ruling class, but it’s no longer a simple aristocracy in the Victorian sense of the term.  The ruling class of the twenty-first century is a hybrid of Intelligence, military, occult, banking and corporate interests.  It appears monolithic and singular only from the outside, but from within it is just like any other collection of interacting, infighting organised crime-networks. To the untrained eye it might seem as though these elites are all working in perfect concert.  But the truth is that those who control us, and control the direction and flow of societies, are snared in a hideous mess of brutal, perverse and sociopathic realpolitik.  

The world is horrifically complex.  And so we simplify. We have no other choice. But we need to be incredibly mindful of how we simplify, mindful of the things we throw away in the process. Researchers in the alternative-media might quiver in the presence of an eye atop a pyramid, in fear or in thrill.  But society isn’t actually a top-down, vertical hierarchy.  Society is lateral, horizontal.  Society is a vast web.  Power, control, influence – they don’t flow the way we think they flow.  Just ask any occultist or psychic.  Like all things, the power behind social control is really just a form of oblique, lateral communication.  And communication flows from mind to mind, it passes through individuated nexuses of the collective mind.  Control, therefore, is a trick.  But an incredibly powerful one.  Hierarchy could be said to exist only as an icon or image of itself within the perception of an imagining sentience.  Human culture is being conjured moment to moment, from mind to mind, imagination to imagination in a symphony of interconnection.  The real question is how this lateral communication is manipulated to ensure the illusion of vertical power differentials, to ensure that some rule while others suffer.  And I would argue the answer is the application of extreme violence under this profane icon of illusory hierarchy.  If you are psychotic and predatory enough to truly want power and control over people on a massive scale – illusory vertical supremacy – eventually you will have to back up your rhetoric and venerate your icon with violence and the threat of spilled blood.  And violence is nothing if not the manifestation of symbolic hierarchy, symbolic inequality.  This is true on both a local and social level.  “I do not want to co-exist.  We are no longer equals.  My story will conquer yours, and you will suffer.” 
 
 
This kind of psychology is basically radical fundamentalism at its core, the kind of thinking behind Daesh and various other militant terrorist groups.  It’s also the basic mind-set behind reductive materialism, behind many global power-elites, behind slavery in all its various forms.  It’s a predatory, dehumanising psychology that is essentially vampiric in nature, and is made manifest through the use of brute force, violence and sinister propaganda.  It’s the physics and politics of despair, of fear.  A paradigm that tells you that injustice is like inclement weather, simply unavoidable.  When the truth is that societal injustices are the emanations of a blood-soaked icon of hierarchy.  Archons, demons, vampires and human predator-elites…all of them kneel and supplicate before this insatiable icon.  After all, evil is utterly banal at its core.  You can only slice a lust for power, violence and control a few different ways.  The language it speaks is crude, dull and unimaginative.  Which is exactly why it needs the blood and life of others to sustain itself. 
Sigils of Divine Fire
 
This insight concerning blood-dimmed icons of hierarchy, and the control of lateral or horizontal communication to ensure vertical supremacy under the banner of such icons, is the dark heart of social control, of warfare, of modern slavery at its most naked.  But I believe it’s more than that.  I believe it’s also part of the occulted meaning behind the symbol of the cross.  The cross isn’t just a Christian theological icon, the crucifix upon which Yeshua was placed between two thieves.  It’s an extremely ancient magickal symbol, both an acknowledgement and refutation of polarity.  I believe the symbol of the cross is the meeting point of two realms; a nexus, the alchemical furnace of creation.  The cross is a doorway, a gate, a portal.  Furthermore, I believe those who wield it would do well to learn something of its awesome power.  This knowledge of the meeting place of the vertical and lateral, this kiss between heaven and earth, can enslave entire worlds when perverted.  But when used truthfully, as a force for Gnosis and Innermost Light, it can offer us a way out of that same slavery.  Because when you stand up and speak truth – and on a local and literal level when you fight for freedom, workers-rights, healthcare, anti-austerity measures, affordable housing and positive social reform – just as the generations before you did, you honour the dead.  You actually become that meeting place between heaven and earth.  You become that doorway.

