Thursday, February 12, 2009

Horses and shit

Three things united only by an equine theme.

1. White Horse bigger than Nelson's Column planned for Kent. That it appears to be act of almost unspeakable ghastliness scarcely needs to be said: the aesthetic of the porcelain figurines favoured by menopausal, sentimental women plonked into Kent on a gargantuan scale in the vain hope of impressing foreigners arriving on the Eurostar. What's wrong with a bigger Nelson's Column to welcome them anyway?

One can live with the prospect that the French will have an excuse for another 100 years of so of sneering at the vulgarity and poor taste of Les Rosbifs. One can accept that it's a damnable waste of money; even that the people building it struggle with the proper distinction between small and far away (thereby completely undoing the Renaissance development of perspective).

What's really so bad is the justification for it: it will impress people. Art doesn't work like that, the imagination and the sense of beauty doesn't: people are impressed by that which grabs them, not by that which sets out to bludgeon them into submission.

2. Government drug adviser "sparks tabloid fury" by pointing out that more people die from riding horses than from taking ecstasy. Does anyone dispute his figures? They have not. Do some people get upset by suggesting drugs might not kill them? They do. Should we care about that? Well, no.

That the government is packed with pusillanimous panderers to puritanism is not news. When said drug adviser suggests that, since ecstasy is less lethal than horse riding, it might be a waste of time to impose punitive sanctions on ecstasy use it's a waste of time, and gets ignored for fear of what the Daily Mail might say, again it's not news. (Nor is the boundless contempt one feels at this form of governance).

What is worth noting is that no one has asked the important question. Is horse riding more fun than taking ecstasy? It's pointless trying to weigh up whether either activity is worth the risk without this sort of information.

3. Now for the good good news: Tony McCoy's 3,000th winner. In a world with justice this achievement, with all it entails, would get the recognition it deserves. Ah well.

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Blogger dominic said...

never mind the frogs; I liked the take (in a Graun article months ago) which suggested that, as an Essex man, Wallenger was reminding his brethren on the grim and horrible and windswept and cultureless wrong side of the river that they lived in toytown. Sounds about right. Toytown + stabbings, anyway.

7:32 am  
Blogger Quink said...

Riding horses that are whacked out of their gourds on E, however, would be exhilirating if somewhat frowned on by RoSPA.

9:00 am  
Blogger bill said...

Toytown + stabbings is an Ian Drury song isn't it?

Fuck off Noddy you stupid prat
Fuck off Noddy in your rotten hat.

11:09 am  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

The horse is by mark Wallinger, yes? I quite like his stuff, but it does seem a slightly odd choice.

As to drugs, I'm surprised the horse-riding community hasn't responded more vociferously, but then again, they all know how dangerous horses are and are probably on ketamine from the vets anyway.


4:17 pm  

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