For newcomers, more items from the archives.
The Guardian’s Michele Hanson wishes fear and misery on people she doesn’t know.
We aren’t told anything at all about the homeowners whose wealth so offends Ms Hanson and so animates her rage, though one doesn’t have to reach far to find the implication. Being no less pious than Ms Hanson herself, Guardian readers should assume that these ungodly types with their big house and heathen indoor swimming pool can’t have done anything, anything at all, to earn, deserve or justify their personal comforts, and they can’t have employed dozens of people, perhaps less wealthy people, to build the home that so infuriates our columnist. Indeed, there must be something wrong with the owners even to want such things. Unlike the loftier, more moral beings who seethe indignantly in the pages of the Guardian.
Attention dreadlocked honkies. Don’t colonise my black essence with your white racist hair.
Thankfully, the author is determined to make the world a kinder, fairer, fluffier place - a feat that’s to be achieved by everyone else doing exactly as she says. And so, should you encounter a pale person with politically incorrect hair, the author’s suggested response – the “only appropriate thing” - is to deliver a long, un-paragraphed diatribe with fits of random shouting.
The Arts Council knows best. So shut the hell up and hand over your wallet.
And then there’s the remarkably unpopular West Bromwich arts centre, boldly named The Public, which two years after opening had failed to attract a single paying customer. The venue, which promised to “make the arts more accessible,” had nonetheless managed to consume almost £60 million of public money and suffered three insolvencies. Among the aesthetic wonders sadly neglected by locals was a piece by the artist Michael Pinchbeck, a “five year live art project” called The Long and Winding Road. For his mammoth and challenging installation, Mr Pinchbeck “packed a car with the belongings of his brother and drove to Liverpool where his brother died in 1998.” After touring the nation and presenting his car full of rammle to any passers-by who wandered too close and paused fractionally too long, Mr Pinchbeck announced that he would conclude his mighty artistic work by “driving the car into the River Mersey.” The car was subsequently crushed and its fragments displayed for further enrichment of the public. Not to be outdone, the West Bromwich arts centre had its own, no less ambitious announcement regarding the project: “Admission will be on a first-come-first-served basis.”
Artist Mikala Dwyer is “challenging taboos” and “transforming the world” by inviting naked dancers to shit onstage. It’s a “wonderful, powerful work.”
Yes, it’s challenging, very challenging. After all, it must be challenging - otherwise it would just be, erm, fatuous and juvenile. And that can’t be the case. Heavens, no. Being, as she is, so enlightened and so much better than the herd, Ms Dwyer’s excremental transgression will no doubt rattle the bourgeois rube and blow his tiny mind. Though in an age when just about anyone, even a bourgeois rube, can watch Two Girls One Cup on their smartphone while at work, eating lunch, inducing those fits of pearl-clutching ain’t as easy as it was. What’s a challenging artist to do?
Feel free to cavort through the greatest hits. Donations will only encourage me.