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Smashed Up Against The Everyday

June 7, 2011



And so they say-

“the incident dissolved”
the love boat smashed up
against the everyday.
You, I: we’re quits…

unfinished poem in Vladimir Mayakovsky’s suicide note, April 14, 1930

I must apologise for the sudden intrusion of Facebook and Twitter logins in the comment box. They were inserted without my consent and I can’t get rid of the fucking things. Between them, they personify everything that I hate about the internet: the triumph of banality and relentless fuckwittery; the world of Stephen Fucking Fry and what he had for breakfast; Wayne Bleeding Rooney and the latest update on his hair transplant and a thousand worthless Hollywood nitwits who feel compelled to ‘share’.

Over my shoulder, I hear H. L. Mencken chuckling grimly. I’m considering abandoning wordpress for another platform where I don’t have this crap forced on me. Blogger is awful, so that’s out. Any suggestions? Meanwhile, give us some verse on the downside of the internet.

  1. June 8, 2011 3:26 AM

    Blogger’s a little bit erratic
    Facebook’s become a nasty habit
    I prefer the Tweets of birds
    But wherever you go there’ll be turds

    Buy yer own domain, yer cheapskate (says he, still unable to bring himself to fork out pennies for a domain name).

  2. mishari permalink*
    June 8, 2011 7:44 AM

    D’you know, that never occurred to me, Simon? But I’m a notorious skinflint and the thought of paying for anything pierces me like an assegai. Anyway, I already opened up a new blog @…stay tuned. How are things in The Crotch of The World? Are you ready for the appalling humidity that hits Qatar especially hard in July/August, (if I remember correctly)?

    …and just in case you needed any more reasons to shun Farcebook:

    Facebook has come under fire for quietly expanding the availability of technology to automatically identify people in photos, renewing concerns about its privacy practices.

    The feature, which the giant social network automatically enabled for its more than 500 million users, has been expanded from the US to “most countries”, Facebook said on its official blog on Tuesday.

    Marc Rotenberg, president of the non-profit privacy advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the system raised questions about which personally identifiable information, such as email addresses, would become associated with the photos in Facebook’s database.

    And he criticised Facebook’s decision to automatically enable the facial-recognition technology for Facebook users.

    “I’m not sure that’s the setting that people would want to choose. A better option would be to let people opt-in,” he said.

    Internet security consultancy Sophos noted on Tuesday that many Facebook users had seen the facial recognition option turned on without any notice in the last few days.

    “Yet again, it feels like Facebook is eroding the online privacy of its users by stealth,” commented Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos. —The Grauniad, today

    Big Brother is alive and well and getting bigger…

    • June 8, 2011 1:16 PM

      Yes, I’m ready. At the moment it’s ‘only’ 47C , but dry as a bone, which is quite pleasant in small doses. Fortunately I shall be leaving Qatar on the 30th July and coming back to England/Europe for all of August. Ramadan: no classes.

  3. June 8, 2011 9:34 AM

    I was given an Iphone – very nice camera but I don’t “do” apps
    I suppose that makes me one of those old-fashioned chaps
    The blurring of advertising with expression is the internet’s curse
    This initially was just a comment now it appears to be in verse

  4. mishari permalink*
    June 8, 2011 9:48 AM

    I meant to say, Ed, I’ve got a film that might interest you: Exit Through The Gift Shop. I haven’t watched it yet myself so I can make no recommendation but I’ll pass it along if you fancy it.

  5. June 8, 2011 10:00 AM

    Thanks for the offer. Is it the Banksy one? Someone else sent it to me – haven’t watched it yet either.

    Did you watch the Adam Curtis series on BBC2? He’s getting a bit too Michael Moore-ish in his trying to tie everything “neatly” up but the section on how the Belgians fucked Rwanda over was strong stuff.

  6. mishari permalink*
    June 8, 2011 10:28 AM

    It is the Banksy one, Ed. It’s had some excellent reviews. I have the Curtis programs (downloaded) but haven’t found the time to watch them yet (love the title, though: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace).

    I liked his The Power of Nightmares series very much. As you say, he does work on a very broad canvas and although some of the ‘connections’ he makes are a bit forced, others are startling. His blog is a good read (HERE).

    I don’t know if it’s your cup of tea, but HBO’s Game Of Thrones ends its first season in a couple of weeks. I’ve been enjoying it. It’s a useful antidote to The Lord of The Rings (which creates the impression that Middle Earth was populated by eunuchs and members of the Salvation Army). I’ll shoot that up to you when it finishes, if you like…

    • June 8, 2011 11:10 AM

      All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace is a Richard Brautigan ( of all people ) quote.

      We were looking for some old hardback books as props for the new show and discovered a novel called “Through dooms of love”. A great title. It’s a quote from ee cummings’ poem ” My father moved through dooms of love”. The poem is pretty good – unfortunately the book evaporated into thin air in our workshop.

      No idea where it went. Through bags of bin accidentally I suppose

      Game of Thrones sounds intriguing.

  7. Reine permalink
    June 8, 2011 11:04 AM

    There Be Virtual Dragons

    The downside of the Internet
    As far as I can see
    Is you start out to order one book
    And end up getting three

    One bra, one pair of knickers
    Soon turns into a trousseau
    For when the lingerie famine strikes
    Well, you never ever know

    Your husband, who seemed quite the catch
    When you saw only him,
    Fades beside the derring-do
    Of Facebook’s Mat and Tim

    You go to order a case of wine
    And are asked out on a date
    By the merchant whose delivery
    Turned up three days too late

    You may also come a cropper
    Of this parasocial scene
    By saying things to online friends
    You would never ever dream

    Of telling your best friend
    Or your good old Aunty Mary
    Who, if she saw your shameless flirting,
    Would have a small canary

    No, the Internet my friends
    Requires a will of iron
    The morals of a postulant
    Edged with a touch of Siren

    But on the whole, seen in the round
    Taken in toto
    At the end of a long and tiring day
    It’s where I like to go

  8. Reine permalink
    June 8, 2011 11:06 AM

    Jeez, is it only me or does the comment box start jumping up and down past a particular point? Very disconcerting.

  9. mishari permalink*
    June 8, 2011 11:27 AM

    I’ll pass Game of Thrones along when the series finishes, Ed. The production design alone is (I think) worth the price of admission. Brautigan, eh? I only ever read Trout Fishing In America (as a teenage hippy) and thought it was pretty cool…

    Reine, I’m not getting the jumping up and down (although I’ve not tried a lengthy comment yet), but it’s doubtless to do with the unwanted addition of those sodding FB and Twitter buttons…bastards. Fine verse, as usual; your verbal fecundity is a never-ending source of wonder to me…

  10. Reine permalink
    June 8, 2011 12:16 PM

    Will you correct the spelling of trousseau please at line 6? Verbal fecundity or verbal diarrhoea, could be a fine line.

  11. June 8, 2011 3:25 PM

    Your Weekly Gratis Land-of-the-Crazy-People Update!

    Texas coppers shocked and miffed that a tip from a *psychic* (“Mass grave!”) turns out to be… slightly inaccurate:

    • HenryLloydMoon permalink
      June 8, 2011 5:34 PM

      “…a woman who claimed to be psychic called police twice to report the mass grave at in Hardin, Texas about 50 miles (31 kilometers) northeast of Houston.”

      Texas kilometers are bigger than everyone else’s…

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 8, 2011 8:12 PM

      There’s some competition St.A:

      When we thought tweeting was for twits
      we scarcely probed with all our wits;
      now Weiner-gate has proven that
      the tweeter plainly is a prat.
      Why wonder ‘will he keep his seat?’
      when he’s dished out all his other meat.
      (Could the story be obscener?
      Yes: the fool calls himself ‘Ween-er’)

  12. InvisibleJack permalink
    June 8, 2011 9:32 PM

    When all the pulse-bombs blow their zen
    the internet will be gone then;
    and Facebook, Twitter, WordPress blogs
    will go the way of all dead dogs –
    leaching fleas at ten a penny.
    As for iphones, there won’t be any.
    And those of us who write and write
    will still be here, plying shite.

  13. InvisibleJack permalink
    June 8, 2011 9:50 PM

    I saw the second instalment of the Curtis series the other week when I was in London and greatly enjoyed it.

    I read most of Brautigan about thirty years ago. The novels, although fun, have a tendency to get tedious in their narrow tricks. My favourites at the time were “The Hawkline Monster” and, much to my own surprise, “In Watermelon Sugar” (which I suspect is now terribly dated and naff). Most of the short stories (many of them just imagistic vignettes) are fairly slight, with the notable exception of one or two. The poetry is pretty thin gruel, to be honest. I still own the collection “The Pill Versus The Springhill Mine Disaster” and will confess to sill enjoying his sequence called “The Galilee Hitch-Hiker”.

    I’m not long back from a Literary festival at which the Siamese Djinn gave a reading. He is since depressed and disillusioned with the world of poetry and wants to do nothing but look at the sky and mope. As a result I have more time to fuck around on the internet, except I can’t really be bothered either. I did write an ode for the new thread at Poster Poems though, but I’m bored already.

    The internet is not real; it’s a figment, a fad of the mind…

    Jack Brae

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 9, 2011 12:50 AM

      Looking at the sky and moping is just how I feel this evening.
      I have a t-shirt for you, Jack, since the Mowbray edition seems to be not yet in production.
      I’d be happy to send one if you’d like. Nobody you know will have one, as it’s a limited edition.

    • Reine permalink
      June 9, 2011 11:00 AM

      I hope the mope (your beam betrays any such possibility) has passed Hic. It was freezing here last night, I was swathed in scarves as I gripped my mug of homecoming tea. The exams got off to a good start so my shoulders are gradually unknotting.

      Mowbray’s computer guy must’ve taken the PC to the workshop or maybe MM killed him for his tardiness and is being detained somewhere at HRM’s pleasure.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 9, 2011 2:25 PM

      Much better, not to worry. x
      I was just bone tired from little sleep the previous night.
      I’d woken at frequent intervals to make sure I was up to see the boy off to work lest he oversleep a second time and lose his summer job (on a lobster boat). Early departure doesn’t mesh well with his weekend bar-tending gig.

      We’re having our first wave of hot summer weather.
      Does ‘Frenchlittranslationslam’ sound to you like a sexually experimental religion?

    • Reine permalink
      June 9, 2011 3:21 PM

      All that “chlittr”s is not always bold Hic. I’m sure Henry could make something of it though – maybe he should print some leaflets for Port Eliot (almost an anagram of poor toilet).

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 9, 2011 5:35 PM

      Synchrony: I’ve just had this from Patagonia in my inbox:

      “Pic of the Week: All That Glitters
      As a matter of fact, it’s sometimes a sandstone splitter in the filtered light of a hardwood forest. Peter Vintoniv finds what he’s looking for on All That Glitters. Red River Gorge, Kentucky. ANDREW BURR”

      You remind me, Re, that Aragorn was my first love. *blushes*

    • InvisibleJack permalink
      June 9, 2011 7:04 PM

      Hic, the offer of the t-shirt is gratefully accepted. Mowbray never sent me one of his, which was a bitter disappointment. I’m a size Medium. (That would be a small Medium, not a large Medium.)

      Jack Brae

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 9, 2011 8:27 PM

      Excellent, Jack~ I’m optimistic you won’t be embarrassed to be seen in it at a literary festival. I only need an address where you and the parcel will find each other…

    • Reine permalink
      June 9, 2011 8:33 PM

      I think the Man from Atlantis was mine; I was determined to love him in a world that shunned webbed feet – lovely yellow togs if I recall. It was confusing to the younger me to see him turn up in Dallas as an oil baron; it all went horribly wrong.

    • mishari permalink*
      June 9, 2011 9:43 PM

      The Man From Atlantis? Jesus….I remember Clive James (back in his TV critic days) writing a very amusing piece about TMFA. James asserted that you could tell TMFA was an alien because he said things that no human would ever say.

