Wednesday, November 30, 2005

What use is happiness? It can't buy you money.
Chic Murray

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

great photographic portraits #2

Ronald Fischer, beekeeper, Davis, California, May 9, 1981 by Richard Avedon

'Ronald Fischer, beekeeper, Davis, California, May 9 1981' by Richard Avedon
hey you!
unruly hair? eyes too small? bum lacking ooomph? not enough cleavage? knobbly knees? lumpy thighs? bloodshot eyes? waist not waspy enough? breasts unlike melons? pimples showing? dimples missing? bikini not tight enough? dress a bit wrinkled? teeth not white enough? arms lacking muscle tone? lips too thin? bones too bony? wrinkles showing? not looking raunchy enough? not looking young enough? paunch developing? cheekbones too low? looking a bit too human? keen to impress an alien? sick of living in an unsaturated world? couldn't find a big enough trowel for your make-up? barred from Stepford? then you need this!

Monday, November 28, 2005

It is hard to say if this sermon had any effect on our townsfolk. M. Othon, the magistrate, assured Dr. Rieux that he had found the preacher's arguments 'absolutely irrefutable.' But not everybody took so unqualified a view. To some the sermon simply brought home the fact that they had been sentenced, for an unknown crime, to an indeterminate period of punishment. And while a good many people adapted themselves to confinement and carried on their humdrum lives as before, there were others who rebelled and whose one idea now was to break loose from the prison-house.

Albert Camus, from 'The Plague'

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Arthur Rackham
"But the Emperor has nothing at all on!" said a little child.
"Listen to the voice of innocence!" exclaimed the child's father; and what the child had said was whispered from one to another.
"But he has nothing at all on!" at last cried out all the people.
Hans Andersen

Discuss in relation to:
Tracey Emin
Tony Blair
Harrison Birtwhistle
Jamie Cullum
George Bush

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Lomo copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
The trouble with Westerners is that they want to witness their own enlightenment.
Chogyam Trungpa
[stolen from whiskey river, who stole it from mole]

Friday, November 25, 2005

I see a rose, that strange thing, and what's there
But a seeming something coloured on the air
With the transparencies that make up me,
Thickened to existence by my notice. Tree
And star are ways of finding out what I
Mean in a text composed of earth and sky.

Norman MacCaig, from 'Ego'
A few months ago I mentioned The Very. Well, if you live in Scotland you can see their video for 'Dancefloor Hell' on 'The Music Show' tonight at 11.35 (BBC2). Sounds like a good bit of publicity, especially since everyone will be huddled over their televisions avoiding the ice and snow outside.
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I just want you to know that when we talk about war we're really talking about peace.
George W Bush

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Liv Ullman
Few filmmakers have directed as many shattering performances as Bergman, or photographed them more expressively. Or been as preternaturally attuned to the psyches of women. The focal point of his movies is the human countenance in all its infinite masquerades ... The old saw that filmmakers should avoid using too many close-ups does not apply in Bergman's case: we can never get our fill of the faces in his movies because their mysteries always lie just beyond our comprehension.
Peter Rainer
I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary for me to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property, and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world ...
Hermann Hesse, from 'Siddhartha'

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Contestants on the 'Family Fortunes' game-show are asked to quickly guess the most popular answers to questions posed in a survey. The closer their answer to the most popular one, the higher their score. The more remote it is, the greater their chances of appearing in a surreal list like this:

Something made of wool: "A sheep.."
A word used to describe a very hot day: "A very hot day.."
Something you hide in your socks when you go swimming: "Your legs.."
A musical instrument you can play in the bath: "A drum kit.."
Something you find on a fire engine: "Coal.."
An item of clothing worn by the Three Musketeers: "A horse.."
A famous Parisian landmark: "Hawaii.."
Something you keep in a garden shed: "A gardener.."
Something that floats in the bath: "Water.."
Something a blind man might use: "A sword.."
The last thing you take off before going to bed: "Your feet.."
Something a girl should know about a man before marrying him: "His name.."
Something that flies without an engine: "A bicycle with wings.."

Monday, November 21, 2005

Lomo copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
When your consciousness has become ripe in true zazen — pure like clear water, like a serene mountain lake, not moved by any wind — then anything may serve as a medium for realisation.
Yamada Kôun Rôshi

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Lomo copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Friday, November 18, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

I finally bought a digital slr camera. This was one of my first test shots. A bit boring, I know, but it's so nice to have a proper camera again. Maybe I'll finally find time to read the manual this weekend, and then ... who knows!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Civilised people cannot fully satisfy their sexual instinct without love.
Bertrand Russell

