Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Extract from Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre:

Mrs. Reed's hands still lay on her work inactive: her eye of ice continued to dwell freezingly on mine:-

'What more have you to say?' she asked, rather in the tone in which a person might address an opponent of adult age than such as is ordinarily used to a child.

That eye of hers, that voice stirred every antipathy I had. Shaking from head to foot, thrilled with ungovernable excitement, I continued:-

'I am glad you are no relation of mine: I will never call you aunt again so long as I live. I will never come to see you when I am grown up; and if any one asks me how I liked you, and how you treated me, I will say the very thought of you makes me sick, and that you treated me with miserable cruelty.'

'How dare you affirm that, Jane Eyre?'

'How dare I, Mrs. Reed? How dare I? Because it is the truth. You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so: and you have no pity. I shall remember how you thrust me back- roughly and violently thrust me back- into the red-room, and locked me up there, to my dying day; though I was in agony; though I cried out, while suffocating with distress, "Have mercy! Have mercy, Aunt Reed!" And that punishment you made me suffer because your wicked boy struck me- knocked me down for nothing. I will tell anybody who asks me questions, this exact tale. People think you a good woman, but you are bad, hard-hearted. You are deceitful!'

Ere I had finished this reply, my soul began to expand, to exult, with the strangest sense of freedom, of triumph, I ever felt. It seemed as if an invisible bond had burst, and that I had struggled out into unhoped-for liberty. Not without cause was this sentiment: Mrs. Reed looked frightened; her work had slipped from her knee; she was lifting up her hands, rocking herself to and fro, and even twisting
her face as if she would cry.

'Jane, you are under a mistake: what is the matter with you? Why do you tremble so violently? Would you like to drink some water?'

'No, Mrs. Reed.'

Monday, 29 June 2009

fan fiction

Slash Portrait of Maggie Broon

A few years ago I wrote an article for Yuck 'n Yum, then in its first incarnation, called The Devil in Miss Broon. It was about a fictional clandestine network of Dundee residents who created violent pornographic depictions of the DC Thomson comic character Maggie Broon. The above drawing was an accompanying entry for the 2006 Generator Projects Members' Show.

Today a civil servant from South Shields was cleared of obscenity for writing a blog about the kidnap, rape and murder of the pop group Girls Aloud. The story itself is here for those who want to read it; the prose may be leaden but still I'm glad that it exists.

Sunday, 28 June 2009


So I began to draw an illustration for the forthcoming Shaye Saint John article, but I fucked up the nose. In my defence I was watching a Michael Jackson documentary at the time, and the two figures are not dissimilar.

Meanwhile buried beneath the recent avalanche of mass-media grief I was able to find some good articles from Germaine Greer and the definitive text from Mark Fisher's k-punk blog.

Thursday, 25 June 2009


Yuck 'n Yum on Facebook now has a handy succinct URL so you can make friends and keep up to date with all the latest news and gossip. Go to http://www.facebook.com/yuck.n.yum to join up!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Earlier in the week I got paid and pretty soon after, observing ritual, I bought a bunch of stuff. No irresponsibility however, everything was a bargain:

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre 99p

Lou Reed - Metal Machine Music CD, £3.82

Dennis Cooper, God Jr £3.00

Mary Gaitskill, Veronica £1.74

Ganymed - It Takes Me Higher 12", £1.95

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Orientation video

Extract from Thomas Ligotti, The Nightmare Network:

A pretty, dark-haired actress in a business suit is standing amid a maze of desks, talking to the camera and expertly gesturing. The occupants are seemingly oblivious to her presence. At the end of the video the actress smartly crosses her arms over her chest, fixes a stern expression on her face, and utters the corporate motto which introduced the video as a title (‘Think Again’). As she continues to stare into the camera the scene around her begins to change: shadows drift about the maze of desks and the faces of all the employees become rotten and corroded, as if they are being afflicted with leprosy in fast motion. One by one they rise from their desks and succumb to the strange fidgety conniptions of a danse macabre. Under the stress of these fitful, brittle movements their limbs break off and fall to the floor, where the shadows move in to devour them. Noses and ears quickly wither, lips peel back to reveal broken teeth, eyeballs shrivel in their sockets. The pretty, dark-haired actress continues to stare into the camera with a stern expression.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Ganymed - It Takes Me Higher

