Tuesday, March 31, 2020

It's going to be alright

Yesterday's fractional rainbow, seen over the River Forth, round about tea time.

Legend has it that Noah invented the rainbow after the ark collided with a party of unicorns on spring break near the summit of Mount Everest. The rainbow was a supernatural sign of that always difficult to thrash out covenant agreed between men, angels and mythical beasts that never again would the world be destroyed by factional arguments, Twitter posts and excessive bouts of mindless shopping. And so it was and men and women walked the earth, generally living in peace apart from a number of unspeakable acts being committed by maniacs that we must never speak of and various plagues that came and went. 

All that has led us to the present day where we live our tiny lives (almost) alone and dream at night of social interaction, sitting in cafes and walking the streets without feeling guilty as if you were some sort of sex pest or something. The fleeting pleasures of these lost subconscious moments are all that's left to us. Our ancient past calls to us across the void as in the lyrics of some 60s acid-rock song and we respond like sleeping nymphs waking up in the land of flowing Ambrosia but ultimately finding ourselves eating furry strawberries from a dustbin.

This is progress and will one day be seen as the start of some bizarre dystopian or anti-utopian age that will be short lived but act as the inspiration for memes and comic skits for years to come, or so I hope. Fortunes will be made and lost and swimming pools will overflow with Champagne as we learn hard lessons and then actually overthrow our religious and ideological oppressors.  In other words I'm looking forward to this being over and done with.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Drone footage placement

From drone footage of the actual garden installation after the bulk of the work had been completed.
Lockdown lowdown: Things have gotten so bad I've been painting garden furniture and then standing back to attempt a balanced but still realistic critical appraisal of the work and how in has now placed itself in the forefront of contemporary Scottish Outside Urban Art. This is just my humble opinion of course but it has lifted my mood so I feel justified. I do like to shake up the world of art now and again. My recent "Buckets of imaginary fire" period being a good example.

I was considering giving this piece and the new genre it sits within proper French names so as to up the gravitas but frankly I didn't know how to do that because not only is my French limited so is my artistic vocabulary. I'm pretty stunted as a human being despite being average height. I was crushed early in life when I realised I could not make a proper or respectable living from the one major skill I had honed to perfection: being ambidextrous.

Tomorrow I'm doing another outside  action piece entitled "Tribute to Jackson Pollock at a domestic car washing event". It may involve improvised dance moves as I intend to stretch some physical boundaries with the shampoo bottle. You would be welcome to attend but I fear social distancing might involve actual distancing measures and a compromised experience. Thank you. Donations are welcome via PayPal.

Digital Disclaimer.

Somewhere, sometime, out there along life's rich and golden path I just swerved by the milestone that measures up and registers 4000 blog posts. Of course I wasn't aware of this. All that verbal nonsense and bodged photography has passed by at speed like some forlorn, blinking and incoherent motorway warning sign. I simply wasn't paying attention and neither was anybody else - but that hardly matters. 

Perhaps there was no actual milestone, just some feeble little counter clicking over quietly in a dark corner, far outside of my peripheral vision and grasp. Obviously in awareness of these things: measures and managing, I remain a careless and untrustworthy driver. Passengers and others take note: enter and travel at your own foolish risk, don't expect direction or a sensible commentary. I am clearly headed for the searing judgement of a populist inspired hell (and stopping and feasting via all it's attractions on the way) in some kind of out of control and primitive handcart. At least I'm enjoying the ride*.

*Another regular, less masked than usual Grateful Dead reference. Funny how these feelings come and go.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Please use other box

Every time I read this notice I read "Please use the other box". I can't quite understand why the person who made the sign missed out the THE. And how long before the slowing emerging water stain obliterates the message? That sounds rather profound, maybe even prophetic. 

