10 May 2009

Daily Chat 10/05/09

It's Mother's Day in North America.  On this day in 1774, Louis XVI became king of France.  In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa.  Celebrating birthdays today:  Maureen Lipman, Bono and Dennis Bergkamp.


  1. When my brother was in the states my mum got two mother's days!

    One (more correctly called mothering sunday - but given the American name by most commercial organisations over here)occurs half way through the christian season of lent (some time in Feb- Mar)

    and the American one!

    I get all sniffy and conservative when ours is called mother's day but I suppose its the inevitable result of the rise in secularism (which I support).

    With my only child being a nurse I don't often get to celebrate mothering Sunday on the day anyway. Was taken out for a meal on the following Monday this year. But got flowers a gorgeous summer bag and scarf on the Sunday morning before she went to work!

    No complaints there :-))

  2. I got a card from my sister-in-law & niece who live in the States, so I've got two mother's days this year!
    Never mind that it's a US one today, here's to a happy mothers day to mothers everywhere.

  3. Yes, happy mother's day!
    Poor mums- they're always to blame. Always get the dirty end of the stick.
    Dads usually get away with it- they're seldom to blame.
    I never believed in this thing called penis envy- presumably a male fantasy. It's my belief that men have womb envy- the creation of life is the ultimate creative act. Maybe that's why there are so many male artists- a desperate attempt to match the female.
    So many hetero men appear to resent, envy, even hate women don't you think?
    Because women have the POWER!
    Just a thought...

  4. Good morning cifers! What a gorgeous day in London Town!


    Still considering re-posting on CIF, but only without the pre-mod scenarios. Might write to the mods soon.

  5. &

    happy mother's day whereveryouare xx

  6. Happy Mothers Day Montana!

    As Anne said, we have already had ours in March.

    Lovely day here - wondering what to do with it, except I really need to do some of that pesky housework I so studiously avoided yesterday. Argh.

  7. Hank Pinchio

    Cracking post-seabrook 11-20pm.

    btw-this is a good read...


    Kinda illustrates the practical results of privileging identity over unity. Why the fuck did the Left ever seriously decide that this was its role? How did unity, solidarity and equality get put to the back burner in favour of sordid relativist dogma?

    Still don't really understand this. Unlikely that Cultural Studies faculties were infiltrated by corporate shills or that postmodern theories have any real appeal. Most just seem to be affected, posturing...logically indefensible shite favoured by obscure academics courting controversy. How did they come to prominence across so much of the would-be left?

    I can see there's a middle class vested interest in pushing such an agenda but still...beggars belief.

  8. dan

    "So many hetero men appear to resent, envy, even hate women don't you think?
    Because women have the POWER!"

    used to think that but I think we got beyond that surely. I certainly haven't met a man who says that.

    Its more - five thousand yars of women being confined largely to the domestic sphere and so having to adapt to a male pattern of work whilst still being expected to still do all the domestic stuff.

    This is breaking down - eventually we will develop working patterns that suit individual needs. Hard to see how that can be but I think it will happen (if we don't blow ourselves up first!).

    The social and ecconomic system should serve our needs instead of us serving its needs.

    As someone is reputed to have said 2000 years ago
    "The sabath was made for man not man for the sabbath"
    Even religious texts sometimes say something sensible!

  9. No, annetan, I'm sure you haven't met a man who'd say that- it's hardly something anyone would own up to. But having lived in Spain and Italy, I'm appalled by the reported incidence of violence of husbands against wives. It happens in all countries and in all classes.
    Yes, things may be changing for the better but at a very slow rate.
    You have clearly been fortunate not to have experienced violence at the hands of a man.
    Anyway, have a good and peaceful day...

  10. QuestionThat10 May, 2009 11:58

    Confused and dismayed by the list of banned posters on the right of this blog. I haven't been posting on CiF for a long time, but (though I often didn't agree with them) Donge, HankScorpio, Ishouldapologise, JayReilly, Mujokan, SilentHunter and WoollyMindedLiberal were among my favourite regular commenters


  11. Happy Mother's Day Montana before I'm off to take advantage of the weather on a terrace café here in Antwerp.

    Actually this post is for Kizbot - WHERE IS THAT LINK TO THE GREEK NEWSPAPER?

