03 August 2009

Daily Chat 03/08/09

In the year 8, Tiberius defeated the Dalmatians. Why he would want to harm those cute dogs, I don't know. Columbus set sail from Palos de la Frontera in 1492. And in 1936, Jesse Owens took the gold medal in the 100m dash at the Berlin Olympics. Celebrating birthdays today: P.D. James, Tony Bennett, Terry Wogan, Martin Sheen, Jack Straw and John C. McGinley. It is Independence Day in Niger.


  1. Posted by request:

    this post first sent to MW to see if she actually minded me adressing the GU from this thread refugee site,

    an idea,,

    your CIF "first XI"

    eleven players and two subs from the BTL,, a manager and a coach/trainer who are from the


    some parameters are preconfigured which will slightly limit your options

    firstly you can't pick Berchmans,, because he is the referee/umpire, (linesmen are optional)

    you can't pick AllyF or Jessica Reed because they have to do the play by play commentary

    if you pick MoveAnyMountain or BillP you dont (need to) pick anyone else,,

    players who have retired or been suspended (deleted) are still eligible,,

    you can pick a subject ,, (thats the pitch) but its not essential as it could be a bit

    limiting,,ie you probably would not pick Bru for a thread on "the joys of shopping at the SallyAnne " or Cath for "why we dont need libraries"

    you can't pick mods,, they're the ball,

    this idea from the ballboy, who seems to be sitting on the naughty step at the GU,so if i post this there, on the WDYWTTA thread it may not appear,,and if it does i would be unable to participate in any dialogue due to the extreme time lag,, a little ironic because, after i had been active on Cif for a few months i wrote to Georgina and suggested a thread without a subject as a regular sunday feature, wherein the posters decided the content, and i got a nice reply from georgina thanking me and saying it would be on the list of ideas

    when the new look was compiled,, WDYWTTA is not exactly what i was suggesting but its pretty close,

    i guess i am on the naughty step because i used a "temporary" moniker,, so its time to tell

    you GU that your security for registration is virtually (!) nonexsistent,, i am an computer peasant and i figured it out, (by happenstance), perhaps you already know and find it to serve as an invisible encouragement to those who lose their identities to behave with the new identity and to not totally forsake the site because its a hassle (not) to get a new name, you dont really want people to leave ,,you just want them to behave,, in my case i used that particular (unregistered) monicker to leave a short message of

    sympathy/empathy/cheeryupness to a poster who under my normal monicker would have (probably)

    thought it suspicious/between the lines/hidden agenda for me to be empathetic towards their
    long and anguished rant which has beeen posted so many times in that particular blog,, i was

    however being sincere,,(post was deleted)

    this was my second offence in a few weeks since i (strangely) used the PosterX unregistered
    monicker (created just for that post in a few seconds,,ba bing ba boom


    a few days ago i tried to post with my "real" name-

    "" @zedsDeadBaby
    Personally speaking i find your choice of monicker unpleasant.""

    -never appeared,,

    thats the whole post,,the more reactive/sensitive/demanding thinkers around here could

    probably find a whole thread in that particular flavour of censorship,,

    i could have got a new name babing ba booom bu'but why bo'bother,,already got three others

    i will never use again,(experiments to test my suspicions about security weakness)

  2. continued:

    the next post,,under my "real" monicker (3p4) took so long to appear its no longer possible

    to participate in dialogue,,the only real use for fake names is to snide merchants,,the good

    guys need consistency,, it becomes credential,,if i had not lost the password and the email

    account i originally had i would still be dropinbucket (i have asked the mods about getting

    that monicker restored and am told it is possible but i would lose my '(current)3p4 archive from the poetry threads ,,rock and hard place,,

