Age Ain’t Nuthin’ But a Number

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.

Titian’s Diana and Actaeon Secured for the Public

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 £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 £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.

Angoulême 2009: Menu & “Misfits”

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.