A light zine for dark times.
Sometimes, you know, I wonder and I think about it, and I just look up and look around and you know the stars – they’re so big and they’re so far away and it just takes something to make you stop and think about it and I think we all need lullabies sometimes and suddenly everyone’s got those little stars in their eyes and it’s amazing cos you’re here and I’m there or I’m here and you’re there and I think we all need to take time to stop and think about it – to look up – up out the window- up off the roof -take time to realise there are such big distances involved- such faster than light speeds- it can make you feel small- make you feel lost and it’s like if the history of the world was a minute then we would be like a millisecond and I think we all need lullabies sometimes and suddenly everyone’s got those little tears in their eyes and I don’t think you need to worry about it- cos look at you- you’re young, you’re old, you’re ill, you’re healthy- I mean you’ve got it all you have- you know what’s what- I mean you know how to…..
No No No.,I’m getting this one, I’m getting this one. This calls for something this does. We’ve got to slip the bounds of reason, got to wet the babies head, turn up the jukebox and get down to business – it’s getting late ……
( Feelings – The Song )….
Cos It’s like Dancing Queen and Up and Down and Put a Bucket by the side of the Bed and The Guy That Wrote This Song Is An Absoluate Genuis and You’ve got No Clue and You’ve Got No Comment and Ok Ok You’ve Got Swings and You’ve Got Roundabouts and Don’t you think All That Swearing is wrong and Hang on, Hang On, I think I’m going to be Sick and Hand on my Heart and Apologise, Apologise and You’re Full Of Shit and and My Friend Polly fancies me and My Freddie frightens me and My Friend Fanny says There’s No Use in Apologising Now and Cry Your Tears, come on Cry Your Tears and The Guy That Wrote This song Is An Absolute Genuis cos it’s like Falling and Up and Down and You Don’t Even Know What You’re Thinking it’s Crisis What Crisis and it’s Win Some Spend Some and it’s Spend Spend Spit….and
Ok. Ok. I know , know it’s hard sometimes to talk to people sometimes, hard to look them in the eye and tell them how you really feel, like now for instance, I could never have normally look you in the eye and tell you all this stuff about myself, and ok. ok. I know drinking can cause a lot of harm, causes a lot of trouble , but that’s because people don’t know when to stop ,they don’t know when they’ve had enough but like now, for instance but I think we’ve found out a lot about each other and you know, you’re special you are. You’re one in a million. No you are. I’d trust you with my life. No I would. I would. I love you. No. You Know. This calls for something this does. This calls for a drink No it’s my turn…
Cos It’s like Dancing Queen and Up and Down and Put a Bucket by the side of the Bed and The Guy That Wrote This Song Is An Absoluate Genuis and You’ve got No Clue and You’ve Got No Comment and Ok Ok You’ve Got Swings and You’ve Got Roundabouts and Don’t you think All That Swearing is wrong and Hang on, Hang On, I think I’m going to be Sick and Hand on my Heart and Apologise, Apologise and You’re Full Of Shit and and My Friend Polly fancies me and My Freddie frightens me and My Friend Fanny says There’s No Use in Apologising Now and Cry Your Tears, come on Cry Your Tears and The Guy That Wrote This song Is An Absolute Genuis cos it’s like Falling and Up and Down You Don’t Even Know What You’re Thinking it’s Crisis What Crisis and it’s Win Some Spend Some and it’s Spend Spend Spit….and
OH – It’s Stop the Rot and Cut the Crap and Cancel all the Food Aid til we’ve sorted our own problems out. And It’s – Shoot The Pope and Stiff The Workers and Put a Bloody Sock in it Woman and Do You Know What This Is? – Do You Know What This Is? – Well Come and Get It. You Want Some of This. Well , Go On Then, Come and Get It….
Text from Happy Hour.1998.
Movement and Text by Wendy Houstoun – With Additional Text ( some above ) and Direction – Tim Etchells.
Photo: Chris Nash.
” No. I mean. I don’t know what you think , I don’t know how you feel but i despair, i really don’t understand, it’s beyond me, it’s all so confusing. I mean, do you remember the last time? Well forget it. This whole episode is a shoddy display of something wrong turned inside out and we all know who we want to blame. I mean can we really stomach any more of this? Are we really expected to believe this is going to stop here? I mean I’m not one to complain but ask the man in the street, she’ll tell you, he’s got his back up against the wall, she’s got her back up against the mattress and if you can’t ride two horses at once then you shouldn’t be in the circus and if you can’t beat em join em, and if you can’t join em you should beat the shit out of em cos I’ve seen the future and it works, I mean if it ain’t broke don’t fix it cos you can learn a lot can’t you- just by watching and you can hear a lot just by listening and I’ve been listening , I’ve been listening- those chattering classes spreading charm and despondency- if you can’t see it then it doesn’t exist,…. and if you don’t like the answers then you shouldn’t ask the questions, and if you can keep your head while all around you are losing theirs then maybe you don’t understand the situation … cos even a paranoid has enemies and if you lie down with the dogs then you’re going to get up with the fleas and you never know how deep a puddle is until you step in it-….no, I mean, I think you have to be very careful before you point the finger, before you jump to conclusions, before you climb on the bandwagon -because I think we’re all getting a little bit hysterical. I mean, there’s no real search for the truth, its just a desperate grab for the fastest headline filled with sentiment and opinion, it’s just a tangled web of deceit involving those who should know better and there’s only so much we can take isn’t there- before we all just give up, turn over, pull the plug, switch off – because we’ve had enough haven’t we? – we’ve had enough of doom and gloom stories,we’ve had enough of sink stories, of slump stories, we’ve had enough of tragic tiny tots stories ‘, we’ve had enough of come back mum we miss you’ stories, we’ve had enough of bodies in the basement stories, we;ve had enough of broken glass in the baby food stories , we want something else don’t we ? …….. ”
excerpt from Happy Hour. 1998.
