Monday, July 31, 2006

Hi Ho

I heard something on the radio the other week which seemed so self evident that I was surprised that I had never thought of it before. These two English guys were making fun of some American or other who had made stupid grand pronouncements about the social effect of Disney films.

Stupid American: “The film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is really all about promoting a good work ethic. Here we have 7 physically challenged old men – we knew they were old because they had those long grey beards – who lived a bare existence in the forest, who had to work in a mine. And did they grumble about it? No. They went to work singing everyday. Hi Ho, It’s Off To Work We Go. Can you think of a more positive way to start a working day? I believe there was one fellow who was grumpy most of the time, but that was more of a plot device than to do with the work he was doing”

English Commentator: “So the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was about promoting a good work ethic then apparently. This guy seems to have missed out the fact that despite there bare existence, these 7 physically challenged old men had a monopoly on a diamond mine…”

I forget what he said next, because those words stuck with me. Monopoly on a diamond mine. Monopoly on a diamond mine! The fucking seven dwarfs had a monopoly on a diamond mine. Those little fuckers were rich. Puts the whole film in a new perspective. No wonder they weren’t too bothered that some white bitch came and brought loads of trouble down on them.

They knew they could buy their way out of trouble if they needed


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Des précisions en Français.

I asked Nick to translate an email from a Magnus submitter the other day. His response made me truly believe that he should work to further international understanding, and break down the language barrier once and for all. Enjoy:

Cher Monsieur,
Je vous prie de bien vouloir m' excuser d'utiliser la traduction informatique, aléatoire, pour m' exprimer en Anglais, et vous remercie de me permettre des précisions en Français.

//Sorry to have used babelfish, but I never learnt your language because your ppl and your culture disgust me, thank you for letting me write to you in my native (and far more elegant) tongue. Such understanding is not what we expect from you pig-ignorant roast-beef enthusiasts.//

Je vous remercie pour toutes les peintures que vous avez placé dans votre magazine.

//Cheers for all the pretty pictures you done put in your mag, like.//

J' avais demandé à l' administrateur de ART actif un lien en direction de votre site, il vient juste d' être ajouté, toutefois cet administrateur exige de moi la réciprocité (un lien sur votre site), en compensation de la gratuité de son
intervention (la publication du lien sur la première page de mon portofolio).

//I had asked the acting manager of ART / the manager of ART active, to put in a link to your site, and he's only just gone and done it, would you believe. Now he wants you to return the favour, in compensation for his gratuity of his intervention [it strikes me that this gratuity is really a condition-laden demand for mutual back-scratching, but whatever]//

Pour avoir un lien sur votre site je n' ai pas utilisé le questionnaire que vous soumettez aux artistes, j' évite de donner des renseignements sur moi car je ne suis pas le sujet de mon art, donc pas de biographie ou informations autres que les sujets abordés en peinture, il vous est possible vérifier l' expression de
cette attitude à cette adresse: *****
cependant je vous prie de bien vouloir m' excuser et publier un lien
sur votre site en direction de .

//In getting my link on your site, I did not fill in the questionnaire you give us artists, cos my art kinda speaks for itself like, so I don't like to give out info about me cos I am not its subject. Hence, no bio or subjects not pertaining directly to the painting. You can verify my position on this at the saatchi gallery address above. Hope this ain't a bother. So go on then, publish a link to the address.//

Veuillez agréer, cher Monsieur, l' expression de mes meilleures salutations.

//Best regards,//

//PS I may have toned down the flamboyantly polite style in an attempt at mocking his not knowing English. Sorry.//

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Why I don’t give a fuck about shit on the floor

I’m not for littering. Let me start by saying that. I have always thought that if there is a bin around then you should always put your litter in it. I mean, why not?

I have to admit though, that I’m not really that against littering either. Maybe it’s because I have always had a disgustingly high mess threshold so when I see rubbish on the streets I’m not really bothered in anyway. When we were in Amsterdam for the Queens birthday and the rubbish was piled higher than our heads I thought it was kinda amazing. Ditto for the aftermath of Reading festival. But I suppose both of those times were different to the norm as all that mess represented good times had, so the more there was the better the time it must have been.

