Just calling to say…

Hi! How are you?
Long time no see!

Yes, at least half my life has been put on hold while I savour The Greatest Show On Earth and thank God I’m not Australian. I’m no sports fiend, but it’s so exhilarating, so uplifting, to see anyone doing anything to the absolute peak of her/his ability, whether it’s winning a chestful of medals or recording a PB; in a world where gratification and reward are increasingly expected to be instant and involving the least possible effort, it’s a timely reminder that the best most often comes from long, dedicated, slow-cooking.

That’s Jason Kenny on his way to a gold medal.
I’m (morbidly, not pervily) fascinated by the sprint cyclists’ thighs. Who would win a thigh-off between a cyclist and a speed-skater? Where on earth do they buy their trousers?
Important stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.

I also want to mark, as so many have, the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn’s death. She remains elusive to me, and, I think, to the zillions who profess an opinion on who/what she was; suffice to say, to a gawky, angular, too-tall, un-pretty adolescent she was a vision of what a woman ‘should be’: lusciously ripe, petite, baby-faced, baby-voiced, desired and accommodating.
Then I grew up.

By our youngest T’Art Club member, Dayne Britten.
Very affective, I find.

Finally, RIP the great Robert Hughes, whom I thank for providing my favourite ever art quote. Not this one – you should know which I mean by heart by now! – but it’s pretty damn good too, not least for being applicable to all human endeavour, not just ‘art’:

“There is virtue in virtuosity, especially today, when it protects us from the tedious spectacle of ineptitude.”

Speaking of which: nearly forgot: huge congrats to NASA!
(Why did I nearly forget? Why aren’t we more thrilled at Curiosity landing on Mars? Are we indeed suffering from what William Gibson calls Future Fatigue?)

Again, as in the Olympics, people, just people, being the best they can be, through sheer hard graft and patience, at what they do.
If you don’t take inspiration from all of them someone should check your pulse.

So, somewhat bitty and rambling, but I just wanted to check in.
Back to cogency, sense (really?) and rampant disaffected cynicism next week when, all being well, I’ll be less distracted and emotional.

Take care, and speak soon.


Really enjoyed this by Chris at Anxiety and Biscuits: A Very British Olympics…

See more of Dayne’s work here.

16 thoughts on “Just calling to say…

  1. I happened to watch Seven Year Itch last night. I’ve got to say, there’s something about Marilyn. When she’s on screen it’s hard to get distracted by anyone or anything else.

    • It is. She lights up the screen, incandescent. I’m still fascinated by her, and by what people to this day continue to make of her, and remain deeply saddened by how it all panned out for her. One of a kind, Marilyn.

  2. Hi, thanks for visiting my post earlier, I believe you may have linked it too! That picture of Marilyn Monroe is really something; it’s about time someone showed her smudgy edges…

    • Hi Chris! Yes, I did – or thought I had… will rectify immediately; I enjoyed it very much and congrats on being FP’d!
      That Marilyn really gets me – Dayne is only about 19, but whatever ‘it’ is, he’s got it. It really captures for me the ‘mess’ of Marilyn and her life physical and emotional.
      Thanks so much for dropping by!

      • cheers a lot. I’m currently exhibiting three very mucky Monroe pieces – check out my page Chris they are on there – keep in touch!

        thanks for the recognition Glennie, really appreciate it!

        • Great work Dayne, I really like the your most recent Marilyn, and oddly, I think my favorite is Fox II… I can’t quite put my finger on it, it’s like the saddest, most genuine, and human visage of a fox… somehow commenting on our own humanity. Sorry if that doesn’t make any sense, I’m not an art connoisseur, I just feel like I could relate to that fox better than I do most people.

      • Thank you very much! Dayne has a talent, I just had a quick flick through his Facebook page. At the very least, I appreciate the statement – culture holds up these icons as paragons of beauty and worth, but they’re just people. They’re remembered for their facade of a public persona, not that time they spilt beans on toast down their sports hoodie.

  3. I’m suffering Olympic lag. As a nightowl I like the Olympics in a different time-zone so I can watch the Women’s Pole Vault heats or whatever at a more civilized wee small hours and therefore much of what I usually do with my time is suspended and my routines all over the place.

    A fantastically successful Olympics for Great Britain and all our Gold medals but a part of that.

    • Hi Sam! My schedule’s all over the place too- we’re supposed to be going out tonight, and have just realised it’s the 200m FINAL. Cue panic and frantic re-arranging. It’s ridiculous, a madness, but fabulously so. I knew I was in deep when I found myself glued to the archery. WTF? Is it even a sport? Or just Big Darts? Glorious!

  4. Yes well, I’m an Englishwoman living in Australia and sorry to say the Australian effort has been woeful at best! Think we need to change their Olympic colours from Green & GOLD to maybe Green & Orange :-/

  5. What a positive and uplifting post. In this Brave New World, I honestly believe that there is more opportunity than ever to be exceptional, because even though we’re all more uplifted and technology has enabled up moreso than any previous generation, we have also been overly contented by a world that aspires to little more than mediocrity. These instruments of our salvation are just as easily becoming the instruments of our destruction when the ability to amuse becomes infinite. Self-Actualization is lacking now more than ever before, and I think that’s a primary driver behind the 21st Century Schizoid people we’ve become. The cognitive dissonance of being little people with little lives directed down paths of our own unchoosing has denied this generation the most essential requirement of the satisfied mind. This is not to say achievement, but the fulfillment of one’s potential, a slight, but important delineation.

    Love the Robert Hughes Quote and the Marilyn picture is fantastically morbid. Her eyes are like windows to the viewers’ soul. Oh and I’m also tired of this anti-success sentiment growing inside this generation like a cancer. I think we’ve been told how great we are so many times that we’ve come to believe mediocrity is greatness, then get upset with the result. Success is 2% Inspiration, 98% Perspiration.

    • Thanks, Andrew – agree wholeheartedly. Per the Kaiser Chiefs, “Everything is average nowadays”. There IS ‘virtue in virtuosity’; there is a moral dimension, and I think we’ve tipped too far over the fine line between encouraging our kids, and pointing out when something they do/make is a pile of crap. Re what we discussed on your post – constantly saying, That’s fantastic, well done, does not teach kids to think critically, either about themselves or the world; hence this prevalent pernicious mind-set that seeks the highest possible reward for the least possible effort, swamping the world in inane banality and, indeed, ‘ineptitude’. We owe our kids more: the understanding that excellence requires sacrifice. Even Usain Bolt trains till he throws up, and then does it all over again, and again, and again…

Comments are closed.