irony jumpstyle hackery spam hurdy gurdy civil war 1980s lies suicide feadz fashion
Designed and Produced Alasdair Hiscock and Ben Dunmore
4. Fly-rony looking at legal loopholes
Writers Florence Hillier Spam, Heraward David Ghengis Feldwick Suicide, Edward Lawrence Trotter Feadz, Alasdair Hiscock 80’s and Flyers, Ben Dunmore Jumpstyle, Jason Slade English Civil War, James Andow Hurdy-Gurdy, Tom Cubbin Wedding and Alex Orton Hack
6. Jumpstyle a look at dance-styles that shouldn't exist
Photography Alasdair Hiscock, Rachel Mellor and Ben Dunmore. Civil War images from David Spender and Mockney Rebel on Flickr. Illustrations Thomas Heginbotham and Ben Dunmore With Thanks and Love to Click Click Bang, Beautiful Balloon, Darlings of the Splitscreen, Coin Operated Boy, Club Pony, Ben Duong, Max Ideology, Richard Toast, Robin, Wildcat Promotions, Popolo, the Shakespeare, Party On!, Thomas Heginbotham, Pofolo, Big Posh Face. James Rand. Bethel, and Wonk. Kate Buckwell for spellchecking some.
articlemagazine.co.uk myspace.com/articlemagazine contributions/adverts/mail firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Hackery a letter from the spectators’ gallery 10. Even Spam is too expensive a recipe for £1 12. Hurdy-Gurdy what they are and what they do 14. The English Civil War and childhood trauma 16. The 1980's Are Everywhere postmodern architecture 20. Deceit, Lies and Facebook how to abuse facebook and your friends 26. Suicide A not so cynical look at the Japanese Rail Network 31. Before we put you in the Wicker Man This month’s fashion shoot 40. DJ Feadz a Rorsacharch Test on the International Superstar DJ 42. Found Fashion Out and about in Sheffield 43. the Court Circular Letting you know where to be and be seen in high society
With wisdom beyond her years Stephanie, from the children's television program Lazy Town, sings: "Its a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake. If the way is hazy, you've gotta do the cooking by the book. And then you'll have-ah-cake!" It is easy to see that she is talking about more than mere cake. The words that she croons apply to almost everything anyone has ever done. In order to have "ah-cake" one follows ah-recipe, ah-formula. To do it without one would lead into the unknown, which is terrifying and frightening. Somewhere that the pink haired pixie knows nothing about. This month we have looked at several formulaic things that have little to do with food, such as postmodern architecture, jumpstyle and hack journalism. Ironically when Stephanie is singing the song, she doesn't appear to have a recipe and it's a fucking mess. So she's right. This whole cake is crazy. (Cut to lil' John rapping.)
ARTICLE4 presenting opinion as fact
“What if all flyers became political? A new ironic genre of club nights masquerading as political events, appropriate political codewords for those in-the-know. A mass of frivolous revolutionary youth, campaigning for not much in particular.”
In a new act of backwardness and an attempt to reach targets on the amount of litter on the streets, Sheffield City Council have picked an easy, enforceable target: flyers. Handing out flyers in the city centre is now illegal and punishable by fines of up to £2,500. However, it is possible to purchase an annual license granting you the right to distribute on behalf of a particular venue. Starting at £75 for 1 person, and climbing steeply to around £700 for 5 people, these are beyond the reach of all but the largest venues and promoters who will continue to fill the streets with promotions for Vodka Headfuck, Get Twatted!, and our favourite night VomittedKebabinthebackofacabmixedwithche apvodkaonaprimarkdressshinyshoozecoveredi nboozeandpiss. In addition to being hugely reactionary and insensitive, the law is a really unpleasant display of power; otherwise legal activity in a public place must now be vetted and licensed. It’s also notably ill-executed. There are a number of exemptions which are included so as not to encroach on the minor legal issue of free expression. Literature for the promotion of religious or belief groups, charitable organisations and political purposes are all still entitled to distribute freely in the city centre. Given this, you have to ask: What if all flyers became political? A new ironic genre of club nights masquerading as political events, promoters chaining themselves to council buildings to tell you about their gigs, appropriate political
codewords for those in-the-know; “Recycle More” for dubstep, “Join the Euro” for electro etc. A mass of frivolous revolutionary youth, campaigning for not much in particular. On these pages are flyers for the new political clubbing, soon to litter everywhere. Given these new laws, I contacted the council to ask how I should make my flyers more political, and at whose discretion the political content would be judged. The reply, though not legally definitive, suggested that publications on behalf of registered political parties would be allowed and this would be recognised by their ‘enforcement officers’. This is where it gets interesting. A stupid law should be countered with an equally sarcastic reaction. A flyering license costs several hundred pounds. Legally registering a political party costs £150. It could be called the All Night Disco Party. All the independent promoters could join as members and publicise their events as meetings of the political party, advertising on behalf of the party, without the need for licenses. Do the maths. We’re beginning to set this up, and want to know who would be interested. There is a substantial number of promoters this would apply to, and it be an extremely strong riposte to the ignorance of the flyering law. Sheffield’s music scene could be the only one in Britain which is also a political movement. a
AUSTRALIA AND MALAYSIA
The sum total of Holland is zero. It’s a bipolar kingdom: Extremely good taste and the truly unspeakable. In the cosmic scheme of things it gets ten points for De Stijl and having different types of cake for different times of day. And another seven points for typography and a football team that doesn’t care about winning. However, it loses six points for boerenkoolstamppot, handball and gabba. It only loses two points for windmills. The biggest loser for this abstract Holland is one of its more bizarre sub-cultures: Jumpstyle. Actually, it isn’t just jump-style. There’s hard-style which is separate from hardjump, then duojump, shuffle, and hakken. Imagine this: young Dutch men doing a version of Riverdance combined with Dance Dance
Revolution and the sort of demented jumping people do when they’ve stubbed a toe. The better ones can spin and touch their feet in between jumps. This happens in time to the most grating huge-synth high bpm happy hardcore imaginable. Over the past 20 years these autistic, acrobatic dance styles have developed hand in hand with dance music in that crappy industrial part of Western Europe made of Belgium, northern France, western Germany and Holland. You can watch endless videos on YouTube, all made in a similar, strangely disjoined manner, of bad quality footage of people dancing in a highly coreographed way to sterile music. As such, we are able to trace some sort of European cultural history through the medium of shit dances.
