27 December 2009


The current Hagia Sophia was completed in 537.  It is the third church to stand on that spot.  The HMS Beagle set sail from Plymouth in 1831.  Spain became a democracy in 1978.  The USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007.

Born today:  Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), Jacob Bernoulli (1654-1705), Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992), Gérard Depardieu (1948) and Sarah Vowell (1969).

Today is the feast day of St. John the Apostle.


  1. The beagle - I swear young miss I will tell,in the new year, why my secondary modern headmaster stopped flogging me (on hand not arse) with a stinging cane and said:

    "....go away deano and read this origin of...."

  2. I realise that probably none of you know who Sarah Vowell is. She is one of my favourite current writers. She also does spoken-word essays on a radio programme called This American Life. For a sample of her work, click on this link, then click on the 'full episode' link there. A podcast player will pop up. Drag the marker to the 47 minute mark and listen to her telling the love story of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. It is absolutely wonderful.

  3. I am sometimes over silly but I love the idea of sailing down the Tamar on the day after boxing day

  4. I'll do that babe as soon as I have me new month credit on me dongle..

    Many of us here want new experiences...

  5. Can you see the beagle can you her pennet as she rounds the horn

    can you see the length of her away.

  6. Sheffpixie said...

    "bitey alert...!!

    "Am beating myself up for my appalling parenting over the years by having yet another glass of beer...all that boozing, drug taking and generally wasterish behaviour in my childrens most formative years (no internet to waste my time on then, although I'm sure I would have if there had been). Curious thing is - both my kids have grown up sane and lovely people who are brilliant parents and have adorable kids themselves -. they are even still rather fond of their father and little old wicked me - simply cannot imagine why, can't think what can have gone so wrong."

    Of course Sheffpixie, as someone who describes herself as heterodox, you could hardly be the best source of opinion on othodox parenting now could you? And of course some children grow up into wonderful individuals despite any input or lack of it their parents might have made. I suppose I'm a case in point.

    There again, as someone whose work "involves managing external partners and liaising with other gov. depts to try and achieve a coherent and joined up approach in my area", I'm amazed the nation can spare you for the mundane work of parenting. Did you write that job description all by yourself or was it a fast-streamer with an eye on an even more rapid promotion who foisted it on you?

    "Try to achieve"?

    And do you try hard or not very much?

    And what is your measure of success for achieving coherency and joined-upness?

    I think your words might well end up on a Conservative Party election hoarding before long.

    "Sheffpixie - we pay her twenty one thousand for trying".

    Now I realise that on 21k a year you won't be responsible for policy, but do you ever ask yourself what are government departments doing contracting with external partners who can't manage themselves and need a junior ranking civil servant to do it for them? And how I wonder do you cope with managing these partner managers when apart from the past couple of years you've worked with your hands in arty farty ways? But credit where credit's due and unlike other members of your cabal, you don't seem to spend your employer's time posting here and on CiF.

  7. Aw, c'mon bitey, it's Christmas, lighten up.

    Besides, I hope sheffpixie is too busy to reply.

    "And of course some children grow up into wonderful individuals despite any input or lack of it their parents might have made. I suppose I'm a case in point".

    That's somewhat ambiguous. Are you a parent? And did you do things differently from your own parents with your own child(ren)?

  8. MsChin

    Bitey was brought up by evangelical Christians who wouldn't let him watch telly. No wonder he has such a fuxx0rd view of parenting. It has clearly left its own scars on him too. Sanctimonious stalkerish behaviour - is there an "ism" for that?

    Hope everyone had a happy Christmas and Boxing Day. I have just had a fab brunch of sausages and bubble and squeak. Delish.

    Montana's article was really good, but I am amazed at the number of numpties who just didn't bother reading it and started raging about gender wars! There are so many men out there with mothering issues that Freud would have a bloody field day.

    I hope this posts because the first two attempts went awol.

  9. Morning folks! Just finishing off the voting for the Whiffies if that's okay with y'all and Sue Wildhack. After, ahem, a veritable flurry of votes in the Worst Contributor and Worst Article categories (add more if the spirit moves you), today your votes are asked for Worst Commenter.

    Hank's already nominated a good few, there seems to be a body of opinion in favour of MAM for it, but my own vote goes to: Bitethehand. For stalking, sanctimony, leg-humping of feminists and hatred of mothers with internet connections.

  10. RapidEddie

    Added my two penn'orth :o)

  11. Chin - I love you I love you way the conduit the construction of the sentence but do twice i th epre

  12. Happy Day-after-the-day-after Xmas everyone.

    I’m happy to report that the potatoes roasted in goose fat were a great success, and that all my leftovers are now being transformed into soup to see me through the next few days.

    Another interesting piece from Montana, which I’ll comment on properly later, but now just respond to BB’s response above:

    I am amazed at the number of numpties who just didn't bother reading it and started raging about gender wars!

    I haven’t ploughed through the thread yet, but I wouldn’t be in the least surprised to find what you’re suggesting I’ll find. Disappointed, yes; surprised, no.


    I’ll hope you’ll excuse me for not contributing to your Whiffies poll.

    I didn’t get involved in the Ciffies, because it struck me as a rather trite attempt to promote a “we’re all mates really” false bonhomie. And look who won…

    Although your poll steers well clear of that, I’ve decided that it would be impossible for me to single out any one individual Contributor, Article, Commenter etc from such a huge field of worthy contenders.

    I’m afraid that whoever wins in the various catagories, there will be many justifiably disappointed non-winners, and wouldn’t want to contribute to their disappointment ;-)

  13. andysays said...

