1. Budget cut hits William Morris Gallery
I don't normally do this, but please do consider signing this online petition "to support the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow, which due to budget cuts, has recently had its opening hours drastically reduced and its staff reduced – meaning that its Keeper, Peter Cormack, an internationally-renowned expert on William Morris and on stained glass, will no longer be employed by the Gallery." (Copied from an email originating from Dr Heather Haskins at the University of Reading.)
From the subjoined press release:
"Despite huge public protests Waltham Forest Council approved the £56,000 cuts to the William Morris Gallery and Vestry House Museum on 22 February as part of the budget for 2007/8. The cuts entail a dramatic reduction in opening hours and a serious reduction in staffing levels at both venues. Waltham Forest Arts Council have said of these cuts: "Whilst appreciating the need to find savings, the proposals in this form could prove a false economy and disastrously, if not terminally, weaken the service."
"These announcements are followed by a statutory consultation period, so please continue writing to MP’s and Councillors and spread the word. For addresses of councillors to write to, and for more information please see: www.keepourmuseumsopen.org.uk
"Access and interpretation are crucial to the success of any museum, and to reduce both is unacceptable. The Gallery is a vital international, national, and local asset to Walthamstow, and should be maintained accordingly. Please sign the petition and forward it on to friends and colleagues."
2. Andrew Duncan finally hits nail on head
From the introduction to the long-awaited and much-delayed Salt collection of interviews with upstream poets, Don't Start Me Talking, edited by Tim Allen and Andrew Duncan:
"Attention is a pure good. What brings states of high attention, is successfulI presume this is Duncan, it's his tang; if in fact it's Allen, my apologies to both. At any rate, it made me want to cheer and, you know, wave a football rattle around, or something.
as art without further ado."
3. Indie hits of yesteryear
Something about the Speed Death... project has really got me excited about the New FADS, a favourite 90s band who hadn't until recently been very much on my mind of late.
Here's some classic early New FADS -- before they quite scaled the heights but perhaps while things were at their most urgent. Andy Spearpoint, the vocalist, was a bona fide force of nature who, I'd have to say, I find more compelling than either Mark E. Smith or David Gedge, and maybe even Ted Milton. He's a community music teacher now, does drumming workshops and the like. Hope he's having fun. I'd rather be living on the planet where New FADS became U2-sized megastars and Bono ended up doing workshops in, I dunno, millinery or sunglasses or something for the Dublin Regional Authority. Apart from anything else, I bet the crime rate on that planet is sensationally low.
4. Man hits duck in face
I know it's a terrible story, and the bastards concerned should be shot; but the print version of today's Guardian accompanied it with an image, taken from secretly filmed footage, of a man hitting a duck in the face, and I thought, you know, you hardly ever see a picture of a man hitting a duck in the face. Maybe on the New FADS planet... Jeez. I can't go on, I'll go on.