    PosterX was a rather steamed tuber who was either (at that time) in the pressure

    cooker or twixt the frying pan and the fire and just plain boiled about negative

    interpraytations (!) interpreytations of written dialogues,,(and the rude attack on georgina

    which was a great example of the mechanism of social destruction )

    as an aside to the readers/citizens of this blog in particular who may feel (rightly) that

    they were collectively included in
    my little outburst this was due to the sudden blooming of (recommend 5) or(recommend 6) for
    sentiments that i thought were not helpful.i have communicated with our esteemed
    hostess on this site in regard to that unfortunate episode,,i noted with interest the sudden
    ubiquity of references to potato recipes in the days that followed,,

  3. Hmm, Jack Straw’s birthday....

    Anyone any suggestions for presents, or perhaps a way of celebrating we’d recommend to Jack on his birthday?

    3p4/dropinbucket: All the best.

    Drop back into our bucket sometime, OK?

  4. I think I have the same thoughts you had re Jack Straw, Andysays.

    Perhaps if he doesn't intervene in politics he would be more handsome, but who will dare to bell the cat?

  5. Jack Straw needs to fuck off somewhere for a few years.

  6. s3plishsp4lash03 August, 2009 08:27

    Drop back into our bucket sometime, OK?

    well that was the plan but i just cant seem to trust myself with what i say these days,,even the above seems a bit bizarre now after a few hours have passed,,strange state of mind i must say,,

    i do read the thread everyday,,

  7. quote
    In the year 8, Tiberius defeated the Dalmatians. Why he would want to harm those cute dogs, I don't know.


  8. @monkeyfish (otter)

    Apologies for the tardiness of my reply, if you're still interested: Otter being in my moniker is coincidental, but I do have a tenuous link to them, professionally.

  9. Pikey leaves CiF and the Guardian Media Group loses 90 million quid and turns to mass redundancy - coincidence? You decide.

  10. Frank,

    I've decided, coincidence.

  11. Montana, anybody - I'm not being very bright this morning but wtf was all that about?

  12. Frank:

    Well at least they’ll be able to get rid of the half a dozen KGB-trained Moderators who were employed specifically to censor your one-man BTL fight for freedom. Bloody Stalinists those Guardian types.

    By the way, have you noticed the way various posters seem to be putting themselves forward for the newly vacant position of CiF's friendly right-wing libertarian comedian? Any thoughts on who you’d like to see succeed you?

  13. annetan

    'tis a mystery to me too - but then I'm not at my best in the morning either.

  14. Any thoughts on who you’d like to see succeed you?

    No one's good enough. S'true.

    I think that place's days are numbered. I was looking through all the numbers on this financial crash GMG's enduring - it's not going to get any better. And of course the problem with CiF is that any cost-cutting will quickly turn into diminishing returns in terms of traffic. I bet the numbers are already way down from peak.

    When I used to work in mags we'd always say that a complaining letter or call from a reader, or former reader, probably reflected a hundred others who'd thought the same, but hadn't got in touch - I reckon with the web you can stick a zero on that. For every vocal critic of the new "sleepeazy" policy on CiF there'll be a thousand who have simply vacated the site for more interesting pastures, or just given up. *Although*, maybe they're also benefitting from people turning away from paid dead-tree content, to free content - but it's hard to see how losing cold ahrd cash can be balanced by 1/10 of a penny from the occasional clickthrough.

    Also, notice how many current CiF ads are for in-house events/promotions?

  15. Their attitude does beggar belief. They were going on yonks back about the web future of newspapers, but they haven't developed the right attitude or devoted the resources to it. 'We don't have enough mods' was something they kept saying - this ought to be one of their main focuses for future revenue, ffs. And the attitude to a loyal readership was bonkers beyond belief, basically 'This is how it is, we will decide the rules with no consultation, if you don't like it, fuck off'. Remember the anniversary thread when they asked for ideas? Seaton ignored all bar a couple of unrepresentative ones, and the promised follow-up never appeared once he saw it would involve too much flak. Think Frank's quite right on this.

  16. 90 mill sounds a fair old hit..I blame t'internet and Pikey.


