Saturday, 6 May 2017

Just Aphasia Going Through - Kinetic Typography Video

Thought I'd repost this, my first kinetic typography telling of a flash fiction story "Just Aphasia Going Through", as the second is about to land imminently and I can't wait to share that one with you.



For a some thoughts on the current relationship between literature and kinetic typography, my post here

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Extra-Mural Studies - Flash Fiction

It was old-style graffiti. Before it became an art form. If you can call a canvas solely consisting of the artist’s signature, his brand, his logo, his spoor, ’art’. This was spray painting as a tool of communication. Mural messaging. Words rather than calligraphy. Plaintive or outlandish. 

Walls have always provided a surface begging inscription. Whether thrown up to keep others out, keep your own in, or just to hoist up numinous edifices inviting God in. In the atrium to God’s chamber, Jews write their messages and prayers on paper, rolling them up and inserting them into the mortar of the Wailing Wall rather than profaning it directly. The Wailing Wall, one of just four retaining walls retained. A remnant. Yet each ersatz prayer scroll mulcts a wisp of that mortar, so that at some point of critical mass of the entreaties of a people, the Wall will collapse. Not from weight, but from lack of coherence.

Closer to home is another wall, that is currently being dismantled brick by brick beneath sledgehammers brought from home. A people united. Families gleefully repatriating themselves into the bosom of loved ones not seen for a couple of generations. One side of this wall was directly graved upon by ink and the blood of those shot trying to scale it. The other was inscribed with graffiti, an expression of freedom of speech and a plaintive plea against conflict, division and injustice. After the initial flurry, I returned nightly to secrete away a couple of the bricks and add to my burgeoning collection. Only those with graffiti on, hopefully none with captioning blood. Few of the bricks were intact. Words sawn off by a hammer blow. 

Du kannst den Bruder nicht vom Bruder teilen. Es macht uns mehr entschlossen zu arbeiten, um diese Mauer zu zerreißen. Um unsere Brüder frei zu machen. (You cannot divide brother from brother. It makes us more resolved to work to tear down this wall. To set our brothers free).

I moved around the pieces in my collection. Trying to form new words from the serrated letters. Coalescing new slogans. Reminded of my toy letter bricks as a child. Though there, each brick was only stamped with a single letter per face. Multiple bricks stacked in order to construct a word. A word that could be subverted, simply but turning another face of the brick to face front. Surprising words when the edifice was read as an acrostic. But these fragments were not hewn smooth enough to sit on top of one another without cascading back down. 

I made mosaics of the bricks. Moved them around one another to form blotches of colour. My wall was spelling out the new freedoms. Or perhaps the new repressions. When a dividing wall comes down, somewhere on the earth another one goes up. I hear Mexico is to have one. And of course, the Wailing Wall has its modern accompaniment all around the biblical borders of the nation that last existed when the Wailing Wall was intact. Strange geographies. Anomalous echoes from history.

arbeit macht frei


For every wall, there always have to be wall builders. 


*

Some wall themed songs


Pink Floyd - "Another Brick In The Wall"

Mickey Dread - "Break Down The Walls" 


The Style Council - "Walls Come Tumbling Down"

Tom Robinson Band - "Up Against The Wall"

From the Berlin Wall



Tuesday, 25 April 2017

"Apoptosis: The Things We Lose" - Flash fiction

The webbing between our toes and our innate ability to swim as a neonate, swiftly disappear as we begin to ground ourselves in the world. 

When our gullets are no longer reliant on being coated by our mother’s milk, the sounds shaping words can start to form, but in doing so we lose our singular pre-vocal communion. 

And until our infant eyes and brain can attest to the material permanence of an object, babies are blessed by not being immured in fixed notions of reality. 

And on entry into the world, we surrender our immortality and start approaching death.



Friday, 14 April 2017

Sovereignty - Flash Fiction

It was easy for the Fascists to insinuate themselves into the street unrest. They just donned the same Guy Fawkes’ masks as the ultra-democrats. Their own death’s head insignia was more discreet than the skull and crossbones of the pirates and anarchists and more anatomically correct, as they went on unerringly to prove with their clubs and bludgeons. 

