23 November 2009

Daily Chat 23/11/09

John Milton's Areopagitica was published in 1644.  The Cutty Sark was launched from Dumbarton in 1869.  And every sensible person's favourite sci fi television programme, Doctor Who, had its debut in 1963.

Born today:  Boris Karloff (1887-1969), Harpo Marx (1888-1964), Erté (1892-1990), Diana Quick (1946) and Asafa Powell (1982).

It is Labour Thanksgiving Day in Japan.


  1. From Areopagitica:

    For this is not the liberty which wee can hope, that no grievance ever should arise in the Commonwealth, that let no man in this World expect; but when complaints are freely heard, deeply consider'd and speedily reform'd, then is the utmost bound of civill liberty attain'd, that wise men looke for.

  2. Evening Montana,seems you and I may be the only ones conscious at this hour . I think the contents of your first post show us a good ideal to aspire to.Nice one,bye for now

  3. Montana - great post on the myers thread - pity the troll's aking up so much space - I always seem to end up in 'honorary bloke' territory with men, and all similarly inclined female friends are coupled up, and (believe it or not) I'm actually quite shy, so meeting new people who arent' already mates is a trial (both in terms of the shyness and the language barrier - my french is pretty good but I'm not good enough to speak it like I ramble in English...)....[sigh]

    He's taken some stick for concentrating on hetero dating and his response on that was a good one, as he's writing from a personal perspective - can just hear the howls were he to try encapsulating the mores of the lesbian dating scene (!). As an equal opportunities employer myself, I can confirm that I can't understand either men or women when it comes to romance...

    However, I'd rather be single than start applying 'the Rules' as the whole 'treat other people like dirt' thing just wouldn't be me, karma-wise. Someday, my prince / princess will come...and yours (prince, that is, unless you're having a serious rethink, heh heh).

  4. I'm a bit miffed that I can't be counted as a sensible person, but it's no fault of mine: Doctor Who never aired over here when I still had TV (and only for a very brief period after I threw it away), and even had it been aired, it would have been *shudder* dubbed into German *shudder* and probably become exorbitantly stupid and silly. (And yes, I know there are DVD-boxes of the new series out there, but I'm too scared that I won't be as enthralled with the series as I should be and therefore will be having to face the fact that im a barbarian with no taste for good TV).

    Philippa: Damned if you do, damned if you don't when you're a bloke: Not writing about women - reinforcing women's invisibility in the media; writing about women - how dare he assume he has anything worthwhile to say about them when he isn't one?

  5. Whiteaintright is being her own sweet self on that thread isn't she? Warrior princess? ...

    Words fail me!

  6. elementary - you forgot "(3) pointing that out" - seeking to co-opt the feminist dialogue for your own evil ends...

    on the dubbed TV front, I'm just wondering whether French TV are going to rename "Nick Cutter et le Portal du Temps" (Primeval) now Nick Cutter appears to have, um, died and left the series.

    But they've replaced him with Jason Flemyng, so I am going to keep watching...heh heh

  7. annetan: "Getting more irrationally expensive presents from men means getting more equality" is another gem be WhiteAintRight (I wanted to abbreviate, but out came WAR; weird coincidence?), slightly paraphrased.

    By the way, read chapter 10 of part 4 of "Anna Karenina" yesterday night and was a bit astonished that discussions about feminism seem to have hardly changed since its publication. The debate in the novel even has a man comparing women not being able to enter public service to men not being able to become a nurse (like, wet nurse) ...

  8. Correction he's taking the piss - got to be a block!

    All that stuff about "shaving it"! LOL!

  9. anne

    She may be a warrior princess but Whiteaintright is a bit Swarovski - she can't spell 'Cristal' ..

  10. OOPS! bloke!!!

    Need another coffee!

  11. Is there any way we can get the ASA involved on the repeated claims on the Gary Younge thread that Obama's a socialist? Either that or just hit these people round the head with a basic politics textbook, I suppose...

  12. No, annetan, 'block' pretty accurate to my mind...

    still loving the 'charity auction' line, though - troll, but a smart troll...

  13. elementary

    Interesting, as you say, that feminism's early issues are pretty much the same today as in Tolstoy's time. The one thing which historically united various feminist groups in Britain - universal suffrage - is arguably the only tangible gain.

