MES: Modernity. Moderninity, (2)
water lane 01715599 dream sat may tents and tomatoes at Blackpool where Jimmy Bloomfield (3)
has been brought back to host jousts in moderninity. One of the many football grounds that have been converted to hold this revived sport.
Voice 1: From today and forthwith, jousts at moderninity
MES: Joust in moderninity. Charred landscape, watching the female bouts at the beginning on the tent bedecked terraces I exclaim out aloud "It's too drafty in here, those girls will certainly catch their death of cold" and shoved to left by bearded steward but every movement my companion catches reprimands me. I am completely deaf so cannot gauge my own voice volume.
<at various speeds>
The large tomatoes and gold and beige striped tents plunked on brand new soccer terracing seem to symbolise a clean shaven sick new decadence. The Lancashire northern western quarter had seemed to materialise overnight, its citizens plump, voyeuristic. Slowly they watch every movement by anybody or anything. I bless my uncanny ability to blend. My friend Matthew (4)
is not so lucky, his wife is home at last from hospital. It is his first day out (in weeks) always energetic he too shouts and is obviously thought drunk, borrowed a massive decrepit Jaguar car. <tape cut> soccer terracing seemed to symbolise a new clean shaven but chip greasy new decadence. The Lancashire northern western quarter seemed to materialise overnight, its citizens plump, voyeuristic, slowly they watch every movement.
There is no reason to this. This makes New York look Athenic. For LNWQ read (Romandy) for the East read Sparta.
1. This MES spoken word piece from 1998's The Post Nearly Man qualifies as a Fall song since the band played it in 2001 and 2002, often as a short introduction to another song, and it made it on to the Fall albums 2G+2 and Live in San Francisco. I wouldn't know where to begin interpreting lyrics like this, they just are what they are.
"Enigrammatic," which seems to be a portmanteau of "epigram" and "enigmatic," seems to have been coined by the Irish poet Mary Tighe, whose poem "A Letter from Mrs. Acton to Her Nephew Mr. Evans" tells of a house called Rossana where some of Tighe's relatives lived. "Mrs. Acton" advises her nephew that the inhabitants are more than usual learned, so to speak:
Whatever you learned at school or at college
Brush up for your use at this seat of all knowledge
Even the servants at Rossana are fearsomely lettered:
When you hear fifteen languages spoken at table,
Or venture in English to ask for some beer
At the poor ignoramus the butler will sneer.
For us, the payoff line concerns the muse-beloved "Camilla"; we are told that
She now and then ventures lines enigrammatic
"enigmatic dreams" are a thing. The word for them seems to be "somnium", as several texts attest. For example, "Medieval Dream-Poetry" by AC Spearing (1976): "The three types of dream which of prophetic value are as follows. The somnium, or enigmatic dream, 'conceals with strange shapes and veils with ambiguity the true meaning of the information being offered...' The quote in that passage is widely cited, and comes from Commentary on the Dream of Scipio by Macrobius."
2. MES liked this corruption of "modernity" enough to break it out again for 2005's "Bo Demmick."
3. Jimmy Bloomfield was an English football player who spent his prime with Arsenal. He never played for Blackpool, but the Blackpool stadium is on Bloomfield road, and a Jimmy Armfield was captain of the Blackpool team, and later a football broadcaster for the BBC (thanks to Martin and Joseph Mullaney). So "Jimmy Bloomfield" has a kind of dream logic about it, which seems appropriate.
From David Bloomfield:
My father, Jimmy Bloomfield, is mentioned in this Fall song. My father and Jimmy Armfield were often confused during their playing careers in the 1950s and onwards. Adding to the confusion I am sure is that Armfield played for Blackpool who play their home games at Bloomfield Road. They would have played against each other many times and were on friendly terms having both played in the England Under 23 team. I at first thought that MES had also fallen into this trap. But on one live version of this song he talks about the dead Jimmy Bloomfield being revived at a time when Jimmy Armfield was very much alive, my Dad having died in 1983. I am suggesting that MES might well have made an error initially but then could have attempted to cover it up by stating that he was referring to a dead person, or it was simply MES's intention to play around with words and here names also right from the off.
My father did have a reputation as a skilful, creative player and the teams he put together as a manager also reflected this ethos and probably MES would have known of him as the manager of Leicester City and Orient during the 1970s.
(As an aside) When Jimmy Armfield died in early 2018 I did receive some text messages from people expressing their sadness at what they thought was my dad's passing.
I am a Fall fan having been introduced to them via John Peel many years ago.
4. Zack: "Live recordings from 2001 offer more details about MES's friend Matthew (sometimes called Mike or Michael): 'Always energetic - always laughing - the bat-eared little twat...' (San Fran) 'Always energetic - the bat-eared twat...' (Seattle) 'Always energetic - always cheerful - the bat-eared fucking twat...' (NYC) and 'He's cheerful and friendly, the bat-eared fucking bastard...' (2g+2)