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click opera
February 2010
 
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Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 10:54 am
Following up

A criticism leveled at the daily press is that it runs stories in the heat of the moment (often before the facts are clear) then fails to follow up with developments, corrections and more considered longterm views. You could say the same about Click Opera; stories come and go on a daily basis, and no sooner has an emotional head of steam built up around one narrative than it's swept away by another. Certain themes do recur, but what we rarely do is go back and pick up on "dead" stories from the archives, to see how relevant they still are and follow up what happened to the people featured. So I thought today I'd highlight the last five September 1sts, and give you brief follow-up information about the things I was writing about.



September 1st 2004
Water is the new drugs

The Bishoen sento described here recently closed, Hisae tells me. My taste for bathing led, three years later, to my learning to swim, and for about a year Hisae and I went swimming regularly in local pools in Berlin. But somehow the fad faded; this year we swam just once, in the sea in Greece. We really should get back into it.

We'll next be in Japan in December and January, where I'll be talent-hunting for the Aftergold Olympic-linked art show to be held at Loughborough in 2012.

September 1st 2005
Rinko Kawauchi keeps a diary

Rinko Kawauchi's keitai snap diary -- which supplied (via Google Translate) a lot of the lyrics for my Ocky Milk album in 2006 -- was discontinued a year or so later, replaced by an occasional travel diary of her trips to her exhibition openings around the world. Rinko's gallery, Foil, now has an English-language blog. Her work also appears in the new edition of Dutch photography magazine Foam, themed around the idea of "everyday wonder". Kawauchi's last book was called Semear and came out in 2007. It contained photos of the Japanese "Nikkei" community in Brazil, who mostly came from Kobe. I'm fairly sure I was browsing a newer Kawauchi photo book -- images of old people in a care home -- at Motto the other day, but I can't find any references to it.



September 1st 2006
Yokoland just got bigger

I score my first design press cover in a feature (headlined "Barely legal") about young Norwegian designer team Yokoland. I hope I didn't turn them into one-hit wonders; their website hasn't been updated since January 2008! Maybe they're just too busy with other stuff?

September 1st 2007
Masterpisses of the quintocento

Probably the most telling entry about ideas underpinning The Book of Jokes, which I was then in the middle of writing. "If you go back 500 years, you find that modern distinctions between sacred and profane, respectable and vulgar, refined and ribald, collapse." Much of this has now been transmuted into the Dalkey blurb for the novel, which comes out in two weeks, almost exactly two years after it was written.

September 1st 2008
Fake de rue

This entry was a dialogue with Marxy, who'd suggested that the grassroots narrative of street photography is something of an illusion, because when you look at the occupations of people shown in street style features you find they're often fashion professionals. I partly agree, but say that it's a beautiful illusion.



Looking at MiLK magazine's kids' streetsnap feature Look de Rue (still going strong) I say -- in a theme which relates to yesterday's entry about Tavi -- "the adorable thing about Look de Rue is that the captions present the kids as tiny, fully-formed individuals, masters of their own destiny." While I don't believe kids have this kind of agency, I think it's nice to believe they do. Their outfits, I conclude, might alternatively be the expression of a collectivity based on love. The same attitude applied to Tavi would say that it doesn't matter whether she's a "sock puppet" and has parents or other svengalis guiding her behind the scenes, so long as the motivating force is love.

17CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 11:45 am (UTC)
tiny, fully-formed individuals

so when can expect you and your better half to drop a few pups? a few 'momoids' or 'momettes' as it were?


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 11:50 am (UTC)

A sort of alternative entry: I just heard that Simon Dee has died, aged 74, of bone cancer. As a good little uncritical media consumer in the 1960s I had two heroes, David McCallum as Ilya Kuryakin in The Man From UNCLE and swinging, groovy playboy (and chat show host) Simon Dee:



They both had shortish blond hair, playboy panache, slimmish figures and public school-gone-transatlantic accents, and I guess they were my role models until David Bowie came along. I had a picture of Dee taped up in my den, the wine cellar in the sub-basement of our family home at 6 Ainslie Place, Edinburgh (I guess I'll always associate subculture with sub-basements and wine).

In tribute to Dee, here's his (rather tragic) story in various interviews. He crossed Bill Cotton, the BBC controller, but also thought the CIA had something against him (was he, like Ilya Kuryakin, secretly Russian?). First, Laurie Taylor, Bonnie Greer, John Mortimer and others interview Simon in 2003:









ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 11:59 am (UTC)

The CIA angle, according to the Guardian obit, is that Dee's fall in 1970 "followed the broadcast of an interview with the new Bond actor George Lazenby, who used the programme to make claims about American senators he believed to have been involved in the assassination of President John F Kennedy. Dee's fall from grace proved at the time to be one of the fastest and most sudden in broadcasting history. His career was over, never to be revived."


