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Bin There, Done That

May 5, 2011


I suppose the passing of The World’s Most Evil Man (©2011 Cliches-R-Us) calls for some sort of acknowledgement. A bit of a bummer for the US, though: after the collapse of ‘The Evil Empire‘ (AKA The USSR), the US needed someone to focus their fear and loathing on–Sting just doesn’t cut the mustard, I’m afraid. So, who do we think is next? Who’s at No. 2 with a bullet on the Top of The Pop Hate charts? Gaddafi? Too goofy. Ahmedinajad? Too dull. Bashir Al-Assad? The man’s an ophthalmologist, for Christ’s sake. We’ll just have to wait and see.

However, one development in Osama’s career of unparalleled evil has escaped mention by the commentariat: the alliance between Osama and Bert the Muppet from Sesame Street. The story put about at the time was that it was accidental.

Mostafa Kamal, production manager of Azad Products, the Dhaka shop that made the posters, told the AP he had gotten the images off the Internet.

“We did not give the pictures a second look or realize what they signified until you pointed it out to us,” he said.

The company had printed about 2,000 posters, and they were snapped up by the demonstrators, who were angry over the U.S.-led attacks on Afghanistan. Kamal said he would leave out the controversial images from his next posters. —AP

I don’t believe it: where was Bert on Sept. 11? Why did Bert make the pilgrimage to Mecca? Where is Bert now? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Verse about evil and evil-doers, please.

  1. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 5, 2011 11:22 AM

    A recycling opportunity here for one of our home-grown evil-doers:

    Tony Blair leaves Downing Street, 27th June 2007.

    Get in the car and then you’re free.
    Wave to the press and hope they fry.
    Goodbye Tony, farewell Cherie.

    Those aborted hopes you carry
    are festering like incubi.
    Get in the car and then you’re free

    to defoliate the money tree
    pig out in the multinational sty
    bonjour Tony, willkommen Cherie.

    Don’t listen to that threnody
    that wailing sound as people die,
    get in the car and then you’re free

    it’s not your responsibility
    the priest has rigged your alibi,
    goodbye Tony, farewell Cherie,

    enjoy your fucking hypocrisy
    forget the bodies stacked up high
    get in the car and then you’re free
    fuck off Tony, piss off Cherie.

    • Reine permalink
      May 5, 2011 12:32 PM

      Poor Tones, does no one love him any more? “Threnody” is a great word in a great poem.

  2. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 5, 2011 11:27 AM

    Bert was just a puppet. Who was pulling his strings?

    • Reine permalink
      May 5, 2011 12:33 PM

      My money’s on Bob, always very shifty looking.

  3. Reine permalink
    May 5, 2011 12:26 PM

    Evil, I?

    My name is M. Flatley
    I’m no Clement Atlee
    But, by Jesus lads, I can dance

    My famous high kick
    Would Sotomayor’s lick
    And my beauty would Jesus entrance

    I’m a mover and shaker
    And far from a Quaker
    In the manner I shimmy and prance

    I’ve an ego as big
    As Miss D. Parton’s … wig
    To pierce it, you’d need a huge lance

    Some say I channel Satan
    When I am gyratin’
    My firm buttocks filling my pants

    But I’m no Beelzebub
    Look, I’ll give you a rub
    Of the relic the ladies enchants

    No, evil’s not my bag
    Mine’s a heavenly swag
    I thank God for the talent he grants

    To this poor Irishman’s son
    Begorrah it’s fun
    To be Flatley, the lord of the dance.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 5, 2011 1:27 PM

      Satan/gyratin’ : that is a classic combo. Riverdance, I thought, was a crime against humanity.

    • Reine permalink
      May 5, 2011 1:32 PM

      As did I MM; beware the cash cow in hornpipe shoes.

    • Reine permalink
      May 5, 2011 3:02 PM

      “I’ll” give you a rub… when you have a chance please Mishari, will you change it?

  4. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    May 5, 2011 12:44 PM

    Charlton Heston Is Not Dead

    Two thousand years ago: a four-camera shoot.
    The grainy detail can be blown up to HD,
    Slap of the centurion, crunch of his boot,
    Authentification of a Pilate’s decree.

    The pictures are painted in gorgeous detail
    With loving attention; a fine cruci-fiction
    With pathos and drama, death’s sting in the tale:
    Pure cant and invention disguised as conviction.

    Then ten years ago: the twin towers in New York
    Hit two model airplanes; we know the flight number,
    We know the assailants, and they don’t eat pork;
    We know air defense won’t awake from their slumber.

    A smouldering passport leaps out of a tower
    As thousands of stories collapse in their footprint.
    Before the deceased have lived their final hour,
    A list is provided with scarcely a misprint

    Of one dozen martyrs; two billion more
    Potential converts of Osama Bin Laden
    Await in the wings. Yet another false war
    Conceived on a lofty peak at Berchtesgaden.

    We’ve fingered the bogeyman, let’s kick some ass!
    The guns and the oil make a nice little earner.
    Our CIA-operative snake-in-the-grass
    Can buy us some time; put him on the back burner.

    We’re left with a loss, an escape and a goat,
    A fleet of Korans on the seat of a Chevy.
    Let’s invade Iraq. There’s no need for a vote.
    We’ll give a new meaning to capital levy.

    Reasons of security add countless hours
    And dollars to flights; now the natives are grumbling.
    We need a new threat and a new set of powers
    To bolster our debt and to silence the rumbling.

    The slim cool cartoon kid from Disney is here
    In black and white: colour, thy name is Obama!
    Awaken the whale; release the puppeteer.
    He’ll stick a new beard on our brother Osama.

    Where once we had cinema, now we have screens.
    The truth can be changed by a click from a rodent.
    No point in suspecting things aren’t what they seem.
    Belief lies in seeing. To doubt is verboten.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 5, 2011 1:30 PM

      A tour de force, HLM.

    • Silican permalink
      May 5, 2011 3:05 PM

      And from the banality of evil rodents to

      Pigeons in the Arsenal

      Skinner would say
      You won’t go astray
      If you feed them on schedules

      But they won’t give a feck
      If the button they peck
      Don’t deliver deep-fat
      porker’s rind.

      So keep doling tripe
      And someone will gripe
      A pigeon I’m not
      and I’m mined.

      And the next thing you know
      The missile you sow
      Will be guided straight
      up your behind.

    • Silican permalink
      May 5, 2011 3:10 PM

      Sorry ‘will be guided’

    • Silican permalink
      May 5, 2011 3:32 PM

      ‘Pigeons up the Arsenal’ may be better.

      Skinner’s plan to to use pigeons (rejected by the US govt) to guide missiles to their targets using operant conditioning is debatably evil. There is a certain cold-calculatedness about it though that is reminiscent of evil.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 5, 2011 11:42 PM

      Sounds positively beneficent to me. I hate pigeons – when the seagulls aren’t around they sit on my chimneys kicking up a racket, and I have to scrub the garden bench twice a week thanks to their loose bowels.

      HLM might like to see some pigeons up the Arsenal.

