There are some massive sculptures around the world, works of art that just blow you away: you think of Nelson’s Column in London, Mount Rushmore, and the Statue of Liberty in the United States, Peter the Great in Russia, the African Renaissance Monument in Senegal, more giant statues of Buddha than you shake a stick at across Asia including of course the big daddy of them all: The Spring Temple Buddha in China.
All very impressive, but what impresses me just as much, perhaps even more, is when you go to the other end of the scale and when you are talking about small sculptures you are talking about Willard Wigan. Mr Wigan is from Birmingham, not far from where I sprung up, and he has spent the last ten years creating micro art I suppose you’d call it. He creates figures so tiny they fit in the eye of a needle – literally – and yet are perfectly formed. You know that bit in the Bible about how hard it is getting a camel through the eye of a needle? Willard Wigan managed to get nine camels in there!
For his latest and possibly greatest work, he shaved his face and took a tiny bit of stubble, hollowed it out and turned a tiny flake of gold into a motorcycle that measures only 3 microns. I cannot get my head around it, he works with a microscope and paints with a hair taken from a fly’s back! You think I’m joking? Check this out!
Have a look at his gallery: http://www.willard-wigan.com/gallery.aspx
It seems that a great deal of writers, poets, painters, musicians, actors etc. like to give the impression that they are somehow tortured souls, martyrs to their art. Trust me, these bums know nothing of torture for the sake of creativity!
I’m sitting here desperately tapping like…erm…someone who taps, trying to finish my book, Me & Gus on the Roof of the World, which I have promised you I’d get done but so far am yet to fulfil that promise, while writhing in agony and at the same time desperate for the comfort of sleep that is denied me these past few nights.
Yes my friends, I am a martyr to my art, I am a tortured soul!
Let me tell you this tale of woe: Mrs B was making herself useful and painting the skirting boards before my mate comes around to lay the new flooring. My eldest dog Jess decided that what would help the drying process would be if she lay down against it. Or maybe she fancied a go faster stripe? I scrubbed her vigorously before the paint dried, too vigorously as it turned out, and within the hour I could hardly walk for the pain in my back, in fact I could hardly breathe with it.
Avoiding visiting the doctors is a hobby I suppose you would call it so I’ve been making do with mild painkillers which are useless for anything more than a bit of a headache, deep heat gel and heat patches which make me go nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn as I tear them off.
On Monday night my team not only won (for once) they trounced the opposition 6-1. When the first goal went in my fist shot into the air and I attempted to cheer; ravaged by the pain that tore me in half and embarrassed by the pathetic whimper that I produced I was unable to celebrate the next five goals.
The dogs know that their dad is injured, they have a sense for that sort of thing. I’d like to say that they have been nuzzling up to me to tell me it’s going to be ok, but no; they have instead been playing up like you wouldn’t believe and running around like maniacs, confident that I am in no fit state to go after them, slipper in hand.
Dogs, it seems, have no concept of future consequences for their present actions.
I heard a funny story which I wanted to share with you. It concerns my dad from a time before I was born, even before Jess was born, when he and mom were buying their first home together.
They had been living in a rented place in Birmingham but apparently although the flat itself was nice and it was by a small boating lake so the view was great, it was in the middle of a rather rough neighbourhood.
On the news they’re talking about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police foiling a terror plot to derail a VIA Rail train, ah the mounties, they always get their man. You can read about it here.
When I read this I nearly fell off my chair laughing, not at the thought of the carnage this might have caused if it had happened as planned, but the way the story has been reported. Claiming that Al Qaeda are operating out of and are supported by Iran is simply ridiculous, the Shi-ite Iranians would have nothing to do with a Sunni terror organisation and if they were in Iran they would be rounded up and shot.
Then why say it? Let’s have a look at who is making this claim – the lovable rogue Bruce Riedel: 30-year veteran of the CIA and one of the gang at the Brookings Institute, a bigger mob of warmongers you’ll be unlikely to meet. A thinktank that has been pushing for the invasion of Iran, in other words the hostile corporate takeover of Iranian oil like we saw in Iraq, the first nation ever to be privatised. They float ideas on how to get the ball rolling and the scary thing is they are listened to. Don’t believe me? Read it in their own words, here is a link to a document called “Which Path to Persia:Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran“ You might recognise the name of one of the authors: yes, our old pal Brucie.
On page 66, under the title “The Question of a Provocation”:
“With provocation, the international diplomatic and domestic political requirements of an invasion would be mitigated, and the more outrageous the Iranian provocation (and the less that the United States is seen to be goading Iran), the more these challenges would be diminished. In the absence of a sufficiently horrific provocation, meeting these requirements would be daunting.”
