Now that the David Lynch backlash bandwagon has at last been kicked into life. may I be among the first to leap aboard'.’
Largely absent from recent pacans to this supposedly ground-breaking. challenging. revolutionary (etc. etc) director has been any attempt to grapple with his representation of the sexes. Feminists justifiably attacked Blue Velvet for its stereotyping of women. and both Wild At Heart and Twin Peaks can be seen as continuing the process of representing women as physically grotesque. beaten. raped or pleading to be raped. murdered or waiting to be murdered. or just plain doolally.
So while all that great tub oflard Paul Morley and his oleaginous chums on a laughably reverential Late Sho w review of Twin Peaks can come up with is that it constitutes ‘fantastic television‘. I find it both distressing and predictable that the whole series begins with. and hinges upon. the discovery of the corpse of a young woman. (Murdered. of course. Raped. ofcourse. Ouelle surprise . . . )
The most disturbing thing about this episode (and I don't accept the Lynchophile notion that to merely ‘disturb‘ is somehow itself revolutionary. and that it should preclude further analysis) was the beauty of the image of the dead woman (reproduced. with a ghastly inevitability. as a front cover by The List). Lynch is eroticising death and. with it. rape and murder.
I'm not asking that a trite moralising should replace Lynch's famous amorality. but how revolutionary is it. in a culture in which women are attacked. raped and murdered by men. to make films in which women are attacked. raped and murdered by men‘.’ Lynch's films cannot constitute a critique ofsuch a culture. for ultimately they merely reproduce the power structures upon which it is based.
Lynch revels too much in this culture. and in the power it gives him as a man. to be capable of subverting it.
Iain Barbour Royal Terrace Glasgow.
You win two Jose ( 'ueri'o tequila slammer glasses for the best letter this issue.
Ifyou‘re sending the talented Day id M. Bennie round to Forth Ilouse
(see last issue's letters) can you make it conditional that he returns with a
88'l‘he l.ist ‘)
signed photo of ( irant Stott. please'.’ A form to compliment such an incredible voice is beyond my powers of visualisation. I'm alraid. ()n the subject of Radio Forth PM.
23 November 19‘)”
Help save this page from the Bennie family by sending in letters which are not about. or by. the dreaded David and his equally vituperative wee sister. The best letter next issue will win a bottle ofJose Cuervo tequila. Write to The List. Old Athenaeum Theatre. 179 Buchanan Street. Glasgow G1 2JZ.0r14 High Street. Edinburgh
can I just remmmend their live At ' The .-\mphitheatre‘ gigs. Isthe I.othian Road venue trying to r improve its image. I wonder? Taking ' Dreamscape into consideration as well. it‘s almost enough to lure you down there on a Saturday night. I‘m ‘ curious.butit‘lltakealittlebitmore to convince me -- my stilettoes are staying at the back of my wardrobe thank you. Amanda Dickson Edinburgh. The last time anyone here saw Mr Stott he was wearing a cylierman outfit — whether out o'f'shame at his looks or NH! went unrecorded. Anywa v. we I'(’ got a photo ofhim now. and would send it to you. Amanda, only you didn '1 include your address.
. Walter Pater observed famously that
‘Art comes to you proposing frankly
to give nothing but the highest
quality to your moments as they
l pass. and simply for those moments' sake.‘ Though not written with
9 photography in mind. the comment
lends itself to that discipline with
marvellous ease. Photography. be it
colour or monochrome. can boast an
unmatched ability to identify and
intensify the essentials ofa subject —
light. shade. texture. form — as they
were perceived at a given instant. Ilow irritating. then. to read
recently in your pages politely
enthusiastic reviews of two rather
dull exhibitions. Peter Beard's show
‘ at Stills Gallery and John 'I‘aylor's at
Portfolio have in common a lack of feeling and articulation that borders on creative anaemia. These days that‘s not new. The trend.
