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To Be Myself

I have flirted with the idea of open honesty. Whatever one may think of him, the recently deceased Michael Winner was not reticent where personal honesty was concerned. I quite respect him for that, not a man to keep cards close to his chest, more someone who spoke without censor. Another honest man who edited little from his personal proclamations was Tory MP Alan Clarke, I read his diaries, he was "a character" as all who know who I'm referring to will surely agree. I remember years ago, he had had it off with a judges wife and both (I think) the judges daughters, which caused a furore when his diaries were published, the irate judge storming through press cameras at the airport, returning to Britain to confront the mess. It amused me that in the foreward to his diaries, Mr Clarke said in stony faced seriousness that certain episodes had been edited from his diaries in order to protect the feelings of certain individuals. Lord only knows what he left out, what he didn't was hair raising enough. He didn't set out to be likeable but as he said himself, the diaries were truth, evidently this itself was a true statement and in a world of artifice I rather like this.Alan Clarke interests me as a person, in as much as he had the resolve and courage not to tow the right wing Tory line at the expense of his true feelings and beliefs. He was "a toff", but unusually, idiosyncratically, stood firm for animal rights and was vegetarian. He adored Margaret Thatcher, he found her an erotic figure of great power, approaching her on the matter of stopping the fur trade. He was a right wing man, the most powerful person in the country perhaps to be able to tackle the then Prime Minister head on on the issue. She didn't listen to him, but he had a go. Clarke was a walking outrage not because he was particularly outrageous perhaps, more because he allowed people to see who he actually was. He could be a shit, as his bereaved wife said. But I never lost respect for him.

I had a firm following for my blog which ceased a couple of years back. Of course, I am a musician, songwriter, a mid 60s garage/pop/mod/folk rock/psychedelic music influenced person. It could well be asked, what has a blog like this to do with the music I make with Village Green Machine, my band. Well, I have no idea.

Another overlooked part of the tapestry of British eccentricity, that most unfashionable of things, was the old queer Quentin Crisp. Not drawn to the company of overtly effeminate males, I was drawn to Crisp as was my friend Dave Kusworth, rocker extraordinaire. Dave liked that Quentin said that cleaning the house was a waste of time, and that after all the dirt gets no worse after 4 years. Like Crisp, he has always worn velvet jackets, which somehow are an extremely good thing to wear, especially if they are black. Anyway, Quentin was a genius of depth and humour, not outrageous merely for his openly gay stance but, once again, for his uncensored expressions of true opinion. A sage, a genius in my opinion. Not for the intellectually challenged or immature. In 1935 he walked the streets in gold open toed sandals with painted toe nails, courageous in the face of violence. He wasn't the last of the great eccentrics, though.

:)) I like to write a blog. I don't know if my views are necessarily of interest, but I hope the reader derives something worthwhile for time invested in reading. What if, just if, I say absolutely anything I want to say, without worrying for what purpose, or if my views are acceptable? Give me courage Lord, you see if we did actually turn ourselves inside out, wouldn't people find that more interesting than out current state of revealing merely what is considered appropriate? Also, in these extremely politically correct times, many are snipping themselves down to a new kind of self, an acceptable self. I find that sinister. I call it mind control. I don't like it. I can think for myself.I am going to BE MYSELF.


Mark Lemon

Village Green Machine

Reading the Village Green Machine blog. To Be Myself