09 September 2009

Daily Chat 09/09/09

Mary Stuart was crowned Queen of Scots at the age of nine months in 1543. Elvis Presley made his first television appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. The bottom half of the picture was blacked out, to protect the innocent from the sight of his lewd hip gyrations. The PLO officially recognised Israel as a legitimate state in 1993.

Born today: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Otis Redding (1941-1967), Dave Stewart (1952), Hugh Grant (1960), Roberto Donadoni (1963) and Julia Sawalha (1968). It is Chrysanthemum Day in Japan.


  1. Tolstoy's birthday!
    An excuse for another LOTR discussion?

  2. The Presley trouser blackout story is a myth - not sure about the details (must be on wiki) but think it was a story orchestrated by the wicked Colonel Parker.

  3. OK, so he wrote some other books. I know. Really I do.
    I just wanted to see if I was alone on here.

  4. Apparently not.
    Morning edwin. I can't face the thought of Presley gyrating in tight trousers at this hour of the day, nor any other, tbh.

  5. Why Anna Karenina is a feminist icon to rival Eowyn? ;-)

  6. Все счастливые семьи похожи друг на друга, каждая несчастливая семья несчастлива по-своему

    Quite, Lev Nikolayich, quite.

  7. elementary_watson09 September, 2009 09:04

    "All happy families are alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"?

    MsChin: Well, in the beginning of his career, Elvis wore tight trousers because they were cut in a way to be tight. It was not until much later that he wore tight trousers because there were no trousers on this planet which weren't tight for him ...

  8. @elementary_watson:

    Молодец! Indeed it is – the famous first line of Tolstoy’s greatest book IMHO. Even better than War 'n' Peace, which is also brilliant.

  9. elementary_watson09 September, 2009 09:15

    Has Tolstoy ever written another great quotable line, btw?

  10. @elementary_watson:


    It's a bit difficult rendering some of his Russian into English, because even to a Russian ear, some of his sentences sounds "odd".

    For such a dour old bastard, he could be surprisingly playful with language sometimes.

  11. Well I read Tolstoy in Penguin translation, like most of us I suppose, and it seems that there are better (well more consistently accurate) translations now. I suppose you have to read him in the original to really get him, but then again those pesky Klingons famously say the same about Shakespeare.

  12. elementary_watson09 September, 2009 09:52

    Shakespeare bores the hell out of me, when he is not toallyincomprehensible - in the classic German translations, that is, in the (English) original, he rocks.

  13. We’re getting a bit literary this morning, aren’t we?

    The most recent version of Anna Karenina in Penguin is the 2000 translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky. According to the blurb on the back, it’s

    *been acclaimed as the definitive English translation of Tolstoy’s masterpiece*

    I suppose they’re bound to say something like that.

    I don’t know how accurate or true to the original it is, but it reads pretty well. Most of us (Swifty excepted) don’t have the option of reading it in the original.

    Previous Penguin translations of Russian into English have been OK as far as that goes as well, in my opinion.

  14. Thing is, there are shades of meaning in the original which it is, of course, entirely possible to render into English (I'm a bit on the fence re. linguistic relativism, admittedly, though some of it would seem to make sense) but which can come across as a bit stilted or translation-y.

    Translation is almost always a compromise between finding the natural rhythm of the original and, erm, translating that into a recognisable analogue in the target language.

    Or something.

  15. 'traduttore, traditore'

    The old Italian proverb (to translate is to betray) may be true, but few of us can read very much of the classics in the original, so we depend on translators.

    There is apparently a beautiful little Afghan song which describes the longing for a lover across the river. Sadly, the fuller and original version goes

    'Across the river there is a boy with a bum like a peach, but I can't swim'.

  16. It's not just the words which get in the way of a decent translation - it's the cultural associations they evoke in the mind of the reader which cause difficulty too (the main reason why I'd take linguistic relativity over something more proscriptive like linguistic determinism).

  17. Blimey - looks like I've just given a masterclass in "how to kill a thread stone dead", eh?

    Anyway, Dave Stewart, had 'im in the back of me cab once, lovely geezer, showed me a couple of naughty snaps of his missus, phwoar.

