Saturday, January 20, 2007


'Big Brother is you watching'. I've seen the YouTube clips. Another hypermediated reminder of the provincial, xenophobic and class-ridden society that is dear old Blighty. The domestic war in the BB house (in our house 'BB' is shorthand for bad breath, of which there's been a lot on Celebrity Big Brother) almost makes you forget wars being fought by Brits in Iraq and Afghanistan. There's some good commentary on the spectacle from K-Punk, drawing attention to silence about class while people amplify the race/racism issue. Point taken, but that class system also perpetuates racist ignorance and hostility. One of the modalities of class resentment is racial/ethnic difference. In any case, the TV execs have used the class issue (and the vague 'cultural difference') as an alibi to deflect criticism. While it's hardly unique to the proles, let's not brush working-class racism under the carpet. Don't forget the aggro. More than 33,000 viewers complained about the programme. It's a shame they couldn't muster the same energy for a protest against the war, but their messages bring to the surface the experience of many British Asians who have had to put up with years of racist violence whether it comes from the gob, the gaze, the boot, the knife or the firebomb. Some of the press and voxpop has tended to separate 'bullying' from racism, as if scapegoating happens in a vacuum. K-Punk doesn't really say much about gender either. There's a proud British tradition of shitting all over uppity working-class women. Channel Four live at the witch trials! Angela McRobbie wrote this about female celebrities last June. I hope this media event means less surveillance trash and a shake-up at ratings-driven Channel Four. Seems a long way for the network to have come since the 1980s when its brief included representin' minority perspectives. Though I'm sure the racists will say that 'white Little Englanders have the status of a powerless minority now. They constitute the beleagured white majority since the country has been taken over by immigrants and the politically correct middle class wankers who defend them'. Why do the bloggers trying to reclaim class warfare want to separate it from race, make it more fundamental? Aren't class, gender, and race all bound together in a knot.

Anyhow, I had to make a playlist to commemorate the Goody Shetty match-up:

1. LAUB--Wake Up (Gonzales Remix)
2. COCO SOLID--Supastar
4. M.I.A.--XR2 (Turbo)
5. PANJABI HIT SQUAD--Get Crunked Up
6. LADY SOVEREIGN--Love Me Or Leave Me (Curtis Vodka Remix)
7. ARMANDO--100% of Disin' U
8. LILY ALLEN--LDN (South Rakkas Crack Whore Riddim)
9. AKABU & THE CIRCUIT--Watch Yourself
10. ELECTROSONIC--Computermatic
11. OJOS DE BRUJO--Feedback (Nitin Sawhney Remix)
12. ROD TAYLOR--Lonely Girl
13. ROD TAYLOR--Lonely Girl (Version)
14. NIGHTMARES ON WAX--Da Mess Sticks
15. TYCOON TO$H--Economic Animal In Concrete Jungle
16. TORTOISE--Why We Fight
17. JOMI MASSAGE--Undressing Aloud
18. THE VELVET UNDERGROUND--Femme Fatale (different mix on acetate)
19. CHIM KOTHARI--You Don't Have To Say You Love Me

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