04 October 2009

Daily Chat 04/10/09

The first complete English language Bible was published in Antwerp in 1537.  Belgium declared independence from the Netherlands in 1830.  The Boys' Brigade was founded in Glasgow in 1883, with the aim of developing Christian manliness.  Gutzon Borglum began sculpting Mount Rushmore in 1927.  Sputnik I was launched in 1957.

Born today:  Richard Cromwell (1626-1712), Jean-François Millet (1814-1875), Frederic Remington (1871-1909), Buster Keaton (1895-1966) and Ann Widdecombe (1947).

I don't normally include anniversaries of deaths, but Graham Chapman died twenty years ago today and I think that's worth a mention.  The world isn't quite as funny as it could be.

It is World Animal Day, so be nice to an animal today.


  1. Great Sunday morning reading on cif - Barbara Ellen has decided to introduce a 'humourous' slant into the Vanessa George case. As Montana said - infuckingbelievable.

  2. I was a member of the Glasgow Boys Brigade in Glasgow, though sadly i failed to live up to the standards of Christian manliness.

    Sheff I'm a bit creeped out on the avalanche of child sex abuse stuff on the media generally, so won't look at Nelly Barb's piece - what is she finding funny about it?

  3. I love the way she suggested her take on it sounded like something out of a Chris Morris sketch ... but for that to happen it would need to be both intelligently observed and funny and her article, from start to finish, offered no vestige of either.

  4. I'm beginning to enjoy the idea of a 50% tax rate.

    Whinge! Moan! Whinge!

    There should be a law that whenever any whinging celeb complains that they'll leave the country if the Tories/Labour get in, or something or other happens, that we should be allowed to shoot them on sight if they later renege on the offer.

  5. Edwin

    You're right to be creeped out by it - Nick Cohen has given fresh life to the Polanski business too - it just goes on and on... As to what Ellen finds funny - you probably don't want to know

  6. LordS

    Wouldn't weep if Emin left the country - in fact I would encourage her to do so if she has a mind. Always thought she was vastly over rated.

  7. Morning all.

    Just been doing my VAT return - late as always. God I hate doing accounts. Haven't looked at CiF yet but I have a feeling I am going to end up despising Barbara Ellen even more than I already did.

  8. God I wish I hadn't read that. She has really annoyed me now.

    I better go and read David Mitchell to calm down...

  9. Hi Montana,

    The Plantin Moretus museum in Antwerp houses an exhibition of all the ancient printing presses and processes.

    The revolution against Dutch rule actually started with a riot in La Monnaie, the Brussels opera house after a performance of La Muette de Portici. Must be the most unusual start of a revolution of any country.

    I'll go and pet my friend's cat - Marie - today.

    It's a beautiful autumnal day here - much too nice to sit glued to CiF - so I'll go scrunching through the falling leaves.

    Did something amazing on Friday - I bought placemats and napkins for Christmas then realised it was only October 2nd. They're putting the Christmas decorations in the shops and I haven't seen anything for Halloween yet. Not a broomstick in sight. Don't know about anyone else but by the second week of December I'm ready to ditch Christmas and play Scrooge. Perhaps because of the economic crisis people want to overdose on Christmas but this is ridiculous.

    Have a good Sunday all - I expect the media are gearing up for a full onslaught against the Lisbon Treaty (especially The Sun). Should be fun next week.

  10. Hi Bru

    God, don't tell me the belgians are starting Christmas in October too? Drives me absolutely nuts!

    Meanwhile, I have just ventured back to the B.E. thread and seen my favourite feminist's posts.

    Some people are truly sick.

  11. Good grief! I think Ultima's been banned.

  12. Christ, I think you're right Martillo. All posts deleted & profile unavailable.

  13. Looks like she accused everyone in the UK of abusing children (again).

  14. 'Everyone' or just UK men? If it was really everyone that explains why it was deemed too offensive to bear...

  15. I didn't see all of it, but a repeat of her 'Paedo Isles' routine looked pretty likely. She did say it was all a man's fault, but that's hardly unusual.

