Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Beautiful Things: Visuals and Literary

Another venture into the world of beautiful things to keep things fresh during NaNo.  Don't worry about that smell, I'll have the dishes washed and put away before you know it.  Oh, that?  That's just some food that I... uh... forgot to... clean... away.  Yes, moving on from the state of my surroundings and my inability to clean (maybe I ought to indulge in a maid's dress or something?) let's get to the beautiful things.

You know, I am minded of Bill Bailey impersonating Chris de Burgh at this point.  You'll see why with the video link.

I don't care that the NSDAP were totally and
irredeemably misogynistic, I happen to agree
with the apparent message about motherhood
being an acceptable and powerful thing.
Sometimes I find that beautiful things weren't designed as high art or big concepts but, instead, were just functional at the time or even designed to convey a political message.  I have the greatest of respect for propaganda of all types and creeds in that the whole point is to convey some pretty pointed and specific messages in a way that remains entirely accessible, usually at the lowest common denominator, and also retains the message purely enough to carry the weight of whatever political movement is using it.  These ideals and messages reach their apogee, in my humble opinion, in the propaganda produced by the totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.  Here we find purity of message, albeit a tad on the evil side of things, with an alliance with artists and idea-smiths who crafted work passionately and with the kind of zeal one rarely finds anywhere else.  You could, of course, find such passion and zeal in more savoury creations in the revolutionary art of 1920s Russia, or even Depression USA, but these often did not have the weight and resources behind them to turn them into truly iconographic items.  For that reason, I open with these images that speak to me in a way that I am sure neither the regime nor the artist intended.  I disagree with nearly all of their messages (though I reserve the right to respect collectivism as an outlook and the idea of women breastfeeding children as a Good Thing regardless of who promotes them) but the power and passion of these images has to be noted.

Is no one else getting chills from this?  It's just awesome.
If you haven't, read this.  Or see the
film, both work.
The cover is beautiful too.  Haunted
me for months.

Now the literary beauty.  There is a beauty in novels and in writing in general that I find incomparable.  It is not a visual thing, per se, but a thing of the mind.  I can no more describe what happens when I read than I can write a shower but I do know that both the shower and the reading are immersive experiences when they are beautiful and are as life affirming as anything else that I know.  I submit to you the novel K-PAX as a good example of this.  It is a wonderful piece of literature, in the populist sense, that tells a story and weaves it so well that you end up living the novel rather than simply reading it.  I can recall putting it down and wondering what the characters were doing in the moments when I was not reading about their lives.  I can remember how it completely changed the way I was interacting with the people around me because in the back of my mind I was living as if the whole thing was completely real and ongoing when I got home.  I didn't read the book, I took holidays from the world it invoked when I went to work.  This was much the same sensation that I had when I was reading The Time Traveller's Wife too.  Here the language that was employed did the trick of making me want to keep reading and did so in such a way as to bring home to me the power of the story and the rawness of the emotions contained within.  Its non-linear approach and the ability to drop me into the plot wherever it wanted made me respect it.  This was a novel I even read aloud to my then partner, Toby, and I don't really do reading aloud (well, I do now, with my children, but I never really did before).  It was a novel that stood the test of being read aloud and stood the test of me being the one doing it.  For these reasons they would be considered beautiful but there was so much more to them that I simply fail at describing.

Beauty, it is an ephemeral thing.

Oh, the video link:


  1. I do love the Soviet art. I heard a story on public radio yesterday about a small museum in China, a collection of propaganda posters as art. Maoism was hideous as government, but the stylish artwork was so emotive. Cool stuff.

    1. Totally agree. I'm not sure the Devil gets the best music, but he does seem to get the best political artists.


All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!