Thursday, May 24, 2012

the transformation of a key charm

defecating pig, keychain, key charm, alfred jarry, ubu roi, pere ubu

When my friend gave me a keychain attached to a plastic defecating pig, there was only one thing I could think to do with it...

First, I cut off the ears.


Next, I glued them back on upside down and built a spire of hot glue above them.


(Unfortunately it looked pretty crude. Hot glue definitely wasn't the ideal thing to use, especially since it's so stringy, but it was too late to turn back.)

(No, it's not what you think)

After that it was time to build up the top.


Then I added the remaining shapes and details.


Paint came next.


And finally the defining characteristics.

keychain, key charm, alfred jarry, ubu roi, pere ubu, shitting, defecating

What I made—or tried to make—was Alfred Jarry's Père Ubu.

alfred jarry, ubu roi, woodcut, pere ubu, drawing

Above: Jarry's woodcut. Below: Jarry's Ubu marionette.

alfred jarry, ubu roi, pere ubu, puppet, marionette
ubu roi, alfred jarry, keychain

For those who aren't familiar with the Ubu plays, a shitting pig is pretty close to what the title character actually is, so I couldn't let such an opportunity pass.

keychain, key charm, alfred jarry, ubu roi, pere ubu, shitting, defecating


Monday, May 21, 2012

Rules for Living

#767  Don't talk about people who shouldn't exist.  

They should not exist, therefore they do not. This includes even those who are negatively affecting your life, such as your jaileror your boss.

It especially includes the wider scope of figures who, through mass marketing, have been lodged into your mind without your consent.

"What do you think of John Travolta?"
"Never heard of him."

#1942 Never argue with a shadow.

Forever shifting, they will always recede when the sun shows its face. As Rabelais said, "I hate a man who runs away when he ought to stay and juggle knives."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

< < < prism 2 > > >

"The screaming, struggling civilian was a dark man with a face white as flour from fear. His eyes were pulsating in hectic desperation, flapping like bat's wings, as the many tall policemen seized him by the arms and legs and lifted him up. His books were spilled on the ground. 'Help!' he shrieked shrilly in a voice strangled in its own emotion, as the policemen carried him to the open doors in the rear of the ambulance and threw him inside. 'Police! Help! Police!' The doors were shut and bolted, and the ambulance raced away. There was a humorless irony in the ludicrous panic of the man screaming for help to the police while policemen were all around him. Yossarian smiled wryly at the futile and ridiculous cry for aid, then saw with a start that the words were ambiguous, realized with alarm that they were not, perhaps, intended as a call for police but as a heroic warning from the grave by a doomed friend to everyone who was not a policeman with a club and a gun and a mob of other policemen with clubs and guns to back him up. 'Help! Police!' the man had cried, and he could have been shouting of danger." —Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Salt of the Earth (Herbert Biberman, 1954)

Water (1566) & Summer (1563) by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

"Do you really find Nurse Duckett so attractive? I should think she was rather bony. Rather bland and bony, you know. Like a fish."

"Orr sniggered lewdly, his bulging crab apple cheeks blowing outward with pleasure."

"His nose was squat and red, and he had lumpy white, bunched-up eyelids circling his small gray eyes like haloes of bacon fat."

"These [tomatoes] were picked only yesterday. Notice how firm and ripe they are, like a young girl's breasts."

"People didn't stick their heads into ovens with the gas on, jump in front of subway trains or come plummeting like dead weights out of hotel windows with a whoosh!, accelerating at the rate of sixteen feet per second to land with a hideous plop! on the sidewalk and die disgustingly there in public like an alpaca sack full of hairy strawberry ice cream, bleeding, pink toes awry."

"The colonel wore his khaki shirt collar wide open, exposing a shadow of tough black bristles of beard on his egg-white neck..."

"[S]he's got a uniform in my room made of purple silk that's so tight her nipples stand out like bing cherries."

—similes and descriptions from Catch-22

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

A Beau Brummell Anecdote

Beau Brummell created what is now referred to as "dandyism" due to his uniqueness of character. But it was also partly due to the fact that he was born into a time when bathing and changing your clothing once a day was considered to be a strange eccentricity (it's hard not to cultivate one's vanity when everyone around you literally stinks).

Brummell was an interesting figure, a major influence on fashion, and an arbiter of taste. But he was also heartless, cruel, and affected. "Dandyism," Barbey D'Aurevilly wrote, "is the product of a bored society, and to be bored does not conduce to being kind."

Timesand tasteshave changed. In the past, people would watch Beau Brummell dress with relish; now people watch Ferran Adrià cook (with relish). The former polished his boots with champagne; the latter polishes off his beets with champignons.

* * * 
The following excerpt is taken from Carlo Maria Franzero's Beau Brummell: His Life and Times (1958)

"The history of Brummell is, indeed, written upon sayings, often absurd, like that of Byron who said that he would rather be Brummell than Napoleon. The real meaning of such a saying is lost; perhaps Byron meant that Brummell's empire of taste and fashions was more imaginative than Napoleon's empire of countries and peoples.

Brummell was a mass of contradictions: he could be exquisitely polite and appallingly rude; he could say telling things or be as gay as a young boy. The clubs resounded with laughter when Lord Alvanley recounted the story of how, that afternoon, the Prince of Wales, who had just received the present of a horse, asked Brummell for his opinion. Brummell, instead of examining the animal in the usual way, went behind the horse and studied its tail for a considerable time, until the Prince at last asked him what he was doing. 'Sir,' Brummell answered, 'you should never look a gift horse in the mouth.' "