  16. She threatened to report suspect Ciffers to Interpol.

  17. Well I've obviously missed something while I've been busy elsewhere - ultima?

  18. Jesus. When the 'Report Abuse' button just isn't enough, call the cops.

  19. MsChin,
    Our favourite frenzied Finnish feminist friend went apeshit on Barbara Ellen thread.

  20. colin
    I saw her first couple of posts & raised an eyebrow. I'm not willing to accept her 'blame the men' stance in this case, either. Nor am I willing to accept that the UK is totally 100% crap at child protection (although in some cases, clearly that has been true), compared to elsewhere in Europe.

  21. Hmmm....looks like cif is running a 'one in, one out' policy on nutters.

    New poster(TheLastJacquesStraw ): "I can honestly say that I find the idea of a paedophile relaxed, totally at ease, in an arm chair watching pitcures of my daughters... well, I honestly think it's worse than actually abusing them in person... I don't know how... it just is... this is the female viewpoint, please accept it...

    once we have accepted the criminality of lazy paedophilia as equally, or more pernicious than physical sexual abuse, we MUST act in legislating accordingly AND introducing strict measures to monitor ALL personal computers...

    ... if men have nothing to hide there should be no objections to mandatory software in each computer which reports to a national database of 'lazy' paedophilia... a sad but necessitous recourse."

  22. I'd read it again with a magnet to hand if I were you, Sealion...

  23. This a wind up? Sigh.... its getting so hard to tell with that place.

  24. MsChin,
    The usual blame the men thing as in saying that a man was the motivating force, was as per but she went too far when threatening Cif with Interpol though she may not have meant it.

  25. Well, she asked me if I was a man - Same tactic she used with Annetan when she disagreed with her, I seem to recall - as well as suggesting that I would comment on a "fault that needs a magnifying glass to find it" or some-such nonsense, before going on to say that Vanessa George and the other woman only did it to please the bloke involved. Uhuh...

    She then went on to say that given the some of the comments on CiF about paedos, it would be a good idea to report them to Interpol - I take it she was talking about BTH and his apology for lesbian sexual abuse of minors. :o)

  26. To be honest it fooled me too, Sealion. It was thylacosmilus who spotted it. It was pretty well done.

  27. so ultima has been wiped...but where is bth I wonder?

  28. 'thelastjaquesstraw' is probably 'thelastjackstraw' who has posted similar parodies.


  29. I don't imagine theLastJacquesStraw will be around for long -- surely he (and I'm pretty sure it's a he) is a reincarnation of theLastJackStraw who only lasted about a day on Cif a few weeks ago?

    You've probably all seen it, but I think the following comment is worth saving. Given that a couple of early posts that merely called for Babs to be sacked have been deleted, this probably won't last, either:

    04 Oct 09, 2:22pm (about 2 hours ago)

    This really is the most depraved excretion i have ever seen from ellen. Judging by the title i thought this was an O Bea E article, that's how bad it is. Just to make this clear,

    - You find this disgusting crime humorous.
    - You criticise people accessing pictures of child abuse online as not being proactive enough / too lazy to go out and commit paedophilia.
    - You completely fail to understand what paedophilia actually is by any definition (legally, medically, the psychopathology).
    - You then offer solutions that have been proven not to work, for things that aren't the cause of the problem.


  30. and another one (from the female happiness thread)

    Hi Ashley, thanks for a fantastic article... It's about time we heard something about female happiness... a subject that often gets overlooked....

    As a working mother, I should be in a position where i can say that I 'have it all'... I have worked hard at my career in financial publishing... I am on a six figure salary... my husband is a successful arms dealer... we live have three large properties... and I am helping the next generation of feminism with being blessed by two proud, confident, clever and independent daughters, aged 2 and 4....

    Even considering my many blessings that I have worked hard for, I still suffer like many women under the unreasonable demands that patriarchy puts on many of us... I struggle with a work/life balance simply because of the unbending failure of the male workplace to accommodate working women...

    Three years ago the pressure of maintaining a work-life balance led me to suffer a nervous breakdown... I was so desperate to live up to the unreasonable expectations that society puts on working women to look after every aspect of work AND home, that I finally snapped and, sadly, as part of my breakdown I physically attacked both our au pair and our cleaning lady...