    • Reine permalink
      May 5, 2011 11:59 PM

      A seagull landed on my office window today MM and looked in at me, I wondered if it was an emissary but couldn’t make out what it was saying. Most likely “Can I have the end of your sandwich?” “You can but you may not” as Granny always corrected us, when she wasn’t praising our high foreheads and telling us to put our shoulders back.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 6, 2011 12:30 AM

      Pity you didn’t have a gun on you.

      Are high foreheads desirable? I was unaware. Some good news for Prince Mishari as the years advance.

    • Reine permalink
      May 6, 2011 10:40 AM

      Granny seemed to think they were a sign of good breeding. My fringed days disappointed her.

  5. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    May 5, 2011 12:51 PM

    Mish, if you could take a g off the second grumbling it might read better…

    • Reine permalink
      May 5, 2011 1:01 PM

      And, Mish, if you delete my entire poem it will not suffer by such cringe making comparison with Henry’s ;)

  6. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2011 1:40 PM

    9 Evil Lives

    He’s a monster of swaggering vanity
    and seedy concupiscence;
    though sometimes we fear for his sanity
    to him, it all makes perfect sense;
    the nights on the tiles and in alleys
    the battles he won and he’s lost,
    he’s a slick as a box of Svengalis
    and sneers at the ears that it cost;
    his heart is as dark as his black, glossy coat;
    cross him and buddy, he’ll rip out your throat;
    in all sorts of ways he’s just wrong, though:
    I still can’t help liking old Pongo.

  7. May 5, 2011 1:48 PM

    That’s obviously a fake Bert.

    “the US needed someone to focus their fear and loathing on–Sting just doesn’t cut the mustard, I’m afraid.”

    Sting + Bono + Chris de burgh…?

  8. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2011 2:34 PM

    ‘Sting + Bono + Chris de burgh…’ (shudders)

    When I went to vote earlier, I was struck by how dead it was. Usually, elections around here are lively as hell and that’s reflected at the polling station, where a sort of carnival atmosphere tends to prevail.

    This was like attending the opening ceremony of a drop-in centre for paedophiles.

    It looks like Pie Face Cameron’s going to get the result that he and traitors like ‘Dr.’ (sic) John Reid wanted. This makes me want to break things–starting with Nick Clegg’s jaw…

    • obooki permalink
      May 5, 2011 11:57 PM

      My only hope is that only people who wanted to vote “Yes” would be motivated actually to go out and vote. (It’s just a pity most of the country had local elections at the same time).

      They should have held the referendum under AV rules, to give people a feel of how it works: you could put a 1 for Yes, and then a 2 for No, which would count as your second choice incase there wasn’t an overall majority for either Yes or No.

      If Clegg doesn’t win the Yes vote, he should immediately renege on everything he’s said since June, threaten to absolve the coalition unless Cameron gives in to all his demands, and point out that Labour are now ahead in the polls.

    • mishari permalink*
      May 6, 2011 12:03 AM

      One can hope. Radio 4 are doing an all-night Election Program, which I suppose I’ll listen to until my gag reflex kicks in. Clegg’s such a worthless putz: all those compromises, making his party and himself basically unelectable and all for what? A taste of power and the ministerial limo? He deserves everything he’s going to get, in spades.

  9. Reine permalink
    May 5, 2011 3:39 PM

    On Evil Doings…

    Edmund Burke
    Bade his clerk
    Render axioms in ink
    “Evil prospers when good men
    Don’t even pause to blink”

    Ed wrote of evils in the world
    Vindicated a discrete stance
    Indebted to Lord Bolingbroke,
    Leadbeater and his aunts

  10. May 5, 2011 9:55 PM

    Perhaps you know this but on the odd chance you don’t…

  11. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2011 10:19 PM

    God knows, Steven, it’s an improvement on the unbearably syrupy original. Meanwhile, in another particularly evil corner of the music world, some people are fighting the horror:

    A teenager has been charged with breaking into a Justin Bieber concert and throwing eggs at the Canadian pop star.

    The 17-year-old appeared in a Sydney Children’s Court today and was charged with breaking and entering, trespassing and malicious damage. He cannot be named because he is a minor.

    Video footage of the concert last Friday at Sydney’s Acer Arena showed several raw eggs smash on the stage, narrowly missing Bieber and his backup singers. They continued to sing and dance.

    Police say the boy broke into the arena through the roof.

    He was released on bail and is to enter a plea next month —AP, today

    …and people say that The Age of Heroes is over…

  12. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 5, 2011 11:45 PM

    Bieber was terrible on CSI. If I’d had any eggs I would have thrown them at the screen.

  13. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2011 11:56 PM

    Beiber was on CSI? Is that a joke? My favourite ‘Beiber Moment’:

  14. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 6, 2011 12:24 AM

    He was in a TBC double episode, which is a tribute to his fame. He ‘acted’ the part of the vengeful younger brother of a bomber the CSI team had ‘taken out’. Sounds exciting, eh? It wasn’t.

  15. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 6, 2011 12:35 AM

    My first, second and third preferences are to stay up for the vote. My fourth and fifth preferences are to go to bed. Following the logic of Dave Cameron and Dr John Reid I’m going to bed.

    • Reine permalink
      May 6, 2011 11:02 AM

      I can’t get over the change in Clegg’s appearance – his face, his body language – since his shortlived (clearly pyrrhic) moment of victory. He is a beaten man in every way. Following the same pattern as the Greens here when they went into coalition with Fianna Fáil; they were ultimately obliterated at the polls – no representation at all now at national level.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 6, 2011 2:36 PM

      It’s the rottenness at the core gradually seeping to the surface. I thought I noticed a couple of spots in the now-vanished photo on the G.

      ‘All the scourers of Araby will not cleanse this vicious face’

      MacClegg Act 5, Scene 3.

      Evil is a trickier subject than I would have imagined. Working on a famous Gaul at the moment.

  16. Reine permalink
    May 6, 2011 4:08 PM

    Speaking of Araby, sort of, stopped in the car at lights earlier at a junction in suburban Dublin, I looked idly to my left and saw in a small enclosure a lone, two-humped camel. Of all the things I expected to see today, that was way down the list. There was no evidence of any circus paraphernalia and I was nowhere near the zoo. Puzzling. The poor divil looked very down at heel.

  17. mishari permalink*
    May 6, 2011 4:39 PM

    Reine, that would be the Bactrian camel, of which I have no experience. But if they’re anything like the Arab kind, you should take the beast home; feed it on dates, barley and digestive biscuits. It will make an affectionate and loyal pet and just the creature to set on the landlord.

    Re Clegg:

    A blank, my lord. he never told his lust for power,
    But let concealment, like a worm i’ the bud,
    Feed on his damask cheek: he pined in thought,
    And with a green and yellow melancholy
    he sat like patience on a monument,
    Smiling at grief.

    Twelfth Night; or, What You Will , Act 2, Scene IV (slightly revised Clegg edition)

  18. mishari permalink*
    May 6, 2011 5:44 PM

    “The deeds were monstrous, but the doer…was quite ordinary, commonplace…”Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963)

    A Quite Ordinary, Commonplace Man

    He came in at lunch-time most days
    and after-work most days as well;
    he ate noodles and speck
    or weißwurst mit kraut;
    he usually drank a Moselle.

