10 October 2009

Daily Chat 10/10/09

The forces of Charles Martel defeated the Moors in the Battle of Tours in 732.  The Wuchang Uprising, which lead to the end of Imperial China took place in 1911.  The Sudetenland was ceded to Nazi Germany by the Munich Agreement in 1938.  The Windscale Fire happened in 1957 and London Bridge reopened in Lake Havasu, Arizona, in 1971.

Born today:  Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), Thelonius Monk (1717-1982), Harold Pinter (1930-2008), Charles Dance (1946), Midge Ure (1953), David Lee Roth (1955), Kirsty MacColl (1959-2000) and Martin Kemp (1961).

It is World Mental Health Day.  Pretend to be sane.


  1. Morning all. I'm off to Lady S's place for the weekend, where internet access is at the whim of those japesters from Virgin/NTL. Just wanted to thank Hank for the link to that Belgian football article 'cos I went looking for it and couldn't find it.

    Honestly, to think I used to believe that England players were overpaid prima-donnas with no desire to play for their country and no team commitment. Even pre-Capello we had it good compared to that bunch.

    I was once told, on a trip to Belgium, that though I spoke French it would be better if I spoke English as the most unforgivable sin in the land was for a foreigner to speak French to the Flemish or Flemish to the French.

  2. Oh, and I quite like Vienna but then again, there are some days when I'm quite efette too. The one remaining picture of my paternal grandfather looks a bit Midge Ure-ish, or a touch Private Walker.

    Preferred the minimalism of Hiroshima Mon Amour

    Though on hearing it again today, it sounds a little close to the priest version of Kraftwerk from Father Ted.

  3. "Though on hearing it again today, it sounds a little close to the priest version of Kraftwerk from Father Ted."

    Priceless, and a fair summary of 9/10s of music that charted in the eighties.

    It was an awful, awful era for music, saved singlehandedly by Prince. So there.

  4. Wiki is fascinating on the sale of the old bridge. Sadly the story that the buyer complained because the bridge didn't go 'up and down' seems false:

    'In 1967, the Common Council of the City of London placed the bridge on the market and began to look for potential buyers. Council member Ivan Luckin had put forward the idea of selling the bridge, and recalled: "They all thought I was completely crazy when I suggested we should sell London Bridge when it needed replacing." On 18 April 1968, Rennie's bridge was sold to the American entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch of McCulloch Oil for US$2,460,000. The claim that McCulloch believed mistakenly that he was buying the more impressive Tower Bridge was denied by Luckin in a newspaper interview.[9] As the bridge was taken apart, each piece was numbered to aid re-assembly. The bridge was reconstructed at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and re-dedicated on 10 October 1971. The reconstruction of Rennie's London Bridge spans the Bridgewater Channel canal that leads from Lake Havasu to Thomson Bay, and forms the centrepiece of a theme park in English style, complete with a Tudor period shopping mall. Rennie's London Bridge has become Arizona's second-biggest tourist attraction, after the Grand Canyon.[10]

    The version of London Bridge that was rebuilt at Lake Havasu consists of a concrete frame with stones from the Old London Bridge used as cladding. The cladding stones used are 150 to 200 millimetres (6 to 8 inches) thick. The remaining stone was left at Merrivale Quarry at Princetown in Devon.[11] When Merrivale Quarry was abandoned and flooded in 2003, some of the remaining stone was sold in an online auction.[12]'

    I want to go to that Tudor shopping mall!

  5. (Summerisle wonders if he should point out that Hiroshima Mon Amour was from 1977 ... and thinks better of it)

    A good weekend is guaranteed provided I can keep Lady S away from the kitchen ;-)

    Cheers, BW.

  6. Ah, I see. A fair cop guv. You can't beat Bowie for late seventies art/synth rock though (said Bitterweed furiously trying to regain some cred...)

    Enjoy !

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Anyone seen front page Grauniad today re: big changes to state pension age? The Tories are £3bn out in their calculation, which makes a bit of mockery of all their faux-gravitas about "hard times but we're all being in it together" last week... What a bunch of Eton-bred tozzers. I bet no-one notices though... The Sun says they're ok again...