    As a financial journalist, I realise that it is WRONG to attack immigrants, and I have suffered for this through two civil claims suits brought against me by our domestic help.. still, as much as I admit to being wrong in attacking these immigrants physically, I feel very much as though I myself am as much a victim in the sense of being forced to the point of breakdown by a male-driven society which pushes such unrealistic expectations upon working women and refuses to offer choice to women, almost certainly out of hate or fear...

    I just want to say that this article has made me feel so much better, simply knowing that there are other women going through the same hell... be strong and know that you do not suffer alone...

  31. Absolutely bloody brilliant.

  32. Ultima banned? Tell me it ain't so!

  33. True alas, LordS: a sad day for comedy.

  34. That post is bloody brilliant!

    LordS - I fear 'tis true...

  35. We should fly something at half-mast. A flag with a tin-foil hat on it or something.

  36. and BTH MIA. BTW, ultima is now untrusted..

    Masterly, theLastJacquesStraw.

  37. This ought to do it...

    CiF is going to be considerably more boring without her, that's for sure.

  38. "Please note, this thread will shortly be closing for the night. Thank you for your interest."

    Now there's a surprise.

  39. Ultima banned - oh Jay whatever will you do now? First RadicalChick disappears without trace (strange that was) now Ultima.

    BB - I think I know what's the matter with Christmas. Everyone is in denial about the economic situation although to be fair, it doesn't seem to have hit quite as badly over here. I have never seen the shops so full of party gear so early. It's as though the nation has said: "There's a crisis on. Sod it - we're all going to party like there's no tomorrow."

    PS: Jay - I insist you invite Ultima over here....

  40. Did you ever think you'd live to see the day? Oh dear. I almost wish we still had the list of demised Ciffers, so that we could add her to the roll.

    I guess RadicalChick doesn't have any competition for Jay's affections now.

  41. RadicalChick's profile is still there, so her absence is self-imposed.

    martillo -- which thread is closing for the night?

  42. LOL, yes BB. Finnish flag at half mast for the finished Finn.

  43. Barbara Ellen's thing, Montana.

  44. I'll kinda miss her actually. She could always be relied upon to keep the thread going. Now Jay has lost his best sparring partner. Black armbands all round.

    Actually it was a bit of a guillotine job the way they wiped her out.

    Ah well - dinner beckons.

  45. Oh. BE's thing never should have gone up in the first place. WTF were they thinking? That woman really is an odious piece of work. Sneering, arrogant, vacuous. The adjectives just don't stop.

  46. Just read Barbie's piece. Spectacularly ill-judged stuff. Ally summed it up for me.

    I understand that the Observer will be saved from closure but will need to shed a third of its staff. Might be a good idea to start with Ellen, who has lost the plot recently.

    @Montana - great posts on the Ella Scott blog. Must be nice to have Granny's money to cushion one from the gritty realities of single parenthood. And connections which lead to vacation work in Cyprus and the occasional piece on Cif. Do we know if Seaton's a grandmother yet?

  47. I, for one, am shedding no tears at ultima's demise. She was a horrible person with absolutely no sense of humour and a narcissistic lack of regard and empathy for anyone but herself. Good riddance.

  48. Hank -- did Barbara Ellen ever have the plot? I don't think I've ever read anything from her that wasn't offensive on some level. It's just that today's offering was deep, down-to-the-bone offensive.

    As for Ella -- it's pretty obvious that someone at the Graun wants to be protective of her. I just can't believe anyone would find anything inspirational about that load of crap. I actually found myself suppressing a scream when I read the line, "I couldn't believe I was doing everything that I'd done before Max was born."

    That actually said two things to me:
    1. She's got unbelievable levels of support from someone.

    2. Even if she does have unbelievable levels of support from someone, she's a pretty fucking irresponsible mother if she's doing everything she'd been doing before he was born.

    scherfig -- I'm actually with you on Ultima. If I shed a tear, it would be one of smug, sadistic joy.

