Strange. But. True. Many keyly committed core components of the counter-cultural community feel a reluctant reverence for core ’60s icon Paul Sir McCartney. Beneath that sentimentally saccharine surface, that merry “Macca” mask, they sense something deeper… darker… dangerouser…
“He ain’t as appallingly unesoteric as he appears, man,” these keyly committed core components of the counter-cultural community mutter meaningly…
I’ve tried to capture something of this Morbid Mac in a series of animated gifs that display Macca mise en abîme or “sent into the abyss” (pronounced “meez on abeem”, roughly speaking). That’s the artistic term for the way some images contain smaller and smaller versions of themselves.
Here’s Macca at stage one:
And stage two:
And further stages:
Here’s a Maccabisso using a bit of negative:
And finally, here’s Macca playing a bit of rock’n’roll…
I don’t know about you, but this is exactly what I like to see in the opening paragraph of an essay engaging issues around William S. Burroughs and the cult of rock’n’roll dot dot dot…
Naked Lunch is inseparable from its author William S. Burroughs, which tends to happen with certain major works. The book may be the only Burroughs title many literature buffs can name. In terms of name recognition, Naked Lunch is a bit like Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, which also arrived in 1959. Radical for its time, Kind of Blue now sounds quaint, though it is undeniably a masterwork. — William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock ’n’ Roll, Casey Rae
If three keyly committed core components of the counter-cultural community say “in terms of” 105 times in an hour, how many times will one keyly committed core component of the counter-cultural community say “prior to” in terms of 23 minutes?
If you’re nagged by doubts as to whether you really are a keyly committed core component of the counter-cultural community, then simply engage issues around the following issues…
1. In terms of “in terms of”, how often do you hear this phantasmagoric phrase in terms of a daily basis?
2. Please hierarchialize the following core components of the counter-cultural icon community in terms of their “in-terms-of”-usage metrics: Will Self, J.G. Ballard, William Burroughs, Alan Moore, Miriam Stimbers, Michael Moorcock, Kathy Acker, Genesis P. Orridge, Alan Ginsberg, Stewart Home, Hubert Selby Jr., Norman Foreman (B.A.). (I.e., if you think Foreman uses “in terms of” most in terms of usage metrics, put him first; if you think Acker uses it second-most, put her second; etc.)
3. Engage issues around 1 and 2 again, replacing “in terms of” with “prior to”…
4. Engage issues around 1 and 2 again, replacing “in terms of” with “issues around”……
5. Engage issues around 1 and 2 again, replacing “in terms of” with “Vote Corbyn”………
Once you’ve engaged issues around the above issues, email your answers to Evaluator!@NakedKrunch and you should have your doubts laid to rest within 23 working days…
Previously pre-posted on Overlord of the Über-Feral…
It’s a mistake to think that Guardianese, the optimal dialect of keyly committed core components of the counter-cultural community, mandates optionizing on a permanent basis for the pretentious and polysyllabic. Yes, Guardianistas are addicted to phrases like “in terms of” and “prior to”, but they also like urgently throbbing monosyllables like “key”, “core” and “spike”.
These are unnatural words, taken from headlines, not from normal English. They reveal an important truth: simplicity can be pretentious too. The two aspects of Guardianese come together in phrases like “key indicator” and “core metric”. I would say that “vital sign” and “important statistic” are better and more natural English, but you can’t tell that by counting syllables.
And sometimes Guardianese doesn’t use any syllables at all… Guardianistas also like the stylistic trick of trailing dots. I find it cheap and irritating, so I’m glad that one of my favourite writers thought the same long ago. In his essay “Stories I Have Tried to Write”, M.R. James (1862-1936) said this:
In parenthesis, many common objects may be made the vehicles of retribution, and where retribution is not called for, of malice. Be careful how you handle the packet you pick up in the carriage-drive, particularly if it contains nail parings and hair. Do not, in any case, bring it into the house. It may not be alone… (Dots are believed by many writers of our day to be a good substitute for effective writing. They are certainly an easy one. Let us have a few more……) (“Stories I Have Tried To Write”, 1929)
I prefer to self-issue books in a library. It’s quicker and more convenient. And you feel okay about borrowing books suggestive of sordid and socially unacceptable tastes. For example, who would want to hand a copy of Watch You Bleed to a live librarian?
Well, I wouldn’t mind. I find it amusing to be mistaken for a Guns’n’Roses fan, just as I find it amusing to be mistaken for a Guardian-reader. But there are limits, so I’m grateful for self-issue when I borrow, say, a biography of Martin Amis or that book about The Simpsons. The trouble is, nowadays we have to be more dubious about self-issue than we used to be. It’s all on computer and it isn’t just librarians who might be scanning the record of books you borrow. No, you also have to ask yourself: What will the NSA, GCHQ and MOSSAD think?