      For example, when TMFA was hungry, he’d say: “I require nurshment…”. Another give away was that he didn’t know from apostrophes; if you asked the bastard a question, he’d say: “I do not know…”; if he did know, he’d say: “I will tell you later…”.

      Dallas deserved him.

    • Reine permalink
      June 9, 2011 10:12 PM

      I was seven, give me a break! All I knew was I’d give him a bite of my Crunchie and we’d swim together at Old Head. I wasn’t allowed to watch Dallas at that tender age but I saw him accidentally one night and was devastated. The bastard. It was a painful recovery.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 9, 2011 10:19 PM

      I had no televisual assistance with Aragorn when I was 15, but he was still far better than any real-life boys. Never a clue about TMfA, never watched Dallas … men wearing ridiculous hats indoors… and while my English cousins were all worked up over JR, I thought they must be simple (after all, they were mad for the Beegees).
      I had a little b&w tv (with lots of snow) in the early 80s and heard/watched The Poldark Saga.
      I might as well have been small and green with antennae.

    • Reine permalink
      June 9, 2011 10:34 PM

      I’ll see your Poldark and raise you The Onedin Line and Thornbirds!

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 9, 2011 10:51 PM

      We have people taking refuge from a vast electrical strom…
      remember Thornbirds slightly… conflate Onedin Line with Onegin… must look for it.

  14. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    June 8, 2011 10:06 PM

    A pleasure to read you, Jack.

    I’m going to my first literary festival this summer. Poor Toilets. Any tips will be gratefully received.

    • Edward Taylor permalink
      June 9, 2011 8:55 AM

      Off to Bologna as well HLM? Watch out for Micxhael Rosen, he’ll pop up when you least expect it.

      Watch out too for the prawn canapes – quickest route evah to those poor toilets.

    • HenryLloydMoon permalink
      June 9, 2011 9:02 AM

      No, just my little joke. Port Eliot, somewhere near the Cornwall/Devon border.

    • June 9, 2011 9:51 AM

      Nice spot for a festival. Are you going as a punter or are you doing the Frenchlittranslationslam?

    • HenryLloydMoon permalink
      June 9, 2011 10:03 AM

      Just a regular punter. It’ll be the nearest we come to a family holiday this year and should (fingers crossed) be a chance to celebrate finally selling our house. It’s also my daughter’s eighteenth birthday that weekend. Her namesake (Daisy Goodwin) is appearing and she’s keen to throw tomatoes at her for her mind-numbing venture into chick-lit. I’ll just sit around applauding and eyeing up the slammers.

    • June 9, 2011 10:12 AM

      I commiserate with your daughter having a grim namesake.

      I share my name with hang’em, flog’em ultra right wing Tories/Republicans and I suspect much of my complete hatred of Edward Windsor is as much down to his Christian name as to him being a total dimwit.

    • InvisibleJack permalink
      June 9, 2011 6:55 PM

      I don’t know, HLM, but “eyeing up the slammers” seems a bit sneaky to me.

      A brother of my Siamese Djinn took part in Port Eliot a few times (he’s a poet and conceptual artist) and appeared to like it. I’ve yet to attend that one though. My only advice concerning literary festivals is to make sure you go with someone you can bitch to. Bitching is one of the special pleasures of literary festivals.

      Jack Brae

  15. mishari permalink*
    June 9, 2011 12:36 AM

    Literary festivals, Hank? Are you going to wander around speaking prose? Who was it (a writer, I think) who said: “I’ve just discovered that I’ve been speaking prose all my life without realising it.”

    From Hansard:

    “Fourthly, we indict the Government for their obsession—and I use the word advisedly—with commercialism rather than care and their dogmatic imposition of privatisation, even where health authorities have shown that they want nothing to do with it.

    We utterly reject that because it has nothing to do with greater efficiency; it has everything to do with opening lucrative markets and bigger profits for private capital at the expense of the NHS and the taxpayers.

    The overwhelming evidence where privatisation has been tried is of a serious deterioration of standards, especially in laundering, with increased dangers of cross infection. All the evidence shows that cost reductions do not reflect improved performance; they simply reflect savage cuts in the wages of some of the lowest paid workers in our society…

    At the same time, the lists of shareholders and parliamentary consultants to the private companies read like a roll call of Tory Members and the Tory Front Bench… At least—I do not say this in a political way, because it is relevant — 31 Tory Members of Parliament have a financial stake in companies profiteering from health care.”

    That was déjà vu…I mean, that was Michael Meacher MP. In July 1984. plus ça change…

  16. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    June 9, 2011 6:28 AM

    That would be Monsieur Jourdain from Molière’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme, Dermot.

  17. mishari permalink*
    June 9, 2011 10:22 PM

    Andrew Bridgen, the Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, has been released on bail after being arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting of a 29-year-old woman.

    The 46-year-old newly-elected MP was arrested at an address in central London in the early hours of Thursday.

    It is understood the woman was an employee on the parliamentary estate, but not in Bridgen’s office.

    Bridgen – who is regarded as being on the right of the Conservative party….”

    …you do surprise me…go on…

    …defended the Conservatives’ NHS reforms, saying: ‘If we fail to go through with these reforms, we are caving in to Stalinist protectionist elements.”

    On Tuesday he joined Twitter, where news of his arrest emerged. On his parliamentary website he lists business and enterprise, civil liberties, law and order and the armed forces as his interests.

    Bridgen is a married father of two. —The Grauniad, today

    All in all, for shock value, this comes somewhere between the news that Pope Adolf is quite keen on Baby Jesus and that bears have been discovered defecating in woodlands.

    Married, right-wing, law and order…I’m only surprised he wasn’t caught with an under-age rent-boy. I reckon he could use some of this:

  18. mishari permalink*
    June 10, 2011 11:48 AM

    More news on the charming Andrew Bridgen:

    “…He is currently the non-executive chairman of that company, AB Produce plc. The register of members financial interests records that he is paid £7,773 monthly for six hours work.” —The Grauniad, today

    I make that £1295.50p an hour (at a time when the national minimum wage is £5.93p an hour). In other words, a Bridgen hour is worth 218 times an ordinary worker’s hour.

    A heart-warming example of virtue rewarded, I think you’ll agree…

  19. mishari permalink*
    June 10, 2011 2:46 PM

    “After 2004 and then on there was a discussion between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and others, which included myself, about how we manage that stable and orderly transition. There was discussions, there was negotiations.” —Ed ‘Everything I Say Is’ Balls, The Grauniad, today

    ‘There was discussions, there was negotiations…’. So, in addition to being a creep, a bully and an incompetent, Blinky Balls is illiterate as well.

  20. mishari permalink*
    June 10, 2011 7:08 PM

    The time is late April, 1944. The place: near the summit of Mt. Ida, the highest mountain on Crete. There is still snow. Gathered are five Cretans, fully moustached and heavily armed. Three other men wear German uniforms. This is deceptive: two of them are British commando officers. The third, however, is something else.

    If you are very familiar with German military uniforms, you will see from pictures of the group that he is a general. In these photographs he is not looking at the camera. He does not smile. It is little wonder. His name is Karl Kreipe. He was, until he was kidnapped two days before, the commanding general of the German occupation forces on Crete. He was due to be promoted to lieutenant general yesterday. German patrols are looking for him.

    As dawn breaks over Mt. Ida, he murmurs to himself:

    Vides ut alta stet nive candidum Soracte

    (“You see how [Mount] Soracte stands out white
    with deep snow”)….

    Then, surprisingly, one of the British officers continues,

    nec jam sustineant onus
    Silvae laborantes, geluque
    Flumina constiterint acuto

    (“and the struggling trees can
    no longer sustain the burden, and the rivers
    are frozen with sharp ice.”)

    The officer continues through the next five stanzas to the end of Horace’s Soracte ode. Many years later, the commando officer wrote:

    “The general’s blue eyes had swivelled away from the mountaintop to my own — and when I’d finished, after a long silence, he said: ‘Ach so, Herr Major!’ It was very strange; as though, for a long moment, the war had ceased to exist. We had both drunk from the same fountains long before, and things were different between us for the rest of our time together.” — A Time of Gifts (1977)

    R. I. P. Patrick Leigh Fermor 1915 – 2011

    • HenryLloydMoon permalink
      June 10, 2011 8:52 PM


      As we say in French.

  21. Edward Taylor permalink
    June 11, 2011 8:07 PM

    All watched over by machines of loving grace
    Inventing formats that won’t get out of your face
    Like tamagotchi pets that need consistent feeding
    Without thinking through where this might be leading
    Without thinking through that these formats might be breeding
    Without thinking through, the rate of change has gone from nought to speeding
    Without thinking through that the relentless rise of trivia is very close to succeeding
    Without thinking through that all this information and opinion overload makes your brain start bleeding
    Without thinking through there are only a finite number of possibilities for words ending in the suffix ..eeding.
    Where’s Google?

    Off now until the end of June.

  22. Edward Taylor permalink
    June 11, 2011 8:10 PM

    Damn the formatting – all the lines were to get longer and longer without going onto a second line – which they were when I typed this in the comment box.

    ho hum see you in a few weeks.

  23. hic8ubique permalink
    June 11, 2011 11:51 PM

    …Never heeding, EdT.
    Safe travels to you!
    *hanky waving*

    I’m afraid MM has come to technological grief…
    Are you working on a poem, Mowbray?


    or is he in withdrawal?

  24. Reine permalink
    June 12, 2011 3:14 AM

    Hi Hic,

    I am late to bed – HI is away at a conference and the young uns were over taking a break from their studies and hanging out in the kitchen. They call me Reendog, which I suppose means I am “in”. Ha.

    There is a family gathering out west, homecoming party for my cousin who has been studying in MIT these past six years or so. Some obscure branch of physics, which we all pretend to be interested in until he gives us a dispensation and we are allowed to talk about normal things again. Pregnant sister rang around nine, having escaped from the party which started at three, to say mother was last seen going down the slide in the garden while teetotal father looked on anxiously and middle sister was a bit the worse for wear and was overempathising tearfully at a story some random guest was telling her. I can’t help feeling I may have escaped considerable carnage.

    Hope all well with you and everyone else indeed. God speed Edward T. Mowbs’ grief is ours too, alas; may he be soon cheered.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 13, 2011 3:00 PM

      All’s well. My soul was soothed yesterday by a long and exquisite baroque opera. I felt afterwards that I could go a long time on that bliss-inducing infusion. Then almost immediately I thought: ‘I wonder if there’s any way I could get back to see it again before the end of the run?’
      Probably not; it’s a festive and ceremonial week for the girl… graduation doings and beings as well as her recital.
      Lots of house-guest preparations and baking. I’m procrastinating already.

      But, I’ve been aware of you and your scholar. How fortunate for him to be part of a collaborative group, and for each of them to have your hospitality and support. It can make all the difference in the world to what they can accomplish.
      Having had an eyeful of kids all along the spectrum (some sleeping on LE’s floor with no place else to go, others with post-grad honours) I can surely say, you’re giving them a tremendous gift, and it sounds as though they appreciate you, ‘Reendog’.

  25. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 12, 2011 10:43 PM

    I’ve had some technical problems which have made it difficult to post: a trojan which wasn’t hard to get rid of, but redistributed programs all over the place. Struggling with Internet-based poetry at the moment.

    This text is too small.

  26. mishari permalink*
    June 12, 2011 11:03 PM

    Not sure what you mean, MM. You do know that to increase the text size, you just hold down Ctrl and press the + key (or the – key to decrease size)…your browser should then remember whatever setting you chose and render that page accordingly every time you come to it.

  27. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 12, 2011 11:28 PM

    I meant the text in the comment box.

    Yes, I knew that. I just like complaining.

  28. Reine permalink
    June 12, 2011 11:40 PM

    Howya Grumpy.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 12, 2011 11:58 PM

      Evenin’. A belated good luck to your young man.

  29. mishari permalink*
    June 12, 2011 11:47 PM

    Ah…gotcha. Afraid I can’t do anything about that…it’s part and parcel, along with the despised FB and Twitter buttons, of their urge to mess around with people’s blogs.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 13, 2011 12:05 AM

      Actually, IE9, which I downloaded in the course of my technology-related struggles, I now see also increases the size of the text in the comment box. It doesn’t, however, improve the quality of what’s written there: something which I plan to take up with Microsoft.

