28 July 2009

Daily Chat 28/07/09

Henry VIII married Catherine Howard in 1540. He had Thomas Cromwell executed for treason on that day, too. In 1865, a group of Welsh immigrants arrived in the Chubut province of Argentina. Welsh is still spoken in some areas there. In 1996, two men who had gone to watch hydroplane races on the Columbia River near the city of Kennewick, Washington, found a skull which turned out to be 9,000 years old. Archaeologist James Chatters was able to find almost the complete skeleton later. In 2005, a tornado touched down in Birmingham, injuring 39 people and causing about £4,000,000 in damage. Famous birthdays today: Luis Aragonés, Jim Davis (Garfield cartoonist) and Hugo Chàvez. It is Independence Day in Peru.


  1. MsChin:

    As I’m sure you realise, my post @ 6.30 on WDYWTTA? is intended as much for BTH as for you.

    Sorry, “Mom” ;-)

  2. @Cif Mod: I think there are still a couple of questions for you towards the end of yesterday's thread.

    @freespeechoneeach: I see you made a comment that, for some reason went to me to be moderated, rather than immediately appearing here. I clicked "publish comment", but it doesn't seem to be here. I don't know what happened -- comments here aren't supposed to come to me for moderation. Sorry -- it wasn't deliberate.

  3. Henry VIII had a penchant for executing someone on the day he got married. Now there's a subject for historical psychoanalysis. Didn't his wives look a happy bunch?

  4. Hi Montana!
    How peculiar! I get the feeling they haven't a clue what they're doing over at bullshit central...
    I'm off CiF for good now. What's the point of participating when you can't participate?
    The woman CE admits she writes bullshit, but she keeps coming back. And when you try warn other readers that what she's written may or may not be true, you get censored.
    She's worse than the rabid misandrists. At least they're sincere. It looks to me like her only motives can be money, fame, and the adoration of her idiot sycophants.
    (It's a great relief not to have to endure that specimen with the violence- inciting screen name BTH any more.)

    Ho hum. Life is a wonderful dance. My hands are nearly back to their best (new medication started 12 weeks ago) and yesterday I played for an hour on the flute. With any luck I'll be busking next week.
    Lots of love, Montana- and thanks for trying on my behalf... xx

  5. Puzzle of the day...

    Right. You're locked in a room.There are 4 cups on a table in front of you; identical, except that each has a small symbol painted on the side. There's a blue square, a red square, a blue circle and a red circle.

    All the cups contain a colourless, odourless liquid but two are water and two contain a poison which will induce a slow, agonising and inevitable death. You are told that the safe cups are safe either because of the colour or shape of the symbol, but not both. You are also told that the red square is safe.

    A gun is then put to your head and you are told you must drink one of the other three cups or face instant execution.

    Which should you drink...and why?

  6. MF -- I think maybe I'd drink the cup with the red square and hope that the person with the gun didn't actually have the heart to shoot me. If he did, at least my death would be quick and painless.

  7. Is it vodka ?

  8. Drink the redsquare one, then take either the red circle or blue square drink, pour it into the red square cup and then tell the gun guy "well you did say the red square cup was safe?"

    Or throw the blue circle drink in his face and go out fighting.


  9. elementary_watson28 July, 2009 09:35

    It doesn't matter which cup you choose; you've probably been lied to, anyway.

  10. The legs have fallen off the CIF donkey again....................

  11. Freespeechoneach

    I have to say i find your stance on this cath thing really, really bizarre. It was a bit of rhetoric, polemic, completely harmless. She didnt deceive anyone in a meaningful way, she didnt benefit herself from it, it was just polemic. I really dont understand why you would make such a thing out of it. Each to their own but i find it a really bizarre reason to hang up your keyboard.

  12. I think you have to drink the blue circle.

    You say the cup is safe "because of the colour or shape of the symbol but not both" but you don't specify how. We assume that means the cup is safe when one or the other is the same, but you don't actually say that. It could be when one is different.

    The only cup that guarantees one of the two is different is the cup with the blue circle.

  13. Lord S

    It is the blue circle...but why? You can actually be certain that it's the safe one but how would you convince yourself?

  14. Hi Jay- lovely to see you again!
    You're not alone! Lots of people support her in this.
    I loathe insincerity. It's the worst! What hope there is for our species comes from us working together. We can't do that if people just bullshit. It wastes everybody's time and energy. It's because of bullshit we're in the state we're in.
    Those with detestable views, who are sincere in them, can be handled. That's what communication's for! But people who pretend to be something they aren't, who use lies to garner advantage, pollute the discussion to the point there's no point engaging at all.
    It wasn't rhetoric. It was a downright lie. She feigned ignorance to get people on her side. It's the same as Bliar did over Iraq.

  15. My reasoning was that although by my logic it could actually be any one of the other three, if the puzzle is to be solvable, it has to be the blue circle.

  16. I'm fully prepared to admit that reasoning is fine for puzzles but probably not so good when there really is a gun against your head ;-)

  17. Blue square:

    Cant be blue circle if red square is safe - cos a safe drink has to contain either a red or a square and blue circle contains neither

    so it's down to blue square or red circle?

    If the red circle were to contain a safe drink it would conflict with the rule that a safe drink is signalled by colour or shape but not both - one safe drink would have red square and one safe drink would have red circle thus red would and circle would both signal safety.

    Thus deano plumps for blue square and thinks what a way to end a long weekends drinking

  18. But I should add that she was in the worst of my bad books anyway. She'd previously written that she didn't care if there were more rapes because lap- dancing clubs were closed down. I was and still am furious at that. Offering other people up for rape- even rhetorically- is the absolute pits. The very best one can imagine about that view- openly expressed on CiF and never retracted or even adequately explained - was that it was just more bullshit.

  19. Freespeechoneach

    What about rhetorical questions, are they insincere though? They surely are, you ask a question without wanting to know the answer, indeed you are already convinced you know the answer. Its a rhetorical tool. I dont see how what cath did was any different. I'd really urge you to reconsider this one.

    Monkeyfish, spill the beans!! Why is it the blue circle? good puzzle, i didnt have a clue.