  14. MsChin: I disagree. Women's position today is hugely different from women's position in Russia in the 1870s. I don't think any feminists from the 19th century would be able to see our society as being as oppressive as theirs.

    However, even as the issues changed, the way these issues were debated stayed pretty much the same, and that's a bit depressing, I think.

  15. elementary - agreed. But just think how much more shocked the men would be! Those 1870s gentlemen startled that a woman could have a job would probably have a coronary when they saw us now, with our visible ankles and our own bank accounts and the vote and everything...

  16. Well, some of the men in the novel's debate were very radical pro-women's liberation, so perhaps those would simply say, "hell yeah!" to what they would see today.

    On the other hand, they might be so totally distracted by cars, planes, computers, mobile phones and the way even men dress today that they would hardly realize how much has changed for women. If you find yourself on a different planet, it takes a special mindset to be most irritated by the liberty in gender relations there instead of the, say, purple sky at noon with its three suns.

  17. Charlie Brooker brilliant today - want to be all witty an' that but it's already been covered. Best post thus far, from Kaitain:

    "I often think cats must have a similarly weird life, feeling that attention is paid to them whenever they enter the room, and that food appears by magic with no effort required whatsoever.

    Perhaps we should keep Carey on her toes by occasionally trying to tickle her stomach and grab her feet just to annoy her, and making knitting needles emerge from beneath sofa cushions next to her, to cause her consternation and disquiet."

    I think that would also be appropriate treatment for Eminem. He wouldn't look so hard if Dre kept distracting him with a glitter mouse on a pink fishing rod.

    heh heh.


  18. elementary - good point! you would need to be very narrow minded to think suffrage more shocking than nano-tech and what passes for music these days. Can just imagine the 'time machine' now - "sorry, just run that by me again, something to do with a small metal box and a log?"

    whenever reading historical books, fact or fiction, my whimsical little mind 'thinks me back' to that time. have to remember that while it might be fun imagining oneself as a high-status woman at court, if my life could be transposed back then, I'd be nowhere close. But from the mid 1700s I might have been spiritually better off, having a better chance of being educated than most women.


  19. I think one study (Banks?) found that just under 70% of the British suffrage activists throughout the 19th century were professional or business women, earning an independent income. A further 10% were more aristo & the 15% or so working class women represented may suggest that working class women were perhaps too busy working to get involved.

    And of course, votes for women would not have been possible without the support of men in politics like Stuart Mill, Henry Fawcett et al, who lived & socialised with some of the more prominent suffragists.

    One wonders how much the espoused couples argued about the loo seat up/down situation and its implications for feminism.

    And Philippa, we'd never be able to afford the books in the mid 1700s, so suggest a fast forward to when public libraries were introduced maybe?

  20. MsChin - in the course of my ongoing and sporadic historical research, I discovered that most 'books' of the Georgian era wouldn't be recognisable as such today - they were mostly sold without hard covers. So 'libraries' in the big houses would be filled only with those books warranting the expense of having covers put on - a lot of the novels (as poked by Northanger Abbey) would have remained as bundles of pages, and stayed in the lady's bedroom...

    My ref to the mid 1700s was to my non-conormnist background (in religious terms at least!) - as a daughter of the manse I would probably, yes, have been married off to a friend of my father or remained a spinster, but would have stood a better chance of having got an education, and a better chance, perhaps, of being a 'professional' in being a teacher. Probably in a free-school or church-school, admittedly, and in a fairly fiery religious context, but in that non-material sense, would maybe have managed a freer and more equal role (by the time we reach 'my period' - very early 19th C - at least)...

  21. Philippa - nice to meet another Primeval fan. It's cheesy, but it's good cheese, like a really nice melted mature cheddar. And as a teenager of the 80s I have a distinct weakness for women who look like supporting characters from Love and Rockets, so for your Jason Flemyng I can only plead Hannah Spearitt.

    As for the suffrage thing, I might add that working class women perhaps weren't as concerned with the vote as the middle and upper classes because few of the men they knew would have had the vote either, so they had less idea of what they were missing.

  22. Hello All

    Very nasty weather here - travelling rapidly NE- keep your heads down.


    What of your forebears in 1750? Mine were almost certainly the rural poor in Wales and Ireland - too busy keeping alive to think about womens'rights and suffrage. What factors led to our families reaching current positions and levels of education?

    remember watching the president of Togo speaking on climate change post Kyoto. This rather plump, splendidly dressed man said' My people are too busy trying to feed themselves to think about carbon emissions' - thus letting himself of the hook on both counts; poverty and climate control.

