09 October 2009

Daily Chat 09/10/09


Leif Ericson landed at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, in 1003.  Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635 for arguing that there should be a "wall of separation" between civil and religious authority and a right to "liberty of conscience".  The Siege of Sebastopol began in 1854.  And in 1919, the Cincinnati Reds won the eighth game of the World Series, beating the Chicago White Sox, 5 games to 3.  It would later come to light that the White Sox had deliberately lost the Series in a gambling scandal, now known as the Black Sox Scandal.

Born today:  Camille Saint Saëns (1835-1921), Nikolai Bukharin (1888-1938), Alastair Sim (1900-1976), Jacques Tati (1907-1982), Brian Blessed (1937), John Lennon (1940-1980), John Entwistle (1944-2002), Jackson Browne (1948), Sharon Osborne (1952), David Cameron (1966), PJ Harvey (1969), Annika Sörenstam (1970) and Sean Lennon (1975).

It is Independence Day in Uganda and the Jewish holiday Shemin Atzeret begins at sundown.

104 comments:

  1. The horrible Franglais name is apparently a corruption of L'anse aux Meduses. Jellyfish Cove, to you and me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh. My. Fucking. God.

    I've just read the Pump Boy comment referred to on yesterday's thread.

    Interesting that Sharon Osbourne and David Cameron share the same birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  3. PrincessCC & LordS

    Seen today's Independent - lead article on the possible causes of ME!

    ReplyDelete
  4. No, but I'll take a look. Cheers, deano.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sheesh, the world we live in today...

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer bloke, from the look of it though.

    Laters, all.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just seen Cath's avatar. It is ... not *quite* what I was expecting. Makes it easier to like her, but harder to take her seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bitethehand, ont he other bitten hand, has chosen a quite predictable picture. How would ultima's avatar have looked like, I wonder ...

    ReplyDelete
  8. ooh Deano - interesting - just read that thanks for the heads up. It would make sense to me because my blood tests always show low billirubins in my liver and something wrong with my red blood count. The doc says these mean i am 'under the weather' or fighting an infection so...

    But why oh why did the Independent give more space to that horrible man Wesley. He is the worst shrink to discuss this as he believes it is all in the mind. He also works with the DWP and believes in illness as social not phsiological.

    ReplyDelete
  9. thaumaturge,
    And all the poor girl wanted was a bit of a cuddle.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Colin - loved someone else's comment to the effect that she'd thought the pump was there in case of a puncture in the inanimate GF.

    ReplyDelete
  11. thaumaturge,
    I feel that he wasn't being altogether serious with his talk of Coca Cola. I hope not anyway.
    There may be a biscuit thread starting up on DaveHill piece.

    ReplyDelete
  12. whats happened to Dan Pearce?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jay -- I had an e-mail from Dan a week or so ago. He's in Morocco and was having trouble commenting for some reason. I think he's reading us, though. Hi Dan!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anyone else seen the Obama latest?

    ReplyDelete
  15. NObel prize - unless i missed it, he hasnt actually done anything yet. I like the bloke, but this is fawning silliness at its worst.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Stoaty glad to see you still around.

    Dot/Jay - I'm sure that I read somewhere today that Obama had only been in office for a couple of weeks or so when nominations for the prize closed?

    ReplyDelete
  17. deano - yep thats what i read too, ridiculous - makes a mockery of the award.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Afternoon all!

    i have to say, for once, MiskatonicUniversity really made me laugh on the Obama thread:

    "The Nobel Prize committee has evidently been taking notes on the Turner prize.

    O'Bama should turn up in Oslo with an installation piece made out of equal parts herring boxes, peat, MicroSerf software and Guinness all wrapped up in an enormous brown envelope.

    He should then set the prize money on fire in a purpose-made carbon capture and storage kiln and dedicate his victory to the KLF."

    ReplyDelete
  19. "makes a mockery of the award."

    Nah, that was when Kissinger got it...or even Austen Chamberlain for the Locarno Treaty which prevented WW2.

    I think this one is a good award. Now he's just got to fuckin earn the thing.
    One conflict I've got my eye on is the one latent in global Capitalism. He'd get the Monkeyfish Kitemark for that one and a crate of Tenants SuperLager...on me. Might be a couple of cans missing..but it's the thought that counts.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank fuck its the weekend. Have just had the most tedious week at work in history. Except that I had a good night out with MsC last night. We get on...hurrah! She's great company btw.

    So Obama has got the Nobel for peace! Seems a tad precipitate. I feel sorry for the poor bastard, they aren't half laying a lot on his skinny, only too human shoulders. Bad enough trying to knock the US into some kind of decent shape - now he's got the world to sort out too.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  23. D'oh!