    He was very mild-mannered
    and very refined;
    the waitress’s jokes made him blush;
    no leering and never remarks of the kind
    that one heard from the soldiers and such.

    He worked for the State, in ‘logistics’, he said:
    ‘I make sure the trains have clear line.
    I arrange for the goods to arrive where they should:
    proper weight, proper count and on time.’

    He liked our small café because, (as he said):
    ‘it is clean and well-lit and well-run:
    in war-time, we must have more order, instead
    of laxness, indulgence and fun.’

    After the fall, it took all of our wiles
    to survive: much despised and harangued;
    our mild friend went before the Nuremberg trials,
    was convicted of war-crimes and hanged.

    • May 6, 2011 8:41 PM


    • May 6, 2011 8:44 PM

      (that was “sent” prematurely, but you can fill in the rest of the comment with sincerely-admiring words, M; nice little film you’ve written)

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 6, 2011 11:08 PM

      An excellent piece, which almost stops me posting my own feeble effort. Almost.

    • Reine permalink
      May 6, 2011 11:58 PM

      One knows what’s coming but it’s still a killer blow. I was the waitress.

  19. May 6, 2011 8:33 PM

    Attila the Hun!
    Thought impalement was fun.
    But he got his comeuppance at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains,
    which was a galling end to his campaigns.

  20. mishari permalink*
    May 6, 2011 9:12 PM

    Thanks, Steven. I was just thinking about the mechanics of so-called ‘evil’ and how mostly, it’s just bland, colourless bureaucrats doing their jobs: no Mephistopheles twirling his moustache and sneering; no Ernst Stavro Blofeld stroking a white cat and cackling in admiration at his own evil ways.

    Basically, one gets the impression that most of what we call ‘evil’ is nothing more or less than a failure of the imagination–Eichmann is a good case in point.

    • May 7, 2011 12:07 AM

      (heads up: a comment-zeppelin will now attempt to dock…)

      The thing about “evil” that even Hannah’s famous phrase didn’t *really* get at is that so many of its cogs/ constituent parts (that’s us, of course) can be decent, even noble types… who fulfill their function without stopping to wonder exactly what that function is (your “failure of the imagination”… though I’d add that Eichmann probably couldn’t claim that alibi; Littell’s “The Kindly Ones” does a good job with Eichmann… a point I’d enjoy discussing with you one day). Evil is so often rooted in mere complacency, I feel…. only because Extreme Benevolence (the opposite number) , for structural reasons, apparently (on this planet, at least), never catches fire en masse. It takes about thirty minutes and the flimsiest pretext to get a football stadium throbbing-luminous with *hatred*… hard to imagine anybody getting that much Love (love, not lust or craven awe) to happen. I’d like to quote Canetti’s “award-winning” Crowds and Power but while the title is perfect, the book is utter crap, sadly.


      I think it was very possible for some to do their small part to Keep Those Trains running without indulging in a little indecorous curiosity about what they were carrying or where they were going; I can imagine a perfectly-harmless father-of-five (stamp collector; lover of animals; devotee of Voltaire) saying “nonsense!” and rolling his eyes at the “conspiracy theories” of ’42. And, well, you know: here we are again, not a century later…

      Anyway: good work, nicely restrained plus jolting little pay-off no-less jolting for being inevitable (which is exactly why the craft on display deserves some golf-clapping)

    • mishari permalink*
      May 7, 2011 3:37 PM

      I’m sorry to say that I’ve never read The Kindly Ones although I have a copy in the house. My wife was very impressed by it, though, and now that you’ve mentioned it, too, I’ll get on it.

      A book I’ve been recommending to everyone since I first read it a few years ago is Nine Suitcases by the Hungarian writer and journalist Béla Zsolt. Zsolt, a Hungarian Jew, survived both Stalingrad (where he’d been sent as a member of a Hungarian Army punishment battalion: he walked back to Budapest afterwards) and Auschwitz. An astonishing book.

    • Silican permalink
      May 7, 2011 7:38 PM

      Yes, no evil masterminds from COBRA (how ridiculous Blair made them all look with that). Between bean counter and body scorer there is little difference except for the object. Remove that object far enough from sight and it becomes no difference. The cogs within cogs that add up to the unthinkable. There’s a time and physical barrier (relativlely speaking) between a football stadium in mid-mass insanity and the ‘real world’. What is truly frightening though, is watching the egg-shell of veener that we call civilisation, evaporating, with the slightest crack, into almost immediate frenzied killing, torture and atrocity riven genocide. Whether its Tutsis cutting up Hutus into bait size chunks, Serbian rape and murder camps set up for people who had literally been their neighbours until days before or the more recent spree in Kenya, its a universal reality. We are by no means immune from this in the UK. Look how quickly the Great Fire of London degenerated into a spreeof hunting, killing and beating pseudo-saboteurs in the form of the Dutch, the Spanish, the French or Catholics in general. They even hanged a Catholic madman harbouring the delusional belief that he had started the fire. All these foreigners had been living as their persecutors neighbours’ for decades. All you need is bad news (plenty more of that to come), a scapegoat (take your pick) and a responsible newspaper like The Sun. The general ability of the populace to reason has just been demonstrated unequivocally.

  21. Silican permalink
    May 6, 2011 9:46 PM

    Banality Cleggy has in spades. Imagining something personlike, in that vast, empty chasm between who you see and who you might know, is difficult. But no get out of jail card now for poor Nick. The voters were asked ‘do you prefer democracy’ and have answered with a resounding ‘No’. The problem is not that it was the worst political gamble in living history, but that he was the first gambler not to know the difference between a poker-face and a dick-head. So Nick must forget that it is better to give than to receive while he is –

    On License

    Cleggy’s tales
    of more yard than ales
    Ain’t what’s hurting him presently.

    His plough may have furrowed
    Through poxridden buroughs
    But AV’s impaled him ‘unpleasantly’ .

  22. mishari permalink*
    May 6, 2011 9:54 PM

    In Manchester, the 10 Lib Dems who stood all lost, as did 12 in Liverpool, where the former council leader, Lord Storey, was beaten in Wavertree by Labour’s 18-year-old candidate, Jake Morrison. —The Graun, today

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…(continues indefinitely)

  23. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 6, 2011 11:09 PM

    Gilles De Rais

    In command his genius glowed
    as he ordered the milling horde,
    on the field of battle he showed
    a lot of talent with the sword.

    But when the Maid went up in flames
    his life went down a different line,
    with a quite unusual set of aims,
    and nearly all of them malign.

    Children can be irritating,
    and sometimes they seem a blight,
    their endless demands are grating
    but killing them just isn’t right.

    What bizarre psychotic process
    turned his noble libido dark
    perhaps a touch of combat stress
    or the grilling of Jeanne D’Arc?

    Was it that gulf in which he peered
    which gave the Baron such a wrench,
    and turned his sexual tastes so weird?
    No, there’s a simpler answer – French.

    • Reine permalink
      May 6, 2011 11:56 PM

      “Mangetout” as Del Boy might have said.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 7, 2011 12:42 AM

      Too kind.

      Strange about that camel. I shall dream of it tonight, swaying across the endless sands of Dublin.

