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From Here To What Feels Like Eternity

April 9, 2009


A discussion of rotten films on the previous thread got me thinking: this is a seam of almost unimaginable richness. We all have our favourite celluloid stinkers. Memorialize yours in a clerihew. Like this:

Lars Von Trier
Lived in fear
Of working with Bjork,
“She’s just such a djork”.

Quentin Tarantino
Said, “I think that we all know
That my name’s on the map
For making cartoonish, derivative crap.”

Guy Ritchie
Said “My wife gets bitchy
If I don’t let her act;
Though she can’t: that’s a fact.”

Actually, any verse form will do or just prose re-calling your film nightmares. Lights! Camera! Action!

  1. mishari permalink*
    April 9, 2009 12:56 PM

    I haven’t seen it myself but for anyone curious about the film featured at the top of this post, here’s the Washington Post’s review:

    Having established that he can’t rap or dance, Vanilla Ice now adds acting to his resume — call it the tri-imperfecta of pop. And judging by the thin crowds at weekend screenings of Vanilla Ice’s feature film debut, it might better have been called “Cold as Ice” than “Cool as Ice.” Hopefully it’s a promise of things to come.

    The film itself is a cross between an after-school special and MTV video, melding threadbare plot with colorful visuals and delivering a message, which is, basically, Vanilla Ice is cool, you know? Having already ripped off hip-hop culture for a multi-platinum debut album, the Ice-person continues to seek street credibility with his African American posse, one that rides its garishly painted motorcycles into a quiet little town ready to be all shook up. It’s “Footloose” meets “The Mild Ones,” but the posse is offscreen for most of the film. This star vehicle is built for one.

    Vanilla Ice is Johnny (such is the level of originality) and the film centers on his clumsy courting of Kathy, a pretty high school honor student who seems quite ready to ditch those twin 800 SAT scores and bright future at the mere cock of Johnny’s shaved eyebrow. This being a G film, however, things never get steamier than a Benetton ad and the film serves up all its social encounters like a video version of Sweet Valley High.

    This includes Ice’s fights with Kathy’s former boyfriend, an uptight and alcoholic jock who doesn’t take any more kindly to Ice than critics or rap fans do. In one of the film’s wittiest exchanges, Ice tells Kathy, “Drop that zero and get with the hero.” Ooh, that Ice!

    Luckily, the Mother Goose Primer rhymer only performs five songs, and only three noticeably. The rest of the soundtrack is cluttered with the likes of D’New, Denise Lopez and Partners in Kryme, none of whom is likely to be heard from again. While Vanilla Ice himself may be deserving of a similar fate, he does have a terrific profile, which cinematographer Janusz Kaminski resorts to whenever the script falters. There are lots of profile shots, which may or may not satisfy his core audience of pre-pubescent girls.

    As for Ice’s acting, he’s most effective in meditative profile. His character is oblivious to everything but himself, so playing the role probably isn’t much of a stretch, but it must have been embarrassing for real actors like Michael Gross and Candy Clark (as Kathy’s parents). As Kathy, Kristin Minter projects certain impatient teenage energies but she’s basically playing the Apollonia role to Vanilla Ice’s Prince, which means she has to work hard to get between him and his motorcycle.

    A subplot involving Kathy’s parents is merely a vehicle for generational misunderstandings and what passes for action, but it does little to rouse the film from its persistent lethargy.

    Vanilla Ice seems to have anticipated critical reaction — there’s a line somewhere about “dissed again” — but he goes Elvis Presley one step lower in his appropriation of black culture, resorting to stolen attitude and lingo without a pretense of appreciation. Well, to quote him, “You axed me.” If only …

    Sounds like a deserving recipient of the Politely Homicidal Perp Walk, I think…

  2. parallax permalink
    April 9, 2009 3:48 PM

    No clerihew mish, but nonetheless:

    Two (count them two) Wicker Men – I watched back-to-back
    last weekend on SBS.

    1973 – Ewoowoowar and Brit
    (yep, she that married Strangelove Sellars
    and then I Am Sailing Stewart.
    Fuck, she was born 1942.
    Whoa, and here she is on screen
    gyrating naked
    Yeah but, it was all tastefully film-ed ‘from the back’
    what a fucking load of crap)

    Next up:
    Nicholas Cage in a 2006 bricolage.
    Caned – big time.
    A wig? or a bad hair-dye? And tippex-teeth.
    And fucking ‘the world is a feminist conspiracy and you’re gonna burn me ‘ script.

