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Stand Not Upon The Order Of Your Going

February 11, 2009


Modern man no longer works at what cannot be abbreviated.

–Paul Valéry quoted in Walter Benjamin’s essay The Storyteller

When is it acceptable, even desirable, to go by a single name? When your name is Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Jesus, Buddha, Plato, Homer, Nefertiti, Nebuchanezzar, Nero or Caligula, that’s when.

When is it unacceptable? When your name is Sting. There are lesser offenders, to be sure. Prince, who I’m prepared to excuse because he’s monsterously talented. Madonna gets a pass, too–as a nice Catholic girl, she was just seeking to shock and be (nauseating word alert!) transgressive. The risible Bidisha can be dismissed as an shrill, attention–seeking, heterosexual-hating pinhead.

The Edge AKA David Evans, U2 guitar fondler and beanie-wearer (what’s that all about?) is unutterably silly but not offensive. I mean, that indefinite article tips wanky pomposity over into the frankly hilarious. The Edge? Really? Like The Sphinx, The Eiffel Tower and The Bible? Wow. And how did Mr. Evans come by this name?

Bono made reference to the name in the commentary track of the movie The Million Dollar Hotel, saying that The Edge tends to stand close to the edges of buildings because of his comfort with heights. During an interview with Channel 4’s weekend television programme T4, he (Señor Edge) was asked how he got his nickname and replied “it’s the nose,” referring to both his nose and angular facial

Take your pick, I guess.

However, the toe of my boot itches to connect with the buttocks of Gordon Sumner AKA Sting.

Sting has stated that he gained his nickname while with the Phoenix Jazzmen. He once performed wearing a black and yellow sweater with hooped stripes that bandleader Gordon Solomon had noted made him look like a bumblebee; thus Sumner became “Sting”.

Sure. That sounds plausible:


…the resemblance is uncanny, don’t you think?

This tale is laughably thin. If you wear a stripey-jumper once, you’re unlikely to provoke much comment, let alone be given a nickname. Keep wearing it and your friends are likely to remark on it. Have you lost all your clothes in a fire? Has your washing machine broken? Are you doing it for a bet? They may well give you a nickname but you may be tolerably certain it won’t be Sting

Everything about this revolting man is calculated for effect. Whether it’s telling the world about his matrimonial Tantric sex, whatever the fuck that is or lecturing the rest of us about the environment.

Up until the early 90’s, I barely noticed the man. His music–anodyne pop warbles and faux jazz–threw me into a state of lacquered composure and slowed my heart-rate to that of a hibernating toad. Various girlfriends thought he was wonderful but their taste and discrimination were obviously deeply suspect. They were going out with me, after all.

What really brought him to my notice was a brief and highly-publicised jaunt to Brazil that Sting undertook to call attention to the destruction of the rain–forests. He acquired a new best–friend, a native Amazonian who had inserted a CD of Sting’s Greatest Hits into his lower lip in honour of the occasion. For a couple of months, he and Sting were inseparable.

The right-on duo jetted around the world castigating all and sundry on their profligate ways. This is what gave my hackles an intensive work-out.

Now, I’m perfectly prepared to be told–off for careless consumption by an Amazonian native who lives in a grass hut and feeds on the products of the forest. What I’m not prepared to accept is being lectured by a pop–twerp who has single–handedly done more damage to the environment than me and 10 million like me.

Evidently, Sting thought his albums were manafactured by elves out of spider cobwebs and flown to various Virgin Megastores by flocks of trained geese. His massive world tours, he appeared to believe, were solar–powered by sunbeams extracted from cucumbers.

But what really high-lighted the divide between Sting’s pious maunderings and the reality of Sting was a concert he gave at Ephesus in Turkey. Ephesus, whose people the Apostle Paul addressed his Epistle to, where the great shrine to the goddess Artemis was and where the largest and best preserved Roman amphitheatre in the world is.

It’s this last that drew the malign eye of Sting. In 1993 he put on a concert in the amphitheatre. In one night, environmental hero Sting managed to do what 2000 years of weather and earthquakes had not. He caused so much damage to the fabric that the Turkish authorities were forced to close the site for 3 years.

I can forgive him his banal music, his need to share the most intimate details of his marriage with us, his rank hypocrisy, his stupid self-chosen name and even his butchery of John Dowland. But I can’t forgive him for damaging one of the great monuments of antiquity.

I’m tempted to say “O Sting, where is thy death?” but I don’t want to kill him. I’d just like to kick the silly bastard very, very hard a great many times.

  1. freepoland permalink
    February 11, 2009 9:59 AM

    Perhaps it’s more sinister, mishari. Besides the names of the great from antiquity, the pretensions of high culture seems to give people a licence to allow the famous and talented (and preferable dead) just the one name for recognition: Goethe, Darwin, Titian, Nijinsky, Verdi, Shakespeare, Pongo. We will not confuse Christine or Darren Goethe with the real item.
    Whereas women, those representing debased culture, and sportspersons usually have to put up with two names: Lily Allen, Didier Drogba, Steve Davis, Virginia Woolf … to have just one name is to enter Valhalla. Sting is cheating. It is not up to him to decide if he is to be mononominate . But I find him so dull that I can’t think what his real name is – oh yes, you said it, Gordon Sumner, from Wallsend. There should be a public ceremony, in the celebrity obsessed age, to permit a public figure to drop one of their names; analogous to renaming people when they enter the House of Lords. ‘I now pronounce you Beckham sole, and damp your brow with hyssop, and consign your unnecessary cognomen to the Bin of Obscurity.’
    As for ‘The …’ , I can only think of The Pope as meriting the definite article, along with The Antichrist and certain major wrestlers.

  2. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 10:06 AM

    I know that Sting is old fare, but I heard an interview with the bastard the other day and the man was as repellent as ever.

    You’re absolutely right, though. It’s not for him to gift himself with a mono-name.

    And perhaps you can enlighten me. Is there anyone from north of Watford named Gordon who’s not a complete tosser? I mean, Gordon Sumner, Gordon Ramsay, Gordon Brown, Gay Gordon whoever he is…(it’s a dance, you idiot–Ed.)

  3. February 11, 2009 10:56 AM

    Even Jilted John ( The Streets earlier, funnier version ) sang ” Gordon is a Moron” . I think the decent Gordons are footballers ( Strachan ) or spacemen ( Flash – he must be north of Watford or north of Arcturus 7 at any rate )

    As with Bono ( don’t worry I’m not going to go completely atf on you ) what’s irritating is that charity-wise the likes of him and Sting have done far more than most of us but on the other hand they’ve also wreaked more havoc on things than we have.

    Nothing has arrived in the post btw. Was it via normal mail or some delivery firm?

  4. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 11:58 AM

    As to Bono’s charity work, I’d be a bit more impressed if he and his band weren’t so reluctant to pay taxes in his native country–taxes that pay for things like schools and hospitals.

    He and his bandmates moved their financial affairs off-shore for purposes of “tax efficiency”, ie. tax dodging.

    The man’s a laughable megalomaniac and a hypocrite. How much of his vast personal fortune has he actually donated to charity? A pittance, I’ll be bound.

    Self-worshippers like him imagine that it’s enough merely to lend his imprimatur to a cause–to shine the light of his tax–dodging countenance, so to speak. Bah…

  5. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 12:04 PM

    I’ve just been informed by the minion tasked with posting it (my wife) that she forgot. Never mind, I’ll have it in the post first thing to-morrow for next–day delivery.

    Sorry about that, but it’s impossible to find reliable minions these days…

  6. February 11, 2009 12:38 PM

    It’s not even as if his lyrics come out and say what he thinks is wrong either. Full of non-specific yearning which could be subversive but which isn’t.

    Writing as a man with a giant pig and a track record of work with odd connections made between disparate things I ought to like a sort of poetic vagueness. But when it’s coupled to a man who continuously tells others what to do from a position of wealth you suspect the vagueness is merely pragmatic in order to please everyone and sell records to as wide a demographic as possible. Slogans woithout substance.

    Well at least the postman isn’t catching up with Woody Allen’s latest. An interesting insight into the Al Adwani household too – do you actually write the blogs or are they dictated for someone else to type?

