Monday, 31 December 2012

2013 is loading ████████████ 99%

Exile's End of Year List


2012
My top 5 albums:
#5-2
(in no particular order)
Swans: The Seer/Wadada Leo Smith: Ten Freedom Summers/Mark Lanegan Band: Blues Funeral/Scott Walker: Bisch Bosh
#1
Bvdub: All Is Forgiven
Best Box: Can's Lost Tapes

Best 12": Burial - Kindred
Embarrassment of the year:
Dexy's Midnight Runners comeback

Cover version of the year:

In depth quality journalism at its finest from Murdoch's flagship Australian paper


Dim Stars - Monkey/The Night Is Coming On (Live 1991)


Richard Hell - Thurston Moore - Don Fleming - Steve Shelly

Ghosts Of Abu Ghraib (2007)

Award winning documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy explores the human and political consequences of one of the most bitter scandals of the war in Iraq in this feature. In the 1960′s, a prison was built in Abu Ghraib, an Iraqi city west of Baghdad, and during the regime of Saddam Hussein it became a center of torture and abuse where political dissidents were subjected to agonizing punishment or death.
Following the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003, the prison was taken over by American military authorities, and was used as a holding facility for prisoners of war and suspected terrorists captured by U.S. forces.
The prison's reputation as a site of widespread abuse rose again when journalists discovered photographs of Iraqi prisoners being tortured and humiliated in an ugly variety of ways by American soldiers, a scandal which had a major impact on international thinking about the war.
Ghosts of Abu Ghraib offers an in-depth look at the story behind the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, featuring interviews with observers on both sides of the national divide. Ghosts of Abu Ghraib received its world premiere in 2007.
How The Huffington Post ate the Internet

To avoid further deaths like Nirbhaya's, here's what the political class must do

RIP Nirbhaya

Google India pays tribute to Delhi's braveheart
Via 

Bollywood films sanctify pestering and stalking of women

10 reasons why India has a sexual violence problem

The gatekeepers?

...These figures present Israel (and the world ) with a very disturbing and frightening picture. It is no longer only Israel's detractors who are comparing the Israel Defense Forces with the Nazis. Now, albeit with certain reservations, Avraham Shalom is doing so as well. No longer is it only Israel's despised leftists who brandish the prophecies of philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz about the corrosive effects of the occupation and its power to turn Israel into a "Shin Bet state"; now, with certain reservations, Yuval Diskin admits it as well - and both Shalom and Diskin ignore the fact that they were among the parties who were responsible for the transgression.
Via

#FucktheNRA


I did this New Yorker cover in 1993. Colombine happened in 1999, Newton in 2012, nearly 20 years later. My wish for 2013: let Newton be remembered as the turning point—I'm hoping that kids with guns can become ironic again.
Via

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements

Over the The Replacements' 12-year existence, the band's live sets were magical. Gorman Bechard's remarkable history of the 'Mats takes us from their first show and everywhere in between. He relies solely on the fans; memories of their albums and antics. Material from Husker D├╝, Babes in Toyland, The Decemberists, The Hold Steady, Archers of Loaf, Titus Andronicus, and Goo Goo Dolls is included.
Go here to read an essay on the last best band ever: noisey.vice.com/blog/the-replacements-are-awesome-and-if-you-dont-like-it-you-can-go-to-hell


December 30, 2012
I’m sorry that you took my comments as having sexist undertones. That certainly wasn’t intentional and I apologize.
I was trying to address the fact that human society overall seems to degrade *all* people who try or even express that they might want to try to improve things. Often when a hacker wants to build a thing, we see people only telling them that they shouldn’t bother or when they want to learn, a similar negative pattern emerges. I was merely trying to address that kind of generally oppressive attitude that is a quite prevalent subtext in our community. We beat up on ourselves and others too often.
I think you’re generally right about the issues of sexism in the community and it generally reflects the world at large. There is far too much hateful shit in the air – it comes from a lot of places and it would be great if we could resolve it overall.

