Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Scared, Yet Strangely Aroused

 JAMIE BECK AND KEVIN BURG, UNTITLED (DETAIL)

"Charlie's fucking mad. You know what he's been doing since he got made redundant at that graphic design place?" 
"Let's not be too economical with the truth, Alfie. He was fired after painting a mural of a snarling yeti having its way with the boss's wife on the wall of the gents', and that's something quite different from loss of job via redundancy. Certainly not something that would warrant an inquiry into unfair dismissal either, however realistic the beast's lathered tongue might have been. And no I don't know what he's up to these days, I haven't seen nor heard of him since about February."
"He's insane. He's been breaking into art galleries at night, but rather than stealing paintings he's been taking in a box of oils and adding his own little amendments. At first it was subtle, he might add a bit of extra shadow here and there, or a couple of extra leaves on a tree, just to see how much he could get away with, but since then he's added sunglasses to a Nicodemus in a deposition, a digital watch to a Madonna and giant cocks on all of the horses in a Uccello battle scene. The best bit is that all the cocks are pointing perfectly down the perspectival lines with the rest of the painting. It's all one massive joke to him. The last I heard of him he still hasn't been caught yet, miraculously. To be completely honest I think some of it's quite admirable, why not make Christ smile for once, it's amusing. And all in all it's relatively unobtrusive..."
"Well I don't know about that."
"Is it not art? At least it's not some skyline-raping mega-fuck-up - Anish Kareallyquitepoor - or a sea of wobbly cocks and flange √† la Spencer Tunick. Their works are just huge egotistical monstrosities." 
Greta shrugged. "At least he seems to have given up posting photographs of his genitals through people's letter boxes at random." 
"Indeed that is a plus." 

-
Mia gave me such a surprise bursting her clumsy way through the unlocked bathroom door that I dropped my spliff in the bath. I paid scant attention to her hysterical jabbering and drifted back to the discussion I'd been having in my head with Hegel and Kant. And I was winning the argument easily before the bitch came in and broke my concentration. When I reckoned she had just about finished, I rolled my eyes down from out of the back of my head to look up into her eyes lovingly. 
"You're not even listening to me are you Charlie? You've been in this house for five weeks now and haven't contributed a single thing to any of us. In fact what do you contribute to anything? Why can't you go and do something constructive for once? Ever thought of helping somebody less fortunate than yourself? Anyway. Enough. You've well overstayed your welcome. " 
"Oh ha ha! Somebody less fortunate than myself indeed! What's crawled up and died inside you? Is the quiet reality of your decaying love life bugging you, hanging there like an errant tampon string dangling below a tight miniskirt stained in sweat and cheap alcopops? Ring any bells? One day you'll grow out of your ignorant ways and thank me." Graciously I held back from going too far. "I am sorry Mia, but a condition of my living here is that you must accept that I have certain habits that must be respected. Please do not disturb me again." And I sunk under the water until she sulked out, slamming the door behind her, resurfacing just time for a "Bitch."

UNKNOWN 
"You know Charlie's reasoning for becoming a Christian again?" 
"I assume you're going to tell me."
"This is the only occasion that I've ever seen him genuinely unsure of himself, yet at the time he still managed to retain that smug sense of superiority to just about everything. He was baptised and even confirmed at thirteen. He said he - and I quote - 'turned to the cross' because he'd lost belief in everything else. Like he would put any faith in anyone on earth other than himself anyway, but I digress..."

-
"In a sense I could myself have created something to believe in, or taken up some new and trivial hobby perhaps, but why go to the trouble of inventing something when whoever dreamt up religion has already done all the hard work for me. I'd abandoned religion in my early teens in favour of atheism, but I got to such a strenuous point in my life that I decided I should pin all my worries onto the breast of hope, even if I knew full well that it was all fake. Do people get so desperate that they invent something to keep them going? Do they pluck this shit out of midair? I did." 

-
"Have you seen that he's started to make the papers now? He's a veritable noctivagant. He's started to paint murals all around London now, and no one seems to have caught him yet. There's a flock of green sheep running down a street in Camberwell and a priest eating the Queen's entrails somewhere in Croydon near where that furniture shop got torched. Rumours are flying about that he's some malevolent looters' champion or something, and they've adopted him. Here, look at this - 'Unnamed youth from Croydon area, identity withheld', says "I think it's well funny. It's showing the government and the rich people that we're not finished yet. We're gonna take down the Queen and shit." I swear he doesn't even have a point to make, it's no cry for help, he just does it because he can. You know there was a police patrol car driving round Marylebone for about two hours before anyone notified the coppers inside that the car's registration plates read 'F3LCH'? I have no idea how he does it." 

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