Tuesday, 23 April 2019

St George


I took this photo in the William Morris gallery in Walthamstow last month. I love the work of William and his contemporaries but this is actually a pretty ridiculous image. Whilst I'm not big on realism, this sort of impression paints a very wrong image that simpletons love to feed on.

I'm an atheist so I don't approve of religious symbols either but if you are going to feature a historic figure in a picture then it is quite offensive to change that figure's ethnic identity. The geezer that was George came from the Middle East therefore would have had a much darker complexion. The above Northern European looking person is just plain wrong.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Dosh-hogs

Dosh-hogs are the enemy of the people. They are the 1%, the filthy rich capitalists, the patriarchy that control our lives. We are oppressed by the monied mafioso, there are very few of them in comparison with the rest of us yet we allow them to control us.

A small number of parasites live off the toil of the majority. It needs to change. It's unsustainable and it really can't be right that a few people have vast wealth, have so much and many many more have so little, and too many do not have enough to even survive

Dosh-hogs are greedy, evil, selfish, bastards that have no right to the power that they wield. Neo-liberalism needs to die.

The time has come to push the button.



Tuesday, 9 April 2019

If you fear socialism…

...you don’t really understand it.

I’ve been a socialist all my adult life. For me socialism is the purest form of democracy that any group of people, any collective can have. It is the most equitable form of government you can have.

Just recently the label ‘Marxist’ has been used when referring to Jeremy Corbyn as if it were an insult. The thing is that there is nothing insulting about being a Marxist. I don’t claim to be over knowledgeable about politics but I like to think I know quite a bit more about it than the average person on the Clapham Omnibus.If only we didn’t have a politically illiterate electorate.

To help people out a nice person tweeted a link to a website that houses an explanation of Marxism in 800 words. I read it and thought, ‘yep that pretty much is how I understand it’.

A word of warning if you trot out some tired, worn out old cliche about Socialism and/or Marxism having something to do with deformed one-party states then you’re a complete knob who probably knows fuck all about politics and have no doubt found yourself agreeing with headlines in The Daily Mail (the paper that supported Hitler) on more than one occasion. So do yourself a favour. Educate yourself.




Sunday, 24 March 2019

Taking back control

I thought this seemed appropriate for a #SocialistSunday.

If you really want to take back control there's only one way to do it, and that's to 'get involved’. If you believe in democracy then you need to play your part as best you can. And as best you can isn't just turning up to vote at general elections.

If you really want to take back control you really need to do it through the democratic process. As without the democratic process any control you have will be tenuous and limited.

If Brexit was a protest vote against politicians then it was a spectacularly immature and stupid protest vote. We get the politicians we deserve and if we are ambivalent, ignorant and/or disinterested in politics then we end up with the corrupt, the idiots, the gangsters, the bullies and the inbreds in charge.

Never underestimate the stupidity of the English electorate. They consistently vote in governments that do them harm. Large parts of the electorate would sign their own death warrant if handed to them wrapped in a sugar coated lie.

Sadly we don't yet live in a democracy. There are several things that need to change before we can truly call ourselves a democracy. The obvious thing that needs to change is our way of voting. First past the post is undemocratic and needs to go. Secondly we need to educate people. People need to be capable of critical thinking. They need to understand that “nothing is ever black and white”. If you have a blinkered view of the world how can you make informed choices.

People can't help being stupid. They've been condition to be stupid. The whole system is set up to suppress thinking. They are fed lies in the form of easy to digest bigoted soundbites by the capitalists. They fall for it all.

I was brought up on a council estate. I'm working class. I don't remember a time when I wasn't interested in politics even though I didn't always understand what was going on. I became a socialist at the age of seventeen and have never wavered since. I know that we will never achieve a fair, just and equitable socialist society until the working class have been educated so that they are equipped to make informed choices. The state aren't going to do it so as a movement we should. We will never have a socialist society until that happens.

I rarely apologise for my arrogance in calling stupid people stupid. Sometimes one has to tell it like it is. The trouble with stupid people is they don't realise that they are stupid because, yes you guessed it, they are stupid. The working class will only ever free themselves when they learn how to do so.



Friday, 22 March 2019

The Cornish Bakery Cheese and Sugar Scones

What kind of weirdo adds sugar when making cheese scones? Sugar?

Well The Cornish Bakery think it’s acceptable.

A little while ago we had a couple of cheese scones from The Cornish Bakery in Southwold. We didn’t eat them in Southwold but ‘ate’ them later at home in Norwich. I say ate but in reality very little was consumed. On first biting into them you could tell that they had an awful lot of sugar in them. They would have been very sweet even for sweet scones. But high sugar content with cheese just tasted vile. Utterly vile. My partner took one bite and said ‘they’ve got sugar in them’ and being a diabetic didn’t eat any more. I got a bit further. I don’t like to waste food so ate several bites but in the end I just had to give up. It was hardly practical to take them back to the shop so I complained via Twitter. Apart from gleaning that they do actually have sugar in their recipe, a brief apology and them asking for my email address I have heard no more. No offer to refund our money. Very poor customer service.