  9. Loved Bowie - you have your cred back, BW.

    Speaking of kitchens, I've got 3lbs of damsons which I bought for a quid, but I don't know what to do with them. Anyone have any ideas for the mystified cook here?

  10. Lord S this is terribly presumptuous but i wonder if Lady S ever considered 'Extra' or 'background artiste' work? I've been doing it ever since I was made redundant in 2004 and have met quite a few people (in the Glasgow area) recovering from debilitating illnesses.

    Indeed, one guy I spoke to was recovering from ME and he found it a great way of having occasional trips out the house, meeting and gabbing to people, and of course earning a few quid.

    Best way is to register with a local agency - most charge an annual fee but then give you a freebie year if you don't get work.

  11. MsC

    Damsons make absolutely fantastic jam - the secret is not to make it too sweet so that they keep their sharpness. Also they are a great substitute for sloes in gin. Make some Damson gin now and it'll be ready for Christmas.

    Bitterweed - Tom Waits and the Amazing Rhythmn Aces got me through the 80s

  12. MsChin
    Damosons eh ? I dunno - damson chutney ??

    BTW - Low, Scary Monsters etc = ace And now by the magic of interwebbery... here's some heroes



  13. Sheff
    Oh yes, waits was pretty amazing. We played Small Change back from Scotland last Sunday (nine hours, most of it down the Mordor 6) and our twenty-six year old drummer said "shit is it all like this ?" Had to be there I guess, lol...

  14. Sounds like a lot of effort, this damson jam/chutney-making business, so I'd best get some booze ..

    And speaking of heroes:

  15. Morning all

    I was all krautrock and new romantics in the 80s - with a bit of style council, tom waits, keith jarret and the police thrown in for good measure.

  16. Booze always helps with kitchen related tasks... ask old Floydy rip

    "I was all krautrock and new romantics in the 80s - with a bit of style council, tom waits, keith jarret and the police thrown in for good measure."

    BB... just when we were getting on so well....

    Waits and Keith Jarret = genius though, so I'll let the others pass...


    Off for a walk now, tara.

  17. BW
    Too nice this morning to stay glued to a keyboard, so I think I'll join you & go for a walk.

  18. Hank implied that I was rude to Hermione last night. I have no memory of it, which is a bit scary.
    I'll be off for a while.

  19. This is a fucking outrage - the judiciary have again spoiled my day:

    "Daughter wins £2.3m left to RSPCA

    A woman who contested her parents' will after they left their £2.3m estate in North Yorkshire to the RSPCA today won her battle to inherit their farm. The RSPCA said it would appeal.

    Christine Gill, 58, a university lecturer from Northallerton, started a legal action in July to challenge the will, which she claimed her father had forced her mother into making.

    Gill, an only child, had helped out on Potto Carr farm, near Northallerton, part of Joyce and John Gill's estate, during her spare time over three decades. At a high court hearing in Leeds, the judge, James Allen QC, said it would be "unconscionable" if she did not inherit the farm, and he set aside the will.

    After her mother's death three years ago, Gill discovered that her parents had made wills leaving their 287-acre (116-hectare) farm to each other and then to the animal welfare charity when both died.

    During previous hearings, Allen heard how Gill was given repeated reassurances she would inherit the estate. Her mother was said to have had "an avowed dislike" of the RSPCA, but had deferred to pressure from her husband to make the will.

    Gill told the court she had devoted most of her spare time over more than 30 years to helping out at the farm. When her father died in 1999, aged 82, she was left to look after her mother and run the farm. It was only when her mother died in 2006, also aged 82, that Gill saw the will, which left everything to the RSPCA."

    The old lady had seven years to change the will after her husband died. What is unconscionable in this case is some tosser of a QC playing at being Solomon.

    We don't even have a Lord Chancellor to complain to!

  20. Stoat - you rude?

    Never been known.

