Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

World Cup Overfloweth Drudion

June 2002ce

International Greetings!

It’s time for Celebrations to begin! Call me a Union Jack-off if you wanna, but this weekend I ain’t celebrating 1000 years of Norman Feudalism sold as Democracy. And I won’t be treading red, white and blue confetti into the pavements of Avebury and Yatesbury. Nope, I’m celebrating several million years of Humanity by proxy – that is via the sacred game variously known around the world to most English speaking countries as Football. That’s Soccer to the Americans, also known as Fotboll (Scandinavian), Futbol (Spanish), Fussbal (German), Fuutborl (Russian), Futebol (Portuguese), Jalkapallo (Finnish), Mell-droad (Breton), and Pel-droed (Welsh),

Any pastime which has translations into all those languages is positive and uniting to my way of thinking. And any celebration which begins with the defeat of the current World Champions by one of their own former provinces – France 0 Senegal 1 – makes me hoot and holler with the pride of being alive and a part of this planet! In fact anything which can make us feel proud to be human kacks all over the Forelock Tugging ‘aw, but they do more harm than good’ attitudes that pervade our current thinking on royalty. I believe that ‘they’ do infinitely more harm than good, and I can’t spend my days loudly despairing of our lack of constitution and feudal hangovers and then just drop it all so no-one calls me Party Pooper. I’d feel like those new parents who profess antipathy towards religion, but get their kids baptised ‘just so me parents don’t get upset’.

Still, it’s a wildly beautiful June 1st and I’m lying in bed listening to ‘Atomic Bombs Away’ by those heavy Japanese monsters known as Blues Creation. Nothing can bring me down today because of all the luck I have living in the West. Lucky lucky lucky. I’m not on the northern Indian border being shelled by wildcard Pakistani troops and fearful of Nuclear Holocaust, and I’m not an Israeli settler walking on the streets of Palestine living in fear of suicide bombers whose only means of displacing me is to take themselves with me. I’m one lucky Westerner with a New York wife and two kids downstairs watching the World Cup live from Japan.

Now, you can call me Volte Face but, after railing against Billy Bragg’s adventures in Medialand last month, I have to send congratulations to Sir Bill for getting on Top of the Pops and getting up people’s noses with his Anti-Jubilee song. Though it was not my idea of a good Billy Bragg song, being both melodically obscure and lyrically unwieldy, his performance was truly mysterious and contextually nail-biting, if not downright embarrassing. My girls looked up at me and asked who the old grey guy was, why was he on and what a load of old rubbish. I realised right then that Lord Braggy’s job was well done and that this was a trickster act which I myself would have been proud of. Billy was gimmicky and shameless and trod a dubious line between Righteous and Self-Righteous. Damn it, he gets my vote on all three counts!

And speaking of gimmickry and shamelessness inevitably brings us to Brain Donor. In favour of spending more time on the forthcoming Brain Donor film, which will be entitled DAUB, the new Donor 45 ‘Get Back On It’ has now been officially cancelled. Spiritualized has been way too busy for us to find time for a coherent follow-up to LOVE, PEACE & FUCK, but the soundtrack to DAUB will most likely be released in the early new year, and will feature ‘Get Back On It’, alongside another potential single, an amphetamine rush of a song called ‘My Pagan Ass’.

Regarding my July 5th presentation of DISCOVER AVEBURY at The British Museum, everything is now in place for what should be a real eye-opener of an evening. Those of you at last year’s DISCOVER ODIN will probably remember a section of my lecture which I called ‘Tree Borne Saviours’, in which I showed that supposed links between Odin and Jesus Christ could also be made out in other European Death & Resurrections Gods such as Endendros, Orpheus Bakkikos, Adonis and Attis. So it seems timely that the remains of a priest of Attis has recently been discovered here in Britain, self-mutilated and clothed in a woman’s robes. I suppose it is all too chilling to think what might have happened had Attis rather than Christ become the western world’s foremost Dying God. From the discovery of a self-castrating tool found in the river Thames, it is probably fair to deduce that every Attisian equivalent of our good old vicar would have been dashing about bollockless in a frock and high voice. Rite On!

Still, the real world of Christianity hardly seems any less strange, nor the so-called pre-Christian one neither. Earlier this month, I visited the Furry dance in Helston, Cornwall, where verdantly clad and green-faced women danced their Hal-an-Tow through the streets, welcoming the defeat of winter by the summer. Ceremonially-robed men dressed as St. Michael, St. George, Robin Hood and others defeat various baddies, including a dragon – and the whole thing is reckoned to have its roots in pre-Christian times. Personally, I enjoyed the whole day but found the dances themselves yielded little of a true pagan flavour, and doubt their provenance is anything like as old is as claimed.

Much more impressive was my trip round that sunken Neolithic landscape known as the Isles of Scilly. Having previously only visited the mainland St. Mary’s, this time I belted around Bryher, St. Martin’s, Gugh and Agnes as well. In ancient times, Scilly was one island. Now it’s an archipelago of ancient temples and humanly-altered natural monuments as impressive and intriguing as anywhere I’ve ever been. I left shell-shocked that we’ve got such stuff virtually on the doorstep.

Later this week I’ll be giving a lecture on shamanism in The Hague, and re-visiting a few of the Neolithic hunebedden up on the north-eastern Netherlands border with Germany. My impending gazetteer of megalithic Europe is getting choc-a-bloc with amazingly named sites, though none have been so extreme as the names of the hunebedden. The Dutch chose to number their monuments, but one is actually situated at a place called Fokinger Slag. Yes, this time next week Fokinger Slag is where I’ll be! But even that’s not as extreme as the hunebed whose vulgar folk name translates as ‘The Devil’s Cunt’. And the most impressive aspect of this name is the manner in which it reveals the female origins of the Christian Devil. All this information will one day create the kind of colossal repository of ancient facts that shows even to the most hardened Patriarch where his former allegiances would have lain.

But we must be patient, me babbies, and I can’t rush to publish this stuff until it’s all been seen and properly assimilated. The ability to sustain this seemingly subterranean research will change culture properly with patience. After all, as the leader of the Pharaohs street gang said in American Graffiti: "Rome wasn’t burned in a day".

M’Lud Yatesbury (Anglo-British Republican)