The Pangolin has received its First Review

Here it is, written by A Birch:

'Pangolin should be much more sensible. Such ill-considered levity can only encourage the belief that life is a random succession of amusing events, rather than a grim affair to be endured between cradle and grave.'

It appeared near a magazine called 'Practical Poultry'.

Pangolin Fashion

Just to prove that Pangolin fashion extends beyond large, hardened, plate-like scales. The scales, which are soft on newborn pangolins but harden as the animal matures, are made of keratin, the same material of which human fingernails and tetrapod claws are made.

Unlike this ace piece of designer jacketwear, which is hand-crafted from high-quality Astroturf and features optional mole hills, worm casts, weeds of varying degrees of commonality and house sparrows. The deluxe version also features a large lump of lion dung and a water feature.

Be the envy of your friends! At least, the ones who don't think you're a total pillock.

A Cut Above

It started, as these things often do, with strong beer. I’d got into the bath with a lit cigar, a huge air dried Spanish ham on the bone and a waterproof mobile smartphone, all of which I’d received for Christmas the day before, perched them on the bath caddy and started opening the beer that was in the ice bucket. Heavy Belgian, self-mugging beer. This was a premeditated beer/ham/cigar Boxing day double soak after a particularly grating family Christmas that involved other people’s children and not enough wine. (There never is.) 

The knife I was using to thinly slice the ham wasn’t thinly slicing the ham. Instead it had decided to clumsily saw off great lumps rather than those translucent sheets one sees in supermarkets. Time passed. Empty beer bottles joined me in the bath, bobbing around with clinky optimism. I started absent-mindedly looking through ebay on my new phone for sharp knives. With the customary impatience of a drunk man coughing in a bath I decided to bid on several of the knives that were “ending first” to ensure winning one. I felt like an extra Christmas present anyway.

Three days, total amnesia and a colourful hangover later something arrived in the post. I opened the package that afternoon and, baffled, unwrapped the sort of Bowie knife I’d only ever seen being used in knife fights by Richard Widmark in 60’s cowboy film. The blade didn’t look like there was anywhere on my body that I could stick it in without it sticking out the other side. I assumed it was a late Christmas present and I laid it on my bar where it dutifully busied itself in the task of cutting lemons for a large Tom Collins.

The next day another knife arrived from Thailand. This time I unwrapped a sheath knife so crappy that it had a plastic handle, wobbly blade and, clearly in a mix up in translation, had the words “shown actual size” etched on the blade. The lemons proved too much for it and so did pencil sharpening so I took pity and demoted it to cheese, which is the third lowest knife rank above paint tin then screwdriver (once you’ve broken the tip off with the paint tin.) The fog of memory began to clear and I looked into my bidding history. It seemed that I’d stupidly bid, won and paid for these knives whilst in the bath, £15 for the Bowie knife and £8 for “shown actual size.” What’s more there was another one on the way. It seemed I’d only paid £4.68 for it. I didn’t hold out much hope and continued writing enthusiastic and wildly exaggerated thank you letters.

Another three days later and the final package arrived. Nestled in white raffia paper was a knife made by David-Andersen the Norwegian jeweller. It had a smooth walnut handle, black leather sheath, silver fittings and a mirror finished folded steel blade. It was quickly rushed through the rank taking up Spanish ham duties where it sliced a piece so thin that, had I dropped it above a lit candle, it would never had hit the ground, much to the annoyance of the jealously glaring Leathermen.

Nowadays, David-Andersen sits at my desk ready to whittle a pencil end to a single molecule and because he’s an outdoorsy Norwegian knife I let him out in the fresh air and take him sailing or fishing whenever I can or he has the tendency to sulk. And the others? Widmark still cuts lemons on the bar without a word of complaint (Bowie knives are big but not very bright) and “Shown actual size” was finally demoted to screwdriver. The parmesan proved too much for him.
by Guy Venables

"I Could Do That, My God, I Have Done That"

By R T Faherty, Art Critic 
At five foot one, it was difficult to see Gustav Krebs across the crowded Pinkars E Gallery. But I can’t help being short. Everybody was there. The Gnottchis, Val Gropus, The Right Hon Honour L’oded, several members of Girlz Singin’ Shite and almost every Art critic who didn’t fancy what was on telly on Tuesday night. The free champagne and grebe’s throats (served on very generous lumps of tripe) went down very well as I gradually made my way through the throng to where Gustav, the newly anointed Celebrated One in the Art world stood trying to explain why his huge badly composed, badly focused, badly printed photos of very boring things were important to some proles from BBC News.

Is so simple really. I vos think about all the pipples mit der liddle cameras undt der phones tekking der pictures off tinks nobody iss interested in. So, because I em, how you say, not much copping at der paintinks stuff undt mein skulptur schtinks, I vud heff some prole Mr Gnottchi gave a few quids to to make zees big pictures of mein own bad photographs.”

Here, Gustav, immaculate for the evening in a heliotrope jumpsuit, turns and raises a glass to the distant Agricola Gnottchi who  reveals several golden teeth.

Mr Gnottchi, he say rich pipples mostly stupid about Art. He say they don know difference between Good Art and poke in der eye with Glock 18. Eschpecially here in thatLondon. So I mek for him big rubbish.” Here Gustav smiles, waves languidly,and steps daintily down from the dais, the mass of bodies opening before him. Soon he is surrounded again and flash camera set the heliotrope off against his viridian locks.