    Hope you had a good day boating - last time I did that was in September when I went with a whole crowd of people to Holland to sail around Zeeland.

    Did I have fun last night. As I said I went to the first part of the staged trilogy based on Dante's Divine Comedy - the Inferno. What I didn't realise was that there was a certain amount of audience participation. We had to stand on stage for about twenty minutes in the dark, listening to weird music and guarded by sinister-looking stage hands. We'd been issued with earplugs against the loud acoustics and I was wearing high stick heels, so I now know that hell is like: shattered eardrums and sore feet. So there we were - The Damned - looking up at this half-nude athletic figure climbing way up to the top of the scaffolding when they let loose the Hell Hounds (not on us fortunately) on a kind of platform. They were barking their heads off.

    Finally we staggered to our seats (and I took my shoes off). The rest of event was great, virtually a mime against ancient Latin chant. I think my favourite were the Hell Hounds. They came on again to bite the producer (they were just playing) and one got tired, started wagging its tail, and sat down. Some really good visuals though like a burning piano and towards the end, this beautiful pure white horse comes on and it gets splattered with buckets of red paint so it looks like blood all over its back. Really striking.

    But the audience participation wasn't over - they drew a white gauze sheet over us all, so for some seconds we had this thing on our heads.
    I think I can honestly say it was the mose unusual night I've ever spent at the theatre.
    When the company took their final bow, one of the dogs looked like he was fishing for a biccy.

    Afterwards I got talking to this young music professor from Massachusetts. She had come over just for this trilogy event and was staying in Amsterdam until mid-June. Seems she comes over quite regularly for these art festivals and - get this - she's travelling back on the QE2 (sickening).

    Anyway - that's my dispatches from the trenches - DON'T FORGET THAT LINK.

    Richard Strauss's Salomé on Wednesday - concert pieces so won't be seeing the head of John The Baptist.


  12. I am not denying that violence against women exists. I question that the reason for it is womb envy as such.

    The restriction of women's lives almost certainly began when after humans had begun to be farmers instead of hunter gatherers. The discoveru of paternity and the development of economic inequality (or the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few)created a situation in which that a man wanted his children to inherit his wealth (and the power that came with it).

    Women effectively became 'walking wombs' or the means of reproduction if you like.

    This has been going on for 5000 years or more! We are only just climbing out of that pit.

    Old habits die hard but they will die. Not in my lifetime and possibly not in yours but things will go on changing.

    We are all products of our social conditioning and women can be as oppressive towards other women as men. A gender war won't cure it we need to be reconciled and fight sexism wherever we find it.

  13. monkeyfish: don’t think I’ve read the specific Malik piece you link to (yet), though he has actually had a few good ones on CiF too. He also turns up on R4 occasionally and usually has something interesting to say. Worth checking out for those not already familiar, I’d say.

    Everyone: love to your mothers.

  14. Deary me, the Fash don't like it when I get down and dirty and start talking about their policies (or rather the lack of them). Poor things. It must be so hard to be led by a bunch of brainless thugs incapable of any more than hollow rhetoric about "Britain!" and "Immigrants!" and "Capital Punishment for All!"

    I should feel sorry for them really.


  15. bru: Glad to hear you had a good “night at the opera”.

    Regarding the audience participation: consider yourself lucky; you were obviously in the best seats.

    Those banished to the lower levels must have had far worse to endure – standing up to your neck in shit for the whole performance really wouldn’t appeal.

    The Divine Comedy is an absolute stone cold classic. I’ve read it all (in translation – Mark Musa), and again well worth checking out.

    Personally, I loved “Inferno”, struggled a bit in “Purgatory” and couldn’t really get into “Paradise”. What does this say about me, I wonder?

    In my very first CiF post I described how I failed the “initiation test” for the Catholic church. Had very little to do with any form of religion ever since. Last time I was in any way involved was my Grannie’s funeral a couple of years ago, in the Brompton Oratory. Not enough to make me return to the fold, but a moving experience none the less.