    Similar factors were at play in the struggle for universal suffrage, recognition of the trades unions and education for the people. There are poweful interets still vested in the continuation of poverty and lack of opportunity.

  23. Primecval

    Nah! - Got bored with it very quickly - same story each week. Sorry.

  24. Leni,

    "What of your forebears in 1750? Mine were almost certainly the rural poor in Wales and Ireland - too busy keeping alive to think about womens'rights and suffrage. What factors led to our families reaching current positions and levels of education?"

    There's a history of similar in my family: working class Northern and West Country farmers to (reasonably!) well educated in two generations. I honestly don't think it would be as easy these days though: those on benefits/low paid jobs seem to beget similar, and the middle classes fight to keep their progeny middle class.

    My Dad has worked for the same company since before I was born, working his way up from a job that is now contracted out to another company employing mostly immigrants on minimum wage, to the job he does now at management level in a plush office. His younger colleagues all have degrees these days.

    Also, I read the thread from before, kudos on the adoption, if something similar hadn't happened in my family I would probably never have been born, so I have an enormous amount of respect for anyone who does that.

  25. Dot

    I had a Grandmother - said to be a 'foundling' tho we suspect possibly 'illegitimate' child of daughter of the house. They say kill a man and kill hundreds - save a man and save the generations. So much chance about all our lives.

    Back to birds.
    When food is put out in plentiful supply - do birds operate on a sight system alone or is there communication - of the come on chaps variety ?

    The garden birds seem to come in waves - one sparrow is followed by stampeding herd of same, quickly to be relaced by chiff -chaffs or great tits. All seen off by bossy boots Nuthatches.

  26. paddybrown - indeedy! Love good cheese - it's rather endearing really (also a fan of Ms Spearitt, and her hopeless sidekick - even with a gun, he still looks a bit hopeless).

    Leni - I actually have very little idea what my forbears were up to (the only family tree we have going back before the late 19thC is from step-family) - I was more musing on my habit of 'thinking myself' into another time, but trying to give that some context, which, as I don't know what they were actually up to, is to transpose my current family situation back then. If you see what I mean.

    On the reality of it, the war (meaning the post-war changes) seems to have done most of the work for my family. My Grandma was in service then went up in the world moving to the mill, and my Grandfather was a plumber. Grandpa also a plumber, Nanna in service then an NHS nurse, and her father was a butcher (and her stepmother was a 'mannequin', which caused a degree of chaos when she pitched up in their bit of Birmingham). None of them schooled past 16, but my parents both were, and then went to training colleges.

    So maybe there was a change in my grandparents' lifetime, away from service / manual work to 'a profession' (both grandfathers ended up managing rather than plumbing), and that continued after the war - and particularly for the women (as Nanna was, between being a housemaid and a nurse, a WAAF truck-driver).

    Would be fascinated to know what they were up to in the 1750s or so, but have never had the application to put the work in. One of step-grandmother's forbears was press-ganged into the navy, though, that was quite exciting when we found out (he ended up as a captain).

    Dot - thanks again on the alien / moth thing! Bless you for doing all that.

  27. Leni,

    As a general rule, probably just the sight system: see what your flock mates are all so interested in, in case it's food. Unless they're all close relatives, or there's safety in numbers, there really isn't much of an evolutionary advantage in 'saying' "come on chaps", although it might apply in some cases, for the aforementioned reasons, and that's what some behavioural ecologists are investigating: as a general rule evolutionary theory underpins most of biology in this way.

    Incidentally I have a theory about your nuthatches, I saw similar at a birdfeeder at my last place (although we also had a woodpecker that would see the nuthatches off)

    My (untested) theory is that the smaller birds have to come to feed just after people have been outside, because they can't fight off the "bossy boots" birds that came later, when they were sure it was safe. The woodpeckers could see off any other bird, so would only bother when it was really safe.

    Philippa, you're welcome, it was no trouble, you piqued my curiosity: saying "what's this weird creature?" to a biologist is basically like asking a retriever to play fetch.........

  28. Dot - my flatmate attracts all sorts of weird insects and I may therefore be posting more random pictures of joyriding butterflies coming your way...