  24. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 6, 2011 11:22 PM

    It doesn’t look like Milly’s done that well either. Has there ever been a time when the three leaders of the parties seemed so dull and empty, without a principle between them?

  25. Reine permalink
    May 7, 2011 11:16 AM

    Camel, camel standing high
    There’s no evil in your eye
    Just regrets or disillusions
    That not one, but two extrusions,
    You must shoulder in the heat
    I’m with you baby, it’s no mean feat
    To heft them round all day and night
    Keep them hoisted, left and right
    Hope for a shower to keep them clean
    Preserve their glow and pointed sheen
    And cover them when chilly breeze
    Makes peaks protrude and foment sleaze
    And then to add to other care
    Some fellow’s tried to slip in there
    Oh, camel, camel, standing high
    What can one do but stop and sigh?

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 7, 2011 1:29 PM

      Very amusing, that. It’s an aspect of the Bactrian which hadn’t occurred to me.

  26. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 7, 2011 1:20 PM

    The Irish Camel

    It stands in a cramped enclosure
    its posture is rather bad
    the humps are flaccid and drooping
    it seems a little sad.

    Once it was very popular
    now no-one wants to know
    it was formerly known as a ‘tiger’
    until a few years ago.

  27. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2011 1:40 PM

    The misplaced tits of camels–too few poets have addressed this interesting subject: well done. Great stuff, MM…De Rais was passing strange. The Irish tiger downgraded to a camel–very appropriate…and speaking of the ‘Irish Tiger’, here’s some grim reading on the prospects for the Irish economy from Morgan Kelly, an economics professor at University College Dublin and one of the few people in Ireland who saw what was coming years ago and tried to warn people.

    Sorry, Reine, I didn’t mean to depress you but this piece is relevant to every economy that puts its faith in casino banking and an over-inflated property market.

    • Reine permalink
      May 8, 2011 12:56 AM

      I’m a Morgan fan Mish. Many of us were cheerleading for him but, as we all know, the establishment turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to our great cost. Evil comes in many guises.

  28. Reine permalink
    May 8, 2011 12:52 AM

    I knew Eichmann was ringing a particular bell… he was the subject of my son’s leaving cert history project which I proofread for him. The penny has just dropped. The details escape my memory now but I remember thinking how mundane he seemed. Must revisit it, it was well researched. “My Johnny is a great fella” as all the Irish Mammies think.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 8, 2011 2:44 PM

      I did quite a bit of that proofreading myself. It surprises me that two near-illiterates have gone on to have reasonably successful careers. I suppose their employers must be worse.

  29. mishari permalink*
    May 8, 2011 10:42 AM

    Ballesteros, passionate genius with unique talent —The Independent, today

    …erm…I’m confused: he was a golfer, right? I mean, he didn’t develop a Unified Field Theory or write a string quartet series that changed the way we think about music or do anything that would qualify as a work of ‘genius’ as I understand the word.

    He was a man who hit a little white ball with a stick. Far from being a ‘unique talent’, the fairways of the industrialised world are seething with fat, white middle-class men dressed in hideous clothing, all hitting little white balls with sticks.

    Am I missing something?

  30. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 8, 2011 11:14 AM

    In A Wood Near You

    It’s pitch dark, and in the firelight
    thirteen middle-aged people stand
    mumbling a certain magick rite
    and swaying slightly, hand in hand.

    Once they’ve gestured to Astaroth
    and paid their dues to Astarte
    they tear each other’s clothing off
    then proceed to start the party.

    Around the fire they all cavort,
    Mrs Blair takes on Mr Brown,
    while the passionate Mrs Short
    pulls Mr Taylor’s jockeys down.

    They mate with beastly screams and howls
    the naked bodies twist and lock,
    while the resident bats and owls
    topple off the branch in shock.

    Now it’s time for the prestige bout
    which should give the devil a tug,
    they clear a space and then lay out
    Mr Rosen’s tartan car rug,

    and while the votaries chant
    the ancient canticles of night,
    the quite outstanding celebrant
    penetrates Mrs Cartwright.

    Sad to say, on this occasion,
    Lucifer vitiates the spell
    (just like every other one)
    by deciding to stay in Hell.

    So they gather all their garbage
    (in a biodegradable sack)
    and most go back with Mrs Page
    for some refreshments and a snack.

    ‘Pity Satan didn’t turn up,
    I suppose he’s very busy,
    Vicar, do have another cup,
    now, was it tea or coffee?’

    He takes the cup which she bestows
    and sips it with a blasé air
    as any C of E man knows
    Satan, like God, is always elsewhere.

    • Reine permalink
      May 8, 2011 12:02 PM

      What an insight you have. Delectable.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 8, 2011 2:35 PM

      Thanks, Reine. Bit slapdash, but boredom sets in after a while.

  31. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 8, 2011 11:17 AM

    Quite an unusual golfer, Ballesteros. Or so I’m told. You probably need to play the game.

  32. Reine permalink
    May 8, 2011 8:35 PM

    Corpus Christi

    Summer meant sand dunes
    And dusky twilights
    Pedalling up the road with his uncle
    Inhaling the scents
    Of the cooling evening

    His father was long dead
    But he felt no absence of love
    In a place where friendship and laughter
    Melded with sea and sky
    To create a perfect whole

    When his uncle left to go to England
    The priest took him under his wing
    “Come and serve mass for me on the island”
    And his mother was proud
    That her eldest boy was making good

    The island house was cold and creaking
    There was just one bed
    He fell to sleep finally
    With a strange-smelling hand about his neck
    “For the warmth”

    In the morning he served the Host to craggy mouths
    “Body of Christ”, “Body of Christ”
    Saliva and foul breath and lacertilian tongues
    And in the sacristy afterwards
    His host helped himself to his body


    • May 8, 2011 9:44 PM

      Reine! Outstanding.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 8, 2011 11:05 PM

      First class, great scene-setting.

      ‘Lacertilian’ is a new one on me. I shall have to try it out on my chum David Icke.

    • Reine permalink
      May 9, 2011 12:07 AM

      Thanks gents. MM, you are not going to French kiss him I hope?

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 9, 2011 12:23 AM

      I think he’s suffered enough.

  33. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 9, 2011 9:54 AM

    Evil Thoughts

    I was at the Tabernacle today
    when I saw Miss Sholene kneel down to pray,
    man, that lady sure fills out them shorts,
    Lord, please preserve me from my evil thoughts.

    Today I saw Miss Sholene on the street,
    shimmying down the sidewalk she looked a treat,
    if dreaming’s a crime I’ll be in the courts,
    Lord, please preserve me from my evil thoughts.

    Today Sholene and me we talked a while
    and when she left she flashed a lovely smile,
    she don’t seem to care at all ‘bout my warts,
    Lord, can you hold it on my evil thoughts?

    Last night we met outside her Daddy’s place,
    it was there that we had our first embrace,
    and she let me handle her davenports,
    Lord, please reconsider my evil thoughts.

    This afternoon, in the golden cornfield,
    Sholene chose the perfect moment to yield,
    man, she knows plenty ‘bout them lovin’ sports,
    Lord, I thank you kindly for her evil thoughts.

    • Reine permalink
      May 9, 2011 1:41 PM

      The palinode is the order of the day MM, how prescient of you. I thought you might have met a Micheline along the way, dirty girl.