I turn and find space enough to look up at Gustav’s work. It IS truly terrible. He has produced as authentic an exhibition of really bad art as I’ve ever seen.

I Could Do That, My God, I Have Done That” is on until Feb 30th and after that, on tour until somebody susses it out. Prices start at £300,000.

Zuuuullluuuu... and its effect on Post-Modern Culture

When Zulu came out, I was around 8-9. It was the most stunning thing I’d ever seen. Admittedly I didn’t have a wealth of cinema experience to compare it to – Mary PoppinsA Hard Day’s Night, a couple of Hayley Mills films and Saturday morning B movies, but the thin red Welsh line on the Tooting Granada wide-screen was a vision to behold. Actually, I think I was most affected by the chanting in the fantastic Zulu wedding scene, but the whole thing was overwhelming to my tender emotions.

I fear it still is, if I were to watch it again.

Word spreads like wildfire on the savannah, so the whole male half of Gorringe Park Junior School had made the same pilgrimage at various points through the fortnight of its showing. This resulted in the design of a new playground game – yep, you guessed it – Zulu! To modern eyes, it was about as politically correct as Bernard Manning, but there was a smattering of black kids among the throng – on either side.

As you may also have guessed, this involved most of the school gathering at one end of the tarmac playground while about a dozen kids knelt at the other end behind a bench with pretend rifles. A terrifying scream was then let out by the many as they then ran hell for leather at the thin red line the other end, shouting “Zuluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!” and waving imaginary spears. Many would then fall over dead on to the tarmac, because that’s what Zulus did. The ones who reached the other end then engaged in some kind of mock hand-to-hand combat. I’m not sure if anyone “survived”. Once the smoke of battle was cleared, we would do it all over again.

Needless to say, the whole spectacle inspired terror in the hearts of the teachers, who – after a glorious fortnight or so of freedom, and many injuries to the participants – banned it. Such Philistines. I fear the euphoria of running across a terrain en masse shouting slogans might have been the inspiration which sparked the subsequent adolescent lifestyle choice of several participants – that of 1970s Chelsea football hooligan.

I’ll get my coat.

By Andy Davey

Diced Garrets by R T Faherty, Art Critic.  (Originally published in the Stubbs End Gazette).

A man in my privileged position sometimes gets to look at an exhibition or two, and this week has been particularly fruitful as we're into the Diced Garrets season, when local artists open their studios so that all and sundry can view their offerings and/or case the joint to see if it's worth burgling.

Well, I saw a sign saying 'Open Studio'. It pointed to a basement. The steps were very steep. Something small lay disembowelled on the third step from the bottom. Then there was a subterranean corridor with a triangular sign warning 'Danger of Death' on a door. I thought I'd take a look.

A gloomy looking bloke offered me a glass of wine. He was wearing a t-shirt with 'I Spayed My Cat' emblazoned across his chest. I thanked him, knocked back the wine, and went to look at the exhibits. At least I think they were the exhibits - indistinguishable as they were from the contents of an Argos catalogue. There was a statement to the effect that they were looking to establish the glorious in the uni-directional lines of reverberation and influence as 'becoming ensemble', citing other work, co-opting other work, sticking chewing gum on other work and, in the final analysis, enacting, or re-enacting, a stage across which whole histories (the multitudes) are brought to bear. Or exit, pursued by bear. Or bear behind.

Hmm”, thought I. “Someone who needs to go and dig some potatoes. Or something else practical, preferably involving dirt.” And had another glass of wine.

Then I spotted what I took to be another assemblage of artworks but on closer inspection turned out to be bowls of peanuts and crisps. I filled both my jacket pockets with them. “Probably an example of the perverse logic of forcing mute objects into relational forms and the unwieldiness of interpretation. The lot of the artist,” I thought.

And had another glass of wine.

Then I spotted my old mate Bogg. We both had another glass of wine. Bogg has minor psychiatric problems, hasn't changed his jacket since a pigeon crapped on it back in June, and farts, noiselessly, at 87-second intervals. He'd had a baked bean and broccoli quiche earlier in the evening. We both stared at a large piece of polystyrene with holes poked through it in places, with blobs of car paint applied at random. It was called 'Solecism', and claimed to be 'embellishing the mundane with a visually monumental, sometimes ominous, presence'.

Oh”, I thought.

Then I spotted the most interesting exhibit of the whole show. At first glance it appeared to be a rotting tree stump, but on closer inspection it was a piece of textile art. Fabulous textures which looked like mould were interspersed with areas of flowing grey horsehair, and if you looked carefully and narrowed your eyes it was like a filthy old overcoat painted to represent the bark of a tree. A piece of very distressed felt provided a kind of 'lid', and there was a waxy protrusion from underneath it. In wonder, I poked the waxy protrusion.

**** off!” it said, stood up and advanced towards me in a menacing fashion. Turned out to be the artist's uncle, who was on stewarding duty that evening.

Bogg also has an unusual habit of clapping his hands together and tap dancing whilst simultaneously shooting backwards. Sometimes shouting noisily, but he was silent on this occasion.

However, that cut no ice with the fascists who were running this particular show... we were both manhandled out of the place, alarmingly quickly considering the steep incline of the staircase, with the gloomy looking bloke calling us all sorts of names I'd never heard before. Apart from “Bloody Freeloader!” I think I also caught the drift of “**** out of here and if I ever see you again I'll rip off your ******** and use them as marbles”, or something to that effect. I ask you!

All in all, a fairly standard, boring preview. Go and take a look if you've nothing better to do.

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