Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Naked Lunch.

I was a vegetarian between the ages of 15 and 25, then again between about 30 and 40. In the former period it was probably to annoy my parents, and in the latter a woman might have been involved in my decision. I forget now.

One thing that always stuck in my mind about the journey of living flesh to the table was when William Burroughs was asked what the title of The Naked Lunch meant and he responded "The title means exactly what the words say: naked lunch, a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork."[

My Dad used to shoot wild rabbits for farmers so they could preserve their crops, and some of those rabbits he used to bring home for us to eat. Naturally before we could do that they needed skinning and gutting. Dad used to do this at the kitchen sink.

You'd know when this was going on when the whole house pervaded with an appalling stink as he opened up their stomachs with a knife and removed their guts.

However after he stripped the meat away from the bones, it would be given to my Mum who would do wonders with it and then serve it up to us for tea in a curry or in a pie.

It was an added bonus if my late brother or I found a lead shotgun pellet amongst the meat and we could spit it at each other.

It always surprised me that from a crude mess of blood and bones something so wonderful as delicious food and and the interactions of a loving family could be produced.

Death hasn't been kind to Burroughs. Nobody seems to talk about him much, but I always think of him when I see the carcasses hanging upside down in a butcher's van on their way to be cut up, on their way to the end of the fork,

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Elvis At The Mart 2019

Since 2012 I have been photographing people visiting the King's Lynn Mart which starts on 14th February each year and has done so since it was decreed by royal statute back in 1204. There's a good piece here by Lucy Mangan on its history, and in particular Frederick Savage (1828-1897), the engineer who designed many fairground rides of the time. 

I visited it a few times during the early 1980s, probably on 'Children's Day' when all the rides were half price. Then there were a lot of skinheads hanging around then and creating the occasional 'pile on'. You don't see that much anymore; although there was quite a good one this year between a a few lads which I managed to witness. Pile ons are now known as 'anti social behaviour' and the police get called whereas in the past it was dealt with by the roustabouts who were then the ultimate arbiters in disputes in which a slap on the ear with a gold sovereigned fingered hand was the ultimate behaviour modifier . 

If you are a teenager today the Mart probably still probably feels edgy.  Beyond the view of the grown ups there is the opportunity for a glimpse into a world where the girls from the nicer parts of the town can catch a cigarette off the lad from Turbus Road out of sight and concern of their parents.

The picture below is my favourite image from this year. This guy looks very cool - like a young Elvis in a tracksuit,  with his girlfriend on his knee and a don't care half-snarl at the adult world. 

If you're interested you can see a loose edit of the work to date here.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

On Tuesday 15th January 2019, the day of the Brexit vote I was asked to do an interview for BBC Radio 5 about the cultural possibilities of Brexit, but I got spiked apparently due to time constraints. One of the odd things that came about from it is that the BBC like to do their interviews via Facetime and they were surprised  that I didn't own an Apple Iphone ( I have a 4 year old Samsung ). They had to make a special arrangement to accommodate my landline, but the interview didn't transpire so that was that......A day later I got a call from a Swedish radio station called Severiges Radio asking about the same thing. I spoke to them for about twenty minutes of which they used about two minutes mashed together.  See here. Some of the text got lost in translation as well and it seems the phrase 'Brexitanh√§ngare' (Brexitan Hangers) has been introduced into the language as a result to describe people who are reluctant to admit they voted out in the Referendum.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday, May 05, 2017

"What is it about my smiling face that's some look at Golly and think of race? 
For when all is said and done I am just a toy to give you fun. 
I mean no harm and do love all, black or white big or small. 
It's the year 2000 so surely it's time for narrow minded people to open their eyes. 
I am just like a Teddy and love a cuddle, it makes me sad that people are still in a muddle."