    She takes a good photo, so was being very careful to frame the shot when a dragonfly landed on her knee. She was delighted that it wasn't fazed by having its picture taken, and stayed there for ages. It was only when we uploaded the photo and enlarged it that it became apparent it was actually two dragonflies, and they were not bothered by the photos because they were, erm, clearly busy...

  29. I genuinely don't know what's going on on the 'climate change leak' thread. Is this what happens every time?


  30. Dot

    Quick response

    Your theory sounds persuasive - here sparrows always first, woodpecker feeds in splendid isolation - stays a long time and picks out suets from mix.

    I can see that calling others to feed when food is in short supply may be a bad idea but when it is plentiful?

    I put coarser scraps for Jays on shed roof - away from main feeding place - jay's approaching shout freaks out smaller birds.

    Last year we had a female rat who came regularly - could of course climb anything. Put baffles on approaches and watched her thinking her way round them. She finally brought 5 very sleek babies with her. They have gone - to be replaced by voles who are very pretty but over fond of my winter cabbages.

    Enjoy the rest of the day everybody.

  31. Leni - I do so miss having a garden...

    My favourite sight was the squirrel which managed to wrest a whole apple off a stake where I'd put it for the birds, and attempted to make off with it. It ended up jamming the apple in its mouth and setting off along the fence. It clearly hadn't factored in the extra weight when cornering and disappeared with a squeak into next door's garden...

  32. Afternoon all
    Shocking weather here too. Bleugh. Still, decided I am gonna put the xmas tree up next weekend to brighten the place up a bit for at least 6 weeks. Can't abide winter at the best of times, but when there is that nasty dirty-yellow glow about the place and rain tipping down non-stop, I feel like emigrating.

  33. We have squirrels out the back and they and the cats ignore each other totally. Autumn interaction between magpies and squirrels in Kelvingrove park is quite funny - the magpies watch to see where the squirrels hide stuff then go and root it out.

    Interaction between humans and birds is depressing, the pond has a sign saying 'don't give ducks bread' and sure enuff people chuck their old white bread into the pond for them (never ever wholemeal bread, always white).

    I once saw an old guy trying to get a heron to come over and share his cheese roll.

  34. Re birds feeding. After dinner we used to put bread, potatoes, fish etc on the sea wall overlooking the beach about 50 yds from our house. After no more than a minute or two a seagull would appear from a clear, empty sky, and within five minutes 30 or 40 of them. About two minutes of frenzied feeding, and the sky would be empty again. Saved filling up the old dustbin, in the days before recycling and council microchips.

    Here's some cool pics of underwater life:
    Monsters of the deep

  35. Ewww

    Some of those pix are quite scary Scherf!

  36. Afternoon,

    Anyone else getting the first sniffs of the campaign to give Thatcher a state funeral after being the first still living PM to have their picture hung in 10 Downing St?

  37. Never mind, BB, look on the bright side. If they were close enough to frighten you, you'd already be squashed to strawberry jam.

  38. Duke, I see the pic 'was paid for by an anonymous private donor.' Who could that be, I wonder?

  39. I've done a bit of work into my family tree, and any ancestors I can trace back to the 1750s were tenant farmers in lowland Scotland for generations. In the late 19th century my great great grandfather on that side became an iron moulder in the shipbuilding trade and moved to Belfast. His son, my great grandfather, was apprenticed to a lithographic printer; his son, my grandfather, became an accountant and rose to a fairly high position in local government; his son, my father, studied medicine and became a consultant surgeon. The inexorable social rise of my father's line started at the industrial revolution, and seems to have stalled somewhat at my generation. I'm a government clerk, and I have two brothers, a university lecturer and a logistician for an aid agency in Africa.

    My Irish lines are much harder to trace as Irish records only really go back to the 1850s. The famine seems to have laid some of my Irish lines low - my great great great grandfather Robert Halligan drove a coach for an earl in 1849, but his granddaughters, my great grandmother and her sister, were teenage single mothers in inner city Belfast in the 1910s.

  40. Re the monsers of the deep:

    "When the stars threw down their spears
    and watered heaven with their tear,
    did he smile his work to see?
    And if so, was he on LSD?

  41. LOL elementary!

    Paddy - my ancestors are from the Scottish lowlands - still got family there now.

    Scherf - yeah, hadn't though of that. D'oh

    Your Grace - I can't see how they could give the evil witch a State funeral and not expect riots in the streets, frankly.

