SATURDAY I told Sam that if ever her ‘Christmas Rug’ gets made, some fool will inevitably try to straighten it.
📌 Zadie Smith’s book of essays, Feel Free, includes a superb dismantling of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook colour is blue because Zuckerberg is red-green colour blind. It is stuffed with trivia because to Zuckerberg that’s what ‘friendship’ looks like. You ‘poke’ people on Facebook because that’s what dweebs like Zuckerberg do to girls they’re too scared to talk to. All of this wrapped up in software designed to eliminate selfhood, because Zuckerberg had his stolen early in his development as a person.
📌 A semi-submerged wave of public incivility and hostility is rising.
SUNDAY Stuart messaged to tell me about a book Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama have co-authored. I replied with: “They did a podcast together, which was good for one episode but got slightly sickening thereafter.”
📌 The Socialist Worker has an article defining morality in terms of class. In the context of war and other officially sanctioned immorality, it claims: “State violence maintains and protects a system of exploitation, sexism and racism. It shields a world where the rich thrive and tens of thousands of the poor die every day from poverty.”
📌 It looks like being ill in the near future would not be such a great idea.
📌 My wife was very unhappy about the totally implausible way Angela in Angela Black tried to kill her abusive husband.
📌 The attempted move into the production of bespoke stitchwork craft aprons got off to a spluttering start. Think I’ll stick to single letters of the alphabet to denote first names (S=Sue, etc) as they will probably sell better than abstract diagrams of cult housing estates.
TUESDAY There’s a comedy radio programme called Polyoaks that is actually an accurate description of how the NHS is slowly being dismantled and marketised. Only when the public realises that the NHS is no longer a service provided by the people for the people will they get upset about it. And by then it will be far too late.
📌 I’m sometimes forced to clarify words. Today in an email I used the word “exclusive” to describe an art exhibition, adding a second short sentence to make it clear I was using the word as a flipside to “inclusive”. But it was still taken by my reader to mean elite.
📌 When our neighbour Patsy lost her debit card in Amsterdam she was sent to a police station in the red-light district to register it missing. When she gave the police officer her postcode, London EC1, she was told that the greatest number of lost debit cards reported to that station were from people in London EC1.
Patsy asked a few more questions and discovered that the lost debit cards were registered not to residential properties in EC1 but to business addresses, the inference being that cowboy capitalists in the City go on the razz in Amsterdam’s red-light district and “lose” their debit cards, the ones they obviously have registered to their workplace addresses.
WEDNESDAY The Queen has said she can’t make her scheduled appearance at the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow. The news prompted a flurry of speculation and declaration on this being the “final chapter”. She probably just wants to give Boris the swerve.
📌 The final chapter of democracy is mapped out in the Conversation in a doomy prediction that the world’s nations will all eventually buckle to the Chinese capitalist-communist authoritarian model. The model is dubbed Communism 2.0 and is characterised by how it sustains authority and regulates individual freedom with cyber surveillance and AI.
“Vast databases of citizens’ DNA and irises will make personal identifications impossible to fake, while ubiquitous online, mobile and CCTV monitoring will liquidate privacy and any possibility of organised dissent.
“In the state’s gaze, each person will stand naked with no choice but to do the autocrat’s bidding or be vanished and die, forgotten by all, out of sight in a ‘black jail’ or in an officially non-existent concentration camp.“
THURSDAY The gap between what the government says and what it does fits the title From Here To Eternity. What is obvious in the Chancellor’s latest budget is that the State has been entrenched as the star actor in Boris’s revolutionised Conservative Party. Those Tories opposed to this can either put up or shut up. Stay tuned for more episodes of this gripping soap opera.
📌 The stitchwork reproduction book cover project is finished and ready to devastate the publishers (Bonnier Books) who commissioned it.
FRIDAY This time last week I visited the William Scott exhibition at Studio Voltaire in Clapham. At the time, Chris and I briefly talked about white privilege and how we felt slightly uncomfortable as white people judging the work of a radical black artist.
A week later and WHITE is still on my mind. The Studio Voltaire exhibition space is like the interior of a small church hall painted bright white. This works well for the bright colours William Scott uses in his work. But white also inhabits many of his multicoloured images, often in the white grinning teeth and the whites of the eyes on the black people he depicts. I also keep remembering that white is 0% black.
But I guess what I’m struggling to say here is that there are no white faces in this collection, but white has a strong presence in the exhibition.
📌 A large single black leather glove discarded and lying ominously on stained concrete. It seems to be saying something. A detective would note that it is a left-hand glove. Sinister, or what?
📌 The Barbican was rammed to the roof with Inside No9 nerds. Good job we got discount tickets because £70 for 90 minutes of two clever-dicks talking about how clever-dicky they are is a massive scam.
📌 Our studio‘s merchandise is up there at the front of the Barbican shop alongside the Noguchi cushions.