Jumpstyle This is so big in Holland that not only are there endless videos of thirteen year olds on playgrounds in circles taking turns, but also of entire army regiments dancing in lines. Most Popular in: Holland, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Italy, Wales Performed: Living rooms, backyards, schoolyards, parking lots and barracks Look: Bad, generic hoodies, cheap denim, army uniforms Hybrids: Hardstyle, Tekstyle (Iâ€™m not making that up!), Duo Jump Tecktonik In France there is tecktonic, characterized by fast arm movements, mullets, sneakers and bum bags. Also known as tek-style it is popular in the mediteranean rim. With the noticable advantage of less jumping a preformer can go for more than fifteen seconds comfortably. This often means that dancers will go endlessly, and if no sound is produced to accompany them, will look like they are covered in ants and struggling. Most Popular in: France and Italy Performed: Alcohol isles of Monoprix, parking lots, town squares, church halls Look: Tight jeans, neon pink, mullets
Shuffle The Australians decided to have a crack and came up with Shufflle. They share with the Malaysians, who see it as an anti-drug youth movement and as such have public preformances of dance troupes in shopping malls and other generic public places. Removed from its European roots, Shuffle takes influences as well from C-Walk (Crippwalking) and the Melbourne Shuffle. They have competitions and battles, which give it a far more formalised and regulated nature than any of the other genres. Most Popular in: Australia and Malaysia Performed: Shopping malls, schools, public places Look: Baggies, oversized everything, clean Krocha Not to be outdone, the Austrians have their own genre called Krocha, which is exactly the same as old-skool jumpstyle, however has clothes similar to those of the tecktonics. This one, notably, is the only one of all these styles that appears to exist mainly in clubs. Most Popular in: Austria and Switzerland Performed: parking lots and clubs Look: see Tecktonic add fake tan a
When I grow up I want to be a hack. “Had the camera crew got some shots of the city? Was there enough material to report for the one-thirty bulletin? Could someone go and renew the pay and display ticket to stop the van getting clamped?”
There comes a time in every budding hack’s journalistic career when they have their first run in with the pros, the big beasts of the reporting world. For me this happened two weeks ago when I found myself covering the case that has been dubbed “Britain’s Fritzl.” The trial of a man who raped his own daughters for a period of over 25 years, resulting in 19 pregnancies and the births of seven disabled children. The media pack was very definitely in a feeding frenzy, like a shoal of piranhas who know exactly when and where there will be an upturned canoe, with its former occupants just not managing to swimming to the bank in time. Most demented amongst these people were the television news producers, rambling down phones during any adjournment. “Had the camera crew got some shots of the city? Was there enough material to report for the one-thirty bulletin? Could someone go and renew the pay and display ticket to stop the van getting clamped?” I honestly didn’t expect them to last the day, but by then I had my thoughts on the same wavelength as the rest of the reporters – “Newsman dies of stress induced collapse at court case” – what a great story that
would be. At one point a producer’s phone ran out of battery, he simply tossed it to a reporter, who then throw him her own phone, he redialed the number and carried on his conversation without missing a beat. Keeping the press in check where the court ushers, by and large middle aged Sheffield men and women who had seen it all before. They talk of the judge and lawyers as if they’re referring to particularly precious children, “Oh they’ll be in chambers for about half an hour yet, don’t worry he wants to get this done by the end of today.” It brought to mind a scene of the judge and barristers playing with their legal papers whilst the ushers spat on handkerchiefs and wiped their faces. When talking among themselves the ushers invariably spoke of a nice meal they had had over the weekend, they didn’t seem at all phased by the most disturbing rape case in modern British legal history. It may seem abhorrent that journalists get a good days work out of other peoples misery, but justice must be done and seen to be done, and if in being seen to be done a few more papers get sold or the viewing figures go up, then no harm caused. Court reporting plays to the part of the human psyche that slows down to look at car crashes, the character trait that means you don’t want to see, but somehow you must. Then there is the vengeance, knowing that the wrongdoers will get their comeuppance, as much as we may like to portray ourselves as above such petty emotions there is still a desire to see societies enemies put to the sword. When someone gets sentenced the public don’t think of the deterrent effect or that a stretch inside will reform the prisoner. When Mr. X got 19.5 years inside most people hearing the news thought of this monster being locked up in a cold dark cell, in constant fear that other prisoners may find out what he had done and come to get him. a
Spam is too Expensive
The end of term approaches, Christmas presents are needing to be bought the loan is gradually trickling away and the cold is creeping in forcing your freezing fingers to flick on that heating…basically once again we all find ourselves a little poverty stricken. For some this may mean that food take a back seat, pilchards are brought out and dusted off, or toast is consumed for every meal. Perhaps you’re all saving your fine physiques for the onslaught of Christmas where everyone suddenly turns into a Hoover and gains about 15 pounds. Either way there’s no doubt that eating is a necessity. Thus I propose a questionably nutritious but definitely cheap eat, something perhaps you could share with a loved one, or perhaps that stray cat that’s been lurking about trying desperately to twitch its stump of a tail. My assignment was to take the princely sum of £1 to Somerfield, see what exactly I could buy for this, then return, and attempt to brew up a hodge podge yet edible meal for my poor unsuspecting housemates. Firstly the ingredients: Chicken noodles: 8p Large can of Kidney beans: 20p Tomato puree: 20p Hot dogs: 52p Total: £1 The noodles at 8p must be ethically and nutritiously suspicious but for the sake of the experiment I swallowed my values and went for double trouble with chicken flavour. I had hoped to do a lovely spam fritter recipe that I’d found in a second world war cookbook but inflation has kicked in since then and at £2.50 it was way over budget, the hot dogs possibly with real dog, fitted the bill to perfection, I could hardly refuse. If your wanting to try this and you don’t like dogs, then the sardines at 52p I’m sure would work a similar 10