Their first act in power was to pension off the old queen. The beloved crone was replaced by a sixteen year old and to solidify her ascension to the throne, the government cut off the internet and tore down phone masts. Sovereignty established with a steampunk aesthetic.   

They ensured this English rose's throne was outsized so that she couldn’t cross her legs as they photographed her with fisheye lenses from floor level. They had her cupping the testicular orb and lubriciously gripping the erect sceptre. They forwent silhouetting, so that men could lick the back of her head when sticking her stamp on a letter, or by stretching out the crinkles in banknotes they could make her flash her pudenda. And when the rape fantasies projected upon her wrought her haggard and drawn, they simply replaced her with a clone. The Royal Line now secured for all eternity, the preservation of pure autochthonous genes sealed. 


They needed no grand gesture to establish their new power, for they didn’t have to blow up Parliament, merely let it crumble away beneath the erosion of the River Thames. However as was their wont, they remained preternaturally superstitious. Accordingly they culled the ravens in the Tower of London to signify a thrusting new kingdom dissevering that of the past. But synchronously the red rose standard and emblem of England was struck by a blight, never to return to the soil of the land, while the Barbary Apes left Gibraltar’s rock to underscore the end of England’s last colonial vestige, gobbled up by the mythic European superstate. Scotland, Northern Ireland and now Gibraltar, a small price to pay for recovering sovereignty in English eyes. 

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Fricative Fricassee - Flash Fiction

pontifFreemason

dwarFlagellant

caitifFlagrant

sherifFugitive

distafFrisson

selFinite

prooFuturism

leaFlotsam

wolFebrile

grieFallacy

belieFilter

stifFlophouse

bufFulgurant

dofFellatio

oaFlummox

beeFib

prooFeeble

lufForce

wharFever

bailifFascist

stafFlesh

grufFutility

brieFornication

stufFormaldehyde

ofForensic

oFistula

serFantasy

tofFraud

BlufForesight

ShelFracture

pufFinite

chafFatalistic

riffrafFeral

cleFermata

reeFandango

surfForgery

whifFunereal

flufFoible

chieFatwa

corFormal

turFurtive

elFaerie

mufFugacious

cufFlexure

midrifFiendish

cheFinicky

kiFullness

scurFluidity

pelForfeit

slufFetid








Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Story Of Story - Flash Fiction

With the summer round of book fairs and literary festivals just around the corner, authors rolled up to the storehouse of stories. They checked in their plots that would keep them fermenting throughout the winter cold, executing them beside a roaring fire. In return they took possession of anecdotes and terminological exactitude, blew the dust off them and dialled their agents to inquire of the travel arrangements, itineraries and Green Room riders.

When their literary rambles and belletristic excursiveness were over for the season, they all assembled at the fabled construction and pushed on through the silo doors only to discover every last one of their story stock had disappeared. They were aghast, with their instinctive reactions of placing their professional pen-holding, or keyboard-palpating hands over either eyes, mouth or ears resulting in a series of tableaus vivant of the Three Wise Monkeys. “What, ain’t you lot ever heard of backing up your work then?” chimed in the warehouse’s custodian, who wrote the odd bit of cyberpunk in his spare time but never showed it to anybody.

“This is an utterable, bloody disaster!” expostulated a writer of the old school.  

“Swearing is a sign of a poor vocabulary, or didn’t your mother teach you that bouncing you up and down on her knee?” snarked a writer of erotica. 

“I feel… bereft” sobbed a writer of romances.

“Of course you do dear” smirked the erotician.

“Just because you have no need of a plot in your- I can barely bring myself to call them - stories”.

“Ladies, ladies, come now- who’s that sniggering? I hardly think this is a situation that invites levity. We have all just lost the entire wellspring of stories-“

“All seven of them-”

“- That affects us all”.

“- Not me squire, I write anti-novels”.

“What are you doing here then?”

