The Snobbery of Art – Tracey Bashing!

I read yesterday that there’s a long awaited (for us who love and appreciate her art) Tracey Emin exhibition at the White Cube Gallery in Mason’s Yard called “Those Who Suffer Love”.

Once again, there’s a bubbling undercurrent of controversy, for HEAVEN FORBID Tracey has a piece in it that shows that most women in the 21st century like to masturbate. One of her pieces is a flick-book animation of a woman masturbating. Oh, HOW pornographic!

The first article I read about the exhibition was on the BBC News web site. They mentioned the animation briefly, but seemed to realise there’s much more to talk about with Tracey’s work. They had a comment from Tracey about the piece. She said, “[Masturbation] is not just about self-love, it’s also about self-loathing and being alone and for the act of being alone.” I understand what she means completely. Tracey’s work speaks to me.

I have to say, I’d never even heard of her until I moved to the UK. And even then, it took a visit to Tate Modern and seeing some of her work for her name to REALLY resonate with me. I saw a short film she’d made, almost like a video diary piece. Her art is SO personal and the video work I found very moving. I think I started to become a fan from that point on. If indeed artists have “fans”, like rock stars do.

Perhaps that’s what the critics (and Lord, the woman has her fair share of them) hate about the “modern” artists or as the Brit contingent are referred to YBA’s (Young British Artists – in the early 90’s, when a set of them came to public attention). That they are sort of held up as “pop stars” and have fans and followers. Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Sam Taylor-Wood, The Chapman Brothers, Michael Landy are in the ranks of being labelled YBA’s. Hirst and Emin appear to be the “King and Queen” of the YBA’s, given the Wikipedia entry on the subject.

I see Tracey as almost a “today” version of Frida Kahlo. Kahlo was ballsy. She went FAR beyond what was the “acceptable face” of femininity in her art and her life. Her art was deeply personal and although I’m not a BIG fan of her artwork, I am of Frida herself and the things she represented in the art movement at the time. She portrayed herself in her art. She showed us what she wanted us to see, not what she THOUGHT we WANTED to see.

And that’s why I love Tracey. Her art is personal, but it is in no way conceited or self-centred. I’m sure critics would disagree (oh how they would disagree), but that’s how I see it. And that’s why ALL art is good. Critics, I swear, through their snobbery think they must like ALL art. If they don’t like it, it’s not art. WHAT A LOAD OF SHIT! I don’t rate Damien Hirst much myself, but I don’t begrudge people liking his work, or think any less of them.

I do, however, think it’s criminal that art has become SUCH a commodity. I watched a programme recently called “The Great Contemporary Art Bubble.” Revealed in the programme were aspects about how the collectors make the art a bigger commodity than it should be. A couple of examples: Andy Warhol collector Jose Mugrabi and his sons prop up the price of Warhol works, because they own SO much if it. Jay Jopling (the owner of White Cube Gallery – incidentally) and Damien Hirst bid on his own artwork (Hirst’s) to make it sell for what THEY deem it to be worth. But not only that, they also retain a percentage of the work most of the time, as it’ll be bought by consortia in which THEY are part of, therefore reinvesting in their own work, making more and more profit each time.

Most of the critics that criticise Tracey don’t do it because of some morality about the absurd price of art. Quite the opposite in fact. Most of them think she’s just “not worth it” or is not an “artist”. But what is an artist? Someone who is creative? Someone who produces images (be they words or pictures) for viewing? And isn’t art, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder? Should I be pandered to and told what is art and what isn’t? Should *I* be told what I should and shouldn’t like? Am I meant to like a Jackson Pollock, even though (frankly) I think an elephant can do a better job? That’s just MY opinion on Pollock though. I don’t expect others to feel the same. For what his art sells for, obviously most people don’t.

But the critics who critique Tracey seem to think we should all listen to them and stop liking her work.

Here are comments left on a article on the Times Online.

She’s absolutely right when at the end she says others artists will be missed by the media even if they are fantastic, whereas she will not . She’s “lucky”. Job done…but just don’t ask us to accept your rubbish as well. You’re extremely famous and lucky but you can’t draw. You are not an artist.

Bob, from Hong Kong.

I have a good idea for an artwork. Copy some of the crude scrawls from the walls of my local public toilet, add some pretentious titles and pseudo-intellectual explanations, and…

Oh bugger, Tracey Emin has beat me to it.

