Sunday, 6 May 2012


Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to shape it. 
Vladimir Mayakovsky

In order to keep track, I’ve made a table:
Things which art is
Things which art is not
A hammer
A mirror

It’s lovely, isn’t it? If, however, we want to explain what art is without a metaphor, then we might have to come up with a slightly more detailed definition.
If you ask the man on the Clapham omnibus “What is art?” He’ll say to you “Fuck off, you posh twat!” I know. I’ve spoken to people on buses. They are not poetic souls. If you were somehow able to distract them from staring fixedly and aggressively out of the window, and then somehow able to persuade them to answer the question, then they might say something along the lines of “Well, you know, it’s pictures and stuff, isn’t it?” If you were to take your life in your hands and press them to amplify their answer they may concede that art also encompassed songs and films and books and that.
This is, however, obviously, nowhere near enough. A map quickly sketched on the back of a napkin is not art and yet it falls within the description of “pictures and stuff”; likewise a half-hearted, tuneless, group recital of “Happy Birthday” is clearly a song, nevertheless, one wouldn’t think of it as art. A song is not art merely because it is music and a picture is not art merely because it is a graphic depiction of something.
An object does not become art by simply belonging to a particular category of things. In most instances this is all very obvious. It’s the kind of thing that everyone knows. It is even accepted by the twats who write angry letters to right-wing broadsheets; furious missives saying that Tracey Emin ought to be publicly birched for the crime of exhibiting an artwork that the letter writer was too dim to appreciate.
So we know that some things, like the Mona Lisa, are art, and we know that other things, like the sign that says “All shoplifters will be prosecuted,” are not art. The tricky question concerns the intermediate objects . I shall list three, and, instinctively, you’ll be able to work out which are art and which are not – if you fail then you’re quite the Shallow Margaret and you really ought to go and carve the words “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” into your forearm. Shall we proceed? Magnificent.
1.       A bowl of ice cream
2.       The song “Roxanne” by the group The Police
3.       A poster with the words “Take Me To Your Dealer” written beneath a stylised depiction of a cannabis leaf
Well, here’s the thing. You’re probably convinced from your socks to your soul that a bowl of ice cream is not art. You have my fawning congratulations, it is, indeed, not. It is pleasant and nice and delicious and cold and sweet and riddled with cookie dough, but none of these admirable qualities confer upon it the status of art. The pleasure we receive from it is reactive rather than reflective, animal rather than human. It is good because it feels nice. No more, no less than that. If someone says that ice cream is bad you cannot argue with them, they simply reacted to it an unusual way. In the same way that if someone is allergic to cat hair you can’t argue them out of their allergy. This is why it is not art. Its qualities are not the subject of discussion.
How about the poster? It is unlikely that someone would call it art and yet it satisfies all of the form requirements. It is a picture that we put on our walls, it is about something rather than actually being something. What is there that distinguishes it from Hogarth and Hockney? Perhaps it is the purpose. It is not there with an artistic motive. It is there to say “I am crazily iconoclastic, and to prove it I am going to plaster my walls with a poster that says I am dismissive of this country’s drug laws – I’m like the Che Guevara of my provincial university!” But there’s plenty of art which did not have an artistic motivation. Toulouse Lautrec is the most obvious example, but a couple of years ago there was an exhibition of Soviet propaganda at the Tate Modern and that was undeniably art without ever having had an artistic motivation. There is a simple reason why the poster isn’t art. No one wants it to be. The badge of art is a status conferred upon an object not a whole lot different from the status of Lord or Sir or Duke. Someone who gets a knighthood has a particular status conferred upon him but physically he is no different before he had the chit chat / sword dabbing with the Queen; we all recognise his new status and so it is achieved. No one recognises the poster’s artistic validity so it is not achieved.
As to the song “Roxanne” by the group The Police*, one might ask the following question “Why do people like this song?” And one might answer “People don’t, it’s a steaming cunt of a song.” However, one’s chippy interlocutor might say “Oh, no, I beg to differ.” To which one might retort “Okay, some people do like it but only demoralised, exhausted and stupid people.” So we must then ask “Why do demoralised, exhausted and stupid people like the song “Roxanne” by the group The Police even though it is a steaming cunt of a song?” The answer is that they like it because it’s comforting and easy; because they don’t have to think when they are listening to it; because it’s got a tune and a motif that morons can follow without getting confused. They like it with their reactions rather than their brains. They like it in the same way that they like ice-cream. This is why it is not art. The point, purpose and pleasure of the thing is the comfort, something we desire with our reflexes rather than our minds. Things which are there just to make us feel warm and snug tend to be duvets rather than art. That which comforts rather than confronts is fine, in the same way that an air freshener is fine. It may make the environment more pleasant but it is without meaning.

