Musings, meanderings and mischief by Cyrus 'Sirius' Bozorgmehr

Archive for December, 2013

The CEO

A little poem on the banality of banking 

Bull new

I’m Chief Exec of a bailed out wreck

Pensions fuelling my private jet

Suits hand tailored in Savile Row

And a bakery stocked with watermarked dough

My early years were a tad misspent

That embarrassing episode with a boy called Rent

But soon enough I regained focus

Honed some financial hocus pocus

But talent was never my greatest strength

Though I had a moistened tongue of staggering length

Instinct would guide me to a prosperous licking

And a certain satisfaction in a downward kicking

 

I rose through the ranks in the investment banks

Always careful to protect my flanks

And before I knew it I was head of desk

Gambling abstract amounts downright grotesque

Yet somehow we not only stayed afloat

But I ended up with a 100 foot boat

No one really questioned my work

And initially I thought that was a peculiar quirk

Yet soon I realised that was just a perk

Quaffed down vintage with a practised smirk

The financial world between you and me

Always remained a mystery

 

But the times were good in our gilded hood

And no one else really understood

There was a protective layer to prevent a care

Our affected flair deflected too close a glare

With scrutiny drunk on cash galore

Someone got too close and began to explore

We filmed them with an obliging whore

Showed their boss and they were out the door

As the markets continued their unlikely soar

Spending money became quite a chore

 

We honoured ourselves in epicurean style

Roared at such lascivious guile

And for all the world we were convinced

Even if the odd whistle blower occasionally winced

That this was truly for the greater good

Philanthropists indeed – only we could

And that unwashed scum who preached restraint

Rancid jealousy and endless complaint

Knew nothing of the modern way

And clearly snacked at the wrong buffet

 

And just before the numbers tanked

And we all got so spectacularly spanked

I left the world of banks behind

To master a business of another kind

Now I knew fuck all but did that matter?

Let’s face it, no, but I had the patter

But just before the golden shake

The bank begged me back with a hefty stake

The old CEO, the crafty snake

Had grasped the scale of institutional mistake

 

Now he needed someone to take the fall

While he parked his yacht off a coral atoll

And who fit the bill but jolly old me

Short on brains but ordered a fine Chablis

And off he went the polished crook

Leaving me firmly on the public hook

And when the scandal broke and the safe was bare

I realised grimly I should resort to prayer

The lynch mob loomed, ignominious disgrace

But the Treasury steamed in at breakneck pace

 

Too big to fail, we could take them down

Couldn’t cut us loose and let us drown

So while I took a barrage of flack

Behind the scenes I received a hefty whack

Of liquid cash and gilt edged bonds

Enough to fill a few duck ponds

And in six months time you’ll forget my name

A brief notoriety but what a gain

 

And if you call me evil you don’t understand

Never did anything officially underhand

Don’t blame me – I just went for the ride

Feel a little something for the queues outside

No mastermind me but mediocre

Somehow won this game of poker

But there’s a system there that corrupts at source

Never used force but no remorse

Profits and power will always be at core

With the ignorant masses to mind the store

And you might well say it’s a cabal perverse

I’d argue it’s an all too human curse

Cyrus Bozorgmehr 

First Published in LSD Magazine Issue 5 – Coming of Age

Image of  a Chen Wenling sculpture


Transience

Written as a reflection on the ephemeral and the transient nature of street art for LSD Magazine. Couldn’t resist having a post on transience christening a very ‘self’ website 😉

Is there any such thing in this world as eternal truth? Well religion would certainly have us believe that there are a set of unchanging pillars – moral, physical and metaphysical – that cannot and should not be altered. But we live in a world of relativity. Existence is defined in relation to context and morality is set in fluid terms that individuals and societies shape in their own image. Permanence itself is a dying ideal. As heaven, hell and the eternal diminish in ideological power and the perpetual motion of matter ignites questions in our minds, we are left to reflect on a shifting set of truths on the tides of perpetual flux. To what degree should art reflect that and to what degree should it seek to defy it?

0x900Despite the millions paid by daft collectors to cling onto immortality both for themselves and the art that nourishes their ego, it is questionable whether art’s very originators sought permanence or ephemeral expression. The artists behind cave paintings may be astonished to know  that their reflections of Stone Age life have survived into the present day and are not only appreciated for their beauty, but for their insights into a world long buried by the relentless march of history. Yet the original force behind the art was the capture of a moment in time, a hunting scene, a depiction of spirit deities invested with contemporary meaning but fundamentally alien to the generations that succeeded it. Some of the greatest works of Renaissance art attempt to illuminate the eternal truths of God’s glory, but even they are bound into a moment by the architecture, dress and humanist style that defined their age. Styles change, subject matters lose relevance and the erosive toll of time will eventually reduce even the Mona Lisa to dust.

newGraffiti and street art are by their very nature, a transient truth. Baptised by concrete, they harness the power of the street – the rush of caning it, burning it, running it, stunning it, and channel them into a fierce crucible of creativity. It’s a sorry truth that its lifeblood is now being lovingly corrupted by the trendy clink of Martinis and the bullshit of the Zeitgeist. The irony is of course that as fashion, money and parasites enter the equation, their entire emphasis is on memorialising transience into a commodity. Money within art is tied inexorably to longevity – the appreciation of value over time. One might argue that the absurd paradox of attaching price and permanence to an intrinsically transient medium is indeed a piece of art in itself. But you know – fuck em.. Underground and the street are states of mind – a headspace crackling with visual electricity and rolling on a subconscious beat that nothing external can touch or seek to recapture. Some art may indeed strive for eternity and the pieces that achieve it are truly magical. But what of that flash of fleeting feeling.

tumblr_m9c4ykuc201qzenhzo1_1280Today’s overwhelming flood of creativity mirrors an exponential burst of interconnection, technology, and access to inspiration. And somehow it’s nakedness, its implicit impermanence is key. The most beautiful work imaginable could be tagged over by some swaggering muppet the very next day, or washed into oblivion by a council. And isn’t that the greatest art of all, sacrificing the intrinsic drive for immortality for a piercing metaphor that highlights the transience both of human creation and the truths they seek to unleash. The music that we hear and surrender to on a dancefloor is, at its purest, the the dissolution of the ego and  a flood of emotion that no amount of hearing the recording the next day can ever hope to attain. Art is about experience, whether reflecting it or generating it and those transcendental moments of living that constitute our lives, the few glimpses of inspired consciousness sprinkled across our all too mortal lives. Isn’t that the real eternal truth?

Cyrus Bozorgmehr 

First Published – LSD Magazine Issue 3 – Weapons of Mass Creation

Hand sculpture by Jonty Hurwitz

Bottom image by Jakob Wagner