As far as the Crypto Party/PrivateGSM stuff goes – I was trying to experiment with a new device that only supported PrivateGSM (ie: no redphone, textsecure, etc – iOS for the loss); sadly, PrivateGSM did not work on the platform that I was using and I simply ran out of time before the event. I thought I had apologized previously but well, obviously that wasn’t conveyed properly — so, I’ll repeat by saying that I’m sorry for not being able to participate after accepting your invitation.

I think I should add that I was quite surprised to find myself as an example in your blog post. I personally wonder why you hadn’t mentioned this harbored resentment to me during the private conversations we’ve had lately. It really feels disrespectful and I hope that in the future, if you’re upset with me or with something I have or haven’t done, that you’ll talk with me directly.

December 30, 2012
Maybe I am disrespectful towards you nowadays. I apologise.
You used to be one of the ppl I looked up to. The interactions we had around cryptoparty definitely undermined my respect for you.
The first paragraph of the article explains it’s not just a post about sexism and misogyny.
The post explains the small events over time that led to me quitting. Some of the interactions I had with you around Cryptoparty played into the outcome.
You have resources, freedom to move, networks to do things. Every few weeks you’re traveling to a new hacker space, meeting a celebrity, working on an international project.
Each thing I do – each tweet, each email, each response – is scraped from a situation with barely no time or space to myself, with limited resources.
I suspect it may be impossible for you to understand what I go through just to do things that for you seem simple and easy.
If you did, I suspect you wouldn’t have tested out PrivateGSM on me, 48hrs before Cryptoparty launched here in Melbourne, without testing it on yourself first.
I spent hours feeling stupid, not understanding why PrivateGSM wasn’t working, having put in hours of working on it, not wanting to seem like I wasn’t trying.
Reading your comments on LiberationTech’s email list questioning if I was willing to learn – I was livid.
Of course I’m teachable, but sometimes learning conditions are impossible.
You never admitted PrivateGSM wasn’t working for you either until now, by the way. You told me you were installing it. And then you cancelled.
I only guessed that you’d had problems, when I asked a bunch of people to try it out for me and a number of them had problems installing it.
I apologise for not bringing these issues up with you sooner. I always restricted my private comments to you, trying only to engage on a basis of ‘getting things done.’
Community means talking about stuff publicly, not just code and crypto. And that dialogue wasn’t fostered. The technical suggestions you made to me didn’t work, the projects you suggested were out of my ability and the comments you made on LibTech left me feeling two-inches tall.
I felt like my contribution was consistently under-valued, abused, and taken for granted.
I should have raised issues, with a number of people, but felt the working relationships were too fragile to push the card by saying anything.
Anyway, now I’ve said how I felt and I’ve been hacked, d0x’d and had every private affair since 2001 raised publicly in the last 24hrs.
Thank you for your response. I’ll keep in mind your comments.
December 31, 2012
Apology accepted, I hope the feeling is mutual but I have the feeling that it might be not entirely.
I realize that the article is not just about sexism and misogyny; it doesn’t however feel great to be mentioned in the article as it conflates some non-sexist, non-misogynistic interactions we’ve had personally. Without our personal context, I think that people will read it as you calling me out for being a sexist, misogynistic jerk; a few people at the Congress here did actually ask me if that was the case. I found it to be utterly frustrating if only because our private context is entirely left out.
I understand that there are different things that challenge each of us and I have tried my best to support you in your efforts. I have also given my honest opinions and tried to be extremely understanding of the contexts. That is why I have tirelessly helped Nadim with CryptoCat, why I tried to give constructive feedback about CryptoParty, and of course why I offered you my full support in your other project that I won’t name here.
When you suggest that I travel freely, I feel that you downplay the issues that I have faced and still face. It feels extremely insulting and yet I don’t hold onto it. Just as I cannot know fully what your experience is and how much you struggle, I know that my life probably looks like a cake walk. Things are not as they seem and that is exactly why I stated in my keynote that conflict resolution, mutual aid and solidarity should be community goals. I think that working towards higher goals is a good idea!
I try my best to support your efforts and have put in quite a lot of time, energy and good will in solidarity with your causes. I try to give you the benefit of the doubt and harbor no ill will towards you; if I had an issue, I’d talk with you directly and honestly.
I didn’t “test” PrivateGSM out on you. I use it all the time – I simply had a new device and didn’t have my other normal device with me. As I said, I couldn’t install it properly. I was trying to hack it together to help you out – the issues you had on your end weren’t related to the fact that my setup wasn’t working. I’m sorry that the setup wasn’t a great experience but I hope you realize that in this case, we’re both users at the mercy of the software vendor. :(
I never at any point suggested that you didn’t want to learn – rather, I stated that the way you phrased things felt dis-empowering. Both in a self-deprecating manner and in a way that is all too common in our community. I was *trying* to be supportive with what I said and it doesn’t seem that even now my intentions are reaching you. I’m not really sure what else to say about the topic, so perhaps I’ll just stop trying to re-state my intentions.
I’m sorry you’re having a hard time and I think it i utter bullshit that you’re being attacked for having this dialog. I hope in the future that things will be more respectful all around.

