tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:/posts Hamilton Richardson 2019-10-11T22:43:51Z Hamilton Richardson tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1464375 2019-10-09T23:29:29Z 2019-10-11T22:43:51Z 1464375

Whilst throughout his work Hargreaves retains a certain fascination with the individual as a tool of resistance and agent of social change, he generally prefers to frame his exploration of this with characters who enact it inadvertently – often through clumsiness, silliness or being particularly accident-prone. It is these characters who triumph most emphatically when we consider his output as a whole.

Clearly written with Debord in mind, the confused and confusing Mr Topsy-Turvy falls very much into this category. If Situationism needed a literary hero, Mr Topsy-Turvy would fit the bill - if only he knew it himself. Moving through a metropolitan environment rather than the semi-rural suburbs more commonly found in Hargreaves, his act after act of unintentional détournement leaves the city in a state of considerable malfunction. Taxis crash, streets come to a standstill, and consumers tumble down the escalator in a department store - all due to seemingly innocuous, innocent behaviours such as speaking in jumbled up sentences, or wearing one’s socks on one’s hands.

But why this narrative insistence that our hero should appear so oblivious to his impact? Is it that Hargreaves views the rebellion of the unconscious as somehow more authentic than organized collective action?  Or, more likely, does he wish to side-step his own misplaced need for moral equilibrium? One suspects that Hargreaves prefers to see capitalist power relations crumble through the benign acts of a Chaplinesque fool, rather than through an open revolt whose perpetrators he would then feel he must punish.

This is all most disingenuous of course, and Hargreaves betrays Mr Topsy-Turvy’s total grasp of the situation when the character insists on hanging the pictures in an art gallery upside-down. We note, furthermore, in the disarranged utterances of a newsreader at the end of the story, that Mr Topsy-Turvy has decisively infiltrated media culture and turned it upon itself. For a man so unaware of the chaos he will cause, he certainly seems to know how to target his efforts. His sudden and mysterious disappearance owes only to the sheer magnitude of his impact. It is not that he is gone – he is everywhere. His ascension complete to the realm of signs, he occupies now the very structure of thought. That is, he is language itself. 

And it is with this radical transformation that Hargreaves declares Mr Topsy-Turvy the most genuinely subversive of all the Mr Men. Whilst Mr Tickle, for instance, might well bring temporary disruption to the accepted order of things, Mr Topsy-Turvy far surpasses this. Like a countercultural virus, he infects and fundamentally alters the system he traverses to bring about enduring change.

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1345343 2018-11-19T13:56:18Z 2018-11-19T13:57:21Z 1345343

Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman reads Foucault

'Where there is power, there is resistance.'  

Right? Not arf

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1315037 2018-08-25T20:46:28Z 2018-08-26T21:16:25Z 1315037

Amidst the neatly mown lawns and manicured hedgerows of the commuter belt, in Mr Fussy we meet a well-known creature of this habitat - the anal retentive personality type. With his excessive need for order and meticulous precision, Mr Fussy’s drive to retain control even goes as far as straightening the blades of grass in his garden.

Students of psychoanalysis will immediately recognise the fundamental unsustainability of this level of repression. And sure enough, it is not long before Mr Fussy is visited by Mr Clumsy, apparently a cousin from down under - clearly an allusion to the anus. Mr Clumsy is of course nothing more than our hero’s own deeply buried desire to rebel against the toilet training of his infancy. As this process, though clearly traumatic, was at the same time integral to the formation of his adult identity, it is only logical that his subconscious must project an alter ego through whom he can stage his regressive revolt.

It comes as no surprise to see that Mr Clumsy is in appearance simply a fatter, more bedraggled version of Mr Fussy himself, dutifully giving the latter licence to relinquish control of his bowels and at the same time look disapprovingly on. Make no mistake, Mr Fussy is loving every minute as the symbols of the self in his house and garden are processed and expelled as waste. And because the conscious self is allowed to remain a mere bystander in proceedings, this return to the Eden of untrammelled excretion evades any crisis of guilt.

