Saturday, 31 May 2008

Midnight cricket

Liverpool St. Anarchists v. Capitalists. 

Monday, 26 May 2008


Last night bumped into my old friend Suggs of Madness. We dived into a private Soho club for some drinks, the wrap party for his upcoming chat show. He has aged gracefully and looked prosperous in a pin striped suit and shiny shoes. I haven't seen him for years and I was impressed by how he has deepened and matured into a very nice thoughtful man. He is (apart from Lee Thompson still married to his childhood sweetheart) one of the few married man left in Madness (still with his first that is) but his beautiful wife Anne has breast cancer.(I would like to make it clear that she's through the worst now). As Bette Bright, she was the lead singer in Deaf School, an influential and stylish band of the seventies. She was also involved with the legendary Swanky Modes, a retro fashion shop on the corner of Royal College St. in Camden.
Suggs, at a young age, committed to a relationship with an older woman (a 7 year age gap when you are 18 is a big deal). I remember how we were all surprised. This fresh faced young man was so in demand, the lead singer of seemed like a mismatch... and Anne was a sexy sophisticated siren but as Suggs said "We just got on".
We talked about his difficult early life, his mother was a single mother when they were still talked about in hushed tones, and she was also a prostitute. His father was a heroin addict who left when he was 3 years old.
We talked also about Mike Barson, my ex-boyfriend, the song writer and keyboard player in Madness, who wrote 'My Girl' about me. Suggs said
"The lyrics of that song are so real, so brilliant and he's never done it since".
Mike has problems relating to others and like many talented, focused people, is probably a bit Aspergers. He's become a devout Buddhist, which in his case, only worsens matters. Enables and justifies his detachment. Sandra, his ex-wife, squashed his creativity and stopped him from playing music when they lived on the house boat in Amsterdam.
"Why would Mike allow himself to be involved in a relationship like that?" asked Suggs.
I only heard about the divorce from Mike's side but it did seem abusive.
As is often the case, Mike called me, the ex, when things broke down, and soft-hearted person that I am, I boosted his shattered confidence (not something he would ever do for me!). If anyone knows about broken hearts, it's me. But after a few months, he retreated into his shell.
"At our age Mike" I said "Can't we at least discuss things?".

Friday, 23 May 2008

A funeral

46 year old mother of two, journalist, dies after 8 years in a coma. The funeral is sad, obviously. The legendary Kelvin Mackenzie turns up. As do many from News International. We all go to the pub afterwards for the "After-party". Journalists exchanging stories. Photographer John Ferguson, one of the few successful black guys on "Fleet St" (still referred to as such although newspapers are no longer physically based there) talks about the time when he and the dead woman followed up a lead that the parents of one of the girls killed in a school coach crash in France, lived in Hammersmith. They go round there to pick up some photo's,"do a collect" of the dead girl and realise the parents do not know yet that their daughter is dead. (This was before mobile phones, emails, faxes). They are both pulled into the flat and more information is demanded. The parents call the police. Get the news confirmed. Horrible.
Other journalists join in: "yeah it's happened to us too, we are frequently the bearers of bad news and we try and beat a hasty retreat". As the drinking continues, the stories get harder...
I recommend "Stick it up your punter" and Piers Morgans' diaries "The Insider".

Monday, 19 May 2008


Yesterday I met a tube train driver who works on the Piccadilly line. Every Monday for the last month, someone commits suicide on the Piccadilly line at 9am. Each time it is at a different stop. They tend to choose the overland sections of track where the trains run faster. Do potential suicides research this?
What people do not know is that committing suicide by jumping in front of a tube is a very slow and painful way of dying. The average speed of a tube train is 30mph. Jumpers are not eloctrocuted. They bleed to death. The weight of the train severs their limbs. In New York they are called track pizza.
The drivers are taught that if someone is standing on the platform with their shoes next to them, to release the 'dead man's handle', to stop the train immediately. People take their shoes off before jumping. The most common hour to try is 11 a.m.(after the rush hour?)
Once someone killed themselves in the tunnel, not from the platform. It took 4 trains going past, seeing a bunch of crumpled clothing in the "shit pit", the deep section in the middle between the electric rails, before a driver realised it was a dead body.
It's very messy and takes hours to clean up. The tube train carriage at the front, the drivers' carriage, because usually the driver cannot stop in time, is split off from the rest of the train so that they can get to the body remnants.
Once a man jumped, was hit, bounced onto the oncoming train from the other way, then bounced onto the platform, unharmed.
My 'brother in law' committed suicide by running towards a train, a TGV, in France. No chance of missing there. The drivers always have time off, and sometimes leave the job as a result.
Men tend to be 'succeeders' in suicide whereas women tend to be 'attempters'. Men choose more violent means, women choose pills.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

