11 June 2009

Daily Chat 11/06/09

Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon on this day in 1509 and in 1919, Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes and the first Triple Crown of American horse racing. Celebrating birthdays today: Athol Fugard, Gene Wilder, Jackie Stewart and Hugh Laurie. It's Kamehameha Day in Hawaii.

107 comments:

  1. "Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes and the first Triple Crown of American horse racing"

    God, I love horse racing. Flat or National Hunt, makes no difference, I love everything about it. If I had the money, I'd own a racehorse, although maybe best to bear in mind the words of my wise old man:

    How do you make a small fortune out of horse racing?

    Start with a large one.

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  2. The Oxford topic got shut down last night, seems the comm mods got the fear about that one and expected a flaming. I reckon it has earned it though

    Mendoza

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  3. Its back up again now though, my goodness, she's made a proper ninny of herself hasn't she? When MsWoman dosn't support a gender issue its proof beyond all doubt that you're talking shite.....

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  4. @D'nibor:

    Quite. Poor Rowenna, she'll be needing a bigger windmill to tilt at next time.

    I'm not too worried, though, I'm sure her supportive colleagues at the Graun will be able to find something with suitably large sails for her to charge at.

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  5. I'm sure to the good students of Oxford it's probably a burning issue but what the hell does it have to do with the rest of us?
    Where she cocked up was by stating "Whether you like it or not, Oxford produces future leaders of this country".

    Well actually we don't like it one bit, come to think about it.

    And we're also a bit bloody suss about how the vast majority of the Guardian staff writers seems to come from Oxbridge anyway.

    It's a national newspaper but it seems that most of the people writing for it, come from basically the same background? It's hardly got the widest base of personal experience to draw from.

    Mendoza

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  6. Ooo a Bidisha thread has just gone up....

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  7. Well true CiF tradition would dictate that they either ask him to respond or get someone else to pose a counter view.

    But where on earth could they dig up another Oxbridge grad with a different experience.....hmmmnnn

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  8. "When MsWoman dosn't support a gender issue its proof beyond all doubt that you're talking shite....."

    Yep, that really should set alarm bells ringing. Anything other than "great article!" from Cath means you have done something seriously wrong.

    The Guardian seems to all intents and purposes a closed shop. It then has the chutzpah to make whining about "equality" and "male privilege" a centrepiece of its editorial line. And it wonders why us ciffers get a little stroppy sometimes...

    Was one of those good cif moments though when the board unites from across the spectrum to pummel and berate a dreadful piece of writing. Gogarty is still the pinnacle though, a league of his own...

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  9. @mendoza:

    It's been an open secret for quite a while that the Graun's commentariat are predominantly "terribly concerned" progressive socialists of the fizzy, made in a certain region of France variety.

    Good to see Rapid Eddie, amongst others, giving this fact such a good airing.

    You'll notice I hesitate to use the words "journalists" about the Graun. I'm not sure they are journalists, at least in the sense you'd normally understand the term. Sure, they write words in a newwspaper but, at least as far as journalists breaking news, scooping rivals etc, well, I'm not sure that most of the Graun's happy bunch qualify.

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  10. @thauma:

    Cor, "turgid" is indeed the word for those two passages Bi quoted.

    And of course, Bi's new fave HAD to be a woman, didn't it? Kingsley Amis wrote Jake's Thing in 1978, but the scene in which he's describing his bafflement at a young female student asserting that Shakespeare was a woman, and the discussions about the "peerless Sappho" ring as true about the Graun's feminist writers nowadays as they did, no doubt, about Oxford in the late 70s.

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  11. Swifty, haven't read that, but will certainly put it a lot further up my list than wossername-the-mediaevalist.

    No-one insults Eco in my presence and gets away with it.

    Annoyingly, though, there's not much else in the piece to get excited about.

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  12. God, Cif is performing badly today. Poor kiz is in tears on WDYWTTA.

