AI NO DERRIDA

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

For Cliff's sake



Not so much a short film, more like a long cry for help. I am slightly obsessed with Cliff Richard's 'Wired For Sound'. I can handle it, but every now and again I find myself thinking about nothing else, usually whilst roller skating through an underground car park.

7 comments:

  1. You got me obsessed with the song a while back when you posted the 'roller skating to work' video. It's a wicked number. That Lou Reed video I sent you has some roller skating in it...it's like a crappy cross between Run DMC and Cliff Richards with a few sharks to add to the mix.

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  2. I quite enjoyed this. Very entertaining, in the most uncomfortable way.

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  3. Thanks, just what I was aiming for!

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  4. Hilariously terrifying – one could imagine the looped, ghostly Cliff as the signal of an encroaching landscape, cold OB video advancing on 2-inch Quad.

    After recently discovering Take Me High thanks to the week of Cliff giveaways by a right-wing upmarket tabloid (I managed to get the discs I wanted without having to buy a copy of the paper), I did begin to consider the idea, as an explanation of fascinating work such as that film and ‘Wired for Sound’ (song and video), of a ‘Cliff’ far more aware of what he’s doing than the public manner of Cliff Richard-as-individual would seem to indicate. There’s a cultural reflex towards dismissing anything ‘by’ Cliff Richard after a certain date which made me wary of talking about ‘Wired for Sound’ for some time – not because I wouldn’t be ready to challenge tedious facetiousness, but because I wouldn’t want to be mistaken, even momentarily, as being tediously facetious in talking about him.

    In fact, there’s a propulsive melancholy about ‘Wired for Sound’ as a song – it’s a celebration of consciously unmooring yourself from your surroundings with a constant stream of media stimuli. We’ve no sense of what kind of music this character likes, no sense that he would even want to form a preference. Instead, we hear about the technology used, and the choreography of his experience of the world to his ‘head full of music’. This is a song that rhymes ‘plastic’ with ‘ecstatic’.

    The video is positively Ballardian; it would require an essay to unpack its enthusiasm for interstitial spaces, momentum and repetition.

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  5. Nice response. You're right about the danger of facetiousness when talking about Cliff. That said, if I were say that Cliff had recorded songs about social alienation and moral uncertainty (Throw down a Line), changing sexual mores (Goodbye, Sam, Hello, Samantha), Marxisim ('Power to all our friends')and the human cost in the aftermath of the permissive society (Carrie)does the presence of some of my tongue in my cheek completely negate the argument. I think he's a fascinating figure.

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  6. Aaargh - I've been looking for confirmation of this for years! As a child, I had a nightmare (that I still faintly remember) along very similar lines. As the years have passed and the memories have become distorted, I started to wonder it was one of those strange and awful dreams that seems to pop out of nowhere, but now I know it's definitely striaght from a T.V. programme (one I probably shouldn't have been allowed to watch)! Please do me a huge favour and tell me What on Earth this clip was taken from?

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  7. Found it - Doomwatch. I should have recognised Dr. Quist!

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