  7. freepoland permalink
    February 11, 2009 12:43 PM

    …a man with a giant pig…
    You know how to excite a fellow’s curiosity, Al. One or two names, the pig? Is it a Pig of Faith?

  8. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 12:59 PM

    I suspect that freep, like me, is envious. To be able to insouciantly say “…as a man with a giant pig..” must be an on-going satisfaction.

    I think I’ll take to saying, “ a man with a friend who has a giant pig…” and watch people eye me with a new–found respect.

  9. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 1:00 PM

    BTW, freep…click on the Whalley Range All Stars link on this blog to see Al’s giant pig. It’s very impressive…

  10. freepoland permalink
    February 11, 2009 1:08 PM

    Thank you Mish. It is an important pig. I had looked up the compost show with a man in a hedge, which was something to tell one’s head gardener about. But the pig / sow is worth seeing. I like to observe nipples in such quantities.
    Unlike the film about Benjamin Button , which I just saw and slept through. And not a nipple in sight.

  11. February 11, 2009 1:12 PM

    Freep it certainly attracts some strange people. We were performing in Belgium a few years back and met a pig obsessive. Now I like obsessives but this was beyond obsessive bordering into creepiness.

    There is a 10 minute long show inside the pig’s body ( all will be clear if you look at the photo ) which 10 people look at through holes hidden behind the pig’s nipples. To see the show they put on pig’s tails so for anyone who can’t see inside the pig and who doesn’t want to queue they look like a litter of piglets suckling at their giant mother. The Belgian man had his own pig snout which he also put on to look inside thus disconcerting the 2 performers who are in the pig.

    We’ve performed outside for decades and are not easily spooked but that guy managed it.

  12. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 1:15 PM

    You should get your pig down to Blandings Castle. Clarence Emsworth would love it…in a completely non-creepy way, mind…

  13. freepoland permalink
    February 11, 2009 1:46 PM

    You were unwise to perform in Belgium, Al. They do be having strange hobbies and obsessions there. And toilet cistern museums. They make English hobbyists seem well-adjusted.
    40 years ago I was in a dull suburb of Brussels and some men were sitting on a long low wall. They looked like pigeon fanciers. Each of them had a small wooden box next to them on the wall, and in their hands these fellows, Flemish, held wooden rulers and chalk. Inside the wooden boxes were unknown beings, possibly songbirds, but which were silent so far as I could ascertain. The men listened to the boxes and made chalk marks on the rulers. They did not speak to each other. When they had covered the rulers in chalk, they picked up the boxes and put their hats on and went home in their Citroens. I think they may have been early members of the European Commission.

  14. BaronCharlus permalink
    February 11, 2009 1:56 PM

    Michael Gray, in the entry for U2 in the Bob Dylan Encyclopedia says this:

    Bono once appeared on stage with Dylan…’during the encore to offer some shared vocals on ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, undeterred by not knowing any of the words. This was the last song on the last night of the 1984 European tour. Thus it finished…not with a bang but with a wanker.’

  15. February 11, 2009 2:08 PM

    Also the famous story of Bono writing to Captain Beefheart wanting to know if a collaboration was possible. Allegedly the reply was ” Dear Bongo ……no”

    I rather enjoy Belgium – they have some splendidly odd theatre companies.

  16. BaronCharlus permalink
    February 11, 2009 2:11 PM

    Funny, Bongo must be a term of abuse. It’s what Eric Morcombe calls Ringo when the Beatles are on the M&W show. I don’t think Beefheart would collaborate with anyone, he hasn’t made musc for years. I read an interview Bono did with Mr van Vliet a few years back so they must get on okay.

    There’s an ‘English theatre’ in Brugge, I think.

  17. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 2:15 PM

    How the hell can anyone over 40 not know any of the words to Blowin’ In The Wind, for fuck’s sake?

    ‘…not with a bang but with a wanker,’ is a great line, though.

    Thanks for that, freep. Bizzare and mystifying and somehow very Belgian.

    Luc Sante, who wrote a cracking history of the demi-monde of old NYC grew up in that part of the world, albeit a Walloon not a Flamand.

    He wrote an autobiography/history called The Factory of Facts that’s filled with fascinating stuff about a corner of Europe that I knew little of. Highly recommended.

  18. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 2:18 PM

    “Dear Bongo…no”.


    Love the Cap’n (except for Trout Mask Replica, which I couldn’t even pretend to like back when not to like it was almost evidence of CIA affiliations).

  19. BaronCharlus permalink
    February 11, 2009 2:20 PM

    Actually, I’d like to hear that Bono/Beefheart collaboration:

    Bono: ‘Ooooh baby, your soul is some fire inside the future of love, ooh baby…’

    (guitar) *CRUNG CRUNG*


    Exit Bono, blubbering in fear.

  20. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 2:26 PM

    I was just thinking the same thing. Beefheart and Tom Waits or Eric Dolphy or Sarah Vaughn, even…but Bono?

    Phos’phrous chimney burnin’
    Modern-men’s a-learnin’
    Time and space a-turnin’
    Motor’s engine churnin’
    fac’trys no place for me: Bongo, let me be

  21. BaronCharlus permalink
    February 11, 2009 2:31 PM

    Funny you mention Dolphy. Dolphy was a Zappa favourite (Zappa being the Beef’s friend/rival and TMR ‘producer’). He wrote a song when Dolphy died: The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue.

    Beefheart would have done a good duet with Blind Willie Johnson, a current topic over at Wordnerd’s via John the Revelator.

  22. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 2:33 PM

    Ah, yes…and Sleepy John Estes, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charlie Patton, Son House, Willie McTell, Robert Johnson…all much loved since my teens.

  23. freepoland permalink
    February 11, 2009 2:34 PM

    I love Belgium too. Perhaps it is the spiritual home of all giant 30 foot pigs. It is a kind of condensed Ireland, with trams and trottings.

  24. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 2:40 PM

    Have you ever listened to the guitar duets Lonnie Johnson recorded with Eddie Lang, Baron? Wonderful stuff…

  25. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 2:43 PM

    …and the Belgian FLN assault rifle is almost as good as the AK-47 and probably more useful than their lace doilies or chocolates in the coming Armageddon…almost as useful, dare I say it, as a giant pig. I lust for one (in a totally non-creepy way)…

  26. February 11, 2009 2:50 PM

    Not that we’re granting a free pass for Obama, Cantinflas or Zizek, of course…

  27. BaronCharlus permalink
    February 11, 2009 2:52 PM

    Never heard those, Mish, but will explore.

    The 1926-30ish US blues/folk/old time recordings are amongst my rotating collection of obsessions. Did you see the BBC folk docs recently? There was one on renowned collector Joe Bussard. A real character and purist (claims that ‘jazz’ records made after the Depression are ‘not jazz’).

    Brugge is certainly very nice; great art, buildings etc. Didn’t partake of the firearms, though.

  28. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 2:58 PM

    In which case, Baron, you’ll love Lonnie Johnson and Eddie Lang (who died very young). Email me your address and I’ll send you a copy; also Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti (violin), terrific 30’s swing/jazz/blues..

    I did see those folk docs. Some great stuff. Joe Bussard was likable and passionate, but I couldn’t agree with him on that…

  29. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 3:01 PM

    Yeah, but Steven, Cantinflas, Obama and Zizek are actually their real names.

    Sting chose ‘Sting’ because he thought it made him sound ‘edgy’ or some such horseshit. The putz.

  30. BaronCharlus permalink
    February 11, 2009 3:04 PM

    Nor me. Jazz died with Buddy Bolden.

    And I will take you up on that offer. Many thanks!

  31. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 3:08 PM

    No, no…jazz died with Art Tatum. Or maybe Zappa was right when he said “Jazz isn’t dead, it just smells funny.”


  32. February 11, 2009 3:11 PM

    Apparently Bono turned up to sing at the funeral of Balthus the painter to the general bemusement of everyone present – Balthus hailing from the Surrealist era and best known for his borderline paedo paintings of little girls flashing their knickers. Not known for his like of Irish rock bands.

