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In The Realms Of Gold

February 2, 2010


Our friend Alarming just introduced me to a painter I’d never come across before, Lyonel Feininger.

At the risk of sounding like a fortune-cookie, life is a voyage of discovery (grasshopper). But it seems that so many of the happiest discoveries are serendipitous–the result of felicity, luck or happenstance. You go looking for China and you find America. A conversation about Krazy Kat leads you to Lyonel Feininger. I found my wife while looking for a kebab shop (and walking into a lampost– don’t ask).

Let’s have poems on unexpected discoveries, happy or otherwise.

  1. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 3, 2010 12:16 PM

    A close call, but I would have to go for the kebab.

  2. mishari permalink*
    February 3, 2010 12:44 PM

    I took both…Because I’m Worth It (©L’Frog Drivel for Half-Wits)

  3. February 3, 2010 3:18 PM

    This is a stretch – no time for composition at the moment – but will presume to share this *cough* ‘visual poem’ I made in Spain. The fact that I can’t get the bloody thing to load on my own blog is entirely incidental.

  4. mishari permalink*
    February 3, 2010 5:58 PM

    OK, kid…it’s high concept…that’s good, that works…but it ain’t box office..yer frum Yurp, right?…yeah, see, that high concept jazz wows the Yurpeens…wadda they know, right?…trust me, kid…a long time I’m in this racket…you should live so long…but yer on the right track…yer a bright kid, butchoo juss need some gydunce is all.

    OK…we godda give it some oomph, some pizzazz…Bruce Willis is a lepo-, lipo-, lopo-…a budderfly guy, like that Russian pervert, wrote that dirty book…so Bruce is in Spain…that’s in Yurp, right?…OK…Bruce is in Spain, doin’ his budderfly thing, tryin’ ta ferget…who cares?…ferget sumthin’…anyways, the saps’ll love the budderfly stuff…it’s like a whatchamacallit…medaffor…the fragile, transient beauty and then…KAPOW…he’s onna hillside in Yerp, Spain an’ the call comes thru…it’s the CIA…see, Bruce was their top black ops guy until…woddevuh…ya see where I’m goin’ with this, kid?

    The whole hill blows up an’ before ya know it, Bruce is fightin’ fer his life…camera pans to yer sunset only it’s notta sunset, it’s a nookleah bomb goin’ off, destroying the capital of Spain…Rome, right?…anyway, I’m just spitballin’ here kid. I bleev in givin’ a man the brushes an’ lettin’ him paint the pitcher…stay in touch…

  5. February 3, 2010 8:08 PM

    L’Frog Drivel for Half-Wits? My favourite after-shave.

    XB your YouTube composition is entirely black on my computer – are you channeling a sort of pre-boho/beatnik Ad Reinhardt vibe , is it my computer or has YouTube banned it for those of us who live north of Worcester?

    Mish your film festival arrived today for which many many thanks. It’s snowed up here again so perfect conditions/excuse for staying in and watching films.

  6. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 3, 2010 8:17 PM

    Yes, mine arrived today too, thanks.

    Alliteration. Footling foolishness. No wonder the Anglo-Saxons got stuffed.

  7. mishari permalink*
    February 3, 2010 10:38 PM

    I think it must be your machine, Al. I can see the video just fine. Perhaps it was a temporary bandwidth issue?

    I wonder if spoken Anglo-Saxon tended to alliteration? I’ll get out the ouija board and have a word with JRR Tolkien…

    Glad the stuff arrived.

  8. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 3, 2010 11:05 PM

    Plays OK on mine. I like the shots of the canyon, both from above and below. Is the Ponto Nuovo where the suicide took place?

  9. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 3, 2010 11:08 PM

    Puente Nuevo, I mean.

  10. mishari permalink*
    February 3, 2010 11:31 PM

    That’s it, MM or the gorge at any rate…

  11. February 3, 2010 11:49 PM

    It’s Bruce Willis leaning on the rail. He jumped off and landed on a hang-glider but the camerawoman was distracted by a lizard.

    MM, the bridge isn’t in the film. Most of the high-up shots are from the terrace of the apartment. I don’t think that event was in my mind at all when I was splicing these together; guess it came out rather gloomy but really it was the intensity and, er, silveriness of the landscape that impressed itself on me.

  12. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 4, 2010 12:07 AM

    Sorry, wasn’t clear there. I just happened to notice a bridge in the queue of thumbnails you get when the video ends.

    That must have been quite a view to wake up to every day. When we first moved to the Island we had a bedsit with a balcony overlooking Ventnor Cove ( yes, more glamorous than Spain ). Nice during the day, but when there was a full moon it was as spectacular a view as I’ve seen. One night we were sitting drinking it in when a submarine surfaced and then sank again. I’m still not sure if we were hallucinating.

  13. mishari permalink*
    February 4, 2010 12:15 AM

    The last time I was on the IOW, I climbed up St. Boniface Down above Ventnor. It was a lovely, sunny day and as I gazed down at the sea, 3 fighter jets came screaming across the water in formation. It was an odd sensation looking down on them from a height, yet still standing on solid ground…

  14. pinkroom permalink
    February 4, 2010 12:18 AM

    An ‘interesting’ discovery

    “So you actually knew my cousin?”

    The same cousin with whom
    I had spent eighteen years
    so very unfavourably compared.

    “In prison you say?”

    So attractive, accomplished and polite.
    Better dressed. Frankly cleaner.
    Hardly fair; unkind to compare…

    “I see… but a special sort of school.

    And so popular.
    And interesting.

    “And so very ‘popular’ you say.”
    How very interesting.

  15. mishari permalink*
    February 4, 2010 1:33 AM

    Lovely, enigmatic poem, PR.

    Meanwhile, it’s all good news on the financial front:

    Good day victim of the scammed people, we hope this mail get to you in a good state of mind and we hope you feel convenient recieving this mail from us today.
    UNITED BANK OF AFRICA (UBA) iS using this opportunity to inform you that you should stop any futher conversation with people out there pretending as helper because they migth turn to be fraudsters and scammers due to the fact that, we have all your personal information with us here in our office and you will surely get your fund as soon as possible.

    We are to inform you that your recovered scammed fund has been deposited with UNITED BANK OF AFRICA (UBA) here in Nigeria for the return of your fund by the ECONOMIC AND CRIME COMMISION (EFCC) in collaboration with the FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION (FBI)…

  16. InvisibleJack permalink
    February 4, 2010 2:30 AM

    In The Realms Of Copper

    I found a penny on the curb;
    my own face was upon it.
    The legend read: “Cash will disturb
    but will not buy a sonnet.”

    I spent that penny with my face
    and bought a sticky toffee;
    I chewed it gone without a trace,
    no hint of it upon me.

    My mother said “What’s this I hear?
    You’ve been loitering on money.”
    “Oh, that’s not me, my mother dear;
    just some other bloody phoney.”

    I shook my China pig quite dry
    and emptied it of copper.
    And there on every penny’s side
    was my own face good and proper.

    Oh, I’m the King of Penny Town,
    my face ain’t worth a sixpence.
    But if you find three faces mine
    you’ll have as much as thruppence.

    I found a penny on the curb;
    my own face was upon it.
    The legend read: “Cash will disturb
    but will not buy a sonnet.”

    Jack Brae Curtingstall

  17. hic8ubique permalink
    February 4, 2010 3:58 AM

    I have a question for the blog-savvy experienced voices here. What is the best approach when such a copper King is apparently suffering from, oh, schizophrenic delusions perhaps?
    I’m recently alert to several of pinkroom’s remarks ( better acquainted?) and wondering. Actually, I’m feeling rather sad about it.
    Remorse… remorse.
    Interested in your take especially, Jack, but grateful for any insights.

  18. mishari permalink*
    February 4, 2010 10:39 AM

    hic, I have no idea what you mean. You are an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, inside a riddle…rather like the career of Steven Seagal.

  19. InvisibleJack permalink
    February 4, 2010 11:16 AM

    Hic, are you referring to something said here? Or elsewhere?

    Don’t worry too much about what pinkroom says anyway. It’s a known fact that Pinkroom is really an alias for Mowbray who’s really an alias of Mish who is in fact me who’s always been merely a cypher of Freep who all along has been Desmond Swords who is actually you and that you’re really somebody else. It’s my belief now that this blog is just a dream and we’re all waiting for somebody to wake up. Who’s responsible for us all though is a total mystery.

    Jack Brae

  20. February 4, 2010 11:51 AM

    It’s my computer at home that’s at fault. The work one plays the XB clip as it should. I enjoyed the Dali ants references?? Particularly the ant at the top of the screen who’s waving what looks like a besom around. It seems to not quite know what to do with it before conforming to ant logic and heading for that hole. Just as we’re about to find out. BAM! You cut. I’ll never know.