  18. Morning, Untrusted Ones

    Just pottering about on CiF - good article by Hugh Muir. I was away yesterday so didn't see it earlier.

  19. Stone dead, swifty? Well done! Dead as a doornail! Or in Danish - 'død som en sild' (dead as a herring). Linguistics, eh? What does it all mean?

  20. elementary_watson09 September, 2009 12:26

    Swifty: Hmm, maybe it was just lunch break for some (me)?

    However, no need to discuss softcore pornography to bring the thread to life again ;-)

    Our bational arch-book critic once said that "style" was not Dostoyevsky's forte, which has the effect of him being brilliant in each and every translation. The more scrupulously a writer chooses each and every word in her text, or the more laden with meaning each and every word has, the more impossible a "faithful" translation becomes.

    And here, Shakespeare is one of the main "offenders", with every second word carrying connotations of a heterograph (yup, I did have to look this one up right now) which they hardly do when translated. How to translate Hamlet's reference to "country matters" while keeping the "cunt" without making it vulgarly obvious?

    At least, Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" pun works perfectly well in German, too (where it is even a homonym instead of the original heterograph).

    Now, let's see if anyone can resurrect the thread from *this* post. I guess it would have to include at least an account of a celebrity not only sharing naughty pictures of their significant others, but sharing the significant others, as well.

  21. elementary_watson09 September, 2009 12:27

    scherfig: Or dead as that squirrel.

    Which squirrel?

    *bang* EEK

    Ah, *that* squirrel.

  22. "'Across the river there is a boy with a bum like a peach, but I can't swim'."

    Get me a raft ... and an introduction to his mother or older sister..

    Recession is plainly over (for some):

    FT Saturday Mag "how to spend it" reports that the Faberge brand name has been bought by some rich guys and is again to be used exclusively for top end jewelery and object d'art.

    Brooches from £230,000 ladies... and earrings from £136,000 a snip really

    Some of the newly launched collection looks downright vulgar but it has to be said some pieces do look class.

  23. A tenner says brusselsexpats will buy one of those £230,000 brooches next weekend.

    You redneck bastard, watson! What time are you firing up *that* grill to cook the squirrel sausages?

  24. BeautifulBurnout,
    Morning Beautiful, nothing much going on here, just a bit of showing off.

    Arnold Wellwisher.

  25. elementary_watson09 September, 2009 12:50

    scherfig: Redneck? I was referring to a famous British highway robber, called "The Shadow", who once had a converstaion with a misanthropic butler who went on to be mistaken for the Prince Regent and become crowned as George IV.

  26. :-D

    Just spotted a new (to me) poster called modshavnofriends.

  27. @Mr Wellwisher:

    ...nothing much going on here, just a bit of showing off.

    Agreed, I do wish you'd stop it, this "yoo hoo I'm over here" schtick has passed its sell-by date, really.

  28. Sorry Swifty, had to pop out for a bit.

    What you were saying was fascinating, honest.

    I don’t know if Jay or anyone else ever suggested we should have an award for the most song titles ever crammed into a comment, but someone (OK, it was me) has just posted a pretty good contender on Ally’s DV thread in response to BTH.

  29. @ Brusselsexpats - should your cleaner have disposed of your copy before you had time to read it (or has archived it out of position in your library)- a digital version of 'how to spend it' is available at:


    see pages14-16

    @ BB that Arnold Wellwisher is at best only a part-time fan... well more likely a wisher than a fan.

    Secret fan number 1.

  30. All is clear now, watson, don't know how I missed that reference. From Shakepeare and Wilde in the German translation to Curtis, Elton and Blackadder - it's post-modern correctness gone mad, I tell you.

  31. Well, I'm going to slam the thread into reverse for a second.

    Edwin -- if the Elvis story is a myth, it is a myth that has been perpetuated by every US media outlet since the incident happened (or didn't), to the point of faking footage. My wording is poor -- they didn't "black it out" -- the camera only shot him from the waist up. Look! It's on YouTube!

    (Staying home today with a sinus headache & sore throat)

  32. Yay, we get to have Montana around!

    Hope you don't feel too poorly!

