Sunday, 31 May 2009

Hawkins' First Hadrosaur

(originally posted on myspace here)

 

 DO NOT WATCH THIS:

 
 
 I wish Hesketh would get a shift on and forward me that strand of a hundred insults because "Jesusophile", as he terms himself here, lacks them all. Lack. Exactly. It's a lack. He should have them because it's a lack. (Sorry, you'll only get that if you've seen the video, which you mustn't). Videogum drew this Shitwizard to my attention after he posted an argument for the okayness of inflicting pain on women during sex. Someone else then posted a video where he demonstrated AIDS passing through a condom with some off milk and a strainer, at which point I smelt a rat and went and did my own research. It was the interview above that convinced me he was actually for real. Except he isn't. It says so on his youtube channel. Oh curse you, Internet. "You obviously have no idea how evolution works."
"People always tell me this. It's such a weak argument." Okay so he doesn't exist, and he's Dutch, but I didn't know that three hours ago when I had to walk him off, and a good thing too, it was a beautiful day and I ended up at the Natural History Museum. Passing the animatronic T Rex I was struck for the very first time by how bare not only he but most of the other reconstructions seemed to be, and became thrilled by the idea that dinosaurs had once been covered in feathers, not a new idea I know but one it became impossible to shift. Every animatronic now seemed very obviously plucked, and how would we know? I thought of those brilliant medieval bestiaries in which geese grew on trees and all that's known or cared about the crocodile is that it weeps after eating a man.

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("Meh, that's a crocodile, yeah it'll do. Might have got the wings the wrong colour but sod it, it's a naturally occurring allegory, no need to sweat the details.") And I passed an illustration of a T Rex sinking its teeth into a hadrosaur and thought - Yes, if we've got that wrong, then that's exactly how we get it wrong: Take what we know about something and paint it killing something else. And for the first time since I was probably ten I yearned to visit the Cretaceous period and find out what it was actually like, which was GREAT because until that point all those post-Jurassic-Park, CGI "reconstructions" had pretty much seen off my childlike di-curiosity. But THIS, seeing the bones, remembering how wrong we might have got it, gazing at a scene of antlered hadrosaurs gathering at the water-hole, all this suddenly made me want once again to see not a clone, but THAT SCENE. I wanted a time machine. I wanted to step out of a time machine and see a T Rex at dusk trailing feathers like a peacock and scavenging some long-dead carcass while the hadrosaurs were left to butt heads in peace. Bliss.

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One of the best things about my stay in Crystal Palace was that the train pulled up right next to Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins' placid - downright pekinese - dinosaur enclosure. Googling "hadrosaur" I found an illustration of Hawkins in his studio in New York working on new wonders. Yes, New York: Apparently there was going to be a Paleozoic Museum bang in the center of Central Park until the evil Boss Tweed broke all the molds. You can read about it here, lots of nice pictures... Now when I used to work at Quinto's the second-hand bookshop - sorry if I've already told you this - there was this anti-semitic, ghastly-headed twenty-something, Joe, a bright and polite former monk with some very bad ideas. Among these was that "the Passion of the Christ" was "accurate", and that the world was six thousand years old. I took him up on this, and heard his thoughts on dinosaurs. They'd drowned in the forty days of rain caused by the bursting of Earth's original meniscus, an ozone layer of water that made all carbon dating useless. He believed in evolution and "Survival of the Fittest" but when pressed had no explanation for coal, or caves or tectonic plates. Shortly afterwards he was dismissed following a chat with our Spanish manager about Franco. But if ever you meet a creationist don't raise the subject of dinosaurs. Surprise them with coal, or stalactites. I mention Joe here merely to explain my gullibility in the face of Jesusophile, and I post Jesusophile's video up even though he doesn't exist, and isn't funny, because this is the internet and I'm an atheist and it appears that that's what we do, we like to make ourselves mad.

