Tag Archives: Ideas

Ted Bundy Action Figures, Ad-venting; the Cultural Favouropath & incestuous literary flux……

The Alternative Advent: Day 13

shipman on paperA boy’s best friend is his party planner—

Norman Bates was OK, but his mother was a bit of a bitch…

There are always positives to be to found in a situation, no matter how gruesome it might first appear. There are also strengths, weaknesses, advantages and threats. It’s a pretty simple process once you get the hang of it the trick is to treat all these things as situations likewise and then repeat the process; because no matter how shitty things may seem, there’s always a happy smile in there somewhere for the more stubborn of you to find.

If however dogs, pigs and bulls are a little mulish for your tastes; or for the rationally ignorant: and it seems like far too much effort there are always more heuristic methods to blag happiness back and plenty of places to download a mask with one if the inclination to think your way merry is a revolting proposition. With that in mind, I’ve always thought some kind of Eleanor Rigby themed site would be perfect for such a thing and if not masks, then at least second-hand cellos of funeral planning.

Anyway, it’s how I know I can be certain, more or less to a point, that strengths can also be weaknesses, or at the very least contain them and versa vice.

Take the last couple of weeks for instance: I’ve yet to establish any form of satisfactory schedule with work or sleep which depending on how you look at it may or may not actually constitute a schedule. On the plus side, it hasn’t prevented the development of advent material but it has stalled its publication. I haven’t been able to type freely, but I have been able to concentrate on visual content as a consequent and because of this, ideas which haven’t been codified have matured off-shoots and follow-ups that typify the tangentlemen I describe in a piece as yet unpublished but started to elaborate on, with the series which stemmed from Martian Shock Therapy.

The only problem with these tangents is that they have the irritating nature of post-modifying the pieces from which they sprung, causing the originals to become somewhat leaky from the top as opposed to seeping from the bottom, in a drip fed manner which almost demands revision of everything else. It’s a kind of incestuous literary flux I find most bothersome, since I tend to store a complete picture of whatever I’m working on in my head until it’s ready to be typed. The fact I have a dozen now that want to be bedfellows, not to mention thematically related is not as saucy as it sounds. It’s positively exhausting.

It still irks a little that I failed to fully explain ad-vention when I had the chance, but it’s been one of those painfully disruptive months where the mere mention of routine is enough to break out in bruises or cause it rain. I first conceived of Ad-venting in 2002, primarily as a verb that described a set of very particular thought processes and their end product. It had nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas at first, but since the concept had been fully developed, I couldn’t resist giving a full Alternative Advent a go later that year. December has subsequently become a month I’ve indulged almost exclusively in ideas, creative supposition and hypotheticals.

Now, the ideas that provide the most mileage if they’re not immediately put to pen are typically the ones which have an underlying theme that can be shifted contextually and as a result allow for a flexible exploration of it.

Fine lines are always interesting in this respect.

This is one of those awkward ones which I’m in no doubt would tempt the path of polite conversation across that mark and back across them again. It just seems a pity it didn’t come about around the time the local idiot children thought it’d be wise to start knocking on doors expecting Halloween chocolate. I say ‘idiot’ with all the respect they’re due in regards to those of them specifically, who couldn’t wait until it was Halloween or dress up as anything other an ‘idiot’ child.

I am in all fairness to them: understating and feel great sympathy for whomever made them. I only wish I’d made good on my efforts and had a bowl of nail-clippings at the ready to out-post-modern them. Maybe next year.

In the meantime it’s worth noting that the genesis of ideas sometimes stem from slightly unrelated observations in this case, the blur between news and entertainment, something as old as newspapers themselves, but also the difference between ignoring the nature of a particular content and being programmed not to see it.

At least ignoring something requires a degree of personal or intellectual intervention of some kind: a nice set of muffs or a door to close on cue works pretty well; whereas the other does not. And those afflicted by the latter are also an easy bunch to spot.

By using a slightly less sophisticated version of a Voight-Kampf test it’s possible to identify them with none of the  fancy equipment and silly questions.  All you need is a piece of shitty journalism and a set of ear plugs: simply stick them both in and wait for an emotional response or depending upon the subject; any response what-so-ever.