treat. The tomato puree and kidney beans were the icing on what was going to be a truly special cake…now back to the kitchen. Firstly the hot dogs. Pink, flaccid and floating in some dubious smelling liquid I quickly chop them into chunks to disguise their sexual orientation. I flour these not so hot dogs and heating a frying pan with butter and oil I chuck them in. Sizzle spit and a slightly spicy, sausage aroma, a little like the checkouts at Ikea, fills the kitchen. I start thinking this may not be too bad. A note on the flouring, perhaps not exactly orthodox in my £1 world but it’s my experiment and I’m making the rules up as I go along so I figure why not. Whilst these are crisping up a little I drain the kidney beans and give them a rough chop then out with the sausages and in with the beans, fry these up a little and then add half of the tin of tomato puree, some water and salt and pepper if you’ve got it. These should amalgamate to make a rich tomato sauce, you can add the chicken flavouring from the noodles to the sauce at this point or alternatively set it aside for a tasty beverage to wash this feast down. Whilst the beans and tomato are having a simmer cook the noodles in the standard boiling water way. Finally drain the noodles and add to the tomato and bean sauce, put the hot dogs in for a few seconds to reheat, and serve. If you want to make it look really fancy reserve some of the hot dogs to place suggestively on, or sticking out from the noodles. This would be perfect second date material. Or for something a little different make it really saucy with the addition of the remaining puree, more water, all the hot dog chunks, and chopped beans. Place this concoction into a dish, place the cooked noodles on top then bake in the oven so the noodles go a little crispy, a kind of Halloween wiener special. Verdict? The cat loved it. a
Hurdy Gurdy “It’s as if the guy who invented the violin was disappointed. ‘The bagpipes are better’ he thought, ‘How can I make a violin-bagpipe?’ The result is decidedly dubious.” In a temporary drought of genuine sociopathic this was decided. I really don’t understand the postmodern activity—with which my life is situation. usually filled—as a genuine punter I attended a The hurdy-gurdy people appear not to have hurdy-gurdy festival. It was somewhere in the a qualitatively different experience of their Peaks, sometime before this summer and not instrument than I. They get it. It is an objective fictional. fact: hurdy-gurdy sounds nasty. My mini-adventure quickly gathered a dark I talked to John, a man at the festival, he said: cloud. You will be familiar with those protracted “A bloke played hurdy-gurdy on stage. Afterwards scenes and chapters in Brecht or Chekov in the soundman was like, ‘Mate I’m sorry, I tried which the situation is laid out slowly with perfect everything but I couldn’t get rid of that awful structural clarity. Scenes in which events are hum.’” presented carefully as if in a fable or parable, yet “Ha, ha!” John guffaws before winding his no rationale is provided that might enable one hurdy-gurdy to life with a disgusting creak. to understand and no moral of the story exists… Such is the self-deprecating humour of the There is something ineffably wrong with hurdyhurdy-gurdy player, a humour accompanied by gurdies. a certain maniac edge. Is the mania the cause It’s as if the guy who invented the violin was of wilful self-exposure to the noise, or merely a disappointed. ‘The bagpipes are better’ he thought, symptom? ‘How can I make a violin-bagpipe?’ The result is I am still quite disturbed by John, the only decidedly dubious. It can pretty much play only excuse available for his behaviour is Autism. My in one key. The reason being that, and I think I facial expressions alternated frequently between quote, “The drones would sound really shit in the a social nausea worthy of Sartre and simple others”. I cannot understand. childish mirth and yet John reacted to neither. Think. What do you hate about bagpipes? He continued winding the handle of his hurdyThat is the drone. The drones on a hurdy-gurdy gurdy—nestled to his groin perversely as if a make any semblance of a melody so difficult to terrible suckling infant—with the air of a Spanish pick out that you become transfixed. Not due Inquisitor nonchalantly winding the wheel of a to any real fascination but in an attempt to hear torture rack. anything, anything, but the drone. It sounds to me I know exactly what happened. Structurally like nothing more than the deep sound of a giant the description which I possess of a hurdydentists drill working its way through bone. gurdy festival is accurate. I cannot understand. a You tunes it over here As if the monster was not complete, the inventor of the hurdy-gurdy added The wheel it goes round the ‘loose bit of and round and has hairs on wood’. This ‘loose it like a fiddle bow bit of wood’ creates the effect that the a loose bita wood entire performance— There’s over here that makes a that which is evident buzzing noise throughout above the headfuck You plays these keys that is the drone—is wi’ your left hand half obscured by the white noise created by its infernal buzz. This ‘loose bit of wood’ is The keys are like frets apparently standard; for the strings in here that an important element You winds this handle wi’ you can’t see your right hand (akin to of the hurdy-gurdy. a barrel organ) I cannot begin to conceive of how 12
These ones are drones, they make notes that go on and on and don’t change
I Was a Child Roundhead
The smell of gunpowder that a recently discharged canon gives off has a particularly strong resonance for some. It reminds them of the weekends of their childhood; when mentally unstable adults forced them to don breeches, hose and jerkins in order to take part, against their will, in an act that is at best bizarre and at worst perverted: re-enacting the English Civil War. Maybe I should let you know from the off that I was a victim of this crime, for too long wilfully ignored by social services, teachers and police. The editors have let me write this article to raise awareness, but also to aid a process that my therapist calls, ‘remembering, repeating and working through.’ It started with family outings. My parents, my brother and I were spectators, watching as grown men and women humiliated themselves and their families in public. We watched as an “accident” blew the hand off a man who carried gunpowder for cannons. I don’t think it started here though. It must’ve been