  20. For the friends kind enough to wish the family party well on Saturday - the news is that the party was a stunner.

    In my small lifetime of parties it was up there in the top ten - in fact it was one of five first equals.

    Fucking lots and lots of fun all the way from 11 O'clock Saturday morning through till 11 Sunday night followed by a few hours sleep and then a gentle Monday on my own when everyone else had finally left - reliving the best bits all over again whilst slowly savouring the last few bottles.

    I'm looking forward to doing it all over again at sometime in the future............"who knows where, who knows when ..."

    Time to concentrate on things other than fun and drinking for a bit.


  21. Actually monkeyfish, reading your puzzle again it strikes me as being a bit of boolean algebra dressed up. Basically and XOR problem?

  22. Whoops ...

    Basically an XOR problem.

  23. Is anyone else having problems with loading CiF today?

  24. Vari,

    Yes, that's what the donkey comment was about.....

  25. Thought so, but equally, could just have been a reflection on CiF in general....

  26. I can't do any bloody puzzles. Is it the case that the person with a gun is a dealer in Clarice Cliff and the cups are part of a lost 1930s design based on a lost Agatha Christie novel?

    Therefore. . .oh I give up!

  27. True, it usually has 2.5 to 3 legs, occasionally they all fall off.........

  28. Jay: if you pretend you don't know something, when you do, that's insincere.
    It's pretending you're someone you aren't.
    A sales rep pretends (s)he doesn't know the dangerous nature of the product (s)he sells- that's a criminal act.
    A person pretends they don't know the gun is loaded, and kills someone. The pretense is no excuse.
    She knew the truth about Dr Ian Gibson. She could have written the truth to enlighten her readers. But she didn't. She chose to write lies. She pretended she was ignorant, in order to elicit an emotional response from the reader.
    No- one should be misled on purpose. Ever.
    The whole point of communication is to seek common truth and the sharing of life. Lies steal that great benefit from everyone.
    In a newsgroup troll, deception is expected, and rightly shunned. But CE's not a troll: she's a published writer with a censorship machine behind her. All writers have a duty to truth. But published writers have an absolute duty as well to their readers. Publishers too. Misleading readers is beneath contempt in someone in such a protected position as Ms Elliott.

  29. Oh my brain

    If it's a blue circle then my brain is still in last week.

    If the first safe drink is signalled by a red square then it's either the red or the square which signals the safety we do not know which but we know its not both.

    My confused and over partyed logic wants me to believe that the next safe drink has to have either a red or square in its message of safety.

    A blue circle contains neither a red nor a square in its signal (message) of safety. It thus seems to conflict with the code for safety of the first safe drink

    Whatever it was about the red square, the red or the square which said "safe to drink me" - is lacking in the second safe drink.

    Oh my head hurts I want me money back.

    regards deano.

  30. Because the red square is safe, it means that it's safe either on account of its redness or its squareness.

    If it is the redness, then the condition could be:

    1)Red or circle (but not both) this means the red circle is poisonous.

    If it is its squareness, it could be

    2) Blue or square (but not both) This means the blue square is poisonous.

    The reamaining shape (the blue circle) fulfills both potential conditions ( 1 &2). Whichever is the real condition for safety (it has to be either 1 or 2), since the blue circle meets both conditions then it is safe.

    Neat, huh?

  31. On the cups thing, I'd make the Mod drink from each in turn, to see if they died, and if they didn't die after drinking from two, I'd then shoot them in the head.

    freespeechoneach, you're right. Cath says what ever she things will help her argument at the time. Whether it's true or not doesn't enter into it. A nice clear and unarguable instance on the Black Lace thread, where she stormed in saying she'd never read one - naturally, cus it's smut and a good feminist doesn't need that - but then pronounced that it certainly wasn't porn, but erotica, and when challenged how she knew... said well yes she had read some but not, you know, really read it...

    Trivial perhaps, but like Clinton's "I did not inhale" sidestepping, it reveals the measure of the person. So I quite agree with you, she's fundamentally dishonest. But then most of 'em are.

  32. elementary_watson28 July, 2009 11:20

    Nice one, monkeyfish. Just looked at the puzzle again, and yes, what ou've written there is consistent with the solution.

    However I, and some others too, I guess, parsed this "a cup is safe either because of the colour of his symbol or the shape of his symbol (but not both)" as meaning that either all safe cups have the same colour of all safe cups have the same shape, which turned it all to mushrooms.

  33. I thought that the idea of there being an objectively definable difference between porn and erotica was crazy enough!

  34. Frank, I apologize unreservedly for recently calling you a 'fucking idiot'. It is, of course, your views on tax that are idiotic and not you as a person. Sorry about that.

  35. I also assumed it "as meaning that either all safe cups have the same colour or all safe cups have the same shape"

    As a result I could only assume that it had to be blue circle as:

    If the gunholder wanted you dead he would just shoot you, therefore by telling you the red square was safe, and you would only have a 50/50 chance of survival by taking red circle or blue square, then only logical option would be the blue circle.

    Mind you I've only had two coffees this morning.

  36. Cif is unfuckingusable today. Am I going to have to do some w*rk?

  37. Unless he only had poison and no bullets in his gun...

    Doh, achy brain !

  38. BitterBastard28 July, 2009 11:30



  39. Yes, and as there were only two safe cups, and we knew one was the red square, then either option 1 or option 2 must be safe, and therefore the blue circle cannot be.

    I'm not buying it MF!

  40. I'm not fussed about apologies scherfig, but I don't agree anyway... The UK is *not* scandanavia. We have a much larger population, a population now without any universally shared values, a large and growing parasitic population who dont' contribute to the national wealth, and consequently a falling per capita GDP. In that situation, increasing direct taxation on those who do work to scando levels would be grossly unfair, highly contentious, but worse, it *still* wouldn't provide us a scando-style quality of life.

    Do you really disagree with that conclusion?

  41. I'm not even going there on the cups thing, I couldn't get on with the logic puzzle books as a kid and it looks as if nothing has improved since....

    Good on you Scherfig, ish!

