Friday, April 03, 2015

Amusing (but, I sense, seriously intended) piece by Alexei Sayle in today's Guardian arguing for his appointment as the presenter for Top Gear via a Dr Who-style regeneration of Jezza. Here's the closing paragraph ...

"Which brings us to Top Gear. Roland Barthes, the French literary theorist, philosopher and critic, wrote in a 1957 essay about the new Citro├źn DS: “Cars today are the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals.” During the medieval era, the finest minds and artists were dedicated to what was at the centre of society, namely God; today it is consumerism, the insatiable desire for new and better products, and just as those great medieval places of worship were objects of wonder and awe, so the car now fulfils that function, expressing where we are as a society in terms of design, technology and aspiration. In the Top Gear studio the cars are objects of blind veneration, just like the statues of the saints in those medieval cathedrals. So what better place to reintroduce Marxist ideas than on a show dedicated to cars? Every single thing in the world can be revealed through a proper study of cars – fashion, economics, environment and politics – and I am the man to do it. And don’t worry: the show will still be full of its trademark irreverence – though its targets will now be the rich, the powerful and the reactionary, rather than Mexicans, the safety conscious and Morris Marina owners. Because I am not a dry or didactic Marxist; I am one of the fun ones."

Makes perfect sense to me.

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As it's the first day of the Easter holiday I'm off for a swim in the pool at 7am. Not many of the regulars & so with the lanes virtually empty & no need to hurry I keep going past the usual 20 on to 30 & then think 'why not?' & hit 40 in as many minutes - a personal best. One trade-off from the jogging seems to be increased stamina & the confidence to push beyond what I assume is a limit.

& in case you're wondering ... I'm working the ankle with some stair exercises. Give it another week & I think I'll be off around the woods again.

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I've had the Gizzi Exact Change anthology downstairs for a couple of weeks now, dipping in as & when. This morning, after breakfast, I settle upon the lengthy Michael Palmer interview which hits me with renewed force. It's the kind of shake up & call to arms that I have been looking for. & the utter pleasure in being able to read & sustain concentration. A good Friday, indeed.

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Booked a ticket for the Diebenkorn exhibition on Tuesday. If you're in the vicinity of the Royal Academy ...


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