following the fire (a stray spark which destroyed a whole corn crop) that my dad thought it would be a good idea to subject his family to re-enactment in a more intimate way. Before I knew it I was kitted up. At the time I saw nothing wrong with this closeted transvestism: dressed from head to toe in coarse wool and hessian I was easily indoctrinated. I was bought a medallion bearing Oliver Cromwell’s warty image along with the words ‘For God and Parliament’, a slogan I was encouraged to shout constantly at the top of my lungs. I still scream these words in my sleep and descend into uncontrollable hysteria at the mere mention of Cromwell. This has been a problem, keeping me from University lectures on Paradise Lost and forcing me into therapy. When not engaged in sectarian chanting another one of my duties was to work a set of bellows for an old bloke who sat at a brazier for hours on end, melting lead to make musket bullets. After a shift of say four hours I received my pay: a small tankard of cider, watered down. If I had worshipped Oliver Cromwell and worked the bellows satisfactorily I was allowed to amuse myself with a wooden musket and
sword. Making the children mimic their fathers’ play covertly prepared them to enter their ranks, as pike-men or musketeers, whilst masking the abject misery that inevitably arises when people spend their weekends in exotic locations such as Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Nuneaton, camping in parks boasting no running water and only chemical toilets.
“If I had worshipped Oliver Cromwell and worked the bellows satisfactorily I was allowed to amuse myself with a wooden musket and sword. Making the children mimic their fathers’ play covertly prepared them to enter their ranks” Re-enactment societies, like the armies they imitate, are divided into regiments, and (quite by accident I’m sure) my dad had enrolled us in the scummiest one. My mum still tells the story of when she found all the children being given a bollocking by a grown man. His son had run to him in tears, a boy from another regiment having soundly thrashed him with a wooden sword. This, the responsible grown up yelled, was not the way to solve the problem. Should a similar instance arise in future all of us kids were to find the offender and kick the shit out of him. Got it! Another boy would energetically tell me about all the stuff his dad was going to buy him when he received compensation for an industrial accident which, if the sums involved were anything to go by, had all
but crippled him. This accident kept him out of work and in constant pain. This naturally excluded Saturday and Sunday afternoons, when he would run around a field happily hitting other men with the end of his musket. The scumminess of our regiment was a blessing, however. My mum, an easy-going and uncomplaining person, hated pretending to live three and a half centuries ago, and it was our fellow roundheads who justified her complaint. The final straw came when her and my dad attended a party held by other re-enactors. Only on arrival did my mum find out that the party was being held in celebration of someone’s acquittal for a crime. What was the crime? Only attempting to murder a security guard during a warehouse robbery. Had he really done it? Of course he fucking had. My mother, brother and I left the regiment; my dad remained. I can’t help feeling that my parents’ disagreement over the merits of Civil War reenactment played a part in the break up of their marriage, but don’t worry about us, we’re all (slowly) moving on. Even my dad’s given up on it now. What I will ask you to do is spare a thought not for the mummies and daddies, but for the boys and girls, because they’re only children and don’t understand. If you witness their use as pawns whilst their parents act out various repressions and complexes, please contact social services. a
the 1980s are everywhere the 1980s are everywhere
I am a child of the 1980s, along with everyone involved in this magazine. And it shows. These were the years of Thatcher, twats shouting down giant mobile phones, coke-fuelled orgies soundtracked by the Pet Shop Boys, pastel tones, miners’ strikes and many other clichés. This decade has a lot to answer for, not least in its pile-it-high, sellit-cheap attitude towards irony. Irony 40 stories high. Irony smeared across Britain. The architecture of the 1980s, the era of the highcorporate, financial service and call centre office postmodernist style has left a strange trail across British cities. Ubiquitous and genuinely charmless, these buildings don’t garner the same hatred ascribed to 1960s social architecture whose presence is generally so much more monumental, utopian, literally concrete. In contrast, 80s architecture sits on the periphery of city centres, having abandoned all social and architectural ambition of improving its surroundings, retreating inside an awkward, faulty revolving door at the end of a patterned brick paved car park. The prevalent 80s postmodern style is characterised by knowing, ironic formal references - jokes for architects. These are notoriously unfunny. Like any style, it started as a theorised, somewhat forward thinking practice in the academies of architecture. Attempting to be humanistic in the face of scientific, technological modernism, it tried to bring back local vernacular and the value of history in architecture. This is one thing, but it also became combined along the way with the collapse between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture and relativist thinking, where the facade was more important than the structure, and the more clever references the better. So there’s a return to the historical at the same time that the implicit value of everything historical is questioned, see? That’s why that Tesco looks like a fucking country house. There’s a surprising amount of this style all around Sheffield once you start to look for it. It’s un-noticed, insipid, so banal that commenting on it seems like writing an article expressing wonder about lawns.
