It was slim pickings at the club that night. Some new band from Camberwell called ‘The House of Love’ had played to an exceptionally poor turnout, leaving the room as hollow and depressed as when they’d arrived. Dave’s lot occupied a table at the back. The lads hadn’t bothered joining him by the stage to watch young Terry Bickers shaggy hair swishing along to his soaring neo-psychedelic riffs, because staying seated usually meant that the pussy came to you.
“Honestly mate, sometimes I dunno what’s up with your ears. That band are gonna be massive.” Dave addressed the table non-specifically. One song had cut straight to his heart, and not just because it was about a girl called Christine: the name that made him dig his nails into his palms to stop the tears from forming.
I like medical things; the smell of disinfectant, a surgical glove stretched over a cold tense hand, stainless steel speculums with their smooth finish and seductive shape, the resistance caused by application of pressure to the plunger of a fluid filled syringe… and the glide and squirt of liquid from the tip of a long, hollow needle. Of course, I don’t perform surgery with my impedimenta, I just keep it in a box under my bed and every so often I take it all out, examine it and then hide it all away again.
Your line, ‘lick and finger every other mortal with whom he comes into close proximity in this sacred space’, did you nick that from Sade? You devil you!
My only shenanigans tonight have been eating homemade chocolate brownies at a friend’s house just up the road from my own. Out-of-this-world tasty. Oh wherefore art thou self-control? I can’t stop feeling horny. I literally cannot stop…
I hadn’t heard these before. Very entertaining. I just listened to them in the kitchen with my housemates whilst we attempted to make three separate meals in one square foot of space. It lifted the atmosphere, which had been charged with frustration and exasperation from all the clambering over each other and fighting for utensils. Sometimes I wonder if it’s every British mans destiny to end up a dirty old perv, having surreptitious lonely wanks over the sprawling tits of brainless, hapless females they will never meet.
Illustration by Rachel James
You might not consciously think you know what the future holds for you personally, but I’m guessing that your unconscious mind has a better idea. It may not be so very hard to access the reality you are moving towards. The other day, as part of a very basic introduction to the Psycho-therapeutic modality of Transactional Analysis, I participated in a group exercise that partially demonstrated the idea of ‘Life Scripts’… and ol’ bigmouth here enjoyed it so much she wants to get you all on board.
I’m standing in Brighton Museum & Gallery, in my preferred spot: opposite Glyn Philpot’s portrait of Mrs Gwendolen Cleaver (1933). I try and make sense of why I love the picture so much, why I feel the need to tell my friends to spend some time with it. Gwen, the subject, wears an outfit that looks more 1980’s punk than 1930’s society. She pouts sullenly away from Glyn, the artist in whose shoes I am metaphorically standing. ‘Why so melancholy?’, I want to ask my sitter.
If I didn’t know that Glyn was gay, I’d have said they’d had a lover’s tiff. Particularly as he never finished painting the detail in her left arm – perhaps she was getting impatient in sitting for him, or she’d changed her mind about off-the-shoulder couture. The portrait was possibly a commission from Gwen’s husband, whom she’d fallen out of love with years ago and it’s pale pigment face reflects her feelings of resignation to emotional bondage.
This is tricky. How can I warm your cockles with a true story of feminism in action that deserves to be told, without jeopardizing the heroine under military law? By removing names, ranks and all of the specifics, I suppose. Actually, let’s just say this is fiction:
Someone very dear to me served an 18-60 in the RAF. One of the first non-commissioned female officers to achieve a technical, logistical rank involving responsibility for the lives of crew on fighter jet aircraft, she had a smart eye for detail. Noticing a significant gender pay-gap at this career level (which hadn’t been the case at lower ranks), she set about re-dressing the balance. And what a slog it was…
A buoyant audience gathers in the cramped basement of retro emporium cocktail bar The Black Dove. It’s Sunday evening and we’ve dragged ourselves out of our roast dinner coma’s to attend the first NEW SPACE: a low-key bi-monthly event showcasing new experimental/digital sound, visual and performance art. The night is run by audio-tech creatives Wesley Goatley and Danny Bright. Having experienced their work during Brighton Digital Festival, I know I’m in for a treat, I just can’t yet imagine the form it might take.
