Sunday, September 5

Thank Fuck for Neil Tennant ... and Rufus Wainwright

I'm sorry but it is so terribly, terribly difficult to lay off the war yarbles. And finally, after watching a seemingly never-ending roll-call of fey indie types, or as others are putting it of late, 'girly men' (not I, for I would be one in their accusers eyes!) on the stump against the war on terror, up steps Neil Tennant to restore some sense into that fraternity.

Ahead of the Pet Shop Boys' score to a screening of Battleship Potemkin next Sunday in Trafalgar Square, he also mentions the Poll tax Riot of 1990. Well, almost certainly unlike he, I was there. While smoking grass at the foot of Nelson's column had its charm - and a little kudos, I'd like to think - what I mostly remember are these things:

  • A maniac or two who first scaled and then traversed the long horizontal ladder of a crane to plant some kind of flag / protest message at its tip. Absolutely crazy. For them, there was a drop of two or three hundred feet - at least - to tarmac.

  • Leaving the square and walking around in a kind of circle back to the top of St Martin's Lane, we came upon a Porsche; it had been completely torched and was now a black sooty wreck.

  • That's the moment I knew in myself that some of the protesters were nuts - class war types etc - with their own little agenda, and that I completely disagreed with such an act of wilful destruction.

    In retrospect, I should have felt the same about the setting fire to South Africa House in the Strand - but the truth is I cheered with just about everybody else. Nor can I deny that I wanted it to 'kick off'. It was the hit on someone's private property that disgusted me.

  • The following Monday, Hanif Kureishi was began that morning's Start the Week on Radio 4 by proclaiming how delighted he was by the riot and "how I wished I'd been there". His carte blanche approbation pissed me off as well - after all, I had managed to get off my stoned arse and had marched, and I saw most of what happened there ... and some of it was fucking puerile.
Talking of puerile, having made my remarks the other day about the easy jibes laid at Canada and Canadians by - on the whole - right-wing commentators, here is Rufus Wainwright (who I'm guessing 'dresses to the left') with a pearl.

Ah, to the cleansing and revivifying pleasures of art: I feel a sudden yearning to hear his wondrous Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk ...


posted by DD @ 09:43 


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