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  13. @thauma:

    Jake's Thing is very funny, but as usual with Amis, there's a lot of bitterness and pettiness in it. His son Martin thought it an "ungracious" novel, partly because of the lens of his parents' divorce.

    There are some genuinely laugh out loud funny bits in it, though. My copy's a bit tatty now, need a new one.

    I was wondering about the lack of Bi's usual lunacy. Is she growing up, or is she toning it down?

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  14. I was wondering about the lack of Bi's usual lunacy. Is she growing up, or is she toning it down?

    I know, she's practicaly amiable today? Name of the Rose isn't turgid tho..

    Mendoza.

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  15. And yeah, CiF has frozen my browser four times this morning.

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  16. I'll give Bi her due, though, she's got me thinking about the Middle Ages.

    I always wanted to see an animated version of the Bayeux Tapestry. And I used to love looking at pictures of medieval sieges, 100 Years War battles etc, skinny-legged little soldiers with crossbows, pikes and black coalscuttle helmets.

    Bit like this one, in fact.

    Imagine how *that* would look if it was animated into a film.

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  17. Swifty, you might like Bernard Cornwell's 'Grail Quest Trilogy'. It's a decent entertaining read with loads of military-type history.

    "A trilogy that deals with a mid-14th century search for the Holy Grail during the Hundred Years' War. An English archer, Thomas of Hookton, becomes drawn into the quest by the actions of a mercenary soldier called "The Harlequin," who murders Thomas's family in his own obsessive search for the Grail."

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  18. @scherfers:

    Actually, I've tried the first one of those books, Harlequin. Enjoyed it in its own way, but I'll be honest, I find Cornwell a bit "fussy" as a writer. I get the sense that getting every last detail correct is the thing, and that the stories exist as a skeleton to hang them on. Didn't really make me want to rush out and get any of the others.

    I may go back and read it again though. And cheers for the thought.

    DanP, you're a cartoonist, do you know any animators?

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  19. Hi, SwiftyBoy- how you doing?
    No, I know nobody- I live under an Italian stone and animators are busy people and animated movies are seriously expensive. I've done a bit and really enjoy it but it takes forever. I use Flash which is an excellent piece of software.

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  20. Alright Dan, doing just fine thanks mate.

    I was just idly wondering, really. I've always been fascinated by those early medieval artists. It's easy to scoff at their lack of artistry, say when you see huge soldiers peering out of tiny towers, but when people say they had no sense of perspective, they're clearly wrong. You just have to take a look at the beautifully drawn landscape in the distance to realise that they knew that "far away" meant "smaller".

    I think it's much more likely that they were using the scale of the various objects in those illustrations to show hierarchy, if I can put it that way. The soldiers were more important than the towers they were peering out of, in other words.

    If I wasn't going to blow my fortune on a racehorse, I'd be collecting illuminated manuscripts, I reckon.

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  21. Swifty - buying a racehorse isn't necessarily terribly expensive (unless of course your goal is to win the Derby or the National).

    Keeping the bloody thing, now *that's* expensive!

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  22. @thauma:

    Heh, tell me about it. My wife's a bit "horsey" but I've always put my foot down. Now my daughter's got the pony bug, and there's a couple of stables up the road.

    It's going to be an expensive few years ahead, I reckon...

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  23. She's not toning it down Mendoza, every so often Biddy writes a reasoned article about a neutral subject, she even comes BTL to engage and banter.

    And then a few weeks later she storms in with a corker. Check the history.....

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  24. Swifty
    Same thing happens in Roman art. The 'lack of perspective' actually allows you to do more with the image: you can include much more narrative & information than a single perspectival viewpoint allows. The hierarchy thing's true too.

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  25. @Fencewalker:

    Good point about the Romans. And in Ancient Egyptian art, too (Pharaoh was always the largest figure in the picture). Indeed, Pharaoh's arm drawing the bowstring had to be drawn behind his body, because nothing could eclipse him (not even his own body part).

