14 July 2009

Daily Chat 14/07/09

Well, apart from the time a bunch of French peasants stormed a prison back in 1789, not much of note has happened on this date in history and the only vaguely interesting people who seem to be celebrating a birthday today are Harry Dean Stanton, Javier Solana, David Mitchell and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. So, I guess it's Vive la France! today, then. Here's Mireille to put us in the mood:

[Video deleted to help page load faster]


  1. Vive La Revolution! would be my preferred slogan of the day.

    But as we haven’t yet set up our own Committee of Public Safety, we can still disagree on minor points without wanting to send each other to the guillotine.

    Deano: I’ve finished reading that book, and I’m hoping to share my thoughts on it and related matters with you all in the near future, i.e. when I get round to writing something substantive rather than just a quick 82 word toss-off.

  2. Actually, maybe I should give the French a little more credit.

    I’d like to propose “Vive La Revolution” as the preferred slogan for everyday use, but “Vive La Revolution Francaise” for today.

  3. I remember reading that when Stephensons Rocket completed it's first run from Liverpool to Manchester, the waiting crowd of proto-bolshy mancs greeted the incoming train by waving the French tri-colour and chanting just that.
    It was fairly touch and go, between 1830 and 1867, that we didn't have a revolution in this country.
    Judging from the civil war and what happened in France it wouldn't of been pretty.
    You do wonder though "what if?"


  4. Men doza

    Giz a break r kid - "what if"

    If only.................I had control of my disorded dick

    Glad to repory I didn't.


  5. Mendoza says:
    'Judging from the civil war and what happened in France it wouldn't of been pretty.
    You do wonder though "what if?"'

    The American and French and British radicals of the late 18th and early 19th centuries looked back to the English Revolution for inspiration, conservatives looked back for a warning!

    We had it all before anyone else. In the mid to late 17th century, Godly Scotland was soaked in presbyterian stasi-type committees which encouraged neighbours to spy on one another for signs of papacy, witchcraft or dissent. In at least one case, a man was condemned for staring out of a window when he should have been praying.

  6. Ed

    I love the quality of your posts - true to tell in that Fox Quaker way. I enjoy reading you.

    "...condemned for staring out of a window........."

    Damn near my definition of free............


  7. @Mendoza:

    "What if?"

    Couple of years of bloody terror by the forces of revolution, followed by a counter-revolution and a couple of years of bloody terror by the forces of reaction, followed by a period of domestic political calm and Empire-building, followed by a period of European nation-consolidating, followed by the Ems Dispatch, followed 34 years later by the Schlieffen Plan scything through plucky Belgium, followed by...

    I reckon.

  8. 'Damn near my definition of free............'

    Oh and mine! Love that Larkin line about staring out the window to see the moon 'thinned to an air-sharpened blade'.

    It was Captain Beefheart's favourite verse line also (though I still can't make anything out of Trout Mask Replica!)

  9. Oh that disorded mid west woman Montana................

    ...a french lass sings for me ..........volia J'adore

    I wish it were not the case but it is - talk to me in French (if you be a lass) and I want to get on top of you. That Piaf lass has so much to explain.

    I am Deano I am in control of my soul. I am 62 I know the lie of the land.But.........

    If only ............if only I had not encounterd

    Frederick Furnivall

  10. Incidentally...

    George Stephenson was a remarkable man. Raised in poverty, self-educated, he is as close to the epitome of "the Victorian" as anyone I can think of.

  11. 'In at least one case, a man was condemned for staring out of a window when he should have been praying.'

    Edwin, are you sure that it wasn't because he had refused to pay his window tax? (Incidentally, post-revolutionary France had a window tax too.)

  12. Love the fact that he intensely disliked southern scientific types, and so many years before CiF!

  13. @Vari:

    He's my kind of bloke, alright...

    I know his steam engine work wasn't technically "Victorian" (it was late Georgian, nitpickers), but still... I have a great admiration for men like him, his son Robert (was thoroughly depressed to hear two business types debating the identity of his statue outside Euston Station recently), W G Armstrong, Brunel and all the other great engineers.