    It’s obvious to me that specifically anti-Catholic prejudice is still alive and well and living in our midst, even though I’m probably dead set against much of what the Catholic hierarchy stands for.

  16. Thanks for that, annetan, interesting...
    Now very angry after reading another piece on Cif about the appalling Charles who is due to address a convention of architects. Now I'm dead against the Royal Family and everything they stand for but, apart from Charlie, it's not personal.
    I cannot believe the support this privileged pea-brain gets for his neanderthal remarks about architecture and his pet, the dreadful Quinlan Terry who designs the most awful neo Georgian crap. How DARE he throw his weight around and denigrate brilliant men like Richard Rogers who is widely admired OUTSIDE the UK.
    God he makes me sick...
    OK, that's it, end of rant...

  17. Cheers for that, monkeyfish. Interesting stuff, will get hold of the book. The problem is that multiculturalism is now so entrenched that it will be difficult to dismantle all the institutions and return to class-based action without alienating a whole lot of influential people, the community leaders who've been stupidly privileged.

    RapidEddie's post later on that thread is a little cracker. And pleased to see that BB is here now, thought we were going to lose her on that thread.

    Good stuff, BB, trying to pin them down on specifics. You won't wring any concessions out of them but hopefully a few of the waverers lurking on that thread will be swayed by your efforts.

    Btw, MF (and anonymous), I've emailed the mods today to ask how long pre-mod will last for the returning Banned. Will let you know their response.

    @QuestionThat - cheers. If you've got an afternoon spare, read the What Do You Want To Talk About thread on CiF dated 28 April. It runs to 1110 posts and covers the recent spate of bans pretty comprehensively!

  18. thanks hank, it would be good to know.

    watching blue tits doing strange things around the green-birdie-box-under-the-vine-tree- (in-out-in-out), while holding the smellycat tight (so he behaves himself!)

    good weekend all.

  19. I have to nominate the following (in a reply to an article by the uber creep Mandelson over on CiF) as a serious contender for post of the day!


    10 May 09, 2:14pm (13 minutes ago)

    ....................| />~<|..................
    ............| ~ ~ ~ ~ |`...).........
    ................|.(( +==)) .|..............

  20. The mods continue to get up the noses of many posters elsewhere and there may yet be more new recruits for Montana's timely initiative here.

    Since my mam departed this world a longtime ago perhaps I can wish Montana and the other Mothers who take time to contribute here a joyous US Mothers Day.

  21. Aw deano - I lost my mum five years ago. Mothers Day always has a bitter-sweet tinge to it now.

    Excellent mandelson comment though - I doubt it will be up there for long :D

  22. deano30: It's still there now, with 10 recs already (including mine natch). But I bet it won't be for long.

  23. BeautifulBurnout: Sorry to hear about your Mum.

    My only comment is that I bet if you were anything like you are now while she was still alive, she must have been fucking proud of you.

  24. Good morning/afternoon, everybody! Thank you for Mother's Day greetings - and Happy Mother's Day to Annetan, BB & any other mothers who might be reading. I received my gifts Friday night -- they'd made pottery 'creatures' in art class and potted a flower in a pot they'd painted in their regular classroom.

    Dan -- I think there's some truth to what you say about 'womb envy'. Certainly, historically, there has been a lot of fear of female sexuality and some of that is surely tied in with fertility. Trouble is, for most men it isn't on any conscious level, and that's why so many men become quite angry at the suggestion of it. Most of us aren't very good at confronting our uglier impulses. Like Annetan says, however, a gender war isn't going to get any of us anywhere. I haven't been able to engage in any of the Cif feminism threads for awhile because I just get so weary of the sweeping generalisations that fly back and forth.

    Andy -- failed the test, eh? I wonder if there's a special ring in hell for the ones who fail and if it's more or less hellish than the one for those of us who never tried to get in?