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Finally here's something I wrote for "Money", which fits fine here:

'I want to show you something. I want to show you what we will look like in 200 thousand years time. And before I do remember, survival of the fittest does not mean survival of the best at running. It means, or did mean – “Who fits here? They can stay”. Okay. Behold. The man of 200 thousand years time...
And they say variety is dead. And they’re right. Because – look around, look – we didn’t adapt to this. We adapted it. Evolution can stop now.
Variety is dead.
It’s “Where fits us?” now, not  “Who fits here?” Where fits us can stay. And the rest, the deserts, the tundra, the bits with snakes, they go. And on their remains will be built a city without frontiers.
And it will be very expensive.
But we’ll be able to afford it.
That’s the other thing about the future. We’ll obviously all be able to afford it. Something to do with technology. Thank you, man of the future.'

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(Man of the Future comes courtesy Paleo-Future, another cracking source of odd and ahh.)

Thursday, 28 May 2009

MOOLAH (It's French for Mill)

(originally posted on myspace here)

 

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So we all had a week off to take stock. Item: one work of genius, our new home, this, "The Machine", with carpeting, crawl-space, trap-doors, glass floors and lots and lots of banging. Item: another work of genius, "Money" by Emil Zola, documenting the Paris Bourse Crash of 1882, and settled on as a starting point for Shunt's new show all the way back in June 2008, before any of those little caveats gabbled softly in the closing seconds of a commercial came to pass and it all went down as well as up. Item: one beekeeper's costume, three black hats. Item: "frenetic activity", presumably to be specified at a later date and possibly involving potted plants but ultimately, I mean, who knows... Now our first two paying audiences, having paid and aud, are nursing their din-weakened teeth and the promise of a free ticket to another night, a night when we'll have the show that "MONEY" *should* be ready, for we are not without honour, while the neat reprieve granted the Lounge - which was to have disbanded this month to make way for the priests and planners of Twinky's Mighty Teepee but will now be staying open 'til September, hah! - means we're not without money either. So it's back to the whatever-this-is-we're-doing board and the plan I think now is - Well actually, I'm not sure how confidential this is supposed to be... I mean as long as nobody knows when you're going to open you never *really* have to. And although an indefinitely extended rehearsal period may sound a bit like hell, like actual Hell, like where you go when you die and you've been Hitler, A) that's Shunt, and B) the good thing is we all have this at least in common: What We Hate - and I think we pretty much all hated what was performed last week. (When my trousers unexpectedly fell down on the first night - not down, apart, they'd been torn in half during some wrestling - I was actually relieved, I stood there relieved, because this at least was SOMETHING *not* to react to as opposed to all of that NOTHING we'd been meant to be reacting to either side of it). 

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So it isn't quite finished yet, no. But as I may have to explain to a few producers expecting sketches later in the week, say, deadlines are very well in their way BUT the best monsters are those born of eggs, yeah? And sometimes an artist will, you know, just have to sit on that egg until it hatches, and but no because it's a monster, you know, and who *knows* when they're going to hatch? (Then comedy producers, you go - That's a very good point, S Le P, we'd better leave you to finish whatever it is you're doing on f*c*b**k, oh and thanks for that alien-abduction-mentally-blanking-anal-rape sketch with the xylopnone song in it by the way, we'll get word to the Mail, don't you worry, no don't get up, don't move an inch). Bloody hell, sketches. I'd better run a bath. Here's another machine:

 

Nice noises. There's more here. Oh, so what's the new plan? Well, finally, thankfully, do everything we can to make the audience the protagonist, Zola Karaoke. Throw everything out. Don't throw everything out. Wait until it's finished. Stick the tycoons in the hold and the orphans in the gallery. And turn it down. Monstah!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Music Videos Were Invented By The French (+Horrible discovery for Futurama fans)

(originally posted on myspace here)

 