The party

A party in Archway, the 1987 summer of love generation, awash with drugs, fuelled by acid punch. So different from parties where alcohol is the main intoxicant, such a different ambiance. Saucer-eyed hippy girls speaking breathlessly about how working in a psychic bookshop changed them so profoundly. Another, showing off her lotus position, babbles nonsensically in a mid-Atlantic accent while the Wizard feigns interest in her mind. Her idea of a sartorial party accessory was a purple hula hoop. B told me about her relationship ordeal and resulting damage with 'Paradox', a charismatic dreadlocked poet who teaches telepathy, practices free love, and follows the Mayan calendar. Equador, a blue-eyed magician with putty coloured ringlets, dazzles me with sleight of hand tricks. Everyone is friendly, in slow motion, exchanging dreamy stares and faux significant smiles. Alot of sitting around on cushions in the L-shaped "Goddess room". The house is lovely. I was inappropriately dressed, having come from another event, in non-hippy attire, short black dress/heels/stockings and suspenders! Oh well, the blokes seemed to enjoy it.
I meet Bubbles, a fellow ex-lido resident (coincidentally saw his ex, Becky, who I haven't seen for years, in Hoxton last week), still drunk, still honest, still lovely. "2002, 2003, 2004, 2005" he nods to me enthusiastically. "Yeah" I agree, not having the faintest idea of what he is talking about. Then the penny drops..."Great years for activism, we really played some tricks on the government, I dropped some fire crackers on May Day, never even got caught...great protests" he expands. Yes they were. That huge demo against the Iraq war in 2003, a million Londoners on the streets. The anti G8 camps. May Days. Dsei. Fairford. Strange to see another activist in a scene where nobody is angry and everybody thinks they can change things by positive thoughts and wishes alone...

Friday, 16 May 2008

Crackney and Neasden

Last night went to two events on Broadway market, Hackney:
The first, some kind of opening at Art Vinyl, I heard the Hackney choir sing 'Sex n drugs n rock n roll', I think I might join. I was introduced to the editor of The Eel magazine, which publishes stories from the Hackney area. Plus I met Oxfam Steve, the manager of the biggest London Oxfam, in Dalston. What are the strangest things you've had donated? I asked. "A large pot of cock rub, coloured bright blue and a defillibrator". We pondered whether the defillibrator machine is needed after using the cock rub.
Then I followed Naked John down to the new "yummy mummy" designer dykes soirée at the bike shop on the canal. Bike shops tend to be quite masculine so it was refreshing to see so many lipstick lesbians in one place.
Today I drove to Neasden to teach my favourite pupil, a 15 year old Asian girl, 19th century romantic poetry. We compared First Love by John Clare and To My Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell. I love teaching this girl. I actually get paid to discuss poetry and love. Her take is so innocent but so wise.

First Love
I ne'er was struck before that hour
With love so sudden and so sweet,
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
And stole my heart away complete.
My face turned pale as deadly pale.
My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked, what could I ail?
My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face
And took my eyesight quite away,
The trees and bushes round the place
Seemed midnight at noonday.
I could not see a single thing,
Words from my eyes did start --
They spoke as chords do from the string,
And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winter's choice?
Is love's bed always snow?
She seemed to hear my silent voice,
Not love's appeals to know.
I never saw so sweet a face
As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling-place
And can return no more

John Clare was a poor farmer who fell in love with a rich mans' daughter. This poem is both lyric and a lament. The shock of first love is tempered with almost immediate grief, for he knows this love is unrequited. He eventually died penniless in an asylum.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Astrology and sex

