Wednesday 19 November 2008

They're Back!

"A Matter of Loaf and Death"

Wallace And Gromit are busy with a new project.... Aardman Animations is making a 30 minute story for BBC1's Christmas programming.
All I am able to reveal here stems from my industrial espionage skills....
(reading The Grauniad, and visiting Aardman's website).

My favourite, absolutely favourite actor ever, has to be Gromit.

And of course, his trusty sidekick, Wallace.
Their house, at 62 West Wallaby street has been converted into a bakery... Monster robotic kneading arms, flour dust, a windmill on the roof, a forklift with hands in oven-gloves... But danger stalks the streets.. bakers are disappearing... a cereal killer is on the loose... Wallace is too in love to notice, but trusty Gromit is the detective on the case..............

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Konevitsan Kirkkon Kellot

Or "The Bells of Konevitsa's Church"
Pic:-Antti Bilund

Piirpauke, a Finnish band

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Tuesday 18 November 2008

Absolutely Smashing!


Li Xiaofeng's "Beijing Memory" (2007), priced at $85,000






I just love this, part of a body of work by Li Xiaofeng.

As a potter, I'm fascinated by the many uses of ceramics, from the earliest times to the present day. The space shuttle is protected from the searing heat of re-entry by ceramics, main battle tanks have ceramic armour plates, I just bought a vegetable peeler with a ceramic blade, I've eaten my breakfast out of a 2,000 year old Roman Samian ware bowl, I've drunk beer out of a tankard last used in 1642. Egyptian tomb paintings show the god Thothmes creating a man on a potter's wheel, nearly seven thousand years ago.

Yet ceramics, despite their extraordinary longevity and endurance, also speak to us of fragility, preciousness, of great value, easily broken.

Li Xiaofeng uses shards of Qing era porcelain, (about A.D.1830), stitching them together to create these garments. I can only guess at the meanings she holds attached, the past creating a shell, a carapace for the future, thoughts of fragility and breaking, but also of timeless durability, -fragile, but can last thousands of years... And the dichotomy of broken, yet precious.

In China's history, mountains of broken porcelain have been created, but treasured pieces were often stitched back together, small holes drilled in fragments and precious metal wires used to hold them, cracks rebuilt, filled with gold-leaf lacquer.

I saw these first via a link that led to Le zèbre bleu.

See more at Hongart.

Here's a few made a little earlier, in China, about 210 b.c. -current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there are over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 chariot-horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried.

Argh! I'm just having a little html crisis. damn! I can't figure it out. never mind.

Friday 14 November 2008

The Coolest Dancing Camel You'll See Today

Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers. The Lovers went on to form Talking Heads.

Just couldn't resist adding this, love the on-street bits......
The Bangles.

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On Donkey Gifts for My Birthday....

Me. In my field.

The Red Dirt Mule, over on her blog, here... sent me birthday wishes, and because she is undeniably a Mule (and a very fine one, I may say..) and because I called her stubborn on one of her many past blogs, she decided to just... be a mule. She says I'm an ASS, so has taken to calling me Donkey.
You may have read about the troubles thai ladyboys go to, to become as authentic as possible women. Well, you may not of course... Umm. But lets assume you have, eh?
Believe me, that's nothing to the trouble a woman can take in becoming a genuine Mule. Stubborn-ness is not enough.
Imagine for a moment the length of time it takes to decide on the exact shade of mule... Sorrel? Bay? mmm Red?
Oh yes, Red.
Can you imagine what it costs, and how long it takes at the salon?
Bit of trimming?
Bit of waxing?
Clairol tankers waiting outside?
Maybe some eye shadow?
You ever seen mule lashes?
Then the hooves... shiny black?
or scarlet?
And the SHOES?
And the surgery.

It took a while, but here she is:-

Red Dirt Mule
(I just googled mule shoes... 7" platform mules, in crystal acrylic with l.e.d. lighting. The very mmm opposite of classy and understated, I couldn't bring myself to post a pic here. My god, the things women will endure. Many a time I've heard woman claim that high heels are something foisted upon them by men. But it's not men I see with their noses presssed against the shoe store window, it's not men who will buy a shoe that's the wrong size because it's the last one in the shop and they'll endure the pain because it's so lovely...)

Mule Shoe

She sent me, amongst other things on her birthday present post, a Donkey Piñata.

I wondered what it reminded me of... Then it started to grow! And mutate!

Like this!!!!!

And suddely I knew! It was a TROJAN PIÑATA!

Thanks, Red Dirt Mule!!!!!!!
I'm still laughing...

Oh. And by the way........

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Thursday 6 November 2008

Sometime poetry is a wave that sweeps you away.

Noodling about, recently I stumbled upon the words of Darcy Dennigan, and was swept.

I want to read her book, "Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse" from whence come these words.

(Link to my earlier post of Herrick's poem, Corrina's Going A-Maying)

Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse

It was a geologic instant.
Fine-bone plates moved under the Pawtuxet
& up sprang West Warwick. In an instant
the houses were up & the shutters open.
Then the paint was peeling all over town.
Then the instant passed with a shudder
& all the houses fell down.

