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Is it About You?

Posted 19 June 2002, 5.41 am by Berly

There is a section in the local paper. It is divided into twelve little sections, each containing a few lines of...advice?....with a bold header over each. This is the astrological forecast, and now I know why papers and websites continue to run them. People have an amazing ability to take something and make it all about them - even something as vague as the daily horoscope.

My posts in both the Shed and the front page are highly autobiographical...sometimes. Other times, I've taken a group of events or people that I know, along with a group of events or people that I've heard about, and I mix it with a group of events or people that is purely fictional. I try to respect the privacy of the people in my life while sharing the collective experiences through my posts. Therefore, the facts are sometimes intentionally shifted around.

As I've tried to promote this site to my friends, as well as strangers, I've tried to explain this concept. Futile action. I get e-mails from readers telling me that "you said that ABC happened, when really it was CBA" , or the always fun "HEY, I never said/did/ ABC! How could you even infer that I did?" Did you catch the key word there? Infer? I'm not inferring anything about YOU specifically, which is why the offending line(s) isn't accurate TO YOU.

I suppose this is the all too obvious reason that advertising works so well. Now if companies could just find a way to have the astrologists forecast purchases...

The Artist's Perception of his Art

Posted 15 June 2002, 5.22 pm by Alexander

I was listening to the new AKp CD the other day, which is fairly newsworthy in itself as (understandably) I've heard it far too much already. What struck me was how I was actively filling in the gaps as I was listening - adding guitar parts and vocal melodies that simply were not recorded. I surmised this took place in all my artistic endeavours.

When I paint or draw, I can see in my mind all the lines I didn't draw, or didn't need to draw to have the effect on myself as the viewer. Of course, it's impossible to fully anticipate the way another human eye/mind will percieve the exact same media. There are thought processes running through this article that I may think are obvious, but you might need explaining.

The logical conclusion to all this is that art can fall into one or both of two main ideologies: that which leaves as many lines undrawn as possible to encourage interpretation by the audience, and that which is as detailed as humanly possible to communicate the artists intentions without ambiguity. Neither is more or less valid of course, and there are all the shades of grey in between.

Nonetheless, it's something to bear in mind if you are a creative person - think about how much material you want to give the viewer/listener. When you leave those lines undrawn, the responsibilty for the pieces effectiveness falls squarely on the shoulders of what you have explicitly committed yourself to. The whole piece can rely entirely on what you deem to be the essence of what you are trying to achieve, and as always it stands or falls by it's effectiveness to an unpredictable outside force. Similarly, working to eliminate all traces of ambiguity from a piece in order to communicate a pure idiom can be risky. The myriad interpretations of even the most mundane object or intention is testament more to the variety that exists in the human consciousness than any shortfall on the creators behalf. Look at nature for example. A shark is a tremendously effective hunter worthy of our awe until it bites your brother's leg off - at which point it becomes an enemy, an unthinking savage predator that should be destroyed.

The viewer himself also has a responsibility when viewing or partaking of art. But this responsibility does not extend as far as 'second guessing' the artist. In no way should the viewer attempt to use the artist's intentions in their critical appreciation of a work. Art is autonomous, existing outside of intention, because if that intention is made explicit, it becomes part of the work. All that can be asked for from the viewer is an open mind and some kind of self-honesty and individualism of thought, because in that mindset lies the closest connection with the artist.

An odd movie...

Posted 13 June 2002, 7.59 pm by The_Roach

This link was submitted by janetdoggy. I don't know quite how to explain it, to be perfectly honest. It is not recommended for dial-up users or (as jd put it) dot.

Click Here.

Moments

Posted 13 June 2002, 5.18 am by Sickan

In the night sky the stars are blinking vaguely down to us. They tell the stories of centuries past and centuries to come. I lean back at you and taste the night sky. You are sitting up against an old oak-tree, the smoke from your cigarette is colouring the summers air blue. I touch your knee and you let your fingers run through my hair.

The noise from the city below us comfort me, somehow everything seems calm and unreal here. The puzzling from some hungry animal in the forest behind us makes you move just a little. I wonder if you are uncomfortable and then turn my head, look at you – you smile down at me and kiss my forehead. I can see your perfect teeth in the dimmed light from the city and stars, your eyes have just a hint of the green which usually lit your strong face, now they are dark, look a bit small you must be tired.

A siren howls to the moon from the city as an ancient wolf. I wonder who is hurt and how. Maybe a shooting, maybe a car accident or maybe an old lady who has fallen. I wonder if you those same thoughts, thoughts of people - strangers and their lives. Perhaps.
After a while I get up turn around and take both your hands. You get up, your knee makes a crackling sound and you smile again. Looks at the clock we have been sitting there for almost two hours. I walk to the car and feel the blank metal under my fingertips, it is cold and feel fresh. You call and throw the keys to me, I look at him, wondering, and open the door. Star the engine and you get in beside me. You lean over and take my head in both your hands, you look deeply into my eyes, you look like you are hurt, like it is painful to look at me. I look intensely back at you, try to read your eyes but as usual I find it impossible. You tell me how beautiful I am and how lucky you are to have me in your life. I smile intrigued and kiss you. Push you gently back in the seat and drive out on the road. The radio plays ‘In the shadow of the valley of Death’ by Marilyn Manson. I feel you mouthing the lyrics. You are a wonderful creature.

