Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's different up North.

This is a photograph from the vault. It was taken in the year 2000 and shows Ken Keating and his ex-Police transit converted to a GrassWatch van in which he would drive around Salford. The van as well as having a lit sign on the back saying "GrassWatch" had painted on it various slogans such as "NO GRASSES NO JAIL" and "Is your neighbour informing on YOU"

Lest anyone think this is charming, eccentric stuff, a bit extreme but what you expect from Class War associates let me draw your attention to the leaflet he would stick through peoples doors (See inset above). Featuring a mans head ringed by a rifle target sight it starts off; "Informing can seriously damage your health. It is a major cause of smashed knee caps and regular visits to the hospital."

I thought of this photo when looking at some photos of the Lowry exhibition uploaded by a flickr contributor and I wanted to demonstrate what a hard town Salford is, full of hard people and consequently how sentimental (almost sweet) Lowry's paintings are. To my mind Lowry converts unpalatable reality into pictures that can be put on any living room wall without causing offense. This is why he is so popular as a hanging for doctors' and dentists' waiting rooms. He is a mere creator of decor pictures that emasculate his subjects. He turns his northern England world into a suburb of Disneyland.

I also put it here for Simon K, a fan of the Smiths, as the photo was taken just a stone throw away (and a lot of stones get thrown in Salford) from the Salford Lads Club.

Oh yeah in an interview with Ken Keating I asked him about Lowry: He gave me a contemptuous look and said "Lowry he was just a f******g rent collector."

May I urge caution in commenting on the subject of this photograph.

I am very upset by how this photo has "degraded" in only six years. It was stored to a Kodak Photo Disk which promised "an estimated lifetime of 100 years or more"
Happily I did not believe the boast and kept the negative. All I have to do now is find it.

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