Other than that it's a kind of "clocks have changed, not all are feeling 100%, conflicted about going out, sunny but chilly, getting fed up with all this, can't really trust much in the news these days" kind of a day. However all things must pass, I remain confident in this.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Excessive Screen Time Sickness

My brave, new syndrome is really just an old chestnut of ongoing and disturbing human behaviour, "square eyes" as your father may have called them when you were secretly oggling Jenny Hanley on ITV's Magpie during children's hour. Now it's morphed into the serial distortion of my home page's Duck Duck Go screen in the customary triple pack of cheap graphics. DDG is a fairly reliable and advertisement free browsing enterprise I'd recommend to one and all unless you're keen to die on the hill that is Google. In the end the fear of Corona Virus may well consume us all but we can still thwart the nasty biological and targeted algorithms as we go down in a plume of blue electrical smoke. Even in the deepening crisis, freedom from unwanted and strangely targeted ads is now our only clear goal. This is of course the obvious result of a little too much screen time and too little actual creative thought whilst safe at home.

Friday, March 27, 2020

100 Steps to Wellness

Here they are. Try to use them everyday, let using them speed up your metabolism, break sweat, lubricate joints and so keep yourself well in these troubled times.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Cats on Acid

Self explanatory really, the clue is in the title. Things cat's get up to when you're not around...and cat's don't give a fuck.

Strudel Challenge

I already know that this isn't going to work out well, or at the very least be "correct". Strudel made with a mash up of ingredients which in effect might disqualify it from being described as strudel by anybody who knows about these things. This is the uncooked "strudel" about to be fired up at gas mark mystery in the often unpredictable oven.

After one beer and half a bottle of wine this is how it emerged from the oven. I was reasonably pleased with the outcome albeit the cooking seemed a tad uneven. For some reason I expected it to swell up like some mutant football and possibly explode. That didn't happen.

Serving Suggestion: Cleaned up and in a dish. Turns out it was OK served hot with cream and custard, the pastry was a bit chewy in places, pears and fruit are a little bland but I'd give it a 6/10. As it 's quite large we only ate about a third before watching an episode of Sex Education lazily on the couch. I just ate a microwaved piece for breakfast this morning. It may be with us for a while in some form or other.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Goggles View

London, March 24th 2020. Viewed through night vision Corona Goggles the British Army takes to the deserted streets ready for some proper Zombie action. 
Ladies and gentlemen, it's even worse than it appears, after four or maybe five days of reasonable amounts of sunshine there's rain forecast for today, sometime. Just as I was about to mix up the cement and do a spot of world class cementing atop a fairly safe ladder following up a mental list* of house repairs I've cobbled together from unreliable research based on a dream I once had. Nothing too risky in these troubled times just stuffing cement into holes to keep out unwelcome water, evil spirits and even more unwelcome viruses.

P.S. The rain song (in the form of a secret and esoteric anti-rain tribal chant from Columbia) worked and the rain stayed away, the sun even appeared for our al fresco lunchtime soup.

*That vague but irritating list of jobs that are not critical but that you tend to encounter (always at a bad time) by chance when stopping and staring or brushing your teeth, on the loo, sitting on the couch and spotting something amiss, stepping on a loose slab, a creaky floorboard, a noisy hinge or a dodgy switch, a rotating cold water tap. They are out there, like the truth, waiting to be ignored or avoided.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

3 x Zuzana Čaputová

3 x Zuzana Čaputová   - President of Slovakia. Here she's seen out and about sporting a rather stylish face mask and outfit combo. Now simply point to Slovakia on any handy coffee table map or atlas that might be close by...

P.S I'm not saying that Slovakia isn't a significant country or that there's anything negative or strange about it, I just lack any kind of mental picture/clarity as to where it might be in the wider areas of Europe. Doh! (Victim of patchy Scottish Education system diluted and ruined by our colonial overlords down South).

How we feel

When you're in an audience of one.