  17. I wonder if they'll go partial subscription? The Irish Times used to do it but they've since sacked it off.


  18. That would be a good excuse for me to find something productive to do.

  19. Frank: I started to type “replace”, then realised my mistake, so “succeed” was the next best thing.

    CiF is in danger of disappearing up its own faux-liberal arsehole, which will allow The Untrusted to step into the gap. Why do you think we’re all struggling to bring about its downfall?

    Shares in Montana Wildhack World Domination Amalgamated Industries are about to go through the roof. Take a tip from me, get out of gold (the metal, not the CiF “writer”) and into MWWDAI. You know it makes sense.

    And how are the boys at Soldier Of Fortune these days ;-)

  20. Montana,

    I stood on the spot in Capri where Tiberias had his victims thrown into the sea below (their bodies were dashed on the rocks). I swear there is a strange atmosphere there. As there is in Pompeii.

    You know - I might be able to do an article on shopping at Oxfam.....

  21. "get out of gold (the metal, not the CiF “writer”)"
    Horrible, horrible image Mr Says.

  22. Sorry, Fence.

    It came to me unbidden, so I thought I’d share it. I’m just a channel for this stuff you know...

  23. Bloody Muses, eh?

  24. In an attempt to remove that image from everyone’s consciousness, last night’s musical musings reminded me of this:

    The Slits - Typical Girls

    So are they typical, girls?

  25. Morning all
    Remind me to never, ever EVER do that again on a Sunday night please.

    "get out of Gold"
    Andy, you are one sick puppy...

  26. Just popping in... re. the flowery-monickered actress, I can't seem to delete the offending posts (no little bin for me, for some reason) so if MW cares to delete them as Administrator, that'd be just dandy.

  27. Jack Straw needs to fuck off somewhere for a few years
    Half an hour would do me provided it was in the right place, such as the bottom of the ocean. Hell, I'd settle for one second in the magma chamber of a large volcano.

  28. Singer of the Slits dances like Vic Reeves.

  29. By the way...

    Things are indeed bad at the Graun's shiny new HQ at Kings Place if this article
    is to be believed...

    And Mendoza/Fencewalker, it's no secret they've discussed charging for the Media Guardian section of the website before. Presumably meeja types would be OK paying for the content (or the jobs section, at any rate).

  30. Swifty the link didn't work :(

  31. @anne:

    Guardian discusses plan to close The Observer

    LONDON - The Guardian Media Group is understood to have given serious thought to a radical plan that would see The Observer newspaper closed as part of an effort to cut costs and secure the future of The Guardian.

    According to a report in the Sunday Times, the Scott Trust, which owns the Guardian Media Group, discussed the idea at a board meeting on July 6.

    The paper said that the plan put forward proposed closing The Observer and turning it into a weekly news magazine, which would be published on a Thursday.

    However, the plan was opposed by some Scott Trust members including Larry Elliott, who represents journalists on the board of the charitable foundation.

    Those at the meeting agreed to put the plan on hold while alternative options were examined, including the idea of keeping The Observer going, but in a slimmed down form.

    If GMG, headed by chief executive Carolyn McCall, pursued this option it would almost certainly mean more redundancies at the paper. These would come on top of the 50 editorial redundancies Guardian News & Media, which owns both papers, plans in 2009.

    News of a possible closure of The Observer follows GN&M last week reporting operating losses of £36.8m in the year to March 2009. These were up from £26.4m last time.

    The news group said it was experiencing "the toughest trading conditions seen for many years" as turnover fell to £253.6m from £261.9m in 2008. Overall Guardian Media Group reported pre-tax losses of nearly £90m.

    Another possible option would be to sell the paper, which was first printed towards the end of the eighteenth century in 1791. It has been owned by the Guardian since 1993.

    Rumours about a possible sale of the paper have surfaced before, but not for a number of years.