  33. BB,
    probably too late but rats don't live very long and are inclined to get tumours. Can bite too if you get a stroppy one.

  34. Get better soon Montana! Here is Wiki on the Ed Sullivan appearances -

    The Ed Sullivan appearances
    Though Presley had been unhappy, Allen's show had, for the first time, beaten The Ed Sullivan Show in the ratings, causing a critical Sullivan (CBS) to book Presley for three appearances for an unprecedented $50,000.[104]
    Presley's first Ed Sullivan appearance (September 9, 1956) was seen by some 55–60 million viewers. Elvis mythology states that Sullivan censored Presley by only shooting him from the waist up. Sullivan may have helped create the myth when he told TV Guide, "as for his gyrations, the whole thing can be controlled with camera shots." In truth Presley's whole body was shown in the first and second shows.[105] Biographer Greil Marcus has written: "Compared to moments on the Dorsey shows and on the Berle show, it was ice cream."[106] On the third Sullivan show, in spite of Presley's established reputation as a "gyrating" performer, he sang only slow paced ballads and a gospel song.[107] Presley was nevertheless only shown to the television audience 'from the waist up', as if to censor the singer. According to Marlo Lewis, the co-producer of the show, this decision was taken because of a rumor that suggested he wore a Coke bottle in his trousers to excite the girls as he danced. Based on that rumor Sullivan gave the waist-up order for the final appearance."[108] Others have stated that he was shot in close up during this last broadcast because Sullivan had tried to 'bury' the singer.[109] However, other commentators have claimed that Colonel Parker had himself orchestrated the 'censorship' merely to generate publicity.[110][111] In spite of any misgivings about the controversial nature of his performing style (see 'Sex symbol'), Sullivan declared at the end of the third appearance that Presley was "a real decent, fine boy" and that they had never had "a pleasanter experience" on the show.[111]'

  35. hello all!

    CiF is sloooooow here- is it working ok for everyone else? (Persecution complex kicks in...)

    Andy, I bet BTH is fuming because you're not taking him seriously.

    [bitchiness] Then again he's probably pleased to have derailed another thread with his nitpicking nonsense. He used to amuse me but he's starting to piss me off.[/bitchiness]

    I hope you feel better soon Montana!

  36. Hey Montana: school’s loss is our gain.

    Watching that clip of Elvis, it’s funny to think that it was so outrageous at the time.

    Didn’t Sullivan also try to get both The Rolling Stones and The Doors to change their lyrics on his show?


    He’s a serious irritant, though not really capable of mounting a serious argument. But on that thread he’s really been excelling himself at misunderstand and attacking Ally.

    Wot a twat...

  37. Andy - I know the Doors had to change the lyrics to Light My Fire. Seem to vaguely remember something about the Stones, but not what.

  38. Come to think of it, I think good old Jim sang "higher" anyway, and they weren't invited back!

  39. "....he wore a Coke bottle in his trousers to excite the girls as he danced...."

    Move over Stoaty I'm off down the tip to look for old Coke bottles.


  40. thauma: that’s definitely how Oliver Stone presented it in his film.

    The Stones were asked to change *Let’s spend the Night Together* to *Let’s Spend Some Time Together*, I believe. Anyone else heard about that?

  41. Rolling Stones - 'Let's Spend the Night Together' was changed to 'Let's Spend Some Time Together'. Also for the US single release, I think.

  42. SwiftyBoy,
    You saucy little thing.


  43. elementary_watson09 September, 2009 13:52

    Montana, hope you get better, soon.

    The "being asked to change lyrics" thing was, as I researched, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, when the host asked if they could replace "what I got you got to get and put it in you" with "wat I'd like is I'd like to hug and kiss you".

    RHCP were known to consider this suggestion a definite improvement ...

  44. No need to get cross, scherfig.

    Are you saying they issued a single with bowdlerised lyrics?

    I’ve never heard that (not saying it’s not true, just that I never heard it).

    Wonder if that’s on youtube...

  45. deano,
    I have no need for such subterfuge.

  46. In the recent Beatles doc. I was stuck by some reporters attitude to what in those days was considered to be long hair.