    :Thanks again to those who’ve given their congratulations on my move to Cornwall. Even BTH/Job has joined in - must be the well-known result of Xmas causing an break in hostilities and games of football breaking out in no-man’s (sic) land…"

    Afraid not - but if you've not already read it, you might find ‘Natural History’ by Neil Cross worth the time. It's an unusual and disturbing book with the story unfolding with increasing menace, until the novel reaches a apocalyptic conclusion.

    The novel is set variously, in a desolate Monkey Park, A seaside hotel, the Congolese jungle, and the north Devon part of the South West Coastal Footpath.

  14. Thanks BB. All donations gratefully received. 'Too Fat To Fly' seems to be waddling itself towards the front of the Worst Article queue. You force to me to now go read it for the first time!

    And no worries Andy, the reason I'm persisting with the Whiffies is because it's perhaps more important to point out what went wrong on CiF this year than what went right. If all that's left in the minds of the CiF editorial board at the fag end of 2009 is 'Wasn't this/that/the other splendid!', then they fail to acknowledge just how much of it was bad, ugly and pointless.

    What's so astonishing - and there isn't an anti-award that can cure this - is that hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs, people in poverty (Neets in particular) are dying and the concentration amongst the Guardianista tendency is on the price of Agas and which one of the Milibands is the more dreamy.

    That supposedly most caring of middle-class paternalistic institutions, the Guardian, looks like it will sail through the whole of the greatest economic collapse in our lifetimes with barely a glance outside the Islington wine bar windows. I mean, pity the poor by all means, but just don't ask them to write about how they feel.

  15. Hello all. Hope yez all had a good Christmas.

    And I note Montana's true identity has been revealed on her new article. Odd that the anti-fems have been unloading on you rather than on Pat Caplan, who still believes in that "blank slate" shite.

    An observation that came up in a conversation I had with my aunt the other day about my late uncle. Her instinct when bringing up their children was to stand between them and the world, keeping them safe from harm and doing things for them, whereas his was to stand one step behind them as they explored the world, encouraging them to try things for themselves and ready to step in if it looked like going wrong. Both instincts complement each other, and both are necessary, but for some reason it seems that, to some on the liberal/left/feminist axis, only the first counts as "nurturing".

  16. I don't suppose

    I don't suppose you would like to lean into my sentence would you?

  17. Hiya Montana, am wading through the comments on your article - what a lot of numpties thought fit to post!

    Clunie's a star though, as is Leni.

  18. paddy

    It's interesting that those two "approaches" to parenting seem to reflect on gender lines, too. I will hold my hands up as the one who wants to smother my kid in bubblewrap every time he leaves the house, whereas my husband is of the "one step behind to support" school of thought too. Gender stereotypes or instinct?

  19. Greetings everyone - hope you've all been having a happy time over the hols. I see bitey has been a happy little truffle hunter.

    bitey - No sooner do I arrive back in blighty than i find myself the latest focus of your beady eyed attention and what a pompous set of observations.

    You must have a very dull life indeed if trawling through my posting back catalogue (even i don't do that), in order to have a wee prod at me is your idea of a good time.

  20. Hey Sheff! Welcome back. Hope your holiday was lovely.

    Ignore the bugger. He obviously doesn't have any friends irl.

  21. Hi BB

    Had lovely time - count yourself lucky though i can't bore you with my hoiday snaps!

    I gather Montana has another piece up - will go and find it. Laters.

  22. Hello all Untrusted ones. Just want to pop in to wish all and sundry a merry xmas.

    Was only going to pop in as have the flu so off back to bed but had to comment on your article Mon. What have you done to incur such wrath? I am starting to think that for a small section of Ciffers any female ATL just turns them into bitter and twisted types.

    BTH - it is Christmas. Why don't you sit down, have a nice drop of Whiskey and chill out a bit? It is the season of goodwill to all men...and women :)

  23. pcc

    Belated Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. Hope the flu sorts itself quickly.

    There truly are some twisted assholes posting on Montana's thread. ngavc just posted this little gem at the beginning of his:

    It isn't necessarily directed at the author (Who reported a single violent incident with the boy's father).

    I have just asked him how many violent incidents a woman should be expected to sustain before she reports it, but I doubt I will get a sensible answer...

  24. Yeah BB - I cannot imagine why they are so angry. It was a really depressing thread to read - especially in response to such a reasonable article. Ngavc often posts crap though! Hope you are having a good break.

    I have just ordered seasons 3 and 4 of ER to keep me entertained and I am off back to bed.

    Catch up later with you all. Welcome back Sheff!

  25. HankScorpio said...

    "BITEY ALERT...but......it's better to be a smart-arsed alcoholic than an anally-retentive paedophile. And I realise that that was neither intelligent nor witty, but who gives a fuck? I'm not Peter fuckin Ustinov after all. The guy's more to be pited than to be despised. So.....Happy Christmas, BTH."

    No you're right it was neither intelligent nor witty and once again you put your host Ms Wildhack in a difficult position for to quote Edwin Moore:

    "Four of Scotland's best-known bloggers have packed it in, one because journalists outed him to his employer for using abusive language, one who was an aide to a senior SNP figure was caught smearing Labour politcians online, another went out of fear of harassment, and now a Dundee housewife who had an entertaining SNP-favoured site has closed down after finding out that a stalker had found out her name and address."

