See if you can match the following captions with the images taken last weekend in Bristol, which I was visiting to enjoy the St Werburghs Festival:
1. A reveller outside the Minor’s Arms flounced off his binge on ecstasy pipes (or horse tranquilliser). He carries in his pocket a book entitled: “How to fossilise your hamster”
2. An unusual and ghostly close friend of mine guarding two teacups of cider brandy on top of St Werburghs hill at 5AM
3. A witty graffito drawing an analogy between the hysteria or jaundiced consumerism of popular culture and current political events
4. A shopkeeper’s attempt to con some Gloucester Road shopper into a purchasing a lame and tatty item on the basis of endearing humour
5. A remnant of clothing being attacked by a rogue element of road-marking.
6. “Bringing down the system / sticking it to the man”
If you do manage to solve this brainteaser, then send me your answers and I will see if I can bring myself to read them.
Bologna would be a fun place to live. It is studenty and has a strong history of socialist activism- it reminds me of Bristol, although with less middle-class embarrassment.
The city is striking. Nearly every street is porticoed- the characteristic feature of Bolognese architecture. I don’t know why we don’t have more in England where it usually pisses down all the time. One thing our countries do have in common is a bounty of vacuous graffiti. Ahhhhhh kids…
We cruised around the city on Saturday night pretending we weren’t lost in the treacherous one-way nest. There seemed to be a pretty good night life. There are about 100,000 students in the city.
We ate at a trattoria where the ragu was excellent and the atmosphere was Bohemian. The walls were covered with pictures which diners are invited to scrawl on their placemats. My effort was the shittest thing I have drawn in a while. But I was tired and drunk, and I have included a photo of it for completeness.
Northern Italy is clearly the economic and industrial engine of Italy, probably why it was the socialist stronghold. In the main square of Bologna is a photo wall of everyone who died in the Socialist resistance to Nazi occupation.
We dropped by Maranello on our way out if Emiglia-Romana. There is really nothing there apart from a Ferrari sign and a gift shop. And… erm… a municipal building. I have included a photo but again, only for completeness.
Check out this natty graf I found in the seedy back alleys of notorious Chiswick:
…And so his liver slipped away, ever distrusting,
He felt he would one day make his mark.
A prince of aesthetics, a creature
Of slim frame
Full of endorphin.
… BEHOLD JESUS
Make of this what you will. I instantly decided that I quite liked it. You can probably work out a lot about the author of this apocryphal text by the fact he uses block capitals (be they small and messy), aggressively crosses out his mistakes (wants to conceal his mistakes, and boldly applies the word ‘aesthetics’ in graffiti, spelled correctly. As we all know, all proper graffiti has to have spelling mistakes and references to private parts (eg ‘My cock smels of apples’ – see critique by Quentin Bumboy in Viz magazine some years ago). However, all we get is internal organs. I think the ‘liver’ lets it down a bit. Perhaps ‘foreskin’ would have been more apposite. The author is clearly not worried about pushing the proverbial envelope.
The prophet must have had this particular wall in mind – it is black like a school blackboard, so he must have especially made sure he had some chalk in his back pocket before he left the house. Unless he was transporting some for an unknown reason and was spontaneously inspired. Was the school reference intended? If he had planned this graf, I would not be surprised if he had pre-written the message, which makes me feel he does not have much else on. Says the guy writing the blog about it.
Is Christ risen as a nu-rave trendy? Has he taken too much pill and his liver gone for a walk? Is he still Jewish? Is it hard being called Jesus in this day and age, or does it help him blend in with the Hoxtonites all the more?
I think if anything have proved that this is a work of deep complexity and originality, shocking us into action with the morbid grasp of our own zombie-ish conformity. It therefore must be a Banksy.
I have been in Israel for nearly a week now and when I get back I am going to blog about the situation here from a non-Arab non-Jewish perspective. Although it does seem nearly impossible to say anything for either side which does not end up being unfair in some way. Anyway, my solution to the middle-east crisis will have to wait because my outrageously good cheesecake has arrived.
In the meantime, look at these crazy snaps: