07 October 2009

Daily Chat 07/10/09

George III issued a royal proclamation in 1763, closing the lands north and west of the Allegheny Mountains to white settlement.  KLM was founded in 1919 and is now the oldest airline operating under its original name.  The German Democratic Republic was formed in 1949.  The Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked in 1985.  The Great Flood of 1993 finally subsided after 103 days, as the Mississippi River finally returned to below flood-level in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Born today:  Niels Bohr (1885-1962), Henry A. Wallace (1888-1965), Desmond Tutu (1931), Vladimir Putin (1952), Jayne Torvil (1957), Simon Cowell (1959), Sherman Alexie (1966) and Thom Yorke (1968).

It is Composer Day in Brazil.


  1. NASA images of St. Louis. Top - rivers at normal levels. Bottom - just after peak of 1993 flooding.

  2. Hi folks!

    Yesterday I argued on a blog that Julie Bindel's articles bring out the best in reasonable feminists (who show their reason by criticising the article). Unfortunately, I was asked to provide links that support my claim.

    So, if any of the residing feminists would know if and when she criticised Julie, it would be nice if you would let me know (just mention the article in question, I guess I then can find the comment myself).


  3. Another (more philosophical) question: What is it that urges us (=people who comment on the Internet) to write comments we are pretty sure will get deleted by moderators anyway?

  4. Regards that last question, sometimes there's a gag that's to tempting to pass up.

    I was deleted on Tanya Gold's restaurant thread yesterday and I posted it expecting to be given the close inspection her stuff gets. She claimed to have had sex in a cupboard at a restaurant she once worked in.

    How was I going to pass the opportunity to draw a rather obvious parallel and suggest that it must have been a downmarket restaurant as you only got to have sex with Tanya there, but if you went to Nobu you got Boris Becker.

    I'm only human!

  5. Acutally, now I remember. I did feel a bit guilty about it and thought about reporting my own comment but decided not to because ..

    a) Tanya herself rarely refrains from being nasty about men in general and other people in particular

    b) I knew the mods would get to it sooner or later anyway.

  6. Hi el - I regard myself as very much a reasonable feminist; however I am also male, so I think my occasional (and occasionally warm) praise of Ms Bindel won't count alas in the eyes of the Guardian, which has long moved on from the Shavian days when men could be feminists!

    As for writing comments you know will get deleted - I have on some occasions got away with comments that I thought would combust as soon as posted and other perfectly harmless ones disappear altogether.

    Every time a piece by Victoria Brittain appeared I would construct a way of referring to that strange episode (that occurred while she was the Guardian's Africa correspondent) involving the head of the Ghanaian secret service, and see how long it lasted.

  7. @Edwin:

    Heh, Victoria Brittain, she really used to get on my tits. And as to her good friend Kojo Tsikata and the Libyan money... you really couldn't make it up.

  8. I think that was one of Tanya Gold's better articles. Eric sounded like a walking comdedy show.

    These things can happen in even the best restaurants. I remember one evening in Le Bistroquet in Monaco when it was still a very conservative establishment (it's now jazzed up a lot) and one young waiter was as drunk as a skunk.

    Seeing him hover over one unfortunate woman as he tried to serve her vegetables which ended up down her bosom and in her lap had the other diners in hysterics. Even she was laughing.

    He certainly couldn't have found his way to a broom cupboard.

  9. elementary watson,
    I agree with Lords, sometimes the temptation is just too much.
    Yesterday I posted my silliest ever comment on McShane's piece. It stayed up for about an hour and got a few recs. Someone got a laugh out of it.
    Recently I posted something that mentioned muff diving. I then went shopping fully expecting it to be gone by the time I got back. It wasn't, in fact it is still there. Unreliable bastards these mods.

  10. KLM was founded in 1919 and is now the oldest airline operating under its original name.

    Damn, damn, damn! Why couldn't this have been last week? This was a question on a quiz that we got wrong. Still, we won anyway. :-)

  11. But Colin, why on earth should a reference to an Irish watersport club be modded???


  12. @elementary watson:

    For criticism of a Bindel article by feminists -- you might want to go to the political lesbianism article. I think it was in February? Definitely some criticism from feminists then. That is, if I can be called a feminist.

    I would hope that all of Bindel's articles get criticised by feminists. The woman is nuts.

