Not Very Posh


If only life had taken a slightly different turn, who knows ? I may have been a slim, handsome, fit bloke, former rugby international, catwalk model and loved by all who knew me. But that’s how life is. It all comes down to the roll of the dice, the rub of the green.

If life had treated these three a little different, perhaps Victoria and David Beckham would be living in a 1930s semi in Brentwood – he an unemployed former assistant manager at Asda, she a failed singer, writer and fashion designer… oh, wait a minute….

If Mr John Depp had turned out the way he is depicted below, he would surely be drinking in four times a week in my local boozer, The Shovel. He certainly wouldn’t stand out from the crowd if he did.

Fortunately (or otherwise) these are just ‘celebrity makeunders’ by New York artist Danny Evans and you can see lots more of his stuff here, if you so wish.  

I’m off up to the loft to dig out some pics of me that would fit in well with these. I’ve got hundreds of ’em.

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In a Bucket with a Big Stick


Artist Aelita Andre might only be four years old, but that has not stopped her opening her first art exhibition in New York.

She is said to be the youngest ever professional artist with nine of her paintings on show at the Agora Gallery, in Manhattan, already selling, with pieces priced up to $9,900 (£6,000) each.

Angela Di Bello, the director at the gallery, said Aelita had already developed a style of her own.

Her parents, Nikka Kalashnikova and Michael Andre, who are also artists, both agree that their daughter’s art has an innocence to it.
(BBC NEWS, June 5, 2011)

Doesn’t that tell you everything that you need to know about the art world ?  I never know whether to laugh or cry when this sort of stuff comes up. You tend to find the people who defend this sort of bollocks are the same mob who can’t wait for this year’s Turner Prize winner, or Tracey Emin‘s latest con-fest.

When I see this sort of stuff, I inexplicably start humming The Emperor’s New Clothes (the Danny Kaye version, of course). It never fails to amaze me how many hitherto intelligent people get conned – year after year – by Man Shits in Bucket or Lump of Old Rope by the latest Brit Art genius at The Tate. They really are geniuses judging by the amount of cash they screw out of the art world and its followers.

Every now and then some elephant (usually in Germany) gets hold of a brush and makes a few daubs and is hailed as the next Jackson Pollock. A chimpanzee rubs his arse over a canvass and is predicted to have as much talent as the elephant, or even, indeed Emin herself (which is actually true). Brilliant. Well Done. Open a gallery and have a peanut. (Or can I tempt you with some German beanshoots?)

But these are not new arguments of course. There have been old farts moaning about new art (I desist from call it modern) for hundred of years. I dunno why we get ourselves so upset?  Leave them too it. I have several mates who despise my views on art. They get very defensive indeed when I scoff and try to tell them they have been conned by a charlatan and a pile of old tutt. I just can’t help myself.

But my doctor has told me not to get so angry any more. So I shan’t.  I’ll leave it to someone who can explain and expose rather more eloquently than I ever could. This is over 50 years old, and remains as spot-on as it always was.

You’re all raving mad.

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Lost in Translation


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Welcome back after the break.

“Where have you been?” I don’t hear you ask. Well here and there really, and mainly at work—which continues to pile on the hours stopping me from visiting one of her majesty’s hostelries, but more of work later.

Last Saturday, The Incumbent and I travelled on the EuroRattler to Gay Paris. It was my birthday weekend, and where better to celebrate it? The young lovers along the Seine; La Tour d’Eiffel; Le Metro; The Crap Pound vrs the Euro. We stayed with Trev and Sylvie (previously featured here) and had arranged to meet Mr Horrible (ditto) for an adult, sedate, celebration of the 45th anniversary of my birth.

I’d been hoping to deliver to Mr Horrible a gift which I ordered eons ago in part repayment for his kind loaning of his apartment in Normandy, earlier in the year. Sadly, it never arrived. Amazon keep telling me it’ll be here soon, but by the time they say they’ll dispatch it, the postmen will be warming themselves by the braziers outside Mount Pleasant, Mr Mandelson will be warming himself by god-knows-who and my package will disappear into the ether, lost for all money.

