Coda – Autumn 2014
A Faustian pact?
Last issue, while researching a piece about the Chiddingly festival, I came across a video of musician and poet Attila the Stockbroker performing a satirical piece about the fact that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp publishes the Bible. After laughing a lot at his really very funny take on this, I decided to look into it a little as, in my mind, if I was looking to find the Devil incarnate within our society, Mr Murdoch would be high on the list of possibilities.
It turns out that in 1988 Harper Collins, which has a Christian book publishing section, bought the International Bible Society who publish the Bible. Harper Collins is a division of News Corp. As the Bible is a huge international seller, it so transpires that the message of the Christian God is raking in much lucre for Mr Murdoch. As this man is at the helm of such (cough) intellectual, unbiased and intelligent reporting avenues as Fox News, the (ex) News of the World, the Sun and various other media outlets and was the man at the top of the pyramid of such scandals such as phone hacking, bribes for information about public figures, not to mention the ruining of people’s lives with innuendo and rumour and publishing vicious lies masquerading as facts, it does rather seem that a Faustian pact of some sort has occurred. Attila does a much better job of satirising this than I can, check him out on YouTube. Perhaps the Devil doesn’t wear Prada, but a baseball cap and a sanctimonious smile.
Twitter invades the dictionary
Regular readers will know I find the modernisation of our language both humorous and worrying. I’m on the fence; evolution of language is an inexorable phenomenon I am happy with and yet the source of some new words leaves a lot to be desired. The Archbishop of Canterbury recently spoke of the 140 character limit of Twitter making reflective comment well-nigh impossible, giving rise to short angry comments (or worse) that are instantly transmitted. I agree. Reasoned argument, thorough discussion and time to iron out any differences is impossible via Twitter, and one could argue it gives a voice to those whose opinions are not necessarily the most intelligent or well informed. Be that as it may, one recent word making it into the dictionary is ‘adorkable’ and has been chosen by Twitter users following a competition run by Collins English Dictionaries. If ‘dork’ is acceptable then adorkable seems a reasonable adjective. In case you need help – adorkable means ‘adorable dork’ and a ‘dork’ generally means a sociably inept person. I quite like the word, it sort of rolls off the tongue; nevertheless, I think I might still carry on using the word ‘cute’.
R J Ellory, crime thriller writer and friend of ingénu/e, brought to our attention via the Twitter-sphere a YouTube posting of Weird Al’ Yankovic entitled ‘Word Crimes’. I hadn’t heard of Weird Al for many years, and if you don’t know him he’s an American comedian who specialises in spoof, sometimes satirical, sometimes humorous re-workings of hit songs. For example he turned Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ into ‘Eat It’ – a song about people who are too choosy about their food. A track from his latest album takes Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ and turns it into a song entitled ‘Word Crimes’, a protest not only against Thicke’s use of English, but mainly the general misuse in society of grammar and the English language. It’s funny, but every word he says is true! It’s a satirical tour de force against the decline of literacy levels.
What’s this along the A275?
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing artist Roger Dean at Trading Boundaries in Sheffield Green, East Sussex. It’s a fabulous place, and apparently not known as well as it should be.
Not only does it sell imported furniture, handicrafts and textiles from all over India and other stylish items of all sorts, but it also has a spacious courtyard with a selection of boutique outlets, a friendly café and restaurant, intriguing live music and events and is the official UK outlet for Roger’s artwork. It’s well worth going out of your way to visit! Condoms, worn knickers, cigarette butts and vodka bottles
One of Britain’s most famous pieces of modern art, My Bed by Tracey Emin, was made in her council flat in 1998. She considers it an unconventional and uncompromising self-portrait through objects and features her own bed covered in stained sheets, discarded condoms, blood-stained underwear and empty bottles of alcohol. In a dramatic scene at Christie’s this summer, the piece sold for over double the estimate at £2.54 million. Also bought on that same day among others were Andy Warhol’s Self Portrait (Fright Wig) which sold for £5.6m and Francis Bacon’s 1967 Study for Head of Lucian Freud for £10.2m. Gosh! Those figures! It’s all a little surreal and quite incredible to me, and to think, once upon a time, all these artists were ingénue/s!
Talking of Mr Murdoch…
During the summer, Tulisa Contostavlos of N-Dubz and X-Factor fame was obviously relieved that the trial against her of peddling drugs was thrown out of court.
It was a strange case in that she apparently is one of the few people in the music business who doesn’t use hard drugs. After the trial she gave a relatively intelligently constructed account of what had happened to her. Regardless of one’s opinion of the singer and her ‘The Price of Fame’ documentary that followed the case being dropped, the revelations from the trial were further nails in the coffin of the tabloids. The case was thrown out by the judge because the ‘reporter’ Mazher Mahmood, known as the Fake Sheikh, had lied on oath and had tried to manipulate a witness. He is now being investigated by the police. But stranger than that, here is what happened to Tulisa, in her own words.
“This case only happened because Mahmood and his team tricked me into believing I was auditioning for a major movie role. They targeted me at a time when things were going badly for me and they had no mercy. Mahmood got me and my team completely intoxicated and persuaded me to act the part of a bad, rough, ghetto girl. They recorded this and produced this as evidence when I thought it was an audition. It was a terrible thing to do.”
As Will Rogers, famous in the 1930s as the highest paid movie star of that era, said: “All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.”
The new Corrs?
During the summer we somehow found ourselves at the Two Counties Music festival at Bewl Water Country Park in Kent, strolling among the stands we suddenly heard gorgeous three-part harmonies floating over the fields. We felt compelled go and take a closer look. The band was called Orfila, composed of three siblings from Kent, a brother and two sisters. It transpires Abi, Louise and Matt’s music is causing quite a stir in the music world, and judging by what we saw at the festival, quite rightly so. They have a soon-to-be-released debut album and are booked to play the Gibraltar Music Festival alongside such acts such as The Script, Rita Ora, Roger Hodgson of Supertramp fame, Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet and many others. Watch out for this band, with the right break they could be the next Corrs, with whom they are often compared.
Visit orfila-music.com for further information.
The meaning of the word ingénue
Modernly the word ingénue tends to have a feminine slant in its usage, referring usually to a young creative girl or woman who is endearingly innocent and wholesome, very new to an artistic genre. 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 un-aesthetic things as economics, critics and the psychotic media, 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.