ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…


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“…general jerk-like behavior”

Apparently that phrase above is acceptable promotional language for the meet things running in UK the last year or two(?) dunno how long really, only noticed info recently. Looking at a couple of examples lately and I don’t feel I’m missing anything for none appearing to be held in my home city.

Of course people usually can be expected to behave in public environments but what we call British sense of humour appears potentially not tolerated too!

I don’t want sitting down in a classroom or a lecture hall for a WP meet with some professional twit enough to volunteer to give a presentation style talk as if it’s the Worker’s Education Association but probably isn’t and I just don’t like the look of the little I’ve seen so far without knowing enough to inform my opinion. Why not marquees on city / town squares on busy shopping days and if you’re around you can just drop in to someone’s table / display board like other UK community events work? Or lay on a creche / family friendly afternoon with free cookies and ice-cream with 99 red balloons being not enough or maybe much too many. Free-writing again. Nothing’s working.

Whatever it is – information to impart/promotion/participation expectation – you often have to TAKE it – to where people happen to be. Not expect them to go all out and attend. Sweeping generalisation there i know. And I’m being a jerk writing back to that prompt. Like that nottingham(shire?)council sponsored CUNT stunt displayed HUGE on slab square in the name of art for art’s sake and protest a few years ago. i did screenshot it so could prove it too. (Public CCTV grazing for art reason of reading in newspaper about artists working with data collection – triggered my screenshot stuff). I’ve not published it of course, the council copyright notice made clear. i’d be free to give it away on pieces of paper but it’s hardly worth trying. How impolite to suggest people need telling they gotta behave proper!

There are problems with setting things up to fail all over the shop. Although a pretty good turn out if you can get even 8 to 10 people in the same fixed place at the same fixed time in this country! So they actually looked successful by UK standards and i’m not knocking the volunteer organisers (who often tend to invite and encourage attendees from their own networking circles to help things look more successful than they really are so you never can be sure and it’s another issue that might or might not put me off) but if you can’t see public info enough on how they operate and there’s no public feedback at what went on at these things, why would you take any more out of your time to try contacting someone somewhere to wait to find out about it.

Unknown online organisations running the things? do they get a monopolised patch on a city/town territory? Or small-fry local, government funded, business organisations running the show? And British University support isn’t really a guarantee of anything these days is it. All our industries have been complaining enough for years about uni turn-outs and lack of skills. No wonder. Even standard school text books have too many incomprehensible moments in trying to read Americanised English and Americanised context so that it’s difficult to see what you need to understand from what should be  a quite simple page. i know. Look who’s talking springs to mind. Does this appear or sound like a text book page? This is not what I was trying to make. Should be obvious?

I’d rather any other non-professional blogging person in the world with the gumption to try doing something just got on with publically declaring, hey, we’re doing this and see how it goes – picnic on the beach on whenever the next Sunny Saturday afternoon is. Y’know, while all the yobbish peeps with kids ie. people/families! mostly are in the arcades and on the tatt markets and so on. (Awful thing to say I know!) Of course i’m as far away from the sea as a person can be living in this city, so that wasn’t a serious suggestion. Local rec. maybe?

Surely that quoted phrase ‘general jerk-like behavior’ is an example of the very thing it suggests is unacceptable (at one of those types of meetings)? Is that why it’s there? dark sarcasm. pink floyd fans maybe then.

It’s both potentially offensive to disabled / impaired people who might have tremors and so jerk about their everyday lives -and is also very offensive to our English language to use an American spelling of our behaviour!

Maybe I’m being pedantic. Maybe it’s contagious. There’s swarms of apparently very nice respectable ladies out there being very undignified and obnoxious twattin’ about as all sorts of professionals oppressing the hell out of humanity appearing to seek advantageous control of the freedoms of others by way of cleverly worded interpretations / misinterpretations. Many of it stemming from the US with their very different culture – the absolute cheek of some man you tubing bullshit about how British people identify more with america and australia than europe. Depends how you asked the leading questions chap if you got those results from survey data.

back to the Word. good. The Word is Good. Good God FFS! Does that pukey service gramarly have anything to do with that ‘behavior’ nonsense in that UK promotional blurb. Maybe. Not everyone realises it’s not English! I think when I checked they don’t actually have an English grammar service. only standardised American. Not all Americans use standardised AmEn grammar either. For most UK technology consumers it’s a foreign language service provider ie. for American language use. This standardised rubbish doing the rounds via software that wants you to put ALL your communications through it. And not even trial the service before signing up? There should be a law against it in this country! Appears shoddy business standard. I do wish my internet streams sucked in more European content. But…

