Staff Writers



You think you know Alan Moore. A visionary, and mad as a bag of hammers, right? The seminal author of comics classics such as Watchmen and V for Vendetta – his body of work a fecund corpse for the maggots of Hollywood. A reclusive genius, who now sequesters himself in deepest darkest Northamptonshire, practicing arcane rites and worshipping a snake god called Glycon. True perhaps, but that’s a picture often painted and repeated in profiles of this seminal, controversial writer. In person, Moore is in fact gracious, eloquent, and unflinchingly rational: a long way from the mystical ‘old man of the mountains’ image he is often assigned by the unimaginitive.

NOTE - This feature is the complete transcript of an interview first published in The Skinny magazine, from which the introductory paragraph is taken. Click on the paragraph above for the original piece. My reason for publishing the full transcript is simple - Moore is a consummate interviewee, talking in long, unbroken sentences in his hypnotic Northamptonshire drawl. I may well post the audio from this interview too, so you can hear it yourself - for now, just enjoy Moore in all his glory, Unearthed and Uncut.

When writing 'Unearthings', why did you choose Steve Moore as a subject?

He’s one of the most influential figures in my life, going back to when I was fourteen. I struck up an unlikely friendship with him back then, and Steve has accompanied me through most of my exploits and excursions, and vice versa. It was Steve who made the first introductions to the comic book world when I wanted to become a writer; he kind of brutally corrected all of my early scripts. Later, it was Steve’s model I was following when I decided to plunge into magic and sorcery. He’s a huge figure in my life, considering what a slight figure he is in actuality. When Iain Sinclair asked me to contribute something to ‘London: City of Disappearances,’ Steve was almost the first thing that I thought of.

The brief was that we were to write about something that had disappeared, was disappearing or would disappear, somewhere within the confines of London. It struck me that, yes, all of us will disappear eventually, and all of the places we inhabit, but it struck me that Steve Moore’s story is so peculiar, so unusual on all sorts of levels, that when his particular story is finished, we’re probably not going to be seeing another one. So I thought it would be a good idea to try and get it down in detail, while the memories are still fresh.

That’s pretty much why I chose Steve, and also because he was available, and was giving me access to his personal history because he trusted me. And look how I’ve repaid him! He won’t make that mistake twice. But it was only possible with Steve’s collaboration – I mean if he’d have said, ‘No, I don’t want the story written at all,’ then I would have found another subject. But no, he was really helpful all the way through, and I think he continues to be quietly dumbfounded and a bit amused by the way this is all blossoming into something gigantic, and a long way past what we originally conceived.

What interested you about Shooter’s Hill, and in what ways does 'Unearthings' use the techniques of Psychogeography?

I’ve been visiting Shooter’s Hill since I was fourteen, and there are bits of it that I’ve become quite familiar with. For example, a few years ago... when did I write ‘Unearthings’? That was about five years ago... in fact ten years ago, when Steve had first been told to go for his medicinal walks by his doctor, and he remarked to me things about the rows of houses that are all exactly the same style, apart from every third or fourth house, which is wildly different. He was saying, ‘Yeah, that was the V-bombs that weren’t clearing the hills, and were just taking out every third or fourth house on the top of Shooter’s Hill.’ That started to fascinate me about the area, and Severndroog Castle, so there were already a lot of things about the district that had got me mouth watering in a psychogeographical sense.

So it was an opportunity when I was doing ‘Unearthings’ to not only excavate Steve, and his life, but to also excavate the area that he is attached to. Because, with having been born about six paces away from the spot where he currently sleeps... That is an unusual human story. There are not a lot of people who live in the same residence all their lives. It tends to bind him to the landscape a lot more thoroughly than most of us manage to achieve. Literally, he is that house, and vice versa. That is his landscape, and he probably has more claim to it than... I mean of course, all of our landscapes; we own them. But I think Steve has perhaps got a bit more claim to that particular landscape than people who haven’t lived there as long, or won’t be living there as long. He’s made himself a part of Shooter’s Hill, so you can’t really consider one without considering the other.