For now at least, that is. Hargreaves hints that there may be a future price to pay for his scatological rampage. Things cannot simply go back to how they were. Soon after Mr Clumsy leaves, Mr Bump arrives. Do we take this to mean that Mr Fussy’s still unresolved internal conflict will see him at some point escalate to bouts of accidental self-injury? We are left to muse on what earthquakes await with the shifting tectonic plates of the psyche.

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1313178 2018-08-19T09:21:57Z 2018-12-08T23:21:35Z 1313178

'Tony Blackburn reads Derrida' audiobook

Would you believe me if I told you I found this in a charity shop in Bacup?

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1302079 2018-07-11T08:45:39Z 2018-07-11T08:59:31Z 1302079

Urine guy - really should do a series of these..

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1291785 2018-06-07T21:26:42Z 2018-06-10T10:28:21Z 1291785

Despite the visual witticisms of his resemblance to a purple heart, what we have in Mr Rush of course is the One-Dimensional Man of Marcuse. If any stimulant drives his actions, it is the ideological apparatus of advanced industrial society. Lacking a critical dimension with which to question and transcend such circumstances, he speeds around in blind conformity to the ethos of his age.

The inherent irrationality at the heart of all this is displayed in the fact that despite having internalised the core technological values of productivity and efficiency, the perpetual haste with which he is driven as a result makes him thoroughly unproductive and extremely inefficient. The perfect worker for the one-dimensional society is therefore unable to hold down any job.

We notice too that the leisure goals of his activity come retrospectively, heightening further our sense of the absurd. He must search for his soul in catalogues and brochures, finding it in products and services – in this case, a holiday abroad. This is aspiration as repressive tool, as he is further bound into the social order by his own conditioned needs.

And indeed, when Mr Rush finally gets to go on his break, we discover that he cannot relax. So deeply introjected are the conditions of his labour that he is subject to them even in his leisure, which he races about as if a work task. Production and consumption come to mirror one another, and in consequence are equally frenetic. Of course, Mr Rush does not stop to reflect, and hurtles at pace towards Thanatos.

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1277091 2018-04-26T09:36:12Z 2018-05-12T08:49:33Z 1277091

The archangel Michael, patron saint of waste management.

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1276673 2018-04-25T09:11:10Z 2018-04-25T09:12:42Z 1276673

Bringing businesses and customers together, Mile End Road, circa 2013

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1183112 2017-08-13T00:17:49Z 2018-12-27T11:44:52Z 1183112

The Taping of Quincy (Headingley, 2015)

Still ruing the missed digit.

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1134067 2017-02-25T09:13:44Z 2017-02-25T09:14:17Z 1134067

Never say again that nothing ever happens in Halifax.

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1121386 2017-01-08T10:53:15Z 2017-01-08T10:53:47Z 1121386

The new fragrance from GWF Hegel

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1120445 2017-01-04T15:00:41Z 2017-01-04T16:08:54Z 1120445

A look back at some of the great releases (and re-releases) of 2016:

First up, there's nothing like an established performer seeking to extend her range, at the same time as bringing some great music to a new audience - exactly what Shirley Bassey has done with this, her interpretation of the legendary Captain Beefheart.

In a similar vein, Vespas of 1610 specialise in choral reworkings of mod anthems. Their 2016 offering, 'Hoc est, in mundo' (This is the Modern World) was dedicated to Jam covers - highlights included 'Sub Occasum' (Going Underground), 'In Civitatem quae dicitur Malita' (A Town Called Malice) & 'Haec sunt jucunda' (That's Entertainment). Best of the rest in terms of covers was an eclectic selection by the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, my personal favourite being their rendering of the Man 2 Man Meets Man Parrish Hi-NRG classic 'Male Stripper'. 