    You see the reason you use for callling me a paedophile is because I agreed with at least two of The Guardian's journalists, Victoria Coren and Barbara Ellen that it was wrong to send two
    teachers to jail for having consensual sexual relationships with a 15 year old student. We all agreed the relationships were wrong and against the law, but some of the more civilised and compassionate posters recognised that a jail sentence was wrong.

    But if you call me a paedophile for that, you also do the same to Victoria Coren and Barbara Ellen. I'm sure they will consider you beyond the pale Hank, but I'm not sure they will look so kindly on a fellow Guardian contributor hosting a website that so defames them.

    So Montana, let's have your view on this. Last time you claimed you couldn't be held responsible for what people posted on your website. Do you still hold that view, given Edwin Moore's advice?

  26. "Last time you claimed you couldn't be held responsible for what people posted on your website. Do you still hold that view...?"

    Well let's look at the facts...

    1) You're still here posting away BTH...

    I thinks that's your answer

  27. debate as filo pastry,,

    exsquisite baking MF,,sublime simplicity

  28. Heh - excellent MF.

    Snidey little sideways threats and menaces again I see, Bitey. You were going to report me to the Bar Council for standing up for an immigration adviser once, I seem to recall.

    As you have been snooping and sniffing around us for so long on here, you will remember my warning about how stalking on the internet is an offence, too, no? Harassing women on websites in particular is frowned-upon by the boys and girls in blue.

  29. BB: There's my aunt and uncle, yourself, myself (who is of the one step behind persuasion), and my mum (who is a bubble-wrapper) -do you think we have enough data to come to a firm conclusion?

    I have noticed though, that children behave differently around adults with different approaches. My nephew, and my niece when she was smaller, would scream the place down when they hurt themselves even slightly when with their grandma, but with me I ask if they're all right, they say they're fine.

  30. paddy

    Oh I agree that children will behave according to the responses they are likely to get.

    Example - when my lad was little, and my Mum still alive, he used to go and sleep one night during the week at their place. We would always phone before bed-time, and if he was talking to his Dad he would be fine and having a great time, but by the time I got on the phone to him he was whining and saying he wanted to come home... I don't know whether he thought this was what each of us was expecting to hear...

  31. HankScorpio said...

    "You posted something on here today to andy which was fairly emollient, and the effect was to make me feel sorry for you. You were clearly trying to ingratiate yourself with posters on here...

    "I felt sad that you needed to do that, but if you are trying to ingratiate yourself with us....I said the other day that we're quite tolerant and forgiving, you'd have to make a few apologies to certain people, but even so..

    "...it really is over to you, BTH. I'm sure you'd spark off a few interesting debates here if you made the apologies and lost the egotism."

    Andysays, as far as I know has never been abusive towards me and as someone who has appreciated his concern for wild life and as a Life Member of the National Trust, I was being quite genuine in wishing him well in his future stewardship of few miles of my, his and your coastal footpath.

    So no I wasn't trying to ingratiate myself with anyone and neither do I feel I owe anyone an apology, and certainly not the inhabitants of this site who think being foul-mouthed is the epitome of sophistication and humour.

  32. sheff:

    Welcome back to blighty.


    Get well soon.

    I suggest giving CiF a miss and relaxing with the Untrusted crew. Far more friendly, and a better standard of debate (usually).


    Thanks for the reading recommendation. I may follow it up once I’m established in Cornwall, though I’m not promising.

    And really, what is it with you attacking women for being less-than-perfect parents?

    You’re more than happy to make generalised comments about absent fathers, some of which I’d be inclined to agree with, but when it comes to criticisms of actual people, who do you direct your fire at?

    First Montana, then BeautifulBurnout and now sheffpixie.

    As far as I can see, all these three have done to incur your displeasure is to be ordinary* women who have found ways of coping with combining the roles of mother and breadwinner in what is still a patriarchal society.

    All of them have had to make compromises and accommodations with the world as it really is, rather than the way they might like it to be, and none of them have gone for the easy option of complaining endlessly about the oppressive system they all (we all, come to that) are forced to deal with on a daily basis.

    Surely you must realise that it’s (still) far worse to accuse a woman of being a bad mother than to accuse a man of being a bad father. The former goes to the core of what our patriarchal society expects a woman to conform to, whereas the latter, according to the prevailing outlook, can just be shrugged off as of no real importance.

    If it’s just a coincidence that all your targets have been women who you think are bad mothers, maybe you’d like to prove me wrong and attack one of the men here for being a bad father…

    *that’s ordinary in the sense of being unprivileged, not inhabiting an ivory tower, or having a paid position to rail at the injustices they are forced to suffer while employing a retinue of ill-paid servants to tend to their domestic needs.

    In many other ways they are, of course, extraordinary ;-)

  33. More for BTH:

    …Me for instance.

    I’ve already mentioned in the past that I have a daughter who lives with her mother rather than me, and now I’ve revealed that I’ve chosen to move from London to Cornwall, thus “abandoning” my daughter.

    Surely that’s enough for you to build as strong a case against me as you have in the past against Montana, BB and sheff? Or is it all right for a man to express some ambivalence or lack of interest towards his role as a parent, even to the extent of moving to another part of the country, whereas a woman who has the temerity to have a job, and/or to have an interest in something other than her child is to be condemned?

    For what it’s worth, I thought that BTH’s comment to me about my new job was for real, rather than an attempt to ingratiate himself. He does have at least some genuine human feeling in him, unlike some of the out-and-out arseholes on CiF, which is why some of his personal attacks really are bizarre.

