Stuff And Nonsense


When Antony Gormley devised one of the most recognisable pieces of public art in the land – the Angel of the North – he wanted to create a work that would serve as a connection between our industrial past and the future of the information age. He had not anticipated that someone would try to use it to flog bread. But that is what the struggling supermarket chain Morrisons has done – projecting an image of a baguette on to the majestic wings of Gormley's sculpture.

Gormley, who finished the sculpture in 1998, reacted with weary resignation to the news that his masterwork was being plastered with a giant baguette.

"I'd rather the Angel is not used for such purposes, but it's out there," said Gormley, who does not deal with copyright matters connected to the sculpture.

The projection is part of the supermarket's campaign to win back customers.

Let my people go!

The NEW YORK POST has discovered that there is no toilet (bathroom) available for visitors to and worshippers at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in the city. Even those desperate for a pee have to leave the church and cross the road to use the loos in a nearby office block. It's not as if the cathedral hasn't got the facilities to offer its guests. It has, but they are available only to religious and lay staffers.

I had exactly the same problem at the Episcopal cathedral in Inverness once. The location of its loos are also a closely guarded secret it would appear.


A vicar who claimed over-zealous traffic wardens were preying on her Sunday congregation was shocked to see the wardens’ van parked on double yellow lines on a bend. Reverend Bev Mason took a picture of the council van’s parking violation and has been reported it to the council. They have reprimanded the offending wardens, and reiterated to others that they must practise what they preach.

The vicar said: ‘They must be dreadfully embarrassed. They were going round giving more of our churchgoers tickets at the time"

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And the MAIL has another sweet justice revenge story that made me smile. A little over thirty years since Ozzie Osborne bit the head off a live bat on stage he is facing the turning down of planning permission for the conversion of a historic barn on his five million pound estate into a two-bedroom home. The reason - a colony of brown long-eared bats have been discovered using it as a roost and bats are rigorously protected under English law. Okay, it's not as satisfying as a giant bat leaping up out of the audience at one of the maturity impaired singer's concerts and biting his head right off, but it will do for starters, as they say.

Here are some breakdancing monks:

From THE LOCAL (Spain):

A sermon by a Spanish priest during a holy communion has caused a storm after he spoke of how men wouldn't beat their wives to death thirty years ago because they had Christian values.

“Thirty years ago there was a lot more ignorance and a man would maybe get drunk and when he got home beat up his wife, but he wouldn’t kill her like they do nowadays,” the priest told his audience.

“There used to be a set of Christian principles and values. People would live by the commandments and their Christian education, so even if a person got drunk, he knew that the fifth commandment said ‘thou shalt not kill.”

According to the priest, the ‘current’ situation has arisen because “Jesus has disappeared from our society”.

I'm not surprised. Neither would I want to hang around in such a society.

This is a sculpture entitled "Holy Garbage Can" by Lonnie Holley.

According to Laura Hutson, writing for NASHVILLE SCENE, "More than any other work in the exhibit, this one captures the way that Holley thinks about ordinary objects — a pile of rubble has a divine connection to everyone who's ever been in contact with it. Cheeseburger wrappers represent the Harlem streets where Holley picked them up, a piece of yellow string represents the sun, and the careful way he's tied it to a scrap of blue cloth is like the playful relationship between sun and sky."

The next exhibition at the gallery will feature the emperor's new clothes.

And finally, we return to the DAILY MAIL who report that a Swiss council is looking for someone 'more outgoing' to become its official hermit - after the last one left because she didn't like the attention she was getting from visitors to her cave. The successful applicant for the position at the cavern at the Verena Gorge, to the north of the city of Solothurn in Switzerland, will need to 'get joy out of meeting people', according to an advert posted by the local council. They must also have a desire to tend a small garden, to 'dispense wisdom' to anyone that might pass by, and be willing to give courses in meditation three times a week.

It sounds like just the job for Saint Laika's favourite wicked nun, Ellie. I'd go for it but the wisdom I might dispense to passers by would probably not be of the sort appropriate for the position.



Stuff And Nonsense — 4 Comments

  1. I imagine that order of monks doesn’t get a lot of late vocations.

  2. I’d say that whether it constitutes wisdom or not depends more upon the condition of the hearer than the content by the speaker.

  3. Activists have been using the “project counter-message” technique for a few years now. It was inevitable this tactic would get co-opted by capitalism…