  25. Bru- i bought the print edition and checked the online version of To Vima... not a sign of me and Georgina... they must of decided not to run it... :-(

  26. Montana: Happy Mother’s Day – it’s all becoming a bit sentimental isn’t it?

    I didn’t actually choose to take the test myself; I was only a few days old at the time.

    It was my parents’ decision; largely my Grannie’s idea I would imagine, neither of them being that religious then or now.

    In the unlikely event that:

    1. I find out the answer to your question about a "special ring"

    2. I have an internet connection available

    I’ll try to remember to let you know!

    Signing off now to pop to the allotment...

  27. If it gets deleted perhaps we should take it in turns at copying and pasting it back (every time it is deleted) - with an an appreciation to GreenCustardFinger from herm fan club.

    I muust go walk the dogs now. Regards.

  28. deano30

    Its still there! Mind its Sunday!

  29. There's a decent article on Orwell by Robert McCrum today. Worth a look.

  30. Im quite enjoying Montana's little facts of the day at the top of the open chat threads, i think every new page should have something like that, something to distinguish it from other chat threads.

    "I have to nominate the following (in a reply to an article by the uber creep Mandelson over on CiF) as a serious contender for post of the day!"

    Thats a classic.

  31. The Bastards have removed GreenCustardFinger somewhere between 4.50 and 5.20

    I reposted it after about 20 minutes anybody want to open a book on how long it or I will last?

  32. deano, be careful, they might ban you for re-posting... not worth it.

  33. I'm up to about page 4 of the comments on the Seabrook thread. OMG. Oh my fucking god! Some arsehole calling himself/herself EnglishRights related an anecdote about JM lePen supposedly showing up an American academic audience by comparing himself to Geronimo. I'm doubtful of the veracity of the anecdote (I can't imagine that such a repugnant comparison would have gone unchallenged), but what a fucking insult to Native Americans and to the memory of a hero like Geronimo. God, I'm livid!!!

  34. Andysays

    Hey there - I agree that the Inferno is definitely the best bit and the most fun. The Paradiso really is a bit boring with everyone playing their harp and all.

    Fortunately the dogs behaved themselves and didn't need to answer a call of nature otherwise we'd really have been in for a treat as we were looking up their tails as it was.

    My night at the opera was the previous Saturday when I went to Samson and Delilah - apparently the production has caused such a stir in the music world, that this American professor had already heard of it. The seduction scene was awesome and very graphic at one point(who said opera was boring?)and the set all black lacquer had a black bed (phallic symbol) piercing a massive red velvet orchid (no prizes for guessing what that represented) which covered most of the back of the stage. The photos on the Vlaamse Opera' website don't do it justice, you had to be there to get the full visual effect. When Samson was betrayed and lying on the bed these giant red petals descended and swallowed him up like a Venus Fly Trap.

    At the end of the opera, he didn't push down the pillars; instead he strapped on an explosive belt (the action had been updated to present-day Gaza), and became a suicide bomber.

    Teacup made me describe it to her in detail - I had to insert it in another post - surprised the mod's let me get away with it.


    Sorry about that - that would have been interesting. You can't trust these Greeks....

    Does anyone else think that quite a number of commentators on the Mandelson post are about to be booted down the black shoot and into the Guardian dungeons never to see the light of day again? Unless they manage to escape like the Count of Monte Cristo.....

  35. I know... and I so wanted you to see what I was wearing bru!

  36. Hey BB, what's the latest on your ATL gig? What are you gonna write about? I'd like to see you do something on FC Barcelona's cultural and political significance and how they are the best club in the world, bar one*. It would get loads of responses.

    *The Mighty Reds of course, and not your lot, or scherfig's. Charlatans both.

  37. Sorry for butting in btw, back to the footie (-;

  38. Montana

    Trying to deal with the racist nutters on CiF is like trying to play Whack-a-mole. Just when you think one is finished, another one pops up. I wonder if they just tag-team from the same office or something? Drives me nuts.

    Bru - never seen Samson and Delilah. I have Belgian friends in Antwerp who at at the opera all the time over there, and I gather you are very well provided for.

    As for greeks, there is an old saying: after shaking hands with a greek, count your fingers. I don't know where it comes from - Turkey probably.

