Friday, December 19, 2014

Oil; Art; Giant vaginas; Old words; New words; Liverpool Islam; Houses; & The bloody mole.

The recent fall in the price of oil from 100 to 60 dollars a barrel is certainly dramatic but did you know that the price was a mere 16 dollars as recently as 1999? More here.

The estimable Roger Scruton has given us another short treaty on modern art, entitled Lies, Fakes and Modern Art. Here's a sampler: There grew around the modernists a class of critics and impresarios, who offered to explain just why it is not a waste of your time to stare at a pile of bricks, to sit quietly through ten minutes of excruciating  Old words;noise, or to study a crucifix pickled in urine. To convince themselves that they are true progressives, who ride in the vanguard of history, the new impresarios surround themselves with others of their kind, promoting them to all committees that are relevant to their status, and expecting to be promoted in their turn. Thus arose the modernist establishment - the self-contained circle of critics who form the backbone of our cultural institutions and who trade in 'originality', 'transgression' and 'breaking new paths'. You can read more here. And an expanded version here. Of course, we must exclude the wonderful Brian Sewell from any modernist taint. I will always love this eccentric critic merely for his dismissal of Damien Hirst as "fucking dreadful". Despite his negative comments on Liverpool as a centre of culture.

Thanks to a demonstration in Malaga involving the Virgin Mary as a giant vagina, I now know that Article 525 of the Spain's Penal Code says: “Those who, with the purpose of offending the feelings of members of a religious denomination, do publicly, orally, in writing or by any type of document, mock its dogmas, beliefs, or ceremonies or who annoy, also publicly, those who profess or practice these shall incur the penalty of eight to 12 months in prison.” Bloody 'ell. Suddenly I feel I'm back in the 15th century. Happily, in this case the judge threw out the suit from the Association of Christian Lawyers.

On the TV today, someone used the word unbeknownst, which surely ranks alongside whilst as a relic from Middle English. But this surely can't last and I guess neither of them is used in the USA, even on the East Coast.

Talking of words . . . Thanks to my fellow blogger, Trevor, I now know that ryanairing has joined footing, etc. as bizarre Spanish anglicisms.

The first Islamic mosque in the UK was set up in Liverpool just over a hundred years ago, in a Georgian house which is part of an arcade that had fallen into disrepair. It's now been lovingly restored. Pix here.

Talking of houses . . . here's a foto of one down the bottom of the hill. As is the norm here, it's been under construction for at least 2 years. I do hope the ugly bare concrete is going to be faced but I guess it depends on whether the owners are 'modernists' or not.

Ultimately . . . I finally caught the pesky mole in my humane trap. But not before it'd created more than 10 soil piles on the lawn. Sadly, it had expired before I got to it. If not, I'd have had to bang it on the head. Which, as an animal lover, I don't like doing. Honest.


Anthea said...

Now, how do you pronounce "ryanairing"? I just wondered, considering that the washing up liquid Fairy, advertised for its mildness in the UK, is pronounced "fiery".

Perry said...


Occasionally, a paragraph in a book will grasp the attention. This from my copy of "The Development of English Building Construction" by C. F. Innocent & first published in 1916.

"At the Romano-British village of Woodcuts Common, General Pitt-Rivers found circular stones with mortises sunk in, which may be supposed to be for gates to turn in & similar gates may yet be seen in South Yorkshire, where the foot of the back stile of the gate turns in a shallow cup in a stone.

Sir Arthur Mitchell made an interesting observation on a similar gate. He wrote: I once saw the post of a field-gate turning in the hollow of an earth fast stone & not one hundred yards away, I saw another gate, entirely & skilfully made of iron. The owner of the two gates thought the old fashioned one in many respects the better & he half convinced me that he was right. He wholly convinced me that the continued use of what we choose to call a rude mechanical arrangement is no necessary evidence of mental incapacity in the user. Both of these gates were set up by him & he wished to know which of them was to be taken as the indication either of his capacity or his culture?

Colin Davies said...

@Anthea. I'll try to check it out with Spanish friends.

@Perry. Many thanks for that. Fascinating.

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