No matter, after a long and wrong afternoon in Trev’s flat, with just the four of us, the cat (yes, the cat) and enough cheese, pate and vintage vin to feed a BNP rally in Hertfordshire. Four Quatre Bon Viveurs and a chat, which, incidentally is what nearly did when I saw him. No worries, we batted and slurped on, and apart from losing the power of my eyes due to my chat allergy the evening went swimmingly and nothing untoward happened even when we went down the local eaterie later on, just in case we hadn’t troughed enough.

Dawn broke and we started again. Pressies and Poo for brekkie and we’re off on the toot again, where Monsieur Horride would join us for an afternoon nibble. Unfortunately he came too late to fully appreciate my wit and wisdom. The occasion had got the better of me and I was a tad elephants. I think he joined us just after the first mixed crate of cheeky blanc and rouge had been quaffed and within seconds of his arrival I’d lost the power of my legs and nez-dived into his crotch. He being American may do things differently to us back home, but I suspect even in upstate Nebraska (that’s a guess, and one I’ll pay for later) that the traditional thank you for lending a mate your apartment is probably not getting snuffled in the goolies by a bald Limey.

I picked myself up, dusted myself off and started all over again. A little later, back at Trev’s flat, I collapsed across the coffee table, into the take-away Chinese meal, which the girls had been enjoying. I’d lost the power of my legs twice in two hours. A mere 45 years old and I’ve already forgotten how to walk and how to drink. Bollocks. I was kinda hoping to quite a bit more of both before I snuff it.

Back in Blighty on Tuesday morning and not feeling at my peak, I get the fab news that everyone else in the world has called in sick and I am to run the main desk at work, which apart from anything else, means finding a front page photo, as well as overseeing every news pic in the paper that day. Not having done this sort of thing in about 15 years (and I’m not sure I was very good then), and having been on the slurp for three days previously doesn’t seem to be the ideal prep. Courage, mon ami.

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The Leaving Time Magazine Speech

To be honest, as first days go, it wasn’t a complete disaster, all the pics went in the right way up, and The Times didn’t go bust overnight. There was one steaming turd in the water tank though: During the 12 hours I was in work that day, I lost a cufflink. Not just any cufflink, but one the Incumbent had given me as a Birthday present just two days earlier. Sod it. Sod it, sod it, sod it. In truth, when I told her, she took it better than I did. And, in truth, I’m still a little upset about it. But as none of my senses were working at their full capacity, I don’t suppose it’s completely surprising that everything didn’t go completely smoothly. I least I passed my inaugural newsroom test without completely fucking-up. I shall replace the cufflinks.

So that was my week. Nothing groundbreaking, just thought I’d catch up with you (my daughter Lucy complained that I was slacking).

No hang on, there was something else. Now what was it? Oh yes, I remember now: I lost $2,500 tonight. Wanna read that again? Two-and-a-half-thousand-dollars. U.S.

As my regular reader in will know I used to work from a different bunch of Yanks than I do now. That last lot used to give out stock options. And the longer you worked there, and the higher up the ladder you went, the more stock options they granted you. Since our friends in the city (hello boys) fucked it up for the rest of us last year, my options have been worth nothing. Not a sausage. Bugger all. But just as I plotted my escape from TIME, the price started gradually creeping up again. I’d get occasional letters from New York informing me of their progress, and like most of my kind (fat, old, lazy, er.. bloke) left the letters in that special place on the sideboard where all letters with windows stay.

Then, for reasons unfathomable to me, on Tuesday night I opened the latest one. There it was. There in black and cream I read I was worth, in their eyes at least, around $2,500. Quick-as-a-flash (well, 24 hours later) I dug out (well, The Incumbent dug out) my pin numbers and rushed home (well, after the pub) and called New York immediately (well, after we had tea). Stunned that I got though to the department I needed, and flabbergasted that I had indeed got all the information she needed from me, I was even more elated to hear the girl at the other end tell me that my options had elapsed on “10/3”. Sadly, that’s October 3rd, not March 10th. They were now nul-and-void. Worth nothing.

Bugger.

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I have to go to IKEA at the weekend to buy a new door for the kitchen cabinet which I kicked several times very hard moments after I put the phone down. Hope I haven’t lost my wallet.