Start ya bastard
by william blake 5 Nov 2010
It’s an old English tradition to give your Land Rover a nick-name, It used to be ‘the bone shaker’ but mine got a new one this week; “start you fucking bastard”. I had just picked up a few lengths of RHS from my steel supplier, as I was supposed to start making up a frame for one of the ‘Sculpture on the Gulf’ debutantes. I was just about to hit the Sylvia Park onramp when the Landie just seized up, like an automotive heart attack.
I decided not to risk the motorway and pressed on through Onehunga, sputtering occasionally until it finally died outside the Fire Station. For once I had no tools and no cell phone, so I went door knocking until a kind lady passed an old broken flat head screwdriver though her security screen. A few minutes later I had the carburettor open and was cleaning out the float chamber when a soft, silky and sultry voice beckoned, “ are you ok?” I replied with a cursory muffled echo “it’s not dead yet” not an especially clever reply but most of my body was contorted into the engine bay.
I backed out of the engine and there before me was a young and utterly gorgeous South Auckland beauty. “Do you need a hand?” She asked, I made a little squeaking noise. “My boyfriends are really hopeless, sometimes they just stare at them and I have to sort it out myself” she was talking about cars I think. “ Just let me know if I can do anything,” she offered. I tried to speak again and instead I made an odd mucal pop, finally I formed a word, then a sentence, “what is your name?” I tragically asked. “Fiona” she said. I detumesced.
Fiona had her name carefully tattooed on her bicep in a neat copperplate. But why? Was it to remind herself in times of great forgetfulness or was it, as my partner pointed out, that her friends forgot her name and this was just another manifestation of her innate helpfulness.
I pondered this as I struggled back to base camp was this another manifestation of the simulacra culture? Was Fiona ‘like’ Fiona, was she sent by the gods to lure me into a gallery of mirrors and false pleasure, a Fire Station siren, if you will.
Isn’t so much art like this these days but? Gorgeous and alluring but so stoopid it can appear incredibly smart. Either the straight out copy that some new graduate thinks will fly under the radar. The drug addled installations, which could be issued as an Airfix kit. The regurgitation of some pop- minimal- abstraction type painting usually in a ‘new’ medium, usually computer generated, paint by numbers and all the rest.
I wonder if under their designer shirts somewhere, all of these artists have their names tattooed, unironically, in a tidy copperplate. I am sure that they are very well meaning though.