  42. According to family mythology, my maternal ancestors are Campbells from Argyll and Richardsons from Fife. The Campbells were a particularly despicable lot who had a habit of horse rustling, betrayal and selling themselves to the highest bidder (often/usually English). A fact I kept quiet about when I lived in Scotland.

    Some of them were so appalling they had to do a runner to escape retribution (effectively kicked out of scotland) and ended up in Cornwall.

    Paternal ancestry is hazier as Ma won't talk about it much. East European I believe and probably equally as nefarious as the maternal lot.

  43. Sheff - Aye the Campbells are villains right enough! ;)

    Unlike my lot who were all Border Reivers. That is where the word "bereaved" originates from, btw...

  44. Re state funerals:

    The head of state is automatically entitled to a state funeral, but with the approval of the monarch and a vote in parliament, other "exceptionally distinguished persons" may also be given a state funeral.

    Peeps who got one:
    Duke of Wellington 1852
    Lord Palmerston 1865
    William Gladstone 1894
    Sir Winston Churchill 1965
    (Benjamin Disraeli was offered one, but declined in his will.)

    Peeps who didn't get one:
    Queen Mother
    Princess Diana.

    Now where does this leave Thatcher, I wonder? Apart from the astronomical cost, I reckon that they won't run the risk of the whole thing becoming a total shambles.

  45. I had an ancestor who was hung for horse-stealing. Admittedly, he was a soldier and the horses were from King William's army prior to the Battle of the Boyne, but I still feel really ashamed. btw, I would never steal a horse. I'm respectable now.

  46. Back from the mountain - mind numbingly cold up there.
    I couldn't live without a patch to scratch around in. Garden at the mo a confusion of seasons - primroses and nasties flowering, daffs 4 inches tall and I.m still picking up slugs to take to the field. We have ghost slugs this year - white wriggly things. Now just where do they come from? A very - very - slow migratory invasion seems unlikely.

    Is Maggie near death then - what's the funeral talk about? A state funeral? What did she do to deserve it - I suppose we could put her in the hole in which she buried our 'society'

  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. BB -
    where the word bereaved comes from
    I can well believe that. The border Reivers were a pretty gruesome lot too. There's a website devoted to them that says:

    For 300 years Scottish and English borderers endured violence and treachery, murder and arson, raiding and theft, living in constant
    fear and misery.

    but then goes on to say it was a prefession to be admired!

    Glad I'm not the only one on here with a scandalous ancestry.

  49. scherf - surely they wouldn't give Thatcher a state funeral? Even when she was in power it was never with more than 45% of the vote and everyone else detested her.

    If they do go for it - I predict riots which I will certainly join in with.

  50. Sherfig

    I stand aghast at the ancestry of fellow posters . The inferior classes were ever thus.

    Reminded me of the horror of eugenics and the theory that criminality is heritable. I remember reading the words of a 'lady (whom?) who wrote that the deaths of the children of the poor were not to be mourned as their parents did not have the same feelings for their children as the more superior types.

  51. Heheheh. I can't see myself stealing the neighbours' sheep these days though.

  52. Sheff
    Border raids - reminds me of the children's ditty

    Taffy was a Welshman
    Taffy was a thief .

    In the time of Elizabeth 1 'Irish coats' were forbidden in London as it was believed this loose coat may well hide weapons - besides which it was evident from the vulgar design that the wearer was an uncouth barbarian. Happy days

  53. I can't see Thatcher getting a state funeral, myself. I dunno where the idea originally came from, but it seems to be an ongoing rumour. How on earth could anyone make a case for her as being a 'exceptionally distinguished person'? Falklands war? Knifed by her own party? Her daughter calls black people golliwogs and her son invests in armed coups in Africa. And would a proposal even pass a vote in the HOC?

    Sshome mishtake here, shurely?

  54. BB

    In the village we have 2 farms - once one but divided between 2 warring brothers. Present day farmers move the fences back and forth each claiming that other is encroaching . Sometimes comes to fisticuffs.

    Dates back to time before land was registered - also coal mining rights. The land above remained the property of the farmer but underground to mine owner. There is an old mine road between the 2 farms.