So glad that the extended version is up on YouYube now. One minute can never be enough Ganymed:

Sunday, 21 June 2009


Extract from Thomas Ligotti, My Work Is Not Yet Done:

That would seem to have been the end of it. I never suspected that I was going to be put to further use. I never suspected that there was a grander – if not exactly ‘grand’ scheme of things. Not for a moment did I consider that I would continue to be manipulated and conspired against… that I would become the instrument of greater manipulations and conspiracies, all the while being kept in the dark about what was really going on, about what should have been the real subject of my Ultimate Statement, as I now attempt to deliver it to you, not one of whom will ever benefit from it. People do not know, and cannot face, the things that go on in this world, the secret nightmares that are suffered by millions every day… and the excruciating paradox, the nightmarish obscenity of being something that does not know what it is and yet believes that it does know, something that in fact is nothing but a tiny particle that forms the body of The Great Black Swine Which Wallows in a Great River of Blackness that to us looks like sunrises and skyscrapers, like all the knotted events of the past and the unravelling of these knots in the future, like birthdays and funerals, like satellites and cell phones and rockets launched into space, like nations and peoples, like the laws of nature and the laws of humanity, like families and friends, like everything, including these words that I write. Because this document, this supposedly Ultimate Statement, is only the record of incidents destined for the garbage can of the incredible. And rightly so. These incidents are essentially no different from any others in the world: they occurred in a particular sequence, they were witnessed and sometimes documented, but in the end they have no significance, no sense, no meaning, at least as I – and you and you and you – imagine these vacuous concepts.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Consumer Electronics - Crowd Pleaser

Following the end of Whitehouse it's clear there's been a polarisation between Philip Best and William Bennett's subsequent solo projects. From the last album Racket the contents seem to have been split fairly evenly. William gets custody of the pounding percussion for his Afro noise project while Philip gets to keep the hectoring vocals that deliver withering poetic put-downs with a near cartoon-like intensity. Both sides of the amicable split have returned stronger than ever, maybe benefiting from a focus on these individual elements of what made Whitehouse such a potent cocktail. Crowd Pleaser is a short, bracing blast, four tracks on one side, a single instrumental on the other. The noise itself is generally a series of somber mid-range tones feeding back on themselves, quite an abstract backing for Best's excoriating lyrical delivery. As with Whitehouse, the accusations and rebukes pile up into a wall of rage, individual phrases striking out with particular savage humour. "Staring at the blank TV/ Surrounded by videos/ You could just tell were in the wrong boxes" comes to mind immediately. A handy lyrics sheet is a useful reference should the words ever disappear into the mass of pure sound. This is something that rarely happens thanks to some careful production, leaving each element for the most part audible, keeping a delicate balance between light and shade. Like the stark black and white of the album's packaging, it does its work in the extremes.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Hitler and Leeds lolz

Downfall, the great film about Hitler's final days in his Berlin bunker, has led a second life as an internet meme. YouTube users take the scene where the Führer has a hissy fit and add humourous subtitles of their own. Dennis Cooper's blog recently hosted a dedicated day, Bernard Welt presents ... Hitler is frickin' hilarious. Anyway Leeds United have had the honour of appearing in one of these viral videos, and here it is for your delectation:

Wednesday, 17 June 2009


I know there's not been much happening on this blog for the last few days. Without wanting to make excuses, I've started back at work, been busy doing some Yuck 'n Yum stuff and also I've generally not had my writing mojo about me. Normal service will be resumed soon though, oh yes, so stay tuned!

Saturday, 13 June 2009

The Elevation Station

To the waste ground behind the DCA today, to take a few picture of the Ganghut construction project The Elevation Station. Text from the press release:

GANGHUT is presenting ‘The Elevation Station’ a live one-day practical making event that reflects the theme of collaboration in GANGHUT’s approach to contemporary art practice in the public sphere.
This is a live event involving talking, nicknaming, making, eating, sloganising, full participation and hopefully by the end an elevated perception on collaborative practice and positive creative endevour as a device for exploring themes of art practice, self generated activity, practical skills and making new friends.