    Swallowtails too. My next brother up got a butterfly book when he was about 10 and I was 6 and seeing a swallowtail was the Holy Grail.

  21. freep permalink
    February 4, 2010 1:28 PM

    Mishari. Much thanks for the filmic cornucopia received yesterday. Thanks also for addressing it to me using my full title; I rarely use my baronetcy, but it is sometimes useful for impressing Texans and the lower orders.
    Nice copper song, Jack, and meditation on identity. If I am indeed Swords, it is time to turn myself into ploughshares. I see the fellow is being briskly deleted from the GU blog wherever and in whatever guise he appears. No great loss.

    Thanks also mish, for appreciating my alliterative pome. There is a back story attached to it. If I tell it, it would reduplicate the poem and ‘explain’ it, which you may know I dislike. But suffice it to say that in 1964 I climbed a mountain in Glencarron with a beautiful companion, and on reaching a point where a vast golden seascape was spread out to the west, I was badgered for a biscuit. I did not throw the woman off a cliff, but a male friend of mine was killed at that same place, and this prompted the thought that she might have met the same fate for preferring Hobnobs to scenic splendour. That probably makes me as barmy as anyone else who posts here.
    I guess it’s ok to ‘explain’ ballads and their ilk a little if they retell historical events, as sometimes it is necessary to know who the persons of a poem are. I plan to rework some of the Border Ballads into a more digestible form than Walter Scott gave us , prob some time this year, and haven’t yet decided whether to go for prose or verse.

  22. hic8ubique permalink
    February 4, 2010 2:28 PM

    I’m dismayed to be found enigmatic when I try so valiantly to be lucid, but I promise I’m not Swords. I was taking Jack’s copper king poem to be about him and yesterday’s rant that he is disliked for his face. He means, I believe, his visage rather than his cheek, but now I’m too riddling…
    To put it less obliquely, I’m concerned the man really is very seriously mentally ill. He seems like a paranoid schizophrenic to me. Your garden variety borderline personality just wouldn’t behave that way? I’m feeling guilty about my Malvolio spoof on the Gioconda thread.

    I looked at the wiki-up on Steven Seagal, mishari:
    “Regarding his career, Seagal has stated, “I am hoping that I can be known as a great writer and actor some day, rather than a sex symbol.”
    There is really no resemblance, furthermore, I’m a much more smiling sort of person.
    I’m pleasantly thinking of you, freep, as a tweedy mosstrooper.Wonderful cautionary tale! Lovely to be hobnobbing in the dream with all of you~~~

  23. February 4, 2010 5:14 PM


    If you don’t make a Bunuel/Dali reference in your home movies when filming ants in the middle of Andalucia, then you’ve missed your chance really. I thought the ant got the twig into the hole. Must have cut away too soon.

  24. February 4, 2010 5:19 PM

    True Story

    Went in to the Doctors
    To get my ears syringed
    Came out a diabetic
    Rest of my life unhinged.

  25. February 4, 2010 5:21 PM

    XB it almost did. I obviously need closure on this.

  26. freep permalink
    February 4, 2010 5:42 PM

    They’re special, those Dickman’s steak pies
    With gravy and pastry; and eyes
    That look at you just as you eat,
    And elk-lard and porcupines’ feet,
    And rodent-scurf, winegums and tripe,
    And goreberries picked when they’re ripe.
    This pie of my heart won no prizes,
    But were full of digestive surprises.

  27. mishari permalink*
    February 4, 2010 5:46 PM

    Sorry for being a bit dense, hic. Now I see what you meant. The Seagal reference was in no way a comparison, merely an example of something completely mysterious, i.e. his career….

    Al, to give XB the authentic Bunuel air, we’re going to have to drive him out of Britain to Mexico…

    Thanks for the additional notes on your cracking poem freep. Glad you got the films…

  28. February 4, 2010 7:05 PM

    we’ll then have to invite XB back, then when he almost immediately makes fools of us all we’ll have to drive him out again . It’s a tough job sometimes.

    XB why couldn’t you have put some Jean-Luc Godard references in your film instead? Then we wouldn’t have to do anything except a bit of moaning and a bit of praising.

  29. mishari permalink*
    February 4, 2010 7:42 PM

    Steven Seagal doesn’t want to be known as a ‘sex symbol’? As this picture makes clear, he shouldn’t lose any sleep over that…really.

  30. InvisibleJack permalink
    February 4, 2010 8:14 PM

    Hi Hic

    I think it’s best when our poems transcend their poor weary authors, so I always send mine immediately to Heaven once they’re fully penned. I hope this helps any unease of mind you may have incurred.

    Jack Brae

  31. pinkroom permalink
    February 4, 2010 9:13 PM

    I know exactly how you feel hic. Most folks who play on the net kind of know the score that it’s all a bit of rough and tumble; in the nicest possible way, and that winding each other up a bit, especially when somebody is getting a bit pompous, precious or generally out of order is par for the course… I was very entertained for example by Dyslexic Aunt’s intervention the Blake? thread. She got a proper kicking, and yet her high recommend score suggested that her outrageous rudeness toward P. was quietly being cheered on. A strange but amusing battle between the prim.

    Generally I’m happy to look on and even join-in a little bit from time to time, although that golden rule, do unto others…thing is worth applying imho but the one time I did feel “remorse remorse” was when we had this character The Bold O’Donohue (he still posts sometimes) holding forth and writing bad verse in the most random/stacatto outbursts… Needless to say he was wound-up, and got wound-up to a dangerous pitch. He clearly was operating under different set of controls (if any) and then I twigged that I had actually met the guy in the 3D world and, as it happened his autobiog. was just about to be published all about his life in and out of various asylums.

    The point is there is no way I would have wound him up in the real world… nice enough fella but I just know he wouldn’t have read the I’m pulling your leg signs. It taught me a bit of a lesson that just like in the real world, you can’t assume every poster “gets it”.

    As for our wafting friend I wouldn’t worry over-much. I think he can play by the rules perfectly well, but chooses not to, indulging himself in these mad, rambling (often really boring) posts, often cutting/pasting and ridiculing the work of others, as a kind of experiment in writing. The consistent note is that of bitter resentment that there is some po-biz establishment conspiracy, in league with Her Maj to keep him personally poor and marginalised…

    And who’s to say he’s wrong?!

  32. mishari permalink*
    February 4, 2010 9:29 PM

    PR, good points. It took me a while to grasp that there were people on-line who really don’t ‘get it’ and are provoked to almost insane rage by the most inconsequential and illogical stuff…

    Re; the handwafter…that there’s a poetry ‘establishment’ is indisputable, I think. One of the instances that really brought it home to me was @smpugh’s disdainful dismissal of Poster Poems when the anthology was first proposed; this unabashed contempt for practitioners who ‘aren’t one of us’ sort of thing.

    But I hardly think anyone needs to conspire to keep the HW obscure. He does that himself by abusing and insulting everyone and anyone and getting himself banned from every poetry blog on-line.

    I mean, seriously: if he’s intelligent enough to understand that the game is played a certain way (hint: don’t alienate people who might otherwise be inclined to give you a leg up) and refuses to play it, it’s fatuous to then bleat that ‘they’ won’t let him play. If you choose to plough your own furrow, then do it and stop fucking whining.

    If I start pissing in everybody’s soup, I shouldn’t be surprised if the dinner invitations fall off…

  33. February 4, 2010 9:55 PM

    I note that Des has started posting poems on the Poster Poem threads ( if they’ve not been blanket modded of course ) so Mishari and Jack’s words of advice to him have perhaps sunk in. But of course he could never admit that was the case.

  34. mishari permalink*
    February 4, 2010 10:10 PM

    Thing is, Al, he’s usually left alone when he sticks to poetry (writing or commenting). It’s when he turns into the abusive, ranting, foaming bore that he gets banned. I mean, for fuck’s sake…how many times do we have to read his re-writing of history re: the Jane Whatserface episode?

    I’ll be interested to hear what you make of the Henry Darger documentary. I’ll say nowt until you’ve watched it.

  35. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 4, 2010 10:37 PM

    Old gold

    My first pet was a Labrador,
    a lovely dog with trusting eyes
    which always looked a little sore,
    attractive as they were to flies.

    He got distemper very young,
    then dog flu, then a nasty bout
    of pneumonia on one lung.
    Then all his golden hair fell out.

    He lost an eye to a golf ball,
    a cat chewed off his lower lip,
    he slipped while jumping off a wall,
    fell badly and fractured his hip.

    He’d just started walking again
    when he was accidentally shot
    out for a stroll on Salisbury Plain.
    Poor old Lucky. Miss him a lot.

  36. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 4, 2010 10:50 PM

    Yes, I think the Swordsman can look after himself. His mental status seems to have remained more or less the same in the couple of years I’ve been hanging round the booksblog.