Continuing from my comments on the astrology of people born in the 60's, another area of interest is the astrological background of people who have sado-masochistic relations..
On one forum, a participant talked of her own research into this area: "But I will say I did my own research on the sexual arena of S&M I thought for sure I would find heavy scorpio or pluto even pisces in there. I went to several of the S&M clubs that we have here around the state and people were kind enough to give me their birth info. When they were so easy going about giving me their birth info I was skeptical about scorpio I was expecting some resistance lol, but I was shocked to discover 95% of the charts had very heavy aquarius. I did not take that energy to be the sadistic type or masochistic type. I can understand maybe the Aquarian energy thinking it's doing something new and different and a bit taboo but I truly didn't expect to find it there as I did."
It seems that the Aquarian generosity towards the group and society can extend to sharing their sex life...
Another fascinating astrological article by Jeff Green on S&M which I shall quote in full:
"The most difficult relationship type is the sadomasochistic relationship. Perhaps it is the most difficult because it has so many forms and expressions that many people do not recognize it for what it is. For example, it can be as simple as a man and women doing the same kind of job, yet the women makes less money. In one form or another, this type of relationship seems to permeate the interrelationships of men and women, and, indeed, the relationships of even gay men and women.

The core archetypal dynamics that generate and lead too this type of relationship is a permeating guilt that leads to atonement or anger, dominance and submission, and inferiority and superiority. And within these dynamics the implicit teaching that flesh in antagonistic to spirit, and that for any real growth or gain to occur that suffering is a prerequisite to such growth.

In a masochistic pathology there will always be three messages, or thought patterns, that permeate the subconscious of such individuals. These underlying thought patterns will thus condition, control, and create the circumstantial realities of the masochistic type of person. These three thought patterns are:

(1) I deserve pain, punishment, crisis, suffering, humility ( to be humiliated), and denial and I do not know why. In addition, the dynamic of denial /avoidance expresses itself as a suppression of the truth that is causing this too occur in such a way as to make excuses that will always sound like rational reasons in order to justify such conditions. And within this the related thought: there must be something wrong with me.

(2) For my needs to be meet, I must hurt first.

(3) I am essentially worthless, while intellectually knowing better.

In essence, a masochistic orientation to reality will create a circumstantial reality that is defined by personal crucifixion; to compulsively sacrifice oneself in a myriad of ways. When atonement is linked with guilt the behavioral manifestation can only lead to pain and crisis. Self-sacrificial behavior, pain, and the creation of inner and outer crisis generates an analytical consciousness wherein analysis linked with crisis, etc., produces self-knowledge. In effect, a masochistic type can only learn about themselves through the creation of crisis and the analysis of self that this will produce. Crisis also has the affect of removing the psychology of denial and avoidance of the truth because of the repetitive nature of crisis formation in the masochist. At some point, the masochist will simply become totally exhausted from the cycle of repetitive crisis and desire to change. When this occurs, the blinders of excuse making will come off. Reality will set in. They can change.

In relationships, the masochist compulsively and habitually attracts one of two types of people. One type is what I call the "emotional wounded birds" of this world. This is the type that needs extensive emotional and psychological healing or repair. They are quite typically very narcissistic, and have no real capacity to acknowledge the actual needs or identity of their masochistic partner. Typically, they are so deeply insecure that they will create and idea or image in their minds of who they think their masochistic partner is, and then expect that partner to be that idea or image. Consequently, the masochistic partner is left feeling completely misunderstood and invalidated, no matter how many confrontations or pleas for recognition occur. In this situation, the masochistic person does almost all the giving, and is constantly putting out the emotional brush fires that the 'wounded bird' is creating. It is as if the masochistic partner might as well walk around the house with a white uniform on, red cross on the shoulder, and a name tag on the breast!

The other type that the masochist will attract is what I call the "silver tongue devil type". This is the type who knows how to present them self; they know what to say in order to "hook" the masochistic type. Yet, once the masochist bites on the hook and makes the decision to be in the relationship, the actual emotional and psychological agenda or reality of the 'silver tongue devil' becomes revealed. And this reality has nothing to do with their original presentation of them self. At this point, the masochist becomes totally disillusioned; another crisis is at hand. This is also the type that can promise change in order to re-secure the relationship. Yet, once it is resecured they revert to the old patterns. And, of course, these two types that the masochist can attract can be combined in the same person.

The masochistic type of person reflects a natural kind of innocence that creates naivete and gullibility. They naturally see the spirit or POTENTIAL of an individual, and then expect the person to either be the potential that they perceive, or to actualize what their spirit reflects. Rarely, if ever, do their partners do either. Thus, disillusionment sets in; more crisis. Masochists have a need to be needed; they live for it.

