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June 29, 2008


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ok..you really do have a fabulous life.. :)
(and "voyou" is one of my favourite words in french...)


Dearest Badaude, just catching up on your whereabouts and musings as I too have been out and about.

While I am delighted at the notion of a machine that fires beer bottles at 600km hour, (perhaps because I am temporarily on the wagon), it is the comment on the hairs on the elephant's trunk that resonated with me.

One of the strongest memories of my childhood is of a visit to London Zoo, aged about four. Taken by my mother, there are many things about that day which are heavily imprinted on my psyche, not least the overwhelming stink of piss in the Victorian cat house, where the big cats paced behind the bars of their prison cells, the innate terror of my friend, Janet, provoked at a meer glimpse of a snake and the whooping of the gibbons. Later when we returned home we pretended to be gibbons, jumping off the sofas and making a joyous racket.

But clearest of all I remember being taken aback by the hairs on the elephant's trunk as it dextrously lifted an old copper penny from my open palm.

I didn't realise and you don't get the sense of an animal from picture books however good the illustrator.

Many people argue for the banning of zoos and they have a strong case, even though they have changed enormously from what they were like when I was a child. Even at that young age I remember feeling that I was being observed with pity by Guy the gorilla from behind the plate glass rather than the other way round. (Guy, I believe, was stuffed after his death and displayed in the Natural History Museum adding a further insult to the injuries already incurred on this magnificent ape). However there is something that you get from being next to a live animal that you can never get from even the finest wildlife film and not everybody can go see these creatures in the wild, so I reluctantly believe that modern zoos, with their accent on conservation and captive breeding, have a role. I suppose it's a bit like the difference between an open prison and Strangeways.


Badaude: Loved the observation your friend made about the knack you have. Before I had my little boy, I was gifted with that knack too. Sadly it disappeared with the kid's appearance. I would give a lot to see the ceramic Darth Vader heads with their Mongolian Throat singing sounds. You are fantastic at describing. I enjoyed the vernissage immensely.


I was busy trying to find a link between Zoos and the Mamie's yoghurt, but none occured. Thanks for your - as usual - fantastically detailed thoughts, Richard - a post in themselves.
Milena - you'll get it back!


WTF - Atlanta? The disaster you artsters are co-opting actually took place in New Orleans.

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