A Sideways View

Driving The Car.

It is something most of us do: drive our car. We want to go somewhere, we jump in, turn the key and the motor starts. We can get in go anywhere we wish at any time and it’s better than the train because there’s no bother about timetables, tickets or having to wait for the next one – or worry about missing a connection.

Continue reading “Driving The Car.”

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Creativity

A Prayer For Palm Sunday.

Jesus Enters Jerusalem, A Sculpture For Palm Sunday.

This sculpture depicts Jesus on the donkey, and since both are made of wood, the donkey has been put on wheels. It was made in Southern Germany in the early part of the fourteenth century, around 1330.
Jesus on the donkey. A wooden sculpture from Southern Germany, c. 1330.
Rijksmuseum Twente, Enschede, permanent collection.

Today is Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey. If you don’t know the tale, you should, because it is one of the brighter moments of human history.

This sculpture depicts Jesus on the donkey, and since both are made of wood, the donkey has been put on wheels. It was made in Southern Germany in the early part of the fourteenth century, around 1330. Today we would describe the style as ‘naive’ in that it is simple, unadorned and to be blunt, artless. That wasn’t the point, but then, artlessness can be artistic when done with care. What it does have is that which the modern naive painters forget: it has charm. Continue reading “A Prayer For Palm Sunday.”

Art · The Comfort Zone

Roy Lichtenstein’s “As I Opened Fire, 1964.”

Lichtenstein’s American Dream.

This is a large piece that is typical of Lichtenstein’s oeuvre. It is garish, blunt and has the occasional stroke of a paintbrush. Other than that, it was a case of masking it off and using carefully prepared rollers to fill in the poster-paint colours or to paint across a piece of serrated aluminium to get the impression of all the dots – these were not done individually in the way the experts at the Stedelijk suggest.

This is a large piece that is typical of Lichtenstein’s oeuvre. It is garish, blunt and has the occasional stroke of a paintbrush. Other than that, it was a case of masking it off and using carefully prepared rollers to fill in the poster-paint colours
This is a big painting. Really big. But big is the American dream, right?
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Permanent collection.

Continue reading “Roy Lichtenstein’s “As I Opened Fire, 1964.””

A Human Menagerie

Professors And People You Shouldn’t

Be Nasty To.

The purpose of this blog is to get people thinking for themselves. It is the most important thing a person can do as an individual. Without being able to think for oneself, it means that the greater part of your life is going to be spent doing things that others tell you to. Which isn’t being the uniquely placed human being, is it?

We all need to work, do a job, and for most of us that means doing as we’re told. That’s fair enough, and we all need to pay our way. I worked for my clients, painted their walls in colours that I truly hated, but it was their house and they wanted to live there and I only had to paint it. They were happy with the result and the result was that I could come home to my flat that is done out with Laura Ashley wallpaper. That I bought twenty five rolls for twenty euros need not detain us here. It’s the boring kind of wallpaper I like. Continue reading “Professors And People You Shouldn’t”

Economics · Mind The Gap!

This Isn’t About Britain!

I’ve known this since I lived in Germany back in the 1980s: Britain simply doesn’t get Europe. Britain has this idea that the Continent of Europe somehow needs its appendage – its appendix? That is to say, Britain is in a place of its own and it knows that through its superior culture and business practices it is the envy of the world. In short: Europeans are crazy to even let us go. Leave alone demand terms.

Look at Britain! They have motorcar industries, banking and fisheries… but then, so does Romania. Albeit the banks aren’t quite as impressive, their connection to Europe by way of railways is actually a lot better than Britain seems to think. Continue reading “This Isn’t About Britain!”

Modern Times

Chaos In Italy!

You’ll have seen it in the headlines – today’s Guardian newspaper speaks of “As one EU headache subsides in Germany, another starts in Italy.

So far so good.

If you’re a Brit, that is. Because in Britain, elections are – or at least should be – clear cut affairs with a clear cut result. The reasoning is simple: you get the most votes, you get the seat. You get the most seats you get the power. But then, this has serious disadvantages if you happen to be on the loony left or the nutty right. Or the centre party, the Liberal Democrats joined at the hip after a split in the 1980s that decimated both parties’ representation in the House of Commons. Even in the last election in 2017, they received 7.4% of the vote and got 1.8% of the seats. The system only makes any sense if you’re powerful. Continue reading “Chaos In Italy!”

Economics

Playing Chicken With Brexit

Who Will Blink First: Britain Or The EU?

There was a rather inflammatory article in today’s Guardian newspaper that suggested that the EU and Britain were playing chicken with Brexit.

There were several issues that the author didn’t mention, one being the thorny issue of a legally binding settlement. From the British, that is. Now to be fair, there have been murmurings that the British were actually going to produce something. However, thus far, the British have been very good at suggesting something might happen, in the way David Davis didn’t even think to write his impact report. In a democracy, this would have been enough to bring a government down: he had been ordered by the Speaker to present the report on the given date. All he could do was to turn out his pockets and say that the Russians had eaten it.

Or something like that, I can’t remember his exact words.

Continue reading “Playing Chicken With Brexit”