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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-44

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 44

                 Tuesday, 16 August 2005


                 I'm Going to Disney Land
                        Axis Mundi
                      Re: Axis Mundi
                     Great Listening
                         XTC DVD?
                  Fuck Art, Let's Dance
                Uffington Horse Curiosity


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My the world looks good from where you paint from!


Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 15:39:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dane Bramage <>
Subject: Shriekback!
Message-ID: <>

Haven't posted to this forum in an age and not quite sure if anyone
has previously posted this, but what the hell, here it goes.

Was having a nice swim in the internet when I discovered on the
Shriekback news page ( a nice
tidbit regarding our esteemed Andy playing on a track or more for
their upcoming album.

Says Barry on the track listing:

"REASON WITH THE BEAST: short sharp meditation on that time honoured
Shriekback theme - managing ones baser impulses. Featuring as do
quite a few of the others - gasp - Andy Partridge (he volunteered
over one of our infrequent Swindon curry fests and glad I was to have
him onboard). We recorded all his bits in an afternoon in his shed on
my laptop and, since the last time we played together was ohhh the
late Bronze Age, it was remarkable how empathic it all was. On
reflection though maybe we're both just emotionally stunted and have
failed to grow or develop in any way apart from an increase in nasal


Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 08:02:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: Al LaCarte <>
Subject: I'm Going to Disney Land
Message-ID: <>


I needed a traffic report, and I knew that the local spew-radio
station here in Intelligent Design World did one at 4:30.  I also
knew that the never-eloquent always stupid Sean Hannity's show would
be on after the report.

Well, after the report was over, I heard the opening riff to "Dizz
Knee Land" by Dada and then felt the pavlovian urge to  puke as the
riff crossfaded into the vocalizations of Hannity, and I lunged for
the CD button.

Then, I had a thought.  I figure that radio geeks who work for these
liars masquerading as "Great Americans" probably get some joy out of
featuring songs that contain lines like:

"I just flipped of President George
 I'm going to Disney Land!"

I could just see it happening:

"Hey Mr. Hannity.  Listen to this: <anti right wing song>  Can I use
it as a bridge into your insightful comments coming out of the

"Sure, whatever kid.

Let's see if we can get Santorum on the show again so I can stick my
head up his ass one more time!"


P.S.  Welcome back Dom.  You've too long been absent from the games.


Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 09:01:01 +1000
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Subject: Axis Mundi
Message-ID: <BAY18-F14383B6372388CE48E2F0ED0BC0@phx.gbl>

D.D. wrote:

>I'm not sue I'd define 'Axis Mundi' as a strictly or even mostly
>theological term. Often alchemical, perhaps... Within the context of
>the song, I believe Andy's using it as an emotional metaphore, though
>I'm quite sure you're right in thinking our friend picked it up from
>some medieval dictionary or text...

Sorry, but to be equally pedantic, I was studying at a University, (which
also happened to be affiliated with the local Roman Catholic Seminary ), at
the time `Wasp Star' came out.  I simply though it literally meant `World
Axis' and assumed Andy was speaking metaphorically as being spun like a
Globe and being thrown off tilt.  Others might see it as Andy thinking he's
been knocked from his position at the centre of the universe.  (Both are
valid interpretations).

But imagine my surprise to be studying in the library and hear the phrase
come up in conversation between of the Priests.  I investigated the concept
further - it's a term used quite commonly by both Philosophy and Religious
Studies Students.  It has wider implications than I think you might be
familiar with.  This link can explain it better than I could attempt to:

This is how I view it in the larger context of the song, `The Wheel and The
Maypole':  Andy is singing of the cycle of life, and how the wheel keeps
turning.  He's just been through a divorce, (brutally spelt out in `Your
Dictionary'), and found happiness again in a new relationship, (`Stupidly
happy').  He's struck by thoughts of again and growing older, birth and
renewal, and the passage of time, (see `Playground', `Easter Theatre' or
especially `Harvest Festival', with speaks of the circular passage of life
again.  The phrase `See the flowers round the altar' being used twice at the
start of the first and third verses isn't just lazy repetition - its
parallelism, (pointing out the link between his childhood and his older

