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    Simon Armitage, and The Dying Malevolent Monster.


    Join date : 2010-12-25

    Simon Armitage, and The Dying Malevolent Monster.

    Post  deadagaindave on Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:40 am

    Simon Armitage, and The Dying Malevolent Monster.

    Those of us who cherish our diminishing countryside, particularly those of us who have put our names to petitions or made some personal effort to it’s preservation, could have real difficulty in understanding the minds of adults who think it’s OK, to unnecessarily change the wilderness places. We are left wondering about their emotional make up, or lack of it. Have they no souls? Are they without conscience? Have they no respect? Don’t they know what kind of example they are setting? Don’t they care?

    There are two ways we can deal with the affront they make on our values. We can condemn them as mindless morons of course, but hold on! These people are acclaimed doyen of the art world. One of them has a CBE! So before we abandon their benighted energies to the inexorable forces of an aggrieved and angry Nature; we should take the trouble to examine what passes for their rationale. What are the internal drivers that determine their decisions to despoil and destroy?

    As my aim is simply to protect the countryside, and particularly the ancient Neolithic rock carvings on Ilkley Moor, I have to date refrained from stating the obvious; that this is also a battle of ideas.
    But the incredible, ill considered, patronising arrogance; deployed as justification, by the promoters of the Stanza Stones project, practically demands that we turn the obstacles they place in our way, and take a peek at what lies beneath.

    Some clues may be found in their stated attitudes, the banners they stand under, the demigods of art they venerate, and their favoured philosophies. And since Simon Armitage, is not only their flagship figurehead, but is the most publicly known of them; he is the best candidate for the focus of our examination.

    Simon Armitage, is a proud Poster boy, of Postmodernism. If we take a quick look at what postmodernism is, we may gain some understanding of what makes him and them, tick.

    If you are not sure or don’t really care what postmodernism is, having decided to gaze out of the window or doodle, when some geeky teacher or lecturer, tried haphazardly, to turn your attention to it during your schooling. Or even if you paid some attention, and found the concept so droll, dire and dismal, that it wasn’t worthy of your consideration at all, you have been somewhat remiss. Because postmodernism is a viral creature that despoils so much in our time on the planet. It is tainted by a Neo Stalinistic; pernicious perspective, on a world that it hates. It underscores the thinking behind the London Lloyds building with the pipes outside, that so disgusted the Prince of Wales. The disastrous Millennium dome, is one of its offspring, and its ethos contaminates social thinking in quite abominable ways. Manifesting itself on the sillier side of fascistic impositional political correctitude. Promoting the inculcation through education of an attitude of disrespect, which is an integral tenet of postmodernism. And in not just my view; serving to fuel the disgruntled desecration’s, of the designer logo looters of Tottenham, in what have been widely acclaimed as the ‘postmodern riots.’ Type it into your browser, you’ll get lots of links.

    The adherents of postmodernism claim with considerable justification, that it has been an active and productive agent of progressive thinking. Serving to help cast off outmoded values of imperialism and championing the cause of human rights; and indeed it has. Progressive liberalism, is heavily indebted to postmodern activity and its precursor modernism. Progressive modernist forces, campaigning for things we rather take for granted such as universal franchise; and against sexual discrimination, the horrors of racism, imperialism, and widespread human rights abuses across the board, identified the opposition to such abominations with modernistic architectural and artistic innovations. They reared up angrily at the conventional art that preceded their cause. After all, weren’t the colonnaded edifices of Europe’s great buildings of state, built on the proceeds of the booty of imperialism? Aren’t the realistic paintings of the old masters, largely commissions of the megarich of their ages, representing for the most part only what the powerful demanded, and deemed worthy? Don’t conventional rhyming works of poetry like the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ only serve to glorify the casually considered, collateral damage carnage; and incredible inhumanity of the Victorian era? It’s a wonder that the purists of modernism didn’t demand that they be torn down, burned, and ripped to shreds, so that we wouldn’t be reminded of the horrible history of our species. Off we’d go into a Pol Pot, land of self righteous ignorance, declaring that this was year one, and that all who had lived before us and every lousy thing they did should be destroyed and forgotten. But before they went that far with the thesis, the antithesis of postmodernism; much more Quango friendly, and thus institutionally infective, came crawling out of the woodwork.

    In the introduction of a recent exhibition at the V&A, ‘Postmodernism - Style and Subversion 1970 –1990’ the exhibit’s Curators claim: “The modernists wanted to open a window onto a new world. Postmodernism, by contrast, was more like a broken mirror, a reflecting surface made of many fragments. Its key principles were complexity and contradiction. It was meant to resist authority, yet over the course of two decades, from about 1970 to 1990, it became enmeshed in the very circuits of money and influence that it had initially sought to dismantle.” Postmodernism has also been described by ‘Moe’, in a Simpson’s episode as “weird for the sake of being weird”. You can assess the veracity of that charge by accessing the ‘Postmodern random generator’. Unless you live close to a cattle farm, it may be advisable to go for a nosepeg, before you click the link.