  21. Even if the old lady had been under genuine duress at the time of the will signing and had then become senile (of which there is no mention in the report) the QC's judgement still strikes me as crap.

    What he ignores is the clear intention of the old man. At the very least the estate should have been split into two - his and hers. His half should have gone to the RSCPCA and hers to the daughter.

    The whole notion of unconscionable conduct is a legal invention that is used to suite their arrogant ends.

    I note that the 'legals' didn't come out and argue that it would be unconscionable of Fred Goodwin to keep his pension!

    If they come to repossess your home trying telling the judge it would be unconscionable to give the moneylenders the judgement on possession.

    BB - next take you are in court give a judge a loud gargle from the back of your throat (as though you were going to spit at him) and I'll send you a shilling.


  22. LOL deano. I better not unless I want to be banged up in the cells next door to my client for contempt! :o)

    I think you are right about respecting the wishes of the father at the very least and leaving the RSPCA with half their inheritance. That would have made more sense.

    I wonder if they will appeal it?

  23. BB - they are to appeal it. Some important points at issue. I for one will be very interested to see the outcome at CA.

    Of course said silly QC has no real idea of how important the RSPCA is in contemporary child rearing in the modern age.

    I do not think I could have possibly have raised three reasonably civilised kids without threatening them with leaving my loot to the RSPCA every time they incurred my displeasure.

    If they had been told that my threat was empty I would have had big problems and probably have become a failed parent.

    Even though I have very little loot to leave them I still threaten the bastards with the RSPCA or a Mungo trust fund whenever they are disagreeable.

    I'm expecting a cut out of the article in the post next week. The sods will not be able to resist taking the piss out of me!

  24. deano, would your opinion be the same if the entire estate had been left to the BNP?

  25. I don't think respecting the wishes of the father has anything to do with it. Succession law's pretty clear that once he's dead, the estate passes under his will, as it did, and then it's wholly the mother's right to deal with that property as she chooses.

    It's a bad judgement. Generally, the Court will not interfere with the wishes of a deceased testator unless they find clear evidence of either lack of mental capacity or undue influence. Neither appear to apply here, and it's not for some dickhead judge to second guess the intentions of dead people.

    @colin - no real harm done. I'm sure the comment was deleted before ms gingold would have had a chance to read it. Worse things happen at sea etc.

  26. Scherfig - Sad as it would make me to find the BNP had inherited £2.3m the answer would have to be yes.

    I've never been keen on those who try to ride two horses in the circus - it's beyond my capabilities.

    Making exceptions of things too often undermines important principles for no real advantage. The notion of 'unconscionable' is interesting but sadly it only applies to things judges disagree with. I have almost as much anger reserved for
    the judiciary and their cavalier ideas about the sanctity of contract and arbitrary ideas about Equity as I do about the nuts at the BNP.

    I take a view on free speech - I am in favour of it and have thereby accept that that includes a right to speak for those who I find find distasteful like the BNP.

    I do not think that what the BNP stands for will be beaten by making it a proscribed organisation. They are, imho, best defeated by coming up against powerful advocates like BB who spends a lot of energy confronting them with sound argument wherever they pop up on CiF.

    On the other hand I would not object to the BNP being heavily fined whenever it steps over the mark.

    Thus if the BNP found itself with an inheritance of £2.3m you would find me at their public rallies with a placard proclaiming - "fine the unconscionable bastards big they can afford it" - which would be waved whenever they uttered racist crap etc.

    Even if we proscribed the BNP and made donations to it illegal I would expect some 'legal' to pop and advise that it would still be ok to leave £2.3m to Nick Griff' in trust for the purposes of......

  27. If you left your money to Nick Griffin the BNP would never see a penny of it. The whole organisation is set up to keep him from having to work. They always seem to have trouble filing their accounts, too, and keep "losing" or "having stolen" their laptops which have the key details as to who donates and where the money is going.

    It is mostly going to Croatia, where Griffin has a second home....

  28. I think the succession point is/should be beyond dispute.

    My point was that the old lady had 7 years after his death to write a new will if she had been under duress to subscribe to the joint will she had.