  34. mishari permalink*
    May 9, 2011 9:57 AM

    Fine work, Reine.

    Is anyone else as grimly amused as I am by the sheer vacuous gullibility of The Grauniad, which is busily cementing its reputation as Britain’s worst broadsheet paper?

    The worthless and rightly reviled Clegg suddenly starts posturing as ‘The Saviour of The NHS’ and The Grauniad swallows it whole. Can’t the idiots who pose as editors read? Have they never had a look at the Clegg/Huhne/Laws statement of intent, The Orange Book? It actually goes further than Lansley.

    In it, Laws, best known as a liar and a thief but soon to be ‘rehabilitated’, I don’t doubt, wrote an essay calling for the replacement of the National Health Service by a national health insurance scheme.

    He envisaged a combination of public, private and voluntary providers, with people either choosing to use a state insurance scheme funded by a health tax on their income or joining an independent scheme.

    Clegg was (and is) an enthusiastic supporter of this scheme (i.e. turning the UK into a healthcare nightmare of American proportions).

    Have the morons at The Guardian not noticed that Clegg and his party of unprincipled errand-boys supported Lansley and his proposals in their entirety, every step of the way–until the electorate shat on their collective heads? Fucking politicians: they should be shot on sight.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 9, 2011 10:05 AM

      It’s weird the way this bizarre scheme is being foisted on the electorate. Weirder still is their reaction: judging by the council election results the Tories haven’t lost support. Considering that most of the population could barely afford a five-minute appointment with a consultant at market rates you would think there would be more concern. Indifferent, distracted or just stupid? Take your pick.

  35. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 9, 2011 9:57 AM

    Apologies to any American readers. My diction is sourced entirely from Boyd Crowder of ‘Justified’ fame.

  36. mishari permalink*
    May 9, 2011 10:38 AM

    Speaking of Boyd Crowder, I’m passing along the rest of Justified Season 2 (it just ended last week).

    I don’t know if you’re interested and I’ve only watched brief snippets but I’ve got the first 7 episodes of The Borgias, if you want them. It’s a lavish production starring Jeremy Irons and written/directed/produced by Irish film-maker Neil Jordan.

    Also, the first 4 episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones, starring Sean Bean and a cast of familiar British actors, which I’m rather enjoying, if you fancy it.

    • Reine permalink
      May 9, 2011 12:02 PM

      Thanks Mishari.

      I’d eat Sean Bean for my dinner and wash him down with a nice Chianti.

      MM’s postman must be a strong fellow.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 9, 2011 4:16 PM

      All very welcome, and my thanks to you as always. Who would have thought they would try to re-do the Borgias?

      He’s a woman, Reine. Rather tall, dark, and a bit sullen. I’ve only met her twice, both times when it was raining heavily, which might explain the sullenness. And the packages of pig iron and lead which I’d ordered from Metals ‘R’ Us.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 9, 2011 4:20 PM

      Did you notice they’ve dropped Zen? Shocking news, especially if bloody ‘Vera’ is considered an adequate replacement.

    • Reine permalink
      May 9, 2011 5:57 PM

      I knew once I’d written that, it would be a woman. How privileged she is to be in your orbit. With all those packages in the pipeline, she may suspect you are some kind of nefarious “go-between” (which reminds me of the then delicious Alan Bates from the film of that name). “A tale of torrid and forbidden love in the [English] countryside” on which I modelled many of my early nature walks.

      Yes, Vera is a strange one. Nice camera and location work but the first episode didn’t grab me.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 9, 2011 11:17 PM

      I saw the Go-Between on first release, largely because I was rejected from the X-film I was trying to get into. Glad I did, because it’s a wonderful film. Very good novel, too, though as my son had it for GCSE English the hours I spent trying to point out themes and narrative techniques to the near-catatonic youth have more or less killed it for me. The scene where Leo and Mrs Maudsley discover the lovers is very good.

      it was then that we saw them together on the ground, the Virgin and the Water-Carrier, two bodies moving like one. I think I was more mystified than horrified; it was Mrs Maudsley’s repeated screams that frightened me, and a shadow on the wall that opened and closed like an umbrella.

      I think some of those castle scenes in Vera were filmed at Dunstanburgh, a spot where Freep was wont to walk his dogg. I still think nostalgically of ‘The Killing’. What a great series.

    • Reine permalink
      May 9, 2011 11:27 PM

      Must read the book again. I loved it and the film. I wanted to be Julie Christie when I grew up; sadly that didn’t transpire. That umbrella image is marvellous.

      I still think nostalgically of Freep. And I will be adding Hic to the list soon.

      I wish Simon had called his post something other than Semen Stains… my son looked up at me in horror earlier when I came back from taking a phone call wondering why one of my closed tabs was so titled. Felt like the shoe was on the wrong foot.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 9, 2011 11:40 PM

      What, has she resigned?

    • Reine permalink
      May 10, 2011 10:48 AM

      If you mean Hic, I hope not. If you put your reply in the wrong spot and mean Hannah, I couldn’t possibly say.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 10, 2011 11:21 AM

      Hic is who I meant (I thought you must be alluding to something I’ve missed). I also hope not.

  37. May 9, 2011 6:31 PM

    MM, you mad pariah bastard… ! (inside joke)

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 9, 2011 10:47 PM

      I’m sure Hannah will be in touch shortly.

    • May 9, 2011 11:29 PM

      “I’m sure Hannah will be in touch shortly.”

      (With coltish excitement, while scrubbing at his shell suit: “Now where *are* those huge-black-erection pix I’ve been meaning to post…?”)

  38. obooki permalink
    May 9, 2011 11:17 PM

    Newsnight had a potentially interesting piece on why

    Lambeth, Southwark, Islington, Camden, Haringey, Hackney, Oxford,
    Cambridge, Glasgow Kelvin and Edinburgh Central

    were the only boroughs in the country to vote in favour of AV. Unfortunately they took the opportunity merely to caricature the people of Islington, and then have a discussion between Polly Toynbee and some Tory-type, at which point I switched off.

  39. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 10, 2011 11:31 AM

    Inspired by the hideous discordant squawking of the seagulls fifteen feet above my head early this morning I was compelled to pen this:

    Mark Of Cain

    I’m sorry, Mark, this is a step too far,
    I thought your demands couldn’t get much worse,
    that enormous TV, your stupid car,
    but I’ve got to say this is just perverse.

    ‘Mandy, you could be a bit more tolerant -‘
    What, like I was about your mother’s slights?
    I’m not prepared to do it; to be blunt,
    it’s an infringement of my human rights.

    ‘I’m just suggesting you give it a go,
    give it some thought.’ All right, I’ll do that…OK,
    I’ve thought about it and the answer’s no,
    I’m not doing it whatever you say.

    I’ve put up with your lunatic projects,
    I’ll sit with your stupid friends in the pub,
    I’ll have a threesome, try anal sex,
    but I’m not going to a jazz club.

  40. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2011 5:19 PM

    I see that your anti-jazz campaign continues apace, you philistine.

    Doubtless, some of you are familiar with the amusing Cats That Look Like Hitler website. But have you seen The Cat That Looks Like Lenin?

