Blood is a drug

On the way home from the hospital at midnight (complete with appendix) I made the mistake of telling the cab driver that I still didn’t know my blood type. This led to the cab driver telling me about a blood biologist expert (who happened to be a Jehovah’s Witness….) who had pronounced that transfusion blood (even of the right type) would be a banned drug if it were ever tested. So what if we need a transfusion I asked? Well, apparently, safer artificial alternatives are available.

I wonder where on the list of dangerous drugs other people’s blood would fit. Below tobacco probably; but above alcohol?

And as for a safe alternative, albeit in moderation (of course), I add alcohol to my blood regularly, and it seems to be quite effective.

A missing week – previewing old age

It’s been a week since I last posted anything – my abdominals have been playing up culminating with a few hours spent on a surgical ward in a Brighton hospital while they decided whether or not to pull out my appendix.

They didn’t because they decided it wasn’t the appendix anyway. I’m 90 % OK now but there may still be more tests…..

Two things struck me when I was at the low points:

  • how physically difficult it can be to do simple things
  • how it became really quite difficult to be interested in anything (I have a pile of DVDs etc I always thought I would catch up with when laid low – managed to watch two but little more)

I’ve done shoots in old people’s homes – I considered it but I’m not going to use the images here. But you will know the score – the constant help needed to do simple things. The TV on but no one watching. This was my preview. 

Putting self before art

Pawing through the Guardian this morning, I could not help notice the headline that Maria Schneider, Marlon Brando’s co-star in Last Tango in Paris, has died. She was sadly only 58 and the thought from the article is that the fame, or notoriety, from that film (directed by Bernardo Bertolucci) impacted her life in a negative way. Of course we will never know.

Schneider in a interview likened the experience in the film to one of being raped and said, in a quote that confronts someone like me,  ”Never take your clothes off for a middle-aged man who claims that it’s art”. 

Whether, when she was young, her mind told her to do it for art, fame or money we will never know. It certainly seems that like Brando, she was charmed by Bertolucci. 

What comes across is that she did not appear in this film for her self, that she did not have the motivating factor of an inner self driven by fame or money, so that all that came out of it was regret.

Is the film art? I think history judges that it is. Whether you consider my photography art or not makes no difference, but in the end I’m clear that, in casting myself as the subject 25 years ago and since, it’s helped me as an individual develop and relate to my self and lead a relatively stable, happy life. I can look back and see that for me, even if I did not know it when it all started, it’s been therapy.