I guess the US dominates the internet for being 20 years ahead of population integration to the web and lacking foundational computing knowledge. So less likely to understand the gubbins of software coding. Probably by design. Dominate the professions on our home soil. First they take over and refuse to leave at least one of our air force bases (a long time ago now) and stupid bloomin’ Brit government let them flood in with whatever dodgy money looking like tourists breaking any law they like maybe blowing stuff up and blaming Libyans cos the style changes of news items and details not presenting in usual ways just give it away – Britain under pressure – Buck.Pal. springs to mind… poisoning defectors from elsewhere (as per the BBC in news quote from an American based Russian scientist/defector clearly stating ‘this country’ about the full cycle of the poison use thing and by that meaning America, unless he was visiting Britain and was here saying Britain are responsible. i can’t be doing fact-checking just now. A lot of dodgy stuff going down. and on this post. I’m not apologising on this one.

And here I am potentially allegedly-able anti-Americanising again, conversationally, as is my right – and I might be wrong on a few things in this post but I’m clearly telling you I don’t know for sure do I! .and I am NOT anti-american until they’re rogue flippin’ I.S. /military hoodwinking and shittin’on our doorsteps. Good Morning Britain! Wake up! Some might say ‘you’re being a jerk!’Or we all are. Some might say all sorts. Whatever.

And it’s very intolerant of people who might appear awkward or disruptive but whom experience difficulties with communication, for example, and frustration with intolerant deliverers of however they do things with whatever bad attitudes a lot of so called professional people might have about the low-life turning up to get in on the action and so on. Obviously i know nothing about nothing. The phrase affrays. a simple phrase. (reminds me of my poem here i think!) Please don’t suggest I stick with poetry. Nor tar and pitch!

I’ll try keeping an open mind but not wasting any more than the few minutes I just distracted with. And you’d expect a WP group to not to expect you to join a facebook group as well as the WP group really wouldn’t you? I.e. a members private access area on an organisers blog for ease of access for WP bloggers is surely better for most people unless they use facebook more than being bloggers and just also happen to have a blog.

Surely they need Fb meets not WP meets if they’re about a different platform for their comms? I’m really not meaning to be this awkward battle-axe of a Brit grandma. i just can’t help myself. My generation’s all getting old but we bring our child-i with us as we age don’t we? and if you reach juvenile stage before adulthood you’re fortunate and retain some enough for when you gotta laff or else you’d cry. Some audience might not like it. And see if I care?

I’m waiting for a notification of a local virtual access version of a WordCamp type thing but I guess they only do these real world things regardless of the number of UK bloggers with accessibility issues for getting to real world venues. You can’t please all the people all the time is true. And unlikely I can get anywhere for ages anyway. Sounds stupid doesn’t it while we don’t need jeeps or guzzling monster trucks to drag ourselves hundreds of miles just to get to a diner and store if we’re lucky. y’know. Leaves on track. Bit of snow. Rainy day no out to play.

But a lecture type presentation is going nowhere fast for most Brit bloggers surely? I can understand why we’re unlikely to have anything as wonderful as the US WordCamps here – unless there’s a tent at Glastonbury or something.

But I’m not bothered about not going there either. Everywhere’s too far to walk! I went once. I’ll probably never go again, cos been there, done that, once is enough. Not exactly missing anything other than overpriced everything and the rain and the mudslides etc.

Music is everywhere. It’s horrible being at a festival with so many stages instead of just one main and maybe one or two smaller alternatives. It’s like being stuck in Disneyland Paris for four days unable to go to the Louvre for three of them (and actually had 0days at Louvre that time in Paris!) and then having had two rides one of them almost giving you a heart attack and not being able to enjoy anymore of the funfair while stuck in plastic toy land. But the animation museum was great and so was the sit back and look at starry skies show thing, can’t remember what you call it now. Doh!

This isn’t really a quote post is it! I just wanted to see what one looks like.

