meat is murder

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CLOSER COMES THE SCREAMING KNIFE
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CLOSER COMES THE SCREAMING KNIFE

Mar 26, 2014 / 168 notes
reading3313:

5. Meat Is Murder (The Smiths) - Joe Pernice [Continuum] [Amazon]
It would be remarkable if any book in the series manages to contain fewer words about the album than this one. Joe Pernice describes the book as fiction, but it seems more like somewhat fictional autobiography. Somewhat fictional, autobiographical, teenage memoir.
Framed by the adult protagonist, hungover and returning from playing a gig in London, having an urge to listen to Meat Is Murder and plunging into a flashback that lasts for the rest of the book, the narrative is short on plot, tension and purpose. Characters are introduced and then disappear again, which is maybe fitting for the self-obsession of a teenage narrator but it’s a bit boring to read. There’s a group suicide, and then a running suicide joke between the narrator and his best friend. There’s girls, especially one, and the cachet of being in a band in terms of the social order, and a drift towards getting a band together. The conclusion is just where the book stops, adding up to a big so-what - more disappointing for having set up startling, bold fragments like “I was dying in Catholic school. It was spring and all anyone wanted to do was fuck.” and then meandering out of the clarity into mush again.
Writing a straight take on The Smiths and the album’s process would likely involve big, joyless stretches of having to deal with things like Morrissey and the album title - the worst thing ever, and I’ve been vegetarian since I was a self-righteous ten year old - so it’s a good cue for experimentation, finding another approach that deals with the best aspect of the album: the songs.
Music comes into the story as part of teenage life, and obviously, the anglophiles are set apart from the classic rock majority, and hearing imports and knowing about bands has its own kind of currency. A few paragraphs on a friend’s home-dubbed tapes and the abbreviated labels with no tracklists have a gorgeous sense of possibility that could have carried the book - this is The Smiths filtered through being a kid in Massachusetts, growing up in one place but listening to music from somewhere else and not knowing much about it or, say, being aware of the spectre of Thatcher in the background - and yet the payback is just getting a tracklisting later.
Pernice avoids describing how the music sounded or what the lyrics meant to the narrator, beyond skimming the surface. Instead, there’s the generalised minutiae of a life that may or may not be fictional, mentioning an album but with so little specificity that it could be swapped out for another with barely more than find-and-replace. As much as I appreciate the breadth of the approaches within the series, the only curiosity I have after reading this is whether it initially began with greater promise.
—
By the way, there’s @reading3313, if you’d like notifications of new posts, knowing what’s coming up next week and any miscellaneous business. Also, as well as Twitter and the usual Tumblr methods, I’d welcome any corrections, disagreement or comments by email.
Mar 23, 2014 / 20 notes

reading3313:

5. Meat Is Murder (The Smiths) - Joe Pernice [Continuum] [Amazon]

It would be remarkable if any book in the series manages to contain fewer words about the album than this one. Joe Pernice describes the book as fiction, but it seems more like somewhat fictional autobiography. Somewhat fictional, autobiographical, teenage memoir.

Framed by the adult protagonist, hungover and returning from playing a gig in London, having an urge to listen to Meat Is Murder and plunging into a flashback that lasts for the rest of the book, the narrative is short on plot, tension and purpose. Characters are introduced and then disappear again, which is maybe fitting for the self-obsession of a teenage narrator but it’s a bit boring to read. There’s a group suicide, and then a running suicide joke between the narrator and his best friend. There’s girls, especially one, and the cachet of being in a band in terms of the social order, and a drift towards getting a band together. The conclusion is just where the book stops, adding up to a big so-what - more disappointing for having set up startling, bold fragments like “I was dying in Catholic school. It was spring and all anyone wanted to do was fuck.” and then meandering out of the clarity into mush again.

Writing a straight take on The Smiths and the album’s process would likely involve big, joyless stretches of having to deal with things like Morrissey and the album title - the worst thing ever, and I’ve been vegetarian since I was a self-righteous ten year old - so it’s a good cue for experimentation, finding another approach that deals with the best aspect of the album: the songs.

Music comes into the story as part of teenage life, and obviously, the anglophiles are set apart from the classic rock majority, and hearing imports and knowing about bands has its own kind of currency. A few paragraphs on a friend’s home-dubbed tapes and the abbreviated labels with no tracklists have a gorgeous sense of possibility that could have carried the book - this is The Smiths filtered through being a kid in Massachusetts, growing up in one place but listening to music from somewhere else and not knowing much about it or, say, being aware of the spectre of Thatcher in the background - and yet the payback is just getting a tracklisting later.

Pernice avoids describing how the music sounded or what the lyrics meant to the narrator, beyond skimming the surface. Instead, there’s the generalised minutiae of a life that may or may not be fictional, mentioning an album but with so little specificity that it could be swapped out for another with barely more than find-and-replace. As much as I appreciate the breadth of the approaches within the series, the only curiosity I have after reading this is whether it initially began with greater promise.

By the way, there’s @reading3313, if you’d like notifications of new posts, knowing what’s coming up next week and any miscellaneous business. Also, as well as Twitter and the usual Tumblr methods, I’d welcome any corrections, disagreement or comments by email.