My idea for today then is really just taking advantage of this media induced scotoma just to see what would happen if the next step towards bringing the ‘blur’ into the home was taken. We design a new set of Halloween costumes and accessories.

newspaper ad killertoysThe Real Killer Costumes & Props Range

Because a lot of us have favourite serial killers or criminals: fact or fiction.

Norman Bates wasn’t all bad, once you get past the whole kill, exhume, stuff stuff— I once did a presentation on the horror genre dressed as Mrs Bates, complete with wig and scary knife and not only did it make for a riveting half-hour, it doubled to demonstrate the nature of this particular idea: the trend of bringing horror into the home, or classroom, Halloween, whatever.

So why not have the Berkowitz mask accompanied by a plastic .44 and a dog that barks commands when you pulled the string in its back; or the Bundy mask complete with a fake arm-cast and a rubber crowbar? bundy toy and accessoriesshipman toy and accessoriesWho would you choose?

Because I can’t wait for the year I have a hundred Dr Harold Shipmans come to the front door with their giant inflatable syringes followed by a hungry pack of Ed Geins wielding shovels and waste-coats made from other peoples faces.lots of little shipmans2

Chianti?

Or an Action Figure?

bundy toy an box on table1

It’s just a matter of taste…

Test-tube Tribute Bands & The Ultimate Encore…

The Alternative Advent: Day 7

zztop advent postThere’s nothing remarkable about it—

All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself…

Johann Sebastian Bach

We live in an elegant universe, which according to some is composed almost entirely of a very large string section, indefatigably riffing out an eternal coda without rest. It has absolutely nothing to do with what it eats, no matter the Bard’s avowal that if music be the food of love— because it plays on regardless of physicists harping on about attraction.

It certainly has nothing to do with love … or sandwiches...

It is what it picks, plucks, taps, sweeps, shreds and strums— and it does it without a single fret, which might I suppose, render certain things inexplicable but at the same time, it would explain why the world goes round as it does.

It does it for us, so we can play ourselves; or with ourselves: ultimately it all depends on how enlightened or blind we want to become.

If you’ve ever heard of The Boys from Brazil or The Second Coming Project, you’d know that neither of them have anything to do with the universe, football or sex— unless of course, you count Pele’s Viagra commercials, which in a delightful quirk of the universe working in harmony to connect my vagrant ideas, I can ingeniously, albeit inadvertently have it all my own way and cover all the bases.

No, they are in fact about the cloning of a bunch of baby Hitlers and a bunch of baby Jesus’.

Now far be it from me to question the dedication of either party, since I regard such endeavours purely as entertainment first and then  just expect the inevitable ridicule to turn up at some point or other. However, as hypotheticals go, it’s an amusing one and all well and good until somewhere along the way someone has the notion to have them doing something together.

This would be problematic for some, because they’d probably get along— Jesus got along with almost everyone after all. But to do it, just to do it, would pose unique ethical problems, so they probably wouldn’t. The fact of the matter is, they couldn’t be trusted to get it done right.

Cloning should therefore, be left where it belongs— in the only place where ‘ethics’ is still a dirty word: reality television. And they should treat it with the levity it deserves.

The format would be the primary hurdle, but I was thinking along the line of something really quite simple. Something like:

The cloning of famous historical figures to create the ultimate tribute bands…

Take these guys for example:

Untitled-1 Robert Engels, Karl Marx & Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin

Sure, they were instrumental thinkers, but if we brought them back— I’d much rather see them with instruments. It could just be me but I think their resemblance to ZZ-Top is uncanny.

But why stop there when we could have:

jfk as bowie1x1JFK as David Bowie

grant flyn bogart gable 2 1x1Cary Grant, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable & Humphrey Bogart as The Beatles

malcom x jackson 1x1Malcolm X as Michael Jackson

miller and joyce do the proclaimers1x1James Joyce & Arthur Miller as The Proclaimers

The potential for abusing the genetic material of luminaries is boundless— and if I can have this much fun with google and photoshop, imagine how much fun the universe could have with a bunch of test-tubes and a T.V.

Half the game is 90% mental…

Yogi Berra

A lot of people chew up the scenery. I’m a firm believer in less is more…

The Alternative Advent: Day 2

alternative advent day 2bThe object of art is to give life shape & something to chew over—

It also works the other way…

Skill without imagination is craftsmanship. Just as, imagination without skill gives us modern art. Tom Stoppard made that observation, no doubt with, The Prudence and the Pill in mind: Nothing unites the English like war. Nothing divides them like Picasso.

