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New Fiction Review: ‘Acorn’ by Yoko Ono

12 Aug

Frankie just finished reading ‘Acorn’, a book of instructional pieces by conceptual art extraordinaire Yoko Ono. S/he thought this:

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Yoko’s great. Really, she knows what she’s doing. Her ideas are interesting, she’s clearly quite well read and well informed, she’s an intense and acute observationist, and she’s as much a presence on paper as she is in person. She’s an extraordinary artist, and no one needs reminding. But she’s not my artist. She doesn’t speak to me, she doesn’t resonate, she barely inspires a ripple in my imagination.

And that’s not to say that I don’t have imagination; I make songs, I make collages, I have an investment in art-making and conceptual thinking. But I’m also a pretty standard young person: barely any money, still unsure what I’m willing to do as a real job, concerned about the way I look and how others perceive me, inspired by various Westernisms and very much an urbanite. I’ve been toughened by the city, toughened by a fairly working-class upbringing, toughened by having to deal with assholes on a near-daily basis, toughened by being an unsigned, unloved musician, toughened by club and drug culture, toughened toughened toughened, made bitter, twisted, cynical, unbearable, and pissed off to the max (and yes, that’s everyone else’s fault, actually). Continue reading

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Should we bank on Jane Austen being the face of our £10 notes?

3 Jul
austen

If the (Fanny) Price is right…

When it was announced that Elizabeth Fry would be disappearing from our £5 notes, feminists (and pretty much everyone who thinks gender equality isn’t such a dumb idea) were up in arms. Without Ms Fry the UK currency would have no female faces. Except the Queen, obviously.

Charles Darwin will soon be leaving our £10 notes and Sir Mervyn King, the until very recently Governor of the Bank of England, announced that the novelist Jane Austen is hotly tipped to be replacing Mr. Darwin. This makes rather a lot of sense as the bicentenary of ‘Pride and Prejudice‘ (her most famous novel) is coming up. In February, the Royal Mail marked this by releasing some Jane Austen related stamps (whether this is a marker of success or not up to you…I once saw some Coldplay themed stamps). Continue reading