What’s massively important is knowing the difference between Art and Porn. The latter is media which cause glands to release chemicals to cause the body to react in a way that the individual enjoys. Man A watches dead-eyed heroin addict B being vaginally pummelled by the veiny cock of cretin C so that gland D releases chemical E so that man A’s own veiny cock releases spunk** allowing man A a few moments of joy. The brain’s not involved at all, the higher capacities of civilised man don’t come into play; it is the ignoble savage’s pounding desire to feel good and nothing   else. Likewise the song “Roxanne” by the group The Police causes the body to release chemicals which make demoralised, exhausted and stupid people happy. It’s porn. Whether you want to leak cum*** from your cock or tears from your eyes, it’s still that animalistic desire, that itch that goes way down the evolutionary ladder. It’s preposterous to beatify the song “Roxanne” by the group the Police, in the same way that it’s preposterous to beatify the short film CasaWanker****.

There is a claim often made by stupid people that the quality of art is subjective. This is untrue. Art is not something we appreciate with our senses. Banana muffins, leather chairs, hand-jobs, summer breezes, the smell of cut grass, musical theatre, custard, lying beneath a glass table as an elderly Belgian woman squats over it and defecates, the texture of Camembert, stroking a rabbit, these are things we appreciate with our senses. These are nice or nasty depending on your reaction, they are none of them art and nor is anything created by the band The police.

*One could equally refer to the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” by the group Queen, the song “Yellow” by the group Coldplay, the song “In The Air Tonight” by the tax exile Phil Collins, the song “Another Day In Paradise” by the tax exile Phil Collins, the song “A Groovy Kind Of Love” by the tax exile Phil Collins, or countless other examples of tedious drek produced in the factory of commercial avarice.
**The author considered several alternatives to “spunk” including “spermy-sperm”, “spaff juice”, “ejaculant” and “passion porridge” before landing on “spunk” as the best of a bad lot.
***Again several options were considered including “man milk”, “salty out-pourings” and “viscose cock snot” before mercifully being narrowed down to “cum” as the most sensible choice.
**** This is not a real pornographic entertainment, although if it were I’d imagine Ilsa having to tug off a series of German soldiers and Vichy French officials in order to secure the documents required for her husband’s escape from the Nazis. Just an idea, that’s all. It is mine though. You can’t have it.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


Logos qua logos
There's a few words you're not meant to say. I present a non-exhaustive list:
1. Cunt
2. Nigger
The first of these I use pretty freely. George Osborne is a cunt. Only cunts find the Cadbury's advert with the man in the gorilla suit drumming along to a Phil Collins track amusing. An alarming proportion of bus drivers are cunts. For me it is a pragmatic shorthand flexible enough to encompass a variety of notions from idiocy to cruelty to venality and much more. It's particularly useful because people's shame reflex has become so weak that they barely react to being called corrupt or shallow, fortunately they still react to profanity.
The second of these I don't employ at all. I have no right to the word. From my mouth it is a racist term. It is offensive and bigoted. The argument that "Black people use it to refer to each other all the time," is bollocks as well. If someone from a routinely oppressed group chooses to reclaim the terminology of the oppressor then it is laudable. If someone who, through no personal fault, happens to fall broadly within the category of the oppressor chooses to throw the word around then it is ugly and idiotic at best. Besides which the notion that because  "Black people use it to refer to each other all the time," it's okay for white people to say it too simply doesn't make sense. An ex-girlfriend of mine used to refer to me as her "little love wolf". This does not mean that it's okay for, for example, my car mechanic to do the same. The N-word is unique in its explosive power. It is one of the few words to which I attach a taboo because it is a word with a history and an idea behind it.
What offends? Is it the word or is it the idea? I can be ever so offensive without a single profane word. Watch. "Your mum smells like the musty dribblings of an elderly nun's meat curtains." No profanity there. So what upsets people is the idea. "Jesus liked to slowly run his tongue over each of his disciple's tumescent, vein-strewn winkies." No individual word I couldn't say in front of a class of seven year olds there. So, what's the problem? Oh, yes, I was saying that your messiah was a friend of Dorothy with a penchant for group loving when he's down on his knees. And you don't like gay people and you don't like sex, so you're offended. I, because I'm one of those damp liberals, think it's fine to be gay and it's fine to have sex, so I'm not offended. It's the idea that you're offended by because you're secretly a homophobe.