    It’s so often the case with seemingly progressive movements, that when they become the establishment, they opt for greater tyranny than those they have overthrown. This is borne out by the actions of the Stanza Stones gang, who before announcing their intentions, have used their establishment credentials, to weasel their way through the bureaucratic Quango maze to get permissions. Then they tyrannically slapped us round the chops with a fait accompli, ready and willing to call those who dare to question their plan, confused.

    Postmodernists are quick to deride all who oppose their designs, in uncompromising ways. Sneering and derision are the heavy weapons in their arsenal, and are embedded aspects of their thinking. Salman Rushdie, a guru of the postmodernist cult, tells us in his Herbert Read memorial lecture, ‘Is Nothing Sacred’ “No, nothing is sacred in and of itself, I would have said. Ideas, texts, even people can be made sacred. The word is from the Latin "to set apart as holy" - but even though such entities, once their sacredness is established, seek to proclaim and to preserve their own absoluteness, their inviolability, the act of making sacred is in truth an event in history. It is the product of the many and complex pressures of the time in which the act occurs. And events in history must always be subject to questioning, deconstruction, even to declarations of their obsolescence. To revere the sacred unquestioningly is to be paralyzed by it. The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas Uncertainty, Progress, Change - into crimes.”

    The plank in Rushdie’s eye, is that he condemns in the court of his head, those who choose to unquestioningly revere the sacred, implying that they are in error or stupid, and definitely anti progress. Effectively claiming all progressive activity to be the sole, and even sacred province, of those of his ilk. In the process, making no allowance for the possibility that their reverence and devotion may be motivated by the passion of gnosis, or spiritual insight, that he is blinded to, in his clamouring craving to fit the bill as a postmodernist pontiff. I don’t suppose he’d regard his anti imperialist credentials, as sacred in any way then?

    Which is just as well. Since Ziauddin Sardar, is of the view of that:- “As postmodernism seeks to give voice to all cultures, ‘de-centers’ the ‘Center’ and makes the ‘periphery’ the center of all cultural action, and give ‘voice’ to the ‘voiceless’, it is projected as a new and great force of liberation. However, far from being a liberating force, postmodernism is a totalistic project that seeks to subsume all non-western cultures into the fires of liberalism and nihilistic consumption. In trying to deny privilege to everyone and everything, postmodernism only privileges itself. It becomes an arch ideology to beat all ideologies. Far from being new, it is, in fact, a natural extension and continuation of colonialism and modernity. It is new in being the new imperialism of western culture.”

    Nor is it just theological and religious scholars, who roundly oppose postmodernism. Richard Dawkins, in his essay ‘Postmodernism Disrobed’ points out the ironical frailty of the sensitively Rushdiesque, postmodernist stance:- “But don't the postmodernists claim only to be 'playing games'? Isn't it the whole point of their philosophy that anything goes, there is no absolute truth, anything written has the same status as anything else, no point of view is privileged? Given their own standards of relative truth, isn't it rather unfair to take them to task for fooling around with word-games, and playing little jokes on readers? Perhaps, but one is then left wondering why their writings are so stupefyingly boring? Shouldn't games at least be entertaining, not po-faced, solemn and pretentious? More tellingly, if they are only joking around, why do they react with such shrieks of dismay when somebody plays a joke at their expense. The genesis of Intellectual Impostures was a brilliant hoax perpetrated by Alan Sokal, and the stunning success of his coup was not greeted with the chuckles of delight that one might have hoped for after such a feat of deconstructive game playing. Apparently, when you've become the establishment, it ceases to be funny when somebody punctures the established bag of wind.”

    So what about the establishment bag of wind, blowing at us from the unassailable Berchtesgaden, of the bureaucratically insulated, Armitage, camp? Is Armitage a true postmodernist?

    Well he isn’t short on postmodernistic, deconstructive, derisory criticism. In ‘Re – Writing the Good Book’ he lets us know that:- “bookish people imagine themselves as purists, but are actu-ally perverts, belonging to a deviant culture. The appropria-tion of poetry by the literati can be quite properly compared with the enclosure of common land in England, the Highland Clearances and the hijacking of ancient medicine by Western science. We should never be surprised by the way in which the privileged minorities eventually take control of every valuable commodity, but how much more exciting it would have been if poetry had been commandeered by people who did more than sit at home with their thumbs up their arses.”

