Thinking Strange Thoughts - The Arts
Is it just me or is Shakespeare really boring? I’ve tried, I really have, I’ve read the books, I’ve watched a few movies, and yet I still cannot see what all the fuss is about. It’s not just that there are no car chases or big gun fights, it’s the way it is written that annoys me. I mean if I started writing “doest thou think this” or ‘wilt thou doest that’ I wouldn’t last five minutes. I’m really surprised that no one had a word with him at the time but I suppose no one wanted to rock the boat. It’s much the same nowadays, I’m sure that there are lots of people who really think that Shakespeare is boring but they do not want to come right out and say it in case arty- farty people look down their nose’s at them and say “you just don’t understand” People are worried that they may look silly, obviously I don’t have to worry about that sort of thing.
Incidentally, talking of rubbish, if you ever get a book with Pulitzer Prize Winner written on the top, my advice is to put it next to Shakespeare on the bookshelf at the bottom of the dustbin. I tried to read a Pulitzer Prize Winner last year, I got to about page six before I tore a muscle in my arm lifting the book, cause that’s the main thing with the Prize Winning book, they are all the size of a small suitcase, the one that I started to read I now use to hold down the dog kennel during gale force winds.
Prize Winning books are always about really obscure things, the one I was started to read was a riveting, five million word tale about a Somalian goat herders daughter, and how one night during a terrible storm, she repairs her grandmother’s sandal.
The other thing about Prize Winners is that they can just make things up as they go along. For instance if I was writing about it raining a lot, I would probably say something like “it rained a lot”, whereas a Prize Winner would write something like, “The rain fell in torrents, like a young Norwegian boy walking his moose”
Whilst I am at it I’d like to discuss “Art”. Now I like a good picture as much as the next man, especially a landscape or portrait, but I prefer a picture of a person to bear a slight resemblance to an actual person, not something from another planet like one of Picasso’s portraits. People are paying a fortune for a picture of an unfortunate young woman with one eye in the middle of her forehead and her nose sticking out where her left ear should be.
Now, I’d like to know where he got the model from for that portrait, surely if you were that ugly you would not be applying for a modeling job. What did Picasso put in his advert? “ Very, very ugly woman required for modeling job, nose on side of head an advantage. Previous gargoyle modeling work preferred” I just hope he paid the poor woman enough for some corrective surgery. No, you will never convince me that this is art, just give me one of the great master’s like Rolf Harris any day. Give Rolf a big brush and a can of Dulux and he’ll knock up a superb portrait in minutes and he will get the nose in the correct position and he’ll probably throw in a kangaroo and a wombat in the background at no extra cost.
Obviously not everyone is going to be as good an artist as Rolf, but to me, getting the nose in the correct position is pretty basic stuff and I’m surprised that one of Picasso’s mates did not tap him on the shoulder long ago and say “Look mate I know your trying your best, but don’t give up your day job.”
Stephen Ainley.....art and lager critic.