"I met a prostitute – Angela W – from the fishing port of Grimsby on the mouth of the Humber in the North of England. I instantly fell in love with her in an all consuming way. The pain inside my body, so massively accumulated with the death of hopes for the social revolution...was wrenched away from me as she slowly...shambled towards me."
So begins what is at various times a highly personal, deeply political, coldly analytical and achingly optimistic account of what some consider to be one of the most important English political groupings of the 20th Century and beyond.
From a radical working class perspective, Dave Wise (helped by brother Stuart and longtime collaborator Nick Brandt) gives a first hand account of the (loose) formation of King Mob after their core members were excluded from the Situationist International by the schism-happy Debord in 1967. (Not, unfortunately, as the story used to go, after Debord came to London looking for the crack squad of pro-situ streetfighters he'd heard about, and found Dave and Stuart W. sat in front of Match of the Day getting on the lager- it never happened). "A Critical History…." celebrates their attempt to move "from the Situationist salon to the street" ... more
There's a moment in Jack Kerouac's 1962 autobiographical come-down novel 'Big Sur' where 'the King of the Beats' (a term he hated) comes face to face with "some sort of Beat Jesus", an 18 year old proto-hippy, there in San Francisco, a good eight or nine years before Woodstock, and a forbearer of a subcultural, generational shift that arguably changed Western culture for good.
Boys Own, the Complete Fanzines, 1986-92, has Big Sur moments peppered through the 1986-88 issues, as a small crew of West London football lads, clubbers, music freaks and blaggers start to realise that they're not just near the centre of Acid House as it starts to emerge from the primordial swamp of mid 80's UK subculture, they and the faces around them are helping create it... more
Since their birth in the late 1960's as a working class subcultural response to what was seen as a feminised, bourgeois-hippy parent culture, the skinhead has since held a semi-mythological status... more
After Guy Debord's seminal Society of the Spectacle, this new compendium brings together eight other important situationist works. Ivan Chtcheglov opens proceedings via his Formulary for a New Urbanism (1953)... more
From 43AD, and the building of the (no doubt very straight) Roman Great West Road to Silchester, to 2009, another bout of Carnival Riots and David Cameron getting his bike nicked outside Tescos...more
The Das Kapital of the 20th century,Society of the Spectacle is an essential text, and the main theoretical work of the Situationists. Few works of political and cultural theory... more