Friday, 4 December 2015

Paddy in the Smoke

As this is my last blog of 2015, I thought we might go out on a good ol' shindig. Happy New Year for when it comes!

Paddy in the Smoke: Irish Dance Music from a London Pub is a 2003 re- press of a 1967 live recording made during atmospheric Sunday morning sessions at one of London’s most celebrated Irish pubs, The Favourite in Holloway. It features highly regarded members of the London Irish community such as Martin Byrnes, Bobby Casey, Julia Clifford and Jimmy Power, in fiddle solos, duets and trios. You can clearly hear the pub crowd in the background, people laughing, stomping feet, coming & going. You can even hear the bell go at the bar at a couple of points: last orders! After listening to this album for half an hour or so, you feel distinctly pissed, and quite merry from the fine authentic Irish traditional music. I have posted up two tracks with a few images:

Yellow Tinker (1:55)
Jenny Picking Cockles (2:00)

Many of the Irish communities in the big English cities derived from immigrants fleeing the potato famine. The men were quickly exploited as a ready labour source for the burgeoning industrial revolution. Many of the navvies employed building the canals and railways in England in the early part of the 19th century had to live in squalid temporary accommodations. The navvies working on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway were paid daily and their pay reputedly went on ale, leaving little for food. When the workers were unfit to work, monies were subtracted from their wages and meal tokens were issued. These tokens could be handed in at meal caravans for a bowl of soup and a portion of bread. At first the token was a slip of paper called a "flimsy" because of its thickness. In today's terms it would be similar to a grade called "bank paper". As these tokens could be copied by the forgers, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway supplied its contractors with six-sided food tokens that were surrendered for meals. These were cut from brass and had the initials LMR stamped upon them. This reduced the problems of drunken navvies and eliminated the local farm labourers freeloading from the food caravans. Tokens and a description of their use can be found in the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester.

Into the picture steps Frederick Engels. In 1842, his parents sent the 22-year-old to Manchester, by now an established manufacturing hub. He was to work in Weaste in the offices of Ermen and Engels' Victoria Mill, which made sewing threads. Engels' father thought that working at the Manchester firm might make his son reconsider some of his liberal opinions.

Engels in his early 20's

While observing the slums of Manchester in close detail, Engels took notes of its horrors, notably child labour, the despoiled environment, and overworked and impoverished laborers.  By that point roughly 10% of Manchester’s population was Irish. Engels sent a trilogy of articles to Marx. These were published in the Rheinische Zeitung and then in the Deutsch–Französische Jahrbücher, chronicling the conditions among the working class in the city. He later collected these articles for his influential first book, The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845). Written between September 1844 and March 1845, the book was published in German in 1845. In the book, Engels described the "grim future of capitalism and the industrial age", noting the details of the squalor in which the working people lived. 

The most heinous of the slums was known as “Little Ireland” inhabited for about 20 years from about 1827 to 1847 and was given its name from the presence of many poor Irish immigrants. It was south of Oxford Road railway station and enclosed by the railway line and the loop in the river. I used to live round the corner from there at Student Village, a converted warehouse on Lower Chatham Street. Containing mainly poorly skilled Irish immigrants Little Ireland became Manchester's oldest, smallest and most short lived Irish slum. In the 1820s the first immigrants moved there, however, by the mid-1840s they were moved on and the area was later demolished to make way for the industrious Victorian capitalists in their attempts to build the Manchester South Junction Railway line, which remains there to this day. Was Engel’s shaming book responsible for the final demise of Little Ireland? Perhaps, but the book was only published in English in 1887.

When not cruising the seedier areas of Manchester, the young Engels found his compensations in The Albert Club (after Prince Albert), which was a Gentleman’s club on Lawson Street (now long gone) for the great & good, mostly middle class Germans. The site was recently excavated during construction of the University of Manchester’s Graphene Research Institute, with some fascinating insights for archeologists. The mind boggles at the iniquities Engels must have got up to there. The Albert Club and Little Ireland are a stone’s throw from each other. It is interesting to muse on the differences between Engels in his Gentleman’s club, and the squalor of the Irish just yards away, yet both united by wild music, reckless libation, and a yearning for a better life.