On the other hand some people get offended by the words. I will at times use muscular expressions in explaining my views. Recently I described the public grief following Diana's death as "a lamentation bukkake that made the streets of Kensington slippery," this prompted complaint. Two options: firstly I thought that there really had been a mass wank onto the streets of west London following Diana's death; secondly I thought that the grief was forced and unsightly and chose a metaphor to express it. (If you're wondering, option number two is correct). The fact is someone thought I was being mean about Princess Diana because they either hadn't paid attention to or hadn't understood what I was saying. By the way, Diana was a worthless whore who could work her cunt much more adeptly than she could work her brain, but that's just an aside.

The point, ah, yes, the glorious point, I knew I had one. Don't be offended by words. Be offended by ideas. But only be offended by offensive ideas.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


I am a communist for approximately 30 hours a week.
When I'm at work, confronted by a sea of privileged, gormless faces then I am a communist. When I am confronted by twelve generally civil although intellectually sub-normal individuals who've achieved everything they'll ever achieve through inheritance or the skilful application of their cunts, it is then that I become a communist.
I realise that as a white, British man, born into a middle-class family, twice university educated, with very little experience of ever having done a job of work in his whole entire life*, I am perhaps not in the ideal position to complain but dash it all I'm going to. One might assume that given the wide spectrum of human experience available to those fortunate enough to have the money to pay for it that a group of 12 very rich young people would have done some interesting things, have had some interesting experiences, have something, anything to say for themselves. This would be an erroneous assumption. Examples:
"So, Turkish woman with astonishingly right wing views and a squint, what do you think the biggest differences between London and Istanbul are?"
"I don't know."
"And Saudi boy with Louis Vuitton i-phone cover and memory capacity of an elderly gerbil, what have you done in London so far that you've enjoyed?"
"Shopping and Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals."
"Not so much with the British Museum then? Likewise the Tate Modern? Didn't swing by the DonMar Warehouse? Haven't been to any gigs or anything? It's been mainly buying trashy designer labels and nodding along to Phantom of the twatting Opera, right?"
What gets on my nerves is that this is a collection of people who've done nothing, who've been given everything and who still find fault with the world in which they're living. Also they are thick. Stupid. Intellectually sub-normal. What in former times, when people were less kind with their words, might have been described as simple-minded--thickingtons. And they've got everything. It's not that I want more for myself, it's just that it is against all justice that they should have more than me. It's a fuck-load more against all justice that they should have more that the road sweepers, child prostitutes, sewage workers and starving masses of the world, i.e. those that achieve or deserve, but for now let's concentrate on me. I know that I'm smarter, kinder and harder working than they are, so, Mr. Jesus, tell me why the fuck should they be so much more cocking privileged? Because as mothers the world over revel in proclaiming the world is not fucking fair - although it is only generally in the north of England that they choose to include the expletive. So, let's make the world a tiny touch fairer. The next time you see someone unduly rich do something mean to them, perhaps plant some drugs on them, pull a face at them, or simply expose yourself in front of their grandmother, whatever it may be do it with a song of freedom in your pretty little heart.

