‘Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach’ – An Appropriation of a Revolutionary Artist

Image result for land and freedom


Wittgenstein said of his Tractatus that what was important about it was not what it said, but what it showed. This is certainly so of Louise Osmond’s cosy movie. See here


It’s a very English work in:

  • Its avoidance of theory as if of something indecent;
  • Its swamping of the political in streams of familial gossippy chitterchater;
  • Its sidelining of Loach’s revolutionary message in favor of cosy portrayals of the suffering poor.

Continue reading “‘Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach’ – An Appropriation of a Revolutionary Artist”


‘Honest, Guv – we ain’t no subversives’

Sadly, that’s the truth.

Last night [written 28 October 2002] on BBC2, True Spies, the first in a series on the extent of the infiltration by state agencies of organised labour and the Left from the late 1960s. We were told that the State realised in 1968 that its intelligence was inadequate as a result of the ferocity of the demos outside the American embassy against the Vietnam War. One response was to establish a special unit whose members went into deep cover for years on end, with new IDs – they were known as the ‘hairies’ because they would grow their hair long in order to ‘go native’. The program consisted of contemporary news footage and interviews with activists, ex-infiltrators and an ex-Special Branch senior officer. Continue reading “‘Honest, Guv – we ain’t no subversives’”

‘Privilege’ and Shamrebellion


‘Privilege’ … but not as in the virtue-signalling farting of the intersectionalist muppets.

It’s Privilige as in Peter Watkins’s movie of 1967. As a movie, it’s pisspoor, though a fine specimen of ‘liberalist paranoia’ (as V for Vendetta and The Handmaid’s Tale). The acting of the leads Paul Jones (rockstar Steven Shorter) and Jean Shrimpton (his gf) is so wooden as perhaps to inspire the thought that it’s meant to engender a Brechtian alienation effect … but no, is just crapacting.

But the movie is interesting in how precisely its vision of the operation of the Hegemony is exactly the opposite of the actuality. The story follows Steven Shorter from rebel to conformist.

Continue reading “‘Privilege’ and Shamrebellion”

‘Hills and Mountains’, and ‘The Social Construction of Reality’

Movies in certain categories I avoid on a prejudice beyond argument:

  • Anything with Hugh Grant .
  • Anything set in Wales.
  • Comedies of village life.
  • Edwardian period pieces – actually it’s set in 1917, close enough; and I’ve just realised that no period in the UK after 1911 is characterised by the name of a monarch.

The Englishman who Went up a Hill but Came down a Mountain is all of these. And it is just wonderful and brilliant. Continue reading “‘Hills and Mountains’, and ‘The Social Construction of Reality’”

Sexual Freedom and the Hegemony

Thoughts inspired by ‘I Remember Babylon’

For anyone who is cool and under 30ish years of age sexual freedom together with tolerance of life-styles and orientations is very much a given. This is certainly no bad thing, in itself. But actually, the cultural meaning and the political ‘function’ of sexual libertarianism needs to be looked at more closel

It’s as if something hasn’t been noticed. As if we are not in the world described so presciently – but with one, crucial, mistake ! – in Arthur C. Clarke’s short story ‘I Remember Babylon’, itself a reflection on what he has referred to as ‘the most important thing I ever wrote’ – ‘Extraterrestrial Relays’ *. Continue reading “Sexual Freedom and the Hegemony”

The Incredible Bleeding Woman

Marisa Carnesky is a performance-artist, whose latest work is discussed here:


It’s a familiar tactic of a certain kind of charlatan to fabricate a position which hardly anyone holds (a ‘strawman’) and then construct an opposition to this phantom so as to seem so correct. It’s a common tactic of masculinists (‘all feminists are man-hating whingers’) and pro-caps (‘socialists want the State to control everything and to make everyone equal’). Dr Carnesky seems to seriously believe that: As women we’ve internalised a misogynist culture that has tabooed menstruation and said it is dirty. Really? Continue reading “The Incredible Bleeding Woman”

Marx Comes First, and Looses

So, Marx has come first yet again. Marx has been voted ‘The Greatest Ever Philosopher’ for a BBC Radio 4 show In Our Time, following an online poll taken over five weeks. The show, one of the most respected intellectual shows on radio, offered the public an open vote on the 10 greatest philosophers. Marx polled 28% of the vote, easily outstripping second-placed David Hume with 13%, followed by Wittgenstein (7%) and then Nietzsche (6.5%). This has clearly excited a lot of people on The Left, with commentators being trawled out to bear witness to Marx’s relevance, his insights into globalisation, or why philosophy should take Marx seriously. In all cases an air of jubilation presides: what better proof of his importance, that Marx wins the BBC poll for the greatest philosopher. Continue reading “Marx Comes First, and Looses”