  42. #Yes, and as there were only two safe cups, and we knew one was the red square, then either option 1 or option 2 must be safe, and therefore the blue circle cannot be.#

    Either option 1 or 2 is safe and the red square and blue circle meet the conditions of both options. So whichever is the real condition (it doesn't matter which) it is fulfilled by both a red square and a blue circle.

  43. Frank, we can argue about how effectively our tax money is used, but the level of taxation in the UK is simply not sufficient to support decent public services. On the other hand, the minimum wage in Britain is less than £6, whereas in Denmark it's about £12. Now why should that be? And it's really got nothing to do with population size - compare with eg. France or Germany.

  44. Hi Frank!
    Isn't it bizarre? Personally, I wouldn't want to win a friend or an argument though dishonesty. Such a gain would be no gain at all.
    If one could point out to others what a pile of crap is being shoveled at them, there might be some point in staying. But the censorship ensures that one can't- the lies stand and the refutations are excised. This is exactly how tyrannies operate. My only ethical course is this withdrawal. They can have their hateful, mendacious tyranny without me.
    I haven't seen quite the bare- faced dishonesty of Cath Elliott in other writers on CiF: there's delusion, confusion and hate aplenty, but mostly I think it's sincere. But maybe you've been reading different threads from me!

  45. I've got good news and I've got bad news.........

  46. Dotterel

    Monkeyfish was kidding and we're not all going to die ?

  47. Good news, the mods are on a tea break........

  48. put it this way scherfig, if I lost another 10% of my pre-tax income, I couldn't afford to run a car and go on holiday, let alone pay for a pension - can't do that now - or save for my kids education - can't do that now. That's an absolute fact. Now, why would I sacrifice my well-being and my family's well-being to fund other peoples easy life?

    Sorry, but sod that. Not a chance.

  49. #Monkeyfish was kidding and we're not all going to die ?#

    We're not all going to die? Have you got news of a major scientific breakthrough or is it your way of letting us know you're the messiah?

    I'd worship you bitterweed...long as it's free, doesn't involve getting up early and there's no dietry restrictions or silly costumes.

    How about a 3 day 'sabbath'? Or a Saint Lager's day festival?

  50. I haven't seen quite the bare- faced dishonesty of Cath Elliott in other writers on CiF: there's delusion, confusion and hate aplenty, but mostly I think it's sincere.

    Well, freespeechoneeach, I'd say it's often that willfull ignorance I wrote about on my blog the other day. Their sincerity is supported by choosing to embrace ignorance.

  51. We're on a tea break because the site has had gremlins all day, sorry about that. Hope it gets back up and running properly soon.

  52. 'if I lost another 10% of my pre-tax income' - well, I can't argue with that, Frank, but what if your pre-tax income was higher? What if the obscene profits that some companies make were to be used to pay a higher wage for the workers who actually generate the company's wealth? Instead of shareholders and CEO's earning more money than they can ever use in a lifetime?

  53. Was it the gremlins that ran off with the donkey's legs?

  54. I can't argue with that, Frank, but what if your pre-tax income was higher?

    Ok let's do that then.

    Sheesh. Shareholders earning more money than they can earn in a lifetime? You know who most shareholders are?

    CEOs - well maybe at an S&P500, but not at most firms. I don't think we're run by a billionaire here, not judging by his car, so where would the extra money come from?

    This is utopian. It is very hard to see how we can get from where we are, to wehre you would like us to be, without driving half the businesses away from the country, and the other half to the wall.

  55. monkeyfish
    All granted. I was thinking a "Bob Marley Month of No-Short-Term Remembrance" too. Safe ?

    The downside for you might be compulsaory attendance at the annual Neil Young "Harvest" Festival. Panhandler outfits optional.

  56. #The downside for you might be compulsaory attendance at the annual Neil Young "Harvest" Festival. Panhandler outfits optional.#

    You're not the messiah, you're...

    Actually mate, I think I'll skip that one...I'm a Seventh Day Evangelican Bitterweedian these days and we don't hold with such scandalous and idolatrous goings on. In fact whenever we hear such heretical talk we cover our ears then cleanse our defiled minds with holy lager.

  57. Frank, this is nonsense - 'driving half the businesses away from the country'. That just won't happen. Here's an anecdote - my brother and his wife both work for RBS, and have done for 20 years. As employees they were constantly encouraged to buy RBS shares at a preferential rate and did so faithfully since they started working there - that was their retirement fund. Now they've lost about £100,000, while the tax-payer bails out the bank, shares are worth nothing, and Fred Goodwin fucks off with about £15 million. My brother took it quite philosophically - he always knew that was what corporate capitalism was all about. But it's always the little guy who loses, never the fat cats.

  58. But scherfig it is *one* fat cat who wins. And it was the bloody government who fucked up by stepping in! "Fat cat" pay is an irritation, not a plague. We're talking a few hundred people. it really doesn't bother me. What bothers me are the *millions* sitting on their arses - and trying to pick fights with me in the street. Why am I paying alcoholics hundreds of pounds a week, to drink?

    Deal with the welfare state, get that sorted out, then maybe I'll join you in sorting out the fat cats - till then I'm afraid it's just not a priority.

    Oh and on pensions, yup I have three or four tiny funds - legacy relics from old jobs. Got a statement from one from a decade ago - I'd paid in £1800 then. It's now worth £1500. I'll never ever ever ever make any voluntary contribution to a pension. Biggest scam going.

  59. BitterDrinker28 July, 2009 13:28

    Holy Lager ?

    Hmm. Not if it's brewed in Britain it ain't.

    You had that trappist Belgian whack-job stuff about 8-9%? That'll have even you praying to Bidisha that shit.

  60. Frank says

    'I'll never ever ever ever make any voluntary contribution to a pension. Biggest scam going.'

    I remember in the 80s being told by an expert to take my pension away from the company and put it into any one of a dozen great plans. I did nothing out of apathy but those who paid heed to the expert have lost a great deal - and I've got that company pension coming at 65.

    It was the clever people who understood the system who lost out - lazy buggers like me are better off (for now anyway).