“My Steampunk writer pal is giving me a lift home from ‘Wilderness’ festival, but he had to stop here to load up his saddlebags”.

“They can’t just have vanished”.

“Recycling’s Tuesdays, so can’t have been carted off in a commercial waste lorry”.

“Not funny”.

“Call this dialogue? It’s bloody rubbish”

“Yes, well we’re rather lacking for stories to hang realistic characterisation on at the moment, aren’t we?”

“Magical Realism bloke, can’t you conjure up something for us here?”

“I got nothing”.

“Christian Fiction guy?”

“I do redemption endings not deus ex machina ones”.

“Pretty simple really. Someone’s nicked them. Half-inched the schemata, hitched up our storylines and had our narratives away on their toes”.

“What on earth are you talking about you ridiculous little woman?”

“Clues me dear. It’s what I deal in. Detective fiction at your service”.

“Well your books can’t be much cop. Our plots haven’t been stolen so much as devoured and consumed. We writers of Police procedurals do things properly. By the book. Anyone here pen forensic science protags?”

“Yeah I do and I see what you mean. There’s insect husks scattered all around here”.

“What are they, boll weevils?”

“I dunno mate. I’m not an entomologist, I’m a writer. I’m the geezer who emails the entomologists when I need some facts”.

“Well here’s a fact for you, boll weevils feed on cotton, not stories. Not paper. Something you’d know if you read my saga on slavery and the Deep South”.

“Oh, I remember that book. When the critic pointed out the infestation that destroyed the crop only happened long after abolition and the Civil War”. 

“Yes, well poetic licence and all that”.

“Historical Fiction, or as we call it, Anachronic-ism”

 “I think you’re all missing the point here. The custodians have a duty of care to our germs of ideas. So we should demand redress. Write a wrong, compensation for lost earnings”.

“Germs of ideas? That’s more Billy Burroughs’ territory. Words as virus”.

“Billy Burroughs? Close personal friend were you?”

“Wasn’t everybody?”

“Plot hole my fictive friend, Burroughs has been dead nigh on two decades. Can’t have been responsible for this”.

“Copycat? Plagiarist?”

“Is no one listening to me?”

“Probably not. Cos no one’s read you I know that much”.

“We should sue the Depository.

“I think you mean sue the Repository?”

“No, I mean Depository”.

“You don’t know what you mean. You don’t know what you’re talking about”.

“You’re splitting hairs”.

“No I’m being pedantic. If they meant exactly the same thing, we wouldn’t need two different words would we?”

“Oh go shove it up your sphincter”.

“He’ll require a suppository then”.

“Fellow writers and Creative Writing Fellows, we can still solve the riddle here. The husks are shed larval skins. Therefore there should be adult insects round here somewhere. We should be able to tell what they are then and what they’ve done with our stories”.

“This might be a clue! This big lump of earth in the corner here!”

“A termite mound! Yes, I’m pretty sure termites eat wood pulp, so paper would fit their diet”.

“Well where the hell does that get us?”

“Into the mound! Our words would be excreted by the insects, so if we can collect them all up, maybe we could reconstruct the plot lines”.

“What are we looking for exactly? What does termite pooh look like?”

“Termite ‘pooh’? What are you, a children’s author?”

“You don’t need to go scrabbling about on the floor. That mound is part earth, part termite faecal matter”.

“I’m an artiste darling, I’m not plunging my hand into a mound of insectile cloaca for literature or anybody”. 

“That’s not true of your last book”.

“That’s not just a mound… that is the literary Omphalos. The font of all story”.

“Who let the prose poet in here?”

“The literary Omphalos, here in Hay-On-Wye, are you sure?”

“Insects, this is all a bit Kafkaesque don’t you think?”

“Kafka’s insects were more metaphorical than literal I would have said”.


“What, insects devouring our words then shitting them back out as pellets and making a tower of them isn’t a metaphor you mean?”