In the sadistic pathology anger is linked with guilt instead of atonement. As a result, the subconscious messages or thought patterns become these:

(1) I have been made to feel guilty and I am angry because of it. Thus, I want to hurt others, and make them feel as guilty or as bad as I do.

(2) I want to make others atone for their mistakes or sins. I want to humiliate others so that I will humiliate myself.

(3) By punishing others for their imperfections, mistakes, or sins I am punishing myself. And, again, this pathology will also make excuses sounding like rational reasons as a way of avoiding/denying the truth of what is actually happening.

These three thought patterns will thus create a circumstantial reality that is defined, is essence, by dominance and submission; the master/slave, superior/inferior, and the victor and vanquished orientations to reality. In men, this leads to a related dynamic that is projected upon women: an underlying or latent fear called the castration complex. For women, who can also be sadistic, the castration complex also applies. This complex is psychological, not literal ! The essence of this complex is the fear or feeling that the opposite gender will disempower, undermine, capture, enslave, or in some undefined way destroy oneself. Consequently, the sadistic pathology will desire to hurt another first, to attack first, to destroy first, to "get even" first, before it allows itself to get hurt, etc. For individuals who are defined by this sadistic pathology, there is always an underlying feeling that someone or somebody is out to get them, to attack them, to hurt them, and to victimize them. And instead of feeling that they deserve this, as the masochist does, they will feel victimized by such feelings. The masochist also feels victimized. But the masochist feels that they deserve to be punished; to be a victim. The sadist feels only anger because of feeling victimized in this way. When anger reacts to the feeling of being victimized in this way, then the anger can only destroy or hurt others; to punish others for the underlying guilt that resides in these individuals psyche or subconscious. In some people, the sadistic and masochistic pathology operate together, the manifestations of each dependent of specific circumstances. In classical psychology, this is known as the passive/aggressive type.

The sadomasochistic relationship typing has a wide range of behavioral applications. In its most overt forms, this dynamic is easily recognized by any of us. The most overt forms, of course, are the classical forms of sadomasochistic sexual practices that most people have some awareness of: the whips and chains, the leather costumes, the spiked heels, all the equipment that creates sexual/emotional torture, and so on. The operative psychological/emotional dynamic in such overt forms is intense pain, and the RELEASE from such pain; intense suffering leading to a sense of freedom when the release from the suffering occurs. In recent modern history, the most gross, yet most recognizable, person who embodied the darkest and most distorted dimensions of this archetype was Marquis de Sade.

The point that I am making is that this sadomasochistic archetype permeates the collective psyche of millions of people living today; and most do not know it. Yes, the most overt forms can be recognized by almost all of us. And in this recognition, we recoil in shock and horror; "how could anybody be like that, to do such things, to allow oneself to be such a way", and so on. In our times, this dynamic is most easily understood by us as the battered wife syndrome, the abused child syndrome, and the like. All's we have to do is turn on the television set and observe the next set of people, on the increasingly popular TV talk shows, discussing their childhood abuse to understand how extensively this S&M archetype permeates society. But how many of us can recognize the less overt forms of this archetype? And what are these less overt forms ?

Again, can it not be seen in the man and women doing the same job and the women makes less ? Can it not be seen in a man or a women who withholds their emotional or sexual attention from their partner as a form of punishment ? Can it not be seen in various forms of perpetual criticism from one partner to another; or both. This form can also be linked with "teasing" when that teasing has a motivation of humiliation. Can it not be seen in the man who expects the women to be merely a vicarious extension of his reality whose only purpose is to SERVE his needs ? That the women is inferior to him: a second class citizens at best. Is this not a form of dominance and submission ? And why is it that when a women wants to fully actualize herself that she is considered, consciously or unconsciously, as wanting to be "like a man" ? From mans point of view, is this not an example of the castration complex ? And why is it culturally ok in every society for a man to flaunt his sexuality, to brag about his conquests, to talk about women in the ways that they do, but not ok for a women to do exactly the same? Is this not traceable to the original archetype of The Garden of Eden Myth wherein man is now "getting back" at women for the original temptation ? Thus, the rape of a women. This is really an act of power and rage linked with the castration complex generated in the original Myth. Or, more commonly, the situation of a man who can be emotional and placating to the women in order to have sex with her, and then when the act of sex is over he is suddenly emotionally remote or overtly/covertly disdainful of the women; sometimes even angry at her. Why? He has given in to the temptation ! If you can understand this, then you will understand why women has to be PURE, and why women feel that they must be pure for their men: atonement linked with the original guilt generates the need to be clean: pure.
Astrologically, the sadomasochistic archetype correlates with the signs of Virgo and Pisces.. Many years ago, for example, I did a research study of people who consciously defined themselves as masochistic or sadistic. This was done in the context of a specialized group of people who were members of an S&M "church". Of all the people studied, ninety percent had an emphasized 12th or 6th House, a stellium of planets in Pisces or Virgo, and/or the South and North Nodes of the Moon in the 6th or 12th Houses.

