29 June 2009

TAZzing Media Death: Thursday's Glastonberries

...Glastonbury used to make you feel disconnected from the real (RT) world... the festival was a temporary autonomous zones, a dry flip into
Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty
an area sufficiently iridescent and grey to send people off on new tangents, happily waving goodbye to their old lives and jumping on a different bandwagon each hour - "this is the best band ever; no, this is the best band ever...and the best curry... and this guy is the coolest guy ever, with the coolest flag...".

Glastonbury was a semipermeable membrane; every ion, every molecule could travel one way - OUT. Tiny little bands accidentally caused waves. Others realigned themselves. Some bulked up and found themselves a place in the zeitgeist.

Obviously, Glastonbury is a mirror (which is why the 'Glasto' tag to was a hard thing to take; not because it had spoiled Pilton but because the world had been spoiled) but the outside influence stopped on the Wednesday night, as if the media artefacts from the past year hurled towards the Festival and then found themselves trapped, with the door shut and locked behind them, while the people inside mangled them into new shapes.
Kidnap someone & make them happy.

The real world could be let in only very selectively - I can remember a few World Cups, a European Championship, a massive Jeremy Paxman head scaring all the acid kids - and that was partly the point; better not know what's happening out there because this world of mud and songlines and brain-frying sun and fluttering flags and bangles is all there needs to be.

Things are different now, not necessarily worse but irretrievably changed.

It doesn't take long for the ripples about MJ's death to start; people's phones are flashing information at them at a pace too fast for them to take; the slowburn of Glastonbury is being assaulted by the information, a Burroughs word virus, spinning off through the fields - shops start playing Jackson records (everyone can see him in the Thriller video; a media zombie at the beginning of his zombification - an image that reminded me of Bill Hicks:

“A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a fucking cross? It's like going up to Jackie Onassis wearing a rifle pendant.”

Gossip rifles past: "Samuel L Jackson is dead? Michael Barrymore is dead?" Information is streaming over the membrane, contaminating the performers - Dizzee Rascal, the Black Eyed Peas - shout outs everywhere. T-shirts and badges are being printed and by Friday the disrespectful ones (MICHAEL JACKSON WAS ALREADY DEAD, I KILLED MJ, WE KILLED MJ, MJ IS SNIFFING COKE OFF PRINCESS DI'S BARE ASS (WITH SHERGAR)) they are already being vandalised by bloodshot, shelled fans armed with Sharpie pens and recently whittled Drune daggers...

The Festival is glistening with change: ghost music is everywhere - the Thriller bass, the Billie Jean guitar, the generalised ums and ahs of Michael's electrified inarticulacy...

But still, other things push through:

Kap Bambino is the first thing I see and the crowd jump around like Skins extras - these guys are flashing like strobes, a 32 bit Crystal Castles...

Kap Bambino - Dead Lazers (Maton Remix)

Then we hear just a drifting of Billy Nasty's dubstep set before kicking off towards the odd Neverland that is Shangri La where I seem to have lost the hours between 1 and 4 AM...

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