    And I guess even further back as well... those "mother goddess" figurines beloved of prehistoric man with the overly large breasts and sex organs.

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  26. Apart from Akhenaten and the peculiar "school of art" he fostered, obviously.

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  27. Egyptian art boasts the first monumental sculpture in the round. It also has an enormous, if broken off, stiffy,IIRC.

    Greek art's another one. Look the Elgin Marbles: all the deities are sitting, yet the same height as the standing mortals.

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  28. Swifty - just think of it as buying a second home, cos it'll be about another mortgage payment every month....

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  29. I've been wondering who Bob Ainsworth reminded me of, and finally it's clicked:

    http://blog.evolvedsoftwarestudios.com/2009/01/23/how-to-successfully-appeal-a-cis-penalty-fine-construction-industry-scheme/

    Agree?

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  30. @Fencewalker:

    Indeed. The god Min had an enormous erect cock, pink steel you might say.

    Caused Victorian and Edwardian archaeology endless problems, and no doubt induced fainting fits and attacks of the vapours in plucky governesses travelling round the sights of Ancient Egypt.

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  31. Yes, Min's always a laugh (though Bes is my favourite Egyptian deity). They used to Bowdlerise his image in the Petrie Museum. But I don't think this one was Min; it's in the Ashmolean. Wonder if I can find it...

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  32. That chalk bloke is pretty impressive too.

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  33. The Cerne Abbas giant? I saw people making out quite aggressively in the car park when I visited.

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  34. ...and his knob was reduced in size from its original.

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  35. "And then a few weeks later she storms in with a corker. Check the history....."

    Do you reckon the sub-ed's have an ongoing bet with her?

    "We'll think of a title and you have to write an article about it"

    "Sci-Fi's obsession with with rayguns, betrays the ongoing male desire, for the ultimate penis substitute"

    Mendoza

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  36. Yes, that's the one! Seems there may be something in the old fertility rites, then.

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  37. I'm feeling we could tie these two together,

    Bidisha on: "why the Cerne Abbas giant is an oppresive male symbol and must be destroyed" anyone?

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  38. Swifty - LOL @ yr comment on Kia's thread!

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  39. @thauma:

    Ta, I can never resist a wide-open goal.

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  40. I see Seaton's replied to you directly....

    Kia submitted this herself, ACTUALLY....

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  41. Swifty


    "ook, we've dropped a bit of a bollock yesterday, thingummy's friend Rowenna's opened a bit of a Pandora's Box about our elitist recruiting practices here, please can you get your guys..."

    Magnificent.

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  42. @D'nibor:

    "I see Seaton's replied to you directly...."

    Has he? Christ, I'm honoured. I can't get on there at the moment, something's very screwy about CiF today, it's causing Explorer to hang, performance goes up to 100% CPU usage in Task Manager...

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  43. Ah yes, so he has. And Kia too.

    "I know that's probably what it looks like, but as Matt pointed out, I wasn't commissioned for this piece; it was a genuine reaction to the comments in Rowenna Davis's piece."

    She'll go far at Graun Towers, that young lady - well, as far as a non-Oxford-educated young lady can go at Graun Towers, obviously.

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  44. Nice one on Cif SwiftyBoy but I must tell you that when I recommended it your count went up 3.
    As I've said before, when I rec my own I only get one. Not on is it?
    Regarding fertility symbols, my daughter brought back from Egypt a statuette of a chap with an enormous dong but only one leg, does anybody know the name of this entity?

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  45. @colin:

    It's my secret Oxbridge connection, I get 3 recommends for every 1 anyone else gets.

    Re. your monopedal donkey-rigged god - was it this one?

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  46. It was a cracker SB!

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  47. Colin:

    Could very well be Min, who was ipthyphalic & could be represented in mummiform (as distinct from the commonly seen Amun-Min who was basically Amun-Re with a enormous erection & a flail held behind his head).

