one-off at the wrist


Interesting movie but the idea is nothing new. Devil’s Night, most prominent in 1970s Detroit, was portrayed in the 1994 film The Crow, and Mischief Night/Halloween are old traditions.


It could be viewed as merely the logical extension/conflation of the contemporary love affair with the Zombie/post apocalyptic flick with most of J.G. Ballard’s later oeuvre.


Artist Miriam Elia’s recent Pengqwen run in just shows that copyright in any meaningful way is dead? Granted the power’s that be will still continue to flex their corporate muscles to try to protect what in most cases was never really theirs anyway [merely bought at low cost from struggling creatives] but eventually … Unless we all become litigants [the suers and the suees?]

The book is very witty. First editions with the pengqwen logo are now selling for £300 [second editions with the dung beetle logo can be had for £20.


augmented reality

The British Museum is releasing an app aiming to bring artworks to life, which “superimposes text and graphics over objects in the viewfinder” and “even play games to interact with them”, whilst scores of London’s public art sculptures will be brought to life via Hollywood actor’s voice-overs.

Saint Jerome in His Study (Dürer)

Saint Jerome in His Study (Dürer)

All well and good to have extra info at your fingertips but will anyone be able to make up their own minds about anything in this brave new world? Perhaps relying on some facts that you have previously researched rather than easy access information at the touch of a button.

Where the critical thought? Where the investigative response? Where the contemplation? An abundance of data unfortunately may come to stand for Generation Spoonfed. One step closer to a Matrix style instant upload learning; then where is the learning? Might ‘learned’ as an adjective become a thing of the past? ‘Expert’ is already on the way out. Scholar decidedly quaint.


So the Scots go to the poles today. Their best chance at independence in getting on for 400 years, and with that whatever it may bring. Personally I don’t see any real changes happening despite all the hoo har from politicians. We will still remain nations joined by a common geography and separated from the European continent. Any changes will be at the insistence of those in power not the populace.


The first Union flag, 1606, symbolising the uniting of England and Scotland. Which became the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707

The only change I could see would be in how the nations view each other. Certainly if the United Kingdom changes its form, then there is a strong argument for a great visibility of England as an entity? A good time to have a subtle change of mindset? After all, nearly every other nation has a national day and flag etc. No need for any jingoism.

The worst suggestion I have seen recently is that the Union Flag would need to be altered [though the Irish saltire was never removed when the nature of Ireland changed]. Surely a nation/kingdoms flag can be anything you chose? Indeed The College of Arms has stated that there is no need to change the flag and the existing flag could continue to be used if desired


The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1801. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since 1922.

I’d be for keeping the current design, no matter. Nothing to do with tradition or nostalgia just plain aesthetics. The suggestion that a new UK flag [though 'UK' surely becomes meaningless?] would incorporate a representation for Wales is just awful. Nothing against Wales but the resultant flag with yellowy splodges looks more like a cake design. Certainly NOT a design classic and one of the most instantly recognisable emblems in the world.


Proposed change to flag with Wales represented but Scotland removed.

Little better than merely removing St Andrew’s cross altogether.


Still, one would hope that such changes will ignite a discussion about identity and [with Queen Elizabeth II not likely to live forever] others changes; like getting rid of the current, terrible God save the Queen Nation Anthem dirge.


public space

I find this street map [part] of Savannah. Georgia, USA in 1818 to be truly astounding. How our interpretation of ‘public’ space has changed/become eroded over the past century. Whilst the public square in every small district might seem ‘twee’ to our modern sensibilities perhaps that is what guerilla gardening is trying to put back into our lives? A sense of communal rather than municipal ownership.


Wouldn’t fly today; reminds too much of army barracks, POW and concentration camps? I have often wondered what it must be like to live in a major city based on the grid system? Comforting or confusing?


Why do peanut packets say “Warning, may contain nuts”? Duh!


there be morons

The internet has become so weird, so saturated with cats and lists and Buzzfeed quizzes that it’s difficult to know what’s serious and what’s a spoof any more.

Fascinating article on the ‘death’ of satire and the birth of the [satire] tag. Almost as if Burrough’s ‘everything is permissible’ has come to bite our ass? Language is in meltdown. The problem is, just because TRUTH has become such a problematic notion, it is now believed there is no such thing? In our long trek down from the trees with our enlarged capacity brains, we are ‘sophisticating’ ourselves out of existence.

Lots of great words/phrases in the article.
clickbait, satire-blindness, the unhelpful friction of thought,

Interesting ‘fact'; Apparently the average American attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds; in 2013, it was eight seconds. Sure to get even lower? Research shows that war vets brain chemistry actually changes due to ‘stress’ hormones; hence partly their difficulty in ‘calming down’ and re-entering ‘polite’ society. Arguably we are now all subject to/engaged daily with a similar type of hyped up-always on-no rest for the wicked environment.

Loved this article comment

Real life is the new satire.

I wonder whether I did live through the 1980s? Satire seemed to be so healthy then. Indeed one might imagine/argue that it did much to ‘control’ the excess of politicians? Now everything has deniable plausibility. Whilst coming from a good ideal, PC has been the death of real communication. Everything said/written can be viewed as ‘anti’ something/one. Free speech … pah! What a quaint notion. Where’s the $£ in that?


An interesting film that I haven’t seen before from experimental novelist B S Johnson; probably known mostly for the ‘assemble any way you like’ book in a box The Unfortunates (1969).


‘I shall be much more famous when I’m dead,” BS Johnson told his agent the day before he committed suicide in 1973.

It is certainly a shame that the technical ‘gimmicks’ he employed [cut through pages, unbound pages etc] have become his legacy. And whilst he undoubtedly was the experimental equivalent at the time, of the nouveau roman authors Duras and Robbe-Grillet across the Channel, as he once said “Where I depart from convention, it is because the convention has failed, is inadequate for conveying what I have to say.”


Soon all extant material will have been remade/imagined/rebranded including all our childhood favourites. Coming up in the next couple of months is a filmic version of Paddington.

Whilst we will all always know best and love whichever version we happened to encounter as a child, I was lucky enough to first see the original TV series from the 1970s with its extremely distinctive appearance: Paddington was a stop-motion puppet moving in a three-dimensional space in front of two-dimensional sparse black-and-white line drawing backgrounds, while all the other characters were 2D drawings. Animation was so inventive then.

I am loving this ‘horror’ take on the franchise.

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Running the entire tube network to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK and War Child

Big American Night

The Notebook of James Reeves


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