At the last minute, I’ve been approached to do video for an upcoming performance of My Name is Rachel Corrie. I know pretty much nothing about the small company that’s putting it on, but the timing is right, and I appreciate having a reason to mix Palestine footage. It’s been feeling good to get stuck into the old material, cutting and mixing, to at least feel like I’m doing something productive while Gaza burns.
My video will be a mix of documentary and video art styled stuff, delivered on looping DVDs and inserted as the director/actor sees fit.
This is the most abstract it gets:
Not sure that OTT was actually something people said, i searched for it, and found that Alexei Sayle got his break on a variety show of sorts called none other than OTT.
Now, if you know me you probably know that I do not generally like standup comedy. I find it deeply unnerving to be told “Hey, this is funny. Laugh…….. now!”. On the other hand, I love the shit out of Alexei Sayle. I remember being, like, I dunno, 10, 11 years old, and my friend Danny O’Donnell (last spotted as a scientist of sorts who works out how to weigh vast quantities of grain for the Australian wheat industry) doing amazing impersonations of Alexei Sayle on The Young Ones. My primary school crew was pretty bookish…
Sayle’s combination of the absurd and sincere socialist politics was, and remains, an acid response to British neo-liberalism from its beginnings in Thatcher to the present.
Take this clip from OTT, 1982:
(note: doesn’t really start until 00:45, strange English business before that)
The riots he’s talking about were happening all over the joint in the UK in the early 80s. Youth fought cops in the streets of Brixton for several days in the year before this clip was recorded after London police descended on Brixton in what they called Operation Swamp 81, conducting public stop and searches on over 1,000 people in the neighbourhood in one week.
25ish years later, I was pleased to see him speaking as a member of the London Jewish community at the celebrity press conference in support of Gaza this week, in co-ordination with the huge popular demonstrations that took place there and all around the world.