January 25, 2017
One in a series of enthusiastic posts, contributed by HILOBROW friends and regulars during 2017, on the subject of our favorite squads.
A self-appointed leader. A diffident first mate. A brave senior. A coddled mummy’s boy. A resourceful spiv. A frugal doomcryer. A wistful romantic. Yes, my ideal squad is the home guard of Dad’s Army (BBC, 1968–1977), the cheerful sitcom with the swastikas in the opening titles. In truth, my posse has always resembled the brave souls of Walmington-on-Sea in both spirit and lineup, from the knock-kneed childhood gang you can read about in A Loose Egg to the various creative teams I’m with today. The resemblance is partly due to the inevitable presence of a daft mustache, a home-knitted scarf and an elderly Scotsman, but it’s really more to do with a certain makeshift resourcefulness and a Don Quixote-like, Rembrandt’s-”Nightwatch”-esque spirit. I’ve never wanted to be part of a well-oiled, super-funded elite. I don’t want to be in the X Men or Storm Watch, looking down on the Earth from a weaponised, NATO-funded space station. I’m happier as part of the domestic second wave, jiggering the enemy machine with little more than a paint-spattered bradawl and a cheese sandwich. Payday is the moment when a so-called Great Leader must pause to scratch her head in bewilderment. It’s all about the ability to improvise and keeping things human-sized. Who can get excited about NASA when there’s a tin-can backyard space programme putting LEGO men in the sky? As with the home guard, our HQ is usually on tentative lease from some nuisance antagonist. For Captain Mainwaring it’s a church hall requisitioned from the vicar for the war effort; with us it’s usually a neighbour’s shed, a corner of an arts centre, or the squelchy room above a pub. “What are you doing in there,” they all shout. Why, essential routine drill of course.
#SQUADGOALS: Annie Nocenti on THE WILD BUNCH | Alice Boone on PRETTY LITTLE LIARS | Gordon Dahlquist on BOWIE’S BAND | Rob Wringham on THE HOME GUARD | Jennifer Krasinski on WATERSHIP DOWN RABBITS | Annalee Newitz on ROBIN HOOD’S MERRY PALS | Adrienne Crew on THE BLOOMSBURY GROUP | Mark Kingwell on THE HONG KONG CAVALIERS | Adam McGovern on KAMANDI’S FAMILY | John Overholt on THE CLUB | Greg Rowland on THE VULTURE SQUADRON | Sara Ryan on BETSY, TACY & TIB | Chelsey Johnson on VI ÄR BÄST! | Brian Berger on THE JOHN FORD STOCK COMPANY | Sherri Wasserman on THE WARRIORS | Jessamyn West on FAREYNIKTE PARTIZANER ORGANIZATSYE | Josh Glenn on DADA | Matthew De Abaitua on THE TIME | Mandy Keifetz on THE FOUNDING FATHERS | William Nericcio on ZOOT SUIT PACHUCOS | Deb Chachra on FIREFLY CREW | Matthew Battles on THE ANIMAL FAMILY | Ingrid Schorr on THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS | Joe Alterio on THE USUAL GANG OF IDIOTS | Dan Reines on THE BREAKFAST CLUB | Rob Walker on LES TROIS INSÉPARABLES | Devin McKinney on 1975 RED SOX | Steph Burt on DAMAGE CONTROL | Anthony Miller on TBD | Luc Sante on THE BOUZINGOS | Carl Wilson on NEW YORK SCHOOL POETS | Mimi Lipson on TBD | Franklin Bruno on THE AACM | Cintra Wilson on TBD | Karinne Keithley Syers on BLACK LIPS PERFORMANCE CULT | Jacob Mikanowski on THE RATBASTARDS | Lynn Peril on THE DALY SISTERS | Katie Hennessey on BEAT POETS | TBD on TBD | Gary Panter on TBD | Barbara Bogaev on THE MOD SQUAD | Chris Spurgeon on THE ALKALI METALS | Molly Wright Steenson on TBD | Elina Shatkin on THE HOLOGRAMS | Anshuman Idamsetty on TBD | Jenny Offill on TBD | Kio Stark on TBD | Douglas Rushkoff on TBD | Colin Dickey on ACÉPHALE | Anindita Basu Sempere on TBD | David Smay on THE MYSTIC KNIGHTS OF THE OINGO BOINGO | TBD on TBD.
#SQUADGOALS (2017 weekly): THE WILD BUNCH | BOWIE’S BAND | THE BLOOMSBURY GROUP | THE HONG KONG CAVALIERS | VI ÄR BÄST! & dozens of other squads | GROK MY ENTHUSIASM (2016 weekly): THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF LUNCH | WEEKEND | MILLION YEAR PICNIC | LA BARONNE EMILE D’ERLANGER | THE SURVIVAL SAMPLER | & dozens more one-off enthusiasms. QUIRK YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2016): “Tainted Love” | “Metal” | “Frankie Teardrop” | “Savoir Faire” | “Broken English” | & 20 other new wave songs. CROM YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2015): DARKER THAN YOU THINK | THE SWORD IN THE STONE | OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET | THIEVES’ HOUSE | QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST | & 20 other fantasy novels from 1934–43. KERN YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2014): ALDINE ITALIC | DATA 70 | TORONTO SUBWAY | JOHNSTON’S “HAMLET” | TODD KLONE | & 20 other typefaces. HERC YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2013): “Spoonin’ Rap” | “Rapper’s Delight” | “Rappin’ Blow” | “The Incredible Fulk” | “The Adventures of Super Rhyme” | & 20 other old-school hip-hop songs. KIRK YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2012): Justice or vengeance? | Kirk teaches his drill thrall to kiss | “KHAAAAAN!” | “No kill I” | Kirk browbeats NOMAD | & 20 other Captain Kirk scenes. KIRB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2011): THE ETERNALS | BLACK MAGIC | DEMON | OMAC | CAPTAIN AMERICA | & 20 other Jack Kirby panels.