  61. They tried "letting banks fail", Frank, it was called Lehman Brothers and caused such armageddon across the financial world that they realised pretty quick it was a bad shout. They really have got too big to fail - allowing more to fall like LB would have caused the most appalling recession imaginable, prob 30% unemployment, as the greedy f*ckers were actually playing dice with people's retail deposits, unsegregated funds. There was a trillion pound black hole. You take a trillion pound out of an economy and that is millions of jobs gone, hundreds of billions in savings wiped out, the knock on consequence of those two things is - extremely severe unemployment and national upheaval and civil disorder. The country wold be in meltdown.

    More than anything the banks were bailed out to protect the system, the status quo, because to allow them to fail would have laid bare the reality of the system; ie completely unsustainable, dangerous and unfair.

    Neoliberalism would have died with the banks and that was the most serious problem, the myth of the market's perfection was crumbling. The market failed in the most enormous fashion. And whilst an economic textbook might tell us about the "readjustment" that would follow, that readjustment in real life is millions of people without work, losing homes, families, their whole life basically. They wouldnt have stood for it, business as usual would not have happened, we would not now be hearing about the return of the big bonuses at state owned (but privately geared) banks.

    To call the bailout "socialist" is the flat reverse of the truth.

  62. Can't agree Jay. I'm not saying the economic situation would have been better had they failed - not short term. But in the long term it would. What does this bail out mean for the future? The lesson learned for bankers is *no matter what you do*, you don't have to worry where you next meal is coming from. This is a terrible thing. Awful. Looking forward to the future I see this producing a crisis that dwarfs today's.

    I would prefer that we were in serious recession, than that this has happened. Oh, and trillion quid? We're down a trillion quid - Joe Blow, worldwide, is making up that trillion quid, and the rest. Stupid stupid stupid fucking actions by governments. Putting off crisis today, in favour of a greater one a few years, perhaps decades hence. Not for the first time...

  63. Frank - the only difference between a mild and a serious recession is whether it's you or your neighbour who's lost his job / had the house repossessed, etc.

  64. You'd rather we were in a serious recession??? Really??? That's astounding. The thing is, the policies that allowed all this to happen were the policies of the Thatcher/Reagan mentality. Nothing socialist there -- and Jay is totally right -- this bailout is about preserving capitalism -- absofuckinglutely nothing socialist about it. I think it is sick to say that it's better to let the most vulnerable in society suffer even more than they already are than to do anything to try to buffer the effects on the economy. We need to be re-regulating these greedy fuckers. Putting a bunch of them in prison would be a damn fine idea, too. More of your tax money is being pissed away on bailouts and illegal wars than on benefits for the lower tiers of society. The woman down the street with two kids and on benefits is not the villain. Why the hell should she be the one to be punished?

  65. Monkeyfish

    BTW, finished SH5 on holiday. It's a belter isn't it ?

  66. "We're down a trillion quid - Joe Blow, worldwide, is making up that trillion quid, and the rest."

    No, the missing money mainly rests with the banks, or more specifically, the bankers who paid themselves for wealth that wasnt there.

    "The lesson learned for bankers is *no matter what you do*, you don't have to worry where you next meal is coming from. This is a terrible thing. Awful."

    It is, what they need to do is cut these banks down, make them small enough to fail, ensure funds are segregated, retail from casino, etc etc. They dont want to do this because they are in bed with the City and the CBI, everyone bloody knows they are. Who pressured Darling into announcing business as usual recently? A motley little bunch of hedgies and private equity vermin. New Labour (and the Tories, obviously) have no concept of doing right by Joe public, its simply not on their radar. We have been screwed primarily to protect a financial system, and more specifically to protect the elite that benefits from that system. If this was about joe public we would now be hearing about the massive restrictions that were being imposed on financial institutions to avoid this happening again. The EU, to their credit, were moving in this direction. Who scuppered that? Obama and Brown, the US and UK - the global champions of market nihilism.

  67. More of your tax money is being pissed away on bailouts and illegal wars than on benefits for the lower tiers of society.

    Well no, in actual fact that ain't so. But even if it wasn't - and please remember I've opposed all the bailouts and all the illegal wars too, well before the mob I might add - it isn't just about money, and it isn't just about now.

    We are living today in the world that was created after WW2. All our social problems have their roots in the decade 45-55; decisions taken then with the short term in mind, or with rather woolly social goals in mind, have led to today's UK. Similarly, the decisions and actions we take now will impact down the decades - some, like Gordon's pissing away of our reserves and debasement of the currency, have a direct economic effect. Some, such as the *idea* of the bailouts, will have a less obvious impact - social security for billionaires is a disastrous move. Accepting that a business is "too big to fail" is obscene. These actions have a rippling impact far beyond the individuals concerned; they affect mood, morale and morality.

    When you express outrage at the notion of *choosing* recession, rather than choosing this fudge, this splurge, and slow payback, what you are doing is looking purely at today - at the people it will affect and disadvantage now. But there is always a long-term impact too - a price. The price for our post-traumatic sentimentality after WW2 was every single social problem we have in the UK today. Every one. What will be the price for the bailouts?

  68. Bitterweed --

    I'm really glad you liked SH5. Meant to tell you that the other day. Your next assignment is The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.

    --Ms. Wildhack

  69. Bullshit, Frank. This recession is the direct result of the Reagan/Thatcher/BushI/Major/Clinton/Blair/BushII penchant for de-regulating the financial industry. The decisions that were made in the decade after the war were trying to build a more equitable society for everyone and, had the politicians had the courage and integrity to see them through, that is exactly what we would have today. They sold themselves to greedy corporate interests and they sold out the people who elected them. Britain and the US have immigration 'problems' because it serves corporate interests to have a large pool of cheap labour available. Violent crime is worse today because our social fabric has been ripped to shreds, not in the name of 'tolerance' or loosened moral standards, but in the name of 'divide and conquer'. They want us to be fighting with and fearful of each other so that we don't unite and rise up against their greed and corruption.

    I'm not going to argue with you anymore, because you're not going to change my mind and I'm not going to change yours and I don't need the aggravation.

  70. Too bad we couldn't have let the banks go down, and *then* nationalised them, rescued ordinary people's money and prosecuted all the b*nkers for fraud and possibly even treason.

    Or could we?

