Where Angels Fear
9 min readSep 18, 2020


Rimsky Korsakov, That’s Weird!

I laughed so hard for so long, I wasn’t sure if I’d soil myself before I died of asphyxiation or after

I’m no stranger the World Wide Weird.

I have in fact been exposed to the Weird since before the Web existed, when you had to be in the Intelligence community or academia … or know its phone number … if you wanted to find it.

Long before even then, I’d been exposed to Surrealism, Pop Art, Dadaism and … perhaps most significantly in terms of my personal development … Absurdism.

Combined with a propensity for physicality, an education in the value of (capital ‘E’) Education, opportunities (provided by parents who sacrificed much to do so) to acquire knowledge and skills from a cornucopia of experiences, a huge extended family of creatives, artists, educationalists, experts in their blue-collar fields, academics, activists, you name it … and, by the time I was ready to go out and make my way in the World, I was highly attuned to the unusual in everything, everywhere — particularly juxtapositions of the mismatched (which came in handy for spotting flaws in logic and argument).

So … by the time I was confronted with the seamier side of things, I was well versed in Shock itself, never mind shock tactics — for that is what they are, at the end of the day: an exercise in brutalist subversion of both Art and Humour ¹.

They informed my aesthetic profoundly — I was all but predestined to like late 1980s /early 1990s era Viz comic.

There was also a lot of good quality graffiti around in my youth … both in terms of the graphical and the intellectual; a lot of images (many more than you see today) and, rather than tags, conceptual textual pieces (wordplay, takes on well-known tropes, etc.)

So, one way and another, I was going to love stuff like Banksy’s riff on Magritte’s The Treachery of Images

And the Culture Warrior response to that

Naturally, over time, I explored them myself.

I can’t remember whether I was six or seven … but certainly no more than eight years old at the latest … when I had the idea of getting people to stand in the department store windows on Oxford Street, like shop window mannequins, and (having eaten food colourings) violently hurl a rainbow of Bulimia onto canvas — I wasn’t allowed to pursue that idea, sadly (and, at that age, I was in no position to argue).

In the meantime though, I’ve produced various bits and pieces, most of which have been lost in the mists of Time anyway, but the performance pieces, well, the whole point of them is that they’re temporally bounded … ephemeral once-in-a-lifetime, never to be repeated, experiences ².

Those things that remain can be found in various places IRL, but I’ve (re)created some on Medium too.

Some efforts are simply exercises in Absurdism

Or Pop Art/Dadaism

Updated to account for new technology — really this one needs to be in the context of a platform on which text can be underlined and coloured, so that it looks like a link, but, sadly, Medium doesn’t provide that facility (like Stu, Medium sucks)

Ceci …

You get the idea though (click on it as often as you like, it doesn’t take you anywhere).

Some are still pretty much pure Absurdism but with a darker twist

Some are Surreal/Absurdist/Dadaist shock-jock provocation — seeing how much I can get away with without people unfollowing me in disgust

Them: “Shocking to you, wasn’t it? You may be surprised to learn that (from unscientific surveys) from 4–7% of adults in the U.S. suck their thumb. I’d say that its lack of rarity makes it a lot more acceptable than sex with dolphins, etc. Besides, it beats a lot of other activities done for similar reasons.”

Me: “Not really … it was just an excuse to mention sex with dolphins and the sale of human corpses on the Internet, whilst simultaneously victimising the practitioners of an entirely innocent habit as an exercise in (even more nonsensical than usual) bigotry and, furthermore, introducing a sense of the perverse — four birds with one stone 😉”

Some are Surreal/Absurdist critiques, arising in response to a serious issue — a scornful, Socratic mocking of the quality of something (an argument or recommendation) or of its execution.

Some fit into more than one category (like an expression of my love for Absurdism in its own right as well as a critique of the state of the World)

Some are by way of ̶s̶p̶r̶e̶a̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶f̶e̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ sharing the joy

And some are neither one nor the other, but clearly informed by at least one, if not more

I do so love me a bit of Duchamp, after all — https://medium.com/@WhereAngelsFearToTread/ok-computer-b7c1d7d7bdcb

And those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head); there’s plenty more where they came from, if you go back through my posts … especially towards the start of my time here … but you get the idea — my presence on Medium is … whilst not entirely devoid of serious content … largely (at least 50%, I’d say) an exploration of the absurd, one way or another.

Some are more famous than others. Some, like almost 100% of the ones for David Hasselhoff’s Looking For (The Best Of) album … and, of course, this one for Veet … are pretty much legendary. Some are little gems you seem to be the only person in the World to discover. Either way though, if you want to see some of the finest examples of the surreal and absurd, you should read the product reviews on Amazon.

As time has gone by, the boundaries between Amazon and the Absurd have blurred beyond mere surreal product reviews

I’m sure you can imagine my utter delight, therefore, when I chanced upon this

If you want to explore the dark side of all of this, then the article where I found it is the place to go — it is both disturbing and surreal, however … not a fun(ny) topic.

That’s just … I don’t even know where to begin.

It’s just the most bizarre thing I think I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Who …?

Why …?

I wish I’d found out about this sooner: I’d be willing to buy an iPhone 6 or 7 if only I could still get that case — I’d be willing to buy any phone, at any price, if I could get that case for it! ³



Where Angels Fear

There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live and too rare to die.