    Try again:

    Long story short: EDL are fascist fuckers - this is incitement to violence, and against all Muslims, not just "terrorists". How they get away with it is beyond me, except that as soon as the shit hits the fan tomorrow, this will disappear like the last one did...

    This has been produced to fire up the "Lions" tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Eeevening all, well I'm off out in a minute, would just like to echo the EDL = Nazi fuckwads and Thank Fuck it's Friday sentiments. Chat laters... it's been a looong week and I got a gig to do.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Have a good evening and a good gig, BW.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Just watched the video, BB. It's very professionally done but they're a bit light on policies.

    I'm not really surprised that the GMP have given their "peaceful protest" the green light. Expect to see more of it in the next year or two as the recession starts to bite. It's like 1981 all over again.

    @sheff, princess, MH (and Ally if he's passing) - thanx for the kind words on Waddya.

    Interesting to see Natalie Hanman engaging with the points that olching was making about the right-wing background noise on Cif.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Btw, BB, think Marina will be on the right side of the barricades tomorrow. Lovely piece on Cif right now about the Strictly debacle. The line about Brucie fronting Play Your Race Cards Right is vintage Mazza.

    ReplyDelete
  28. God BB that EDL video is grim - they seem determined to wind everyone up - obviously looking for a ruck. Can't think how they're getting away with it being as it's so provocative.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hank - yeah, just cross posted on Marina's thread. Yes, it is exactly like 1981 again. Useful idiots all of them, distracting everyone's attention from the real issue as always. I still feel as angry about it now as I did in 81 though...

    Sheff - I hope someone does a proper article exposing these bastards for who they really are. Although with the likes of Monnie in her twin-set giving them support....

    ReplyDelete
  30. Well, BB, I've just checked the tv guide. Nowt on tonight worth watching so I'll be glued to Marina's thread, particularly as she's gone BTL so early and you're in such a feisty mood (-;

    Monnie's a woman?! Blimey, waltz, MAM, monnie, breaking3. I'm seeing a pattern here.

    Maybe if Cif operated a gentlemen only policy, the general level of debate could be raised.

    Discuss.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hank

    "Discuss."

    Don't wind me up any more than I am already. I will be round yours with a baseball bat the mood I'm in now... :P

    ReplyDelete
  32. Yeh well done BB on that thread - at least two of the people of Pakistani origin I know object strongly to the term 'Paki' and this guy, whoever he is (not being snobbish I have never watched the show) is out of order. It's an uncivilised and ill-mannered word to use.

    As for Brucie, well I never liked the man and whoever appointed him nation's sweetheart wasn't speaking in my name, but I would cut him slack. Virtually all comedians, including the 'modern' ones, are pretty reactionary, and perhaps jokesters generally have to be (now there's a topic). Forsyth tried to defuse the situation in the only way he knows how, and I dislike seeing anyone pack-hunted.

    And when did Marina become blonde? She's still too young for that move, surely.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Ooh, forgot to mention worriedblueeyes.

    I'll be alright, BB, I bet you swing like a girl anyway (-;

    Go get em!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Swing like a girl?

    Knowing me, I'd probably just sit down on the kerb and cry! :P

    ReplyDelete
  35. Radio 5Live had a phone-in on Bruciegate this morning, and they wheeled out self-described 'old school' comedian Kenny Lynch OBE to say that it was all perfectly OK. So now you know!

    It's probably not worth mentioning the Scottish bloke who phoned in to say that, having just returned from holiday, loads of his friends 'complimented' him by telling that 'he looked like a Paki'. He seemed to think that this behaviour was widespread and also reckoned that white people spending thousands of pounds on a holiday just to look more like our darker-skinned friends proved that calling someone a nigger or a Paki wasn't racist.

    It wasn't a particularly persuasive argument, I felt, but I suppose you have to think of something. I'm sure he's a lovely bloke, and so are Brucie and Kenny, obviously.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Cif always ducks the big issues...

    d'ohmarge

    ReplyDelete
  37. 'Paki' is indeed in widespread use in Glasgow, and is applied to Sikhs and Hindus as well. There is one Indian child we know who has a slight facial disfigurement - the local kids call him the 'Mongol Paki'.

    ReplyDelete
  38. They should get Bindel on that one, hank. Mswoman could pre-post her 'great article, Julie' comment. Because it's bound to be a great article, anyway.

    And if Playboy do Penelope Pitstop, I hope they don't photoshop her - there'd be nothing left to look at.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Marge in Playboy?!