Hopefully, love and compassion will replace guilt, and the atonement/anger that this generates. Natural law will become that by which the human being understands life, not man made laws that distort natural law. It is only in this way, that the sadomasochistic archetype will no longer exist.

Astrologically speaking, we all have the signs Virgo and Pisces in our horoscope somewhere. The question becomes this: Where and how is this archetype of sadomasochism operating in your life?"

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

free tibet

Yesterday I went to see the Japanese manga film "Vexille" as part of a movie meetup run by Gabriel who works for the Free Tibet campaign. Not got much to say about "Vexille" unless you are a hardcore Manga fan but Gabriel talked about what was going on at the offices of Free Tibet. Certain that they are being bugged by the Chinese government, they have called in MI5 to 'sweep' for bugs next week. Staff there are constantly harassed by mysterious phone calls, followed around, strange emails are sent, their accounts are being hacked. A virus was sent to them, especially designed, called 'Freetibet.exe' which they realised just in time to prevent it wiping clean all of their data. What does the British government and police say about of all this? I asked him. The 'Met' have been really supportive, he said, but of course the British government are doing exactly the same thing in China so they can't say much. 
A Free Tibet worker, Matt Whitticase, who hails from Hong Kong and recently attempted to visit family over there, was refused entry and deported by the Chinese government last week. 
In 1987 I spent almost 3 months in Tibet, having hitched by truck from Kathmandu. It was the most extraordinary country I have ever visited. Nothing to eat, only yak butter, yak fat, yak cheese, yak yoghurt, yak meat (but I'm a vegequarian), ramen noodles and tsampa ( a kind of ground barley favoured by nomads). You drink salty buttery tea which strangely you can get used to. Near Gyantse I had my worst ever hitch, one week in a village next to a dirty river, surrounded by feral dogs and unfriendly locals, truck drivers refusing to give us a lift to Mount Kailash. Eventually we gave up and returned to Gyantse, a wild west style town with a couple of eateries where the only way you can order is to go into the kitchen and point at ingredients. I did learn some Tibetan though, and managed mostly to economise by paying with 'peoples' money' (RMB) rather than the tourist money the Chinese government were trying to force us to use at the time. 
It was my first ever trip to a developing country and I came completely unprepared: no back pack just a plastic carrier bag and a handbag, no proper shoes, just flipflops, no Lonely Planet guide so just followed my nose, no tent. I hired a cheap and nasty sleeping bag and set off for Lake Nam Tso, one of the highest, largest lakes in the world. We stayed the night with nomadic peasants, sleeping next to their fire. However they moved on in the middle of the night and I was awoken in the morning by the nibbling of a massive yak head. It had snowed through the night and I was buried in a foot of snow. 
It was hard going to trek over mountain passes of 4,500m and I kept hallucinating, having arguments with my mother who was not there. Once over the highest pass, we dodged the wild dogs and slept in caves. I met an interesting couple, western but dressed entirely in Tibetan clothes, who turned out to be brother and sister. They were looking to buy a yak and walk to Kailash. Monks gave us strange things to eat that looked like red candles but were some kind of waxy sweet. We gave pictures of the Dalai Lama in return. (Gabriel tells me that nowadays anyone accepting a picture of His holiness would get 20 years in jail). 
It felt like another time, another planet. 

