From an early post:
Note the new tagline of this blog. [At time of writing, "FOR THE UNCONDITIONAL MILITARY DEFENCE OF BRITNEY FROM SEXIST WITCH-HUNTS!"] I’ve discovered a new kick: adapting the dodgy, declarative slogans of Trotskyism to popular culture. It’s a take on my own “wannabe player” relationship with pop culture. Just as Trotskyists have this ridiculous desire to make “foreign policy” pronouncements from the imaginary headquarters of their states-in-waiting, I want to have an egocentric stake in the culture industry. (Other than one that makes me feel like a Russian inmate doing digital penance in a Gibson-inspired new media sweatshop, that is.)
Yes, over the last decade or so, I’ve come to love pop music. Of course, I’m not an earnest believer in the totality of the pop industry (as if anybody is, or could be), but down deep I’m really still a hermeneuticist, prone to the earnest impulse to totalise from above, rather than someone who actually lives (in the pores of) pop culture in a radically embedded and ambivalent way. So in the Trotskyist vein, I reconcile my love of pop stars in the same way Trots believed that the USSR was a “deformed workers’ state” that deserved unconditional defence. (I don’t know if I really believe any of the above explanation. But it sounds good, doesn’t it?) And of course there’s the Spartacist League’s wonderful slogan, “DEFEND MICHAEL JACKSON FROM RACIST WITCH-HUNT!”. A corker. HAIL RED ARMY IN AFGHANISTAN, I say. (Did you know that the International Bolshevik Tendency split from the Sparts over that slogan? They thought it too “Stalinophilic”. I got it from their Truth Kit on the Sparts. [A Truth Kit on the Sparts -- the people who invented Truth Kits!])
So why is this blog called Antipopper, given my love of pop? (No, it doesn’t stem from my anti-rationalist hatred of Karl Popper, either, despite some clever readings in that vein.) Well, a couple of years ago my colleague Chris and I wanted to start a pop-culture magazine called (funnily enough) Popper. “Oh, that’s a brand of juice that comes in a Tetra-Pak.” “Uh, so?” We were actually going to rip off the entire Popper corporate identity — the jolly logo, everything. For a laugh. It was going to be a really glossy (UV gloss varnish — mmmm), deluxe, print-magazine affair, with more of a promotional website than a content-driven one. (Chris had never done print design at this stage, and found it strange and sexy. Which it is.) The only problem was that the domain “popper.com” was already taken. So Chris (in strangely dialectical fashion) thought up “antipopper” — Popper‘s evil Web twin, as it were, like matter and antimatter. I registered the domain, but as with many ambitious backyard projects, we just didn’t have the time to follow through. So when I decided to write a blog, I had this domain lying dormant, and just used it. I do like the idea of an evil twin, though. All doppelganger-like.