There are very few things that tap my ENGAGE button quite so quickly as Meaning slipping, unregarded out of view. At the same time, I’m well aware that I’m guilty of this; that we’re all guilty of this. We discard things both without care and ultimately because we require space. Material does be accruing with such velocity that it encroaches on our area and lives at ferocious speed.
I sometimes wake, shaking and in sweats at the memory of my mother assuring me via phone from deepest, darkest coastal Wales that she had not, in fact sold my sire’s Atari 2600 at a car boot. They’d thrown it away. That said, there are only so many copies of Taschen’s ‘Juergen Teller’ or Ferrari’s ‘Mollino’ that I can accommodate before I am quite sequestered in a labyrinth of hardback 35mm and Polaroid. Should I not take care, I shall have no space to swing my metaphorical cat.
Such is the context you might require to understand both the terror and fervour with which I descended upon Teh House’s selection of doomed vinyl; that which they had marked for execution in light of long-term abuse and the apparition of a shiny new case of records with which to furnish their magnificent parlour. The raft was - by all accounts - worthy to be sunk. However, I pulled 20-25 sleeves with their cargo intact from the wreckage and jumped in. So far, I have yet to find a single morsel that is completely unplayable. That crackle and hiss is part and parcel of time. Some of this shit is worthy only for our meagre ears and some is both mint and thoroughly beautiful. It’s also well and truly worth a worthy home.
Take this: Bowie’s accomplished and highly playable soundtrack for ‘Christiane F’, unofficially pressed in haste to transparent blood-smoked tobacco split rose coloured vinyl. I think I’ve said all that needs to be said and on this occasion I'll embrace my often underserved role as saviour archivist and reluctant retailer.
I made the trip once again to those hallowed caves, wherein may be found the books. It was a good, long haul and once (with the help of my highly powered minder) we had distilled said selection unto the point of acceptance, I was left vaunting the most beautiful number of relics. I mean, this gets pretty vivid. From Barbara Crane’s ‘Private Views’ of Chicago’s festivals in the early 1980s, through Van Marcel Véronêse’s tasteful ‘Erotocolor’ masterpiece, to the essential ‘People’s Park’ by Alan Copeland. The 1970s were a pivot point, or could have been and I get their frustration and anger at the senseless, arbitrary greed of it all. It grinds the molars now more than ever and I would invade that space shoulder-to-shoulder given a chance. It just makes sense, right? All that being said, the 1980s look like the roadtrip I want to take. Just give me a second to stuff a bag with some film and I’ll meet you in the Police box out back.
I enjoyed the pizza, beer and whole shebang of going to the moving pictures with Our Lady of The Deep as much as I actually enjoyed ‘Ready Player One’. At least in part. It’s a different, big dumb beast that actually provides some interesting contrast to the book that I wish it was but know it never could have been.
Dipping a toe into the murky waters of ‘other people’s opinions’ about the film and source material has been an interesting experience. I loved the book when it came out but I’m well aware that I’m a sucker for both the sci-fi and its well-honed nostalgia engine. The problem with nostalgia is that it only ever looks back and often cuts off one’s proverbial set of nostrils in order to spite the face. Bob Chipman already made plenty of interesting points about much of this and the kind of personality that drives that. It's somewhat conjecture, although that’s to be expected in any long-form criticism. I’m happy that he saw the same Anorak in the same way I did.
I can see the bell jar and it’s vacuum curve but it’s always nice when someone helps to distill your own, conflicted thoughts. I don’t know if he read the book but at least now I can see part of the wood for the trees.
JD - TACOCAT