01 September 2009

Daily Chat 01/09/09

Louis XIV died in 1715, ending a 72 year reign. The Mission of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded in California in 1772. Martha, the world's last Passenger Pigeon died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914. The Great Kanto Earthquake devastated the cities of Tokyo and Yokohama in 1923, killing 104,000 people. Germany invaded Poland in 1939.

Celebrating birthdays today: Seiji Ozawa, Lily Tomlin, Barry Gibb and Ruud Gullit. It is Knowledge Day in Russia.


  1. I owe 3 people e-mails. Very busy tonight and still about ½ hour of work before I can go to bed. Hope things will settle down by Weds.

  2. Dan
    Sorry that post sgould have come with a ;)!

    Yes I am Welsh!

  3. 'A feast of graves excited a shy welsh woman'
    Powerful stuff first thing in the morning, annetan.

    I did live in Wales for a couple of years- Powys, near Builth Wells... Bettws Cottage, near Franksbridge. It looked particularly lovely that day the sun came out...
    It was there that i discovered that sheep are prone to more diseases than ANY OTHER ANIMAL and that living in Wales can be injurious to your sanity. My wife had to be taken away by the men in white coats.
    But we were warned. A week before we moved there from Somerset we met a witch at this private view in Bristol who told as NOT TO GO TO WALES.
    But we did. Oh the HORROR...
    You have my deepest sympathies, annetan.

  4. Ok, do we know who took the CIF hamster home for the holidays and forgot to feed it when they went to Tuscany?

    and what's wrong with Wales?

  5. elementary_watson01 September, 2009 09:57

    "What's wrong with Wales?"

    Well, personally I haven't been there, but according to some Edmund Blackadder, Esq. ...

    "It's a ghastly place. Huge gangs of tough sinewy men roam the valleys terrifying people with their close harmony singing. You need half a pint of phlegm in your throat just to pronounce the place names. Never ask for direction in Wales, you'll be washing spit out of your hair for a fortnight."

  6. elementary

    I have a sat nav and no objection to tough sinewy men, I say again:

    What's wrong with Wales?

  7. The mister is Welsh. I don't see anything wrong with it at all.

    Well, except for when their bloody rugby team beat Ireland.

  8. Latest thread on Cif: Commenting is off. As if we hadn't noticed!

  9. That's probably a thread worth avoiding. My last post was on it after they obliterated someone's perfectly harmless post.

  10. Mrs Martillo is Welsh. It's beautiful (the country), especially the North, although I was made to feel rather uncomfortable a couple of times by some locals.

    Had a strange experience last night: I dedcided that the only thing I wanted to listen to was "Aladdin Sane". It was the first time in years and when I put it in the PC I thought it was damaged because it just seemed to skid over the tracks. Then this huge ad for David Bowie's web page took over the whole screen. Anyone had the same?

  11. martillo:

    "Mrs Martillo is Welsh. It's beautiful (the country)"

    And was your disclaimer because Mrs Martillo is not beautiful, or is not an "it"? ;-)

  12. The latter. Just being careful: you never know who's around....;0)

  13. Martillo - nope, but my CD is rather old so probably doesn't have that sort of fancy technology on it.

  14. Wales is nice but many welsh have a mammoth chip on their shoulder - "many": def: I find this mostly in the north/mid-wales, mostly rural, seems to go hand-in-hand with the language. I assume it's petty nationalism amplified by being taught a dead language with the implication being that those bloody englishmen murdered it.


    CiF is enraging - even to an abstainer like me. Nannies and au pairs for the "professional" classes are an issue for me? *I* depend on them, third and fourth hand? The single most pompous, self-centred, smug and arrogant article I have read on CiF I reckon, and this Clanchy woman looks like someone you'd find in a gothic novel's attic. Probably milking rats.


  15. @Frank:

    Sore point with me, grandparents and childcare. Bitterly resentful of many of the wife's friends whose parents "help with childcare", i.e. take kids to school, pick kids up from school, feed kids tea, play with kids till mum or dad gets home from work, baths kids because mum or dad feels "tired" after a day's work, babysit the kids while no longer "tired" mum and dad go out for a meal... Apparently all these grandparents "love it".

