RAGWORT WEEK – 2019

November 4, 2019
Photograph taken under Spaghetti Junction by Tracey Moberly

Ragwort Week 2019 lies between Monday the 4th of November and Sunday the 11th of November.

Ragwort Week 2019 celebrates those late flowering Ragworts in your life – in all our lives.

Ragwort Week exists to celebrate those who are the unloved, the unwanted, the spat upon but… those who are still able to shove all that to one side and push their way up through the cracks and burst into blossom, even in the dankest of locations at this, the arse end of the year.

Ragwort Week has existed for millennia.

But…

Ragwort Week was first acknowledged by humans in the year 2011.

To mark this acknowledgement Bill Drummond wrote a book called RAGWORTS.

And Penkiln Burn Books published it in an edition of 1,000 copies.

As of 2012, and for a period of ten years, 100 copies of these books are being made available for sale during Ragwort Week each year.

And each year they sell for ten quid plus post and packaging.

But only via Alimentation.

These are some of the words that the book contains:

I loathe the word ‘regeneration’. Anytime I hear an area is up for regeneration my heart begins to sink. I like the opposite. I like things falling to bits, crumbling and corroding. I want more degeneration, not regeneration.

Great bands, music and art in general, are never sanctioned from above, they are never born out of Arts Council Funding, or their equivalent. And they definitely never, ever blossom in the safety of designated cultural quarters. This is a sweeping statement on my part, a simple over generalisation, but nonetheless true. The only art ever worth having is art that has not been state subsidised. As soon as it is state subsidised it becomes state propaganda. However subtle that propaganda is, it is still doing the states bidding. I am also aware that this kind of reductionist talk, is bordering on the rhetoric of the American right. This is something I have yet to square…

The flowering of a great pop practitioner is all too brief. It is usually only months between their first public stirring and their greatest work. But that is the way it should be. Their later careers, spent trying to squeeze a living out of people’s hunger for anything that triggers nostalgia for their lost youth, should be ignored…

I would also argue, the survival instincts of any society only permit that, which will not bring it down. We in the free market loving, democratically governed west, allow for political art, because it not only bolsters but strengthens the system that controls our culture. By allowing for it the system we live under, can demonstrate to the rest of the world how inclusive and attractive a system we have. Looking back at what I’ve been involved with over the years, I’m probably as guilty as anyone…