Jacob Appelbaum: Not My Department (29C3 Keynote 27/12/12)


Enemies of the State: What Happens When Telling the Truth about Secret US Government Power Becomes a Crime
Blowing the Whistle on Spying, Lying & Illegalities in the Digital Era
Panel presented at 29C3 (29th Chaos Communication Congress), 27 December 2012. Speakers are Jesselyn Radack, Thomas Drake, and William Binney

TRUTH

In Delhi slum, tales of the rape suspects


Russian plane crashes onto road

Django Reinhardt: King Of Jazz Guitar


Via

Andrew Exum: From Benghazi to Blackwater

HA!

Via

Bronx Woman Charged With Murder as a Hate Crime in Subway Attack

A law enforcement official said that Ms. Menendez had “told the cops it was an act against Muslims,” and cited the Sept. 11 attacks. The victim, Sunando Sen, was born in India and, according to a roommate, was raised Hindu.
Via

DJ Brainchild: Dego Mix (Free Download)

                      Tracklist:
  1. ego "Da Fuzz" (feat. Matt Lord)
  2. 4hero "Hold It Down" (feat. Lady Alma)
  3. Silhouette Brown "They Can't Tell Us"
  4. DKD "Future Rage"
  5. Dego "DNP" exclusive
  6. Dego "Love & Hate You" (feat. Obenewa)
  7. Dego "Sparkling Minds (feat. Georgia Anne Muldrow)
  8. 4hero "Something In The Way" (feat. Bembe Segue & Kaidi Tatham)
  9. Silhouette Brown "Strawberries In Vinegar"
  10. 2000Black "Lose It" (feat. Face)
  11. DKD "Natty Head"
  12. Dego "They Never Know" (feat. Sarina Leah)
  13. Dego "We Are Virgo" (feat. Kaidi Tatham)
  14. Tek 9 "Interlude"
  15. Dego "Whatever" (feat. The Luv Bugz)
  16. Capitol A "Doing It Up"
  17. Dego "Valentines" exclusive
  18. Dego "Pushing You To Begin" (feat. Ferraz)
  19. 2000Black "So Right" (feat. Ferraz)
  20. MM Black "2000 Black" (feat. Roy Ayers)
  21. 4hero "Universal Love" (feat. Carol Cosby)
  22. Tek 9 "You Got To Slow Down"
  23. Jacob's Optical Stairway "Jacob's Optical Illusion"
  24. Da One Away "Trash Da Junk"
  25. 2000Black "If You Got 3 Wishes"
  26. 2000Black "Forgot The Steel Pans"
  27. Focus "Having Your Fun" (4hero Remix)
  28. 2000Black "Got Me Puzzled" (feat. Face, Dego & Kaidi)
  29. Dego "Right From Wrong" (feat. Tosin Tao)
  30. Dego "Road Lessons" exclusive

