Malaise of the 1970s


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Malaise gives off the metallic smell of the Iron Lady tearing down British society — “There’s no such thing as society” — to sell off the rabble and rubble to the City.
Malaise gives off the metallic smell of guitar strings being tortured in London squats, of safety pins stuck in cheeks, of razor blades slicing through the skin of pallid chests.

Malaise gives off the metallic smell of the spaceships that will carry us Anywhere out of this world, as Baudelaire once said. “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. Aboard the musical mothership of Close Encounters, led by François Truffaut, whose generous gaze will soon go out. In the bowels of the Nostromo freighter where a vitriol-blooded Alien, thrust into the body of space proles like a monstrous reverse-pregnancy, bursts out in a gut-splattered howl.

Malaise gives off the metallic smell of blood, yes, but also the burn of pepper spray in our noses… Ah… ah… ah… nar… CHY! And a strange sweet softness we sink into, like the ground flesh of an overripe fruit in our fist. And the pungency of the leather armor we slip on to scare off the hippies.

“No More Heroes”, the Stranglers growl, but Luke and Leia give us the Force. We hold out our hand to Spielberg’s mild-mannered aliens. We butcher the bug that’s eating us up from inside with Ripley, the kick-ass androgyne.

Notes: Citrus, black pepper, amber, prune JE, electric aldehydes, heliotrope, patchouli, orcanox, leather…

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