28 October 2009

Daily Chat 28/10/09

The first university in the New World, Universidad Santó Tomas de Aquino, was founded in what is now the Dominican Republic in 1538.  It closed in 1832.  The college that would become Harvard University was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1636.  The first train in Spain, between Barcelona and Mataró, opened in 1848.  No clue whether that's on a plain or if there was rain.  The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York harbour in 1886.  Mussolini and the Fascists (sounds almost like a band) took over the Italian government in 1922.

Born today:  Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883), Elsa Lanchester (1902-1986), Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), Cleo Laine (1927), Joan Plowright (1929), David Dimbleby (1938), the Anti-Chri, er, Bill Gates (1955), Mahmoud Ahmedinejad (1956) and Julia Roberts (1967).

It is Oxi Day in Greece.


  1. Being a socialist didn't always confer pariah status on an American. Emma Lazarus, who wrote the poem The New Colossus, which is on a plaque on the base of the Statue of Liberty, was one. As was Katharine Lee Bates, who wrote America the Beautiful. Many people (including me) would like America the Beautiful to replace The Star-Spangled Banner as America's national anthem. Others would like the song to be banned (yes, banned) altogether, because Bates was not just a socialist, she was a lesbian. We can't go around singing beautiful, patriotic songs that were written by lesbians, you know.

  2. Brilliant, Montana, I didn't know that!

  3. I think you should go for God Bless America, then we could share tunes.

    I've got a 1920s Wobbly song book which has some great possibilites, though one day of course we wlll all sing the Red Flag. All together now

    'The sturdy German chants its praise. . .'

  4. I thought it was 'My Country 'tis of Thee' or is that the same one!

    As to the tune - frightful dirge whatever words you sing to it!

    Most National anthems are crap anyway!

  5. Annetan - agree! National Anthems should all be done away with and replaced by hakas.

  6. Not really my place to go suggesting what other people have as their national anthem I suppose, but FWIW, I'd go with 'This Land is Your Land'


    Mind you, I think the UK should have the Birdie Song or The Okie Kokie; something that lends us a gravitas commensurate with our 'foreign policy' and international image.

  7. Morning all,

    Montana, over the summer I read Jon dos Passos 'USA trilogy':


    It's a fantastic account of the working class socialist movements in late 19th-early 20th century USA. I had no idea how organised the labour movement was in the USA and the lengths even then that the US authorities took in destroying the movements.

    The Sacco and Vanzetti trial which dos Passos writes so eloquently about highlights the paranoia of the authorities and the genuine challenge working class movements made in this period of US history.

    The third part of the trilogy, Manhattan Transfer ridicules the turbo capitalism of 1920's USA culminating in the Wall Street Crash and is incredibly relevant to the economic situation we find ourselves in today.

    The whole trilogy is an epic paean to the workers of the USA and will no doubt be banned in many US libraries.....

  8. annetan.

    Absolutely agree on national anthems. I've always argued that being Scottish, our national anthem should be '500 miles' by the Proclaimers.

    It's bouncy, singalong, good fun, more Scottish than Nessie and gets the crowd and team going before internationals.

    What would everyone here want to see as their countries national anthem?

  9. XIIIth Duc - She Moved Through the Fair.

    Or possibly Tommy Bowe's version of Black Velvet Band (it's on YouTube, where I can't go at w*rk).

  10. For Scotland, we need an anthem

    - that celebrates cultural and regional diversity

    - that has great bits for a bagpipe impersonation

    - that can be sung by men, women and all those inbetween

    And as a bonus, the original recording has the only Elvis impression rated by Elvis himself. Ladies and Laddies I give you

    'Donald, Whaur's yer Troosers'

    I give you 'Donald Where's

  11. and for Ireland it has to be


  12. For Wales? Sospan fach?

    Reason? its nonsense! and it is sung at Rugby matches!
    Words here

  13. And for England, no contest - Fat Les and Vindaloo

    Just been listening to the brilliant Taggart spoof serial 'Boxer and Doberman' on Radio 7. Great lines:

    Inspector Boxer [to gangster Biscuits McVitie] 'you think you're a big cheese, Biscuits.'

  14. The level of idiocy on Hadley Freeman's thread today is particularly stunning.

  15. Afternoon my little untrusties

    I have spent the afternoon watching shite on TV - nice to relax and do absolutely nothing for once, though.

    Haven't checked out Hadley's thread - will take a peek now.

