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The Good, The Bad, And So Ugly It Hurts

July 24, 2017 2:39pm Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher No Comments

At some time, whatever you wear to disguise yourself or hide from the world, someone will see the truth. That someone will push buttons so hard inside it will seem like all the demons from Hell are hungry for your flesh only. You will come to question yourself in a way you never did before and realise you don’t know yourself at all. In preference, you’ve invented a character that you believe best portrays you and at the same time protects you.

I’ve come to learn that this is the weakest form of survival.

When someone sees past your glow to the pasty-white face that longs for sunshine, let them see. They’ll notice the green in your eyes that was never there before because they understand how you covet the tenderness many share; how your eyes are circled by the darkness of trying to work it all out; eyes that stay ever open to fight the stark reality.

They’ll rip away at your armour until you hate them because their way is vicious and harsh and they dare to ask you what you’re afraid of. You will say that you don’t know. You’ll answer with trite remarks and they’ll witness your own self-betrayal as it bleeds into your face revealing the joker. And they will continue to punish you until you fight or flee.

Is that person a good investment? At this juncture, you probably won’t think so. In fact, you’ll be terrified, confused and want to run for the hills. You’ll try to repaint your picture but it’s too late.

And then it really is too late. And you’ll wish with all your soul that you could have confronted that person. Not to fight but to make peace. To share a knowing look and smile. To thank them for tearing you apart because they did it out of pure love. Because they wanted you to walk in beauty and have beautiful dreams. It’s only now, at this darkest hour you realise that and how dear it was to your heart.

Now you’re bereft with regret as your prize. There’s no sting like it.  Every choice has a price.

JS

 

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Personal Portrayal

June 10, 2017 3:08pm Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 21 Comments

street art

Satirical Snapshots Bringing you Art Philosophy At The Weekend!

What is art?  As a world renowned Art Philosopher I always pay close attention to personal art: things that people adorn themselves with, the  pictures they have on their walls and so on.  I like to analyse what they mean or interpret what somebody is trying to say about themselves.  So, if you ever invite me to dinner at your pad, know that I will be studying you and your stuff.

El Condo

Recently I stayed at an Airbnb in Houston, Texas.  I had a nicely furnished condominium right near the hip, Galleria area.  I found the wall hangings in this apartment very interesting.  Let’s have a gander:

Positive quote picture

Picture 1:  I quite agree with this sentiment but it works both ways.  So, If I think you’re an arsehole I’m not going to be afraid to tell you.

And next up….

Positive wall hanging

Picture 2:  How to make people feel useless and worthless. That’s a lot of pressure trying to find something amazing to do.  I suppose it depends on your concept of amazing.  Maybe actually getting yourself out of bed or remembering to pay the gas bill is amazing to you, but for me this means achieving something outstanding or experiencing insane amounts of fun.  Everyday? Prepare to be disappointed.

And the final wall hanging  in my apartment?

 

Head in clouds art

Picture 3:  The stairway to your mind is an uphill struggle. Don’t go there.  If you do, your wisdom will be clouded, it will be a wasted trip and your head will cave in. Why?  Because you didn’t do anything AMAZING today and you’re a failure.

Readers – I’d be interested in your analysis of this mental picture.

Is what?

Unfortunately, on the final day in my condo the air-con broke down and started to creep up to 85 in order to try and steam me to death. This is not funny in Texas, in summer.  I called out the owner who  spent ages trying to make it cool down to no avail. As a result, I did something amazing. I packed up my cases and left for a nearby hotel. Hotel Derek  had a very odd sign outside that I’d like to add to the art selection on this post.

Ready?

Derek Hotel Sign

Derek is what?

Such is the childish, British psyche that I was very tempted to go and find a big, black marker pen and write, ” A Wanker” underneath.

Maybe you can tell me what Derek is because I’m at a complete loss….

 

 

Anniversary Of An Art Philosopher

April 26, 2017 7:55am Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 20 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

It’s all about me.

This week is mine because it was my birthday t’ other day which always lasts for a week. Activity after activity.  I’m completely worn out already and it doesn’t end until Sunday.