    Had she been incapable after his death by reason of, for example, senility then the collective original intention of the couple was at least a consideration.Unconscionable conduct is, as I understand it, an idea/device from the law of Equity.

    The RSPCA will at appeal probably want a fall back position (I think the legals call it the argument 'in the alternative') in the event of their main argument based on precedent failing.

    They may chose a variant of the idea that old lady was only really holding the old man's share in trust for the RSPCA ending her own death.

    Whatever, I think it will be an interesting case to watch at Appeal.

    When it suits the fucking judiciary the old lady would have been joint and severally liable for the old bastards debts even after his death irrespective of whether she had given her consent to what the debts had been incurred for.

    In the end there is only one thing to be done with the BNP, and many judges, and that is to introduce them to the rope.

  29. BB - that would be good for Nicko.

    To divert the BNP thugs to Croatia for a lynching might be entertaining. I don't think the extreme right are into taking prisoners.

    I'm expecting some in his party to be very interested in what is happening to the Euro MP's salaries. I can see a few fall outs!

    I didn't know the bastard had a home out there but not surprising when you think about it.

  30. I have little doubt that internet traffic will soon be very heavy pending England's match - that means that I will probably find it difficult if not impossible to post soon.

    So it's regards from me as I'm now away to take the dogs for a walk.

  31. Re undue influence, and having looked at your earlier post again, deano, I see that's precisely what the daughter was arguing...

    "The burden of proof is always upon the contester of the will to show undue influence, Re Cutliffe's Estate [1959].

    To discharge the burden it must be shown that the person exercising undue influence was acting morally reprehensibly."

    Now I can see how this would apply where, eg, undue influence was used to persuade the testator to name the person applying the influence as a beneficiary, but not where husband and wife agree mutual wills with a third party, completely uninvolved in the making of the wills, as the beneficiary.

    If the judgement isn't overturned in the Court of Appeal, it seems to be setting a precedent, and a bad one.

  32. Deano

    Not sure about this will/RSPCA thing. If the Graun article is accurate the father was a bombastic, domineering bully who coerced the mother into agreement. Mother was retiring and suffered from agoraphobia.

    Daughter looked after the farm and her mother after her father died in 1999 and stands to lose her home etc etc. Think it might me more complicated than the reports tell us.

    I've told my kids that everything will go to the nearest anarchist commune if they displease me...keeps them on the ball.

  33. Chris Cleave has a good piece in Graun for all you Dads out there
    Why fathers don't get more involved

  34. @Princesschipchops & Swifty:

    Graun thread on ME today.

    As far as the will goes: While I can understand how hurtful it would be to the daughter to have been cut out like that, it is completely inappropriate for a judge to overturn the wishes of the parents. Either they felt the RSPCA needed the money more than their daughter did or there's something about the relationship between the daughter and her parents that isn't coming out in court.

  35. http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2009/oct/09/x-factor-live-final

    For the first time my banning actually gives me cause for serious regret. I'm absolutely gutted.

  36. Monkeyfish
    Tell us what you want to say and I'll post it up for you

  37. Sheff

    Of course we are all speculating and the facts and evidence are a bit thin in the Guard article. - I simply noted:

    i) daughter a Uni lecturer - bit difficult to do that and run a farm?
    ii) She seems to have claimed she gave her 'spare time' over three decades.
    iii) mum had seven years after the alleged bombastic tosser was under the sod to escape his influence and recognise the kind administrations of the 'nightingale' daughter.
    iv) daughter, as an educated lass, should have seen there might be problems in the future cos she would/should have seen her fathers will in 1999 and seen his intent. At the least it should have sounded an alarm if she knew her dad to be a bully
    v) my daughter in similar circumstances would have had no hesitation in asking her mother what the old bullying bastard had put her up to in her will?

    At face value the story don't quite hang together for me. It really will be fascinating to follow at the Appeal.

    It is always possible that the old man knew his daughter was a member of the BNP or had an unsavoury partner or pastime and wanted to make sure that the family silver went to the dogs rather than the vile. Who knows there - doesn't appear to be anyone to speak for his position?