Thursday, 11 June 2009


Steve Bell's daily cartoon strip If... has been appearing in The Guardian newspaper since 1981. This week he's hit an especially rich vein of form, riffing on Gordon Brown, The Seventh Seal and The Apprentice:

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


Extract from Peter Sotos, Predicate: The Dunblane Massacre - Ten Years After:

Doreen Hagger chased Hamilton from the Linlithgow Academy as he left one of his boy's club meetings. She threw food and suntan oil at him as he only tried to get away.
She used her suntan oil to make a point. Her son, she said, had told her that Hamilton had rubbed suntan oil on him and some of his mates during a camp outing. According to her son, Hamilton had also instructed the better boys to rub oil on him, sometimes when he wasn't wearing pants.
Mother had previously offered her assistance to Hamilton's club after she visited the camp and found it less than satisfactory. But after she filed an official complaint that produced no results, she organized the assault on Hamilton to provoke police into launching a legal, public investigation. She brought with her another mother, who had also been an assistant at the camp, and a press photographer.
It was Doreen's plan that Hamilton would file charges against her, thus sparking a detailed investigation into his past and forcing the release of all previously unheard complaints. Hamilton refused to press charges.
But by the end of the month, Hamilton's let at Linlithgow Academy for his latest boy's club had been refused. There was no official acknowledgment or grounding in the board's suspicions and no legal charges were brought against Hamilton. There was only gossip, extrapolation and motherly whining fear. And Hamilton filed a complaint against his suspension.
This happened eight years before Thomas Hamilton murdered sixteen small children and one teacher in only three minutes. There is a possibility that Hamilton intended to shoot many more as it was his plan to attack the morning school assembly rather than the gymnasium filled with only a single class of five and six year-olds. It is possible that he was looking for more adults than children. It's possible that he made no distinction in the bodies he fired into just as he may have intended to look for only children. Possible that he thought by slaughtering children, he was attacking the adults. All the adults that needn't be there. Possible that he was giving everyone what they wanted. Proving them right by showing them how wrong they had been. It is possible that Doreen Hagger should have kept her fucking loud mouth shut.

Monday, 8 June 2009


A few weeks ago I posted about the classic Italian horror film Cannibal Holocaust and its incredible Riz Ortolani soundtrack. Today William Bennett's excellent blog is devoted to Mr Ortolani's magnum opus: LINK

Thursday, 4 June 2009

GHL review

There's been a review of George Henry Longly's show at the Generator appear on the Frieze website: LINK

It might make a useful point of comparison to read it with the article I wrote for the Skinny a few weeks ago: LINK

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Ugly Man

Dennis Cooper, Ugly Man:

Two years ago I found out I have a serious disease that's so rare it hasn't earned one of those nicknames like the flu. Even if I could pronounce its very long Latin name, the words would mean nothing. All you need to know is I'm being eaten alive by infections, and I'll be dead within three months if I'm lucky.

The worst side effect is a gradual, total destruction of my skin. It peels and flakes away in sheets. If I didn't spend half of my days in a tanning salon, I'd look like the moon. I'd have itched myself to death by now if my fingers weren't swollen into very painful, misshapen knobs.

When I was first diagnosed, my boyfriend said it didn't matter. But when there weren't enough porn DVDs in the world or a big enough increase in his allowance to give him an erection when we were in the same room, I cut him a final check and sent him on his way.

Now I buy prostitutes instead. It's obvious as soon as I undress they'll take no pleasure earning money from me. But they need the money just like I need to rub my husk against them. And I imagine they think that they've tasted worse and have been tasted by worse.

You don't know what it means to feel my chapped, disfigured lips and cock and hands saw away at something so downy. It's inexplicable. That's why it's so hard for me to talk about the fact that my disease is so contagious a little peck on the cheek is enough to almost guarantee transmission.

In a few weeks, all the prostitutes I've hired will be the last boys on earth whom anyone would pay. Not long after I'm dead, they'll be dead. Some nights I fantasize about telling them what saints they are, but I don't. Still, there are times when I almost get the feeling they know.

Monday, 1 June 2009

zombie nation

Hot on the heels of my interview with Ian McCulloch, star of Zombie Flesh Eaters, there's a big article on the Guardian website detailing the genre's history and recent revival: LINK