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Day Three, and my purchase now stands rampant... I see, so it's a that. Well the image software's behaving itself at least. And I'm Jane Porter from Tarzan. Yes I am inquisitive and sweet-natured. I might not always know what I'm getting myself into, but I'll make my way nonetheless - and things will very likely turn out for the best! So that's great. And now I must write five sketches. Very quickly though: 
Does anyone else know about the Scopitone? It was a jukebox that played videos back in the fifties and sixties (decades before Queen was supposed to have invented the promo). How does that work? I don't know. But this website provides an astonishing library of the kind of the stuff you could stand and watch in a bar in San Remo before the trivia machines came along (Do they have trivia machines on the Riviera? They must do. Bullseye's appeal is universal.) It's like a secret history of the music video, this site, like nothing you've seen before. At least I hope it's like nothing you've ever seen before, because, well, LOOK at it! (Futurama fans should be particularly interested/baffled/nauseated by the turn things take a minute and a half in. Man, you think you know a reality, then something like this comes along. Thank you, Scoptione.

[That video has since been removed along with its dancers in rubber with bits missing. Here at least, is what they danced to...]


LATE POST: It turns out this routine is also a perfect match for Praise You. No really, try it (total desensitization is your only friend round these parts!)

Sunday, 24 May 2009

MUST FLY

(originally posted on myspace here)

 

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Day Two. Pah. This picture was much bigger than it should be because Adobe Imageready has got lost or some- I mean what even is it? - anyway I don't have the thing to make it smaller (Posthumously this may have been corrected). And It's just been intimated to me that "cockgoggles" is not a suitable word for radio 4 at 6:30 in the evening. Sorry, Miklus. Huh. Anyway... I'm a healer, says f*c*b**k, that's my "PURPOSE IN LIFE", and I should get my eyebrow pierced. Thanks. (Sarcasm. And I've remembered the asterisks this time, which is healthy.) I'm also Spider-Man, Footloose and Audrey Hepburn and should marry Cameron Diaz. Not my will, f*c*b**k but thine be done. However these are revelations I have too little time to ponder now, no I just wanted to stick up today's photo of the archaeopteryx... I wonder what interview with Lars Von Trier I am. Ah, "Which Marginalised Disney Gal are you?" Great, I'll take that one. Here meanwhile is a cartoon. X

Friday, 22 May 2009

Okay, why I might not be leaving facebook just yet

(originally posted on myspace here)


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I think it's an archaeopteryx. Day One. 

Well I've added water now so we'll know in forty-eight hours. I bought it today in South Kensington for... ah, American laptop, it doesn't have pound signs... two pounds and sixty-five pee. I thought “something for the room”. It was an odd shop that, painted tin trunks "in the style of Jaipur lorries", scarves going for a grand and balls of twine for forty quid, so actually 2.65 for an archaeopteryx was very reasonable I thought. I took it upstairs to the till but there was no till, just a touch-screen beneath a tapestry besides which I ostentatiously hovered clutching the purchase and a fiver while the staff served free Turkish coffee to a troup of sonorous poshoes instead. But am I not also posh! Am I not sonorous! I may be between beards, these trainers may be fire-damaged and this belt quite obviously my sister’s but my fiver is as good as theirs. I very nearly just walked out with it. Did you, Charles Bukowski! Yes, I nearly did! That would have been great... It was an excellent day... I glimpsed Jennifer Tilly in the V and A. Better still I heard her. There is simply no verb for her voice. What both purrs and quacks? It’s like a sackbut if a sackbut could ask for directions. And I've just learnt she’s fifty! And the Marx Brothers didn’t start making films until they were in their forties! But that’s not why I may not be leaving facebook just yet.

Look I haven’t been able to find that strand of a hundred insults that I promised, but looking back over my "wall" here are some of the things I've learnt about myself since I logged back on:

Which "Winnie the Poo" Character Are You?” I have completed the quiz, and I am Tigger. 