  55. Leni
    the deaths of the children of the poor were not to be mourned as their parents did not have the same feelings for their children as the more superior types

    During that terrible Ethiopian famine back in the 80s a neighbour of mine said exactly the same about Ethiopians, when asked to fork out in support of the relief campaign. I remember her words were,

    "they don't feel it like us"

  56. Philippa,

    If you do I'll see what I can do, another colleague is a dragonfly expert BTW....

    I had one land on me a couple of months ago (it was just one though) it kept landing and leaving and coming back (as I was sat by the river waiting for an experiment to finish) I loved it!


    They don't call others to the food because there's nothing in it for them: they haven't developed reciprocal altruism (you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours) as far as we know....


    Cool pics, but a lot of fish have rings in their scales that you can age them with, it's not particular to that one they found (which is how they made it sound, to me at least)


    Th*tcher, a state funeral? She's Voldemort for the eighties generation: As you can tell I was brought up more afraid of mentioning her name than swearing!.....urghh

  57. Dot, my favourite was #2. Can you identify it? And how does it taste battered and deep-fried?

  58. Scrub that, Dot. It's a copepod and is probably only 2mm long, so not much eating there.

  59. Scherf

    How did you find that out? I was just about to reply and say: I bet it's a very small crustacean (which a copepod is) you'll have to take my word for it that I was about to say it now though!

    Incidentally me and my colleague have been wondering what Gammarus pulex would taste like fired and used as salad croutons all summer....


  60. "They don't feel it like us".

    Jesus. How can someone bloody say that?

    I have a book of African poetry upstairs, one of which talks about a mother combing her starving son's hair like tending flowers on a grave. Made me cry when I read it.

    People are such arseholes, really, aren't they?

  61. Of course I meant fried.........

  62. Dot, pulex irritans - marinated in soy sauce, garlic and ginger, and stir-fried. Yum yum!

  63. Well, everybody here is putting the B family geneological efforts to shame - will have a dig around when I go home for Christmas...

    On Thatcher - surely, even if Parliament was dumb enough to vote it through, some bright spark would point out that there would be riots in the streets, which might knock the stately edge off things. Can't happen. Please God, it can't happen...

  64. OK, I was about to make chinese noodle soup, but for some reason that no longer appeals...

  65. Kind of put me off me dinner too, that. Ew...

  66. BB - it beggars belief really. She was an educated, middle class woman, quite well off with a couple of kids of her own same age as mine. You'd have thought she would have been able to empathise.

    Ironic when you consider what happened to her kids when they grew up. One went to Oxford but went down in his first year for some 'mysterious' bad behaviour and we never saw him again. The other made a disastrous marriage and took to drink, was always in the pub getting legless. Think perhaps she had something vital missing.

  67. I see BB is on her charger smiting the orcs on the BNP thread.

    And boy are there some orcs on there today.

    As for Thatcher's funeral, we'll see. I still think they'll dip their toe in the water to test the possible reaction.

    Here's hoping the water is full of angry working class pirhanas.

  68. YourGrace

    It's like shooting fish in a barrel. Hardly even much fun any more.

    Doesn't stop me doing it though :P

    Sheff - it makes you wonder doesn't it? Karma and all that...

  69. BB - I'd use the barrelfish as target practice, honing your smiting skills for a real villain.

  70. Plus, Sheff - anecdotally, at least - you have to try really f-ing hard to get kicked out of the ivory towers for good. An 'acquaintance' of mine got rusticated (suspended for the rest of the year) twice, for GBH and sexual assault (no charges). Even being arrested for dealing didn't put a dent in him, as they took a plea for possession...

  71. Having a look around the BNP thread
    "the nature of man is tribal"
    Just made me think of BBC2 big budget Roman-era drama. Can imagine it being said in a really deep voice by the chap doing the trailer.

  72. Oh we've got an eejit saying Ghandi killed 10 million people in India too. Couldn't make these guys up.

  73. Got to go to Barking tomorrow. I think I will look up some spells to cast while I am there... ;o)

  74. argh

    They've closed the thread. Now I need another toy to play with!

  75. Afraid I am too knackered to get worked up about politics, even the poss of the Evil Bitch getting a state funeral.

    Has anyone got anything silly to say?

  76. thaumaturge
    Quasimodo comes home one night after a hard day's bell ringng, as he comes through the back door he sees his wife holding a wok. He says "Hey up Mrs Hunchback, are we having Chinese ?"
    "No you fool" she says "I'm ironing your shirt".