    Bono seems to be able to insinuate himself into the presence of anyone he deems worthwhile.

    Last time I was in Belgium someone tried to explain how voting works. I still don’t understand and the person who tried to explain said it made less sense the more you tried to explain it.

  33. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 3:17 PM

    Merciful God…what a twerp. I’d be astonished if Balthus had even heard of Bongo….

  34. February 11, 2009 3:18 PM

    True. If his bit in Quadrophenia had been the beginning and end of it, though, I think I’d rate “Sting” as the winning braggadocio of the winningly obscure. He’d be a great little trivia question, if it had all stopped there. As it is, he was one of the defining poisons of the you-have-no-idea-what’s-coming-you-jacuzzi-gits ’90s. Seeing him posing with that classical guitar, wearing the weird cap of that decapitation-worthy dutchboy barnet in the “Fragile” video makes the post-9/11 world seem just so , so inevitable in retrospect.

  35. February 11, 2009 3:20 PM

    Ooops… quite a few comments between my last and Mishari’s I was responding to, I see.

    Balthus? Lovely. But wrong. But lovely. But wrong. But…

  36. freep permalink
    February 11, 2009 3:21 PM

    I have just googled him.
    Born Gordon Matthew Sumner in Wallsend, Northumberland. His mother was Audrey, and his father was Ernest. He received his name Sting from his striped sweater in which Gordon Solomon said that he looked like a bee.
    He is 58 this year. Time to change the mononom to Bloat or Droop. Even Ernest.

  37. February 11, 2009 3:22 PM

    Or “Stink”

  38. February 11, 2009 3:37 PM

    Steven I really like Balthus and he’s best when he’s most perverse.

    But his later years are very dissappointing. He cleaned up his act by and large,tried to be the keeper of the flame for figurative painting and claimed all those dirty pictures of the 30’s and 40’s were formal experiments rather than a map of his obsessions ( all claimed long before PC rolled into town ),

  39. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 3:42 PM

    I thought Balthus’ works, or the earlier stuff was quite lovely, although the eroticizing of barely pubescent girls was a little troubling..but as Steven said…lovely, but wrong…wrong, but lovely…but, but, but…

  40. February 11, 2009 3:43 PM

    Back in those days, before we all became programmed to believe that a desire equalled a right, quite a few paedos were happy to look, or manifest the quirk as art or literature; I doubt Dodson ever really *did* anything to Alice Lidell. The irony being that the rise in PC brings a concomitant rise in actual perpetrations.

  41. February 11, 2009 3:44 PM

    Subtract one “m” (Done–Ed.)

  42. February 11, 2009 3:48 PM

    Tanks, mon!

  43. February 11, 2009 3:49 PM

    Shyt: “believed”

    I fear you’ll be editing all day, Ed

  44. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 3:49 PM

    I suspect you’re almost certainly right, Steven. Lacking any legitimate outlet for their obsessions, (art, etc.), frustrated paedophiles are probably more likely to act out their fantasies as opposed to just painting torrid pictures or taking young Alice for riverbank picnics…

  45. February 11, 2009 3:49 PM

    Christ, am I drunk?

    I fear YOU’LL (Don’t sweat it. I’m having a slow day–Ed.)

  46. February 11, 2009 3:53 PM

    ha ha… the magic hand. Erm, can you spot-erase the drunk bit, too?

  47. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 3:54 PM

    No…you lush.

  48. February 11, 2009 3:54 PM

    hic (sic)

  49. February 11, 2009 3:56 PM

    The juxtaposed images of Beckett and my avatar (my girlfriend at age 5, in truth) in this exchange looks a bit paedo itself, dunnit?

  50. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 4:01 PM

    It does, kinda…but let’s not pursue that line of thought (shudders)…I don’t want the exciting Nu Labour party’s excitable Law ‘n Orduh types kicking down my cyber–door.

  51. February 11, 2009 4:02 PM

    “…(my girlfriend at age 5, in truth)…”

    Before the complaints cascade in: that’s an old photo and she’s *ten* now, you hysterics.

  52. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 4:06 PM

    You know, I thought it was a photo of a doll made up to look like D’Artagnan or something. Was she made up to be Guy Fawkes?

  53. February 11, 2009 4:35 PM

    I’m not so sure the rise of PC has caused this rise in occurences. Maybe it caused the rise in scrutiny and wanting to scrutinise so now we discover that the Roman Catholic priests who previously were helping lost boys were in fact helping themselves to lost boys.

    The Gay Liberation in the 70’s was, for a while an umbrella for all sorts of different groups interested in alternative approaches to sex. Underage sex was under that umbrella and tolerated for a while until someone bothered to think about what it really entailed and booted them out.

  54. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 4:47 PM

    You’re probably right, Al. I expect the rape figures pre-sexual liberation (so-called) were probably roughly the same, per capita, as they are now. Then again, it’s not a subject I know much about.

    I can’t help thinking, though, that as long as someone’s peadophile tendencies went no further than the pleasure of children’s company and taking their photos, a la Rev. Dodson, or a taste for painting them a la Balthus, it was regarded as nothing more than a rather pathetic eccentricity.

    Once demonized, perhaps people behave more…well…demonically. I’ve no idea, really.

  55. dickensdesk permalink
    February 11, 2009 7:35 PM

    If I may join in… not usually having the energy between managing my estates up here in the Surrey Hills, flogging tennants, worrying the local maidens etc. I usually only peep and lurk in these GU BB frog sites… the energy of you fellows.

    However the temptation to have a pot or two at my old friend Sting has drawn my cover.

    As freep is aware I am an utter fraud. I swan around these parts, plum in my mouth, upholding the eternal verities of deep England and yet the awful truth is is that, like Sting, I too have emerged from the slaggy badlands that were the moonscape of SE Northumberland in the 60s/70s to the “Fields of Gold” (literally and metaphorically) in the South. I don’t play the lute but I have been known to write the odd poem.

    The real truth (behind the pretty face and ludicrous posing) about G.S. is that he always was/is actually quite a hard bastard. You may wish to kick his arse Mish (who doesn’t) but on the cobbles he would have you and ten like you. I remember him as a smooth hairy (basically the youth of GSs time divided into skins and hairies and the hairies into the wild biker types or the more sophsticated, jazz/jazz-funk loving smoothies). Sumner was the worst of all possible worlds in some ways… hard as nails working class and upwardly-mobile/aspirational which, when allied to athleticism, good looks and vast success can create the perfect storm to create the very Moses of self-regarding, pretentious wankers.

    My first memories of our hero are as a young but bearded member of the Newcastle Big Band… I think my wariness of jazz-lovers began right there. Those guys a. loved themselves/each other to pieces and b. couldn’t actually play much. I also remember himself, and an Italian pottery teacher whose name escapes me, teaching football/games in the local park in Cramlington because the catholic school where they worked didn’t have a pitch of its own. Further “Kes-style” acts of self-love were frequently evident, although the kids who had those two rated them. My suspicion is he would have been, what he is, a preening, up-himself show off, whatever his luck in the music biz.

    As with geld off and Bono, possibly Weller, it was Band Aid that absolutely put the tin hat on it though.

    Enjoy reading this blog and Obooki, Zephs and Grace’s v. beautiful to look at. Used to like the accicatura one but it all seems to have gotten very Sting-like there; less and less people telling each other how simply wonderful they all are. I like the joshing you all give each other here.

    Back to my lurkin’s. And mummy wants her laptop back.

  56. freepoland permalink
    February 11, 2009 8:16 PM

    Yeah, dd, but, like, he’s pushing 60. Time to give it a rest and till his allotment, back to his leek-growing roots. There’s loads of room up here, even for ageing, self-regarding plutocrats. Some fancy woman was driving a Lamborghini in Alnwick yesterday; maybe it was his mistress.

  57. dickensdesk permalink
    February 11, 2009 8:29 PM

    So when he sang, “we were born in the fifties” he must have meant the very early fifties?

    Flat cap and muffler time… hardly tantric?

  58. February 11, 2009 8:36 PM

    Depends where you put the muffler.

