OK, so the prize for weirdest political moment this week goes to the tag team of Gordon Brown and David Cameron, disagreeing in public over the age of Titian when he died. In what in itself is a revealing moment of bizarre self-conception, Brown apparently compared himself to Titian last month, saying the master did his best work in his last years, before dying at 90. Today, Cameron then rather pedantically stepped in at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, presumably after having his people check the glaringly faulty Wikipedia entry, to correct the prime minister, who “never gets his facts right”, stating that Titian did, in fact, die at 86.
Never mind that no one knows when exactly Titian was born and therefore at what age he died, it gets better: Shortly thereafter, an IP registered to Tory HQ doctored the same Wikipedia entry to back up his boss’ “zinger,” but only with limited success: not only did the person in question manage to get the one fact we do know about Titian’s lifespan — that he died in 1576 — wrong, changing it to 1572, he also failed to doctor the birth date correctly, landing Titian’s RIP at age 82.
Today is the 200th anniversary of the great pioneering scientist Charles Darwin’s birth. May his wisdom prevail!
Illustrations: David Levine, left 1998, right 1973, (copyright New York Review of Books)
The official announcement is a few days old, the news even older, but I just wanted to note with considerable jubilation that the national galleries of London and Edinburgh have jointly secured the first of the two crown jewels of the Bridgewater collection, Titian’s Diana and Actaeon, for the public by raising the Â£50 million (a bargain price) for which the owner, the Duke of Sutherland, had asked. Now, the second stage begins, in which they will have to raise another Â£50 million over the next four years, in order to acquire its companion piece, the equally magnificent Diana and Callisto. As to the rest of the collection, which contains masterworks by such figures as Raphael, Rembrandt and Poussin, its deposit in Edinburgh is now secured for another 21 years. Good news!
I wrote about the paintings in more detail here.
So, I’ve finally made it home after a three-leg train journey from sunny southern France to an England blanketed in powdered snow and plagued by traffic delays. We were long gone when the prize winners and the Grand Prix were announced, but thanks to a friend on the spot, we learned that Blutch took the big one this time round.
Last night’s party at City Hall ended abruptly, with the presidential portrait torn down and stomped upon by an exuberantly out of control underground publisher. The crowds cheered, the bar shut, lights went on, and we exited with a bottle of Hennessy.
Saturday night always delivers.
… Masters of comics: Chris Ware & Daniel Clowes…
See them all:
As our patient reader surely expects, the Bunker crew knows how to pick its spot — L’Association’s Lapin release party seemed kind of dull until L’Asso-boss Jean-Christophe Menu exploded in the basement, performing several covers of
Misfits punk classics! The Bunker is proud to present its very own (and, alas, unfortunately very short) YouTube clip documenting a slice of the central event — X-Ray Spex’ “I’m a Cliché” — this Friday night at Angoulême (look closer for the Bunker’s own Metabaron rocking back and forth in the background).
Note: This entry has been corrected to reflect punk reality.