    I must say Sheff that having noted that you and MsC had an enjoyable evening together I was hoping for a consolidation of Yorkshire wisdom - but what then do I read but that the very next thing you are down to swapping ideas about how to alcoholise innocent damsons. ;-)

    That poor PrincessCC is plainly well advised to approach you two with caution if she comes across you in the streets.

    Glad you are keeping the kids on the toes. My threats to mine have little weight. My kids know I have very little to start with and what little I had they have already 'borrowed' from me.

    The deano will is simple 3 kids - one third each.

  38. "The deano will is simple 3 kids - one third each."

    I hope Mungo's got a good lawyer.

    @sheff - I read the Cleave blog. I'm sure there are loads of dads out there who are prevented by vindictive ex-partners from being actively involved in their kids' lives. But where that isn't the case, any dad that doesn't take an active interest is simply a lazy bastard looking for excuses.

    Me and my ex split up when my lad was 9. Until he went away to college, I saw him twice a week without fail. I did all the school runs, parents' evenings, sports events etc, and didn't give a second thought about the possibility that I might not be in the "mums mafia". Didn't care one way or the other. I wasn't interested in the gossip at the school gates or whatever. And I certainly wouldn't have used anything like that as a pretext for taking a back seat in bringing laddo up.

  39. "But where that isn't the case, any dad that doesn't take an active interest is simply a lazy bastard looking for excuses."

    Have to agree.

  40. Just read that ME thread, Montana. Lots of testimony from sufferers, sounds like a nightmare. And the point someone made about ME charities getting donations of 400k p.a compared to Cancer Research's £465M is pretty shocking. I've got a standing order donation to Cancer Research atm. Think I'll switch it to the ME charity. My tenner a month probably won't make much of a difference to either of them, but the ME need is clearly greater.

  41. I admire your tenacity Hank and take your point, for my son has three daughters that he has been fully involved with since they were born so I know its possible. He and his brother in law have just taken six of the kids off to see that new Pixar 3D animation this afternoon - blissfully quiet round here!

    But I do think its true that the wider culture doesn't necessarily make it easy for fathers and when stumbling blocks are continually put in their way, for example inflexible working hours, unsupportive ex/partners or wives etc a lot of men find it so depressing and difficult that rightly or wrongly they just walk away. I'm not trying to justify that because most of the men I know adore their kids and get properly stuck in.

    I also thought what Cleave said about the media ripping into working mothers was interesting.

  42. The guy lost me when he said he was exhausted after 2 months of caring for his firstborn, so they hired a childminder. How nice for him. My son and I were pretty much joined at the hip for the first year of his life. Not once in that first year was I any farther away from him than the next room.

    I'll grant that he did a good job of not demonising women, but it was still pretty much an article about the concerns of middle class men. Working class parents don't have the luxury of being exhausted.

  43. The ME thing has me a bit confused/fascinated (neither of those is accurate, but I'm not sure how to describe it). I'd assumed that 'ME' stood for mental exhaustion. Had never heard the term myalgic encephalopathy. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, yes. But I've never known anyone to have been diagnosed with it.

    Not meaning to diminish any lack of understanding or discrimination faced by British sufferers, but I'm guessing it's even worse here. Not much of anything is seen as a valid excuse for not working here. I've known several people with cancer who've carried on working while they were going through chemo because they couldn't afford not to.

  44. Spot on, montana. That's the impression I got as well. Just another middle class liberal whining about "luxury's disappointments". It was the sort of article that alienates me from the Guardian.

    Sheff - inflexible working hours might be a problem, but not for the likes of Cleave or those who read his column I'd guess. More to the point is unsupportive ex-partners, but then the Graun's never gonna run a piece saying that some women can be nasty, selfish or vindictive. It would be too unsettling to the general narrative.

  45. Not the best article ever written about full-time Dads. He kind of lost me when he said he needed to get a child-minder cos he couldn't cope with being a full-time parent after a couple of months.... uhuh...