“That’s why that Tesco looks like a fucking country house.”
I think that the trouble I have with 80s architecture is its inherent lazy shitness and naffness. It’s got no redeeming romantic character or any naive ethical mission that you see in modernist buildings. It has no materiality, just a tanned skin. And it’s worse than any other generic buildings because it presents itself as a stylistic, sophisticated architecture. It’s the Alan Partridge of architecture. a
Crown C A big Japourt landed in anese transformer He folded Sheffield to dispe robot the edge up into a defensivnse justice. on paedo of the ring road, re e shape at limp Uniophiles and car thie ady to take v n Jack is a nice toues. The ch.
gs sterile ok Buildin series of Porter Brod these are bad. Aa classical style. Good Go park buildings in ures, blanked out up business ary security meas n sense. If you go and Unnecess, more corners tha n to the windows windows the people will ru close, all ou. stare at y
Central Fire Station This is weird. And huge. Looks like a big brick castle, parodying something from the top of a hill in central Europe. So many towers and slanty brick walls, with small windows for shooting arrows out of. Honestly, my eight year old cousin builds better castles out of sand and still smashes them with his spade afterwards.
NUM Building Arthur Scargill's Fun Palace. A big fuck-you to government during the miners' strike, this stone and gold tinted glass monster that looks like a municipal pool somehow got abandoned behind a pub. Some say it still contains a giant portrait of Margaret Thatcher that people stand and hurl abuse at.
deceit, lies and facebook What happens if you move out of the country and leave facebook as your only tangible identity to those you have left behind? This, apparently.
The purpose of staging a sham wedding was, surprisingly for some, not deception. The St. Petersburg tradition of a newly-wed couple touring famous monuments, drinking several bottles of champagne along the way, is all to evident when walking through the city centre (on a Saturday afternoon I once counted 18 brides in my field of vision). We thought this looked like fun and so decided to have our own ‘wedding’. We went to a flea market and bought a second-hand dress for about £30, with hideous puffy sleeves, and netting I wouldn’t even use as curtains. Most of the morning was spent applying layers of make-up to my bride to make her appear as Russian as possible. Our marriage started off in the traditional way, with the groom performing a series of tasks (in this case an Irish jig, an arm-wrestling match and a times 2 crossword puzzle shipped from England). Other than this the day was perfectly unplanned, and all of the embellishments (the trumpet serenade, having our photos taken with Peter the Great and the carriage ride around palace square) were opportunities that were seized upon on arrival at the various sights. We felt entirely unconvincing, but the frankly tasteless clothes worn by the bride and the rest of the wedding party appeared to create the desired aesthetic as people began to congratulate me and my ‘wife’. Throw into the mix some good quality photographs and we had what appeared to be a Russian wedding. 21
After a good day’s sightseeing we did what any good tourist of my generation does and uploaded the photographs onto facebook. I hadn’t thought any of my friends could believe this. For a start, I’m not attracted to women. At all. My bride looked terrible (i.e. like a Russian bride), and if I were to get married I should hope my bride would look a little more presentable than in the photographs. Then, there were no photos of a reception or documents being signed. Furthermore, my facebook ‘info’ section never changed from ‘male’ interested in ‘men’. The idea that changing my facebook relationship status means anything is laughable for somebody that still talks to people and goes to the checkout, rather than using the self-service machines at Tesco.
