ANOTHER GREEN WORLD

Dedicated to the memory of the late Stanley Green, the Protein Man

"Stanley Green, 'Protein Man', walked up and down Oxford Street for many years, parading the same dietary message. He was commonly ignored by the great tide of people who washed around him, and thus became a poignant symbol of the city's incuriosity and forgetfulness." Peter Ackroyd, London: The Biography

 

Stanley Green used to be a familiar sight around London. He wasn't quite in the Buckingham Palace league, but for some of us, he was a trip worth making. From 1968 until his death, he would patrol the main roads around Oxford Circus, carrying a sign reading "LESS PASSION / FROM LESS / PROTEIN: / MEAT FISH / BIRD; EGG / CHEESE; / PEAS incl.lentils / BEANS; NUTS / AND SITTING / PROTEIN WISDOM / ASK FOR A BOOKLET". This was a very basic summary of his intriguing beliefs on the connections between nutrition, the sedentary life, and human sexuality.

As well as wandering the West End, Mr Green used to sell a leaflet entitled "Eight Passion Proteins With Care", which I have scanned and reproduced here. It's eleven pages long, plus the front cover (below) and a three-page 'supplementary' which is also here. It cost twelve pence, a curious amount which I imagine meant that Mr Green was bedevilled with constantly having to give change. He used to live in Haydock Green, Northolt, in the depths of north-west London's suburbia. He died in December 1993.

The Museum of London - a fine institution more than worthy of your patronage - has a complete set of each edition of the booklet, along with his famous banners. You can see their photo of Mr Green here. Donna Kossy featured four pages from the "Passion Proteins" leaflet on page 92 of her 1994 book "Kooks" (Feral House, ISBN 0-922915-19-9) - the cover and first page, along with the first two pages of the 'supplementary'.

He was sufficiently part of the London scene that he gets mentioned in a few novels - he has a cameo in Ben Elton's "Gridlock", for example. A character presumably based on Green can be glimpsed very briefly at the start of the Walker's Crisps advert featuring Gary Lineker in an Austin Powers-style dance number which aired on ITV earlier this year.

I also have a photograph of my one and only meeting with Mr Green, in early spring 1991, which I regret to say is far too indistinct to reproduce here. Also, my hair looks a bit stupid in it, in retrospect.

There are a lot of reasons why I'm putting this online. Firstly, nobody else seems to have done it yet (although you can find the text of an earlier version of the leaflet somewhere online), and frankly, Mr Green deserves better. He deserves to be remembered somewhere. Secondly, I admire his persistence and the openness and friendliness he displayed on our one meeting. I would hate to think that this classic of slightly crackpot literature would become permanently unavailable just because Mr Green himself is no longer with us. Also, with today's kooks taking much more to the web, I think it might be nice to preserve at least some examples of old-school, dead-tree kookery. It's even an interesting artefact of life before DTP - designers will marvel at his free and easy way with font, size and weight, often changing all three in the midDLE OF A WORD.

I'd love to hear from anybody with personal memories of Mr Green; e-mail me (removing the word 'spamtrap') or click HERE to read one of a couple of e-mails I've had.

Those purists offended by my artificial colorisation of the cover previously displayed here will be pleased to know that this is, finally, an authentic colour scan of the cover.

THERE SHOULD BE A PICTURE HERE

THERE SHOULD BE A PICTURE HERE

 

the joe zone | next