Q. What do you take to be the practical, everyday implications of the kinds of ethical commitments which are so important in your work?
A. Few of us are saints, and to demand that all of us be so, and daily, does not seem to be either realistic or, for that matter, morally laudable. Most of us are morally awake most of the time - in small matters. We would help the infirm to cross a busy road, we would rush to help the injured, we would each for our wallet when shown shocking pictures of victims of a famine or an earthquake. Fortunately, an experimentum crucis is not a daily occurence, and seldom is our moral conscience put to a severe test in which genuine self-sacrifice is required for the sake of others who have no other claims on our generosity except their misery, and who have nothing to offer in exchange. The dense network of conventional stratagems and expedients called society sees to it that this remains a rule of our quotidianity.
The problem is, though, ‘to keep the podwder dry’, to accumulate, and preserve, sufficient supplies of moral senditivity which we may need to draw on in the hour of critical test. Moral sensitivity needs to be excessive to be sufficient: ‘in surplus’ of what we see as daily, ‘ordinary’ needs, so that ever new forms of human misery can be percieved as shameful and intolerable cases of indignity and humiliation, and teated accordingly. There is never enough of moral sensitivity, and its cultivation is the preliminary condition of the ‘just society’, at least in the definition suggested before.
This is the prime reason to be worried. If the ‘moral party of two’ is the greenhouse of moral sentiments, if it is in that party that the art of ‘taking responsibility for one’s responsibility’ is learned, experimented with, texted and exercised, then the society’s capacity for justice depends to a great extent on the quality of ‘love relationships’ which its culture cultivates.
In his beautiful book on The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm pointed out that in a culture in which the qualities of ‘true humility, courage, faith and discipline’ are rare, ‘the attainment of the capacity to love must remain a rare achievement’. And then he suggested that such rarity is indeed the bane of the society we live in. If ‘modern capitalism needs men who consume more and more’, if ‘the world is one great big object for our appetite, a big apple, a big bottle, a big breast’ and we are ‘the sucklers, the eternally expectant ones, the hopeful ones - and the eternally disappointed ones’, then, ‘while everybody tries to be as close as possible to the rest, everybody remains utterly alone, pervaded by the deep sense of insecurity, anxiety and guilt which always results when human separatedness cannot be overcome.’
In short, the chances of learning the art of love, and thereby coming to appreciate love as a consummate meaning of life and expecting satisfaction from love as a gift rather than gain, are slim.
I regret that we are not all, including myself, saints. Morality may stop short of saintliness. But I am deeply worried that loving may well be on the way to becoming a forgotten, and seldom practised, art. Without that art, there is little hope for morality; and even less for a just society.
”—extract from Conversations with Zygmunt Bauman, Keith Tester, 2001
There is little doubt that the internet now plays a pivotal role in the careers of new artists by providing a transnational, virtual platform that previous generations could only have dreamt of. It can propel artists to stratospheric success in a matter of months - often cutting out the years of frustrated grinding which was once a prerequisite for respect and recognition - and nowhere is this more vividly seen than in rap. The ever-growing free mixtape culture of rap is a testament to this new ‘blow up to come up’ trajectory, yet this can be a cruel beast to tame. If your cry is loud, confident and daring enough a thousand heads can instantly turn, but if that initial spark goes and the goods don’t live up to the hype, those heads have a habit of turning right back round again. The trick it seems is to not only be loud, confident and daring in the relevant online circles, but to use this to make that crucial leap upwards and prove that the hype is deserved, and the latest rapper to embark on this journey is Iggy Azalea.
After posting a series of bold, stylish music videos on YouTube and her free mixtape Ignorant Art for download in the Autumn, she is now the latest signing to Interscope Records and, under the executive production of T.I., is working on her debut album The New Classic. To say that she stands out would hardly be a misnomer. As a white woman from rural Australia, she defies many preconceptions of what rap music is by suggesting what it could potentially become or (as she argues) has already become.
Ahead of the six-page feature in the upcoming April Issue of Dazed & Confused, we caught up with Azalea for a quick lowdown on her love of rap, her rise to popularity and her place within the game.
