As 1989 moves back into journalists’ crosshairs and we’re treated to one more round of documentaries on the roots of British club culture – as the familiar who’s who zoo of Mike Pickering, Carl Cox, Danny Rampling, The Hartnolls, Mr C, Tony Coulston-Hayter, and so on all traipse across our screens to tell us again how “mental” it was at Shoom – James Palumbo, founder of Ministry of Sound, is one key figure of the period who won’t be grinning a mouthful of ground-down molars back at the world. In fact, you won’t see him at all.
At a thrash metal gig in Kilburn I was introduced to Deborah Grayson and Tamsin Omond, two of the founders of Climate Rush, a gang of ecological activists who spend most of their time invading parliament and super-glueing themselves to things. We talked about the run up to the Copenhagen climate talks this December and how everyone ought to be out protesting like mad, demanding our leaders grow some green balls and actually do something meaningful about climate change. They invited me to spend September walking with a horse and cart across the southwest of England, organizing protests and doing activist stuff along the way. I thought, Why not?
After a Canadian intern turned her insides upside-down in search of a world record we asked our UK interns why they weren't as committed. They came back with this.
Ashrita Furman (born Keith Furman) happens to be the guy who holds the Escherian record for holding the most records in the Guinness Book of Records. He began his record-breaking record-breaking career after meeting his inner spirit while riding a bike non-stop for 24 hours (he’s a devout follower of the Indian mystic Sri Chinmoy), and has kept on breaking records in order to “inspire” normal people to find their very own inner spirit. He currently holds 98 records and habitually demands people to refer to him as Mr. Versatility. We decided to fuck with Ashrita Furman in the only way that Ashrita Furman can be seriously fucked with: we set out to break some of his records. And then laugh in his face.
According to some people, if you want to "go out on the pull" (that's funny British talk for picking up chicks) conventional wisdom says that you go with your friend who has that giant goiter and a weeping facial wound. Some crappy scientists have officially subscribed to this theory, presumably to drum up publicity for science and get more funding for research into how to blast meteorites out of Earth's trajectory. Unfortunately, some other scientists disagree totally and think that you've got to stand with someone so insurmountably hotter than you so the glory will reflect back on your nasty face. In an effort to get to the bottom of this heated debate, I was photographed while standing next to the assorted masses of London to see which made me look sexiest.Judge me. I can take it.
England has a tradition of producing degenerate aristocrats. There must be something in the combination of wealth and a public school education that propels this country’s elite to buggery and an obsession with smut. One of the filthiest rogues to disgrace their rich heritage is the novelist and Uppingham alumni Norman Douglas, born in 1868. His various sexual scandals got him not only thrown out of the diplomatic service but also exiled from Britain. Now his book of grotesque limericks is finally being released.
Festival season's about wrapped up, and from those traversing moats of beery mud we've learned that no matter the clime, body fluid situation, nor K-related circumstance your clothes should look like a passport to sex city. Otherwise them there threads are just prison bars locking you out from fun times.
Notting Hill Carnival is basically the only street festival anyone in London's ever heard of, a place where a lot of super loud dub and jungle and house and reggae gets played, a lot of chicken gets eaten and a lot of dope gets smoked, and normally there is a shooting and everyone blames the police. Let's see what people wear to this thing.
Fashion in the UK has been split in two. Over here you can't get much nearer to style's summit than new mega-zines LOVE (which is on its second issue) and the newly relaunched POP. The latest issues of both magazines came out within days of each other and everyone is trying to work out which is best. See, Katie Grand, editor of LOVE, used to edit POP, and when she left, rumour quickly spread that working for POP from now on meant you would be banned from working for LOVE. Now, only someone with truly enormous fashion balls or nothing to lose would be willing to risk a clash with Katie's untouchable in-crowd, so enter Katie's old boss and POP co-founder, Ashley Heath. Heath was forced out of POP by the corporate types years ago, and so being asked back to rescue the title must taste sweet.
Pop-up shops are nothing new in New York City. With insanely high commercial rents and an uncertain economic future, anyone sane would be wary about plunking down tens of thousands of dollars on a five- to ten-year lease. Hence the genius of a pop-up store. Taking up residence in a giant vacant storefront at 186 Orchard Street, Wish You Were Here is the newest summer addition to the trend of transient retail.