The red area is the site of The Albert Club

Irish Immigration
From The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845)

We have already referred several times in passing to the Irish who have immigrated into England; and we shall now have to investigate more closely the causes and results of this immigration. The rapid extension of English industry could not have taken place if England had not possessed in the numerous and impoverished population of Ireland a reserve at command. The Irish had nothing to lose at home, and much to gain in England; and from the time when it became known in Ireland that the east side of St. George's Channel offered steady work and good pay for strong arms, every year has brought armies of the Irish hither. It has been calculated that more than a million have already immigrated, and not far from fifty thousand still come every year, nearly all of whom enter the industrial districts, especially the great cities, and there form the lowest class of the population. Thus there are in London, 120,000; in Manchester, 40,000; in Liverpool, 34,000; Bristol, 24,000; Glasgow, 40,000; Edinburgh, 29,000, poor Irish people. These people having grown up almost. without civilisation, accustomed from youth to every sort of privation, rough, intemperate, and improvident, bring all their brutal habits with them among a class of the English population which has, in truth, little inducement to cultivate education and morality. Let us hear Thomas Carlyle upon this subject: 

"The wild Milesian features, looking false ingenuity, restlessness, unreason, misery, and mockery, salute you on all highways and byways. The English coachman, as he whirls past, lashes the Milesian with his whip, curses him with his tongue; the Milesian is holding out his hat to beg. He is the sorest evil this country has to strive with. In his rags and laughing savagery, he is there to undertake all work that can be done by mere strength of hand and back -- for wages that will purchase him potatoes. He needs only salt for condiment, he lodges to his mind in any pig-hutch or dog-hutch, roosts in outhouses, and wears a suit of tatters, the getting on and off of which is said to be a difficult operation, transacted only in festivals and the high tides of the calendar. The Saxon-man, if he cannot work on these terms, finds no work. The uncivilised Irishman, not by his strength, but by the opposite of strength, drives the Saxon native out, takes possession in his room. There abides he, in his squalor and unreason, in his falsity and drunken violence, as the ready-made nucleus of degradation and disorder. Whoever struggles, swimming with difficulty, may now find an example how the human being can exist not swimming, but sunk.... That the condition of the lower multitude of English labourers approximates more and more to that of the Irish, competing with them in all the markets: that whatsoever labour, to which mere strength with little skill will suffice, is to be done, will be done not at the English price, but at an approximation to the Irish price; at a price superior as yet to the Irish, that is, superior to scarcity of potatoes for thirty weeks yearly; superior, yet hourly, with the arrival of every new steamboat, sinking nearer to an equality with that."

If we except his exaggerated and one-sided condemnation of the Irish national character, Carlyle is perfectly right. These Irishmen who migrate for fourpence to England, on the deck of a steamship on which they are often packed like cattle, insinuate themselves everywhere. The worst dwellings are good enough for them; their clothing causes them little trouble, so long as it holds together by a single thread; shoes they know not; their food consists of potatoes and potatoes only; whatever they earn beyond these needs they spend upon drink. What does such a race want with high wages? The worst quarters of all the large towns are inhabited by Irishmen. Whenever a district is distinguished for especial filth and especial ruinousness, the explorer may safely count upon meeting chiefly those Celtic faces which one recognises at the first glance as different from the Saxon physiognomy of the native, and the singing, aspirate brogue which the true Irishman never loses. I have occasionally heard the Irish-Celtic language spoken in the most thickly populated parts of Manchester. The majority of the families who live in cellars are almost everywhere of Irish origin. In short, the Irish have, as Dr. Kay says, discovered the minimum of the necessities of life, and are now making the English workers acquainted with it. Filth and drunkenness, too, they have brought with them. The lack of cleanliness, which is not so injurious in the country, where population is scattered, and which is the Irishman's second nature, becomes terrifying and gravely dangerous through its concentration here in the great cities. The Milesian deposits all garbage and filth before his house door here, as he was accustomed to do at home, and so accumulates the pools and dirt-heaps which disfigure the working- people's quarters and poison the air. He builds a pig-sty against the house wall as he did at home, and if he is prevented from doing this, he lets the pig sleep in the room with himself. This new and unnatural method of cattle-raising in cities is wholly of Irish origin. The Irishman loves his pig as the Arab his horse, with the difference that he sells it when it is fat enough to kill. Otherwise, he eats and sleeps with it, his children play with it, ride upon it, roll in the dirt with it, as any one may see a thousand times repeated in all the great towns of England. The filth and comfortlessness that prevail in the houses themselves it is impossible to describe.