    But he’s wrong on this one:

    andysays, as far as I know, has never been abusive towards me

    Well, there goes your reputation for seeing all and having access to the best kept archive system on the internet ;-)

  34. Hello all! Given fundamentally poor log-on ability, this is PhilippaB, if that isn't immediately obvious. Hope everyone had a lovely festive period, and doesn't have a cold (like me). But did eat far too much (also like me - feed a cold, eh?)

    Hope everyone has a lovely new year, see you in it...

  35. Andy

    I couldn't care less what bitey thinks of my parenting, but thanks for the support. I know what kind of mother I was/am because my children have told me and apparently I wasn't a bad one - but did get it wrong sometimes. I seem to have managed what Alice Miller (I think) called 'good enough mothering' which is what most of us manage, imperfect as we are. At any rate I still have a really good relationship with them both.

    I don't really understand what bitey hopes to achieve coming here and stirring the pot in the way he does and to be frank I'm not interested, but I admire your preparedness to engage with him. I think you are probably a much nicer, more patient person than me.

    And btw, congrats on the job in Cornwall - sounds as though it could be just up your street.

    Montana - enjoyed your piece but gave up on the comments - all those smug posters who seem to have completely forgotten what being a new parent is like and what your hopes and expectations are. And then having to take on board how differently it can all turn out. I really identified with what you were saying.

  36. Certainly does, MsChin. Nice to know he is back and has bookmarked my ATL piece even though his profile only existed since 16th December! Bwahahahahaha! Sad muppet.

  37. I've never met a mother who truly believes she's done, or is doing, a good job of being a parent. There's always something you could have done better, or differently, or not done at all - and you never stop asking yourself whether you should have done.

    And that's why Bitey's snide remarks are so invidious - it's very easy to undermine someone who knows that their job has no right answers or definitive solutions, especially when they've chosen to be honest and open about their experiences.

    I don't know whether BtH has children, but I would suggest that anyone who can be so dogmatic and inflexible in their approach to parenthood has had only limited experience of it.

    Welcome back, Sheff - and congrats to Andy on the job. Sounds great.

  38. Hello everyone! More snow here over night and the service that is supposed to come clear the pavements and plough the parking lot still hasn't come to clear the stuff we got on Christmas day. There's a drift more than 1.5m high on my front porch.

    I have to say that I was blind-sided by the response to my latest ATL. I honestly thought this one was so innocuous that it wouldn't garner much interest. Incredible how many bitter, angry, stupid men there are in this world who can utterly fail to miss the point.

    I kept trying to get one of them to quote back at me any of my article that indicated that I hate men or think that maleness is bad. Unsurprisingly, no one did and most of them vanished fairly quickly after I told them to quote me back to myself. Not sure I have the heart to even look at it again today.

    ngavc is one of the right-wing American arsewipes who was insulted by my first ATL. He seems somewhat obsessed by whether or not I'm going to be paying taxes on what I get paid by the Graun for my ATL pieces -- he asked about my form 1099 (a federal income tax form) in my first thread and again this time.

  39. One thing that is interesting about bitey under his new nick is the racism, though. I hadn't really spotted it before, but now it is pretty clear that he holds no truck with Muslims - be they "honour" killers or hit-and-run drivers. And his sideways comments about the increase in population in the UK is quite interesting too. So as well as a stalker he is also a bigot! Who'da thunk it?

    Must be his upbringing I guess... I blame poor parenting meself.

  40. MOntana - the intarwebz are populated by weirdos with an axe to grind. Taking pot-shots at mothers seems to be an international sport now.

  41. Montana

    Stuff 'em, girl! That's my advice.

    Your piece clearly resonated for many of us 'good enough' mothers, who all listened to 'expert' advice on child rearing with our firstborn and then, as sheff says, learned along the way & grew confident enough to trust our own judgement.

  42. BB

    I thought I was on course with BTHs new CiF persona, auxesis. There are so many striking similarities - the avatar, the interest in women's issues, the archivist trait ..

  43. sheff:

    I made my comment less because you, Montana or BB need my support (though you’re all welcome to it) and more because I’m genuinely interested, or at least curious, in why BTH keeps on with his apparent crusade to ban mothers from the workplace and return them to the home.

    Really, BTH, what’s it all about?

    MsChin (or should that be DS Chin?):

    Good spot!

    In case auxesis (whoever he is) should happen to look in here, can you really not see the difference between:

    be(ing) able to influence his personality and determine his character


    trying to force me to become a carbon copy of her?

    Especially ironic when set next to your comment of 25 Dec 09, 8:46pm about the importance of understanding the English language (it’s great, this archive thing, innit?)

    Or is it just that you don’t want a little thing like that to get in the way of having yet another pop at someone?

  44. Have just uploaded a new avatar don't know whether it'll work - a pic of Medusa's head from the bottom of a column in the cisterns in Istanbul. thought it might suit this persona of wicked Mama that's been foisted on me. Still am in good company with BB and Montana. We could start a club. shall we invite that naughty old Papa, Hank?

  45. sheff

    She's fab.


    auxesis is apparently an organic growth without cell division (thank you wiki). Aka The Borg.

  46. Thanks andy - yes, as the personage unravels itself what we see is, in fact, a dogmatic individual with clear-cut, if old-fashioned - views of what motherhood should be about, who despises what he perceives to be promiscuity and foul language, and spends his life making little archives of everything anyone has ever posted either here or in CiF to use as ad hom missiles against anyone who happens to cross swords with him.

    Every time I think of him now I remember that monster Randall in Monsters Inc.


  47. MsChin

    Auxesis as a literary term is also a deliberate exaggeration for effect.