    A bit harsh on SM Pugh there, Your Grace. I think she explained her reasoning on that at some stage. The fact that she posts on the blog at all must say something about her democratic principles, and her willingness to take on all-comers ( unlike other members of the poetry ‘establishment’, if there is such a thing, which I doubt ). Anyway a top-notch poet. Her blog is pretty good too. She must have been a fantastic teacher.

  37. pinkroom permalink
    February 4, 2010 10:52 PM

    I just thought I’d log on here,
    when words like rocks, fly to my ear,

    as Jack Brae claims our pseud-names deem
    nothing like the folks we seem

    and foremost in this mixed fruit cake
    is the last guess that I might make;

    the unforseen discovery,
    that I am Melton Mow-ba-ry!

  38. mishari permalink*
    February 4, 2010 11:19 PM

    pugh’s original remark (referring to the proposed anthology):

    …I didn’t read the original thread because I think the kind of writing that happens on blogs like this has a lot more in common with performance poetry than print, which is seldom its true home.

    …was sniffy and disdainful. Am I wrong?

  39. February 4, 2010 11:25 PM

    MM I’m sure you’ve killed this poor labrador off in verse at least 3 or 4 times.

    Is there a poetry wing of the RSPCA that might save this animal from further death by sonnet?

  40. mishari permalink*
    February 4, 2010 11:33 PM

    It’s a vampire dog and therein lies the problem. MM has been going about it all in the wrong way. I told him to drive a stake through the dog’s heart and MM bought a pound of sirloin and…well, needless to say, that didn’t work. A wooden stake, MM…preferably at a crossroads at midnight.

  41. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 4, 2010 11:38 PM

    Oooh. No, that wasn’t what I was thinking of, which does sound a little dismissive, true. I don’t really see what the connection with performance poetry is. Perhaps she was trying to avoid saying 90% of it is crap, which I wouldn’t argue with. I thought she said something about having read all the poems as they were posted, but it’s a vague memory.

  42. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 4, 2010 11:39 PM

    Labrador. Lots of good rhymes.

  43. mishari permalink*
    February 4, 2010 11:44 PM

    If rhyming’s your vocation
    The dog you need’s Alsation.

  44. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 4, 2010 11:47 PM

    Yes, I suppose the Peke
    Is probably a little weak

  45. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 4, 2010 11:51 PM

    Is it dog fur or dog hair? Had a long argument with Mrs M earlier over the question. Her, hair, me, fur. Hair triumphed ( see above ). What an exciting life we lead.

  46. freep permalink
    February 4, 2010 11:54 PM

    No. My monstrous little terrier
    Sounds no whit like Kathleen Ferrier,
    Nor is of bones a competent burier,
    And has a disgusting derriere.

  47. mishari permalink*
    February 4, 2010 11:58 PM

    I’m not sure but I think it might depend on the dog: thick coat a la Samoyed–fur; sleek, short hair a la Lab–erm, hair…possibly. Mind you, I think most people go with hair. ‘The new Dyson makes short work of dog hair…there’s dog hair all over the sofa’ etc, etc

  48. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 5, 2010 12:19 AM

    Yes, I gave in after being showered with similar examples. Dog fur sounds quite good.

  49. InvisibleJack permalink
    February 5, 2010 1:02 AM

    I’m glad to hear that Des is posting poetry, but let’s just hope it’s not his usual plagiarizing nonsense. His problem isn’t the Po Biz. The Po Biz affects 98 per cent of us and not just him. Only a very select few ever get the opportunity to vote each other up each other’s arses, and that’s true in all walks of life, so my opinion on the Po Biz is simple: get over it and write your poems. His problem is, I think, that he doesn’t understand that any excellence or ability in verse is only going to come with practice of craft and not the natural excreting of some quality of “genius”. All this plagiarizing and
    blathering nonsense is just a strategy to avoid having to post any true poetry of his own, because with his own poetry he’s too easily found out.

    That rather childish foolery of me not being Irish is another such strategy. The truth is, Des has no standing over here in any poetry circles whatsoever, including performance poetry. He’s, quite simply, a non-entity. And he’s not a non-entity because of some conspiracy against him, he’s one because he’s not producing poetry of any merit. How could he? First he’d have to write some! All that bile he blows out is simply a thinly disguised symptom of jealousy. Hence his rather patronizing labelling of us as “amateurs”.

    Anyways, being rather new to this blogging mallarky I must say that I’m finding the politics and the allignments and the lunatics all rather wearying. But giving answer to it is such a tempatation that one finds oneself succumbing. Fighting and bitching online is so very addictive, isn’t it? So, from now on I’m hoping to concentrate on just posting poems and prose-poems and nothing else. Indeed, this is far more than I intended to write…

    Jack Brae

  50. hic8ubique permalink
    February 5, 2010 1:18 AM

    The absolute best product for brushing dog hair, MM, is called a ‘furminator’, also excellent for cats.
    That remark by smpugh was before my time, but the fact that blogs are a print medium seems to me to weaken her point, whatever she meant it to be. The old constructs are being reiterated in in a way that must be unsettling to some of the older guard.
    Thanks for your thoughts on the HW. I didn’t like to put you on the spot pinkr,
    but you seem to know him (possibly?) in 3D life. It’s not unusual for paranoid schizophrenics to be highly intelligent, but to go off the rails into hideous delusions when their meds aren’t well-tuned. That’s not a ‘professional’ opinion, but I’m going to let it temper my responses/impatience for now. The points you make, mishari, would seem to be easily within the capacity of a motivated and well person. Anywho, I appreciate all of your responses.

    I don’t have any particular reason to be inperspicuous, and probably cough up personal anecdotes as much as anyone hereabouts, so perhaps my air of mystery will dissipate, though I’m sure I’m more wicked in print than in the flesh.

  51. February 5, 2010 9:18 AM

    We once bought a Ford Escort van whose previous owner was a poodle-clipper. No matter how many times you thoroughly cleaned it out huge bales of poodle hair would suddenly appear. I have been losing hair as I get older but this stuff was wavy and white.

    Jack I was always amused by Des trying to wind me up by calling me a luvvie, seemingly unaware that in his constant reams of bitchiness towards others in the po-bizz he comes across as the luvviest of us all.

  52. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 5, 2010 9:56 PM

    Poodle hair has many uses,
    very good for stuffing cushions,
    for embroidering burnouses,
    or making underpants for Russians.

    Dissolved in scotch it’s good for flu
    cured and smoked it will clear the lungs,
    it moves the bowels cooked in stew
    injected you will speak in tongues.

    It can help the middle-aged chap
    when the remaining hair has fled,
    check out that curly little cap
    on top of Edward Taylor’s head.

  53. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 5, 2010 9:57 PM

    Silent Witness. Boring or what?

  54. February 5, 2010 10:29 PM

    On the IOW nothing is stirring
    Not even a dog
    They’ve all been slaughtered
    By Melton Mowbray
    From this blog.

    Silent Witness? Still going? Or are you in freeview hell?

  55. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 5, 2010 11:16 PM

    Well, it was when I wrote the comment. The time-free nature of this space has a near-Einsteinian effect. Or perhaps you mean is the series still going. It is, but the writers come up with ever more fantastical plots. It’s Mrs M’s choice, though her non-stop commentary on how idiotic the programme is makes me wonder why she bothers. Nothing about it appeals to me, though the cadavers are mildly interesting. There’s no carefully placed towel ( CSI ) or bright light ( NCIS ) to obscure the genitals, which is unusual. Apparently the corpses are very carefully made models – might be an idea for your company there.

  56. February 6, 2010 4:08 PM

    Mish watched the Darger “In the Realms of the Unreal”. I think if you already know a bit about him there wasn’t much new info to be gleaned. Mainly I think because he was unknowable – totally locked into that extraordinary imagined world. I’ve no idea what he’s on about half the time but I just love the completeness which he invested his stories with and the cinerama-scope compositions . Looked like the film-makers had fun doing the animations though.

    But a blessed relief after a truly appalling Radio 4 play last year which portrayed him as a kiddie-fiddler thus “explaining” his pictures. Amateur psychiatry at its very worst.

  57. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 7, 2010 11:22 AM


    I did better than him at school,
    well, not in terms of exams passed,
    but in form placings, as a rule
    I was nearer top of the class.

    Now when I see him on TV,
    I think, so who won the French prize?
    And, remembering, I still see
    the pain and envy in his eyes.

    All right, so he went to Oxford
    and bonded with that stuck-up crew
    who control the media world.
    OK, I failed the interview,

    but I found East Midlands Poly
    though perhaps not so well-known
    was a very good fit for me,
    and of course I could live at home.

    All right, he married a film star.
    OK, so she’s not bad-looking,
    but their lifestyle is just bizarre,
    and Hollywood isn’t my thing.