  30. Reine permalink
    June 13, 2011 12:08 AM

    Thanks indeed. A successful start anyway, this is the killer week. Five more sleeps (as the kids say) and the worst will be over. Hope you were not overly frustrated by the trojan. Liked your Bravia ode, Sony gets a lot of man love in this house too.

  31. Reine permalink
    June 13, 2011 12:09 AM

    Wrong place, sorry, I’m disoriented.

  32. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 13, 2011 12:12 AM

    He must sleep on his internet poem, he thinks:
    inspiration may come after forty winks.

  33. mishari permalink*
    June 13, 2011 12:23 AM

    Came across this lovely anecdote in Paul Theroux’s Dark Star Safari (a book I know I’ve read before but have little memory of: senility?):

    The best story about Cairo Railway Station, told to me by a man who witnessed it unfold, does not concern a luminary but rather a person delayed in the third-class ticket line. When this fussed and furious man at last got to the window he expressed his exasperation to the clerk, saying, “Do you know who I am?”

    The clerk looked him up and down and, without missing a beat, said, “In that shabby suit, with a watermelon under your arm, and a third-class ticket to El Minya, who could you possibly be?”


    • Reine permalink
      June 13, 2011 12:35 AM

      I wish the Irish Rail guys were so witty.

    • June 13, 2011 11:31 PM

      I remember that line well, M. Have you read “Millroy the Magician”? The demi-mystical protag of that saves America with an Old Testament dietary regimen (goat milk, nuts and pulses) that always makes me think of yours; whenever I read that book I feel exceedingly healthy

    • mishari permalink*
      June 13, 2011 11:48 PM

      I have read Milroy The Magician. I think I’ve read most of his fiction. My favourites are some of the earliest novels or what Theroux himself called The Great Rift trilogy (based on his experience of living in parts of Africa on or near the Great Rift Valley): Fong and The Indians, Jungle Lovers and Girls At Play. Some of his short fiction, especially The Consul’s File, was very good in a sort of Maugham-ish, Greene-ish way. Have you read it?

    • June 14, 2011 12:54 AM

      Indeed I have (sits on the shelf behind me), M! Half of my Theroux stock was stolen when I shipped it (for the Nth time) from So Cal to Berlin… the postals claimed the box had ruptured in transit but, strangely, specific authors fell out of the box. What really stings was the abduction of the rare-ish hardcover edition (can’t remember if it was a first but I think so) of “The Black House”. Have all the short collections as individual volumes and also in aggregate in “The Collected Shorts”. Theroux was shockingly autobiographical about the dissolution of his first marriage in some of those stories… always fun, with him, to play the bio-detective.

  34. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 13, 2011 11:27 AM

    what i hate about teh internet

    Spam, adverts, podcasts, celebrity guff,
    arguments where I come off second best,
    mumsnet, Guido, then the technical stuff,
    spyware, trojans, rootkits and all the rest
    are things about the web that I deplore,
    but theirs an aspect that i rely abhor.

    They think capital letters are uncool,
    that correct spelling is a waste of time,
    they ignore every grammatical rule
    and cover the gamut of word-based crime.
    its jus a fukin email dont do your nut
    it dont mean im illitrate

    Well, fair enough: but let’s not take the road
    toward that brutal post-civilised stage
    where solecism is the standard mode:
    these casual slobs demean the language.
    If something’s important enough to write,
    then make the effort to get it right. Right?

    • Reine permalink
      June 13, 2011 2:37 PM

      wiked, innit?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 13, 2011 3:05 PM

      There are certain metatheses that turn up when I’m trying to type in my erratic way that I’d never make when writing long-hand. The brain-hand coordination follows a different channel, and gives me the same errors over and over. So weird.
      eg: I’m apt to type ‘dera’ instead of ‘dear’. I can’t seem to stop doing it.

    • June 13, 2011 5:39 PM

      Hic, my sleep-deprived erratum of choice is the ridiculous near-homophone; I find myself pecking out “wasp” instead of “walk” or “crumble” for “cripple” or “heavenly” where I meant “heavily” … also tend to transcribe anything uttered within earshot; if Beloved Wife suddenly says, “Post!”, while I’m writing, I’m likely to end up with something like “The zest with which Miller transcribed POST is a testament to…” etc. I can’t remember how it went with long-hand, which I gave up using for anything longer than greeting cards when I was in grammar school (so you’d think, after 40-or-so-years, that I could type using more than two fingers and a tongue)

    • June 13, 2011 5:47 PM

      “mumsnet, Guido”

      You’ve just made me feel very not-with-it, MM. Erm… what are these? Games, celebs or mind-bogglingly trendy perversions I wouldn’t want to have explained to me while eating?

    • mishari permalink*
      June 13, 2011 6:11 PM

      Steven, ‘mumsnet’ is a website for ‘liberal’ middle-class Islington women, where they can vent their spite, their ignorance, their bigotry and their hatred of the poor. Inevitably, it’s run by the wife of a senior Grauniad editor, Ian Katz.

      Guido is Guido Fawkes, who runs an exceptionally nasty crypto-fascist blog.

      Aren’t you sorry you asked?

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 13, 2011 6:32 PM

      StA~ The best is when you’re typing or reading an odd word, such as ‘souffle’ or ‘sand-box’, and someone in the room or on the radio says it in the same moment.

    • June 13, 2011 8:54 PM

      Never been sorry I’ve asked, M, but often been sorry I’ve told! Thanks for hipping me. And, yes, Hic… I’ve had that kind of paranormal typing experience. Even spookinger, I once read the word “BOOM!” (in a piece about dynamiting coyotes)… at the exact moment that a balloon in a nearby closet exploded. Never recovered.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 13, 2011 9:13 PM

      That’s it. Always gives me a good superciliary moment…
      dynamiting coyotes?
      only you.

    • June 13, 2011 11:22 PM

      (well, it wasn’t *my* piece on dynamiting coyotes… I think it was Brautigan)

  35. InvisibleJack permalink
    June 13, 2011 5:14 PM

    Well, poor poet Jack has just been smashed up by the everyday. Over on Poster Poems I have just been outed by the blogosphere’s latest birdbrain genius, the appropriately named “fingsaint”, as a mere plagiarist. Apparently he discovered my true sinful nature by using that wonderful tool called Google. I am undone!

    I’ve decided not to complain to the moderators because they would also remove my reply (which I quite like – my best work yet).

    Jack Brae

    • June 13, 2011 5:41 PM

      I was caught “plagiarizing” myself in just such a way, once; it was only embarrassing because the sock puppet I’d used to rip myself out (make that “off” and see comment, to Hic, above) had a female name (Ann Ominous)

  36. InvisibleJack permalink
    June 13, 2011 5:50 PM

    To add insult to injury, the geniuses that moderate the Guardian have moderated me but neither him nor his reply to my reply.

    It’s a fucking internet conspiracy!

    Jack Brae

  37. mishari permalink*
    June 13, 2011 6:06 PM

    Jack, @fingshappen previously appeared (I believe) as @’finglewhiner’ something-or-other and had a go (in risibly pretentious ‘verse’) at MM.

    Like so many talentless tone-deaf bores, @fingsaintwotveyusedtobe can’t appreciate that well-executed doggerel is far superior to the sort of flabby, portentous, earnest ‘poetry’ he/she excels in and is the dullards calling-card the world over.

    Best ignored (although he/she’s little ‘homicidal’ dig at MM leads me to suspect that @fingsfallapart is someone we know).

    When the revolutionary new books site went live back in April we launched Tips, links and suggestions (let’s abbreviate to TLS) envisaging that it would be a meeting point, where you, our books community, could congregate and chat to one another, report any issues or bugs you found on the new site, and tell us exactly what you’d like to see here. — Hannah Freeman, prominent member of the Grauniad book Mafia (or, seeing as how they’re almost exclusively female, ‘Muffia’)

    …’revolutionary new books site…’? Perhaps I’m being obtuse, but can anyone enlighten me as to the ‘revolutionary’ nature of the books blogs?

    Sorry about the ‘Muffia’ crack, ladies: I’m just a vulgarian (cue MM: “I thought you were Kuwaiti?”)

  38. hic8ubique permalink
    June 13, 2011 6:28 PM

    ‘Guido Fawkes’ ha ha ha!
    I saw your post before it went, Jack.
    Typical that they should drive the poet away and gratify the troll.

    @fjördsaint didn’t make the ‘homicidal’ remark, M; you need a second brush.

    My neighbour is nick-named ‘Muffy’, and when she introduces herself, to her credit, she says wryly:
    ‘…Yes, it’s really ‘Muffy’.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 13, 2011 6:39 PM

      (I was about to say something to dispel the ‘vulgarian’ label, but then there’s that title above the comment box to reconcile… and I gave up ;)

  39. mishari permalink*
    June 13, 2011 6:46 PM

    hic, my point was that @fingsuck and @whinglehiemer fing are the same person (I think).

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 13, 2011 9:09 PM

      You changed it!
      May I call you Everybrow? I don’t mind your indignation except when I might be the cause of it.
      I understood you, and only meant to respectfully disagree. They seem to me separate persons.
      I wouldn’t put in my oar, except that it seems clear JF is my old friend, bearing his same old grudge against you, but it would be out of character for him to provoke JBC, for whom he never expressed anything but admiration.

    • mishari permalink*
      June 13, 2011 10:01 PM

      hic, I had reached the same conclusion (re: Jinglehumbug’s identity). But any friend (or wife) of mine or of PH is an enemy of ofile’s. The man is deranged. And I still think fings is him…hence the attack on Jack.

  40. Reine permalink
    June 13, 2011 6:49 PM

    Muffia? I should be ashamed to know what you are talking about. Forty lashes for me, bad boy.

    Jack, your reply was not wasted. I saw it too. I think we do indeed know the ‘saint.

  41. InvisibleJack permalink
    June 13, 2011 7:10 PM

    Irritatingly, the last time I looked, that toad fingshit had been left gloating. Which he’ll see as a permission-slip to pester me without any fear of future come-uppance.

    Ah well, serves me right for opening my big Irish mouth in the first place. Well, “Guardian Moderators”, what a double misnomer that is.

    jack Brae

  42. mishari permalink*
    June 13, 2011 8:30 PM

    Jack, the Groan book blogs (and the Groan itself) is your enemy. I think it was Osbert Sitwell who advised his son (then embarking on a career as an artist) that his enemies were not the aristocracy (who were either indifferent or supportive) or the working classes or the criminal classes, but the bourgeoisie.

    The Muffia are a case in point: a relentless onslaught of middle-brow ‘oh, I rather like this’ drivel. Bland, passionless, safe and utterly lacking in any intellectual or aesthetic rigour.

    I’ve got nothing against middle-brow pleasures–I have a few myself. But I also have low-brow pleasures and high-brow pleasures. The Muffia have nothing but safe, cosy middle-brow, middle-class pleasures. As Sitwell said, the bourgeoisie are the enemies of Art and The Grauniad is the bourgeoisie’s house organ par excellence.

    You’ll get no joy from the SarahAlisonImogenHannah beast: they’re the mumsnet, bien pensant version of the worm Ouroboros, busily devouring itself–fuck ’em.

    • InvisibleJack permalink
      June 13, 2011 8:53 PM

      Mish, you are very wise and quite correct.

      In the finish, being at a loss, I decided there was only one resort left open to me. So I set the dogg on them. (Should have done it sooner.)

      Jack Brae

  43. InvisibleJack permalink
    June 13, 2011 10:38 PM

    Oh dear, I know it was inevitable, but even my poor dogg is distempered by his awful treatment. The fuckers moderated him! Jesus, is no one safe from them?

