Thursday, September 21, 2017

About selfies

I just discovered that the French for selfie is égoportrait, which is entirely perfect and beautiful.



PS: I’ve been advised that égoportrait is specifically Québecois; the French are happy with selfie.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

About mother!


And so I went to see the much-hyped, heavily spoiler-alerted, highly-controversial-or-bust, orthographically wacky mother!, the new film by Darren Aronofsky. It begins as a mid-period Woody Allen movie, then pulls in elements of Rosemary’s Baby, Straw Dogs and Monty Python’s Life of Brian, but ultimately it’s just another home improvement TV show gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

About Foucault


“We know what we do and we know, up to a point, why we do it: what we don't know is what what we do does.”
Anyone would think I was about to start an MA in Cultural Studies.

Maybe there’s a reason for this blog to stumble back into some sort of life.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

About Lewis and Diana


Lewis Hamilton, a man who drives cars very fast, has written a poem dedicated to the memory of Princess Diana, a woman who died in a car that was was being driven very fast (but not, it must be said, by Mr Hamilton).

Englands Rose

The day we lost our Nations Rose
Tears we cried like rivers flowed,
The earth stood still
As we laid her to rest,
A day you & I
Will never forget
The people's princess
Who came to see,
The love from a Country
We'd hope she'd lead,
Englands beauty
Captured in one sweet soul,
Carried the torch
God rest her soul,
With the gift she had 
She'd light up the way,
With a smile to show us a brighter day,
Hearts still full 
of the love she gave,
20 years since she laid in her grave
There will never be another like you,
Now a shinning star in the midnight sky
I will always remember you,
Princess Diana
As our sweet nations Rose🌹


It’s not terribly good, is it? I mean, even if he’d taken the trouble to sort out the punctuation and spelling, and find some better rhymes, and learn a bit about scansion, it would still be fairly mundane.  But, hey, what do I know? Many people appear to have liked it. “Beautiful” is a very common response. “Heartfelt” as well. And, in one case, “I can’t wait to call me nan later. Read her this poem. God is great.” Some are even prompted to respond in kind:
A rose, you never used your thorns, the ones you loved abandoned you, your angel face made hearts so warm, you helped the sick... but who helped you?
offers olivercsmith90, perhaps channelling the spirit of Rik the People’s Poet.

A few, though, are less charitable:
wow your just too easy to please, now go read a John Keats poem , and see if Lewis 's poem still ranks with you!!! Yeah it probably would!
suggests simonnoble389. But sofiashinas shoots back:
You can't compare Lewis to Keats, apples and oranges. One is a champion race car driver, another is a brilliant poet. Either way Lewis's homage to Diana goes straight through my heart ❤️ and bring tears to my eyes .. he obviously loves her spirit as most of us did and still do.
Of course, Sofia is setting up a false dichotomy here; one can be “a brilliant poet” and something else as well. TS Eliot worked in a bank; Wallace Stevens sold insurance. Keats himself was a doctor. There’s nothing to say Lewis Hamilton can’t be a champion driver *and* a brilliant poet as well. I mean, his homage goes straight through Sofia’s heart and that’s what matters.

My own response to Mr Hamilton’s efforts was simple and, I hope, sincere.
You are the poet the British people deserve.
Let’s just leave it there.





Saturday, August 19, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

About initials

The recent BBC coverage of the 50th anniversary of the (partial) decriminalisation of male homosexuality has offered a number of variants on the modish label for those whose sexual and/or gender identity is at variance to the norm; most agree on LGBT, but then they go off in a number of different directions, deploying various combinations of Q, I and A, and disagreeing on what they mean. I am therefore grateful – and not for the first time – to our friends in Canada for letting us know exactly how to define lovers of musical theatre/ladies in sensible shoes:


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

About Warhol


Alice Cooper has discovered a version of Andy Warhol’s Electric Chair print in a locker alongside some of his stage props. I was initially amused by the comment from his manager, Shep Gordon, about a discussion the then-drunk rock star may or may not have had with the artist: 
Alice says he remembers having a conversation with Warhol about the picture... he thinks the conversation was real, but he couldn't put his hand on a Bible and say that it was.”
Which is something that would doubtless have tickled Andy. But I’m not sure how he would have taken another of Gordon’s reflections:
“Andy Warhol was not really ‘Andy Warhol’ back then.”
I suspect what Gordon means is that Warhol didn’t command the vast sums on the art market that he can attract now he’s safely dead – which goes for any number of big names. But it seems oddly appropriate in that ‘Andy Warhol’ (as distinct from Andy Warhol) was his greatest work, the spectral, silver-wigged entity, umm-ing and gee-ing and generally being, blurring the lines between art, business, performance and celebrity. In fact, by the mid-70s, it’s possible that Andy Warhol had ceased to exist and only ‘Andy Warhol’ was left.


Wednesday, June 07, 2017

About OK Computer

The anniversary bandwagon chugs on; I talk to Greenroom about OK Computer, Naomi Klein, Emmanuel Macron and stuff like that.