    I’m very happy with Sharon,
    and we’ve been lucky to be blessed
    with six beautiful children.
    Having them young I’m sure was best,

    like Shaz says: sure, she’s gained a pound
    or two, a few teeth have come out,
    her gut looks like she’s done ten rounds
    with Iron Mike in a knuckle bout,

    still, can’t complain. The house is small,
    true, the car’s MOT is late,
    the mortgage payments never fall,
    but, you know, the kids are just great,

    now the eldest is up the duff,
    somehow forgot to take her pill,
    I’ll be a grandad soon enough.
    I love my work with the council,

    Assistant to the assistant
    Mayor’s assistant is my dream job,
    a diligent public servant…

    I fucking hate that jammy sod.

  58. pinkroom permalink
    February 7, 2010 7:34 PM

    To cheer you up MM I find that my poem above can be easily adapted to accommodate your classmate. Oxo claims them all sooner or later.

    An ‘interesting’ discovery

    “So you actually knew my classmate?”

    The same classmate with whom
    I had spent seven years
    so very unfavourably compared.

    “In prison you say?”

    So attractive, accomplished and polite.
    Better dressed. Frankly cleaner.
    Hardly fair; unkind to compare…

    “I see… but a “secure” hospital.

    And so popular.
    And interesting.

    “And so very ‘popular’ you say.”
    How very interesting.

  59. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 7, 2010 10:42 PM

    Consider me cheered, PR. As far as I know none of the deadbeats I went to school with has attained any kind of fame or notoriety, in contrast to glamourpusses like the Prince, schooled by Malamud, or HLM, who possibly shared rubbers with Ian Anderson, or Freep, who flannelled with Deadly Derek on the playing fields of Beckenham. How I wish that a little of that stardust had touched me!

  60. mishari permalink*
    February 7, 2010 11:18 PM

    It’s not too late to suck up a little stardust, MM. Hang around Whitechapel long enough and who knows? You might catch a glimpse of me…perhaps (no promises, mind) even get my autograph. It doesn’t get much better than that…does it?

  61. freep permalink
    February 8, 2010 1:48 AM

    Nice stuff, pinkroom and MM. I am pleased and proud to relate that most who I have counted as friends were clean, dull and obscure, none of whom knew heroism, and few emnjoyed riches.
    (It is true that I attended the same school as Underwood; Bill Wyman went there, too, and a bloke called Andy Bown who sometimes played with the Quo. Ugh. Luckily I have lived long enough to hold this notoriety in contempt.) .
    I have, regrettably, been known to Satan, and to have drunk in his fatal libations, and I had elderly aunts who had been touched in private places by Saint Eustace of Norwood.
    Fame is a poison, which vermin cannot resist. MM, you are blest in the freedom of your private Vectian darkness. Let princes roast in the glare of their false glimmering comets.
    This whisky is good.

  62. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 8, 2010 10:56 AM

    Thanks for the offer, Highness, but I wouldn’t think of taxing your rudimentary literacy skills. I forgot to mention obooki’s school chum David Mitchell. Of course that devourer of obscure works of fiction could have nothing in common with Jez. Or could he? Perhaps I’m better off savouring my obscurity, as freep says. Knowing you had breathed the same air as Bill Wyman could give you a nasty turn.

    Watched Up In The Air last night, which was very good and agreeably nihilistic. ‘Think of me as you, but with a vagina’ – great line, and as close to a description of the perfect woman as I’ve seen.

  63. freep permalink
    February 8, 2010 11:24 AM

    I thought Up in the Air was good – it was rather good at depicting nasty bits of capitalism, in this case the outsourcing of Human Resources activities (sacking) to a firm that specialises in kicking loyal workers in the teeth, with glamourpuss Clooney as the villain with the knife under his cloak, and no soul whatsoever.

    It’s a lot better than the Hurt Locker, which I despised as a piece of thinly disguised US triumphalism. Hordes of sinister foreigners look on from balconies, while supposedly characterful bomb disposal men do heroics, save that masterpiece of Creation, ‘The West’, and have emotions. It’ll probably win hatfuls of Oscars.

  64. mishari permalink*
    February 8, 2010 11:48 AM

    I thought Up In The Air was a very polished piece of work all round. Agree with you about The Hurt Locker, freep. Very disappointing, especially from a director as talented as Katherine Bigelow.

  65. February 8, 2010 12:31 PM

    The White Ribbon – on the other hand. My word what a powerful film that is without seeming to show very much at all.

    The Hurt Locker sounds like that awful Ridley Scott film Black Hawk Down where you are within the action like a video game. So the tension, thrills cover up the fact that it’s the usual USA stance on these things – personalised “us” and generalised “them”.

    I watched “Letters From Iwo Jima” recently which was pretty good as it didn’t replicate that usual faceless enemy format. Good old Clint ( hint hint! )

  66. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 8, 2010 1:55 PM

    I thought the female protagonist’s position was a flaw in UITA. Either she goes to the wedding and doesn’t have a family, or she doesn’t and does. If she was going to resist personal involvement, that would have been the moment. Nothing else makes sense. Probably shouldn’t over-analyse it.

    I quite enjoyed Black Hawk Down. Probably should have analysed it more.

  67. freep permalink
    February 8, 2010 1:58 PM

    It’s not a bad rule of thumb that a bad film has a bad title. I count among bad films with bad titles The Hurt Locker (meaning very obscure); Inglourious Basterds (never any excuse for bad spelling); Mark of an Angel (over-explanatory) (Worst film I saw last year); Lost in Translation (pretentious, lost); Happy-Go-Lucky (offensive chirpiness)(Mike Leigh, worst film of 2007).
    Good titles are easy. Like The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. Or Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
    I don’t intend to see Invictus, a most pretentious title, as are most which borrow from a poem without good reason.
    I will now go and think of bad films with good titles and vice versa.

  68. February 8, 2010 2:35 PM

    The Blob – a so-bad-it’s-good-but-it-is-actually-bad film with a terrific title.

    Hope this link works but here’s the blob in real-life

    looks like it hasn’t worked.

  69. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 8, 2010 2:58 PM

    Donnie Darko – I thought it must be a kid’s film/cartoon/Disneycrap. My daughter forced me to watch it – curate’s egg, but none of the above.

  70. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 8, 2010 3:05 PM

    Anyone else complain about stationary/stationery on a C4 news caption on Friday (?)? I had an email response in seconds, Krishnan apologised at the end of the prog ( a deluge of complaints ) and had an email apology a few hours later. I complained about BBC news constantly mis-spelling ‘siege’ a while ago. Nothing.

  71. mishari permalink*
    February 8, 2010 3:18 PM

    One of the funniest things I’ve read in a while is THIS ACCOUNT of a Nigerian fraudster getting a taste of his own medicine. Hilarious stuff and a must read…

    Actually, THIS ONE is a cracker, too…

  72. February 8, 2010 3:21 PM

    MM I missed the chance to complain about stationery I’m afraid. Too busy complaining about 24 hour news coverage being slowed down by deluges of email complaints.

  73. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 8, 2010 3:37 PM

    Well, I am a bit of a spelling fascist, but had the computer not been there in front of me I probably couldn’t have been arsed. I fully expected it to be a waste of time. Sorry if I delayed your appreciation of the Outer Mongolia Pro-Am Everest Windows Synchronised Swimming Trophy.

  74. February 8, 2010 4:21 PM

    MM If you’re thinking of voting LibDem they’ve spelt foreword forward in their latest policy document on Culture.

    I think it’s some kind of designer’s clever word-play but I fear their already small constituency have further lost the Lyn Truss sympathisers.

    Mishari I felt rather sorry for the guy who’d carved the head. I bet he wasn’t part of the scamming gang and has been ripped off as well.

  75. February 8, 2010 6:55 PM

    I forgot to mention obooki’s school chum David Mitchell.

    I was trying to think up a poem. I got as far as:

    Back when he was seven, his jokes weren’t all that funny,
    So we used to beat him up and take away his money.

  76. mishari permalink*
    February 8, 2010 8:41 PM

    Al, I’m certain that the carver was paid. You know the old saying: you don’t shit where you eat. It’s one thing to rip-off people thousands of miles away, another thing entirely to rip-off a neighbor who works with sharp tools, in a country where pickpockets and shoplifters are beaten to death on the street…

    obooki, that’ll do.

  77. February 8, 2010 8:51 PM

    I hope you’re right Mishari, I hope he didn’t do it after being promised that the money would come. God knows that’s happened a couple of times to me recently with a Spanish and a Portuguese festival signing the contracts but not paying up after the job has been done. I suppose I should have made it known that we have a workshop full of tools. Damn my middle-class upbringing. I thought he did rather a fine job.

    Pissing on your chips or shitting in your nest is what they call it up here.

