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after watching Stewart Lee’s Carpet Remnant World, I opened my Inbox, delighted to find “My Review” and news of the 55th Universal Display – (only the names have been changed to protect the individuals living and dead)

Hugo Shrimpton-Smith’s latest photo book, Shot By Shrimpton-Smith, is a gem on several levels.  The book is packed with full-page shots showing that Shrimpton-Smith, still true to his roots as a pioneer of transgressive cinema, has developed well beyond them.  The images work technically as photos, physically as soft-core eroticism, critically as comments on how that success is determined, with a well-honed sophistication that is at once sensual and cold.  The pages of quotes that open each sequence make clear that Shrimpton-Smith is acutely observant of each model’s quirks and foibles, ready to accept them in ways that put the model at ease or, in the case of the toilet shoots, allow her to be self-conscious and nervous, as well as to understand them as curious clues that reveal a larger social context, also pointed out in Mavis Cocklebury’s interview.  Yet again, Ellbogen’s Sexy Book Editor Ute Hammerstein has done an excellent job.

A crucial element that sets this book apart is what’s revealed in the DVD, with soundtracks by Maurice Throb, included inside the back cover. Shrimpton-Smith’s warm rapport with the models is striking.  Far from the grueling slogs that photo shoots are often known to be, Shrimpton-Smith makes them fun. The DVD is full of shots of models giggling, laughing, chastising mosquitoes, openly enjoying the moment as Shrimpton-Smith, an equally active participant, captures it.  Splendidly.

“What the comedy is now – it’s not like the 80s – what it is now, it’s a load of people and they all hate their electrical appliances.”

– Stewart Lee

The 55th Universal Display has arrived, and with it brings a new state of trends which are pontificated around, with a chuckle, a sense of forced opportunity and the shrugged sigh of ‘well, everyone’s doing this now apparently.’ Outsider artworks (echoing Du Plat and Feeley) are aesthetically valuable, precisely insofar as they haven’t been created for the sole purpose of critique, nor for being deliberately market-friendly (the last point is quite contentious). They are what they are. Or at least, ‘what they are’ is grouped around a deviation from the mainstream ‘norm’.

Matt Kransky, is currently studying an MPhil/PhD at Cymru University. His thesis focuses on Algorithmic Artworks, Art Formalism and Speculative Realist Ontologies, looking at digital artworks which operate as configurable units rather than networked systems, and attain independent autonomy themselves which are capable of aesthetics, rather than any supposed primary function as communicative, rational tools. The working title is Algorithm, Contingency and The Non-Human: The Aesthetics of Undecidability in Computational Art.

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on the edge of something great Gibbs Farm

And the Morgen club arrived, before the Mustang club, to Gibbs Farm – that’s right, no apostrophe – no punctuation – I’m overdoing it.

The brochure we were handed at the gate on entry before 10 am – the designated time – after which, warning-wise – the gates shut – reads:

“When Alan Gibbs bought the land now laconically known as Gibbs Farm, in 1991, he already had three decades of significant art collecting behind him.”

What an extraordinary statement! That the name is laconic and the collecting significant is the least of it. But I’m overdoing it.

The patches are from the multitude of vehicles sliding on the wet spongy grass. More and more came.

The biggest lawn I’ve seen outside Versailles. Much bigger than that. Mown. But with beasts too. First we saw sheep. Bernar Venet’s work sits on the hill. A collection of god’s dirty fingernail parings.

I love the Serra. Richard. Called Te Tuhirangi Contour no previous representative exposure prepared me for the feeling induced by bodily being near to 56 Corten steel plates 252m x 6m x 50mm. The angle of the wall is 11 degrees from the vertical, and the artist’s words have it that it “collects the volume of the land.” The mythology has it that when the work arrived, having been stacked in the hold of the ship, the plates had flattened, leaving no contour. The story continues that Serra had to replace it in its entirety.