    Kiz - what were you wearing? Tell all!

  39. Hank

    Well nobody has "followed it up" with me yet. I dunno. If I do write anything it is highly unlikely to be about teh footy. :p

  40. Understated Doris day cowgirl look... fitted checked shirt, dark blue, short sleeved, with pockets, courtesy of H+M... indigo levis, slim fit and little polka dot sneakers ballet pump style... How's that for glamour!

  41. @ BB

    I'm not in Hank's (and others)league look what they took the trouble to delete from my Mandelson comment:

    My comment 10 May 09, 12:46am (about 18 hours ago)

    "What a naff sickly article from a self seeking uber creep."

    Recommended (69

    Hardly a call to the barricades and so plainly arbitrary since it survived numerous trawls by the mods before finally falling. But then you all have plenty of experience of the silliness of it.

    Nonetheless you may be right some of today's commentators have a determined streak that may have to be punished.

    It's so daft one could well imagine:

    a) Georgina Gould is Mandelson's Godchild

    b) Georgia girl is a Guardian Mod part time.

    With summer coming on and the dogs needing more exercise a spell in the dungeons or even complete banishment might be good for my health. So if my small efforts have to be punished so be it.

    I survived several postings calling for the banishment on HankScorpio et al to be lifted. If a game of musical chairs amuses them and gets some interesting posters back on CiF I won't complain - I read more than I write so I wont loose out.


  42. Sounds like a nice outfit, Kiz. :)

  43. The repost of GreenCustardFinger's post that I made has now gone - removed without trace from CiF. You were right it didn't last long.

    At least there's a copy above for those with an eye for extreme emot's. It may/may not be original but I and many others had not seen it before and enjoyed it. All the more given who the finger was pointed at.

  44. Hi Beautiful Burnout

    Where do your friends live? I just got the book for the new opera season through the letterbox and it's a really good programmem this year. Actually yesterday's performance of the Inferno was at De Singel, a multi-discipline arts campus and it was quite funny. There are two main venues, the Red Hall and the Blue Hall. In the blue corner were all the bourgeois stalwarts going to a Brahms concert and in the red corner were the trendy/boho/fashionista crowd off to the Inferno which was staged by an Italian group.

    I also go to the Brussels opera a lot - La Monnaie - and to the theatre there.

    This summer Idée Fixe, which stages an opera each year in various castle venues, is putting on Aida and I'm wondering if there'll be elephants included. I think this year I'll be watching from the Bruges marketplace. Last time I went to the Castle of La Hulpe in Brussels for a stunning open air performance of Madame Butterfly. If only we could rely on the weather.


    Does sound like a nice outfit. Talking about ballet pumps, did I tell you that the last time I went to the ballet they were flogging autographed ballet slippers that the dancers had actually worn? Proceeds to the Royal Ballet of Flanders, who I see picked up an Olivier award in March. Anyway I bought a pair and they're on my coffee table under the programme of Swan Lake.

    BB - I know how you feel about your mother's death on mother's day. My mother passed away two years ago on the day before my birthday and I honestly haven't been able to celebrate my birthday since - I leave it for a week or two.

    On a lighter note - I must see the last episode of Damages tonight - want to know what happens to Patty Hughes....

  45. My mum... christmas eve 4 years ago... kinda changed Christmas...

  46. Oh and bru... if billp trys to draw you into a rant I think it would be a really really good idea to pay no attention whatsoever....

  47. Bru and Kiz

    Actually, my mum was just before xmas, not on mothers day, so I wasn't very clear. Soz.

    Something about losing your mum that just can't be expressed, isn't there?

    My friends - Leen lives in Antwerp itself and is doing a doctorate in biology that involves a lot of research into zebra fish at the moment. She did explain it to me, but my eyes started to glaze over. Her BF lives just outside, and I can't remember the name of the little town.

    They keep telling me to come over to the Opera with them. I guess it is only a couple of hours or so in the car through the tunnel from where I am so maybe I should.