  78. freep permalink
    February 8, 2010 10:00 PM

    That scambusting is quite something, Mish, but I don’t know how they find the energy to keep it up. Liked the dead squirrel in particular. But as I get three or four nuisance calls on my landline most days, I just want one simple mechanism for getting rid of them. So it’s either: 1. hang up immediately 2. say ‘fuck off” or 3. (on holy days) ‘I do not discuss personal matters on the phone’.

    On schools, sometimes I wish I had gone to Eton. Not so that I could claim I went to the same school as 18 prime ministers and 46 Kings, but so I could invent more people…. I’d like to fill the world with fake Etonians …… easily obituarised….

    Yes, I’m sure that was him, my fag in ’59. Chap with three nipples ….. Show me:

    ‘General Sir Redvers Fitzgerald Beaufoy (Viscount Caithness) FRGS, Founder, The Anthracite Society, Patron, Society for a Purer Europe …. married Euphemia Bassett of Cree, Wigtownshire(dec’d 1998). Residence Conyers Mainthorpe, Dorset. Non-executive Director, Anglo-American Fuels 1978-1990. President of the Terrier Appreciation Society from 1966. Succeeded by his son, Marlin Golightly Beaufoy, Baron Beaufoy of Stoke Chideock. Funeral Service at St Wulfram’s, Whitchurch Canonicorum.’

    Yes, decent chap. His father made a decent job of running Kenya, y’know, and his Aunt Britannia invented campari. Course, that wasn’t his son. Euphemia always had a thing for Buccleuch. Reggie (Redvers) did the terriers, Phemie was always popping up to Drumlanrig for the old dressage …. (etc)

  79. mishari permalink*
    February 8, 2010 10:18 PM

    Given your facility for inventing fellow Old Etonians, freep, actually having gone there would have been superfluous…

    Al, given that these internet fraudsters are doubtless known to their neighbors as, erm..fraudsters, I’d be stunned if anyone didn’t demand payment in advance for anything at all.

    Harden your heart, Al. These are the people who drove that poor, if rather gullible, fellow to suicide the other day…

  80. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 8, 2010 11:25 PM

    A wonderfully economical rendering of the childhood trauma which drives so many of our laughter merchants, obooki. Now I understand the tragedy which lurks in the fathomless black pools of Mitchell’s eyes.

    Can I just point out that Conyers Mainthorpe is, in fact, in Devon. There was a readjustment made in the 1980s. The original cartographer dropped his cheese sandwich on the Ordnance Survey sheet he was plotting, and a clumsy wipe deposited a small area of Dorset in Devon, the cause of much friction and controversy over the next 120 years. Fortunately the problem, known as ‘the Branston pickle’ after its progenitor, was finally solved by an arm-wrestling contest in 1978.

  81. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 8, 2010 11:29 PM

    How about that POTW, pardner? Cowboy poems. You were there first.

  82. mishari permalink*
    February 8, 2010 11:41 PM

    I know, I know…I think I might post my own epic Pony Express verse as a corrective or just post a link to the thread, containing (as it does) fine work from all the usual suspects…

  83. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 8, 2010 11:47 PM

    Better do an abuse check first. There are sensitive souls out there.

  84. February 9, 2010 11:20 AM

    Would that I could
    Make money from wood
    I’m starving
    So carving
    Turning oak into gold
    To keep me and my family
    In comfort when old.

    But an artist
    Is not quite
    What I am
    The artistry I deal in
    Is known better
    As scam.

  85. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 9, 2010 4:19 PM

    What, no comment on Glee, Al? I was looking forward to reading your insights. Perhaps you’re still preparing the ammo.

  86. February 9, 2010 4:33 PM

    MM I gave it a few weeks but it’s a too slick for me and the plot-lines are ridiculous even for those of us who can suspend disbelief to the point of putting a show inside a large pig.

  87. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 9, 2010 4:51 PM

    Slickness isn’t a problem for me – lack of it is, and Finn seems short of the necessary polish, which is a handicap for a major character. Anyone would be blown out of the water by Rachel’s voice, but even his acting looks fallible. The plotting seems increasingly ramshackle.

  88. February 9, 2010 5:44 PM

    Just seen your droll comment on the Glee thread – I hand the baton ( pronounced in the American fashion ) over to you.

    I’ve got a backlog of Breaking Bad, Sofa cinema and the Al-Adwani Film festival programme to keep me occupied for a few weeks.

    I expect to return to Glee to find that they’ve all been sent to Afghanistan, the bloke who runs the club has been sacked and they are now being coached by aliens. With the rate of plot-lines they are munching through it can’t be anything less.

  89. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 9, 2010 7:10 PM

    No spoilers, please. I’m still enjoying it: I think the good things outweigh the bad by a good margin. Strange that it’s a Fox product. Parts of its constituency must blench at some of the jokes. The writers dodged the abortion bullet with consummate cowardice, which is a blemish. It was worth a joke at least.

  90. mishari permalink*
    February 9, 2010 8:33 PM

    I see from the Ali Darzai thread that your brother was an ex-Met copper, Al. Did he say ‘shahtit, youslag‘ and ‘yorniktsunshine‘ a lot?

  91. February 9, 2010 8:49 PM

    Possibly” Yorgoindahn” but he got his patrol car stolen once when answering a call. They probably called him ” youslag” for that.

    Poor man, he wanted to follow in my dad’s army footsteps but failed the test to be an officer so in desperate need of a uniform to wear he joined the Met.

    It was full of bitter cops and racists who used to carry bits of dope to plant on suspects. After about a year he left as he found that all too much and went and taught in a public school! Where presumably all those tricks he’d discovered in the Met could be used on the boys.

    He tried the army again and eventually he passed the test and became an officer only to be shipped over to Derry at a time when English soldiers there were target practice for both side of the divide. Not a happy time for him.

  92. mishari permalink*
    February 9, 2010 9:23 PM

    I suppose he must count himself lucky he lived through it. If he were still in the army, he’d doubtless be shipped off to Afghanistan to be blown up by ‘terrorists’ (or what used to be called ‘native people who don’t like foreign armies invading their country’).

    For a bit of grim humour, check out the Dershowitz thread on the dangers of libel cases stifling free speech. Dershowitz is his usual utterly dishonest self, of course. Free speech is enshrined in the US constitution and consequently, demonstrating libel demands far more stringent proofs, unlike the UK. That applies to everyone seeking redress in law, Muslim or Dershowitz. What he really objects to is Muslims having the same rights that he has.

    Dershowitz came out with an article just after the Gaza atrocities basically saying that any (of the 11 Israeli) deaths was a tragedy, while the 1100 Palestinian (mostly women and children) deaths were ‘collateral damage’. He also wrote a piece a few years ago defending torture, using the ‘ticking bomb’ scenario, an argument that any reasonably bright high-school student could demolish.

    And don’t get me started on his vendetta against Norman Finklestein, who humiliated Dershowitz on TV, demonstrating that Dershowitz was a plagiarist and a liar (available on youtube). Dershowitz then orchestrated a (successful) campaign to have Finkelstein denied tenure by his university.

    All in all, a vile man. The thread (on the issue of censorship, free speech, etc) is an absolute blizzard of deletions (including, in short order I suspect, mine).

  93. February 9, 2010 11:35 PM

    No yours is still up there.

    That Dershowitz blog is like the Somme isn’t it? Hundreds of comments going over the top to be mowed down indiscriminately by the mods.

    I remember that Gaza article. Despicable.

  94. Captain Ned permalink
    February 10, 2010 11:42 AM

    Have you seen this?

    Hilarious. Even funnier was the public debate they had, in which a flustered Dershowitz called Phillips an ‘extremist’. The idea of two such odious pro-Israeli nutjobs tearing each other apart is truly lovely.

  95. February 10, 2010 5:23 PM

    Hey chaps, so I tried out “Glee”, after MM mentioned it here and some other people recommended it too. Mindless escapism was the order of the day wasn’t it? Akin to the Desperate Housewives I thought. You weren’t expecting anything sane were you?

    The first one I watched was the one with the teacher who lost his thumbs and they bought him the cake with the thumbs on it, which he couldn’t eat because he had no thumbs, which did actually make me laugh quite a lot, so I’ve been recording the show on that basis.

    Saw the woman who plays the gym mistress on another film “Role Models” which is also quite funny, purile of course, but funny hangover TV.

    Missed all the hoo-ha on Poster Poems and elsewhere on the Guardian, as I’ve had real life stuff to deal with. Shame as I haven’t been able to write any poetry for what seems like months now (except the odd sheep poem) and I’m starting to get twitchy.

    I was accused of being Mr Swords as well at one point – I think it’s a rite of passage.