So, if knowledge is indeed power, in a variety of contexts, then what kind of spiritual power and knowledge has been lost to us?  I’m not talking about some imagined magickal wisdom tradition, some unproblematic and easily codified elite spellcraft. I’m talking about an experiential knowledge – a participatory relationship with the spiritual and numinous.  It isn’t just some ad hoc ritualism, nor is it simply dry, empty scholarship.  It’s more akin to a radical and steadfast dedication to your own private art and evolution.  A gnosis that sacrifices neither its rigour or joy, and that incorporates intellect, evidence, trial and error – a relationship that also honours the sacrifices of your forebears and the nameless dead.   This is the kind of knowledge that’s been lost.  Purposeful re-enchantment.  Or what Gordon White at the indomitable chaos magick website Rune Soup calls ‘the restoration of context.’  After all, there is a qualitative, contextual difference between raw data and knowledge, isn’t there?  The former is information, perhaps lacking in any inherent utility, but the latter is information mediated and processed through the human soul – through praxis, nuance, context and acuity.  It’s this acuity and lucidity that an active working relationship with the spiritual can recover – a passionate keenness of perception, an unconquerable creativity.  But remember, a true working relationship with the divine can at times be both dangerous and disturbing.  There are unseen shadowed realms around us, as well as realms of light.  The true practitioner must have some working knowledge of both, and the continuities between them.  There will be wondrous revelation, but also terrifying or unsettling encounters.  Walking such a liminal path is not for everyone, and that’s ok.  These notions can be applied in artistic, creative endeavours, and not just the explicitly magickal or spiritual.  But if you sense some kind of deeper truth in these words, if you yearn to recover what has been lost – then you must discover your tools and prepare yourself to step into a world alive with energies, entities, resonant fictions and sublime truths.  It is the very thing the monsters are afraid of; the Archons, vampires, demons and their human familiars.  They are afraid of you, at your most dynamic and unfettered. 



Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Church of the Ragged


SEE, SAID ELELETH, AND I SAW
 
Archon – for me the very word opens a kind of psychic-linguistic rift. It creates a cognitive aperture into a host of interconnected meanings that encompass fact, fiction, history, myth and psychology.  Historically speaking, we don’t need to argue the fact that there have always been very real power-elites, and the enforcers and administrators who serve them.  Pop-culturally our movies and television shows and comics are filled with sinister archonic figures.  Pop-culture is no less potent a mythology than our classical tales, and as Chris Knowles from The Secret Sun explores through a superhero perspective in his book Our Gods Wear Spandex they often draw on the same sources. The Agents of The Matrix, the Strangers of Dark City, Captain Pinbacker in Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, Brando’s Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, The Overlook Hotel in Kubrick’s The Shining – in my opinion all draw heavily and explicitly from Gnostic mythology.  In modern fiction the Archons and their Demiurge have come to us in the forms of ravens, black dogs, sinister children, ingenious serial killers, malevolent Artificial Intelligences, mysterious alien races, fallen angels, and interdimensional spirit beings.
 
I get why Gnosticism still has a kind of edgy underground vibe to those with the insight and acumen to get what it really means – because the moment you take the idea seriously it becomes frightening.  But frightening in a rather particular way – in that uneasy shit–is-about-to-get-real kind of way.  There’s stuff in life that’s just too painful or horrific to process directly.  I imagine for some of the more astute and prescient thinkers out there Gnosticism might be painful in not a dissimilar way.  Because however you cut it, however many of the edges you try to smooth away, Gnosticism in all its various permutations takes the idea of spiritual slavery very seriously.  In many Gnostic texts this idea of spiritual slavery is often symbolized by the intellectual state of sleep or ignorance, and the literal act of rape.  In Hypostasis of the Archons the Authorities of Darkness – the Archons – attempt to rape Eve in the Garden, as they later attempt to rape her daughter Norea.  She petitions Heaven to spare her from this horrific act and is visited by Eleleth, a powerful angel of the Aeons.
 
