Nagoya-Bird&Rabbit-4-Tim Stelfox-Griffen

So I am posting these pics to Ellen, but they can also rest here for a while. Bird and Rabbit went to Japan. To Nagoya in fact. They came with me to give a talk at Nagoya City University – the talk was about Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian lad murdered by police on the tube at Stockwell two years ago this week. No police charged, (perhaps Cressida Dick will be censured on Health and Safety grounds – executions of members of the public inside a tube carriage being considered that serious). The talk was about repetition, violence, the manufacture of terror, scapegoats and fear – and the social construction of the figure of the ‘suicide bomber’ – for all that critique of that process may or may not help us. Recently I have been reading Talal Asad’s excellent new book “On Suicide Bombing” [Columbia Uni Press] and I find his arguments compelling. Spivak has a good paper on the topic too – ['Terror' in Boundary 2, summer 2004].

Anyway, Nagoya City University is where I taught for six months in 2003 as visiting professor. I wrote much of the book “Bad Marxism” there, and taught a course on film in the Intercultural Studies department – I was screening lots of Hollywood gangster films and things like The Godfather trilogy. The students were great – though by the end of the term there had probably been a bit too much late night Karaoke and I can only thanks the gods no-one ever recorded me singing Dylan’s “Times Are a Changin'”.

So, this is the place Rabbit and Bird came to visit their friends Manekineko and, as the night wore on, some dudes they were seen hanging out with at a fairly disreputable back street surfer bar in the very small hours. That’s very fine scotch whiskey they are drinking there. The ambient tones courtesy of some obscure Blondie tracks. It was about the fifth bar they visited that evening, but frankly, some of the pictures from the other places are too blurred for the public record (Rabbit does look a bit dishevelled). “Futatsu beeru onagaishimasu!”

I guess you should know that this adventure travel Rabbit and Bird thing is a tribute to the memory of Tim Stelfox-Griffin, a friend who died far too young, about a month or so ago. At Tim’s wake, Ellen handed out some pages with markings on, which, when cut out and assembled, became bird and rabbit. Apparently Tim quite liked this sort of thing – gotta admit the guy was somewhat eccentric, and I guess that’s what I miss most. So, with a little help from Kaori who took the pics and provided scissors (and some glue for bird’s beak), here they are, adventure travelling in Japan as perhaps Tim might well have done. Should have done. Peace. On the anniversary of the death of Jean Charles as well. Sad, mad, bad planet.

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Comments

  • Sarah Oates  On 25/07/2007 at 14:32

    John,

    I just wanted to say hello, and I hope that you are well. I have recently posted some more pictures of Keithie on her blog (gestation.blogsome.com) – she is doing well, as is the rest of our little (and most respectable) family.

    Love
    Sarah

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  • Anonymous  On 28/07/2007 at 20:13

    This Tim – was he from Shropshire? I knew someone of that unusual name?

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  • Anonymous  On 29/07/2007 at 11:04

    Hi,

    Yes, he was from Shropshire – Shrewsbury I think, or at least that’s where his parents live now. I went to university with Tim and really miss him and his quirky ways (that matched his quirky name!) How did you know Tim?

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  • Matthew  On 29/07/2007 at 20:55

    Yes, I was friends with Tim at school (near Shrewsbury). Lost touch when I went to Uni. Was a really nice boy – we used to ‘run’ up the hill during PE. Even then one of a kind. Will miss him.

    Could you please e-mail me? richardsonphotography@gmail.com – thanks

    Like

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