  96. mishari permalink*
    February 10, 2010 7:16 PM

    Thanks for the link, Ned. A couple of nose-gays, culled from the flowerbeds of Mad Mel’s garden of insanity:

    Obama has torn up his previous understandings with Israel over the settlements while putting no pressure at all on the Palestinians, even though since they are the regional aggressor there can be no peace unless they end their aggression…

    Of course, it’s the fact that Palestine is a nuclear power that makes them hard to deal with; that and all their ‘settlements’ in Tel Aviv..oh, and the ‘agreement’ Mad Mel refers to was an unwritten one with the Bush administration, whereby Bush let it be known that he had to ‘criticise’ the settlement building for forms’s sake but that Israel shouldn’t take it seriously. Obama, the bastard, reneged on that, erm…agreement.

    Then there was Obama’s appalling Cairo speech — which I wrote about here – in which he conspicuously refrained from committing himself to defending Zionism…

    Imagine. A head of state who refuses to swear fealty to a radical foreign political movement.

    Lovely, though, to see two rabid Zionist loons at one another’s throats. One devoutly hopes they both lose.

  97. February 10, 2010 8:45 PM

    When I was at art college Janet Daley another one of those Spectator/ Telegraph right-wing loons used to be a visiting lecturer. Back then she was a trendy London left-winger veering on the side of communism. Wasn’t Mel also a rad-fem left-winger at one point?

    There seems to be a certain temperament that can only embrace ideas in a zealous manner and those two are prime examples. It’s probably the political version of an addictive personality.

  98. mishari permalink*
    February 10, 2010 9:22 PM

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry: that imbecile Gordon Brown has just announced a policy of ‘Afghanisation’. Presumably, this means British troops will force, at gunpoint, Afghans to become more, erm…Afghan. Genius.

    Actually, I imagine (and I only caught that phrase in passing while half-listening to the radio) he means more responsibility being given to Afghan forces. You know, the ones who take the money, sell the new assault rifle and then bugger off home (and who can blame them?).

  99. February 10, 2010 9:36 PM

    Real life stuff Polly? Nothing serious I hope although dealing with real life is no laughing matter.

  100. Captain Ned permalink
    February 11, 2010 12:15 PM

    I don’t know if Phillips was ever quite that far-left, Al, but she certainly has made quite a political journey, as they say. I remember when she used to write for the The Observer, where her increasingly reactionary family values schtick became as incongruous as John Pilger would have been had he written for The Sun. I love the way that someone so frighteningly ignorant and froth-mouthedly demented sets herself up as the rigorous scourge of pseudo-science, i.e. the science done by proper scientists. Evolution, MMR, global warming – sheer nonsense peddled by an arrogant, over-trained elite intent on lining its pockets and furthering the great international left-wing conspiracy to undermine the decent, traditional, God-given idiocies of stupid people.

    As for Dershowitz, he seems to be one of those ‘liberals’ whose liberal values are secondary to the cause of defending Israel at all costs. As soon as any point of principle is seen to come into conflict with the needs of that cause, then the principle becomes expendable. It’s interesting that the actor who played Dershowitz in Reversal of Fortune, the late Ron Silver, moved to the Right as well; a former Democrat, after the 11th of September attacks, he took to making rabble-rousing speeches at Republican conventions. When he had a role in The West Wing, fellow cast-members would apparently greet him with chants of ‘Ron, Ron, the Neo-Con’.

  101. February 11, 2010 1:52 PM

    Well, Alarming, mostly it’s tedious stuff. End of year management stuff, beginning of next year management stuff, actual work to do on top of all that tosh, and trying to learn the highway code for my theory test in a couple of weeks. I’m scared to think about anything else too much in case some of my newly discovered driving knowledge falls out again. I have to be amused that my resident driver wouldn’t be able to pass the theory test. In fact he got a shocking score on a mock test.

    This question is a real corker?

    Q: What can you, as a driver, do to help the environment?
    A: get the bus or walk.

    I’m doing a DRIVING theory test, so I can DRIVE places! I’ve been saving the planet for 35 years by walking places. Now it’s my turn to mess it up.

  102. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 11, 2010 3:35 PM

    Glad to hear you’re a Gleek, Poll. I was sorry to see Al fall by the wayside, but these old chaps do tend to crumble when they experience the shock of the new.

    I remember Mad Mel’s increasingly deranged columns in the Guardian in the 80s. I think she took over from Polly Toynbee’s husband, Peter something. She had the same odd conception of the ‘average’ Guardian reader as the even more rebarbative Aaronovitch. You do wonder how they come to be writing articles for a constituency they so clearly despise.

  103. February 11, 2010 4:01 PM

    Julie Burchill did it as well if I recall. The cheque at the end of the day must have been a powerful incentive. It was pre-blogging too so they couldn’t even enjoy reading the anguished responses by us sandal-wearing liberals.

    What am I talking about? CiF seems full of the hang’em flog ’em brigade as well. Are the liberals all piling in on the Daily Mail blogs? Or is it a dwindling community.

  104. freep permalink
    February 11, 2010 4:58 PM

    Al, it is curious how far to the right many of the commenters on Guardian blogs are. I take an interest in anything that comes up on the prisons and punishment threads, and sometimes the ratio is 10:1 hangers and floggers to old softies like me. Same goes for most threads on ‘moral’ issues. Is it me, or are all the remaining libertarians sequestered on Politely Homicidal?

  105. February 11, 2010 5:17 PM

    Tell me about it! I feel increasingly like a liberal island in the middle of an intolerant sea, but I do think that a tolerant opinion can often be mistaken for being a lack of opinion. It’s seen as weakness to not be so sure of your own opinion to be in conflict with others. To have an opinion you have to have a particular stance. By taking a decisive stance surely you are being intolerant of someone, right?

    I do suspect that people are using the anonymity online as a way of being agressive and letting out frustrations though intolerant comments, which they would never voice in the “real” world. Like a purging exercise. People on second life go on there to be a different person, the person who they can’t be in real life. I wonder whether that translates to blog “avatars” as well.

    I’m now getting paranoid about my spelling as it upsets MM so much. Apologies for any howlers here, but I type faster than my brain works.

  106. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 11, 2010 7:34 PM

    I niver give speling a thort on blogs, Poll. Typing’s an imprecise activity at the best of times, and it would be a drag to feel that one had to check spelling every time one posted. I do think that public bodies like the BBC ought to be making an effort.

    I think there must have been a ( not necessarily concerted ) move to CIF by right-wingers. It still seems to be the most liberal ( ie least censored ) site, so they can say pretty well what they like and get away with it.

  107. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2010 8:56 PM

    Last night on Late Junction, Verity Sharpe played a song she announced as ‘…a beautiful new track from Bela Fleck’s Throw Down Your Heart LP…’. Doubtless, she was unaware that I’d posted the same track on the PH music channel 3 months ago (turns smug-o-meter up to 11):

  108. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2010 9:19 PM

    Re: Mad Mel and her sort; I’ve come to believe that it’s almost axiomatic that the further left you are when young, the more extreme the turn right later in life. Witness the likes of Hitchens, Nick Cohen, et al.

    It’s no coincidence that many of the ‘theorists’ of the Neo Con/Project for a New American Century ( Irving Kristol, Seymour Lipset etc), were Trots in their youth. Once a dogmatist, always a dogmatist, I guess…and speaking of loony Leftists:

    An expert in prosthetics who gave an elderly patient two left feet by fitting the wrong artificial limb has been struck off after he admitted a series of misconduct allegations.

    Malcolm Griffiths fitted a left-footed lower limb instead of a new right leg to Patrick Morrison, 76, an amputee from Bathgate in West Lothian, and then failed to spot the mistake during two subsequent check-ups.

    –The Grauniad, today

  109. February 11, 2010 10:49 PM

    There’s a saying or a theory that men have a tendency to become more and more conservative as they get older. I’m trying to think of someone who was a right winger when young only to turn left-wing at an old age. There must be some but they’ve slipped my mind.

  110. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2010 11:06 PM

    I was anti-authoritarian when young and I still am.

    I posted a comment on the Libby Brooks thread voicing my outrage that the wretched woman was still being published by the Grauniad after her piece attacking a man whose wife had beaten him unconscious with a cricket-bat then stabbed him repeatedly in the chest. She was convicted of murder. The court found NO extenuating circumstances (no evidence of abuse, physical or otherwise) and she went to prison.

    Brooks then published a shameful article blackening the dead man’s name and attempting to justify the killing. Her evidence? The murderer, who happens to be a mate of hers, told her stuff. The ‘stuff’ had been tested in court and the woman had been proven to be a liar. A shocking and loathsome exercise in journalistic irresponsibility.

    Anyway, after I posted my comment (remarking that I knew it would be deleted), I popped over to POTW to post something and got this:

    This message will be held for moderation

    To which I replied:

    Stuff your moderation, you insufferable fucking sanctimonious twits…’comment is free’? Don’t make me fucking long as one of your ‘pets’ isn’t offended or one of your in-house New Labour toadies or some litigious Zionist loon.