  14. Have you visited the museum in Chesterfield? We went regularly on school trips and it really did engage us, it seems surprising now....Wonder if it's still as much fun and as interesting for the DSLite generation...

    Lets hope so.

  15. @Vari:

    Nope, not Chesterfield, but growing up as I did 20 miles north of York, the Railway Museum was a regular destination.

    Incidentally, while standing on platform 5 at Clapham Junction last week, we had the lovely spectacle of a "seaside special" steam train pulling in. Brilliant. Taking a quick look around, almost everyone was smiling. For some reason, it seems that steam trains still hold a particular sway over the British.

  16. SwiftyBoy

    Oh sweet child SB me 62 U 42 I have the shout.

    I love you and the special way you construe and dis construe our language. You is ace.

    I have to tell you - there is only one Victorian.

    Man's name is Frederick Furnivall.

    If beyond your dearest girl child you have a lad - the mans name should stand close by ..............

    Like me he could not have enough of those wonderful girls.


  17. We've promised to take our children on the steam train to Corfe Castle as seen on Something Special, my only fear is that they might actually expire with the excitement.....

  18. @ Vari

    I would be proud to play a small part in your kids lives.

    Like - if you don't eat your porridge you will end up a twat like him.

    I an your servile would be grand person - if "if only I could tame the wild wanker"

    Give them a kiss from Deano.

  19. @Vari:

    I've never been on it, but I've seen that train from the top of Corfe Castle, quite a sight.

    A bit closer to home (near Sheffield Park in Sussex), we've the Bluebell Railway. And ee when I were a lad... Pickering was only a few miles away for a quick fix of the North Yorks Moors Railway.

  20. Hi Scherfig - no, definitely just staring! I don't have a source for that particular incident other than James Robertson's fine novel The Fanatic, but he can be trusted to get such details right.

    There is a horrible scene in the novel when a large number of Irish 'camp followers' attached to Montrose's army are captured and murdered. There were many such scenes in Scotland (and England and Ireland) during the 'Three Kingdoms' war, with 'Men of God' on all sides urging the killers on.

  21. I'm here, been ciffing a fair bit this morning, which is actually really hard because there is just nothing interesting on the whole damn site!

  22. @Vari:

    Is he with this lovely young lady?

    Or this one?

    I think we should be told.

  23. I know! What on earth did you find to comment on? I posted my first comment in ages on the childbirth thread, but it was as much to divert myself from work as through any genuine desire to make a point....

  24. I'm still laughing about Duncan James out of Blue coming out as a bisexual (seriously, who knew?). And more particularly, about the identity politics brigade trying to create a new persecuted minority to get all vocal and outraged about.

  25. Well I surely hope that you're not implying Mr Reilly is dick led? Thats the stuff that Bindel's are made of....

    Jay might look at the Sun in the sandwich shop at lunchtime but it goes no further than that....

  26. I thought it was very brave of him to come out, particularly as Blue are reforming and getting a few media interviews.

  27. "Jay might look at the Sun in the sandwich shop at lunchtime but it goes no further than that...."

    Just reminded me! Guess who was writing in it today???? Come on people, she is a star of the BiBuBiBu renegade dance troupe??

    Yes, Julie Burchill, writing pretty crude nonsense for Murdoch. Just what i needed when tucking into my lunch.

    As for what i've been doing over at CIF, still rowing over PR with some hardcore defenders of FPTP, just got an admission from Cath that its actually only homosexuals who should be protected under the new incitement laws, not much happening really...

  28. Jay, the liveblog on the HOC committee investigation on Murdoch's NOTW has been interesting. And a bit weird. Nick Davies has been giving evidence about his story. I posted this when the coverage stopped rather abruptly:

    " '1.15pm: That's it. They've finished now.'

    I've been following the parliamentlive feed, and what actually happened was that the feed cut out in the middle of a sentence while Nick Davies was discussing the role of the police. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but they didn't actually finish at 1.15 as this blog claims. We were just denied access."


