(Bomb aimers had charge of US planes over the target, this was unthinkable for the British, where the captain was always in charge)
Sunday, 31 October 2010
If I were sitting in the sunshine of a 1944 afternoon, knowing I was going to bomb the shit out of people I didn't even know over Germany that evening, if I were the bomb aimer (USA) or the captain (UK) and knew I had control of this flying hunk of death delivery over the 'target', and if were an intelligent chap who was browsing Nietzsche that afternoon with thoughts on bigger things and the abyss of it all, wouldn't it have been a temptation to drift that baby right over that cathedral and blow that to bits? This is a short story that has to be written.
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Feeling quite cheery having completed my Renaissance powerpoint for tomorrow. The problem with powerpoint is it has created 'Powerpoint Man' an arsehole who thinks puting 2+2=4 on a powerpoint presentation makes a radical point. Most of those people are in management. However be assured I'm not doing that.
Trying to do the Renaissance in fifty images was however quite a task, they did more in a couple of hundred years than the Romans would have done in ten thousand, if you are thinking arty farty stuff of course. Soho Gordon said to me yesterday that when he was studying architecture in Glasgow they had five lectures on the Ancient Greeks and one on the Romans. A bit snooty I reckon, the Romans are underrated, but architects like the arty farty stuff. Meanwhile, Tim said to me yesterday that is all about the pronunciation of Renaissance: either RenAAsance or RENNIEsance. Quite smart I thought.
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Feel fucking ghastly, felt so ghastly yesterday I had to sooth my soul by crawling in to The White Horse BEFORE catching the bus for afternoon tutorials. Those behinds surely raise the spirits. What is this ghastliness, these aches and pains, these creaking joints, where have they come from? I worry this may be 'it' from now on.
Today I woke up early anticipating the ghastliness and lay there with Julie watching the sun come up. Now that was nice. I also thoroughly enjoyed instructing the First Year on Le Corbusier a few hours later, but then, as if via creep, the ghastliness returns. Maybe it is retribution? Maybe it's lack of exercise? No, I'll keep to my dosages and it will bloody well go away. No revolutionary should be afraid of death or depression.
So am I the first to notice a girl wearing her knickers outside, over the top, of her leggings? It was certainly confusing on first sighting but maybe an entirely predictable consequence of the now universal legging/jegging bottom tight phenomenon, where you might as well wear neither for all the decorum these items provide.
And Cheryl fucking Cole, who forgot to put on her skirt for Saturdays XF show, she now stares at me from the billboard at the end of the road with an album called 'messy raindrops' or something. What's that about?
Sunday, 24 October 2010
So I raise myself from my afternoon slumbers. I have afternoon slumbers these days. I'm not sure I like them but they happen anyway.
Something is nagging away at me about last night, because I'm embarrassed I spent the whole evening in front of XFactor and Cheryl Cole. Cheryl Cole in particular bothers me a lot, for I can't work out what she does, other than being a simpering sentimental sobbing celebrity who may represent some new and awful representation of woman kind. This girl is certainly no Joan of Arc. There is also something rather nasty about the 'born to perform' child and sobbing mother routine that accompanies the somewhat unfortunate things that have beset Cheryl recently (and of course is endemic to the formula of X Factor itself) I think it might be characterized as the fear of the real.
I mean, if you marry a footballer in a wedding dress that cost £100.000 you should know what you are in for- you shouldn't come over as duped. If you are truly beset by personal troubles, why agree to be interviewed by that infernal piece of nastiness Piers Morgan? It is possible that Cheryl Cole realizes that her party piece, her living, is breaking down for the media.
I say this as somebody who will cry at almost anything, but I wouldn't want to be doing it for a living.
Thursday, 21 October 2010
It is clear 'Nigella Kitchen' is porn. Nigella Kitchen becomes a thing, not even an apostrophe to help her out of it. He did advertising, she does kitchen porn- perfect- cause and effect, perfect symbiosis for our age. But it's porn none the less. I have no problem with porn, it's just strange that now it's become food.
I tried to watch the news, I really did. However I simply do not understand something basic to the blasted 'spending review'; that is why is it that the poorest get to suffer at all? I just don't get it. Take the money back from those who benefited in the first place, not some poor bastard on incapacity benefit after four heart attacks. It all smacks of the whip, just as it always has in Conservative politics.
So I raised myself from my chair, poured myself a large one, and put on the Foos nice and loud. Good looking ladies can come by all they like and try and convince me that I must vote for their highly suspect character over another highly suspect character in the Hackney mayoral elections that they should have never had in the first place anyway and I imagine them naked. Times like these indeed.
So I guess I'll make some Keith Richards Shepherds Pie.