  48. BB

    True BB, but I thought my version was funnier.


    I like Dilbert.

  49. BeautifulBurnout said...
    "What happens in Untrusted stays in Untrusted"

    "I could be churlish and say "Only while Bitey is banned"

    "But having just called for an amnesty for all banz0rd ciffers with special mention to Bitey and Ultima, it would be rude of me to suggest that he might go back to his old ways..."

    Feeling a little guilty about your past actions for which you are now attempting to seek reconciliation?

    Amnesties are periods during which offenders are exempt from punishment and I am not an offender, but an asset to CiF, who time and again has exposed your addiction to unadulterated praise and adultation and your abhorrence of criticism.

  50. Bitey, how would you characterize your relationship with your parents - close or distant?

  51. I'd like to stay around & watch, but real life calls. So laters, folks.

  52. “I am not a crook”

    Richard Milhous Nixon, November 17, 1973

    “I am not an offender”

    Bite The Hand, December 27, 2009…

  53. "Amnesties are periods during which offenders are exempt from punishment and I am not an offender, but an asset to CiF"

    ....asset???? You're fuckin banned you nutcase

  54. Bitey/auxegis/job/whatever

    You are not an offender, you say, yet you have been banned by the mods. Hmmm.

    Cognitive disonnance much?

  55. Amnesties are periods during which offenders are exempt from punishment and I am not an offender, but an asset to CiF, who time and again has exposed your addiction to unadulterated praise and adultation and your abhorrence of criticism.

    heh heh heh....

    You know bitey, I have only very rarely come across someone with less insight into themselves than you and who is so remarkably obtuse.

  56. The more I read of this stuff the more I realise he is just a troll. A very sad one, but a troll none the less.


  57. Hi All--Hope you're all enjoying the season.

    deano30--Looked at the pictures of the pub,very quaint and historic. Prices of their malts were impressive too.

    Bitey--Most of us,it seems to me, come here to connect with other folk and have a bit of fun. You, on the other hand, seem to be rather puritanistic and mean spirited. Why do you even bother if you don't enjoy it?

    Lovely sunny day here, although colder than a witches' tit. Off to walk the dog. Bye for now.

  58. Well, there seems to be general agreement that Bitey’s not scoring terribly highly on the self-awareness scale tonight.

    When he first showed up here after he’d been banned, I thought the experience might have taught him a small lesson in humility, and that it might be possible to have a halfway reasonable conversation with him.

    I now feel like I’ve been poking a wounded animal through the bars of its cage with a stick.

    Enough’s enough, BiteTheHand. You’re clearly too deluded to see that your banning from CiF was brought on by your own actions. You seem to be under the misapprehension that some sort of Untrusted cabel is behind your demise.

    No one here has sought to have you banned, even though a couple of us would have had every justification in doing so (and let’s not forget your attempts over the months to blacken many of the individuals here and indeed the whole Untrusted site with the CiF moderators). In the end, no one here really cares enough about you to go to the trouble.

    Many of us have said that we disagree with your banning, and some of us have even attempted to extend the hand of friendship to you here. I always try to believe that everyone has a good side, but you seem determined to prove me wrong.

    Give it up now. You’re just making yourself look ridiculous.

  59. BeautifulBurnout said...

    "Bitey was brought up by evangelical Christians who wouldn't let him watch telly. No wonder he has such a fuxx0rd view of parenting. It has clearly left its own scars on him too.
    Sanctimonious stalkerish behaviour - is there an "ism" for that?"

    Not actually true; what I said was we didn't have a television until I was older than your son, but that was as much to do with poverty as it was ideology. And much like Montana's son and his rejecting gender neutral toys, I didn't need any specific instruction to know that I wanted nothing to do with religion, any religion, from a very early age. And I've remained steadfast in that view and am proud to be the only true atheist in a family that includes Christian, Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu adherents.

    As for having "such a fuxx0rd view of parenting", how would you categorise someone who tells the world of her 14 year old "I look at my lad who still sucks his thumb when he thinks no-one is looking"?

    Thanks mum that's really nice of you?

  60. Trying to get caught up on the thread over at Cif. What did Habib say about greytiles that got deleted?

    Whatever it was, I'm proud of you, Habib. And there's a snog in it for you...

  61. Quoting out of context again eh Bitey? How many hours did it take you to find that little gem?

    Or have you got all our comments copied and pasted into a database with a search engine?


    As it is my son has no idea what my nick is on the Graun so even if he did read it - which is extremely unlikely - he would never be able to associate it with me or himself.

    You are just a bit thick,really, aren't you Bitey, if you haven't worked that one out yet...

  62. And what you actually said, Norman-Bates-stylee, in your "mother's" voice was that you were not allowed television until you were older than my son. And you also said on another thread that you were from an Evangelical Christian family. So less about poverty and more about puritanical nutters.

    Not that puritanism can be seen in any of your posts about mothers, drinking and swearing though, eh? Muppet. You are losing your grip, Bitey. I may not have a database like you, but I do have a very good memory.

  63. Hahahah! I have a sneaking suspicion that our favourite Finn might be back in the guise of Behemot too.

    *waves in case she is snooping too*

  64. OK darlings - off to do social stuff. Back (much) later. x

  65. Seasonal greetings to all refugees!

    And kudos again to MW for her courage and patience in dealing with the rough stuff on cif BTL and above all for being a veteran parent.

  66. Medve,

    Welcome to the UT and thank you! It's been a hoot.