  46. Montana

    PrincessCC & LadyS both have practical experience of the ME burden. Yesterday's Independent also carried the ME virus news.

    "Not much of anything is seen as a valid excuse for not working here." - That's what the Incapacity Benefit changes introduced by NuLab and copied by NuTory Cameron, with added malice, are designed to achieve here too.

  47. Oh snap, Montana - exactly the same point - missed your post.

  48. Re the Waddya thread -

    1. Thanks again to all who posted in support of reinstating banned posters. Good to see that the Cif staff engaging below the line were happy to weigh in on that debate...

    2. I always enjoy reading Waddya, but is it getting ever more trivial? Shouldn't there be a separate "chat" thread so that suggestions like BB's for a blog on the EDL aren't buried in a welter of inanities?

    3. Isn't hermione's avatar actually Fanny Craddock?

  49. Hank - your lad will be proud.

    My hubby didn't see his daughter for nearly 5 years. Had to go through the family courts to get contact with her, ended up costing us about £40 k and had to remortgage the house to pay it. But now she is all grown up and has a great relationship with us, although we don't see her as much as he would like.

  50. Not sure he's proud exactly, BB, but we're very close and that's more important.

  51. Cleave may well be middle class, possibly even a tosser, (although he does write good books) - but I think you're missing the wider point he's making about media attacks on women and the cultural mores that make it more difficult for fathers. He says for example:

    the closer one looks at how unfair the system is to fathers, the more one realises how tough it is on mothers. In modern Britain, mothers seem able to do no right. and he goes on to illustrate the point.

  52. That's true, Sheff. But, as I said before, it is all about Marx's flexible workforce when you think about it.

    When we are needed to keep prices down or to fill in the gaps left behind too few "menfolk", we must all be Nicola Horlicks. But as soon as there is an economic downturn, we must all be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen again.

    We are seeing more and more "research" about how badly our children behave as a result of mothers working at the moment. I wonder how it happened that all the kids whose mothers were working in ammunitions factories or in the Land Army during WW2 managed to turn out perfectly fine.

  53. BB -- great minds and all.

    Hank -- Never heard of Fanny Craddock, but the picture is definitely Hermione Gingold. It can be found here.

    And your son might be a bit too young still to be proud of you, but he will be one day. Pretty sure of that. Most kids don't expect perfect parents and they seem to be pretty willing to overlook some pretty grievous faults if they know that they're loved. I'm sure the fact that you do is abundantly clear to him.

  54. Sheff -- I appreciated that Cleave made a point of the fact that women are in a damned if you do/damned if you don't position these days, but I don't really think that was his main point. It struck me mostly as a whinge about how being an active, involved dad isn't as much of a breeze as he thought it was going to be.

  55. Has the lovely Watteau at the top of the thread disappeared for everyone?

  56. BB

    I wonder how it happened that all the kids whose mothers were working in ammunitions factories or in the Land Army during WW2 managed to turn out perfectly fine.

    I don't know that all of us did - some of us have struggled really hard as a result of having mothers (and fathers, grand parents etc) who were seriously traumatised by their experience of WW2. Not a generation who are big on talking about it either.

  57. Montana

    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I read the whinge bits of his piece as him laughing at himself for being so pathetic and giving in so quickly.

  58. Montana - thanks for the link to Top Ten Jewish Actresses. Not sure how reliable the site is though. Barbra Streisand Jewish? Whatever schmottever.

    Never heard of Fanny Craddock?


  59. Sheff - good point. I guess they don't talk about it all that much.

    Montana - Fanny Craddock was the UKs Julia Childs, except that she roped her husband Johnny into her shows as well.

  60. Incidentally, I posted the message about Waddya being inane before checking back and finding that sheff and BB were posting on there. No offence meant, as I'm sure you'll understand.

    Here's me trying to be all conciliatory and fucking serendipity intervenes.

    Story of my life.

    Where's MF anyway? How long does it take to text your X Factor vote?