  29. I havent been following the NoW thing too closely actually, a brief synopsis anyone?

  30. The Graun's done some investigative journalism and reckons to have uncovered a policy of serial mobile phone hacking by the NotW. Plod has subsequently said there's no new evidence come to light as a result of the investigation. A select committee of MPs is currently chewing over the Graun's interpretation of events.

    Politically noteworthy because Andy Coulson (then Editor of NotW and by extension complicit in this policy, for which he resigned when Clive Goodman was sent to pokey for this) is now Cameron's right hand press bloke.

  31. Ah, sounds quite interesting. If there's been any wrongdoing in the upper echelons of the Westminster/media circles you can rest assured plod will always investigate fearlessly and thoroughly, just like the expenses...

  32. Brilliant, just had a little peek at the bi thread and encountered 'gender essentialism'....this resolution to learn something new every day really is coming together....

  33. A very silly person14 July, 2009 16:27

    OMG- If only I could learn...

  34. Ah, welcome back, "a very silly person". How's the head? Just awoken have we, fresh and ready to face (what's left of) the day?

  35. Bloody hell. A Sarah Palin piece on CiF. Not written by her, clearly, as it is in joined up writing, not crayon.

  36. Happy Bastille Day everyone, btw.

  37. a non learner14 July, 2009 16:50

    Don't rub it in Swifty - although you are entitled my dear young sir.

  38. I have an excuse.

    It's not a good one but it will have to do.

    I am in training. At the end of month(ish) my youngest will be 30 and his older brother and wife will return from their 12 month trip around the world.

    We shall drink and dance and be so very happy - I just thought I would have a little practice.


  39. elementary_watson14 July, 2009 18:08

    Don't make light of gender essentialism, Vari. It's one of those male traits which keeps women oppressed.

    Btw, is it just me, or does the Marseillaise lose quite a lot of its catchiness when it comes to "mugir ces feroces soldats"?

  40. @ elementary

    It is just you - half bake. But I do love the way you communicate.

  41. OK and for Bastille Day I'll listen to Gilbert Bécaud sing Jacques Brel's great classic "Et Maintenant."

    There's absolutely no connection but I love Bécaud singing that particular song.

    Bonsoir mes amis, mes amours, mes emmerdes...à vendredi.

  42. Et maintenant (ba-da-ba-dum ba-da-ba-dum)
    Que vais-je fai-re (ba-da-ba-dum ba-da-ba-dum)
    De tout ce temps (ba-da-ba-dum ba-da-ba-dum)
    que sera ma vie (ba-da-ba-dum ba-da-ba-dum)

    Choon, Bru! :o)

  43. I think we may already have had this conversation, but here’s my favourite version of La Marseillaise

    Vive La France!

  44. We did the other day, didn't we andy? I remember making a half-arsed attempt at translating it in all its bloody glory :D

  45. BB: yes we did, and even your blood-thirsty translation wasn't enough to put me off...

  46. Should that be sange-soif or something?

    I struggled to pass O level French nearly thirty years ago - can you tell?

  47. à nos amis français

    Oh, and did someone mention Jacques Brel? (English version by Bowie, but do google Brel's version too.

  48. Oh bugger, second link fucked up.

  49. Third time lucky. *sigh* Wine and linking don't go together very well.

  50. Thaum - that is one of my fave Brel pieces. The best in the world has to be Ne me quitte pas though. The last verse makes me blub nearly every time.

    Ne me quitte pas
    Je ne vais plus pleurer
    Je ne vais plus parler
    Je me cacherai là
    A te regarder
    Danser et sourire
    Et à t'écouter
    Chanter et puis rire
    Laisse-moi devenir
    L'ombre de ton ombre
    L'ombre de ta main
    L'ombre de ton chien
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas
    Ne me quitte pas


    Don't leave me
    I'm not going to cry anymore
    I'm not going to speak anymore
    I'll just hide there
    Watching you
    Dancing and smiling
    And hearing you
    Singing and laughing
    Let me become
    The shadow of your shadow
    The shadow of your hand
    The shadow of your dog
    Don't leave me
    Don't leave me
    Don't leave me
    Don't leave me...

  51. Good translation, BB, and another great song!

  52. Just watched it twice



  53. If we’re having a Brel fest (and why not?) here’s Scott Walker singing the English language version of “Ne me quitte pas”.

