Monday, April 21, 2008

Guy Debord vs Konnie Huq

A dialectical exercise, in which I bring together the Beijing Olympics of 2008 and the Paris riots of 1968, and see what might happen:

In 1989, my last year of university, I was inveigled into creating some of the decorations for the Summer Ball. (Yes, it was the kind of university that had a Summer Ball.) It had been decided that the event would have a "1960s" theme, and the walls would be adorned with placards carrying appropriate slogans. I quickly knocked off a "Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" and a few of the gnomic utterances that the situationists deployed at the Paris événements of 1968.

"Hmmm," mused the nice young lady in charge of the project. "Don't you think they're a little bit ... political?" The other contributors, it seemed, had restricted their polemic to Day-Glo variations on "Love and Peace". And flowers. Lots and lots of flowers.


More whimsical nostalgia (with a faint thread of politics running through it) here...

6 comments:

Rimshot said...

Do you suppose that its a species-wide phenomenon to selectively filter the past through rose-colored glasses?

I find it more than a bit humorous (humourous) that "60's theme" means little more than "Austin Powers" to so many, when it was perhaps the most politically charged decade for all the generations who experienced that decade.

patroclus said...

De La Soul played at the following year's summer ball, so they probably used the flower power stuff all over again, masquerading as Daisy Age paraphernalia.

Tim Footman said...

True, Rimshot: but there's a counter-argument that for many people, the decade was about Engelbert Humperdinck and The Sound of Music. Whenever I watch The Graduate, I'm more fascinated by the older generation: "Plastics!"

Patroclus: De la Soul, I know, I was blimmin' furious to miss that. I remember very little about the '89 event, apart from Rik Mayall being a bit shit, having some beer thrown at him, and stomping off the stage. I think the Wonder Stuff might have played, but it's all blurry.

patroclus said...

I remember next to nothing about the 1990 do, either. I'm pretty sure I was there, but I have no real recollection of it. Much like a lot of my university shenanigans, really.

Christopher Campbell-Howes said...

I see the hall foaming with rivers of Day-Glo placards saying 'Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?'

Tim Footman said...

That's a pretty good summary of the decade, Christopher, although you seem to have missed out Helen Shapiro. On the other hand, if you remember it all that well - the amnesia that your spawn exemplifies in her comment presumably not being hereditary - you weren't there.