  49. I liked Ellen's piece. Made pefect sense to me.

    "The internet made me do it"

    Internet... invented by men..or a man..Al Gore apparently.

    Al Gore is an anagram of "a ogler"

    Al Gore's a distant cousin of Gore Vidal.

    Gore Vidal is an anagram of ...

    Evil God Ra...and as everyone knows, acolytes of the Sun God are a bunch of kiddy fiddlers.

    Also, Gore Vidal means I have seen the misery in Russian.

    What do you people need...a picture?
    This woman was the unwitting pawn of an evil sect, carrying the esoteric knowledge and dark secrets of ancient Egypt and passed down via a clandestine masonic cabal through the generations. FFS. Get with the programme.

  50. Montana, yeh Barbie used to be one of the more interesting and provocative columnists on the Obs for me. She cut her teeth with the NME, which is the usual career path for a lot of w-c writers with a bit of fire in their bellies (eg Parsons and Burchill, Morley, Barney Hoskyns, Steven Wells) and I liked her "voice" for a while, it had a different tone to the other columnists. She seemed genuinely angry about things, unlike Rawnsley, Hutton, Katie ("oh poor me") Flett and the rest of the gang.

    But now...? Well, she seems to have bought into the Notting Hill scene, getting peeved about the difficulties of finding a reliable Latvian nanny, wrapped in a cocoon of middle class feminist victimhood which convinces here that she is still in touch with her radical youth. She's still angry, yeh, but it's just that she's angry about different things now.

    I look forward to the forthcoming column in which she rages against the system because the deli had run out of lemongrass.

  51. Heheheheh!

    Nice one MF.

    I can't remembered what thread I was reading yesterday where the writer said she was teaching her little girls to say "Thanks for that, patriarchy" if they fell over...

    YOu couldn't make it up. Well, someone obviously could.

  52. Give me Burchill any day vs Barbara Ellen. Acid tongued though she was (and god knows I got fed up with her feud with Tony Parsons) she used to make me laugh.

  53. Btw, re ultima, obliquely...

    I was idling about earlier and checked to see whether Pikey's blogs were still extant on Cif. His name has been removed from the list of contributors, but if you type his name into the search engine his blogs remain.

    So, Frank, I wasn't around when you got banned/modded ...did you ask to be removed from the list of contributors, or is this either vindictiveness or incompetence on the part of Cif staff?

  54. BB - did you see Burchill's letter in the Obs today, where she described Flett as " a sexless mule" who grumbles for money?

    Good stuff, but if me or you (well, me) had posted it on a blog that Flett had written, would have led to certain pre-mod and probable banning.

  55. Not just Frank missing from the contributors list, Ally wasn't there last time I looked.

    I reckon Ultima will be back, either after a spell in the naughty corner or with another identity, It shouldn't be too hard to spot if she is, after all, she does have a rather distinctive style in single track arguments.

  56. @BB - was that a genuine error on Waddya (ruby slippers) or are Kiz and Hermione one and the same?!

    @GP01 - I'm pretty sure that ultima's been banned before but was allowed back. No chance of a second reprieve. She's FINNished.

    Coat. Door. Shame-faced smile.

  57. I didn't get the Obs today - I haven't been out. That sounds like a cracker though! :o)

  58. Ally still has a blue 'C' by his comments. Didn't know there was a list anywhere.

  59. Hank - ruby slippers... ding dong the witch is dead... geddit?

  60. OH! D'OH!

    I confused them cos they are both pink. Silly moo.

  61. "Kathryn Flett, star of Grumpy Old Women ("Female cougars are on the prowl. Or are they just a male fantasy?" Focus, last week), said the problem is the label itself: "The term cougar is horrible - demeaning - the whole predatory, feline, sexual thing."

    But, at 50, I am a predatory, feline, sexual thing - as I was at 20, 30, and 40. Kathryn Flett is free to be a Grumpy Old Woman - it suits her - but I find that description far more demeaning and horrible. Many women pretend to enjoy sex when they're young so that men will like them. Some of us simply enjoy it for ever.