    We never had the "help", you see, which is possibly why I'm so bitterly resentful of those that have it.

  16. Seems quite appropriate that comments should go down when this article went up.

    grandparents, sob.....even if my parents were nearby and remotely willing I'd still feel guilty hijacking their retirement to run after very exuberant toddlers. Understand the bitter resentment Swifty, my brother and sister in law have her mother nearby and she has my niece for whole weekends, imagine....!

  17. Frank F

    "The economic grounds for selfishness are rarely discussed because, paradoxically, feminism helped create them. Women's liberation liberated the upper-middle class above all others. Instead of managing on one generous income, an already prosperous family could claim two, if it could find servants to look after its children and its homes. Someone had to clean and nurture, and even if the man was prepared to do his full share of housework — which, frankly, most men were not — there still would not be enough hours in the day to combine home with demanding and rewarding careers for husband and wife. As the perceptive American writer Caitlin Flanagan noted in her essay How Serfdom Saved the Woman's Movement, the forward march of women through the institutions would have halted had not globalisation, war, poverty, and the collapse of the Berlin Wall provided an army of poor migrants willing to take on menial housework and childcare. "The new immigrants were met at the docks not by a highly organised and politically powerful group of American women intent on bettering the lot of their sex," she wrote, "but, rather, by an equally large army of educated professional-class women with booming careers who needed their children looked after and their houses cleaned. Any supposed equivocations about the moral justness of white women's employing dark-skinned women to do their shit work simply evaporated."

    It is deplorable but unsurprising that the past 20 years have seen a cooling of a belief in the need for universal emancipation. Most women at the top of society are dependent on cheap and usually foreign labour. So, too, are their partners, who enjoy the benefits of a dual income. In these circumstances, going along with the belief that culture condemns certain women to servitude is a domestic convenience, the more so when speaking out against it is dangerous."

    Guess who?...read it all if you fancy flexing an impotent jibbering rage at the metropolitan media elite.


  18. I think Ms Clancy has been indulging in a spot of plagiarism

  19. "the implication being that those bloody englishmen murdered it."

    To be fair, they probably did have a hand in the demise of the language, Frank. I've heard that Welsh was suppressed in Schools, for example. Anyone know more?

  20. @Vari:

    That's the other thing - when I'm old enough to retire, I'll make sure I am bloody retired and not some quasi au pair stepping in to make life easy for Swifty Jr.

    We're still paying off fucking debts incurred when my wife gave up working to look after Junior.

  21. Well we've brought up plenty of kids and the last bloody thing I wanted was grandparents involved. They're all nutters. We never lived anywhere near them anyway.

    Nobody I know who has kids these days does it all on their own without grandparents etc...(and skint)..it passes. You've just gotta live on spam, spuds, cheap lager,roll your own fags and stay in for 15 years. It's worth it in the end though...apparently?

  22. elementary_watson01 September, 2009 11:34

    Would I want my parents to interfere with my children should I ever have them?

    Well, my mother once ridiculed my brother in front of his girlfriend for being too soft to slap his (hypothetical, future) children. Guess that means "no, I don't want to leave my children with my parents".

    "They're all nutters" is pretty accurate in many cases, monkeyfish.

  23. Good link, Monkeyfish. I could have done without the JB quotes at the end, because I have a feeling that she doesn't believe the situation of women in The Yemen, say, is very different in essence from that of women in 'The West'.

  24. After the whole Peter Jones debacle I really thought that the editors might read through pieces and anticipate the reaction before putting them up......

  25. Clanchy has form - she's made some money out of writing a book about her Kosovan cleaner. She's obviously a caring person.
    "Clanchy convinced herself - and several of her friends - that it was a feminist act to employ Antigona to clear up after them since Antigona had escaped an abusive marriage, was making her own money and had children to support."

  26. @Vari:

    I was thinking about that - on reflection, Kate Clanchy's piece is a natural for CiF inclusion, surely? It will piss off those who don't have a nanny, and those who don't agree with substitutes, and those Dave Sparts who rail against the Islingtonisation of the Graun, and it'll ignite the "women want it all" debate for the four thousandth time, leading us nicely into the "I blame feminism" slanging match... It's only a wonder it's been over a year that the topic's lain dormant, since Cath Elliot waded into the fray to dismiss as irrelevant to most, the "nannygate" affair.