    On My Ferret's Grave!

    I remember seeing some very sick pr0n simpsons cartoons a few years back that someone thought it was funny to link to in a music chat room. These days they would be busted under child pr0n laws no doubt. Not very funny though.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I was unaware of the origin of 'PAKISTAN' until I read a history of India, and found it very interesting. An artificial 'nation' like so many others in the world today.

    'The Cambridge student and Muslim nationalist Choudhary Rahmat Ali coined this name. He devised the word and first published it on 28 January 1933 in the pamphlet "Now or Never". He constructed the name as an acronym of the different states/homelands/regions, which broke down into: P=Punjab, A=Afghania (Ali's preferred name for the North West Frontier Province), K=Kashmir, S=Sindh and the suffix -stan from Balochistan, thus forming "Pakstan". An "i" intruded later to ease pronunciation.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Edwin - I'd be really interested in a piece about immigration in Scotland. Always got the impression that it happened later, and on a smaller scale, than in England, and that there was a cultural lag as a result in terms of casual racism being publicly deplored.

    Penelope Pitstop? I'm looking forward to the Daphne spread. Always thought she was too good for Fred.

    Daffers

    Never knew Shaggy's full name was Norville 'Shaggy' Rogers til now. Pesky kids.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Scherf - I had no idea of the origin of Pakistan as a name either. Fascinating.

    Edwin - I know a lot of asylum seekers end up in Glasgow - usefully close to Dungavel for locking the poor bastards up as needs be. I know that there have been problems with racist attacks too - and also there was that horrible horrible case of Kris Donald, the wee 15 year old white lad that was attacked and killed by an asian gang for no good reason except that they wanted revenge on some white kids and he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    A lot of pensioners from England seem to be moving to the South of Scotland - presumably because they get better social services and don't have to contribute to personal care. My uncle calls them "White Settlers" :o)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hank, this is a fascinating piece on the Maryport Against Racism site on the hostility to Irish immigration into West Cumbria and the troubles that ensued

    http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:OkzWBwRtsagJ:maryportagainstracism.wordpress.com/what-about-immigration/+church+of+scotland+condemned+immigration+irish&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&client=safari

    and have now been totally forgotten - all that strife has now passed.

    The author mentions the Scottish dimension (where it has sadly not all passed) and the Church of Scotland report of 1923, 'The Menace of the Irish Race to our Scottish Nationality'. There was indeed a group called the Kaledonian Klan (this group has long gone but the extremist Scottish/American cultural link is one with deep and lasting tendrils) .

    There has recently been a painful discussion in the Scottish media of the revelation of 'Red Clydeside' attacks against black seamen - attacks apparently led by the revered Mannie Shinwell -

    http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/latestnews/Hero-Shinwell--39incited-racist.5701788.jp

    Th details are being chewed over but there seems little doubt there was a race riot in Glasgow 1919 with attacks led by trades unionists on black sailors.

    But it's the bigotry against the Irish Catholics that is the longest and deepest running sore in Scotland. The historian Stephen Mullen has a book coming out in a few weeks called 'It Wisnae Us' about how Scots have been in denial about their involvement in, and profit from, the Atlantic slave trade. if you want someone to write something Hank, Stephen is your man - you can contact him at


    http://www.stephenmullen.net/projects.html

    I'm just a trivia snapper upper, Stephen is a real historian!

    When the South Asians arrived they were putting down roots into a soil rich with bigotry.

    Hi BB - Kris Donald was killed by a criminal gang who had been terrorising the Muslim community in Pollokshields for a while. Mohammed Sarwar put himself and his family at great risk by going off to Pakistan to get the killers back. I had issues with Sarwar but the man deserves great credit for what he did.

    Oh I've heard of the new wave of white settlers but I think that's all going to change. Under the social democratic veneer, the SNP has some of the most right-wing mainstream politicians in Britain; see the Mark Dunbar link Monkeyfish gave

    http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/an-anti-imperialist-theme-park/

    ReplyDelete
  44. Edwin

    "But it's the bigotry against the Irish Catholics that is the longest and deepest running sore in Scotland. "

    Oh, tell me about it. My ex-husband (married very young and divorced very young, no real harm done" was a Catholic and my Dumfriesshire mill-town mother was appalled! Her biggest fear was that we would have children and christen them as Catholics! Mind you, much as I love and miss her every day, she was a racist old bag in general. Maybe that was why I grew up the complete opposite, as a little hippy rebel! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thanks for that, Edwin, I'll look out for Mullen's book.