FWMJ vs dego 

Part 1: Elitism, Greed, The Common Denominator & The Underground

Part 2: Occupy, Kreayshawn, The Death of Black Music & Austerity

 

Yoko Ono Talks About Other Beatles’ Resentment Of Becoming ‘Paul’s Band’

Saturday, 29 December 2012


Site lists women as prostitutes until they fork over $100

Eight Are Charged With Victor Jara's 1973 Murder

Glenn Marzano: Stop Breakin' Down (A short film about Robert Johnson)


I completed "Stop Breakin' Down" in 1999 while a student at Loyola Marymount University. It was my thesis project. Synopsis: Who was Robert Johnson? The world knows him today as one of the fathers of the Delta Blues. But who was he, really? Everyone who knew him had a different opinion. To his field-hand stepfather, Robert Johnson was a dreamy kid who refused to work in the cotton fields and longed to play the guitar. To Blues great Son House, Johnson was a pesky teenager trying to wish himself into being a great guitar player, a dime-a-dozen kid without talent but desperate to succeed, who hung around juke joints bothering musicians to "sit in" on a set. To itinerant blues guitarist Ike Zinneman, Johnson was an ambitious young man who absorbed the guitar technique of other musicians like a sponge, a kid with a phenomenal ear for music who became great faster than anybody could have imagined. To the audiences who heard him play all over the South and up into Chicago and New York, he was the arrogant, handsome black man who played better than anybody had ever played, who wanted greatness so much that he went down to a Mississippi crossroads one midnight and sold his soul to the Devil in return for a short life and a talent that would live forever. "Stop Breakin' Down," looks at these different interpretations of Johnson's life. The script is structured around the night of his murder, linked to flashbacks to his youth, his relationship with Son House, and two possible reasons for his sudden acquisition of the blazing guitar technique: the crossroads legend, and the influence of Ike Zinneman. (25 minute Short Film)
Via

Sparklehorse (2007)




Friday, 28 December 2012

Johnny Allen Hendrix

Via

Will The RIAA Need To Start Worrying About 3D Printed Records Next?

Meanwhile...

Via

Margaret Thatcher's role in plan to dismantle welfare state revealed

Let's Go To School

Via
#FucktheNRA

London Nights (1930's)

(Pictures from London Night – John Morrison and Harold Burkedin 1934)
MORE

Devotionalhooligan Presents Hitrun Mix


Info
My Little Bubble

Dope




David Bowie’s First American Fan Letter And His Evolving Views of the U.S. (1967-1997)

Fontella Bass RIP

'Rescue Me' singer Fontella Bass dies aged 72

One of my gig going highlights was seeing Fontella perform with hubby Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy at the Bracknell Jazz Fest in the early eighties...wish I still had my recording of that!

Siouxsie

Via

Vale Gerry Anderson

Lady Penelope comes home late from a party:
Lady Penelope: "Parker, take off my coat"
Parker: "Yes m'lady"
LadyP: "Parker, take off my dress and shoes"
Parker: "Yes m'lady"
LadyP: "Parker, take off my bra and panties..."
Parker: "Yes m'lady"
LadyP: " ...and don't let me EVER catch you wearing them again"


My childhood would have been totally different without you

Portraits of Albanian Women Who Have Lived Their Lives As Men

For her project Sworn Virgins of Albania, photographer Jill Peters visited to the mountain villages of northern Albania to capture portraits of “burneshas,” or females who have lived their lives as men for reasons related to their culture and society.
Many of the women assumed their male identities from an early age as a way to avoid the old codes that governed the tribal clans, which stated that women were the property of their husbands. Peters explains,
The freedom to vote, drive, conduct business, earn money, drink, smoke, swear, own a gun or wear pants was traditionally the exclusive province of men. Young girls were commonly forced into arranged marriages, often with much older men in distant villages. As an alternative, becoming a Sworn Virgin, or ‘burnesha” elevated a woman to the status of a man and granted her all the rights and privileges of the male population. In order to manifest the transition such a woman cut her hair, donned male clothing and sometimes even changed her name. Male gestures and swaggers were practiced until they became second nature. Most importantly of all, she took a vow of celibacy to remain chaste for life. She became a “he”. This practice continues today but as modernization inches toward the small villages nestled in the Alps, this archaic tradition is increasingly seen as obsolete. Only a few aging Sworn Virgins remain...

