Wednesday, 13 August 2014

SELFISH PRICKS

I daresay it would be possible to make regular updates - even daily ones - to a blog consisting purely of anecdotes about the rudeness and inconsiderate behaviour of strangers in public places. After all, I observe at least one incident that could form the basis of a short piece almost every time I make the weekday commute back and forth to the office.

Every now and then I see some new completely new form of selfishness or low-level aggression. But most incidents are just reworkings of the same old nonsense. Consider, for example, the announcements made at stations reminding us all to stand aside from the carriage doors when a train first arrives at the platform, thereby enabling alighting passengers to get off before we try to get on. Perhaps, like me, you briefly think yes, I know, fer Chrissakes every time you hear this instruction. But almost every time this thought begins to form, I am immediately reminded of why such announcements remain necessary. Because almost without fail, some PRICK insists on trying to barge onto the train without allowing those disembarking to step down first.

So then you get on the train and you sit down. What's next? Oh, yes. The guy sitting next to you (often no bigger, taller or wider than you are) insists on waging a silent war on your personal space, gradually widening the gap between his thighs, as if to accommodate unfeasibly large testicles. But you can feel sure that his ballsack is no larger than yours (if you have one). He doesn't have some localised elephantiasis of the scrotum. He doesn't have an unmanageably swollen prong. He's not the victim of his own red-hot masculine physicality.  He is just a FUCKING ARSEHOLE, massaging the pain of having to live with his own toxic "personality" by engaging in a spot of physical intimidation. Just for a few minutes, it feels like he hates himself just a little less than usual. Hardly anyone ever raises a word of objection to these guys. It crosses your mind but you think better of it. Well, apart from the couple of times it got particularly silly... 

Anyway, that stuff happens on a daily basis. Writing about it would rapidly become wearyingly repetitive.

But I do have to say something about the amazing scenes I witnesses in the departure lounge close to one of the gates at Palermo airport recently. I wish I'd taken pictures. But words will have to suffice.

So this seating area was probably just about adequate for the size of aircraft for which we were all waiting - i.e. as many seats in the lounge as there were on the 'plane. But was I able to sit down for the thirty minutes or so that I had to spend in that place? Was I fuck! Why? Because of the amazing number of PRICKS who thought it was just fine to sprawl across two, three or even four seats. Yeah, they think. I need one seat for my arse, one for my legs, another for my feet and another one for my hand luggage. I stood opposite one of these tools and looked him RIGHT IN THE EYE. I looked along the seats he was occupying. He saw me doing it. Reaction? Glazed eyes and visibly pretending not to notice I was there.

Right at that moment, another Englishman began remonstrating with one of the seat-hoggers. It all got a bit heated. So, naturally enough, my wife BEGGED me not to become involved in a similar scene. So I didn't.

WHO ARE THESE FUCKING PEOPLE? WHY DO THEY THINK THAT STUFF IS OK?

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

NOT UTTERLY BRILLIANT

So last night I leave the gym and glance into the window of this little art gallery shop that's right there in the same little shopping precinct. I have NEVER seen a picture I actively liked in that window. NEVER. It all looks like stuff that people would buy to match their sofa or whatever. BEIGE, right? Some of it I actually hate. Some of it is just meh. Anyway, my eye rests on the name of the person who's done some sunflowery number number priced at over three grand. Immediate double-take. Timmy Mallett? THE Timmy Mallett??

Anyhow, a Twitter acquaintance of mine not only confirms that the artist is THE Timmy Mallett (how could there be more than one?) but also regales me with the following:

mate of mine paid £2,500 for one of his paintings. Best day of my life when he told me. He's still not lived it down.
Fast forward to this morning. Timmy himself has clearly been searching Twitter for mentions of himself. How else could he have found and then favo(u)rited my original double-take? It feels strange to have briefly been noticed (albeit only in my anonymous virtual incarnation) by someone I found cringe-makingly irritating back when we kids had very little to choose from on TV (man, I really could have used the Regular Show, Amazing World of Gumball, Ben 10 etc. back then).


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

BENCH

on Monday, a full update of stu bags antics was promised. only half of it was delivered then. so here's the other half. it concerns stu's long held interest in the bench adjacent to his Camden canvas (that sometime white rectangle). this is my england can only begin to imagine stu's horror when the bench, some time this spring, was rendered useless (all back and no seat):


stu was pleased, therefore, when the dear old bench was replaced by a new one:



that said, he was concerned to notice that the little plaque (dedicating the bench to the late Frederick Pearce) was absent from the new piece of street furniture. so stu took it upon himself to do something about this outrage. not sure if his effort is still in place. but at least he had a go. you'd hope that the Pearce family would be pleased:



(one thing we learn from this: when you dedicate a bench to some departed loved one: it may not last forever)

Monday, 7 July 2014

BELATED NEWS OF OLD FRIEND

FOR BLOODY AGES, ONE OF THIS BLOG'S BEST FRIENDS HAS BEEN CAMDEN-BASED SCOTTISH STREET-ART SCOUNDREL STU BAGS. this is my england HAS BEEN REPORTING ON STU'S ANTICS FOR OVER 3 RUDDY YEARS, FER CHRISSAKES ALREADY. BUT FOR THE LAST YEAR OR SO, GETTING DOWN TO STU'S NECK OF THE WOODS HAS BEEN MUCH HARDER THAN IT USED TO BE. SO THE this is my england DSLR AND CAMERAPHONE BOTH FAIL TO KEEP UP TO DATE ON DEVELOPMENTS AT STU'S FAMOUS (FORMERLY) WHITE RECTANGLE (FIRST OBSERVED IN APRIL 2011). this is my england, THEN, IS NOW INDEBTED TO STU FOR TWEETING THE ODD UPDATE. BELATEDLY, LET'S SHARE THESE, STARTING TONIGHT.

SOOOO.....

IN LATE MAY THIS YEAR, STU PUT A SELF-PORTRAIT THERE:



THEN HE ADDED HIS BODY:



MORE STU NEWS TO FOLLOW...

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

CHARITY

[People] find themselves surrounded by hideous poverty, by hideous ugliness, by hideous starvation. It is inevitable that they should be strongly moved by all this... Accordingly, with admirable, though misdirected intentions, they very seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see. But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease. They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor. But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim... The worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system being realised by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it... Charity degrades and demoralises... It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property.

Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

RACISM, SEXISM & CAPITALISM

"The answer to the question "Why do American liberals carry on about racism and sexism when they should be carrying on about capitalism?" is pretty obvious: they carry on about racism and sexism in order to avoid doing so about capitalism. Either because they genuinely do think that inequality is fine as long as it is not a function of discrimination (in which case they are neoliberals of the right). Or because they think that fighting against racial and sexual inequality is at least a step in the right direction of real equality (in which case, they are neoliberals of the left). Given these options, perhaps neoliberals of the right are in a stronger position - the economic history of the last thirty years suggests that diversified elites do even better than undiversified ones."

Walter Benn Michaels, 2008