Chris K from Cheltenham

While Hirst doesn’t seem to be any better at drawing than Emin is, at least it is not what he’s trying to impress us with…. actually the ‘dead sheep’ and ‘pickled cows’ have quite an effect when seen for the first time. I just really can’t see what’s so special about her rather ugly sketches.

Paloma, from London

In response to Paloma, I dare say that what separates Hirst from Emin is that although it could be argued that Tracey’s sketches are crude (by definition a sketch is “A hasty or undetailed drawing or painting often made as a preliminary study.”), they ARE personal. What’s personal about a pickled cow? Yes, it’s very fascinating anatomically, but is it art? Is it something Hirst MADE? All he did was probably design the thing it’s displayed in. He didn’t “design” the cow, or make up the formaldehyde or probably even dissect the animal himself. Tracey’s not trying to “impress” us, she’s telling us her story (and for some of us her appreciate her art), OUR story).

Then there are just absurd, ridiculous statements that are laced with personal attacks.

Good grief! We have all had trauma in our lives – why is this hellish woman who wants us all to know about her tawdry life in a sick visual Big Brother style, taken seriously? Arrgh. She is not an artist but a poor exhibitionist who always makes me want to shower after seeing her work. Eeww shudder

Christina from Edinburgh

“As artistic as vomit. – Tom Franklin, London, United Kingdom”

Geez Tom, don’t give the lady any ideas!

Clickety6 from London, in reply to an earlier statement.

Tracey Emin can’t draw for toffee.
Nice frock she’s wearing though, so she must find a few suckers.

Sara from Leicester.

Maybe an inspirational woman, but an artist!?
You can fool some of the people some of the time…………

Steve Duckworth from Leicestershire.

Steve may have a point at the end, but if you are basing that purely on her drawings, then perhaps you would come to that conclusion. The Times article DOES point out (some people seemed unable to take this information in) that some of the drawings go back a LONG way.

Let’s not forget, they are doodles, sketches. What Tracey does is present ALL of herself. Good and bad. If you only show the “good” art, isn’t that sort of a con? A cop out? Why do people not understand that? That, what is artistic in her is the way she reveals herself. That’s HER art. That, if you like, SHE’S the art. If she left sketches out because they weren’t “good enough” she’d feel she was cheating us. And people can’t see that it’s the revelation of the art, and perhaps not so much the pieces themselves that is the art.

And that’s why I compared her to Frida. And that’s why I want to go and see the exhibition.

Would YOU give 1000% to something?

Are you THAT committed? I’ve just been reading an article from the BBC News – Magazine section on their web site, about the death of using the term “giving it 100%” to signify you giving something your all. It’s not enough to say 100% any more. You have to say 110%, 150%, some, in the American version of The Apprentice are now using the over-assured 1000%!

I was trying to put this into context. Say you’re applying for a full-time job and you say “I give everything 1000%”. Would the employer snap you up on the logic that if you give “everything” 1000%, that perhaps you’d work 1000% MORE? Say the job was for 40 hours per week, does this mean you’re willing to give your employer 400 hours a week of work? There’s only 168 hours in a week?!

I’m really committed to finishing the post now. I think I’ll give it 99.99%! lol

To read the story, click the link below…

BBC NEWS | Magazine | The death of 100%

Mozzy Care.

Em’s mum, my mother-in-law, Rita (known to us all in the family as Mozzy) had a heart attack and was taken to hospital on Tuesday.

We visited her in hospital last night with Colin (Em’s brother). She was in good spirits. She was initially in ICU but was moved to the CCU 48 hours later. The hospital wants her to be transferred to a hospital in London to have an angiogram. They suspect she may have another heart attack.

She was happy to see us and was quite talkative. She’s a bit lonely there, I think. There’s not much to occupy her mind. She has a lady in the ward to talk to, and Gilly (Em’s dad) visits daily. She’s got a TV she can use, but has to pay for the service, which she isn’t keen on. I can’t blame her. At £3.50 a day, it’s not cheap! She hasn’t got a radio even, and she likes to listen to the radio. We’re going to take one into her, but at the moment, our next planned visit isn’t until Tuesday. I’m hoping maybe we can get in again before that though.

The hospital has been trying to get her to eat, but she says she has little appetite. She doesn’t like what they’ve been giving her. She’ll have a bit of breakfast. A bowl of cereal, but she doesn’t care for much else. She’s having to take loads of tablets as well and her asthma is still bad. She was coughing a bit last night. Mostly when we made her laugh, which made us all feel guilty.

