Monday, 22 August 2011

the collaboration charabanc

it's a jolly wee life just now sitting in my workspace, finishing off a couple of paintings, listening away to whatever internet radio takes my fancy but there;s always that temptation to look away, click on the internetathimgumajiggy and lose a bit of time. worse, it can lead to the guardian, the tabloid broadsheet of those middle classes of whom i am so very much one.

first off this catches my eye. so far, so dandy you might say, i am after all the one who likes all the collaboration and what not. so why then do i find this article so profoundly depressing? i'm all about the science, history of it and all of that. i like marc quinn, i was all happy when blood head made an appearance in kick-ass. and yet when i see a title like 'we share our chemistry with the stars' i can't help but think that it's all a bit leadenly simplistic.

sure the whole art/science thing is in vogue just now. i guess it's a chance for the science types to step a bit outside themselves for a wee while but it seems a whole lot more to do with the arts types to feel just a wee bit (even more) self important. lavinia greenlaw may feel she's 'ridiculously analytical' but, and respect to her point of view, really, she's not.

maybe i'm just a wee bit jealous and hey, who wouldn't be, to get a chance to do all this cool stuff but at the same time, there just seems to be a lack of rigour. and, dare i say it, elegance? i remember it from my time as a science boy, that kind of unfolding, deep satisfaction at recreating an elegant experiment, or interpretation of a set of data, the instinctual (i'm rubbish at maths) pleasure the vision of a well laid out set of equations, exactly the same feeling as i get when i look at a painting or read a poem.

i think someone says it in the comments section - artists are not scientists and scientists are not artists - it's a statement that doesn't stand up (tho it's nowhere near the ridiculousness of say, irigaray's gendered equation nonsense!) but surely, these days, there are enough people who do both? certainly the two fields didn't used to be exclusive. or maybe i'm just being just a tad precious and up on my soapbox!

in which case back to the guardian! old words being retired? what's this? for a start i can't quite see how they make the leap to 'retiring' succedaneum even if it is for this particular use rather than the caput succedaneum with which i'm far more familiar (can you hear the soapbox being dragged back out?). aerodrome? i refuse to believe that the word aerodrome isn't appearing often enough for collins to include it and even if it isn't they should keep it because it's such a perfect word. back when i was really young and first going up in gliders we did so from an aerodrome. such a place is not an 'airport' by any means but a place of grass, of sunlight and buttercups, of struts and hangers, magical in a way that the non spaces of a terminal can never be. but worst of all - charabanc? that must be the lexicographical equivalent of a human rights crime. charabanc is one of my favourite words and a language without it is all the poorer.

which leads neatly to a finally and the sort of story that's a nap for guardian readers. the cafe that borges used to go to taken over by nike. i very much suspect that the average guardian reader views borges a bit like one of their five a day vegetables - they know they should but when it comes right down to it they just don't, even if they like to slip borgesian in as an adjective every now and again. all of which is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel - fun but not fair! i've never been to buenos aires but if i was to you can be sure i'd want to be doing some sort of borgesian (see what i did there!) tour. and while yes, things change and all that, there seems sufficient evidence on the strength of the article to suggest the developers knew exactly what they were about. shame.

oh well, that's a nice half hour passed. back to work....


Rachel Fox said...

Now that 'newspapers' feature very little 'news' and even less 'paper' much of the time what are they? I still read bits... often hate it when I do.

swiss said...

you're really wanting me to go off on one! lol

i don't hold to that myth of a free press but even so there seem to be issues of journalistic integrity, accountability and just plain quality that are sorely lacking these days

not that it's all doom and gloom check here

and here

to restore some faith...

Titus said...

Wittol. I can't live without wittol now I know about it.

swiss said...

i rather like drysalter. amazingly my spell predictor offers up drysaltery as a word! i rather like the wikipedia entry about it in which daniel defoe describes the 'buying of cochineal, indigo, galls, shumach, logwood, fustick, madder, and the like'

shumach and fustick were new ones on me. which is why drysaltery should remain!

wittol i've never heard. i'm not sure if i can tolerate it!

Niamh B said...

if you've any good tips on internet radio worth a listen I'd appreciate seeing them!

Dominic Rivron said...

Goodbye "charabanc"?

Looks like I'm gonna be stuck here the whole summer - and in ten years no-one'll know what the Stranglers were going on about.

swiss said...

a bummer indeed dominic...

niamh, i'm on the wrong computer for my internet radio - i shall respond directly

kate said...

regarding the aerodrome story, did you hear the coverage on the today programme yesterday? every so often justin webb (i think it was him) just kept saying 'aerodrome', very amusing. anyway, like you say back to work ;)

swiss said...

yes, no peace for you. hope that's all going well. (i didn't see/hear anything yesterday - lovely day out in the canoe)

swiss said...

niamh, for your listening pleasure..

this one may look finish but what you're after is the nuntii latini at the bottom of the page (latin and finnish radio!)

romanian radio

we listen to two swedish radio stations neither of which pleases the swedish relatives. we tell them they like midsomer murders so it's all one!
(i'll give you one guess which plays the most shocking music/schlager classics!)

you've already been to french radio bt if i'm feeling like a bit of education i go here

then to remind myself i really don't understand french at all

or the radio that french people abroad like

other than that if it's a change i'm after i can always search about in this

Niamh B said...

tks swiss, listening to deep voices on nunti latini now!!

Roxana said...

romanian radio! :-)

swiss said...

you know i wouldn't be missing it out!