Friday, November 29, 2013
As a young man when the Dialectics of Liberation Congress led to formation Antiuniversity of London: Mike Weller was bemused and suspicious about an elderly grey-haired white man who would regularly turn up in the audience when revolution was in the air.
In 1967 it could be cool to be a London organizer like poet Bob Cobbing or an elderly grey-haired invited speaker like Herbert Marcuse. Not so cool to be an old bum on seat among an audience of young men and woman. James Savile was well into gigging by then - for not every male actor or entertainer in the '60s got to play BBC family friendly Dr Who in a broom closet time machine.
Mike Weller is a grey-haired elderly white man now.
Tiny Clangers, one hand gripped tightly to their pushchairs - sometimes wheeled along by Croydon's yummy mummies - don't pass an elderly man's knees at eye level, look up, point and then turn and cry "Man!" at their embarrassed mothers without good reason. It's early recognition of the adult human cismale.
At 2012's Queer Zine Fest, founder member Charlotte Richardson Andrews looked Weller straight in the eye after his table space request, asking with appropriate concern at this elderly grey-haired white male normative -
"Is there hate in your content?"
"I hope not," was Mr.Weller's reply.
Forgetting thirty-two years before, quite possibly before Charlotte was a twinkle, a still relatively young Mike Weller had drawn "Hate on the Dole" for Chainsaw punkzine.
As non-history, hate is shouty poetic and artistic energy.
Around same time drew a cartoon in feint pencil - not reproducible on photo-copiers in those days "boy dolls kiss kiss (try a little tenderness)". This drawing eventually formed part of 'English Punk Ballad' faintly reproduced, hidden like a whisper, in Veer's Beat generation Ballads (2011).
As non-history, tenderness is quiet revolutionary energy.
Zines found on info tables @anarchist social centres are largely ephemera drowning under other more or less useful 'Like'/'Unlike' information as social non-history.
Clenched fist (with/without red rose) and Delacroix derived liberty leading the people remain key visual symbols for revolutionary militancy - the republic's "Marianne" holding blood-soaked S-shaped flag. Yet "Ava the Riso" as affectionately described by The Common House seems to enjoy a tenderness for poetry and revolution in a antihistorical machine age.
After 2012's Pussy Riot/poetry/zine fests - Weller invited design xmas 2013 flyer for SW London & Surrey Zines. Fliss Collier, on visit Poetry Library end of last year, borrowed one of Bill Griffiths' Amra books, likening it to 'zine production. Michael was delighted to be asked to design flyer for Christmas 2013 social, especially as Miss Fliss thought a billygriff vispo would make fitting tribute to Griffiths as well as being appropriate for SW Zines. Bill sent homemade yule greeting cards from Seaham, County Durham, before his sad passing in 2007. Hermaphroditic reindeers from early 2000s do job nicely.
Bill Griffiths had L-O-V-E and H-A-T-E crudely tattooed on his Alessandro Scarlatti poetry-playing harpsichord fingers.
Chella Quint's 'Activism through Zines' (fold-in mini-zine featuring portraits Charlotte RA, Fliss & self-portrait Chella + other new gen zinesters).