    Anyways, I promised the dog that he’d be treated well if I tied him here for a bit, so I hope that’s okay. His little ode, to follow, is also on-topic, so I hope you’ll treat him kindly…

    Jack Brae

  44. InvisibleJack permalink
    June 13, 2011 10:43 PM

    Alas, the dogg was typed straight to the thread and now I can no longer recall him. He’s run off into the woods, the poor frightened mutt…

    Jack Brae

  45. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 13, 2011 10:58 PM

    I’m not sure that Jingles and fingles are the same, either. Jings I took to be ofile straightaway (I thought it was a dig at HLM as well), though the verse wasn’t up to his usual standard. I had a falling-out with him on Zeph’s blog a few months ago over a mildly sarcastic remark I made, and haven’t felt able to post there since, which is a pity.

    I recommended you for POTW, Jack. Do you fancy it?

  46. mishari permalink*
    June 13, 2011 11:08 PM

    I may well be wrong, MM, but the tone (relentless chippy nastiness) seemed awfully familiar.

    “For too many people at the last election, we were seen as the party that represented these two types of people: those at the top and the bottom who were not showing responsibility and were shirking their duty to each other. From bankers who caused the global financial crisis to some of those on benefits who were abusing the system because they could work – but didn’t.” — Ed ‘Clueless’ MilliVanilliBand

    So, Ed MilliVanilliBand has favoured us with his big ‘ideas’ for making Labour electable again. These ‘ideas’ (sic) are:

    1) To come down hard on benefit claimants (i.e. to punish the poor for being poor)

    2) Wag a disapproving finger at the banksters and force them to, erm…well, nothing, actually…

    That must have them running scared in the City. As Patrick Cockburn said, capitalism is safe in Ed Millipede’s hands.

    Evidently, this laughable, dough-faced imbecile is the best Labour can manage (absent his brother, the torturer and perjurer). I wouldn’t vote for these unprincipled scum if they could make cars run on tap-water…

  47. mishari permalink*
    June 13, 2011 11:19 PM

    Major Sunset R. Belinsky, the ISAF press officer for SOF operations, conceded to me last September that the 1,355 figure applied only to “initial detentions”. —from an article

    Major Sunset R. Belinsky? The US Army: crazy names, crazy guys.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 13, 2011 11:22 PM

      I’ve long wondered which armies want you… &c
      Am I pushing my luck?

  48. hic8ubique permalink
    June 13, 2011 11:20 PM

    Shortly after @fingst was expunged from PP, a new puppet @OffensiveUnsuitable appeared on PotW.
    I think this particular disordered personality is recognisable and has tormented both Jack and MM in the past.

    I don’t press my point to in any way excuse ofile’s abuse of you, Mishari, but because I believe the differentiation between two provocateurs may matter to Jack.

    • Reine permalink
      June 13, 2011 11:53 PM

      Girlfriend, I hope the celebrations go well and that you may participate happily in them once the domestic duties are attended to. (Is it too early for the peach trifle?) I hope the recalled soothing strains of the opera will see you through.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 14, 2011 1:28 AM

      Mishari isn’t cross with me, ergo I am all equanimity.
      (When my worthy Spouse is on the verge of throwing household articles, I am all cool elan, but when Mishari is vexed, my world begins to deflate; it’s a conundrum.)
      Peaches are an August delicacy hereabouts, so we’re a bit early, though your dessert recall is impressive as ever.
      The items of immediate interest are an apricot ginger glazed cheesecake with lemon crumbly crust, and a Pavlova with masses of local strawberries, which is a dance recital tradition.

    • mishari permalink*
      June 14, 2011 1:31 AM

      hic, I’ve never been vexed with you, nor can I imagine such a thing. I apologise if, in my careless way with words, I’ve ever given you that impression.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 14, 2011 2:35 AM

      Never a distinct impression. I’m apt perhaps to be over-sensitive (though not fragile!), and there are very few who have really never been vexed with me, given my wanton pertinacity.
      Now I’m fanning my wings with warm pleasure at your generosity. Let there never be need for apologies between us. x

  49. mishari permalink*
    June 13, 2011 11:41 PM

    No problem, hic. As I no longer post there, I don’t really care one way or another. And Jack, if he’s wise, won’t care much either: a flea may bite a lion but one is still a flea and the other is still a lion (to paraphrase Dr. Johnson)…

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 14, 2011 12:13 AM

      Which one’s Jack?

  50. mishari permalink*
    June 14, 2011 12:19 AM

    What a wag you are, a proper caution.

    (First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark) Stanhope also admitted that the navy was having to buy more Tomahawk cruise missiles from the US to replace the ones it had already fired. —The Groan, today

    At $1.1 – 1.4 million each. Gee, that’s swell.

    ‘Bang…whoosh…there goes the cost of training 10 doctors…fuck it…fire another one….bang…whoosh…etc etc ad nauseum…’

  51. Reine permalink
    June 14, 2011 12:32 AM

    I listened to an interesting piece on the radio earlier about Lead Belly, among others. Never knew this, a hit for Kurt Cobain, was his. Sweet dreams one and all.

  52. mishari permalink*
    June 14, 2011 12:41 AM

    A classic, Reine. Been covered by lots of people but never improved on: ‘In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines…’

    Last month, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, traveled to New York for back-to-back meetings with Wall Street donors, ending at the home of Marc Lasry, a prominent hedge fund manager, to court donors close to Mr. Obama’s onetime rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton. And Mr. Obama will return to New York this month to dine with bankers, hedge fund executives and private equity investors at the Upper East Side restaurant Daniel. —The NYT, today

    Yeah…touching base with his real constituents. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X must be spinning in their graves.

    I remember laughing at all the starry-eyed optimists who thought that Obama, because he was black, was going to ‘…stick it to The Man…’. Hohoho…Obama isn’t that kind of black man; he didn’t grow up in the South Bronx or Compton or the Cabrini-Green projects. He went to Harvard Law, fercrisake–Obama is The Man, you poor saps.

  53. InvisibleJack permalink
    June 14, 2011 1:06 AM

    MM, let me clarify, I am a lion-flea. The last of my kind, as a matter of fact.

    A week of open-heart surgery on POTW? Oh yes, that would be … well, it would certainly be an experience. Personally, after seeing my poor little doggy zapped for barking mildly at the nicens Guardians policemens I’d be up for anything. But only to honour the bravery of my little doggy, you understand. I doubt, however, that Carol will be getting in touch with the likes of me. But, I suppose, I can always dream…

    As for the identity of fingshit I would doubt very much that it’s ofile, as he’s never personally shown me any ill will and I don’t think he’d have a reason to. Not that he had any good reason to show it to anyone, so my faith in it not being him is just a personal intuition. I don’t really care anyway, fingshit is anonymous whoever he is.

    The only thing I really care about is posting poems. Problem is, I’m feeling weary after the past few months of intense slog. The Muse still favours me though, so I’m grateful for that and always will be. I intend always to serve Her.

    Jack Brae

  54. mishari permalink*
    June 14, 2011 1:23 AM

    Jack, I remember in one of the Enderby books, Enderby is in Morroco, having inherited Rawcliffe’s (‘I’m in all the anthologies…’) hotel, when The Muse turns up in the shape of an extremely beautiful young girl. Poor old Enderby. I seem to recall that it damn near killed him (love and all that). Be careful what you wish for…

    ‘Theroux was shockingly autobiographical about the dissolution of his first marriage in some of those stories…’.
    Indeed he was, Steven. In fact, wasn’t My Secret History barely disguised autobiography (many years since I read it)?

    • June 14, 2011 11:56 AM

      Remember when Theroux’ story “A. Burgess, Slightly Foxed” appeared in the New Yorker and his wife promptly sent her Letter to the Editor, repudiating the story as worse-than-mere-fiction-but-deliberately-misleading-bullshit? Theroux later claimed she was joking but that seems unlikely…

      My Secret History was full of clues, yeah. Have you read the bizarre companion to that book, My Other Life? Some of the more disturbing things about Theroux’ nightmind ( in Sir Vidia’s Shadow, he compares the sound a girl makes, being fucked by him, to a cat being stabbed to death?) really go vivid in that novel.

  55. mishari permalink*
    June 14, 2011 1:42 AM

    “As well as Asimov’s letter of support, Charlotte’s Web author EB White also penned a missive celebrating the library’s opening, in which she wrote…” —Alison Flood, part of the Grauniad book Muffia, demonstrates her appalling ignorance.

    E. B. White was, of course, a man. I’m prepared to bet that White’s children’s book is the only thing of White’s that Flood has read. Poor man; 60 years of writing for the New Yorker and all for nothing. Someone should point the dim-witted Flood in the direction of One Man’s Meat, a wonderfully representative collection of White’s mastery of what is a nearly-lost art form, the essay.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 14, 2011 2:42 AM

      Naturally, I’m curious about the machinations by which E.B. White penned Asimov’s letter of support.

    • June 14, 2011 12:01 PM


  56. mishari permalink*
    June 14, 2011 3:16 AM

    Well spotted, hic. In my intense irritation at Flood’s ignorance (I once spent a delightful Maine summer afternoon in White’s company), I’d missed that. And these are the scribblers who infest the book blogs and set the tone; deeply depressing.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 14, 2011 3:25 AM

      I feel badly that it makes me laugh, but more so that you are apparently not sleeping when you ought to be.
      How did you happen to be visiting EBW?

  57. mishari permalink*
    June 14, 2011 5:29 AM

    I was spending the summer with family friends who owned a house in Bar Harbor, Maine. Unbeknownst to me, a friend of my hosts’ (a trained nurse) was White’s day carer (White, who was elderly and infirm, lived on the mainland, not far from Mt Desert Isle where Bar Harbor is).

    Seeing me reading a volume of White’s collected essays and hearing me lavish praise on his writing, my host said that it might be possible for me to meet the man and would I be interested? Of course, I was. It took some time to arrange because White was suffering from Alzheimer’s and some days, he was lucid, on others he was…well, not really there at all.

    I was very lucky. About two weeks later, the nurse/friend rang me and asked me if I could drive over that afternoon because White was in rare good form and, when asked, had said he welcomed meeting an admirer.

    It was quite extraordinary. Mostly, I just let him reminisce (with a little prompting from me) about all the people he’d known–James Thurber, Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, S.J Perelman, A. J. Liebling, Joseph Mitchell, Harold Ross et al. This was in June or July of 1984. He died a year later.

  58. Reine permalink
    June 14, 2011 9:00 AM

    Well, I am exhausted. I dream vividly at the best of times but last night’s beat all. We (PH) had a travelling roadshow, literally a bus converted into a performing//broadcasting space. MM was the producer (he is very handsome really despite his protestations); Mishari, the artistic director, clearly; Jack was the poet in residence for whose autographs the girls flocked around the bus (I was charged with keeping them at bay); Ed has his pig which took up a lot of space; Steven did a kind of erotica hour (can’t remember much of that, not at least that I am willing to divulge); Hic was a dancer and Simon and I did poetry readings and improv. We all took turns cooking and driving the bus. It was a riot. I was raging when the alarm went.

    • June 14, 2011 12:21 PM

      If you won’t (divulge), Reine, I’ll be forced to…

    • Reine permalink
      June 14, 2011 12:32 PM

      No, I can’t. The words just won’t come out. Dizzying it was … and your tattoo had turned out very nicely.

  59. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    June 14, 2011 9:13 AM

    “What’s the story with Guardian Mods at the moment? They seem to have it in for professors and poets. No doubt pinkroom has violated Tweed’s copyright once again.”

    That innocent little remark wasn’t just moderated, it was disappeared. Always leaves a nasty taste in the mouth…

  60. mishari permalink*
    June 14, 2011 10:37 AM

    The first rule of Fight Club, Hank: you don’t talk about Fight Club. The mods, a bunch of illiterate, petty buffoons operate a similar system of omerta–any mention of them or moderation is the equivalent of farting in church.

    They’ve managed to ruin the book blogs. Go back and look at threads from 2-3 years ago: the contrast is striking. What can one expect from worthless twits who got their jobs because mummy or daddy works for the Graun or knows someone who does?