  59. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 9:07 PM

    Leeks? Flat caps? Sodding Alnwick? Is it any wonder I’ve been agitating for the erection of a Hadrian’s Wall-like structure to keep the Northern riff-raff out.

    freep, of course, will get safe passage from me because he’s devoted to Good Works…

  60. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 9:09 PM

    Nice to see you here,’re always welcome to pop in for a bit of friendly abuse..

  61. February 11, 2009 9:12 PM

    You could tell Gordo was tasty from that stint in Dune flashing Neptune’s thong; imagine him taking on rockers in *that*.

  62. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 9:21 PM

    Frankly, dd, wherever the Stingmeister got his O levels in dirty fighting I got a doctorate.I’ll skin the bastard and wear him…

    I remember seeing another hugely objectionable tosser, Jay K, Britain’s foremost Stevie Wonder impersonator get a quick lesson in reality.

    The Twat in the Hat fancied himself a hard case and surrounding himself with lickspittles did nothing to disabuse him of this preposterous notion.

    As he was leaving some do in his Bentley, he ran over a pap’s foot. The pap kicked the car, whereupon Hatman screeched to halt, burst from the car, giving it the hard-nut swagger and demanding to know who’d ‘..kicked my Bentley.’

    The guilty pap said ‘ yeah, me. What of it?’

    The Twathat got in the pap’s face and promptly got nutted. How we laughed as he reeled back, claret streaming from his hooter. His flunkys hustled him back into his car and off he went, doubtless swearing he was set upon by 10 SAS men…

  63. February 11, 2009 9:26 PM

    RE: “You know, I thought it was a photo of a doll made up to look like D’Artagnan or something. Was she made up to be Guy Fawkes?”

    Funny story there, actually. A couple of years back a notorious lady blogger killed herself (and her artiste boyfriend soon followed), stirring a minor conspiracy frenzy on the web. As it happens, I knew people who knew her in NY, and was one of the few regular posters on her gaga site; in fact, when she offed herself, a journalist contacted me. Anyway, I stumbled soon after upon a comment thread on a highly paranoid (yet erudite) site in which posters were trying to figure out *my* role in the overall plot… and the secret meaning of my avatar’s eerie resemblance to the hero in Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta” (ie., Guy Fawkes as a super hero).

    The truth is my girlfriend is dressed as an Elizabethan magician (or her mother’s notion of one) in that photo and it’s always been one of my favorites, but I didn’t want to spoil the fun by introducing a factual banality into a comment thread in which uni-educated strangers were projecting a vision of me battling dark forces.

  64. February 11, 2009 9:32 PM

    “I remember seeing another hugely objectionable tosser, Jay K, Britain’s foremost Stevie Wonder impersonator get a quick lesson in reality.”

    I’ve forgotten to give thanks these past couple of years for JK’s definitive return to pop’s shadows.

  65. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 9:49 PM

    I remember that suicide business or rather, I remember reading a long piece about the couple at the center of it. In the New Yorker or Vanity Fair, perhaps. Strange story.

    They were living in St. Mark’s Church or on the grounds, right around the corner from where I used to live on St. Mark’s Place between 2nd and 3rd (many years ago when it was a cheap option)…

  66. dickensdesk permalink
    February 11, 2009 9:50 PM

    Remember the Jay k incident well but were not really comparing like with like… I mean the great Stevie W is not only streets ahead as a singer but my money would also be on him in a scrap with the twat in the hat.

    Sting is from Wallsend. There is a good reason why the Roman Empire stopped there… a bare half dozen “Wazzendahs” oiled-up, dressed in Dune-style thongs, their mufflers primed for unspeakable tantic sex acts, would be enough to send the toughest legion Rome-wards.

    Brimstone and treacle indeed!

  67. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 9:56 PM

    You have a valid point, dd..thongs, mufflers, tantric sex acts…perhaps I’ll just treat him with the icy disdain that’s served me so well over the years…BTW, I was in no way likening TwatHat to Stevie Wonder, who I always loved. His paltry aping of the great Wonder was just another reason to detest the fucker.

  68. Captain Ned permalink
    February 11, 2009 10:06 PM

    Freep’s story of Belgian birds in a box rings a bell – I saw the same thing, only weirder, on TV. It was either on the recent Jonathan Meades series about northern Europe or an episode of The Hairy Bikers where the fat Geordie cooks go to Belgium and eat loads of frites. I suspect it was the latter.

    Anyway, a group of Belgians were indeed gathered around little painted boxes, the object of the exercise being to coax the birds into singing; the man who elicited the longest burst of song would be the winner. Only there were no birds. It was the wrong season for singing, apparently. So, for the benefit of the cameras, little birdsong-playing tape recorders were placed inside the boxes – not at the crew’s behest, it might be added. The whole scene was instigated by the locals, which means that even before the film crew approached them, they all had these mini tape players and recordings at the ready. They stood whistling, whispering, tapping, grunting – doing everything they could to get a song out of non-existent birds. It may have been a hoax. On the other hand, I have three Belgian friends; none of them will admit to being Belgian, preferring to have people believe that they’re French. There must be a reason for that.

  69. February 11, 2009 10:13 PM


    And thus our paedophile discussion comes full circle.

  70. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 10:15 PM

    I saw the Meades series and very enjoyable it was and I don’t recall that (I would have remembered) so it must have been the Hairy Wotsits.

    A wonderfully surreal business, though…and indicative of a deep–seated weirdness…

  71. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 10:18 PM

    Yeah, I’d forgoten their other claim to fame, although I got the impression that it was a testament to Belgian police ineptitude rather than plucky little Belgium being a hot-bed of kiddy-fiddlers…although I could be wrong.

    Something’s not quite right about a country that makes so much damn confectionary…

  72. Captain Ned permalink
    February 11, 2009 10:30 PM

    It probably won’t be a country for much longer anyway. Let’s hear it for a new European dawn: Wallonia and Flanders (neo-fascists rejoice!).

    Meades is great. He says so many things that are provokingly wrong-headed, but that’s part of his charm. I’d much rather watch his entertaining eccentricities than the patronising, over-egged blandness to be seen in most TV documentaries. The spectacle of him miming to a sentimental French working-class pop-ballad while standing in front of a slag heap was a particularly priceless moment from the last series.

  73. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 10:34 PM

    Absolutely. Even when I’m shaking my head in disagreement, I’m engaged, entertained and garnering all sorts of interesting nuggets.

    I wish we saw more of him, but no. What we get is the pukefest of Ross and Fiona Bruce and the rest of them…Jesus.

  74. Captain Ned permalink
    February 11, 2009 10:41 PM

    Speaking of pukefest, here’s Tony McNulty on Newsnight…

  75. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 10:43 PM

    I know, I’m watching him duck the questions as usual as I gag at the sight of the putrid oaf…

  76. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 10:49 PM

    How the fuck would McScumbag know what things are like down at the job centre? It would be a pleasure to roast the bastard over a slow fire…

  77. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 11, 2009 10:56 PM

    I am loving Power of the Dog. Fantastico!

    One of my kid’s housemates is a Belgian postgrad. He eats vast quantities of a biscuit spread called Specaloos, and won’t let anyone near his supplies (not that anyone else is interested). He also likes horsemeat, Zero bars and cheese and chocolate sandwiches. A sophisticated palate, I think you’ll agree.

  78. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 11:00 PM

    Specaloos? Sounds…erm…mysterious. Presumably made from old spectacles and loos…mmmmm

    I thought you’d like The Power of the Dog. It’s powerful stuff, almost verging on polemic. You’ll like Winslow’s other stuff, too. He’s a very fine writer.

  79. February 11, 2009 11:11 PM

    A friend of mine from Holland had a book on the oppressed minorities of the world compiled by some human watch group of human watchers in the late 70’s. The Waloons ( or however you spell them ) are in there as are the Flemish – both races busy oppressing each other I suppose – unless there’s a third hidden group of Belgians in there as well making life difficult for the others.

  80. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 11:14 PM

    I think you’ll find that those blokes with the mini-recorders in boxes are pulling the strings. God knows, they seem devious enough.

