Posts from 12th September 2005

Sep 05

the CURSE of the FRØG

Blog 71 comment • 1,106 views

it has been proposed by a sarcastic workmate that my recent ear problems were imposed on me by the gods for the CRÅZY HÜBRIS of my FROGLOVE

i say a bing-bing pAH!!

Great News For All Our Readers!!!

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 398 views

For those of you who missed it last week: It’s The End Of Life As We Know It. But wait, great news for all our readers, with the abolition of the regular science supplement, the Guardian’s commitment to science actually improves. How, you ask? Well a page every day will be devoted to science.

A Page? Or this story: Ginger Gene Makes Redhead More Sensitive To Cold.

Great news for all our readers indeed…

“A Superstitious and Cowardly Folk”

Blog 7Post a comment • 295 views

Such was the summation of the criminal character by Bruce Wayne, just before he decided that dressing like a giant bat would clearly strike fear into their hearts. Of course Mr Batman has made a terrible error here. He has mistaken criminals for sports fans (and even more likely sports players). For there is no-one more cowardly and superstitious than me watching cricket. Except possibly everyone else watching cricket.

This summer I have developed a number of rituals which are to ensure that I do not cause England to do badly in the tests. Foremost amongst these is that I cannot turn the television on whilst an over is being bowled. If England bat, a wicket will be lost. If Australia bat, then they will hit lots of runs. The problem is that it is rather difficult to gauge when they are changing ends without watching the cricket. (You could suggest listening to it on radio, but that is even has an even more complex shibboleth about it).

As far as I understand it, the chain of causation works like this. I turn on the television. Somehow this information is passed through the ether to the ground where the England players, please to hear I am taking an interest, try to impress. Unfortunately they overdo impressing me, and make an unforced error. Therefore for the good of the team I must not break this rule.

Oddly when I was at the ground, physically within 100 yards of the player, no such fear came upon me. I popped in and out of the ground constantly for beers, toilet and to procure some sun cream. Therefore it is the amplification effect of the television which causes this problem. Unexplained phenomena, but I am not the only person to believe it.

Black(ing up) Beauty

Do You SeePost a comment • 242 views

What is the most recent incidence of blacking up in cinema? Is it Ghandi? Is It Ali G? No it is in the film Hidalgo, a story of derring do, long distance horse races and shimmery, shimmery sands. And luckily for the PC Police (though PC = police to me), its only a horse that blacks up. It is one of many ridiculous and far fetched bits about this attempt at a historical epic that feels wrong. How would you black up a white horse top make it look like a prize stallion. I think it would be obvious from a distance.

Anyway, Viggo Mortensen plays a lack-lustre half Native American, half their oppressor who agrees to take part in an endurance race across Arabia (I think we are allowed to call it Arabia, as the film does – though there are big chunks in Iraq etc). In those days these were the races of toffs, unlike these days when any old Freud can take part.

Okay, just because the blacking up was restricted to the horse does not mean this film is not stuffed with dodgy racial stereotypes. The sophistication of the Arab characters comes straight out of any desert movie from the sixties: HELLO OMAR SHARIF. But come on, do they all keep having to say “As it is written” at the end of EVERY sentence? Its almost like someone reading out carriage returns.

Anyway, the drift is more than obvious. Moustache twirling baddies, oppressed woman, token evil Brit while you are at it. American triumphs with his “impure” horse, cos hey – aren’t all Americans impure? Its not a bad adventure film, but it has a lead who broods to much, a pretty ugly lead horse and its sensibilities are lost somewhere in the sixties. Hooray for Hollywood.

John Currin

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 398 views

I saw it from the corner of my eyes, in a story for the premiere issue of vogue:homme America, or what ever they are calling it. Surrounded by the usual, silly badly constructed grotesques the New York art world mistakes for finely crafted historically informed painting.

The painting of his son, 2 years old, is so warm and so pretty, so well constructed, so loose, and so confident that it is something new altogether. The toxic irony, the pathetic sadness of all history and no love has leeched out of him. One of the things about craft, is that it is useless if it is not placed next to context and emotion.

He keeps wanting to be part of a history of mannerism, the article talks about a hallway in his house that has two works facing each other—a Carruci from the 1590s, and a Picabo from the 1940s—the most over painted, over the top, mannerist work. He also talks of his bed, a reproduction of a reproduction of a mannerist disaster, and that is how is work seems, except for this largish picture of his kid.

Its loose, foreshortened, elegant, and beautiful. For the first time in my critical history with him, I see where everyone gets it. The man can paint like a motherfucker.