Thursday, September 30, 2004

Stuck On You

Billy Childish, former leader of Thee Headcoats, a demented brew of punk, skiffle and rockabilly, and the Buff Medways,, who mine mmuch the same seam, has struck an unlikely blow against the right-wing press. Billy always hated the NME, but he may have been indrectly responsible for a tilt at the Daily Mail.

See, we all know the Mail, the penny dreadful of Middle England, and its bombastic yet self-pitying attempts by its aristocratic owners to scare and manipulate its prosperous and blinkered readership. If we don't, then think of a New York Post that doesn't feel the need to credit its audience with a spark of awareness.

And Billy has a sideline as a painter and founder of the Stuckist movement, which was founded largely on a dislike of postmodernism but which tried to avoid the bleating of "why don't they paint proper pictures" that accompanies some of the conceptualist shows. Billy also shagged Tracey Emin a noted conceptualist artist who included his name in her famous tent that featured the name of every persson she had ever slept with. The experience may have informed the stuckist movement.

Anyhoo, as the Guardian reports, one of Billy's disciples, a writer at the Daily Mail who dabbles in painting, has been sacked from her day job. The reason? A picture of Myra Hindley, one of the UK's more prolific murderers. Myra, now deceased, usually serves as a useful means of personifying evil, and several artists have traded on her image's associations. And the Mail always bleats about it, although we must stress that the Mail has not given this painting as a reason for the dismissal. The thing is, Jane Kelly, the 15-year veteran in question, did a picture that managed to compare the treatment of London mayor Ken Livingstone by the left-leaning Labour Party to the activities of the Nazis. And the Mail loved it.

Been meaning to address the Wessside Stadium project here in NYC, but that'll wait a while.


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