: particularly in black and white
j imagery. is for demonstration of
modest technical ability at the expense ofernotion or insight. And here the likes of Portfolio. Stills. 36‘) and Glasgow's Street Level gallery must shoulder some of the blame for 3 promoting bland and uninspiring l work. This is not to deem them incapable ofstaging interesting exhibitions.
but too often the material selected fails to match up to the standard that Pater for one might expect. The gallery curators. and perhaps your reviewers. would do well to remember John Ruskin's words: ‘Fine art is that in which the hand. the head and the heart of man go together.‘
ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Twin Peaks — ‘Who Killed David M. Bennie‘."
Diane. I‘ve just interviewed Sister Scholastica. nee Lynn G. Bennie. about her brother. the popular List beauty. whose body was washed up on the shores of Duddingston Loch. She exhibited no emotion at the news. apart from doing a couple of back-flips and punching the air. Our records show that she couldn‘t cut it as a novitiate nun. flunking out of the Poor Sisters ofSt (‘lare nunnery after breaking every vow in the book. Her bedroom is a shrine to Garfield. and she listens to New Age music. Prime suspect . . .
Diane. I've just exited the List offices. after drinking some damn bad coffee. Upon making my entrance. I noticed a 50s soundtrack playing in the background. and the effect ofthe overhead strip lighting can only be described as post-modernistically absurd. Susan ‘Eyepatch‘ Mackenzie offered to sell me some Extra Strong Fisherman's Friends before I could identify myself. Pass her file to the Recreational Drugs Squad. There were a lot of people doing nothing in the back room — the book reviewers apparently.
While interrogating Stuart literary Editor' Bathgate a dwarf danced past the desk. speaking backwards. his temples bruised purple from electro-shock therapy— Ross Parsons composing the Short List. Bathgate admitted Bennie had been furious at having his heading of
GASPING JEW changed to LEVIN ON A JET PLANE. whereas POPE ON A ROPE had not been deemed offensive enough to warrant blue-peneilling. A tergiversating Bathgate finally broke down and confessed that he learned to sub-edit on Pravda.
Diane. I‘m now going to track down Barry Dubber. who has set up camp with his followers on Leith Walk — in order to worship the Big Black Balls. Diane. what happened to the trees that used to be in the centre of Picardy roundabout (gifted by Sir Nicholas Fairbairn)‘.’ Have they really been replanted by the (‘ommie council in Wester I—Iailes‘.’ Were they Douglas Firs? This could be an importantclue. Diane . . . Over and out.
FBI Special Agent David M. Bennie Haddington Place Edinburgh.
I I asked David if he had any
objections to my writing in again and he graciously said he hadn't. (His actual words were ‘I couldn't give a toss’.)
To put the record straight. The Syringe. Father Flyte. Baby Albert etc are not fictional. They are. in fact. horribly. horribly real. As I write this. David and the other fighting boyos (Battleship Poternkin. Tricity. Slap Head. Wee Willie and Big Dickie. Hovis. Santa. Aloysius. Gonk. Fat Saul. Tizer. Buggy. Zimmer and Bungle) are up the park defending their home record. Zippy. I understand. didn‘t make the team today. This merry band of men are ridiculously proud of their record in a pathetically macho sort of way. (My request for a trial was rejected simply because I‘m female ~ at least I'm not hindered by a sagging beerbelly.)
If they had a choice between a Labour government at the next election or ('eltic winning the European (.‘up again. their perverted sense of priority would force them to choose the European Cup. In fact. ifa totalitarian despot. left or right. guaranteed (‘eltic a three-in-a-row European Cup record. they‘d vote him or her into power without any reservations.
Ifever the ideologically sound stage a successful revolution. my big brother had better disappear down a secret police tunnel pretty damn quick. The evidence mounts and mounts— Punch. Kylie Minogue. Sarah Dunant. Bernard Levin. Abba. The Amphitheatre. and so it
goes on. I see he‘s reached page 173 of Martin the Misogynist‘s London Fields. with certain bits. supposedly the funny bits. underlined. such as ‘It was all crap about the attempted rape (which. he claimed. had been an unqualified success. )‘ That's having a sense of humour? Lynn G. Bennie Glencorse Street Glasgow.
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