Archive for the ‘Jesting’ Category

Me, Be Social?

September 6, 2016

This is totally against my anti-social media stance, but things can get a little desperate when you live in a foreign country and you only have four friends and one of them is moving back to the States in just a few months.  So I was browsing through Meet-Up, which is kinda like social media but also ideally an IRL thing, and I found this hilarious group called Anti-Social London, which is hosted, among other things, a funny event called “The I’m Not Racist, But… Debating Society.”  I’d totally go if it weren’t on a Friday.  Herewith, the description:

The “I’m not racist, but…” debating society
Friday, September 30, 2016
7:00 PM

Windsor Race Course
Windsor Race Course, Windsor

The “I’m not racist, but…” debating society is as old as time itself and has played host to many, many factless, emotive and, above all, ignorant motions ever put forward.

Past topics have included:

• I’m not racist, but it’s true that there are no more school places because of immigrants

• I’m not racist, but isn’t it funny how I am getting more angry and there are immigrants? Coincidence?

• I’m not racist, but you can’t walk down the streets these days without having a huge variety of shops, products and choices available to me – which I hate. Give me pie and betting shops. That’s all I want.

• I’m not racist, but I remember a time when I didn’t have to be racist, but now it’s the most convenient way of disregarding my problems by blaming other people who don’t really have a voice (yet)

• I’m not racist, but I blame all of the problems I face in my daily life on people of a foreign nationality or colour of skin.

As you can see, it’s a blast with proper conversations for proper Bri’ish people, with proper Bri’ish sentiments and proper Bri’ish jobs. So come on, join in the debate and let’s have a good old fashion chin wag.

Submitted to the Committee

February 21, 2016

DC and ID attended the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden for the second year in a row this year, and propose to add the following new rules to the drinking game:

When the handler’s outfit resembles upholstery

A truly dangerous decree.  Think long and hard before voting this in.

A collective “awww” from the audience

This one might be only applicable for those watching the show in person.  This year, a number of breeds got this sign of approval, including the Wirehaired Dachsund and newbie the Lagotto Romagnolo.

When the handler keeps treats in his/her mouth

This was discussed as a possible rule back when first formulating the game, but somehow didn’t make it on the list.

When the handler runs with a brush

Many long-haired breeds need the occasional touch-up.


If you are a member of the Society for the Advancement of Drinking Games, please fill out your ballot with your choice of proposed new rules and submit to Siobhan at  Next year, DC and ID, instead of attending both nights at MSG, will host a public viewing party on the first night of competition for members of the SADG and their guests.  Location TBD.
How many more acronyms can I fit into this post?

Fictional Works of Art

August 30, 2015

One of the greatest things about living in London is that, as people like to joke about, it rains approximately 75% of the time, so if you happen to be happy only when you’re reading (the lesser known Shirley Manson anthem) you’ll be enabled all day, every day.  Right now I’m devouring The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud, and had a revival of this old thwarted idea: for someone (probably Petah Coyne or Sarah Sze) to recreate the sculptures/installations of both Sirena Shahid and Nora Eldridge.

Shahid: “In that first conversation, she told me about her installations, which were––as I would eventually see with my own eyes––lush gardens and jungles made out of household items and refuse: elaborately carved soap primroses, splayed lilies and tulips fashioned out of dyed dishrags and starch, silvery wines of painted and varnished clothesline and foil, precisely and impeccably made.  I couldn’t quite picture them when she talked about them, but the idea made sense to me: visions of paradise, the otherworldly, the beautiful, and then, when you’re in them, up close, you realize that the flowers are mottled by filth and the vines crumbling and that the gleaming beetles crawling on the waxy leaves are molded bottle tops or old leather buttons with limbs.  Her installations had names from fairy tales and myth––The Forest of Arden; Avalon; Oz; Elsinore––but they were, in reality, the kitchen or the laundry room, and sooner or later the viewer would realize there was an ancient sink behind the waterfall or that the boulders between the trees were a washer and dryer, blow-torched black and furred with dark lint.”

