Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

X-Mass Drudion

December 2005ce

Drudion,

Please excuse the lateness of this address, but I’ve been traveling hefty distances this month, both overground and (thanks to Khanate) deeply underground. I spent the beginning of November down in the Sardinian plains that surround the hilltop town of Macomer, searching out some of the truly forgotten monuments of Birori and discovering the lost temple of Puttu Oes, whose enormous size and proximity to the 131 motorway astonished me. Even locals had no awareness of its existence, and when I and my friend and co-researcher Angy Guarino came upon it, we were only 30 metres away before we recognized Puttu Oes’s presence. A huge farm - now deserted - had grown up around the temple, some buildings so close that the massive megalithic rear wall now delineates the eastern perimeter of the farmyard. Ironically, only the farm’s presence had prevented the destruction of Puttu Oes, whose walls and roof still remain intact, having served as a cattle stall throughout the past 200 years.

Returning home, I was briefly engaged in photographing the sleeve for Doggen’s upcoming Dogntank debut LP and visited Holy McGrail up in Yorkshire to work on the sleeve of the fourth and final album in the 13-year-long RITE series. The album will be available for the February tour, and is a 50-minute-long work coupling the final track recorded (the 27-minute free-funk epic “So Tough”) with the first ever RITE recording (1990’s “Too Stone”), featuring Donald Ross Skinner, Rooster Cosby and myself. Appropriately enough, given the wide range of its provenances, the album is entitled RITE BASTARD and will appear on our mid-price label Fuck Off & Di. Congratulations, by the way, to Holy McGrail and Howard ‘Iron Man’ Marsden, whose excellent Fuck Off & Di debut by their doom duo Slomo has now been picked up both in the US by Important Records, and as a double vinyl LP on the British label Aurora Borealis.

However, the underground portion of my journey kicked in only when I attended the amazing Khanate show in Bristol last week. I stood in the doorway at the back of the room, and was so brutalized by the experience that I felt it inappropriate to cheer such sounds, choosing instead to low like a beast in the field. And low I did, causing audience members to pretend I was not among them. At one point, when bassist James Plotkin moved to operate his laptop computer, the heavens opened for me and I recognized a great vision of The Heathenising Process that rock’n’roll has been bringing to the West since Ike Turner’s amazing “Rocket 88” back in the mid-1950s. To watch James using the highest 21st century technology as his cohorts (Messrs. O’Malley, Dubin and Wyskida) beat their Bronze Age instruments to a bloody pulp was thee most exquisite metaphor for the change Humanity is undergoing. No-one in that hall wished for some imaginary Lost Golden Age, no churl amongst us declared that what was past was better than what is still to come. For everyone – via the music of Khanate - was celebrating the higher thought of future beings whilst raging still knee-deep in the ancestral excelsis – Future Cave Dwellers of Atlantean Proportions. Herr O’Malley and I made a roadtrip over the next few days, and our question always was this: When will music such as that of Khanate be considered by the masses to be entertainment? We had no answer. Like Blue Cheer must have sounded in 1967, Khanate is currently summoning up the spirits of those As Yet UNBORN!!! Hail to those who descend into bodily form during this coming 21st century.

Hail to Them who have guts enough to come down here to quest amidst the chaos!

Hail to them – and (most of all) Good Luck Go With Them!

And Hail to Khanate for their sheer commitment to the Process…

… Hmm, in the meantime, I’ve also been giving some interviews for DARK ORGASM, and have been mulling over certain questions that have been thrown up in the wake of the album’s release. In this climate of Political Correctness, I hope your open-mindedness will extend to me the luxury of writing what I believe as a man, and not “as a calculating eunuch”, as DH Lawrence once described the politicians of his time. Although DARK ORGASM has addressed the current state of the patriarchy in as vicious and as barbarian manner as I saw fit, I know in my heart that I can – as a man - never be a feminist myself, merely a paladin for feminism. However much I’d like to make that claim, the meaning of the word ‘feminist’ has not changed that much since it was first coined in a book review in THE ATHENEUM, way back in 1895, declaring a woman to be a ‘feminist’ if she “has in her the capacity of fighting her way back to independence”.