  77. A white horse walks into a bar and the barman says 'That's funny, we've got a whisky named after you.' And the horse says 'What, Fred?'
    Boom boom!

  78. Heheheh - good one, BW

    On a more serious note, there's a bloke going by the name of JamesSmith88 on both the Iraq threads today, and I took a look at his previous comments and virtually every one of them sings Blair's praises. Not a paid shill by any chance then?

  79. Thanks for that BW!

    Have just read the article in today's Graun re feminist outrage at male students setting up men's groups. Horrifically, it is suspected that some of these groups really exist only to get rather pissed and watch Top Gear, even though the groups claim to be aimed at helping men to adjust to a more feminised/equalised society.

    Me, I don't see why anyone should have to resort to subterfuge for getting pissed and watching Top Gear. I've been known to do it myself. In fact, I'd always rather do that than sit around in a group moan about how the patriarchy is ruining my life.

    And if the groups really *are* about men adjusting to equality, in what way is that a bad thing? While I'm obviously a feminist, there's no doubt that feminism has changed things and both sexes thinking about how to live within new rules is surely a good thing.

    It's PC gone mad, I tell you.

  80. Did you hear the one about the man who didn't like baby horses?

    He didn't suffer foals lightly...

  81. Sexist joke coming:

    A young boy comes home all excited and shouts to his dad.."I've got a big part in the school play!!"
    Dad says..."Hey that's great son! What's the part?"
    Kid says "I play a husband who has been married for 20 years!"

    Dad says :Ah well that's ok son.....perhaps you'll get a speaking part next year"

  82. thauma, FFS! I hate Top Gear with a passion. There was a best-seller here, 'Mand dig op mand' by Jannie Helle (a female psychologist), about ten years ago.

    'A discussion of men's situation today after 30 years of focus on the women's point of view. An examination of relationships, sexuality and work-life, it offers suggestions as to how men can regain their masculine identity. With suggestions for self-development exercises.'

    Looks like all the guys in the UK got to the party too late, and the fems now hold too much high ground. Serves them fuckin right, the xenophobic wimps.

  83. Who's the coolest guy in the hospital?

    The ultra sound man

  84. Who coolest when the ultrasound man's gone home?

    The hip replacement guy

  85. scherfig - being of the non-telly-owning persuasion, I've only seen it a few times - either down the pub, or at friends' houses. But I find it mildly amusing.

    I will even confess (and this is probably going to completely destroy any credibility I might have had around here) that I occasionally read Clarkson's article in the Times (is it?) and enjoy them. He's, you know, funny, even though almost everything he spouts is wrong.

    psst, his wife outed him as manic about getting the recycling out properly every week, so the image and the reality are probably very different things. I see Clarkson/Top Gear as a caricature, and a good one.

  86. Hey MF, that makes no sense at all to me. btw my brothers were at Old Trafford on Saturday. They're not best pleased at the Toffees' performance. Me, I saw it coming.

  87. thauma, I've only seen small chunks of Top Gear occasionally (and not by choice), but it just makes me want to put my foot through the screen. They are all odious fuckwits and it depresses me that it is so popular.

  88. Heheheheh.

    OK - nother sexist one:

    A husband and wife came for counseling after 20 years of marriage. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful list of every problem they had ever had in the 20 years they had been married.

    Neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire list of un-met needs she had endured over the course of their marriage. Finally, after allowing this to go on for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and, after asking the wife to stand, kissed her passionately as her husband watched with a raised eyebrow.

    The woman, stunned, quietly sat down as though in a daze. The therapist turned to the husband and said, "This is what your wife needs at least three times a week. Can you do this?" The husband thought for a moment and replied,

    "Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I've got footy practice."

  89. MF - was going to post that I didn't get your jokes, but have just understood! *groan*

    Wish I could think of any good ones at the mo, but I'm just too tired. However, I will leave you all with this.

  90. Out of fairness, here's one for the girls...

    Hairdresser "Hey Smantha, what is it again you do with your arsehole before having sex ?"

    Woman "I drop him off down the pub !".

  91. OK, just to lower the tone a bit more:

    Q. How does a woman hold her liquor?

    A. By the ears.

  92. Hahahaha! Nice one Thaum

    And an oldie but a goody too, BW :o)

  93. Thauma Jeremy Clarkson is a genius; he writes beautifully and I love this -


    Top Gear is adored round the world - there is no other show like it which dares to put the boot into car manfacturers

  94. Golden oldie:

    Husband: How come I never hear you moan when you have an orgasm?
    Wife: Because you're never here.