I think my lack of caring about litter really just stems from living in Richmond. This place is fucking clean. So clean that I know that if I drop something on the floor, the likelihood is that tomorrow it won’t be there.

Which is why I had an argument with my friends tonight. We were on Richmond Green and there was a pile of empty beer cans abandoned near us, and I couldn’t see what the big deal was. Someone asked me if the rubbish bothered me. I said no. Because why would it? I know for a fact that regardless of whether or not people litter on the green that Richmond is so …well rich, that tomorrow undoubtedly there will be street cleaners coming by to clean it up. Caring about it is the equivalent of caring about cleaning your room before the cleaner does in a hotel. Why bother? It’s their job, and they are going to do it anyway.

Someone brought up the oh-so-clever point of, “Would you like it if the rubbish was up to here (points to a couple feet off the floor)? Because that is what would happen if everyone littered.” No, no it wouldn’t. I wouldn’t particularly care, as I have previously mentioned I have an incredibly high mess threshold, but more than that, would it really ever get that bad? Can anyone really actually believe that as humans we would ever let it get to the level where we were wading through our own rubbish? No. Certainly we would not. And definitely not in Richmond.

Someone else made the argument that if no one littered then we wouldn’t need so many street cleaners and so wouldn’t have to raise taxes to pay for them. I usually at that point would make the trite point that litterers keeping street cleaners in jobs, but I decided not to tonight, as I am a little older and wiser than last time I had this argument, and I know understand that no matter what happens we are still gonna employ the same amount of street cleaners. And even if we fire some, taxes will not go down as a result.

Can you seriously imagine any politician saying “and a special thanks to everyone for keeping the streets tidy. I’m not going to spend the money we saved on street cleaners on something else, instead I’m going to take it off your tax bills”. No? Because it’s a stupid fucking thing to say.

As I said at the start, I’m not for littering, but in Richmond, I don’t think it matters so much as elsewhere. I know England is filthy, but not this town.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Elspeth Driskill

So it's been about a month now since I last wrote anything. I didn't realise that I had been letting things slip so bad. Oh well, I'm sure almost no-one noticed.

And anyway, I've been busy busy busy these last couple of weeks. I've just got a new job, I've been editing my websites and also, I've been preparing (mentally at least) for my brothers wedding. Which was on Saturday by the way.

I've spent the last few months asking my brother over and over again, "So what is it exactly that I'll have to be doing as an usher?" and each time he told me that it wouldn't be much, that I just had to take care of the guests and the rest would be pretty straightforward.

I didn't believe him for a second, well not untill we actually got to the venue this weekend for the rehearsal and saw how shambolic everything was and was told by his other ushers that we'd just blag it basically. After that, I thought "phew so I can relax this weekend then".

Not so, from the moment I put on my monkey suit for the wedding until the moment I fell asleep that night I was constantly on edge. My brother was getting randomly stressed at things going right, and was taking it out on us. Not that things weren't really going right, but I think he enjoys being stressed out. The thing is, there really wasn't that much ushering to do, but that wasn't the problem. The problem was that there were so many people to remember.

In my family, I am the figure of fun (as with my friends I suppose) so it doesn't suprise me that Gerry will have told his friends exaggerated tales about me. The problem was, that meant that lots and lots of people new who I was, and had that hopeful look in their eye that I knew them too. Add to that all of my new family in law, who I have met recently and cannot remember the names of, and the whole stag party who I do generally remember, but there are one or two names that slip by me. And then of course, all the random family friends who I haven't seen since I was tiny who think that somehow I will know who they are. Eventually, after using 'man' to address everyone for a few too many hours, I just starting acting as a bouncer and just shouted at people to do Gerry's bidding until they did it. Which was nice.

Anyway, the point of all this grumbling was really meant to be that now... I have a new sister. And her name is Elspeth (or Elle). And she is great. Oh yes.