  13. elementary watson - I think I've been critical of Ms Bindel on most of the articles she has published, including those which don't have a significant feminist slant and instead have a go at holiday makers with no right of reply. However, if you want a link to a recent article which sparked a glut of responses objecting, you could try this;


  14. Here's the link to the Bindel "Political Lesbianism" piece you mentioned Montana:

  15. Edwin,
    Wow! new one on me.
    Think it was Bindel did some thing on eating from the naked body of a female and suggested that we 'boys' may enjoy it.
    I said, truthfully, that I was repulsed by the idea even though I was a member of the club you mentioned.

  16. Thanks everyone for the tips.

    I must say I found fewer feminists calling Julie Bindel's "political lesbianism" nonsense out as anti-male than I imagined/remembered. (Possibly because the gist of the whole thing was Bindel suggesting it was a good idea for feminists to tell other feminists who not to sleep with if they want to be seen as feminists, which seemed to outshine the antagonism towards men.) Montana, Ally and kizbot are the most prominent ones who did call her out on this single offensive part of the text.

    The background: My claim that it always gives one hope for feminism when one sees feminists deriding Bindel rubbish was greeted by the guess that what the main criticism would be that such articles make feminism look bad and give "the patriarchy" ammunition to attack feminism. So, I'm looking for counter examples (in a rather lazy way, I admit ...)

  17. Afternoon Untrusted Ones

    Frightening pair of photos at the top there, Montana. I had no idea of the extent of the flooding, being as I was living in France at the time, where they don't pay much attention to things outside their own sphere of influence.

    I can't remember what I have or haven't said on Bindel threads, Elem. I am pretty much of the egalitarian school of feminism, so I am in no doubt that I would lay into her if she was spouting rubbish.

  18. Nice piece on the end of politics...


    #The ascendancy of the anti-ideological accountant mentality in both New Labour and the New Conservatives has changed politics fundamentally – if not destroyed it altogether. Despite the desperate attempts of all sides to pretend that there is a ‘clear choice’ between the parties, there is little more to choose between them than between the loans and savings deals offered by the big banks. Whether the issue is freezing public sector pay or getting claimants off incapacity benefit, the differences are only ones of degrees and dates. It is no surprise to find that Cameron’s plans for welfare reform have been drafted with the help of a former top New Labour adviser.

    They are all accountants now. The Tories have lost their base and their bearings as badly as Labour. If the old cynics’ cry that they are ‘all the same’ seems closer to the truth than ever before, it is basically because they share the common ground of standing for nothing of principle. Each has a hole where its heart and soul should be.#

  19. Of course there's a clear choice.

    It's the choice between the party who've fucked us about for the last twelve years and the party who will fuck us about for the next twelve years.

    Cheers, MF. I'll have a read of that. For all their hidden agendas, Spiked occasionally hit the nail on the head.

  20. Thanks for the Spiked link, MF, saved having to hunt round for multiple references in a comment on the Mary Honeyball thread

  21. Yes, thanks again monkeyfish. I'm influenced I suppose by living in Glasgow but I think the current state of Scottish politics best illustrates the madness of the current era, with people in one of the poorest parts of Europe - Glasgow East - voting for a party which, as Max Dunbar pointed out in your previous link, has as one of its leading figures a man who says

    ‘We want more millionaires, and any notion that an independent Scotland would be left wing is delusional nonsense.’

    Thus spake Jim Mather, minister in the Scottish Govt. A mad world, my masters.

  22. Yeah..it's government by technocrats with no ideology other than TINA on free market 'rationality'. They haven't got an ideology, or even a common enemy since the end of the coldwar. They keep trying to find one..Islamic fundamentalists, climate change deniers, paedophiles behind every tree, invalidity benefit claimants, the massive BNP menace...any old shit we can all unite behind and be afraid of/ angry with...and beg for government protection/ action. Irony is..what they're afraid of is us..the public...only fuck knows why when all we ever give them is apathy. Democracy's dying because politics has nothing to offer..it's played out by and for Westminster insiders.

  23. That's it. I'm officially an alky. I decided I would not have the glass of wine or two/couple of cans of an evening during the week anymore. We are only Wednesday and I have already cracked.