    Bizarrely, we also go to I Love Techno together too sometimes :D

  48. BB and Kizbot

    BB - if your friend is doing a doctorate in biology it's very likely she's studying at the university campus near where I live - there are several campuses spread over the city - two are in the green belt. If you like jazz ask her to take you to the Middelheim Jazz festival - it's an annual event now and takes place in the parks area. (I live round the corner). It's very well attended and a great outdoors event. You should try the opera as well. You can get info on their website - just google Vlaamse Opera. Highlights this year would be Madame Butterfly and one of my favourites, Don Carlos.

    I also have a good friend called Leen - but she's in Leuven.

    Kizbot - no way have I any intention of replying or even acknowledging BP's existence again. I'm very fortunate in real life not to have to associate with jerks like him and I'm certainly not going to bother in cyberspace. Life's too short and there are too many pleasant things to concentrate on....

    Take care guys.


  49. Bru, BB, Kiz: seems to have turned into something of a girls’ night in.

    My commiserations to you all for losing your mothers (mine’s still alive, or was when I last spoke to her about a month ago).

    Wonder what fact about May 11 Montana will pick to get us all talking?

    Goodnight Ladies (I’m going to leave you now).

  50. New thread on gender equality, by Jenni Russell, just gone up ...

  51. andy

    "mine’s still alive, or was when I last spoke to her about a month ago"

    A month ago?! Get on that bloody phone.

    Seriously, I would give 5 years of my life to have five more minutes with my Mum.

  52. @deano - it was a great emoticon, inspired actually. You in pre-mod yet as a result of re-posting?

    And andy, call your mum.

  53. Parallax: "Interesting points billp. Did the mods ever give you a reason for premod?"

    No. I have never received any notification at all regarding being censored. I often wonder when I hear about people having received emails. I have an email account attached to my Cif name, but I've never received anything from them.

    "So when you say:

    'So, although my individual opinion isn't important in the grand scheme of things, that I wasn't responding properly to the conditioning represented a threat, in that it interfered with the smooth-running of the experiment'

    do you reckon you were modded for being unpleasant?"

    No. Perhaps "on paper". But I don't think that was the real reason. You could dub absolutely anything "unpleasant" if you twisted it enough.

    "Or were you modded because your determination to get to the bottom of your question sucked all the oxygen out of the thread?"

    This is a possibility (and, at a superficial level, fair criticism, if meant as that). Of course, it would depend on what you feel the point of Cif really is, as THEY see it. If you feel that there are a bunch of fair-minded journalistic types out to feel the pulse of a nation or the world, then perhaps my style could be seen as intrusive or disruptive at times. If you feel that it is an experiment into what freedoms people will give up in order to have an easy platform (for blandly encouraging others to side with left or right) and a sense of belonging, and a pat on the head for being "pleasant", it might not.

    "But then, how does trying to get a sensible answer from a sane question work on Cif?"

    It doesn't work. They install little invisible ski slalom gates, and you have to manoeuvre through them or be "disqualified". As the new "Moderation" thread shows, they won't answer anything that interferes with or points to the existence of the experiment, except with something dismissive. As I've said, people who insist on doing that are marginalised by having their input deleted, then vetted, then disallowed altogether.

    "I notice that there's some backlash on this thread as well - which is alarming if the thread is set up as a protected area for the cif unwelcome. So, either you're the great misunderstood or ...what?"

    I don't believe anyone misunderstands what I'm writing, either on Cif or here (although people have an unlimited capacity for self-delusion). I call for absolute freedom (FOR ALL) to express an OPINION. I don't fear others opinions. I know that opinions don't convince others of anything - unless, deep down, the others secretly hold those same opinions. In which case, they may be encouraged to voice those real opinions and, through strength of numbers, effect some change. Deep down, all people share my opinion re FoE for themselves, if, perhaps, they would still deny it to others.

    This works both for "good" motives and "bad". Germany didn't become "Nazi Germany" through one man hypnotising the others. Before it became NG, it was latent NG. Hitler just stood up and said what the majority of the others were already thinking, but fearing to utter. Then they all came out the prejudice and uberrace closet, en masse. I don't doubt that most Germans STILL think it. All they lack at present is opportunity.