*although I did once spend three excruciating and ghastly summer days erecting marquees for summer balls in the summer of 2001

Saturday, 18 December 2010


So here's our hero, he's meant to be studying law but he's not. He's twatting about worrying about all the people that are spiralling out of control and all the things which are the wrong temperature entirely. He decides to divert himself and is idly flicking through youtube (a popular video sharing website on the internet), when he comes across the greatest example of inanity he's witnessed in some time.

Perez Hilton asks Miss California whether or not she thinks every state ought to legalise gay marriage. After a few mangled sentences which were presumably  intended to demonstrate an open-mindedness she says one of the most offensive, idiotic and poorly argued things he's ever heard.

This is what what she said verbatim:
"Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other."
Which sounds like a principled and whole-hearted support of gay marriage, a statement which was unfortunately followed by this:
"We live in a land where you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage," which sounds just stupid. and rather begs the question "What is an opposite marriage?" Isn't it a divorce? Okay, fair enough everyone knows that she meant heterosexual marriage but due to her having the intellectual capacity of a lobotomised tortoise was unable to find the appropriate words. Again she sounds largely in favour of gay marriage albeit in a horrifically inarticulate manner. The problem is that she went on to say:
"You know what in my country and in my family I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman," which is a massive and startlingly rapid contradiction akin to the pope getting halfway through some mass or other and saying "Actually, you know what, this is a load of delusional bullshit, isn't it? Let's go back to mine and have some protected sex before performing an abortion or two." She goes on:
"No offence to anyone out there but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be, between a man and a woman thank you," This is literally the worst argument anyone's ever made. When asked what you think it is necessary to think before answering the question. This is an open admission of not having thought. There is no reason, logic, argument or intellect there, just a blank statement of belief which is utterly, utterly meaningless. I can say "In my family we believe the planet Jupiter to be made of pineapple, goblin tears and carelessness, no offence to anyone, that's just how I was raised," and it is precisely as meaningful as Miss California's statement. Also don't preface your statement with "No offence to anyone" if you're about to say something offensive, it takes none of the sting out of what you're about to say. If someone walks up to your grandmother and says "No offence but you're a malodorous, ugly, fat, syphilitic, promiscuous slapper," the impact is not lessened by the presence of the first three words.

It's doubtful whether or not Miss California has any fixed opinion on gay marriage. If she does then it's massively duplicitous of her to say that she thinks it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other before saying that she thinks that marriage should be an exclusively heterosexual concept. Truth be told, I think she very much wanted to win and was trying to avoid offending anyone, she just did it very badly because she's so fucking stupid that she makes Sarah Palin look like Simone De Beauvoir.

It's not actually her that annoys me though, it's the way she argued or failed to argue. This notion that a blank statement of principle or belief is an adequate substitute for an argument. If you are unable to justify or explain your opinions when they are scrutinised then you have to abandon them, this is how the world operates. If you are a scientist and you say "I know this theory doesn't make as much sense as the other one but I was raised to believe in it, so there you go," then you're probably not going to be massively successful. This line of thought is the line of the pre-enlightenment, it's the line of the fundamentalist, it's the line of the fucking idiot.

I don't suggest that everything someone says has to be well considered, I only suggest that if they attempt to argue in favour of it and cannot offer anything more than "It's just what I believe," or "It's just how I was raised," then they are to be treated as mentally sub-normal and confined to an institution where they are to be detained and subjected to regular jolts of healing electricity until they've read and fully understood A. J. Ayer's "Language, Truth And Logic."

To quote Perez Hilton: "She lost not because she doesn't believe in gay marriage, she lost because she's a dumb bitch."

Sunday, 7 November 2010


Which of the following statements best surmises your approach to the world?
(a.) When contemplating the appropriacy of my behaviour it is my a priori assumption that I am right and I then search for justification of the rectitude of my position.
(b.) When contemplating the appropriacy of my behaviour I look at things rationally and objectively, examining my actions and those of others before impartially weighing them and attempting to reach a conclusion.
(c.) When contemplating the appropriacy of my behaviour it is my a priori assumption that I am wrong and I then search for justification of the rectitude of the other person's position.

