I was thinking, perhaps these DbiroODLES need a little explanation. Or a good excuse. They are crass, yesbut they’re honest. Honest, in that, they’re pretty automatic, which is a manner of ‘natural’. Now, that doesn’t make them righteous, it makes them ‘human’ (an excuse we all make use of). I’m only human after all. But, as ever, that’s a weak excuse. Honestly, they’re just the kind of doodles I’ve always done – they occur when I’ve a newspaper, a biro and spare time.


I recall where they started: I’d be given an old newspaper to draw on as a kid to keep me occupied. Back then, way back then, there used to be plenty of blank (unprinted) space in adverts and wide margins – and I’d a game I’d play drawing stick Cowboys fighting stick Red Indians (it was political incorrectness inherited from Hollywood and the inherent racism of the times). The Cowboys and Indians took cover along the ragged scrub margin, heads poking above the unjustified text, and from there they shot or fired arrows or threw tomahawks (streams of dots for bullets and dashes for arrows). That’s not the point, though: its the fact I became used to newspapers being a media for playful creativity, well, doodling. And, eventually, I drew a moustache and glasses over a photo of someone, followed by the blacking out of teeth and the addition of jug-ears. Hey, yeah, I know this is nothing unique.


As I got older, I seemed attracted to newspaper margins and graffiti’ing the photos in them, it was just something I did. There seemed to be some aesthetic I was responding to or seeking, it was only certain gaps and margins or images that I was interested in.


I don’t mess with portraits of ‘ordinary’ people – and I don’t usually muck with those so-called celebrities, sportsmen/women and politicos that are next to nameless (unfortunately, nowadays, that doesn’t mean they’re inconsequential).


I’d like to believe that means I’m some assassin of pomposity, egotism and corruption – but it doesn’t mean that. I might be picking on the famed or infamous to glorify myself – this doodling might be a foot pump I take to my own pomposity, ego and, so, ensuring my own self-corruption. Aren't I just belittling people – people who’ve achieved something, something greater than I will? Yes. Yes, I am. But, really, I don’t like these people – at least, I don’t take to what I experience of them through the media, society and whatever else. There are doodles I do that celebrate the victim, responding to a positive – I’m a great one for the mythology of film stars, movie directors, writers and artists, and I tend to bling these up with my biro. But, increasingly, it’s those I disapprove of I grotesque. It's not satire, not at all. Then, I’m not being cruel. In fact, I’m spending time on these miscreants, time with them. The drawings are more graphical reaction to the existing line and frame than a considered intervention. Yes, basically, fundamentally, pretty childishly I’m inking cocks and balls and tits and arses over things. ‘Things’ – perhaps that’s a significant term, ‘things’, because that’s almost as meaningful as these people are. Boris Johnson, Mitt Romney, Prince Charles are ‘things’. It’s a terrible thing saying someone is just a thing. But it’s not the person, the actual being, the one as real as a lover, friend or bus driver or shopkeep or anyone on the street. These ‘things’ in the photos I doctor exist without a corporeal form (to the majority) and yet they’re far from being strangers. The man in the street is more real for his anonymity. Plus, these things don’t even want to know, consider or assist me – they’re as alien as it gets – but they’ve sought influence over me. They pretend they’ve my best interests at heart (usually ‘me’ as a digit in a vast sum of people).


I participate in society, I vote, I attempt to align the system with my own beliefs (by trying to elect someone with some degree of bent towards my beliefs). I haven’t abdicated responsibility for my own government – I vote in vain hope. And, yes, I could ‘run’ – I might take up the mantle, stand for election – even, possibly, effect a difference. But, I don’t. I doodle. I distort and insult the images of others. But, I don’t ‘run’ - for like most, I concern myself with the ability to pay rent, for groceries, for utilities and for all the mundane shit that gets in the way of affirmative action.


Now that sounds like I’m bemoaning the fact I’m not ‘comfortably’ off. Shouldn’t I be satisfied I’m not starving or living on the street or being persecuted with loaded guns? No, I shouldn’t be satisfied. The starving, the homeless and the persecuted are me (us) when I stop chasing the rent, the money to pay bills and drop out of the established order. The difference that wealth (and, yep, most have to work for it) gives those with it is – they can afford to do something. They don’t so often do something useful, they satisfy themselves (and why not, they earned it). But, they don’t earn it, not in a fair way – the trade of work for wage is not an equal one in society. Whose fault is this? Not the employees? But the overpaid employee (comparatively) connives in the unfairness because it’s in their interest. This economic schism of self-interest only ensures a greater divide between ‘us’ and ‘them’.


Gee, that’s not the point of this discourse either. I want to, somehow, explain these DbiroODles. I can’t.


Though, if I’m pushed to stretching a point beyond reason, I’d say that by the application of sexual organs and grotesque form and whatever else, I’m trying to make these ‘things’, these newspaper creatures, human. Perhaps, I’m looking for the being, the real, that exists within the thingness of them. But I’m probably just doodling. Being crass.