  24. Hehehe. I think it is just a stress thing, really. I like a glass or two to wind down at the end of the day. Sometimes I like a glass or four - usually on a Friday. But I was thinking about my health and my weight more than worrying about my units (units schmunits - I lived in France for long enough not to worry about that shite).

    I am a bit disappointed that I couldnt stay on the wagon more than 3 days though. Jeebus!

  25. MF - good points. Nary a fag paper between them. Which is depressing. As I said on the Livingstone thread, if Labour get rid of the New moniker and start going back to proper Labour policies they might see my vote again if they are lucky...

    I have to admit to being thick here though, and I can't remember what the TINA acronym stands for.

  26. Tories have retained their black heart and are to go after the under class they created and Labour did nothing about.
    Drink is probably the only answer.

  27. D'Oh!

    Thanks MF. Makes more sense now.

  28. MF,
    I've heard that before. Btw the other night you mentioned that Toynbee pinches your stuff. She does mine too. We are paying for a flash drum in a place we are forbidden to mention. Nice.

  29. I nearly vomitted earlier when I changed channels and there was the end of a party political broadcast for the Tories on tv, and some stupid woman saying she thought the Tories were the party of the working man and woman.....wtf?!

    Only if your work consists of being a director of a bank or a multi-national corporation. FUBAR.

  30. "FUBAR"? TINA I know but FUBAR. WTF (Why the face?)?
    Scherfig - not a fan of the Lucy Mangan piece then?

  31. Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition, Hank.

    WTF = what the fuck?

    Soz! (sorry) :p

    BTW (by the way) how was Mark Thomas the other night?

  32. Trance Opera? Why didn't anyone tell me before? I think I'm in love...

  33. Thus spake Jim Mather, minister in the Scottish Govt. A mad world, my masters.

    At least he's honest. Edwin.

    I still harbour hopes of becoming a millionaire but the older I get, the more dependent they are on my living in an economy with the inflation figures of the Weimar Republic.

  34. Not bad, martillo. But it does sound a bit like someone's been remixing Enigma

  35. BB (Beautiful Burnout)

    "WTF = what the fuck?" OMFG (on my ferret's grave)!

    Mark Thomas was sound, he's doing the Manifesto tour, the idea being that the audience put forward ideas for a new party's policies, he riffs on them, rips the piss out of some of the audience, and then holds a vote on the proposal of the night. I suggested "Shutting down the tax havens; criminalising tax evaders as harshly as benefit cheats; and bombing Switzerland."

    My proposal is now part of official policy for the Mark Thomas and Assorted Nutters Party. And I won a "I bought this on expenses" tea towel.

    So yeh, good fun.

    Just been idly trawling threads from the last few days and came across princesscc's two on Porter's the other day about "Not trusting the Tories". Great stuff, princess.

  36. Nice martillo

    Although I concur that it sounds like Enigma. But a good idea nonetheless.

    Excellent policy btw, Hank! :o)

  37. Enigma? Yes, but they were Gregorian chants, weren't they? which reminds me...

  38. Started with Gregorian chants, but as I recall they did a lot of other stuff in the same style including a bit of opera.

    I quite liked them at first but it all got very samey very quickly.

    Anyone remember this lot?

    Deep Forest - Boheme

    Similar sort of thing. Back in the 1990s I was a bit of a trance junkie. Went well with the juggling.

  39. LordS

    Utah bloody Saints! Damn, I had forgotten all about em! :D

  40. Hah!

    Martillo in Spain - therefore eating dinner at 10.30 at night! :D

    I have a couple of spanish friends here who lived with us for a few weeks when they first moved over, and found it really hard to eat dinner at 6.30 or 7.00....

  41. LordS - I am more into techno than trance, although I do like ambient trance stuff. These days it is more minimal bleeps and blops and squeaky scratchy glitchy stuff. Easier to dance to minimal too.. you just need to move a finger or two...

  42. Bleeps, blops and glitches for your listening pleasure.

    Although admittedly this would make Bitterweed want to hit me over the head with a blunt object many many times...

  43. Kingsnorth plans shelved - a victory for the greens or an open door to the nuclear lobby? Discuss.

  44. Hmm... a bit of both really, Hank. There was a time when I thought nuclear fuel was the worst possible thing that could happen, but the way things are going, I am not so sure.