    One of these days, Reine, I’m going to tell you why a dream of yours a few months ago gave me one hell of a start. I can’t yet because of ongoing negotiations but it made me wonder if you have second-sight…

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 14, 2011 11:43 AM

      Christ, you’re not thinking of having the operation again, are you?

    • Reine permalink
      June 14, 2011 12:15 PM

      Intriguing, I think I know the dream. I am quite intuitive but I don’t think I am a seer exactly. How exciting though; I have a vast selection of scarves and earrings that might easily be fashioned into a Madame Rosa look.

      Henry, your weren’t in last night’s one but I can’t publicise all my dreams, wink wink.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 14, 2011 2:22 PM

      Already another tantalising curiosity, just as my EB White wonderings have been satisfied *sigh*

      I feel a need to explain that my dancing on PH is not part of erotica hour; it’s social dancing during cocktail hour and my partner is tall, furthermore he doesn’t suffer from vertigo.

  61. Anonymous permalink
    June 14, 2011 11:46 AM

    As a longstanding recipient of the moderators’ disappearing tactic, HLM, it is interesting to see others become the focus of their pranks. They need posters like you and pink in order to keep busy. What they want are posters who, as the boss says, hold acceptable opinions, the bien peasant mindset, posters who know the score; to agree with the gals who gosh there, wag like puppies and behave as blandly as possible, never expressing an opinion that might cause upset to the favored ones whose role it is to cheer the editor and agree how terribly civilized it all is, proffering tame views on blah blah blah.

    But the gaffe is on a downward trajectory . The number of blogs is in serious decline, the 24/7 rolling news from Hay was abandoned this year and you wouldn’t have known it was on. A significant change from the previous few years when the Guardian gals squealed wetting their knickers in print at the fecund authorial talk-fest on the Welsh borders.

    I only appear there as a lout nowadays, taunting and giving free reign to the yobbish side of my practice, confident in the knowledge the posts will be immediately disappeared, though taking comfort from the fact that in the weeks I do charge in pissing a post onto the carpet, expressing an idea that the regs couldn’t get away with stating, it injects a frisson which encourages the rest of the comrades to take up the baton that resutls in a higher than usual comment-count. Not that I am proud of some of the uncensored attacks that spur on pink and atf to exercise and develop the conceits tossed into the fray and which when removed leave no trace of my dastardly handiwork. Referring to Penelope Shuttle’s stuff as ‘extended widow-poet’s prayer and memorial to her dead poet-husband’, set the tone of the demolition she got that week, and it was only later when I stumbled onto her Facebook page I felt a teensy bit bad about setting in train the trashing this award-wiiner recieved. But fuck ’em, it’s war out there and too late in the game to change tack now.

    They made me into the vile idiot ‘I’ am, the witches in in a horribly middle-class guardianista femistazi; it’s not my responsibility any more, HLM, ‘I’ am but the product of a their underhanded subterfuge and Machevelian deceit; this monster they created cannot be put back in the box. Having known the equanimous high of their acceptance and schizophrenic lows of being shunned, ‘I’ have nursed a host of pathetic petty grievances for so long, learnt the dark art of shifting authorial shape as a direct result of their ‘talk policy’, ‘I’ have become a hundred and one different voices: charming, loathsome, beguiling, odious, delightful, shameless, alluring, sleazy, amicable, disgusting, warmhearted, abhorrent, trusty and repugnant all at the same time. The game has changed, strategic strikes my standing orders, the goal to influence unseen, invisibly and slip in under their radar, beat their minds by being allowed on as a voice so unlike the one they’re used to, it sows confusion and the innocent anonymous and longstanding posters become their victims, as ‘I’, Barbara and Sal tease the authors of my bannings, arouse their interest with a few shallow actoary lines, drawing them to speak with my hardwon characters and disposable identities, fucking with their minds.

    ha ha ha ha ha

  62. June 14, 2011 12:52 PM

    Sorry Mish, please delete the above two failed attemts and this one if it doesn’t work. There are various embed codes I am trying out to get this recording to appear.

    Reading Steven’s post on Theurox above, reminded me of how we all love to read the gory personal stuff. Currently at the Poetry Society in London, there’s some ding dong going on with the editor of Poetry Review and the chair of the board, Judith Palmer, who resigned because, according to a Londoner’s Diary piece in the Evening Standard, an internal coup:

    Fiona Sampson, editor of the Poetry Review, the magazine overseen by the Society, had asked for autonomy from the director, and has been pushing the focus of the society from education to promoting high-profile poets. Sampson has also persuaded some members of the board, including Alan Jenkins, to back her. Palmer reluctantly handed in her resignation two week ago, with financial officer Paul Ranford following shortly afterwards. There have been howls of protests from members who suggest that promoting well-known poets departs from the Poetry Society’s stated mission “to advance public education in the study, enjoyment and use of poetry”. The society gets around £260,000 from Arts Council England, due to rise to £360,000 next year, for “the welfare of poets and poetry”. The Poetry Society confirmed that both Palmer and Ranford have left, but would not comment further. “There is likely to be an extraordinary general meeting of members to try to resolve issues,” says one member, who declines to be named. “Many of us feel a necessary step would be the resignation of the board and the editor who prompted much of this dire situation.”

    The blogs of Poetryville have been astir with gossip and chatter as a result of this hoo-ha, and what has been interesting is watching how the bien peasant poet-herd react, like sharks in sheeps’ clothing, waiting to see how it ends, and all posturing to stand on the side they think will come out on top and advance ’em most. Very political.

    One of the strategic playas, who takes her game seriously, an American avant teaching at Bath, Carrie Etter, is an academic slowly rising up the ranks and crossing over into the mainstream realm, with reviews in the Guardian, and she only publishes comments on her blog by those she guesses other poets on Facebook (whose friending, smilies and emoticoms she measures her own standing by) would accept a freinds request from. Over the last three years she has steadfastly refused to publish any of the three or four uncontentious and sincerely written comments I’ve left on her blog, as myself, in response to whatever the poetic topic was she wrote of, until this row kicked off I read she was
    interested to know what other Poetry Society members and non-members think”
    , about the Londoner’s Diary shit-stirring piece.

    As you will read if you visit the link, the first person who came in was anonymous and so, as a jape, I went in anonymously and made a lot of bullshit up that gives the impression I am close to the action on the board. This coaxed others into anonymously shitting on Sampson, and all because its her on not us the editor.

    Someone then kicked off a thread on the Poetry Society Facebook Discussion page, asking who ‘likes Poetry Review’, a transparent attempt to kick of some more shit-stirring, and so I contributed as myself, speaking what the sharks in sheeps’ garb dare not coz they are all so timid and frightened about what other so called poets, are gonna think of em if they express an opinion that ends up on the losing side.

    There. It’s off my chest now.

  63. mishari permalink*
    June 14, 2011 1:03 PM

    Both links appear to work just fine. Nice one.

    I always had a soft spot for the ChesterBelloc. If you’ve never read Belloc’s The Voyage of The Nona or The Road To Rome, I recommend them. GK got off some good stuff, too: The Napoleon of Notting Hill and The Man Who Was Thursday are my favourites, with the Father Brown stories bringing up the rear.

    Their politics, however, made me want to spit.

  64. InvisibleJack permalink
    June 14, 2011 1:20 PM

    Reen, that gang of ladies was actually a manifest of the Muse and you should have let them into the bus, all at once. I am very disappointed. I am going off to sulk …

    I feel as if you have … moderated me.

    Jack Brae

    • Reine permalink
      June 14, 2011 3:10 PM

      Any such moderation was well meant Jack, to preserve your air of artistic sangfroid. As it happens, you went missing after tea and came back covered in hay and lipstick and dashed off several rather excellent poems, one entitled Snow White and Rose Red, which Hic and I fancied might have been about us. All was well that ended well.

      Don’t sulk, it is unbecoming in a handsome poet.

  65. mishari permalink*
    June 14, 2011 1:24 PM

    Being moderated will seem like a walk in the park, Jack, once the fake lesbian bloggers sink their (presumably false) teeth into you. Apparently, they’re sweeping the internet.

    I have to admit: I didn’t see this one coming…

  66. InvisibleJack permalink
    June 14, 2011 1:48 PM

    Mish, that meeting with E. B. White sounds magical.

    Des, at the end of the day, although you’re obviously having fun, none of these antics will really make any difference to poetry. Most of the nonsense that goes on with Poetry Societies and national poetry bodies is just ego traffic. Shit-stirring is fun (and I must admit to laughing loudly at yours) but it won’t write poetry and it really won’t make much of a difference to the po-biz machine.

    I saw our mutual acquaintance James Anthony Kelly recently at Listowel. He was strolling from a local supermarket with a tin of cat food for the local starveling cats. This act impressed me greatly, coming as it did from someone normally so self-absorbed.

    Jack Brae

  67. Reine permalink
    June 15, 2011 12:00 AM

    Today’s song that stuck… a gentle juxtaposition perhaps.

  68. mishari permalink*
    June 15, 2011 7:49 AM

    You can’t go wrong with Sarah Vaughn, Reine.

    A friend, knowing I’m an audio-bore, sent me a link to the following product. I don’t plan to stop laughing my arse off for quite some time:

    The New Intelligent Chip, only from Machina Dynamica, is considerably more powerful than the original Chip, owing to superior fabrication techniques and superior method of use. The New Intelligent Chip is a very thin 1x 1/2 inch rectangle, adhesive on one side, that is placed on the lower level of the CD tray along with the CD to be treated; thus, the chip is inserted into the player – where photon density is a maximum. This high laser photon density produces much greater photoluminescence in the chip. The New Intelligent Chip treats 20 discs. The New Intelligent Chip comes in an aluminum foil wrapper to protect it from light; the New Intelligent Chip should always be stored in its foil wrapper when not in use. the chip should even be stored in its foil wrapper in a dark room when playing CDs since the laser light that escapes from the player out into the room can inadvertently activate the chip.


    The Intelligent Chip works quantum mechanically via coherent quantum superposition and quantum entanglement. Two coherent light sources (the CD player laser and the quantum dots in the Intelligent Chip) interact with the atoms in the CD’s polycarbonate layer to produce long-lasting, superior optical transparency for better optical signal to noise ratio during the laser-reading process. The active material in the Intelligent Chip is comprised of quantum dots – artifical atoms grown in the laboratory that are “tuned” to resonate with the polycarbonate atoms.

    CD laser light escapes the player through a number of small holes and narrow gaps in the CD player case. The emitted photons from the Intelligent Chip commingle with the CD laser light that is everywhere in the room and inside the player; the commingled light resonates with the CD’s polycarbonate material, improving its optical performance.

    I absolutely love : ‘…The Intelligent Chip works quantum mechanically via coherent quantum superposition and quantum entanglement…’. Oh, I’m sure…

    Actually, this whole website is a wonderful hymn to gullibility.

  69. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 15, 2011 10:35 AM

    That trojan came back for another go yesterday. I wonder if it’s embedded in the machine, or am I just unlucky?

  70. mishari permalink*
    June 15, 2011 11:49 AM

    I seem to remember you saying a few years ago that you were using McAfee anti-virus, MM. I advised you to change it (because of McAfee’s notorious over-consumption of system resources and basic uselessness) and I think you said you’d already committed to a 12-month deal. At any rate, I hope you’re not still using McA (or was it the equally useless Norton?).

    The best (as determined by numerous independent tests) current anti-virus, anti-trojan software is Avast! (the exclamation mark is part of the actual name…sadly). It’s free (although there’s a paid-for version that adds lots of stuff that few people actually need).

    Download it HERE and install and run it. Problem solved (it also updates its virus database daily, also free).

    The best part is that it installs very, very quickly and makes very few demands on your system resources. It’ll take care of your trojan and prevent it coming back.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 15, 2011 10:56 PM

      I’m ashamed to say that I’m still using McAfee. You have to factor in my pathological laziness. Since they still haven’t replied to the several emails I’ve sent them about the issue I really should do something about getting rid of them. Thanks for the suggestion.