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
I am writing with specific regard to the 'gentlemans venues' (silly name) which have existed for generations. The White Horse in particular is a very well run establishment where I cannot fathom any reason for it's closure. I would like to ask the council exactly WHAT it feels is wrong about the situation of the dancers and the customers in The White Horse? As an academic who has written about these issues over many years and might see beyond petty opinion: if you sell your body to work everyday just like you, what is the difference if somebody sells their body as 'spectacle'? I don't think the council is acting rationally. If you do not act rationally, it is just opinion. The White Horse in particular is not in a residential neighborhood, and in twenty years of enjoying it, writing books which include it, I have never found it anything but an oasis of peace and calm. As Marshall McLuhan said 'They are wearing us'. If anybody is exploited here, it is me, and I have the right to be exploited like all consumers, just like you are. Paul Davies. Senior Lecturer. LSBU
Right now I'm blasting out the Stones film 'Ladies and Gentlemen' from Texas 1972 pretty loud. It's the afternoon, it's Tuesday. I'm drinking whisky. The blinds are down. I compile tomorrows AA lecture. Life does not get much better than this.
No it really is a fucking fantastic film. There are very few moments in life when you know you have the thing, whatever it is, in your hand, and I tell you, the Stones certainly did right then; Mick and Keith exchanging wry grins (Mick Taylor doing all the fiddly bits) and Keef just driving the whole thing like a fucking truck. It's a wonderful thing to behold after all this time, like finding some long lost treasure in the Amazon (sic), which of course it is. Nothing like a little afternoon's time traveling, it beats the bullshit for sure.
Oh and if anybody needs a job out there, and can speak Chinese, and maybe office manage a bit for a small OK firm in South London not a heavy deal etc (PT). Contact me.
Monday, 18 October 2010
Today I experienced just about the best thing that can happen to folks like me. I ran in to my 'line manager' in the lift and she did not say 'I want to have a chat with you about.....' It could have been that she was eating a sandwich at the time. However, the joy that overcame me was considerable; She just said, 'very good thanks' amidst sandwich eating. So.. she doesn't want to 'talk to me about....' I positively leapt out of the university and caught the bus to The White Horse.
Now The White Horse is under threat from the neo nazi nursery school that is Hackney Licensing. Their no doubt worthier than thou focus groups have decided that girls taking their clothes off artfully for money is a very bad thing and will screw up all our morals. I can think of many jobs in the area which might screw up our morals more than taking your clothes off artfully (like banking) but because the council are a bunch of non-thinkers and the council may ride on a high tide of non thinking, it may come to pass in January that Hackney ban such performance in their little precious lovely stupid neighbourhood where apparently no rationality exists. I feel almost sorry for the stupid bastards, because I have thought, lectured and written long and hard about striptease in London and Las Vegas and just about anywhere else, and found this activity GENUINE (good word don't you think!)
So, since all of you are over 18 years of age and in search of adventure, pop on down to the White Horse on Shoreditch High St and see what you think- boy or girl (girls very welcome)
It's bar prices, there is no entry charge, but you must put a pound in the pot for each dance.
This is a cultural issue, suddenly under threat from those who couldn't tell culture from....
You can make your view clear to Hackney Council by going to this link www.hackney.gov.uk/licensing.html
Thursday, 14 October 2010
I feel for the last guy say at the bottom of that Chilean mine. His mind must have been spinning, what with his dependence on block and tackle on the equivalent of a trip to the moon. No wonder they are celebrating. I watched the miners surfacing, and noticed the conspicuous boot of one of the rig men supporting some guiding wheel or another right on the steel edge of the hole rim. Crikey! You wouldn't get me within 20ft of a hole like that for fear of dropping in! As for the half hour ride up, I can hardly think about it. Fear of heights clearly equals fear of depths.
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
This is how to give 'good lecture' my style. You will not believe how complex the procedure is. First, try and get your lecture in to an afternoon slot, second, plan way ahead in your head and just hope information will fall out on demand. To do this successfully, never determine what you are going to say. Instead, get out of bed rather nervously on the day, feel the fear infront of your nascent powerpoint presentation and calm yourself down by doing so (you must confront the beast) and feel confident that the images will lead you through whatever it is you end up talking about.
Next, go to a local pub for reflection and a pint of stella. Do not concern yourself with any other matters other than the lecture at hand, and even then, possibly try and forget about it. A certain calm may prevail. Then, at least hours before the appointed hour, make your way to the venue via reliable transportation. Make sure you have thought ahead about your 'green room' (pub) close to the venue, there you must sit and observe in minute detail the world around you. See it as a window on the world (I particularly favour The Tottenham on Oxford St when I lecture at the AA, it has a genuine front window on our unfortunate world). Now at this point you will be distracted by the T&A (or other preferences) passing you by, but you must let the snow fall in your head with the aid of a few large ones. Soon enough cometh the hour, and always make sure you are ten minutes early to foresee technical difficulties. Always love the technicians and support staff in charge, partly because you do love them anyway because they support you.