    Yeah, goodnight Nicholas.
    Meanwhile – back at The Crucible …
    more witches to burn


  3. April 9, 2009 5:08 PM

    I’m reticent to join in. I think I probably like most of the lame films you guys would hate…

    I have to admit to very much liking most of Tarantino’s films before he started putting his name to rubbish stuff which he didn’t really have a hand in. “Sin City” in particular was rather a masterpiece I thought and I think the use of different genres in his films, such as manga or quiz-show formats, to convey some of the very violent parts of the stories actually works very well, but I’m happy to be in a minority.

    “Hostel” and all part thereof need burning though – in fact something much more dramatic than burning – They need their eyes burning out, their achilles slashing and their heads smashing in… calm, calm…

    Actually I can think of a pretty bad film “Shrooms” – clearly written, made, marketed, and needing to be watched, by people on ‘shrooms. Maybe that was the point? If so they should give them out free with the film like they used to do with those 3d glasses.

  4. April 9, 2009 7:14 PM

    Whoever directed Speed 2
    Has a lot of explaining to do
    Even using a boat
    Couldn’t keep the damn story afloat.

    Quentin Tarantino the fool
    Wants to be cooler than cool.
    70’s references by the yard
    But the boy’s trying far too hard.

    Is there anyone around to see
    Who really enjoyed X-Men 3?
    Of coherence there was a dearth
    Topped off by Frasier as Papa Smurf.

  5. April 9, 2009 8:30 PM

    Staying Alive hit the height
    Of what we consider cinematic shite
    One warning: never be alone
    With a film directed by Stallone.

    Fast and Furious? you must be joking
    My co-viewer kept me awake by invoking
    The film buff’s mantra which I’ll tell to you
    It’s not as bad as Fast and Furious 2.

    Holy Christ! Jesus! What the feck!
    A film with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
    The film is called Good Will Hunting
    Never watch a film with those two cunts in

  6. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 9, 2009 11:49 PM

    I like Tarantino too. For value-for-money reasons I would never consider walking out of a film. I came close in The Cable Guy, The Lion King and Thunderbirds but on each occasion was nominally in charge of children. I had to content myself with shredding Calippo tubes.

    I don’t see the connection between porn films being badly made and therefore a waste of time. The unclothed female form is always of interest. Leaving aside the issues of exploitation and objectification, the main problem (in my limited experience of the genre) with the porn film is the presence of men in them.

  7. April 10, 2009 12:15 AM

    The film I’d most liked to have walked out on was von Trier’s The Idiots, but there were too many people in the way. I’ve never seen – or intend to see – anything by von Trier again. (I get that way with directors, another is Oliver Stone). – These days I just rent DVDs and can give up on a film at my own leisure (probably about 1 in 3 films).

    Other particularly dreadful films include the remake of Planet of the Apes, and John Carpenter’s appalling Ghosts of Mars (imdb, i seem to remember, has a long discussions of the absurdities of the plot). There are far worse arthouse films, but I can’t bring the names of any to mind right now.

    All Vanilla Ice needs to be hailed as a genius is to claim that it (he) is a postmodern satire.

  8. sean murray permalink
    April 10, 2009 12:13 PM

    btjunkie currently has over 100 people seeding Cool as Ice! I’m going for the soundtrack too…

    The title track is by Vanilla Ice and… Naomi Campbell. Rozalla also features. And there is actually a track called “Drop that zero.”

    Fuck The Boat that Rocked. Let’s group-blog this film and sountrack.

  9. sean murray permalink
    April 10, 2009 12:24 PM

    The title track’s full title is Cool As Ice (Everybody Get Loose). The hard-to-find 5-track CD single has an edit called Cool As Ice (Naomi Gets Loose).

    I’m actually feeling quite bitter that no one ever told me about this film/soundtrack before.

  10. April 10, 2009 12:55 PM

    Obooki, the remake of Planet of the Apes is definitely featuring on my list. It was vaguely tolerable until the ending, which I couldn’t work out and left the cinema quiet and confused. I thought it must have been a really clever ending and I’d missed the point, but alas I think it was just shite!

    And the Matrix…first one was entertaining, actually required some thinking but was logical enough to work out. Whoever decided to completely deconstruct all that good work in a sequel needs shooting and whoever made the self-indulgent abomination which was the third needs beating with the soggy bits of the first guy before he’s allowed to be shot!