    Face what everyone else knows: you’re a bunch of spineless sad-sacks working for an editor who’s paid £600 grand a year for losing £40 million a year while he sacks mugs and useful idiots like you to cut costs. You’re pathetic.

    So RIP @pongothecat. Keep an eye out for jazz musicians, though…

  111. Polly permalink
    February 11, 2010 11:29 PM

    Oh no, I’d just got used to who you were on GU Misha. That’s great invective by the way.

    Not that I’ve been there for ages, has Poster Poems closed again, I was going to attempt something alliterative this evening, but I won’t bother if the post-box has been taped up.

  112. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2010 11:37 PM

    Nah, Pol…POTW week’s still open for comments and Jack pointed out that PP is open again (which I assume means that it had been closed); just not from pongo. I was tired of being a cat anyway…too many other cats. Keep an eye out for Expressionist German artists who sound awfully familiar…

  113. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 11, 2010 11:48 PM

    Tony Benn moved left just as the rest of the country was going in the other direction.

    ‘Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong’

    There’s a passage in his diaries, somewhere in the mid- to late-70s I think, where he relates how his wife gave all the family a copy of the Communist Manifesto for Xmas ( yeah, thanks a lot ). He goes on about what a great book it is, fantastic insights into capitalism etc etc and it emerges that he has NEVER READ IT. Unbelievable.

    I believe George Galloway was a Young Conservative.

  114. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2010 11:50 PM

    George Monbiot was in the Hitler Youth.

  115. Polly permalink
    February 11, 2010 11:54 PM

    I worry that people might get more right wing as they get older, seeing as my town has an abundence of St George’s flags. I’m thinking we won’t have the hitler youth, more the hitler old fogies.

  116. mishari permalink*
    February 11, 2010 11:59 PM

    It’s all down to hardening of the arteries, Pol. Oxygen supply to the brain is diminished and you become a Daily Mail reader and start voting for vapid twits like Cameron.

    Benn had never read the Communist Manifesto? Jesus…I could understand (though I’d be surprised) if he’d never read Capital, but The CM? It’s not as if it’s especially long or demanding. No wonder he never seemed to know what he was talking about…

  117. Polly permalink
    February 12, 2010 12:07 AM

    Ah, yes but those were the good old labour leaders, Tony Benn and Neil Kinnock et al. Not like these new snakes in the grass. They were clearly idiots on the plane.

    Actually I don’t think I can be bothered to write a PP poem, the intention was there, points for effort…

  118. InvisibleJack permalink
    February 12, 2010 12:42 AM

    Hi Polly

    Poster Poems closed about three days ago just as I was going to post a poem. Anyways, I was on the road (teaching story construction to teenagers in counties Galway and Wexford, as if there aren’t enough of us poor mugs writing already) so I couldn’t do much about it until I got home today. So this morning I emailed Sarah Crown and she opened it up again (claiming she’d been unaware that it was closed!) and she says it’ll stay opened now until the 16th. So, you’ll have plenty of time to post some poems.

    Mish, I’ll be sad to see the dark pongo pongoed. But whatever form you return in will be followed by your growing band of admirers. You’re a bit like Dr Who really, emerging anew after each death. Return quickly, please, and strike fear into the hearts of evil blunderers everywhere.

    Jack Brae

  119. mishari permalink*
    February 12, 2010 12:55 AM

    Thanks, Jack…and fear not, I shall return. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow (Arab division) knows…mwahahahaha.

  120. February 12, 2010 9:38 AM

    £10 on Mishari returning as Otto Dix, £5 on Lyonel Feininger, £1 either way on Betty Boop and an outside £600 on Lynford Pindling.

  121. freep permalink
    February 12, 2010 10:30 AM

    1000-1 on Jedediah Mucklewrath.

  122. February 12, 2010 10:41 AM

    Not sure I’ve got more conservative as I’ve grown older. Certainly less likely to adhere to liberal talking points without a closer look, and I’m more suspicious of idealism/ideology than I used to be. Also, my own ideals feel unachievable, out of sync with what most electorates and governments seem to want/conceive (a confused mix, perhaps, of socialist economics and libertarian personal freedoms). The new US law allowing corporations to advertise on behalf of political issues/parties, may further erode most traditional notions of left and right.

    More importantly, I broke a seven-inch Genesis single from 1973, sold to me in 1990 by a man who named his son Rael after the lead character in Genesis’ double-concept-LP The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. I was very upset.

  123. Captain Ned permalink
    February 12, 2010 1:01 PM

    The Brazilian poet and lyricist Vinicius de Moraes started off as a hardline Conservative Catholic before moving over to the Left as he pondered the conditions of his country’s poor. And I remember reading an interview with Richard Holmes (the military historian, not the biographer), in which he stated that he was a staunch right-winger as a student, but had become progressively more left-wing with age. I’m sure there are more examples.

    Didn’t Robert Frost say something like ‘I never dared to be radical when young for fear that might become conservative when old’? Bit of a cop-out, if you ask me.

  124. mishari permalink*
    February 12, 2010 8:36 PM

    And Prince Pyotr Kropotkin, who started out as a serf-owning Russian nobleman and ended up as a leading anarchist (and being fined by the London County Council for not having a license for his dog).

  125. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 12, 2010 11:52 PM

    Many of us have experienced strong feelings at the loss of items of Genesis memorabilia, Exit.

    Gladstone sort of went from right to left, insofar as you can apply those labels to Victorian politics. He certainly developed a more sympathetic attitude to the workers, and not only those in the sexual sector.

    If your parents had called ( I was going to say christened-talk about cultural conditioning ) you Mishar, you could have had hi,I’m raw sandal as your pseudonym. As it is you’ll have to go with I am da sharia law. Yes, my evening has been quite boring.

  126. pinkroom permalink
    February 13, 2010 10:07 AM

    Many of us have experienced strong feelings at the loss of items of Genesis memorabilia, Exit.

    Seconds to that mm… I remember being absolutely fucking delighted when an eight-track cartridge of some wretched “opus”went missing from the common room where I was studying at the time… not lessened by the guilty knowledge that it was I who hid/binned the offending (but mystifyingly popular) item… leaving just “Rubber Soul” and “Some Shite feat. Robin Trower” to be played in endless rotation.

    I thought you were more of a “Dirty Water”sort of chap EB.
    I know what I like!

  127. February 13, 2010 11:06 PM

    I certainly am a ‘Dirty Water’ type, PR. But I idolised Peter Gabriel when I was 15. His records with Genesis – the queasy, Carrolesque, surreal and sinisterly sexual tones of Nursery Cryme were an appropriate soundtrack for my unwilling passage into adolescence. Some of them are very funny, too.

  128. pinkroom permalink
    February 14, 2010 12:03 AM

    Fair play eb… but I can’t help thinking your passage to adolescence might have been a bit more er…willing (good word), had you stuck to the “…lovers, fuggers and thieves”.

  129. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 14, 2010 12:11 AM

    I felt the same way about Motorhead.

  130. February 14, 2010 12:33 PM

    Don’t worry, PR. Things became much clearer when my uncle gave me an Aerosmith album for Christmas.

  131. pinkroom permalink
    February 14, 2010 12:48 PM

    Good man uncle eb,

    …there’s a time in every pubescent’s life when the mind turns to class A drugs and class D strippers … Aerosmith were pretty dreadful (musically speaking) but they certainly seemed to be very “willing” in that respect. Far healthier than walking around with a Carrolesque lawnmower on top of your head, or whatever, I feel.

  132. February 14, 2010 1:53 PM

    My only Genesis album, post Gabriel, was mercifully stolen from me by my brother, and then to finish the job off was stolen from him when thieves took all his tapes from his car. Result. Although I had to sacrifice four Queen albums and the Lemonheads. That was a blow!

    I wonder whether Genesis could employ that gorilla on the drums? Rather the same as Phil Collins, although with more hair and a supply of chocolate.

  133. February 14, 2010 6:34 PM

    “Stuff your moderation, you insufferable fucking sanctimonious twits…’comment is free’? Don’t make me fucking long as one of your ‘pets’ isn’t offended or one of your in-house New Labour toadies or some litigious Zionist loon.

    Face what everyone else knows: you’re a bunch of spineless sad-sacks working for an editor who’s paid £600 grand a year for losing £40 million a year while he sacks mugs and useful idiots like you to cut costs. You’re pathetic.”

    Ah! Nice. Did they send you a mug?

  134. mishari permalink*
    February 14, 2010 9:15 PM

    ‘fraid not, Steven. The usual prize for truth-telling is to be nailed to a cross, burned at the stake or called ‘an evil, evil man’ by Alan Dershowitz.