    In terms of writing something though, I was thinking more in terms of a piece for Untrusted2, something more easily digestible by someone who knows a lot more about a fascinating subject than most of the rest of us here, I'd guess.

    How about it? I'm sure I'm not the only one on here who would learn a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I thought Pakistan meant "land of the pure".

    ReplyDelete
  47. Just looked at the Marina thread. Some real depressing shit on there. Doubly depressing for me as there were so many references to the low brow, uninspired nature of Saturday night television. See I fuckin love the X Factor..highlight of my week.

    I even watch it if I'm Out..and I hate the telly..it's not like I ever liked it in the past even..I'm not one of those who hark back to the glory days of The Two Ronnies or The Cilla Black Show etc. They really were shit..just like the ballroom dancing fiasco.

    I don't actually believe I'm the only one either. Admit it...you all love it..you're just a bunch of snobs? Go on..you'll feel better for it..all kinda liberated etc.

    I'm nipping out for an hour or so..and when I get back I expect to see a long line of contrite admissions.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Scherfig - the origin of "pakistan" just reminded me of a really good blog about ethnic/linguistic tensions in Belgium over at the GU Sportsblog of all places earlier this week. The theory knocking around footie fans in Belge is that the friction between the Flemish and Walloons is rising to the surface and is disrupting team spirit. Some really interesting posts on there, the consensus being that divorce is a given, the only issue is who gets custody of the kid (Brussels).

    I know that football's not really her metier, but maybe Bru could write something about this...

    ReplyDelete
  49. Soz MF. No X-Factor for me. Or Strictly. Or America's Next Top Super Skinny Tart. Or People Sitting In The Dark Scaring Themselves Shitless. (Most Haunted).

    I really really loathe any kind of show like that, tbh. I numb my brain with NCIS, CSI, Dexter, Dollhouse (awesome that if you have never seen it), and I am all of a quiver because the first episode of the American version of Life on Mars is on tonight at 10.00.

    Different kinds of chewing gum for the brain, I guess. I don't disparage anyone who prefers the real life competition stuff though. Each to their own.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I tell a lie - there is one show of that ilk that I really love, but only because I am a foodie - and that's Come Dine With Me. Brilliant! I have to fight for the remote to be able to watch it though.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Fencewalker, 'land of the pure' was the result of political/religious expediency in the 1930's. It can be translated thus in Urdu or Farsi (8% of the population are urdu speakers in Pakistan, practically 0% farsi speakers - about half the population speak punjabi). 'Pakistan' is a constructed acronym.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Fencewalker - inspired poem on Waddya. But (and there's always a but) you seem to have an avatar here but are standing out against it "there".

    Wassatallabaht then?

    ReplyDelete
  53. According to this account, Pakistan (and by extension Pak or Paki?) is arguably a term of ethnic pride, not far from "Volk".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choudhary_Rahmat_Ali

    "'Pakistan' is both a Persian and an Urdu word. It is composed of letters taken from the names of all our Indian Sub-continent homelands; that is, Panjab, Afghanistan (Pashtunistan), Kashmir, Sindh (including Kach and Kathiawar), Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and Balochistan. It means the land of the Paks - the spiritually pure and clean. It symolises the religious beliefs and ethnical stocks of our people; and it stands for all the territorial constituents of our original Fatherland. It has no other origin and no other meaning; and it does not admit of any other interpretation. Those writers who have tried to interpret it in more than one way have done so either through the love of casuistry, or through ignorance of its inspiration, origin and composition."

    Hope link works.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I was very mean to Fencewalker about his poem, and all for the sake of a cheap laugh.

    I'd like to apologise unreservedly....


    But I won't cos I thought I was funny! :P

    ReplyDelete
  55. @MF - haven't watched primetime Saturday night tv since knocking back R Whites Cherryade in front of Seaside Special.

    So don't expect to see any contrite admissions from me here tonight.

    I keep my stock of contrite admissions primed and ready for Saturday mornings.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Scherfig: New things every day an' all that. Ta.

    Hank: Mostly hypocrisy, I guess. But this is a different kind o place. And no one's got their real face here ('cept Colin). And I'm lazier there.

    BB: The wounds will heal. The art will endure.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Fence - only joshing, darling.

    Hank - Seaside Special? You're giving your age away there and no mistake.

    Always preferred Vimto, me, though...

    ReplyDelete
  58. Ah Vimto, the taste of childhood.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Vimto & vodka is pretty 'orrible, in my experience. Well, you know - ran out of suitable mixers one night & was forced to make the best of it. Got worse, though. Ran out of Vimto & moved onto the icepops. Cherryade may well have been a better option.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Never tried Vimto. R Whites used to give 2p back off the price if you returned empty bottles and 2p was 2p if you grew up, like me, sleeping in shifts, and going to school on alternate days when it was your turn to wear the shoes.