  11. April 10, 2009 1:23 PM

    Star Bores:

    The First Star Wars was 74,
    And then the original Second and Third –
    Familiar tales in space retold.
    But Lucas, you bastard, you made me turn nerd
    When you renamed them Four, Five and Six,
    With the “prequels” you shot the pedant you stirred.

    I’m afraid you rather lost the plot –
    Yoda was a muppet, R2 couldn’t fly,
    Don’t you recall he sank in a swamp?
    And stormtroopers weren’t all played by the same guy!
    I’m sure a good yarn was there to tell,
    But you obscured it too well with C.G.I.

  12. April 10, 2009 6:46 PM

    Wasn’t Vanilla Ice a sort of rap equivalent of “On the Buses”?

  13. April 10, 2009 9:29 PM

    Truly a thing of wonder
    Jon Voight’s acting in Anaconda
    Inappropriate facial tics
    Not even convincing as a lunatic.

    I never want to see a Von Trier film again either but I think he wants to irritate the viewers so the grimness of them is deliberate rather than cack-handed. They don’t seem badly made to me just too concerned with trying to provoke and being controversial.

  14. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    April 11, 2009 6:52 AM

    Linda Lovelace, beloved of Jack,
    with her post-tonsillectomy knack
    could turn flaccid grainy soft focus
    into woody pecker-hard pokers

  15. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 11, 2009 8:24 PM

    Heady stuff, HLM. Are you aware that Neil Young is to play the IoW this summer? I have already booked a holiday far away in anticipation and contracted a local artisan to board the windows against his supersonic whine. Nothing can protect the Garden Isle from his passive-aggressive sentimentality, however.

    The Remains of the Day
    seemed pretty grey
    what the butler saw
    was a total bore

  16. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    April 11, 2009 9:25 PM

    Wise move, MM. I’ve toned down my enthusiasm on the Neil Young front since he assumed the persona of an insistent internet pop-up. A slight dent to resources this year is preventing me from seeing any concerts this summer, apart from Nick Lowe at the RAH and Dave Matthews Band at the Olympia, courtesy of friends’ generosity. Everyone is in good health, though, and the roof is still on the house (just) so these things can be put in perspective. Saddest note is that in the simultaneous computer meltdown that affected our household I lost all the poems I wrote over the last four years. A moleskin’s worth, I suppose. Teach me to trust Microsoft.

    Bill Gates may be smart
    But an untimely fart
    Can endanger butterflies’ existence
    Or force me to waste my life savings on hotline assistance

  17. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 12, 2009 12:00 AM

    That must have been painful, HLM. Judging by your usual fertility four years’ worth would amount to several hundred. Erato weeps.

    I must say that I found Blow
    Something less than so-so
    My inappropriate thought
    Was to dismiss it with a snort

  18. April 12, 2009 4:19 PM

    MM I don’t mind Neil Young in extremely small doses. My fear would be Meat Loaf playing nearby and being trapped in songs that don’t know when to end.

    I used to live a stone’s throw from Manchester City’s Maine Road stadium. In the summer they used to put on concerts. Certain streets channelled the sound so if it was a two nighter the whole neighbourhood was well acquainted with the set on day 2. I remember cycling home and nearly being knocked off my bike by Terence Trent D’Arby screaming down a mike.

  19. April 13, 2009 12:44 AM

    The Decline of Western Civilization
    (dir. Penelope Spheeris)

    Darby Crash & the mint jelly
    as far west* as civilization
    as known can come and still
    have a pet tarantula

    * The direction denoting also a
    movement outward into vertical space
    and/or the entropic/evolutionary move
    of the ’80s = the brain had been blown
    out through the top of the head
    (cf. Alien) somewhere in the not too
    distant past (going west no doubt)
    and left behind this fossil form of
    a once “rational” species (“Manimal”).


    Speaking of the Decline of the West,
    there was once a way around it, by bus,
    taking the Indian Detour:

  20. Captain Ned permalink
    April 13, 2009 3:05 PM

    A Time to Kill
    Is a load of old swill.
    Grisham and Bullock:
    No wonder it’s bollocks.

    About American Beauty,
    I’m really quite snooty.
    But then scribe Alan Ball
    Tends often to appal.

  21. St Pollyanna of Our Lady of Holy Optimism permalink
    April 14, 2009 8:32 AM

    Rocking up to the cinema yesterday I was almost tempted to see The Boat That Rocks, but ended up watching Monsters vs Aliens instead, which did just what it said on the tin.

