Saturday, July 21, 2018

(McFadden's Cold) War: what is it good for? Absolutely everything

One of the joys of the internet is that even the unlikeliest of things can find an appreciative audience and take off. Take McFadden's Cold War, for instance - though that's not to imply that it isn't genius.

According to Al Murray, "It's so funny you can't really parse it. To say any more might shatter the thing I love about it." True, but the Guardian's Andrew Male has had a commendable stab at summing it up as a "phantasmagoric photomontage world", "a blackly comic Twitter account where the likes of Trump, Kim, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson are pilloried in a purgatorial Albion of abandoned caravans, flat-roof pubs and dank laybys, amid a rogues' gallery of low-rent celebrities, serial killers, football managers and the ever present figure of [Steve] McFadden."

It turns out Murray isn't the account's only celebrity fan - Kathy Burke and Jon Savage are both quoted raving about it. (Though the latter's claim that the images' creator Coldwar Steve is "a modern-day Hogarth" is perhaps a little hyperbolic, given that he knocks them up "on the bus into work with a £3 phone app".)

Male has tracked down Coldwar Steve himself - aka Christopher Spencer - who reveals that making the photomontages has been a form of therapy. It's great to hear that he's found his way to a better place thanks to the account - and the fact that he's been able to make a lot of people (myself included) guffaw at their screens in the process is an added bonus.

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