"Well, I'm up in T.O. keepin' jive alive
And out on the corner, it's half past five

But the subways are empty

And so are the cafes

Except for the Farmer's Market

And I still can hear him say

You're all just pissin' in the wind

You don't know it but you are

And there ain't nothin' like a friend

Who can tell you, you're just pissin' in the wind".

For no particular reason but repeated here: part of the lyric of "Ambulance Blues" from Neil Young's 1974 album, On the Beach.

I recall being disappointed by this record at the time of it's release, not enough clever, catchy songs or angry guitar work. Too subdued and almost painfully wistful and political, but I always liked this lyrical segment though I wasn't sure why. Farmers Markets were not a thing in Scotland, we just had the Co-op, pissin' into the wind however was fairly common.

At that time I was clearly unable to understand or appreciate that my heroes might, now and then go and produce something more nuanced or jarring just for the hell of it. I didn't realise that the career trajectory of musicians couldn't be forever rising upwards in terms of pleasing me and appealing to my "judgement". Now I know that there's a longer game going on, it's called life. There's no real need to hurry and it's better to say what you have to say in your own way than trying to please an audience or worse trying to pander to the critical acclaim of the media. Having said that you might also want to earn a living, only a few can make that call. As for pissin' in the wind? No change.

I used to look at this cover and think "those dumb boots just don't look right there". They could hardly look right on the left of the frame.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Corona & Coffee

Today is a "venture out to the supermarket, shop sensibly and eat even more sensibly kind of day" (hence the lunch time beer). Suddenly fresh peppers, salad, beetroot, turnip, carrot, potato, parsnip, strawberries, blueberries, banana, apple and avocado are back on the menu. It's almost like we're being sensible, living a new and colourful life under the shadow of the axe (oops, too colourful wording there). Also slowing the pace, easing the metabolism, thinking straight as opposed to crooked thoughts, wiping and washing, keeping a safe distance and humouring overly sociable cats. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Home thoughts from...

... a broad if fairly distorted view of the world. In a catering experiment I dug out the ancient coffee machine, truly a device of no fixed abode or clear purpose. I had stylized and unrealistic memories of using it before the present "C" era, probably about 18 years ago. It was of course full of gunk and needed de-coked like some old engine. It could be that back in the day I was ahead of the curve with this appliance, now it seems like a curious antique. It did work eventually after I figured out how to use it and get it heated up. The coffee was small in quantity but reasonable in quality. The time taken was of course excessive but in these troubled days what's the actual hurry anyway? Strangely the photo I took of the coffee pot appears almost filtered to look like a painting, it's not actually.

Over the week the cats have suffered timely health checks and minor surgeries at the local vets. In an unplanned sequence of events we managed to get various health issues and minor procedures done before the actual lock down descends and who knows what happens, so at least they are OK if slightly baffled by our nervous comings and goings.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Shades of a blue desolation

"The lone seagull, marooned in a man's place, that fragile kingdom, sometime wild, now sanitised and quiet.  Once they gathered together and served human food here. Cooked and coloured. Upright and sitting down, indulging in conversation. Trays of drinks and chatter. Human behavior observed. Sociable and restrained. There were crumbs and tasty tit-bits but he never was a crowd pleaser, that damned Mr Seagull. Makes people angry, gets in the way of the scone traffic. Disturbing the peace. Flapping in a shallow sky, wings frighten the kids. Batted at with folded up copies of the Daily Mail or the Sun. At least that stopped the hungry hordes from reading the inky poison for few minutes. 

Shits on the saucer. Afternoon tea and tribulation. Now they've all gone, maybe it's the season's end, maybe it's the world's end, we don't tell time around here anymore. No need. We just enjoy the vacant space you left, you left this space to isolate, so you say, minus the food and I return to wilder ways."

"Rats look up at the empty selves. Plastic boxes, stripped clean, cores and skins, even the rotting exhibit's remains were removed. There was a feeding frenzy. There was a blind panic nobody saw coming. No sense applied, no rational thought, just the herd hearing about the herd's benefits and a promise of immunity in the safety of the herd, just as long as they didn't behave like a herd. You cant trust a human. They foam at the mouth.