The feeling is rather than collection – however significant – a great calm. A similar calm to entering into an expansive interior, a Gothic cathedral. Edging one’s way along the work, the wall, I touched every Corten steel plate. Warm with a calm vitality. A human volume collected, not the volume of the land?

Richard Thompson’s Untitled (Red Square / Black Square) had to wait for the busloads of kids to arrive to be brought to life. The work dates from 1994. The black to red surface transition is the best thing about it and its decisive severity.

Buffalo.

An enlargement of the Chinese miniature landscape, the brochure has Zhan Wang’s Floating Island of the Immortals serve as a landscape to look for an idealistic [sic] world of immortals. I think even immortals would slip from its shiny chrome-icecream surfaces.

Neil Dawson’s Horizons someone called the Tintin and yes this for its purely graphic imposition on the landscape, an immortal’s fallen napkin, after finishing a meal of chromium ice cream, fits. But proximity gives away the device: painted pipe and painted mesh. Materials made clever. Which I suppose is Tintinesque too.

Introducing Dismemberment, Site 1, Anish Kapoor’s telluric diaphragm, and more a joining grommet or passage than a dismemberment, so I wonder what he meant. Dismemberment connects the Kaipara with the valley in which Gibbs is laconically and significantly situated. It nestles between mown mounds and suggests a sexual prosthetic for the earth.

The sound of earthworks was constant at the Farm, echoing over the hill from the Kaipara, where a digger was at work removing mangrove, opening up swathes of waterfields. The Kaipara as waterfeature to go with the land – collected by Serra – as lawn?

Private.

The best view of Graham Bennett’s Sea / Sky Kaipara, a series of prismatic rejects from the giant glasshouse project of the the immortals, elicited the same response from all the passers-by I happened by passing: It looks temporary. Look! It’s not even tethered down properly. It seems impermanent. Are they still finding the right spot for it? (Note how forward slashes prevail in these titles.)

Anish Kapoor. Dismembering site 1. 2009.

The ellipse. A calculated surprise?

Materials, again. Mild steel tube and tensioned fabric, according to the brochure. (Mild?) (tensioned?) Running East to West, 25m x 8m at one end, 8m x 25m at the other, connected over 85m.

I want to.

Daniel Burren’s fence. Green and white. A colour mistake you wonder he didn’t wonder about fixing before it got out of hand.

Approaching Bernar Venet’s 88.5 degrees ARCx8 – tense.

Folded earthworks – lumps out of their molds. Maya Lin’s A Fold in the Field, 2013.

We realised what I was reacting to when I said I couldn’t get comfortable with this work, Bernar Venet’s. It is an uncomfortable curve. And unlike some of the others I felt nothing with or for not a poor use of colour or materials, including the use of paint, which in sculpture I am happy that time had the Greeks halt. An uncomfortable arc that god’s fingernail parings follow. No calmness here. And fingernails indeed, since there are eight of them.

The people seemed to love this work. Most wanting to have the obligatory novelty shot taken. Stand there, as if you’re holding the curve up! Or: Lie down on the oxidised steel boxing! Now smile!

I suppose a half-smile is a similarly uncomfortable curve. A sarcastic smile. Almost a sneer.

No, but these are grasping fingers. Fingers which know they have dropped Neil Dawson’s skeletal handkerchief.

The aluminium and stainless steel pipework you see in the background, these constitute Kenneth Snelson’s Easy K. A disappointing title for a sculpture that I started to like as soon as I noticed that it cranes out over the water, suspended at only a couple of points. It cantilevers.

The Mermaid, who, like Anish Kapoor’s Dismemberment, Site 1 says, No fun. No climbing. No ride. Keeping itself to its own transition. This cube bridge done by Marijke de Goey inviting transgression followed the line of the hills behind in isomorphism or parallelism.

Approaching Sol LeWitt’s Pyramid (Keystone NZ) I was thinking about breezeblock. Maybe prisons. Maybe cheap housing. Maybe perm-mat housing. And basements smelling of wet concrete. Without a breeze. Blocked in. The cavities in the blocks empty as morgues. Air-morgues.