With this in mind, I’d like to put it clearly on record: I got that book out last year for research purposes only. Nothing more. I am not – repeat not – a fan of Iron Maiden. The same applies to that other book this year. I got it out for research purposes only, I swear. Inter alia, I had a hypothesis to confirm. I am not – repeat not – a fan of his.
And was the hypothesis confirmed? Yes, thanks for asking, it was.
As for Big Numbers, Moore asserted: “It is the most advanced comic work I’ve ever done in terms of the storytelling.” — Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore, Lance Parkin, pg. 266 (Aurum 2013)
“Brion knew it wasn’t William’s fault. But in terms of the general popular culture not recognizing the importance of his contribution, there was a little bitterness.” — phantasmagoric freethinker Genesis P-Orridge interrogates issues around Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs.
I’m sorry, but let’s face facts: you cannot consider yourself a keyly committed core component of the counter-cultural community unless you own at least three copies — a reading copy, a prominent-shelf-of-the-bookcase copy and a wrap-carefully-in-brown-paper-put-away-in-a-cupboard-and-never-touch-or-look-at-again copy — of each of these toxic’n’tenebrose titles:
• Can the Cannibal? Aspects of Angst, Abjection and Anthropophagy in the Music of Suzi Quatro, 1974-1986 (University of Nebraska Press 2004)
• Doubled Slaughter: Barbarism, Brutalism and Bestial Bloodlust in the Music of Simon and Garfunkel, 1965-2010 (Serpent’s Tail 2007)
• Re-Light My Führer: Nausea, Noxiousness and Neo-Nazism in the Music of Take That, 1988-2007 (U.N.P. 2013)
• Base Citizens Raping: Revulsion, Repulsion and Rabidity in the Music of the Bay City Rollers, 1972-2002 (U.N.P. 2014)
• Underground, Jehovahground: Ferality, Fetidity and Fundamentalist Phantasmality in the Music of the Wombles, August 1974-January 1975 (forthcoming)
All are by Dr Miriam B. Stimbers, of course. And what can I say about them? Simply this: these books hold an uncompromising mirror up before the pestilent, pustulent and pox-pocked features of so-called Western so-called society and say: “Look. That’s you, that is.” Dr Stimbers’ ruthlessly radical research and sizzlingly psychoanalytic scholarship will overturn your preconceptions so hard that, in some cases, they won’t appear to change at all.
In Titus Graun, I interrogated issues around the Grauniness, or Guardianisticity, of two keyly committed core components of the counter-cultural community: the semiotician Stewart Home and the æsthetician John Coulthart. Seeking to utilizate their usage-metrics for the core/epicentral Guardianista phrase “in terms of” (i.t.o.), I interrogated their personal websites like this in terms of January 2013:
Noting that Coulthart’s site used “the/and” approximately 14 times more often than Home’s, I adjusted Home’s raw i.t.o.-score accordingly: 123 x 14 = 1722. I concluded that Coulthart, with an i.t.o.-score of 2180, was approximately 26·59% Graunier than Home – exactly as one might have hoped, given that Coulthart is not merely a Guardianista (good), but a gay Guardianista (doubleplusgood). But that was in terms of January. When I re-interrogated their websites in terms of June 2013, I discovered that the semiotic situation had transitioned in a most disturbing and disquieting way:
I was aghast (literally) to see that Coulthart’s i.t.o.-metrics have spiked (in reverse). Other lexicostatistical metrics have transitioned relatively little: his site now seems to use “the/and” approximately 15·5 times more often than Home’s. Home’s raw i.t.o.-score is 119 and 119 x 15·5 = 1844·5. So it is now Home who is approximately 70·78% Graunier than Coulthart.
This can only be described as highly suspicious. What has Coulthart been up to? Has he been spraying his site with verbicide? Has he donned a black Savoy nihilinja-suit™, crept out under cover of darkness and clubbed innocent i.t.o.’s as they lay basking in the feral radiance of Manchester’s Most Maverick Messiahs? If so, this is “‘Pushing the Transgressive Envelope Too Far’ Too Far” too far. Even M.M.M.M. must look askance at behaviour like that. Surely.
In terms of the highest levels of the United Kingdom’s counter-cultural community, it seems to be compulsory for non-conformists, mavericks, free-thinkers et al to be committed readers of The Guardian (which was nicknamed TheGrauniad by Private Eye in honour of the misspellings once common there). Naturally enough, committed Guardian-readers use the special dialect of English known as Guardianese (which is also found in The Times Literary Supplement, The London Review of Books,etc). And there are a lot of such Guardianistas in the counter-cultural community, trust me. So the obvious question arises:
Myriads, myriads, off the wall,
Who is the Grauniest of them all?