Thursday, December 07, 2017

About not having a light

“Excuse me, mate, do you smoke?”

I’ll admit, I judged. She was painfully thin, with a sunken face, blotchy skin and all manner of nervous twitches. And we were just round the corner from a drop-in centre for people with substance abuse issues. But she’d done me no harm so I just assumed she wanted a light for the unlit cigarette hanging from her barely-there lips. So I said sorry, no, wondering whether she was then going to ask whether I had a couple of quid so she could get a bed for the night. Except...

“Oh, that’s a pity. It’s just I’ve got hold of a few hundred fags – don’t ask how – so I’m handing them out to people. Feeling generous. Maybe it’s a Christmas thing. Never mind, mate, you have a good day.”

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

About street art

I’ve been thinking about graffiti/street art lately, so was intrigued when Annie flagged this up, because it raises two interlocking questions; not just the inevitable “but is it art?” but also the equally pertinent “but is it street?”

Monday, December 04, 2017

About Forster

Sunday, December 03, 2017

About Flake

I’ve just found out that Jonathan Glazer, creator of Guinness ads, Radiohead promos and movies in which Scarlet Johanssen and/or Ray Winstone don’t wear very much, was once asked by those nice people at Cadbury’s to make a commercial for the Flake bar.

Flake - Jonathan Glazer from David Nichols on Vimeo.

But they didn’t like it.

Friday, December 01, 2017

About Derrida

Lifted from Kevin Jackson’s Facebook. Best. Marginalia. Ever.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

About Sarah Huckabee Sanders

White House press spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said it doesn’t matter whether the videos tweeted by Donald Trump were real; what’s important is that “the threat is real”. If only Jean Baudrillard were with us today.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

About Godwin and Streisand

Went on an interesting diversion in class yesterday about memes, touching on the idea they have to start somewhere, even if the originator is anonymous, maybe even blissfully unaware of what s/he spawned. That said, when there is a definitive patient zero for a digital phenomenon, the rewards tend to be a wee bit abstract, as witnessed by this encounter between the man who identified The Streisand Effect and the man who gave his name to Godwin’s Law.

Monday, November 27, 2017

About loss

The late Mark Fisher, on the relatively new experience of being able to reconnect with your childhood gaze through the wonders of technology:
By then, thanks to VHS, DVD and YouTube, it seemed that practically everything was available for rewatching. In conditions of digital recall, loss is itself lost. 
I think I know what he means; an extended episode of gentle melancholy, for me extending from about eight to 28, during which we thought we might never see that particular episode of The Herbs, or Ludwig, or Crystal Tipps and Alistair, again. Now they’re available wherever we look and all we have left to miss is the melancholy. But I pity kids today who’ve always been able to have Peppa Pig on tap and don’t know what missing even means.

PS: Flashback to the time I went to Tokyo and whole swathes of childhood that I thought I’d imagined opened up before me.