In other words, if I had attempted to hoax a wedding, I would have tried a little harder. What is difficult to justify is how people who ‘know’ me believed simply from browsing my photographs that I had decided to change my sexuality and get married (I certainly wouldn’t have been trying for Russian citizenship). I have concluded that people in general dislike reason; they prefer to judge from what they see, rather than use reason and ask few questions. This is the foundation of superstition, religion and politics. In fact, it brings a Christian parable to mind – the one where the blind men are all standing around feeling different parts of a camel, the man holding its tail claims it is a rope etc. ‘But aaaaah’ says Jesus ‘look at the whole thing and you will see’. A little rude of him perhaps. Or, the artist Piero Manzoni who sold cans of his own poo that turned out to be fake: they were sold for so much money (one was sold to the Tate for over £20000) that no-body dared to look inside for over forty years and find out that they were filled with plaster. So the point is, appearances can be deceptive, and it’s easy to fool people, even unintentionally. People like to believe. But ‘STOP’ I say, ‘ruin the illusion run through the streets and tell your friends, that neither God, nor camels, nor wrestling is real!’ a
The Forum, Devonshire Street, SheďŹƒeld
end of the line
Even amidst today’s globalised cultural homogeneity thanks to which there is a branch of Starbucks in the Forbidden City and even previously uncontacted tribes of the deepest Amazon recognise the Golden Arches, Japan has somehow managed to maintain something of the exotique about it. Even though on the surface Japan is one of the most ‘Westernised’ of Eastern nations - fully industrialised, modernised and capitalised, and boasting the highest concentration of McDonald’s restaurants anywhere in the world (26.2 per square mile in central Tokyo) - Japan remains somehow fundamentally ‘different’ enough from anything we can experience here on our quiet little island that the appeal of the Mystic Orient is still strong. It is this strange attractive force that drives otherwise sane and normal men and women to waste months, even years of their ked to the g with, “Why lives slavishly watching the endless streams 8amofonvapid a anime cartoons that Japan generates, dn't he just kill over images of animated schoolgirls masturbate iday being or elaborately befouled by many-tentacled ghs. aliens/mutants/demons, and even to dress as their favourite characters from said anime series or cartoon rapefest and attend conventions for like-
If your train is full but more passengers wish to come aboard, polite men in smart uniforms wearing white gloves will happily lend a hand or shoulder in squeezing more people than you would have ever though possible into a railway carriage.
convenient...” they think. Not gic.” Not “I wonder whether arried.” Not “What could
minded Japanophiles where they will (presumably) re-enact some of their favourite incest/rape/ tentacle orgy scenes together. But this Otaku (geek) culture is only one of the many facets of Japanese culture as stereotyped by Westerners; assumptions of Japan are many and varied. Of course there’s the anime/manga/hentai aspect, but there’s also bushido, the noble path of the Samurai, a great many martial arts with their strict codes of discipline, and an unbending sense of honour and propriety. There are robots, lasers and futuristic electronic gadgets and a particularly adventurous and creative – not to mention lucrative – sex industry. The list could go on. Two further characteristics of Japanese society which persistently crop up in Western images of Japan are an unfathomable propensity for suicide, and an unerringly efficient and punctual public transport network. May I start by saying that both of these crass, uninformed generalisations which, to be frank, border on racism, are inescapably true. While Japan has not topped the table of international suicide rates for at least a decade (it now languishes in 8th place behind a raft of apparently depressed former Soviet satellite states, with Lithuania currently holding the much coveted title of Most Suicidal Nation), its suicide rate remains more than 4 times that of Great Britain. On top of this, suicide in Japan has been highly ritualised in the past, and even today is considered fairly commonplace. Japan’s mass transit system is crowded, hot, uncomfortable and frustrating, but nonetheless it is extremely efficient and punctual. If your train
If your train is full but more passengers wish to come aboard, polite men in smart uniforms wearing is full but more passengers wish gloves to comewill aboard, liable to arrive simultaneously, resulting white happily trains lend aarehand polite men in smart uniforms wearing in white gloves more in a stampede or shoulder squeezing people to rival La Corrida at Pamplona. will happily lend a handthan or shoulder in squeezing The crush of people becomes so severe that you you would have ever though more people than you would haveinto evera though no longer have any control over where you are possible railway carriage. possible into a railway carriage. If, by some unforeseeable and strange occurrence, your train should arrive later than scheduled, the same polite men are ready to dispense apology slips, which you can show to your employer to explain why you were 3 and a half minutes late for work today. I am making this process seem a lot more calm and organised than it actually is. Rush hour in
“How inconvenient...” they think. Not “How tragic.” Not “I wonder whether he was married.” Not “What could have possibly driven him to end his own life?” Just “How inconvenient”.
Tokyo is indescribably hectic, crowded, hot and noisy and is only able to function at all because everyone knows precisely where they are going, how to get there and precisely how long it takes for them to complete their journey. If you place a Gaijin (foreigner) into the same situation the result will invariably be confusion, disorientation, panic, rage and, eventually, regression to the mental state of a 4 year-old ending with the poor unfortunate White Man curled up in a corner sucking his thumb and crying uncontrollably. Things only get worse when a train is delayed, as the trains are even more crowded than usual, and with the timetable disrupted several heavily-laden
walking – you are simply carried along by an inexorable tide of bodies, and if you are lucky you will be washed ashore somewhere near to where you were trying to get. But what has an unhealthy penchant for autoassassination got to do with the efficiency of Japan’s groaning rail network? And what, indeed, has any of this got to do with the price of eggs? The thing is, Japan’s most popular method of suicide is death-by-locomotive. Japanese men (it is almost exclusively overworked businessmen) are throwing themselves under fast-moving trains on a daily basis. This, understandably, causes significant disruption to the aforementioned punctuality of said trains. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that all major delays on any rail network in Japan are almost invariably caused by a suicide. But what is interesting is the reaction – or lack thereof – from Japanese commuters. The electronic boards displaying train time information will politely refer to ‘an incident involving a person’ as the cause of the delay, but it is understood by all what this means – a desperately stressed, overworked or depressed Japanese businessman has finally reached the stage at which he can endure no longer, and he feels that the only possible course of action for him is to take his own life. Perhaps he has just lost his job and cannot face his family to tell them the news. Maybe his
gambling debts have finally caught up to him and he would sooner take his own life than see his home repossessed and his family made destitute. He could have finally succumbed to the depression with which he has been struggling for decades. Whatever the individual story, without knowing any of the details you know, without doubt, that it is a desperately tragic tale of crushing personal grief and sorrow, that somewhere there is a family who has just lost their son, husband or father and will never get him back. You do not need to know the man’s name, profession, income or marital status to feel sorrow at the dreadful thing which has just happened, and you cannot help but to feel slightly – only very, very marginally – involved in the tragedy.
