Delicious Research

delicious research

This week’s #AcWriBloMo is draw your research in the form of a cake or other foodstuff. Because #yolo. My thesis is about representations of the Moors Murders and Peter Sutcliffe in popular culture. I don’t know how well I summarised it but the tiny haircuts took me ages so, wevs.

Next week’s theme, in honour of the start of term, is about new stuff – new ideas, new directions, new beginnings.


This reminds me that I did once make murderer biscuits for a fashion/talent show (Hamburger Queen). To be honest I misunderstood how coherent my stage persona was supposed to be, so, because I was doing a talk about the aesthetics of murder for the talent round I thought, welp, better run with this. I got my comeuppance for this foolhardy (AND WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE, PROBABLY) idea; the judges weren’t very impressed with either the taste or the aesthetics. One of them said my Fred and Rose West looked like the Beatles, and then the host Scottee accidentally dropped my Hindley biscuit down a gap in the stage because it was crumblier than expected. Here she was:


I’m definitely a proper academic.



Finally someone else has noticed this too:

I’ve been telling people this for EVER. The outfits are even identical. They are making this series SUCH A TROLL.
Which two guys famously had a feisty younger female companion to help them pick up young people and put them in harms way? 

told you so

But in all seriousness, you do have to wonder if the iconic Brady mug shot image has, in permeating the cultural unconscious to the extent that it has, made itself available as a template to be plucked from the ether when an actor who resembles him and a strangely similar logistical and power dynamic happens to come along. I know it is at risk of trivialising to compare the two, but, allusions to elements of these famous archetypes are how popular culture quickly and efficiently creates certain atmospheres subtextually without having to ever explicitly announce a connection. It seems almost disingenuous to deny that the makers of Who and Capaldi himself have been making claims for how much “darker” etc this series is going to be. Emulating the Brady mugshot suiting (or rather, the kind of masculinity and dark austerity of purpose that it has come to signify) doesn’t exactly hurt when emphasising that facet of the Doctor. And of course, all texts by virtue of their very existence automatically are in dialogue with all other texts, be they pictures or murderers or episodes of alien adventure shows.

what time of year was it what jumper were you wearing

However unintended, there is certainly the possibility for an extremely creepy reading of the Doctor (thanks for taking this and running with it, Moffat): one that foregrounds the quasi-imperialist, instrumentalist, gendered power-imbalanced implications of this 900-odd year old alien from a ~more advanced race legging it from his war-related crimes and coming to earth to almost exclusively pick up young earth women for unpaid PA duties and sort of semi-romantic pseudo-sexual relationships.
(Which of course only became yet more noticeable as he got made the king of the gin and bunting nationalist brigade. We might know him by the company he keeps and so forth..)
Just batting around some ideas, but, ultimately: HMMMM.

*Sits back and waits for all the Whovians who haven’t already wtf-ed at me IRL about this to pile in*

Pictures Of Hank Williams Lovingly Drawn By People Who Apparently Hate Him

{{THIS IS A REPOST. Do not adjust your perception of time or sense of deja vu if you happen to know me and thus have been subjected to this already. There’s an extra bit at the end now though, featuring NEW art that wont make you have nightmares.
This internet artefact I bring you almost verbatim is from the Last Days Of Livejournal, a doomed-bourgeois-in-love sardonic comedy about …yeah that joke sort of tailed off a bit there, sorry. Let’s move on. INTO THE PAST.}}


What up. Turns out since I have a PhD proposal to write, I thought I would waste like an hour of my life blogging about terrible pictures of Hank Williams I have at various points prior to now found on the interweb. It’s like partially technically research anyway, this well counts as visual culture/social memory. Cough. Yes. Anyway.
If you’ve never listened to him, he sounds like a horse with a headcold, his songs are pretty yodel-heavy, and as such he is a genius. As a basis of comparison, here is the man himself, unmolested by the pencils of maniacs, and in my opinion not half bad looking really:

I didn’t actually even have to go out of my way to find bad drawings of him. If you google him, these are the drawings you get. There a few good ones, and a LOT of boringly bad, uninspired, mediocre ones.

And then there are these: the creme de la creme of crap:

This is clearly making reference to the fact Hank Williams’ death was drug-related. Classy. At the time of his death (aged 29) he had consumed alcohol and sedatives. However, the morphine found in his body had been administered by a doctor.
It’s an even more classy way to depict him when you consider that an important factor in his use of drink and drugs was that he suffered from spina bifida which gave him lifelong pain, and then he sustained a back injury in the 1950s which made his spinal pain even worse. #justsayinisall #prettycrassyo
Add to that the lurid fried egg sunset and the wonky car and it’s just beautiful.