  47. andy, checked it out. They changed the lyrics for the Sullivan show, but most US stations wouldn't play the (unchanged) single release, so they played the B-side instead (Ruby Tuesday). LSTNT made #55 on the billboard charts, Ruby Tuesday made #1.

  48. The most controversial live song performance ever was probably Cole Porter's song about prostitution 'Love for Sale' in 1930, in the musical The New Yorkers. The producers dealt with the flak by transferring the song to the great black singer, Elizabeth Welch (who was actually more Scottish than African-American, but in those days in America one black ancestor outweighed every other).

  49. High pressure over Yorks means sunshine, but also confusing tv pictures from Holland and shit dongle reception. Don't quite understand the technics of it of it myself.

    Took half dozen attempts to get the above to catch the '...wave'

    Hope you feel better soon Montana.

    Stoaty - no problems here. I have always thought that 'car booting' probably goes better with an imaginative ticketing style to match the banter for the goods on show.

    Vintage "Coke" bottles with " as` worn by Elvis" tickets could be a winner.

    See how I try to look out for your business interests my friend.

    @ annetan42 - glad to read you are still busy. I hope the MOT machine on your heart gave the best results. I also hope that it is true that unconfirmed report that we have an ATL piece to come from you in the near future. Regards.


  50. I guess Cath won't be commenting on Ally's article

    Ally's a self-appointed intellectual

    annetan, ATL? That would be cooooool!

  51. MsChin,
    A jaffa cake certainly is.

  52. elementary_watson09 September, 2009 14:54

    okeliedokelie: Once I state my sympathies for Cath, you have to link to a commet like that, and I, of course, just have to take a look at it, don't I? Now I have to reread and reevaluate what I wrote yesterday, I guess ...

    However, the interesting question now is: Is Cath an intellectual? If so, who appointed her?

  53. okelie
    See what you mean. I don't think that the application of intellectual rigour to the way stats are analysed & interpreted is wrong, and I know that Marianne Hester is more than capable of defending methodological challenges to her research.

    What we maybe should be debating is the fact that there is a clear increase in inter-family violence, and how interventions can be deployed to change that. It's not reducing the focus on violence against women, just responding to recent trends which indicate a different approach for some victims.

    You can't get away from the fact that there are male victims who need help - I know I've met some of them, but hardly any tell a soul about it, let alone the cops.

  54. Well that's it- Ally's article was reasonable, and at one point he objected to the implication that Hester had deliberately misinterpreted her findings.

    He was bending over backwards to be non-confrontational.

    But nothing much came of it.

    iwaspassingby seems like quite a character...

  55. Yes, curse that "wotabouttehwomenz" brigade!

    I tell you what though, Cath Elliot, (not an intellectual in the sense it's normally understood, elementary_watson), doesn't half attract some spectacularly unpleasant fellow-travellers on her blog.

  56. okelie
    Yep. As Ally himself pointed out, he & I don't always see eye to eye on DV, but I do think he's right to take professional issue with the robustness of research.

    On the passerby, I think they've got bored & returned to "real life".

  57. elementary_watson09 September, 2009 15:21

    Thanks, Swifty, for using a colloquialism I was unfamiliar with. Learning a new one doesn't half make my day :-)

  58. Isn't every intellectual self-appointed? Or do you have to have a diploma in intellectualism? That's a bit of a daft thing to say, although I wonder if it wasn't directed at the commentariat in general rather than at Ally in particular...

    Stoaty - my boy has his heart set on rats. Nothing else will do. Got two cute baby boys, hand-reared and not stroppy at all. I will make sure they get plenty of lurve so they get used to being around us. Apparently they are not as flighty and vicious as hamsters can be, and are easily tamed.

  59. elementary_watson09 September, 2009 15:43

    BeautifulBurnout: Well, there could also be "certified intellectualism by mutual assurance of being an intellectual", as in:

    I say, "gee, that SwiftyBoy, he prefers reading Tolstoy in the original language (Russian, I think), that guy's an intellectual if ever I saw one!" And he says, "boy, that elementary_watson person, he looks words like heterograph up on the internet and quotes Blackadder, that means he's quite a bit of a post-modernist intellectual bugger," and then both of us are appointed, but not self-appointed, intellectuals.