As you can see from a section of some of my well wishes, people are a little confused as to my age. Am I 13, 30 or a 100? Looking at that armchair, pair of slippers and  glass of fine malt scotch, I think I’m happy to take a century.

I don’t know how these people dare be so cheeky to me. Their cards have been marked.

Phoenix nights

Phoenix Nights

For those of you that aren’t from the UK and may not have watched this show, let me explain.
Phoenix Nights is a British sitcom about a working mens club in northern England.
A few of my friends and family threw me a surprise party at such a place.

So, I got randomly invited to a “country night” at this local Miners Welfare by someone.

“What? Why in the hell would you want to go there?’ I asked.

“It’ll be a laugh! Come on!”

“No, it won’t. It’s not like a Honky Tonk in Texas, you know. It’s a shithole down the road.”

“So what! They’ve got a gig on, let’s have a look. We can go and take the piss and leave if we don’t like it. Wear your cowboy hat.”

I arrived at the said venue just to appease. When I walked inside there sat loads of my sneaky friends.

“Surprise!” You can say that again.

Apparently, before my arrival the “locals” were very sour -faced and most put out at a gang of rowdy revellers arriving. My clan had re organised the room creating a big circle of chairs and stealing tables for bottles of champagne, cakes and pressies. Bit like a wagon circle protecting themselves from Injuns. They were told under no uncertain terms, several times,  that there better not be any noise when the turn came on.

Well that worked out well. Half way through the night after line dancing on the wooden floor as “Travis” belted out his country classics on his bass guitar, I noticed that half of my friends were missing. I went in search only to find them huddled together in a quiet room in the back of the club.

“Are we boring you?” I asked.

“No! We got asked to leave for making too much noise. They’ve put an old geezer on the front door to stop us coming back in!”

My friends got barred from the Miners Welfare Club. Priceless.

In next weeks episode

You will be pleased to know that somebody bought me some horse riding lessons starting this Saturday. Cleverly booked on a morning right after a cocktail bonanza with my friends in the city the night before. Hungover on a horse may not be smart. However, I shall be taking my GoPro so I can show y’all next week how much horses hate me.

I’m now off to a spa all day. The last time I went to a spa I set fire to the table. Being the genius that I am, I tried to put the fire out with a paper napkin. You can imagine how that went.  I got asked to leave.

Getting barred from the most unlikely places seems to be a theme…

The Little House Full Of Love

April 17, 2017 12:09pm Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 30 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Art Philosophy On An Easter Monday!

A tale about the little house full of love.

“Lovebug adults are attracted to light-colored surfaces, especially if they are freshly painted, but adults congregate almost anywhere apparently reacting to the effects of sunlight. Lovebugs help the environment when they are in their immature stage as they are attracted to flowers and are good pollinators.”

I only went out of curiosity more than anything. I didn’t go expecting; I never do. Besides, there couldn’t be much in a field stretching out to further than my eye could see. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you what else happened in that part of town or if there even was a town at all. All I recall is a gas station about half a mile before I got there. And the car journey on the way. I remember that because it was beautiful. Speeding through nature, past buffalo ranches and endless foliage. What I remember most of all is driving through a swarm of bugs. They hit the car front like a million bullets. Love bugs they called them. Hundreds and thousands of love bullets banging into the car like they were trying to get inside. They say you should always pay attention to your journey.

I stopped at the gas station which is why I remember it. I got out the car to straighten myself up. I don’t know why but I felt it necessary. I remember hoiking up my jeans and tightening my belt. Palming my summer top to iron out the driving creases and adjusting my hat. Showing the best you have to whatever is about to greet you on the other side. I needn’t have bothered; judgment didn’t reside in that house.

It wasn’t anything special as houses go. You could pass it by without giving it a second glance. Not like some of the building’s I’d frequented in my time that made a point of their grandiosity: Painted in gold with fresco ceilings; mahogany woods and old stone carvings and windows bigger than doors telling timeless stories. Like I said, looking right seemed to be what people paid attention to.