So we come to `The Wheel and The Maypole'. The first half `The Wheel'
suggesting the coming to together of a couple through sex and marriage and
the sudden shattering of love.  The `Maypole' section strikes me as being an
honest and mature realization of the reality of the fragility of a
relationship between two people in the natural order of things.  Like birth
naturally ends in death for all things, why should he have naively expected
a relationship to be invulnerable to the same process that affects
everything else in the world?  His *belief system* has been challenged, and
of course it seems completely logical to him now: `everything decays', 'of
course it all unweaves'.

So I choose to interpret the phrase `Axis Mundi' on this on the larger
scale, both within the framework of the song, and those that surround it.
His fundamental world view has been changed - I view it as theological song.

As to Andy's original intentions - he might have meant the globe thing, but
he's an intelligent man and obviously has questioned religion before, ('Dear
God'), so I'd believe he'd be aware of the concept.  If not, then it's
another perfect example of 'an author's true intentions being
revealed through error', that i'm a big believer of.

Damn, XTC are a great band!  I wonder what they talk about this kind of
thing on the Mariah Carey mailing list?

Cheers All,


Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 19:43:48 -0500
From: Steve Schiavo <>
Subject: Re: Axis Mundi
Message-ID: <>

On Aug 11, 2005, at 6:18 PM, don device wrote:

> I'm not sue I'd define 'Axis Mundi' as a strictly or even mostly
> theological term. Often alchemical, perhaps... Within the context of
> the song, I believe Andy's using it as an emotional metaphore,
> though I'm quite sure you're right in thinking our friend picked it
> up from some medieval dictionary or text...

You are no doubt correct.  But that clever Andy - there's also the
play on Mundi and Monday.  And a/the Axis Mundi being the center of
the world, or universe, or emotional state.  Perhaps he was reading
some Mircea Eliade.

- Steve


Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 17:17:00 +1000
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Subject: Great Listening
Message-ID: <BAY18-F135D2A6A763FBC3086DD1BD0BE0@phx.gbl>

Thanks to James Lowe for pointing out this extensive interview with Andy:

It's everything I was hoping Song Stories would be but definitely wasn't.
Someone should ask Neville Farmer if he still has the interview tapes and to
put the interviews out on cd in mp3 format, because it would be great to
hear Colin talk as well.  Truly great stuff.

A Songwriter's Journal


Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 21:23:47 +0200
From: "Torben B. Jacobsen" <>
Subject: XTC DVD?
Message-ID: <001401c5a105$b292f110$6400a8c0@bystrup>

I am searching for a DVD (european standard) with all the classic XTC music
videos (Towers of London, Grass etc.). I think I have read about it at
Chalkhills some months ago. I would be extremely grateful, if anyone could
help me with a copy - or a link. Maybe I could trade in some other
Torben (danish Chalkhill-lurker)


Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2005 13:22:49 EDT
Subject: Fuck Art, Let's Dance
Message-ID: <>

> From: "Pastula Aaron" <>
> Subject: "Just sweet pop music?" Not really...
>  3) that Andy is a *songwriter,* not a politician, theologian,
> diplomat or historian.A I love his musings, but more often than not,
> that's simply what they are -- the musings of a sensitive, emotional
> guy from a little town in England and the view of the world from
> where he's sitting.A But just as I don't look to Condi Rice for the
> final word on pop music, neither do I look to Andy for the final
> word on foreign relations.


4) All art is pretty much completely meaningless.