Where Has Morality Gone?

There is a big story in Australia at the moment regarding sex scandals between groups of professional, high profile sportsmen and young women who participate in “consensual” group sex with these sportsmen.

Not all incidents are evidently consensual though. The ABC’s current affairs programme Four Corners looked into the way NRL (National Rugby League) players conduct themselves off-field and their attitudes to alcohol and women.

I’ve been reading the transcript of the Four Corners programme and my word, some of the reading is disgusting.

Some of the behaviour highlighted is beyond belief. One of the teams season launches (the Manly Sea Eagles) was so fuelled with bad drunken behaviour, I found myself slack-jawed reading about it. There was an incident involving Sea Eagles player Anthony Watmough in which he was at the ceremony badly intoxicated and was abusive to one young lady – apparently for the appalling reason that she couldn’t remember his name and didn’t recognise him as the “famous footy player” he so believed he is! He then went on to verbally abuse her to her own father, saying “How could you let her leave the house dressed like that?” (for obviously Mr Watmough believed her to be scantily clad) and then proceeded to punch him!!

Another incident highlighted saw team members from a different club behave in a disorderly fashion at a University campus. What’s wrong with that? I hear you ask. Well, not anything especially, other than the players had absolutely no reason to be AT the campus, and one helped himself to trying to sexually abuse a young woman who was sleeping in her dorm. Yes, she was intoxicated herself, but she was in her OWN private dorm, asleep! She didn’t invite him back to her dorm, she didn’t consent to anything. She was asleep in her dorm, and this player just walked into her room and assaulted her!

Another incident saw a group of players take back a “footy groupie” to a hotel room and forced her to perform oral sex on several players whilst being filmed on mobile phones. She was actually told to say that she’d given her consent to the sex acts, TO camera!!

A woman who was involved in arranging “groupy” meetings with footballers on Facebook said that one of the men present told her about the incident. She wanted to know if she knew the woman and so asked the player who she was. He replied “oh, just some slurry from around Cronulla.” (Cronulla is a suburb in Sydney’s south.)

One of the biggest stories to surface in recent years was an incident that happened with members of the Canterbury Bulldogs team in 2004. It was during an away game which saw players staying at a Coffs Harbour resort involved in a group sex act with a young woman. There was an investigation. Team members were interviewed, but no charges were laid. There didn’t appear to be any indication the group sex was consensual, and the woman in question was insulted by the players and discarded.

Roy Masters, sports writer and former NRL coach, seemed to believe that players participated in group sex activities as part of a “bonding exercise”. That is the most unbelievably disgusting excuse I’ve ever heard. By way of airing that opinion it is tantamount to condoning it!

Four Corners revealed that two years before the Bulldogs sex scandal, there was another sex scandal that took place while (surprise, surprise, given their high regard for women) the Cronulla Sharks team were on tour in New Zealand.

Four Corners spoke to a woman they referred to as “Clare”. She told the programme she was invited back to one of the players rooms. She was initially accompanied by two players. What was to follow was (in her testimony) NON-consensual group sex. She described aspects of the incident in detail, including mauling and mass fondling of her body and having players sexual organs probed and rammed into her face. Players were either having intercourse with her, sexually abusing her in some other way, or in the room masturbating over what was taking place. Clare was 19 years old at the time.

Over the last seven years she has had a severe alcohol problem, has been suicidal and now has to bare the brunt of Australian public opinion, in which a vast swathe just believe her to be a whore, a trouble-maker and someone who, quite frankly, deserved what she got!

I think that is absolutely disgusting. Clare named one player in particular that she remembered from the ordeal, Matthew Johns. Given what I’ve seen in the past, not the brightest colour in the crayon set. He is now an ex-player and has a role in presenting a tawdry television programme, called The Footy Show, based loosely on discussing the weeks football (NRL), but more about juvenile antics and supposed “funny” segments. Johns has an alter ego on the show called Reg Reagan. From what I’ve seen he’s as about as funny as a tooth canal. What classes for humour in my country of birth sometimes leaves me in despair. But to each their own, I suppose.

Mr Johns doesn’t deny being involved in the incident. In fact, he admits to having sex with her! And he’s a married man, but that’s okay, all is forgiven. But if he had a modicum of decency, he’d at least reveal who the other team members were in the room with him. Oh, but no, he’s keeping schtum, so is his team-mate Brett Firman, who also admits to having sex with Clare. But in a rather un-team-like manner, all other members are keeping quiet and not revealing their involvement.