    I don't bully sexless mules - they are as the Lord made them - but I'm not going to be demonised as a focus group-led freak either, just because I get my kicks from something other than grumbling for money."

    Now, I could dissect Burchill's letter bit by bit and point up the hypocrisy in it, but I'm not gonna cos I think it was fucking great to see Flett get pwned.

    My only misgiving is that Flett is even now speaking to her publisher about her next book, where she talks about how she felt traumatised and violated by this betrayal...

    BB - the ruby slippers comment was by H not K, no?

  62. Hahahahah! Burchill on form, I see. :o)

    Yes it was H and not K, btw.

  63. Montana - the list of contributors can be found by clicking on the "Contributors" tab on the Cif homepage...

  64. Have to say btw that the image of Burchill being a "predatory, feline, sexual thing" just made me throw up a little bit.

  65. Burchill's not exactly the sort of "older woman" who springs to mind automatically when people use the term "cougar" is she? :p

  66. BB

    Just back from watching L'armée du Crime about the resistance in Paris in 1943. Its quite long 2hrs 20mins but is a must see. Trailer here

    L'armée du Crime


    So you don't fancy Burchill? She was quite a foxy madam in her youth as I recall.

  67. Ooh. America remake of Life On Mars starting next Friday, with Harvey KKeitel as Gene Hunt. Wonder if it'll be as good as the original?

  68. That looks good, Sheff. I will have to see if it is on locally anywhere.

  69. @Sheff - I loved her writing in the NME and the Face (RIP) and had a bit of a crush on her until I heard her speak! And then there were the Daily Mail years, the slandering of her kids' father, the wanton abuse of those she had relationships with, the squeaky voice.

    Did I mention the Daily Mail?

    In terms of teenage crushes, she was no Clare Grogan (-;

  70. Hmph. Not showing anywhere round here. Would have to grab it in London or wait for the dvd... bah.

  71. Hank

    Her voice! I know what you mean - I remember being very taken aback when I first heard her speak - didn't go at all with her style - most peculiar. The Face - RIP indeed.

    BB - Its on at our indie cinema - which is one of the joys of this city - it has four screens and we get loads of brilliant films. I'm a bit of a film addict and can't get enough. Last night I watched the Man from London , directed by Bela Tarr (Hungarian) which moves with glacial slowness but is wonderfully melancholy and amazing to look at.

  72. She cut her teeth with the NME, which is the usual career path for a lot of w-c writers with a bit of fire in their bellies ...

    I think the problem we see here is that sooner or later the fire goes out and the writer runs out of things to say. But they're still expected to write so they have to force it and end up as a parody of themselves.

    I have a lot of respect for the odd person here or there who just admits they can't hack it any longer and find something else to do.

  73. Wish we had an indie cinema anywhere closer than London, Sheff. Makes the cost of a movie for two bloody expensive by the time you count the train fares

  74. I've no doubt you're probably right to some extent, LordS, but I wonder why that would be? Too comfortable, maybe? I mean, I'm angrier and more radical in my social & political views than I ever have been. So much for mellowing with age...

  75. LOL Hank.

    Anyhoo, I am off to watch some telly then bed for me. Back to work tomorrow.

    Night night all xx

  76. Montana

    I'm angrier and more radical in my social & political views than I ever have been. So much for mellowing with age...

    I remember my mother telling me, when I was ranting about something or other in my youth that I'd not feel so enraged about things as I got older - she was wrong as usual - so i know exactly what you mean.

  77. I think too comfortable covers a lot of it, Montana. But I also think it's a rare writer who can keep coming back with idea after idea, week after week and keep it as fresh as it used to be.

  78. More to the point...am I the only one around here who watches the X factor? How did those Irish twins get through (other than featuring in one of Louis Walsh's threesome fantasies)

    I'd have to kill one just to batter the other one to death with the corpse. Get the feeling I'm talking to myself on this topic..although it might intensest at least one other party.

    I never liked Burchill. She's always been full of shit. She tries too hard to be controversial. Any true contrarian can stir shit up without endorsing the unacceptable. Remember the "I love Catholics" stunt she pulled? If you want to wind up liberal middle-class humanists, why not just call them a bunch of cunts..why go for all the Popery, unreconstructed Stanlinism and pro Zionist bollocks? Too much of a stunt-cow.