So, yeah, it was an unusual act of psychogeography, in that was more psychobiography, mixed in with psychogeography. Applying the same techniques to a human life as someone like Iain Sinclair, or one of the other people who have delved into this area would apply to a street, or a neighbourhood. It’s a good technique – it’s kind of using poetry as a tool, with which to shape the various facts that emerge from a person or a place. It enables you to see rhymes in a history. Like, with Steve, it was only when I’d written ‘Unearthings’ that even he noticed how much of a part swords have played in his life. It was a kind of recurring motif that, if you were to be reading a piece of fiction, you’d spot it straight away. But when it’s just a series of things that have happened in your life, you probably won’t make a connection.

So, that’s been interesting – to turn a person’s actual life into a narrative. That’s been a really interesting exercise. It struck me as the kind of story that really couldn’t be done without psychogeography, and, like we say, with psychobiography in this instance.

At the end of 'Unearthings,' why did you have Steve facing away from the hill?

I had decided it would be fitting to end it as a frame description, which meant freezing the image so that it would make a coherent comic panel. Now, if it had been the back of Steve’s head, then that wouldn’t really have worked. Also, because I had got that trompe l’œil, post-modern excuse for an ending already planned, I figured that, yeah, what we need is a head and shoulders shot of Steve in the foreground that can subtly morph into a view of the houses downhill, to the rainclouds above the hill. That wouldn’t have really worked so well if Steve had had his back to the imaginary camera.

Also, it gave me a chance to get him to stand in the street, turn a hundred and eighty degrees, look and appear foolish... you know, just to provide the ending of my story. Which was very good of him! I mean, he didn’t manage to disappear, but other from that I think his behaviour was pretty impeccable.

Did you give much direction to the musicians working on 'Unearthings?'

This is one of the most attractive things about the project as far as I was concerned. First I had Mitch Jenkins turn up and say that he just wanted any spare text that I’d got laying around. He wanted something that might give him an inspiration for a new series of photographs, get him out of his perfectionist rut a little bit. He was just getting tired of retouching the irises on the latest Hollywood star.

I said, ‘Well, all I’ve got is ‘Unearthings,’ but if anything in there catches your eye then you’re welcome to it.’ Gave him the manuscript of ‘Unearthings,’ and he came back and said he wanted to do the whole thing. My first thought was, this is great, because unless I’ve misunderstood something here, I don’t have to do any work. It was a bit like when Eddie Campbell did ‘Snakes and Ladders’ and ‘The Birth Caul,’ where I’d already done my work, so I could just sit back and have all the pleasure of watching other people’s interpretations come in. That was how it was working with Mitch.

Then some way into the process, Mitch was talking to the people from Lex Records. They’d suggested getting me to do a recording of the reading, and they had a number of artists from their very impressive roster that would like to work on it. So again, I didn’t need to do anything, and I could just sit back and watch Mitch’s photographs pile up, and sit back and listen to the tracks by these various people as they started to arrive.

It’s all the better for me not being heavy-handed with lots of directions. I mean, some of the images maybe wouldn’t have been ones that I would have chosen. There might have been pieces of the music that, if I’d been asked what I’d wanted, I would have suggested something different. But that’s part of the collaborative process, and in fact that’s the most exciting part – the fact that you’re seeing how other people are responding to the piece of work that you’ve done. That is really exciting, because you’re seeing other minds and other talents engage with something that previously had been just very personal to you.

So I couldn’t be more pleased with the way it’s all turned out. I only met Adam [Drucker, aka Doseone] and Andrew [Broder, of the band Fog] and Jeff [Logan, aka Jel] just last Wednesday, before the two gigs at the tunnels. We were immediately in sync. We’ve all, in our own way, been preparing for this for a couple of years now, so it was nice to meet up and perform it. We got closure.