What breathes here is the play of light on the blocks. There was a pink lady watching me to see if like the kids preceding us I would dare to climb up Sol LeWitt. Pink high-viz jacket. But it’s not a pyramid of course. It’s a trapezoidal wedge.

Another colour mistake, Leon van den Eijkel’s Red Cloud Confrontation in Landscape recalls the Jewish monument in Berlin. But memorialises poor aesthetic decisions, frames a nice pond, nothing much else.

Others I know did not respond to Peter Nicholls’s Rakaia, an early work for the laconic Farm, dated 1996/7, but despite its literalism, I liked it. I like the way the red has shed on the ground around the raised painted dead wood, disliking at the same time the means of elevating the braiding red-painted woodcourses.

I saw this in a well-built shed. Citroens etcetera.

The kinetic panels of Two Rectangles, Vertical Gyratory Up (V), 1987, but surely bought and installed much later, by George Rickey, stand in the middle here, before the unattributed fountain, looking still as solar receptors.

Questions about the significance of the collection remain. It’s big. The works are big. Anish Kapoor’s and Richard Serra’s and Bernar Venet’s stand out. It is assumed that this is a difficult task on the big canvas of this landscape.

But the dramas are everywhere. The caretaker ladies telling me to Jog on! as I straggled nearing the deadline for clearing the property.

The privacies all over asked for. The absence of entries and crossings despite the works inviting both entries and crossings.

Perhaps this is why Serra’s barricade wins: it doesn’t so much collect the volume of the land as bar both entry and crossing. It snakes and makes private and isolate exactly nothing more than is on the other side.

I see I haven’t mentioned or recorded in image Jeff Thomson’s corro giraffe, Len Lye’s Wind Wand – looking like an aetiolated 80s lamp from a rape-free zone – or Andy Goldsworthy’s Arches. The last we looked down on from the hills, hearing the digger returning to mud and water the littorals of the Kaipara.

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The idea came from a medical discharge… more »

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last will and testament of a costumer – or should that be costumier? – join the charade

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the questions leads 2

I was going to write something about this

and about only last night having seen Skyfall, the Heineken® Bond movie. Obviously, directed by Ninja, Terence Neale and Saki Fokken Bergh, “Fatty Boom Boom” has more directors. Skyfall only has – named – Sam Mendes, and he does a terrible job. There are enough pauses in the dialogue to make another movie. It is a kind of verbal colander. I wondered if every sententious pause was there 1) as a chiaroscuro to the narrative, in the hope it might achieve the relief of real depth 2) to be arch and give the impression of a clever double entendre or to signal ambiguity. Because the film makes ambiguity a principle of its composition. However it is not the sort of ambiguity that leads you to ask, Is this the case? or rather is it…? There is no question raised by the ambiguity of Skyfall: every step is so ponderous and overdetermined and yet unmotivated by either the narrative requirements of the action genre or by what I hesitate to call the psychology of the characters. The ambiguity does not open but closes down the option of thought. It is strictly unnecessary.

I was therefore going to write something about artistic necessity. In order to stand on its own something must be there which it is necessary to say. It is necessary here and now to say it. The artist feels the need and responds, some would say, quite uselessly.

Some would say it is the particularity of that something which eludes value or having value placed on it. The uselessness of art would then be a gloss on how what is necessary is also elusive, escaping the claims to which those interested – in its use, value or both – try to hold it.

In this light, I would have been writing about Lisa Densem’s dance work, We Have Been There (Cloud in Hand), which it struck me days after seeing it has a lot in common with butoh. I don’t know why I didn’t notice before. Perhaps I was not paying attention. I did pay attention to the work’s reception, here and now, and I thought, The friendly reception of art kills critical thought; it anaesthetises to what is essential: which might just be that which makes the work necessary. And: When art has friends like these, who needs detractors?

