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March 30, 2009


Oh wow, a flea circus!. Not so much lost as very, very tiny. You can also read about tragic flea circus disasters at the grandiosely named Flea Circus Research Library, although it would seem like common sense that, if you’re bringing your fleas in through an international airport, and they take six months apiece to train, you would have taken precautions, like calling in advance. Or you could also sneak them in atop another animal, like a dog, which would take much less explaining at customs.

Except that in the comments, someone points out the (possibly true?) fact that the fleas are actually glued to whatever it is they are riding, scaling or otherwise rocking. I don’t care because, um, they are fleas, and if it takes a little glue to teach one to ride a penny farthing, then that’s fine by me.

Can your parasite do this?

Can your parasite do this?

Is a flea circus contagious? Maybe. But this guy says that no one will leave his show with more fleas than they came in with.


I’m not sure if I totally unlike this, but it doesn’t sit quite right with me. Designer Ryan Frank’s Hackney Shelfhas been around for a few years, but I’m only reading about it now.

These shelves (which were listed on one site at 1800GBP) were made from boards left in areas of Hackney where they would become targets for graffiti artists. Once they were covered in tags and throwups and whatever else, they were turned into expensive shelving for the interiors of homes where people who actually do street art would probably never be allowed, unless under the patronage of some gallery owner who was moved or otherwise impressed by his (or her) sublime lack of cultivation. There’s a whiff of ‘modern primitives’ off the thing, and plus then there’s the price tag attached, when Frank is selling work that was partly created by other people who I can only assume were not paid for their work. Indeed, it is entirely plausible that the same people whose work provided Frank with a tidy profit might have had to pay some handsome fines for their untidy habit.

Yes, tagging is sometimes a bit ugly, although graffiti has always been part of that necessary dissonance of an urban environment, that conflict that gives the city its meaning, and so while we can’t totally condone it, it’s part of life. This doesn’t legitimise graffiti, it fetishises it for rich assholes. Good street art is amazing, and what makes it so good is partly its context, its surprising location, its ephemerality. Something that took someone the better part of two long nights might be gone within days, or might be up for the remaining life of the building. He insists he is ‘juxtaposing street art with the interior environment’, but it also looks a little bit like making money off other people’s buzz.

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