Friday, 26 June 2009
Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton have exceeded my expectations with their latest creation. What may well be a shaggy dog tale, the thoroughly enjoyable story is escalating in its creepiness and macabre comedic horror. Oscar Lomax may well be the face of all those who have ever outbid you on eBay.
Sunday, 14 June 2009
I have long lamented the demise of the video arcade, but in Japan they live on. This is a wonderful account of Japanese arcades and their patrons. The book covers the genres of games and speaks with key players, both literally and those involved in the industry. Topics include UFO machines (claw grabbers), photo machines, shoot em ups (aka shmups), fighting games, and more. I was particularly interested to read about the machines that require special playing cards to be used.
Mostly DVDs today. Some more scrabble letters for our craft inventory. The Gameboy game was a serendipitous find as I was only thinking about this exact title on my way in. I was thinking what a dud it must have been and any poor sod who was given it must have been gutted. Of course I had to buy it and even at 30p I feel robbed yet elated that my suspicions were confirmed.
Saturday, 13 June 2009
I went and visited the Banksy exhibition at the Bristol Museum today. What a contrast to the rainy Sunday only a few weeks ago when we visited the museum and waltzed in that the exhibition drew a huge crowd and the wait is just under an hour to get in. I definitely felt it was worth the wait and as a huge fan of Bristol Museum I was keen to see how the exhibition had been set up.
This is a superbly put together exhibition, in so far as the gallery feels like it has been taken over and the production values and arrangement of the artwork/installations has been well thought out. The artist’s works are collected in two galleries and the main foyer, but also interspersed throughout the galleries’ collection. This is the clever part about the exhibition and says far more about the willingness of the directors of the museum to take a gamble than what the artist delivers. The viewer must search out the paintings that have been scattered throughout, some more obvious than others. In doing so it makes you look at all the museum has to offer. This in turn makes you see that Bristol Museum holds a wealth of the beautiful, bizarre and fascinating. It also shows that it holds key pieces that reflect on social times and propaganda far more effectively than Banksy’s works.
Banksy uses the space to deliver his characteristic satirical works. I feel that whilst many work at the level of a cartoon they fail to deliver beyond that. The topics dealt with are already in the minds of those that would be viewing (this is a Stuff White People Like affair if ever there was one). Bristol has a far from savoury history yet no more is mentioned about the slave trade than a quip in the (very funny) pamphlet that accompanies the exhibition. Politicians as monkeys are obvious targets. Banksy demonstrates ingenuity and wit in his work yet he needs to reassess his targets if he is to achieve any gravitas. So whilst installations addressing food, surveillance, cosmetics, fur and consumerism rise a smile they feel no more than that. Issues dealing with the police are unlikely to trouble any of the museum’s patrons and I dare say many would feel that there should be more police on the streets.
Bristol Museum have scored a wonderful PR success with this exhibition and whoever thought of putting Banksy’s pieces throughout the museum should be congratulated for their bravery and more importantly for the correct assumption it will make visitors explore throughout. Thoroughly recommended at all times, this exhibition is well worth it for a reassessment of the museum alone.
Monday, 8 June 2009
Popbitch might not seem the likeliest of places to hear about a book but I took a punt and was rewarded handsomely. This is a great humerous boys own style yarn. If you enjoy Flashman, Mark Gattiss, Tom Sharpe, Rob Grant etc then I think this would appeal.
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
I can't walk past a discount bookshop. I was in luck today with this find at £3. It covers all the usual suspects and covers the subject matter clearly and concisely there is a great graphical timeline that puts the different design movements/periods in context. Its interesting to see how references to online shopping are somewhat outdated (it was published in 2001). Whilst I doubt it will ever make future volumes I would love Dr Melfi's preferred seat of choice, the Cosmo by Outer Limits.