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

A bit of Peter Howson in a Glasgow shop window. He's probably most famous for his controversially unflattering portraits of Madonna, although I think they're pretty good likenesses.
Annie Lebovitz, William Burroughs, 1995
Finally, Beckett leaned forward and said, "What can you tell me, Mr. Burroughs, about this cut-up method of yours?"
"Well, Mr. Beckett," Burroughs said, "what I do is take a page of my writing and a page of the Herald Tribune [or Rimbaud, etc.], I cut them up and then I put them back together, and I gradually decipher new texts. Then I might take a page of your writing, and line it up with what I already have, and do the same thing all over again."
Suddenly indignant, Beckett asked, "You're using other writer's words?"
"Words don't have brands on them the way cattle do," Burroughs said. "Ever hear of a word rustler?"
"You can't do that!" Beckett said. "You can't take my writing and mix it up with the newspapers."
"Well, I've done it," Burroughs said.
"That's not writing," Beckett snorted, "it's plumbing."

from 'Literary Outlaw'

Monday, November 14, 2005

Lomo copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Lomo copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

Albert Camus, from 'The Myth of Sisyphus'

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

- How do you know?
- About what?
- What you were saying... about how sexual intercourse happens on the spur of the moment.
- Because it happened to Teenie that works in my father's shop, when she was out walking with her boyfriend. They had to get married.
- You'd think the urge would have passed by the time they'd got their clothes off.
- Yes. That's what I can't understand. People take their clothes off in front of each other. It's so rude. They're bound to be put off their passion.
- Do you think Miss Brodie ever had sexual intercourse with Hugh of Flanders field before he fell?
- I don't know. I don't think they did anything like that. Their love was above all that.
- Well, Miss Brodie said they clung to each other with passionate abandon on his last leave.
- I don't think they took their clothes off though, do you?
- No. I can't see it.

Conversation between two Edinburgh schoolgirls in the excellent 1969 film version of Muriel Spark's ' The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie'

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Grey Gardens
Grey Gardens is proof positive that when an aristocratic American family gets big enough, some relatives will wind up shut-ins at an overgrown, feline-infested East Hampton mansion belting out shrill show tunes and feeding wild raccoons whole bags of Wonder bread in the attic. This bizarre, sad and touching portrait of elderly Edith Bouvier Beale (Jackie Kennedy's aunt) and her middle-aged ex-model daughter "Little" Edie, instantly became one of the most talked-about documentaries of all time.
Entertainment Weekly ~ Top 50 Cult Movies
Barred Spiral Galaxy
more Hubble images here

Of darkness an egg, from the whirlwind conceived
Was laid by sable-plumed Night
And from that egg, as the seasons revolved
Sprang Love, the entrancing, the bright ...
Aristophanes, from 'The Birds'

Years ago when I was studying art history I came across a book in the university library about Botticelli's La Primavera. The book explained the painting in relation to the theories of the neo-Platonist philosophers in Florence at the time it was painted, but somewhere in it I found the above lines by Aristophanes. They stuck in my memory and a few years later I tried - unsuccessfully - to make a painting based on them. When I saw the image from the Hubble telescope (above) it reminded me of the failed painting, which was not dissimilar in some ways. I've never actually read 'The Birds' and always assumed the quote was about the creation of the Universe, but this version by Swinburne suggests it's about the birth of Eros, which may, of course, be the same thing:

First thing first-born of the black-plumed Night was a wind-egg hatched in her bosom,
Whence timely with seasons revolving again sweet Love burst out as a blossom,
Gold wings glittering forth of his back, like whirlwinds gustily turning.

Anyway, it makes me wonder whether all the scientific investigations into the origins of the Cosmos will ever come up with anything more plausible or profound. I doubt it somehow. There is nothing new under the sun.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


It's unnecessary and destructive to think of oneself at all. People ask me, 'What do you think of yourself as?' My answer is, 'Nothing.'
Paul Bowles

Come visit me in Buenes Aires, I'll show you my library and you won't find a single book of mine. I'm very sure of this - I choose my books. Who am I to find my way into the neighbourhood of Sir Thomas Browne or of Emerson? I'm nobody.
Jorge Luis Borges

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

silver birches
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
If you use your mind to study reality, you won't understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you'll understand both.

Monday, November 07, 2005

the ultimate compliment

You know I can’t stand Shakespeare’s plays, but yours are worse.
Tolstoy to Chekhov

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Lomo copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Lomo copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Friday, November 04, 2005

Lomo copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Photographs by Eric A Hegg documenting the Klondike and Alaska gold rushes.
clubbo records"
clubbo records: music to believe in

“As I was for these photos posed in the snow, wearing the fur of this magnificent cat, I discovered that I was not at all cold. This caused me to think sadly of the poor dead creature whose skin I then wore, and filled me with a sense of great pity and horror that I, and not the leopard, should now be inside this fur. And yet I must still keep smiling for the camera!”
Ava Langenthal, former chanteuse with 'Ava and the Avalanches', and now a renowned vegan chef and author of 'The Cruelty-free Cook'.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Lomo copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction
Laurie Anderson

It was a large room. Full of people. All kinds.
And they had all arrived at the same buidling
at more or less the same time.
And they were all free. And they were all
asking themselves the same question:
What is behind that curtain?

Laurie Anderson, from 'Big Science'

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Lomo copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It is always the best policy to speak the truth - unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar.
Jerome K Jerome
sad little car on a drab street
Image copyright Alan Edwards. No unauthorised reproduction