  67. Montana is very brave if you ask me - there's no way I'd volunteer to put anything up on cif - apart from having problems putting more than one, or possibly two coherent thoughts together I'd find the inevitable mauling quite tough - especially if like Montana, I was talking about something as personal as parenting my child.

  68. Hi Sheffpixie, sounds like you had an enjoyable vacation. I certainly agree that it takes courage to write ATL as Montana has done.Don't think I could do it myself.

    BTW--Does anyone know if that was the first time the pope was atop a woman? Just curious. Some of my friends think it may well have been.

  69. Bitey, let's call a spade a spade. Your own parents fucked you up totally, and you are not a parent yourself because you could not trust yourself to be a decent one. You seem to get some sort of vicarious pleasure out of trashing other peoples' parenting abilities (mostly mothers, but, to be fair, you hate fathers too.) What does your therapist say about all this? Have you told her exactly what you do on the internet? Does she know how much anger and bitterness you have within you, and how you deal with it?

    I know you value your privacy and are careful never to reveal too much about yourself, so it seems strange that you should cyber-stalk people and take pleasure in 'exposing' their personal details on Cif. But you're not a closed book, bitey. People might know, for example, that your father is dead and was buried in a wood somewhere in some sort of biodegradable coffin, and that your mother is a retired nurse. Because you have revealed these things in unguarded moments (I don't keep an archive so this is just from memory, forgive me if I'm wrong.) The difference between you and normal, well-balanced, well-meaning people is that you jump on every small personal detail that you can glean and use it to put people down. Most people would regard personal revelations as a matter of trust and accord them some respect. I think that's what we do here on Untrusted with regard to each other, and that's why you will never fit in here, and why I, personally, would prefer it if you just fucked off. You have nothing to offer people here except your own warped worldview and your very defensive contempt for everyone who posts here. We all know that sad fuckers like you exist in the real world, so you're not actually fulfilling any meaningful function here, despite what you may think of yourself. In fact, by engaging with you, we are are actually satisfying your bizarre needs. Nothing personal, but I couldn't be arsed any more. You've had your chance here, but you simply weren't capable of the modicum of self-awareness that might have proved beneficial to you.

    Best of luck with whatever blog you try and latch on to next to scratch your itch, and God help them.

  70. Germaine Greer interviewed by Rolling Stone in 1971. It includes her famous line about Hemingway buying his own bullshit. Crazy chick.

  71. Medve:

    Welcome to Untrusted :-)


    Harsh perhaps, but ultimately right.

    Anyway, back to Montana’s piece on CiF…

    On one level, you might almost dismiss it with a “so what” - parent thinks that they can be the most important influence in how their child develops, and is rapidly disillusioned.

    I’m sure that discovery is familiar to most, if not all, of us who are parents.

    But there’s something about the gender aspects of this which have brought out the deniers and the haters, many of whom seem to be outraged that a mother might seek to bring up her child (not just a child, but a male child) in a way which does not conform to traditional patriarchal norms.

    There seems to be an assumption from many of them that the tendency for young boys to play games involving weapons etc, conforming to masculine/aggressive ideas about what is appropriate (and the similar tendency for young girls to play with dolls etc, conforming to feminine/nurturing ideas of what is appropriate), prove that these things are natural or innate, but they could surely just as well be used as evidence that the social gender conditioning of children is so pervasive that even children whose parent or parents try to avoid it are still basically moulded by it.

    I’ve been reading Kate Millet’s “Sexual Politics” recently and found it interesting and broadly convincing, so I’ll try to find something of what she has to say.

  72. Here’s a couple of quotes which are relevant:

    “temperament involves the formation of human personality along stereotyped lines of sex category - “masculine” and “feminine” - based on the needs and values of the dominant group and dictated by what its members cherish in themselves and find convenient in subordinates - aggression, intelligence, force and efficacy in the male; passivity, ignorance, docility “virtue” and ineffectuality in the female…

    …Patriarchal religion, popular attitude, and to some degree, science as well assumes these psycho-social distinctions to rest upon biological differences between the sexes, so that where culture is acknowledged as shaping behaviour, it is said to do no more than cooperate with nature. Yet the temperamental distinctions created in patriarchy - “masculine” and “feminine” personality traits - do not appear to originate in human nature.”

    “Because of our social circumstances, male and female are really two cultures and their life experiences are utterly different. Implicit in all the gender identity development which takes place through childhood is the sum total of the parents’, the peers’ and the culture’s notions of what is appropriate to each gender by way of temperament, character, interests, status, worth, gesture and expression…

    …Conditioning runs in a circle of self-perpetuation and self-fulfilling prophecy. To take a simple example, expectations the culture cherishes about his gender identity encourage the young male to develop aggressive impulses, and the female to thwart her own or turn them inward… …Thereupon the culture consents to believe the possession of the male indicator, the testes etc, in itself characterises the aggressive impulse… …The same process of reinforcement is evident in producing the chief “feminine” virtue of passivity.”

    Kate Millet, Sexual Politics, 1970

  73. Andy; the disagreement I would have with Millet here is that, until the first day my son went to daycare (at 14 months), he had never been out of my care. Not once. Just me and him 24-7 for 14 months. I offered him primarily gender-neutral toys and as early as just a few months in age, he preferred the "boy" oriented ones, despite the fact that at that point, I was really the only influence he had in his socialisation.

    I don't pretend to understand it -- how on earth would a 5 month old, confronted with the choice of a plastic race car and a cloth "doll" have any sense that the race car was what society "expected" him to prefer? Yet that is what happened with my son every single time.