    Marc Almond also did a version of the same song, which was probably my introduction to Brel.

  54. We can't celebrate La révolution without saying, Non, je ne regrette rien!

  55. I've been looking for a decent version of Chevaliers de la table ronde, my favourite drinking song. So far I've found some weird film about Arthur, a nerdy guy playing a version of it (actually quite a good version!) on the accordion whilst sitting on a flowery sofa, and a karaoke version.

  56. Great scene, scherfig, but no-one is singing. You must remember THIS

  57. I think you’ve posted that one before scherf.

    The video is kind of interesting, and we all like a happy ending, but the song doesn’t do much for me. Maybe I don’t get the message ‘cause I don’t understand the words...

  58. So, Bru's listening to this today?

    Well, I hum this one quite a bit, myself.

  59. Here is a whole album of Scott Walker sings Jacques Brel

    “Jackie” is a corker.

    Hey Montana, when are you going to dig out your copy of Terry Hall sings Jacques Brel?

  60. Bloody hell, Scherf! Long time since I heard that! (Fredricks Goldman Jones I mean) Superb.

    Another one from about the same sort of era. Could be my theme tune really:

    Etre ne quelque part

    We don't choose our parents
    We don't choose our family
    Neither do we choose
    The pavements of Manilla,
    Or Paris, or Algiers
    To learn how to walk
    To be born somewhere -
    To be born somewhere
    For the person who is born
    Is always just by chance

  61. That video tears me up. Being pregnant/going through childbirth was, in some ways the scariest thing I've ever done. Not long after I found out that I was pregnant, a cousin who was due to have her first baby in late May (my son was due in early Sept) found out that the baby would be born with a condition called tuberous sclerosis and have a life expectancy of probably no more than about 14 years.

    Then, when my son was born, the plan was that, as soon as he was out, he was to be put on my chest and all that cleaning & stuff would take place while I was holding him. I pushed for 6 hours (in the US, 2 is usually max before they start prepping for an emergency c-section -- they let me go because my son's heartbeat was strong and my energy level was good). Once he was out, they found that cord was wrapped around his neck twice -- it had apparently been pulling him back in between contractions. Instead of being put on my chest, he was put on a warming table and I had to endure what seemed like an eternity wondering what was wrong while everyone else in the room was totally focused on him -- getting him to breathe.

    No parent should ever have to bury a child.

  62. Montana

    "No parent should ever have to bury a child"

    I have real difficulty in imagining anything worse.

    I had a similar experience to you with Pete, except he got stuck rather than having the cord round his neck, but instead of getting the ob/gyn in to take a look, the midwife just gave me injections to make the contractions harder and didn't get the doc until his heartbeat started failing... I was fucking furious when I found out that was what it was, because he was stuck for 4 hours being squished in all directions. WTF.

  63. Andy -- is this what you're waiting for? Actually, one of Tezza's quirks is that he collects cover versions of Ne Me Quitte Pas. But he's never recorded it himself.

  64. My grandmother buried both of her firstborn. They were twins. Janet died at the age of 2 from pneumonia and Joyce died at 45 of complications after a kidney transplant. Just before my grandmother died (we knew she was in her last days), she told me that there hadn't been a single day since Janet's death that she hadn't cried for Janet. That was 62 years after Janet had died.

  65. BB - interesting one here. Remember Bertrand Cantat?

    Le Chant Des Partisans

  66. elementary_watson14 July, 2009 22:34

    I guess you're right, anonymous. Maybe it was just that I had problems with memorizing the text from that line on (the writer is starting to use lesser known words there, I guess); in any case, the impure blood that shall soak the French furrows is a classic of blood-thirsty rhetoric, and I'm a well-known sucker for blood-thirst, so this is the part where I can sing along with the Marseillaise again.

    Montana: So sad to read this.

  67. My daughter (and her mum, obviously) endured a difficult birth too. Her head was too big and she wouldn’t come out, no matter how hard her mum pushed. I’ve still got the nail marks in the back of my hand.

