Friday, July 30, 2010

'a lively communal imagination'

Trying to gather the rest of my thoughts.

Heschel is quite astounding. There is a great primer on Speaking of Faith here. And Jim Gordon has some great reflections here.

And Joann Sfar's movie finally is released in [part of] the English speaking world. There is a a fantastic Guardian interview here. Definitely worth a listen.
And here's the trailer:

And just to mix it up a bit more. Thinking about part of what I was trying to say in my Wikileaks cartoon (and returning to what I was thinking about when I drew my very first post) I was stuck solidly by this, from the introduction to the 2001 edition of Walter Bruegemann's The Prophetic Imagination:

"Cavanagh then concludes in a reflection on [Imagining Argentina]:

To refer to torture as the ‘imagination of the state’ as I have done is obviously not to deny the reality of torture, but to call attention to the fact that torture is part of a drama of inscribing bodies to perform certain roles in the imaginative project which is the nation-state. Likewise, in Imagining Argentina, Carlos's imagination is manifested in real effects: escaping the imagination of the state means that bodies go free. The imagination is defined as nothing less than "the magnificent cause of being". Thornton's novel provides us with a glimpse of what it means to make the odd claim that the Eucharist is the key to Christian resistance to torture. To participate in the Eucharist is to live inside God's imagination. It is to be caught up in what is really real, the body of Christ. As human persons, body and soul incorporated into the performance of Christ's corpus verum, they resist the state's ability to define what is real through the mechanism of torture...

...It may be, however, that torture and consumer satiation perform the same negative function: to deny a lively communal imagination that resists a mindless humanity of despairing conformity...Numbness does not hurt like torture, but in a quite parallel way, numbness robs us of our capability for humanity." (pp. xix-xx)

more of the same

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


To keep myself from going a bit mad I watched a whole season of Spaced.

In deliberate contrast to the last post, here is my favourite episode.

'the true nature of the war'

Hauerwas speaks here.
The Guardian guide to the war logs is here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

not a haiku

just handed to me
a sign that I want to grow
'Still warm from the sun'

Saturday, July 24, 2010

summer heat and the way I think

For the most part I have decided not to write too much on this here blog. I think, for the most part, that this is because I feel that I would need to write any text that I intend to post while I am online in the blog server. It is a rule that I have made for myself. It does not make much sense. (Especially when you consider that I do not draw online. All my drawings live on paper before I post them here. Some of them, as in the first panel of this strip, exist at least twice before the are posted once). I have lots of rules like this. Most of them do not make sense.

There are a lot of bloggers who write impressive swathes of text. I love the ones I love dearly and can spend long stretches of time reading their posts and reflecting on and being informed by their thoughts and the way that they think. Just for right now, see especially pip wilson, and peer pressure is forever (which I have been reading for a long time), and left of narnia (which is newer to me). These beautiful people have a way of posting their own thoughts and reflections and influences and loves in a way that draws me in and lets me share in what they are thinking about, reflecting on, being influenced by and loving. In some small way, I try to do the same here. But I rarely have the words. So I make elliptical references to films and poems and blogs and people. I draw. In case it is not obvious, this all self-revealing and it is all (intentional and unintentional) my theology.

Anything I do write here is first draft stuff (see Anne Lamott). I want to try and make the connections a bit clearer. We'll see how it goes.

an enormous yes

A great film - war is stupid. Shock and then delight to see Katrin Cartlidge there. She was always wonderful. I saw her in 2001, performing in Boy Gets Girl at the Royal Court in London. Bought the play at the same time for reasons undisclosed.

From an e-mail to a friend yesterday
"...I love this juxtaposition from late in the book (Stephen Fry's The Ode Less Traveled, which I hold dearly):
On me your voice falls as they say love should, Like an enormous yes.
P. Larkin
I reckon an enormous yes beats seven kinds of crap out of an enormous no.
S. Fry
I have been trying to say yes to things all this week..."

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Who or what will kick me out of this rut?


Cheered every time I see the Gormleys here in the city.

fruit haiku

Summer tomatoes
harvested from our garden
on the fire-escape

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Remembering his dad, Charlie, my friend Pete writes, "People are, after all, very big places." This reminds me of Laurie Anderson's lyric, "When my father died it was like a whole library had burned down."

Jeanette Winterson - always worth listening to.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

act up

More an idea for a strip than a comic yet. Really was quite struck seeing Larry Kramer. I studied his activism for several years. The ways he brings his art to bear on his activism are impressive. He can cause a great deal of discomfort - but maybe that is core to his success.
Find out more here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

grace and grayson

Grayson Perry came up a lot last week. (So did his wife, Philippa Perry, who has just written a graphic novel.) It used to feel more serendipitous when this would happen with different topics or people. I am less sure of that now that the internet allows all access all the time at the user's discretion. Hearing Mr. Perry speak, and then seeing his work, seeing him browse for books, I only became more interested in what he had to say.

His programme on Radio 4 about art and creativity, to be broadcast again this weekend, is particularly worth a listen.

sad weekend

...and for Charlie, my friend Pete's dad.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

mad things to do during a heatwave

A most beautiful pre-baked loaf, I think.

The temperature had dropped enough that our kitchen today, with the oven on, was less hot than yesterday.

communication cliche

I think part of what Andrew was saying in a recent e-mail is that we become more creative the more we create. (I just checked this and the correspondence was more about lack of confidence limiting creativity.) Either way, I think the confidence/creativity conundrum is partly what these cartoons are about. I have an alarming tendency to wait for things to happen. I really am alarmed. Glad that it is getting addressed in the turn here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

singing, playing

While I was drawing Ms. Williams I thought a lot about my friend Andrew's singing and playing.

Victoria Williams from La film Video Magazine on Vimeo.

'the benefit of the brainpower'

Chuck Close.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

'living in this huge beautiful world'

“I can’t bear living in this huge beautiful world,” Mitchell said, gesturing to the rolling green hills and the glittering calm sea, “and not try to imitate it as best I can. That’s the desire and the drive. But it’s maybe closer to hunger or thirst. The only way I can quench it is to try to duplicate it on as huge a scale as I can possibly do. I want to capture that,” he said, turning in a circle on the sand and gesturing beyond the beach and the hills, “all the way around the world and all the way to your home and all the way around and back. I want to do all of that here and transmit it through ink.”
David Mitchell in the New York Times. I love the scale on which he thinks and writes. Everything.

Maybe the cartoon is about the fact that there is a lot in this huge beautiful world that I need to pay more attention to. I mix Jesus' metaphor up (getting caught up with gnats and not dealing with the camels, rather than swallowing them). Of course, I need to pay more attention to justice, mercy, and faithfulness too.

Matthew 23: 23-4: Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

the 'garden' this afternoon


SIMONE WHITE & VICTORIA WILLIAMS (una tarde con...) from madasenerb on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

the opportunity

Look around you - there are people around you.
Maybe you will remember one of them all your life
and later eat your heart out because
you didn't make use of the opportunity
to ask them questions.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn
This came to me from Pip's site.