tag : bright yellow-green apples: November 2005

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Monday, November 28, 2005

mark 2

I have a tendency to re-work pictures. Maybe it's laziness, though I'd prefer to say it's about seeing what else the picture has to give. So here's that cute little scene done again - to bring out them doggy lassie qualities. Someone suggested to me that the motif has some Curious Incident air about it, so what the hey...


Friday, November 25, 2005

I bet you think this song is about you...

figure 73.7. warning: contents may not resemble image

Big things and exciting news. Sort of. There's going to be an advent season on hopeful imagination. A few of us have been invited to join them in contributing a thought every day, minus the platitudes of course. So make sure you get your arses over there and have a look, from the 28th November onwards.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

rhyme and reason

figure 45.6. what does it do?

After the tangles of the last entry, and the knots that can be cast with language in the media, tonights thoughts seem even more appropriate. I read a fantastic article today, a riposte to those who question what poetry - and, really, art in general - is for. Who can't see any use in it. Anyway, by the by, the writer managed to make a sharp observation that "Poetry is not a pretty way of saying something straight, but the straightest way of saying something complex." I so often find things make a lot more sense if I explore them through verse, so this makes sense to me.

Tonight I heard a beautiful rendition of Heartbeats, by José González - delicate and vulnerable where The Knife's original is colourful dance-pop brilliance. Either way, it's a very lyrical song that perfectly demonstrates the above observation.

Monday, November 21, 2005

asking for it

"yes I wore a slinky red thing
does that mean I should spread
for you, your friends
your father, mr ed"

Me and a Gun, by Tori Amos

I somehow ended up listening to Women's Hour today, while out walking the dog. Normally I switch it off quickly, feeling somewhat disenfranchised - but today's was just too compelling. According to a poll by Amnesty International, around a third of those asked thought that women were responsible for getting raped if they wore revealing clothing or were drunk/flirtatious.

This really shocked me - to find such an attitude still prevalent is appalling. What’s particularly scary here is that here's an inherent notion that those who commit the violence of rape are only following a course set by the victim, who make themselves available for sex whether they like it or not. Indeed consent is apparently utterly lacking in the respondents - i.e. there seems to be the view that if you show yourself off, that means you're asking for it. It’s foolish and bizarre to abdicate responsibility from the perpetrators of violence, who can so treat other people like a resource or object. There can be reforms of the legal and police systems, but there sure needs to be a lot more reform of our social attitudes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

ps. take a peek

I'm getting impatient with the progress of my new website (who would've thought buying both a domain name and hosting could be so complicated!). So in the meantime here's a picture I made a couple of nights ago. It's likely to be called "he is cast down by Robin, as witnessed by Christopher" or "as they killed the satanic red thing, they realised a little bit of them had died".


Monday, November 14, 2005

what it felt like

figure 57.1. music make you loose control

On the way back from Martin's birthday weekend, I was reading over the Saturday newspaper and came across an article discussing the lost art of protest in...well, art. Principally music, such as Bob Dylon and Public Enemy. There was a fascinating bit, where someone was trying to describe their experiences of being empowered by music as they faced life under oppression in China:

"At the same time, urban kids found an outlet for their frustrated energies in new, barely tolerated western fads, such as break-dancing. These are the words of a shop girl in Tianjin (quoted in Geremie Barmé and Linda Jaivin's New Ghosts, Old Dreams): "When I'm break-dancing I feel passionate and uninhibited ... I'm normally very quiet and soft-spoken...But when I hear that entrancing music ... The last drop of adolescent shyness evaporates as hot blood surges through my veins. After all, I'm a child of the 80s!"

The Chinese are no different to us. The appeal of Cui and other Chinese rockers was not their political message; it was the attitude, expressed in the music, of defiance. This was political enough. Discussing liberal democracy was for the Beijing University students. Other Chinese were less articulate, perhaps, but they knew what it felt like to be oppressed by authority."

I like how music was described as something that rouses people to agitation, beyond lyrics. I don’t always listen carefully to what's being sung, am more likely to emotionally surge along with the sounds of music. The way the vocals go hits me best, so often. It bypasses all thought to rouse my instincts to sorrow, anger, love, joy, or hope. This is often then directed through what I draw and paint - in an attempt to live up to the challenge the music has set me, in making sense of that for myself through movements of brush and pen.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

out it goes,

figure 45.7. a small hope

It's already been commented in much detail here and here, but I just wanted to add a little to the 90 days vote today. It's such a relief to see that after much intense pressure, that MPs had enough perspective to moderate the excesses of a government somewhat intoxicated on it's own fizzy rhetoric. To give police the power to detain people for up to 3 months, which, as we've been told, is equivilent to a 6 month prison sentance, would begin to shade in distinctly dodgy territory. Amnesty International campaigns on behalf people held indefinately without charge or trial for long periods of time, in various opressive situations abroad. What are the freedoms we're fighting to protect against "the terrorists", exactly?

Monday, November 07, 2005

get the red

figure 91.9. know your place

The often brilliant Myrina Hyde wrote a breezy take on celebrity religion over the weekend. So while I try my best not to set my newly decourated bedroom on fire with 20-year-old candles, have a read. There are so many great moments, but this paragraph gets the gist nicely:

"This week, Madonna addressed the continuing derision concerning her embrace of Kabbalah, saying there'd be less fuss if she'd "joined the Nazi party". Well, quite. Sure, it's a fake-Jew cult where you don't get protected from the evil eye unless you buy a red string bracelet that costs £15 (and that doesn't come with a free £14 note). And, yes, they did send over hundreds of cases of their £4-a-bottle water to tsunami victims, somehow contriving to make Marie Antoinette look like she'd had 20 years' experience on Red Cross feeding programmes. But you know what? At the Los Angeles Kabbalah centre, they have celebrity pews."

Who needs awkward and trifling matters like equality and social justice, after all, when you can buy salvation? Pity the rest of us poor proles who aren't special, and can't afford the secrets of a good life. Or even a nifty jewellery-encrusted Jesus pedant.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

new tours

figure 62.1. you, too

Yes, I'm returned from a grande tour of the regions known as Northern Ireland. Mary's already filled in some of what we got up to over the week, so I'll do my best not to commit the sin of repetition. My first ever flight offered incomparible views of the world, and an hour of delight in weightlessness. Belfast was a strange hybrid of northern feel and southern character, though the main attraction was wondering round new agey bookshops and tropical houses with the charming Rach. Acoustic Ladyland were purvayors of furiously inspiring rhythms, with some of the most brilliantly complex and involving drumming I've heard for ages. Pride and Predjudice is better in the first half, when Mr Darcey is allowed not to care a toss about other people in a spectacular fashion. Dublin's modern art supply is fun and funny, contemporary stimulation with a shot of attractive humanity (particularly Martin Sastre). Portadown was infuriating, by its ingrained sectarianism. Armagh Cathedral has beautiful detail, and delightful electric prayer candles (you press a red button to do the business). The Culbertson household is most hospitable, and a den of teasing and hot debating. Mary was a fantastic companion for my stay, bless her damp cotton socks.