There was a police investigation at the time in New Zealand, and no charges were laid.

Last week Mr Johns made some pathetic statement about the accusations raised in the Four Corners programme and subsequently through the rest of the TV and print media.

You can’t say sorry enough. Maybe to your family, but absolutely nothing to Clare. Nothing like “If I have caused upset, anguish and pain to the lady involved, I unreservedly apologise”. No, nothing like that. What a man, eh?! What a hero!! Co-host Paul “Fatty” Vautin goes on to say, after the statement, “Alright mate, well said. Alright, let’s get on with the show”. FFS! That’s disgusting.

Channel Nine (makers of the Footy Show) then stood Johns down from his presenting role. Some sanity prevailed.

Sadly, you only have to see the comments on the YouTube clip, and the numerous Facebook groups to know that the tide of support is behind Johns.

One of the most eye-opening things in this whole Four Corners report was the attitude the younger players were shown to have in reference to sexual abuse on woman and men. Shown two video clips in which in the first incident a woman goes to a hotel room with two players, has consensual sex with one, but gets raped by the other, the general consensus by the players was “She put out first”. So the fact that she had consensual sex with the first man didn’t justify her saying “NO” to the second. Other comments went “She flirted with them both.” That, basically, she asked for it! Nice! Asked whether they thought the players might face consequences, the opinion of the players was that male number two (the rapist) might, but male number one (the seemingly consensual participant) might “get away with it” depending “how good his lawyer is” says one player!! My word!

Given a second video to watch in which a drunken man is raped by a member of the same sex, the opinions and views of the young players changes somewhat. I don’t think I need to explain that in this incidence all the players realise that what happened was unjustified, immorally wrong, and actually WAS rape. One player, having a particular epiphany says “You don’t really ask for trouble if you have too much to drink and get raped by a bloke. You don’t ask for that.”

REALLY?

One of the older players there, showing the videos says to the young men “Can we see that there’s some sort of double standard that may apply here? The girl’s gone out to have a drink. No one said that she didn’t ask for it but yet the male goes out and has a drink and it’s crystal clear that he didn’t ask for it.”

Lord help me I can hear the groans of realisation and epiphanies as I type.

I rest my case.

He’s a Scot. He’s from Paisley. I love him, but…

He’s NOT David Tennant! What’s going on?

I have a new love in my life. Not exactly in the lustful, pining ways I feel for David, mind. Purely for his artistic ability this time (although he is cute, but WAY too young for me!). My new love is Paolo Nutini.

Yes, only 3 years after he hit the music scene, I know! But I’m slow on the uptake sometimes!

It all started with an appearance he made on the live music show “Later…with Jools Holland” a couple of weeks ago. I’d not really taken him in much before. Oh course I’d heard of him. It was hard to escape hearing “Last Request” as it was a HUGE hit for him. But because it was Top 40, I didn’t take it in. Hardly anything in the Top 40 ever sways me these days. I’m not having my musical influences dictated to me by what 10 year old girls like!! I had just assumed he was a sort of cheesy, middle of the road singer. I wasn’t interested.

But after seeing him on Later… The way he performed, the sound of his voice, I was soon changing my mind. It was like he’d been possessed by a 65 year old African American blues singer. It was amazing! I had to look up how old he was later on and was astonished to find out that he’s only 22!! That’s how I learnt also that he’s from Paisley, home of David Tennant as well. I knew he was Scottish of course, but didn’t know where in Scotland he hailed from.

I went through the back catalogue. Of only one studio album, of course. Still can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the past stuff. But the new stuff he was performing and the matured vocal style have really got me excited about the new CD he is bringing out in just two weeks time. The first single off it was released yesterday and I’ve had a listen. I’m really looking forward to the album. Especially one track which he performed on Later…called 10/10. It was a STONKING track!

The album’s called “Sunny Side Up” and it’s out 1st June.
UPDATE: As of June 7th, 2009, Sunny Side Up is the UK Number 1 album! Go Paolo!

Eurovision 2009 – The Final – with winning update!

Yes, it’s Eurovision Song Contest time again! The final is on tonight. Twenty five acts battle it out to take home the prize and in these credit crunch times, less enthusiastically, get to host the contest next year.