  74. Montana:

    I don’t claim to understand it either, and I don’t necessarily agree with everything Millet says, but I think her argument is generally sound in many ways.

    how on earth would a 5 month old, confronted with the choice of a plastic race car and a cloth "doll" have any sense that the race car was what society "expected" him to prefer?

    The common sense answer would be that he couldn’t, at that age. But there might be reasons why he would choose that particular car rather than the other toy you’ve provided a picture of, which doesn’t look like a conventional doll to me, though I do recognise a kind of similarity to some of the toys we were encouraged to buy because they were supposed to be educational or aid development, though my vague recollection is that they weren’t that popular.

    Maybe he simply preferred the colour, or there’s some reason other than the masculine/feminine/gender neutral at work here. Are you saying that given a choice between a “boys’ toy” and a “gender neutral” one, he would always go for the boys’ one?

  75. BB

    ultima has (maybe) returned as Behemoth? The swamp-dwelling beast mentioned in the Book of Job?

  76. Andy - interesting points. But Montana has a point too. I have no idea why my son was happier playing with things that had wheels and knobs mechanical bits on than with the other stuff. Perhaps Jung was right about a collective subconscious, and there is one that is gender-specific?

    Re: Ultima - See what you think, MsChin. The nick only goes back as far as October and there is reference in there to Finland as well as Ally supporting prostitution, so go figure (also see the most recent post which, if it isn't written by Ultima, must be written by her doppelganger).

    Book of Job, though. Gets creepier and creepier, eh? I did postulate some time ago that BTH and Ultima were the same person with two personae. Perhaps I am not far wrong. :o)

  77. Scherf - good post.

    Medve - welcome! :o)

    Boudican - hope you had a good Xmas!

  78. Stone me, BB, I think we can claim a fiver each (that's a tenner for the get-together kitty).

  79. Are you saying that given a choice between a “boys’ toy” and a “gender neutral” one, he would always go for the boys’ one?

    Yep. The only "gender neutral" toys that he really ever liked as an infant were blocks and this thing. These were his absolute favourite toy. In particular, the green race car -- I imagine because it was the smallest and the easiest to grasp.

  80. Montana

    The first link gives me a 404 as "Not Acceptable". Even the intarwebz eschews your gender-biased toys! :o)

  81. BB:

    I certainly agree that Montana has a point. I find it hard, if not impossible, to explain how a child of the age she’s talking about can have picked up the complex cultural associations need to recognise that a racing car, say, is more appropriate to his gender identity than a doll, even one as obviously intelligent as Montana’s is bound to be.

    But maybe it’s also worth considering that those associations seem obvious to us, because we’ve grown accustomed to them, but there’s nothing obvious or “natural” about them. For instance, a toy with wheels could be thought of as masculine if it’s a model racing car, or feminine if it’s a pram for pushing a doll round in.

    I don’t know that much about Jung’s theories, but I’m instinctively (if that’s the right word) against the idea of a collective sub-conscious, and especially a masculine one which differs from a feminine one.


    Having seen the pictures of the doll and the cars (I can’t access the one you describe as “this thing”), neither of them seem especially gender specific. It’s surely possible that he preferred the car to the doll because of some other reason, like its size and easiness to grasp, or because the colour had another association.

    My daughter discovered at an early age that a particular shade of purple meant (Cadbury’s) chocolate, and I’m sure that had she been offered a purple toy and, say, a yellow one, she would have gone for the purple.

  82. Ultima is not Behemoth. (So says rudimentary textual analysis, and I'll bet the farm on it.) Anyway, good spot on the Book of Job, mschin. We can add the aprocryphal Book of Enoch if we like, and consider the inherent gender dissonance (behemot/leviathan):

    'And that day will two monsters be parted, one monster, a female named Leviathan in order to dwell in the abyss of the ocean over the fountains of water; and (the other), a male called Behemoth, which holds his chest in an invisible desert whose name is Dundayin, east of the garden of Eden.'

    Ooh er, missus! I think we're all fucked!

  83. Andy, the "doll" (which is called Baby Whoozit) is not supposed to be gender-specific, which is the whole point of it. It was specifically designed to be gender-neutral and based on research that claims that infants are naturally drawn to faces, simple shapes, and bright colours.

    I understand your points about subtle things like colour, etc., but the only thing that ever seemed consistent to me was the preference for boy stuff (and getting dirty -- loved playing in the dirt).

  84. I think I agree with scherfig about Behemot. As good as Ultima's English was, I don't think it was as good as Behemot's. Behemot strikes me as a native speaker who is trying to pass him/herself off as a non-native speaker.

  85. scherfig

    re: unmasking of ultima & bth in one day - bah humbug, should have known it was too good to be true.

  86. Scherf

    A tenner says I'm right. She has toned it down considerably, but all the key themes are there. And in one of her posts she talks about laughing herself sick and being glad to be "back".

    I'm big, you're small, I'm right, you're wrong, and there is nothing you can do about it! :p

  87. Ok, let's look at the themes in her posts:
    JayReilly - check
    AllyF - check
    BrusselsLout - check
    Obama-as-Messiah - check
    Feminist - check
    Finland - check
    Blaming fathers/absent fathers - check
    Foreign syntax - check
    Commentary on Belle du Jour (reminiscent of attack on Carla Bruni) - check
    Single Mum - check
    Daughter - check
    Support for Bitey - check
    Castrate suspected rapists - check
    DV and paedophilia being men-only perps - check
    General disdain for Brit men - check

    Those are just a few off the top of my head having read through her comments...