    In the end she had to be “helped” out with a sort of suction cup thing which left her looking like a cone head for the first few days of her life. A beautiful cone head, of course.

    BB: Although you’re right that no parent should ever have to bury a child, it wasn’t so long ago that it was a fairly common occurrence. I simply cannot begin to imagine what that would be like.

  68. Excellent stuff, BB. Love the drums at the end.

  69. scherf! Not only do I remember Cantat, but I know the bassist of Noir Desir (or at least I used to know him). When I first moved to France he was at uni in Bordeaux and going out with my best friend out there. They are still in contact. (Jean Paul Roy, that is). We all hung out in the same gang at the time. He had a band at Uni called the Mad Dogs, and I even wrote a couple of songs for them in English :o)

  70. Montana: I was actually thinking more of Terry’s work with The Colourfield. I know critical opinion is divided, but I remember they had a few good covers (and a few good originals too).

    “The Hammond Song” off their first album is the only one which immediately springs to mind; I’ve been trying to find a version of it online, but have drawn a blank :-(

  71. ha ha, BB, small world innit?

  72. andy - yeah, pete was suctioned out too. I told him he was born using a sink plunger but he doesn't believe me :o)

  73. Bloody hell. We are forgetting the biggest French star evah!

    Serge Gainsbourg - La Javanaise

  74. BB: from what I remember, it was a combination sink plunger/vacuum cleaner; wonderful gifts medical science has given us.

    scherfig: I’m sticking with Lenny but hopefully you won’t force me to take to the hills over a minor disagreement...

  75. Heheheh- I have a double album of his stuff that was done not long after he died, with one album of dub remixes. Bloody funny.

  76. BB: you wouldn’t be fishing for a link to this, about someone with the same Initials as you?

    Anyone interested in some fairly off the wall versions of Gainsbourg may want to check out Great Jewish Music - Serge Gainsbourg on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. Not sure if any of these actually provide a sample of the music.

  77. Andy! Hah! Excellent "Initials B.B." :D

    He was a bit of a lad, that Gainsbourg. Lighting cigars on TV with 500 franc notes (worth about 50 quid at the time) and generally drunk as a skunk most of the time.

  78. No worries, andy. I'm a Lenny fan myself (and that is one of his best songs imho), but I can't help but feel that you're an awful traditionalist, what with your views on potatoes and stuff. Embrace diversity and the excitement of 'the new'! ;o)
    Here's another of Lenny's best (not a French cover version, that would be too much, even for me). But still, Cajun fiddle and killer backing vocals.


  79. Andy -- nothing visually interesting (apart from Tezza's lovely face) but here's Hammond Song.

  80. Changing the subject slightly but -
    you lot weren't kidding about the bi thread, were you! Shame I was late to the party, but I've misplaced any copy of Judith Butler that I may allegedly have owned, once upon a time, so feel ill equipped to post an appropriate & well reasoned comment ...

  81. Haven't looked at the bi thread yet. Been too busy ranting on the Woolas *spit* thread :o)

  82. BB: have you not heard that one before? If so, I’m glad to have introduced you to it.

    Montana: thanks for that (why couldn’t I find it?) Glad to hear it’s as good as I remember.

    MsChin: “feel ill equipped to post an appropriate and well reasoned comment”

    None of the rest of us ever let it stop US; why should you be so coy?

    scherfig: Next you’ll be suggesting I get in touch with my feminine side, or my inner child or some such hippy bullshit. If the worst you can say of me is that I’m a traditionalist, then I’m obviously doing something right.

    Just remember though, one of us CANNOT be wrong and that one is me, obviously ;-)

    Goodnight all (and with that, he was gone)

  83. andy - yeah I know Initials BB, just hadn't heard it for a very long time. Thanks for jogging my memory. :o)

    Nuh-night all xx

  84. Oh and scherfig: I don’t believe I’ve expressed my views on potatoes on The Untrusted, so I’m not sure how you can be judging me a traditionalist on that basis ;-)

  85. BB
    Can see why you've been busy, after very brief glance at the *spit* Woolarse thread - enough to give anyone nightmares.
    Knew I shouldn't have looked before I go to bed ..
    Night all.