What are the origins of Dodgem Logic?

I suppose the initial origins of Dodgem Logic, you’d have to go back to about 1975, when I was planning a fanzine called Dodgem Logic, which would have had some very interesting stuff in. Unfortunately, back then I really wasn’t mature enough or organised enough to even realise what doing a magazine of any scale would mean. So basically, I spent most of my time doing an over-elaborate front cover, and the magazine never came together. I always quite liked the name, so I filed it in the back of my head.

Some few years ago, I was approached by people who were working with a group of young offenders from the Spring Boroughs area of Northampton, which is where I grew up. It’s in the top two or three percent of the most deprived areas in the country. They were doing a film, totally off their own back, on the history of the neighbourhood, which goes back quite a way. I was very impressed by the fact that a group of very personal and likeable people, with social problems, would be doing something which was so close to my own heart. They were attempting their own form of psychogeography, if you like. So they asked me to come down and say a few words, because that would make the film go with a bit more of a bang.

I went down and met them, and liked them immensely, so I started hanging out. I’d see them a couple of times, and we’d meet at the local community support offices, who had done an awful lot to get the project off the ground. I think it later won a Heritage Award – it wasn’t a bad film. I later met the young lady who was the wrangler for these troubled teens – she was a very, very capable lady. We talked, I talked to the lads, and I probably rambled on about how great the sixties were, because that’s pretty much generally my topic of conversation, and how we used to have things like the Northampton Arts Lab, which would print magazines and do gigs. They quite liked the idea of doing a magazine, so they put out a small youth magazine called ‘Ovr 2 U,’ in the text messaging style – I have no idea what it means, but I’m assured that young people are able to decipher this kind of cryptography. We brought out the first issue and distributed it to schools – and for a magazine that was aimed at twelve-year-olds, it had got a bit of bite. It was intelligent, and went down really well.

Then I was talking to the lady in charge, and we decided that it was all very well talking about street drinking and knife crime as social problems in the area, but I said that we weren’t really doing our job if we didn’t talk about the underlying social problems, caused by neglect, that were causing the drinking and the knife crime. So I wrote a piece which was talking frankly about the problems which the area has, which are many, and quite serious. We were told by the community support body who were putting out this magazine that we couldn’t print that, because it was critical of the council.

At this point, I said that I didn’t really like that, and suggested that maybe we should just put together our own magazine. I kind of liked the energy that the underground mags had back in the sixties, even if there were faults and flaws. And yes, we’ve got nearly forty years of hindsight, which obviously makes it a lot easier for us. So we put together Dodgem Logic number one purely with people who were within reach – the people who we were around us socially, people we were friends with who said they’d like to be part of it.

Yeah, the first issue is a bit of a mess, but it is a very well-intentioned mess. I think that they’ve got better ever since. The one that has just gone to press, number five, is the best one yet. We’re very pleased with it – it is making a lot of things possible that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. In the latest issue, there’s Mitch Jenkins, he’s done two features. He has taken some photos to accompany Melinda Gebbie’s article on Burlesque, but then he came back to us to say he would like another project, because he had enjoyed working on Dodgem Logic so much. It’s not like we pay that much, but there are certain other benefits. So he wanted to do a photoshoot, this time based solely on Spring Burroughs: just going down there and photographing the people. The idea was that he was not photographing them as victims. Not trying to elicit a response of ‘Oh those poor people,’ or ‘Jesus Christ, I’m glad I don’t live near them,’ which is the main response elicited by pictures of people who live in those kinds of areas. He wanted to photograph them in the way that they see themselves: in a heroic light. The way that we all see ourselves [laughs]. At least some of the time.