According to Jurriaan Maessen:
Reminiscent of the Pearl Harbor-quote by raving neocons pre-9/11, the authors continue imagining how excellent it would be to have an Iranian-sponsored terror attack within the US to trigger war and march off toward Iran. During all this, the authors are aware how unlikely it is that Iran would actually commit such an attack on American soil.
“…Something on the order of an Iranian-backed 9/11, in which the plane wore Iranian markings and Tehran boasted about its sponsorship.(…). The entire question of “options” become irrelevant at that point: what American president could refrain from an invasion after the Iranians had just killed several thousand American civilians in an attack in the United States itself?”
This sounds alot like the Paul Wolfowitz doctrine laid out by PNAC just one year before 9/11 where they insisted that what was needed for a change to US foriegn policy, which we have seen post 9/11, would take a long time to bring about absent a catastophic event like “a new pearl harbor.”
My dad always used to tell me: “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.”
“I ain’t going, I don’t even like weddings.”
“You’ve gotta go, Rob’s sister told me I’ve got to bring you with me.” Tyler insisted.
“I’ve only met her once, why would the bride want me to be at her wedding when she don’t even know me? This ain’t gonna get weird is it?”
“I don’t know, for some strange reason she thinks you’re funny, and I quote ‘really sweet’.”
“You’re sure she was on about me?” I asked, puzzled. Rob was Tyler’s mate from work, I’d met him a few times and he was a good lad. I reluctantly agreed.
“Oh and when you see Tom (the groom) don’t call him Timmy like you did last time, he really hates it.”
It was a posh do at a fancy hotel in Birmingham, apparently the Groom’s family had money. We got suited and booted and, along with Tyler’s missus, we attended the evening soiree. I was young and a bit unruly to be honest, this was before I’d met and been tamed by the present Mrs Breslin, and Mandy, that’s Tyler’s girlfriend made me promise to behave myself.
Behave myself I did, for a while, but the agony of being introduced to uncles, aunts, cousins, grannies and grandads – smiling, shaking hands and making small talk – started getting a bit much. I began to place my trust in my beer to ease the pain. I started making up different stories when they asked me what I do: I’m an explorer for National Geographic; I’m a mercenary running guns to the Shining Path; I’m the member of Parliament for Tamworth; I’m a dolphin trainer at Sea World - I’ve got three dolphins called Flipper, Skipper and Dipper; I’m a shark fighter, “…you see that scar? 6 foot Mako!”
Things started getting a bit hazy after that, the last thing I remember was dancing with (or more like being propped up by) the groom’s impossibly stunning and incredibly posh sister while wearing her mother’s hat which probably cost more than everything both me and Tyler were wearing put together, and shouting across the dance floor “Oi! Timmy, we’re gonna be related!”
Fast forward about three weeks and the happy couple were back from their honeymoon and both families gathered to watch the wedding video. I got this story secondhand but it is what Rob told Tyler. I don’t know if it hadn’t been edited properly but at one point the videographer was passing through the crowd, the light attached to his camera was far too bright and was blinding everyone. You saw Tyler for a second averting his eyes and then apparently my head popped up to fill the screen and I said “Go on now, that’s enough, f*** off!” Everyone sat there with their mouths open in shock, Rob cringed and sank down into his chair, the groom’s sister blushed scarlet and the groom’s mother jumped to her feet and yelled, “That’s him, that’s the one who stole my hat!”
I don’t want to get political, I try to keep it light as you know. I also don’t wish to speak ill of the dead but until I see the stake through her heart, the head seperated from the body and wolfsbane stuffed in her mouth to stop her rising again, I won’t sleep at night.
I cannot fathom why they want to give Margaret Thatcher – The Blue Witch - a state funeral, she was the most unpopular primeminister since…well…ever. That was until the The Falklands War when we got all patriotic and she set herself up as the great conqueror , successor to Winston Churchill and Boudicca. I don’t remember many bullets whizzing past her sainted head at Goose Green! Men gave their lives and she fed off it like all parasite politicians.
She sold off all our national assets to the highest foriegn bidder, destroyed manufacturing and heavy industry, tore apart whole communities that relied on their local industry such as coal mines, steelworks, dockyards etc. and made the gulf between rich and poor so wide it became insurmountable. Where there was harmony she sowed discord. She caused riots in the streets through her wicked policies that caused mass unemployment and social deprivation and the evil poll tax which caused so much civil unrest they had to oust her from office. She took the Great out of Great Britain yet we’re burying her like a national heroine? She should have been hung as a traitor!
A few years ago they were discussing putting taxpayers money aside for when she popped her clogs, the Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle said that we’d be better off using the money to buy a shovel for every single person in Scotland and they’d dig a hole so deep that they could deliver her to Satan personally.