Youth - Beginning Of The World Dub Set Pt 2 (The King Is Dead, Long Live The King)


(Downwards arrow to download)
1. Killing Joke - Requiem (A Floating Leaf Always Reaches The Sea Mix)
2. Mark Stewart - Method To The Madness Dub (Youth and Mark's Dub Mix)
3. Killing Joke - Labryrinth Dub
4. Youth vs Brother Culture - Final Push Dub Attack
5. Dahab Express (Youth's Special Edit)
6. The Orb Featuring David Gilmour - Metallic Spheres (Gaudi Remix)
7. White Rainbow - Awakening
8. Poly Styrene - Black Christmas (Khan Remix)
9. Mark Stewart - Attack Dogs (Featuring Primal Scream) (Youth and Mark's Dub Mix)
10. Killing Joke - Money Is Not Our God (Babylon Dub)
11. Killing Joke - Democracy (Russian Tundra Mix) (Orb Remix)
12. Brian Barritt vs Youth - Cosmic Courier
13. Killing Joke - Tomorrow's World (Urban Primitive Dub)
14. White Noise - Love Without Sound
15. Killing Joke - This World Hell (Cult Of Youth Ambient Samsara Dub Mix)
16. Mark Stewart - Apocalypse Dub (Feat. Daddy G) (Youth and Mark's Dub Mix)
17. Richard Thompson - The Calvary Cross (Intro) vs Refused - Refused Are Fucking Dead
18. Youth - Global Chant (Acapella Dub)
19. Suns Of Arqua - Raga 4 (Youth Ambient Mix)
Bonus:
Youth's End Of The World Dub Mix Set