    Apparently, it’s Walloon, although why anyone would voluntarily choose to be called a Walloon is a mystery…

  81. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 11:20 PM

    Hah. Oliver James just gave the odious McStultified and Teresa May a fabulous rocket. That was bracing…

  82. seanmurray permalink
    February 11, 2009 11:42 PM

    Mishari —

    The stuff arrived in the post today. The Boyle looks really funny.

    How do you fancy Rationale of the Dirty Joke; An Analysis of Sexual Humour by the nicely-named G. Legman? How about Mailer’s Ancient Evenings?

  83. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 11:52 PM

    Thanks, Sean, but I’ve read Ancient Evenings and I can’t conceive of anything less funny than an analysis of sexual humour, although that might not be its intent.

    Glad the books arrived. One never knows with the postal service being what it is.

    I think you’ll enjoy Water Music. It is very funny. The Queenan is amusing enough but worth it for one piece: Mickey Rourke For A Day, which made me laugh.

    I’m delighted to see that your youtube post is getting so many hits. That’s great. It’s a noo paradigm, dood…

  84. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2009 11:55 PM

    …actually, the Queenan piece on bad movie accents is pretty funny, too.

  85. seanmurray permalink
    February 12, 2009 12:06 AM

    Um… how about Gil Brewer’s The Vengeful Virgin? Classic hardboiled trash.

    Or how about some good old huge-tit porn?

  86. mishari permalink*
    February 12, 2009 12:29 AM

    Huge-tit porn? Very tempting but probably dangerous. Over-stimulation wreaks havoc on my delicate sensibilities.

    Fact is, as a compulsive (my wife’s word is ‘crazy’, but she’s French, a notoriously anti-intellectual people) book buyer, I’ve got literally piles and piles of books that I haven’t even done a scouting mission on.

    To accept more books at this stage would be madness. I’m trying to get rid of books and you are a cog in my cunning book divesture scheme.

  87. seanmurray permalink
    February 12, 2009 12:44 AM

    Pity. When we were debating self-help books last year on GU I remember thinking ‘I bet I end up sending this guy terabytes of huge-tit porn.’

  88. mishari permalink*
    February 12, 2009 12:47 AM

    I’d forgotten about that. Happy days. If I’d known what your idea of a self-help book was, I wouldn’t have been so sceptical…

  89. February 12, 2009 11:34 AM

    Huge tit porn? Are we back to Sting and what he gets up to again?

  90. February 12, 2009 12:11 PM

    Dikmik of Hawkwind was, I think an example of a single monikered “musician” who escaped the usual preening self-love.

    Anyone see the BBC 4 doc on Hawkwind? Hilarious, endearing and completely idiotic at the same time. They are virtually unlistenable to ( they were then ) but I grew up at the same time they kicked off so have a genuine unexplainable affection for them. There are pompous feuds still going on between ex-members in the band as befits any minor rock ensemble.

    I saw the doc after one about late 20th century avant-garde British composers where blokes from university and in suits were doing pretty much the same as our artless Ladbroke Grove dwelling hippy chums. Dikmik was described by a band-mate as being a pot dealer who’d accidentally stumbled across some electronics. He sat at the back and twiddled knobs in the name of interstellar prog rock.

    Disappeared to India apparently.

  91. mishari permalink*
    February 12, 2009 2:40 PM

    I saw that doc, Al. Very entertaining. I always had a soft spot for Hawkwind. Pretty much unlistenable now, but they were great fun at various festivals in the early 70’s…

    BTW, I sent off those DVDs for next day delivery; they assure me you’ll get them by 1:00 pm tomorrow. I can actually track the bugger on-line, apparently…

  92. February 12, 2009 3:38 PM

    Am away working from tomorrow until later on Monday. So will look forward to them on my return.

    I have an extremely rambling and bizarre anecdote about Nik Turner of Hawkwind phoning me completely out of the blue but it’s too long to go into here and to get it into context probably too dull as well. So in other words it’s totally uninteresting unless you’re me……and even then.

  93. mishari permalink*
    February 12, 2009 3:43 PM

    I must say, you have a…erm…unique way with an anecdote. A career in public speaking beckons…hang on…that’s what you do…never mind…

  94. February 12, 2009 4:01 PM

    Kindly put mishari.
    So anyway it was 1998, cold as I remberrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrblahblah blah

  95. February 12, 2009 6:03 PM

    Freepoland you are very right – it’s very unwise to perform in Belgium, I was once playing with an orchestra in the main square in Bruges when I fell off the back of the stage, whilst attempting a particularly tricky gong manoevre, and ended up covered in half the percussion section, most embarassing…

    I must say I rather like Sting’s music. The song about Sue Lawley being particularly upbeat.

    Can’t forgive him for messing up the ampitheatre though – didn’t anyone consider he’d make a handsome retiarius? He could ponce around tantrically in his loin-cloth swaying his net about the place and then the lions and bears could eat him for the encore…

  96. mishari permalink*
    February 12, 2009 8:20 PM

    We must not be cruel to lions and bears. There is an alternative solution to the Sting plague.

    I hope freep doesn’t object to my bruiting it about, but he has been working on a gene-splicing experiment involoving sheep and crocodiles with a view to making an animal that can be turned into a Sunday roast and some attractive luggage.

    Whilst alive, however, they combine the savagery of the croc with the nimble footwork of the sheep. Perfect for setting on faded pop stars.

  97. freepoland permalink
    February 12, 2009 8:40 PM

    Correct, Mishari, but the sheep/crocodile project has had to be abandoned as crocodiles are allergic to mint sauce.
    We have instead isolated the Wallsend gene Sumner 3*/4#a7 and found a close relationship to the mole cricket DNA. By manipulating the balance of oestrogen in the female Giant Guyanese mole cricket, it should be possible to arrange for a murrain of these delightful, eccentric and and malodorous arthropods to engulf said northern Gordon, in their ecstatic attempt to mate with him. Two million of them should do the trick. They will provide a lesson to other faded stars that, in the fullness of time, they will find monstrous insects are the beings most likely to find them attractive.

  98. freepoland permalink
    February 12, 2009 8:46 PM

    …….But I have just remembered that the last time I was in Brussels I was savaged by a goose in the Parc de Woluwe.

  99. mishari permalink*
    February 12, 2009 8:51 PM

    Geese are savage and unruly. It always gives me immense satisfaction to eat them, sneering all the while and muttering “…who’s a tough guy, now?”

    Millions of mole crickets trying to mate with Sting…now there’s an image that doesn’t pop into my head very often.

  100. February 12, 2009 8:54 PM

    freep but what if the mole crickets are successful in their attempts to mate? We could be lumbered with a swarm of bleach blonde grasshoppers who can burrow under buildings and plague us through playing their weak pop-reggae through the drains. As they are way below the foundations and in the water table we will be unable to prevent them doing so.

  101. freepoland permalink
    February 12, 2009 8:58 PM

    …deluded mole crickets. We play them old Hawkwind numbers to get them in the mood, and let them loose in a glass chamber contaminated with laughing gas and goose dung. This is a proper scientific establishment, y know, dedicated to Useful Public Works and the Advancement of Culture.

  102. freepoland permalink
    February 12, 2009 8:59 PM

    OK, Al. So what’s your solution? Is there any known species that will refuse to mate with Sumner, despite all inducements?

  103. February 12, 2009 9:05 PM

    I know a few women who don’t fancy him but that’s it I think. I think it needs to be something large and heavy so that they crush him when the union takes place. Given your important scientific position don’t you know anyone in the Large Randy Animal With No Musical Taste Whatsoever Dept. down the hall who can advise?

  104. February 12, 2009 9:10 PM

    The thought occurs to me that a member of Hawkwind might do the trick. The space rock DNA mixing with the pop-reggae pheromones might cancel each other out.

    Where is Dikmik when you need him? Or Del Dettmar?

  105. mishari permalink*
    February 12, 2009 9:58 PM

    Tone deaf pachyderms should be about right. After mating with Sting, said beast becomes enraged by the blonde popster’s ghastly lute-mangling and jumps up and down on him. Come to think of it, you could record the whole thing, sample it, add some beat-box and bingo…club hit.