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Free love

Today I attended a talk on Free Love, part of the May 1968 festival at Conway hall, Holborn. As most people know, 1968 was a year of revolution in many parts of the world, most famously, France, where 'Mai soixante-huit' still casts a shadow. I went to university in Paris, the Sorbonne-Pantheon, and there was almost no student life whatsoever. I noticed that the buildings had no communal hall, no cantine, no place to gather. I was told that this was a purposeful result of the May '68 revolution in which Parisian students, led by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, revolted and brought down the government of DeGaulle. The authorities did not want any communal areas where the students could discuss tactics, bond, form associations or clubs. The architecture was deliberately devised to avoid this possibility from ever occurring again. (Of course it failed, my last year at the Sorbonne, there was a sit-in protest lasting months. Although street riots now seem to be the domain of the dispossessed of the banlieu).
Last year I saw the memorial in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, outside Mexico City where rioting students were felled by government forces in May '68. The Prague 'Spring' started in January 1968, an early attempt to revolt against communism. 

Memorial at La Plaza de tres culturas, Mexico City.

The free love talk was held at Housmans bookshop in Kings Cross, London and was led by Jeff Laster, 'edutainment' officer of the Synergy Project.
Jeff discussed the lead up to the explosion of sexual freedom in 1968: the abortion act in 1967, introduction of the pill in 1960, the Lady Chatterley's lover obscenity trial in 1960, even the publication of the Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller in 1938. You could argue, as is so often the case, that the technology, the science came first and art and politics followed.
He spoke of the London scene in 1968, the vanguard of the Free Love movement, people like the model Jean Shrimpton, actor Heathcote Williams, photographer/artist John 'Hoppy' Hopkins, author Barry Miles, who ran the Indica Gallery, and academic Jim Haynes. Free love sprang from a political ideal, from anarchism, but the two scenes, radical politics and the alternative scene, rarely mixed. In the 60's the music scene was more aligned with the alternative culture than the big business rock stars of today. People like Mick Jagger, the Rolling Stones, switched partners frequently (this might seem normal today but was radical at the time). From theatre and cinema, there was Terence Stamp, Julie Christie and Brando (despite being from the 50's) who were Free Love exponents. Shockingly, Jeff suggested that Julie Andrews of Sound of Music fame was a big drug and sex fiend. 
In the States Free love was perhaps darker, with examples such as Charles Manson and Allen Ginsburg. Ginsburg was into very young boys, 9 year olds and was a member of the Man/boy Love Association. The Free Love movement welcomed involvement by other liberation groups, women's lib, gay lib, civil rights movement for black people, miscegenation (possibility for people of different races to have sex or breed) but also the P.I.E., the Paedophile Information Exchange. Part of the freedom to express yourself sexually included what would now be termed paedophiles, but was regarded at the time as just another freedom movement. One of the participants talked about visiting a commune in Finsbury Park in London where young boys between 12 and 16 were openly having sexual relations with men in their 40's. He said that the boys chose to live in this commune. In Anarchy magazine there were articles by paedophiles and also by their under-age lovers, discussing their relationships. The children seemed happy. 
What is Free Love? On a hard core level it's orgies, on a milder level it is sexual permissiveness, frequent switching of partners, many partners. For some it is consecutive (which can be abusive as in the hump 'em and dump 'em model) and others it is simultaneous polyamory. In the Sixties, Free love practitioners were almost entirely middle class and white.
Jeff talked about the fact that sexual freedom only really happened outside the select few in the 1970's. Then middle class couples started to 'swing', take other lovers, and of course, divorce. Eventually this filtered down to the working classes or the underclasses, which resulted in a huge rise in single parenthood. (The recent example of Shannon Mathews' mother was cited, an 'underclass' woman who had 7 children by 5 different fathers). 
One lady talked of starting university in 1968 where most people entered as virgins. By the time she left in 1971 things had changed dramatically aided by drugs. "Everybody was smoking, and everybody was sleeping around" she said. 
In 1969 Stonewall happened, but gay men had always been sexually promiscuous. Black culture already had a big sexual component. 
The Free Love movement in 1968 was very male dominated, it was pre-feminist. Feminism really started in the 70's and we discussed whether it was a backlash against Free Love. There is the Stokely Carmichael (U. S. Black Panther) quote "The only position for women in this organisation is prone". Many women participated in Free Love because they felt that they would be considered uncool if they didn't. 
Germaine Greer was a willing and enthusiastic Free Love proponent, probably the most famous woman of that scene, although she later condemned it. Jeff related the story of how she sought out the photographer Keith Morris and asked him to photograph her vagina for the cover of Suck magazine, Europe's first sexpaper. She chose him because she thought he'd be the only photographer she could trust not to sell the photo's. He didn't sell them but he did write up an unflattering account of the photo session with Greer, complaining about having to photograph her "sweaty cunt" and anus in close-up at 9am with a hang-over.
Greer believed her picture would be used along with a group of other women but Suck published a cover with her alone (albeit the obscenity was masked by putting the offending pudenda in a strange pattern which had to be cut out and recreated in order to view it properly). Greer resigned in disgust. 
At the time it was illegal to show an erect penis in photographs.
In the 70's much of the alternative movement moved into communes in the countryside, some of which had Free love as an obligation. You were not allowed to form monogamous relationships within the commune. This was Jeff's experience at a commune, in which he was forced to have sex with many different people including men. (Findhorn was an exception, as a quasi-christian commune, it seems that they channelled all their sexual energy into growing giant marrows!)
Richard, another participant, talked of the anarchist roots of Free Love, and that the emphasis should be on love rather than sex: "nurturing non-monogamous relationships". We live longer therefore we obviously will have more relationships in our lifetime...serial monogamy.
What were the repercussions of Free Love?
Jealousy was a big problem: it's an ungovernable force, an animal instinct, so whatever your ideals might be, how do you control your jealousy?
Parenthood: clearly women are at a disadvantage in that they are so often left holding the baby. Children are instinctively conservative and would prefer to know who their parents are and have them stick around. *
Spiritual: sex is a holy thing and it has been debased, de-sacred. The rise of depression due to alienation, loneliness, lack of mutual support.
Pornography: a parallel rise starting with Hugh Hefner publishing Playboy in 1953. Suck magazine and Oz were quasi-porn. Now our entire culture is flooded with soft porn. The loss of childhood innocence: children dress like whores just like their favourite pop stars. The internet has enabled extremely hard core porn to be available to the masses. Paedophile chat-rooms. Virals on school kids phones such as "Two girls and a cup". 
Unfortunately the "women who sleep around are slags" mentality hasn't changed much...