I’m not sure I fully understand what I’m seeing right here. But hey, I love goth covers of country songs, so who am I to question this visual mashup?

“I’m planning on painstakingly crafting a likeness of my hero, Hank Williams. What do you think I should paint it on?”
“I dunno dude, how about this piece of wood I just found lying in the road? I think it might even be part of an old-timey toilet seat.”
“Cool! Ok. I think I’m going to try and make him look like his face is made of spam too. In homage to the other great love of my life.”

Just what is this. I know Django Reinhardt became an unbelievably amazing guitar player with the use of only two fingers on his left hand (I think?). And I’m not having a go at anyone who genuinely does have only one functioning hand, because, well, that would be an awful thing to do. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to make you look much cop as an artist if you go round drawing people who have two hands as if they have only one and some sort of tiny weird looking appendage poking out of their massively oversized sleeve because you’ve just remembered they’re supposed to be playing the guitar. See also: giving them someone else entirely’s face.

It’s not the artwork here I have an objection to. I like the pace and the way his death is cut with scenes from his performances. It has a very cinematic quality that I like. But I’m including it because it makes me feel really uncomfortable depicting a real-life person who existed in living memory soiling themselves in death. Does he have to be weeing himself? Really? I mean, it’s not even like he’s some sort of hate figure. While that added detail does create pathos, it feels a bit cheap and unnecessary to me. Have a little respect for the dead.

Possibly this artist has confused Hank Williams with Gollum.

NB this is obviously a nightmarish copy of this photograph, in which you can clearly see his arms are the same length as one another and he looks like a human being.

Possibly this artist has confused Hank Williams with The Insane Clown Posse.

I recommend staring at this for a good few minutes. It’s like some sort of out of body experience.

Words cannot convey how utterly terrifying this is. Seriously. Look at the face. I can’t even.

Another goth/country mashup: vampire Hank Williams. Now with added Cold Dead EyesTM.

This is my favourite. Every time I look at it I cannot stop laughing. I think it’s something about the look of angry yet weary resignation on his (weird, wizened, lopsided) face, as if he knows some bastard is doing this (incredibly detailed, painstaking)drawing of him, and there’s nothing he can do about it. It’s somehow quite aesthetically pleasing really, despite every single thing on it being wonky. His jawline. His eyes. His ears are drastically different distances up his head. If he wore glasses they would be permanently aslant. Even the spot light that he’s standing in is in no way circular or symmetrical. It’s a triumph of feeling and detail over any kind of visual sense.
And it’s the gift that just keeps on giving: it wasn’t until the third or fourth time I looked at it that I even noticed he has got two (weird, wizened) arms poking out of the same sleeve, playing guitar. Presumably to redress the balance on the other odd-handed picture we saw earlier.
This is a masterpiece of the shit pictures of Hank Williams oeuvre, and I like to think his expression of wry yet accepting annoyance is his comment from Heaven on the genre as a whole.

And, if you’re not all Hanked out already, check out these ones that were not drawn with malice or cackhandedry, and actually are great:

Howard Finister was a Baptist minister. Which sounds like the start of an excellent song. Maybe I’ll write it one day. Anyway, he was an outsider artists who did devotational art featuring famous people like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Elvis. His work was discovered by the mainstream media in the 80s and he did album art for Talking Heads and R.E.M. Here’s a sample of some of his Hanks:

Hank Williams in cake form:

You can read all about how Alicia, a wonderful human being and apparently a great cake artist, made it for her friend’s birthday here.

BREAKING NEWS *clutches earpiece*: I have just been informed that vampire Hank Williams is on the loose and appearing in rubbish Dr Who spin offs near YOU. Members of the public are advised to be on their guard, as he had no known weaknesses apart from perspective, anatomical accuracy and shading.


In an added bonus to this totally enthralling and not at all massively TL;DR post, check out some ACTUALLY GOOD art of Hank Williams:

These are by a guy called Jon Langford, who’s drawn 30+ portraits of the ‘legends of honky tonk’ (which I would LOVE to see collected in like an Osborne mythology guide), and thanks to whom I had the unalloyed pleasure of googling the phrase “Hank Williams nudie suit” in a public place and potench facing los consequences. APAZ his famous white music note suit was designed by Nudie Cohn (IMAGINE having Nudie as a first name), who, according to Professor Wikipedia was a Ukraine-born American tailor who designed decorative rhinestone-covered suits, known popularly (and hilariously) as “Nudie Suits”. It’s amazing the things you find out when you’re avoiding redrafting a chapter about serial killers having a hand shandy.