Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Quelled By The Man
If you're a UK resident, you may well be aware of the Andy Gray/Richard Keys debacle. They are both now ex-Sky Sports Football presenters. Gray had been with the channel since it started broadcasting Premier League Football in 1992, Keys came along later. Anyway, they are both hugely experienced pundits who recently lost their jobs due to having made some sexist comments regarding a female linesman off-air, before the recent Wolves/Liverpool match, the gist of which was that women can't do the job as they have a genetic impairment regarding the offside rule. Of course, once this news got out it didn't take long for other slights to be made against them. Gray was sacked yesterday when footage from last months' Sky Christmas special came to light with him jokingly asking a female colleague to help him tuck a microphone down his trousers. Keys resigned today.
Whatever your opinions on football, sexism and the very juvenile behaviour from two grown men in their fifties, should they have been hung out to try because of it? I'm not sure. I don't subscribe to Sky, the Rupert Murdoch connection, (Murdoch, who owns Sky, is also head of News International against whom Gray is currently bringing an action concerned with having had his phone tapped), is enough to put me off, but I really don't like the suffocating atmosphere of political correctness that is currently enveloping our society. I'm not condoning this behaviour at all, on the contrary, it's misogynistic and had they been berating a racial minority there would have been a much bigger outcry, but after having apologised did they really deserve their fate?
Maybe I'm just a typical Libra, wanting to see all sides and weigh things up far too much, incapable of making a decision one way or the other. Anyway, one thing I know I hate is political correctness, and to make a tenous link, it's more than infiltrated dance music culture which, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't rely as much on narcotics and stimulants as it should. I jest of course. The problem is I think a lack of honesty and imagination. Ricky Villalobos is the only person I've seen making drug references in an interview recently (in Philip Sherburne's Wire piece a while back) but try as I might I can't see much more.
I'm not calling for the return of the days when drugs dominated dance music, when buying Mixmag meant that the central article was one that pitted twenty different pills against each other to see which one was the purest, and I'm well aware that loads of punters still go to clubs battered and loaded in spite of being subjected to rigorous body searches before being charged astronomically for the privilege of being hedonistically anaesthetised. What I am calling for is leadership from the front. It's certainly not going to come from the Swedish House Mafia, Sven Vath or Richie Hawtin or from anyone else who is far too interested in protecting their career. Someone raw who doesn't give a shit, that's who.
We're certainly living in interesting times. Politically the climate hasn't been better for change since the early eighties. However, back then things soon became emasculated and by the beginning of the nineties were starting to lose their way. This lack of edge was epitomised by the emergence of political correctness as a vector around this time. The emergence of New Labour as the governing party of the UK, hot on the heels of Bill Clinton's Democrats didn't seem that threatening but both parties had to move so far to the right in order to get into government that they were not what they seemed. It has always seemed odd to me that often the parties of the right, in spite of their conservatism, have embodied more of a hedonistic spirit than those of the left. Of course this is down to certain individuals and was initially visible during the English Civil War, and then the French Revolution. That isn't to say that those on the left were not as susceptible but they were often constrained by civic duty and responsibility. This changed during my lifetime with they advent of punk which, although not quite the revolution it may have seemed at the time, changed artistry forever and spawned endless, interesting reproductions of itself in all creative facets.
But I digress. The creativity and the spontaneity in house, techno and all it's cousins is still there and will continue to self-replicate, but the forces of advertising and compartmentalisation are strong and will stop at nothing to render it bland. As mentioned before, I don't want to return to the past and sift through the dance music media only to find worthless articles on pill consumption and hypercool "largin' it" sessions. Having said that, I'm bored of seeing shit press shots of boring looking smug twats who do all their shopping at Top Shop or some other equally anodyne outlet and treat their occupation as a lifestyle choice rather than the privileged position it is. I don't really care for the excuse that it's bad for publicity to harbour a hedonistic lifestyle either. As far as I'm concerned, George Michael is currently worth more than every so-called "character" involved in house and techno put together. Crashing his car completely twitted into a local branch of Happy Snaps has raised the bar for everybody and I don't see it being bettered anytime soon.
Oh, and Gray and Keys are a pair of twats. End of . . .