    Workers of the world! Unite…and buy some cat-food while you’re at it.

    • May 10, 2011 7:12 PM

      Vladymyr Ilyich Lenin!
      (I’m not sure about the spellin’)
      For workers’ rights you ran great risks. As
      everyone knows, but now your face sells Whiskas?!

  41. Reine permalink
    May 10, 2011 7:52 PM

    Comrade,it’s at times like these
    I envy those mice with their cheese
    This stuff is pure muck
    But at least I’ve the luck
    To make capitalist right-wingers wheeze

  42. Reine permalink
    May 10, 2011 10:19 PM

    The only interesting thing that happened me today was the discovery of a dead bumblebee in my pocket when I reached in for my train ticket. I thought it was a piece of fluff. If you heard me screaming (I am very buzzing creature averse), I apologise. I hope all of you had more interesting days.

    The seagull numbers outside my window are multiplying … drawn by the rich pickings left outside Government buildings no doubt – no matter how our debt rises, there’s always a canapé to be had. They really are cacophonous MM, I feel your pain. The poor pigeons aren’t getting a look in.

    I’m boring myself now, adieu.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 11, 2011 12:13 AM

      Today I would have killed for an experience as enthralling as a bumble bee in the pocket.

    • Reine permalink
      May 11, 2011 8:16 AM

      Bzzzzzz, bzzzzzzz …

  43. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2011 10:30 PM

    The Dictatorship of The Purrlotariat

    Truly, I loved the proletariat
    they kept me in chicken and cream;
    but sometimes, things just got so hairy that
    I felt I was in a bad dream.

    The masses, they will make a bee-line
    for a charismatic feline.

  44. Captain Ned permalink
    May 10, 2011 11:16 PM

    The holders of concealed handgun licences are set to be allowed to carry weapons into public college buildings and classrooms in Texas, after Republicans in the state senate approved the measure as part of a universities spending bill…

    Democratic senator Judith Zaffirini, who was a student at the University of Texas in 1966 when sniper Charles Whitman killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others, argued against the bill. She predicted mass chaos if police responded to a call and found several people with guns drawn…

    Earlier on Monday, senators voted to allow themselves to carry concealed handguns into places the rest of the public cannot, such as churches, restaurants and sporting events.

    What a good idea this is. What a lot of good ideas American politicians have.

    I’m glad MM enjoyed The Killing; I’ve yet to meet anyone who actually watched it. An excellent series, and much better than Wallander (both Swedish and British versions).

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 11, 2011 12:19 AM

      From about Wednesday onward we were looking forward to Saturday’s ‘Killing’: looking forward to the next series. ‘Spiral’ is good, but it’s not in the same class.

  45. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2011 11:39 PM

    Politicians, especially American politicians, are quite fabulously brainless. College students with guns: I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

  46. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 11, 2011 12:22 AM

    Good points. I think there’s a case for arming teachers, preferably with machine guns, but it’s important that students should be unable to return fire.

  47. Reine permalink
    May 11, 2011 2:36 PM

    Well, whodya think I had a Facebook friend request from this a.m. but the poor girl I inadvertently insulted some weeks back? I was trepidatious about accepting it lest she wanted to lambast me but I headed that off at the pass with a Uriah Heepesque message to which she replied warmly. Phew.

    I don’t do much on Facebook; spend much of my time deleting posts. For example, the numerous Rest in Hell Osama and Up Navy Seals links from my friend from Kilkenny, affectionately known at work as “the Texan”. None of her political views coincides with anybody else’s I know except perhaps Sarah Palin (whom I do not know). My Texan would be all for the gun law. If one steers clear of politics, she is a highly entertaining and compassionate person but venture into that territory and it’s all out war. Just how she likes it. If she did have a gun, I’d have been dead long ago.

    Another of my friends is a makeup artist and keeps posting photos of beautiful young creatures leaping about in lipstick and leopardprint.

    FB is a peculiar thing, too voyeuristic I would argue until I find myself nosing around other people’s pages and going “OMG, he’s gone downhill”. Useful occasionally for the odd coded message I must say.

    • May 11, 2011 7:44 PM

      “Well, whodya think I had a Facebook friend request from this a.m. but the poor girl I inadvertently insulted some weeks back?”

      It’s called “revenge is a dish best served cold… and on the Internet”, Reine! Beware.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 11, 2011 8:12 PM

      Has she had the baby yet?

      I don’t use FB myself. When we first went online in the 90s I Alta Vista-ed or Lycos-ed (what quaint names) a few people I knew and emailed them with puppylike excitement (in one case the first email they ever received). When they replied I felt obliged to reciprocate, then they rereplied and I quickly found myself involved in a tiresome correspondence with people I hadn’t seen for years and had nothing much in common with anyway (apart from an email account). I didn’t take into account the instantaneous nature of the correspondence, either: no time lag as with a letter. I suppose Jim is still waiting for a reply to his message of August 3rd 1995. If you’re reading, no I don’t remember the name of that red-haired girl who went out with Colin’ best friend.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 11, 2011 8:15 PM

      Mr Augustine’s right. Don’t on any account accept an invitation to a tete-a-tete meeting at a lonely roadhouse on a Tuesday evening.

    • May 11, 2011 8:48 PM

      “Don’t on any account accept an invitation to a tete-a-tete meeting at a lonely roadhouse on a Tuesday evening.”

      Especially if she posts an unflattering photo of the aftermath

    • Reine permalink
      May 11, 2011 10:49 PM

      A lovely little dark haired voodoo doll named Reine was borne to her by DHL. She had the pins.

  48. May 11, 2011 8:50 PM

    (wrong choice of tense but you get the…)

  49. mishari permalink*
    May 11, 2011 9:46 PM

    I made the mistake of signing up for a FB account under my real name a couple of years ago (purely for the purpose of doing a bit of cyber-snooping).

    I thought that the fact that there are about 5 other Mishari Al-Adwanis on FB (all first, second or third cousins or nephews of mine) put up a few barriers, but no: somehow, despite the fact that I provided no pix and the absolute bare minimum of info, I found myself inundated with messages from people I had devoutly hoped never to see or hear from again.

    The very loud ‘snap’ that resounded through the interwebz at that point was the sound of me closing my FB account, but fast. So much for that nonsense…mind you, there was a certain satisfaction in observing that I appeared to be the only one of my contemporaries who hadn’t got fat–a little bit of schadenfreude puts an edge on my appetite, I find…

  50. May 11, 2011 9:50 PM

    This just in:

    “As leader’s sons lash out over killing, reports swirl that the ‘Crown Prince of Terror’ escaped in raid.”

    Leaving a “door open” for a sequel, right? Jeezis who WRITES this shit? Is the CIA suffering from a glut of failed wannabe screenwriters who couldn’t make it in LA? Please… no more (sound of hysterical laughter)… I can’t take it… (gasping for breath)… yer killing me… (etc)….

  51. Reine permalink
    May 11, 2011 9:50 PM

    This might be what we’d slow dance to at the roadhouse.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 11, 2011 11:22 PM

      I think this might be the last thing you hear:

    • Reine permalink
      May 11, 2011 11:49 PM

      They are a set of wheels I would happily forgo.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 12, 2011 12:29 AM

      I can’t say I blame you. Carrying a heavily pregnant woman they could make a big impression.