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 12:16 pm (UTC)

According to this page, Lazenby (who never played Bond again) pointed the finger of blame for Kennedy's assassination at LBJ, his own VP, the man who succeeded him. It is interesting that both Lazenby and Dee "never worked again", and if it really was the CIA behind it (Laurie Taylor seems willing to believe it in the 2003 interview), you have to ask what it was about this speculation that made them so touchy. I guess paranoia was rampant in those Cold War days.


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)

Here's the History Channel's account of the LBJ scenario, which I hadn't heard before. The picture that emerges is scary; it's as if Dick Cheney were Obama's VP, and invited him on all his hunting trips.


ReplyThread Parent

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)

I think it was to cover up the implausible mid-Atlantic accent you can hear in the Radio Caroline interview. Clearly Dee was (like Tony Blackburn and so many other DJs of the time) trying to sound American, but to give his weird accent biographical plausibility they said he was born in Canada.

So being Canadian wasn't cool back then, either -- sorry! (And I say this as someone partly brought up in Canada myself...)


ReplyThread Parent
krskrft
krskrft
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 02:05 pm (UTC)

Is it cool now?


ReplyThread Parent
vikinggreeneyes
vikinggreeneyes
vikinggreeneyeswithgold
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
Ilya

He was my favorite too=also without question Emma Peel=digressing so to speak. Wasn't his character given as Czech?


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)

Wow. A discussion show where Bonnie Greer and John Mortimer chain smoke and shout "Shit" and "Fuck" and "Fucker" a lot. I wish I'd pitched that. I must start watching tv again.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)

Bit of a dud this post, eh Momus? No one terribly interested in your admittedly uninteresting follow-ups, so you hastily change the subject to the death of a DJ/TV presenter who could only really be of interest to British 50somethings like yourself.

Still, live & learn, I guess. Scintillate us tomorrow, there's a good chap.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)

It will all become clear years from now: this post was the place the noughties revival started.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)

What exactly do you think they'll be reviving from the noughties 20 years' hence, Momus? I mean, so much of the decade's cultural energy was taken up with revivals of other decades, how can we revive revivals?


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)

Well, I think the cycle of revivals should stop, it's boring.

That said, I think there's always a temptation to think one's own decade is amorphous, shapeless, endlessly diverse, unoriginal, for the same reasons people think they have no accent, or no limitations. But as time goes by the flavour emerges. It emerges as the decade in question becomes more alien, more delimited, and as people selectively rewrite its history to cancel out the things that were merely throwbacks to other eras. That rewriting of this decade will happen, but I can't really say what it'll focus on. I made an initial probe or assay in A mister narrative of the decade.


ReplyThread Parent
obliterati
obliterati
Night of the Living Dave
Sat, Sep. 5th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)

I would guess that the post and the follow-ups are related.

The story I always heard about George Lazenby was that he had very poor management who demanded too much money out of the franchise to continue as Bond. I also heard that Diana Rigg absolutely hated him and accused him of things like eating raw garlic before kissing scenes.

Ever notice how prominent 60's progressives like the Kennedys and so forth were killed after pissing off Richard Nixon? Having just robbed him of an election in 1960 or about to be the popular prospect in 1968? You know, the guy very well known for abusing his security apparatus for political reasons? The guy who pretty much invented the Cold War as a publicity stunt for himself? The guy who specifically admitted in his own records that Teddy Kennedy would not be getting Secret Service protection after the election and who planted spies in Teddy's Secret Service delegation itself?

I also like the scene in another Bond film where they show the moon landing being faked, though there was nothing fake about the Nixon years right?


ReplyThread Parent
pulled-up.blogspot.com
pulled-up.blogspot.com
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)

The little girl in that photo looks like a Mini-Midori!


ReplyThread

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Lost childhood

We taught ourselves to ride bikes, I think.

I was rather scared of getting water up my nose for a long time. We went to the beach when we lived in Greece, but I stayed on the lilo. And the family regime was never "throw him in the deep end".


ReplyThread Parent
milky_eyes
milky_eyes
milky_eyes
Tue, Sep. 1st, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)

the street photography/Marxy post thing... I mean, thats common its not like a big mystery. Thats what everyone does all the time. The Sartorialist (which is a very poplular street fashion blog) does the same thing... more or less... (if you had a fashion blog, wouldnt you be keen on including others in the same field... and showing off how they go about things in a 'random yet prefect' sort of way?)But thats Marxy's thing right... that in Japan everything is predestined or predetermined by the powers that be... which is how things are set up, but also... an idea that gets old fast.

My dad, every time he'd watch football, over and over agian he yell at the tv "its a set up, its fake, the game is fixed" ... ever since I can remember...
after 30 years of hearing this... I mean... when does one move on to a slightly different angle. ok. its fixed. fine. now what...


ReplyThread