    In its most recent ABC figure, The Observer was up 1.1% to 409,970 month on month, but down 6.36% year on year.

  32. Dunno about anyone else, but on Sundays (and Saturdays for that matter), I read the same bits of the paper I do on weekdays: news, sport & puzzles.

    Paying 2 quid for all the extra guff I never look at annoys me.

    Why not do a regular weekday paper for the weekday price?

  33. Why not do a regular weekday paper for the weekday price?

    The ads - ads are where the money is at, and advertisers want "aspirational" readers; ie, people who will spend more than they can afford. This means women - typically of the wife and mother variety, and they, largely, do not read newspapers in the week. But they *will* read travel sections, lifestyle sections, gardening sections - hence the weekend papers are full of that. That's what the weekend papers are for. A newspaper - just a newspaper - can't work in that market; remember the "Sunday Business"?

  34. Am I in a minority of one, then?

    Those sections go straight into the recycling. I buy a paper and read it every day. And I'm *shock* a female! (But not a wife or mother, thank the orbiting teapot.)

  35. Well I'm a bloke and I haven't bought a paper for more than a year now. So the statistics are thus confounded again...

    It's a broad brush - but also, what a paper's actual demographic is, and what they tell the advertisers its demographic is, ain't necessarily the same thing....

  36. Christ they have a thread about haggis now...

    I mean, I wouldn't mind, the world needs trivia, but can't it at least be original trivia?

    Novel and innovative whimsy, is that so hard?

  37. @thauma:

    Frank's right about the "aspirational" bit - the seductive notion of enjoying a cosy lie-in on a sunny Saturday morning with partner and papers, Krupp coffee machine a-bubbling and croissants gently warming, before heading off to that lovely little riverside pub for a couple of Pinots and a meet with your huge circle of very good friends, followed by chucking a couple of things in the back of the car and heading off down the M4 to the Cotswolds for the weekend.

    All total bollocks of course, but aspiration is what these Sunday supps are selling, no doubt about it.

  38. Yep, and Frank is no doubt also right about lying about the actual demographics - I mean, surely the number of people who can afford this stuff is vanishingly small?

    Others might look at the mags and feel all aspirational, but if you can't afford the bling, you can't.

  39. @thauma:

    but if you can't afford the bling, you can't.

    Ah, but the lifestyle stuff makes you want it. And what's forty quid for that lovely juicer, anyway? Never mind the fact that once you've bought it, it'll go into the cupboard under the stairs after its first few outings and quietly gather dust, it's the fact that it's all tied up in the aspiration that's important. Buying the juicer makes you feel just that little bit closer to that "ideal", easy-like-Sunday-morning middle class lifestyle.

  40. I'm immune. I fucking hate shopping!

  41. Also, most of the kit they advertise is quite high price for only reasonable quality. Bose for instance, is distinctly average hi fi for too much wedge. The market is clearly for, as Frank & others say, people who want to spend money to feel a certain way, or can't be arsed/don't have the wherewithall to explore the market and match their specific needs let alone get value for money.

    Hapless middle class people.

    Has anyone the comedy watched Outnumbered ?

    It's THAT family.

  42. Looks like the Cif gerbils have gone on hunger strike again.

  43. Looks like the Cif gerbils have gone on hunger strike again.

    Budget cuts - they can't afford the sunflower seeds.

  44. I take it you guys can't comment either ?

  45. Friends don't let friends buy Bose.

  46. Have restarted my browser and it's OK - for now.

  47. Sealion
    Indeed !

  48. A li'l birdie tells me the Observer closure is a done deal - says there will be no paper next weekend. C'est fin.

    So perhaps we should be nice to GMG, they're probably a bit shell-shocked today.

  49. Jesus !
    Been getting that paper all my life.

    FF, yep, maybe.

  50. Frank

    Christ - what'll I do on a Sunday! I take it you're not winding us up? Like BW have been reading it all my life - and even though it's not what it used to be am addicted (sad, I know).