So he did this beautiful series of shots, for a couple of hectic and enjoyable days down in the Burroughs, and I said I’d write some text to go with them, although I hadn’t really much of a clue what that would be. I finally elected to write a three hundred line poem in heroic couplets, just because that’s about the most old-fashioned form of poetry you can get, unless you’re going to something unpronounceable and Anglo-Saxon. So heroic couplets, they’re pretty old school. I’m really pleased with the result, because it is such an odd combination. This fairly antique verse-form next to these cutting-edge photographs, and all dealing with a very emblematic modern neighbourhood. Very similar to neighbourhoods which, I’m almost certain, are featuring very near you, and near everybody, especially during the current troubles. Everywhere is getting run down. Places like the Burroughs, which have already been run down for years are just kind of a taster for where a lot of our districts and neighbourhoods are probably heading over these next few years. So that is something that wouldn’t have existed without Dodgem Logic.

Mitch’s burlesque photo shoot from number two has just won or been nominated for a national photography award. We’ve got Tom Pickard - who Iain Sinclair actually dug out of retirement, he found him somewhere up in Cumbria. Tom is one of the greatest British poets of the nineteen sixties, if not the greatest - it turns out he is writing his autobiography, and he’s let us publish the first chapter. It’s brilliant! The first sentence is him talking to the great poet of the previous generation of Newcastle poets, Basil Bunting. The first line of the story is him saying, ‘Do you think this hashish is coated in opium, Basil?’ Which is a great line to start a story with. Melinda, who is a big fan of Tom Pickard, from way back – she’s doing a lot of prison tattoo illustrations to go with the first chapter, which is mostly about Tom being incarcerated, which is how he spent at least one year of the nineteen sixties.

We’ve got a chapter from an unpublished book by Steve Aylett, who is always fun, and of course we’ve got all these brilliant comedians that we happen to know. We’ve got Josie Long and Robin Ince, and I think next issue we’ve got Stewart Lee. He's going to be doing some stuff, I believe, about the Edinburgh Fringe, and the recent Foster’s announcement of the Edinburgh Fringe comedy God of all time. Stewart’s going to be talking about some interesting things that have spun out of that for his next piece.

It’s just great to be at the point where, if we see anything interesting, it will fit into Dodgem Logic. Like, I know that Mitch is a big fan of Melinda’s artwork, so they’ve hatched a project between them for a future issue, which will involve Mitch taking some beautiful photos, and then handing them over to Mel to paint over. So that will be the kind of collaboration between painting and photography that I don’t think has happened before. I stand to be corrected, but I can’t think of anybody who has done anything quite like that before. So, it’s a matter of living up to the throwaway strapline on the first issue’s cover, where we said ‘Colliding ideas to see what happens.’ As a strategy, that seems to be working out rather well [laughs].

Politics - would you ever consider getting involved in politics in a formal way?

I have been involved in political groups... I’m not really much of a joiner. I would rather support these things through Dodgem Logic. To disseminate information and give a voice to people from various grassroots political movements. That said, Norman Adams, who is one of Dodgem Logic’s key local contributors, he is a brilliant political activist. [Adams' group is] just a ragtag group of anarchists, but they have done some fantastic stuff. They’ve blocked the council using just ingenuity and cleverness. They’ve blocked a number of disastrous schemes that the council are trying to foist upon the town. I give them all the support that I can.

I’m probably more useful giving a bit of clout to local campaigns when necessary. There are other people who can do the whole sitting around arguing, sending out letters, better than I could. I think my flyposting days are probably over. Back in the very early eighties, when the Rock Against Racism thing was going, I was a member of the Anti-Nazi League, and I would go out and stick up posters, but these days it’s more like... well, an example of how it works would be... about a year ago, I got a phone call from Norman telling me that at the Royal Museum, which is in the park near where I live, there had been an exhibition which contained the Northamptonshire correspondence of Charles Darwin. It was letters between Darwin and people who were interesting players in the road towards Natural Selection as a theory. Apparently, after a visit to the museum by some fundamentalist Christians, the evolution display had been completely covered up by the cowardly county Council.

