Whimsy, irony and confusion

My memories of the Festival of Britain? ‘Oh, not another queue’‘ Ian Jack on nostaglia, one of his favourite themes. Most pertinently: ‘Among [the Festival of Britain's] many qualities were two – whimsicality and irony – that have become well-established in British life since. The first can be seen in the big urban fox made of straw that stands beside Waterloo Bridge, and in the Tracey Emin exhibition at the Hayward (every whim turned into words appliqued to blankets). The second has become part of our nature. Both found their early national prominence at the festival, when previously ordinary things – Punch and Judy, Victorian pubs – began to be enclosed in quotation marks, their demotic virtues prized by the aesthetic middle classes, while irony was one way of treating the grandeur associated with power, which was now obviously diminishing.’ Sad to think the work of artists like Barbara Jones was just a gateway drug to the relentless ironic consumption of whimsy.

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A History of Modern Music: the timeline / history is forever snapping out our heels: Street View New York, 1982 (via MeFi) / judging wine by the label. Everyone does this / Pirate Technics, fox builders / Our Blood Stained Roof, a comic / optical illusion of the day / Peter Dixie’s visual notes from daily life / Moved to Monrovia, a weblog.

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Typical tumblr round-up: Deseopolis, architecture-focused / Home page, vaguely science orientated / J’ai Gagne, a tumblr with mostly fashion imagery / Adobe UI gripes / Ned Hugar / Birds of Paradise / learn to live / nothing more terrible, nothing more true / thought containment unit / see also the Internet K-Hole.

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Vaguely related to our real Zelig? post, unexpected photos of historical figures at kottke / the golf-carts of Florida / fabulous travelogue charting an expedition on foot to the brick and concrete ziggurat of Dawson Heights in East Dulwich (all the best online pilgrimages are made on foot). Fun trivia fact: a few yards from this ‘pissy little attempt at a modernist building‘ is the last known resting place of AC/DC’s Bon Scott, who passed away two doors down.

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One Response to Whimsy, irony and confusion

  1. Matt Jones says:

    Thanks for mentioning Moved 2 Monrovia. The Architectural Tour of Monrovia that I compiled might also be of interest:

    http://www.movedtomonrovia.com/M2M/The_Architectural_Tour.html

    Cheers, Matt

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