Britain this year is “pulling out all the stops” with our entry. We’re taking it VERY seriously this year and have a song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber no less. A slow, boring ballad called “It’s My Time”, sung by a young woman called Jade Ewen. Last year we had a fab upbeat song, a great singer and we came last! I’m not sure if the name Andrew Lloyd Webber is going to make a great deal of difference, we’ll have to wait and see. The book makers have us equal 4th favourites with Armenia I think it was.

Here’s a low down of the finalists.

Lithuania: Sasha Son with “Love”. Kind of a Lithuanian JT on piano, complete with Trilby hat. Tenuous lyrics…here’s the chorus…

If you really love
The love you say you love (really love)
Then surely that love would love …
Then surely that love would love to love you back

Pardon? It’s got a good chance. Melodic and a message to the song (despite it not being present in the chorus). Update: Erm…I wasn’t the only one unimpressed by this song. It ended up equal 23rd place (in a line-up of 25). Oops.

Isreal: Noa and Mira Awad with “There Must Be Another Way”. Going for world peace having an Isreali and an Arab singing together. A good sentiment behind the song and a worthy contender. Words to the song alternate in Arabic and Hebrew with the English chorus line “there must be another way”. Update: Lower ranks for them, ended up 16th.

France: An automatic entry, didn’t have to go through a qualifying round in semi-finals. They are using one of their biggest music artists this year Patricia Kaas with “Et S’il Fallait Le Faire”. From the snippets I’ve seen it seems a bit “ingenue” torch song. The French taking their entry seriously again, after having a fantastic entry last year with Sebastian Tellier singing in English too (sacre’ bleu!). Update: Going serious and using a “big star” didn’t really pay off for them. They ended up 8th.

Sweden: Malena Ernman with “La Voix”. Big haired blonde, rather trannie looking operatic singer doing what sounds like the British Airways advert from the 80’s, Delibes’ Lakme. Not my cup of tea, but I’m sure if tactical voting still finds a way through then it’ll gets some points. Update: It did actually only manage SOME points. Only 33 in fact, which ranked it 21st on the board. Never mind.

Croatia: Igor Cukrov feat. Andrea with “Lijepa Tena”. Nice looking guy, spoilt by being joined on stage with woman who can’t really sing. When they performed Thursday night, their harmonies weren’t great, but the pulling power of the Eastern block saw them through. Not sure if it’ll really do anything… Update: I was right. It didn’t. It came 18th.

Portugal: Flor-de-lis with “Todas As Ruas Do Amor”. One of my faves. Really liked them on Tuesday night. I found it really catchy in a sort of old style traditional music kind of way. I’d like for them to win. Update: I knew it wouldn’t happen. They came 15th. Such a shame. I wish it had least made the top 10.

Iceland: Yohanna with “Is It True”. Young blonde girl with nice voice sings sort of teen angst ballad. Quite nice. Most likely a contender. I didn’t NOT like it. It’s just a bit safe, that’s all. Update: Safe enough to be the runner-up! Well done Iceland. Not sure if they’d have really wanted to win, but near enough is good enough in a credit crunch.

Greece: Sakis Rouvas with “This Is Our Night”. A Grecian Ricky Martin, dressed all in white with a big light box. A big Latino feel. Seems very popular, one of the faves to win. Update: Was UTTERLY snubbed! Sanity sort of prevailed with this one. It just made the top ten, coming 7th.

Armenia: Inga and Anush with “Jan Jan”. I did like it, even though it goes for that old school Gypsy sound. It’s certainly a contender. I like the way the ladies dress too. Update: It got in the top ten, at 10th place. Not a bad result for them.

Russia: Automatically qualify this year for winning last year’s contest. They are the host nation. Anastasia Prikhodko with “Mamo”. This certainly sounds catchier to me than what they won with last year, from the snippets I’ve heard. No one’s really talking about it, but they COULD pull off back to back Eurovision wins. Update: The performance was DIRE. I retract what I had said about the song earlier. No wonder no-one talked about it. Ew! Though with some tactical voting STILL happening, it came 11th.

Azerbaijan: AySel and Arash with “Always”. It’s okay. Not exactly taxing with the lyrics…

Chorus:
You are
Always on my mind
Always in my heart
And I can hear you call my name
On a mountain`s high
Always on my mind
Always in my dreams
I wanna hold you close to me
Always all the time

Poetic…lol Update: It must’ve spoke to the masses as it came a very respectable 3rd. Well done Azerbaijan!