Less 1950's guilt about sex. 
People better informed about sex.
Better sex?
From an astrological point of view, many of the children born at this time had revolutionary attitudes towards sex...some of which were not too healthy (Pluto conjunct Uranus in Virgo) in terms of power play....Pluto(sex and power) Uranus(gay sex, extreme freedom, impersonality, group sex) Virgo (woman). That generation were born with these attitudes, did not just adopt them for a period of time, and have continued to promulgate them throughout society.

(*Children are, in my opinion, the casualties of the Free Love movement, we now have generations of parentless children, whose fathers and the rare mother, unrestricted by church, state or family, have wandered off. I also feel for ageing childless women who have missed out on fulfilling their biological destiny as a result of uncommitted men, spoilt for choice in a landscape where females compete against each other.)

Friday, 9 May 2008

The bleedin' goddess

What is it with all these blokes that go on about the goddess? Left, right and centre, men are talking about the goddess...why? Is it just to pull chicks? Are they the new quiche eaters?  I'm a little cynical, as these goddess worshipping men don't seem any different than your bog standard, common or garden, vulva fearing, macho types we know and love...

London fields lido

Went there yesterday for the first time since it was reborn as a swimming pool. London was hot and it was perfect for an outdoor swim. I took pictures but was told off by the lifeguard, child protection law... I might be a paedophile  you see. I couldn't believe how they'd transformed the communal kitchen into a refreshment kiosque, the changing room where I used to stay into an office, the empty pool with a makeshift garden into a super olympic size bath. They've done a good job, and I will be going there again. 

A snip at the price...

