O.Wilde, Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. (...)
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. (...)

No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. (...)
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.
When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself...

O. Wilde (1854-1900),
Preface to 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

Friday, November 04, 2011

Mischief Night !

In some parts of Great Britain the 4th November is known as
“Mischief Night”.
In ancient times this was the night when all sorts of strange and naughty things were done (i.e.: people used to put things in the wrong place!). Moreover, particularly in the Yorkshire area, children went around singing this song:

‘We’re three jolly miners,
and we’re not worth a pin,
so give us a piece of coal
and we’ll make the kettle sing’

The original aim of their singing was probably to get some coal simply to light fire to cook and make some tea. Later this aim was to raise money for sweets and fireworks to be used on the following night, Bonfire Night.

Nowadays, on ‘Mischief Night’ teenagers and preteens take a degree of license to do mischief in their neighbourhoods. The most popular tricks are toilet papering yards, trees and building, powder-bombing and egging people, cars, homes… and, unfortunately, the ‘modern’ damage can include the less innocent spray-painting of buildings, cars and people!
This annual tradition is celebrated also in other Anglo-Saxon countries. In North America the most common date for Mischief Night is October 30, the day before Halloween.

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