Meanwhile, the year also saw a welcome re-release for the back catalogue of 80s New Romantics, Rural Vest Scenario, famous for their smash hit 'Tea is a diuretic'.

One artist stretching himself with new material in 2016 was James Blunt, with a taster for his forthcoming concept album based on the film Videodrome.

Seminal House legends Action Man versus Rubber Skeikh deserve a mention for producing yet another hot and heavy dance classic with 'ChemSexx Supermarket'. Fans of ITV idents might notice the incorporation of the Granada TV symbol into the logo of their label Mantrax.

Here's hoping 2017 can anywhere near match any of this.

#alloftheabovejustkiddingofcourse

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1082148 2016-08-18T08:35:42Z 2016-08-18T08:36:24Z 1082148

the place where words are made

2016

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1071273 2016-07-09T19:12:12Z 2016-07-09T19:15:00Z 1071273

Modernist souvenir mug, against the backdrop of Number One Riverside, Rochdale

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1058128 2016-05-31T19:55:47Z 2016-06-03T07:18:16Z 1058128

Exhibition (detail)

Wanstead Park, 2013

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1036015 2016-04-18T14:28:42Z 2016-06-03T07:11:20Z 1036015

"When I were a lad, we used to make our own entertainment - constructing Situations to subvert the hegemony of the ruling class."

#rebrandingyorkshire

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1019679 2016-03-25T20:01:19Z 2016-06-03T07:10:13Z 1019679

And I do as well, you know.

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1001720 2016-02-26T12:23:34Z 2016-06-03T07:42:19Z 1001720

Pirelli Porno Mayhem

The enigma of Nigel Mansell, part 5

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/993429 2016-02-15T00:35:22Z 2016-03-27T01:35:27Z 993429

Sculpture #14: cobweb ornamentation of manufactured utilities

i) pedestrian underpass light panels

ii) overhead piping

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/970127 2016-01-13T13:18:18Z 2016-06-03T07:35:21Z 970127

Cosmos (2010)

We can know but a fraction even of our own game.

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/932532 2015-11-12T09:47:28Z 2016-06-03T07:26:47Z 932532

The Death of Chatterton  (2015)

from Aftermath

http://hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com/aftermath

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/922899 2015-10-27T12:45:50Z 2016-03-27T01:34:00Z 922899

Triptych

2012/2015

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/908985 2015-09-24T09:11:23Z 2016-03-27T01:33:18Z 908985

'Star'

The enigma of Nigel Mansell, part 4

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/905433 2015-09-15T17:42:23Z 2016-06-03T08:01:45Z 905433

Projection onto stone, 2013

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/895895 2015-08-20T17:12:03Z 2016-03-27T01:32:00Z 895895

'It's a lot, it's a lot, it's a lot like life.'

More from the comedy goldmine that is Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, & of course it's always a pleasure to revisit the thematic inspiration for one of Depeche Mode's finest moments.

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/889013 2015-08-01T20:21:31Z 2016-03-27T01:30:57Z 889013

Wonderful mementos of a trip to the capital & fantastic family gifts.

(Shards memorabilia, 2010)

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/884758 2015-07-22T06:27:28Z 2016-03-27T01:30:20Z 884758

from Shards

2009

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/877417 2015-07-05T10:40:01Z 2016-03-27T01:29:24Z 877417

The Lesson

(The enigma of Nigel Mansell, part 3)

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/872253 2015-06-22T10:18:58Z 2016-03-27T01:28:38Z 872253

'And everything written in sign language is poetry'

(from shop fronts, placards and advertising hoardings on walks between Holborn and Highgate Road circa mid-90s)

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Hamilton Richardson
tag:hamiltonrichardson.posthaven.com,2013:Post/866933 2015-06-08T12:03:08Z 2016-03-27T01:27:55Z 866933

How to explain pictures to an angry bird

(no felt suits were damaged in the making of this image)

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Hamilton Richardson