    Anyhoo, avatars, particularly self-portraits. Strange how I have a new found respect for Imogen's posts while understanding why stevehill feels alienated. I'll clarify that a bit actually, when I say "respect" for Imogen, I mean "fear". She looks like she don't take no shit from anyone. Piss maybe. But no shit.

    Evening, mschin - how much of Sheffield is left after you and pixie hit the town last night?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Ooh - Life on Mars. Back in an hour with my verdict vs the English one.

    ReplyDelete
  62. 'Always preferred Vimto, me, though..'

    Does anyone else remember the Andrew Glen spoof in Viz with, instead of the collie Black Bob, a faithful Black Border bin bag? The shepherd used to drink Vimto, even in the pub, lovely touch.

    I am drinking Co-op Chilean Merlot, good night guys!

    ReplyDelete
  63. hank
    I'm an occasional drinker these days, sadly. Can't hack it anymore. Can't grass on the sheffpixie - she'll speak for herself!

    Kids on our street used to collect beer & pop bottles from the neighbours, to take back to the boozer for the deposit money. An honest way to earn a crust as a kid. Did you have ice on the inside of your bedroom windows, like us?

    ReplyDelete
  64. Well, so far so identical, except that it is in NYC and the building(s) that make him say "No way" are the Twin Towers.

    I dunno why this programme gives me goosepimples, but it always does, even in the original version. Maybe because I am that old that I can remember the 70s quite clearly.

    ReplyDelete
  65. MsChin

    I can remember ice on the inside of the windows at my nana's in Scotland. And ice on top of the potty under the bed too, in the mornings. Too far to go downstairs to the loo in the night. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  66. Just me then eh? This place is a cultural desert. Seem to remember chatting to Ally F about X Factor a few times..he's no philistine.

    Anyone remember Alpine? Used to come round on a big wagon. Full of all sorts of E numbers that you only find in toxic waste and nerve agents these days. While the guy was delivering you could jump up on the back and grab a couple of crates while your stupid mate distracted the Alsation.

    ReplyDelete
  67. The acronym origin of the name for Pakistan is the only one I've ever heard from Pakistani friends or when I was there. None of them ever made any claim that it meant "Land of the Pure". Dunno if that's because most of the Pakistanis I've known were pretty secular and didn't want to play up that aspect or whether they just don't consider that a valid meaning.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I tried Vimto once. It was revolting.

    ReplyDelete
  69. http://www.heavingdeadcats.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/sad-puppy-762581.JPG

    Look at the sad puppy

    ReplyDelete
  70. MF
    No! No puppies.
    Remember the pop man coming round. Also used to nick those bottles of 'orange juice' from the back of the milk float.

    Montana
    Ah, but years ago, it was the only drink with no nasty artificial colours / flavours ... which probably explains the taste.

    ReplyDelete
  71. MOntana

    Did you ever try Irn Bru?

    One is led to believe that it is made from girders...

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hank

    "Strange how I have a new found respect for Imogen's posts"

    Yeah...

    "An article on the importance of manners in keeping the peace... how a few smiles can change the world...

    I was struck this morning by the politeness and good sense of my bus driver."

    ...sounds right up your street. Just smile look her right in the eye and say the first mindless platitude that enters your head. That's how to make the world a better place..peace, love, harmony and capitalism eating itself on toast. I'm sure if we all ask nicely the bad men will stop and be nice. Good plan.

    Maybe stick the angry strategy though eh? You'd give yourself a fuckin seizure doin the other thing.

    ReplyDelete
  73. MF - ooh I sense some real anger there in your shakras!

    Srsly though - showing respect rubs off on the strangest of people at times.

    Years ago when I was a temp in a god-awful call centre, there was this receptionist, in her 50s, face like a smacked arse and everyone hated her and called her the Dragon Lady. I made it my personal mission (for some bizarre reason known only to me in my hippiness) that I would get her to smile.

    So every morning I would say good morning to her when I came in. To begin with she would ignore me. Then after a week or too, she would grunt. Eventually one day she smiled and said good morning back. After a few months I knew her as Pat, that she lived in the same town as me and would do anything for me that I asked.

    OK, so somewhere the might be an element of self-interest in there. Let's face it, I treated her like a decent human being, but I got a pay-off from it in the end.