You have to read the signs. Turns out the rats had common sense, played a long game, waiting the allotted 28 days, went hungry, gnawed on insulation, chewed the rubber, until it all paid off. Just wait in the darkness, nothing lasts forever. There was a feast, there was flesh, there was protein and nourishment, the attraction of the fresh aroma of death."

Three Stages

Stage 1.
Stage 2.

Stage 3.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The Abstract Bicycle Thieves

As cabin fever strikes and cutting the grass seems like an exciting activity yesterday's illicit bicycle ride fades into some deeper memory like a rounded and smooth granite pebble sinking down through the green and orange lily pads into the dark depths of a eerie pond in a Japanese garden somewhere out there on the windblown edges of the world hardly making a ripple as it plops into the beyond. Hmm.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Bike ride

In clear contravention of whatever orders are being issued by our lords and masters I ventured out for a bicycle ride today, I used a private machine and not the reasonably priced but ugly Just Eat cyber-bikes lying unused across the road. Along the way I encountered a few more furtive, fellow human beings, all trying to act normally in the spring sunshine without looking guilty for being out in the fresh air. There is disease, there is despair and stupid things are happening but there is also hope and some reasonable and enjoyable weather, for the time of year anyway.

My shadow and the bike's, when the sun shines on us we're a highly distorted and damaged pair it seems.


Good news: Whatever else is cancelled Spring isn't, and it's happening right here, around about now, just outside the window. If only we felt free enough to go out and enjoy it.😈

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Wet meat diaries

We've been hearing a lot about wet meat markets, the potential source of the Coca-Cola virus and various other easily transmitted diseases, some sexual - others not so. I've added in here some artist's impressions of just such a place: wet with wet meat, fish, turtles, frogs, shark fins, blood and ultimately people who no doubt are mostly trying hard to avoid the toxic splashes and just get home with something for the tea. 

The food/produce is incredibly fresh mainly because it's either a) still alive, b) very recently dead c) somewhere in between as a result of an ancient curse. I guess these variable food standards might be the root of the problem. Blood, guts, ice, animal droppings all being mixed up, breathed in, rubbed off and generally absorbed as folks go about their business, buying and selling in order to survive. 

There's probably a distinct set of odours, noises and colours in the market; we're mostly denied this experience in the west, here it's always wreathed in unending, undying plastics and shown as an unrealistic serving suggestion rather than a natural exhibit. If you ignore the generation of a full blown pandemic illness and the sense of laconic chaos it's not clear who has the worse system. As we know any recent visit to a UK supermarket removes the surgical mask of a tolerant civilization and reveals the once bright and chirpy visage has slipped as we enter the riotous hell of crazy shoppers seeking out hand-gel and cheap flu fixing drugs at some exorbitant  physical cost. So don't mention any of that Blitz Spirit shit or "Bulldog" tenacity, whatever that might pretend to be.

Down by the sacks of easily grilled squid and stuffed catfish an actual cat snoozes in a plastic shopping bag, fairly common in our house so who are we to judge?

A posse of grave diggers are always on call for various operational reasons. I'm guessing that when not digging residences for the recently dead they either solve (or commit) noir type crimes of passion or practice three part harmonies of show tune favourites.
Of course there's always some joker or exhibitionist who takes the whole "wet meat" thing just a little too far.

Our more dextrous members

Just Eat a bike: For those blessed with a naturally healthy level of fitness you can now maintain it for a small fee. These mobile exercise cycles hand crafted in China from discarded European rubbish are currently scattered all across the pavements of Edinburgh and wired up to a great electronic brain. Most of the bike stations are located near to the bottom of a hill, this encourages a nice, juicy workout for a sum as small as £1.50 per hour, the price of a deal of the day cheeseburger or a king size Mars Bar. Hardly unreasonable but just remember that physics has never managed to explain how people can cycle, balancing on two thin wheels makes no sense. You might just injure yourself.