    On the subject of censoring ancient art. The two obelisks bases in front of Luxor temple; oneof the obelisks is now in the Place de la Concorde, feature rows of baboons in a pose of adoration for the rising sun. Unfortunately, an early French egyptologist, got rather upset by the fact that these baboons eachfeatured a rather large, erect, penis &, therefore, he put quite a bit of effort into knocking each & every one of the offending members off.

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  48. Swifty,
    No, our chap is nekkid and obviously one legged.

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  49. Odd; I'd have gone with GP01 there. Min can look kinda one legged sometimes.

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  50. SwiftyBoy & Fencewalker- back again after taking the missus to the phsiotherapist (?) cos she fell out of a tree and broke her foot... don't ask...
    Yeah, quite agree about pre-renaissance art and comic strips- lovely examples in Siena before they invented/discovered perspective and really admire that stuff. But what i love about comics is they have no intrinsic value, unlike yer "fine art" which is often ludicrously overvalued although i love to paint and would really like it if SOME of it were overvalued!

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  51. GPO1,
    One can only hope that the French person was cursed by the Gods with something similar.

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  52. Bugger Cif - it's crashed my browser for the 300th time today.

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  53. There's a Mithras wall painting in Rome which has a strip cartoon of the god's deeds around it, and some of the paintings at Dura Europus are quite cartoony too.

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  54. Ahh, the statue I was on about earlier - the first colossal sculpture in the round - was indeed Min.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Predynastic_statue_of_Min.JPG

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  55. @colin:

    I found a tantalising reference to Min having an arm and a leg cut off before he became a god, but couldn't open the site...

    I reckon that, on the balance of probabilities, Min is indeed your man, but you never know.

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  56. An interesting Min Fact:
    "At least as early as the 6th Dynasty(2345-2181 BC) he was particvularly associated with the long (or 'Cos') lettuce (lattuca sativa), probably because of a perceived link between the milky sap of lettuces and human semen, and the depictions of Min often show a set of lettuces placed on an offering table beside him".
    - BM Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, s.v. "Min"

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  57. @Fencewalker:

    Certainly puts a new perspective on eating a salad.

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  58. ...and salad cream...

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  59. SwiftyBoy,
    Come to think of it he's only got one arm as well.
    Min it is then, though it sounds a bit Spike Milliganish.

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  60. With a knob that big you'd never get around to doing anything that needed two arms.

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  61. Speaking of huge dicks, I see that BTH is still banging on about the moronic Flinty. He really does love that woman.

    'And when Jenny Murray asked about "the sexy dress and the red lipstick" you could sense the overwhelming embarrassment she felt about asking this of someone whose good looks she'd doubtless give her right arm for.'

    Is it just me, or is that a touch patronising towards a professional journalist? He never seems to get his sycophancy quite right, does he?

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  62. I liked the way he griped about not being able to access his profile - or those of other people (wonder why) on WDYWTTA.

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  63. Scherfig:

    Even more appropriate that we should have been talking about Min immediately prior to BTH making an appearance; considering what Min's thought to be doing with his, seldom seen, right hand:)

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  64. "Is it just me, or is that a touch patronising towards a professional journalist? He never seems to get his sycophancy quite right, does he?"

    Indeed, he frequently disappoints my feminist sensibilitie - suggesting a female journalist isnt visually attractive really is rather 'unreconstructed'. He is in dire need of the re-education.

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  65. I would pay to watch you do that.

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  66. I know where you can get hold of a lump of wood with some nails through one end. But you can only have it if we get to watch.

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  67. Does any one else think that Brons looks like an old time Satanist? very like a Denis Wheatly bad guy. A cleric gone to the dark side.

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  68. That could apply to either BTH or Brons, obviously. Or even both.

    Fun times here today. Wish I'd had the time...

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  69. "Show him the pigs!"

    Steady on old boy, you cant get the pigs out for any old sycophant.

