Random musings from the front line (well, more like the support trench, or perhaps the castle 10 miles away, supping Chateau Lafite with the General Staff) in the battle for curiosity, inertia, grammar and a Dachshund called Colin.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Erm. I'm Slightly Uncomfortable in my Middle Class Guilt Thing...

There was a hilarious spat on the mediocre yawnfest that is Radio 4's "Midweek" on Wednesday, when "black rights" campaigner Darcus Howe and "comedienne" Joan Rivers managed to turn what should have been a dull plugging programme for their latest books/tour/photos into a loud shouting match about race. You can listen to the show here - it all kicks off about 17 minutes in. But it reminded me about this site:

'Sally' and 'Johnny' and some friends. Or is it all a massive hoax?

OK. Maybe I'm being overly cynical, or breathtakingly naive, but what the hell is the website Black People Love Us all about? It's clearly some sort of joke - but is it taking the mickey out of liberal white Americans? Or out of patronising race relations types? Or is it actually a racist site? Or maybe it's an art project (the domain name is owned by an arts consultancy called Eyebeam) - maybe there's some art gallery in New York specialising in New Media that displays the website next to 50 Chinese people staring at you? I particularly like the line in Eyebeam's mission statement that is a masterpiece of Birtian gobbledygook:

Eyebeam amplifies the flux and hybridity of the art/science intersection by openly fostering the parallel strands of EDUCATION, RESEARCH, PRODUCTION, EXHIBITION with its public and peers.
What the hell does that mean?! Who knows? What do you think about Black People Love Us? And am I the only one who feels a little uncomfortable while reading it? Pictures such as this one just increase my uneasiness:

For very strong opinions on the site, click on this picture for a link to the letters page

I actually enjoy being intellectually challenged by new art, but I have to say I'd rather not have to rationalise this. BUT ... maybe that's the point. In fact, social embarrassment as an art medium - could be the next Turner Prize winner?

In other unrelated but thematically linked news: Jamaican Man Has Hat Hairstyle. Seems like a nice filler story in the Caribbean "Silly Season", but can anyone tell me whether quotations in Jamaica are normally reported in pidgin English? I've never read a news article before that quotes someone as saying:

"When mi jus' know him is a felt hat him did a beat. So, nex ting mi know him change to dis type a hat. Di only ting him do now a colour di front in a yellow or some other colour."
Someone please tell me that this isn't another art project. Please.

Local news for local people?

3 Rants & Replies:

Blogger Wyndham said...

Merkin, chill - it's a joke. It's all a joke.


8:15 pm, October 21, 2005

Blogger Merkin said...

I change my mind every time I read it. Hmmmmmmmmmm. What about the hat/hair thing - is that a joke? Help me - my head hurts. Although that may be due to Trafalgar Night celebrations...

10:49 am, October 22, 2005

Blogger Aginoth said...

I'd guess from the link page it is a serious bit of satire...but as you say...could we be wrong?

6:53 pm, October 23, 2005


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