      The trojan, which manifests as system warnings, hard-drive failure notices and the like also reproduces a McAfee pop-up saying a trojan has been detected and removed. Quite clever. It doesn’t seem to be as malevolent as the last one I had, which inserted pornographic headlines into the online Guardian and eventually so corrupted the comp I had to reformat.

  71. Reine permalink
    June 15, 2011 12:13 PM

    Trojoan, Trojan
    I wish you’d fuck right off
    You’ve had your fun,
    Day in the sun
    I’ve really had enough

    Avast!now to the rescue
    A virtual gallant knight
    So hop it Trojan, you pest you
    Avaunt! And quit my sight.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 15, 2011 12:56 PM

      Avaunt! and Aroint! the uncouth
      pathogens of all natures, forsooth!
      and when trusty friends proffer
      do not be a scoffer;
      never look Avast! gift in the mouth.

  72. mishari permalink*
    June 15, 2011 3:35 PM

    Police say a man was carrying a dead weasel when he burst into an apartment and assaulted a man in Washington state.

    Police said the victim asked, “Why are you carrying a weasel?”

    Police said the attacker answered, “It’s not a weasel, it’s a marten,” then punched him in the nose and fled. —Associated Press, 8. 6. 2011

    • June 17, 2011 8:41 PM

      In all fairness to Farcebook, M, what WordPress *does* need is a sort of “like” button so your readers can register being impressed by items they can’t imagine formulating an adequate response to

  73. mishari permalink*
    June 15, 2011 10:19 PM

    The Greek government was on the brink of collapse after pitched battles on the streets of Athens on Wednesday, sending world stocks tumbling as EU leaders squabbled over whether and how to launch a second attempt to keep Greece from insolvency.

    George Papandreou, the socialist prime minister, appeared to admit defeat by offering to dissolve his government and form a national unity coalition, but admitted his efforts to negotiate with the opposition conservatives had failed.

    “Tomorrow I will form a new government, and then I will ask for a vote of confidence,” Papandreou said on state television. The move followed intense but fruitless negotiations with the conservative New Democracy party to engineer a consensus behind the savage public spending cuts deemed necessary and a wholesale privatisation programme.

    The opposition had called for Papandreou’s resignation and a renegotiation of the bailout terms with the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund as the price for its assent to a national coalition.

    Earlier, riot police had battled with tens of thousands of protesters in the capital against the radical austerity measures being imposed to try to secure a second bailout in a year, running to tens of billions of euros.

    EU governments, the ECB, and the European Commission were gridlocked over how to respond to the debt emergency, which pushed Greece closer to sovereign default, possibly triggering a fresh European banking crisis. — The Groan, today

    I hate to say ‘I told you so’, but…

    That the ‘…the savage public spending cuts deemed necessary and a wholesale privatisation programme…‘ are being demanded by the EU, the IMF and international finance (i.e. the criminal bankers who caused all this in the first place) tells you all you need to know.

    Following their prescription will blight the lives of a generation while the crooks ‘privatise’ (i.e. loot) everything of value.

    Greece (and Ireland and Portugal) will be far better off in the long run if they follow Argentina’s late 90s example and default.

    Sorry to go on about this but many people (including me) have been saying this for months. It really is the only marginally tolerable option.

    The sooner the Greek politicians bow to the inevitable, the better. It’ll damage the Euro in the short-term but so what? Better that than a country descend into abject misery just to keep crooked bankers happy…

    • Reine permalink
      June 16, 2011 12:19 AM

      I read out your comment to HI who, in summary, agrees with you. He has just delivered, standing before me in his jocks, a precis of today’s events on the markets, Timothy Geithner’s latest machinations, the French stumbling block etcetera etcetera etcetera … mercifully, I was able to pass off my yawn as a normal bedtime accessory. His pillow talk never fails to surprise.

    • June 16, 2011 1:41 PM

      Very true, but the Greeks need to get their house in order too: the people’s commissars to visit every tax-dodging bourgeois household and demand the cash – now!

  74. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 15, 2011 11:45 PM

    Funny seeing freep’s interjection on POTW. Perhaps a mistake or two in quotations will lure him back here.

    Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this son of Leeds

    • Reine permalink
      June 16, 2011 12:06 AM

      Are you usually lucky with your lure?

    • freep permalink
      June 16, 2011 11:15 AM

      It was son of York, you fucking idiot.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 16, 2011 11:16 AM


  75. June 16, 2011 12:31 AM

    There’s an old hack here called Vincent Browne, who was editor of oneof the Irish broadsheets in his heyday, a (non-practicing) barrister who has a nightly politics show on TV3, that Cowen and Lenihan wouldn’t come onto, because he really lays into the governament and blames Lenihan for crashing the economy with his misguided blanket guarantee in 2008 when he didn’t have aclue of how much he was guaranteeing. Browne lost his pension-investments in the collapse and now might have to sell hi detached mansion in Killiney in order to see out his dotage in the manner to which he has become accustomed, downsizing and not very happy at all.

    Mx Keiser, renegade economist was on his show a few months ago on a panel with his fellow econimist, a Russian guy who is always on the telly here with the top celebrity economist in Ireland, who warned of the crash when everyone was deluded at the height of the boom. There were three other panaleists, good middle of the road Irish cubs, posh south dub equivalents of Islington, jobs because Cairan at TCD shagged Moira from DCE who sucked up and fawned over Charlie and Bertie, agreeing how fab they were, bien peasant parroting the lines their corporate employes decant into them for a well paid job in blah blah blah. Anyway, Kaiser and the Russian went to town on the paddies and frightened them, jolted ’em out of their complacency, for a brief while..

    The best bit was when he told ’em they were suffering from Stockholm syndrome, they’ve been kidnapped and fucked over and so deluded they’re defending what Kaiser calls the ‘financial terrorists’ who Lenihan happily signed ’em over to because him and Bertoe and the Fiana Failers, just wanted to be good old bhoys for their pals in the banks acting with the biggest front of all. David Drum and his boss Sean Fitzpatrick, sneering and taking the piss out of the public, none of their doing, the 200,000 euro debt for every person on the island.

    He makes the Irish experts look like clowns, the babble they spout convincing no-one

    • Reine permalink
      June 16, 2011 8:29 AM

      Vincent is pure class. No more to say, he is hack, stand-up comedian, monsignor and your Granny all rolled into one.

      I can never quite take Constantin Gurdgiev seriously only because I imagine him interrogating me in some kind of James Bond scenario asking me hard questions about economics which I am unable to answer.

      Not that it has any material bearing on anything Kevin but the F in Seanie’s surname is capitalised … F for you know what.

  76. Harold Campanologist permalink
    June 16, 2011 9:38 AM

    You might find Debtocracy interesting, Reine. It’s in Greek but has English subtitles:

    • Reine permalink
      June 16, 2011 10:13 PM

      Thank you Harold, ringing many bells indeed. Not much rapture there.

  77. mishari permalink*
    June 16, 2011 9:55 AM

    I was in favour of the European Union but deeply sceptical about the Euro. The steep rise in prices all over the Eurozone should have been an early warning. For a country like Greece, that suddenly found its exports (mainly cheap manufactured goods and agricultural produce) could no longer be competitively priced, the Euro has been a disaster:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but here’s UKIP horse’s arse Nigel Farrage actually talking (mostly) sense.

  78. mishari permalink*
    June 16, 2011 10:25 AM

    Alan Milburn, a former Labour health secretary, has described the coalition’s watered-down NHS reforms as the “biggest car crash” in the service’s history.

    Milburn, who is currently advising David Cameron on social mobility, said taxpayers faced writing “a very large cheque” as billions of pounds in efficiency savings would not be achieved as a result of “the screech of skidding tyres” caused by the government’s U-turn.

    Milburn, who stood down as Labour MP for Darlington at the last general election, used an article for the Daily Telegraph to condemn the revised health plans unveiled earlier this week following pressure from the Liberal Democrats and the health lobby. —The Grauniad, today

    Hahahaa…can you believe the effrontery of this fucking scumbag?

    Following his resignation as Secretary of State for Health (to spend more time with his family), Milburn took a post for £30,000 a year as an advisor to Bridgepoint Capital, a venture capital firm heavily involved in financing private health care firms moving into the NHS, including Alliance Medical, Match Group, Medica and the Robinia Care Group. He has been Member of Advisory Board of PepsiCo since April 2007 —wiki

    So, Milburn’s views are completely unbiased, then? Yeah, right…

    New Labour: The Gift That Keeps Giving.

  79. June 16, 2011 3:09 PM

    • June 16, 2011 11:31 PM

      Curses… the copyright cops have struck already. It’s worth tracking down, you parental types

  80. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 16, 2011 8:58 PM

    A Consideration Of The New-Fangled Machine, viz. The Internet
    By Melton McGonagall

    It is the talk of the town, this most unusual machine,
    Which does not exist anywhere, or so I believe,
    It is a metaphysical Apparatus no-one has seen,
    Yet certain effects it seems to be able to achieve.

    It contains all the knowledge which is in creation,
    And its patrons may secure whatever it is they require,
    With no compulsion to make a small, or large, Donation,
    Which is a very remarkable facility to acquire.

    The epistolary arrangement is so much better,
    And to the pillar box it saves an inconvenient tramp,
    How advantageous to be able to send a Letter,
    Without the necessity of purchasing a postage stamp!

    And now I discover I can speak to my Great-Aunt Gladys
    Through the small kinematograph my nephew Darren owns,
    Yet to my mind that capability most bad is,
    And I meet it with the most fundamental of groans.

    O Internet! Yes, you certainly have some excellent points
    Which I hope I have illustrated with my verse
    But while The Age with the Oil Of Success your Forehead anoints,
    I should like to say that in some ways you have made Life much Worse.

  81. Reine permalink
    June 16, 2011 9:48 PM

    Worth waiting for MMcG.

    I posted a link earlier on POTW following on a comment of Anytimefrances’s. Scanning through it this, from Senator “The McGillycuddy of the Reeks”, caught my eye; the debates these days are very dull by comparison:

    “I think that censorship is definitely necessary. Those who do not think so have only to look to Buenos Aires in one direction and Port Said in another where there is no censorship. The result in both places is that practically everybody is inoculated with depravity through their bodies. I feel that we do not want that, so that censorship must definitely continue. But no censorship [259] will turn what I call a Dirty Dick into a clean one. He will find something obscene and depraving in almost every sentence that he reads, but those Dirty Dicks are few and far between. I believe that of the many books that I have read, coarse and vulgar as they were, the average young man and young woman would pass that sort of writing by.”

  82. mishari permalink*
    June 16, 2011 10:07 PM

    ‘…inoculated with depravity through their bodies…’. Hahahahahahaha….good one, Senator Dipshit.

    Meanwhile, in the socialist paradise of Finland…first term True Finns Party MP Teuvo Hakkarainen gave an interview to the provincial newspaper Jämsän Sanomat in May of this year (HERE for all of you Finnish readers). Hakkarainen and fellow True Finns MP Kauko Tuupainen were in Jämsä as guests of the city council head Ilkka Salminen.

    According to Hakkarainen, refugees and especially black refugees, need to be forced into manual labour in the forests. “Every street and boulevard in Helsinki is filled with workshy Negroes, who need to be put to work,” said Hakkarainen.

    Hakkarainen argued that putting these ‘Negroes’ into work “out in the hailstorm where we have worked” would also be a natural disincentive for immigration into Finland.

    “Teuvo Hakkarainen added that he was not a racist.”

    Well, of course not. I can’t imagine why anyone would think so…

    • June 16, 2011 11:23 PM

      Workshy Negroes (an offshoot of Bolshy Negroes?), who relocate to Finland, have graver matters than Teuvo Hakkarainen’s ill will to address…. not the last of which being that perpetual hailstorm! Christ, see what playing decision-making darts with a world atlas will get you? Are you saying there were no vacancies in Darfur…?

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 16, 2011 11:24 PM

      I expect he’s not a racist in the way that Hitler wasn’t an anti-semite.