    God, Ned, Jon Grisham… ARGH! All those films were awful. Pelican Brief wasn’t even saved by having Julia Roberts in. I read the Runaway jury, that was my last attempt at Grisham. I couldn’t believe how he could take such an emotive subject and make it inconclusive and dull. It was like he didn’t want to commit himself to an ending. Essential in a novel surely?

    Back to work today *sigh* – hope everyone had a good Easter weekend…

  22. pinkroom permalink
    April 14, 2009 8:35 AM

    Many seconds here… on a food tip.

    Apes remake?
    Why for fuck’s sake?
    the original better
    than that rancid old feta.

    Nicholas Cage?
    Ham in last stage;
    that same wild-eyed look
    like some flame-injured cook.

    That new “Star Wars” couple
    Casting Lucas fucked-upple.
    Both pretty as a daisy.
    Together? Mayonaisey.

    American Beauty?
    Smelling quite fruity,
    Kevin waste of spacey
    Mugging, pale pastry.

    And lastly, as I’ve just come back from a largely empty Ephesus, as it happens, our old friend/vandal Sting.

    Gordon Sumner?
    Wood to glummen a
    with his lack of thesp. yeast

    …or zest, or good timing.
    His self-satisfied liming,
    has yet to leaven,
    a movie to Heaven.

  23. April 14, 2009 8:40 AM

    Far and Away
    Is far from OK;
    Those fake Irish accents
    Make me want to bury the cast in quick-setting cement.

  24. Captain Ned permalink
    April 14, 2009 9:18 AM

    I’ve never been fond of Oliver Stone;
    His films are exceedingly poor.
    His numerous duds, I just can’t condone;
    Won’t someone please show him the door?

  25. Captain Ned permalink
    April 14, 2009 9:20 AM

    But not ‘The Doors’. Yikes. Unless you want rub his nose in his own cinematic ordure. Still, it wasn’t as bad as ‘Platoon’; the use of Barber’s adagio is very hard to forgive. Oh, the Oscar-winning Pity of War!!!!

  26. April 14, 2009 12:42 PM

    Barber’s Adagio is sacred! Was Platoon bad then? I’ve never watched it (despite the promise of a very young Johnny Depp). Something about the idea of American films about Vietnam put me off watching them before I even start, but I’m happy to be pointed towards a decent one if there are any…

  27. parallax permalink
    April 14, 2009 1:34 PM

    Chicago Manual of Style
    you’ll never screenplay by a mile
    15th edition – I hate you with a passion
    just fuck off, go out of fashion and die

  28. parallax permalink
    April 14, 2009 1:58 PM

    MLA – you’re such a sweetie,
    you concentrate on text looking pree-ty.
    It’s all about font,
    not the preposterous, extensive footnoting of monstrous Chicago cunt

  29. parallax permalink
    April 14, 2009 2:03 PM

    Edgar Allan Poe thought he was ace
    extolling the virtues of being locked in a base-
    ment. What an unimaginative, raven-obsessed, Gothic wimp.
    Could he ever imagine life as a chained, performing, Chicago-style chimp?

  30. parallax permalink
    April 14, 2009 2:04 PM

    ok, I’m done. Thanks for the rant space :)

  31. mishari permalink*
    April 14, 2009 2:16 PM

    OK, I’m back…springtime in Paris was inspiring:

    I never knew the charm of spring
    I never met it face to face
    I never new my heart could sing
    I never missed a warm embrace

    Till April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom
    Holiday tables under the trees
    April in Paris, this is a feeling
    That no one can ever reprise

    April In Paris by Vernon Duke and E. Y. ‘Yip’ Harburg

    Yeah, sure…I wish I could say that a few days in Paris (kids palmed off on their grandperes, me and my honey footloose and fancy free) led to cinematic ecstacy…sorry. The crapauds are not only fond of such emetics as Louis de Funès, Jerry Lewis and Johnny Halliday, the fuckers revel in it…

    Give me a few minutes to gather my wind, so to speak, and I’ll return to hand out caresses and slaps, as I deem apropriate…

    For the time being, I have one word for shit-film afficianados:


    …make your peace with whichever God you worship because I’m going to elaborate on Stallone and ‘Cobra‘, a film so monumentaly imbecilic that if a million monkeys with a million crayons scribbled for a million years they could never write anything so cretinous…(quoted from a review of another brain-meltingly rotten film–Ed)

  32. parallax permalink
    April 14, 2009 4:37 PM

    fuck – it’s all happening on *we will not tolerate dissent – or even a a bit of cynical wrangling* Cif. Seems that some of the more – umm – vocal commentators have got the royal order of the boot – not only banned from commentating but their profiles and comment-history have been quarantined. Sheesh. WML for one. Hasn’t he been shaking his atheist, scientific fist at CIF for ages? No gold watch for service there then. Maybe GU and everyone else is just bored with the repetitive nature of the posts – who knows. Hmmm I wonder if PikeBishop will be in the firing-line?