I felt similarly about how Barnie Duncan’s … Him – although neither brilliant nor dire and so not provoking extreme reaction – drowned in its warm reception: its particularity dissolved, like a biscuit in tea. But but there is something that needs to be said about how this kind of necessity is connected with what was a theme in this square white world some years ago: the question of why the director is necessary. Because … Him was let down by its director, almost as if the only response, right from the first day devising and rehearsing, which the finished show could be conceived of as eliciting was this absence of reaction, of delight or outrage, this friendly and cowed, somehow fearful, lukewarm, reassuring, congratulatory and self-congratulatory (because we pulled it off!), wet-soggy, patronising pattercake of bloodless and ill-defined consensual conciliatory and pacific palliation.

I would prefer to be outraged but is outrage really possible among friends who know each other so so well? Is delight? Is passion?

An outsider seems to be necessary as much as a need, a distance that truly finally tyrannises.

And with these thoughts still half-formed I sat down at my keyboard which through its screen now opens out onto a world of distraction and found Konstantin Bessmertny, whose Russian name means deathless.

– Konstantin Bessmertny, 1881

And I saw that it was good.Then I visited his domain [here] and read:

“To ask the general public’s opinion on the subject of art is like asking children what they would like to eat. In both cases it would be junk food.”

KB


“Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising’.”

Jef I. Richards


“Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.”

Jean Cocteau


“Tradition is keeping the fire going and not worshipping the ashes”

Gustav Mahler

And these things were good to read.

 

Which also seemed to make a lot of sense, particularly with regard to the friends of art.

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a description of aion – comment welcome

 

What follows is not representative of Deleuze’s aion. It is my reading and the flaws in it are also mine.

Aion is a pure surface in contact with the outside. It has no immemorial or historic depth to it. Pure surface, it is opposed to chronological time, or chronos.

Chronos allows metaphors, such as depth – the depths of history or memory – and those spatial metaphors derived from geometry and mechanics – a linear, circular time, the wheel of time and the time of mechanical causation, acceleration and dynamic action and reaction. Chronos is metrical, the time of measure and mathematical judgement. Chronos is figurative, can be represented in linguistic and mathematical codes and symbolic registers. Finally, chronos represents time and is what we normally talk about in dealing with representations of time.

The necessity for another understanding of time, aion, comes from the intuition that the present is unrepresentable. However, aion does not connote the present. Aion is in contact with this present, its surface pressed to it.

The problem, therefore, addressed by the concept of aion as a schema of time is the special status of the present. The past may be knowable and the future unknowable but the present can only be a subject of incomplete representation. It is never quite there, never entirely there. It never fully expresses itself – in figural or figurative terms, in symbolic or material registers – and must remain open both to the fully realised past and to the as yet unrealised future.

Aion is not just another word for the present, it regards the present as the outside and it is in regard to the present that it arises as problem and fact. The outside, then, consists of you and I in an unquantifiable present, a present, that is, unquantifiable by or according to chronos. The outside is everything that is in this present moment. It is possessed of all the forces that are brought to bear at a singular point in time which itself is unqualifiable, unable to be given a place or position except in relation, and a present which is literally and exactly incapable of taking place. Place comes, or the place the present left a moment ago, comes after, from a knowable and representable past, from a realised time, chronos. Place is a quantifiable dimension of time and belongs to chronos.

The reason to talk as if forces were taking control and overrunning the present is to point to that of which we are all too aware in subjective experience: that we plug in the past, the realised, the quantified, knowledge, identity and material and symbolic entities to what exists for us in the present moment. We extract forces from things and subjects only in so far as the present, our present, is invested in them, interest, the interest of forces soon to be annihilated, in a moment. We feel affects from objects and others only in so far as they are capable of taking place in a present traversed by forces. These forces occupy the outside, they are the outside into which we are plugged and into which we plug what is affectless, inert, anorganic and lifeless. The world as represented somehow achieves and gets to this present, this outside, which cannot be represented.