  61. LOL Hank. Didn't take it personally (for once!)


  62. Hank

    Don't worry - I do trivial inanities in trumps!

  63. Wasn't worried so much about you, BB. We've already established that you swing that baseball bat like a girl. I was more worried about sheff singing Soviet anthems up at my bedroom window all night.

    Where's your avatar from, sheff? I'm thinking the Au Pairs, whose first album, Playing with a different sex, was a bit of a favourite of mine, but on reflection I don't think it could be because none of them ever ever smiled.

  64. Well non X Factor viewers..you just missed one of the most low-down homophobic cringeworthy comments ever on mainstream TV. One you'll no doubt be debating on CIF all next week...only you didn't see it cos of aesthetic myopia.

    Dani Minogue...A1 Bitch..you heard it here first.

  65. Oh, god, that was brilliant! I just might have to watch those to learn how to cook real food. She's so much calmer and easier to follow than Julia Child.

  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. Btw CIF Live X Factor blog up to 270 comments already. Dunno what your problems are with it. Ok it's 'reality' Tv but they perform live..no judicious editing and some of them are really good. This "yeah, but they're not musicians and don't write their own songs" is a bit of a non-starter too. Fatuous argument. None of you like Sinatra...Ray Charles...Peggy Lee...Dusty...Julie London?...the list goes on and on.

    Highlight is when an established artist comes on and comes over as lame compared to the contestants. It happens to them all (except Beyonce..who was a class act). Know I'm in danger of becoming a bore about this but..there ya go.

  68. Hank

    My avatar is a detail from a print by Alexander Rodchenko

    I love the Constructivists and there was a brilliant exhibition of work by Rodchenko and Popova at the Tate Modern recently. Have a copy of this print hanging in my back room.

  69. Not me, mate. I'm not allowed to comment. And, not having seen the telecast in question, I'll just say that I think Dannii's fitter than Kylie, and Cheryl's fitter than Ashley.

    But have never worked out how Cheryl, nubile, ambitious and short of cash as she was, found herself mysteriously attracted to Ashley given that Ashley's black and she had smacked a cloakroom attendant while calling the attendant a nigger.

    And now Cheryl's the nation's sweetheart.

    Without wishing to kick off another spat, I'm bewildered about why watching the bastard offspring of max Clifford or Simon Cowell makes anyone authentically working class.

    It's like saying that we should all stop reading books and buy the Sun instead.

    All very confusing.

  70. MF


    Come ON!

    Tell us!

  71. What's it say, sheff? My Russian's a bit rusty...

  72. Well I take your point but I'd have to respond with the self evident truism that if anyone's aesthetic taste doesn't include a bit of populist trash, there either autistic or a liar (not including football).

    I'll own up to the X Factor, Carry on Films, everything I've ever eaten, and Elmore Leonard (dunno if he counts...he's also a literary colossus)...also I'd rather have the X Factor in my bag than ever admit to reading Dan Brown. Got 2 pages into that fuckin monstrosity ("you've just gotta read it..it's brilliant") before flinging it in the bin.

  73. BB

    I can't do the backstory justice which gives the full impact. Basically, there's a guy on there who is very good, gonna clean up with the female vote who was given 'you're gonna love me' to sing. Danii referring to tabloid rumours joked that he needn't have changed the gender reference...you had to be there..

    Anyway.. here you go..


    The backlash begins. Seems Hermione Gingold is the only one backing Danii. Oh yeah..forgot to mention..he's a primary teacher.

  74. Well, as I've said, I'm territorially unable to watch X Factor, but I will own up to having watched both "America's Got Talent" and "So You Think You Can Dance?" and having enjoyed both. Also really love the Cardigans song that Hank linked to last night, even though I think it qualifies as pure schlock. (And, being a straight chick, I can't even blame that on getting the horn on for the singer.)

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  76. 'Without wishing to kick off another spat, I'm bewildered about why watching the bastard offspring of max Clifford or Simon Cowell makes anyone authentically working class.'

    Er..and anyway, what could make anyone more authentically working class these days (or any other days) than being exploited by some rich twat with all the cards stacked in his favour?