The Irishman is unaccustomed to the presence of furniture; a heap of straw, a few rags, utterly beyond use as clothing, suffice for his nightly couch. A piece of wood, a broken chair, an old chest for a table, more he needs not; a tea-kettle, a few pots and dishes, equip his kitchen, which is also his sleeping and living room. When he is in want of fuel, everything combustible within his reach, chairs, door-posts, mouldings, flooring, finds its way up the chimney. Moreover, why should he need much room? At home in his mud-cabin there was only one room for all domestic purposes; more than one room his family does not need in England. So the custom of crowding many persons into a single room, now so universal, has been chiefly implanted by the Irish immigration. And since the poor devil must have one enjoyment, and society has shut him out of all others, he betakes himself to the drinking of spirits. Drink is the only thing which makes the Irishman's life worth having, drink and his cheery care-free temperament; so he revels in drink to the point of the most bestial drunkenness.

The southern facile character of the Irishman, his crudity, which places him but little above the savage, his contempt for all humane enjoyments, in which his very crudeness makes him incapable of sharing, his filth and poverty, all favour drunkenness. The temptation is great, he cannot resist it, and so when he has money he gets rid of it down his throat. What else should he do? How can society blame him when it places him in a position in which he almost of necessity becomes a drunkard; when it leaves him to himself, to his savagery? With such a competitor the English working-man has to struggle, with a competitor upon the lowest plane possible in a civilised country, who for this very reason requires less wages than any other. Nothing else is therefore possible than that, as Carlyle says, the wages of English workingman should be forced down further and further in every branch in which the Irish compete with him. And these branches are many. All such as demand little or no skill are open to the Irish. For work which requires long training or regular, pertinacious application, the dissolute, unsteady, drunken Irishman is on too low a plane. To become a mechanic, a mill-hand, he would have to adopt the English civilisation, the English customs, become, in the main, an Englishman. But for all simple, less exact work, wherever it is a question more of strength than skill, the Irishman is as good as the Englishman. Such occupations are therefore especially overcrowded with Irishmen: hand-weavers, bricklayers, porters, jobbers, and such workers, count hordes of Irishmen among their number, and the pressure of this race has done much to depress wages and lower the working-class. And even if the Irish, who have forced their way into other occupations, should become more civilised, enough of the old habits would cling to them to have a strong, degrading influence upon their English companions in toil, especially in view of the general effect of being surrounded by the Irish. For when, in almost every great city, a fifth or a quarter of the workers are Irish, or children of Irish parents, who have grown up among Irish filth, no one can wonder if the life, habits, intelligence, moral status -- in short, the whole character of the working-class assimilates a great part of the Irish characteristics. On the contrary, it is easy to understand how the degrading position of the English workers, engendered by our modern history, and its immediate consequences, has been still more degraded by the presence of Irish competition.

North Utsire

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Tchaikovsky: The Seasons (1876)

The Seasons, Op. 37a is a set of twelve short character pieces for solo piano by the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The work was commenced in 1875 shortly after the premiere of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, and continued while he was completing his first ballet, Swan Lake. Nikolay Matveyevich Bernard, the editor of the St. Petersburg music magazine Nouvellist, commissioned Tchaikovsky to write the 12 short piano pieces, one for each month of the year. Bernard suggested a subtitle for each month's piece. Tchaikovsky accepted the commission and all of Bernard's subtitles, and in the December 1875 edition of the magazine, readers were promised a new Tchaikovsky piece each month throughout 1876.

Tchaikovsky did not devote his most serious compositional efforts to these pieces; they were composed to order, and they were a way of supplementing his income. He saw the writing of music to a commission as just as valid as writing music from his own inner inspiration, however for the former he needed a definite plot or text, a time limit, and the promise of payment at the end. Most of the pieces were in simple ABA form, but each contains a minor melodic masterpiece.