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Gyre - Flash Fiction


Bodies on display in the street. Burst pipes spewing clean water and dirty sewage like impromptu fountains. I stood at the lip of the crater where my parents’ home once stood. I didn’t know if they were dead or had just fled. Either way it amounted to the same outcome. We were asunder one from another for good. There was nothing keeping me here, but plenty to propel me away.

I headed westwards. Among a gaggle of others. Some stopped and turned around to pray in the direction we were forsaking. Other than that religious prescription, they didn’t bother to look back. They weren’t praying for a return to their homeland. For the rest of us, our new god faced the other way. We honoured the sun setting on our lives by making a headlong pilgrimage accelerating our progress there.

As more joined our throng, we felt like a drove being prodded by an unseen goatherd. I couldn’t see a bell around my neck alerting to our presence, yet wranglers eyed us suspiciously at the border. They branded us with their marks on our papers yet would not let us stay on as their property. They marched us past ranks of policemen stood in front of wire fences, through which locals shook their fists through the mesh and screamed at us. We were put in a temporary camp at their other border, where we were now the ones contained behind wire, resting and wringing our hands through the chinks, but we were missing the third limb, that of any police to protect us from predations by others within the wire.

We moved on. Hanging from trains or 4x4s like creeping vines, though some of us human berries dropped off and were crushed underfoot, or were threshed by non-fruit pickers. Whether juice, pulp or seed, the ferment in our wakes meant we could not lay down roots here. 

And on we trudged. Overhead a flock of geese. The child next to me threw himself to the ground. He thought their tight formation presented them as a fleet of military aircraft, or perhaps their array of freshly released bombs. No one helped him up. These aerial migrators glided unerringly straight where we ploddingly snaked. Their voyage smooth since they were never challenged for their papers. They were ebulliently raucous where we were bone-wearily silent. They flew perpendicularly over us and I contemplated adopting their direction from latitude to longitude. But I could not raise my feet high enough to escape the rut in the sand that our human train had pressed and carried on in line. 

We reached the coast and found that the sea would always welcome us with open arms. Would always have berths for us to lay down and never rise again. Packed into boats like sardines, once the boat was tipped up and emptied, we scattered and were spread out on the waves. The boats sunk but we floated bloated. Until we were hooked like a fish at a funfair (that too would only live for the shortest time), or we finally settled on land, buried beneath its soil.

In Europe as we were passed from pillar to post, or rather temporarily lashed one from the other, I thought of the Wandering Jew. Supposedly our mortal enemy, now we walked in his exact footsteps. Had he closed the way for us several centuries later? He of course had the advantage of being a shoemaker who could thus repair his own leather, where our callused and bloodied hooves were not so fortunate. Our feet aped that of the European messiah where nails had been driven in to tether him to his pillar and post. The natives do not offer us such sympathy, devotion or care. Instead they hit us, shout for us to pick up our feet to go quicker and not to loiter. 


And so we do. We get the same reception in every country we cross into. Which is to say no reception at all, we are not received in the slightest. We are like the interference on TV screens, the white noise on the wireless, with which one turn of the dial they tune us out and restore their home broadcasts. Eventually we wash back up on the shores of our original homeland. We have traversed the earth seeking sanctuary. And right now our levelled home ringed with fire and bullets, our fellow countrymen rounded up and compacted like shawarma meat on the rotisserie before periodically a giant knife comes and slices off the outer layers, looks more inviting than the treatment we have previously received at the closed hands and hearts of our fellow man.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Entomology Of Love - Flash Fiction

We drifted apart. Uncoupled. Split from one another. Broke up. Leaving a stinger embedded in each other's thorax. Though we ourselves perish from such abdominal rupture, the barb continues to mete out our venom in place of the nectar we used to rub on one another. We were like mosquitoes, with proboscises sunk inside each other's flesh, insensible to the draining of our own lifeblood. Sapped until our baneful sucker is so bloated we cannot but fail to notice and swat it in a hemolymphatic spume. We scratch and tear at every single lens of each other's Argus eyes, until there are no ommatidium remaining and we are returned as blind as the squirming larva we once were. As we now strive to move on, we moult the constricting chitinous coagulation of our exoskeleton, so our spiracles can respire freely once again. Yet palpating at the hollow husk of the shed me with my antennae, I can't help feeling that represents the real me now. Wherefore my new carapace in which I reside is just some regressed puparium from which I will never hatch again. My wings folded into the flexion line of my back, never to unfurl and propel me again. 



