Graham Higgins Illustration - Literate Graffiti Dept.


February 19, 2010


OK, This is a new start in a more conventional set-up, thanks to prods from Sue Jones, visiting Good Sense consultant. I try to maintain a panel of responsible adults for guidance; patience and forbearance desirable though in practice essential.

The pages to the right may eventually migrate over here to find their way into archives but for now…

Thanks to those unexpected readers who’ve made themselves known; a surprise and a reassurance to know you’re dropping in. It raises my game a little and reassures me that this isn’t entirely scribbling on the wall.

Another surprise is the amount of time one spends housekeeping: clearing out all those good wishes from enthusiastic readers urging me to smoke lots of cigarettes, stock up on a pharmacopoeia of cheap drugs and view videos of girls! girls! girls! – these invitations with handy inventories of parts of said devotchkas’ anatomical regions.

I resist the urge to join debate with, for instance, this keen student.:-

“It is more than word! I think, that you commit an error. I suggest it to discuss.

Certainly. I agree with told all above. We can communicate on this theme. Here or in PM.I know, that it is necessary to make)))

It is remarkable, it is the amusing information”

Well thank you, I sincerely hope it is the amusing information and though committing the error is my often habit reluctantly I am decline your suggest to discuss.

Get your parsing-gear around this extract from a mail today, a continuing theme of High and Lo-brow art. The opening proposition was ’It’s perfectly respectable to say both (a) I can see this is really accomplished but I don’t *get it*, it doesn’t touch me [me and opera] or (b) this is lo-brow but I really like it [me and movie musicals]. It helps if you can make an interesting case, but you don’t have to issue a court judgement. My friend Jilly is a doting fan of The Professionals, positively purrs over Bodie and Doyle, but will seamlessly slip into comparing their relationship being akin to Greek myth and Restoration drama. She sees this workmanlike TV series through 3D glasses I lack.’

Today’s addition:-

‘I go back to that resistance to opera and embrace of the conceits of musicals. Opera feels to me like one of those huge Renaissance paintings of mythical scenes – grand themes on a grand scale to highlight the grandeur of the patron – and also very often to conceal the porn element. I don’t know what the Italian for ‘phwoo-ar!’ is, but you can’t help thinking there was often an underbreath of the sentiment at the studio unveiling.

Anyway, they’re there to awe you with their scale and extravagance.

Show me Donald Connor doing ‘Make ’em Laugh!’ and in seconds I’m a happy guy thinking that us humans are funny and inventive and generous and if you needed an example of dance ‘to’ and ‘for’ and audience, there y’go. Dramatic art-dance can survive in silence which may pass for reverence; hoofing, like comedy, must achieve its proposition. A comedy-dance routine that leaves you cold is an embarrassment. It requires all the conviction and accomplishment of a more studiously nuanced empty-stage piece.

Whether the project is to express through the medium of kinetic physical artistry the ineffable condition of the human soul – breathtaking – or to convey the feeling of ‘Gotta Da-a-ance!’ – Donald Connor does all the work and leaves you breathless – I’d rather it reached out than presented its formal purity and technical complexity for coolly critical aesthetic admiration.’

Am I just a philistine apologist?

  1. Good sense? Prods? I think I just say stuff. Listening is optional. Most people have learnt to ignore me by now.

    I often take quiet delight in the joys of Attempted English, as she is spammed. (Although not to the point where I wish to turn off the spam filter, thank you, let alone take up any of the offers.) There goes the result of someone’s hours of careful study and effort, a poem silenced with one zap of the delete key. Could I do as well in the sender’s own language? Hardly.

    Spamglish doesn’t qualify as a Great Art either. I’m with you on Opera, Grand Artworks, and also people sitting in smart clothes in stiff, silent rows to listen to Serious Music played deadpan – fine music, often well worth listening to, but I’d rather do it in comfort where I can pom-pom-pom along to the good bits, or wave my arms about, or do something useful at the same time, just as the mood takes me.

    I like the deceptively simple: the thing that starts by making you happy, and only shows its skillfull construction when you stop to think about it afterwards. I like the slow-burning joke, the tune perfect for its purpose, the just-right image, the little bit of wisdom that sneaks in while you’re feasting on the wit. But mostly I like what I like, and who cares whether it’s Great Music or just great music.

    Comment by Sue Jones — February 19, 2010 @ 6:33 pm
  2. I think we mentioned Strauss walzes, specifically the much-parodied and adapted Blue Danube, which when played well sounds like The 1851 Crystal Palace taking to flight. Makes you go ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ in a very satisfying way.
    I’ve just by chance heard Artie Shaw’s ‘Frenesi’ played on the radio and was reminded how it makes me feel instantly happy somehow. I don’t care how.

    Comment by admin — February 21, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

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