Wednesday, 27 March 2013

'Art', Quiz Nights and Global Cooling

It's been a while but the time has come for yet another literary eruption of opinion, prompted by a rather eventful weekend, including (bet you can't guess from the title) art galleries, a quiz night and some bloody cold temperatures - "brassic" as my girlfriend would say.

My weekend started with a trip to view a gallery of light 'installations' at the Hayward Gallery on London's Southbank before heading to the Tate Modern. The Light Exhibition I could take; a few things I'd probably put in my flat, alongside a few things that looked like they'd fallen from the ceiling. It's the truly modern art that I don't get...from the pretentious knobheads who sit in galleries murmuring superlatives in posh undertones, to the so called pieces of art these 'trendies' are seen to admire, "yaaaaar, isn't this piece just stupendous Orlando, it'd look just perfect outside on the driveway next to the Prius!"

Let me make this clear, shitting in a box, sleeping in a box, or presenting a dead fish in a box are not pieces of art. In fact putting anything in a box does not constitute art, even if there is a story behind it. I'm fully expecting people to disagree on this note, and I'm not saying my opinion is the right one, but until someone can convince me otherwise I will continue to give kitchen appliances or cutlery at weddings and refuse to offer my faecal matter with a bow on it.

For those of you thinking I'm just an uncultured individual who despises anyone expressing themselves, I am often seen farting, burping and drawing cocks on car bonnets in the snow. I can appreciate good drawings or photography, or even good drawings of photography. In fact I'd actually be more than happy to go to an art exhibition at the Tate if it featured photos of dogs wearing sunglasses!

After an afternoon of art cynicism, I headed home with my lucky lady to a charity quiz night for a very worthy cause I've mentioned in previous posts, Macmillan's Cancer Care, in memory of my friends inspirational Dad. As a naturally competitive person, quiz nights are a good opportunity for me to accuse others of cheating and showcase my affinity to useless facts. Did you know that women blink nearly twice as often as men and the dot over the letter i is called a tittle?! You do now!!!

As the night went on and the alcohol flowed, we encountered mustard tasting tests, 'is it a car or cucumber?' questions and even an arts & crafts round. In a move that could have ended in tears, scissors were handed round the room, along with other materials, as we were instructed to build a London landmark of our choice. In the 15 minutes we had to do this, my team produced something incredible. Something which could have been put in a box and displayed at the Tate. Our fully functional scale replica of Tower Bridge (see below, in its online debut) featured lifting and closing bridges, oversized origami cranes and even a giant made of blu-tack. A 9/10 score felt unjust and only served to bring the quiz into disrepute in my mind.

We ended up finishing 4th, driven partly by a clear lack of recognition, probably due to some point fixing and also by the fact the winning team had too many members (or cheating douchebags as I shall thus refer to them). Despite the team limit being 6, this team of cheating douchebags contained 8 cheating douchebags. Fuck charity, that's cheating in any situation! Cheating fucking douchebags! In my dads loudly voiced opinion, "at least we will sleep easy in our beds tonight knowing we played a fair game". P.S. I'm not a bad loser...!

I realise this blog has once again escalated into another rant and my final point is not going to change this. 'Global Warming' (or 'Global Warning' as my step-sister calls it) is apparently playing havoc on the UK's weather. For those not based in the uk who haven't heard our incessant whining, we've faced "brassic" temperatures which have been below zero degrees for weeks. Apparently this is a sign that years of pollution are messing up our weather systems, failing to note that extreme temperatures were about long before we inhabited this planet. Yes, we probably aren't helping matters, but its not all our doing.

If the 'Warming' ever occurs, I'll be more than happy. It'll save me hundreds of quid a year on holidays to hotter climates and my apparent obsession with dogs wearing sunglasses may become a reality...and to avoid the blind leading the blind, guide dogs should be the first ones to receive a pair of complimentary RayBans.

So until next time, don't shit in boxes, don't be a quiz-douchebag and go buy your spaniel a pair of sunglasses!

Over and out.

By Jon Shed with 3 comments

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Memories and inspiration

It was an emotional day. A day full of pain, but full of inspiration. Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a man I knew much about, yet had barely met. A man who lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed everything the world had to offer. It is from people like this that I take inspiration (even if he was a Newcastle fan), not celebrities or popstars like Justin Bieber.

I've not had much adventure in my life so far...I enjoy the simple things. If you give me a calculator, I'll enter 5318008, turn it upside down and have a giggle, so I sometimes wonder what memorable stories friends and relatives would have to tell about me when I pass.

I've won a few swimming medals in my time, written some blogs, run into a tree, sold 9 copies of my album and taken Southend to champions league glory on football manager. Achievements? Yes. Inspiring? Potentially not (unless you're Paul Sturrock).

To be fair, I am exaggerating a bit here. I have had a great life so far, but there is always more to achieve and experience. So from this day on, I intend to help the memory of a great man live on and take more opportunities that present themselves to me, so that when I'm no longer around I will have hopefully inspired someone in the same way he inspired me.

However, this pledge may not happen and if the worst comes to the worst and I kick the bucket tomorrow, please take the following limerick i have written as a replacement for the potential lack of funny stories at the funeral.

I'm sorry if you've all cried,
Because I've gone and died,
Now head to the pub,
Tuck into some grub,
And celebrate that I was alive

In memory of David. you would like to donate, visit link above, with all proceeds going to Macmillan)

By Jon Shed with 2 comments

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Queen or no Queen? That is the question!

As we move from shakespeare's eloquent use of the english language into the modern era of txt spk, times have definitely changed. The pen is no longer mightier than the sword. The pen is, in fact, no mightier than a 9 year old chav hiding behind a twitter username. In modern times where Posh and Becks are seen as royalty, what place does the once revered and much respected queen have. Our queenie may be one of the most powerful women ever to grace the earth, but has her appeal worn off, much like the novelty of birthdays for the over 30s.

There are two sides to every argument: So what that she wears an elaborate object on her do Jedward. There are in fact a huge amount of people around the country that despise the queen and everything she stands for...again, just like Jedward. As we approach the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, a 60 year reign dating back to the days before Simon Cowell and his unwanted opinions, commemorated by a logo more accustomed to CBeebies, it is time to reflect on what she has achieved:
  • There is a bridge named after her
  • There is a boat named after her
  • She's got a very recognisable wave
  • She introduced us to Pippa Middleton's bum

Reason enough to keep an unelected monarch in a mansion with more toilets than Homebase? That's not down to us to decide. Or is it?! If Simon Cowell had his way, we would all be looking forward to the upcoming series of "The Throne Factor" and he'd be pulling his trousers ever higher to prevent his pockets full of gold ever falling below his belly button! Please feel free to vote and leave comments!

By Jon Shed with 1 comment

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