Urban cycling in the fresh east coast air is also an antidote against non-flying viruses, angry wasp stings, poor self image, folks shouting abuse and penile anxiety. All you have to do is download a simple app and then purchase the correct sports clothing from Mountain Warehouse or Sports Direct and then strike the proper fit person poses and upload the images. Also wear a helmet because you don't want to look dafter than the actual bike. So use the app, order a pizza or kebab and scoff your way on to having the body of a young Greek God working in a fast food kitchen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Inside the vault of toilet rolls

Welcome to the secret world of a failed hoarder: There was a time when I had faith, trust even, in our local branch of Tesco. True it was always a badly laid out supermarket and, in the classic capitalistic way, actually offered too much product choice for it's actual internal store volume but I remained loyal, partly due to brain dead loyalty and partly due to convenience. Even when it semi-closed the deli bit and opened a Yo-Sushi counter, though I was confused I went along with the deception and slight betrayal (this is not an actual middle class, sushi burning area). Now I find than all it takes is the slightest world-wide pandemic of a deadly and incurable virus and they blatantly destroy any customer confidence by negligently running out of toilet rolls, cat litter and something else, the name of which escapes me at the moment. It probably wasn't sushi as I imagine the supply lines of raw fish movements between here and Japan are running pretty smoothly at the moment, what with lack of actual passengers and all that.

I had no option other than to go to bed and sleep quite soundly despite being in the company of an injured and highly drugged up cat prone to eccentric night time behavior. I woke up refreshed, free from infection and cat scratches and headed back to the bosom of civilization that might be Fife. Asda to be precise in the leafy but slightly radioactive suburb of Dalgety Bay. There I shopped and bought everything I required without guilt or intimidation and at reasonable, panic level prices. The locals were civil, jovial and generous, dogs refused to scowl or urinate on bollards, even  their shiny and undented cars were properly parked between neat white lines, indeed the music of Bob Dylan (60s version) was playing across the store as if to signify some peaceful and sensible regime had taken control of the entire retail environment. An immersive  Stepford Wives kind of shopping experience you might say. I felt smug as I drove home, as if I'd just awoken from a pleasant dream where crazy and unreasonable people were barred from shops and public spaces. I expect that the government will announce just such a measure this afternoon at their next propaganda rally, all being well.

Monday, March 16, 2020

The wild blankets

Electric loathing in the Theatre of Corona Virus (oil on canvas).
Day 1 in actual awareness of actual human frailty v Corona Virus: Firstly I haven't got it and I don't know anybody who has it. I know roughly what a metre from another person looks like and I'm conflicted about being out and about in public spaces, small shops and cafes etc. because I don't want loads of small business to fail. However if Virgin fails I'll be sorry for the staff but not sorry for the people who are looking for a £7Bn bailout just because their shit has hit the fan. Also with regard to idiots hoarding pasta and toilet roll, please grow up and understand that you are no longer in primary school with a desk full of bits of chalk, pencils and sticky paper. Finally can I just say a few words about "wild blankets" a) I don't know what it means but b) it provokes interesting mental images. Thank you.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

A better tomorrow

As any white horse trapped temporarily in an overgrown but artistic looking tenement block will tell you, things will be getting better soon. There is gloom and fear and there are futile endeavors and $5 prayers, all being sprayed around by an errant media and a less the competent government but I know, as sure as there is a flying spaghetti monster we will survive in some form or another on this rather large pebble we also call a planet.  

Finally: Three words of encouragement to those in homes where the supply of toilet paper is low and panic is about to ensue - use a flannel. (A flannel can be rinsed and washed and reused numerous times).

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Beginner's Guide to Social Distancing

Just crouch down a little and nobody will ever notice.