  71. Thank M.W.
    I really didn't expect it to be so profound; a universal message through a very original narative, and a lightness of touch that totally sucker punches you in the last few chapters. Haunting.

    Unfortunately finished reading the Intellectual Life of the British Working Class straight after Vonegut on holiday, and although excellent, was blooming hard work. Although a great book, it's more one for winter nights round the fire with a sloe gin handy methinks...

    Will check out Bulgakov, thanks !

  72. Ok, this is getting ridiculous now.

    freespeechoneeach - I have no idea why you've got such a bug up your arse about me, but to claim that in asking a question of people when I admitted I already knew the answer is an example of a deliberate attempt to deceive is quite frankly ridiculous. As I said in the piece, in asking the question I was hoping someone would prove me wrong, I was hoping someone would come up with an alternative I hadn't even considered, I most certainly wasn't trying to get people on my side or trying to win friends and influence people or whatever other nonsense you’re trying to ascribe to my motivations.

    If I wanted to deliberately deceive people why on earth would I even admit to having done it? Kind of defeats the object of trying to pull the wool over people's eyes don't you think, when you freely admit to doing something on a site read by thousands?

    In fact if there's any dishonesty going on here it's from you. Screaming around all over the Internet claiming I've said things that I quite clearly haven't. Please go back and read the lapdancing thread again, specifically my comment to you where I made clear I was not saying that I didn't care if there were more rapes because of the closure of lapdancing clubs. In fact here, here's the quote:

    "I'm afraid you've completely missed the point I was making. Of course I care about there being fewer victims of rape and sexual violence, but that cannot and must not be achieved at the expense of other women's safety. Women working in prostitution are commonly viewed as somehow 'other' than women in the general population, as of less worth and therefore somehow expendable; that what happens to them is of no great import, and that if their abuse keeps other women safe then so be it (for an example of this see Richard Littlejohn's disgraceful article on the murder of the five young Ipswich women) This is the attitude I was arguing against in the piece, and if you read something different into that then I do indeed apologise for not making it clearer.......So my point was that no group of women are expendable, and no one should be sacrificed in order to keep the rest of us safer. I hope that clarifies things."

    And here's the link to the thread:


    Now, if you want to persist in reading that as me saying I don't give a shit about women being raped and sexually assaulted then can I suggest you maybe think about taking some classes in basic reading comprehension, because the fault here quite clearly lies with you and not with me. And can I suggest that if you're going to go around accusing other people of being liars, it's probably best if you don't do that by telling lies about them in the first place.

    You know I'm perfectly happy to admit to a lot of flaws, God knows I'm by no means perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But dishonesty is not one of them, and I resent your disingenuous attempts to smear me as such.

    As for me being in it for the money: you're having a laugh aren't you? Has Frank told you the pittance we get paid?

    Anyway, I wish you well in your life without CiF.

    And btw, thanks Jay.

  73. Over to you then freespeech

    Cath, can you tell new our mod friend to come back and answer my question last night ? I'm still waiting...


  74. As for me being in it for the money: you're having a laugh aren't you? Has Frank told you the pittance we get paid?

    Might have been a pittance you you on those plump public sector wages....

  75. Well you'd know all about that Frank, what with me doing exactly the same job as MrsPB ;)

    And Bitterweed, trust me, I don't have some hotline to the mods, they're as elusive to me as they are to you.

  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

  77. Yeah. It's a cracker. I was going to suggest you follow it up with Cat's Cradle or Breakfast of Champions: Vonnegut classics both. Then I figured you might be off on some sorta personal improvement drive so I was gonna suggest "The Official History of Everton FC". It's a real page turner...'unputdownable' in fact (is this a word..I've seen it in a couple of reviews lately).

    Then I reconsidered;recalling your Neil Young affiliation, not to mention the Redshite and dissing of the holy lager. Since your life up to now has clearly been an aesthetic wasteland, such a rich and substantial dose of culture in one sitting might prove too much. So maybe go with Montana's for now.

  78. Well Montana reckons we can't agree, but I agree with the recommendation for the Master and Margarita, a fun book. And I'd add a little wild card too; Mysteries by Knut Hamsun.

  79. Cath
    Oh, fair enough, just that Inayat managed to wangle something with the mods straight away for LordSummerisle yesterday, and then they were over here like a shot. I reckon they must have gone to the same public school ;-)

    "The Official History of Everton FC"
    V droll. Just the one chapter eh ? -

    "Dixie Dean. He Came. He Went"

    Thanks for the Vonnegut heads up though matey!

  80. Monkeyfish, Bitterweed:

    Have I mentioned to you that I found myself on a Wembley-bound Metropolitan line train on Cup Final day in 1986? That I was the ONLY person on the train not wearing either blue or red? And that I still have nightmares about it?

  81. Frank -- politics, no. literature, yes. I'll try the Hamsun.

  82. Knut Hamsun, Nobel prizewinner, card-carrying Norwegian Nazi and all-round Hitler fan? You do know, Frank, that he sent his Nobel medal to Goebbels as a gift, don't you, and wrote a glowing obituary in 'Aftenposten' for old Adolf? Your true politics are showing, mate. Cover them up.

  83. Oh. I didn't know that, scherf. Maybe I won't.

  84. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  85. Ah, that ties in nicely with something that's been bugging me:

    Is it wrong that I've just enjoyed re-reading "A Town Like Alice" (Nevil Shute) given that it's riddled with racism and misogyny?

  86. W.B.Yeats was a bit of a 'fascist' too, but yes, Dot, you can seperate the politics and the literature to some extent. Hemingway - misogynist, Woolfe - anti-semitic etc etc. I draw the line at Hamsun though.

  87. Dotterel
    How did you feel about it compared to the first time ?

  88. Woolf


    Completely up her own arse.

  89. BW first time I was only 12 or so, don't think I appreciated it fully. Seeing all that in it threw me a bit, this time, given that it, along with a few others* was one of "those books": the first adult books you read, that make you fall in love with reading properly.

    *Does the fact that one of those others was "To Kill a Mockingbird" make up for it?

  90. The only thing 'public' about my school were the executions.

  91. Virginia Woolfe? After reading Mrs Dalloway I felt like filling my pockets with stones and walking into a river as well.

