Monday, June 30, 2008


We've been watching the BBC's Glastonbury extravaganza, coverage notable for this snatch of screentime, during which Zane Lowe isn't the biggest idiot in shot*. I'm something of a Sofa Zealot about Glastonbury due to its ability to artificially infuse that International Sports Event Feeling (ISEF). I'm a sucker for the ISEF as of circa Italia '90; crowds, singing in unison, squelchy overflows of public emotion, the slight air of menace, the lump in the throat. The BBC's Glastonbury programming could probably do to do away with the Television Presenter School of enthusiasm and go for a bit of Nessun Dorma instead.

Nonetheless, I'm always impressed by the BBC's tireless quest for the With It, which reached its excelsis this year with programmes fronted by an assortment of Random Shits (your less-endearing Naughties incarnation of Viz's Student Grant), joined on their Habitat pouffes by a succession of blokes with interesting trousers. As with an increasing number of my encounters with popular culture lately, I got the unsettling feeling that at twenty-four, I am no longer part of their target demographic. My little brother, however (hi Andy!), is clearly front and centre.

And the music? Amy Winehouse was a they-can't really-show-this-on-telly cheap thrill, redeemed by signs of genuine wit, Lupe Fiasco gained a new fan in Joe and the Verve were more insurance advert than standing on top of a hill. The sound was bloody awful, Massive Attack were dour and Jay-Z... well, he was better than the Ting Tings.

*Disclaimer: I'm sorry Zane, that was unkind. I very much appreciate your enthusiasm for New Music and your Stoned Tigger delivery. Apols.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A little late night angst....

I'm packing up our Budapest apartment. Regular - intermittent - posting will continue tomorrow.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Sister Corita's rules...

... and my incredible susceptibility to earnestness and agnostic fervour.

Exercises in communal living

I spent last weekend at Spooky Weekend, an ersatz "creative retreat" organised by Stop Sharpening Your Knives' Sam Riviere. Hi-falutin' aside, there were enjoyably interminable themed charades, all-day fry ups in many permutations and a choice of marshmellowy beds.

Sunday was a bona fide glorious English summer day, paid for in kind by the onset of Joe and Jennifer's hayfever. Talk naturally turned to Crass' Dial House, only 75% joking, I think.


An important sentiment, elegantly expressed. Yawn...

In 2002, the Detroit Museum of New Art announced a new exhibition:

The Detroit Institute of Arts will start the next millennium with a bombshell in
the form of an exhibition entitled kaBOOM! Based on the destruction of art in this century, on vandalism as a sincere form of artistic expression, viewers will be invited to destroy actual works of art. Man Ray’s Object to be Destroyed can be crushed with an over-sized hammer, you can spray paint a green dollar sign on a Malevich painting, piss in Duchamp’s Fountain, erase a Willem de Kooning drawing, stitch up a Fontana, or slash up a Barnett Newman. Flash Art (Milan): ‘kaBOOM!’, November/December.

Here's what happened:

A museum survey examining the phenomenon of destruction in art backfired at the event’s opening when audience enthusiasm overwhelmed the exhibit. kaBOOM! began its two month run at Detroit’s Museum of New Art (MONA) last Saturday and by night’s end it was all over, literally.

They even destroyed the pedestals and wall shelves,” one museum staffer shrugged in disbelief.

Fires were set in isolated galleries and a wrecking ball for one display had been removed from its chain and used instead as a bowling ball, taking out an installation as well as the corner of one wall.

In a twisted way, it was a wild success,” MONA’s director Jef Bourgeau says the morning after, on a surprisingly bright note as he wades through the carnage and debris...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Breast stroke about architecture

I'm something of a latecomer to sporting pursuits. In fact, you might say that swimming and I met along a path of least resistance. Horrified, in my nerdish way, by the gym and too pigheaded for team sports, swimming just about passed the perspiring-with-dignity test.

Anyway, come Autumn - if all goes to plan - I'll hang up my towel at the Bernard Matthews Olympic pool (yes, really) here in Norwich, and instead I'll be doing laps in this Bauhausish wonder:

This is the Alfréd Hajós Sports Pool, on Margaret Island, Budapest, named for the Olympic Gold medalist swimmer and architect who built it. The moonlighting Hajós was the first modern Olympic champion, back when the Games were strictly amateurs-only. His day job was architecture, he built sports grounds in Szeged, Pápa and Miskolc, as well as the chi chi Andrassy Hotel in Budapest.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Package Tourist

On the day that the first Helmut-bashing story of the summer made its way into the tabloid press (cheers, the Sun), I took an impromptu awayday to Great Yarmouth.

There's more point n' shoot Great Yarmouth here. Results from my lubed-up manual SLR are forthcoming.