Eleleth tells Norea that she isn’t just a fallen shadow-creature, but that she has the spirit of truth emanating within her, a fragment of the imperishable light, and is therefore a holy immortal being of the Pleroma.  Norea has the mother of wisdom Sophia within her, in the form of Zoe, or Life itself.  And this means the Authorities of Darkness despise her in their jealousy.  This insight is crucial.  I personally believe this insight cuts to be the very heart of Gnosticism in all its permutations.  Which is the fact that Knowledge, Enlightenment, or Emancipation isn’t just a state, it’s a process; the process of becoming free, of literally seeing spiritual truth.  Inherent within this notion is the implication that the illusory world of matter, the realm of chaotic shadow-form overseen by the blind demiurge, can still be reconnected or transformed or taken back into the Pleroma, into the infinite, imperishable Light.  This is admittedly my own personal interpretation of some pretty hardcore variations of Gnostic cosmogony.  But what this suggests to me is that even the demons and dark angels of Samael can still cry out to the Holy Spirit just as Norea does, and ask for their sight to be restored.  To no longer be avatars of Samael, blinded as he is blind, but to become more than shadow-soul – to become independent agencies gifted with a fragment of the Pleroma within them by awakening to the reality of pneuma; the divine spark and breath of life.  Here at Amid Night Suns I often refer to this luminous pneuma as the Innermost Light, or the Midnight Sun. 

In Gnostic lore the feminine Sophia and the masculine Father of the Entirety want to redeem everything in Creation by bringing it all into the true Light.  In some variants of Gnostic cosmogony it is the presence of Christ who allows Sophia to reconnect with logos, her syzygy and male counterpart, and thus restore balance to the cosmos.  But what all of this lore implies is that the Archons are, in a sense, artificial beings.  They have ‘souls’ born from the realm of Chaos and shadow-form, and are technically sentient, but they are also cold, unfeeling and spiritless.  If Sophia’s desire is to redeem the entire fallen world of form (and in some Gnostic variants, also redeem herself) then it must be possible for even the Archons to experience enlightenment, to awaken to pneuma and achieve Gnosis.  To transform themselves into beings of imperishable light.  In fact, this happens to a son of the Demiurge in Hypostasis of the Archons.  Sabaoth witnesses his father Yaldabaoth (another name for Samael, along with Saklas) being cast down into the Abyss of Chaos by a powerful angel of divine fire created by a single breath from Sophia.  In seeing this internment of his blind, power-obsessed father Sabaoth renounces his part in his father’s false claim to supreme godhood and prays to Zoe and Sophia for redemption.  His prayers are answered and he is taken up and made gatekeeper of the portal between the Pleroma and our shadowy, chaotic world of forms.
 
Personally, this idea comforts me.  That darkness can eventually become light; that a cancer doesn’t just have to be cut out, it can eventually be healed completely.  Or in a more mainstream Christian sense a fallen angel can become a true angel of light once more.  Our sight can be restored.  Our wings can be returned to us.    
 

 
TEMPLES OF DARK LIGHT

Our real tangible world seems more Archonic and more apocalyptic than ever.  We’re experiencing terrorism, war and the promise of war, mass migrations, famine, disease, and grinding, unending poverty.  It’s not exactly a snapshot of human civilisation at its best.  We could argue that there are various global elites who are currently attempting to massively centralise their power, thus extending their reach over the control of our lives.  We could further argue that in doing so they are attempting to hollow out all joy and purge any sense of mystery from the human experience.  In their inability to awaken to the reality of Pneuma, the divine spark and breath of life – as Sabaoth and Norea do in Hypostasis of the Archons, these elitists desire instead to synthesise their own false Spark.  In their reductive, essentially atomised worldview the closest things to gods or unknowable forces with any agency are themselves.  The power-elites sell this hubris to us as ostensibly rigorous ‘Science’, thwarting all primitivism, superstition and fallacy, yet doing so with virtually godlike anthrocentric power.  You don’t have to be a genius to see the religious desire behind this kind of materialist fundamentalism, and the logical conclusions of its worldview. 

