Posts

The Business

Image
Some of my worst experiences as a reader come from reading the work of best-selling authors; a banal subsistance of writers whose qualifying attributes arise from their ability to blandly appeal to a wide variety of consumers. Being mostly into the Avant-Garde, it is not surprising I find acute tedium in the realms of the best-sellers, but I do occasionally subject myself to their creative renderings out of intrigue and perhaps from a kind of self torture. Four chapters in on The Business by Iain BanksI am struck by how trite the characters are, how banal and wooden they are, how they are basically cliches ranging from posh toffs who like cars to Americans who like guns. They are like rejects from a BBC drama characters from a BBC drama; characters one has seen before, not new, original, interesting characters, just recycled archetypes: mediocre characters; the type you'd expect to find in a best-selling novel who are just bland enough (and I am assuming supposedly likeable enoug…

A Christmas Carol

Image
Um, spoiler alert, I guess.
Perhaps I am reading Dickens wrong. I have not (not yet) visited the Victorian era, and reading his work from the comfort of my 21st Century poverty, I have but the faintest inkling of true Victorian poverty. Around 1/3 of the urban population lived in poverty, as told here by Angie Speaks in this excellent work house video, and there were plenty of ways the poor were subjugated and systematically punished. So when one reads Dickens, I think one must remind oneself that Dickens lived in a world where poverty, death and sickness were commonplace, and not merely things transmitted to people's homes via the safe distance of mass medium communications.
The prose at the beginning of A Christmas Carol describes Scrooge much like a pantomime villain, and despite this, I think one should acknowledge the severity of Scrooge's selfishness. Those opening words are not dissimilar to that of a fairytale, but like a fairytale, the story comes from a world fille…

Deadpool

Image
If I was a twelve-year-old boy I think I'd probably rank Deadpool as one of my top ten favourite films ever. It is a film clearly written by a teenage boy, perhaps fifteen or sixteen: how else can one explain the plethora of nob-gags and wank jokes?

This fixation on the penis is hardly homo-eroticism however, despite the constant jokes on ejaculation and anal penetration, although Deadpool himself in his pre-super-power days is decidedly camp and it appears to me this story is really a tale of him concealing his true gay self by fooling himself of his straightness by fixating on a woman.

The film is certainly watchable. The characters are reasonably likeable and the film moves at a swift pace so that the easily-duped cannot reflect for a moment to realise the story is meagre and simplistic. The story basically goes: Deadpool gets super powers, he wants revenge on the guy who gave him super powers, he nearly succeeds but doesn't, then the bad guy kidnaps his love interest and…

The Day of the Triffids

Image
 Review of the novel by John Wyndham.
This is a novel with timing issues. I have, on a number of occasions, been afflicted with ailments of varying natures – although admittedly I have never been struck with blindness – yet these illnesses on their own have never inspired me to take my own life. In fact, even when recovery was uncertain, I still held hope that in a few days, with or without medication, the problem would clear up.
Blindness too can be temporary; so it surprises me a little how so many of the earth's inhabitants in The Day of the Triffids so swiftly and so keenly take to killing themselves. Sure, I would expect suicides to occur after a few days, once people have decided their blindness was permanent and starvation has stimulated their mind's desperation, but I feel this book's characters spring to self-annihilation much too quickly. This is not a major flaw however, the suicides would come eventually, so Wyndham's over-eagerness has little affect on the…

Working Class Hero

Image
Allow me to tell you what Working Class Hero is about. There seems to be a decided vagueness shrouding this song and even Lennon himself was not entirely certain of the song's meaning. I am of the opinion that creatives are not always the most qualified people to explain their own work, so the numerous bland utterances to pass Lennon's own lips are of little interest to me; and, having listened to his rather naïve and uninsightful descriptions of both politics and art, it is surely safe to disregard much of what he has said about this song.
Fans' comments too, posted online, provide not much more than a stating of the obvious, pointing out how the lyrics are about a working class person and their experiences growing up. The best critique I have read can be found here, and this is hardly detailed, but it does point out the irony present in some of the lyrics. It is the noted sarcasm and Lennon's harboured bitterness which need to be examined in order to discover the tru…

Pedantry will not Save you

Image
Those successful creatives in the world will know this (and by 'successful' I do not mean 'famous' nor 'wealthy'). Infecting like a cancer upon all creative pursuits, be it art or writing or anything else, the pedant works to elicit her unique from of mundanity. A particularity to exactitude is not pedantry; an eagerness to get things right is no bad thing. Pedantry is the drudgery of pseudo-creativity, the compulsion to the arbitrary, the adherence to grammar that sees a person forsake true self expression for the bland security of correctness. Those who are cursed with creative ineptitude, who cannot create with originality, must substitute their wanting talents with the tedium of pedantry.

All creative realms have their pedants; whether painters who insist on 'correct' ways to apply liquid colour to a surface, or writers who question syntax and accurate word usage. The pedant will not save you. You will never create great art looking through the eyes…

The Revolutionary Nature of the Home Made

Image
I have probably written about this before, sure. I use this blog to indulge in those backstreet notions that lead to no place remarkable, or notions that simply peter out into loose gravel across sandy avenues where bare feet tear on broken glass.
Is it not the case that true revolutionary art, or truly meaningful art, can only be hand made? Anything grander must be only upheld by money and I can think of few occasions where wealth supports the revolutionary. It is those moments of self-motivated creation that an artist truly creates, and truly dissents.
Give me a million pounds and I will make you a fine art piece involving skills and precious commodities, the piece realised through the acquiring of materials and the hiring of talents. When art is created from one's own motivations, one's own funding, it cannot be so grand. It can only be smaller, less accomplished.
Home made art becomes a question of fast or slow: fast and roughly made; or slow and carefully made. Either wa…