It occurs to me that my approach tends to swing wildly depending on whom I'm talking to. If I am talking to someone with a less forceful personality than mine I'll be a "Type A" person. This was evidenced on Friday when in a moment of staggering bluntness I told someone that I had found them boring on first meeting them.  This is not a nice thing to say. Okay, it's marginally better than saying "Wow! You're a fat, ugly, malodorous, alcoholic disgrace to humanity," or "Guess what I did last night! I'll give you a hint, it involves the words YOUR, VAGINA, MOTHER'S and FISTED." Nevertheless it's not only the hyper-sensitive who'd be upset by such an accusation. In the cold light of retrospect I can see that I was wrong and should not have said it, or at least should have apologised my tits off having said it. I didn't however as I was relatively confident that the person in question needed my friendship more than I needed theirs. Had this not been the case then perhaps I'd have behaved with more grace - but if I've learnt anything then it's that power seldom breeds grace.

I can also be a snivelling coward apologising for things I haven't done. There are times when in order to avoid a fight I know I'm not going to win I'll simply back down even though it is retina-searingly obvious that I am completely and totally right in every imaginable regard. And why do I do this? I do this because I can't bring myself to risk having a fight with someone I care about. It's ridiculous really. I don't know what I think I'm going to lose. If I had an argument with someone where I politely and sweetly explained my point of view then they'd be something of a 24-carat evil-ton if they then abused me. It's not this though. I don't want to lose those who are dear to me. It's an insecurity. If there's another thing that I've learnt then it's that insecurity is seldom attractive or worthwhile.

So resolution for the day: be less insecure and be less arrogant.

Let's see how that works out.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


So, I'm speaking to someone and the subject of politics comes up and they, in the misguided belief that they're being iconoclastically cynical, say "Oh, that's the thing with politicians, they're all the fucking same, aren't they?" I am a loving and gentle soul who would like to see the various peoples of the world holding hands in amity, singing in harmony and dry humping rainbows in unity, nevertheless, in a moment of fury, I say "Really? So Idi Amin, the former dictator of Uganda and Ed Vazey, Minister For Culture, Media and Sport are essentially identical in your book, are they?" 
There is a point here. Firstly this conversation never actually happened and I need to be more accurate in distinguishing between Real Things Which Actually Happened and Clever Things I Wish I Had Said. Secondly that when people say cod-cynical things like "Politicians are all the same," they are being stupid and careless to the point of harming the world where I live. 
What they actually mean when they say things like this is "I don't really know very much about politics because I've always been more interested in watching The Bill, masturbating or learning to cook Moroccan food than I have in taking the time to pay attention to the big newspapers." They feel ashamed of saying this though. There's a slight, embittered part of me that thinks that they are being ridiculously sensitive, I mean, for fuck's sake, I don't know a lot about knitting and yet somehow I avoid saying "Yeah, that's the thing about cardigans, they're all the fucking same," whenever the relative merits of King Charles Brocade and Inverness Diamonds are under discussion.
This part, however, is petty and has little regard for the derivation of people's idiocies. Why is it that no one is embarrassed to be ignorant of knitting and yet there are huge swathes of people who feel belittled by their political ignorance? I think it's because they are told to feel this way. People involved in and interested in politics tend to argue that politics are important and affect all of our lives. To an extent this is true. We are all affected by politics, however, in a liberal, multi-party, centrist democracy the effect is often peripheral and people can get by ignoring politics, in much the same way as I get by ignoring my bank statements. In honesty, politics are often little more than a gossip-y diversion built into a totem of intellectual worthiness. People are made to feel small for knowing fuck all about them when it should be perfectly acceptable for someone to say "Sorry, I know fuck all about politics,the whole subject bores the tits off me." 

Saturday, 16 October 2010


A maxim: there is nothing worthwhile at all in the world that was ever done by more than thirty people. As soon as there are thirty people gathered together for any given purpose you have a Nazi party rally. That's not literally true. It's what I believe is termed a hyperbole. People sitting on stickily beer-splattered floors pretending to row a boat whilst singing tunelessly along to Rod Stewart's "Sailing"; people raising tatooed arms in unity whilst bellowing "Who are ya?" repeatedly; people line dancing, these are the things that are done when people assemble en masse.