    Thing is, people outside this group of mutual assurance might think those belonging to that group are just silly pseuds inhabiting an echo chamber, but hey, that goes with the territory.

  60. Quite right elementary_watson, you slap my back, I'll slap yours.

    I've been fighting the good fight for intellectualism since, ooh dearie me, at least 1983, and will not cease in my efforts until sneering know-nothings everywhere are denied the oxygen of publicity.

    No platform for ignorami!

    Quite right elementary_watson, you slap... oh sorry, there's that bloody echo again.

  61. elementary_watson09 September, 2009 15:56

    I'm not an echo!

  62. I'm guessing that once Ally's got this war on biscuits in control, he'll be surprised to learn that he inhabits an ivory tower. Bet it doesn't feel like one when he's changing nappies.

  63. Oh dear, that is a nasty comment. And with a whiff of the glasshouses about it....

  64. scherfig
    Toffypops? Haven't seen those for ages.
    And what the 'eck did you get deleted for!

  65. I'm not an echo!

    Hmm, indeed was it not Sartre himself who once opined, while languishing under a depression brought on by a surfeit of absinthe, that "je ne suis pas un écho"? And furthermore -

    Shitting hell. I really am a pseud. Ta for pointing it out, elementary_watson - my whole life's work now lies in ruins before me.

    But nevermind, I'll bounce back. Time for a contemplative smoke, I guess, followed by a bit of Andy MacNab. Beats the hell out of stuffy old Tolstoy with his funny-looking back-to-front alphabet anyway - a couple of SBS special forces missions and Napoleon would've been toast, none of this War and Peace/Battle of Borodino crap, just in, out, bosh, job done.

  66. mschin, it was a whimsical reply to alasdaircameron's comment about Nehruvian. It mentioned humour bypass, laboratory and Mike Read's brain. tbh, I'm a bit mystified. Am I the only person ever to get deleted on a biscuit thread? I feel so ashamed.

  67. Oh, forgot to say - I can get Toffypops occasionally in Netto here in Denmark, and I always buy them when I'm home. The government haven't banned them yet, but it's only a matter of time, I suspect.

  68. @scherfers:

    ...Mike Read's brain...

    Eh? Where is it, this Eldorado of medical science? Spill the beans mate, we need to know!

  69. Blimey, scherfig - seems a tad unfair to obliterate your comment.

    But I think I might have to zip to Netto's for some Toffypops later ..

  70. Not a single swallow seen on today's afternoon walk. There were lots yesterday so it could be they've started the journey back to Africa.

    Lots of finches starting to flock together for what looks like migration congregation too.

    Your not a pseud swifty boy - you are an underemployed, talented but, essentially frustrated would be schoolmaster. I'm sure you'd be great in the family business.

    Worry not friend when the revolution is done I have it in mind to conscript wasted talents like yours and Thaum's, and several other UT regulars, into five years national service (as a teacher). Far too much talent to be wasted in a shit city/services kind of job.

    You could then have a few years as a teacher trainer before retirement.


  71. @deano:

    essentially frustrated would be schoolmaster

    Mate, I have a lot of time for you, but that is just way, way off track. And no, I'm not protesting too much, I mean it - I wouldn't be a teacher if you paid me a hundred thousand potatoes a year after the revolution...

  72. Swifty, my theory was that it was knocking around alasdaircameron's lab while he was doing nehruvian's humour bypass, but I guess we'll never know for sure. Spookypoptastic, mate.

  73. Blimey, Deano, you must hate kids nearly as much as I do, to want to inflict ME on them!

  74. ..two hundred thousand potatoes and two tomato plants..? Final offer - the alternative involves electricity.

    Decent holidays and free time when the heating breaks down

    Thaum the essence of solid teaching is the telling of a good or grand tale and you and SB are stars.

    Anyway after the revolution there will time for discussion before you are given your reassigned duties....

    You thaum, given your special talents, will be allowed to select which part of the country you wish to live in. That is a reflection of the esteem in which you are held - a discretion which can not be extended to every UT teacher.


