People, it looks like I’ll be leaving Whitechapel. I don’t know this for certain, yet but I shall keep y’all posted. Somewhere out there in London, there’s a warm lure throbbing. Straight up. Just these last few weeks, I been visiting new properties, new streets. Yesterday, I went out on a different line train line. Change in the air. E1 already overcrowded. Times are getting critical. Ghost style. Rusty compass.
In times gone by I might have written a pamphlet. My muse will be Whitechapel, eternal. My musings like cheap pulp, internet fiction. The ruse, a stratagem, just to live somewhere else in London. Where I can afford the rent and keep my style on a straight and narrow path.
So, just 2 labour the point, the underlying premise of this Whitechapel Ghost Style — the beautiful East End is not only in a state of decay, break up and disassociation: nay, the people in charge of development are actually wiping it away. I know I know: I’ve read about Urban Space. Lonely nights in a student bedsit on Whiteladies Road, Bristol, tracing dialectics. I know. I want – and I need – to show you some of my ramblings around these parts. The times I’ve walked along Commercial Road, with real intent. Testament. 2 the way U find London at the turning of a new decade. The silvery sheen of the millennium dulled to a blank grey.
Hackney Wick Cop 2010. What do you want sonny? A pint of ale or some chicken and chips?? I heard some yout at Bethnal Green Station say, “I don’t read books I do Facebook“.
Stepney’s Night Club
One of my first visits to Whitechapel, they brought me here. The Summer of ’08. Seem to remember someone said something about a club with a swastika on the floor. The years fall away, feel the drop in your belly and still I traipse along Jubilee Street, imagining where Kroptkin, Lenin also walked. Shady characters. Stepney shadows. This way to Stepney City. Like so much around here, the club is no longer. Now I wander, what kind of beats did they used to play?
A tragedy unfolding of epic proportions… A developer and a Tower Hamlets Project Manager sit leafing through Marcuse, isolating quotations to illustrate their new brochure. The opium smoke hangs in layers in their portacabin, the walls hung with velvet. The architect-drawn line between play, space and labour has blurred to insignificance. They are both very aware that around this point, London’s regeneration industry achieves institutional enlightenment… But no, their progress leaves us feeling empty. Does late 2010 offer us any kind of vantage point?? All I can see is a history being wiped away. Something proud and stoic is getting lost. Street level so tense now that nobody looks up any more. You know what a Hammer and Sickle is ’cause you seen it on the T Shirts on Brick Lane. These Whitechapel streets mattered, the blood of history dripped and flowed strong through these desire lines. How beautiful is the mural? Entrance to St Georges in the East. They tried to make me go to Tower Hamlets Council, in through the back door of the death star. It didn’t happen. Park Warden.
And here’s the context. Look at where they painted it…
This is the building upon which the Cable Street Mural was painted. It is crumbling now and houses small charities which look after ethnic minorities.
And then on that building, this
No Pasaran. Meaning what now? A lesson at school. A programme someone at work had watched last night. Geert Mak measures and marks the time it takes to forget. For an experience to disappear from the world and live on in dusty library archives or worse, empty remembrance. It is so important to commemorate.
Popbitch: “40 years ago on Saturday Jimi Hendrix died at the Samarkand Hotel, London. To mark this, the Cumberland Hotel thinks it’s tasteful to unveil a Hendrix suite.” Of course they do.
A group of angry Bangladeshi men stood shouting outside the old Wickham’s Department Store yesterday, paring the UK with the USA and India.
Today a man was chiselling out the decorative stonework from the building. I ask a fellow workman why. He says they’re getting rid of the old stuff so they can replace it with the new. That if it was left, it might fall on peoples’ heads.
Capital. Energy. Human endeavour. Spent, nay squandered, on an organised and pre-arranged culture of forgetting. It makes me sad.
Pay a visit to Whitechapel Market. Not my place to lecture the immigrant, stern and lined up – not my Style. People breaking knuckle bones up, sucking out the marrow. No swans around Whitechapel. Wahhabist fashions on the take-up, sad fact is, they confuse sex with reality.
I willingly attend the Bruce Frantzis lecture. 2 main seats of Earth Energy within the body are the anus and the genitals. 1920s Berlin to the 2010s East End, the ebb and flow of an earthy sexy feeling.
Grainy footage of a Mullah, swathed in green silk flags, taking questions from the Ummah all over the world. A request coming in from Stepney, East London. They want you to do karaoke. And it’s Sheena Easton’s For Your Eyes Only. He gets up off his cushion. The camera pans to an exterior shot of the Mosque, followed by touristic panoramas of the Kingdom of Saud. Children walking into a new school building. A new mall is being built, people shop contentedly. “For your eyes only, Can see me through the night…” the reverb in the speakers is going crazy… Outside the hairdressers, a cold wind is picking up. I stand solid, a dark silhouette on the Mile End Road pavement. Been taught a lot by this area. Moving on.