Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Grace Jones and the empty “intellectualism” of Pitchfork contributors

An otherwise entertaining article on queer identity and Grace Jones spoiled by the interjections of various brats at the bottom. In particular, the string of empty signifiers that make up Eric Shorey’s take on Jones’s version of Warm Leatherette is typical of the sort of empty, self-entitled, faux-intellectualism that Pitchfork loves to indulge in:

“In Jones’ hands, the song becomes a sassy tribute to the pleasures of ultraviolence, queering the original text from a self-serious and mega-ironic love poem into a campy exploration of black female sexual identity. By subverting the tropes of white, male, anglo sci-fi, Jones turned the Ballardian porno-nightmare into a celebration of perversion via the intersection of technology and sexuality”

How? Why? the reader is left asking. Oh, I see, because you say so…

Indeed, more than anything, the reader comes away with the impression that the writer seems not to have read, or has failed to understand, Ballard’s source novel.


Bridget Brophy

A nice piece about Bridget Brophy here. About time too. Flesh is a fantastic book. I see there is going to be a conference as well.

Reverse Colonisation, Dubious Parentage and Refusal of Closure in Dracula

Given my rather lackadaisical approach to this blog it’s probably no surprise that I forgot to mention that I had an article published in the first issue of online journal Albeit.


Interiority/Exteriority and the Gothic

It’s generally taken as a given that within the traditions of Gothic novel and the horror film the site of terror shifted over time, from being one of exteriority to one of interiority.

In the Gothic novel the move is away from the disruptive force being located or associated with an alien/demonised religion or culture, such as the Catholicism of Southern Europe (The Monk), or the racial other (Vathek). Replacing this fear of the ‘other’ there is instead a focus on the instability of the self (Jekyll & Hyde), or a meditation on madness and anxiety about the collapse of the nation state (Dracula).

A similar parallel can be seen in the horror film. Horror moves from something located in a castle in Europe (Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster in their filmic incarnations) to something connected to madness (Psycho), day to day life (Halloween), the social (Dawn of the Dead), or the body itself (Shivers, The Brood etc).

In contrast, the move within the musical Gothic seems to have run in the other direction. Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees, as progenitors of the genre (although not necessarily part of it), were concerned with the horror of the interiority and the lacerating qualities of the dominant social order. Their followers, on the other hand, proceeded to once again to link horror to a castle in Europe (Bela Lugosi’s dead) and the ‘Orient’ (Orient).


Suburban Relapse

She’s Lost Control


Bela Lugosi’s Dead

Europe After the Rain

Europe After the Rain

caught between two pillars was a youth, blindfolded and gagged. – Alan Burns

I’ll be back properly…

in the new year. Although i said that in September…


The observations are already dated, but that’s what it feels like to live on the razors-edge of conspicuous consumption.