    Do the Krauts give you a mug? The buggers have come a long way since the Reichstag Fire, I’ll give them that…

  135. February 15, 2010 7:03 AM

    A “Der Knight Rider” mug, actually.

  136. mishari permalink*
    February 15, 2010 11:09 AM

    That blubbery, bottle-nosed right-wing sot Bruce ‘Brute’ Anderson has published a piece in the Indy justifying torture. Furthermore, says the addled wino, if a ‘terrorist’ won’t crack, we should torture his wife and children. Rod Liddle (proposed as the Indy’s new editor) should feel right at home there.

  137. February 15, 2010 12:24 PM

    I decided not to even attempt to read that piece about torture, surely there is no argument you can make in favour of torture? There is nothing. Some things are just wrong.

    A friend once spent all night arguing that smoking was good for you. She didn’t believe it, she was just bored and wanted to play devil’s advocate. Perhaps that’s the same problem with this guy? Get noticed for saying something shocking.

    My friend was so bored, in fact, that she went off to become a porn star, thus proving her point that smoking (pole at least) can be good for you…

  138. February 15, 2010 3:30 PM

    “…‘terrorist’ won’t crack, we should torture his wife and children.”

    Surely that’s not fair to the wife and children; just because a man works for the CIA, that’s no justification to (etc)….

  139. February 15, 2010 4:01 PM

    OK, so I had to go and read it…

    “men cannot live like angels” he says as an excuse for supporting torture. As long as the information you gain is useful to save lives, to stop illegal killings, then it’s ok is the argument. Well, where do you draw the line? The line must be that you do not permit torture, otherwise you’re defending a flawed system, you’re no better morally than the other guys you are trying to stop.

    We should either live like angels or accept that we’re no better than anyone else and fight in the mud, but there is no such thing as torture for a noble purpose.

    Besides, looking at it from the legal standpoint there is very little value in information gained from torture as evidence, it’s only any good as intelligence, and if that intelligence doesn’t lead to any real situation being discovered then it’s just purely brutality with no noble end.

  140. mishari permalink*
    February 15, 2010 4:40 PM

    It never seems to occur to these dolts that a society that tortures women and children (or anyone) is not worth preserving. They also seem to have forgotten that one of the reasons given for the removal of Saddam Hussein was that he…you guessed it, tortured women and children.

    Give me a soundproofed cellar, some electrodes, some power tools and some corrosive acids and I’ll have Anderson and Dershowitz begging to sign statements that they joined Al Qaida to give Osama blow jobs…

  141. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 15, 2010 10:56 PM

    Seeing Kim Howells defending MI5 you understand that the world really has turned upside-down.

  142. mishari permalink*
    February 15, 2010 11:48 PM

    Not really. If Howells had been a man of principle to begin with, then yes. But he was just an unprincipled Union windbag who made the transition to unprincipled Government windbag without, I daresay, losing a wink of sleep.

    Regard all politicians, Left or Right, as unspeakable scum until you have cast-iron proof to the contrary, and you won’t go far wrong…

  143. mishari permalink*
    February 16, 2010 8:53 AM

    More sad news:

    McCain ruined my life, says Joe the Plumber

    The Independent, Tuesday, 16 February

    He became the the square-shouldered mascot of John McCain’s campaign for the White House in 2008, but all these months later the man they christened “Joe the Plumber” has suddenly lashed out at the veteran US senator from Arizona for “screwing up” his life.

    “I don’t owe him shit,” Sam Wurzelbacher – his real name – told a public radio reporter after addressing a small political meeting in Pennsylvania when asked about Mr McCain. “He really screwed up my life, is how I look at it.”

    You need a heart of stone not to laugh.

  144. February 16, 2010 9:24 AM

    re: Bruce Anderson. Why stop at the immediate family. The son of a “terrorist” may be a hard nut to crack so the security forces may need to seek out cousins, nephews, nieces.

    People who work for the “terrorist” family may need to beware too should the second aunt’s cousin’s son’s nephew refuse to spill the beans whilst his privates are wired up to the national grid.

    In fact the net may need to be spread so widely that it starts to include members of Bruce Anderson’s immediate family.

    The potential and job opportunities for torturers is immense. If the bottom falls out of any our respective money-earning markets we know where to go for a job.

  145. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 16, 2010 11:57 AM

    The torture sector is a good choice for a man of advanced years such as yourself, Al. The heavy work ( punching, kicking, manhandling ) can be left to younger executives while you invest your experience in tormenting the subjects in more subtle ways. Those with a background in theatre are particularly sought-after. I hear Andrew Lloyd Webber now has a vice-presidency at Gouge & Crush. Those back-to-back performances of Starlight Express and Cats had them confessing to 9/11, the Birmingham pub bombings and the Reichstag fire at Gitmo. Get in on the ground floor!

  146. February 16, 2010 3:01 PM

    MM A slight flaw in your reasoned argument. You’d need to be able to understand Starlight Express before it could inflict its form of torture on you.

    Blithe or even screaming indifference is not the same thing – or so it says in my Torture for Beginners Primer.

  147. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 16, 2010 5:21 PM

    Good point. Perhaps a 7-hour live appearance by the Chuckle Brothers or a major-length video installation by Wallinger would fit the bill. Or Stoke vs Sunderland on rolling repeat. Was it disco that eased out Noriega? In that case, Blame It On The Boogie would have to be a contender.

  148. February 16, 2010 5:23 PM

    The crazy frog.

    I feel I don’t need to explain that one.

  149. February 16, 2010 5:51 PM

    Apparently when the Germans were trying to take Stalingrad the Russians played a ticking clock over their PA systems ( or whatever they had back then ) interrupting it regularly to tell them that a German soldier dies every minute on the Russian Front.

    Wasn’t Noriega ousted by Bon Jovi?

  150. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 16, 2010 8:13 PM

    Van Halen and The Clash, according to Wiki. Jungle would have had me out fairly rapidly. The frog was pretty annoying, I agree, but you would only have to say jazz and I would be assuming the position. [Philistine-Ed.]

  151. mishari permalink*
    February 16, 2010 8:36 PM

    Apparently, Eminem was the choice at Guantanamo. I suppose I should post a new task. It’s just that what’s been occupying my mind lately is a bit grim and I’m not sure whether or not to write it up or not. Stay tuned….

  152. February 16, 2010 9:33 PM

    MM I can’t see jazz shifting anyone though if you want to post the reactions of the music on your good self up on YouTube I’m sure it’ll be a world-wide hit.

    “Man flees armchair to escape the cool sounds of Miles Davis”. 18,000,000 hits in one night and a harvest of LOLs, ROFLs, WTFs and Oh. My. God.s in the comment box

  153. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 16, 2010 11:24 PM

    I don’t think technology is advanced enough to record my exit, Al, unless camcorders have developed lightspeed capture. I’ve tried to like the stuff, but listening to it for some time changed indifference to outright revulsion.

    I think I’ve said before that I came to like Eminem after involuntarily experiencing his oeuvre. I suppose I could have volunteered my house as a torture centre, primarily for middle-aged men. Confessions would have been elicited in no time.

  154. mishari permalink*
    February 16, 2010 11:44 PM

    Are you seriously telling me, MM, that you don’t like this jazz? No…even you can’t be so lost to decency:

  155. MeltonMowbray permalink
    February 17, 2010 12:04 AM

    What, the fiddly pointless dribbling on the piano, or the forced mannered warbling on the vocal? I don’t really like either of them. It’s like 100% plain chocolate: you can appreciate that it’s top stuff, you just don’t want it anywhere near your mouth.

  156. mishari permalink*
    February 17, 2010 12:19 AM

    You’re beyond redemption. BTW, have you watched A Serious Man yet? What did you think of it?

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      February 18, 2010 1:16 PM

      Sorry, meant to reply but I was overtaken by events. I haven’t watched it yet but it’s next on my list. Having to watch Glee, LawnOrder, NCIS and Numbers and maintain token contact with the family is quite a drain on my time.

  157. February 17, 2010 8:33 AM

    Ella and Klaus? Potential cultural car-crash of the week I think but it works.

  158. freep permalink
    February 17, 2010 10:27 AM

    Like MM, I am completely indifferent to jazz. I exclude New Orleans music. I am a purist about notes of music, in that I can’t bear that nonsense about ‘timing’, where someone singing is held to be cool because they make some kind of pause before putting the note where it should have been. Mannered indeed. It probably comes from my early training as a filing clerk, where things must be in their proper place, or they are lost. Jazz played live may be ok, but recorded seems to contradict its whole purpose.
    Death to follow.

  159. mishari permalink*
    February 17, 2010 12:23 PM

    Not you too? I have nursed a viper to my bosom…oh, how sharper than a serpents tooth is a thankless poet! etc etc

Comments are closed.