  106. February 12, 2009 10:09 PM

    Club hit is what Sting needs.

  107. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 12, 2009 10:50 PM

    Stacia was quite large. (who?–Ed.)

  108. mishari permalink*
    February 12, 2009 10:51 PM

    Is Keith Vaz the stupidest man in parliament? Or does Tony McNulty win it by a nose? Who will save us from these iredeemable scum?

    What we need is a God-Emperor, someone like…oh, I don’t

  109. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 12, 2009 11:07 PM

    Hawkwind’s ‘dancer’ in the early 70s. About 6’5″ tall and usually clad in body paint. A chap I knew got off with her after a concert. Since I loathed him I hoped he would be squashed flat, but he seemed unharmed when I saw him again (though heavily stained by body paint). I see from her Wiki profile that she now exists in Ireland. Perhaps Mills could be prevailed upon to capture her and bring her to England to do some damage to Sting.

  110. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 12, 2009 11:23 PM

    Was Sting a primary school teacher? That would put an unwelcome slant on ‘Don’t stand so close to me’. Back to the Belgians?

  111. February 12, 2009 11:31 PM

    Good suggestion MM – the industrial quantity of strobe lighting that accompany Stacia’s writhings would also anaethesise Sting as well. It’s well known that lutes cannot be played in such conditions.

  112. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 12, 2009 11:42 PM

    Since the lady in question is now almost 40 years older the dance alone might have consequences for his health, physical and mental.

  113. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 12, 2009 11:46 PM

    What’s happened over at Zephirine’s blog? Has it died?

  114. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 12:00 AM

    I don’t think so. I posted a comment there today. If you mean it doesn’t seem very active…well, I think these things are cyclic.

    Somedays this blog gets over a 1000 hits, other days less than 300 and most people don’t comment.

    I remember Steve puzzling over lurkers but I suspect they might feel that they’d be intruding on some sort of private conversation between friends.

    Of course, they wouldn’t be, but people must please themselves. I’m just happy that banning myself from the Grauniad doesn’t mean I can’t still have entertaining conversations with comrades.

    I’d like to know what’s happened to obooki. He’s still posting but one can’t comment. I can’t believe he prefers it that way but what do I know?

  115. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 13, 2009 12:24 AM

    I don’t usually read the comments, since there aren’t any slagging sessions. There just don’t seem to be any comments recently.

    1000 hits! That’s a lot. Some of your lurkers are Washable-type narks, I expect, looking to turn me in at the first opportunity. Obviously not public school men. Pity BM doesn’t look in, always good for the laconic comment.
    Someone posted a link to an article obooki wrote on GU a while back, though I can’t remember who or where, which might yield an inkling of where to find him. You’d think he might be wondering where the comments have gone.

  116. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 12:31 AM

    I suspect BM fears that to be seen here, given my mockery of the Grauniad, might compromise his standing with the powers there…maybe.

    Exactly. I’d have thought obooki would be surprised that none of the regulars have made a single comment. I’ve searched his site for contact details but no dice. I really do think he’s unaware of the glitch. One is asked to log on using one’s wordpress ID but when I tried it, it became obvious that they wanted obooki’s wordpress ID. I do hope he’s alright.

    The high number keeps increasing, God knows why. It’s not as if I’ve publicized the site. I’m also getting some weird google search hits, though I remember Steve being much bemused by some of the search terms that brought people to his blog. Today for example, people came searching for Sean Murray+Manilla (that’s how they’ve spelled it), Zoroaster+Buddha and misharialadwani+rusbridger…go figure.

  117. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 12:38 AM

    I’ve been reading Peter Akroyd’s history of the Thames, wherein I’ve just learned that the collective noun for swans is a ‘game’.

  118. seanmurray permalink
    February 13, 2009 10:28 AM

    Good news about your site’s progress. People seldom believe me when I tell them such figures are possible (not that I’ve ever had 1000 in one day, yacuntya).

    Suggestion (*if* you want more traffic): embedding these buttons in your posts might be an idea, so we can share them:

    Digg, as I’m sure you know, can potentially send traffic in the hundreds of thousands. Gaming that site might be an interesting future project, though we’d need dozens more involved to be guaranteed success.

  119. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 12:11 PM

    As of a moment ago, the site’s had 10,570 hits since it went up 17 days ago.. I’m not sure, but I think some of those might be google’s web-crawler bots, but still…

    Thanks for the suggestion, but don’t people already have the options of subscribing/feeding as a browser function? Firefox, which is all I really use certainly does.

    I think I’ll just rely on serendipity and links. I was reading through a number of books on how to increase hits, how to increase your google rating, etc…and it all seems like too much fucking bother.

    You know, “…use keywords X times in your post. Place Y links in every post.etc, etc…”

    Anyway, I suspect I’m an acquired taste like caviar or Throbbing Gristle.

  120. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 12:30 PM

    Alternatively, I could post a link in comments on every online paper, blog, etc with the words “Sex! Lose Weight! Free Money! Wombats!”…but let’s face it, who’s that going to attract? Degenerate, obese, skint people with an unhealthy interest in wombats.

    I might do it anyway but with a link to your blog. See who comes calling.

  121. parallax permalink
    February 13, 2009 12:54 PM

    yep ok, my rss alarm binged on ‘wombats’?

    hey forget about increased hits – like, what does that mean? how many miss-hit, bonged-off-their-brains lurkers hang around to read the crap mish and the rest of us post? Hits = unfertilized eggs in a battery farm.

  122. seanmurray permalink
    February 13, 2009 12:58 PM

    ‘I’m not sure, but I think some of those might be google’s web-crawler bots,’

    I think wordpress specifically keeps them out. Anyway, 10,000 in three weeks? You hardly needs hints on increasing traffic, min. Though perhaps they were all looking for huge tits…

    [9000 red-raw lurkers: And fucken found them, mate.]

  123. parallax permalink
    February 13, 2009 1:11 PM

    mishari -sean knows you as min?

    Henry: I’ll be away for six years, Min.
    Minnie: I’ll put your dinner in the oven, Henry.

    it’s a worry…

  124. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 1:13 PM

    Furthermore, the lust for hits produces the likes of Bidisha, whose latest drivelfest confirms her as one of the most supernaturally cretinous women in Britain today.

    Why does the Grauniad give her space? Because she generates hits and posts, albeit they consist of everyone telling her she’s a moron.

    Hey, para. I was getting worried, thought maybe you’d fallen victim to the Great Oz Conflagration. Is that happening in your part of Oz?

  125. parallax permalink
    February 13, 2009 1:50 PM

    Mish, thanks for asking … no the fires are not a Sydney thing this year, but I’ve just come back from a few days in Melbourne (state capital of Victoria: the bushfire state) and flying down the east coast we could smell the smoke through the aircraft aircon intake.

    I don’t, thank buddha, have any direct connection with the people who have suffered in the tragedy, and yet … I’m really cut up about it.

    Everything feels frivolous at the moment, even checking-out here feels slightly *wrong* – but there you go. Frigging grief has this capacity to ambush you when you least expect it.

    Strangely enough, I think I was chatting to you and Alarming recently about the kiwis and pea-shooting in the apocalypse waiting room, and fucking there you go – no surprise that the first fire-fighters to sail across the gap were the kiwis – good on ya guys (yeah and sorry about the rained-out one-daya otherwise we would have caned yer arses :) )

  126. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 1:59 PM

    Well, I’m glad to hear that you’re not directly affected by the fires, still, I can see how it’d be upsetting. I shall instruct my familiar (Pongo) in the proper Rain Dance For Antipodeans ritual. See if we can’t innundate you lot, in the most well–meaning way, of course…

  127. February 13, 2009 2:18 PM

    Parallax – I totally sympathise with your grief and am worrying still awaiting replies from my “are you ok?” emails to my Melbourne-resident cousins, still I’m hoping the dysfunctional family grapevine might have contacted me by now if anything serious was to report …

    I can’t explain in words what I would do to the abominable excuse for a human who started these fires!