    Twas ever thus. I've never bought the myth that at one point the Russian proletariat spent its free time listening to Shostakovich, watching Eisenstein and nipping to the ballet. Lets face it, they were drinking home made vodka and tuning into Voice of America for a bit of Elvis or Gladys Knight.

  77. That sounds bloody harsh, MF.

    I will take a look at the thread.

  78. Yeh but what you're saying is that you like the X Factor and if I don't like the X Factor I'm not as authentically working class as you. I don't like the X Factor. I fucking hate the X Factor, along with Strictly, Big Brother, Come Dine With Me, How big is your fucking BBQ, and all the rest of the crap that's pumped out now.

    It's all crap, and implying that me, or anyone else who doesn't like it, is a middle class snob, a cultural elitist, or a leftie sell out won't change my mind.

    FWIW, my guilty secret, the early James Bond movies with Sean Connery. Stylish, cool, and reactionary as fuck. I wouldn't construct a postion around it though, or argue that those who watched it but pretended not to were fake in any way.

    You're a bit pissed off atm, and I know why and sympathise, but lay off the trolling, MF. Nowt wrong with a good argument, but you're just being argumentative for the sake of it.

    Anger is an energy, as John Lydon said, but it needs to be focussed to be effective. At the moment, your anger is misdirected and you're being an arse.

    Best wishes as ever


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  80. I'll try again...

    Hank - had it written down somewhere - a revolutionary exhortation of some kind I think.

    The young woman is Lily Brik, Mayakovsky's lover and muse

  81. Just looking at the last page of comments now. What irks me is the "primary school teacher" bit, as if somehow being gay or bi automatically makes someone a paedo. By the same token, that would make a straight man a danger to little girls and a straight woman a danger to little boys.

    Gays are not paedos. Some paedos are gay, some are straight. But gay /= paedo.

  82. Hank

    Stop dissing Come Dine With Me! :P

  83. Have to agree with Hank about the X Factor (which tbh, I have never actually seen) and other trash tv - some of which i have seen.

    Neither am I authentically working class - a cross I have learnt to bear over the years.

    Unfortunately for me my antecedents were upper class, fell upon hard times in the 30's and rapidly had to get used to cooking their own porridge.

    I will own up to watching Top Gear and although I know Clarkson is a twat - he still makes me laugh.

  84. Re: Sheff's avatar

    'knigi' means books 'po vsyem' would be 'for all' and I can't remember enough Russian to figure out the 'otraslyam znanya', but my guess is that the overall message is an exhortation to read.

  85. Grow knowledge.

    Books for all grow knowledge.

  86. 'Yeh but what you're saying is that you like the X Factor and if I don't like the X Factor I'm not as authentically working class as you.'

    No, that's not something I've ever come close to saying. This started with me saying that I wasn't impressed with SOME of the comments on the Marina Hyde piece which more or less made the case for "the sort of person who watches prime time Saturday entertainment schlock couldn't appreciate the colonialist hangover explicit in whatever that cunt said"..which I thought was elitist and frankly bullshit. Same as the BBC/BNP row where the idea that the public didn't have the nous to see through the BNP's racist propoganda was justification for banning them from appearing. Reminded me of the QC in the Chatterly trial who asked the jury "yes but would you want your wife or servants to read it".

    And the posters making the point about Saturday night TV audiences would no doubt consider themselves the epitome of liberal egalitarianism. That's what pisses me off. The XFactor was brought up as a counter to that kinda shit. Won't bother asking you for a quote cos there plain isn't one, but..how does that transform itself into "I'm not as authentically working class as you."?

  87. #Nowt wrong with a good argument, but you're just being argumentative for the sake of it.#

    and incidentally..why suppose I come on here for a row? I can get a proper one with a click of my fingers.

  88. Well I'm off to bed to watch a movie - Tim Roth's directorial debut "The War Zone" which I understand will be most satisfactorily grim. 'night all.

  89. Up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire for me too. Night night all x