The thing that seems to be being missed here is that "the view of the world
where Andy is sitting" is precisely the point: Art extrapolates the
universal out of the particular. From a few of Picasso's expertly dabbed
jots of oil-paint on a piece of cloth he dubbed "Guernica," some weird bulls
and lightbulbs and people with body parts at strange angles, we work outward
-- first from the images on the cloth, then to the specific event -- Franco
(and Hitler) using a Basque village for aerial strafing practice for three
hours one Iberian afternoon -- then to the lesson being taught: Boy, it sure
sucks when people with power cause suffering to those without it, and
finally to the universal truth: Let's not kill each other, OK?

You go to the "experts" on the Spanish Civil War, your politicians,
theologians, diplomats or historians, you will get layer after layer of
obfuscation, of rationalization, of hidden motives and political gimcrackery
until the pure unalloyed *evil* of the event is glazed under an inch-thick
layer of yellowed shellac. To a historian the atrocity of Guernica is
nothing more than a trove of facts, each piling upon the next in an
ever-increasing heap of abstractions, a lode to be mined for academic
theses. Every year that passes, the shellac gets thicker.

Words, words, words.

To your Condoleeza Rice and countless others of her ilk, her emotional
paralysis, her separation from reality in the world of theory and
abstraction, has become so complete that she countenances policies that
engender hundreds of tiny (and not so tiny) Guernicas every day -- and bows
imperiously in ponderous recognition of the wormtongued sycophants who tell
her she's a fucking hero for it.

The only truth about Guernica is that Power Inflicted Pain on the Powerless.
Everything else is, to one extent or another, a goddamned lie. And that
truth, I suggest, is best expressed by a large bit of cloth with some dabs
of oil paint on it that hangs in the Museo Nacional Reina Sofia in
Madrid. No words. No books. No Ph.D. theses.

So how much do you think it dismays Condoleeza Rice when "sensitive
emotional guys in small towns in England" call our attention in song to the
utter, infinite black-eyed rotting deadness of her soul, taking lives with a
smoking pen?  Not much? No, probably not.

But I know who's right. Cite all the politicians, theologians, diplomats or
historians you want. I know who's right.

I propose a thought-experiment to test the thesis that squishy old Andy
Partridge knows nothing about politics or international affairs: Imagine, if
you will, this being sung by that mother on the left edge of "Guernica" (

      Well hush my children go to sleep
     The troubles will soon all be over
     Their bombs will form a rusting heap
     For flowers and fern to grow over

     Their leaders are only drunk with fear
     They wouldn't do this be they sober
     And when they drink our friendship clear
     The troubles will soon all be over

See her? She's the one holding the dead baby.

Harrison "Sensitive, emotional" Sherwood

PS: From the Wikipedia: "During the Vietnam War, the room containing
["Guernica"] became the site of occasional anti-war vigils. These were
usually peaceful and uneventful, but in 1974, Tony Shafrazi a" ostensibly
protesting Richard Nixon's pardon of William Calley for the latter's actions
during the My Lai massacre a" defaced the painting with red spray paint,
painting the words "KILL LIES ALL"; the paint was relatively easily removed
from the varnished surface."

Words, note. Words obscuring the Image.

Apparently the stupid cork-soaker has a gallery of his own now: On shopping list for next trip to NYC:
Several large cans of red spray paint.


Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2005 21:34:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: Steve <>
Subject: Uffington Horse Curiosity
Message-ID: <>

Hi all,
Uffington Horse proximity would be the "xtc content."
I want to share this year's grand finale (maybe) of a
crop circle. I'm suscribed to emails from:

>Temporary Temples (crop circles) Update!
>Is this the grand finale?
>Woolstone Hill, nr Uffington, Oxfordshire. Reported 13th August.
>This extraordinary formation has appeared close the the recent
>Wayland's Smithy formation, and is also near to the Uffington
>white horse.
>The formation is about 350 ft across.

Here is a link to the related image:

Maybe you guys near Swindon can go visit for me ;-)

Another Steve


End of Chalkhills Digest #11-44

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