To commemorate what would have been his 50th birthday, two men by the name of Jordyn Bonds and Ryan Walsh have collected material for and created this website; an archive of readings, writings and interviews from DFW. I always find it so inexplicably sad that someone that seemed so tender and aware of the world, and human life, could no longer cope with his own Terrible Master. The mind is a a strange thing.
So, after the love has gone, and the Valentines jams have been (just ever so slightly) put back on the shelf for another year, it’s time to get back into it.
This week is a real mixed back of Rap, R&B, House and lots of other goodness in between. Black Hippy and A$AP are seriously putting in work; re-igniting a widespread love for new and exciting rap that I haven’t seen for a long time. Nevermind the future - I’m excited for the present.
An Open Letter to Channel 4 about 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding', from a 17 year old Romany boy.
Dear Channel 4,
I am writing to you with the hope that you will stop ruining my life. While your obsession with my ethnicity is flattering, it has become somewhat apparent to me that you might have gotten the wrong end of the stick. This is sort of awkward for me, because I don’t want to be the one to break it to you, but your documentary, 'Big Fat Gypsy Weddings', is unfortunately a work of fiction. There is no need to be embarrassed, it can happen to the best of us, and thus I hope my letter will help you establish the facts, after all I’m sure you are passionate about fighting discrimination against ethnic minorities. Don’t be modest now, we know you are…right?
It surprised me to discover that 99% of Britain’s Gypsy and Traveller population are Irish. Correct me if I’m wrong, as I am sure you have done lots and lots of research on this topic, but just 10% of the Gypsy andTraveller population are actually Irish Travellers. The majority, like myself, are in fact Romany, yet your ‘documentary’ seems to ignore our existence. While I have nothing but respect for the Irish Traveller community, you seem to be unaware that we are two distinct ethnic groups and thus there are many differences between our cultures. While Irish Travellers originate from Ireland, we can trace our routes back to India, so it was hardly surprising that I was somewhat confused when you use the word Gypsy in the title of your ‘documentary’ about Irish Travellers. I was even more confused when your ‘documentary’ about Irish Travellers seemed to feature an alien culture that even most Irish Traveller’s didn’t recognise.
You correctly identified that many Gypsy and Traveller children leave school at a young age, however you failed to mention that this is not because we are all born to terrible parents, but because our communities suffer from great social exclusion. State education fails to adapt to anything but mainstream culture, thus we have to contend with a curriculum that is totally irrelevant to our way of life. Moreover, both teachers and students seem ignorant of our cultures, thus we are labelled as troublemakers and bullied for being different. The myths that you have been spreading have not helped matters. Indeed, I was subjected to physical attacks during your last series of your ‘documentary’ which ultimately led to my expulsion from school (long story), whilst my 12 year old cousin was beat up on her way home from school by a gang of girls who were calling her a prostitute.
As you can see, there are many reasons as to why Gypsy and Traveller children are failing to attend school, but you seem to have forgotten to feature those of us that do stay in education. Take myself, for example, I’m currently at college studying a range of subjects such as, History and Sociology. Moreover, my sister trained to be a hairdresser, my aunty went to university and is now a social worker and some of my cousins completed apprenticeships, thus clearly dropping out of education is not a prerequisite of living in a trailer.
Your ‘documentary’ has an unhealthy obsession with little girls. While I understand that the outfits worn by some of your younger stars could be considered a little risqué, I see only little girls having fun and dressing up for a special occasion. Your ‘documentary’ appears to be suggesting that we are inappropriately sexualising our children, yet the only people who are sexualising our children are the viewers who watch them and think they are sexy. In reality, our little girls can mostly be found in velour tracksuits and handmade frilly dresses, so I would suggest you should stop filming little girls dancing if you are finding that this is turning on your viewers.
After watching the last series of your ‘documentary’ it finally hit me why I was so unlucky in love. I would have been married by now, if only I had known that the key to a women’s heart was to sexually assault her using a gypsy courting ritual called ‘grabbing’. I asked my brother if he had grabbed his wife, but it turned out he had just asked her out on a date instead. It appears that in reality, no one actually knows what grabbing is, in fact Gypsy and Traveller men actually have a lot of respect for their women after all.
