P&J Column 24.12.15


Santa Claus is coming to town. Hope he likes massive inflatable rabbits

J. Fergus Lamont, arts critic

This year, the City Fathers have excelled themselves by commissioning a public art installation of the highest calibre. I speak of the Christmas Village. Situated discretely in the quiet oasis of Union Terrace, it has received little or no publicity and could easily be overlooked by the casual passerby, but it is the most coruscating satire of the vapid commercialisation of Christmas I have ever seen, and I include Funbox’s ‘Santa’s Sleepover’.

Along one side, an avenue of plastic christmas trees – symbolising the artificiality of the modern yuletide and the ecological impact of globalisation – facing them, a series of flimsily constructed emporia, referencing the foolish transience and impermanent nature of all man’s enterprises. There are auditory elements too – a brave commentary on the impact of rising food prices in the form of regular shouts of ‘How much?’ and ‘For a sausage?’.

Next one comes across a group of grumbling rock musicians, notably not producing their usual cacophony. They are, of course, performing John Cage’s famous composition, “4.33 of silence” in recognition of the corruption of all forms of art in the service of Mammon. I wait the allotted span and then applaud them warmly. ‘Bravo’ I cry.

Then come the terrified screams of the people being whirled around by the metallic leviathan that towers over the area, a crane-like instrument of torture – a powerful physical metaphor for the plummeting dread of the consumer who has maxed out their credit cards.

But perhaps most daring of all, the artists allude to the feelings of disorientation and panic many of us feel at his time of year by providing a consciousness-expanding substance called “Gluwein”. It’s hallucinogenic effects include a total loss of all sense of scale – l found myself wandering amongst huge inflatable white rabbits, trapped in an enormous snow-globe and surrounded by giant penguins on a tiny, tiny ice rink. I wept.

Jimmy Hollywood, Sandilands most eligible bachelor

Never let it be said that Jimmy is nae progressive in his views on the fairer sex. Jimmy is all aboot nae objectifying women on the basis of their physical appearance, especially the ugly eens.

So I wis dismayed by the bad press that the phenomenal Miss Universe competition has been getting. Miss Universe is a celebration of women and their achievements in which every country in the world puts forward their maist charming, intelligent and charitable young ladies tae see fa looks the best in a bikini. Its a bit like ‘Miss World’, only better as it allows entrants fae ither planets; although naen of them ever seem tae mak the final.

Onywye, I wiz watching Miss Universe avidly and I nearly fell off my pouffe fan the presenter mistakenly awarded the title tae Miss Colombia and nae the hottest, er, maist deserving een, Miss Philippines. I reckon Miss Colombia must be pretty high maintenance, ‘cos fan it transpired that she wis only the second maist beautiful woman in creation, she reacted like the host had strangled her budgie. I hope she’s single, ’cause good luck if you’re the boyfriend fa his tae find a satisfactory Christmas present for yon.
Cava Kenny Cordiner, even he didn’t get banned for 8 years!

This week, Andy Murray’s heroics in the Dickie Davies Cup seen him crowned BBC Sports Personality of the year. Seeing a fellow Scot lifting the trophy made old Kenny feel very probiotic. Domestically speaking, it was just as well controverbial boxer Tyson Fury never won it. He says in the press, he says “a woman’s place is in the kitchen”. My Melody was raging. When he was on the telly she stormed out of the room to make a cup of tea. The ironing wasn’t lost on me!

The scandal at FIFA has taken a new turn, with supremo Septic Bladder and his hair-apparent Michael Platinum found guilty of contraption and handed an 8 year ban from all football. 8 years?! That is well harsh. The longest ban I ever got was 8 games. Both lads have appealed, but I don’t think there’s a brown envelope the world that’s big enough to get them off with this one.

I has been surprised to see the fall from Greece of the ‘Special One’, Jose Mourinho, who has got his jotters from Chelsea. My mole down at Stamford Bridge tells me that after a series of poor results, Jose had ‘lost the dressing room’, so I think it’s his pride that is to blame. He could still be in a job if he’d just asked for directions.