    Or maybe I am not such a fukken hippy anymore, I don't know.

    I still hold out a hope for cold fusion at some point in my lifetime....

  45. Martillo, the Utah Saints one isn't particularly trance. Just very 1990s and perhaps one of the best ever bits of music to juggle to. My mates and I used to do a lot of club passing to that one.

    Those bleeps, blops and glitches however are right up my street! I was always an ambient/trance/techno crossover kind of guy basically because to me it all sounded like the krautrock I loved in my teens, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Can, Neu and the rest.

    For me, Eat Static had it all. Bleeps, blops, glitches, ker-snings, thwaps and flub-flubs. Glorious!

  46. Oh, and the sublime Banco De Gaia of course. I might have mentioned them before.

  47. LordS

    If you are still into trancy/ambiant stuff, I have a mate in Seattle who has had a couple of albums out, but never really made it big, called Marshall Watson. If you email me on beautifulburnoutbirdchrome@gmail.com I could link you up with some of his stuff. A lot of what he does sound like it would do well as a film sound-track

  48. BB - three whole days!!!?

    You are a trouper.

    Me, I'm just fanatically irritated by the 'mommy blogger' article and can't leave it alone.

  49. Thaum - haven't even looked at that article yet!! I will get over there...

  50. Oh damn, I don't have the speakers plugged in, and if I do plug them in, I know I won't get to bed at a timely hour. (Oops - in fact, too late already!) Particularly interested in Marillo's flamenco bit. Will have to try to remember to come back here tomorrow.

  51. Will do, BB.

    Oh, isn't YouTube the business.

    Transglobal Underground - Temple Head

    It's like it's 1992 in my head ;-)

  52. I meant 'Martillo', of course....

  53. Hah! More classic choonage, LordS! The bizness! Are you also an Orb fan?

  54. @Thauma - she's a professional mom. So she gets paid to write gooey mush about how junior is so icky and unique. What's wrong with a talented professional feminist like Veronica using product placement in her blogs to ensure the best for her wuvvly little baby?

    And so what if she got to widen her reach and potential appeal to Pampers, Glaxo and other canny corporations by getting published on Cif?

    You'll be suggesting next that there's some kind of symbiotic relationship between corporations and the liberal media.

  55. Btw, Jess has her photo-avatar up now on Cif. I'm getting up especially early tomorrow to see the rest of you in all your glory.

  56. Hehe - won't be posting a photo of me, Hank. I would be too worried that my clients or, worse, the CPS would recognise me and never give me any work ever again! :D

  57. A professional mom? Do you think I could get someone to pay me for writing about being a mom? Damn.

  58. Oh, one huge Orb fan!

    I remember being delighted to track down and pay £20 for the CD single of the 20 minute version of A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain ... bastards put it on a compilation about two months later.


  59. We need to start courting advertisers for the Untrusted.

    Trouble is... who would want to advertise here?

  60. I'm going to assume I've got a bit of a following....Just written a poem

    "Pigeon just shat on my head, look 'lived in' in the mirror

    Nearly strangled someone at work today

    Carlsberg Special Brew...Stella...Ounce of skunk

    Screamed at some fat cunt on a bike for being a fat cunt on a bike

    My angst is getting angsty

    Carlsberg Special Brew...Stella...Ounce of skunk

    Smoothing life's abrasive edge is a breeze when wasted or drunk"

    Product placement in postmodern unmetred edgy prosidy is the way forward..don't send cash...free samples on a regular basis please.

  61. Anyone selling E, going by the musical tastes being exhibited here today ;-)

  62. LordS

    If you like the Orb, I have a little present for you from my music forum...One of the guys has recently posted a link to his collection of live recordings

  63. "Who'd want to advertise here?"

    Alcoholics Pseudonymous?

  64. Great stuff, mf. I heard you screaming btw. I'm leaving the bike at home in future.

  65. LordS

    It's been a long time since I partook of the disco biscuits, I am afraid to say. The nearest I get to them now is a rich tea dunked in a glass of wine...

  66. Montana - judging by Veronica's bilge today, the key is to be a professional mommy rather than a mom. Makes all the difference. Someone did suggest going for an edgier approach and being a muthablogger but guessed that wouldn't sell well in the MidWest...