Speaking of love, I’ve been to many Gypsy and Traveller weddings, but I’m yet to attend a wedding where the bride’s dress weighs more than my whole family. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some huge dresses but there is something you need to know: Thelma Madine is lying to you, she’s not our dressmaker of choice. In fact, I’m kind of embarrassed for her because no one actually knows who she is and everything she says about us is actually untrue. Basically, you’ve been conned, so I suggest you find a new spokesperson for the Gypsy and Traveller communities, such as an actual Gypsy or Traveller like my Baba (grandma), she makes some right nice clothes you know.
It’s hardly surprising that people are watching your ‘documentary’ purely to laugh at us, because even I laugh at the monstrosities that Thelma Madine creates. It is a shame that you haven’t featured any Gypsy or Traveller designers because the clothing that we were actually more traditionally known for before your ‘documentary’, is actually far more interesting than amusing. Last year, Leeds University Union thought it would be okay to laugh at the Gypsy and Traveller communities by hosting a Big Fat Gypsy Weddings fancy dress party. While the union holds events throughout the year to celebrate other ethnic minorities, your ‘documentary’ encouraged them to incite ethnic hatred. You’ll be pleased to know that due to complaints from yours truly and friends, the event was shelved.
You seem to have misunderstood what a documentary about Gypsies should entail. Gypsies (as in Romany Gypsies that are completely different to Irish Travellers, that are like totally not Irish Travellers at all, get it?) are Europe’s largest and most deprived ethnic minority. The majority of Romani people have never been to Rathkeale, let alone own houses there. In fact, most live in great poverty and I suggest you read my previous blogs. We suffer from discrimination on a daily basis and our human rights have historically been violated, yet you deem it acceptable to broadcast a misleading ‘documentary’ that has been made not to raise awareness of our plight but for entertainment. We are not a joke, we are human beings and your work of fiction is only strengthening stereotypes and ignorance.
Unlike those who star in your ‘documentary’ I am not after 5 minutes of fame, but what I am asking for, is for you to put humans above ratings. You can’t ignore us forever.
“Still today I am only counting on what comes of my own openness, my eagerness to wander in search of everything, which, I am confident, keeps me in mysterious communication with other open beings, as if we were suddenly called to assemble. I would like my life to leave after it no other murmur than that of a watchman’s song, of a song to while away the waiting. Independent of what happens and what does not happen, the wait itself is magnificent.”—André Breton, Mad Love, 1937
“Here’s the long promised recording of my set from the Numbers LDN warehouse party back in December of last year.
There were a few Serato technicals to start with, hence the reason for the first few tracks being played without any attempt to blend them, and because it was December, I played some of biggest tunes of the year as a kind of retrospective of one of the best years of UK music in history (IMO). I also put a few of the tracks that I rinsed heavily in my sets throughout 2011, plus the usual selection of surprises. For the same reason, there’s also a few blends from my Fabric CD and the RA mix.
We need to say a really big thanks to Black Atlantic and Red Bull, but most of all the troops who stayed till half past 6 in the morning singing along to all the tracks and dancing on top of their mates shoulders. You guys made one of the best parties we’ve ever been involved in so thanks very much.”
"I'm sorry, but its dumbasses like you trying to tell people that people like Grant George are viable human beings which is entirely the problem" Lil Wayne.
"Viable human being"? As opposed to who, you, the judge and jury of human worth?
How’s that wonderful sense of self esteem working out for you?
It must be in great shape - for you to sit on Tumblr during the day, trolling the accounts of people that you do not know, trying (and failing) to make sarcastic and witty comments from the scraps of someone else comments?
Feel good? Do you get that lovely, warm, honey-through-the-veins when you embarrass yourself like that?
I hope you do - because it appears that you have little else to do with your time. God forbid you should be an interesting and productive individual who has better things to do.
If this is serious, then it’s also really pathetic.
Whether you’re celebrating or lamenting another Valentines Day, there’s no reason not to enjoy the plethora of amazing love songs that get rinsed out on February 14th ever year.
Today is a day of slow jams, R&B classics, and on Codeine Drums, we’ve got something really special for you all.
Prison Garde is a producer, DJ, art gallery curator and all round creative dude from Montreal. When we hit him up to do a mix for us, we did not expect to hear what we found in our inbox; a glorious half hour of original edits of old Disco, Boogie and R&B records, all deliciously chopped ‘n’ screwed, just how we like it.