The London Nobody Knows


In the wholly terrestrial 1980s, I would scour and dogear the Radio and TV Times the day they came out, looking for rare showings of great films and archive oddities. Channel 4 made life easy with Truffaut, British new wave, or Marx Brothers seasons. The real plums, though, could often be hidden in the ITV - or Thames, round our way - schedules, maybe at one in the morning, maybe at three in the afternoon.
It was the latter slot that broadcast The London Nobody Knows, a 1967 documentary stroll around the city with James Mason. No horseguards, no palaces, but Islington's Chapel Market, pie shops, and Spitalfields tenements. Carnaby chicks and chaps, the 1967 we have been led to remember, are shockingly juxtaposed with feral meths drinkers, filthy shoeless kids, squalid Victoriana. Camden Town still resembles the world of Walter Sickert. There is romance and adventure, but mostly there is malnourishment. London looks like a shithole.
The film was directed by Norman Cohen and based on a book by Geoffrey Fletcher. When our band, Saint Etienne, came to making our first film, Finisterre, Fletcher was our mentor, The London Nobody Knows our first point of reference. Fletcher is the great forgotten London writer. He went to the Slade School of Art and drew sketches for the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, where he recorded the rapidly changing capital in a column called London Day by Day.
The London Nobody Knows was first printed in 1962, and he followed it with a string of books (London After Dark, Pearly Kingdom, The London Dickens Knew) which all covered similar ground. But being written in a style equal parts Max Beerbohm and Oscar Wilde, sharpness and melancholy, it hardly mattered. The only noticeable change was in his growing irascibility with the passing years.
It is hard to believe he hasn't been an influence on contemporary Londonographers. Like Iain Sinclair, he frequents areas where "the kids swarm like ants and there are dogs everywhere": Hoxton, Camberwell, Whitechapel. Yet he never plays the inverted snob and adores Hampstead. Once, at a fair on the Heath, he overheard a man saying that Hampstead wasn't thrilling enough. Fletcher reached over in the darkness and stuck an ice lolly down the back of his shirt.
Along with Peter Ackroyd, Fletcher shares a keen interest in public toilets, referring to himself as an "experienced conveniologist". Among his favourites are lavatories in Holborn where the attendant once kept goldfish in the water tank. And, like Ackroyd, he has an obsession with Hawksmoor: The London Nobody Knows was written at a time when one of his pentagram of churches - Christ Church, Spitalfields - was under threat of demolition. He relishes bad Gothic architecture and, again like Ackroyd, feels that London's past is ever-present - the spirit of Sherlock Holmes, Peter Pan, or Peter the Painter. Fact or fiction, or even just "the odour of London dinners". "In spite of the passage of time, one can feel a decided atmosphere," he reckons, in "mistressy Maida Vale" and in London's permanent "pleasing state of decay".
Fletcher was capturing London on the cusp, ordering his readers to look up as they walked along the street - because that "cardboard medievalism" or "early Oscar Wilde" (his shorthand for 1880s architecture) may be gone before long. And, thankfully, a lot of it has.
He is rarely sentimental ("the quick dull look of the true Londoner" sticks in the memory) but the music halls were a loss of particular sadness for him. In the film, James Mason walks around the ruins of the now-gone Bedford theatre in Camden, where Marie Lloyd was a regular performer and which Sickert frequently painted. Off the top of my head, the only music hall he mentions that is still standing is Harwood's Varieties on Pitfield Street, Hoxton - now some kind of warehouse. But it was the interiors that Fletcher found particularly enchanting and they are all gone. The remains are skeletons of "a vanished civilisation that will be as mysterious and incomprehensible in the coming time as Stonehenge".
Still, every so often you come across something that has survived into the 21st century. Cartwright Gardens, Bloomsbury, a down-at-heel crescent of lodgings and seedy hotels where Fletcher lived as an art student, has hardly changed since the 1940s. The view over to King's Cross and St Pancras from the brow of Pentonville Road still has an odd, windswept romanticism. James Smith's umbrella shop on New Oxford Street seemed a miraculous survivor in 1962, let alone 2003. And then there's Ely Place, ostensibly in Holborn but to this day officially part of Cambridgeshire.
Where Fletcher mourned the passing of the music halls, today it is the Italian caffs and milk bars of the 1950s and 1960s that are being wiped out in an unseemly rush. Eateries like the New Piccadilly on Denman Street (hanging on) and Presto on Old Compton Street (just expired) are central to the birth of British pop culture. Mimicking the author in his absence, I'll direct you to the wonderfully wooded Chalet on Grosvenor Street and the Copper Grill, near Liverpool Street, which has one of the most beautiful facades in London and is due to disappear next spring - relics as otherworldly now as Victorian oyster rooms must have seemed in the 1960s.
No question, Geoffrey Fletcher was obsessed with London, driven on by a mania for exploration. He considered it not in the least unhealthy, and compared it to Toulouse-Lautrec's obsession with Montmartre. It was his belief that "a man can do everything better in London - think better, eat and cheat better, even enjoy the country better". He desired a London of human proportions and worried that office blocks would wipe out the pie shops, Hawksmoor's churches, "the tawdry, extravagant and eccentric". Yet this hasn't happened and probably never will. He would always be able to find something to savour, something to sketch in a city that constantly evolves.
The GLC should have created a heritage job for him, to archive and catalogue the city's finest aberrations. Instead he has left us a stack of atmospheric, thrilling documents. "In England" he grumbled, "such things are almost always left to chance, and a few cranks." Geoffrey Fletcher would be pleased to know that the ambiguous melancholy of The London Nobody Knows has inspired a new generation of cranks.
Bob Stanley @'The Guardian' (2003)

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Brion Gysin Permutations Software