  27. Thanks Dan - but sympathy is not needed - really :D

  28. leading us nicely into the "I blame feminism" slanging match...

    You're absolutely correct, in fact, if they time it all well, it could be the platform for Libby Brooks e/o September article subtitled 'we need to have a debate about feminism'.

  29. Everyday I spend less time with the guardian and every day Cif seems more pointless.
    Mind you, I'm a very long way from English culture here, thank christ.
    Many hammams sprouting up here where you get scrubbed and massaged by women. You're supposed to wear underpants at the traditional hammams and a bloke does everything, scrupulously avoiding the rude bits. BUT at the hammams run by women they're OK with full male nudity and will soap your todger without batting an eyelid.
    And give an excellent massage.
    Give me a woman masseuse any day.

  30. The valley we lived in had the highest suicide rate in Europe, apparently all down to brucillosis from the unpasteurised milk.
    I think the weather must have had something to do with it as well. And the food.
    But there are one or two nice bits as long as you avoid the north and the nationalists.
    So do you still live in Wales, annetan?

  31. To be fair, they probably did have a hand in the demise of the language, Frank.

    Well yes they did - welsh was known as "british" and seen as the primitive tongue of these islands - English was the superior language fit to run an Empire. And it's true - you can't even say parallel processing in Welsh.

    But the point is that thinking 19th century heavyhandedness justifies 21st century chippiness - and charging non-locals doublein the shops - is absurd. I have welsh friends, but I still find the agressive snottiness of some taffs quite galling.

    On the great nanny debate; what riles me most about this Clanchy lark is mostly that she's trying to extend the moral quandry to all of us. Because she and her wealthy pals employ cleaners and au pairs and nannies, the blame must be spread - she wants us all to feel a little guilty, all to feel a little responsible. She wants us all agree that it's "essential" for a "professional" to employ staff. BTW, since when did poeting become so lucrative? I'm guessing since the arts council and lottery and BBC started chucking commissions around.

    I hate this; engineering a path from "my moral guilt" to "our moral guilt". Kate, love, if you choose to illegally employ serving staff, it's your burden, not mine. Claiming that doctors or other "professionals" can't manage unless they do *may* be true, but their entry into those careers is a matter of choice; their decision to have children they can't look after is their choice. I have four kids - it greatly restricts social life, work, housing, choice of bloody car etc etc. We get a little help from both grannies, now and then, but the bulk of the work falls on us - to be honest on the missus. Which is why she works part time, and why we are permanently skint - it's our choice. Even if we could afford it we wouldn't farm the kids out; they are what we work *for*.

  32. I feel weak - I agree with Frank wholeheartedly (on the Clanchy subject, not the Welsh).

  33. Frank - first of all Welsh is not a dead language. Sure it nearly died but 25% of people in Wales do speak it and thid number is increasing.

    But I agree that some people in the north of Wales do have a chip on their shoulder. If its any comfort they are very nice to Anglos like me either! (Anglo = welsh person who doesn't speak Welsh)

    Most people in the north (referred to in S Wales as 'gogs' - gogledd = North in Welsh) usually have learned Welsh the way you and I learned English- they are referred to as 'native welsh speakers' they are mostly working class. There are some native Welsh speakers in the South but in the South lots of middle class people learn Welsh because its a good career move in Wales.

    In English speaking parts of Wales there used to be a lot of prejudice against Welsh speakers. My grandfather spoke Welsh and had a Welsh name (Evan) the fact that he chose to be called 'Harry' at work speaks volumes. So perhaps there is a reason for the chip.

    Surprisingly enough The 'Act of Union' of 1536 (under the Tudors!) meant that only English could be used in courts thus discriminating against the Welsh languge. Imagine not being able to use your own language in courts in your own country especially as, in those days, many Welsh people had no English.


  34. she has form

    Fu. CK. Ing. Hell.

    How? How? How do these people live with themselves? How do they figure they're the good guys? How, indeed, do they fund this astonishing lifestyle? How do they think this is *normal*?