    • Reine permalink
      May 12, 2011 10:23 AM

      Ah, crossed wires. I was meeting Steven at the roadhouse not the pregnant lady. My imagination running away with me…

      Somebody has returned a long since-loaned copy of 84 Charing Cross Road to my desk; so long I forget to whom I loaned it. I like to think I pay some small homage to Helene in my correspondence.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 12, 2011 2:50 PM

      Oh. Well, in that case:

    • Reine permalink
      May 12, 2011 7:45 PM

      Oh? I thought this maybe—–

  52. mishari permalink*
    May 11, 2011 9:58 PM

    ‘The Crown Prince of Terror’? This is a fucking joke, right? This was on The Onion or something, right? Right?

    • May 11, 2011 10:24 PM


    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 11, 2011 11:31 PM

      That must have been a red-hot editorial meeting.

      ‘So what have you got?’
      ‘Son of Slaughter?
      ‘Doesn’t cut it.’
      ‘Heir of Horror?’
      ‘Give me a break.’
      ‘Prince of Terror?’
      ‘A little more, baby…’
      ‘Crown Prince of Terror?’
      ‘Yes! Print it!’

  53. Reine permalink
    May 12, 2011 10:43 AM

    Well, blow me down, I was unaware of this connection between the two Edmunds (Burke and Spenser) until I read it in an Adjournment debate earlier. I am wildly excited to find any block of text without the word “bailout” in it, not to mention one with a vaguely literary aspect. Here’s an extract from the unrevised Official Report (some of the formatting has not held):

    “Edmund Burke wrote: “Politics ought to be adjusted, not to human reasonings, but to human nature; of which the reason is but a part, and by no means the greatest part.”
    Edmund’s mother was Mary Nagle, whose people, a large extended family, were the leading Catholics in what is still known as Nagle country in the Blackwater Valley. The poet Edmund Spenser was married to a member of the family and it was to Nagle country that Edmund Burke was sent from Dublin at the age of six years to live with his uncle Patrick Nagle in Ballyduff at the foot of the Nagle Mountains. According to local tradition, he was returning to the place of his birth.
    It is said that Edmund was sent to Cork for the sake of his health, as Dublin was an unhealthy place in the 18th century. However, it is probable that the opportunity to receive a Catholic education was of as much, if not more, importance. The penal laws of the time prohibited and penalised Catholic education, the presence of Catholic priests and attendance at mass, but while the code was strongly enforced in Dublin, places like Ballyduff in the parish of Killavullen in the 1730s were openly Catholic. Edmund attended a hedge school under the walls of the ruined castle of Monanimy, formerly a Nagle stronghold. The Blackwater Valley was and is one of the most beautiful regions in Ireland and is where Edmund Spenser drew inspiration for the landscape of The Faerie Queene. Burke stayed in north Cork until the age of 11 years, immersed in a culture far removed from that of Dublin and the Pale.
    Elected to the British Parliament in December 1765, out of public necessity Burke played down both his Irishness and his Catholic associations. His political ideology, inspired by his experiences in Ireland, were to extend out into the world and, particularly, to America. He abhorred slavery and argued against seating representative Americans in the British Parliament on the grounds that this would mean the seating of slave-owners. The cry of “no taxation without representation” had been raised as part of American resistance to the Stamp Act, and allowing American representation in the British Parliament was one proposed solution. Historians claim a distinct link between his views on slavery and his formative years in an Irish Catholic hedge school pursing a forbidden education. As a respected parliamentarian, Burke tried during the early phases of pre-revolution in the American colonies to persuade the English not to provoke the Americans into rebellion by taxation, but rather to extend their rights and independence. Burke’s repeated warnings were not heeded and the war that ensued was, in Burke’s mind, a civil war.
    The Blackwater Valley region in north County Cork has very strong connections with North America, going back to the first ever European settlement on the Continent. The settlement was organised by Sir Walter Raleigh, who owned land in the Blackwater Valley. On 9 April 1585, Sir Richard Grenville, landlord of Fermoy and a first cousin of Sir Walter Raleigh, set sail for America with 100 colonists in seven vessels. Among the organisers on board was the artist and cartographer John White, who had previously lived at Newtown, Doneraile. John White’s watercolour drawings are of great significance in American history as they gave detailed visual information about the native North Americans and how they lived, along with excellent detail of the flora and fauna of the region. John White’s granddaughter Virginia Dore, the daughter of John’s daughter Eleanor Dore, was the first recorded European born on American soil, on 18 August 1587. Although much of White’s work has been lost, a number of drawings were retained.
    The potential for literary and cultural tourism in this country is enormous, and Edmund Burke is a pivotal figure in this respect. This is good for Ireland and complements the recent jobs initiative. I formally invite any member of the American visiting party to Edmund Burke’s ancestral home. If time prevents this, I would be obliged if the Minister would be so good as to inform the President and his party of this unique link and association between our two nations.”

  54. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 12, 2011 2:42 PM

    I’m surprised: I thought Spenser (and Raleigh) was pretty unpopular in Ireland, thanks to his keen interest in killing the inhabitants. Has he been rehabilitated?

    • Reine permalink
      May 12, 2011 6:30 PM

      We will rehabilitate anyone if it brings more tourists here.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 12, 2011 11:18 PM

      I look forward to the ‘In The Steps Of Cromwell’ tour.

      I can’t see Burke being a huge draw: I shouldn’t think many people are aware of him in this country, let alone the US. Bloody Conservative anyway. I would display the ancestral home of Maeve Binchy or someone like that. Perhaps they already do.

    • Reine permalink
      May 12, 2011 11:28 PM

      The people of Connacht weep at your Cromwell suggestion.

      Burkean philosophy doesn’t appeal to me either and, God knows, he was no oil painting. Sitting under a hedge was probably a relief to him.

      Yes, that would be the Lilac Bus tour, patronised predominantly by lilac haired ladies. Good old Maeve, I wish I had her winning formula.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 12, 2011 11:40 PM

      I meant to ask if the text above was actually spoken (or read) out loud to eager listeners, or if it’s just placed in the record (if you can divulge that info).

    • Reine permalink
      May 12, 2011 11:47 PM

      It was spoken but almost certainly scripted in this particular case. The replies to Adj matters (local issues in Members’ constituencies taken, as indicated, at end of day’s proceedings) are always scripted in advance by the relevant Departments and often refer in a merely nominal way to the matter outlined by the Member. The only material in our report that is not actually uttered on the record (aside from procedural detail) relates to written PQs and the replies thereto, which do not form part of plenary proceedings. Oral questions and answers are taken in the Chamber. TMI, probably, as the kids say.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 13, 2011 12:07 AM

      I see. As I read I was surprised at the amount of detail it contained, which must have been quite difficult to take in while listening – for me, anyway. I suppose if you’re interested enough you go and read the printed version. For me I have to say it doesn’t really sell Burke. If I was the President I’d probably be saying, that sounds really good, yes, excellent, but, you know… time constraints… Any chance of seeing Maeve Binchy’s place? I’m a big fan.