  92. 'Mrs Dalloway' was (technically) a fantastic bit of work. But,yeah, thauma, up her own arse sums it up pretty well. On the other hand, Virginia's literary criticism was world-class.

  93. Dot
    Interesting. Did anyone say it was racist when you first read it ? My dad said it was abit, but he'd encourage me to read it, after enjoying it himself. Goes to show.

    Still, I've since got re-educated on CiF and elsewhere in the Guardian about everything I've enjoyed, from Tolkein, through Shakespeare to Elmore Leonard.

    Got to love those CiF Literature Reducation Classes.

    Heh, wondered where you were ;-)

  94. So we can't read a good book because we don't like the author scherfig? Oh and those are my true politics? FFS.

    I'll tell you something, when I first came across that book I was knocked out. The first question that came into my head once I'd read it was "How come I've never heard of this guy????" So I researched it and the answer came back pretty clearly - he'd supported the Quisling government, and after the war had essentially been declared an unperson. The Nobel prize didn't protect him, neither did his literary ability. Siding with the wrong people meant everything he had ever did was now verboten.

    I can't accept that. And if we start applying it across art, how many will be excised fromt he record?

    Read the book Montana. If you like the Master and M, I think you'll like Mysteries.

  95. 'Mrs Dalloway' was (technically) a fantastic piece of work
    True, but then again so was Stars by Simply Red.

    Been working, Bitterweed. Still trying to catch up with all the stuff that accumulated while I was off sick. I'm beginning to wish I had another ulcer!

  96. Evening, Untrusted Ones

    Just catching up on CiF. Nothing very engaging at first glance...

  97. LordS
    Stick around, you'll probably get one. Just kidding.

    See youse laters.

  98. Lord Summerisle said...

    "The only thing 'public' about my school were the executions."

    Excellent! Wish I'd thought of that, LordS :o)

  99. I remember being completely knocked out by Turner's water colours in the Tate as a 12 year old and harboured fantastic notions about the painter being romantic in the Byronic mould. Was incredibly disappointed years later when i found out he was a short, fat irritable misogynist.

    Turner's not in the Hamsun league for unpleasantness it's true but when you know these things about people whose work you've admired it does affect your readings.

    Hamsun hasn't been excised from the record he just comes with a lot of baggage.

  100. LordS, my point was just that Mrs Dalloway was written in a completely different way to what had gone before. We call it modernism now, but it was groundbreaking then. I think it still stands up a decent book. Can't really see any valid comparison with Simply Red.

    Frank, I agree with the principle that an artist's politics should be separate from their art, but this is not always possible. When an artist's politics informs and creates their art, then you have to take the political dimension into consideration. A good example is Victor Hugo (and there are many others) - Hugo's politics are essential to his work. btw, have you read Hamsun's 'Hunger'? Or any L. Ron Hubbard?

  101. I've never read A Town Like Alice, so I can't say about it, but I had difficulties with We of the Never Never because of Mrs. Gunn's attitude towards the Aboriginals. I had to keep reminding myself that it was a different time and that I was judging her by different standards than she was writing under. Generally, if I know that I find someone's character reprehensible before I read/hear/watch their work, I have a hard time getting past that to enjoy the work for its own sake. I can do it more easily with works from the past than I can with someone who's alive today. Knowing that someone admired Hitler would, I think, be more than enough to put me off his/her work. No excuse for that. Even in the 1930s.

  102. Don't worry, scherfig. I was just making the point (a little flippantly) that technical excellence can be over-rated in the world of art.

    I'm sure Mrs Dalloway is a great book, but I'm equally certain that I'm not its intended target audience.

  103. Knowing that someone admired Hitler would, I think, be more than enough to put me off his/her work. No excuse for that. Even in the 1930s.

    And Stalin? Mao? Mussolini? Going to have to put a lot of 20s and 30s writers in the verboten cabinet if you decide Musso was off limits too.

    And why stop at politics? What about killers, rapists, kiddy fiddlers? Plenty of those in literature. Not to mention music...

    I think this is a poor road to choose.

  104. 'killers, rapists, kiddy fiddlers?'
    Well, the difference here, Frank, is obviously that espousing a political system, be it socialism, fascism, communism, neoliberalism or whatever in a work of literature is not the same as saying that it's OK to blow somebody's brains out, rape a woman, or fuck a ten year-old. You're just being silly. Or are you trying to be serious? I hope not.

  105. Difficult one this - the response to Daniel Barenboim conducting Wagner in Israel was interesting. Good article about it here;
    Barenboim conducts Wagner in Israel

    Barenboim insists

    " that Wagner’s anti-Semitism should neither be ignored nor simply be equated with his music, and also that Wagner’s views, as “monstrous” as they were, were not identical to the use that the Nazis made of Wagner. He correctly insists that the contradictions in Wagner’s work must be actively considered, rather than imposing a kind of national or political straitjacket on the music."

  106. Speaking personally, I'm not particularly concerned what the artist got up to in his or her spare time, especially if they're dead.

    I'm not in any hurry to buy any Gary Glitter records and line the bastard's pockets but I'm quite happy to read 120 Days Of Sodom or watch Birth Of A Nation or listen to Ike Turner.

    I'll make my own judgements.

  107. I do so hate that term 'kiddy fiddler' - it seems designed to diminish the vileness of its meaning.

  108. Sheffpixie
    But it's so less hurtful than "Man United Supporter"...

  109. BW - Man U supporters are that bad are they?

  110. Hi everyone, another hard day at work in the Forest.

    Edwin, I think I owe you a confession:

    I have spent much of my day chopping the heads off thistles, which is of course our national flower. I can only plead, in mitigation, that I was focusing specifically on the Creeping Thistle, Cirsium arvense, which I am pretty sure is different to the Scottish Thistle. I hope you are able to confirm this.

    As some sort of penance, here is a link to a blog on the subject of the Scottish Beaver re-introduction which we touched on briefly a while back.

  111. And why stop at politics? What about killers, rapists, kiddy fiddlers? Plenty of those in literature. Not to mention music...

