Friday, June 25, 2010


During the furious, semi-serious debates about postmodernism and other forms of bourgeois decadence that have punctuated the history of this blog, Richard Taylor and other readers with long memories have occasionally stooped to alleging that I was, as a very young man, a woolly-thinking, woolly-haired postmodernist, wholly impervious to the charms of empiricism and resolutely apolitical.

After stumbling upon an appalling document deep in my e mail inbox this morning, I think I will have to concede sadly to the charges brought by Richard and others. Did I really have that much hair in 1996 and, if I did, where did it all go? And why does my old mate Hamish Dewe still look much the same, when I have apparently acquired a new head and body? Click (twice) to enlarge the image, if you dare.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you look like dudes out on the seventies not the nineties!

1:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How bourgeois.

7:12 pm  
Anonymous Jimbo said...

The future needs Paganini, not nostalgia.

7:22 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

You looked o.k. - that picture is distorted. You and Hamish had great ideas then and I think they fueled that you are doing now - so to speak.

When I was about 28 - or maybe earlier - I started going grey. Now people were always commenting on it. I would look in the mirror sometimes and I would think I looked terrible. (But now I look back to when I was in my forties and I was "better" - it is all relative!)

But one does that throughout life. I mean I am now 62 and I was walking down to the Panmure wharf, Yacht Club with Vic and a lady came out and said:

"It's a pity it isn't down hill " (she was going to the shops.)

I said: "You need help perhaps, can I assist you?"
Then I said "Well I am 62 and I find life hard." (or something)

She hit back with: "But you are only young! I'm 90!"

And then I realised she was actually quite old. In relative terms she looked, though old indeed, quite good.

And I have been thinking a lot about death and age - not necessarily in a negative way always.

But in reality one is always getting older. There is no "cool" (cor cooler) time. There is nothing particularly or fundamentally different about the 80s, 70s or the 60s or the 50s (and earlier or later) - and I recall all those times.

People are basically the same - as they have been for thousand of years. (What does change are the relations of production etc - that is the technology changes - or simply gets more "compressed) and so on.)

The only time really is now.

But SALT had great value - I wouldn't belittle it I feel it inspired many of us. I have changed - we have all changed but there are some fundamental concepts and things and aspects of us all that remain.

It was in those days we had talks,as well as about many many writers, also about and TO Smithyman - although we were all pretty a-political and rather post-modernist etc (or we were even pot-post-modernist! or we thought we were!) - for better or worse. Ideas were generated. I think the move toward "meaning" was good. I am still torn in that "turn" but that this perhaps may be my personality rather than any fundamental "truth" about anything.

I remember the 60s/70s when Tim Shadbolt used to command hundreds to and anti war speeches in Albert Park - I mean he was phenomenal - a great speaker with a huge charisma - he drew people like a magnet. He was a kind of one man revolution - always getting beaten up by the cops and so on.

He used to call our civilization (the West) "syphilization" imposed in [say, Vietnam etc]

And there was one fellow who owned a coffee shop a lot of us frequented - from Germany originally - his quip always was that:

"If you are not a Communist [translate idealist, dreamer etc] before thirty you have no heart, if you still are after thirty you have no brains." Not true, a bit cynical, but a good standby.
People were or are different but the basic reality (I mean of them as humans, and of life in general) stays the same.

I think one remains at heart a revolutionary, if not a "card carrying" Left Winger, whatever else happens.

10:24 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Some mis-spellings in there....trivial but I hate doing that (I mean without meaning to!

Oh well, I watched Father Ted and Black Books tonight -there is hope!

10:28 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Hamish will always look the same...he probably has a portrait locked away an attic!

* But perhaps he has an asses skin with an Arabic or Sanskrit inscription on it? As in "The Wild Ass's Skin" by Balzac?

10:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamish = George Harrison.

12:44 am  
Blogger jHAM said...

@Richard - 'that is picture is distorted'
lol, what isn't
and it continues
'you and hamish had great ideas then...'
rather a bleak assessment of the current views/writing of the blog publisher

12:14 am  
Blogger Richard said...

You mean you want your face smashed in?

8:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

US conservatives wage war on the World Cup:

11:56 am  
Anonymous Nesting Notabilis said...

If postmodernism is youth, then it is correct, for we all fear and hate what age makes us. Any love for age is calculation forced on us by our connection to decaying bodies and the presence of other, younger ones. Don't you wish you, like those diagnosing that the world is becoming post-modern (it is not a claim that this phenomena is a good thing, for heaven's sake), were as right as the bright lark you once were?

8:27 am  

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