  67. Nice one, MF.

    Hank, you are being too hard on yourself. Besides, you will never lose weight if you leave the bike at home!


    Thangyouverrrmuch, I'm here all season...

  68. I love you, BB, and I want to have your babies!!

    I've just the one Orb bootleg (on tape somewhere) so I think I shall be doing some serious downloading in the days to come.

    Anyway, just noticed it's time for me to catch some z's ..... night all.

    PS Thauma, please continue to give 'em hell on the mommy blogger thread.

  69. BTW, just in case any lurkers are thinking of reporting us to FACT for posting links to links to bootlegs of the Orb, Alex Paterson is fully aware of them and is very relaxed about live boots being exchanged as long as it isn't for profit. As are Underworld and myriad other bands. So... jog on!

  70. Just sneaking a look at Seumas Milne's take on the Tory Conference. If only I still had posting rights, I'd slip this little titbit in that I came across when researching the tax haven piece that I still plan to post on U2...

    Grant Thornton, a fairly reputable accountancy firm and by no means wild-eyed lefties, calculated that, in 2007, the UK's 54 billionaires paid income tax in total (IN TOTAL BETWEEN 54 OF THEM) of...


  71. A very enlightened attitude! Now one more tune from chill out heaven and I really am off ...

    Salt Tank - Eugina"

  72. That is a fucking outrage, Hank. Srsly.

  73. "Although admittedly this would make Bitterweed want to hit me over the head with a blunt object many many times..."

    Sounded like a car alarm being shoved up a snake's ass.

  74. LordS - if you like Underworld at all, google RTSR Board of Trade, which is a trading site for live boots. Again, fully authorised by the band.

    If you do, and happen to come across the gig from Luxemburg in 2005, I recorded that with a mike stuck in my bra cos the heavies at the gig were being so... well.. heavy. :D

  75. Hank
    U2, moving their business base to Holland to avoid tax etc ? Looking forward to seeing more.

    Does anyone have monkeyfish's PO box - I have some samples to send.

  76. Yeah, U2 announced that little gem about 6 mths ago, if I remember rightly. Mr "I Am God's Interlocutory" Bono. Git.

  77. BW - tbh, mate, I've been trying to put this piece together for a couple of weeks and there's so much outrageous stuff in there I'm thinking of publishing it on a weekly basis. Get a free tax avoidance scheme if you sign up to the first edition and then subscribe to the next 51 issues.

    As for monkeyfish's PO box, I think you just send the samples to "the Northeast", after which it's a bit of a free for all...(-;

  78. They're a fucking sham. They know unemployment's going through the roof in Oirland now the Celtic tiger myth has evapourated, and what do they do to support their homeland ? Wihdraw a sodding great tax annual injection. I quite liked them 25 years ago - when I also liked the Cure - but then I also took rather a lot of bathtub-grade acid at the time. I think it was made by failed chemistry students in Stevenage. Ho hummmmmmumumumumumum ............

  79. Hank, indeed about all that.

    " just send the samples to "the Northeast"

    Thanks for the address. Funily enough I just renewed my car insurance tonight and was very tempted to put on the envelope:


  80. The old ones are still the old ones!!

    Night all... hurly start fe me tomorrow

  81. I lost interest in U2 after The Joshua Tree - even then they had started to disappear up their own arsehole really. And yes, you are spot on about the effect that it has on Ireland.

    I have no patience at all with these tossers, tbh. I know no-one will necessarily believe me but I would actually be happy to pay more tax if I could trust any of those buggers out there to spend it on people who need it instead of bolstering bankers' bonuses for another fiscal year...

  82. "Cunt,

    Who'd ya reckon the posty would try first? My money's on a three time fraudster from Notting Hill who's trying to privatise the poor bastards. Everyone should try that..useless prick might get blocked in by the avalanche of mail. The emergency services would be called in 6 months later to find him looking fat and blaoted having feasted on the remains of a young Brazilian.

  83. I was at a comp in Stevenage in the early 80s, BW, and refused to take any science options for my O levels as I knew I'd fail them all. True story. So you can't be referring to me.

    Although I do go back occasionally to Stevo and meet some old mates who weren't that academic but seem to have done very well for themselves.

    They've all got lots of mobile phones as well. And inappropriate relationships with kids half their age who are very proficient cyclists.

    It's all very baffling.

