Sunday, January 24, 2010

eXemplary (and the X Ray Spex)

Believe me, I know that this is cheating. But how could I resist a prime X-ample of a Highland Park abandoned chair? There was no way that I was going into the department in hot pursuit of a Xerox machine on a Sunday, and no one showed any marked signs of Xenophobia towards me, or offered any Xanax to calm me down before the week - so I'm going by sound, rather than by the strict alphabet, which I suspect is the way in which small people are taught to read these days, anyway.

It's hard to imagine where this chair has been kept - it doesn't look happy. I've been struggling, once again, with throwing things out (contractors are coming on Tuesday to resuscitate our loft - replacing the floorboards after the wiring work ripped them up; insulating it so that all our heat doesn't rise up and get lost, and putting in some new windows - in other words, with luck, giving us a new room). But this loft is, for me, storage space. And things have to go somewhere - or our onto the pavement - or into the Yard Sale box (though believe me, after our tragic episode of being unable to give stuff away in Los Angeles, I don't hold out a lot of hope for four New Orleans feathery carnival masks and a locked wooden box for which I've lost the key). But what does one do with all one's 3 1/2 inch disks? Goodness knows what out of date reading lists might be stored on them. Notes on Victorian art? Yes. Teaching notes for The Tempest, last accessed around 1989? Their utility is minimal. But ... these notes are taken in long-hand: they signify work, and as evidence of labor, are very hard to discard. Quite the best find was a pristine poster for the Rock Against Racism rally and concert in 1978 - and the march from Trafalgar Square to Victoria Park - and performing were the Tom Robinson Band (yes, I remember singing along to "Sing - if you're glad to be gay" and thinking this was quite daring for London at the time..) and - YES! - I've got there, at last - the X Ray Spex - with Poly Styrene ("Oh Bondage, Up Yours!"). I guess that was daring, too...

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