So Norman phoned me up on the Saturday night and said: ‘Look, this has just come up. I’m gonna be organising a small protest group outside the museum tomorrow at one o’clock. Any chance of you coming down and saying a few words?’ I said sure, because that’s something I do feel strongly about. Anyway when I got down there, because Norman had announced that I would be coming, the Council had been out overnight and had removed the cover. Not that it did a lot of good, because by the time it happened, it got reported that I’d spoken at this thing, and it got on the midweek news. I had Radio 4 programmes driving up to Northampton to interview me about it. So that’s the way that I can be most useful.

I have been given this kind of unasked for clout, in terms of people who know my work. It’s not something that I’ve ever sought, but it is there, and if it’s needed in some way to help stem the tide of idiocy, then I can do that. More specifically, I think everybody should work more directly on the problems in the community around them. I think the days of voting for someone who says they’re going to fix these problems are long over, because they don’t. They never do. Once they are in office, that’s all that they wanted. If they had to tell you a lot of made-up stuff to get into office, then yeah, that’s fine, that’s what politicians do. But unless we’re terminally stupid, we should be getting the hang of how this works by now.

We are not being represented. Government is not doing us any favours. If we want something done politically, we should organise in whatever form suits us, and get it done ourselves. That is politics in the twenty-first century.

Is 'Neonomicon' your farewell to comics?

It wasn’t ever intended to be like that. It has worked out that it is probably one of the last comic books that you will see from me, other than the ongoing ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,’ the forthcoming 'Bo Jeffries' collection, with a new twenty-four page story that Steve Carthouse is working on just now, and anything else that I feel like doing in comics! But that will probably not be in the mainstream comics arena.

What happened with ‘Neonomicon’ is that some four or five years ago now, I had just quit DC over the horrific stuff that went on around the ‘Watchmen’ film. I had decided that these people were actually scum, and I don’t use that in a rhetorical sense. I mean quite literally that these were people who were exhibiting a completely subhuman level of behaviour. I’ve known better behaved crackheads than some of the people who are working at these big entertainment industry conglomerates.

So having moved away from those people, Kevin O’Neill and I both found that there seemed to be all sorts of problems with getting our payments on time... we were being punished, basically, for having dared to make a public fuss about the way we were being treated. I was being punished, and punishing Kevin was a way of vicariously getting at me.

I suddenly got a tax bill, when I hadn’t received any of the money that I had been promised. I was a good few grand down on what was comfortable. The guy from Avatar, William Christensen, he phoned up. He happened to mention that if I ever wanted to do something for Avatar, then he’d got some money put aside just for that eventuality. So I said, ‘Well, actually I do need some money at the moment, how about I do a four-issue series for X amount of money. Couyld you pay me up front, and I’ll write them all over the next four months.'

He said fine, so I had the money to pay the tax. Now, I don’t do anything purely for the money – it was a matter of expediency, because I needed the money, but I wouldn’t just dash off a load of rubbish. I had spoken to William in the past about the fact I was quite pleased with the adaptation they did of ‘The Courtyard.’ I thought that was a good story, and I had thought at the time that maybe the characters in the story, maybe I wasn’t quite finished with them. I’d got vague ideas for a sort of sequel. So I suggested I could do a comic strip sequel to ‘The Courtyard’- a four issue series called ‘Neonomicon.’

When I started writing it, there were a few things that I wanted to do. I wanted to do a story that modernised Lovecraft – that didn’t rely upon that 1930s atmosphere – and that modernised him successfully, at least in my opinion. I suppose I was also thinking that it would be nice if you could bring some of the naturalism of shows like HBO’s ‘The Wire’ to the impossible. Because that show has got such believability, naturalism, that it struck me that would be a very good way of approaching something so inherently fantastic and unbelievable as H.P. Lovecraft.