    But why couldn't that work in general in the same way? Why couldn't the giving out of respect for someone as a human being rather than a Dragon Lady not reap its rewards throughout society, if the same principle was applied - turning said Dragon Lady into a rather nice person?

    I don't know if it was here or somewhere else a while ago that I mentioned the chinese proverb about the difference between heaven and hell.

    In hell, everyone has a bowl of rice and chopsticks that are 5 foot long. And people starve to death because they can't feed themselves.

    In heaven, everyone has a bowl of rice and choptsticks that are 5 foot long. But they all eat because they feed each other.





    (And Confuscius he say: man who boils beans and peas in same pot very unhygenic)....

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hank
    ________

    Just browsing on here and noticed your comment about the divisions between Dutch and French-speaking sports fans. Football certainly isn't my thing - in fact I've just got in from a particularly lovely evening at the ballet but I will comment on the linguistic tensions.

    From a governmental point of view they have actually diminished greatly to a year-18 months ago when there was so much commotion on the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde issue (no don't ask - it would bore everyone into a coma) and this is because it's all hands on deck with the economic crisis. At the moment. The issue will rise again no doubt but it won't be because of sports fans who really don't have the clout that they might in a country like Scotland.

    The Flemish dislike the Dutch almost as much as they do the French-speaking Walloons and I can't see the latter wanting to join up with Sarkozy somehow. They are French-speaking but with a vastly different mentality to the French proper.

    Brussels is too much of a prize for either side to let it go so it will be a marriage of convenience, with separate bedrooms and a show of unity for the neighbours. In the end the Belgians are great ones for the pragmatic compromise.

    Talking of neo-fascists, this is the second week running that I've bumped into the Vlaams Belang's leader, Bruno Valkeniers. He is the image of bourgeois respectability - that's the real chilling factor. At least Nick Griffen - despite his education and suit - looks too dodgy to trust.

    Off to bed now to dream of the Ballet Russe. We had an homage to the great Nijinsky (dancer not horse) in a show called - wait for it - "Evolution of Ballet." Can't get away from Darwin it seems.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Nope. Never tried Irn Bru, I'm afraid.

    I have a weird, almost sadistic streak with quiet people. When I was at uni, there was this Irish guy in my residence hall who never spoke to anyone unless he had to. He'd come into the tv lounge and watch tv, so it wasn't that he was antisocial. I decided he was just painfully shy. So I always smiled and said "hi" to him. Asked him his name after awhile. If I saw him in the dining hall sitting alone, I always went to his table. A few other people started doing it, too. After awhile, we got him loosened up enough that he started going to the bar with us. Found out that, once he had a few beers in him, you couldn't get him to shut up!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Bru

    "The Flemish dislike the Dutch almost as much as they do the French-speaking Walloons"

    Ain't dat da truth!

    Thanks to my music forum, I have friends in real life now who are dutch and belgian. They speak more or less the same language, and are very aimiable with each other when we are out as a group. But each group tells the same quasi-racist jokes about the other.

    "How do you know you are in Holland/Belgium? Because the cows are better looking than the women."

    I was driving to the Hague one day to visit friends (who are Spanish and were working there) and I spoke to both dutch and belgian friends about having to pay to go through the Antwerp tunnel. The belgian friend said it was the price I had to pay to be released from the civilisation of Belgium; the dutch friend said it was the price I had to pay to be allowed into the civilisation of Holland. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  77. Montana

    "Found out that, once he had a few beers in him, you couldn't get him to shut up!"

    Heheh. A true celtic trait, that one! :p

    ReplyDelete
  78. Yeah, I've got some real angry chakras.

    Thing is..I don't have a problem with anger. I'm very good at it...doesn't eat me up..rot me from the inside or anything. In fact, it's the reason I get out of bed in the morning.

    I know, some people get off on tranquillity but the day I stop being angry is the day I stop caring..is the day I stop breathing. My whole family's angry..always has been..plenty to be angry about as it goes..generations of anger. They're all Irish, and while I've always found Oirish gombeen sentimentality schtick about as convincing and relevant as a Leprachaun themepark, the one thing the Irish do well is bear a grudge. Not in the destructive, cancerous way the average Anglo-Saxon stress head does..it's more of a nurturing thing.

    I was once told the difference between the English and Irish is the difference between the Arthurian cycle and the Red Branch legends. One the one hand you have Arthur, eventually transformed into the epitome of chivalrous gentility, on the other the drunken psychopath Cuchulain who really kicks ass. I know who I'd rather have a drink with.

