Category Archives: notes

‘Good’ SEX

The Daily Good is an inspired initiative by socially conscious website/magazine ‘Good‘ that delivers ‘one good thing’ to your inbox every day.  Interesting, often slightly off the wall bits of ‘do-good’ news that will always put a smile on your face or arouse your curiosity.  Today’s email included a 1971 plaid volkswagen bus and vegan condoms.

American company Sir Richard’s (purveyors of afore-mentioned vegan condoms) adopt the same buy one – give one principle as Tom’s shoes.  For every condom they sell, one is donated to the developing world including community organisations like Partners in Health in Haiti.  

The company believe that “safe sex is a basic human right” and draw attention to the fact that only a fraction of the global demand for condoms is met each year.

Driving their fun bus down the US West Coast this fall in an envoy programme, Sir Richard’s will encourage campus-loads of students to ‘be good’ when they are ‘being bad ;)’

Image from Sir Richard’s.  Learn more about them on their site – http://sirrichards.com/

Subscribe to the Daily Good newsletter for a little bit of ‘good’ every day  http://www.good.is/newsletters/dailygood

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Jumpin Jack Flash – Rock n Roll Circus – introduced by John Lennon in sign language

The Chic Geek Guide

Online magazine TheChicGeek.co.uk brings you the modern man’s style manual.  Expert advice, tips and inspiration on fashion and grooming compiled into 176 (fantastically illustrated) pages.  The book, out today and published by Carlton, gives a nod to stylish gents from history and fiction, looks at street style around the world and includes a foreword by Paul Smith.  Marcus Jaye, the author of the guide and editor of TheChicGeek.co.uk holds the firm belief that “inside every stylish man is a Chic Geek” and that style success involves drawing upon this geek factor.  All the hard work has been done though as it’s all within the pages of this style bible.  (And actually girls will love it too!).

The Chic Geek’s Fashion, Grooming and Style Guide For Men, £16.99, available from Amazon, Waterstones and Play.com

Test presents ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant’ chosen by Julie Verhoeven

As part of the Test Fashion Film Club; artist Julie Verhoeven co-hosted an evening at Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel and introduced the German film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder; The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant. Vogue’s art director Jaime Perlman founded and collates Test; a constantly evolving visual platform of image-led projects showcasing new and established talent across the disciplines of fashion, design, film, art and music.  Each month as part of the Test presents programme a co-host is invited to screen a film that has had a profound influence on their work.

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant tells the story of successful fashion designer Petra and her relationship with the women in her life.  The enigmatic Marlene; Petra’s secretary and assistant who she treats with unkindness never utters a word but her presence punctuates the film.  We see Petra fall madly in love with the adolescent Karin (an aspiring model) who infatuates her from their first meeting.  A scene of seduction plays out asserting Petra’s talents to powerfully master those around her and get whatever she wants. However in the next cut, which shows their break up six months after, a seismic shift has occurred with Karin controlling Petra’s mental state with her every word and action.  Petra is reduced to a weak and vulnerable being desperately craving the reciprocity of her love for Karin.  When Karin leaves her we see the complete breakdown of Petra’s tortured soul and we are left exhausted by the brutal scenes of her anguish.

Julie Verhoeven first saw the film in 2003 and was astounded that she had not seen it before, thereafter becoming obsessed with it.  She introduced it on Thursday describing it as “super duper stylish yet dark and bleak” and explained how she felt drained but gripped after watching it, feeling a strong desire to strive to project that level of emotion in her own work.

The film is visually arresting with deep focus shots framing the fantastically styled set and all female cast. As Julie puts it the seventies style outfits are “wonderfully wrong”.  Thick make-up, colourful wigs and eerie mannequins all play their part with an enlarged painting of Poussin’s 17th century master piece Midas and Bacchus as an evocative backdrop.  Set in Petra’s apartment with the entire narrative playing out in just one room the beams, shelves and furniture are often framed to look like bars creating a sense of imprisonment.  This heightens the intensity of the raw emotions displayed in the story which illustrates love’s entrapment and cruelty.

The film really stays with you both for it’s striking style and it’s wrenching emotions.  If you haven’t watched it then do.

www.testmag.co.uk                        www.julieverhoeven.com

Quentin Crisp – English Raconteur in New York

“You first have to find who you are, then you have to be it like mad”

Quentin Crisp

The last post has inspired a look at a particularly infamous ‘Englishman in New York’ – Quentin Crisp.  A raconteur who experienced hostility and violence here in the homophobic 1920s-60s and moved to New York in the early eighties.  Crisp offended a staunch 1930s society by inhabiting London’s Denbigh street and parading around in bright make up, painted nails and toenails shown off together with sandals and crimson long hair.  His attempt to join the British Army when World War II broke out was rejected on the account he ‘suffered from sexual perversion’ (according to the medical board).

The publication of his memoirs; The Naked Civil Servant in 1968 launched his ‘gay icon’ status and he developed a one man show which quickly sold out in London’s Duke of York theatre in 1978.  After taking the show to New York Crisp decided to emigrate there and renowned for his caustic humour and witty storytelling strangers would invite him out to dinner to hear his unique observations on the world.

Love and It’s Mysteries by E.E Cumming

it is so long since my heart has been with yours

shut by our mingling arms through
a darkness where new lights begin and increase,

since your mind has walked into
my kiss as a stranger
into the streets and colours of a town-

that I have perhaps forgotten
how,always (from
these hurrying crudities
of blood and flesh) Love
coins His most gradual gesture,

and whittles life to eternity

-after which our separating selves become museums
filled with skilfully stuffed memories

The wrong sort of dreamer

Obstacles of the easily touched,

the hopeless romantics.

Amazed to find it and

exactly as I had imagined.

A cascade of happy beats, intensity

that my romantic soul devoured.

The cynical me, silenced by the moment.

 
But soon, how to sustain the ride?

how to keep afloat?

Fluctuating between happy beats and ache.

It grows and churns and reigns supreme….

disappointment.

 
The wrong sort of dreamer.