    • June 16, 2011 11:26 PM

      Addie wasn’t an “anti”, he was a “semi” (as legend has it)

    • Silican permalink
      June 26, 2011 4:36 AM

      Give an immigrant a bowl of soup and a tent and what do you get, a workshy spade. Fucking drapetophobics. Incurable once they go wrong. Darkie ingrates. Spare the whip and spoil the slave.

  83. Reine permalink
    June 16, 2011 10:48 PM

    Happy Bloomsday.

    “A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.” Sounds like an excuse to me.

  84. Nora Barnacle permalink
    June 16, 2011 11:10 PM

    “I don’t know whether my husband is a genius or not, but he certainly has a dirty mind.”

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 16, 2011 11:21 PM

      That’s true. Somewhere I heard that Joyce married Nora purely on account of her name: not if those letters are to be believed. I actually blushed when I read some of them.

    • June 16, 2011 11:25 PM

      Blushed? I near-puked in my high grade ha , MM!

  85. mishari permalink*
    June 16, 2011 11:24 PM

    Are you not weary of ardent ways,
    Lure of the fallen seraphim?
    Tell no more of enchanted days.

    Your eyes have set man’s heart ablaze
    And you have had your will of him.
    Are you not weary of ardent ways?

    Above the flame the smoke of praise
    Goes up from ocean rim to rim.
    Tell no more of enchanted days

    Our broken cries and mournful lays
    Rise in one eucharistic hymn.
    Are you not weary of ardent ways?

    While sacrificing hands upraise
    The chalice flowing to the brim,
    Tell no more of enchanted days.

    And still you hold our longing gaze
    With languorous look and lavish limb!
    Are you not weary of ardent ways?
    Tell no more of enchanted days.

    –Villanelle written by Stephen Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    Villanelles…They’re Not Just For Bloomsday

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 16, 2011 11:30 PM

      In my book using ‘seraphim’ and ‘him’ is cheating. A cheating dirty-minded genius, then.

    • mishari permalink*
      June 16, 2011 11:32 PM

      I don’t think so, MM. The rhyme is actually -phim/him not -him/him. I give it a pass, just as one would whim/him…no?

    • Nora Barnacle permalink
      June 16, 2011 11:32 PM

      Alternative version:

      Your eyes have set man’s heart ablaze
      And he has had his fill of quim.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 16, 2011 11:41 PM

      Yes, fair enough, I was looking at it rather than reading it, if you see what I mean. I don’t. Reine’s version sounds more authentically Joycean.

  86. Nora Barnacle permalink
    June 16, 2011 11:26 PM

    I know! He makes Michel Houellebecq sound tame. He liked a salty barnacle, did Jim.

  87. mishari permalink*
    June 16, 2011 11:30 PM

    Joyce was ‘…inoculated with depravity…’. No wonder he had to leave Ireland. Down with that sort of thing…careful now.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 16, 2011 11:33 PM

      He was a Dirty Dick, no error.

    • Nora Barnacle permalink
      June 16, 2011 11:34 PM

      I like what you’ve done there Mister with your clever linkages. (she typed in her best John Wayne font)

  88. Nora Barnacle permalink
    June 16, 2011 11:36 PM

    I like what you’ve done there Messrs with your clever linkages. (she pasted, with minor amendment, in her best John Wayne font)

  89. mishari permalink*
    June 16, 2011 11:46 PM

    This is quite droll (although where they get the preposterous notion that Sugar is worth $1.1 billion is a mystery):

    Sugar Fucks UpElevatelocal

  90. Reine Periwinkle permalink
    June 17, 2011 12:07 AM

    There’s them that’s rich, engineers and the like with their topping T-squares and jaunty hats, and them that’s not. What I want to know is would gold plated fingers slipping beneath the elastic of your drawers amount to any greater caresses than mine can give you my little mollusc? I’ll put it to you this way pet, in the dark of our love nest, my little moocow (if you’ll pardon my mixed metaphor), would you know what class of tongue was suckling at your own priceless breasts?

    Ulysses, Chapter 19.

  91. Reine permalink
    June 17, 2011 12:22 AM

    Back to normal again. Amn’t I a gas ticket all the same? g’night.

  92. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 17, 2011 12:32 AM

    G’night, g’nora.

    Got the Avast!!!!!!!!! btw, thanks for the recommendation.

    • mishari permalink*
      June 17, 2011 12:51 AM

      Glad to hear it. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and it’s never let a virus or trojan slip past. Doesn’t slow your machine down, either.

  93. mishari permalink*
    June 17, 2011 12:36 AM

    The Muppets: showing the makers of the cretinous The Green Lantern how it’s done:

  94. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 17, 2011 3:28 PM

    Have you registered with Avast? I wasn’t sure whether to or not.

  95. Reine permalink
    June 17, 2011 3:59 PM

    MM, I loaded it the other night and registered (I assumed I had to). It seemed to me the free version was only a 30 day trial but maybe I didn’t read the small print. Mishari will put us wise…

    In other news, you have given me a Crunchie yen.

  96. mishari permalink*
    June 17, 2011 4:24 PM

    There’s no need to register; there’s no harm in it but it’s not mandatory. The ’30-day trial’ stuff just means that you’re getting all the added stuff (that really isn’t necessary unless you spend all your time online hanging around dodgy porn and pirate software sites and giving them your real e-mail address). After 30 days, you’ll be asked if you want to upgrade to the ‘full’ version (that is, keep the trial version), but honestly, all you need is the anti-virus, anti-trojan, anti-spyware and that’s free. So just say ‘no’ and the extra stuff will turn itself off. You’ll still be protected.

    • Reine permalink
      June 17, 2011 7:28 PM

      Thanks maestro.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 17, 2011 8:45 PM

      Thanks. I probably won’t bother then. Registering for something usually means a fresh batch of unwanted email. I foolishly put my mobile number into a Laterooms booking last year and I’ve since been bombarded with offers to CONSOLIDATE my DEBTS or COLLECT UP TO £3,500 for the PERSONAL ACCIDENT which I’ve never suffered.

  97. mishari permalink*
    June 17, 2011 6:03 PM

    …and in case anyone was wondering what drives Tory (and what drove New Labour’s) ‘health policy’, This Handy Chart lays it out for you.

    In a decent society, these people would all be jailed for corruption.

  98. mishari permalink*
    June 17, 2011 7:31 PM

    …and in teen news:

  99. mishari permalink*
    June 17, 2011 10:14 PM

    Honeybees have become the first invertebrates to exhibit pessimism, a benchmark cognitive trait supposedly limited to “higher” animals. —

    Given that honeybees are dying off at an alarming rate, they have every right to be pessimistic.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 17, 2011 11:38 PM

      I used to like a fumble in the flowers,
      I’d make that honey for hours and hours,
      my eusocial commitment to the hive
      was the focus of my natural drive,
      once everything made sense, now nothing does,
      I can’t find anything that gives me a buzz,
      I’m down, I’m depressed, I’m about to cry,
      I’ve suddenly realised I’m going to die.

    • Reine permalink
      June 18, 2011 12:13 AM

      I’m sick of that lazy bitch
      Droning on all day
      No such thing as a free shag
      It was a costly lay

      I feel my raison d’etre
      is severely compromised
      by constant flitting back and forth
      For some monarch-feeding prize

      I’m taking a sabbatical
      Going to go somewhere and write
      Christ, I feel suddenly unwell
      I’m dying? Oh no, shite

  100. mishari permalink*
    June 18, 2011 12:03 AM

    I lived a life of constant toil
    from bloom to bloom I’d flit
    but frankly, I’ve gone off the boil:
    I’ve realised life is shit.

  101. Reine permalink
    June 18, 2011 12:03 AM

    A first time writer on Vincent Browne’s (aforementioned) round up of the week panel has asked a publisher, whose magazine gave her a rotten review and who was slagging off the celebrity economist on the panel for doing a Bulmer’s ad (keep up), if he would be the face of gonorrhea if the money was right.

    Now what, I wonder, might the face of gonorrhea look like?

  102. mishari permalink*
    June 18, 2011 12:05 AM

    Reine, like THIS.

  103. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 18, 2011 12:13 AM

    Looks like Rice Crispie disease.

    • Reine permalink
      June 18, 2011 12:15 AM

      I’ll never snap and crackle again.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 18, 2011 12:19 AM

      Some milk and sugar and those pustules would be gone in no time.

  104. Reine permalink
    June 18, 2011 12:20 AM

    Stop MM! You are making me retch.

  105. Reine permalink
    June 18, 2011 12:25 AM

    I’d prefer Ryde’s Chris’ Peas.

  106. mishari permalink*
    June 18, 2011 12:28 AM

    Have either of you watched Adam Curtis’ new trilogy All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace ? I finally found the time and I really liked it.

    • Reine permalink
      June 18, 2011 12:31 AM

      No, missed it. We were just talking about it.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 18, 2011 12:41 AM

      Sorry, missed that comment. I’ve got so much security now it takes ages to do anything. Yes, I watched most of it. Quite good.

    • June 18, 2011 11:52 AM

      Finally tracked all three parts down and watched them in sequence last night (about three hours invested, I think). Very interesting stuff, M… I like what Curtis did with the Ayn Rand material (I wished there’d been a literary critique, though: showing that these self-appointed supermen couldn’t even detect how poorly-written their foundational texts were would’ve been telling and funny) and the archival PC/Web sequences were amazing. Also, Curtis making the connection between Rand (who always reminds me of that other huckster, Gurdjieff), and Silicon Valley, was illuminating.

      Slightly leery of some of the lacunae, elisions and glosses, though: the Congo/Rwanda passages suffered from standard BBC-style bowdlerization (eg, I doubt very seriously that the Belgians, upon “withdrawal”, inadvertently sparked the first Tutsi massacre by encouraging Hutu empowerment out of a sense of liberal “guilt”). Also the bit about William Hamilton’s death seems to imply that he died in the bush from an ill-fated aspirin (in response to malaria): he didn’t; he died in London after being in the country for a couple of months (and some reports insist that his bout of malaria had already been cured before he left the Congo). But Hamilton’s mysterious case is a digression.

      Given the series’ focus on tech, I wished Curtis had done more with the connection between the Congo/Rwanda messes and our i-phones. But that would have been extremely dangerous and required much more screen time. The Rwandan massacres were not just a matter of bumbling Belgians and weirdly open-to-suggestion Hutus and Tutsis. (btw: anyone remember the dance single, from the early 60s, called “The Watusi”?)

      This is relevant:

      “War for the control of the Democratic Republic of Congo—what should be the richest country in the world—began in Uganda in the 1980s, when now Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni shot his way to power with the backing of Buckingham Palace, the White House, and Tel Aviv behind him. This is interesting:

      Paul Kagame, now president of Rwanda, served as Museveni’s Director of Military Intelligence. Kagame later trained at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, before the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)—backed by Roger Winter, the U.S. Committee on Refugees, and the others above—invaded Rwanda. The RPF destabilized and then secured Rwanda. This coup d’etat is today misunderstood as the “Rwanda Genocide.” What played out in Rwanda in 1994 is now playing out in Darfur, Sudan; regime change is the goal, “genocide” is the tool of propaganda used to manipulate and disinform.”

      The context:

      “Columbo-tantalite, i.e. coltan, is found in three-billion-year-old soils like those in the Rift Valley region of Africa. The tantalum extracted from the coltan ore is used to make tantalum capacitors, tiny components that are essential in managing the flow of current in electronic devices. Eighty percent of the world’s coltan reserves are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Niobium is another high-tech mineral with a similar story.

      Sprocket reports that the high-tech boom of the 1990s caused the price of coltan to skyrocket to nearly $300 per pound. In 1996 U.S.-sponsored Rwandan and Ugandan forces entered eastern DRC. By 1998 they seized control and moved into strategic mining areas. The Rwandan Army was soon making $20 million or more a month from coltan mining. Though the price of coltan has fallen, Rwanda maintains its monopoly on coltan and the coltan trade in DRC. Reports of rampant human rights abuses pour out of this mining region.”

      These statistics (c. 2007) all predate the invention and/or marketing of devices which have seen an explosion in the demand for these minerals!