    This picture might cheer slightly though?…

    Drinking Australian

  128. parallax permalink
    February 13, 2009 3:28 PM

    hey pinkerbell – thanks for the image – i’ve just set up a flicker page to send you Showering Mowbray from a few days ago – I hope it works – it shows how freaking hot it is for these guys to head down from the canopy

  129. February 13, 2009 3:56 PM

    Do you not normally get them wandering into your garden then?
    He looks a bit grumpy to say the least!
    How long did he stay there?

  130. February 13, 2009 4:41 PM

    Does anyone know – did I somehow accidentally choose a pink icon for myself without realising it or was it randomly assigned? I couldn’t have chosen better myself (unless I did of course).

    BTW the koala does not much resemble a pork pie I feel, but perhaps you have different types over there … do you still have jelly made from aeroplanes?

  131. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 5:21 PM

    Pinkerbell, (I don’t think I can call you ‘Pinky’ because I already assigned that one to @pinkroom…unless you are pinkroom), the avatars are assigned randomly as far as I’m aware….

    Just out of curiosity, para, is that the same avatar you had on Steve’s blog? I mean, once assigned, do they follow you around?

  132. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 5:24 PM

    Jesus, Pinker…that pic looks like my late granny. Loved your pic of Mowbray in the shower, para…he’s shorter than I expected.

  133. Captain Ned permalink
    February 13, 2009 7:38 PM

    I had a post deleted on the Bidisha thread. I am not pleased. I can only think they didn’t like me alluding to other deleted posts, but I didn’t refer to any one in particular, only to the fact that several of them were deleted – something that’s bleeding obvious anyway.

    It’s rather nice, though, that something so objectionable should bring people together in such a touching show of unity.

  134. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 7:47 PM

    Considering all the undeleted posts pointing out that Bidishrill is a moron, the mind reels at the thought of what the deleted posts contained.

    In other words, your post was deleted for suggesting that posts had been…er…deleted.
    The Gruaniad’s march into the moronic inferno progresses unimpeded by rhyme or reason…

  135. Captain Ned permalink
    February 13, 2009 8:01 PM

    Well, they closed comments pretty sharpish, didn’t they? Perhaps some good will come of this. Perhaps the uniformly negative reaction (apart from some twittish A-level student) will convey to the Graun just what useless crap-merchant she really is, and that it’s better not to give her a platform. Of course, this is a foolishly optimistic hope.

  136. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 8:05 PM

    What a dreamer you are, you crazy mixed–up kid, you…

  137. Pinkerbell permalink
    February 13, 2009 8:17 PM

    Erm. Well you could call me Pinkerbell? but otherwise I don’t like Pinky – it sounds rude. Maybe PK? PB? Pbell? Bell? Whatserface? Thingy? Oi? I dunnow…

    Anyway I’m off to the pub where I shall be called many things by the end of the night.

    Oh yes and the koala reminds me of my dear old gran as well now you mention it…

  138. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 8:22 PM

    Can I call you StringerBell? You’re right, though…’Pinky’ is too redolent of Brighton Pier and psychotic gangsters for comfort…

  139. Bobby Washable permalink
    February 13, 2009 8:51 PM

    Hello Mishari, just dropping in to tell Melton Mowbray to fuck off (you’re not the first and won’t be the last–Ed.).

    Public school? Slander me like that again and I’ll inform my solicitors, Messrs Hadaway and Shite.

    Only, for your information MM, the second time I’ve been here, but glad to see it still smarts. Pwned, as the youth would say.

    Sting? Only mentioned in conjunction with a full-throated hockle. Jimmy Nail, man of the people, quite another story. We let him stay.

    Tara. Don’t wait up, Mowbray, I won’t be back …or will I…

  140. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 8:59 PM

    Be kind to poor old Mowbray, I beg. Check out para’s pic of the disconsolate MM and weep at your cruel jibes…for shame.

  141. Bobby Washable permalink
    February 13, 2009 9:36 PM

    That’s him? Maybe I’ve missed something important…

    I understand there are devices to assist the removal of unwanted hair these days, Mowbray.

    I apologise for my immoderate language, and with that, I seek pies and beer. Night all.

  142. pinkroom permalink
    February 13, 2009 9:41 PM

    Hi M.

    I don’t know… spend a week or so behind sofa to stop people calling me names and my place at the table is taken by another pink! If this disappears like my GU posts I’ll know this really is the twilight zone.(it’s not–Ed.)

    Enjoyedyour turban piece v. much. I was too busy dancing, play-fighting to follow the plots and agree sting is the very nabob of pretentious w*****s de jour. Has nobody thought of adding a huge and gingery moustache to him and having him kidnap the lovely in some Bolly flick. Nail could be his ugly henchman.

    At first I thought pinkerbell was some cruel pastiche of my uniquely er… spontanous poetry style ( I suspected Des) … atf is encouraging me to draft.. but he/she seems to exist. I’d like to know more.

  143. Captain Ned permalink
    February 13, 2009 10:15 PM

    I am currently watching and listening to the gobsmacking grotesquerie of Lulu giving a rendition of Dylan’s ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’, complete with dancing girls, blaring trumpets and, of course, tambourines. It’s amazing what some people consider fit for public consumption.

  144. mishari permalink*
    February 13, 2009 10:40 PM

    The children insisted that I watch Groundhog Day with them so I missed Lulu busily polluting Dylan’s work, thank God…is that part of BBC’s folk season on BBC4? They’ve shown some good stuff, Lulu aside…

    Hello, @pinkthinkpod…@pinkerbell has a blog that you can view by clicking on her (I think I’m right in saying ‘her’) name…be prepared for a great deal of pink.

  145. parallax permalink
    February 13, 2009 11:51 PM

    mish, yes it is the same avatar as before. I think it’s glued to the email address I use to sign in … one way to check, I’ll misspell the address (which I inadvertently did when I first signed on steve’s blog) and see if the blue ming thing reappears, although this post will probably hang about in your spam net until you release it.

    Pinkerb – the koala’s not in my backyard – interstate friends emailed the photo to me – but I do know the fella, he lives in a stand of gums at the back of their property. I think he looks grumpy because he’s out of his comfort zone and very wary … but the lure of water after weeks of 40c+ heat was too much. He’s a hefty guy – check out the chest muscles – none of your cuddly pampered zoo pet there.

  146. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 13, 2009 11:56 PM

    That koala isn’t me. I always wear a tie.

    Nice to hear from Washable, though I must say his language is unnecessarily fruity. A simple ‘piss off’ would have sufficed. What does ‘pwned’ mean?

    Hendrix on the Lulu Show. That was a laugh.

  147. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 12:15 AM

    Shit…I missed Hendrix? What did he play?

    True, MM. Today’s yoof are very coarse indeed, what with their f**ks and c**nts and such-like filth. All very distressing for sensitive types like us. (Don’t make me fucking laugh, you pair of cunts–Ed.)

  148. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 14, 2009 12:27 AM

    It was in 1967 I think. I missed it (no TV allowed at school) at the time, but it’s been shown many times since. He was supposed to play Hey Joe, his big hit at the time. Part way through he broke off, said something like ‘stuff this shit, this is a tribute to Cream’, and started to play Sunshine of your Love. Total confusion in the studio, then gorgeous pouting Lulu comes on in front of clearly pissed-off Hendrix and winds the segment up. Most unusual for the BBC then, or at any time since.

  149. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 12:34 AM

    Oh, yeah…I remember that…not seeing it at the time, I mean, but subsequently. Hendrix on Lulu, geez…mind you, I always rather liked her version of The Boat That I Row. Catchy. Check it out:

    Lulu Rows Her Boat

    And my first sight of The Beatles was on The Lenny the Lion Show. I guess I was about 9. Lenny, need I add, was a bloke in a lion suit. It was a children’s program, in case you hadn’t guessed…

  150. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 14, 2009 12:40 AM

    I can’t remember seeing them before the Royal Variety thing. My mum had some relations in Liverpool called Lennon, so about that time I wrote to our John apprising him of the fact. Strangely enough he never replied. My letter must have been lost in the post, I suppose.