    Apologies to non ex-Cif posters, who’ll have no idea what I’m on about. But mish, MM, freep, ISA may be interested … or not …

  33. April 14, 2009 5:00 PM

    Mishari where’s this bloody Eastwood blog you’ve been hinting at? Sod Stallone, a quick limerick is all he deserves.

    Clint is in the position of having made some gems as well as some duds.

  34. mishari permalink*
    April 14, 2009 5:05 PM

    I won’t pretend I’m surprised, para…CiF has always erred on the side of pusillanimity. Although there’s a great deal of lip-service paid to the abstract concept of ‘neutrality, in truth, the Grauniad has always pimped itself out to Labour.

    Check out the number of posts over the last few weeks attempting to portray Brown as some kind of Olympian, far above the sordid machinations that go on below. Ho-Ho-Ho..

    Count your blessings, sport. You’re in Oz…a jillion, squillion square miles of nada, (except pictaresque natives, absconding ‘Stand-Over-Men’ and other types I’m well-aquainted with)

    I’m seriously considering emigrating to Oz. I’ve been practicing boomerang technique and drinking Mother Foster’s Finest..and, oh, yeah… I hate whinging Poms…how’m I doing so far? Can I be a fresh Bruce, Bruce?

  35. mishari permalink*
    April 14, 2009 5:37 PM

    I know, I know, Al…it’s just that I’ve been hellish busy, what with bringing Capitalism to its knees, advising the Pope on sex (“don’t do it you Nazi bastard”) and doctrinal matters and all…

    Thing lately is, my Eastwood piece keeps expanding.

    The more I examine the body of work he’s produced, the more I’m becoming convinced that Eastwood is not only more significant and emblematic of our times than, say, Spielberg or Scorcese, but I think he’s more interesting than the aforementioned –more complex and, as a chronicler of the 20th century, hugely more important.

    It’s probably not a popular position to take but the evidence is there and it’s persuasive. You’ll see, man…

    Just imagine me inflating a giant pig (my case) with a bicycle pump (my brain)…I won’t lie, Al…it’s a fucking hill to climb. Sadly, I lack the casual brilliance of Sean or Steven…or most of you fucking wind-up merchants, for that matter.

    I really am just another pretty (-ish) face. (Ha-ha..that was a LONG time ago, bucko–Ed)

    You know how it goes, Al…the more avenues I explore, the more the piece expands. Chill, mon…soon come.

  36. April 14, 2009 7:05 PM

    Mishari I like Clint a lot – his latest bunch of films are great. Like Hitchcock you could pedantically pick holes in the plot-lines and character motivations but they make for solid meaty dramas. He has an eye for a good story and is never that predictable ( except for various Dirty Harry sequels ) .

    I prefer narratives that are a bit more oblique but I’ve always liked Clint.

  37. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    April 14, 2009 7:28 PM

    by dint
    of squint laconic
    eschews the symphonic

  38. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 14, 2009 9:07 PM

    Carry On Clint
    Would make a mint
    Do you feel lucky?
    Well, do you ducky?

  39. April 14, 2009 9:39 PM

    Paint Your Wagon
    Not Clint’s best hour
    His singing voice
    Like milk gone sour.

    It could be worse
    It could be a relief.
    Imagine singing
    By Lee Van Cleef.

  40. Captain Ned permalink
    April 14, 2009 11:07 PM

    St. Pollyanna – I’ve no real objection to the Adagio itself, just to the use made of it in ‘Platoon’, which is as a kind of handy shorthand for ‘Tragedy’, ‘Profundity’, etc.This particular piece of music has been used in much the same way in a number of other films and TV progs I’ve seen, so much so that when I hear it, I can’t help but think of the lachrymose tones of war correspondent and professional bleeding heart Fergal Keane. The Adagio might well be a masterpiece on its own terms, for all I know – I don’t, because I just can’t shake off the associations it has for me.

  41. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 15, 2009 12:11 AM

    Terence Trent D’Arby. A name which has not crossed my consciousness in many a year. I sympathise with you, Alarming. Assorted oldsters round here complained they could hear the Stones playing last summer (about six miles away) though I didn’t notice it.