    Take your point but all my life from sneering condescending teachers, employers, bank managers to Thatcher and her epigones and Blair's craven minions, I've seen politeness, civility and calls for restraint as nothing more than a screen for an orgy of backstabbing. Don't get me wrong, I don't go around screaming and profaning in people's faces but I was brought up to shout 'bullshit' when I heard it and 'cunt' when I saw one.

    And I fundamentally believe that self-censorship in the name of civility and general 'pleasantness' is a major lever in the suppression of social unrest.

    Not a huge fan of Eastern mysticism either, Confucius/ Zen Koans / Buddhist proverbs...all chicken soup for the soul for me. No doubt a huge source of personal peace and satisfaction but undoubtedly a reactionary restraining force on the citizens of some very brutal exploitative societies..for millenia.

    I'm too angry to be a Buddhist. I know..a few Buddhists have told me. In fact I gave one a lift to London once and he made me stop the car and let him out at Peterborough cos of the vibe. Funny thing was, I thought we'd been having a laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Bru - this is the blog I was referring to.

    belgianfootball

    There's a few Belgians from either side of the ethnic divide on there, and as someone who thinks that football does much to define national identity and culture, I found the debate interesting.

    We need to bear in mind that Yugoslavia disintegrated after Boban initiated a 22 man brawl in the Red Star v Hadjuk Split derby.

    "In the end, the Belgians are the great ones for the pragmatic compromise."

    That's what I always thought, Bru, but is that still the case? Belgium is split on linguistic and religious lines. It has no national identity to speak of.

    Is Belgium the next Yugoslavia?

    ReplyDelete
  80. That thing about ice inside the windows took me back. I made a maudlin little post about it which, probably mercifully, didn't appear. But aye it was there when I was a kid. That and long days in the DHSS, a grubby, dusty shithole, sat there waiting and waiting and waiting for my mum to be seen. Gad. Maudlin again.

    Anyway, the other thing. I started reading Slaughterhouse 5 now. I'm waiting to see the - wierdly - less famous Montana Wildhack in there.

    Avatars. Nyeh I might get one eventually, but it's such a bloody faff. Only got the mandrill in the *craziness* of the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  81. MF - bollix. I'll see your Irish anger and raise you my English anger. I'm an eighth Irish, an eighth Welsh, and the rest English.

    So I've got genetic justifications for being a pisshead and self-pitying. And the other three-quarters I have to pin on my English heritage.

    Bugger off with the Celtic lunatic fringe crap, MF. That's all bollocks.

    Where you come from is always more about class than nation.

    And angry paddies waving their shrouds have done as much damage to the cause of social justice as any Tory landowner.

    I'm not ashamed to be English, and it's fucking playing into the hands of the ruling class to pretend that the Irish, the Scots, or the Welsh are inherently superior, morally or otherwise, to me or mine.

    ReplyDelete
  82. MF

    Thing about you is that your anger is always heavily weighted down with humour, and I was smiling a broad grin through most of it. But this bit made me LOL.

    "I'm too angry to be a Buddhist. I know..a few Buddhists have told me. In fact I gave one a lift to London once and he made me stop the car and let him out at Peterborough cos of the vibe. Funny thing was, I thought we'd been having a laugh."

    Fucking fake buddhist, then. Can't be doing with them.

    One of our good friends, Andy (no relation to anyone here) is the most bad-tempered, rowdy, miserable fucking Buddhists I have ever met in my life.

    I will never forget the first time I ever met him - it was after our AGM in 1994 in the Drury Lane theatre or some-such, and he had been helping out behind the scenes, and my soon-to-be hubby said we were giving him a lift home to Brighton. Fair enough, I thought.

    Then this gangly, pimply bloke of about 20 got into our car and the first thing he said was "If I ever see that Brian XXX again, I am going to hang him upside down by his balls in a very dark cupboard for at least a month!" (Brian XXX being another buddhist.)

    There are the shaved head, sit on a mountain vegan types. Then there are the ones in touch with the real world.

    But - and this is a great big but - it isn't about being nice. Sometimes you have to be actually quite shitty to someone to make things right.

    Which is why all the "bad vibes man" stuff is pretentious shite.

    And there is nothing wrong with anger if it is pointed in the right direction. Anger where someone sits in their corner and curses the world is no fucking good to them or anyone else. But anger that translates into people actually getting off their arse and doing something is awesome.

    I like to think you are in the latter category, not the former. And this is from a person who was born angry. I channel it into my hunger for justice now. Before I used to just shout at people.

    (I still shout at people sometimes, though - nobody's perfect... ;o) )

    ReplyDelete
  83. And what is it about David Sylvian - particularly this song - that gets me all hot and bothered?