    I think monkeyfish would be the best candidate to have a bit of robust dialogue with old BTH.

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  70. Andy, you don't mean you've actually being working, do you? ;-)

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  71. thauma: yep, finally getting those assignments under my belt.

    I even went into college this PM to hand some stuff in.

    It's been so long since I was last there, no one recognised me.

    Working at the Forest tomorrow, then one final push over the weekend and it's all done...

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  72. Well, done, sir, I congratulate you.

    I had a similar experience with a history course that I took as an irresponsible undergrad. I don't think I turned up for a single lecture in the second half of the term, except for the last one before the final exam.

    I walked in, sat down, the prof walked in, clocked me, pointed at me, and boomed out (in his Lithuanian accent): "You! What are you doing here?"

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  73. Jay - so, some of my mates reckon that McGeechan has instructed them to play badly or make things harder on themselves on purpose.

    Me, I think it's wishful thinking but I hope they're right.

    Shame about Ferris & Halfpenny and I wish we had a decent scrum-half.

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  74. Sorry for posting diarrhoea but I'm bored.

    Am working on system maintenance stuff that consists of:

    *pick pick pick*
    *OK*
    *wait 20 minutes for damn stupid fucking inefficient software to catch up*

    Bit like Cif, which I daren't try to access in case system crashes. That's why I'm annoying you lot.

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  75. Not to worry Thauma, been getting the same problems with Cif of late, so comments have been few & far between over there; even on the rare occasions when it doesn't fail to display them or crash my browser.

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  76. Thaum - wishful thinking i'd say. Scrumhalf wise could do a lot worse than Phillips, and he plays with Jones a lot, i suspect Jones will start. No great options at tighthead i dont tihnk, Vickers isnt what he used to be but i would still go for him over Jones, better in scrums and loose and more experienced, world cup winner. Flyhalf is another week spot, but other than that i think the teams looking good. They didnt finish well last night first half but think they kept it too tight, hopefully they'll throw it out a bit more against the boks if they're camped on the line.

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  77. GP01 - yes, it's dire.

    If I get brave enough to go there, I think I will post a request on WDYWTTA that Tanya's slighted bride be given an ATL column to explain what it's like to be Tanya's friend.

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  78. I don't rate Phillips as a scrum half - he's rubbish at getting a quick ball out. Nice try he scored yesterday, though.

    O'Gara wasn't playing his usual game yesterday - getting more involved in tackling etc. than he generally does. I still think he's the best option, and I'd put Hook second. But you are right - for some unfathomable reason, Jones will probably be first choice. Could be OK if he lets someone else do the kicking!

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  79. Aah, Bidisha- what a little cutie pie! And so intellectual...

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  80. thaumaturge,
    Ta. I've just joined this and don't know my way around.

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  81. Colin - welcome to the Untrusted! You'll catch up on the shorthand soon!

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  82. "
    If I get brave enough to go there, I think I will post a request on WDYWTTA that Tanya's slighted bride be given an ATL column to explain what it's like to be Tanya's friend."

    I'd enjoy that.

    I agree Phillips isnt the quickest to get the ball out but he is good in all other respects, i think he makes up for it really.

    O'Gara's just too weak. He got bashed about in the 6ns let alone the Boks, they'd throw him around like a doll. I loathe Jones but would be surprised if he didnt start.

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  83. You leave ROG alone! All I hear from my mates (predominantly Welsh, for my sins) is the same sort of thing you're saying. Ronan is a lovely lad and a grand slam + Munster successes is hardly testament to his inadequacies.

    /thaumaturge retracts claws

    On scrum half, I think quick ball is going to be very important (look how the Sharks stole it) and either Tomás O'Leary or Peter Stringer would be an asset. People have being saying "big is better" for the Lions tour, but I reckon Stringer could run under their legs. He's smaller than I am. (Well, shorter - I would hope he outweighs me a bit!)