    Keeerist the Guardian is so bizarrely out of touch on so many things. I feel it's another country. I look at all these polls still giving labour 25% and normally think, who the hell are these people, how can they still support these clowns? And here's the answer - a group of people so isolated and insulated by internalised groupthink that any objective rationality is simply impossible.

    An amazing thing, this ability of a peer group to amplify and normalise the oddest of behaviours or ideas - quite a dangerous thing too of course.

    I'm really tempted to create a new CiF profile daily, just to enter these threads with a "what the fuck???" and then leave...

  35. Clancy wrote a book about hers?? FFS

    Was gonna go on cif and lambast her for this but I notice someone called SpoonsofGlory alraedy has. I'll post it here because it won't last long I'm sure...


    Right...let's see if I've got this straight...it is sorta OK to employ a cheap East European cleaner as long as you strike the right poses to maintain a veneer of progressive feminist respectability by talking about it. Right OK got that.

    And what would make it completely 'ethical'?

    Oooh...I know...All the above and then writing a fuckin book about it once she'd been deported...then shipping in another Albanian.


    Kate Clanchy

    You are to cleaners what Julie Myerson is to children.

    ie...have one, regard he/she as 'material' for a book then when they've gone (been 'pushed')...get the book published and come on cif to lecture the rest of us who didn't have the problem in the first place...either because we couldn't afford one..didn't want one or weren't the sorta self-regarding, self-righteous, middle-class idiot who fucks up everything then assumes that makes them an 'expert'...ie. Matt Seaton's mates

  36. Oh shit...I've turned into Frank Fisher

  37. first of all Welsh is not a dead language.

    Is a zombie not dead, simply because he walks around?

    It was, if not dead, dying - the ressurection is artificial and politically motivated - just there to bolster the childish notions of nationhood of some drunken old taff politicos, poets and other ranters. Writing "ARAF" on the roads and ensuring that the welsh translation always comes first is just as good as having a self-supporting economy, or a nuclear deterrent. Really.

    Oh I don't mind that much; I just object, as usual, to paying for it all

  38. MF

    Yup, I can hear the mods sharpening their scissors now.........

    There's a lot of trolling going on over there, on both sides, just a shame Jessica Reed and others are busy feeding them!

  39. Do I get a gun? Hope it's a big shiny one.

  40. Oh shit...I've turned into Frank Fisher

    And more join you every day.

    Watch and learn my pretties, soon all this world will be mine. Mine you hear.


  41. Do I get a gun? Hope it's a big shiny one.

    Well if you call it a "gun" you can't have one. As eny fule kno a gun is a smoothbore weapon - such as an old cannon, or a shotgun - and today's discerning firearms enthusiast would look on such things with disdain. Now, if you wanted a rifle or pistol, that would be different...

  42. As an ex-gunnner I have to correct you Frank. The term gun can also refer to a, direct fire, artillery piece, so it just depends on the amount of damage MF is looking to cause :)

  43. #so it just depends on the amount of damage MF is looking to cause :)#

    Kinda depends where I get to put it.

    I'll have an artillery piece mounted on the top of Canary Warf if it's all the same...should put me in range of the majority of my top twenty targets...oh yeah..and a team of crack gunners to do my bidding. We'll be called the "Fighting Meerkats" and we'll have specially designed 'smartshells' that only take out self-absorbed, middleclass dickwads.

    So that's Hampstead, Highgate, Islington, Guardian Towers and Labour Party headquarters reduced to smouldering rubble.

  44. Well I would say that term is then incorrectly used. How can it be a gun if it's rifled? What madness is that?

    I remember a friend's dad who worked at Webley back in Brum who had a legendary pedantic fury on this issue - often regarding anyone mentioning an "elephant gun". "No such thing!" he'd roar. And then start droning on about ww greener and the nitro express and....

    he had a bren gun in his shed - so you'd forgive him that kind of thing.

  45. One of the Cthulthu Lovecraftians wrote a story about the Welsh being the last living servants of the Old Ones - waiting in their valleys to come back into their own at the Restoration. . .