See the students troop in, remember you were just like them a long time ago.
Shut the door.
With luck, and the smiling of the gods, then the magic happens.
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
That was pathetic. You have to wonder on all the ways England can no longer play football. If we were back in the days of New Labour, I'd have suggested at least 50% of the team should have gone to university, and if the university was any good, and even if it had programs in football, it might have taken the lead weights off their feet, instead of leaving these poor losers to drown in their own self indulgence. Teach them to understand themselves and you might get somewhere.
I'm fed up of watching England play, they are just fucking awful against almost any team, and it represents a kind of atrophy. The search for new ideas, the knowledge of what an idea is (as opposed to an opinion) seems almost lost to this little island. Instead we have corner shop conservatism and a crap football team and Simon fucking Cowell destroying music and it all fits together nicely as rubbish.
We spent a month in Germany this summer, and we only had CNN to watch. Do you realize how many times the UK was mentioned over that period on international media; not once.
How on earth we manage to still have public school boys pontificating in charge is beyond me. YOU ARE IDIOTS!
Monday, 11 October 2010
I'm drowning in historical information, and I realize that I shall have to base the whole of my Friday lecture on the architecture of the Romans on my understanding of Asterix cartoons. This is not too far from the mark as it turns out, for they are most accurate if read and looked at carefully. A bigger worry is I've arranged to have lunch with an old pal on Thursday, possibly disastrous re: Friday.
Meanwhile I've made trouble for myself by ordering some very handy promotional pencils promoting this blog. I just have to make sure they do not fall in to the wrong hands, so it was a bit stupid to order them in the first place. However these cute little stubby pencils will no doubt become collectors items of some sort and repay my investment with many many followers, since I seem to be stuck on a measly 44. Sam of FAT has about a million and is ranked far too high in whatever crappy rankings these people get themselves ranked in to. I want to make it clear I only want quality followers! (Free pencil if you tap me on the shoulder in the Duke of York or send me an SAE).
Thursday, 7 October 2010
I sit in my chair surrounded by books. They multiply with each post, and each demands attention, too much attention (and they are also rather large). So when it comes to compiling lectures, it's sometimes good to get out and get a fresh perspective. Luckily I find the impish Scott on my shoulder in the Misty Mountain:
'The Illiad is basically a snuff movie with a treatise on ethics in the middle' he says.
'They should illustrate CIA torture manuals with Tom and Jerry cartoons' we agree.
'You don't have any decent films on the Ancient Greeks because it's all too bonkers....and it's mostly outdoors and on ships....and often nothing happens for a long time before the carnage begins. It's hard to build a character like Achilles when he spends ninety percent of the story sat on a beach! To make good movies you need interior settings for orgies and whispered plotting, you can't do whispered plotting in the forest or on a beach, interiors encourage such things, so that's why there are lots of Roman films and no Greek ones!'
He's good, he's very good.
Sunday, 3 October 2010
Cheryl Cole takes three neurotics in to the next round of X Factor. That says it it all, she kicks out the good in favour of the needy (for you can control the needy - it might make you feel better in yourself- and of course we shall all be weeping at their endeavours.) Julie takes credit for this observation. Probably the most sickening program never.
Saturday, 2 October 2010
Nothing could remind me more of how much I detest the world of architecture than the Stirling Prize. In our household it is a positively incendiary opportunity to rile against the powers that be. However, the most important amusement should be that TOM DICKHOFF (however the hell you spell his name) should buy a bigger size in clothes. I've never seen a man so obviously squeezed in to shirts and jackets at least one size too small, like a primary school kid in Joe Ninety glasses, whose articulation of ideas manages to be both perfunctory and pretentious at the same time. The second is that ZAHA should understand clothing as something more than a bright yellow oversized bin bag worn for effect. No doubt the many awful attendees at this bash conspicuously congratulated Zaha on her appearance. But if you, how should one say, look at little askance at her ascendance, not unlike a balloon, you'd just go 'That is a horrible outfit, and maybe her buildings are horrible too'.
Friday, 1 October 2010
Irish banks have just wind-falled 39 BILLION Euro/quid. It will be a crisis for generations. Meanwhile, will somebody please tell me where the money comes from? Everybody please read Alain Badiou's 'If this Crisis is the Spectacle: Where is the Real' easily available online, and what's more, for once, easy to read, if you want to get as upset as I am.