    • mishari permalink*
      June 18, 2011 12:15 PM

      I’m with you, Steven. On the whole, I thought it was very well done, but the last episode seemed to be trying to do too much and some of the connections he was making were either passed over in too cursory a fashion or given(in my opinion) to much importance.

      I’m a bit leery of all that ‘selfish gene’ stuff, anyway. I mean, there are clearly elements of truth in it but they extrapolate too far. The evidence to the contrary (in the form of disinterested self-sacrifice) is too common and too universal to allow that theory much credibility.

      The Rwanda/Congo parts were treated as though it had been a perfectly straight-forward issue, which it clearly wasn’t. As for Hamilton’s ‘aspirin death’, I thought that was a bit iffy so I’m glad to have it confirmed.

      Still, there was some great stuff. Didn’t Ayn Rand look absolutely crazed, her eyes bulging with derangement? As you say, it’s a pity they just accepted that Rand was a great writer: she was nothing of the sort. She was a wretchedly bad writer. As someone remarked (of Atlas Shrugged :

      There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

    • June 18, 2011 12:29 PM

      The Rand/Orc quote perfectly hilarious!

      “I’m a bit leery of all that ‘selfish gene’ stuff, anyway.”

      The worst bit being the un-scientific presentation Curtis makes there, characterizing (or seeming to) the genes as actually “strategizing” or producing thoughts/plans of any kind. As though the genes are actively and conspiratorially operating us as their delivery systems, when, in fact, after millions of years of selection/ random filtration, things are as they are for largely statistical reasons: the genes are insensate, insentient chemicals, full stop. Curtis, ironically, makes Dawkins nearly sound like a proponent of Intelligent Design! Laugh.

      All in all, though, as you say, it was a worthwhile three hours.

    • mishari permalink*
      June 18, 2011 12:41 PM

      Well, exactly. It’s one thing to assert that it’s a gene’s imperative function to survive and propagate (incontestable); it’s another thing entirely to suggest that genes are conversant with game theory and are acting accordingly.

    • June 18, 2011 12:42 PM

      “insensate, insentient”: sorry about that apparent redundancy; I was thinking about a shade of one versus a shade of the other

    • mishari permalink*
      June 18, 2011 12:47 PM

      Not sure if that’s redundant: I don’t think they mean quite the same thing. Insensate-incapable of feeling. Insentient-incapable of awareness. So, no ‘sorry’ required…

    • June 18, 2011 12:47 PM

      It’s surprising how often scientifically-trained writers/educators will talk/write about adaptive changes (in things like moths or lizards, say) as though these creatures had *willed* the changes… when, in fact, it’s just that the unfortunate varieties (bright red moths on foliage; slower lizards) get gobbled up and phased out of the gene pool. I read articles (or paragraphs), at least once a month, in which the “science” writer obviously doesn’t get the distinction.

    • mishari permalink*
      June 18, 2011 3:44 PM

      True, but even stranger is the number of otherwise brilliant scientists who were taken in by this idea of ‘natural system stability’ and the machine/biological systems analogy. I mean, it’s so obviously flawed a hypothesis from the very outset. But one sees it time and time again. Edward O. Wilson, a ferociously brilliant man, made much the same error.

      After devoting a lifetime to the study of social insects (which culminated in his magnum opus The Ants, a fascinating book) he lost the plot and decided that insect societies could serve as useful models/comparators for human society.

      How could such a clever man make so basic a ‘category error’ (as philosophers call it)? Did nobody think to take him aside and say: “Erm, Ed…people aren’t ants”?

      Likewise, all these scientists, mathematicians etc who thought that complex systems tended towards stability. Just a moment of common sense would have exploded this notion. The very opposite is true. Even now, the most difficult challenge for computers is to model incredibly complex (because of the number of variables) processes of turbulence or protein folding: they’re too close to chaotic. The more complex a system, the more it tends towards chaos. One would have thought that so obvious a truth would hardly need pointing out. But for years, all these theorists acted as though they had never noticed the fact. All very odd…

    • June 18, 2011 6:38 PM

      Well, too many of those thinkers weren’t aware of the subtle tenacity of their Judeo-Christian Goggles… even the atheists, IMO. The “natural balance” they sought to prove (or restore) was Edenic.

      Now, let me introduce some weevils into the eco-system of our biscuit pantry and wait until they achieve a natural balance…

    • mishari permalink*
      June 18, 2011 7:25 PM

      Steven, did you see Curtis’ The Power of Nightmares? Another 3 hours well-worth spending. You can download all 3 episodes as 1 torrent HERE.

    • June 18, 2011 7:43 PM

      Someone slipped me a home-made DVD of “Nightmares” a while back, M… also have “He Hit Me”. I remember being excited by it until about 2/3 of the way through and then being slightly leery of Curtis’ agenda (laugh)… though I can’t recall exactly why. I’ll have another look tonight and if I can’t find it, I’ll download from your generously-provided link.

    • mishari permalink*
      June 18, 2011 7:49 PM

      I’m actually downloading it to watch again because I watched it surrounded by distractions (kids, dog, cat, phone, door etc etc) the last time and (because Curtis played to some of my in-built prejudices, e.g. there’s little to choose between the evil of the neo-cons and the evil of the Muslim fundamentalists) I watched it with a less than critical eye. I’ll watch it all the way through, in peace, this time, and see what I think.

  107. mishari permalink*
    June 18, 2011 12:36 AM

    If you like, I’ll burn a copy of the 3 episodes and send it to you, Reine.

    • Reine permalink
      June 18, 2011 12:43 AM

      I’d be delighted thanks, I will email my address to the yahoo address, right? Much obliged.

    • mishari permalink*
      June 18, 2011 12:48 AM

      The yahoo address is fine. I’ll pop that in the post on Monday. Actually, I wonder if I can interest you in Game of Thrones (when it ends next week, that is) or The Borgias (I can have that in the post Monday as well)? I’ve been very entertained by the first and what I’ve seen of the second looks good.

    • Reine permalink
      June 18, 2011 12:53 AM

      I’d love The Borgias. And anything with Sean Bean will wash very easily over my eyes but no rush with them. I appreciate your kindness.

  108. MeltonMowbray permalink
    June 18, 2011 12:37 AM

    Oh, very good. I’m sure you’d prefer Muesli Al-Pen.

    Well, time to join the Bedouin, I think. Tesbaheen alaa khaier.

  109. mishari permalink*
    June 18, 2011 12:41 AM

    Wow…you even got the plural form right, MM. Now let’s hear you pronounce the kh-sound…remember: rolled guttural from the back of the throat.

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 18, 2011 2:44 PM

      The credit goes to Yahoo Answers, the source of most of my ‘knowledge’.

  110. Reine permalink
    June 18, 2011 12:47 AM

    I like the sound of that. Or what I think the sound of it might be. ‘night gents,

  111. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    June 18, 2011 5:47 AM

    You could at least empty the ashtrays before you all go off to bed…

  112. Hugh Cooney permalink
    June 18, 2011 6:10 AM

  113. Reine permalink
    June 18, 2011 10:36 AM

    Sorry Dad. x

    Speaking of Dads, I am heading west presently to see the family, Tonight, mother will relax her self-imposed smoking ban and smoke a few cigarettes indoors with her glass of wine. Then, CSI-Mammy will empty the butts from the ashtray into some kitchen roll, run it under the tap to make absolutely sure they are out, put it in a ziploc bag and finally into the bin. Empyting ashtrays is a precise art in our house.


    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 18, 2011 2:38 PM


  114. hic8ubique permalink
    June 18, 2011 3:14 PM


  115. mishari permalink*
    June 18, 2011 3:20 PM


    Nah…she was all for it.

  116. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    June 18, 2011 3:23 PM



    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 18, 2011 8:39 PM

      Round The Island Race next weekend, HLM. I hope you’ll be taking the superyacht out for a spin.

  117. mishari permalink*
    June 18, 2011 9:00 PM

    Is it Moon vs Abramovich? Watch that bastard, Hank…he’s sneaky as hell.

    I read recently that his yacht has a military-grade missile defence system (I am not making this up), in addition to the 150 (seriously, one hundred and fucking fifty) armed bodyguards he travels with (mostly ex-Spetsnaz, ex-SAS etc). It must give Roman an all-over warm feeling to know he’s so widely-loved…

    Jerusalem Rabbis ‘Condemn Dog to Death by Stoning’

    A Jewish rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a stray dog it feared was the reincarnation of a lawyer who insulted its judges, reports say.

    The dog entered the Jerusalem financial court several weeks ago and would not leave, reports Israeli website Ynet.

    It reminded a judge of a curse passed on a now deceased secular lawyer about 20 years ago, when judges bid his spirit to enter the body of a dog.

    The animal is said to have escaped before the sentence was carried out. —, today

    How refreshingly modern and unlike those primitive Mooslum fanatics. I suppose it’s just as well it was a dog and not a Palestinian child (all Palestinians were judged to be rodef by rabbinical judges employed by the Israeli Defence Force [sic] and could therefore be legitimately killed).

    Mind you, killing a dog would probably merit jail time, unlike killing a Palestinian.

    Meanwhile, in the United States of Crazy People…I just watched a horrifying documentary called Gasland, about the technique of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from shale rock. Not only does the process involve injecting a high-pressure mix of water and about 500 chemicals (many of them known carcinogens) into the rock, but thanks to Dick Cheney, the companies doing this are exempt from all EPA regulations and all Clean Air and Clean Water Acts passed since the Nixon administration.

    Great. So not only does everybody in the areas where they’re doing this get to drink poisoned water but they get to have gas coming out of the taps in their homes. The sight of a kitchen tap emitting a steady jet of blue flame gave me pause for thought, I can tell you.

    • June 18, 2011 9:37 PM

      Jeezis, M, do you suppose you can produce your best impromptu argument that we’re not all, already, in Hell? I need some reassurance

  118. mishari permalink*
    June 18, 2011 9:48 PM

    I think ‘I can still get pizza delivered’ is the best I can do, offhand…and I’m not sure you can’t get pizza delivered in Hell…

    • MeltonMowbray permalink
      June 18, 2011 11:20 PM

      It would be late, delivered by an adolescent with Rice Crispies Disease and what in the name of God is that topping?

    • June 19, 2011 12:18 AM

      (doorbell finally rings… and what *is* that odor…?)

  119. Reine permalink
    June 18, 2011 11:59 PM

    On my way down today, a trilogy of flashy notices on three successive telegraph poles outside Ballaghadereen caught my attention…. The first read “Scones with Cocaine!”; the second “Sorry, Not Cocaine, Raisins” and the last “Better Than Your Mammy’s”. I can’t attest to the veracity of the claim as I wasn’t hungry, hate raisins and was running late. It’s not a town I’d stop in even for cocaine scones but maybe for an emergency wee.

    The ashtray routine will commence soon, the windows are already open…

  120. mishari permalink*
    June 19, 2011 12:04 AM

    They pinched that gag from Father Ted…it’s still a good one, though.

    • Reine permalink
      June 19, 2011 12:23 AM

      Hawai …

      Well, blow me down, I don’t remember that one in spite of the millions of episodes I watched.

  121. mishari permalink*
    June 19, 2011 12:37 AM

    Ya do, ya do, ya do…Mrs. Doyle comes in and offers Ted and Dougal some cake. “I just made it. It’s got cocaine in it.” Ted says “WHAT?” and she says, “Did I say ‘cocaine? I meant raisins”.

  122. Reine permalink
    June 19, 2011 12:53 AM

    I do, I do, I do… now you mention it.

    I told my sister I’d go swimming with her at 9 o’clock, what was I thinking? Tasmania.

    • hic8ubique permalink
      June 19, 2011 3:33 AM

      Cape of Good Hope?

      (Sent Gina some pics :)

    • Reine permalink
      June 19, 2011 5:11 PM

      Many thanks; what a gorgeous young lady and what poise for one so young.

  123. PJ Gallgher permalink
    June 19, 2011 5:10 AM

  124. Melia permalink
    June 30, 2011 11:43 AM

    Love your blog.

    Best Wishes

    A Lurker

Comments are closed.