Monday, 23 January 2012

Words. . oh, to have said something memorable . . .

I love quotations: Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Shaw, Dickens; all the usual suspects, but what I really love is the wacky stuff, and Guy Debord is a particular favourite.

Debord was a French Marxist theorist, writer, and a founding member of  Situationist International.  Some consider his book Society of the Spectacle (1967) to have been instrumental in the Paris uprising in 1968. And he was a drinker. He defined Psychogeography  as “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” Another definition is “a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities…just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape.” Heavy duty, philosophy? Well, yes and no. “This apparently serious term ‘psychogeography,’” writes Debord biographer Vincent Kaufman, “comprises an art of conversation and drunkenness, and everything leads us to believe that Debord excelled at both.” One of the ‘playful, inventive strategies’ involved taking a city map and taking a route from A to B simply following the directions on the map: second left, first right etc….. the absurdist element was that the map was not of the city in which the journey would take place. Therefore Debord and his colleagues/drinking buddies would, for example,  carry out a journey in central Paris using a street map of Berlin: a journey which involved a large number of re-fuelling stops – a sort of Philosophy  Crawl – sounds like fun! In his own words: ‘I have written much less than most people who write, but I have drunk more than most people who drink’

Of course it was not only Debord, who enjoyed intoxication. Julian Trevelyan, British surrealist and fan of psychtropic drugs wrote:  ‘On mescalin, I have fallen in love with a sausage-roll’

And, with or without stimulants, Jean-Paul Sartre said, enigmatically, ‘Jazz is like a banana, it has to be consumed on the spot.

They’re all such great lines. I’d be happy to go down in history, having said one great phrase, such as,  um . . . er . . . . . ah well, there’s time yet . . . . .
I think my best effort to date is: 'Do it yourself is a reply not a motto!'

Friday, 6 November 2009

Book Review: The art of looking sideways by Alan Fletcher

The art of looking sideways by Alan Fletcher

The introduction ends: 'The art of looking sideways is the ultimate guide to visual awareness, a magical compilation that will entertain and inspire all those who enjoy the interplay between word and image, and who relish the odd and the unexpected.'

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

TIGRE 1996-2009

12 kgs of cat & character! For many years, he would spend every day sitting on the lap of an lovely old lady called Annanina. After she died, for some time he went every day and waited outside her apartment.

A lot of people will miss him. I know I will.

Monday, 2 November 2009


Glorious weather in Rome for two days. Played at Il pentagrappolo with Blues Trail and Blue Fuse

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Thinking Neologisms . . . again

Absurd public transport

Saturday, 24 October 2009

I'm thinking neologisms.....

monotamy a boring marriage.

mahogamy a solid marriage.