Monday, May 12, 2008

half-cut but swilling dreams and misty wisdom

The Times Online describes Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith by Mark E. Smith as "a self- help book as much as it is a rock biography. Then again, it might be prose, hard to say." It looks like it's only available as import here so far.

The reader can see Smith at his favourite table in his favourite pub (of which he writes evocatively) holding court: “And another thing...” Despite the practised snarl of his publicity shots and a willingness to conform to curmudgeonly stereotype, Smith is no nihilist; far from it. He sings a song of common sense, decency, loyalty to your family and community. He writes that he “doesn't deliberate”, and this has meant that his art and vision has remained steadfast for 30 years. He seems to have understood, almost from The Fall's first practice, that the values a working-class background instils: graft, self-belief and honesty, are armoury enough to withstand any condescension or chicanery.

Warning: Squirrel lovers might not want to read this.