fighting on the front line will mourn the passing of his close comrades in arms, but cannot think of the tragedy of the adversary he has just shot and killed. So it is with the Japanese commuter – his own life, his own tragedies, his own joys are real to him, but the tragedy of just-another-salaryman throwing himself on the tracks only makes him late for work. The thing, however, which I found the most deeply disturbing is how quickly one can adopt this callous mindset. The first time my train was delayed by “an incident involving a person”, it took me a few minutes to work out what that meant, and then when the train finally did arrive I travelled in statue silence, with a cold feeling in my heart at the thought that I had just been peripherally involved in a man’s suicide.
“What a bastard!” I joked to the friends I was travelling with, “Why would he kill himself at 8am on a weekday morning? Couldn't he just kill himself on a national holiday or something?” Everyone laughs.
A month or so later, the same thing happened again. In the intervening few weeks, several of my friends had been delayed by similar events on different lines, so it And yet, this is not the reaction visible on the was nothing like the faces of those fellow commuters around you. chilling shock that I They are checking their watches, glaring at the felt the first time. “What If your train is full but moreto the electronic signboard accusingly, shuffling their a bastard!” I joked passengers wish to come aboard, feet and checking their watches again, wondering friends I was travelling with, polite men in smart uniforms wearing when the next train will come. You can read their “Why would he kill himself white gloves will happily lend a hand minds, every one of them. “How inconvenient...” at 8am on a weekday morning? or shoulder in squeezing more people they think. Not “How tragic.” Not “I wonder Couldn’t he just kill himself on a national holiday than you would have ever though whether he was married.” Not “What could have or something?” Everyone laughs. A bad taste joke, possible into a railway carriage. possibly driven him to end his own life?” Just I know, but the suicide causing my delay seemed “How inconvenient”. far enough removed from myself that it was okay to joke about it. But this is always the case – when surrounded by death one becomes inured to it. When a dearly About two weeks later we had Monday off from beloved pet is put to sleep, it is a heart-wrenching University to celebrate Culture Day (lord only moment for the doting owner but for the vet, who knows what the purpose of this holiday is). All does this all time, it is merely part of the job. A sad Tokyo universities put on a school festival part, no doubt, but it is taken in stride. A soldier over the long weekend of Culture Day, and
“How inconvenient...” they think. Not “How tragic.” Not “I wonder whether
as I hadn’t been to mine yet, over the weekend I decided to go and see what it involved. When I got to the station, however, the ticket barriers seemed closed, and there several people milling around looking confused. A large blackboard had been put up with a message scrawled in Japanese which I couldn’t read, but by-and-by an announcement came on over the Tannoy system: “We apologise for the inconvenience, but due to an incident involving a person...” it began. I rolled my eyes heavenwards, cursing the inconsiderate bastard who had gone and flung himself under a train when I wanted to go into town to see my school festival but just then I caught myself, and realised with a strangely cold feeling that this was, in fact, exactly what I had wished only two weeks earlier. “What a bastard!” I had said “Couldn’t he just kill himself on a National Holiday or something?” And just like that I realised what I had become.
The rail companies, for their part, have done what they can to discourage suicide on the railway tracks by imposing enormous fines on the families of those who have just killed themselves to compensate them for lost revenue from the delays. This seems more than a little insensitive to me. Dear Madam, We regret to inform you that your husband has killed himself. Please find enclosed a bill for 50 million yen. Payment is due by the end of the month. Yours sincerely, Japan Railways It’s enough to drive anyone to suicide. a Genghis Kong is currently residing in Tokyo. For sporadic and ill-informed updates and observations on Japan, visit his blog at genghiskongvs.blogspot.com
before we put you in the wickerman Textures are really important for clothes. Nothing says cheap like polyester, knitwear on the other hand speaks volumes. And rayon shirts are infinitely better than cotton. This shoot was about as many textures as possible: brick, leather, wool, glass, fake fur and rubber. With thanks to Ideology, this months fashion features international menswear from designers Fillipa K, Nom de Guerre, Surface to Air and Passerella Death Squad. Photography: Rachel Mellor Clothes from: Ideology Models: Harry, Max and Ben Masks:Party On on Division Street With thanks to: the Shakespeare Pub, Harry, Max, and Party On.
Penguin wears: Hoodie - Nom de Guerre T shirt - Passarella Death Squad Gorrilla wears Shawl Cardigan - Nom de Guerre T shirt - Nom de Guerre
Gorrilla wears: Knit Jumper - Nom de Guerre Slim Jeans - Fillipa K Penguin T shirt - Passarella Death Squad Rabbit Nylon Jacket - Fillipa K
Rabbit and Penguin both wear Trench Coat - Surface to Air Paris
Gorrilla wears Hooded Jacket - Nom de Guerre T shirt - Passarella Death Squad
rabbit wears: Shirt - Fillipa K Jeans - Surface to Air (Paris) Cardigan Nom de Guerre
You can have YOUR advertisment right here, where this ham is, for a very low cost. And thatâ€™s not all weâ€™ll even remove the ham for you, FREE of charge!