I wrote the software "Permutations" for the exhibition Brion Gysin: Dream Machine on display at The New Museum for Contemporary Art between July 7th and October 3rd 2010. This software is a "version" of the program developed by Ian Sommerville and Gysin in 1960 to permute poems. The original program ran on a Honeywell Series 200 model 120 computer. The version I wrote uses a modern programming language and hardware. While the materials used to produce the original permutation poems are in many ways quite different from my own, I have attempted to create a realization of the work that is sensitive to the original and its process. At the same time, it is a new version, a collaboration done in the spirit of an artist whose work provides a critique of conventional notions of authorship.
I believe it is in the spirit of the work to share copies of the software I wrote under the GNU General Public License. This license allows gives anyone the ability to download, run, alter, and share the software. The one requirement is that all future versions must be released under the GPL as well. You may download the software here or on github.
In closing, I want to thank The New Museum and specifically Kraus Family Curator Laura Hoptman and Assistant Curator Amy Mackie for their trust and support in completing this project. Thanks also to Doron Ben-Avraham, Manager of Information Technology at The New Museum for his help and advocacy.
Joseph Moore 2010
Documentation of Permutations also available on ubu.com
Via
(Thanx SJX!)

The Hood Internet vs The Hype Machine - Best of 2012 Zeitgeist Mix


MORE MIXES:
hypem.com/zeitgeist

Pulp unveil new track 'After You' produced by James Murphy

Info

South Korean Kindergartners Sing The Ramones


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

The Insect's Christmas (1913)

Happy Hexmass!

Via

Sunday, 23 December 2012

THEY WILL NEVER WALK ALONE



I very much doubt there's an Exile reader amongst us who's a fan of those godawful group hug style charity singles. And even though it's a bit on the sacharine side I still went to iTunes and bought a copy of the Justice Collective single. It's the least I could do for the Hillborough 96.

Fingers crossed it'll be the UK No.1 this Christmas.

Hillsborough



First broadcast 5th December 1996, ITV1

Jimmy McGovern's dramatisation of the Hillsborough football stadium disaster both investigates the police actions which caused it and explores its effects on the victims' families, skilfully using the dramatised documentary form to weave together public issues and private emotion.

Founded in investigative journalism, Hillsborough dramatises court transcripts and documents new evidence which debunks police statements, for instance the supposed lack of decent video surveillance. Hillsborough overtly takes the families' point of view, punctuating the unfolding drama with the later statements to-camera of Hillsborough relatives (as played by actors). McGovern was energised by the passionate response of Hillsborough families to his 1994 Cracker story 'To Be A Somebody', in which the traumatised Alby raged against lies told about the disaster. Given the news currency of the families' campaign for truth, and McGovern's high profile, ITV fast-tracked Hillsborough onto screens in December 1996.

In the opening sequences, McGovern introduces young, passionate football fans, dismantling the myths about drunken 'yobs' stealing from and urinating on the dead, as told by the police and spread by The Sun. The police's stories directly contradict the official Taylor inquiry, which firmly concluded that the police were to blame.

For McGovern, as for Alby, these myths showed the politically-motivated animalisation of working-class groups by governments since the 1984-5 Miner's Strike - indeed, the metal fences which contributed to the disaster were introduced to cage all football grounds in the period. According to McGovern in a 1996 South Bank Show, the derisory compensation offered proved that the state saw the working-class as worthless and expendable.

Hillsborough's impact lies not in polemic but in its raw human drama. Far from airbrushing the families, McGovern achieves his typically strong and nuanced characterisation, showing the dissent within the families' justice campaign and the very human effects of trauma, recrimination and grief. Historical record and drama interact with tremendous power in a scene in which the camera moves from Trevor Hicks' (Christopher Eccleston) public face on a television screen to the next room in which Hicks begs his wife to wash their dead daughters' bedding. Clinging to their memory through smell, Jenni (Annabelle Ansion) accuses him of not caring enough; this scene and the marital breakdown it dramatises are almost unbearably moving.

It is testament to McGovern that newspapers cited Hillsborough as a factor in a new inquiry set up in 1997, although the families' search for accountability goes on.

(Guest post from Stan @Brand DNA)

UPDATE:
'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' is the Xmas #1 in the UK this year.
#Justiceforthe96 #YNWA




Thursday, 6 December 2012

Normal service will be resumed early in 2013