The 12 pieces with their subtitles are:

January: At the Fireside (A major)
February: Carnival (D major)
March: Song of the Lark (G minor)
April: Snowdrop (B-flat major)
May: Starlit Nights (G major)
June: Barcarolle (G minor)
July: Song of the Reaper (E-flat major)
August: Harvest (B minor)
September: The Hunt (G major)
October: Autumn Song (D minor)
November: Troika (E major)
December: Christmas (A-flat major)

I find Tchaikovsky's symphonies somewhat unctuous most of the time. When you’re in the mood for a Romantic hurricane of course, they hit the spot. Very often, however, I find him too much. That’s what makes these delightful piano pieces so enjoyable. Constrained by his commercial brief, Tchaikovsky was unable to indulge himself with overblown histrionics and instead reveals a more ordered, rational style, which balances out perfectly.

In researching this blog, I found out in all probability Tchaikovsky died of cholera rather than throwing himself off a bridge, wrought with conflicts over his sexuality. I suppose this is consistent with the message that flamboyant gestures aren't always the best way to go through life.

North Utsire

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Misty Lux

Misty Lux Review. Mondo Marveloso Monday 10th June 2008

Misty Lux is a fire breathing, broken glass walking tattooed burlesque dancer. I bumped into her at Tiger Lounge, Manchester in 2008 as part of their wonderful Mondo Marveloso night, now sadly defunct. She went by the former name Cherry Burlesque as part of the Fanny Divine troop. Here is a review I wrote for her after seeing her show. I understand she now lives in New York, and has a taxidermy business called Morbid Curiosities. Indeed.

Some people are imbued with animal magnetism. They penetrate your consciousness somehow. I don’t know why, or how. Why it is, when certain people enter the room, every corpuscle of your racing blood is immediately orientated towards them like filings on a vivid Kirlan masterpiece. They occupy the centre of the room, wherever they choose to go, and you orbit them like an obedient satellite, looking hopelessly on as your heart is wilfully sucked into the inevitable vortex of attraction. So it was with Misty Lux. Of course, at the time I did not know of her great talents… I just knew her as ‘that pretty chick with the red hair’. So very pretty. The most radiant celestial being in my narrowing vision that night. I was heading for a cataclysmic implosion.

Imagine my surreal surprise when, some time on in that deliciously decadent night, my head swimming with oaken brandy, the musical mastery of Corrigan bubbling seahorses of absinthe into a corroding ceegar mind, a friend whispered “Its that red haired bird you like.. she’s the burlesque act”. BOOM. At the edge of the universe.. the laws of creation change. The very matter which constitutes us is remoulded and morphed into spasmodic contortions of liquid swirling passion. The fantastic becomes possible. How can a 5 foot 2 inch woman command such an orchestra of emotion? “And now laydees and Gentlemen… I give you Misty Lux”…

It is a conundrum of life that a man wants both an angel and a whore in the same woman. And yet he is never satisfied with either. Misty Lux is the antedote to this confounding problem. She deftly tiptoes along the knife edge between these two archetypes. Incredibly, she invokes courtly Love and Lust in one emotion... balls and brain unite in conflagration! She is a Force of Nature with the elemental power to transcend her own physical body. Where the King Cnut failed to control the oceans, the goddess in her succeeded. She can turn an ocean of pheromones wincing back on itself, or create a bawdy Tsunami of passion. She is the wicked shaman- tigress of primal dreams. With the wink of an eye, and a shoulder shrug, she will leave you desolate… a crying manchild on the Alter of the Earth, begging for her eyes to return to you. And in the same despondent moment she is there again… red velvet and lace with a smile you know is all for you, this time.

And in the height of it all… CORNISH PASTIES! What insane malevolence possessed the Gremlins to place them in my line of sight? Couldn’t they see I was floundering under Her spell? Suddenly a pack of hungry silhouette wolf men were there feasting… not only on this delicatessen of flesh, but on every available savoury morsel, gorging and gormandising in an orgy of self satisfaction… HEATHANS. BEASTS!  She has aroused the most base of desires in her followers. I writhe to free my mind.. its deliberate! Pasty Persecution! Then… as the climax is reached, the waves part and I see her rising again through the awe-struck crowd, but now with? FIRE! I fear for her delicate flesh, her mortal pain, the obscenity and perversion in me that led to this point. I falter in my faith. But she is noble and kind, and wants to teach me about the Mystery. She teaches me as the pale snow of winter sublimates into radiant flames of Solstice, so her pale flesh becomes one with Fire. And when it all ends in a groaning shudder of satisfaction… it is not over, for She is renewed. 

