Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-04-22 - 7:30 a.m.

Jon Cole mailed back very smartly with agreement to syndicate some of his excellent material. Very very witty.

I looked into Mme Mabry and indeed she is collected on a page of neglected soul divas – the implication is that she was too hot to handle even for Miles. So this place – locality – I suppose - you could call it Northern Funk = is another assemblage of fragments. Individuals briefly break the surface and make some waves and then slip out of sight. This bobbing up and back may be a result of AnR policies. The companies don’t really know whats going on but they have enough speculative money to try some unusual avenues – a scattergun approach.

This is also the time when the Santa Monica Dandies begin to forge their highly elegant lifestyle – the cultural churn has created them as the aristocrats of the symbolic economy.

This move to aristocracy is the subject of a Tony Lopez satire – here’s the opening bits:

About Cambridge they were never wrong

the old masters: for where they mostly lived

and wore their blazers out, happened to be

just beyond the cakeshop

where someone is always eating

opening a window or just cruising dully along

the great body of salty water

which is what one calls the protégé

one of those heavenly bodies that everyday

go by steering the fellowship through rapids

committees and quality audit

to a party taped on U-matic for ARDENT productions

a royal mirror of royalty

beyond the neatly-fenced perimeter

the folding tables and ice-buckets of summer

that is always happening elsewhere

as we poor shadows light up again

and move on

driving over retracting bollards

having won a free short-stay promotion

something between timeshare and alumni quality

but well-dressed graduate temps

are presenting a pop-up model of the science park

with as yet unrestricted M11 access

and sprinter train interchange

right through to Stanstead

Lopez takes the hard-nosed stakeholder/symbolic management of the contemporary culture and artfully interweaves some of the tropes of the English Hawks. In fact one can easily blame Thatcherism which is said to have finished off the theoretical hawking and made everyone keep their heads down. I am sure Mark knows the social and economic landscape much better than I and indeed Spaceward reaches from a hawk-cellar right to the dash down the M11 to Stanstead.

I really felt the tension between the two when I was there at the weekend. There is an irony that back at the firm I am doing some of the bollard stuff eg on the Cambridge Automotive Leaders course. And of course there’s an extra irony about the ND oeuvre that it has bucket fulls of stakeholder/symbolic equity enough to lower bollards the length of the Cam. Enough to find its way into the Anniston antique collection..

I feel that I am almost at a point where I want to see if I can map the complexity – say from the Hazey Jane moments which are very close to Cambridge Leisure Centre – esp the line about the situation being fine – also the anxiety in the opening tumble of HJ2. Do I have the time/energy? It would be fun to support Lopez by explaining that Jane isn’t looking out the window.

In starting to chase this all down I have found a very good site – www.pinko.org - where Andrew Duncan sets out some grand theory. I am so impressed that I have ordered his book and written to James about the site.

The Highveld site now has all of Paul Wheeler’s new album up. This is a new move for us – the offer is that you can download the tracks – but you are asked if you want to make a donation to the Bishop Simeon Trust – which can be done on line . I have downloaded software I wanted and made a free payment – you cant tell how people will react until you try it. It may work that Paul’s friends will take the music that way. Personal connections are so important in all this stuff. Even when it comes to fundraising by long distance cycling.

This week I have to do the propositional strategy for the Lullabyes-fest. It seems to me that an appeal to the seriousness of the situation is pointless. Some of the most powerful rhetoric you will find anywhere on anything is routinely deployed about the situation and it reaches very few. So even though it is a uniquje disaster that can’t be the core of the communication. Shock imagery is not the way – or even anger.

The personal angle looks more promising – the personal intimacy that is at the heart of the Lullabye. It is very clear from the site stats that its personality that mainly pulls people in – they want to see Derek’s pix and after that they want to read about the musicians and the way they tie up.

The News is the point where the connection with the mission takes place.

It is significant too that the Lullabye concept succeeded in getting Ms R Panufnik into the show. So the imagery and emphasis has to be built around the personal characteristics of the Lullabyes and the Lullabye concept itself.

I bought Heat in Tescos to read the Loos texts – this must be the power of celebrity. Other celebrity news – Rowan Williams sermon is really amazing – I have never read anything like it. I phoned Laurence to enthuse.

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