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Regina with “Bistra Voda”. Described by someone texting into the semi-final coverage on Tuesday night as “Six Time Lords at a Doctor Who convention”. They look more like a mini “Les Mis” sextet to me. The song was okay enough. Not going to set the world alight. Last years entry was SO much better! Bring back Laka!! lol Update: He was there!!! Laka read out Bosnia & Herzegovina’s results!!! Poor Regina. I found them boring, but they made the top ten, coming in at 9th place.

Moldova: Nelly Ciobanu with “Hora Din Moldova” is akin to something done for the Moldovan tourism board or something. It’s catchy enough, in a traditional music sense. It was popular. It’ll probably make top 10. Update: They didn’t quite make the top ten. They came 14th.

Malta: Chiara with “What If We”. This is Chiara’s third try at getting the Eurovision crown. The first time she entered she came third, then last time she came second. Will it be third time lucky? I’m not sure… Update: Poor Chiara. It wasn’t to be 3rd time lucky. It didn’t even make the top ten, or the top twenty! It came in at a wrist-slashing 22nd. It wasn’t a bad song!

Estonia: Urban Symphony with “Randajad”. I liked this one. Ladies on classical instruments. It was catchy and is probably my second fave to win. I’m not sure it will though. It might make top five. Update: Damn! They didn’t quite make the top five. They came 6th. It was a pretty good stab by me though as to where they’d end up.

Denmark: Brinck with “Believe Again”. This song has been co-written with Ronan Keating and is being sung by a guy who sounds remarkably like him. It got through to the final, but I’m not sure it’ll do much else. Update: Much like Ronan Keating it ended up in the “middle of the road” at 13th. Unlucky for some, but that’s as much luck as they got.

Germany: Alex Swings Oscar Sings! with “Miss Kiss Kiss Bang”. Another auto-entry. I’ve only heard little snippets, but it seems another Ricky Martin-esque thing. A bit too much like Greece’s entry for me. Dita Von Teese is meant to appear on stage with them. Russia was helped by having Yevgeni Plushenko as a prop last year, so who knows? Dita might pay off for Germany. Update: Dita Von Teese was obviously not the winning prop they’d hope she’d be. They came in at 20th. How she got herself in that corset I’ll NEVER know though!!

Turkey: Hadise with “Dum Tek Tek”. The same kind of thing we’ve seen for years now. Middle-Eastern sounds, gyrating bellies and hips, lots of flesh. Yawn, yawn, yawn! It’s popular though, so might get top five. Update: Oh so predictable it would make top five. It came 4th. Yawn!

Albania: Kejsi Tola with “Carry Me In Your Dreams”. I don’t remember it from the other night, but listening to it on the Eurovision web site, it sounds good. It could be a real contender. Think I missed the performance on Thursday night. Not sure how it fared on the night. Update: I now know why it passed me by. The poor girl had these guys on stage with her. Two of them looked like Joker extras from Batman. Another guy appears in a bright green costume in full gimp mask!! It was such a good song, but the extras detracted from it. It only came 17th.

Ukraine: Svetlana Loboda with “Be My Valentine! (Anti-crisis Girl)” What *IS* with the song title!? She’s all scantily clad, dancing about with blokes. It’s catchy and is a bookies fave. I’m sure it’ll do far better than it deserves really. Update: Good old anti-crisis girl only could manage 12th. It just goes to show, sex doesn’t always sell. She was meant to have paid for her entry with her own funds, in the form of re-mortgaging her flat. Oops!

Romania: Elena with “The Balkan Girls”. Another song that could be used on a Fry’s Turkish Delight advert. All Middle-Eastern promise, blah, blah, blah! Why does this sound CONTINUE to influence Eurovision entries? It’s SO f**king old hat!! Update: The Balkan Girls might know how to party, but no one cared! They came 19th.

United Kingdom: Jade Ewen with “It’s My Time”. Nope. It’s going nowhere. Slow, boring ballad. Jade doesn’t sing too great live. She’s pitchy and the song is just SO boring! Sorry Andrew. Nul points! Update: Well, f**k me sideways! I stand corrected. What Do *I* know. Obviously the name Andrew Lloyd Webber means something, because amazingly, we came 5th!!