Mar 23, 2014 / 7 notes

Oh, I’m fading, I don’t stand a chance
And meat is murder and I don’t even dance
Something is still worrying me tonight

And oh, I’m falling and nothings working out
And what comes out from my mouth is nothing to worry to about
'Cause everything sounds miserable tonight

I haven’t said too much, have I?
There are things you should keep to yourself
I haven’t said too much, have I?
There are things you should keep to yourself

I haven’t said too much, have I?
There are things you should keep to yourself

The Smiths (1984) - Joe Dallesandro, cropped from a still from the 1968 film ‘Flesh’, directed by Paul Morrissey and produced by Andy Warhol.
Meat is Murder (1985) - A Photograph of Marine Corporal Michael Wynn, taken in 1967 during the Vietnam War. The original writing on the helmet read “Make war not love”.
The Queen is Dead (1986) - Alain Delon, cropped from a still from the 1964 film ‘L’Insoumis’ directed by Alain Cavalier.
Strangeways, Here We Come (1987) - A cropped photograph of Richard Davalos’ face taken from a photograph of himself and James Dean on the set of the 1955 film ‘East of Eden’ directed by Elia Kazan.
Feb 10, 2014 / 758 notes

The Smiths (1984) - Joe Dallesandro, cropped from a still from the 1968 film ‘Flesh’, directed by Paul Morrissey and produced by Andy Warhol.

Meat is Murder (1985) - A Photograph of Marine Corporal Michael Wynn, taken in 1967 during the Vietnam War. The original writing on the helmet read “Make war not love”.

The Queen is Dead (1986) - Alain Delon, cropped from a still from the 1964 film ‘L’Insoumis’ directed by Alain Cavalier.

Strangeways, Here We Come (1987) - A cropped photograph of Richard Davalos’ face taken from a photograph of himself and James Dean on the set of the 1955 film ‘East of Eden’ directed by Elia Kazan.

veronikagreen: Meat is Murder (2013)
"La crueldad hacia los animales tiene tantos matices como víctimas, desde la caza deportiva hasta el abandono de mascotas, pasando por la explotación comercial y la experimentación científica; sin olvidar claro, el insano entretenimiento de las corridas de toros, peleas de animales y los poco habitables pero tan visitados zoológicos".
¡YA BASTA! Di NO al maltrato animal.,
Jan 22, 2014 / 6 notes

veronikagreen: Meat is Murder (2013)

"La crueldad hacia los animales tiene tantos matices como víctimas, desde la caza deportiva hasta el abandono de mascotas, pasando por la explotación comercial y la experimentación científica; sin olvidar claro, el insano entretenimiento de las corridas de toros, peleas de animales y los poco habitables pero tan visitados zoológicos".

¡YA BASTA! Di NO al maltrato animal.,

"Animals are my friends…and I don’t eat my friends" - George Bernard Shaw
Buy the shirt at Farm Animal Rights Movement.
Jan 22, 2014 / 3,639 notes
Nov 26, 2013 / 587 notes
Nov 18, 2013 / 3 notes

I’m walking through the grey walkway of the city
And through the brightly lit shops and supermarkets
And I’m walking through the fields of the innocent
Passing by the fairytale farm
Balancing on the brittle edge of a short life
That is ended by the knife

The factory’s still churning out, all processed, packed and neat
An obscure butchered substance and the label reads “meat”
Hidden behind false names such as pork, ham, veal and beef
An eye’s an eye; a life’s a life, the now forgotten belief
Yet, everyday production lines are feeding out this farce
To end up on your table, then shat out of your arse

Yet, still you’re queuing, and still you’re viewing
Sawing out limbs just right for stewing
Carcasses piled up in a heap
Sort, soft, juicy chunks from freezers deep
Well, can’t you see that that juice is blood?
From newborn throats, red rivers flood
Blood from young hearts blood from the vein
Your blood, their blood, serves the same

Now you’re at the table, sitting, grinning
Sitting there eating, you never realise the filling
It’s served upon a sterile plate, you don’t think of the killing
The furthest your brain takes you, “is it for frying or grilling?”
You moan about the seal cull, about the whale slaughter
But does it really matter whether it lives on land or water?
You’ve never had a fur coat; you think it’s cruel to the mink
Well, how about the cow, pig or sheep. Don’t they make you think?
Since the day that you were you born, you’ve never been told the missing link?

As I’m gazing at the baneful products 
And from behind the bright colours and false smiles
I can smell the lingering death
And see the decaying skins 
Forth from the green grass
The pungent smell of decomposing meat
That penetrates the walls of the kitchen
And from the red lorries on the black
In unison with the red lights and the red juice

Yet, still you’re queuing, and still you’re viewing
Sawing out limbs just right for stewing
Carcasses piled up in a heap
Sort, soft, juicy chunks from freezers deep
Well, can’t you see that that juice is blood?
From newborn throats, red rivers flood
Blood from young hearts blood from the vein
Your blood, their blood, serves the same 

The Sunday kitchen spills out the stench of the abattoir
The butcher’s blade glistening in the eye of the ‘master’
The deadened life of a baby sits upon the plate
The spilt guts falling from the chute to the basting tin
The carcass from the carcrash
In the age of the train-direct from the gates of Sobivor

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