Friday, December 11, 2015

Darkness at Dawn: Another Early Start

Camden didn't offer me anything exciting this morning, but an early pondering in Stratford, wondering if Pret a Manger would ever dare to do an Away in 'a Manger' Christmas advertisement, kept me amused for a second.
I sat an an empty lecture theatre for the second morning in a row, and watched The Decline of Civilisation, Parts Two and Three. I am reviewing these films (and Part One), for the Jisc magazine Viewfinder, and it's taken a million years to find Blu-Ray equipment that actually works; it has been worth the wait though. Sitting on my own in the emptiness as dawn broke, I was completely absorbed by the films and the obvious trust that the protagonists had for Penelope Spheeris.
Part Two stands apart from the others. I have never liked Gene Simmonds and I now have a new-found dislike for Steve Tyler. What repulsive men they were, and possibly still are.
Lemmy, however, has a noble working classness about him and so of course does poor old Ozzy Osborne, a spring chicken making an omelette (see what I did there?) in his rather unflashy kitchen, as always bewildered by the peculiar world of heavy metal he appears to have been born into.
Well before the film was finished, I was bored by stories of groupies, d*cks and f*cking. Ever the genius, Spheeris asks these crowing prats, during a section where they boast about poncing clothes, food and money off various groupies, whether they are in fact prostitutes.
That passes them by.
Part Three made me cry; it was the stories of abuse by families and by the police. Americans can be just as horrible to their offspring as anyone else and a lot of global physicians need to heal themselves (here as well, of course). The young people in this documentary reminded me so much of the Brighton punks that I knew, and I found it terribly sad to realise that as humans we learn so little as time passes.
I've head two days of immersing myself in films; deep treatment, deep treatment.
I think it's time I made some music of my own.

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