North Utsire

Human Be- In (1967)

“Well,” said Alpert, “it’s a hell of a gathering. It’s just being. Humans being. Being together.”
“Yeah,” said Allen “It’s a Human Be-In.”

"From the outset the costumed people in the Haight-Ashbury did not seem to form simply a new Bohemia. Almost immediately I referred to them in my field notes as "costumed people," partly because I had not yet heard the term "hippie," but also because I recognized that they could not be easily classified, that they did indeed hear a different drummer, that the meaning of their drama was hidden from me. Nor did my immediate colleagues use the term "hippie" at that time. referring instead to "the young tourists" or "the acid-heads." A young social worker who worked at the Institute and lived in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood immediately adjacent to the Medical Center initiated me into the use of the term "hippie," and I remember asking her to spell it for me when I finally realized that she was not using the older term "hipster." At about the same time as I began work, a long story appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on a commune of "acid-heads," who lived in a large old house in a poor neighborhood, not too far from the Haight-Ashbury; the word "hippie" was not used in the story at all, although in another month- so swiftly did the term catch on- the local newspapers were generally using the term imprecisely for various costumed young people anywhere in the Bay area."

Elegantly uncostumed costume- people

"Thus the neighborhood was in many ways ripe for the events that took place in such intensity during the period of which I write. It included a population geared in many ways to  the young and to new ideas, in particular to the idea of one world. Its flexibility can be demonstrated by the very fact that throughout the winter and spring, in spite of the influx  of young people whose numbers increased at an almost unprecedented rate in the life of any city, the neighborhood became increasingly accepting. By June, various estimates were  made that about 15,000 young flower children were living in the neighborhood, and most of this growth had taken place within the space of a few months."

Ginsburg holding court

"Thus within the space of a very few weeks, the nature of my feeling about these young people changed drastically. Mistakes they made, but they recognized them; they were critical of themselves; and they were flexible. To my amazement, they read many of the books that I had read as an undergraduate over thirty years before- D. H. Lawrence, Freud, James Joyce, Aldous Huxley, for example; and well-worn copies of books by these authors were pored over in the Psychedelic Shop, which periodically seemed to operate mainly as a  library. Moreover, they were concerned about the problems of child-rearing practices in middle-class American society and were exploring alternative solutions, such as the kibbutz in Israel; such books as Melford E. Spiro's Children of the Kibbutz were regularly borrowed back and forth by members of the young community whether they were parents or not. Under their influence, I read some of the books that they liked but that I had never gotten  around to reading, although most of them were at least familiar titles to me; the Tolkien books are notable examples. I discovered the importance of these books for the young people. Although Tolkien has denied that he was writing an allegory about Western civilization and the fear of nuclear destruction, the hippies read his books as an allegory for  their time and position. The consistently good people in the Tolkien books are Hobbits and  they have the lowliest status of all the groups of characters in the books. The hippies  thought of themselves as being or becoming Hobbits; from time to time as the winter wore  on, a sign would appear in the window of one of their gathering places to this effect: Do not add to the street confusion this weekend. There may be busts. Be good little Hobbits and stay home. I came to understand that the hierarchy of status in the establishment was one  of the serious concerns of this coalescent group of young people. As a member of the  second sex and as a marginal person in my own professional world- whatever that is- I found this concern congenial to me. What I am suggesting here is that with the passage of a relatively short time and some openness to this young community, the stranger began to feel at home."
The Human Be-In
Helen Perry, 1970

Human Be-In Flyer

The above flyer is a rare piece of cultural ephemera and evocative of a certain era. Designed by Michael Bowen and Stanley Mouse it announces “A Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In”. This watershed event catapulted the hippie scene to national prominence. Participants were asked to “Bring food to share, bring flowers, beads, costumes, feathers, bells, cymbals and flags.” That they did. These ideas transfixed mainstream culture, and the phenomenon of the “hippie” burst full force into the public consciousness, transforming a generation.