Just over a year ago, I was grabbed by news of Shia LaBeouf’s sky-written apology for his cinematic plagiarism of a story by graphic novelist Daniel Clowes. I began keeping an eye on his profile, noting public reaction to his subsequent acts of artistic appropriation, and the bizarre media downplay of LaBeouf’s claims that he was raped during his #IAMSORRY performance piece. More recently came the rumours about his method acting techniques for the film ‘Fury’; he joined the US National Guard, experimented with self-harm and underwent a Christian baptism. And now, in January 2015, he’s at the epicentre of a hysterical media shit-storm over Sia’s beautiful and moving Elastic Heart music video. I guess I don’t need to tell you any more about that, you’ve already seen it – 36 million You Tube hits in seven days. Hungry for more Shia, I delve into the pages of Winter’s Dazed and Confused. What delicious tidbits will Aimee Cliff reveal in her interview with this passionate and flawed controversy junkie?
Last Saturday night, selected Picturehouse cinemas offered Almodovar fans the opportunity to watch the acclaimed director in an exclusive Q&A, live via satellite, before enjoying on the big screen 1988 Spanish comedy classic Women on the Verge of A Nervous Breakdown. Tickets for the West End stage adaptation are currently on sale, but knowing the whole event was a shameless plug didn’t mar my enjoyment.
The stylised black-comedy farce follows the intertwined antics of Pepa – hot-blooded heart-broken voice-over actress, Candela – her suicidal model friend who has inadvertently become wrapped up in a terrorist plot, Marisa – the moody girlfriend of Pepa’s ex-lover’s son, and Lucia – the ex-lover’s ex-wife recently released from an epic asylum stint. Add flavours of Madrid, giant telephones, tower block residing chickens and a striking period wardrobe.
With no knowledge of pyrotechnics and a Brownie badge in first-aid, I agree to take on the role of Art director for slick monochromaniacs Dark Horses new music video ‘Saturn Returns’.
I’m a last minute stand-in and half the work of sourcing props has already been done. Which is great as the list makes for quite bizarre reading, including ‘an ostrich egg’, ‘a handful of dead poppies’ and ‘the unconscious object’. Even after handling ‘the unconscious object’, I still don’t know what it is, but stay with me and try to imagine a giant plaster cast squid-cum-cactus that may contain mystical powers.
Today a colleague mentioned her middle-aged stay-at-home-mother’s newfound passion for the scraping, drying and styling of road-kill. I was reminded of the art again as I passed ‘EatonNott’ on my way home – a boutique studio/shop specialising in the creation of intricate death-fashion for the adornment of body and living space. In 2009, the practice was featured within the pages of interior design bible Wallpaper magazine and since then, the trend has filtered into the rented homes of the disillusioned graduate generation. These days, it seems you’re more likely to find a pair of mounted rams horns positioned above a lover’s bed than a reading lamp…
A prolific online dater friend of mine sends me message:
‘I’m thinking about coming off Tinder and joining Guardian Soulmates. What do you think?’
I think she must be tired of casual sex and after a marriage proposal.
‘Why don’t you just shift your focus for a bit and wait until you meet someone in real life?’ I respond.
An hour later we’re on her sofa, picking at a giant plate of nachos and checking out the human merchandise on her laptop.
To my surprise, I find lavish Tate advertising all over the Soulmates website. This upsets me for two reasons:
One. I’m hugely uncomfortable with Tate’s BP corporate sponsorship and now I feel like my newspaper of choice is indirectly condoning it by business affiliation. I realise my hypocrisy in still being a regular Tate gallery visitor and remind myself of Jeremy Deller’s point – “This is not a novelty, art has always had connections to power, business and politics’. It’s not okay, but that’s the way it is.
Two. Not so long ago, Tate Modern was one of my favourite first date haunts. If everyone’s doing it, does that mean I have a serious lack of romantic imagination?