Modern Art

I don’t hate paintings that look like this, as so many paintings of a certain vintage do. Hatred is for things you can’t avoid and mere paintings can usually be avoided with ease. But I don’t respect paintings that look like this:

But that isn’t a painting. It looks like a painting. But, it’s a photo. And I really like it.

It was photoed by Real Photographer Charlie Waite. Read his tweet about it here.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Talking about Brexit

Patrick Crozier and I have just fixed our next podcast, which we will record early next week. Read about and listen to earlier ones here, and in due course this next one will go there too. And for this next one, we will talk about … Brexit. I knew you’d be excited.

Many claim that they are bored by Brexit, and maybe many are. Although I suspect some are really just pissed off with not getting exactly what they want. (And who is getting exactly what they want?) Either that, or actually only bored with other people’s opinions, but not with their own. Me, I find the whole process rather fascinating, now that I have got over having been so wrong about it. I thought that Brexit would lose the Referendum, but it won. And I thought that once it had won, it would happen without too much fuss, because the Conservative Party leavers would mostly bow to the inevitable. As of now, that hasn’t happened, and doesn’t look like it will happen any time soon.

Brexit is a subject that Patrick has strong opinions about, which is good because although this will not stop me interrupting (I’m afraid I always interrupt), it may at least mean that some of the times when I do interrupt, he’ll interrupt back and shut me up until he’s finished the point he was making before I interrupted.

Here is a Brexit photo I recently photoed, of a bus driving around and around Parliament Square, saying Believe in Britain and LEAVE MEANS LEAVE, but with nobody in the bus apart from the driver:

They all left, I guess.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

A small taste of life without water

On Sunday evening, and then again yesterday during the day, my water supply was interrupted. This has never happened before. Electricity, yes, that has been interrupted, I seem to recall. And once, my hot tank refused to stop heating its water, which was alarming. I had to switch off all my electricity myself, to stop my boiler boiling itself and perhaps exploding like a steam locomotive having a crash. But, no water? That was a new one for me, here.

When my taps first ran out of puff, I didn’t know what was causing this. At first, I thought the problem might be my own personal arrangements, as it had been with that over-eager heating system. But, I knocked on the door opposite and discovered that my neighbour had received an email threatening water disruption, and it all started to make sense. One of our neighbours was having work done which necessitated a block-wide water switch off. This was on Sunday evening, but the email concerned threatened disruption on Monday, disruption that duly occurred.

I wasn’t even completely sure if the water, when restored, would automatically fill up my pipes again, once it had abandoned them. You know how you can get water to to go up and down in pipes, in school physics lessons. What if interrupted water supply created a permanent unwillingness of the water to travel along my personal pipes, to my personal taps?

When the water returned later on Sunday evening, it was quite a relief to see it gushing out of my taps again, of its own accord, with no suction pump needed to coax it back into action. But then, disruption happened again, exactly as threatened, on Monday.

It’s only when you are deprived of something you are used to having that you realise how much you depend upon it. For washing, of me and of the things I eat from and off. For flushing the loo. There was an event I wanted to attend on Monday evening. No go. Unclean.

I had never had anything to do with my lady neighbour before this little water drama. Interesting that things not working properly and “community” go together like this. When the great machine we all depend on stops working, we suddenly become more dependant upon each other, if only to find out what the hell is going on and when it is likely to stop.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Social media actually being rather sociable

Dominic Frisby, on Facebook:

Yeah, yeah, you all think you’re really clever and successful and stuff but how many of you have been to an anarchy conference in Acapulco and got selfie with David Icke?

Like. I’ve not done either of these things, let alone the two of them together.

Also like, from the comments: “Anarchopulco”.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The Welbeck Street Car Park then and now

Well, well. Look what I just found in the photo-archives. I wasn’t looking for this photo. I just found it, while looking for just anything interesting to stick up here, instead of a proper posting, which I don’t have the energy for:

That photo was photoed on April 20th 2006, according to my computer.

The reason I was so pleased to find the above photo is that I was photoing the very same edifice, this very afternoon. This was a resolution I proclaimed to the world in this posting here, a few days ago.

I can now report that the Welbeck Street Car Park is, as of now, still there. There’s no P on it, like there is in the above photo. There are now, I believe, no cars in it. It awaits demolition. But it has yet to be demolished. It is still all there.

Here is the similar photo I took today, that makes it look like the car park that it is:

No P. Different light. Otherwise little seems to have changed.

Here is this same car park, bounced off the front of a car.

That takes me back. Time was when I was fascinated by what you could see in the shiny bits of cars. But I don’t recall ever doing a car reflection photo as fun as that one. It’s the pattern of the concrete that makes it.

This Welbeck Steet Car Park thing is very interesting I think. I mean, why the fuss about some manky old car park, just because its facade is made of triangular concrete lumps instead of the usual rectangular concrete lumps? I promise nothing, but may even supply the answer to that question, some time.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The Hyde Park Corner Horse’s Head looking a bit silly

Yes, about that horse’s head sculpture that I showed a photo of here, a week ago.

I complained about how the way its neck was sliced through was maybe too obtrusive a part of the whole effect.

Well look at this other photo I took of it:

Sorry about the bus, but this is my only photo from anything like the angle I need to make my point. Which is, that the severed neck looks like a face, and the horse’s ears look like little arms pointing upwards.

And the whole thing looks like one of those idiotic Olympic mascots.

Not, surely, the look the sculptor was going for.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Feed the birds!

When GodDaughter2 and I took a walk through Hyde Park last week, we inevitably walked past the Serpentine, and next to the Serpentine, there was a lot of bird feeding going on, and I mean a lot. Great screaming flocks of birds, birds of all sorts all muddled together, were assembling themselves around happy humans, who were chucking stuff at them. It was also noticeable how very insistent birds were about checking out strangers, like me, to see what stuff we might have on our persons to chuck at them.

Here is a particularly fun photo I took of all this avian drama, fun because it turned out so artistic, being mainly monochrome (because photoed into the sun) and monochrome is artistic. Monochrome, that is, apart from the bright red feet of one of the bigger birds (also because photoed into the sun – this time with the sun shining through those feet), which makes the photo even more artistic:

But why was all this bird-on-human excitement happening, so intensely and on such a scale?

The answer lay in a shop next to the water. To my extreme shame, I did not photo the outside of this shop and cannot recall what it looked like. I only snapped interior scenes, of intriguing products on sale inside the shop. One of these products was the answer to this bird-human mystery.

The usual feelings that humans have about feeding birds in parks are (1) Hey! Wouldn’t it be fun to feed the birds? But also (2) Don’t feed the birds! It will give them a stomach ache. It might even kill them. Don’t feed the birds! Often there are signs to this effect.

But at the Serpentine, there is a different and non-contradictory regime in place. Feed the birds … this! And all was explained:

I computer enhanced that to make it less dim and dreary, what with the dim and dreary (at least compared to the bedazzlement outside) interior light.

You can bet that the shop assistants in that shop spent a quite large proportion of their day explaining to customers that yes, we know, you want to have fun feeding the birds! But, no indeed, you must not feed the birds human food! So, feed them this food! Fun for you! Food for the birds! Win win!

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog