Saturday, 26 October 2013

october 26th

Soon if we meet again then there'll be
Revolution, that's all that it can be
If you find your own solution then that's all right with me.
If I wanted to, could I depend on you, my friend?

Soon if we dream again then there'll be
Revolution, that's all that it can be
If you find your own solution then that's all right with me.
If I wanted to, could I depend on you, my friend?

Soon if we hope again then there'll be
Revolution, that's all that it can be
If you find your own solution then that's all right with me.
Revolution. It's got to be revolution.
It's all that it can be.

On 26th October, 1917, the All-Russian Congress of Soviets met and handed over power to the Soviet Council of People's Commissars. Lenin was elected chairman and other appointments included Leon Trotsky (Foreign Affairs) Alexei Rykov (Internal Affairs), Anatoli Lunacharsky (Education), Alexandra Kollontai (Social Welfare), Felix Dzerzhinsky (Internal Affairs), Joseph Stalin (Nationalities), Peter Stuchka (Justice) and Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko (War). Anatoli Lunacharsky was made the Commissar of Enlightenment and went on to establish the Bolshoi Drama Theatre. Proper intelligent politicians that lot. Mind you, I can easily imagine the current Secretary of State for Education eventually sharing Trotsky's fate. Sooner rather than later, please.

Not many specific dates are celebrated by their very own song. The beautiful creamy lead guitar on this 1970 single by the Pretty Things has always been a favourite of mine. The harpsichord was probably at the suggestion of its producer Norman "Hurricane" Smith. I first heard it the week before its release on a Radio 1 Sunday night "Progressive" show. I rushed out and bought it the following Friday - release day for all new records in those days. I've still got the single and it's there on my iPod as an additional track on Parachute. An album that still resonates for me from those heady days. I bought it in the Longship (here and here) for a few quid off of a heroin addict who needed some cash. I guess I got the better deal. I've still got it.

In the cd cover notes (just about legible), one Mike Stax says, "It was the date of the Russian Revolution (sic), but the song appeared to be a kind of farewell to the comrades of another, more recent, failed revolution." The late sixties were a time of hope and the future looked great. But the cold winds of the austere Seventies soon blew such silly notions away. I've mentioned elsewhere my disappointment in the lack of a jetpack or holidays on Mars. Mind you, recent news about the Gold Rush mentality of volunteers for the one-way trip to Mars and the advert for the current series for Have I Got News For You  suggests that the jetpack is a fundamental right for all. We want our jetpacks and we want them now! James Bond had one in Thunderball in 1965. It looks as though they're still a long way off from being commercially available. Ah well, I still fancy an electric bike - I had a go on one recently. It was great fun, they go up to fifteen mph and no pedalling uphill. That's cylcing.

Anyway, back to reality. Today's date is an auspicious one. It seems that the idea of Revolution is currently popular. If you can bear to watch it if you missed it, the spat between Jeremy Paxman and the over-rated loquacious Russell Brand is worth watching (once). Both personalities are Marmite types. Personally I quite like Paxman. Can't stand the other fellow though. Perhaps he thinks he's the new James Dean: what are you rebelling about? What you got? Anything to keep in the news I guess. He's probably got a new book with a ridiculously childish title to sell or another film out that I'll avoid like the plague.

Still, the other thing that seems to be going on is the way that social media has lit up with anti-Gove vitriol. The man is a charlatan, and the most dangerous (and hated) man in the country at the moment. An English Spring could be working its way through facebook and Twitter. Probably more of an English Autumn and it won't be violent but at least there's hope. Remember Tony Benn's five questions of power:

What power have you got?
Where did you get it from?
In whose interests do you use it?
To whom are you accountable?
How do we get rid of you?

All together now:
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world


Rob Fuke said...

I would have agreed with you about Russell Brand until very recently. I heard him do a routine on a CD which Millie found in a charity shop, or maybe a hedge, which started to change my mind. He mocked many of the more stupid Brit institutions, particularly the tabloid press - and seemed to make more sense than your average patronising politician. Admittedly, not too difficult.
Paxo has always been a favourite. I've read most of his books and share his distaste for those who wish to ascend the slippery pole. I thought Russell Brand acquitted himself well with him too. It obviously helped that Jeremy Paxman seems to quite like him and yes his showy off studenty way off expressing himself is excruciating, but he does make some pretty good points. His opinion of the political class is not a million miles away from Paxman's, after all.

Dave Leeke said...

Hi Rob,

Fair point but as you know, I'm a very opinionated git at the best of times!

Paxman was managing to avoid laughing too much. I agree with what you say. I still can't stand the other one, though!

Glad you got back home safely after your lengthy sojourn in Blighty. Hope your dad's okay. It was great to see you.

eeyorn said...

FWIW Brand wasn't pimping anything. I've also quite liked what he's said over the last 6 months or so. Its a vast improvement from the snide git who phoned Andrew Sachs for a radio prank.

Dave Leeke said...


I think he was promoting whatever political magazine he's going to edit. Fair point but I just wish he'd stop trying to show off. Some Tory MP said he'd,"never heard so many big words used for so little effect" and for once, I'd agree with a Tory!Although Will Self could give him a run for his money! But I quite like Will.