Sunday, 19 March 2017

"Man-tra" Flash Fiction

Some words are incontestable. Words like fuselage and undercarriage elicit only one possible association. There are no shades of meaning, no half-life decay from their etymological root. But then there are other words who offer an artist’s palette to choose from. Like the word ‘Father’. A myriad of fathers festoon our lives. From religious pastors tending the spirit of their flocks, through to founding fathers who establish nations and institutions and bodies of thought. Protectors and providers all. 

But there is another cohort conjured up by the word. A far more abstract genus. Abstract as in absent. Associated with a hole. A fissure. An absentee god the father who never shows himself. Or the more humble father my progenitor, who created me. Implanted me in my mother’s womb before skedaddling. A brotherhood may well be about fellowship and fraternity, but fatherhood is a singular mission. A one-to-one commission. A vocation. One which you have avoided and voided. Oh my father why have you forsaken me? 


‘Father’ is a richly bankrupt word for me. Multiply duplicitous. It should represent constancy, a shroud, an aegis set over me. Instead every day it sets my heartstrings a thrum with lack. That I am on the move, constantly vibrating on the lookout for my missing father. Questing in the arid desert. That I am forever recriminating myself with guilt and doubt that I must have driven him away. That he could not love me because I am unlovable. That I do not deserve a father because of my inherent undesirable being. But today I am aware he is held within the fuselage of a plane, whose undercarriage I await the lowering of in order to requite him to me. 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Al Gore's Rhythm Method (Parental Advisory) - Flash Fiction

O ym herbrot, owh esfar uyo? Teraf het astl odeepis easepl iveforg isth nerman fo tingwri, tbu I otcann og ughthro therano linggril ta het dshan fo eth licepo. Ullyhopef hist illw oxf nya eillancesurv rithmalgo otsb. Rewsc ouy SAN & QGCH!

Ayanyw no ot pierhap ingsth. I overeddisc veralse inef bumsal fo orey ni ondsec ndha ordrec hopss sterdayye. Het rstfi si Sivemas Ackatt’s “Uebl Nesli”, meso tonkings unest heret. Xtne pu, Thraxan’s “Ongam Het Vingli” si ssiccla rashth talme. Tgo na inalorig singpres fo het Ung Ubcl PL “Iamim” hichw si ampsw esblu ta sit stbe. Allyfin Ombb Het Sbas “Earcl” thwi cea cktra “Gbu Derpow” encingrefer Liamwil Oughsburr “Kedna Nchlu”.  Erfulwond ffstu.

I stmu og own ym herbrot. Leasep phercy oury plyre.

Velo


Sefyou

Fight Back - The Threat Of Donald J Trump

So not three weeks into trump's Presidency and a lot of people on social media and artists are proclaiming the need to not only resist, but to #fightback. I blogged my advice for strategic & targeted resistance last week. But this week represents my #fightback contribution with some cartoons I devised and which I moved quickly to get them illustrated and out there. An artistic response can be quick. Obviously sitting down to write a political novel would take too long, events at the rate they're proceeding currently would have moved on so far by the time it was published, the novel would be out of date. So artists may need to be adaptable and find other mediums. The wonderful art was provided by Wilbur Dawbarn








Saturday, 11 March 2017

20 Anti-Fascist Songs

I wrote a post about the history of the movement "Rock Against Racism" but as we lurch from bad to worse in a post-Brexit, Donald Trump world, I'm now going to post a video playlist of specific anti-Fascist or anti-Nazi songs. The songs don't really require any smart-arse comments from me but can stand alone and speak for themselves.