    • Reine permalink
      May 13, 2011 12:09 AM

      Lol. You made me choke on my wine.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 13, 2011 12:47 AM

      Sorry. Must go and join Burke under the hedge. Gnite.

    • May 13, 2011 9:04 AM

      Edmund Burke!
      Hare-brained reactionary. His knee-jerk
      opinions expressed in ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France’
      have been responsible for many a schoolchild trance.

  55. Reine permalink
    May 12, 2011 10:04 PM

    Jesus, what was Laws thinking?

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      May 12, 2011 11:25 PM

  56. mishari permalink*
    May 12, 2011 10:36 PM

    “I’ll ignore your cheap aroma
    and your Little Bo Peep diploma
    I’ll just put you in a coma
    with some dirty love…”

    Plus some fantastic mondo gonzo distorted guitar work: what’s not to like?
    I always did love that song.

  57. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 13, 2011 12:48 PM

    Magdalena, Magdalena, Magdalena, Magdalena,
    Daughter of the smog-filled winds of Los Angeles…

    This stomach-turning Nabokov tribute was a tour de force. I thought it was all downhill for Zappa after this album: still prefer Absolutely Free to anything else.

    • May 13, 2011 1:16 PM

      Confess to an undying (and-open-to-any-suggestions-that-it’s-irrational) fealty to “One Size Fits All”… with “Sofa Number 2” the transcendent centerpiece

      Ich bin dein geheime schmutz!

  58. mishari permalink*
    May 13, 2011 3:34 PM

    Because, I suppose, they were the LPs of my teenage years, We’re Only In It For The Money and Absolutely Free are especial favourites…but Zappa put out interesting stuff throughout his career: Hot Rats, Apostrophe, Weasels Ripped My Flesh etc etc. He was, admittedly, a bit hit-or-miss but even when he missed, he was still more interesting than most of the 3-power chords, an ounce of coke and a teenage groupie back at the motel twits who infested the airwaves for much of late 20th century. Better an interesting failure than a dull success…

  59. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 13, 2011 4:23 PM

    I never liked Hot Rats, not surprisingly. I remember how disappointed I was when I got it home and put it on the Dansette. No lyrics!

    Volman and Kaylan brought something extra to the Mothers. It’s a pity their collaboration came to an end, but I suppose re-invention must have been important to Zappa.

  60. mishari permalink*
    May 13, 2011 4:30 PM

    What about ‘Willie The Pimp’?

    Standin’ on the porch of the Leo Hotel
    Floozies in the lobby love the way I sell…

    etc etc, cue: some fantastic violin work from Don ‘Sugarcane’ Harris…

    Just as a ‘small world’ bagatelle, Kaylan’s ex-long time girlfriend was a pal of mine. Kaylan and Volman, as I’m sure you know, were the core members of Vanilla Fudge, about whom I can’t remember a single damn thing, not even their greatest hit (assuming they had one).

  61. Reine permalink
    May 13, 2011 5:09 PM

    Those dancing girls had an easy gig.

  62. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 13, 2011 5:19 PM

    I knew you’d mention William The Pimp. It’s only eight lines (or something) out of what seems like 24 hours of jazzrockfusion cobblers.

    I’m sure I read a revolting rock story about Vanilla Fudge in Keef’s biog. I’ll have to look it up if Mrs M hasn’t charityshopped it. Don’t know much about them either, but I have 3 Turtles songs on my mp3.

  63. Reine permalink
    May 13, 2011 5:52 PM

    Tuesday, a bumblebee in my pocket. Today, a weevil in my salad. What can this mean?

    Dublin is a hive of activity in preparation for the royal visit. All manhole covers along the main thoroughfares sealed and marked in yellow (for the convenience of the would-be bad guys). Three gardaí were scoping the car park I use earlier… I longed to be interrogated but they did not seem to perceive me as a threat. Oh, we are all a flutter… And the PM is coming too, can we take any more excitement? “Yes we can”, Obama the following week. Entire security budget blown for the next ten years.

  64. hic8ubique permalink
    May 13, 2011 9:02 PM

    Greetings my Beauties! I’ve been catching up from my most recent awayness, appeasing the two- and four-leggeds.
    Missed the congenial scene here on PH very much, as my hotel had limited wifi
    (ie Mac use entailed a love-in with the help-line).
    Marin, CA was even better than usual, with clear skies (despite fallout of course) and fragrant verdure.
    Better-late-than-never Spring in New England is not too bad either…

    Last evening, I was determined not to be Difficult To Please, and accompanied adrenaline junkie Spouse to see ‘Lincoln Lawyer’ instead of ‘Something Depressing in Spanish’.
    Well, it turned out to be really engaging. The beginning looked much like a PH Music Channel offering, and the protagonist, who is an intelligent but typically flawed human, is confronted with an Evil adversary.
    There’s too much sotto voce surreptitious conversation that is hard to make out
    (I’m advised that this film won’t win any awards for sound) but I still was able to follow the plot with only a wee bit of loose thread help at the end.
    Pretty sure everyone here would enjoy it.

    Has anyone been following dutchsinse at all? Today he realised that the frames showing haarp rings are being expunged from intellicast. At about 6.30 in this video…

  65. Reine permalink
    May 13, 2011 9:38 PM

    She’s back… x

  66. mishari permalink*
    May 13, 2011 9:39 PM

    Welcome home, hic. Glad you enjoyed yourself (you did, didn’t you?). I liked The Lincoln Lawyer, too. It’s one of the films I’m passing along to MM. But, then, I liked the book as well (I’m very fond of Michael Connelly’s policiers). Have you never read him? He’s very good, especially the novels featuring his perennial anti-hero, LA police detective Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch.

  67. hic8ubique permalink
    May 13, 2011 9:52 PM

    Thank you, Dears~ I did indeed have a brilliant time, sublime in every way until the red-eye home; that was the only test of endurance. This was my 6th time in Marin, so it’s fairly easy to navigate now…

    I’ve not read Connelly, nor many novels at all in recent years, but they are precisely in the vein that soothes my dear bed-mate to sleep at night. He’s read them all, and receives an alert when a new one comes out. I call that keen.

    I was working on a cheeky little poem for this thread back on the 4th, I see. Must try to finish it some-wise…

  68. hic8ubique permalink
    May 13, 2011 10:11 PM


    There is a man, a dark dark man
    shade of a Victorian tall-boy
    and he is bad, too bad to tell;
    Schutzhunden stalk him by the smell
    of his cigars and brandy…

    Tax evader, awol scoundrel,
    fugitive from Rule of Law;
    although these cause him no remorse,
    far worse regrets cause moods morose
    til glimpsing Inez makes him randy…

    He paces John D. Ripper’s haunts
    with his fell beast: disarming ‘Honey’.
    Camps out on glacial moraine
    though cultivating crisp romaine;
    the split persona comes in handy…

    Beware that man, that dark tan man
    who’s spent more lives than Pongo.
    Though he exudes aroma arty,
    he’s to the bone a Moriarty
    in guise of silken-suited dandy.

  69. mishari permalink*
    May 13, 2011 10:25 PM

    Excellent..and well worth the wait. Tell your husband to give Robert Crais, Robert Ferrigno and Don Winslow a try. I know he’ll like them.

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