Modern Art, it’s true— is considered with derision by many and as absurd by most, typified by nothing better than The Turner Prize. It is greeted each year with anticipation and enthusiasm, but for all the wrong reasons. With a glint in their eyes and half-baked chuckles wrestling in their throats, our newsreaders announce the short-list and their creators’ achievements, knowing full well that that we: the unenlightened ones, will be hooting and cursing in equal portions wondering what on Earth it’s all about?

Rachel Whiteread won the award in 1993, with her creation “House”. You may remember it: a Victorian Terrace was filled with concrete then its outsides were taken away, and so astonishing was its impact, the local council waited an entire year before tearing it down.

More recently though we had my personal favourite: Simon Starling, who ingeniously turned a boat into a shed, then back into a boat. Imaginatively titled: Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No 2). It was supposed represent the, slowing of things down, and about trying to retard the incredible speed with which we live.

The only thing I could tell was being slowed however, was the boat’s ability to float.

But of course it did. It made perfect sense. It made as much of it as being described ‘eccentric’ did to Mr Starling— which wasn’t a great deal, in fact he took great umbrage at the description— an act I found more bewildering than his former dinghy.

There’s little wrong with ‘form’ of any kind going hand-in-hand with hand and head, but when hands and bloockls become inseparable, even indistinguishable from the bullshit and bafflement which surrounds it; perhaps it’s worth trying to take the intellectual out of the art, or better still, away from it altogether.

How about bringing a little accessibility back? How about something like:

Bubble Gum Art?

I’d have galleries handing out different coloured gum upon entering, to be chewed; there’s a little ‘shaping’ for you right there, where it matters— on the building blocks. It’s contemporary, very pop; and like all art— not everyone’s cup of tea— so it’ll either be chewed over or not—  with verbals or mandibles, it doesn’t matter…

Towards the end of the gallery I would have a canvas for the used gum and a bin for that which was not. I like the irony but none of the significance which could easily be spun— but it’s as close as I can imagine, art for art’s sake, becoming more than a spectator sport, at least indoors anyway; and the kids would love it…

It’s clever—

But is it art?

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A quick introduction to The Alternative Advent, update on the monkeys & an animated tree…

The Alternative Advent: Day 1

day one of aaGreat ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds—

Constantly…

As true as this little ditty may be, I’m a great believer in giving the mediocre mind a voice so their ideas can be violently laughed at by greater ones, just so I can put these awful people in their place, instil a few manners and bring a little order and decorum to world. I would however prefer a little less barracking, a little more embracing; and positively no snootiness at all. Especially, when it is an ideas month.

It is because for the fourth time I have declared it so. Gone are the days once more of the advent countdown where we feast on miniature chocolates and welcome to the 21st Century count up, complete with animated tree. And as before, I intend to invent a brilliant idea per day until Christmas— as Linus Pauling said, the best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas and bollocks to the chocolate.

Update on the monkeys:

It’s been a while since I took leave with the many monkeys I had under my wing and allowed them room to flap into hat shops in search of the perfect fitting trilby. No mean feat— in fact it’s a deliberately assaulting one, since their heads are a little on the petite side.

And post hoc ergo propter hoc— they tend to require certain necessitations previously unheard of in respectable outfitters, as their clientèle are traditionally more evolved. Hat sizes in the 32th inch for instance are a curiosity that extends beyond their woolly bodies and into the vast canyons of their toothy grins. For they must ‘eek’ and ‘akk’ loquaciously and skittle mannequins before catching so much as a glimpse from a tape measure; and though they may hold out for a tickle up the inside-leg, they generally make do with some brand spanking head-wear.

So, with that cleared up and as we’re already on day one, I felt like warming up to the task with an idea that is far from warm but very, very cool…

We’ve had the book, the film and we’ve had the rock opera. But we haven’t had:

War of the Worldson ice

It’s such a novel concept— because we wouldn’t have to wait for the Martians to catch a cold. Just trick them into using the Heat Ray and wait for them to sink!

