Necrotic Toxicity

Thursday, November 23, 2006

That Mick Hucknall is a berk is not, I believe, widely disputed. As is often the case with popular personae non gratae, the roots of the general animosity of right-thinking persons towards him are now difficult to trace: perhaps he violated some influential opinion-former's Pekinese some time back in the 1980s; perhaps he is merely a hapless victim of the anti-ginger racism with which the mousy-haired dullards of this nation perenially delight themselves. It probably all goes back to an NME interview with Julie Birchill in a pub in...oh, fuck knows where, somewhere in London I expect. Hounslow? Do the likes of Julie Birchill and Mick Hucknall conduct interviews in pubs in Hounslow? Wherever it was, no doubt her squeaks of fury agitated the canine population for miles around while Hucknall expounded his blindingly original philosophy of nicking the best bits of black people's music and turning them, via a unique and mysterious process of sonic alchemy, into mass-market dross for mousy-haired dullards to cop off to.

Reading Hucknall's defence of the extension of the term of copyright to significantly beyond the useful lifespan of most human beings (e.g. about 25 years), it is freshly apparent that if by some happy accident he were to be segmented into millimetre-thick slices the word "berk" would be found inscribed in each one, like a - oh, I don't know, help me out here: Suppose that a technology existed for injecting letters into a solid body, such that if one were to segment such a body into millimetre-thick slices the same word would be found transversely inscribed in each one. Such a technology would provide the perfect metaphor for the kind of deeply-ingrained berkishness I am attempting to describe. Perhaps this is all too much of a stretch. If so, I propose that you attempt to imagine Mr Hucknall with the word "berk" stamped - or, better still, branded - on his forehead. With some sort of stamp or branding-iron. Now do you see what I mean? If all else fails, simply try to imagine Mick Hucknall himself. That's the kind of berk I'm talking about.

The reckless fatuity of Hucknall's argument is blazingly self-evident, so I will not attempt a detailed refutation here. No, my purpose on this occasion is simply to point and laugh. Hucknall is addressing Guardian readers, whom he apparently believes to be socialists. The best - indeed, the only - way to convince a socialist of the merits of an idea is to demonstrate that the idea is itself a socialist one, such that if one were to segment it...I mean...well, anyway. Here, according to the Gramsci of the music industry, is why copyright is a socialist idea:

Copyright is fundamentally socialist - it is radical and redistributive, subversive even. How else would you describe a form of property that anyone can create out of nothing? Copyright's democratising effect is seen most clearly in the music business. Anyone who can speak, sing, rap or hum and operate a simple sound recorder can create a copyright song. Imagination is the only limit.

"Copyright's democratising effect is seen most clearly in the music business". C'est à crever de rire. Or, to borrow Larkin's words: "A perfectly vile and foul / inversion of all that's been". Not that borrowing Larkin's words is an activity Hucknall would approve of, unless appropriate monies were made over to the Larkin estate on each occasion. As for this business about creating property "out of nothing": one can only suppose that Hucknall regards the musical terrain he plundered to create his own "copyright songs" as some kind of terra nullius, ripe for expropriation. Then again, the whole piece has the distinct feeling of having been ghost-written by music industry PR goons. It says a great deal about Hucknall's credentials as a berk of the highest order that one is nevertheless prepared to believe that he wrote it himself.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I promised service, once the man from NTL had reconnected my broadband. I should have said "time permitting". Time does not permit: it forbids. But there is a secret 25th hour in every day set aside for the reading of novels by French authors with loose morals, the commission of the sin of Onan, and the posting of material to one's second blog.

I have already committed the sin of Onan numberless times this afternoon, and my French is still not really up to getting the best out of Gide, so second-blogging it is. I thought I might start with a list of people who definitely, absolutely, no questions asked should be taken round the back of the septic tanks and shot in the head; but as we all know who they are, there doesn't really seem to be an awful lot of point.

A far more interesting problem is what to do with the ones who might, given a smart tweak of the nose and a guided tour of the facilities, be persuaded to see the error of their ways. I'd bet money on a really skilled operator's being able to effect the religious conversion of Richard Dawkins - to Rastafarianism, why not? - in under 48 hours, given the right combination of sleep deprivation, kazoo-and-swanee-whistle renditions of famous show-tunes, and a really menacing way with a small tortoise-shell comb. But would it take?

I imagine Richard Dawkins would make a pretty insufferable Rastafarian, rather like the sort of dread-toting white-middle-class Oxbridge student who dries out banana skins and tries to smoke them (ah, deathless vindictiveness! I love thee still!); and pretty much anything one can imagine Richard Dawkins being insufferable whilst doing seems a fair match for his overall personality, so the chances of success there seem fairly high. Somewhat more difficult to imagine is the conversion of Gillian McKeith into a nutrition scientist, or of any of the present Labour cabinet into a human being.

You could doubtless get Blair to sign up to - well, anything, really: illegal invasion of a foreign country, suspension of habeus corpus for brown-skinned people who look at us funny, on-the-spot fines for covering any part of your head with any sort of textile whatsoever (cowboy hats and Mark Knopfler head-bands exempted), city academies... - and he'd be perfectly sincere about it, only in that particular way he has of being sincere that makes you want to drag sincerity round the back of the septic tanks and shoot it in the head. We like a challenge at the Institute, not conniving teachers' pets. Curing Blunkett of his priapism (and associated truncheon fetish), or David Milliband of himself - that sort of thing.

Well, enough. I remain unsure of the purpose of this blog - it came into the world title-first, like many good things (and most heavy metal bands formed by teenage boys: I recall myself and an accomplice wanting to name ourselves SAM, for either Surface-to-Air-Missile or - wait for it - Sheer Animal Magnetism), and now demands egregious ransom; but my hour is up, and I must to bed. Later...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Service will commence once NTL - whom we might rebrand Necrotic Toxicity Limited - get round to reconnecting my phone and broadband...