to see this in the real world

Liverpool Life It might not have escaped your notice, but the Liverpool Biennial 2010 begins next week which coincides with the opening of the John Moores Painting Prize exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. The presentation of said prizes to the winning paintings is next Thursday and for the first time they're to be live streamed across the internet. Here is their press release:
For the first time in the history of the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize, the winner and runner-up announcements will be broadcast live.

This exciting online event will take place on Thursday 16 September 2010 at :
www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/johnmooreslive
The announcement will take place at 6.30pm but the broadcast will begin earlier.

Those tuning in will be amongst the very first to find out who has scooped UK’s biggest painting prize, along with artists, guests, critics, and associates attending the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool for the private view and prize ceremony.

The John Moores Painting Prize 2010 live broadcast will give viewers a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes at one of the biggest events on the art calendar on the eve of Liverpool Biennial’s launch. Just add canap├ęs and friends to throw your own ‘private view’ from the comfort of your home!

45 shortlisted artists from 3000 entrants are to be included in the exhibition, each with a chance of winning the £25,000 first prize or 4 runner-up prizes of £2,500 each. The paintings will be on display at the Walker Art Gallery from 18 September 2010 to 3 January 2011.

The long-running competition forms a key strand of the Liverpool Biennial and is always a hot topic conversation amongst art lovers visiting the city for the festival, both online and offline.

Join in with the discussion on Twitter using the #JM2010 hashtag. ‘Tweets’ will form part of a stream of conversation published on the broadcast page in the run up to and during the live broadcast. You can follow John Moores Painting Prize 2010 on Twitter at:

www.twitter.com/JohnMoores2010
Ironically, though I've been invited to see this in the real world, I begin work again next week which includes the usual late Thursday so will miss the prize giving either way. But I'm planning on popping in afterwards. If they'll let me in late.

"Einsteinium..."

Science "I'd like to take you now on wings of song, as it were, to try and help you forget, perhaps, for a while, your drab, wretched lives."



"I hope you've all been taking notes, because there'll be a short quiz next period."

like, much

Music Zooey doesn't say, like, much, but when she does speak she, like, totally captures why she's, like, so, like, amazing:
"I rarely do movies. I’ve done like one movie a year for the past couple years. I used to do a lot more, but I’ve just been a lot more choosy lately, so that I do have more time. I’ve been touring a lot, recording a lot, and writing a lot. I just do the movies I really, really want to do, and don’t overwork myself in that area. That way, I can concentrate on one thing at a time. I used to write all the time when I was working, and go home and stay up really late. I’ve just been spending more time doing music lately."
Or in other words, because she's careful or at least sparing in the kinds of films she chooses, she's able to retain a certain mystique or impregnability even in a triumph like The Happening. Which I've finally decided is a masterpiece of directorial vision. Make of that statement what you will.

He was right.

Politics This isn't the most well best thought through comment I've left anywhere (in fact it's rather rambling) but I was prompted to write this on the The Guardian website at this bizarre story:
My journalism tutor in one of his speeches -- he was very big on speeches -- said that within a couple of years of entering the profession he realised that ultimately it didn't matter who was in power because ultimately nobody is perfect which means that the situation will never be perfect.

Sometimes things would be better than usual, sometimes worse. But never perfect.

He was right.

Pick up the average history book, or a very good history book for that matter because there are some of those, and try to find a moment in the country or indeed the world's history when everything was ok. When no one felt hard done by and everyone was happy.

It hasn't happened yet. It may do. I'm an optimist so I think it may do. But not yet.

If Labour are in power, Tories are unhappy. If the Tories are in power Labour tell them that they're doing it wrong. The Lib Dems, as ever, are stuck between the both of them unable to do right from wrong even when they're actually in government for a change in the way that they could only ever be in government under the present political conditions.

If the present government imploded and another general election was called by Christmas and by some chance Labour got back in, can even their own supporters suggest that the country would be fixed, that everything would be sorted out? Well, no, of course not.

I know that in fact having an ideology gives us something to strive for and having something to fight against reminds us that we can be passionate about about something which matters which isn't the continuation of the species and through procreation or saving the environment.

But looking at this list of comments, I wonder whether people realise that nothing of anything we say about politics really matters. In the end.

reruns of old Pugwash cartoons

TV I'm back. Hadley Freeman reviews this morning's debut episode of Daybreak, ITV1's new morning showdown featuring new signings Adrian and Christine so I don't have to:
"What a strange thing Daybreak is looking set to be. An odd mashup of GMTV, The One Show, That's Life and, suddenly, Newsnight. No one is claiming that GMTV was a hothouse of intellectual thought, but, really, what on earth can one make of Daybreak – a news programme that shows clips of racing mobility scooters, a funnily shaped carrot and a bulldog on a skateboard and asks viewers to vote for the one they'd like to hear about in more detail. This segment is called Daybreakers, which I'm guessing is a pun of some sort, but one not easily grasped. Better to have called it "Like watching YouTube with an immature 10-year-old."
The main problem at this early stage is an over-abundance of format, the desperate need to give things like phone polls and news headlines ear-catching names and the big signings, with the exception of the interview slot, largely reduced to cueing in the next bit of the schedule be it the news, the adverts, the phone in quiz, the adverts, the sport news, the adverts, the funny animal stories, the rotating banana bowl and John Stapleton standing in a football stadium to illustrate a lot of people.

There's also an over-abundance of staff. Apart from the fact that the likes of the sport could just as well be read out by Chiles as the separate sports presenter and the news by Bleakley, the correspondents idea is an obvious attempt to replicate the guests who'd appear on The One Show talking about scrabble or duck billed platipusses or whatever.  But here there's too little interaction, not enough time for the more freewheeling conversational style which suited this pair so well on the other side.

Essentially, if anything, it seems an attempt to resurrect the formula of TV-AM in the Anne 'n' Nick era which presumably means before too long, converting for modern currency,  we'll be seeing Christian O'Connell roaming the beaches making fun of pensioners, the CG animated Sammy Stoat for the kids, and the show being replaced with reruns of old Pugwash cartoons and the Ashley Twins filmography when the production staff walk out on strike with Garroway being labelled a scab for crossing the picket line.

from the grave ...

Film I'll be back soon. Meanwhile, it's good to know that Robert Altman's still directing films from the grave ...