Eldridge (to be honest, though I’m obsessed with this book, NE’s work seems to be pretty obvious as metaphor): “That fall I was making a tiny replica of Emily Dickinson’s Amherst bedroom, about the size of a boot box, each floorboard in place, the re-creation of her furnishings exact and to scale.  Once I’d made her room, and made her, as perfectly as i could, in a white linen nightie with ruffles, my aim was to set up circuitry so that my Emily Dickson might be visited, sitting up in her bed, by floating illuminations––the angelic Muse, her beloved Death, and of course my tiny gilded mascot, Joy herself.*

This was, I imagined, the first in a series: I wanted to make one of Virginia Woolf at Rodmell, putting rocks in her pockets and writing her final note: my idea was that there would be slides of the river, raging, and sound effects, too; and an actual copy of the handwritten note that would project not onto the diorama wall but out Virginia’s bedroom window, onto our walls outside, so that instead of being small, the words would be huge.  In my mind’s eye, they would flicker: the flickering was, to me, very important.

Then there was to be one of the painter Alice Neel, in the sanatorium to which she was sent after her nervous breakdown at around the age of thirty.  I wanted there to be an echo, you see, between Emily Dickinson’s spare white room and Alice Neel’s white room, the monastic and the asylum: both retreats, but of such different types.  And both the province of women.  I even though about the title of my nonexistent series: A Room of One’s Own?  I thought the question mark was the key…

The last diorama I planned was to be the opposite of the others.  It was going to be Edie Sedgwick’s room in Warhol’s Factory. Instead of trying to escape the world, Edie sacrificed herself to it.  She existed only in the public gaze.  Imagine that: a surface, so beautiful, from which all depth has been erased.  But then, the photos, their intensity, her vitality––it certainly looks as though a soul was trapped behind those eyes…

But the point is that I was consumed––in a digressive, obliterating way––by my hypothetical series, and by my Emily Dickinson diorama in the first instance, by its practical minutiae.  I had paintbrushes comprised of a single hair, and a loupe like a watchmaker’s that I could attach to my forehead, and I’d spend three days on a miniature replica of the woodcut landscape that hung between the windows in Emily’s bedroom only to decide, once it was done, that the likeness was poor, and that I needed to begin again.”

Now that we’re on the topic of fictional works of art, perhaps a gallery should organize an entire show in which artists make their versions of “fictional art.”  I’ll get the list together––Mental Floss tried, but it’s a paltry offering, IMHO.  If you own a gallery and have a lot of money with which to pay artists who might be interested, please contact Siobhan after the Bank Holiday has ended.

*Don’t worry––you won’t get it unless you’ve read the book.


August 4, 2015

I think that a magazine should hire me to go on a scuba diving trip a la Sail Caribbean, and write about it, because I went as a kid and I didn’t appreciate it and MAN I would give a lot for a redo of that fucker.  But also, if the travel magazine had a sense of humor and scope, perhaps they could have the only people on the boat (maybe eight?) be people who went on said trips as teenagers and didn’t appreciate them.  It will be touching and hilarious!

A Tweet

July 30, 2015

I think the most difficult thing about studying phenomenology would be having to say “phenomenological” at least twenty times a day.

Genius Idea THWARTED

March 31, 2015

From: ID

To: Improve Everywhere

Dear Improv Everywhere,

For quite a while now, I’ve had this obsession with staging the famous “Day-O (Banana Boat)” scene from Beetlejuice in a restaurant, unbeknownst to the customers of course. I’m a writer and generally funny person, but I frankly have no idea how to organize something of this nature. My vision is for it to be in the basement dining area of the Mercer Kitchen, because it has a similar aesthetic. Despite the above caveat about knowing nothing about this, I’d love to be as involved as possible, particularly in casting. Oh, it could be so fun! In case you need a reminder of what the scene is (I highly doubt you do) here is the clip:

I love you!

From: Improv Everywhere

To: ID

Fun idea.  Thanks for writing!  Unfortunately since Day-O is a copyrighted song, it wouldn’t be a fit for Improv Everywhere to produce (legal issues on YouTube.)


But Harry Belafonte seems like a fun guy, I think he’d want me to do it!