Lav. poem starter drafted in just now recital practise:

If you’re an inky-pinky and i’m an inky-punky / when-e’er the twain shall ne’er meet […tbc]

A.R.R. 2018

[writing201 for imperfect posts so adding to editing/extraction task pile – oh please not another stupidly long post… lol]

0642 BST / 0542 UCT/GMT waiting for breakfast to magic itself UP! [1894-1896 words. count. If it was history i wonder what happened?] 1904 getting off. NOW then. [1908 ‘The Other Side’ springs mind wieder. Again. [1915] [wc]

Must stop counting. [1919]

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#Author-story ~ Contemporary Writer #3

John Berger, born 5th November 1926, died 2nd January, 2017

berger-cw-authorstory-img1

There’s something in this page shown above that is very resonant of work seen during British Art Show7 in 2011, particularly those shown at Nottingham Castle. So maybe one day I’ll tie up some loose threads and get something down. For now, this post is a re-working of a draft from January that was almost lost to the ether in some kind of failing / crash.

Why ‘Ways of Seeing’?

[Originally, I drafted this writing for an ‘Authors who made history’ post for BW so this fact was pivotal:]

For many years now, John Berger’s book, ‘Ways of Seeing’, has been on the compulsory reading list of almost every British art and design course. I’d either somehow missed that fact back in my art student daze, or glanced it over and dismissed it out of hand. During a W.E.A. class a few years ago now (how time flies!) I spent a while browsing this book in the gallery reading room. I still couldn’t quite see WHY is it such an important text in relation to appreciating or creating art? Sadly, I remained completely oblivious to his other works as a poet, writer and artist until researching for this post following news of his death.

I appreciated it- ‘Ways of Seeing’ –  better, from a distance, via some limited preview chapters in an online PDF. The book was developed following the BBC’s four-part television series presented by John Berger and credited with changing the way the nation received, or thought about, art and art history.  I had never even heard mention of the television programme until I saw it was the basis of the book. Apparently the programme may be available to purchase as a video download, although even so these days UK viewers will still need a TV licence. I don’t know if that means such products are with-held from consumers elsewhere in the world.

It’s said to be based on and influenced by Walter Benjamin’s essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction[wikipedia link].

“The most uplifting thing about Ways of Seeing is Berger’s optimism about the age of the mass-circulating reproduced image, which, back in 1972, meant images in newspapers and magazines, on advertising hoardings and television. These days of course it also means on Facebook, Instagram and the internet at large. …”

[quoting Jonathon Jones in his article discussing Berger’s language of images at The Guardian, published 3rd January, 2017]

Here’s a small excerpt from page 150 of Ways of Seeing, where, in relation to publicity, Berger tells us:

“…The world smiles at us. It offers itself to us. And because everywhere is imagined as offering itself to us, everywhere is more or less the same.”

In the BBC Radio 4 programme, Front Row, broadcast 3rd January 2017, writer/broadcaster Lisa Appignanesi and art critic Richard Cork discuss Berger’s work (audio file still available to listen at time of writing opens, at approx. 21minutes with an audio clip of John Berger speaking. The second link skips to that segment, or to see programme info and listen to the whole 28min+ click the first link.

 

After serving two years with the army from 1944 to 1946, assumedly compulsory conscription, in the late 1940s Berger trained as an artist at the Chelsea School of Art and the London School of Art; he exhibited in London and taught drawing until 1955. His first novel, ‘A Painter of Our Time’ was published in 1958 and his first published collection of essays, ‘Permanent Red’, in 1960. Among other awards in his lifetime, he is probably best known for controversially donating half his Booker Prize fund to the Black Panther Party after his novel ‘G’ was selected for the prize in 1972.

“For me there were too many political urgencies to spend my life painting. Most urgent was the threat of nuclear war – the risk of course came from Washington, not Moscow.”

John Berger quoted in an article by Michael Glover published at the Independent on 3rd January, 2017.

There are lots of articles about John Berger to be found online and the British Library archive for John Berger and the wikipedia entry for his bio and list of works could keep me (or you) .out of mischief for an interesting while enough.

I haven’t yet bought a copy of ‘Ways of Seeing’, I’m still thinking about it, maybe until one shows up at a knock-down price I can’t refuse. I did however buy Berger’s 2016 book, ‘Confabulations'[ISBN:9780141984957], published in October by Penguin shortly before Berger turned 90 years of age, sadly not in time to help the old man out with some return. I might well journey in exploration of those delightful writings, and more, another time.

A final quote to close, from the first page of the text in John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, at page 7:

“The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We know that the earth is turning away from it. Yet the knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight.” [John Berger, Ways of Seeing]