28 October 2007

Mine, mine, mine!

I've been wanting to post this for several weeks. It's a perfectly apposite way to account for my two-month iNeedle hiatus - and for getting back into blogging mode.

Five days after my 26 August post, I became a dad out of the blue. Two little boys (4 yrs and 18 mths) have turned my 41-year-old world upside down - literally over night. It's a wonderful thing but it's meant that priorities have had to shift, with certain things being put on hold while I devoted my energies to nappies, daycare and playtime! Speaking of which ...

The last two months have been a total education, part of which has been immersing myself in a world of kiddie kulture. That's how I came across The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland and the dastardly Huxley who, about half way through the movie, sings "Make it Mine" - a wonderfully camp anthem to greed which includes the following lines:

Look at all I got:
This lamp this yacht.
But what makes having fun
Is knowing you have none.
Some may call it greed;
It’s not, it’s need.
A need I love to feed –
The need to have a lot.

You say you love your old Atari?
I love it more.
You say you love your new Ferrari?
Mine! I love it more.
Look at me, I’m on safari -
Things I want my only quarry.
I love what is yours far more than you.
And if love means never having to say you’re sorry,
Well, I never do.

Who knew that it'd be Elmo who's teaching kids about the fundamental lifestyle principles of advanced capitalism? Although I strongly suspect most parents find it hard (or uncomfortable) to make the link between Huxley's excessive, kleptomaniacal avarice and the grouchland their kids are growing up in. Here (sacrificing quality for accessibility) is the song:

video

24 October 2007

The oppressive inequality chasm

This is an image from the latest installation at the Tate Modern in London (thanks, Adam, for prompting me to blog this). It's Doris Salcedo's Shibboleth in which she's looking to make "concrete" the scale and impact of racism, colonialism and, it would seem, social inequality.