  51. Can't post comments anyway. Must be me.

  52. Bah. Boss in a foul mood, ex got the proper hump with me, cricket looks like a draw, and now my favourite source of righteous anger on Sunday Morning (and it has to be said, a fair amount of CiF numptiness) is about to get flushed down the pan.

    What a rubbish Monday.

  53. Frank - does your birdie tell you if the Guardian will publish a Sunday edition instead?

  54. Hey, just a mate with a vague "in" to the proceedings, may be entirely unreliable - he doesn't work for GMG.

    But these things have a way of cascading - a mooted idea, some advertisers who were iffy anyway decide to pull booked pages, projected revenues start to look even worse, the decision start sto look like when not if, and a beancounter says "well it we're going to close it, close now and save a few million!"

  55. And I now see the Times is reporting GMG staff have been emailed with an update on the situation - basically matching the earlier rumours from the sound of it.

  56. I must admit I'd be pretty pissed off to see the Sunday Torygraph or Sunday Times go under, but the old man always got the snobserver, so got attachment issues.

    Hope they can rescue it.

  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. Yeah, I'd hate to see the Observer go but I harbour a suspicion that a major factor in GMG's troubles is their complete inability to shake of the view of their readership as the kinda airy-fairy, bien-pensant, middle class clones who accept unthinkingly the constant diet of liberal drivel served up by the likes of Toynbee, Bunting etc.

    Judging by the nature of posters on cif, such a demographic simply doesn't exist and yet they continue to put out their unsubstantiated, pontificatory drivel ad nauseam as if there were a demand for it. They seem to think there's a whole world out there of enlightened oxbridge graduates untouched by the demands and rigours of real life; perhaps they imagine a world cushioned by expense accounts, cushy sinecures or rich spouses who take care of things, leaving their readers free to maintain a sorta permanent adolescence of student political posturing and idealist bullshit.

    As money saving initiatives, I'd go for...

    1)Toynbee, Bunting, Seaton for the chop.

    2)Keep the Observer as an online edition. Personally, I'd willingly sacrifice all but the main section, sport and maybe the review.

    3)Sack the mods

  59. Imogen is making the UT he story of the day over on WDYWTTA

  60. Roger all that MF.

    The news reporting has been usually (until some very recent very obvious cuts, say in the last two-three years) excellent.

  61. MF - they can sling the sport and the fashion as I loathe both - but definitely not the review - one of the best bits.

  62. Well, if imogen does follow up sheff's invitation, can I suggest she reads the conversation that I and others had with her friend yesterday evening and judge our actions and intentions on that basis.

  63. Seconded Andy.

    Imogen should you call by be read the thread - it's called empathy and perhaps a little innocent fun and joy.

    After tonight I'm going to be away for a several and a few days whilst I get me machine sorted out or buy another.

    It's getting up me wick - it is sometimes so slow that I can plan my next meal whilst I'm waiting for a response and I don't normally do that until I'm hungry.

    Best Wishes All - the place has been great to read and very lively in the last week or so.


  64. @Monkeyfish
    For that post of 17:09 ... right on!

  65. Interesting observations Frank & MFish but what about Will Hutton?

    Would the Beidebeckers let the Obs fold when they have invited William for lunch?

    £90m to an accountant, as I understand it, is not very much at all. We need to remember that accountancy is no more than the art of measuring how long a piece of string is.

    I was taught "A" level accounts by the first financial director of ASDA (when it was old fashioned (Northern) Associated Dairies)a cute old kid. He wasn't teaching cos he needed the shilling he was just out hunting but he knew his accountancy inside out in. He could put a gloss or a tarnish on a turd at the call of a client.

    Will be interesting to watch the developments.

  66. Nighty night all.

    Just wondering ... I used to play this tune a lot in the 90s. If I did so now, and had the windows open, what would you give for my chances of being arrested?

    We Have Explosive - FSOL"