So that was one of the initial ideas, another one was to actually put back some of the objectionable elements that Lovecraft himself censored, or that people since Lovecraft, who have been writing pastiches, have decided to leave out. Like the racism, the anti-Semitism, the sexism, the sexual phobias that are kind of apparent in all of Lovecraft’s slimy, phallic or vaginal monsters.

This is a horror of the physical with Lovecraft – so I wanted to put that stuff back in. And also, where Lovecraft being sexually squeamish, would only talk of ‘certain nameless rituals.’ Or he’d use some euphemism: ‘blasphemous rites.’ It was pretty obvious, given that a lot of his stories detailed the inhuman offspring of these ‘blasphemous rituals’ that sex was probably involved somewhere along the line. But that never used to feature in Lovecraft’s stories, except as a kind of suggested undercurrent.

So I thought, let’s put all of the unpleasant racial stuff back in, let’s put sex back in. Let’s come up with some genuinely ‘nameless rituals’- let’s give them a name. So those were the precepts that it started out from, and I decided to follow wherever the story lead. It is one of the most unpleasant stories I have ever written. It certainly wasn’t intended as my farewell to comics, but that is perhaps how it has ended up.

It is one of the blackest, most misanthropic pieces that I’ve ever done. I was in a very, very bad mood. I had just found out about people trying to put pressure on me by putting pressure on my friend, Steve Moore, who had a terminally ill brother at that time. Things like that. This was coming from the comics industry, and it was a step too far. I mean, I would credit those people with almost anything, but that was crossing the line. So yes, I was filled with a black rage, and I think it has leaked over into the story. It gets very ugly.

I wanted to be unflinching. I thought, if I’m writing a horror story, let’s make it horrible. Let’s make it the kind of stuff that you don’t see in horror stories. Because William Christiansen had, perhaps unwisely, said: ‘Look, you know you can go as far as you want.’ I just got him to repeat that, and said: ‘So... what, I can show erections? Penetration?’ He said: ‘Sure!’ I don’t know if he thought I was going to do it or not but... yeah, I did. It’s a way that I haven’t written about sex before. It’s very ugly. And yet, it took me years to actually see... because, Jacen’s doing an incredible job on the artwork, but I’ve still only seen the first issue. But I was very impressed with that. It reads very well: it’s dark as hell. But it’s kind of compelling. So I went back and read through the scripts for the following three issues, and I thought, ‘Have I gone too far?’ Looking back, yes, maybe I have gone too far – but it’s still a good story.

I’ve not seen a lot of the other stuff that Avatar are putting out – like I say, I’ve only seen the first episode of this, but yeah, I know that they do generally go for the more extreme stuff, it’s kind of their niche, and this certainly fills that brief.

Does Aklo play as large a part in 'Neonomicon' as it did in 'The Courtyard'?

Well, without wanting to give away too much, Aklo does play a part. It kind of carries on from ‘The Courtyard,’ in that there are Lovecraftian presences in an early twenty-first century American landscape. So we explore that a bit more. Johnny Carcosa makes a few memorable appearances in the course of the story. We’ve basically got an FBI unit being pulled in to find out what the hell happened to Aldo Sax, and what the hell happened in the Courtyard in general.

[Laughs]What is unusual about this is that about half way through, one of the characters suddenly realises that all of these names are from an H.P. Lovecraft story. The central character actually studied Lovecraft at University, and so recognises the names. Then it just kind of gets blacker and blacker from there on.

It does answer the question... by the end of the series it actually answers the question that always bugged me about the Cthulhu mythos. I mean, I know that the first God Lovecraft created in the mythos was Cthulhu itself, in 1926, in ‘The Call of Cthulhu.’ Then Cthulhu became such a popular figure, that he then came up with all the other Gods: Yogg Sottot and all the rest of them, who are supposed to be inferior to Cthulhu. I mean, it’s the Cthulhu Mythos. His name is on the mythos! He’s pretty much the boss monster. And yet, he’s humanoid. He’s got tentacles for a face, admittedly – but he has got arms and legs. A head, a torso. Whereas Azathoth is a kind of eternal nuclear explosion or something, just a seething nuclear chaos. Now Yogg-Sottot – the cooling chaos. The thing that you glimpse at the centre of the dark. These are not human figures at all. So why is Cthulhu – if he is the boss monster – why is he humanoid? This is one of the questions we answer in the course of ‘Neonomicon.’