I knocked on the front door but nothing happened. Thing is, it didn’t look like a door you should open and go into. Not that it was foreboding in any way, just a normal door. I suppose that’s why I knocked first. I waited and looked down at the scuffed toes of my boots pondering on how I would introduce myself and at the same time wondering how it was that I could scratch a new pair of boots within seconds of wearing them. When nobody came I turned the handle and pulled the door slowly. Opening a door like that makes you look more like a burglar than not and is likely to have you facing a side by side quicker than anything, yet it’s still how we open something when filled with trepidation. It’s funny how we act as humans. A lot of things we do make no sense.

The hour was early which made me feel like I shouldn’t be going inside yet but a few people were milling around a long table and chatting. I put my friendly smile in place as I approached and fiddled with the cotton tassels that edged my pretty tunic. I should’ve made sure they knew I was coming, I thought. It might pay me to be less impulsive. Turning up unannounced in places all the time without consideration to how others might feel. I always did things like that and thought about them afterward despite always berating myself for doing so. But this time it didn’t matter because I got greeted with friendly hugs and doughnuts for breakfast. Not just any buns but an array of all different kinds from plain to jam filled and those with icing and sprinkles on top. Each cake of a different sweetness but just as yummy. And that sweetness didn’t dissipate but sprinkled itself all through that room and the next. This house that you might well drive past without a notion contained more love inside than I ‘d ever witnessed. Not loaded with the sugar coated pretense  we often come across but something more akin to warm honey. The kind that mends you from the inside out.

That’s the best I can explain the feeling. I’ve known love and I’ve lost love like we all have the same. But this kind was different. I considered myself impervious to this sort but somehow it found the cracks where the mortar had fallen out and seeped in. I’ve gotta tell you that this scared me half to death. I find myself wary of anything too good to be true. Surely it would find a way to trip me up or turn sour. Losing something wholesome like that only goes to blacken another piece of your heart and leave you tutting at the world with folded arms. Best to stay protected.

But that honey love, well, it stands alone. It neither forces or betrays. It lets you have a taste and leaves the spoon in front of you should you wish to take some more. It doesn’t run out or turn bad and it has no agenda. I think that’s what unnerves me the most of all: I can’t find a way to prove its unreliability or insincerity because it doesn’t give up on you.

Well, that doesn’t fit my script.

And that makes me laugh inside a little and shake my head. In my experience, all that any one of us is looking for is that warm honeyed love. We try and seek it out in everything we do.

Folks tend to substitute other things to make that feeling come about. They buy themselves trinkets or convince themselves that this next thing will be the answer. Now don’t get me wrong, there ‘aint nothing better than a fine pair of new boots to make me go giddy with excitement but in the end it’s just a passing treat. Like most treat’s they are quickly digested leaving you hungry again. The good stuff isn’t found in the pretty toys or the grand facades, it’s found inside. Like I found inside that house that you wouldn’t likely pay heed to as you passed it by.

I’ve only ever been to that building in that field a few times but I think about it often and what I might’ve missed had I kept on driving.  I visit when I can, probably only twice a year because the house I live in is thousands of miles away.  But that doesn’t stop the honey coming or being available like I thought it might. It’s still there for my taking and given freely. Given with the purest of hearts connected together stronger than a chain linked fence.

The love still finds a way to reach me from that little house 4,798 miles away faster and more furious than a swarm of a million lovebugs.

Dedicated to the people of Int’l Texas Cowboy Church, Orchard, Texas ~ The little house full of love.

A Mixed Bag of British

February 22, 2017 12:27pm Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 23 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday

Four weeks late, dreadfully tardy and woefully lacking in whimsical tales. WELL I WAS BUSY. I thought about you all but I had lots of things to do. It’s very difficult being a superhero come spy come entrepreneur and sometimes I have to sacrifice my whimsy to save the world. You’re welcome.

Mixed Media

Today I bring you a fuddle of delight from the past few weeks. Things that have caught my attention as I stand back and take a hard look at the world around me.