  151. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 12:43 AM

    Pity. Had he received it, you might well have become the 5th Beatle…John, Paul, George, Ringo and Mowbray, The Fab Five…but then you wouldn’t be talking to groundlings like us.

  152. pinkroom permalink
    February 14, 2009 12:46 AM

    Checked out the pinkerbell blog and, from the thinkpod where I’m sitting, still smell a wind-up. Des once caught me good n’ proper pretending to be a moderator. My spirited defence of his right to free speech etc causing much merriment.

    We’ll see.

    I enjoyed unwashable’s contribution. Stick him behind the wall with Sting, Nail, freep, double D and perhaps a couple of angry rescued/singed arsed koala bears and the far north will remain (happily) unconquered.

  153. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 1:01 AM

    I suppose it’s entirely possible it’s Des having a laugh. I find it hard to believe anyone likes pink that much. My youngest daughter, 9, looked at it and said “uurrghh”…so it’s not just a man thing

  154. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 1:52 AM

    The other day, I posted a couple of links to hear Eddie Lang and Lonnie Johnson playing. I didn’t realize that I’d cocked up the links and they didn’t work, so here are the working links:

    Eddie Lang

    Eddie Lang (as Blind Willie Dunn) and Lonnie Johnson

  155. parallax permalink
    February 14, 2009 8:16 AM

    I think I had one of those (yeah, really rare) ‘pain-in-the-arse-para’ moments up thread when I dismissively claimed that mish and the rest of us wrote crap – throwaway line – hope you’re all not mortally offended, arf.

    Thanks for the links mish, I really enjoyed them and spent some time looking at other utube postings. I’m listening to got the blues for murder only as I type – love the lyric ‘rattlesnakes for bodyguards’

  156. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 9:44 AM

    Yeah, Lonnie Johnson’s terrific, isn’t he? Excellent biography here

    As to offending me, I consulted with the Grauniad’s crack team of moderators on how best to deal with dozy Aussie twats.

    “Deletemate…Deletemate…”, they said in their strangely metallic voices as lights flashed on their steel carapaces and they glided about the room as if on wheels…

    Honestly, you’re going to have to do a lot better than that if you want to offend me.

  157. February 14, 2009 9:53 AM

    Hm how does one prove one’s existence? I can see how viewing my shit poetry on my violently pink blog could make me seem more like a wind-up, but I assure you I’m real! I’ll ponder a more distinctive moniker for myself and report back…

  158. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 10:24 AM

    No, I believe you. It’s highly unlikely that you’re Des (an old friend/adversary/nemesis/nuisance who I’m actually rather fond of. Sadly, he prefers surrounding himself with bum-suckers). No matter how hard he tries or how many identities he assumes, he just can’t disguise himself. Too strong a character.

    As to your poetry being ‘shit’…nobody’s poetry is shit–it’s more a case of work ranging from inept to adequate to competent to accomplished to excellent to superb to transcendant and various shades in between.

    Not that I’m in any position to advise but the thing to keep in mind is that poetry isn’t about expressing ‘genuine’ emotions or deep feelings, rage or sadness, joy or loss though it may express all or none of these. Sincerity is irrelevant. Auden said that the worst poetry was invariably the most sincerely felt.

    Poems are (ideally) beautiful artifacts wrought from language–nothing more, nothing less. It’s a high mark to aim for. Mostly, I settle for being moderately amusing, if that.

  159. pinkroom permalink
    February 14, 2009 10:58 AM

    I want to believe in you pinkerbell. M’s advice above absolutely sound. Keep writin’/keep postin but try to understand that there could be no better way to get the kind of dirty-minded, middle aged fellows who seem to post here to make an arse of themselves than to present oneself as a “pink” ingenue in need of er… help with her poetry???

    My recent tormentor from another place seems to have been looking for exactly your type. Unfortunately I was too old and a bit too “managerial” for his taste. I suspect bossy women have featured a little too often in his life.

  160. parallax permalink
    February 14, 2009 11:38 AM

    I always thought that Grauniad’s crack team of moderators was made up of New Zealanders on working holiday visas

  161. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 11:59 AM

    Pish–posh…I’m immune to ingenues, pink or otherwise.

    I see, para…that would explain why they seem to have trouble with English as she is spoke.

  162. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 14, 2009 12:28 PM

    Yes, Washable’s mind is distinctly unsanitary. His vile language and mention of the intolerable Nail gave me rather a disturbed night. A morning’s badger-culling has settled me down, thank God. Soon time to begin tanking up for the England-Wales encounter. One feels the Molochs may have the edge this year.

  163. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 12:39 PM

    Who are you kidding, MM? I know for a fact that you scrabble on e-bay for bootleg recordings of Nail concerts and actually own a pair of his underpants.

    The Molochs? I didn’t realize the Cannaanites were fielding a rugby team. Mind you, it makes sense, what with their fondness for human sacrifices and all…

  164. February 14, 2009 12:50 PM

    I was going for another shade of pink and cerise has always been a favourite, but just one didn’t seem enough – I blame Blondie.

    Hey pinkroom, didn’t you expect to see more pink at some point? Pink is the new black is it not? I wonder what black does when it’s been usurped… does it just languish around waiting to claim back it’s crown, or do they all shift round, blue as the new purple, brown as the new yellow etc?

    Thanks for the advice (Spelling cheerfully corrected–Ed.) about the poetry and the blog. It shall remain pink though!

  165. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 12:56 PM

    I thought black was the new black…or is it the new rock ‘n roll? I dunno, it’s so hard to keep up. Guess I’ll have to re-new my subscription to *Wallpaper…

  166. February 14, 2009 2:45 PM

    Eeek apologies profuse for an S where there should have been a C – oops. (Sorted, my little pink ingenue–Ed.)

  167. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 14, 2009 4:12 PM

    On reflection my comparison of the Welsh to Molochs might have been a little unfair. Molochs were at least skilled in engineering, whereas the Welsh have nothing to recommend them.
    Nail’s recording of Norm Whitfield’s excellent Love Don’t Live Here Any More was a crime against humanity. His accent always seems a bit overdone to me, rather like the ‘Geordie’ continuity announcer on Channel 4, who is probably a cockney like everyone else.

  168. February 14, 2009 5:14 PM

    Yes, you’re right. I just thought everyone had fucked off to this blog. – I don’t remember changing anything though. Anyway, think the commenting works again now.

    Children abducted and murdered should also be given single names.

  169. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 5:46 PM

    Hey, obooki…how are you? I check your damn blog every sodding day to see if comments have been re-enabled. Will check again in a sec. At least you’re now aware of the glitch. We hadn’t abandoned you, we just couldn’t work out how to alert you…never mind, all’s well then…

  170. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2009 5:49 PM

    Yup, comments are working again. So it’s back to business as usual. Good.

  171. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 14, 2009 11:45 PM

    Excellent obooki news.

    What a steaming pile of ordure on the Poster Poems thread (and I don’t except my own). Love poems are much too difficult for the amateur. The tweeness content of some was so high I really felt unwell.

    Tomorrow I go North to visit the ma-in-law for a few days, which may be contributing to my unwellness. I shall return (unless I die of boredom).

  172. mishari permalink*
    February 15, 2009 11:32 AM

    Quite so, MM…I still firmly believe that it would be bettter if Mills set a subject AND form. Just starting a hare called ‘love’ or ‘old age’ opens the floodgates to anyone who thinks that poetry is a matter of being sincere and chopping your prose up into short lines.

    Take care up North, man. They Are Not As Other People.

  173. February 15, 2009 2:06 PM

    I graced the love poem space – as Pinkerbell – with a washy attempt mostly about the weather really, but was considering whether it was poor taste to add one of a more gritty nature, once I’ve found a good rhyme for ‘two-timing arsehole’ …

  174. mishari permalink*
    February 15, 2009 2:45 PM

    … grass knoll, past role, class-role, fast roll, parcel, metatarsal…alright, the last two are only semi-homophonic but what the hell..

  175. February 15, 2009 6:37 PM

    Very good! although now I might actually have to write the damn thing!

Comments are closed.