    Right! That’s you bookish bunch nicely sorted out! Swines that you are; comparable to the Highland ethnic cleansers, and ancient medicine lifters. You old souls! Now go and wash your thumbs please, or you don’t get to help us with the baking.

    Taking the above into consideration, I will absolve myself of feeling mean spirited, when I was reminded of the Harry Enfield character ‘Kevin The Teenager’ whilst watching Simon Armitage, seek to justify his ‘artistic vandalism’ of our natural moors on BBC’s, The Culture Show.

    His presentation style, apes the adolescent slack jawed cynicism and bewilderment at convention, that makes Kevin, classically postmodernistic; in dogmatically and diligently disputing normalcy. We soon learn that Armitage’s mate, misery guts Motion; he of the ‘safe pair of hands’ according to Teflon Tony, has one of his awful poems emblazoned on the side of a tall building. And Simon wants something similar. I can just see Kevin, rolling about the sofa and moaning at his Mum. :- ‘e’s got won, why carn’t eye av’ won? It’s not faaaayre!’ … Poor thing.

    So to sate Armitage’s demanding ego, we are to have one of the corrosive tentacles, of unholy, sacred hating postmodernism, slithering across our magnificent watershed moors.

    But maybe we should be grateful? Simon only wants to surprise us! He talks of his carved poems:- “meeting the unsuspecting public head on.” How nice. Perhaps we should make some effort to repay such considerate grace. We could make sandwich boards, with our thoughts written on them, and share them to a surprised Armitage, when he turns up for reading venues around the country. Now of course that’s a silly idea isn’t it? But no sillier than Armitage’s idea, and a darned sight less destructive.

    Simon verifies his considerate credentials in the broadcast. So that, non bookworm walkers, otherwise known as ‘roamers’ apparently, can understand them; Armitage, is patronisingly going to keep them deliberately low brow. That probably means having capitals and punctuation; which are absent in some of his work, and thereby most cleverly emphasising the nouns and adjectives, in a wonderfully postmodren way.

    Well! … postmodernist cadres can’t be using conventional punctuation crap, like some imperialistic, fascistic, Marxist, capitalist, sexist, racist, homophobic, science and math using, nasty normal type, who probably believes in god or something sacred, can we? Unless of course we make an exception for visiting dubbo’s, on the moors, who probably won’t understand them otherwise!

    We are treated to a snippet of the poem ‘Snow’ in the TV show.
    The sky has delivered its blank missive.
    The moor in coma.
    That’s two of us in coma, Simon.
    Me and the moor, and I’ve only read two bloody lines.
    Or is that one line?
    Hard to tell with these people who somehow think it smart to muck about with the language.

    Armitage, tells us he wants his poems to be read by ‘roamers’ on the moors, a couple of centuries hence! He’ll be lucky if any of them are intact by then. I notice from the film that the lettering appears to be gold. It may not actually be gold leaf, but with the price of gold these days I’m sure some would merit them worthy of a scrape or two. On some of the moors his work is set to be placed, even the vandalism gets vandalised. A fair percentage of the gravestones in Yorkshire have been smashed chopped or daubed, and they are in the middle of towns cities and villages. If they do survive, they’ll be quite a curio, because they’ll soon be very old hat. Outmoded as much as it is unwanted. All the postmodernist Pap, will soon be seen as an aberration of progressive evolution, that would be laughable if it weren’t so distressingly, selfishly, sick! Andrew Thacker, in the Times Higher Educational Supplement speaks of the:- “many-headed hydra of Post-Modernism.” Horrifyng image, but apposite. The Stanza Stones project, is probably one of the last globules of foul coughed up spittle, from a dying malevolent monster.

    There’s no doubt that Simon Armitage, is one of the best performance poets in Britain. Not much of a compliment if you’ve seen many of the others, but Armitage, does read a lot better than he writes. In typical postmodernist style however, his ‘poetry’ often consists of a drip feed of snide asides. A Kevinesque, trickling of whinges, peppered with pregnant pauses, that allows the audience to politely titter. Yes, we aren’t talking the belly laughs of a Peter Kay performance, that’s not the way with the usual suspects who turn up at poetry readings. They titter. Not all that exciting is it? But despair not, there is hope for the Armitage, lad yet! He has said:- "I'm not sure if it's possible to be a Romantic poet anymore, but more and more poets seem to be turning their eye towards nature – to the necessity of its otherness," Uncertainty can be a desperate condition, but by definition it cannot be without hope.
    If Armitage, has begun to develop a sense of ‘otherness’ his potential salvation from the sneer filled slough of the dirty postmodernistic pit, is a real possibility. If he has the wit and wherewithal to make amends and adjust his skill with words, to something less tainted by a dying, discredited, pseudo philosophy, he could be in business for quite a while. Otherwise, it’s back to empathising with vandals in the Probation Service. There may come a time in the not too distant future, when Armitage, isn’t too proud of his postmodernist period. As Keith Martin-Smith, formerly of the Integral insitute observes :- “The postmodern movement is nearly dead, strangled to death on its own smug irony. In its place comes something that once again believes art can be grand, inspirational, magnificent, emergent, and capable of speaking to most people, not just the hyper-educated elite.” Being out of fashion isn’t life threatening. If it were I’d be long dead; but it has to be easier to shed an artistic or philosophical label, if it isn’t literally carved in stone ….