    Well, I don't stop at politics, Frank. If I know someone is a murderer, rapist or child molester, I am not interested in their artistic output. I'm not much concerned about whether or not you think that's a poor road to choose. To me, continuing to support it carries with it an element of condoning the views or actions of the artist.

  112. I would like to make a phone call from a telephone box, but can't seem to find one...any help, Montana?

  113. Andy, some of us subscribe to the notion that the white rose is really Scotland's flower - the flower that breaks the heart' (HughMacD).

    On the dogfight over artists and their actions LordS says it for me: ' I'm not particularly concerned what the artist got up to in his or her spare time, especially if they're dead.'

    James Campbell is also very good on this in the current TLS - Balzac, Maupassant woudn't could get into a modern Birtsih school, nor would the Beats, nor the sex addicts Lawrence and Joyce, the racists Pound and Wyndham Lewis, Nabokov etc, etc, and as for Celine. . .

    My friend Mike Munro (author of the Patter) describes this as the George MacDonald Fraser test - if you won't recognise that Fraser is one of the great modern Scottish writers because you don't like his Tory politics, then your critical judgement isn't worth much.

    And what about Hume and his opinions on Africans? Shall we cease to read Hume because he had ideas about blacks that the great English Tory Johnson loathed? I wish Hume hadn't said the things he did, but it doesn't invalidate his philosophy.

  114. This comment has been removed by the author.

  115. monkeyfish said...

    Yeah..but you go back and consciously unappreciate what you previously enjoyed? You can't do that. There are plenty of people with questionable political leanings or criminal backgrounds who produce great things.

    I could no more decide that TS Elliot was unreadable for his views than I'd decide Maradonna couldn't play football because he was a coke fuelled whoremonger who associated with the Mafia..or Gazza couldn't kick a ball because he beat his wife.

    You have to compartmentalise the two. Admirers of Sartre tend to look on Heidegger with disdain for his Nazi sympathies despite the fact that Jean Paul 'borrowed' so heavily from him that it virtually amounts to outright plagiarism. Eric Hobsbawm remains for many of all political persuasions the most outstanding historian of the 20th century despite his lifelong Communism and attempts to broker a peace with Hitler while the pact with Stalin held. I could sit here all night giving examples.

    I always tell my son who is an admirer of all sorts of degenerate, pampered, moronic footballers and boxers that it's OK to admire them only as long as they are on the pitch or in the ring. Their personal lives and 'opinions' go in another box.

  116. In what way is being called a man u supporter hurtful bitters? I beg to freakin differ!
    My but there's been some spirited discussion today. Feckin crap that I can't get on here from work... Some fine ripostes to Frank.. there. Sozrock Frank... But you know what we're like...

  117. What about Picasso...? eh?

  118. monkeyfish, I asked a Celtic-supporting pal if he stopped adoring Di Canio because he had taken to giving fascist salutes. My mate said no of course not - my wife once shagged a hun before I met her and I love her!

  119. CiFMod: I don’t think you’ve posted anything here today (I’ve really only skim-read so far), but hopefully you might be browsing anyway.

    My friend traneroundthebanned asked me to thank you for checking out his e-mail.

    He didn’t entirely understand the explanation of
    *comments removed as they were off-topic*
    but he’s grateful for the response and he’ll try to remain on-topic in future.

  120. Edwin: I don’t particularly like roses, of any colour, but at least I didn’t chop any of them down today

    Kiz: What about Picasso?

    (andysays has recently discovered how to do italics, and would like to apologise if he’s currently overdoing them)

  121. I suppose it raises the question of where the line is drawn, what about Jerry Lee Lewis?

    (Look at me! Kids in bed and husband on a jolly - I get to go on the computer at night!!)

  122. Back at you BB, even more importantly, I have a lovely bottle of chilled sauvignon....

    Pity everyone's up for a scrap!

  123. Yep - we're safer here!

    I'm on the beer tonight.


  124. I'm in the naughty corner tonight...

  125. oh dear olching... tempers have flared and you might not have thought a few of yr posts through?
    Just an opinion, like...

  126. I thought them through alright...anyway, we shall see...

  127. beautiful burnout thinks italics and bold text is fun, and far nicer to look at than WHEN PEOPLE SHOUT!


  128. Me too, BB.

    Please forgive my shouting in the past, when I didn’t know no better, and if I do it in the future, it’s because my *skillz* sometimes let me down.

    Still ashamed at not being able to post that Mr T link on CiF...

    Goodnight; I’m too tired to do anymore of this tonight.


    I can manage without italics and bold, but if someone could tell me how to do links my luddite rating would go down by a good 28%....

  130. Please forgive me for pissing people off...I'll trudge slowly to the gallows...

    Crunch ;0)

  131. It's a very good question, whether you can separate a work of art from the vile opinions of its author. For me, it depends on how much of those opinions were reflected in the work, and also what other value it might hold apart from those opinions.

    Kipling is an interesting topic for those sorts of discussions.

    I do tend to have a preference for those who, in our teleological view of things, were "ahead of their time": Zola, Dickens (apart, perhaps, from his view of Jews), Hardy, and, yes, Shakespeare.

    Camus is another interesting one to debate. Blind spot on the human rights front when it came to Arabs.

  132. Kiz

    How about some Leftfield?

    Vari - I do it the cheat's way, which is to open up a comment box in CiF, write what I want the link title to be, then click on the link box on there, then copy and paste the code onto here.

  133. Don't believe in capital punishment, Olching. Perhaps the governor will give a last minute reprieve... ;o)

  134. Thaum

    I love Camus, but yes, you're right about his blind spot.

  135. Well you're the lawyer BB...can I hire you?

  136. There may still be hope:


  137. It might need some serious mitigation, Olching :o)

  138. BB - me too, much more than ruddy Kipling!

    Maman est morte hier....

    It's finally been properly translated! Hated L'Étranger when I first read it in English, then had an epiphany when I read it in French.

  139. 'Isn't this fun.....?'

    posed the troll

    'First the unvisited (or is it untrusted?)... followed by the deselected Pike..., then Inayat...and then joined by the Dr. Evil the All Deleting Eyeful with Minimod in tow.... and then MSCAT(h)WOMAN......clamping down on 'freespeechIpeach.'

    chuckled the cynic

    'Comment is plucked?'

    said the pheasant plucker

  140. I don't even know the charge, BB, u da lawyer...

  141. Aha, thank you BB, I shall try it at some point.

    Expect to see a monumentally fucked up link at some point.