 



1) Leadbelly "Mr Hitler"



2) Woody Guthrie - "All You Fascists Bound To Lose"



3) Linton Kwesi Johnson - "Fight Dem Back"



4) Tom Robinson - "Power In The Darkness"



5) Gang Of Four - "Outside The Trains Don't Run On Time"



6) Crass - "The Gasman Cometh"



7) Steel Pulse - "Ku Klux Klan"



8) Dead Kennedys - "Nazi Punks Fuck Off"



9) Men They Couldn't Hang - "Ghosts Off Cable Street"



10) The Specials - "Why?"



11) Fire Engines - "We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thang"



12/13) Minutemen - "Political Song For M.Jackson To Sing" / "Fascist"





14) The Fall - "Who Makes The Nazis?"



15) Propaghandi - "The Only Good Fascist Is A Dead Fascist"



16) The Ex - "They Shall Not Pass"



17) MDC - "John Wayne Was A Nazi"



18) Blaggers ITA - "House Of The Fascist Scum"



19) Sonic Youth - "Youth Against Fascism"



20) The Dicks- "No Fascist friend"







Monday, 6 March 2017

Akashic Books have published one of my short stories

Akashic Books who were the first publishing company to publish 2015 Booker Winner Marlon James, have published my story "Dubmisstep" as part of their "Mondays Are Murders" noir in real locations series.

You can read it here

http://www.akashicbooks.com/dubmisstep-by-marc-nash/




Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Meditation Ex-Cathedra : Flash Fiction


When the levee of my mother’s natal waters broke; when the champagne bottle was dashed against her cervix and started my baby hull moving down the rollers of the birth canal; when HMS neonate me was launched into the world, it had no concept of its future obsolescence and scrappage. Of its down the line replacement by another in the lineage fleet, bearing the same name but managing only to serve in effacing the uniqueness of its memory.

It spent its early days all at sea trying to cohere the view through the telescope provided by the visual cortex and processing chip of a brain. These cozening forces of ordinate and abscissa, plotting the flat earth co-ordinates of reality as fixed and immutable. Freud of course would have it that one is also unwittingly consumed by the perspective rendered extant by the sextant; your personal parental poles of latitude and longingtude. From the antipodes of father and mother, when there is a whole host of the rest of the world to explore and chart. Further palimpsested by majusculed school and prescriptive religion. Establishing a moral foundation erected like a hollow Gaudi edifice, with the dislocating wind blowing up a maelstrom through the upright interstices. 

Of the heritable venerable three questions for man, ‘Who am I?’, ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘What have I done?’, most who bother to interrogate themselves only get as far as grappling with the first one. The last is a matter for consideration solely on death beds and the second is forsaken because they fail to supply the context of their inevitable death through which all explorations would necessarily be refracted. They remain steadfastly progressively forward looking, rather than applying the singular teleological certitude to their thought processes. So inevitably they come to focus on their identities. The person they are during their brief sojourn on earth. Yet what is the point fixating on something that is ultimately perishable? They also reify love’s existence in order that they will not spend their sojourn alone, but again why would I devote contemplation on something equally fugacious? 


Author I took the antipodal approach. Placed myself in the full-length mirror. Over time studied the maculations of the skin, burst blood vessels, the ossific curvature, the protuberances and the loss of sinewy definition. No looking glass could reflect the loss of suppleness, the fitful sleep, the arthritic joints. The physicians had diagnosed my corporeal failings, I was now trying to diagnose myself for my readers. To offer them a speculum into their own being. But stood there in the mirror, pressing and pinching the flesh to see if the nevus had regular contours or not, scrotal bobbins cupped in my hand feeling the spindle for noduled swelling, I have no idea of whether I am of any assistance to my readers. As my words are released, I scrutinise them for their effect, but the letters are reversed in the mirror and illegible to me. The audience remains invisible, occluded by my eidolon therein the glass. The author dies twice over; once at the end of his life, the other every day in isolation. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Third Annual Report - Flash Fiction

The Directors are delighted to report continued year on year increase on production outputs. Not accounting for unbranded live stocks in progress, units delivered for export have increased in volume by 123%. Consolidating our reception suite with the processing facility has brought about efficiencies and reduced the production time significantly. The liquidation of the original reception site has been flawless, with no discernible depreciation of any of our assets.