  75. Anybody else looked at the Kids Company exhibition thingy on Shoebox living?
    Absolutely brilliant, but heartbreaking.

  76. Clocked it Chin - well worth the time to look.

  77. BB,
    Good luck with the rats, apart from the probs I mentioned they are charming creatures.

  78. The rats are just awesome! I didn't think I would be so taken with them!

    Really cute - mainly white bodies with black heads and a little black smudge down the spines, slightly different patterns.

    But they are so bright compared to other little critters we've had! I got their multi-story luxury mezzanine set up nicely for them, and they spent the first 10 minutes exploring every nook and cranny, working out the ladders, the water bottle etc. And they are very young so a little nervous of being picked up at the moment, but good as gold once you do manage to hold them. Really lovely.

  79. Is Montana poorly?!

    Get well soon, hon ! xx

  80. Deano - very kind of you but I think you have me confused with someone cleverer.

    Still, I'll hold you to your word and will eschew cities and anywhere in the southeast. And anywhere within easy reach of my mother.

    If I am forced to teach I think I could manage teenagers as long as corporal punishment is allowed, but no youngsters. Especially if they do that horrible shrieking thing.

  81. Ally's a self-appointed intellectual

    At those times when I find myself wondering why I'm such an impatient bastard who doesn't suffer fools gladly, I read Ally's stuff, and then I remember where my share of those traits went.

  82. Oh, and get well soon Montana ... and with that, it's footy time!

  83. LordS - yes, that was a vicious comment and I am surprised at Cath. She seems to have made a load of assumptions about his article without actually reading it. Glad to see that at least one person on her blog pointed out that he had in no way tried to dismiss or diminish violence against women.

    One of the best comments he made was in one of his BTL responses to the blog: that domestic violence should be stripped of gender warfare and dealt with as a scourge that we all need to address together. I paraphrase, but that was the gist of it, as I recall.

    Applies to lots of things, really.

  84. Thanks for all the well wishes -- I haven't had sinus problems for a long time, but it's never a good sign when you start fantasising about getting holes drilled in your head.

    Hmm. Maybe my boy would content himself with a rat. He wants a dog. We're not allowed to have them here.

  85. One of the best comments he made was in one of his BTL responses to the blog: that domestic violence should be stripped of gender warfare and dealt with as a scourge that we all need to address together.

    I quite agree. This is not men versus women, it never has been. It's right thinking people versus wrong thinking people.

    England 2-0 Croatia, if anyone's interested.

  86. Wildhack... Have you tried the bowl of steaming water with a few drops of eucalyptus oil and a towel over the head thing? You have to do it a couple of times a day for a few days... but it helps... especially if you drink a toddy of whiskey, lemon, grated fresh ginger with a spoonful of honey and a bit of hot water at the same time... swear by it!

  87. Montana - it would have to be two rats, apparently. They will only sell them in pairs in my local shop because they are very social creatures and will pine if left on their own.

    Cute as hell they are - they snuggle together to go to sleep.

  88. Montana - hot toddy is what you need, and the towel-and-eucalyptus can't hurt.

    My dog made friends with a pet rat (nice creature) so if you do go somewhere where you can have a dog one day, they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Although I wouldn't go for a terrier in that case!

    Have a funny photo of the dog trying to sniff the rat's bum (as you do) - rat is smaller than dog's head, but dog is doing the pleading for friendship.

  89. Damn. No whisky and no eucalyptus oil.

  90. No whiskey, either.

    Say, thauma - Seumas Milne has a new piece up. Every time I see his name, I wonder: Is Seumas pronounced the same way as Seamus? I go through the same speculation with Siobhain Butterworth, too.

  91. Montana - I posted the same question yonks ago on Waddya! Also Rowenna.... Never got an answer.

    Too bad about the whiskey & eucalyptus - canna ye send the lad out for some? ;-)

  92. This is a lovely heart-warming story about animals that makes you go 'awww!'

    And with that lovely thought I'm off to bed. 'Night all!

  93. Seamus is usually 'Shaymus' Montana - though some heretics now say 'Shamus'.

    Try brandy with honey and lemon - good for all ills.

