The end of the tunnel

In the beginning.
There are seven CDs. They begin: SB takes the 433 New Brighton-Liverpool bus through one of the Mersey Tunnels. With no bridges between these two built up areas, a tunnel is the most direct way across the river, which is precisely the way the Admiralty wanted it. They conclude: One minute to go and alva noto's electric pulses beat through the writhing body of Diamanda Galas.

Does it all go dark?

In the bedroom.
Watching my 14-year-old son sitting in almost darkness lit only by his screens, I consider his generation's move towards contextual blindness, absorbed and consumed by only what exists within the four walls of their flat screens. I take him to our optician and she talks of a generational long-sightedness due to screen usage; culture literally changing our ways of seeing.

In the pinhole.
She also tells of a family in Edinburgh in which three generations are completely blind barring a tiny pinhole through which each person has 20:20 vision.

In the blues.
Luigi Monge analyzes all of Blind Lemon Jefferson's recordings, and discovers that only 7 of his 90 recorded songs make no reference to sight.

In the tunnels between Liverpool and Leeds.
I travel between Liverpool and Leeds every week. Waiting for revelation or revolution. John Newton works in Liverpool after penning his 'spiritual autobiography' Amazing Grace. We hear it through bagpipes as kids, Edinburgh Tattoo and all that. When I am five, the Royal Scots Greys release an album called Last of the greys with a version of Amazing Grace that goes to number 1.

I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see

In the bible
Mark 8:22 Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him.
Mark 8:23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village
John 9:1 As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth.
John 9:2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Mark 10:46 As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.
Matt 20:30 There were two blind men_sitting by the roadside.
Luke 18:35 As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.

In the blind tunnel
The blind tunnel in Glasgow was originally a leap of faith as entry was gained to it via 90 degree turns with enough room for one vehicle at a time. After many accidents the council decided it was time to put controlled signals onto this. There is still the odd accident with people jumping the lights but is nowhere as bad as it used to be.

In Blind Ambition (Algernon Doll)
Blind ambition, to me, is intent on venturing towards the unknown often at the expense of the present. We think our goals will provide happiness and fulfilment yet the sources of these feelings are often in the process itself and are overlooked, carelessly. As each frequency creeps in; it is very easy to miss and the culmination is a short, crushing disappointment with a groan and a whimper (Ewan Grant).

In the screen
Edwards ask: Did you see any kind of bright light? Or a tunnel with Jesus at the end? Michael Caine as Clarence replies: As a matter of fact, I did. Then this cross-eyed little Herbert turned up and yanked me back out. (Is anybody there?)

In Britain
In the post-punk of the late 70s there is a future, in places like Sheffield, home to Chris Watson and The Human League, even in scarred tower blocks.

No future they say
But must it be that way?
Now is calling
The city is human
We've had it easy, we should be glad
High-rise living's not so bad
Blind youth take hope, you're no Joe Soap
Your time is due, big fun come soon

(The Human League Blind Youth )

In the 80/90s
Cry myself blind (Primal Scream)
She blinded me with science (Thomas Dolby)
Are you so blind? (Special AKA Free Nelson Mandela)
Blind Lemon Jefferson (Nick Cave)
Blind vision (Blancmange)

How does it feel? It feels blind
How does it feel? Well, it feels fucking blind
What have you taught me? Nothing
Look at what you have taught me
You're world has taught me nothing

(Bikini Kill Feels blind )

In the words
Homer was blind; Oedipus blinded himself; Milton became blind; Satan was blind in his pride and ambition and hatred against God; Gloucestor and Edgar are also seen blind in King Lear; Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello,Coriolanus and Brutus were blinded by their own eloquently mad passion that had its root insubtle revenge, vaulting ambition, provoked and misplaced jealousy, political unsophistication and senseless egoism.

Blind woman, blind son
Create pain in Western jazz song
Gotta pay, electroplate
Loose, elongated shapes
This bull is worth a fortune
We sell its sperm around the world
Blind woman, blind son song,
On the set of their new movie:
"Mad Plum, Mad Dog"
"Mad Plum, Mad Dog"

(To Live And Shave In L.A. Blind woman, blind son )

In the end of the tunnel
Snow blind
Blind spot
Blind rage
Blind drunk
Swear blind
Blind alley
Blind faith
Colour blind
Blinded by the light
Blinded by science
Blinded by the sun
Blind leading the blind
In the country of the blind
Rob someone blind
Blind leading the blind
Don't take a blind bit of notice
Turn a blind eye


If you ask me, he's a criminal flying from justice.
Gone! He's snowblind, that's what he is!!
(The Invisible Man, 1933)

Those other guys all wanna take me for a ride
But when I talk they talk of suicide
Excuse me for feeling this moment is critical
I and I alone, oh no
Even though the Gods are crazy
Even though the stars are blind

(Paris Hilton > Magicks Stars are blind )



It starts in the tunnel on the 433, in silence, it ends tunnelblind




back