    Re the language I see no harm in learning several languages - our youngest goes to the Gaelic school in Glasgow and now happily copes with more foreign lingo than me. The danger is when others feel the language imposed on them - people in Sutherland are up in arms about road signs going up in Gaelic when Gaelic was never part of their culture - as one furious local said, Norse would be much more appropriate (and more comoprehensible).

    And not everyone embracing a culture or language is doing it with liberal intention. One of the new mums at the Gaelic school told a friend that she loved the school as there are 'no Pakis'.

  46. @GP01:

    If you ever want to come out of retirement, it looks like Monkeyfish has just the job for you.

    "Shot out"



  47. monkeyfish,
    'Cats United, No To Simians' are right behind you.

  48. The term "gun" is quite correct when applied to artillery pieces.

    The earliest english language reference to artillery regards someone being killed by, "an gonne", at Crecy; in this case a fairly crude artillery piece, in use by the French.

    Sure, both artillery & handguns were smoothbored at the time, but the term remained valid for direct fire artillery even after the advent of rifling; whereas smallarms differntiated between rifles & muskets/guns. Only American English uses the term "rifle" for naval & coastal defence artillery.

    Strictly speaking, there are very few true guns in use by armies today; really only confined to tanks &, virtually obsolete, AA/AT guns, as most field guns are actually howitzers.

  49. Nah, Stoaty, I only ever worked with tubed artillery once. Now, if you ever need to employ surface to air missiles, well...

  50. The term "gun" is quite correct when applied to artillery pieces.

    Widespread and universally understood is not the same as "correct".

    But I can live with it.

    That reminds me though, I keep meaning to find something out. *why* are modern tanks fitted with smoothbore guns? I read once it was to increase muzzle velocity but this doesn't sound right - what's the point of velocity if you lose accuracy? So wozzit for? Something to do with using sabots?

  51. @Frank:

    Less barrel wear n tear, and allows use of fin stabilised munitions, probably.

  52. #Now, if you ever need to employ surface to air missiles, well...#


    You might come in handy taking care of the flying pigs who'll be blocking out the sun on the day the Guardian commissions an Albanian nanny to tell us what she really thinks of the sort of "have it all", liberal media types she's worked for.

  53. Swifty:

    Blowpipe & then Javelin. Although I was trained as an operator, actually ended up as CPOA & Sigs Sgt for the battery.

    Re smoothbore tank guns: US Army & Bundeswehr use them (as do Russian tanks from T64 onwards) as they provide greater accuracy with APFSDS (Armour Piercing Fins Stabilised Discarding Sabot) rounds, without the need to negate the rifling.

    The Brits still use a rifled gun on Challenger 2.

  54. Can't even access The Gruniad lately.
    Well, to be honest, I actually managed to access Cif for the first time since early July, whilst the comments were down today, but judging by some of the threads referenced here; or the idiotic "Porno Sweet Wrappers" item, I'm not sure I want to

  55. This site's turning into the "Top Gear for gun-toting psychos" blog. I'm nipping out before the anti-terrorist squad arrive.

    "NO...Please...stop hitting me officer...I didn't want to do it..he made me.. it was Fisher...he locked me up his Madrasa...made me recite Clarkson's latest book by rote...he brainwashed me.."

  56. Frank you (personally) don't pay for it any more than I do!!!

    I don't object to your identity you grumpy right wing git, so why object to mine?

    From a Grumpy left wing OLD Welsh witch ;)

  57. @GP01:

    Ah, small stuff then :-)

    Re. CPOA, as it happens, I'm re-reading Spike Milligan's war memoirs (the Germans are about to do for him in Italy). He did quite a bit of command post stuff apparently.

  58. Don't mention the Police. GMP once tried to arrest a cenotaph guard, on Rememberance Sunday, for having unlicenced firearms; back in the days of James "I Speak to God" Anderton :)

  59. I don't object to your identity you grumpy right wing git, so why object to mine?

    Do you subsidise my "identity" annetan? And would all these welsh people be somehow less welsh if road signs weren't translated? Here's a thought - if someone paints ARAF on a road, and nobody reads it, is identity diminished or increased?

    It's twaddle. Expensive twaddle.

