Sunday, November 20, 2005

Elliott Smith and Fan Art, Fan-Fic

I have been working on my book, it has been almost a year.
In course of this, I have exposed myself to many things, tonight I was revisiting Fan Art and Fan-Fic and Fan Poetry, with relation to Death Cult surrounding stars such as Kurt Cobain, Nick Drake, Elliott Smith etc. I include Fan Art of Elliott Smith below for superb example of the genre.

The image is taken from this marvellous site.

I enjoyed Elliott Smith's recordings, really quite good. And here to finish up are some lines from a different war*, from Wilfred Owen.

Dulce Et Decorum Est
by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


(Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (roughly)-> There is no greater honour than to die for one's country)

*I do not heap any scorn upon teenage angst, despite appearances. The picture of Smith is charming in its victory of love over technique, of the passions moved in lumbering teenage hulk, sufficient to see charcoals emerge for the first time since childhood. Anyways, just as I regard the McJob as today's National Service, so I see teenagers the planet over as fighting individual wars against the destructive forces of materialism. From the bedroom to the streets of Baghdad, it is all decidedly the same stuff, it is all The Same War. I remember the horrible horrible struggles as a teenager to become integrated, in those pre-internet days, into anything that was not a stricken living death. And the Big Lie, as in the poem quoted above? That it is the Individual Soul at fault, for not sliding seamlessly into the patterns constructed by Consumerism, the dire Materialism. None of us who survive teenage years and have to go on, I can't go on, we go on, in this world should lose sight of the importance of NOT belonging, of NOT fitting in, of NOT integrating and dying as we are absorbed into the pre-existing patterns. As Zamyatin says in fascist dystopia, OneState, the essential appeal to the individual rendered immaterial, turned into Number, "Forget that you are a gram, and feel yourself one millionth part of the ton."

NEVER! Down with OneState! We are not Numbers! Salute a Teen today!


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