Aion provides the point of achievement and getting to whereby the world is then accessible to measure and quantity, to scientific and mathematical intelligibility. The movement whereby the world crosses from the future to arrive in the past is through an outside. This movement is absolute rather than able to be relativised according to fixed points. It is the movement of the present and a passage over and against aion’s pure surface. The word ‘pure’ is meant to reinforce the dimensionlessness of the surface not to impose or import an hierarchy or morality.

If the present is absolute movement, the play of a multiplicity of forces, then aion is pure surface. Aion gives a temporal record of an absolute movement without coordinates.

Relative movement occurs with coordinates; points are already in play, in position. By permitting the taking place of the present, its occupation by the forces of the outside, plugging in, aion shows that both movement and points must be created. Chronos will be the sort of time in which points and movement are coordinated but is not the sort of time necessary for their creation because chronos cannot get near enough to the present that is unrepresentable. But then aion is like the membrane the need for representation would interpose between chronos and this outside present.

In fact, the relation works the other way around: aion gives rise to chronos through its contact with all that can be said to be. Since the existence of both the past and present may be refuted but that of the present is irrefutable.

Movement must be created. Aion is the edge or skin of this creation as it presses against the outside. On its surface – which is why it is never pure in the sense of importing or having an hierarchy or morality imposed upon it – the relative points of singular movements, the lived moments of singular durations are made and appear. Aion embodies the play of infinitesimals on its surface; which means aion embodies all movement as that between and among differences in intensity, giving rise to the singularities that chronos takes and represents along physical and no longer absolute registers.

Aion because it is a pure surface in contact with the forces of the outside and the absolute present and because it skins or covers the process of a universal creation in terms of all movement itself moves outward. It is like a tsunami advancing irresistably against which we stand for a moment and into which we disappear. It is also like a seam or fold extending the length of time and reaching to the depths of space and carrying all of time and space along with it.

This description of aion was included at the end of a short email exchange with Justin B. Rye. I had initially sent Justin the briefest of notes saying that he’d left Deleuze’s aion out of A Guide To SF Chronophysics , where it might not belong, but the possibility it could – the epithet ‘science fiction’ is not altogether misplaced in application to Deleuze’s writing – and that its inclusion might upset some or all of the laws said to apply to temporal schema (or “chronophysics”) in even their fictional deployment was prompt enough for a note. Justin responded with

I’d never heard of Deleuze’s aion.  Googling for it, it looks like the
usual kind of timewasting wordgames churned out by professional
obfuscationists.  Can you suggest some reason anybody with a
functioning brain should take it seriously?  What, for instance, are
the real-world phenomena that it claims to provide a better
explanation for than alternative approaches?

His last email to me provided a running commentary – through-written – on the preceding description of aion which remains entirely and uniformly consistent with this response.”This is such overwritten nonsense it might as well be a hymn to Hulmu,” he interjects at his wittiest. He offers to fetch me a straitjacket and ends writing, “I’m sorry, the only thing it’s much like is a load of old toss.” Strangely, his sign-off throughout our correspondence was

JBR
Ankh kak! (Ancient Egyptian blessing)

Perhaps what he says is true.

But I am interested in hearing your reaction.

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sculpted from time, memory and human bone

small corners, tricks of light and sound; odours that find recess in me, a cup to sit in for a second or two; enough to weigh down an indentation, an impression; the echo of a memory that is not there, or should not be.

a gin that projected light, chopped into pieces to coincide with blinks, so that an impression of movement was achieved. Always the same movement, endless. The same woman on the same stairwell, taking the same three steps, continuously; a horse running to nowhere; a naked patriarch, swinging an axe. He says that the more one watches, the more their time becomes real, and the watcher’s time leaks out, becoming insignificant, the same as watching the water for too long.