  94. Edwin -- I know how to pronounce Seamus. It's SeUmA that has me puzzled. I thought maybe Thauma would know. Maybe Mr. Milne's parents just didn't know how to spell?

  95. Do you I'm not sure - I think both are variants - like Brandy or Brandi!

  96. A trip down memory lane for long time CiFers

    I vote for Mr Seumas Milne and Soumaya Ghannoushi.

    I dunno. Only in The Guardian could we still be arguing, after sixty years, who it was who started World War II.

  97. Ah I remember that campaign!

    'who it was who started World War II.'

    I thought Basil Fawlty answered that one. . .

  98. Rehabilitation of the right wing, LordS. Revisionism at its finest. I have a feeling there is a cold wind blowing over us...

  99. Hmm ... not sure that particular cold wind ever stopped blowing in certain parts of Eastern Europe. Perhaps the only difference is that these days we get to hear about it much more readily.

  100. BB - I agree about the revisionism going on; I also agree with you and Milne about the horrors of much of the anti-Soviet partisan activity.

    A secondhand personal anecdote: a friend described his horror at seeing Waffen SS veterans being applauded through the streets of a town in Belarus, and having to run away and hide his fury.

    But the same friend pointed out to me that Belarus lost half its population in WWII, killed or displaced by both Nazis and Soviets, and we have to recognise the weight of this history while condemning its modern manifestation.

    Oh, and I once got - at a Morning Star Christmas Fayre - a whole bunch of Daily Workers from the time of the Nazi-Soviet pact - a real eyeopener that was.

  101. LordS

    I occasionally still vote for Mr Seumas Milne and Soumaya Ghannoushi; for some reaon the mods delete it...

  102. I think we need to understand and remember that there are swathes of countries in that part of the world who spent much of the post-war years having not a lot of fun under the control of the USSR. There's a further group who spent it worrying about being invaded by the USSR and for many of them the end of WWII in 1945 was an event of little relevance to their daily lives.

    Without suggesting we refrain from condemnation, I think we have to be careful with it. The weight of history is still heavy in some parts of Europe.

  103. LOL, Bitterweed. Yes, I've occasionally spotted one of those as it lives the life of a mayfly, flitting briefly across my screen.

    I think after getting the job of moderator, Matt Seaton takes you into a quiet room and beats any remaining sense of humour out of you with a tyre-iron.

  104. LordS

    True - most of the satellite countries suffered terribly under the yoke of the Soviet Union. However, rehabilitating nazi collabos as folk heroes is a step too far, imo, and part of a European shift to the right that worries me.

  105. However, rehabilitating nazi collabos as folk heroes is a step too far, imo

    In my opinion too. I just think we should understand why this happens otherwise we have little chance of fighting it.

    I dread to think what would happen if the old lefty line of "no debate with fascists" were applied to the whole of Eastern Europe. It sounds great on the protest line but it doesn't actually win any hearts and minds.

  106. I shall have to bow out of this one because my nice soft comfortable bed is beckoning me. I stark contrast with the disgusting hard hotel bed I didn't manage to sleep in at all on Monday night. Which reminds me: I need to send a shitty email to Ibis Hotels.

    The "no platform" stance works when they are just nutters on the fringe. Once they start to have elected positions, you can't pretend they don't exist. They need to be taken to task.

    Night night, everyone!

  107. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/07/you-tell-us?commentpage=3&commentposted=1

    Sorry folks to burden you with the whole thread but the post on there from DuDuDuDuNathanTyson at 02.19 will be deleted soon by the mods, and I wanted to save it for posterity.

    Sick and fucking tired of the hypocrisy of the Cif editorial staff and the small-minded vindictiveness of the mods.

  108. Lord S
    I quite agree. This is not men versus women, it never has been. It's right thinking people versus wrong thinking people.

    Oh that is so right! Will we ever get the fems and MRA's to see that? Perhaps it doesn't matter if everyone else recognises it!

  109. Thauma went 'Awwww' as predicted!

    Bit worried about the deer though, being comfortable around dogs might not serve it well in the wild!