I am simply the life of the party. Life can get bumpy, but that's okay -- I won't notice it anyway! (And it’s “Pooh”)
“What kind of lover are you?” I have completed the quiz, and I am in the top 5 %.
"Are you truly eukaryotic?" I have completed the quiz, and I am probably an evil virus; re-enroll in college-level Biology.
"What Taylor Swift song are you?" I have comleted the quiz, and I am "Tim McGraw". Who is Taylor Swift? Who is Tim McGraw? None of this matters. I am Tim McGraw.
"Are you on a boat?" I have completed the quiz, with the result “You're on a boat."
“Femija juaj I pare…cun apo goc???” I have completed the quiz, with the result “Cun..”:



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But there are so many more quizzes still to take,so much more i have to learn about myself. 
Join me tomorrow then, once I’ve run off these three sketches I hastily
promised Gareth Edwards for tomorrow HAHAHAHANOOoo... with the archaeopteryx
at half mast, and find out what I should get pierced. Or there’s one
called “WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE?” Maybe I’ll take that.
Okay this formating's going mental. (I haven’t read Charles Bukowski. Is he good?)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

New Big Spaces

(originally posted on myspace here)

 

I'm well, thank you for asking.

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In fact I think I'm all well. I would go for walks on Hampstead Heath and check on my hand to see how my body was doing like I used to in hospital then see that it was glowing and have to find a bench, but that was back in February...
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And well now, how to get from there to here? Am I just going to write everything? Maybe I should start by making my excuses: 

1. The lease ran out on my photoshop, which is half the fun of these posts for me (so these images are bigger and duller than I'd like).

2. I *was* of course going to write about my steroid-induced psychotic episode next (so very Christian Bale, so very topical back in February) but thought better of that until I'd found somewhere to live... which now I set it down in print strikes me as incredibly paranoid. Or is it? I don't know. Ah. No but if I were vetting potential flat-mates I'd probably google them to see if they'd, say, started any fights in hospital with a club-footed Maori. Then again, to paraphrase Lenny Bruce, I'd google mud

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Hmm, these paragraphs are more widely spaced than I remember, Yup, big spaces... Anyway I moved out of Susy's at the end of March into a long, uncarpeted, white-washed room in a large, airy, joss-sticky flat in Gipsy Hill and I lasted there a month. The land-lady didn't like my hours, and who can blame her? The floor-boards creaked, her room was right outside the bathroom, she slept with her door open so actually yes I for one can blame her, but a home's a home and that was hers and I'm not even sure I want one right now.
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Time passes, shut up! as Dylan Thomas once wrote, and I've found a room now with a carpet and a coffee table three storeys up a tower-block in Clapham Junction with gardens, pool, sauna, jacuzzi and loudly wuthering heights. I'm holed up across from the busiest station in Europe, I've found a Complete Works of Shakespeare for a pound and Dr. Thompson's incomparable "Great Shark Hunt" for three, I'm pretending I'm on tour or a scatty writer assigned to LA, my stuff - the charred and the saved - stays in storage until I can face it, and the big money's been coming in fine from Shunt (whose new show's more physical aspects can here be seen under construction).
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In fact they're still under construction. And with nowhere to work and the director up in Scotland we have this week off. It's okay though, it's all fine, I'm just in it for the company and the money that's what I've got to keep telling myself. I mean, it's great! I'm better! I can do winch-work and wrestling and I've got a pool and a sofa! And I've got work, biggish commissions for both LaurenceandGus' and MitchellandWebb's new radio shows, and it's work I can actually do (new stuff got laughed at)! AND the insults  Charlotte Hesketh and I have been throwing back and forth across f*c*b**k for the past month now number a hundred, so I can finally leave that! And here we are rehearsing: Hey Spacey, copy THIS!


Whatsamadda Kevin Spacey, you chicken?! Oh yeh, you all "I'm going to get a railway arch and put art in and shit" and we all "Let's drop this flowerpot on the director's head a number of times before he leaves" and you all "Good luck with that then" and we all "Ow, uh"...  Yes well lots to catch up on then. Hello again, thanks for sticking around. A post every other day as promised, once. Join me tomorrow for those hundred insults then. I'm better. This is easy. 

(Oh yeah, 3:10 AM. I remember. Hmm... still big spaces.)