    Postmodernism is on the way OUT! The Hegelian, dialectic process has come full circle. The thesis of modernism and the antithesis of postmodernist have been superseded by the synthesis of TRANSMODERNISM. There’s a new Sheriff in town and the Neo Stalinist, Bash the Street up Kids, are already on their bikes, even if it hasn’t dawned on them. Transmodernism, is tolerant, eclectic and beautiful. Amit Goswami, the theoretical physicist, has written:- “I call transmodernism the worldview that is growing out of and is based on monistic idealism and the developing science within consciousness. If consciousness is the ground of all being, what is our relationship with nature? As I wrote in a previous chapter, a consciousness based metaphysics gives us the deepest ecology, since in this view we are the world, we are nature. And yet we have free will and creativity in a much more expressible fashion than the rest of animate nature around us. So we also have responsibility.” (not an entirely bad description of how I see modern Druidry, actually)

    Transmodernism, harkens a new age of Enlightenment.
    Whilst we cast off the unfairness and inhumanity of foregone times, we can embrace what was good and wonderful about them; without fear of accusations of empathy with the often inhumane and ignorant societies and social mores in which they came into being. We can be spiritual and romantic again, and wonderfully; we can seek the spiritual simplicity of ancient cultures, for transmodernism encourages us to do so. It is a delightful, grown up, new approach, that even allows sacredness, and romanticism, recognising the merit of these very human traits. I’m so pleased with its advent, that I have decided to pen a little poem, in the now allowed again romantic tradition using, rhyme. (a practically illegal measure under the dark days of the postmodern terror)

    The postmodernists are now finished.
    They’ve abandoned the war of the classes.
    So Yoiks! And Gadzooks! Let’s curl up with our books,
    And shove our thumbs back up our arses.

    I’ll pause now, so feel free to titter. (not to loudly)

    And now for something completely sacred. ….

    Last edited by deadagaindave on Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Simon Armitage, and The Dying Malevolent Monster.

    Post  Paulus on Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:49 pm

    "The Dying Malevolent Monster" - I thought it was Rachel Feldberg you were talking about for a minute Dave. (she does look bloody awful - and not many years left in her by the look of things, in my opinion) The creature's eyes are empty, without heart, by the look of it (in my opinion). scared I wonder how she and her Stanza Stones cohorts would feel if other people were to go damage property and places that they hold sacred or otherwise venerate, or hold in esteem? Ey? Or would that be a naughty distasteful thing for them to do? Izzit OK for them to vandalize & carve on stones on the moors, but not OK for other people to carve on sites of their choice? One rule for them and another for the rest of us, it would seem...

    Last edited by Paulus on Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:59 am; edited 4 times in total

    Join date : 2010-12-25

    Re: Simon Armitage, and The Dying Malevolent Monster.

    Post  deadagaindave on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:18 am

    I personally have no opinion on anyone's appearance. I do however concur, that the despoilment of nature, which is venerated by many people, is in many respects akin to the desecration of places held sacred by people of mainstream faiths. Since it is practically a mantra of the postmodernist creed that 'nothing is sacred', and at least one of the cohort members is notably identified with the psuedo philosophy, it may be fair to assume that deconstuctionist disrespect for the sacred, is inherent in the thinking behind the project. Certainly, people of such thinking are aggrieved when even verbal attack is levelled at their shabbily considered work. And would likely be distressed were any postmodern icons be despoiled. I would not support such vandalism however. Unlike the stanza stones gang, who seem to think that if something has been vandalised once it's OK to carve at it again, I do not believe that two wrongs make a right! Postmodern works do have a place in history, and should be preserved. If only to illustrate to future generations, how degenerate, depraved and twisted society can become, when such destructive callous and irreverent holds sway in the art world, and pollutes society in ways that contribute to events like the horrendous 'potmodern riots' in Tottenham and across the nation. To expect any empathy and understanding of the emotionality that engenders reverence from such people, may be over ambitious.

    Last edited by deadagaindave on Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:54 am; edited 2 times in total

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