  95. Edwin - actually that happens to be one of the few episodes I've actually seen!

    there is no other show like it which dares to put the boot into car manfacturers

    I've worked for various car manufacturers so perhaps that's what I like about the programme.

  96. Edwin - hee hee, the Guardian-laden meeting at the end is the best!

  97. Re: 21:25 post: actually, really actually, you know. Actually.

  98. Hahahaha! Bloody brilliant post on the Palin thread - at least I hope it is someone trolling, cos if it isn't.... argh..


    Being a bit of a maverick myself (with an I.Q. of 157), I can tell you that I have watched the ascent of Sarah Palin with fascination and with hope. I really do believe we have an American Joan of Arc on our hands (although I expect the final chapter of Sarah Palin's story to turn out better than Miss Arc's). Many have wondered at the legions of fans who used to chant at Sarah's rallies and now line up at the break of dawn for a glimpse and a signature at her book signing tour. The answer is simple: they (the folks), just like Sarah (and like myself, I may reiterate) are mavericks. We think our own respective thoughts and we go our own way. We shout slogans at rallies and tea parties not because we are mindless robots, but because we really believe what we are saying.

    Yes, many of us are resentful. We dislike government intensely - especially nanny-state, do-gooder government. Most of us (because we are real Americans - not sissy, bed-wetting, wine tasting, Volvo driving, Birkenstock wearing liberals) would rather have our hands chopped off than take a hand out. We are the people with values. And we stand up for them. We also stand up for the flag.

    We are tired of liberals telling us what what we can and cannot do.

    I'll give you an example. Speed limits. What could be more totalitarian and un-American than liberals using the government to control how fast we go. I mean, it starts with something as basic as that. I prefer driving at least 100 miles per hour (and not just on the interstate). But wouldn't you know it - left wingers are using the police to interfere with my God given right to procede in my own comfort zone.

    I'll give you another example: I enjoy consuming large quantities of food in expensive restaraunts. I prefer a table in front of a window. I have noticed recently hungry children standing outside in the cold with their noses pressed up against the glass while I am dining. Do they actually imagine I'm going to share some of my hard earned repast with them? And why should I? Is it my fault if they are dressed in rags and it looks as if they haven't eaten in a week? That's the problem with this world. If they're not passing a law they are trying to make a man feel guilty for his little satisfactions.

    The constant outrages and annoyances (large and small) brought about by leftist, Communist, neo-Marxists like Nancy Pelosi and Kenya born Barack bin Obama are what are responsible for the fury of decent, hard-working Americans such as Sarah Palin and myself. We are disgusted with the elitists; the do-gooders; the thieves and Socialists who have brought the greatest country on earth to the brink of ruin. We want our country back! And by God, we're going to get it!

  99. Actually I know exactly what you were actually trying to say there, Thaum. Actually.

  100. Best selling British authors over the past decade...

    JK Rowling, Clarkson, Katie Price...tell me this country aint fucked.

    One thing you can say about the Victorians..they might all have had rickets, endemic poverty, child prostitution, life expectancy of 23 etc...but at least you had the likes of Dickens and Thackery topping the charts.

    21st Century...comfortable...but dumb, salacious and fuckin prurient...I love it.

  101. IQ of 157, can't spell 'proceed'.

  102. BB - haha, got to be a troll ... but then again, I've met Americans who think just like that (but not quite as articulately). Actually.

    MF - I predict that in later years, Clarkson will be seen as one of the pre-eminent satirists of the early 21st C.

    OK, off to bed now before I post any more total inanities. 'Night all!

  103. MF

    I disagree about Harry Potter being dumb. It's for kids, and it got kids interested in reading again. And anyway I love them :p

    But yeah - you are right in general.

  104. BB

    That post is hilarious - it does read like a spoof. It's hard to get your head ound anyone being quite so cretinous.

  105. Yeah it is a definite spoof I think. The reference to IQ kind of gives it away, because there was another poster on that thread in support of palin saying what their IQ was earlier.

  106. This comment has been removed by the author.

  107. Cats - you gotta love them. Simon's 'real' cat is worth a watch too.

  108. Thanks for the link Sheff - Simon's cat is always a good start to the day.