In this highly exclusionist paradigm, devoid of all magical thinking, we are a race of purely biological entities on the cusp of a transhuman critical-mass – a singularity that ushers the blending of biology and technology, man and machine.  This fetishized cosmogony assures us that human beings are destined to become quasi-artificially intelligent super-beings. A parahuman A.I. that will eventually go off-world and journey through the stars.  But these elites don’t mean everyone.  They don’t mean third-world inhabitants, or even you and me.  Their transhuman Prometheus will only share this digital fire with the Elect, the truly powerful, the very Highest in the Land.  The rest of us will be used, as now, to feed the new race of Synthetics, to maintain the infrastructure that supports the demiurgic A.I. to which these elite Synthetics will fervently supplicate.  It’s all complete nonsense, of course.  It’s an indulgent, exclusionist horror-fantasy.  But we can see how this kind of thinking is the logical extension of the human imagination trapped within a hierarchical, Archonic system.  This is what an Archon’s idea of apotheosis might look like.    

Even today, in the grim real world, mainstream culture seems determined to think like an Archon, an Artificial Intelligence; a spiritless shadow-entity.  The mainstream will seemingly go to any lengths to reject nuance, subtlety and context.  Like the elites who have colonised their minds and appropriated their discursive spaces the average mainstream individual is invited to see things in only the most extreme polarities, in virtual binary.  Either everything is a conspiracy or nothing is.  And since those who question authority and officialdom and believe in conspiracies are obviously idiots or mentally ill, therefore nothing at all is a conspiracy.  But the truth is that corruption is nothing more than the visible manifestation of conspiracy.  In order to deny the fact that we are being manipulated in extremely sinister ways we must ignore political, financial and corporate corruption, evidence of which is all around us, and growing.  I believe this clinging to denial in the face of overwhelming evidence creates fractures and schisms in the human psyche, what others have called ‘cognitive dissonance’.  Furthermore, I believe it’s this dissonance that can breed psychopathy in the general population. Feeling like a caged being, and seeing evidence of other caged beings – but not being allowed to articulate what you see – can drive you mad.  I think we express this dissonance as the general ‘pressures’ of modern society.  And it’s these societal pressures – poverty, zero-hour contracts, austerity, unaffordable housing, cuts to healthcare and social services – along with the overwhelming psychic pressure to conform and survive, that assures the continuing supremacy of this elitist, hierarchical system. 
 
 
It’s a predator/prey system in which a self-appointed few control and feed on the many.  It’s a society in which ‘civilisation’ uses maintained third-world slaves to build both its trinkets and its infrastructure.  It’s a hideous form of Social Darwinism in which only the most perverse and mercenary will prosper.  And herein lies the heart of Gnosticism and the truth of Archonic reality – that of manipulation as a strategy for maintained injustice, imbalance and inequality.  A false system of hierarchical power differentials, a vampiric cannibal culture of orchestrated and strategized oppression.  Just as in Gnostic lore when the Archons became enamoured with Sophia’s reflection as she peered into the waters of the Abyss, so to has human society become.  Narcissistic and petty and vacant, obsessed with eidolons, icons and phantoms, but unable to capture their true spirit within those echoed images.  We’ve lost touch, lost our connection to the Source, to ourselves.  We continuously deify and glorify and apologize for the hideous actions of our rulers.  It’s almost as if Gnosticism in all its forms is outlining the mechanics and metaphysics of a kind of cosmogenic capture-bonding – that the human race encountered something it didn’t understand, was captured and enslaved by it, and fell deeply in love with it, worshipped it, and would die to defend its authority.  The reason I take this Archonic version of Stockholm Syndrome or capture-bonding so seriously is, in part, because the shamans and storytellers and occultists of various cultures all over the world have explicitly or implicitly suggested such notions for thousands of years.  Not only do we defend our abusers, we turn them into politicians, priests, kings and gods.