    Basically, I believe that these things exist as emotions in the "heart", before becoming thoughts in the mind, then actions (to include statements).

    In context, I can hear lots of people, including most people writing here, making funny squeaky noises as their hearts try to overcome their fears (of losing the cosy fireside, of being ostracised, of being called a conspiracy theorist, of being thought a loony, or a troublemaker, etc.), and make their minds accept what I'm saying. When they do, it won't be long before they opine accordingly.

    Primary school is the great training ground for conformity. People learn there the painful repercussions of going against the flow. Most adults express themselves with the emotional wherewithal of a primary school pupil. Just look at this place. "Oh, you weren't very nice to Jay...", etc. It's sad to behold emotionally-bonsaid people.

    "Your comments about uniformity work for me - but what are we conforming to if we keep within the rules? And this is interesting. On threads like this, maybe it's a club atmosphere - but on Cif, what's that about?"

    I'm not sure I made any comments on uniformity. Perhaps I've forgotten. Keeping within vague and ambiguous rules means accepting the legitimacy of such rules. It means accepting that an ambiguous rule may be held to be, in fact, a rule - when it can't be. A rule, by definition, must be unambiguous. I feel it is incumbent upon all people who feel sensible rules are necessary for a society to thrive, to reject ALL ambiguous "rules" as dross. The acceptance of ambiguous rules on forums, etc., will ultimately lead to the acceptance of (or, better, the inability to argue against) ambiguous laws (beyond the already flawed interpretative style laws we now have).

    "Well maybe in the GU towers it's entertainment."

    I wouldn't count on that. The media have shown over and over that they are in the propaganda business. That propaganda must serve someone or something. I say it serves the establishment. I want to know why the establishment sees fit to try to bamboozle me with marketed "news". What does the establishment get out of being successful in doing that?

    "Someone said recently that it'd be ok to allow strident voices if threads were a reality TV show otherwise they should shut up, but... and I stopped at the 'but'. *Lightbulb* moment - it IS reality thread time on Cif. It's been going long enough now for posters to have personalities. The readers (far out-numbering the posters) are locked into a soap opera of personalities. The earnestness of posters to reclaim their rights has nothing to do with the weight of their arguments but has everything to do with *personalities* disappearing from the site."

    Propaganda always seeks to control the presentation of "personalities". It tells us who the "evildoers" are, and who the "alies" are. It looks for bearded baddies and clean-shaven sheriff type goodies. At the moment, it is telling us who is "unpleasant", by:

    1. Saying "Now Johnny, that's not a NICE thing to say."

    2. Standing Johnny in the corner to think about what he did. He should be ashamed of himself.

    3. Expelling Johnny as incorrigible.

    The new Mod thread is like one big school assembly, where the headmistress, deputy headmaster and teachers are alternatively reiterating that "we know best, not you" and congratulating selected pupils for their nice, clean uniforms and tidy handwriting.

    "Cif knows this - there is, I'm sure, advertising revenue that responds to clicks on the site and most will be following the reality drama."

    Look again. There is, to all intents and purposes, ZERO external advertising on GU. There may be the odd ad from time to time, for appearances sake, but a preponderance of ad space is taken up by Google Ads (mostly for non-profits) and Guardian Shop stuff. You couldn't convince me that GU is a financial going concern. I'm guessing they designed it that way.

    "What do reckon? Were you modded for being unpleasant or for stopping the story-flow? Have we misunderstood that Cif debate is irrelevant and that anyone persistent enough to want a debate is frowned upon?"

    I was modded for twigging what they were up to (conditioning people to make them modify and censor their own free speech and opinions, for the reward of belonging and being heard) and questioning them about it. I was also modded for exposing their fallibility and, by extension, making them suspect as an authority. Basically, I pointed out every time the teacher made a mistake. Since there began to be a danger that the other pupils would begin to doubt the teacher as being the font of all knowledge and temple of moral superiority, I (and those like me, i.e., those who persisted in opining whatever they pleased) had to be silenced.

