On the 18th June 2014, I took to the stage (a very small stage, but a stage nonetheless) as part of Geek Show Off to publicly declare my love for all things wrestling. I could have talked for nine minutes on so many aspects of grappling but focussed my attention on another passion of mine: Andy Kaufman. So, here’s what I had to say before a sold out London crowd: 28th July 1982 changed professional wrestling forever. That was the day that the undisputed Intergender Wrestling Champion, Andy Kaufman, laid in to the undisputed babyface of the Memphis territory, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, on nationwide American television. ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ was drawing 10-15 million viewers in its early years so this was the biggest single event to happen in the world of professional wrestling since 1976 when Muhammed Ali fought Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki in Tokyo – but that’s a whole other story. However, it seems we’ve joined this tale mid-way. Let’s go back to the beginning.
So the point is I can’t really objectively review a performance by a company who I’ve seen nearly twenty times when, in a way, they’re almost all a continuation of the same performance, it’s just sometimes they’re all sat down talking quietly and sometimes they’re all running about and shouting. I was talking to Tim Etchells, their director/writer/dramaturg/top lad afterwards and he said it’s like a very slow soap opera, and he’s right, the relationships between the performers evolve like those in a soap. It was fascinating watching Jerry being in charge and pushing the newbies about when it doesn’t seem so long since he was the debutante being abused. But still, Richard is the first to break from the initial structure, Cathy and Claire hold everything together and Terri is the chaos provider in the slightly shorter skirt, “what if heroin wasn’t addictive?”
art inspired by maurice sendak’s 1963 classic, at TERRIBLE YELLOW EYES
he calls himself “seth edenbaum” and “d. ghirlandio” though i don’t think either is his name (her name? my instincts say no, but a mask is a mask is mask…); he may be an artist; this may just be a disguise
he’s been banned as a troll from crooked timber (tho i suspect he’s posting once more, under yet another name): on his own blog he’s furious, frustrated, isolated, relentlessly suspicious, oddly and unexpectedly generous… and consistently fascinating, because of rather than despite the cryptic incompleteness of his posted thoughts, on politics and art, reason and imagination and the self-absorbed rent-seeking intellectual classes:
“One of the many mistakes of the 2oth century was to imagine it might be possible to know without doubt which of our creations would avoid obsolescence. An art or society of ideas, a dream of scientific socialism or of the morality of technological progress, all are predicated on the same assumption, that modernity could mean infallibility, as if a cursory reading of Freud could render one immune to the effects of the unconscious. Such confidence doesn’t work now any more than it did 80 years ago. It doesn’t work for Donald Rumsfeld, or Steve Jobs, any more than it did for Lenin or Le Corbusier.”
aka web 4.0
this has been fairly widely linked in the last few days, but as a journal of record of such matters…
question: who should create and direct it?
preamble: the chinese capitalised (er haha) on A: a known gift for fireworks, B: a known gift for people prettily running with flags, C: spectacular oriental spectacle, D: a population as numberless as the pixels in the ocean — and the Brits limp far behind on all counts; my suggestion is that we should make a virtue of necessity and scrobble our counter-spectacle up round the sense of grumpy, lumpy, stubborn, dry-witted, weird-crop SMALLNESS, the aesthetic legacy of a small crowded windy greenfield crag dropped into the north sea
hence my answer: