The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, November 11, 2014


There is an unfortunate mental condition called knurd, which Terry Pratchett has defined as being as far from normal sobriety as one is when completely drunk, but in the opposite direction. I would like to suggest an artistic and cultural attribute on the same principle; it might perhaps be called the superlime, an achievement so far beneath normal mediocrity as to make the banal look brilliant. Naturally, a prime candidate for the title would be this year's centennial Armistice Day, the first of four such anniversaries which will doubtless climax in opiated orgasm on the hundredth anniversary of the victory itself. This year's occasion was marked by the completion of Paul Cummins' notorious Gesamtkitschwerk of ceramic poppies, each flower commemorating one of the Great War's 888,246 more or less significant deaths. Of course, the piece in itself is merely tasteless, brainless, insular and hypocritical, epitomising those timeless British values for which our boys fought and died; but at ten minutes to eleven, amid much pious blather about Never Letting it Happen Again, the last chunk of glazed mud was stuck in place by a thirteen-year-old child wearing the uniform of the Reverend Tony's Petroleum Crusaders. I humbly submit that, assuming it wasn't merely filthy (a subtle distinction, I grant you), that little stunt was superlime.


  • At 10:04 pm , Anonymous Madame X said...

    But a real commemoration would have required at least a 2 minute cessation from war. Unfortunately, that would have cost real money. Since before Jesus, the dead have had their brand stolen and reconfigured so it's not like there's any escaping banality of one sort or another.


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