“This is pretty avant-garde, isn’t it?”

There used to be warnings of backwards voices in innocuous songs, urging the sensitive towards Satan or suicide. Mothers waved placards, questions were asked in high places, and kids spent hours and hours in candlelit bedrooms trying to make sense of what sounded at best guess like shell more tofu shakers or a rusty fella over spurt, repeated at irregular speeds. It’s easier now with downloads, and consequently no one bothers. Besides, who listens to a song all the way through these days? It’s the same with those subliminal frames cut into movies which died out with VHS and the pause button. Mothers sleep soundly, the courts echo with libellous Tweets, and the kids are quietly stealing cars and shooting gangsters in downtown LA until they die inside. So much for popular culture, but if you speed up a sequence of every British PMQs since 2010, you can hear a loop of ringing cash registers and a chorus of privileged voices laughing as the ghost of Margaret Thatcher pushes a handcart across the wasteland and calls us all to Hell.

 

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Oz Hardwick
Picture Nick Victor

 

 

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