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas…

George Bernard Shaw

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Agatha Christie punks Plato; MacGyver, great inventions & perfect pencils…

A sub-continuation and tangentoid:

And the greatest of all inventors is: Accidents—

They happen…

522756_10150808745566041_675659681_nPlato may have been a bit of a know it all, back in the days when knowing nothing actually meant something— but I think he dropped the ball and let it run away from himself a tad, when he cited ‘necessity’ as the ‘true creator’, owing to ‘it’ being invention’s mother. I find that just a little bit creepy— and though it has a certain elegance to it; Agatha Christie’s rebuttal: I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness— to save oneself trouble, hits closer to the bull.

So whether it is something creepy, idleness, dissatisfaction; or something quite accidental that compels us to create— there should still be somewhere to go, to help necessitate our clumsiness; especially if an emergency dictates it. The fact it works around the other way just adds to the flavour.

Have you ever been caught short with a dozen house guests on the way a day earlier than expected,and found you had nothing to feed them but rubber bands and shoe polish? Because I assure you that not only would it taint the entire evening and your guests ability to taste anything for a week— the vol-au-vent would end up a little— how does one put it? Chewy.

Fortunately, I’m not speaking from experience because, surprise-surprise it’s never happened. But if it had and I were someone other than me— I’d be crying out for the website that sadly does not exist— but should.

As good as Google or that Jeeves chap may be with the ins and outs of how best to bake the perfect plum-duff— He doesn’t really have the answers to practical, everyday problems involving malevolent computers; how to prevent your coffee from tasting of fish; or feed a dozen hungry people with household products without killing them; or without at least, turning their mouths a funny colour.

Now this could be simply, a matter of testosterone, but I don’t think suggesting we drug the poor fellow would go down too well. Not after all the tireless help he gives children with their homework.

This website could be the solution:

Ask MacGyver!

Just because he has the know-how to make Gatling Guns from paper clips doesn’t mean he’s going to divulge potentially lethal information to children. That sort of thing would be strictly limited to the grown ups.

So my idea is to entice MacGyver out of retirement, where ever that may be— and have him help salvage peoples’ dinner parties and protect them against invasion armies with nothing but the contents of a child’s pencil case…

Even perfect people buy pencils with erasures on them;

Except me of course…

And I’m quite aware of the consequences of writing that!

Cosmetic labels are linguistic wonders…

And we’re still following on:

What other literary form serves up so much suggested promise while remaining— for legal reasons no doubt, so thoroughly content free?

It’s unfathomable really…

IMG_4691 fix 222Unfathomable perhaps, but it also just happens to be both a trick and a rhetorical question, because everyone knows there’s not a wider selection of swill to be found anywhere in the world, than on wine-menus. But while descriptions of wines at least only pushes the boundaries of creative writing without affecting its taste; with cosmetics— mainly in the hair-care range, there seems to be a desire to push the very boundaries of nature itself— which isn’t nearly so tender to the tongue.

So much so, I feel my dream qualification is finally on the verge of being realised: the field of un-natural science, where I can finally combine my skills to create a superior face-cream that “reduces the appearance of being a raddled old hack.”

A major supermarket chain has in the meantime created its own wonder of nature with its exclusive: Physique hair-care range, which “cleverly uses magnetic-like forces to create the style you want.” Quite how cleverly and magnetic-like, remains to be seen, but I distinctly recall something about attraction and repulsion as long ago as ‘little’ school, and while it would be the perfect means to keep the proximity of boys and girls’ faces to a minimum, the last thing we’d want would be a generation of boys’ heads being thrust together uncontrollably, particularly at such an impressionable age.

Maybe the Volume Collection just employs good old-fashioned electro-static forces— the force that dares not speak its name in applied trichology since being implicated in the dreaded “fly-away hair” scandal of ’87 or more recently— as proposed right here, with the unlicensed testing on old-aged pensioners: an essential read I assure you.

And then there’s the Control Collection for smooth sleekness, as opposed to that ‘other’ type of sleekness that lacks both? Perhaps it was developed for bonces with surface tension issues, we may never know. I on the other hand have more reason to fear:

Gukk: using the strong nuclear force to stay all day

Which doesn’t sound much like a barn-burner to me; rather something you’d evacuate the whole farm for… and then at least give the surrounding villages a heads-up.

At least it’s not as mind-bogglingly stupid as responding to “permanent, light reflecting colour”.  with totally non-light-reflecting hair dye; for a completely natural look..

Natural look?

It would reflect darkness for crying out loud!

Which under some circumstances, I agree might be cool! If it wasn’t so f@#$%*£ stupid…

Besides. I have a follow-up!