I’ve consulted several recipes to make sure it is not me that’s out of step, but none of them suggest putting sugar in them. No wonder we have a problem with obesity, type two diabetes and other sugar related problems when companies do this sort of thing.


Sunday, 17 March 2019

Art competitions

I know I bang on about competition a lot but I really do feel it is the essence of what is wrong with society.

If you're an artist then entering an art competition is the equivalent of sleeping with the enemy or selling your soul to the devil.

You can't judge art. There is no such thing as good or bad art.It's not a measurable thing, but by entering a competition you are helping to perpetuate the myth that you can. You are just adding fuel to the art as a commodity industry. Those that buy and sell art for large sums have no appreciation of aesthetics. For all they care a piece of art could just be a gold plated dog turd. They are only interested in its perceived value and money making potential.

Those in power remain so by dividing a society. The art 'elite’ do exactly the same by creating judgements and notions about what constitutes good, not quite as good and bad art. They have absolutely no authority to so.

Art and the desire to create are very healthy human traits. Competition is the opposite. Competition stifles creativity. Competition is about ‘getting one over on someone else’. All competition divides people.

Like is not a value judgement. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Art is subjective.Trying to judge art is as morally wrong as the holding of beauty contests or boxing matches, etc. etc. Collaborating with those that organise them is a betrayal!



Monday, 4 March 2019

Shameless self-promotion

The trouble is it rarely is shameless. As a self-effacing introvert, promoting my art and the artist is never an easy task. It always seems wrong somehow. It's very difficult to shout, “look at me, look at my stuff”. It makes me feel sordid or unclean. But I force myself to do it. I suppose because if I don't who the hell will?

Something that took me almost sixty years to acquire is a self belief in my art. Still don't have a self belief in me, but my belief in my art is now unshakeable. Which is why I persist with trying to tell people about my work.

I would also like to thank all those that share my work on social media in the way of reposts etc. I am eternally grateful for all the kind people who take the trouble to pass my art on. I probably don’t thank those people enough, to my everlasting shame.



Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Competition

All of humankind's problems can be directly attributable to one cause, competition. I'm sure many would question this and some would say 'what about avarice?’ It is true that greed appears to drive so much of the ills we experience but I would argue that even greed is driven by what is intrinsically the essence of competition. The desire to triumph over the next person. Competition is about categorising people as winners or losers. Victors and also rans. It divides people. It creates a lot of waste.

The various forms of competition (including war, capitalism, nationalism, sport, awards, honours etc etc) all create division. Think of all the energy that goes into competing/fighting with each other, and for what?

You don't need competition to create or innovate. You just need capacity of thought. Imagination.

Competition forces people to have a very narrow field of vision, focusing on narrow, narrow-minded goals rather seeing the bigger picture.

The long term survival of the human race will require understanding, harmony, solidarity, compromise and most importantly cooperation.



Saturday, 23 February 2019

That metaphor

I'm sure that this type of picture must have been done hundreds of times before but I just couldn't resist this:


Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Saving the planet, my arse!

I really wish people would stop talking about saving the planet when they do a bit of recycling or start to cut down on waste. You may even be an eco-warrior but you won’t be saving the planet. Don't get me wrong as I'm no climate change denier. I do try very hard to keep my footprint as low as I feel able (these things are never enough). I'm firmly of the opinion that we as a species are heading for our own personalised environmental disaster. But if you want to do your bit to slow down our certain demise, please don't do it under the slogan of 'saving the planet’. You're not saving the planet and you are not even saving the environment. Let's be honest about this, what is really meant when talking about saving the planet is perpetuating the survival of the human race, for as long as possible.

The human race will die out eventually, but the planet will still be here long after we are gone. The planet doesn't need saving and there will still be an environment. An environment that will probably sustain some forms of life. Just not human life, or that of many of the animals that we are hell bent on taking down with us. Let's face it we've fucked things up big time. We've created an environmental avalanche and we're trying to stop it with a seaside bucket and spade.

We've effectively shat on our own collective doorstep and we're continuing to shit everywhere else too. Big time. So please don't talk nonsense about saving the planet, it's self preservation we're talking about here. Let's talk about it for what it is. The human race is self destructing. We can't stop it's eventual demise but we can try and make it as comfortable as possible for us and those that follow on if we're sensible about things. If we're careful with the resources that sustain human life and we start to cooperate rather than compete then our future will be prolonged. But if we carry on down the path of capitalism and tribalism then collectively we are well and truly fucked!