    Last week I attended two funerals which were hymnless. One was adorned by tracks from Tony Bennett and Jack Jones, the other by that ghastly song Feelings, which, as Oscar might have said, adds a new horror to the end. If funerals are to be non-participatory then I think Barber’s Adagio should be compulsory and the only allowable musical accompaniment. It may be a cliche, but then so is death.

  42. April 15, 2009 12:55 PM

    A friend of mine did indeed have Barber’s Adagio at her funeral, so that’s all I associate it with anyway. Any songs chosen for funerals would no doubt be cliched – so many people sitting in the same room, listening to the same thing and trying to see some meaning of life or message of love in it – it’s going to be excrutiating. I think she also had “Blaze of Glory” for when the coffin disappeared for cremation (I’m sure that part of the service has a special name, but I don’t know it) I wonder how many people have had that? I do remember saying to her that she should pick some really ghastly songs so that everyone would have to listen to them and that she could have the last laugh. Perhaps, MM, that’s why they had Feelings? (someone can’t actually think it’s good can they?)

  43. April 15, 2009 5:57 PM

    I once saw a documentary about the South American rain forest narrated by Feargal Keane. His commentary made a shot of ants scuttling about their business on the forest floor seem so significant that for a moment I considered phoning these ants up to see if they could make a better job of running the country than the last few governments have.

    • mishari permalink*
      April 15, 2009 6:54 PM

      I have no doubt at all that they could. Edward O. Wilson’s masterpiece, The Ants, fruit of some 25 years of close observation of ants, is an absolutely fascinating read.

      Somewhere in it, Wilson says that if you would see true self-sacrifice and commitment, look to the ants. And as for their organizational genius, they make Whitehall look like a lunatic asylum.

      Such a pity that Wilson decided to go into socio-biology (a term I think he actually invented) and sought to persuade us that society should model itself more on ants–that if we behaved in X ant-like fashion, we would get Y ant-like results. He also talked of genetic and chemical manipulation (the means used by ants) to bring about desired societal results. That brought an absolute shit-storm down on his head…accusations of crypto-Mengele-ism, fascism, etc, etc. all of it undeserved. Poor naive Wilson was merely speculating on possibilities.

      Sadly, extrapolating from ants to homo sapiens is what philosophers call a ‘category error’, something Wilson, an otherwise absolutely brilliant man, had failed to take into account.

      Still, The Ants is a terrific work. I can’t recommend it highly enough…

  44. April 15, 2009 7:29 PM

    Their downfall will be when they discover email.

  45. April 15, 2009 10:15 PM

    Things haven’t been going off piste enough in this thread, so:

    (best to ignore the mouth-breathing ebullience of the original poster)

  46. April 15, 2009 10:20 PM

    Steven Things haven’t being going off-piste enough?

    Just as I was about to talk about the illegal sale of Capybara meat in Venezuela. Possibly in the stentorian tones of Feargal Keane. How dare you!!!!

  47. mishari permalink*
    April 15, 2009 10:23 PM

    Extremely amusing, Steven. Fine use of Gilliam-esque animation and some cracking lines “Hell, if I was dyslexic I’d hate dogs too…”

  48. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 15, 2009 11:06 PM

    This wasn’t a postmodern funeral, St Polly. There were people visibly weeping as Feelings played. Baffling. I didn’t have a close connection with the deceased, but even if I did I can’t see myself being moved by that crass nonsense. Lyrics are a liability, which is one good reason for the Adagio. For my own demise I favour being dumped in a wheelie bin to the strains of Slush by the Bonzo Dog Band. I must see the solicitor tomorrow.

  49. April 15, 2009 11:20 PM

    I plan to be filletted – my skeleton will be donated to an automata-maker who will mechanically animate it thus giving me an energy I never had in real life.

    The filletting could be accompanied by a CD of actors being paid to eulogise about me at length.

  50. mishari permalink*
    April 15, 2009 11:38 PM

    I dunno…I’m torn between a full Viking job–the longboat floating down the Thames in flames, all my slaves and concubines along side of me as is proper and fitting–or straight-forward cremation at Kensal Rise.

    I attended a friend’s cremation there, many years ago. As we sat in the crematorium waiting for the casket to slide into the oven, a friend nudged me, nodded his head at a sign on the wall and said, “He would have liked that…”.

    The sign read, “Thank You For Not Smoking”.

    He really would have liked that…

  51. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 15, 2009 11:49 PM

    Was it Flaubert’s sister whose coffin they couldn’t fit in the grave? The gravedigger hadn’t made it long enough so the mutes tried to force it in, without success. The family left with the coffin standing on end in the grave.