Norway: Alexander Rybak with “Fairytale”. The hot favourite this year. It’s sort of folkie. A bit weird. The guy sings and plays violin. It’s more traditional Eurovision in some ways. It’s an odd juxtaposed thing. I should like it therefore, but I haven’t warmed to it so far. It’s the favourite though, so probably will win. Update: And it did. It was a record-breaker! Accumulating more points than any previous Eurovision winner. It scored a MASSIVE 387 points. Iceland’s second place scored 218 points, that’s how “run away” the win was. I hope Norway hasn’t been hit TOO hard by the credit crunch.

Finland: Waldo’s People with “Lose Control”. It’s a kind of rap, sort of hip-hop, Eurodance thingy. It’s catchy, but somewhat lost by the presence of the “Eminem wannabe” Waldo. It might get top 10. Update: No top ten. No top twenty, but stone, motherless last. Poor Finland 😦 Waldo wasn’t THAT bad! lol

Finally…Spain: The last auto-entry. Soraya with “La Noche Es Para Mi (The Night Is For Me)”. She’s up there with the faves. Blonde, leggy, Spaniard. Ex airline hostess. One for the boys. More of the old Latino influences… Update: Ah, no one cared. It was equal 23rd with Lithuania. CUMULO NIMBUS! (sorry, it’s an old Fast Show in joke)

My top five would be: Portugal, Estonia, Isreal, Albania and Armenia.

But I think the top is going to be fought out by Norway and Greece.

Update: Well the big tussle between Norway and Greece didn’t happen! Norway just ran off with it!

I’ll leave you with my top entry…

Inject Your Cheeks With Sugar…

for that “pregnant glow”. MORE cosmetic madness from Friday’s Daily Telegraph in Sydney. The new rage is to get hyaluronic acid (which is SUGAR – the new fangled “wonder” being brandied about in nearly EVERY face cream advert I’ve seen in the last 18 months is just flippin SUGAR?) injected into your cheeks so you can have a healthy “expectant mother” glow to your face.

 

What is this world coming to, SERIOUSLY!?

 

 

 

Nothing Doing.

Just thought I’d stop in and have a little talk and update. Sitting here listening to Barber’s Adagio for Strings at the moment. The only piece of classical music I truly love, that actually tugs at me emotionally. Probably because it’s used in Joseph Merrick’s dying scene in The Elephant Man.

I’ve been going through lists of new release albums in the UK and sampling them on Spotify, and this adagio compilation was one of them. Classical is the one genre of music I’ve never really given enough time to. I’d like to change that if I can. I sampled several albums yesterday, but only really liked one other, from Duke Special. I could listen to that again.

I’ve been listening to “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand” for the last few weeks on Spotify and had reserved the album at the library, now it’s finally become available, yay! Now I’ll be able to stick it on my X-Fi.

I’ve been doing a bit of bird watching too. At home in our garden and via a webcam watching the peregrine falcons nesting on Derby cathedral. All four of their chicks have hatched now. I was watching them being fed yesterday and you can see survival instincts kicking in already. Two of the chicks were at the front of the queue, the other two behind them. The two at the front were getting the bulk of the food. I don’t hold out a lot of hope for all four chicks to live to fledge, but I hope I’m wrong.

In the garden we had two baby blackbirds hanging out with dad yesterday. Mr B is a very good daddy. Even though these fledglings were adult size, with fully formed tails, and even displaying foraging behaviour, he was STILL feeding them periodically. Bless him 🙂

We’ve been being serenaded on and off for the last two weeks by a chaffinch (as I’d mentioned in a previous post). Well, I actually got to get a fleeting glimpse at him on Monday! Em even saw him, but it was STILL too brief to get a picture.

Lately I’ve been doing a bit of telly catch up too. Em got all of season three of Dexter for me, which I just finished watching. I never thought after the first season it could get any better, but they just seem to be able to build and build on the plot. I am LOVING Dexter. It’s my fave US TV program at the moment.

I’ll have to finally get onto season three of Medium. I bet season five has been and gone in the US now! Season four has already aired here, but I had trouble recording some and got lost with it, so I’ll have to get season four on DVD now.

I’m watching The Mentalist as well. I wasn’t too impressed with the first episode and almost gave up on it. But I stuck it out and it’s slowly growing on me.

The thing being raved about over here for last few months, even though I think the series has been and gone in the US is The Wire. It started being shown on BBC Two a couple of weeks back. All of series one, now series two started airing as of Monday night. I think the plan is to show the whole thing for the next however many weeks it is to get through the whole run.

Apart from that, I’ve just been surfing, tweeting, etc.