At the very least, Gnostic mythology is a frighteningly elegant metaphor for the history of human societies.  At best it’s some kind of truth, or quasi-truths; the visible edges or remnants of a hidden or lost knowledge.  A lost knowledge so incredibly powerful, so politically sensitive and spiritually incendiary, that it might allow us to better comprehend our place in a dangerous and magickal universe, and perhaps even offer us that fabled Emancipation.         
 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

That Old Black Magick



There is darkness, and then there is darkness.  One is ancient and womblike, fecund, nourishing.  But the other is something else entirely.  It is not only the absence of light, but the absence of hope.  There are various magicks living in the hearts of the human kith.  Some of these magicks are stygian, predatory.  But some are darker and stranger and older than any desecration.  It’s these magicks the fallen ones fear – the archons, the demons, the vampires and their familiars.  They know little of this greater, luminous darkness – this holy place of creation where love and joy and passion are forged, and lived.  They know little of how this magick is made manifest, how these deeper spells are cast.  They know nothing of the rituals of lucidity.  They will look and see only their ruinous shadows, but if you look – with greater eyes – you will see holy, impossible things.  And voices will speak to you, strange and benevolent, and you will know.
 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

London Down


Are we living evermore in some vast corporate art installation? Here is a precis of what I see in my beloved Londinium. Militant profiteering from the nightmarishly unrepentant British Establishment. Vulture-Economics, soft genocides. A litany of elite-serving forecourts and landscaped non-spaces disguised (barely) as redevelopment and 'urban regeneration' - inert and soulless secular temples, venerations of absence - lining a sinister path to a glittering new feudalism.  We are left drowning in the wake of emergent dead zones, pastel-coloured investment silos for unaccountable off-shore power-brokers.  Ghost places that have asset-stripped the future.

Things are losing their texture, rough edges hewn to a porcelain sheen. A photoshop consciousness. We deny the necessary imperfections of our skin, deny our pores, our public discourses, the blind spots of our cognition. Our politics intransigent, our socialism laminated, lacquered in gloss of the eternal tragic present - no past, reforgotten, no future, unproposed and unfinanced by our self-appointed imagineers. London is being colonised. A theme park with only the merest connection to history, or hard-fought or hard-won human rights. Only as much history as can fit on a blue commemorative plaque; struggle and achievement as Tweet. Social progress (for the cash shufflers) as status update. Soundbites are far too unwieldy these days.

The corporatisation of human will, the vampirism of the counterculture. Gentrification as rapacious acquisition. Shunt the poor and the minorities from a vibrant former ghetto, made trendy through their counterculture contributions, through human will under duress. Use redevelopment as the guise; unaffordable housing, the commodification of street-cred. The unhoused and abandoned poor now forced to some greater ghetto. This ghetto's next generation, a little more broken and colonised than their forebears ( a little more inured to the practicalities and rituals of abuse), but still resisting in their way, still creating art and culture. Non-sanctioned soulmaking. The new ghetto eventually becomes vibrant, a hotspot, a scene. The vulture economists and developers notice and swoop in. The cycle of gentrification begins again. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. Brixton, Soho, Camden, Shoreditch, Whitechapel...

Reclaim our histories, renegotiate our thresholds of what we will allow, or else the new cities will be all be Damocles, razor-edged, unliveable and insouciant, hanging above our heads.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Girls


To see someone as they really are, and want them anyway. To want to build wings for them. Yeah, I know what Love is.

For the unrepentantly carnal
For the seekers
For the wild at heart
And always, as ever, for the lovers....