I, like many other people, have been successfully carrying out my own evolved form of social distancing for many years. I learned this because I quickly deduced that "hell is other people" without having to read any books, go to uni or watch old documentaries. Of course this is common knowledge, except that is for that chunk of "other people" who don't realise that they are in fact hellish people. This can be put down to a certain lack of self awareness and personality blindness, probably not their fault. I blame society and the breakdown of family life, oh and the drugs in the water supply and the government and any organised religion that gets in the way.

It's also true to say that to a sizable group of people, I myself am in the category of "hellish other people" and I fully respect and understand that. It could be no other way. You have to be able to take a 360 degree view of your life and deal with it without falling from the edge despite the fact that your head is spinning with the sight of a harsher reality passing you by. 

The next few months may not present too many problems as I wither away on the edges of society. This is simply because I chose to wither away on the edges of society a long time ago so the scene is familiar. The outlook from there is not as bleak as you might think. By next year at this time it'll all be a (bad?) memory, like the three day week or whatever financial crisis last took place. However by then my cryptic self help book might be raking in millions...

Beer Goggles

What doesn't kill you makes you strong.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Return of the Macaroni Pie

Stylish locals brave a blizzard of bacteria and air borne nasties.
I'm surprised that neither POTUS or UKPM have mentioned the potential role of the humble macaroni pie in thumping the dreaded unmentionable virus. In my non-scientific opinion this overlooked snack contains many if not all of the necessary anti-bodies and types of pasta necessary to shoot down in flames troublesome viruses and also render the pie consumers safe from further infection. Notable side effects are however a certain amount of dehydration and the chances of addiction and weight gain. All that salty pastry, cheesy pasta and chewy dough can get to a person so beware of these these downsides. Warnings could of course be issued and gatherings of 500 people or more eating macaroni pies should be discouraged. Stay at least 39 inches apart at all times. Pie production also needs to be upscaled and prices dropped, ice cream vans should be taken up from trade and mobilised with pies and equipment so they can vend and provide emotional support  around housing schemes. 

A word of warning: never eat a cold one as this can lead to complications for those with underlying problems in the palate or prostrate (men and trans-women only), always serve after exposure to heat i.e. being in an oven or in an emergency situation any nearby microwave. Also note that M pies can cause sudden changes to the metabolic rate, namely a slowdown so this needs to be factored into consumption numbers to avoid longer term health issues and problems in the domestic sewage system.

Added brown sauce has been known to double the pie's effective healing power, particularly the Aldi (Bramwell) kind. Another alternative is of course the heavy and regular use of cocaine along with pie dosage. Currently this method is under testing at the White House (Methil and Washington branches), 10 Downing Street and Bute House, Edinburgh. Stay safe. Please note: all of the above information is fairly unreliable and not to be acted upon.

Spot of hoovering

Chairs, hoovers and heaters gather together at a domestic rally (oil on canvas).
Turns out there's all sorts of bugs and viruses running amok at the moment. Presumably due to the lack of a decent winter, global warming, original sin and piss poor hygiene. The government says that cleanliness and loneliness are reasonably close to godliness so I'm giving it a crack. A sure fire way to avoid fashionable infections is to douse your home in soapy products and have a damn good hoovering session where you break sweat. I've just finished mine and collected enough fluff to knit a decent sized cat and found numerous packs of noodles and pan-drops I'd long since given up as lost. Unfortunately I was unable to find any money due to our cashless society and the fact I've not got much money anyway (till that Amazon CD is sold anyway) so I remain coin light as they say. Surprisingly no odd socks were recovered either so that remains an ongoing National Geographic kind of weird mystery. This reality shattering realisation meant  that the whole wretched enterprise ended on a slightly downbeat note. That's jazz for you. 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Vampire Lego

Mint condition, one careful owner. Garlic phials made require refreshment.

Now that I'm eating less red meat I think I'm not so inclined to take up the hobby/lifestyle of Vampirism. It's just the way things have turned out, I'd be an unenthusiastic vampire, the gore is too much and the clothes are a bit iffy. 