  79. ... and Claire Grogan is still the only Kochanski that Red Dwarf ever needed.

  80. What is the X factor MF?

    I thought Burchill was quite funny in her youth although that religious kick she subsequently went off on was rather tedious i agree.

  81. More to the point...am I the only one around here who watches the X factor?


  82. I bet Julie Burchill watches the X Factor...ironically. I fuckin love it...4 eva

  83. Fish - I'm territorially unable to watch X Factor, but opposed to Irish twins on principle.

    Loved Gregory's Girl, but loved That Sinking Feeling more.

  84. I was a bit confused when I first started seeing references to the X Factor on Cif. I was remembering this.

  85. "So much for mellowing with age..."

    Interesting point. Orwell said that "every intelligent boy of 16 is a socialist", the point being that we're all idealistic when we're young but we get more cynical and hardbitten as we enter the adult world of working, paying taxes, making compromises all along the way.

    I'm proud to say that I've never wavered from the path I first trod as a 16 year-old who read that line by Orwell. It's cost me a bit, I reckon, in terms of alienating friends and relatives, and missing out on promotions at work, but I can live with myself.

    Visited my brother and his missus this weekend, and we had some interesting discussions about class and politics. My sis-in-law is a lawyer at at a City firm, very bright, very driven, but she never feels like she's fitted in there, and she has never socialised with her colleagues.

    Her parents come from the Welsh coalfields and brought her up right. And she has never lost sight of where she comes from, despite the comfy lifestyle she now has.

    She knows which side she's on, as do my brother and me. And it ain't on the side of the feministas, the social workers and the rest of the limp-wristed middle class twats who hijacked the Labour Party to further their own agenda at the expense of the working class.

    There will be a reckoning soon when the Tories take power and slash public spending. I've got no problem at all with them smashing some of the quangos, job creation opportunities for Guardian-reading wishy-washyists.

    But those public spending cuts will split the "left" and will sort the men from the boys.

    In a strange sort of way, I can't wait for it to happen. I don't want to see anyone made jobless but I won't worry too much about middle class Guardianistas getting the push if it means that public money might get channelled into productive jobs for real people.

  86. @MH - That Sinking Feeling was a really good film, as was Comfort and Joy, but Gregory's Girl is in my all-time Top 20. Just gives you a wonderful wrap-around life-affirming hug.

  87. @kiz - I'm sure you're looking in...Just read your post on the Waddya thread about the lack of moderation on the Thompson thread, so went over there to take a look.

    And you're right, there are some seriously sick posters on there.

    But what gives you the right to decide who's gonna get banned?

    Give it a rest with the milk monitor bit, will you, luv?

    Your love affair with Georgina, based on the one meeting you had with her in Athens, when she struck you as "really nice", is wearing a little thin.

    I know you don't like class warriors or obnoxious people. I agree it is rather horrid when posters get angry and speak out of turn, but why not debate with those you don't like rather than just reporting them to your friends at Cif Central?

    I realise, kiz, that you are the apple shiner par excellence, and you have a direct line to Georgy, Jess et al, but once you start throwing your weight around so blatantly about things which offend your liberal sensibilities, the whole thing starts to stink a little.

  88. Who the hell is Jess? And I don't have any direct lines to anybody... why would I?
    My liberal sensibilities? Don't make me laugh Hank. I know you don't mean to be funny but you are. The trolls on the Thompson thread were disgusting by anyone's standards ffs... fuck all to do with being a liberal... but if your fine with that kind of misogynistic abuse... wotEVA!
    Seems to me that a few people are quite chuffed about ultima getting the chop... would that be a case of how the grauns are terrible liberal middle class hypocrites when people we like get banned but YIPPEE when its people we don't..? As it goes, I think she deserved to be banned because she is regularly obnoxious... So it's kinda tough shit..
    Do you really think I've got some weight to throw around? Getagrip! I'm just an opinionated bitch Hank... Just like you...