– B. Catling, The Vorrh, Honest Publishing, Croydon, 2012, pp. 187-9

A prayer almost found its way to his lips. It began in the icy fear of his heart, the ventricles white with the frost of anticipation, and travelled outwards to become a pressure, like wind against the meat sails of his lungs. Funnelling up, it passed like a shadow through the rehearsal of his vocal cords, up into his mouth, tongue and lips, before being garrotted by the thin, taut wire of his mind.

– Ibid., p. 217

A huge, brown cow stood next to the bed. It wobbled, balanced comically on train tracks made of meat jelly, as the doctor sat below it, pulling at its udders; streams of hissing tea jetting into his white enamel pail. He filled his syringe from the steaming fluid. It misted the glass tube of the instrument, filling the room with its moist, bovine vapour. The cow smiled through the fog with the most natural expression of quiet delight.

– Ibid., p. 282

The vibration passed through them, through the turning ball of life, through the furniture and the floors, and all the way down to the well, where its harmony increased and spun, igniting tiny engines that ignited tiny engines that ignited tiny engines.

– Ibid., p. 449

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seeing Barney’s wonderful one-man show …Him last night …

…made me want to write a play again. Is this wrong?

I get the feeling something is being left unsaid.

And listening to This Mortal Coil today (“Holocaust”) gave me an inkling of what it is,

and where there is space in the market.

Send me ideas, donations, commissions.

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what does the network think? – the wwwww.

The social media industry is a fast paced, 24/7 conversation and keeping on top of positive or negative situations to maximise or minimise their exposure is a constant challenge and requires someone who lives and breathes social media outside of normal work hours.

– from here

this is from a job posted by Air New Zealand. The applicant is required to be a qualified Animator – which might imply the manipulation of social expectations, like bringing lies to life. This ungenerous inference would appear to be supported by the requirement to keep on top of – in and beyond work hours – both positive and negative situations. What situations? It sounds like a risky business. Air New Zealand’s reputation is at stake.

I like the idea of encountering risk, having to make snap decisions either to accentuate the positive, giving the good oil on Air New Zealand maximum exposure, or to put a lid on the negative, shutting it down! The job ad also mentions viral. So imagine the nooks and crannies, labyrinthine, a byzantine undertaking, the lengths the applicant might have to be prepared to go, the stamina call on, the coffees and choc bars to stay awake, long after he or she has officially clocked out. It’s 24/7 in here!

That’s what I dislike, a job ad already demanding that the successful applicant work outside of normal hours.

There is a scary “out there” invoked by this job ad, in here. The applicant will be intrepid, a risk-taker, but also a kind of slave to this idea. He or she will have to be “out there” and to live and breathe it. And out there is where it’s all going on. Both the good and the bad for Air New Zealand. Negative situations will arise as easily and quickly as positive – at any time.

It’s chaos, but it’s your mission to face it, to keep on top of it. To keep on top of yourself, and not ask for overtime.

It’s also clear that the ad targets the subaltern, the younger applicant, who is working under a Manager, although it merely states “closely with” this person and their teams. This is a fantastic opportunity for a “social media expert to take their OE in London.”

The only stated technical requirement, for the applicant to have proficiency in the “WordPress blog platform,” goes some way to undermining the idea that Air New Zealand actually know what they are asking for. I will try to start a viral campaign from WordPress…. … … Watch this space!

The image of the ‘space’ I find most interesting. The wild wild world wide web. I’d apply for the job, strap my viral campaign toolkit to my laptop, carefully hidden under the disinformation “WordPress blog platform,” and OE in a London I’d never see for working 24/7 in the wwwww. on part wages, but I’m too old.

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false effort

So much of the performance of conventional NZ masculinity – what it means to be a man – can be summed up as false effort. The voice lowers, even to shuddering in its lowest registers. Speech is halting. It is a machine that stalls, turns over, starts up again with a cough, with the threat that at any time it might stop altogether. And have to get taken to the shop.