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  84. "Well, shorter - I would hope he outweighs me a bit!"

    I wouldnt count on it, he weighs about 7 stone and is smaller than Hazel Blears.

    I'd still go for phillips.

    O Gara is a quality player but he's getting on, the game changes, backs are much bigger these days, and the Boks are always huge and very physical - they would target his channel and they would run over him, can you imagine him trying to stop Spies? It would be embarrassing for everyone involved.

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  85. I think another of Tanya's friends has turned up on her thread. Check out first-time poster princesssuri :o)

    'OMG! this is hilarious and you are so on the money.
    ... I rang the bride and said, "this is absurd - you are getting a present I choose from Macy's or Bloomingdales".'

    What are these fucking people like?

    PS thauma, on the Bidisha thread someone mentioned Susanna Gregory - worth checking her out.

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  86. Trivial point of Cif irritation here: Why are Kia Abdullah & Ariane Sherine's profile pictures so effing 'cheesecake'? Why can't they just have normal profile pictures?

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  87. colinthestoat
    Ref Brons - Private Eye exposed his Nazi beliefs this week, dating back to P.E. issues in 1973.

    Gotcha !

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  88. Montana Wildhack
    Soumaya Ghanoushis was the best: Silver veil, eyeliner, coy/sexy smile "I'm devout AND a hottie - look at me !"

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  89. All right, Reilly, I have been trying to pull up Stringer's profile on the Irish rugby website, but it's not working. I'm sure it say he's 5'6 and not 5'7 as Wikipedia does. I am 5'7.

    According to Wiki, he is 72 kg (11 st) whereas I am just under 60 kg. So :-P. And its all pure muscle so don't pick a fight.

    Scherfig - thanks. Name rings a faint bell; may have read one once! Will check out.

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  90. Montana - actually I think they have a talented team of photographers at the Graun, for the most part. (I don't know whether the Oxbridge exclusivity extends to them or not.)

    Not counting the news photos, which are often stunning (and the pics that make me feel very sorry for one G. Brown), some of the ATL writers' photos are great - Marina Hyde and Charlie Brooker spring to mind. Completely embody their style.

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  91. thaumaturge
    Marina Hyde and Charlie Brooker actually offer quality too... interesting that ...

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  92. ELGIN Marbles!!! Elgin? They're not his and never were, the thieving vandal twat!
    It's the Parthenon Frieze if you don't mind... And we want it back... we've just built a rather lovely new home for it...

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  93. Gone all Greek Kiz!

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  94. Thauma, that's kind of my point. Other Graun profile pics are quite good, but Sherine & Abdullah's pics make it hard to take them seriously, if you ask me. That peek-a-boo thing behind the hair, the flirty expressions. Did they get their gigs because they're good writers or because they're babes?

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  95. Gone all greek anonymous..? it's not a new thing... I'm an adopted daughter... kinda one third greek most of the time and freakin completely greek when it comes to stolen treasures...

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  96. I foolishly jested Kiz.One third Greek and two thirds Blackpool is not a mix to be messed around with. - Regards.

    Nice one over on Martin's Montana - the copy and paste not working so cant cite you here. You plainly understand more of what is misguided about NuLab than the Guardian's staff. - Regards to you too.

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  97. Bitterweed,
    Brons a nazi? I suspected as much.

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  98. The stats are wrong Thaum, he is smaller than Blears, he's 4' 6".

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  99. Fathers Day soon and Tesco have £10 off a bottle of Glenmorangie (a quaffable Thursday night Malt if ever I had one)

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  100. @anonymous,

    Thanks. I'm starting to think I should try to get a job writing about British politics for some American rag. My comments on those threads always seem to be my most recommended ones.

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  101. @ Montana - You should know about these things I was born in 47 .

    Young Miss I think I have fallen in love with how you use the language

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  102. "I'm starting to think I should try to get a job writing about British politics for some American rag."

    You should give it a go Montana.

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