Human Be- In Poster (one of several)

As a prelude to the first Summer Of Love which made the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco a symbol of the American counterculture and introduced a suburban generation to the word “psychedelic”, the first Human Be-In in 1967 focused key ideas of liberation against the prevailing social norms of conventional middle-class commonality. Organiser Allen Cohen invited speakers on the day including Timothy Leary who set the tone with his famous phrase – “Turn on, tune in, drop out” and Allen Ginsburg who chanted his poetry. Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead provided the soundtrack to gathered masses who participated in the consumption of “White Lightning LSD” provided by underground chemist Owsley Stanley. Incidentally Stanley designed some of the first high-fidelity sound systems, culminating in the massive and infamous amplification rig used by the Grateful Dead in their live shows.

Ginsburg chanting mantras

It’s estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 people showed up. The event was seen by many as a meld between philosophically opposed factions of the San Francisco counterculture. One on side were the Berkeley radicals, who were tending towards increased militancy in response the the U.S. government’s Vietnam War. On the other side were the non-partisan hippies who urged peaceful protest. Although their means were drastically different, they held many of the same goals- personal empowerment, cultural and political decentralisation, communal living, ecological awareness, higher states of consciousness and liberal political consciousness. The happening was more than a war-protest. Authority was questioned on civil rights, women’s rights and spawned it’s own alternative media in the form of newspapers and radio stations as well as new directions in music, art and technology. The dynamic milieu of San Fransisco in the 1970s gave birth to the ultimate gesture of modern personal power – the personal computer, countering the prevailing main frame computer paradigm which implied centralised authority.

Humans being-in

“The predominant feeling among the Hippies from about 1965 through the summer of ’67 was that they were agents and witnesses of a dawning of a new age. An age in which the warrior spirit, that had vaulted western man to the domination and potential destruction of creation, would be dissolved in the spiritual transcendence of the saint. Ghandi and Martin Luther King were our heroes and we had turned to the rich heritage of Asian mysticism and metaphysics for our inspiration and our practice. We leaped across oceans and through time to pre-Christian mythologies like the American Indian, the Egyptian and the occult and pagan philosophies of Europe. We studied with Buddhists and Indian gurus, native shamans, witches and yogis. We turned from Aristotelian and Christian dualism to the four pronged logic of Vedanta philosophy. We studied the Upanishads, the Tao Te Ching, Alan Watt’s books on Zen Buddhism, and Hermann Hesse’s novels, especially Siddhartha. We wouldn’t leave the house without consulting the I Ching, or our Tarot cards or our astrological charts.”

“Were we being naive or superstitious? No, I think this was the most important and long lasting aspect of the 60s despite the backlash of the 80s. It was the beginning of a renaissance in thought and culture similar to the Renaissance that brought Greek and Roman images and ideas back to Europe in the middle ages. Ideas that eventually led to the end of the domination of the Catholic Church, the rise of the nation state, the rebirth of democracy and the development of science.”

"The Gathering of the Tribes" in a "union of love and activism" was an overwhelming success, Over twenty thousand people came to the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park. The psychedelic bands played -Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service. Poets Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Lew Welch, and Lenore Kandel, read, chanted and sang. Tim(othy) Leary told everyone to "Turn on, Tune in and Drop out", the Diggers gave out free food. The Hells Angels guarded the generator cables that someone had cut, Owsley Stanley gave out free acid; a parachutist dropped like an angel from the sky and the whole world watched on the evening news. Soon there would be Be-Ins and Love-Ins from Texas to Paris and the psychedelic and political aspects of the youth culture would continue to grow hand in hand everywhere." – Allen Cohen

"Turn In, Tune Out, and Drop One"

When will the next of the big free love- festivals be? 

North Utsire

Representations of Military Spending

With the UK poised to bomb yet another country on spurious imperialist grounds, I thought I would include some graphics to shown how much the world wastes on militarism. If the same resources were applied to health, education, energy and the environmental issues we all face, the problems of humanity would be solved overnight.

 North Utsire

Charlie Hebdo Cartoons

Following on from last months Paris attacks, I saw a good article on boredpanda called The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword, and thought I'd take the best of the cartoons there & put them on here. If you're looking for cartoonists credits, you can get them there no problem. Not all of the cartoons in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks were particularly clever, or artful, or satirical, but in the typical French folk- protest style, genuine and somewhat earthy. This reminded me of the May '68 artwork and my May 2014 blog. 

North Utsire