It's (not) easy being Green Gartside pt. deux


Yes, I, Marke B., your friendly ghost club whore, am the Scritti Politti freak on the premises (see Johnny Ray's post below), the kid who grew up with 1982's vinyl Songs To Remember under his pillow right on top of Of Grammatology by the one and only Jacques Derrida.


That was in high school when I first discovered Green; in middle school it was Finnegan's Wake and the Lotus Eaters. It was like poet Elizabeth Bishop eating stinky cheeses at Vassar -- somehow I thought having such things at night would cause my dreams to be realer, and then I wrote poems about the opposite process occurring: what happens if you dream something's real and you vomit Runny Uncle? But I digress.

Green, I love you so, not least when your bleached hair was poofy and your late '70s Marxist collective proto-rapped such lovelies as:

Rapacious, rapacious
You can never say she ain't
But my desire was so voracious
I wanted to eat your nation/state

from "Jaques Derrida," or hymned almost invisibly, most relevantly:

Learn to love the beats in the bar
Make me sick with repetition
Learn to love that one note sound, boy
No surprise or definition
I guess I can learn to love what I'm used to
You can get used to just getting used by
Rock-a-boy blues ...

from Rock-a-Boy Blue, pretty much a summation of all my previous relationships.

It was so exciting seeing theory made pan-racial musical flesh, bopping around to the "Nazi shakedown" of "P.A.'s" (We don't practice with P.A.'s/ We've got bills to pay) or puzzling out the lyrics of Bibbly-O-Tek. Then came the super-glossy, superstar Fairlight stage of Scritti Politti, and working with every cool musician alive; the Wood Beez that I remember first hearing in an ice cream shop of my hometown Rickmansworth in England in the 80s. It was astonishing: my prepubescent, queer body rose up from a melting cone.

I absolutely loved Anomie and Bonhomie, especially "Tinseltown to the Boogiedown" with Mos Def, the lyrics somehow predicting the coming apocalypse through a stardust metronome. The way Green can tuck a devastating poetical twist so far back in the spoken inanities of love that most people don't ever get it. That's why I love him: exclusivity. I'm a VIP bitch intellectually, and it's a trip I like to take alone. I'm grooving to Green's latest, "White Bread, Black Beer" and I'm still a charter member of Scritti Crush Connection, but now that Scritti Politti are being lionized a la Gang of Four, they're no longer my dirty little secret. and that spells situationist subversive subcultural snob death. lalalala.

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