    England's national anthem? Still Ill by the Smiths

    "I decree today that life is simply taking and not giving
    England is mine, and it owes me a living"

  16. The theme music to Benny Hill: an obvious contender for heralding England football internationals and state visits from foregin dictators...

  17. "foreign" even. Bum.

    PS a character on Eastenders the other night referred to a "lady bum".

    At half past seven !!!!?????

  18. I think it should be banned! Lady b*m before the watershed!! Whatever next!

  19. They're messing with our minds I tells ya !!!

    Look. Here's kids' show Rainbow. I don't remember this sort of filth being on it !!!


  20. Hahahahah! Yeah that is brilliant! :D

  21. Christ, that 'posed the cynic' chap is back, with different names for each thread he's having a go at...

    Am not falling for that again. Humph.

  22. PhilippaB

    GIYUS is not so much a troll, more CiF's very own genital herpes. There's no stopping it once it's in the system. Just when you think it's gone, it pops back. Just like GIYUS

    Not that I have any experience of genital herpes mind....

  23. LOL Your Grace.

    He is an annoying little bugger, it has to be said. I have visions of him living in a flat like Mel Gibson's in "Conspiracy Theory"

  24. But, and I have asked this before, what does GIYUS actually stand for?

    bugging me.

  25. Gigantic
    Yawn inducing

  26. I think it's "Give Israel Your United Support", the pro-Israel zionist lobby.

    And I think he's using irony ! Such a wag !
    13thDuke's is more accurate...

    There used to be a much more entertaining conspiracy nut / troofer on CiF called tinfoilhoodie. When you got him off the infinitely tedious subject of 9/11 conspiracy he was pretty funny and pretty sharp at times.

  27. I think i remember tinfoilhoodie from back in the days when i was a lurker rather than a poster

    he was fun

  28. BW - words fail me.

    I vaguely remember the *name* tinfoilhoodie but can't remember the posting style. Crap memory.

  29. Anyone else think Porter's blog today is misleading sensationalist crap? He's increasingly reluctant to overlook salient facts in flogging his agenda, which I'm convinced is straightforward old Tory hostility to the state.

    Still, it's generated a load of comments, so his job's safe.

  30. Dunno Hank - haven't looked at the originating story. If it's true it is fucking bollocks, though. "Park Wardens" indeed, because you can't let adults just wander around in play areas... ffs. Modern-day witch-hunts.

  31. That's exactly what I thought when I read the story, BB. Then I read some of the background stuff, ie Watford has 40 parks, playgrounds and recreation areas. In response to the demand for supervised out-of-school activities areas for kids between 5 and 15, the council set aside two play areas where parents registered their kids for supervised play. Safe areas where there were no adults, including those adults who might be sitting around, as some do in parks, drinking, smoking, letting their dogs run free, disrupting kids' play or intimidating them or their supervisors.

    Adults are clearly able to wander around, unmolested and unregulated, in the remaining 38 parks and playgrounds in Watford, so to suggest that a voluntary scheme where that doesn't happen is an attack on our freedoms is a bit of a fucking joke.

    Cheap journalism by Porter, and it's turned into a feeding frenzy, with the usual "Fuck off and die, ZanuLieBore" stuff. (The council is LibDem run.)

    There's a growing trend for this sort of partial, misleading tabloid stuff on Cif.

  32. Ah fair enough then, Hank. It is scaremongering rubbish, in that case.

  33. Hank
    Dismal indeed, but a *growing* trend ?

  34. Take your point, BW, but then I've never expected much in the way of honesty or even well-argued views from the more "frothy" ATLs - Tanya, Hadley, Si Jenkins - but Porter's supposed to be a proper journalist...

  35. Yeh, s'pose
    Speaking of proper journalists Paul Foot Awards shortlist in today's Private Eye:

    Jonathan Calvert and Clare Newell - Sunday Times
    Lords lobbyist bribes

    Ian Cobain - Guardian
    UK overseas torture collusion

    Ben Leapman - Sundat Times and Daily Telegraph
    MP Expenses

    Paul Lewis - Guardian
    Ian Tomlinson

    Rob Waugh - Yorkshire Post
    Various stories - Leeds Metropolitan University spending anomolies, Sheffield Wednesday takeover (his reveations discredited it), Leeds Credit Union mismanagement

    Stephen Wright and Richard Pendlebury - Daily Mail
    Exposure of criminal past and bogus credentials leading to discrediting of lawyer to the rich Shahrokh Mireskandari

    I hope Leapman doesn't get it...

  36. Right, I'm outta here. Speak soon you untrustworthy bastards, and please, absolutely NO lady bums, ok ?