However if has to be noted we still face procurement challenges, principally that of sourcing raw materials in any area without thinning out the supply in a manner that proves deleterious  to our enterprise and risks attracting unwelcome attention from hostile competitors. We have to cast our net wider and be prudent as to not over-mine any one site.

Blood stock derivative remains a gross inefficiency when it comes to waste processing and the research and development budget will be redirected to tackle this task in the upcoming year. Though this report itself looks resplendent written in the sanguinary red ink we have repurposed from the waste material, clearly the volume employed would not be sufficient to expend our veritable plasmatic seas of surfeit by-product. As to the adipose offcuts, initially we thought we had come up with a dissolution of the inhibitory bottleneck, when we moulded the tallow into candles. However, we found the attendant raiment to be largely of synthetic manufacture, highly combustible and therefore of no efficacy for serving as the wicks, accordingly we have suspended the enterprise. However, for the modest investment of a tanker as our second vehicle there on the balance sheet, plus some hosing and pressure valves, we have hit upon a rather elegant recycling initiative. We operate a service insulating cavity walls with our unwanted suet. This has afforded us the status of corporate social responsibility being conferred on us, which means prying eyes are less likely to be directed towards us. We further remain hopeful that with the appointment of the new leader in America, environmental protection rigour will slacken and not present a problem for us into the future. However the proposed physical wall on the border with Mexico may affect our raw material supply lines from Ciudad Juarez.

Accordingly the Directors would like to commend to you this report and additionally are pleased to announce that they will be issuing the first dividend payment to preferential shareholders on their investment a year ahead of schedule. To that end please be sure to declare this our honourable gift in kind of thirty fresh prime human steaks and fifty kid shanks, a veritable palate-cleansing delicacy I’m sure you will agree.






Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Fightback Art - Flash Fiction

Hollywood had fallen as easily as a stage flat. The troops of the AltRight turned their attention to New York. The President was equivocal about any assailing of Wall Street, but they had carte blanche on the deviant lawyers and artists housed in Gotham. They were also encouraged to hunt down radical Islamic terrorists (born and bred in Carolina and Kansas) who were assumed to have gone to ground there, since they seemed to be pursuing their own strategic targets, although the exact numbers of their forces couldn’t be determined. Militias from Idaho and Montana were dispatched to de-core the Big Apple and root out every last maggot. 

The campaign was started with simultaneous attacks on MOMA on 57th St and the Guggenheim on 89th. Sculptures were attacked with box cutters, though the first contact transformed them into harmless palette knives. Tins of house decorating paint were hurled against paintings mounted on the walls, but some magical force bunched the paint splashes like Hokusai waves, before sending them slithering to the concrete floor where they proceeded to reproduce any of a variety of Jackson Pollock canvases. The only blow these sap squads landed was successfully shooting up several Jasper Johns’ “Target” paintings, scoring perfect bulls’ eyes, but the museum curators only felt this added to the paintings’ interactive spirit of the familiar, though art critics felt it merely demonstrated their own two-dimensional literalism. The discourse raged on, though this first wave of shock corps were oblivious to their part in the debate. An Islamic Anti-Blasphemy' squad came across them at the upper echelons of the Guggenheim, threw a copy of their "Taliban and ISIS Guide To Perfidious Art" into the gallery they occupied and then fled. The manual had just a sole page, a photograph of a stick of dynamite. They mined the top storey, but their hoped for Helter Skelter failed to materialise, instead they were thrown off balance and tumbled all the way down the Guggenheim’s spiral incline and were bounced out by their own philistine perspective, followed by all the art their blast had liberated. 