    Milligan's war memoirs are amongst the best from WW2. I'd put him up with Robert Graves for authenticity, honesty and atmosphere - never understood why they weren't recognised as significant works. I guess becuase he was a popular author and because the books could be dismissed as "humourous" the literati never got involved.

    I wonder what Kate Clanchy's cleaner might think.

  60. Hmm. I'm not that big a fan of Robert Graves, much prefer Sassoon myself.

    Oddly, today marks the 42nd anniversary of his death (Sassoon, that is).

  61. kiz, if you're on here, you do realise that saying I'd rather shove my hand up a meerkat than work for you was a joke, don't you?

  62. If you were Swiss would you complain about their multilingual signs?

    Wales is a country it yhas its own language and culture and if may remind you it was the English that conquered us not the other way round.

    There are many in Wales that actually want independance.

    Its also worth reminding people that for many years the contribution of Wales to the UK was considerable(coal & steel). Cardiff was once the richest port in the world - the first million pound cheque was written here. How much of that wealth stayed in Wales is questionable of course.

    Now all thats gone of course - perhaps its payback time?

  63. Kiz,
    That Dotters meant it. You were right to sack him.

  64. Don't understand the Welsh. We gave them their very own prince and they still wont use our vowels.

  65. spoonfishofGlory01 September, 2009 18:07

    SpoonsofGlory RIP

    passed away earlier this afternoon of a little known contagion known as Po-facedLiberalTwatitis...there is no known cure.

    Actually not only has he gone along with his comment section..but every single post from every single thread has disappeared. They've obviously developed a new secret weapon...Once Darth Seaton gets his hands on this new doomsday devive nothing can save the Rebel army...our only hope is an intrepid band of...oh fuck it...what's the point

  66. Well, spoons, if you won't toe the Cif party line....

    As Major Jock Sinclair said: 'Whisky for the gentlemen that like it. And for the gentlemen that don't like it - Whisky.'

  67. Unlucky spoons. I liked that monicker a lot too.

  68. Evening, Untrusted ones.

    SpoonsOfGlory - RIP

  69. Hello folks.

    Reading upthread, it looks like I missed an interesting thread on domestic slavery today. Like this was news to anyone with half a brain, that wealthier working women routinely exploit poorer women who do their domestic & caring work. And sometimes they pay cash in hand so could even be complicit in (sssh!) benefit fraud! Or they set up in business & employ same poorer women as domestic slaves for other wealthy working women ...

    Bears no relationship to a young woman of my acquaintance who has to catch a bus half way across town to drop off her pre-school child at her parents, then has another bus ride back into town to go to work. All this travelling takes her an hour & a half. And then, at the end of the day, she collects her kid from her parents & goes home on the bus. She just can't earn enough to run a car or pay for formal childcare, even if it was locally available (which it ain't). Bit different from leaving your kid with the nanny ...

    Suppose I'd best go read the thread now!

  70. I, personally, would like more filth in these discussions and less guns.
    If I could get more blog sex, I wouldn't pester Miranda for a flash on skype.
    I recall an interesting discussion some time ago about sheep shagging- probably begun by annetan, being Welsh. More of that sort of thing would be good as it doesn't crop up on cif.
    And we could do with less cif all round.
    And I hate that crappy 'live draw' cartoon stuff.
    i used to hate Martin Rowson's stuff but now I reckon he's better than Steve Bell and that's really saying something...

  71. You can talk dan! I'm halfway through your comic and not a sniff of filth.

  72. Night BB sorry you couldn't find blog.

  73. Stoaty cae dy geg! =shut up! ;)

    You have your prince back and we'll keep our vowels thanks! a e i o u w y OK?

    We have also dispensed with the following consenants - k,q,v, x and z

    Of course its not our fault its those monks...

  74. PS I was joking! as I assume you were(?)

  75. anne,
    Of course I was. Even I think it was a bit of a cheek to give you a prince of your very own!

  76. Wouldn't have been so bad if he was Welsh! You know the story of the first English prince of Wales I suppose?

    Bloody con-trick!

  77. annetan42,
    No, I don't know the story, but I bet you chaps took it well! ;)