Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Good afternoon, pop-pickers. Apologies for the sporadic and slightly grumpy nature of my blogging at the moment - the Dreaded Manflu continues. I'm rarely ill and usually work through any minor ailments, but mortality is making itself felt. I've obviously got cholera or consumption or pleurisy: the only way to stop coughing last night was to sit in bed bolt upright. Obviously that meant no sleep, so I had an uninterrupted night of listening to the town's legion of drunks beat up each other and kick in windows in the disused restaurant underneath Vole Towers. Living in The Dark Place is enough to turn one into a misanthrope: being ill and witnessing the nocturnal cavortings of its denizens is enough to drive even a shy and retiring rodent to Bickle-esque fantasies.

However, I resisted emptying the contents of my kettle, bladder or chip pan over their monstrous heads, contenting myself with cursing them, their parents and their parents' parents. Then I came to work and tried to persuade the five students who attended my guest lecture on a colleague's module that de Certeau, Lefebvre, the psychogeographers, Anna Minton and Augé are fascinating even if their insights into urbanisation are modulated through the strangled tones of yours truly. Still, it gave me the opportunity to thoroughly humiliate Paul Uppal MP in an academic arena: we examined a speech he gave in which the terms 'shopper' and 'consumer' entirely replaced 'citizen' in his narrow-minded, reductive and socially-reductive mental landscape. It made me feel better, anyway.

As for the rest of the day, I need to finish my lecture on Ben Jonson's Volpone (there's a nice segue: from a selfish, deluded Tory to a play about grasping, deluded plutocrats) before staggering back to my hovel. I'd love to stay up all night watching the American election but I'm not up to it. However, I'll give you a sneak preview of the result: militarised hyper-capitalism wins.

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