Tag Archives: art

Time to get serious

Time to get serious. And uplifting.

Japan - by Steve McCurry

The wonderful and striking photographs are by Steve McCurry, from his recent Finding The Sublime post. You should definitely click over there to see them all. Steve has popped up here before with his work in Afghanistan.

For an insight into London (or any?) gang culture, read gang intervention worker Emeka Egbuonu’s post – Are you willing to KILL? When asked that question by Emeka, the smallest member of the group answered:

We are in too deep. I have enemies who probably will not hesitate to kill me if they saw me slipping (caught off guard). That is why I am always prepared for whatever the occasion and if that means dropping a body in the process then so be it.

The good news is Continue reading

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Give that man a hand…

This is fantastic.

Given the not entirely positive reaction to Póló’s Continue reading

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My idea of fun

I’m a sucker for a smile…
Veronica

I relish encounters with the unexpected…
Yikes - it's not real.

And Continue reading

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Filed under art, D - Loose Bloggers Consortium

Huh! Kids those days…

Young people theose days… Out of control… No respect… Not like when I was a lad/lass… And here’s the evidence!

Your roving reporter met* a specially selected cross section of the population** who shared their own experience and opinions from the sharp end.

  1. “We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient. They hang around pubs and have no self control.”
  2. “When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of our elders, but young people today are disrespectful and out of control.”
  3. “What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets… Their morals are decaying.”
  4. “The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behaviour and dress.” 

I blame the parents – the great great great great great …etc… grandparents, that is.

So what’s with this sudden display of concern for society going to hell in a handcart? Just a pretext really, to show you these clever drawings by Hark, a vagrant – and her lovely, clever, zany blog and book. History as it really/never was.

Continue reading

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Let’s make a movie together! (Guess what? It’s a musical. No zombies.)

You, me and Harvey Weinstein. We can be film producers. It’ll be great.

We’ll leave the boring old blockbusters to Harve. You and me – we’ll concentrate on something smaller and perfectly formed like this emerging jewel called God Help The Girl.

It’s the brainchild of Stuart Murdoch of the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. (Some of you may remember the children’s TV programme of almost the same name. The band got a kicking from Jack Black in High Fidelity, but then again, he was going mad for Katrina and the Waves.) 

So Stuart has got together with a proper Hollywood producer called Barry Mendel (Sixth Sense, Bridesmaids, etc) to make a film of a summer of music and love in Glasgow based round an album of songs.  The hero is a girl being treated for annorexia, who discovers a talent for writing songs and teams up with a brother and sister she meets while on the bunk from her treatment centre.

The video gives a look behind the scenes – and the singers. Aaah…

They’ve got songs, locations, a plot, a script and actors (I think). All they need is a wee bit of backing. US$100,000 to be precise.

Which is where we come in. The producers. Also known as – the funders. Or as I like to think of it – executive producers.

The film is being funded through a crowdsourcing website. It works like this: You describe your creative project on the site – in this case, www.kickstarter.com and set a cash target. Thousands of people donate a wee bit of money. If you reach your target, you get the cash to spend on the project. If you don’t make it, the money is returned to the donors.

But why would any sane person donate?

  1. Loveliness.
  2. Taste.
  3. A desire to see the film made.
  4. To maintain the image of an eccentric billionaire.
  5. Incentives. Aha! Now we’re getting somewhere… (after  this song)

The beautiful voices belong to Continue reading

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Back handed compliments

When the glittering showbiz bus rolls in to our wee town, it’s easy to get carried away with the attention and take it for granted that all publicity is good publicity.

But is it sometimes wiser to say no – or should you forget any qualms and just think of the kerching!?

When Gillies MacKinnon made his good, funny and gritty 1996 film about sectarianism, gangs and family in Glasgow, it was released under the title Small Faces – which was a good name. (Review here.) It was originally going to be called Easterhouse – after the intimidating scheme (or high rise complex) of the same name. But local representatives complained that it could blight the area – whether or not the portrayal was accurate – and successfully lobbied for the name change.

Small Faces: "You are now entering Tong Land."

So when Rihanna brought the global entertainment spotlight to bear on Northern Ireland, it was funny. I’m thinking of her topless run-in with a County Down (as in Down with this sort of thing) DUP councillor and farmer. But it was also unfortunate in another way.

Sure – what a compliment that she chose the New Lodge in north Belfast in which to film her We Found Love video. Fun. Excitement.

But what was that chorus again? We found love in a hopeless place…

Ah right. The hopeless place being Belfast Continue reading

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RIP books v RIP publishers

Bang! Straight through the paperback. Bang! Publishers bite the dust too.

Originally I was kicking myself up the backside to get my book published while books still exist – the corporeal paper kind that is.

Now it seems as though “terrified” publishers may pre-decease their products – if this alarming/alarmist article by Guy Adams in the Independent newspaper is correct.

As celebrities choose Amazon, is this the end for publishers?

Who needs publishers? Not James Franco, the artsy Hollywood star, who has just signed a deal to write his first novel; and not Amazon, the vast online retailer which beat the traditional giants of the industry to secure the high-profile author Continue reading

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Thank you Culture Northern Ireland

Thank you Culture Northern Ireland for giving me a £100 Amazon voucher (for winning a writing competition completing a survey). And thank you Gerry Anderson and politician Gregory Campbell for helping me spend it. Well, to be more precise – they had a row. But Continue reading

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My great disappearing act

That's me dying the first time - on stage.

My great disappearing act took place at the height of my professional theatrical fame. For the princely sum of £5 and a bottle of Fanta (a night? or was the £5 for a week?) I trod the same boards the feet of Liam Neeson, Ciarán Hinds and Adrian Dunbar had before me. I played the eldest of Macduff’s sons in Shakespeare’s Scottish play at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast.

My main role was to die defending my Mum against the king’s hired killers – a bit of dramatic struggling and swooning after being stabbed. But it wasn’t all action. Oh no – I had lines too. A couple of Yeses and then that immortal exclamation.

Thou liest, thou shag-hair’d villain!

That’s what everyone remembers from that play, isn’t it? Never mind all that hubble bubble toil and trouble or being steeped so far in blood. Oh yes.

On the final night of the run, the usual murder happened. (Obviously I could have beaten the killers if I’d wanted, but I had to let them get away with it for the sake of the play. Just wanted to make that clear.)  The murderers fled, leaving the bodies of me and my mother and brother strewn across the stage. Then the lights went down completely, leaving the stage in complete darkness to allow us to drag our carcasses off stage.

As usual, I quickly nipped through the side drapes, but Continue reading

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Ted Hughes at Poets Corner in Westminster Abbey

Last night I joined the ceremony dedicating the memorial to Ted Hughes at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. (See photo at the bottom.) It felt historic – and thanks to Seamus Heaney and Juliet Stevenson, also moving Continue reading

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