Heart of the Original
By Steve Aylett
Originality is hated and pretended, but the real thing is beautiful
Thursday, 6 February 2014
Compression and direction of force are key in getting the full effect from your work. The shape of the piece determines its over-all arc of projection, as when a broad base of assumptions propels the sharpest elements away from it in a wide span. The environment itself, if rigid, can often add to compression and so to the subsequent force of an incendiary charge. How to punish those who declare that Putin is 'not Russia’s first gay leader'? In Turkey, publishers present books of banned authors to the state prosecutor and demand to be prosecuted. This sort of bluff-calling is equivalent to satire which takes an argument to its absurd end. The letter of the law blurs the more a jail’s bars come into focus.
1st edition hardback and the digital edition.
Just after the breakup of the USSR, the first gay bar opened in St. Petersburg. The local paper sent a reporter along , who decided to begin by sitting on a bench across the road for a while observing how the locals reacted. By the way, it wasn't one of those hardcore gay bars with no windows - people could see in perfectly well from the street, and nothing especially blatant was going on.
Anyway, he soon noticed that most passers-by either glanced at it with mild curiosity or ignored it completely. But absolutely everybody over 50 did a massive double-take and seemed absolutely horrified, sometimes crossing the street to avoid going too near. Or indeed crossing themselves.
Eventually the penny dropped. Most of the customers had those Burt Reynolds moustaches that in 1989 were all the rage with gay men. But a few decades earlier, in Russia that kind of facial hair meant something entirely different. Everybody above a certain age was seeing a pub full of Stalins.
posted 6th February 2014