Go green

I went to the village pub to find the Christmas tree still up. I found Cockney Al and had a word.

“Hey, Al, you know it’s bad luck to still have your tree up, right?”
“Jules my little anthrax truffle. See, that ‘aint a Christmas tree, it’s a Valentines tree. And after that it becomes an Easter tree. See where I’m comin’ from petal?”
I have to admit I liked his style. Waste not. However, I think Al will concede to my superstitious point since after that conversation I won twice at ‘Sticky 13’s’ and walked off with fifty, glorious pounds. Nice.

The American Prophecy

I saw it with my own eyes. There, carved in Mansfield stone amongst many other grotesques, green men and gargoyles, a recognisable face standing proud in one of the arches of my favourite 14th century cathedral. A simple stonemason predicted the future some 700 years ago; blinded by the truth and light that shone down through the church spires, he was compelled to reveal the figure that would change the modern world through his simple craft. Oh yes. The truth is stranger than fiction, my friends. See for yourself.

President Donald Trump.

London Calling To The Faraway Towns

I took a little trip to the capital. You can never tire of London. Here’s what I found amusing on my junket.

Telephone boxes are now being used as advertising kiosks for dominatrix girls looking for sex slaves and offering lessons in sissy training. Pffft… pass me a whip… Some of these boxes even host defibrillators. I’m wondering if there’s a connection.

Make your own quilted jacket and avoid designer “rip -off” prices. Smart. London swag.

Or not… Instead become the notorious Vaporiser.

Amusing stickers pasted on windows from Brexiters.

And…the pub never lies. The truth will always out from drunken mouths.

Can someone please explain this to me?

Can I only park here if I’m a disabled tennis player?

 

The Art Philosopher poses a question.

Despite my skill and authority as the worlds leading Art Philosopher, I found myself befuddled by the following sculptures:

What is this thing? What is it supposed to be saying? It’s a giant orange pretzel turd and I don’t get it. Maybe it’s a misshaped fruit loop that appeals to fruit loops.

But then there’s this. Sat in the foyer of a four star hotel. I analysed it for a while, trying to find its meaning.

Conclusion: We are caged in a world of shit. Think on.

33 ~ Jules Smith

September 22, 2016 11:54am Published by Jules Smith in The Art Philosopher 34 Comments

img_4129

 

Jules Smith ~ 33 ~ brings you a collection of thirty -three, flash fiction stories offering a snapshot in time and delving into the many layers of human behaviour. Each tale exposing the rich tapestry of emotion that we all prefer to hide behind closed doors.

There’s nothing quite as interesting as human behaviour. People are all about their public presentation and how well they are perceived to the outside word. But me, well I like to tear through those veils and pull out all the real human emotions and flaws that stay locked within.

Those of you who know me well or have followed this blog for sometime, are aware that I have an odd penchant for photographing doors from around the world. I don’t know why, but I find doors fascinating; particularly really old, weathered doors that have stood strong against the years and been passed through by many.

Some doors stay barricaded; some are always open; some hang on their hinges bearing the tattered scars of life. Doors have stories and so do people.

My new book ~ 33 ~ brings you a collection of thought provoking short stories: sometimes dark, truculent or moving and at other times, cynically humorous. I guarantee there will be a story in here that resonates with you.

33 is a book that is suitable for ages from 20-100 and any gender which means I have thoughtfully got your Christmas presents for everyone all wrapped up. They’ll even gift wrap and post it from Amazon leaving you with spare time to enjoy the festivities whilst everyone else trudges the streets with carrier bags slicing into their fingers. You’re welcome.

So,

If you love me, you’ll buy my book.

If you like me, you’ll buy my book.

If you don’t like me, why are you here? GET OFF MY PAGE! Go to another page – preferably Amazon and buy my book ~ 33.

Good karma comes to those who buy – Bad JuJu comes to those who don’t…

Available now as a paperback or on Kindle from Amazon platforms around the globe.

BUY: HERE FOR UK  BUY: HERE FOR USA

READ MY BOOK BOOK PITCH / INTERVIEW HERE

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