Our house is rammed to the rafters with feminist books, and a little revision of my old notes taken from Susan Faludi’s late ‘80s feminist classic BACKLASH has surprised me at how little women’s positions have advanced. Am I more shockable than other men? Perhaps so. But in truth, I was molded by female attitudes of the mid-70s, so cannot help my hatred of those who help to perpetuate what Susan Faludi called: “Western society’s longstanding resistance to women’s rights”. In the ‘70s, I despised The Rolling Stones above all other bands because of their anti-female stance. At parties, my feminist girlfriend Jane would not even stay in the same room when stereos blasted out “Brown Sugar” or “Out of Time”, and Sir Mick Jagger only compounded the issue with the 1976 adverts for BLACK & BLUE, which depicted a bound half-naked woman and the bizarre question: ”Wouldn’t you like to beat her black and blue?” No, I thought, that was possibly the very last thing I’d want to engage in with her. By the mid-1980s, the opening of the American Christian Cause’s fund-raising newsletter was concerned enough to warn: “Satan has taken the reins of the ‘women’s movement’ and will stop at nothing.” In the early-1980s, one Christian minister from the American Mid-West infamously commented:

“Wife beating is on the rise because men are no longer leaders in their homes. I tell the women they must go back home and be more submissive.”

In the wake of the new movie version of C.S. Lewis’ abysmally Christian-based epic NARNIA, I returned once more to that MERE CHRISTIANITY tract of his that first set me on the anti-Christian path back in the late-1980s. Of all the pro-Christian books I have ever read, nothing so chock full of sophistry and smugness has ever passed my eyes as this heap of bachelor pad narcissism. Indeed, my heavily annotated edition is now so awash with violent scrawl that I shall not even dignify it by giving you any quotes. It’s ALL BAD!!! Just search out your own copy of this (blood)sucker and tell your friends you have a handbook to heathendom.

But should I not be careful about voicing my opinions on religion and feminism now that Islam has joined Christianity in the seemingly-eternal war against women? I should think I’d have to be rather an arsehole to ignore the evidence of the random blood and gore of the suicide bombers and say just what I think. So, believe me, I try to be more than ‘a bit careful’. And do remember that I – as a polytheist and pragmatist – sing in the opening song from CITIZEN CAIN’D, “Hell Is Wicked”:

“In praise of Allah, and in praise of the Lord, All praise Jehovah, let none be ignored.”

But how careful should I really be before I should become the aforementioned ‘calculating eunuch’ that I so despise? If I rail against such established Christian artists as C.S. Lewis, should I not also be demanding to know why the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens has done a 180-degree about turn from his late-60s songs “Love Me, Love My Dog” and the exquisite muse song “Lady D’Abarnville” to embracing a religion for which the dog is unclean, and in whose early years the practice of female infanticide was the norm?

But, am I even qualified to question such things and pass such judgments? I’ve looked through my work of the past 15 years and genuinely believe that I am, from the evidence, very qualified. As a writer, singer, and Goddess worshipper, I have evidence to support my actions dating back at least to 1992’s JEHOVAHKILL, whose sub-title was ‘concerning various related female issues that the Mother would wish us to know’. As a male author whose publishing company (Thorsons/Element) is run exclusively by women, all extremely intellectual and very much feminists themselves, I know that they would have come down on me like a ton of bricks were I running off the path (I’ve also just this last week been asked to contribute to a feminist anthology by the Hay House publishers). I’m also qualified as the author who, in 1998, published THE MODERN ANTIQUARIAN, whose 448,00 words were dedicated to the feminist cause and explained the death of Mother-based religions in the face of the advancing patriarchy. And as the father of two girls, who daily have to deal with the Cromwellian attitudes foisted upon them at their school, I am determined to remain a vociferous and easily outraged champion of all things female. Perhaps I also qualified to talk on these matters because I’m a poet. Whilst sitting in a Prague jail, the anti-communist poet Egon Bondy wrote:

… you who are poets bear the responsibility for everything concerning humankind. You shall redeem concentration camps ands the bestialities of police and the putrefaction of affluent regimes.”

If the organized religions are not affluent regimes, then nothing qualifies for that description. Ultimately, however, even without any of the aforementioned qualifications, I believe that merely as a human being I’m totally qualified because I care about injustice. I am certainly no Islamophobe – I truly believe Mohammed was the greatest and most pragmatic of all the prophets, and that his was patently the highest revelation of all the three big monotheist religions. But the interpretations of his revelation and the simultaneous rise of Bush’n’Blair’s New Christianity have huge implications, not just for women, but for all of the world’s homosexuals too. We must be wary of those Western Liberals who refuse to address the coming change merely because they do not want to rock their little lives. As the refusenik feminist Muslim author Ayaan Hirsi Ali has commented about the paradox of the Western Left: “On the one hand they support ideals of equality and emancipation, but in this case they do nothing about it; they even facilitate the oppression.”

Perhaps such liberals are blind to their freedom here in the West because they have, for too long, taken it for granted. Or perhaps they are not prepared to fight for what they see as ‘somebody else’s cause’. Those people must recognise always the great paradox of the West - our determination to support the rights of those whose words we vehemently disagree with. For, as the great Noam Chomsky once commented:

“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

‘Nuff said, I reckon,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)