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Did You Know We Also Wank About Culture?

It was decided fairly early on (by BITS. In my BRAIN. BRAIN BITS.) that I felt I needed somewhere to rant about politics, and also a more whimsical, calm place where I could talk about things that are interesting to me, like culture, etc.

This isn’t because I consider culture some kind of distinct creature from politics, a “non-overlapping magisterium”, to borrow a phrase from the Æsahættr Debates. This is obviously bollocks. Politics interacts with culture at every level from the mundane to the subconscious, from the biting satire of The Thick of It and Yes, Minister to the twatty, overrated woman-baiting that is likely to be the outcome of  The Pregnant Widow, Martin Amis’ latest work. (It may be unfair to judge a book before it is written, but I read Yellow Dog, I’m owed some unfairness.) Politics is a human activity, one of the most human, and it is weaved into and throughout society. You could argue that it is society, if you don’t take the narrow view that politics is what a Scottish ex-red with a felt tip said to a posh ex-PR man with a mannequin face ad infinitum. That’s just boring.

But it’s a question of ethos. I want a place where I can witter on about whatever takes my fancy (with a focus on film, tv, books, and all cultural ephemera), where I can let my brain run free over connections and ideas, where I want to post stuff that I think is really, really cool, and I grin so widely I swallow the Cheshire Cat and all his mates.

And I want a place I can be angry, because fuck knows there’s a lot to be angry about. Our economy was fucked over by the very institutions that are meant to bring us growth. The people “in charge” become more and more divorced from what the rest of us are thinking. The morality of capitalism becomes almost as criminal and venal as it was back when companies owned towns and workers were little better than indentured servants. We have lose as much faith in the organs that counteracted the grossest indignities as those that revel in them. Our presses are run by people who think facts are expensive and news is a commodity. This shit, as they say, is fucked up.

But this is a Venn Diagram, and all things overlap. So I might get annoyed at bad art in an expressly political way (Oh Twilight, I am coming for you with a foot length of lead piping), and I might feel like there’s something political that just needs a bit of a giggle over.

It’s all a matter of taste. I like oysters, and snails. I hope you do, too.

The Erich Zann Harmonic Institute, for your perusal.

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