Friday, July 13, 2007

The Beast is Back

216. So now we're encouraged to think of the world of the 1970s as glittery, but with the occasional off-colour joke, whereas in fact it was a world where the threat of violence seemed almost omnipresent. We might like to imagine that we've made progress, although never forget, this was the decade of petrol shortages and power-cuts. If the people of 2007 lost the use of their televisions, broadband connections and mobile 'phone rechargers for just a single evening, or were told that they'd have to leave their cars at home for the next week or so, then I'm fairly sure the riots would make Bloody Sunday look clean by comparison. Consumerism makes us less volatile, but only as long as it's there and it's working properly. Today, people tend to go berserk if the video goes wrong for any reason. So imagine what would happen if everything blacked out simultaneously, the way it often did, thirty years ago.

I have spend the last two evenings plowing through the - no less than - 243 snippets over at Beasthouse (indeed, my social life is non-existent; only when I choose to, of course) and I will continue to spread the word about this guy. If you have to be depressed and angst-ridden to write up things like this, I would like to be depressed and angst-ridden.

OK, that's stretching the point a little, I suppose (were it only for the fact that half of the time I actually am depressed and angst-ridden, though that is still a better average than most people in the Western world can claim), but this is by far my favourite blog of 2007. Culture-at-large, linguistics, psychology, politics, society and even health care are discussed and thoroughly dissected and... Deleuze, Lacan and Derrida are not referenced, not even cursorily. Ah! Those were the days...

It would almost re-point you to the all too often forgotten fact that funny and to-the-point should be near identitical. Or make that: it should be no crime to be funny and to the point at the same time. Which of course is mostly the case (I won't even add 'these days' to that last sentence, because I suspect from experience with pre-80ies fun-ness, that it used to be even worse).

And, more importantly, you might learn something. For example, did you know who Sax Rohmer was? Bet you didn't. Not that it does matter in the least. But still...

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