  88. Sorry, BB, but you're way off here. Behemot is either a native English speaker or a very fluent Swede. No way is she ultimathule. And I'll have a thousand on that.

  89. Montana:

    That (“this thing”) seems pretty gender-neutral as well. My daughter had a couple of shape-sorter toys. It’s not just boys who like pushing things through holes, you know.

    You seem to be suggesting that your son had an in-born tendency to pick “masculine” toys and play, however we define those, which I think is in itself problematic. I suppose I find the idea of in-born masculinity (or femininity) at least difficult to accept, so I’m just floating alternatives for consideration.

    Would you agree, I wonder, with the idea that once he began wider socialisation, he picked up more gender identity conditioning?

    DSs BB, Chin and scherfig:

    I reckon there’s quite a bit in Behemot’s most recent post that reminds me of Ultima (and she’s having a go at Jay in her previous comment), but some of it doesn’t quite sound right. Overall she’s our best suspect, though.

    Further investigation needed before we can bring a charge on this one, unless you want to pull her in for questioning and rough her up a little…

    If we really were the vindictive hate-driven bullies we’re portrayed as, we should shop them both to CiF for posting while banned, but I suggest we leave it, don’t even drop any hints.

    I swear I'll be there to haunt them all year, so maybe it will be a year of learning to them, at least

    Ooh, I can’t wait…

  90. This was the comment that convinced me.

    Why a Swede but not a Finn, Scherf? Is there a great deal of difference in syntax when they type in English? I always thought Ultima had an excellent command of English really.

  91. Anyhoo - time for beddybyes for me.

    Night night all. Busy day tomorrow as having a few friends round, but hopefully will be able to pop in and say hi from time to time. xx

  92. Yeah, bed for me too.

    Goodnight all.

  93. BB, this is fun! A convincing example, but not decisive. I know that AllyF thinks that behemoth is ultima, and I must confess that I had my suspicions myself at first. However, these views are ten-a-penny, and for me behemot's anti-Brit/Anglo-Saxon and anti-Russian views are much too restrained to be ultima.

    Linguistically, Finnish and Swedish are literally worlds apart, but I would be surprised (and impressed) if behemot were not a native English speaker. Ultima was merely very competent. It would be fun if the 'real' behemot turned up here, and revealed all!

  94. scherfig

    BB has mentioned the hypothesis that bth and ultimathule are one and the same person. The Behemot / Job thing seems a remarkable coincidence & plays nicely to bth's studied ambiguity & interpretative bent.

  95. scherfig

    Also Exegis of Job - Job's friends argue that his suffering is punishment for sinning, but Job argues that he has done no wrong, therefore earned no punishment from god.

    And an alternative definition for auxesis - 'Arranging words or clauses in a sequence of increasing force. In this sense, auxesis is comparable to climax and has sometimes been called incrementum'.

    I can hardly wait.

  96. Good night to anyone still 'out there'.

  97. mschin, let's not go all Knights Templar here. BTH is/was not ultima. However, the behemot/Job thing is more intrigung/amusing, what with the biblical connections and all. :0) That said, I'm never quite sure how serious people are here about some of the things they say. Myself, I tend more to the ironic (often misunderstood I suspect), but I do draw the line at taking people like BTH and ultimathule seriously. And I would like to think that any conspiracy theory worth its salt would be a bit more weighty than casual uninformed misogyny/misandry from muppets. I'm thinking more hadron collider, the end of the world, and the Vatican, really.

    If we make it to 2012 (end of the Mayan calendar!!!), probably things will be much the same as they are now, although hopefully a bit better.

  98. mschin, just read your last post :0). Worth pursuing tomorrow, I think, if I get the time. (Real life takes time, bummer!)

  99. good evening bitterweed, just been tuning with my son and daughter so the perspective is skewed. Guitar-wise, Alexander has started to play guitar (el/acoustic) and was impressed by this (Sinnott's technique). Any finger-pickin' advice gratefully received and passed on.
    no time for love

  100. Hi mate, well, they're pretty much using strumming techniques to start, using a right hand edge of palm-muting - until the big solo-out at the end. The lead guitarist is throwing in some embelishments throughout, using picking and hammering on and off. He's probably a bit of an all round player - some of his licks are a *teeny* bit jazzy in their phrasing.

    I always say to people learning - play along with the record. Copy it, emulate it, slow it down if necessary, but that's the best way.

    Great tune by the way, Christy always does it for me. His lyrics nail it so very well.

    Here's some great folk music


    Superb band !

  101. This is better


    Hell yes.

  102. This comment has been removed by the author.

  103. thx, bw. Great stuff, you've spread the Show of Hands message, although strangely, I had picked up on them some years ago through YouTube, can't remember how. Great band, I'd love to see them live.
    king of the fairies

  104. Great link scherfig ! My other half's ex (From West Scotland) left all Horslips' albums behind. They did some great stuff. Mad as a Russian van.

    As for Show of Hands, I've been going to see various members for as long as I can remember. Particularly memorably, I saw these guys -Arizona Smoke Review, when I was sixteen or perhaps a little younger. In our local folk club, with a half of Paines Best Bitter, sat about four feet from the stage. Always.


  105. Heh, thanks. Now back to my newfound hobby of working out how it is I can change my own opinion on things within a blink of an eye. Here's some very dodgy heavy metal IN AN ALL TIME VAN HALEN CLASSIC !


    Hell yes ;-p

  106. Montana Wildhack
    Just checking out the fabulous link at the beginning of this thread... superb !