    Reminds me, anyone else remember the FUBARs?

  142. 'Isn't this fun.....?'

    Keeps pulling you back for more..eh, gobshite? Big Brother finished? Or has your mam sent you to bed early?

  143. I know! Let's play a game... I spy with my little eye sth beginning with C/B...
    Clue: It's plural

  144. What was it they wanted to get Gates for? Tumultuous behaviour? :p

  145. At last I've killed off that Martillo bastard. Wish I'd never invented him.

    What did you do, Olching?

  146. BB... eerrm? No!
    wrong track completely...
    I think?

  147. I mean what are you alleged to have done, obviously.

  148. Thaum

    Took me ages to realise that Killing an Arab by the Cure was based on L'Etranger. D'oh.

  149. This comment has been removed by the author.

  150. Allegedly is the right word ex-Martillo ;0) It' not really for this forum, is it...you can guess the approximate constellation of things. Who has murdered more people in our game of Cluedo than all the others...oh well...

    Yep, BB, cheers, but you are not comparing my 'behaviour' to Gates', are you?

  151. Kiz

    Clueless Bastards?


    Charlie Brookers?

    Oh well, off to bed, will dream of answer all night.

  152. Olching


    Heheheh - speaking of racial profiling, was sitting at the immigration tribunal today waiting for the client to show, chatting to a black barrister with his hair in corn-rows, when a young wet-behind-the-ears laddy came along and asked if said barrister was his client.... the look on the guy's face was classic. :o)

  153. No... folks yr all way off.. It is something I can actually see round here (in the plural)...

  154. Cough? Please no subtleties...my brain won't cope with it... #0(

  155. actually.. just spotted thauma's first guess... half of which is right...

  156. Amd again BB is half right...

  157. So.. the B is found... on to the C...

  158. No bitterweed.. yr just deliberately trying to spoil everything... second word has been correctly identified as bastards... just the C to go... and, as i said, it's sth I can see here (and elsewhere for that matter).

  159. BB I wouldn't say the bastards round here are capricious as much as they are something else...
    Game half given there, I reckon...

  160. It's not The Tony Blair Word is it? ;o)

  161. How does 'pommie' begin with C?

  162. No BB... Have you ever heard the phrase 'cunt bastards' uttered..? It'd be a new one on me! a little logic from a lawyer would be appreciated...

  163. I got it! Pommie beginning with a C is COMMIE!

    Commie Bastards!!

  164. It's corfiot... and there's none here,, commies a plenty, though, but still not where my heads at considering recent shenanigans...

  165. iot, I mean

  166. curmudgeonly? Contrary?

  167. right.. it's awfully late this side of Europe.. it's bedtime for babies.. I shall leave you to fret over the adjective I'm looking for... And I'll be cross if you haven't found it by breakfast...

  168. curmudgeonly is warmer but not quite as evocative enough of the bastards round here...

  169. Night night Kiz x

    I'm off in a bit, too.

  170. keep guessing folks.. nighty night Xxx

  171. Cantankerous!

  172. Conniving? Condescending? Cocksocket? Crapulent? Crypton the Wonder Dog?

  173. This comment has been removed by the author.

  174. This comment has been removed by the author.

  175. BW

    Tell me now or I will have to seek you out and kill you.

  176. Be like that then. I'm off to bedfordshire.

    Night night all xx

  177. "have you ever heard the phrase 'cunt bastards' uttered?"

    No, but "cunty" or "cuntish" yes...

  178. Anonymous

    I bet you hear it every day

  179. MF
    I was thinking either that or slack-jawed sheep-tic.

  180. Not every day.

  181. carnaptious bastards/cantankerous bastards

  182. Yes Deano... Cantankerous is the word!
    Cantankerous bastards....

  183. Yes, well done Deano: Cantankerous. Wish I'd thought of that.

  184. Anon was there before me - my link was so slow all day yesterday that I hadn't seen anon's cantankerous @ 23.19 when I posted carnaptious/cantankerous later @ 23.57

  185. freespeechoneeach30 July, 2009 08:54

    Dear Cath Elliott,
    Thankyou for responding to me in person, rather than with your usual cowardly means of censorship.
    You fail to realise, sadly, that my problem is with dishonesty per se rather than you individually. I have found your writing to be peppered with dishonesty. I have tried to point this out, and been thwarted by censorship. That doesn't make the problem disappear, it merely compounds it.
    It struck me at the time that your open admission to misrepresentating the circumstances of Gibson's resignation was extrordinary. At the time, I wrote that you should in future start all your posts with a statement of their truthfulness. I was censored for saying it.
    You write that you were hoping someone would tell you Dr Gibson wouldn't retain his pension. We all knew he would. You were asking for someone else to lie to you to make you feel better. Your own untruth is not enough for you,; apparently, others are to be encouraged to join you in it.
    I may be one of just a few readers capable of discening the depth of your insincerity, but I am not the only one harmed by it. A writer has a duty to all their readers to tell the truth. Tell the truth, Cath, please, or say nothing at all.
    Contrary to your post above, I have never wilfully lied. I challenge you to cite a single untrue statement I have ever made.
    I have certainly been wrong and where I have I have been quick to admit and correct. Can you say the same?
    For offering other people up to be raped, I say again, shame on you. Only offering others up for murder could possibly be worse. If there is another other way to interpret your statement (that if there are more rapes because lap- dancing clubs are closed, you couldn't care less,) I can't see it.
    Despite you subsequently wrote (which was typically inconsistent and blindingly both false and sexist, ignoring male rape victims altogether,) you have not retracted or apologised for the original gross offence. If and when you do admit, apologise, and correct the matter will be closed.
    Cath. This is not about you. It's about what you write. It's about how you will be understood by the intelligent reader.
    And it's not about me, either. It's about the positive intervention, such as it is, I can make to flow the stream of falsehood.
    So your unflattering personal remarks above are quite beside the point.