Tuesday night, private view at the Foundry, a photographic exhibition by Dan Simon, a rickshaw driver chronicling the heroin addiction of another rickshaw driver, Sting. I met S, a stunning 6 foot 6 inch transgender lady. She would be handsome as a man or woman...formerly an Anglo-Greek rickshaw driver with biceps to match. This lady behaved like a gentleman, that is, she retained her basic good manners, bought me a drink and shone a bicycle light on the cobbled street to light the way for my tottering high heels. We talked about her transformation; she saved £22,000 in 2 years rickshaw driving to pay for her operation and treatment. She has spent 8 years on hormone treatments. Before having the snip, she told me that she had fashioned a scary 'Prince Albert' piercing on her penis using an enormous bolt, the size of a masonry drill bit. I guess you knew you wouldn't be needing it for much longer, I suggested.
S talked of going through a second puberty, this time as a woman. She said that now she felt more emotionally attached to people, had stronger romantic feelings towards men and this was the effect of oestrogen. She is awaiting her prince on a white charger...

Torture Garden birthday bash

Saturday night was the fetish club Torture Garden's 10 year anniversary. Went with a couple of friends who were 'newbies' to this scene. Ms Puddleduck wore an incredible black and cream burlesque rubber outfit complete with little rubber top hat, worn at an angle and ankle-snapping high heels. The Wizard wore a short suede mini skirt, size 10 heels (bought at a special tranny shop, an outing he cruelly denied me), black tights and a black skimpy top. I did his make-up and found my Nars deep red lipstick suited him better than it did me! As I have noticed in previous similar situations, the minute a bloke puts on drag, he changes personality. But at least the Wizard was a gentle smiley flirty woman, unlike an ex who turned into a psychotic cold bitch who disdained other women. I reckon it all depends on their mums you see...
Ms Puddleduck touchingly confessed to being nervous and we all vowed to stick together. On arrival at London Bridge, having cheekily driven the wrong way up a one way street to gain a nearby parking space, yours truly managed to blag our way to the front of the queue, a 2 hour wait. Inside, it was a pleasure to see my friends' excited and curious faces drinking in the scenes before them...with the variety of costumes, perversions, fetishes and outfits on show, it's akin to the Stars Wars bar scene. 
A newish sub section seems to be the fetish for inflatables... that is rubber outfits that include balloons. One guy, seemingly stood at the water fountain all night, came as a chameleon, with a giant rubber head and a long spirally tail, a rubber outfit he had hand made himself. Some women merely had big balloons as opposed to breasts which looked like something from a children's party rather than the depths of Hades. Probably the biggest 'puller' of the evening was another stocky man who wore a full bunny rabbit furry outfit, I saw him with a different beautiful woman on his arm every half hour. Clearly the giant cuddly toy look is a winning one.
I was surprised to see some activists there, having donned their village people attire for the night. Is there not an inherent contradiction between bondage, submission and anarchy? 
The Wizard was comforted by the presence of fellow Goan hippies and relaxed into his heels, although in 'sub' mood, I offered him regular foot massages whilst on my knees.
I have to say, although the costumes were fantastic, the general vibe was tamer than it has been in the past. There was a hospital room with several hospital beds which did screen some rather unpleasant medical style porn on the walls (I really don't get this myself). The dungeon was dark obviously, had the best music (e.g. Anthony and the Johnsons, mournful sweet music, the perfect background for a whipping) but didn't contain any scenes more pervy than women tied up, being lashed on the buttocks. There was one woman in a cage licking a mans finger. Another man sat forlornly cross legged on the floor in a nappy. 
I did get the feeling that the birthday bash was for weekend pervs only. Tg has gone mainstream? We stayed until it closed at 6am, which the Wizard, an experienced all night clubber, found derisory. 

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

The Rules

The last few men I have seen all claim to be into 'polyamory'. Does this work? I don't know. My natural instincts are for monogamy but how boring is that? Or are these men into free love until they meet the right person at which point they transform into dutiful monogamous husbands. Hmm, slightly doubting that too. If you 'ban' someone else from doing what they want to do, is that a good relationship?
There was a book called The Rules, which was popular in the States recently about how to ensnare a man. He has to call by a certain date. You have to pretend that you are not interested for a long time. You must not sleep with them on the first date! In fact you musn't sleep with them for several weeks. You must expect gifts and that they pay for you. (Gifts would be nice I must admit.) It is back to old fashioned 1950's style dating , the kind which my mother approved of and understood how to play all too well.
This assumes that women do not have a sex drive. This assumes a basic inequality between the sexes. This assumes that man is the hunter and woman is the prey. This assumes that "no means yes" and all the messy connotations that go along with that. Woman is still Madonna or whore and there ain't no grey areas. You are either on a pedestal or in the gutter. The modern age never happened.