Saturday, 20 September 2008


(originally posted on myspace here)

Last night my assistants sent me drama students, philosophers and sex therapists. None of them played the piano. All of the women wanted to try on my hat. Why? In films Nazi Germany seems full of parties with women doing nothing but trying on soldiers' hats. Maybe that's why we wear them. Actually I wasn't at my desk much, it gets hot under that bulb. I hung around the bar and the doorways to lecture halls, quiet and inherently objectionable. Somebody was presenting a pretty crappily-prepared argument with a lot of clips from youtube about the future of privacy ("Here is Tom Cruise's eyes, in the future, being scanned in GAP, and that is in the future, and will happen in ten... twenty years, yes") but his central idea - that most of us don't actually WANT privacy - I found pretty interesting, particularly as I've just left facebook.

(Heather made these out of industrial concrete, using sex dolls as moulds. They've been removed now to make way for the People's Republic.) Quite early into this second evening of interviews I realized I had to make more of an effort to curb my automatic impulse to GENUINELY engage with the interviewees. There has to be a distance. So I introduced a little monologue from a later draft from "Iago's Little Book of Calm" about confusing the need to weep with the need to pee - just threw it into the interview, like the kind of thing Derren Brown might hold your attention with while making you forget your own name. And two of the interviewees started weeping. Not sobbing, just weeping, and they smiled as they wept. But it wasn't really the pay-off I was looking for... I don't know what I'm looking for. I should probably read the KUBARK files for some tips, although I'm beginning to doubt their authenticity - Oh! By the way! Googling "kubark" and "hoax" (good Martian law firm: Googling, Kubark and Hoax) I found this: another crappily-assembled non-argument using a lot of clips from youtube, but stuffed with esoteric government goodies for those of you who like that sort of thing, particularly the CHARMING Russian cover of "Let It Be" at the end (the more astute might recognize the humming lady from Ken Campbell's "Brainspotting"):

When I got home there was was a late-night movie I hadn't heard of before called "The Final Cut", in which Robin Williams, in his underrated "wrong 'un" mode, plays a futuristic funeral director charged with splicing together compilation reels of dead people's memories using footage from the cameras implanted in their heads at birth by rich parents. It was good, and made me think some more. Then I bunged on Christopher Hampton's mainly not-good adaptation of The Secret Agent, in which Robin Williams turns up again, uncredited, as a greyish, Victorian suicide bomber. He's the best thing in it, which is one of the reasons I want to see it remade (I'm also keen on the idea of steampunk brainwashing). Here's some more of Heather's concrete sex dolls, now destroyed:

Protect the Revolution! Try on My Hat!

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