    There is something just so lush about the quality of his voice. Ooof.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Hank

    "Is Belgium the next Yugoslavia?"

    In terms of the Flemish/Walloonian divide? No.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Good point. Backed up by the fact that south of the border they just don't riot..haven't for decades. But...you've gotta wonder why that is...it's because the angry ones either starved in the 1840s or got on a boat. The ones left behind were the ones who had a few bob. They invented 'Irishness', blarney, theme pubs in place of anger and organised the single most farcical revolutionary 'coup' in history instead; culminating in a decision to cast off the imperialist yoke turn the place over to the dictates of Papal morality and bucolic destitution.

    Said above...I've nothing but disdain for the place...nor the fuckin rednecks who made it to the states and invented the Ku Klux Klan, Hank Williams and blue collar conservatism. There was however a significant proportion who got off a boat in Liverpool/ Glasgow and never made more than a couple of miles further down the road....and stayed angry and stayed militant...and organised and believed in solidarity. The angry paddies who were left behind were, I agree, a fuckin embarrassment.

    "Where you come from is always more about class than nation"

    indeed..so I'll drop the bollocks when you stop having your head turned by fuckin avatars on top of beige middle class comments calling for 'manners'.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Just in case any of you think I am going soft with all the 80s stuff....

    I don't know what more to ask for....!

    ReplyDelete
  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  88. "...so I'll drop the bollocks when you stop having your head turned by fuckin avatars on top of beige middle class comments calling for 'manners'"...

    Are we having our first tiff, MF?

    I would make a joke of this and suggest that you left your irony detector at home, but fuck that, you've left your fucking brains outside the door when you walked in here tonight.

    Fuck off and bollocks.

    I like you, MF, but don't push it. If you want to discuss this offline, I've texted you.

    ReplyDelete
  89. 'just in case any of you think I am going soft with all the 80s stuff....'

    Yeah..I'd be into that too but I just clocked Echo and the Bunnymen on Jools and they've turned into fat parodies of themselves. Maybe that's just what we all do.

    Surely staying angry's the only answer?

    ReplyDelete
  90. I like manners. In the good old days people with impeccable manners would get up at dawn to blow each other's heads off.
    The Japanese do manners too. A fine bunch of chaps and, at times , quite murderous with it.
    Btw,
    music ended in the seventies although Vienna was quite good.

    ReplyDelete
  91. 'I would make a joke of this and suggest that you left your irony detector at home, but fuck that, you've left your fucking brains outside the door when you walked in here tonight.'

    Well possibly. I am exceedingly drunk as it happens...with a lot to be angry about. The least of which is a 3 month ban from the league and £65 fine which just arrived. I'm not in the mood for being told I'm too angry...seems I have to pay for the privilege now...anger's been privatised. I'm justifying mine every way I can. Might get a note from the doctor...tell him it's genetic...amazing what they do with your DNA these days.

    I'll get in touch tomorrow sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  92. We've all got a lot to be exceedingly drunk about. And angry. Don't fucking throw it my way. You're pissing on the wrong fucking shoes.

    And as for fucking Vienna, jeez, Colin, well, jeez. This was a good song though...

    entertainment

    ReplyDelete
  93. MF - The X Factor etc: they're all total, total cunts.

    Hope that clears things up.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Hey Hank, I like Weller, but what the FUCK is going on with that barnet these days ?

    Jesus.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Good gig, BW?

    You're right of course about MaxFactor, but there's no talking to him tonight. I'm expecting a basketful of moody number plates outside my door tomorrow morning by way of apology.

    @Colin - "I like manners." I've just seen your message to Hermione on waddya...Why the face was that all about?

    ReplyDelete
  96. The barnet, BW? not good is it, but he's 51 now.

    Let's be honest, when we were teenagers, 51 year olds looked a fuck of a lot older than the Modfather does now.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Yeah, great thanks Hank. As regards, Max, well I think we are the bitter cunt laureates round here sometimes, and it's good for someone to go out on a limb occasionally.

    Keeps it real. Or something. Heh.

    Anyhoo, I can not, repeat CAN NOT - stay up all night longer tonight unfortunately, or my missus will melt my face with a breville for breakfast. catch youse soon.

    PS agreed about Vienna. Shite po-faced effete nonsense that wants taken out and stamped on by Yosser.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Hah, just caught that last one. Well actually, Weller has ALWAYS worn cardigans, since I can remember. Maybe that's his trick.....

    ReplyDelete
  99. Wooden hill for me, BW.

    Nothing wrong with cardigans btw...

    cardigans

    ReplyDelete