Necrotic Toxicity

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

This may not be immediately apparent to the casual reader, but my dedication to the things that drain you off and drive you off the hinge has already begun to flag. It's not a hugely inspiring rubric, after all; and the enterprise is beset by pitfalls on all sides. Perhaps the greatest of these is the ever-ready availability of the obvious target: thus far, I've expressed my personal dissatisfaction with NTL, Richard Dawkins, the Labour cabinet, Mick Hucknall and Bono, none of whom (or which) is actually liked by anybody as far as I can see. A quick browse through the pages of volume 2 of the best-selling Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit? further reveals that the market in grumpy anti-nowism has not only been cornered but pinned down by a crack team of professional whingers and viciously bored to death. Further mithering on my part would seem to be strictly supererogatory; not that the rest of the blogosphere is notably affected by such considerations, but still. I'm different - I'm special - and I need a new routine.

The trouble in any case is not with the present, which is merely the shucked-off condom of the recent past, but with the future; or, rather, with the moth-eaten, musical brocade that's been put up to cover the gaping void where the future ought to be (and, arguably, is). Accordingly, the task of this blog from now on will be to bask in the dark radiance of that void: to bathe in such necrotic toxicity as seeps from the pulsing, oily heart of its black sun. Onwards to extinction!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

"Watch Bono's video. Join Red. You Can Help Save Lives In Africa". Is this a joke? It is not. But it has the structure of a joke: specifically the one about the three drunks on the train, where the first says "Is this Wembley?", the second says, "no, it's Thursday", and the third says, "So am I; let's go down the pub". I'm pretty sure that the last time I read this joke, it had more exclamation marks in it and fewer semicolons. However, I'm not telling it to be funny: I'm telling it to illustrate a point about non sequiturs. A non sequitur is when someone says something like "watch Bono's video", followed by "buy a new mobile phone", followed by "this goatskin-clad tribesperson will now be given the drugs he needs to stop him from dying of AIDS". The entire scheme is a kind of moral Rube Goldberg contraption, except that the array of gears, pulleys and widgets connecting the supermodel's GAP jeans to the Maasai warrior's medical care has none of the joyful redundancy of Goldberg's diagrams: every bit of that mechanism has a purpose, and that purpose is - oh, have a bleeding guess.

Bono & co's "Red campaign" even has its own "manifesto". I don't recall that the communist manifesto was written in rasping marketroid-speak, or that it consisted largely of such portentous absurdities as "what we collectively choose to buy, or not to buy, can change the course of life and history on this planet", but perhaps a rewrite along those lines is indicated. Start off enigmatic - build a bit of a buzz - get a viral campaign going, visuals by Banksy, loads of little teasers hooking people into the website ( Then we unveil the value proposition:

Until now, no matter which society you chose to live in, it was nothing but struggle, struggle, struggle all the time. The landowners oppressing the peasants, the peasants revolting, the bourgeoisie exploiting, bo-ring! I just want to get on with my life! Well, with revolutionary new Communism, you can say goodbye to all that fuss and hassle - forever.

What do you reckon? I think it's got legs...