Grunts and inarticulate expressions of effort make their way into even the most mundane exchanges. “Good aaah morning.” The impression being given and the truth that men are seeking to give out is that it’s hard being a man, as Lou Reed sings in the VU song: “living in ahhh a trash can / my baby calls me aaahh up / she tries to hit me with thuh ahh mop / I can’t stand it any more”…

The attitude of false effort contrasts with the suavity, fluency and cool of, for example, Italian men, who become suspect for the very reason of their ease of attitude, their panache, why worry? even when it’s all front. Perhaps all the more when it’s all front. Staying cool in any situation, taking little sips, rather than draining the can dry, is suspiciously artificial. It goes against male appetitiveness and competitiveness. Whereas if the appearance is that effort is required, it must somehow be justified and it justifies: it self-legitimates. A long pull on a cigarette – when they were more fashionable – or a long and antisocial draining of the jug in one continuous adam’s apple bobbing draft followed by Aaaahhhh! as much meant to convey satisfaction – mock – as effort – false.

Ease is unknown to the man who practices false effort. A man who is unburdened, unharried by this sense of masculinity as a crushingly manual undertaking is a faggot, poof, or foreign. Ironic then that the grunts and sighs and huh-huh-huhs of false effort resemble so closely a gay porn soundtrack. But then, sex is honest work and hard. Or ought to be.

For the opposite sex to indulge in false effort is called faking. In fact, you might say that NZ women have to apply themselves to a greater degree to the production of an easy attitude by way of compensation. They must at all times be fluid, smooth, and are subject at all times to admonitions not to be uptight, go with the flow, calm down, when it is NZ men who are semi- or pseudo-hysterically giving birth (or doing poohs) at regular intervals, Aaaahhhh! Women are sweepers, minimisers, cleaner-uppers. They clear the stage of obstacles just so that their men may make the most mountainous of the dust motes which remain. They are expected so to do.

What makes it so difficult being a man in NZ? The answer would be the same for most women: other men/women. Albeit that women show their superiority in what they are prepared to tolerate. And then bitch in the background clique.

False effort is never found at more concentrated levels as where men meet, professionals, labourers alike, the residues of our once egalitarian society. With the gentrification of the pub, NZ men constitute a floating diaspora. Myth says it is the barbeque, around the grill. But high levels of false effort can be encountered in a phonecall. Ending with the obligatory and often uncomfortable – perforce – Cheers!

Commentators have suggested that male reticence – deeper underlying sensitivity which cannot bring itself to expression – causes the sentences of the NZ male to stumble and sigh and fart and groan and… pause. Before coughing, or laughing. For no apparent reason than the noise. If this were the case, the cause, then men are clearly more sensitive and show greater sensitivity to members of their own sex among whom they play out the routines of reticence – often passing the point of caricature – than to the opposite one.

NZ men are sensitive to the needs of women to make them feel more comfortable, safer and more it ease, just so they may be affirmed in being uneasy, uncomfortable and unsafe, and protest all the louder at the unfairness, the hardness of their lots, their jobs, their lives, at the shit they have to deal with. And their fear. NZ men are sensitive to the needs of women to have babies and therefore baby them. After all, it’s aaaaaahhhh hard being a man.

I have focused on speech, because I came off a phonecall – to another man, of course – where I realised I had slipped into vocal false effort, but I think false effort can be extended, as an ontological category, or style of being, to dress and other technologies of the self. Sartorial false effort can be considered like Chanel’s recommendation to dress and accessorise completely in character and when perfect to take away one element. But the other way around: to take away every element characteristic of style or a style and add one thing it is too hard to do without.

The man who moves easily is less than a man. He should never look too comfortable in his skin as in his clothes. The NZ man is most natural when dressed in nothing more than his comforter. So long it remains clear he is uncomfortable there is no affectation. Afraid of ease, he should never be afraid of his own fear and therefore wear whatever fear dictates, camo gear, for example.

croydon
detraque
enomy
N-exile
National Scandal
textatics
theatricality

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