Thursday, August 02, 2007

Youre the tops, I am Bernard Mathews

All the way into work in the car this morning I was trying to remember what Cole Porter rhymed with Mahatma Ghandi in the song ‘You’re the tops’.
I remembered in the end , Napoleon brandy.
Back in the good old days attending the OU summer school at Bath on the Philosophy of Arts course we had a lecturer who closely resembled Lionel Blair in mannerisms and voice. He came into the room and announced “ Now you are all students of aesthetics and so when you go into the examination and sit down I want you to put a nice vase of flowers on your desk (indicating with limp wrist) there, not there (agressively pointing) but there.(casual flip of the hand)” . He scattered all these cut out pictures of paintings about and asked us to chose one that each of us liked and then to say why.
Wendy from Peckham chose Monet’s Poppies at Argenteial and when asked to say what she liked about it pointed out the connection between poppies and war dead. Interesting because the artist could have had no such connection in mind. The same point occurred later when somebody else chose a postcard of a stark black and white drawing entitled Buchenwald forest done long before the Nazis came to power.
One of the superlatives which the singer attributes in the Porter song is, “you’re a turkey dinner’ which is still amusing but post Bernard Mathews might become incomprehensible. Just goes to show how intention and perception differ in time.

1 comment:

MacDuff said...

Thats the second time Ive mentioned the Blairite philosophy lecturer story. I shall bequeath this blog to medical science as a study in mental deterioration.