  84. Fuck. I just got back from reading the mommyblogger thread. I hate that woman. Probably drives a fucking Escalade and lives in Oak Park or River Forest. Here's the "About this blog" section from her blog:

    About this blog
    Viva La Feminista is written by a woman living in Chicago trying to navigate and understand the intersection between being a feminist, a mom, and a Latina. Besides the every day rantings and ravings, VLF is also home to book reviews. Want to know if VLF will review your book? VLF also reviews products, CDs and DVDs. But at this time, VLF is an ad-free blog

    Except that it's not an ad-free blog, because there's a whole bunch of ads right underneath that statement. And some would argue that writing a favourable review in exchange for free books and other products amounts to an ad.

    I hope she doesn't crash in that intersection.

  85. BB - hypothecated taxes is the future. We choose what our taxes pay for.

    Did think it was nice of Gideon to confirm the other day that the public spending cuts and wage freezes wouldn't extend to our brave boys in Basra, just as the coppers saw their pay rise significantly under Thatcher as the rest of the state sector saw cuts.

    FWIW, the image of Met Police waving wads of cash at striking miners would be my choice of image for the anti-Tory alliance PPBs before the next election.

    Because that's where we're heading if the Tories get in.

    And all the wanky partisans who claim to care about rights and freedoms will be shown up for the hypocrites they are when the liberties that are being taken shore up corporate profits.

  86. Hypothecated taxes is (are?) an interesting concept. I would love to be able to say "I want my taxes to go to people on disability allowance but not on Trident, thank you".

    Agreed about the rozzers, but I don't agree about the armed forces. Although I'm a pacifist, every time I see another news piece about some 19 year old blown up in Khandahar I want to cry. I think about the lads at my son's school - prolly the ones that bully him, actually - but the ones from the council estate, whose fathers beat seven colours of shit out of em on a Friday night after the boozer, who have never stood a fukken chance in life, who have never had the chance to do well and study hard because that was never a value that their family shared, who will be the next generation of canon fodder for our stinking government, and I feel like going up to the school with a banner and picketing outside the gate to warn the poor little bastards not to believe the hype, not to sign up when they are 16 or 17, not to throw their lives away. It makes me feel sick just typing this, in fact...

  87. Soz, kind of lost track on that post. To conclude, no, I don't think their wages should be frozen. But more needs to be done to educate these kids into understanding that the Army is not a "good career".

  88. And with that final mildly squiffy rant, it's time I was in bed!

    Night night all. x

  89. Haha, fair play to olching on the Waddya thread just now.

    I couldn't believe that either, mate, breaking3 getting post of the day for sucking at the hem of Mrs Cameron's knickers.

    Breaking3 used to be called BreakingFree but was banned. I shudder to think what she was banned for in the end given that I reported her for abuse when she posted a comment about "black men being disposed towards crime". Her post was deleted but her account remained. For a time. Until she tried the mods' patience once too often.

    At which point she got banned.

    And returned as Breaking3.

    And was allowed free rein to carry on posting yet more right wing, racist crap.

    And now, as olching says, she gets post of the day for a sub-Hello piece which amounts to "SamCam has a nice smile and good dress sense so leave her alone, you nasty people".

    Like nostalgia, Cif isn't what it was. Cif is now infested by right-wing tossers who are given free rein to spout nonsense and lies, and are virtually unchallenged because those who used to challenge them have been banned.

    And those who have been banned were banned because it didn't suit the economic agenda of Cif for right-wing posters to be shooed away.

    Of course, what the blessed Georgina and her halfwit assistants didn't quite grasp is that as they allow the blogosphere to be overtaken by NuTories, the more likely it is that Dave will win the election, slash the public sector, destroy the public sector ads which prop up the Guardian, and lead to Seaton having to swap his bike for a rickshaw.

  90. Btw, if anyone's still up and has a Cif account, feel free to post my little rant above in support of olching in your name or mine. I can't be arsed to sign up for a new email address and cif account but his point needs to be supported.

  91. If you rode in Matt's rickshaw, would you tip him?

  92. Tired as I am, it's much too early for bed here. It's there. My name on it.

  93. Would I tip him in what sense? I'd certainly give him some advice. Tip him over? Tempting.

  94. Ah bless ya, milady. Let's see how long it remains in place.