  52. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 16, 2009 12:07 AM

    It was.

  53. mishari permalink*
    April 16, 2009 12:09 AM

    I know that story, MM, but I can’t remember who it concerned. I came across this one in Le Monde a few years ago. I clipped it and kept it:

    In concordance with M. Petropoulos’ wishes, he was cremated and his ashes were poured down a municipal drain into the sewers of Paris by his partner, writer Mary Koukoules. The ceremony was accompanied by a melancholy rembetika played on a bouzouki. The song was on the theme of death and moved all those attending as M. Petropoulos’ ashes were dispersed beneath the city he loved.

    –Elias Petropoulos, folklorist, born June 26, 1928; Died Sept 3, 2003

  54. April 16, 2009 12:21 AM

    Did you hear about the woman buried in her Ferrari? They encased it in concrete so no-one could dig it up and nick it.

  55. mishari permalink*
    April 16, 2009 12:27 AM

    I read about that one, Polly. Which reminds me of a conversation I overheard a few years ago in The Grave Maurice, a favourite watering hole of local wide-boys.

    They were discussing the grave of Lord King’s (the former CEO of British Airways) wife. Apparently, she’d been buried with her favourite pendant around her neck–a flawless 10 carat stone worth $2 million. The two were trying to work out how to locate the grave…

    I suppose it beats working…

  56. April 16, 2009 8:39 AM

    In Ghana they make bespoke carved wooden coffins for the deceased where the coffin is an object relevant to their life. People get buried in giant fish, peppers, woodworking tools, fancy cars and an editor got put in a giant folded newspaper. The results are really quite beautiful and poetic.

    Thames & Hudson published a book “Going into Darkness” of photographs of such burials by Thierry Secretan.

    A friend of mine who worked with the company was buried in a beautifully made wooden shed. He was a real backroom boffin, rough around the edges and his coffin was bungeed onto the local chimney sweep’s roof-rack to be driven up a steep hill to his resting place. The only funeral I’ve been to which seemed totally apt.

    On the Today programme this morning they were coincidentally discussing funeral tunes. Apparently AC/DC’s Highway to Hell is a very popular choice.

  57. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    April 16, 2009 9:00 AM

    when I buy the farm they’ll plant me
    in coffin fit for pot-pourri:
    a hollowed-out softback copy
    of bury my heart at wounded knee

  58. mishari permalink*
    April 16, 2009 9:05 AM

    The Dream Of A Mortgagee

    When I finally snuff it
    (I’m hazy about dates)
    I want a box shaped like Warren Buffet
    And filled with William Gates.
    (Call me fly but they can afford to die.)

  59. freep permalink
    April 16, 2009 11:02 AM

    From: The Churchyards Handbook, 3rd edition; chapter 12, Epitaphs and Inscriptions:

    ‘ Advise against such expressions as ‘fell asleep’, unless they make a special point, like the Salvation Army officer who, said his epitaph, ‘was promoted to Glory’. It is absurd, in a churchyard of all places, to shrink away from the fact of death. An epitaph is a public document, and not a cosy one at that. Nicknames or pet-names (‘Mum’, ‘Dad’, ‘Ginger’) inscribed in stone, would carry overtones of the dog-cemetery unsuitable for the resting-place of Christian men and women…’

    The handbook is prescribed reading for the clergy. Expect resistance if you propose a coffin shaped like a question mark, or a tablet with a message containing execrable puns. [‘In memory of Mr Sillett, who went out with a Bang and is now clean forgotten.’]

  60. mishari permalink*
    April 16, 2009 11:37 AM

    I’ll Handle The Water Music

    On the day I come to croak,
    Boys, have a drink on me;
    Crack a coarse and vulgar joke,
    Then dump me in the sea.

    There the sirens do await
    To sing me to my rest
    And languid fins will indicate
    The well-stuffed Dead Man’s Chest.

    “Get ye hence, your song is done,
    Your master’s Davey Jones:
    He’ll fill you up with well-aged rum
    And play tunes on your bones.”

    I’ll join the timeless deep-sea band:
    The rapture of the deep;
    Such melodies, if heard on land,
    Would rob you of your sleep.

    In Davey’s band beneath the waves
    Is water music played by knaves.

    Great stuff, freep. I must aquire a copy of The Churchyards Handbook, 3rd edition. It sounds like a goldmine…

  61. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 16, 2009 1:36 PM

    Here lies the body of Prince Mishari
    A burial at sea was his wish
    If you’re eating at a local restaurant
    I advise you to avoid the fish.

