Coda – Autumn 2013
A brief note on our launch issue
Hello again. The response to our summer launch issue has been very pleasing, with many positive emails arriving about the look and content of the magazine and encouraging us to move forward with our aims; new subscribers have been in touch and various people have offered help with distribution and writing, and one or two cooperative ventures have begun to take shape. A good start!
But it is said that time and tide waits for no man and how true that is; the second issue is upon us – tempus blinking fugit! I guess having to move home in the middle of preparing the magazine doesn’t help; nevertheless we did it! The autumn issue will soon be out there amongst you. Pick up a copy and enjoy!
Diffusing ingénu/e throughout the area
It’s a pretty task getting around all the magazine’s established outlets in towns and villages through the South Downs & High Weald and also finding suitable new locations to place the magazine, but generally we have fun distributing, especially in the glorious weather we have had this summer. Here are a few snaps of us out and about, including one very aesthetic and awesome rainbow, a lunch break in the village of Cuckfield and a well-earned drink at the end of the day!
I’m gonna live forever
I recently entered a renowned fashion shop to buy my wife some birthday presents and after receiving some advice from a charming sales assistant we ‘got chatting’, as is my wont. She told me she acted, sang and danced and was heading for theatre school. I asked her what her goal was, thinking she would say something like “to be in a West End show” or “I’d just like to make a living doing what I love to do”. Her answer, however, led into a very philosophical discussion, with me, I’m afraid, becoming a trifle didactic. Her answer was “to be famous, I want to be recognised in the street. I want people to know who I am”.
Oh dear, that set me off! Here was a potentially talented girl setting off on a trajectory more or less guaranteed to gradually erode her aesthetic dreams and possibly end in some sort of tabloid disaster story. I did my best to disillusion her about ‘Fame’ and its attendant pitfalls, advised her to concentrate on honing her skills as a performer, seek success as an artist and treat any attendant fame as the imposter it is, of little or no importance, in truth just icing on the cake. Did I succeed? I have no idea, but if you ever see the name Hettie Hayward in lights, it’s her!
A little early, but while musing about this year as we approach its end, an amusing moment from 2013 crossed my mind. Earlier in the year a classical musician disrupted the X-Factor final, live on television, during one of the finalists’ performances, by throwing eggs at Simon Cowell. Her name was Natalie Holt and she is a member of a string quartet called Raven. She was miming playing her viola as part of an apparent backing group for two singers when she suddenly stood up, came centre stage and launched her eggs; priceless! She was a good shot too, hitting Simon with at least two of the eggs. It might not have done her band many favours however, as their website looks decidedly out of date at the moment, seeming to go silent after her protest in the summer. She was quoted as saying, “I took a stand against people miming on TV and against Simon Cowell and his dreadful influence on the music industry.” I hope she and the band are ok, it could be argued that she should have had more support from the media and music industry for her protest, rather than the ridiculous hypocritical seriousness with which it was reported. Where were all those liberal thinking musicians who are suffering at the hands of people like Mr Cowell? Why didn’t they come out en masse to support her? Cowards I say! Or was their amusement or encouragement suppressed by the media?
Another curious twist to this event was that the dreadful Piers Morgan apparently tweeted his support for her, only to withdraw it later when he discovered she had wanted to start a petition to stop him being allowed back in the UK.
Anyone who dislikes Piers Morgan that much and is willing to attempt to wake people up from the comatose state that the hypnotic effect of Mr Cowell and his media cohorts perpetuate is quite ok by me!
But is it Art?
I was born and brought up in Huddersfield on the river Colne in West Yorkshire and still have relatives there, so I was very amused to see recently that someone, who obviously possessed a very northern sense of humour, had created a leaflet promoting a fictitious Colne Valley Sculpture Trail, a spoof sculpture trail which included such ‘works of art’ as an abandoned bath and a derelict house. He had set it up apparently to poke fun at art critics. The leaflet showcases twelve eyesores that have supposedly been produced by modern artists, but of course are just abandoned ruins. The guide leaflet describes each piece and satirises critics and ‘modern’ artists, for example calling the abandoned bath ‘Wash Behind the Ears’ and describing it as dealing with “the contradictory concepts of filth and cleanliness, typically by placing a familiar bathroom item in a countryside setting. Here, bathtub is rendered repugnant by dirt, brambles, and a crude gash where the hot tap should be”. A section of collapsed dry stone wall titled Wall/Fall/Wall continues, “The resulting piece suggests a sense of bereavement, the turf above almost seeming to weep”. What a hoot! The fact that some people fell for this and went on the trail intellectualising about the ‘exhibits’ tells you all you need to know about some modern art and the so called art intelligentsia.
Like lambs amongst wolves
(This was printed in the launch issue of the magazine, but I thought it appropriate to repeat an edited version for new readers.) Having recently come across a surprising number of people who were unfamiliar with the word ingénue, I write the following with some degree of trepidation. This is aimed at those people and I write with not the slightest trace of supercilious intent.
Let’s sort out at the start why this magazine has, what is to some, an apparently unknown or perhaps even pretentious name. I have decided to launch forth on this because I feel it’s important; it was my idea after all. We wanted something that stood out from the crowd and which conveyed our raison d’être, our ethos; and I feel it’s my duty to show you why it was a good choice.
In modern usage the word tends to have a feminine slant, referring usually to a girl or young woman who is endearingly innocent and wholesome, especially a new young actress. The term comes from the French adjective ingénu meaning ingenuous or innocent. It also implies a lack of sophistication and a simple naivety. It actually originates from a satirical novella by Voltaire called L’Ingénu published in the eighteenth century. The story satirises religious doctrine, government corruption, and the folly and injustices of French society through the use of the main character being an innocent, and his literal interpretation of situations highlight the many absurdities of life.
As our magazine exists to promote emerging and re-emerging creative talent of any genre, and most creative beings (much like ourselves at this time) who are venturing forth on their career trajectories collide like sheep amongst wolves with such unaesthetic things as economics, critics, psychotic media etc, we thought the word quite appropriate for a title. Ingénu is the masculine form and ingénue the feminine form of the word and so we have coined the name Ingénu/e, so as to cover both genders. It is sort of pronounced “arn-jen-new” – practice it a few times and you will have it.