Books Magazine

If I Had a Hammer...

By Ashleylister @ashleylister

If I had a hammer...

Our Viv outside the Liverpool Tate

The sound of a book travels like the echoes in an empty cavern.  Those who want to are able to infer meaning and even influence from that sound.  Anything written or spoken with the intent of public reception can resonate across countries and through time.  As the great man himself said,

“With great power comes great responsibility.”
Yes, I mean Stan Lee, not Voltaire.
This Tuesday I paid a visit to Glam, The Performance of Style at the Tate Liverpool.  I can’t remember ever feeling quite as moved as I did by that exhibit.  It is a presentation of the Glitter and Glam movement in the 1970’s.  There were magazines, books, sketches, photographs, paintings and several video’s including Andy Warhol’s Mario Banana, which I have to admit left me awestruck.
Now on face value this seemed to be all about the sexual revolution.  Phallic symbology and naked bosoms abound in this exhibit, as well as giggling college students, but what struck me was the revolution in humanity behind the shimmer.
Art work explored the male and female roles, ever interchangeable.  Books were written about Bowie and his alter ego’s adventures whilst magazine articles showed women empowered in their latex clad poses.  
Stood in that gallery was the closest I have ever felt to the belief that a balance of equality could have been struck.  All colours and all sexes were invited to play.  To be a part of an unfettered lifestyle of understanding, sensuality, sexuality and loving.
Walking out into the daylight of 2013 was disturbing.  The Glam Era (along with the hippies  and the glorious shades of the 70’s) had revolutionised the way the western civilization viewed itself.  But we are now heading backwards.  Of course our sexual awareness increased and there are all sorts of glorious and exciting games to be played but the other lessons of loving and tolerance were halted in their progression.  Possibly by the 80’s laden with trouble and strife, the Conservative elders distracting all the colourful folk with burdens of recessions, trade strikes and riots.  
Now in the noughties, it is plain to see that we never resumed our enlightenment.  Now we have our heads full of Facebook, FIFA, COD, X Factor, I’m a Celebrity and all that fantastic jazz.  When we want change, we shout about it in capital letters and 140 characters or less from our arm chairs, safe and warm.  

A man nearly took over in America who wanted to send women’s rights back fifty years and PEOPLE ACTUALLY VOTED FOR HIM!  There are those that believe some humans have less right to declare their love in an official marriage ceremony than other human beings.  There are Pope jokes running rampant around the web about the former Hitler Youth member who defended child molesters, but where are the villagers with their pitchforks, where are the placards.  Where are John Lennon and Yoko Ono when you need them to lie in for a while or Andrew Logan and Mick Rock with their artistic vision of equality?

So the revolution starts here.  I don’t know how but I am done.  Done with sitting by while hate and indifference take over, with class segregation enforced by Tory fat cats to stop society grouping together and fighting back.  1984, Handmaid’s Tale, Brave New World.  These were the warnings.  The Glam movement were heading toward something better with their art, their music and their writing.  Why should we let that fade.  I’m saying no to indifference and I hope my voice echoes.
Thanks for reading.
L x

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