    Premodding is akin to a pub landlord dealing with a "troublemaker", not by kicking him out and banning/suspending him, but by having the offender whisper his future conversational contributions into his ear, and him passing on the acceptable ones to the rest of the pub's occupants.

    Premod is an isolation tank. Its purpose is to attempt to recondition the occupant to accept less than absolute freedom of expression of opinion. The claim that it serves as a warning is ludicrous. As someone pointed out on Cif, if a poster breaks the stated Talk guidelines often, their posts should be deleted often.

    Anyone who requests or forces another to be "pleasant" or "friendly" or "considerate" in expressing an opinion is a would-be censor. I acknowledge that there are times and places for such censorship: In granny's parlour, at the trigger end of a gun, at the funeral service, when addressing properly diagnosed nervous wrecks, etc., however, anywhere that calls itself a discussion FORUM can't be included in such a list.

  54. Oh Gowd ... he's back

  55. dan, I wouldn't agree that a "womb envy" exists. The almost lifelong biological penalty for having such "power" offsets any benefits.

    I would say though, that men may be jealous of the mother-child bond that a father could never hope to have with his offspring.

  56. I don't think they like irritants. Which is silly, becuase irritants provoke thought and discussion. If everyone agreed it would be incredibly boring. I like the threads where I've got someone to argue against, I don't see the point otherwise.

    In real life I am mostly polite, bite my tongue a lot and keep the peace when I have to. That's why I like CIF, it's say what you want and stuff the consequences. Not everyone wants to argue, but I do, that's why I go there.

  57. I think I should make clear that although I am against any form of external censorship of opinion, I do agree that some self-censorship in that regard is usually beneficial to the speaker.

    I say a person should be free to opine freely whatever enters his head. I don't advise that he do it.

  58. That leads to the little-practiced concepts known as "understanding" and "tolerance".

    If a person DOES choose to freely opine anything that enters his head, or some things that enter his head that a reasonable person might believe would have been better off left unuttered, his audience should tolerate that, in the understanding that the utterer probably does not enjoy as much self-control as they do.

    Tolerate, that is, the utterer, not the utterance. That may be freely shot to shinola.

    I feel it is a sign of emotional maturity to be able to separate the utterance from the utterer, the behaviour from the behaver, the sin from the sinner.

    Of course, we all err in that regard, to one extent or another. That will continue as long as humans have emotions. However, we should at least try to recognise that failing in ourselves when it occurs, and seek to reduce the instances of its indulgence.

    So, I don't agree with that, not, I don't agree with you. That's ridiculous, not, you're ridiculous. He committed a murder, not, he is a murderer.

  59. "alternatively reiterating" should have been "alternately reiterating".

  60. If anyone is still up and in need of an otherworldly soundtrack, my DJ alter ego is doing his radio show over the next couple of hours.

    listen online.

    Recommend you bring a big bag of weed, an open mind and open ears.

    Dress: optional.

  61. Optional? Okay, naked it is.

  62. What chance did Bill and Ben have BUT to end up walking and talking that way, when it was constantly being suggested/offered.

  63. DownwiththekidsHank10 May, 2009 23:34

    Ally - cool. I'll listen in. Can you send out a big hello to the MrPinchy Posse?

    Btw, all the cool kids are over at the other place...

  64. Ally - erm, I've got dandelions. I don't think they're going to do much for music appreciation, however.

  65. It was so much better before the PC censorship brigade took control. Spike Milligan's 1980's grasp of how global events would unfold decades later was inspired...


    What is it he says the tube was full of, at 0:36?

  66. @ HaqnkScorpio

    No sign of pre mod - unless an email in tommorrows post. Think probably not I'm small beer.

    A poster by name of zoom reposted a deleted post four times (all deleted) and also seems to have got away with it.

    What the bastards did do was to close down the Mandelson thread very early!

    Regards and farewell early night beckons (have nasty toothache)

    There is a sign of improved things. I was born in '47 of a generation who regarded a set of false teeth as the ideal 21st Birthday present but I still have my own teeth to complain about.

  67. I know it's late, but I hope all you mothers were acknowledged for what you are.