Lets face it, no one wants the ham. Do the world a favour. To advertise in Article, the pop culture magazine Email: email@example.com
feadz / / / / Strange one. This patient seems convinced that he’s signed to France’s biggest electro music label, Ed Banger. He believes that he’s had over 20 releases over the last decade, including a riotous remix of Foreigner’s classic Cold As Ice. He claims that earlier this year he dropped one of the filthiest, most rocking EPs of the year in the form of his Happy Meal EP. From anyone else, these claims would be nothing more than the ramblings of the latest admission to Bedlam. But we’re not dealing with anyone else. You see, our subject for this psychological experiment is none other than Parisian electro noise-monger, DJ Feadz. Let’s get into his head. The Rorscharch test is probably better known to most as the Ink Blot test. Subjects are shown plates with abstract, enigmatic patterns on them and asked to articulate, as best they can, exactly what that slide makes them think of. Feadz seems bemused, and not exactly optimistic. “This is the first test I’ve done so I might not have so much imagination…!”
“Makes me think of like a spider or a fox, you know?” Now, the thing about the Rorscharch tests is the huge emphasis its proponents put on the sexual connotations of the images. “But I didn’t think this was sexual! It would be a very big bush…”
“There is a mixture between like a face and some continents? I might not have so much imagination again! I see a big face and some stuff that doesn’t mean so much.”
“It looks like a character, with maybe a tail or a dick or something like this. Me, I’m drawing a lot, makes me think about my characters.” What kind of stuff does Feadz draw? “Stupid stuff, like faces. Mostly like simple, simple face. But I like to draw a lot, yeah.”
“That’s a bat.” Feadz is nothing if not concise.
“That one looks like Darth Vader!” Someone told me earlier that day that this looks a little bit like Busy P. I’m sure there’s something in that.
“It’s like the stuff in the cemetery, you call it a grave? With the cross here. It looks like a gravestone, yeah.” “I think about…nothing. I don’t see nothing in that picture.” Nothing at all? “No. Nothing.” At this point, I’m beginning to think the Rorschach test wasn’t one of my brighter ideas.
“This one, er, makes me think about crabs.”
“This one makes me think of kind of a skull like a…yeah…a skull.”
Feadz looks suitably bemused and perplexed by this last one. “Yeah...have you had a look at the answers for these?” Well, strictly speaking there are no right and wrong ‘answers’. a 41
it?” ! How is our bike “I like y
or something like that
“I’m living the Dream!”
d foun on i fash
g C C A great many events have occurred since the last Court Circular. Fairground enjoyed a warm show of support from Minnaars, James Rand, Armittage Shanks and Bald Mike the Disco Destroyer. Their next engagement will take place in the newly opened Stockroom on the 17th of December. Performers will represent a who's-who selection of Sheffield's finest electro acts, including Beautiful Balloon, Darlings of the Splitscreen, Wonk DJs, Up and Atom, Coin Operated Boy, Run Hide Survive and many more. Rumours of a rare Pofolo set are unconfirmed. Club Pony too has been in excellent form with Riton and Proxy entertaining. Although many have noted that Up and Atom have recently threatened to steal the show. Enjoyed by all, Trust and Wonk too have equally given some wonderful experiences. In other realms, Small Ideas Promotions have brought a great many eccentric acts to Sheffield, including NLF3 who delivered a magically French set. Na Zdrove too has held some excellent evenings. Apparently the Shakespeare is no longer structurally sound after their sellout soiree. Upcoming excursions include Sulphate's Free party at the Redroom on the 19th of December. Expect peculiar and slightly dirty house, in a venue that no one has ever been to! To great acclaim, the Darlings of the Splitscreen of Oxfordshire, this month released a digital recording of four new songs. Produced by Run Hide Survive's Michel de Forrest. Our favourite track is "25 mph", which allegedly bemoans band member Chris driving too slowly for other band member Phil. It is sung by third band member Tom. Run Hide Survive has also released a lovely record. The Dyson/Pigeon E.P. sold out quickly, featuring some phenomenally good artwork. Certainly one for archivists. Fine tailors Syd and Mallory's have recently made camp in the Forum. Our favourite shops are now in a row, meaning that we no longer have to journey the whole way to the Hallam campus. Thank the lord! For all of you T-Shirt wearing folk, Toast have recently garnered an exclusive account. They are now the only retailer of Drop Dead, other than the internet! Awesome. We have been shown some. They are as many would say "well fucking cool!" In keeping with modern times, Ideology Boutique has developed a stunning internet web site, ideologyboutique.co.uk. You are encouraged to visit it with your parents' credit cards. In sadder news, we must say our goodbyes to Razor Stilletto and Urban Gorilla. Both nights will not be rejoining Sheffield nightlife in 2009. Their departure will be sadly missed. Both have served for many years. So the year 2009 appears to wide open. You are encouraged to do something, lest Sheffield fall to the shitness of the Academy's Pet Sounds. In other news, Court Circular changed its font to the more elegant Caslon. We implore you to appreciate the lower case g in particular.