The lilacs die. The lilies of the valley. April & May blow up & away.

"We are ready to live as before,"
says the last bald priest to the last white-May-dress girl,
who touches her chalked hopscotch sidewalk
& beneath her palm detects an earthquake
& in a gutter puddle sees her skull
& on her tongue catches a white blossom,
the last one. With her chalk she bawls
"The spring days are going to the graveyard."

The pet goat eats poison oak. The puppy bites the bitty lamb. All the kitty's whiskers fall away.

The little Lamb girl straddles a Chrysler Plymouth,
queen of the car parade, with a kitty
in her arm crook & a hand to the crowd.
She calls out, "I can see the end from here"
& tosses all West Warwick some Tootsie Rolls.
The Chrysler driver blows his horn.
Where have all the May-dress girls gone?
—To the classroom, for learning Latin & blushing
over Queen Dido's open, bebassing mouth.

The dust turns to tar. The rain to chalk. Undertakers cart snow angels away.

My hearse slides by a girl astride a puddle
wearing her mom's wedding gown. A downpour
smacks Arctic, Natick, the Greenwich Inn.
All the front door keys to all the places
I have ever lived drip from the dogwood tree
& chime in the wind. The girl in the gown
sinks. The puddle turns to a pond. West Warwick,
my West Warwick, drowns. Drowns world,
my clapboard castle & the moonface I was living in.

Sentimental Atom Smasher
by Darcie Dennigan

So this guy walks into a bar and asks for a beer. Sorry,
the bartender says, I only sell atom smashers

And the guy says well isn't that America for you—
every happy-hour Nelson's a homemade physicist and no thank you,

just an ice cold one, but it's too late—suddenly, he's on his butt
in a ballfield where handsome men are chasing a ball over grass

sad grass, yellow like the hair of his once-young mother!
and again he says, no thank you—I've seen this movie before

And the bartender says it's a joke and you're inside its machine...

Hey, the guy wants to say—I'm not the guy—I'm me
I'm just a guy who walked into a bar. I'm just a guy who retreats

to his car for a private cry. Instead he sniffs and cries out—
The sky smells like the bologna from when I was a boy!

Ahh, says the bartender, ahh yes. Someone has left
the refrigerator door of the cosmos open a crack

And the view! cries the guy. The beauty of an atom smasher,
says the bartender, even from the cheap seats you see

clear into 1952. And the guy, squinting into the distance,
starts to bawl. Maybe it's the vendors hawking

commemorative popcorn, or the programs promoting emotion
("the matter of the universe!") printed on material whose pulp

was milked from the trunk of a winesap apple tree, but—
What's the matter? says the bartender. And the guy says,

I'm confused. Am I allowed to be homesick in a joke?
Yes, the bartender says. It's elemental, the bartender says—

How streets are downtrodden atoms and falling leaves are aflutter
atoms and beer is over-the-moon atoms. The moon's an atomizer

of all matter's perfumes: And the guy starts to parse it out—
Wait, I'm not smart, but if emotion's a material substance

then when a leaf falls in my lap and I hold it,
like an about-to-be-abandoned baby, I'm touching "aflutter" in 3-D?

Dear fluttering leaf!
Streets—I'm sorry for stepping on you! Apples—for coring you, and beer—

* * *

A guy walks into a bar,

—actually just the beer-drinking bleachers of a ballfield—and says
is this some kind of joke?

Well, says the bartender who has observed the little lamb
and the tyger burning bright and tickled their particulates,

because your life has lately been stagnant, we have yoked you
to a joke and we await the gasp that will gas up the cosmos...

Just then, there's a hit at the plate—and it's going,
it's going—gone to smash the guy in the skull

And since baseballs are made of nostalgia atoms, the guy,
with concussion, says I want to buy a coke for a nickel

I want to install apple pie perfumemakers in the crotch of every tree
Bartender, bring me dried nosegays! Start the stalwart pageants!

And the moon's spritzing its perfumes and the phlegm is thick and fast
And the bartender says time to wallow in byproducts:

Where we planted peanut shells, we got shaky, palsied trees
Where we planted nickel cokes, we got nicked cans

Where we planted baseballs we grew large, sad eyeballs
as we watched for something to grow. Still, still

we atom-probe: In a dark building a child is
about to be born. The smell of bread is about to

break. And our guy is going, O spring evenings!
How I used to stand yelping in the alley by the bakery...

Who are these boys throwing baseballs? Who is this baby?
O bartender, tell me, what is the message in this light rain?

But the bartender's dark eyes are flying
over centerfield, over the rooftops and watertowers of the joke's

universe, over alleys and cold valleys of refrigerator light
toward an aptest eve where these street kids are hurling a ball into

the moonlight and the moonlight is curdling into freon...

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Poem. (Inspired by recent events). By Soupbucket.

Each day, I hear the crunch of entropy,
The universe disassembles.
My car, okay, not new,
But newer than me.
A gearbox.

A drive shaft.
Universal joint.

But sometimes none.
Or one.

It churns,

Drive shaft.
Centre differential?


And below my hearing range,
Shiny steel
Red powder.

So close, the mysteries of the universe,
Displayed in this
Universal joint.

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