The city and all it’s light overwhelms me once again. Now we drive in the pumping heart of our city. The banners with all the new movies, the stars from Hollywood smiling at us from posters, the neon from the cheap restaurants, the bars and drunken people shouting, all these things I call a part of home.

Soon we are home, the big old 18th century building seen dark and secretive in the night light. We lock the car and go inside. The building smell of home. The Arabic couple who lives just under us are arguing again, the elderly Japanese couple across the hallway from us are watching television loud.

I find the key and lock us in, the cat welcomes us and you gently pick him up, talk to him with love in your voice. I look at you two and feel so lucky. I hug you both and we stand like this for a while, the cat kick his way free and run out the door.

Lego Death

Posted 12 June 2002, 8.01 am by Berly

If only Lego Land was this cool....

Lego Death

exams exshmams!

Posted 9 June 2002, 5.52 am by Villager

Tomorrow I have the first of 7 of the most decisive examinations of my life. They will determine which country I live in for the next four years plus. They determine what I will be studying for the next four years plus. Two long years of classes and study will be justified or let down by a few short hours sat in a sweaty gymnasium in the summer's heat. I've not worked as hard as I could have done - far from it, and things would certainly be different had I the power of Hindsight.

All that said, though, if the worse comes to the worse, I'll still go to University, still study for four years, still have a decent chance to get a decent job at the end of it. My future after those four years will likely be very similar - and it will be little more than the location and the quality of the establishment at which I study that will be affected. The core elements in my life - continued education, companionship with a loved one, freedom of movement, independence et al, will all be affected little by Success or Failure.

It puts things into a comforting perspective, and I smile when I see others around me pulling their hair out because they are resigned to falling short of the expectations set by parents, teachers, and themselves. Sure, it may make the difference between immediate decisions and the like - such as whether I go to University in England or Scotland, Glasgow or Birmingham - but when all's done and dusted, my performance in Further Education will have far less effect on where and how I end up than class, wealth, personal interests and opportunities that care not how well I've done at College.

I am working class, able to live comfortably but not extravagantly, with a fairly well developed idea of what I want to see and achieve in the future - not just the next four years, but well into adulthood. Those factors - the tangible societal flexibilities, and my personal nature - will decide the outcome of my education youth, not As and Bs and meeting my Target Grades. I will do more or less as well as I can, and for me that will be of more importance than whether or not some grey-haired middle class so and so Up North whom I've never met and never will meet thinks me able enough.

Rumble in the.. retirement home?

Posted 9 June 2002, 5.50 am by Villager

So, The Big Fight Live. What an unsurprising disappointment. After all the media hype, pundit analysis and pay-check figures unprecedented, even I, somebody who never really cared about boxing, thought that perhaps Lewis v Tyson would be a good fight. No question, in his youth Tyson was an animal. Perhaps the old dog could recapture his old form and force boring half-British half-Canadian Lennox Lewis to actually work for his crown and fight. Perhaps common sense that tells us two men nearly in their forties aren't going to produce anything other than a casual fight would be wrong.

Perhaps not. All done and dusted it was a pathetic display. Lewis, the old stalwart, prodded away happily enough at Tyson until his eyes puffed up so much that he couldn't see. Tyson, supposedly a serious challenger for the title of greatest fighter on earth, barely threw a punch. He looked old, tired and quite unlike he knew which sport he was supposed to be participating in. But then, perhaps I'm expecting too much.

I think it was somewhere between Rocky 2 and Rocky 4 that real Boxing didn't feel like it was real anymore. The Glamour, intensity and spark that was present in films like Rocky and indeed in the Yester Years of boxing seems totally absent in Heavyweight boxing. I think it's sad when a fight between two old guys well past their prime is considered the greatest ever occasion in boxing. There are no prominent fighters with real ability anymore. No Cassius Clays, no personalities. Boxing is just another sport where Greed, Media and the good old American Dollar have so diluted any passion so as to make it unrecognisable. Perhaps there is great boxing to be seen; but it's certainly not at the right end of the publicity.

I'm going to live to 87! Yay!

Posted 9 June 2002, 5.32 am by Villager

Ever wondered how long you'll live?
Ever wanted a grossly generalised and inspecific test to tell you?
Ever wanted to know just how grey you will get barring an untimely accident/suicide/murder/terrorist attack?





Then here is the answer that you've been looking for.

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Doggybag/baggy_dog is an artist living and working in Barga, Italy. Click here to read about this piece in his own words.


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Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

Yo ! Does this work ?

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