And we do tell, I believe, a credible modern Lovecraft story, where it doesn’t happen in Arkham. It doesn’t happen in Innsmouth. It’s kind of agreed that these places only exist in the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. But by acknowledging that, I can kind of make the story more credible, if you see what I mean. By acknowledging that this is something to do with the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, I can actually kind of make it believable as something that is happening in our world or a world much like it, rather than in Lovecraft’s traditional world. I don’t want to tell you too much more than that, other than that it is unbelievably horrible. I should probably leave it at there.

Can we talk a little about Ideaspace?

We’ve got about ten minutes left before I’ve got to go and get some food in me. What did you want to ask?

Is the shape of the ‘culture of steam,’ the post-singularity vision of humanity, any clearer than when you made ‘The Mindscape of Alan Moore’?

More all the time. I don’t know when we actually filmed 'Mindscape,' I think it was the late nineties. It was my suggestion that culture and everything in it – that means technology, human psychology – all of these things would be speeding up: that we were reaching a point where we would have more information every day than we would previously have had in the whole of human history. This is the logical end-point of the steep information graph that we seemed to be following as a culture.

I’d say we’ve had ten years of the twenty-first century since then, and I don’t think that it is slowing down. If you think of the tumult and upheaval that we’ve had in the past ten years, I think it greatly exceeds a lot of the stuff that happened in the previous fifty. I would say that, unfortunately, and I’m not proud of this, but I think that I was probably right. I do wish that I could predict something nice some time... but no, it’s all monitor cameras, dodgy, deceptive plots that involve lots of people dying in New York, and all the rest of it.

But is Ideaspace more tangible now, with the internet, this emerging virtual space?

I think perhaps people are noticing more that Ideaspace is what it is. I don’t see a huge movement yet, but if people were to actually start thinking about the world of the mind as being separate to the world of the material – connected to it, obviously, linked – but separate, with separate laws and a separate agenda, then I think things would be clarified for a lot of people.

I think that it’s the confusion between the stuff in our heads and hard reality – especially when it’s our politicians and leaders who are getting confused – I think that’s very unhealthy. I mean during the Bush administration, they used to think that they were organising actuality. There was that famous quote perceiving themselves as a ‘faith-based presidency.’ One of the top members was decrying their opponents in the ‘reality-based camp’. When you’ve got a representative of one of the most powerful offices in the world talking about their opponents negatively for being ‘reality-based,’ that’s worrying.

It was like the Bush administration seemed to think that they were in control of reality. And to a certain degree, they were in control of a bit of reality. But they seemed to think that they could go to Baghdad and be in and out in a weekend, with children draping garlands of flowers over the tank barrels. That didn’t work. It was a disastrous attempt to affect reality, or at least a certain kind of economic, petrochemical reality [laughs]. We’re still paying for it now, and we may well be paying for it for generations.

I think that if people realised that the world inside your head is a valid world, and it’s yours... I think that could be very empowering for a lot of people. You don’t have to go along with whatever reality you’re being sold. Because there is nothing more inherently ‘credible about the born-again Christian, right-wing, repugnant, ‘neo-conservative project for the new American century’ reality than there is about your reality. In fact there are probably a great many more inherent absurdities in the former worldview than in the latter.

People should trust themselves more. People should be aware of the incredible potentials that they’ve got in them, and I think one step towards that would be acknowledging that there is an Ideaspace, and that we are all kings and queens of it.

Huge thanks to Alan Moore for the interview, and to Dave Kerr at The Skinny and the folks at Dodgem Logic for arranging it all.

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