    • mishari permalink*
      April 16, 2009 2:06 PM

      No problem for stout Melton Mowbray
      His appetite hearty and hale;
      Fish is a dish for which he don’t wish:
      He usually dines on a whale.

  62. parallax permalink
    April 16, 2009 2:10 PM

    The Eternal Ennui of Crynogenics

    God. I am bored stiff or what?
    Frozen to the core.
    If I could shift my neck a bit
    I’d see who was next door

    I’ve been here fucking ages now
    Sheez, why didn’t I choose a vault?
    I could be disintegrating gently
    instead of lying next to Walt

    • mishari permalink*
      April 16, 2009 2:17 PM

      It could be worse in your ice-house:
      Your neighbour might be Mickey Mouse.

  63. mishari permalink*
    April 16, 2009 9:41 PM

    Is it just a coincidence that about 36 hours after we started discussing suitable songs and music for funerals, the Grauniad posted the following thread?

    Tunes to die for

    Many people now favour pop songs over traditional hymns for their funeral. Which song would you pick for your own?

    BTW, MM…this should interest you. A Guide To The Ten Best Tin Openers.

  64. April 17, 2009 12:01 AM

    God you guys don’t half amuse me!! – I’m very drunk by the way… Guide to the ten best tin openers!… are five of them just big knives and perhaps a dirty great big axe?

    Nice to see you’ve been scooting about the place Mish. I have been found out!! I’ve been posting my poems on my own site as well as here. Let’s just say that I have an entirely different following in my own place and I like to get their opinions and comments as well. I’m a leo – attention seeking bastards that we are!!

  65. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 17, 2009 12:17 AM

    That pink one looks like something from a sex shop.

  66. mishari permalink*
    April 17, 2009 12:22 AM

    I was just teasing you, kiddo. It would be silly, really, not to post them on your own blog.

    A couple of those tin-openers will solve MM’s tuna-trauma. They can be operated with one hand. I believe one of them (electric) requires no hands at all. The poetry of the mundane:

    Mowbray’s Tuna Song

    I think I’m getting rather thin;
    So I’ll just crack another tin
    Of scrumptious tuna fish:
    Torpedo-shaped and tasty,
    Impells me to be hasty;
    No, I don’t need no dish;
    I’ll take it like a man
    And eat it from the can.

    MM’s a Pisces, naturliche

  67. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 17, 2009 12:43 AM

    Tinned tuna will do at a pinch
    But the way I prefer to go
    Is to grill a turtle for lunch
    And dine on dolphin carpaccio.

  68. MeltonMowbray permalink
    April 17, 2009 12:57 AM

    I meant to give a mention to Marais’ Soul of the White Ant earlier. Interesting chap.

  69. mishari permalink*
    April 17, 2009 1:21 AM

    I knew of the book, but I’ve never read it and knew nothing of its author. This from Wiki:

    His book “Die Siel van die Mier” (lit. “The soul of the ant” but usually given in English as the “Soul of the White Ant”) was plagiarized by Nobel laureate Maurice Maeterlinck, who published “The Life of the White Ant” in 1926, falsely claiming many of Marais’ revolutionary ideas as his own.

    Maurice Maeterlinck was able to do this because he was Belgian and, though his mother tongue was French, he was fluent in Dutch, from which Afrikaans was derived. It was common at the time for worthy articles published in Afrikaans to be reproduced in Flemish and Dutch magazines and journals.

    Marais contemplated legal action against Maeterlinck but gave up the idea in the face of the costs and logistics involved. Marais had by now for some time been a morphine addict and suffered from melancholy, insomnia, depression and feelings of isolation.

    The theft of his ideas weighed heavily on his mind and some say this caused his final demise, although others argue that the issue had an energizing and invigorating effect. Certainly it brought him back into the public eye in a favorable way.

    In 1936, deprived of morphine for some days, he finally borrowed a shotgun (on the pretext of killing a snake) and shot himself in the chest.

    The wound was not fatal and Marais therefore placed the end of the weapon in his mouth and pulled the trigger. This occurred on the farm Pelindaba, belonging to his friend, Gustav S. Preller.

    For those who are familiar with the dark moods of certain of Marais’ poems there is a black irony here; in Zulu, Pelindaba means “the end of the business” – although the more common interpretation is “Place of great gatherings”.

    Looks like an interesting book by an interesting man. I’ve ordered it from Mammalzone…

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