text and movement- Wendy Houstoun with additional text and direction – Tim Etchells.
If you came here looking for narrative arcs and sweet talk this is NOT the place for you. If you came here thinking there was going to be shape and substance ditto. This is no place for the Up at Heel or the Quick Quick – Get to the Point brigade. There is no point coming in here waiting for it all to fall into place. It’s not going to happen.
This is NOT for the pen pushers, the budget fixers, the finance fishers, the debt collectors, the strap line twitchers, the champagne at lemonade prices brigade, the talk to me now don’t bother me tomorrow merchants, the here today gone today touts, the many and the few ( neither one is you ) botherers, the string them up wash them dry mob, the what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine gaggle. And this is Not for the clicks either. Not for the likes. Not for the chance. Not even for the hint of a chance.
This has got nothing to do with the future ( what future?).
This is in no way autobiographical. And in no way fictional. This is NOT for the hungry or the faint arted. This is not ABOUT something. Or FOR something. Or SPEAKING TO something. Or RAISING THE ISSUE of. This is not talking AS a something or AS a somebody or AS a nobody or AS anybody at all.
This is NOT a love song OR a swan song.
This is NOT a representation of , an illustration of. A pastiche of. A homage to. A thought for. A eulogy. A trilogy.
This is NOT the truth and it is NOT trying to tell power anything. It is NOT interested in power. Or the truth. Or the telling and this is NOT even half way close to getting any of the words in the right order for the correct purpose. NOT even a quarter of the way close. Hasn’t even begun yet. Hasn’t even scratched the surface.
One last thing.
This is NOT , categorically, about categories . And this is emphatically NOT about emphasis.
Hope that has cleared that up.
Let there be light.
Hard to tell when it started to feel it getting darker and more claustrophobic on our island of shrivelled dreams and partitioned visions. It’s almost impossible to see anything on the horizon or the horizon itself but that’s only when the eyes are open. Might be better to look forwards with the eyes closed and keep hope harnessed to deeper lights .
Out on the street Lenny talks about his education, his ability to read and write (not books) , his possible flat next week and time round the bits of London we have both lived/loved and even while I am looking at his half mouth of teeth he talks me into visibility and the light in his eyes flickers as he calls me A Lady of Leisure. He can see the waste of time in my days .
Watching the Messiah recently revived by Patrick Barlow from 1980 I am watching Hugh Dennis and side kick imprint themselves on a text thick with images of prison visits, method dancing and a tangle of personal and professional desire. A tangle that turned the Kilburn High Road into a schizophrenic pub crawl , an alcohol fuelled pilgrimage that arrived (until the day that it didn’t ) legless and wild eyed onto the stage .
We pictured , in as it were, the minds eye -the light. The hypocritical, hopeful, tragic and comic light. The clumsy, angry misguided light. The flickering, nearly going out visionary light. The stupid, inspired, pretentious light. I was watching a dead man stalk the stage in a dinner suit – ghosting the present version and when I closed my eyes Lenny came to me – sauntering off into the station laughing and saying –
Let there be light.
Hard to say when it started – the pressure to know. The sound of knowing started to build and splinter into smaller and ever shrinking categories of noise. To someone who has based a life on not knowing the categories come over like a bully in a china shop. Bruisers with bruises nursing their bruises. Some instinct says Stay In The Fog- Keep Faith with the Mist- Don’t Succumb to the quick fix of badges and titles. Stay put. Hold infirm. To break the silence would ruin it so over here on Bystander Hill where it is possible to see the efforts of the unknown resonating through Reputation Valley .The air is thick with possibility, of maybe martyrs and could be crimes. It is all the mess of blurred edges and untrustworthy slippage that accompanies the old/new style processions of the Half and Half, the Don’t Ask Me I Only Live Here and all the rest of the Untitled . No Caption to the photo. No Signature to the Name. No permanent address. No Next of Kind. Don’t Know and Proud Not To Know. Don’t Force the Knowledge. Stop With Your Titles. Kill the Categories. Quit with the Questions. The certainties walking around with history piled high and scores to settle take up a lot of the rooms. It’s all negative charisma here. We are hiding in front of things. Watch us appear once the lights have gone out.