A British survey has named Monty Python song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” as the country’s most-requested funeral tune…For the first time ever, the song, from Life of Brian, topped a regular poll conducted by Britain’s Co-operative Funeral Care.
The goofy diddy took over the spot held by Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” for more than a decade. In fact, “My Way” was bumped down to the No. 5 spot.
The results of the poll came from information from 30,000 funerals held in Britain.
Har. Banned for blasphemy when the film, “The Life of Brian” first came out in the UK – it’s nice to see that ordinary folks’ sensibilities and whimsy have surpassed every negative classification assigned the movie and the music by officially conservative clods.
Banksy’s The Banality of the Banality of Evil was sold at auction on Thursday evening for $615,000. Proceeds will benefit New York-based AIDS/HIV nonprofit Housing Works…
The original landscape was purchased at the store earlier this month. Banksy painted an S.S. officer (the Führer himself?) into the picture, and it was re-donated to the store….It was the antepenultimate piece in the artist’s month-long New York residency.
Housing Works’ Rebecca Edmondson told Runnin’ Scared yesterday that the piece was donated anonymously to the store, and independently authenticated. She added, “One hundred percent of the proceeds from the auction will go to Homeless New Yorkers living with and effected by HIV/AIDS.”
Smoking dope for the first time? Mid-1950’s with a fellow poet in the ghetto where his cousin lived. Of course, the weed was mellower, less powerful than even homegrown, nowadays – decades later. First offense, back then, caught with a joint was seven years hard time.
Daniel and I would bake some cornbread and play chess till dawn. I haven’t the slightest recollection who won – or how.
Only a few years later, I quit smoking anything; so, the odd toke at a party seemed stronger every year. And sometimes it would be a dozen years in between.
The last time was still in the 20th Century. At the wet opening of a one-man show here in New Mexico. The artist wanted to sell one of his paintings to a bud of mine who’d invited me to the opening. He trotted out his best local homegrown weed and we each had a couple of tokes. At least that was all I had. It knocked me for a loop and I had to leave before I ended up paralyzed on a couch.
I think it took me three weeks to drive home. :)
Stamps commemorating the art of Tom of Finland were released in that nation in September. Meanwhile, in the United States, there is strong debate among those in authority over the soon-to-be-issued Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer commemorative.
Well, it does kind of illustrate the stereotypes held by the stereotypes.
When Australian singer and TV personality Mark Holden appeared as a clown recently on Channel 7’s Dancing with the Stars, his supposedly “bizarre” behaviour sparked furious debate and complaints to the network, demonstrating the problematic nature of the clown figure today.
The clown has a long history, ranging from the court clowns of ancient Egypt and imperial China, and trickster figures of Native American cultures, through the “sanctioned fool” of Renaissance drama and zanni of the commedia dell arte, to mainstay of the circus in the 19th century…
The decline of touring companies and vaudeville reduced the visibility of the clown in the later 20th century. While clowns still operate in the circus and theatrical entertainments, they are more likely to be found in children’s entertainment, therapeutic and community fields…
…It’s our awareness that there is an offstage self that generates much of our uneasiness around this figure.
In the early 19th century Joseph Grimaldi made the clown a star attraction of British pantomime. As he endured personal tragedies, alcoholism and chronic pain, he also became representative of the “sad clown”, of the clown as a divided figure, split between his comic on-stage identity and melancholic off-stage self…
So, when the jovial onstage figure, whose very existence seems designed to make us laugh, is revealed to be a depressed alcoholic (Grimaldi), or rage-driven killer (France’s Jean-Gaspard Deburau), or convicted sex-offender (Australia’s Jack Perry, the “Zig” of Zig and Zag).
Undoubtedly, the most notorious of such cases is that of John Wayne Gacy, an amateur clown who was convicted of killing 33 boys and young men in Illinois in the 1970s…
One of the most notable influences was Stephen King’s novel It (1986), filmed in 1990 with Tim Curry as the murderous supernatural being which takes human form as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown”.
The ubiquity of the “dark clown” trope is evident in itself becoming the stuff of comedy, as in Seinfeld episode The Opera, and the character of Krusty the Clown, a depressive with substance-abuse issues, in The Simpsons.
The context is unimportant; but, I spent a short while on the inside of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. I met Emmett Kelly there. Most clowns I ever met don’t like to break character as long as they are in makeup. And Kelly was always in makeup.
Which meant he never spoke to anyone – including everyone he worked with. Because Weary Willie didn’t speak.
You can build a scary plot just out of that.