Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Here’s Just How Talentless You Are

Luke Hall

It’s hard to believe what human beings were capable of in the olden times when they weren’t busy catching plague and drowning witches in murky, piss-ridden lakes.  The Victoria and Albert museum is a world of unimaginable beauty that’s been crafted by people who are better than you in almost every conceivable way, be it from their absolute devotion to a very challenging craft, or from the fact that they didn’t use Tinder.

The gleaming marble corridors featured a water fountain that doubled as a wishing well for the exhausted Londoner, or desperate tourist yearning for a reasonably priced meal.  The corridor was filled with stone sculptures of heroic figures that were treble my age and with treble the hair.

In one room featured European dishes and chalices, in another, handmade Japanese dresses with intricate weaves of beautiful flora and Japanese landscapes. Among these were demon masks paying tribute to ancient Japanese mythology, and I recall one of the more striking tales, Kagi-tsuchi; a young man who burned his mother to death only to be beheaded, sliced into eight pieces and turned into a volcano (and you thought Jhadi John was extreme). I for one would relish the opportunity to make masks based on the stories I tell. My favourite would be the tale of the young balding man who used to pleasure an infinite number of seductive maidens with his legendary 15 inch penis and strawberry flavoured sperm.

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On the second floor, came The Three Graces. Towering above me on a stone plinth laid the sculpture many say to be one of the finest works to come out of the 19th Century.  A neoclassical sculpture of three charities, Euphrosyne, Aglaea and Thalia, embracing as a cloth runs between them, so perfectly sculpted that the figures look like they could be pliant with real skin.

As it loomed over me with all its excellence, it put to shame any decent lighter photo I managed to squeeze out like a poo on a heavy milk-cheese diet. Using little more than a small hammer and chisel, his vision became a reality.  By contrast, I can scarcely envision where I left my car keys this morning, and when I gaze at the blank page of a word document, nearly 100% of the time I just see the flickering cursor staring back at me, “Look at you, wanker” it says, “you can’t think of anything can you?”

 Editor: Joel Emmons

 

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