Perhaps the other factor in influencing my thinking (nail in the coffin?) was coming across this Vampire Hunter's tool kit on eBay (as above), it looks a bit OTT really and is not my type of thing (if I were to go over to being the actual hunter rather than become a regular vampire). Of course whatever odd items I've been searching eBay for in the past must have led to it coming up as a potential buy for me.

There are no secrets on the web these days and you've got to just shrug your shoulders in a philosophical manner and accept that the universe we are active in has become as joined up as a reasonably well completed Lego set (ages 5 -8). I do believe that other less observant and interactive universes are available and I'll be exploring them shortly.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

A fire breaks out in your favourite maze

The self styled "Servant of Jesus" declared today a special holiday for those in the inner sanctum and so a mystic potion was administered to clear their thoughts to prepare them for the trials in the days ahead. Each one supped from a plain earthenware cup, passed from hand to hand with due ceremony. As one they moved across the great space of gathering without question. "Neither look to the right or to the left as you travel", said an unfamiliar voice that seemed to come from no clearly definable source. No one spoke and they carried on, following the glow of the guiding beam.

Light, then dark and then a chill blue breeze greeted them, then a softer and paler light shone down from above like a cold morning's first frosty dawn. It became clear to them that once they'd stepped across and into the holy portal there would be no easy route for their return. Some were visibly upset but there was an effort made to maintain calm and carry on forwards. Now they were cutting all ties with the past, be they happy ones or unhappy ones. Nothing else mattered. Though no one spoke the message received had been one of not ever looking back, so they didn't.

The world they had known was gone, their new location became unrecognizable, many were gripped with fear and a sense of not belonging. They were moving in spaces that none had moved into before and their feelings slowly began to get the better of them. The once curious, questioning and cheery faces slowly turned to grim, troubled and bronzed visages. Jaws cast open in a metallic expression of frozen panic. Though they hadn't noticed it yet, their bare feet were already cut and bleeding.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Add to Basket

I came across this on Amazon the other day. It's not reflective of our normal pricing policy I have to say but if it's a free market and if capitalism is simply sorting things out into it's correct version of economic levels then fair enough. As a leveler you can still download tracks from Amazon for a mere 89p (free elsewhere of course) or stump up and purchase this (used?) magnificent plastic object for £1557.80*. So if you're a CD collector and have a significantly high amount of disposable income don't hold back. Thank you.

*New also available at £1562.38, no idea why either.

Corona World

The five stages of mask application and safety clearly illustrated.

I've noticed that I read and write a little more than usual in brave new Corona World, or is it an age thing or the time of year? Am I simply fixated by the mask instructions or the hope and expectation of more tragic but bleakly funny gaffes by Trump or Johnson as the nuance, complexity and scale of a worldwide pandemic passes by under their dim but beady little eyes? I don't know and I don't think I care. Every silver lining has a cloud. Another seven days of house arrest might result in a smaller waistline and scratched up new novel.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Face Mask Instructions

In a post Corona world the searingly white clinical face mask is now normal apparel. Crude possibly and arguably ineffective it still represents a primary barrier and a psychological crutch for those who choose to wear one. The visual instructions (neatly distorted here for artistic reasons) seem to hail from rougher, more stylized times where comic strip Bruce Lee lookalikes were all the rage and were widely accepted. Mildly racist and mildly disturbing they are a throwback reminder that artwork like this (the IKEA man included) may mean well but will still be misunderstood. The other problem is of course that nobody ever reads the instructions or actually looks at the pictures anyway which is pretty much why we are where we are today.

The comic strip origins are strong in this one. The ghosts of Robert Crumb and various Manga styles are shining through the drippy chaos. If nothing else these products allow us to see where we've come from, the future remains a muddle of course.
The narrative, shown more clearly in the numbers, gives this the look of a narcotic user's set of instructions. It all ends well strangely enough.
Also, if you're self isolating this advice may help: