Thursday, February 03, 2005

Ask For Answers *

Well, well, well. Our good friend Darren is in a right state. He shouldn't be, of course. Why? Because, while we should certainly take on new ideas, take into consideration new circumstances and developments, etc etc etc, his lot (SPGB) have been the (infuriatingly) most consistent political grouping in Britain over the last 100 years. In my humble opinion, they were wrong on the issue of the Bolshevik revolution, but that was a land far away and a time long ago, so I'm hardly going to fight about the issue over a pint in 2005.
Well, on the latter point, it reminds me of a drunken SWPer spitting drunkenly in my face asking: "If you had to choose between Stalin and Trotsky, who would you choose?" Reidski answered: "What do you mean? Would this be some sort of competition? A beauty contest?" I think, looking at the historical pics, that neither are particularly bonnie lads, but there we go!
The thing is that that choice was never mine, it was the choice of people from another nation in another time. From my reading of history, those people supported the leadership of their state through this period, including the war against fascism, and I'm glad they did and I'm grateful for the sacrifices they made during this time (not forgetting, of course, the sacrifices of people from many many other nations, including my own).
But, the main thing is, these are such teenage revolutionary arguments. These days, while still wishing the people would rise up - even if this was just for the demand that Sainsbury's stock its shelves properly - I would much rather listen to Sonic Youth's Teenage Riot (or, even, anything from XTC's English Settlement, as this is what I'm listening to as I write) rather than hear an old speech from any old revolutionary leader from days gone by.
I hope Darren perks up very soon, cos he usually cheers me up with this writing and he seems to be down in the dumps at the moment.
Anyway, a penultimate aside afore I go: I met an old friend for a couple of drinks tonight and realised it's been far too long since I last saw him - and I really don't say that cos he sometimes pops in here - but being the good parent that he is means he is a good parent (i.e. doesn't go out to smoke and drink with arseholes when he could be at home changing nappies and bonding with new son). He really should start doing this bloggy nonsense as I used to think of him as a really good writer, entertaining, even though sometimes disagreeable (how dare you slag off Radiohead?).
Final aside, picked up a second-hand book the other day which I am currently ploughing through. The title caught my eye straight away - "Which Side Are You On: Trying to be for labor when it's flat on its back".
It's a personal account of the work undertaken by US union lawyer Thomas Geoghegan in the 70s, 80s and early 90s. It didn't take me long to think that this guy is a complete and utter selfish and egomaniacal arsehole.
Take, for instance, his comments regarding a strike of Harlan County mineworkers that he was involved in. This was a brutal strike, he comments, with one striker dying at the hands of state troopers during one demonstration. But what got my goat was his comment about seeing a documentary on the strike:

"As I watched the movie, I thought: "Where's the staff? Yes, yes, I wanted
to see the miners, the wives locked up in jail, but then I noticed that we the
staff were missing. Yes, I know, we couldn't have done it without them,
It was really annoying.
We, the staff, had won that strike. We had organized the boycotts, the rate
challenges, even a brief nationwide strike. We had gone to the White
...Now I would almost resent the rank and file, up there hogging every

There's more of this shit in this book and I hope to quote further, but, for the moment, that's all folks.

* Placebo - well, someone has to like them, don't they?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that Thomas Geoghegan sounds like the role model I have been looking for. Yes, that old rank and file, hogging the limelight, I never realised before just how irritating that is ... Do you think he is by any chance related to our friend Sean?

9:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And as for Darren (who does not allow Anonymous to comment on his blog), this is all very familiar and most likely age-related, especially that sense of being bored with yourself. Keep the faith, Bro!

9:18 am  
Blogger Darren said...

"If you had to choose between Stalin and Trotsky, who would you choose?"

Of course the correct answer is Julius Martov - aye and I know he died in '23. I love that guy. His name should be sung from the rooftops at 15 minute intervals.

Thanks for the kind words, Reidski. The things I'll do for a bit of attention ;-)

BTW, if "anonymous" is Jim TNR, any chance of getting it sorted so a fellow blogger can link to your individual posts? I loved that latest apprentice story and I wanted to link it. Put a smile back on this blogger's face ;-)

1:22 pm  
Blogger Reidski said...

No, it wasn't tnr, but another good friend of mine. Don't know what you mean by linking to another blogger's post??? I'm stupid, please forgive me!

3:32 pm  
Blogger Jim said...

Hmm, food for thought. Your friend can rightly slag off Radiohead. I know it's easy to get into the I saw them at King Tut's soon after the release of Pablo Honey syndrome (I Did - they were fucking brilliant) But frankly OK Computer is getting close to being the same self-indulgent monolothic pompous self pitying pish that Pink Floyd were so capable of. Since then I think if anything they've got worse.

Anonymous could sign up for a blog, without actually writing one and that would enable them to comment on Darren's blog.

My blog template is too old to link into individual posts I'm afraid Darren, and I don't want to change it and then lose the comments on enetation, sorry, can you think of another solution?

Finally U.S. Union Lawyer, sounds like a prick.

11:36 am  
Blogger Reidski said...

Not only is US union lawyer a prick, tnr, but I would say that he is a fucking wanky arsehole prick!

1:41 am  

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