At university I wasn’t a spoiled rich kid whose parents paid his way, I had to work my passage. I had a part time job at a huge Royal Mail distribution centre which mostly consisted of throwing bags of mail in vans or trucks, or throwing them in various cages depending on their destination. These cages were fairly large but folded down in half at the front so you could have a sit down when there were no bosses about.
One day a young Pakistani lad of 18 or so decided to act as so many young men do and prove himself a man. Unfortunately, for no reason that I could fathom, he chose me to prove himself against, he decided that he wanted to pick a fight with me. A gentler soul than mine you will never meet so even though I knew what he was after, I just laughed at his racist language as he clumsily attempted to insult me. When he saw that I wasn’t going to rise to the bait he stepped it up a notch and pushed me, and suddenly the laughing stopped; one of my mates there told him to behave himself but I said, “No, it’s okay,” and quoting Edward III at the Battle of Crecy I added: “Let the boy win his spurs.” He took that as a cue to push me again, but this time I reached up with my left hand to grab his left wrist, at the same time I grabbed his belt with my right hand and sat down on the front of the cage behind me, pulling him across my knees. I held him there and spanked him as hard as I could, I spanked him like his daddy should have while he bucked, kicked and squealed like a little girl in front of the gathering crowd.
When I had finished his thrashing I rolled him off my knees and onto the floor. Although I was wearing thick work gloves my hand throbbed like Tom’s toe after Jerry had dropped an anvil on it. He got up rubbing his behind and fighting back tears: “You white bastard!” He said.
“Maybe, but surely that’s better than having a red arse?”
I growl, grunt, shout and swear at the television news; I don’t care, it gives me a release. I shout at stupid politicians who cannot open their mouths without lying. David Cameron blushes when he lies, that’s why he’s permanently pink. George Osborne just looks sinister: his black, souless eyes like a demon on Supernatural.
I shout at the way the news reports wars as being necessary and a distinct line drawn between the good guys (that’s us in the west by the way) and the bad guys (that would be just about everyone else who doesn’t like getting s*** on by multinational corporations). I hate seeing orphaned kids, refugees whose home has been bombed out of existence, ripped up bodies of people, real people; all that is missing is the tagline: “It serves them right for being foreign.”
I shout at the ludicrous idea that the poor should be made to pay for the mistakes of the rich. The cowboy bankers have ruined the world economy so to pay for it we are slashing benefits for the poorest and most vulnerable members of society. Even if you don’t believe in handouts you can still see the problem with taking money to spend out of the hands of people who can’t work.
My dad often used to say: “Jaysus, I’d love to give him a puck in the gob.” That roughly translates from Dublin into English as “I’d love to punch him in the face.” Now I don’t condone violence as you know, but there is something very satisfying about imagining yourself punching someone who annoys you in the face. So I’ve decided to accept nominations for people in the spotlight who YOU think deserve a f****** good punch in the face and why. They can be politicians, sports people, film stars, entertainers, or the bloke next door who won’t turn his music down. I’ll choose my favourite and give them the award. Not physically you understand, this is just for a bit of a laugh, so under no circumstances should you say to yourself, “You know what? That fella really does deserve to be punched, I just pop round there now…”
My first nomination is Ian Duncan-Smith, our beloved head of the Department for Work and Pensions. Look at him there laughing at ‘the great unwashed’. He gets his nomination for his defence of the above mentioned benefit cuts by saying that he could live on £53 per week. I am not sure that this multimillionaire could pay his staff in any of his multimillion pound properties if he was just on £53 per week. So, Mr Duncan-Smith congratulations, step forward for your Punch in the Face.
Your turn – who would you like to punch in the face and why?
By the way, today is your last chance to download our Marion’s book for free so if you haven’t done it yet get over to Amazon and look for Crystal Healing & the Human Energy Field: A Beginner’s Guide by Marion McGeough. Just give her a review on Amazon, a tweeted link, a blog post etc. You know the score. For more info on Reiki you can visit her website at the British Academy of Reiki
I’ve got a gift for all my friends who have to sit and read the inane (and sometimes insane) drivel that I spout only semi-eloquently. A relative of mine, who like ‘her indoors’ is also named Marion, has published a book on Amazon. It is called “Crystal Healing & the Human Energy Field: A Beginner’s Guide” and because I love all of you so much I’m giving you a link to download it for free.
For readers in the UK go to amazon.co.uk
For other parts of the good and green Earth you can get it at amazon.com, or if there is an Amazon site particularly for your region then just search for Marion McGeough and it will come up for you.
BUT!!! (and it is a big but) in return for this free book please write a review for Amazon, or tweet a link, or like on facebook or blog about it or simply reblog this post so others can take a look too. It is only free until wednesday so get downloading my friends.
(Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle or other ereader, you can get the Kindle app on your smartphone or tablet, or just download it onto your PC.)