They took their war to the streets, but New York’s awakened soul defied them at every turn. Broadway itself turned “Boogie-Woogie” and seethed and pulsed with animated light and colour that refused to offer itself up for landmarks by which the militias could orient themselves. Other Mondrianic effects warped and disarrayed the Grid pattern and plunged the troops into anomic motion homesickness. The mid-Westerners didn’t trust themselves or the solidity of Joseph Stella’s “Brooklyn Bridge, so Brooklyn remained unmolested. When Koons' creations walked the streets, these supermen thought them to be real cartoon characters derived from their memories and halted their operations to sit down and enjoy their progress and relive their own bucolic childhoods. The sexualised scents emanating from the O’Keefean blooms that bedecked New York’s flowerboxes made them sick just below their paunches and scores fell away invalided from the campaign with inexplicable erections. Many saluted Lichtenstein’s “Flag” and were frozen in patriotic Old Glory immobility. Quartermasters tried to secure rations from Warhol’s “One Hundred Cans”, but there was no nourishment to be derived, nor was there enough to go round. The image of Leutze’s “Washington Crossing The Delaware” which they employed for their banners, mysteriously transformed in NYC’s rarefied air into Colescott’s version and saw them jumping up and down on their own cloth and setting fire to it, the only art they managed to burn throughout the whole campaign. In NYC’s neon lighting, the vanguardians were forced to finally see the subversive poetic and aesthetic symmetries within their own iconographic “American Gothic” which they had taken for the standard of deviation against which to winkle out any New Yorker who didn’t conform. Finally, crosstown was crouched a man in leathers, with a whip protruding from his rectum, at which point an Islamic terrorist cell fled for their lives at this visitation by Shaytan himself.  

The Young British Artists pledged their support for their fellow American BoHos. But no matter how exhausted the New York resistance were, none could bring themselves to resort to Tracey Emin’s donated bed for rest and recuperation. While the leering death imagery of Damien Hirst’s jewelled skulls was felt to be a hex, though the diamonds did prove useful in supplementing their lasers and machine tool production in the fight against the white supremacists. They did wheel out Hirst’s dead shark into a New York thoroughfare, opened up its case, but the formaldehyde just pooled in the gutter before disappearing down the sewers, while the shark lay forlornly in the street holding up traffic, but no one consider this the least bit surreal or out of place. 

The Neo-Nazis retreated from Manhattan, but they had successfully liberated Marsden Hartley’s “Portrait Of a German Officer” from its museum and managing to overcome their own vertiginous revulsion at its bewildering Cubism, at least they could centre themselves in the insignia of the German army at its heart. Thus they regathered themselves to storm Brooklyn, bolstered by reinforcements from Ohio and Florida. The one thing they shared with the Islamists was an antipathy for Jews, so the two groups put aside their own mutual antagonisms to plot a joint onslaught. They dug themselves in for a siege, erecting a series of gas ovens at their perimeter in order to sap the will of the besieged. However, Rothkos appeared everywhere and at every angle like a Roman Army tortoise formation in direct opposition. The AltRight couldn’t get their ovens to work, the gas to flow, the flame to light. When they sent in their engineers, they observed how the oven doors were indistinctly and imprecisely rendered, being of poor fit and allowing the gas to escape. The gas itself too had condensed into many thick pigmented layers, being too dense to ignite. Rothko’s hues opposite sucked the heart and space out of them, demanding a crepuscular meditation they just could not offer up and many jumped inside their own ovens and begged for combustion to take them completely away from this claustrophobic Hell. And so the siege was lifted and the retreat from New York begun back to the snowy wastes of the Heartland. 

*author's note This story was inspired by reading the first 16 pages of China Mieville's latest novella "The Last Days Of New Paris". Since I have not at the time of writing got beyond the first 16 pages as I became swept up in the creation of this story, I have no idea if I am doing a disservice to Mieville's book through a misreading of his intentions, or whether I have unconsciously ended up ripping off his ideas totally. I hope in either case he will forgive me, since time is pressing in which artists need to respond to the threat of Donald Trump, both to them and their freedom of expression, but also to societal values and liberties at large. 
This short story is my 3rd 'Fightback' response to Trump's early days in the Whitehouse. You can read my Letter to America here and view my cartoons here.