+The meaning of life, these days, seems to rest on the notion that love triumphs (i.e Love Island, ‘Hello!’ culture, Harry and Megs, happy clappy Christianity, etc., etc.). So it is in that vein that one can only celebrate Mr Rupert Murdoch’s fifth marriage at the age of 92. He was reported as saying that he doesn’t like dating, so he marries them instead. Presumably with the pre-nups all sorted out. He is in a sense Henry the Eighth, perhaps unhappy with some of the offspring his priors have borne him (didn’t one of Rupert’s renounce dad?). I suspect Murdoch acquires new brides in the same way he acquires newspapers. If that is so it will inevitably be a demeaning experience for his brides, albeit that they retain their heads (and headlines). If they did (or do) overstep the mark, no doubt they must go the same way as the News of the World, remembered only as a sordid episode, on the same level of sordidity (I love the occasional neologism) as perhaps the once beloved Jimmy Saville (No, not Jimmy Saville. Let’s just settle on Benny Hill). Murdoch’s ex’s have kept schtum—there seems to be an omerta in operation (nowt to do with money I dare say). Meanwhile, in related news, the New York Times reports (23/3/23) that Mr Pickles, a ‘critically endangered radiated tortoise in Houston zoo’ has just fathered three baby tortoises. Mr Pickles is 90 years old. His offspring are called Dill, Gherkin and Jalapeno. There’s some fresh ideas for naming Rupert’s potential new sprogs. It’s likely that if Rupert does sire some more little Murdochs they will only ever know him by repute. Poor things.
+At the New Contemporaries show in the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh I spied what looked like a life sized Ron Mueck sculpture, which could have had a working title ‘Sleeping Form.’ These talented arts graduates can do anything! It did indeed turn out to be a sleeping form, and I was disabused of my original perception when two attendants approached the Sleeping Form and gingerly prodded it. Begrudgingly the chap woke up. Clearly the New Contemporaries hadn’t moved him to a state of astonished wakefulness. The show comprises works from graduates of several Scottish art schools, many of whom have won prizes. It’s a shame Scotland doesn’t extend to Middlesbrough, as quite clearly it would have had to feature some of my own work, which earned me an MA (with distinction). Due to Covid my cohort never even got a graduate show. It hardly seems fair. I could have won a rosette, like a prize heifer in an agricultural show. No, I’m not bitter.
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