08 December 2009

Daily Chat 08/12/09

Margaret Hughes became the first actress to perform on a public English stage in 1660, playing Desdemona in  a production by the King's Company at the Vere Street Theatre.  Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854.  John Lennon was murdered in by Mark David Chapman in New York City in 1980.

Born today:  Horace (65-8 BC), Jean Sebelius (1865-1957), Diego Rivera (1886-1961), James Thurber (1894-1961), Sammy Davis, Jr. (1925-1990), Maximilian Schell (1930), James Galway (1939), Jim Morrison (1943-1971), fellow Iowegian Bill Bryson (1951) and Sinéad O'Connor (1966).

Zen and Shin Buddhists observe Bodhi Day today.


  1. Morning all. See CiF above the line is getting more obsessive about trying to portray New labour as class warriors, which would be comic were it not so offensive, given the kicking the poor,vulnerable and dispossessed have ghad over the last 12 years (with workfare being imposed right now) and the craven sycophancy to the rich and powerful...If the Guardian had any morals it would not back New labour at all, but persist with a drive for new(er) politics freed from invidious,insidious party whips and unprincipled,spivvy,career drone politicos. Fat chance.

  2. Alisdair

    They can't actually believe that NL have a prayer, surely? They're living in fantasy land if they do. I feel very gloomy about the prospects.

    On another note I heard on the news this morning that the UKBA have announced bonuses for their senior managers, ok'd by HMG, on the basis that they are doing such a good job. They obviously haven't heard about the 10,000 backlog on one team at the agency in Sheffield - thanks to a 're-allocation' of resources. Lots of massaging going on up here. The poor bloody caseworkers get naff all.

  3. Jay - on the 'poor ickle bankers' discrimination point, the moral issues of targetting them (none, really) are kinda irrelevant next to the legal issues. As I posted on the Murphy thread, looking for some views from the financial massive, the EU tax principle of neutrality and non-discrimination seems to me to kill the idea of targetting a particular industry, or a particular job description, for different tax treatment.

    So even if a special tax treatment could be applied in practice (which wouldn't be a breeze), I can't see how there wouldn't be an immediate appeal to the ECJ that it was contrary to EU law. And I fear that appeal would succeed.

    Hank? Any views?

  4. Philippa,

    So why can't we just increase tax for everyone over a certain income (say £2.50 more than mine.......) ;-)

  5. Tanya Gold on CiF: "I may never have to interview a bouncing narcissist again."

    Well, dear girl, wait until old age when you start talking to yourself ...

    And nw, I shall read the article.

  6. Dot - oh, completely, but then that wouldn't be targeted to nasty avaricious bankers and would start to hit, ooh, press barons and newspaper columnists and politicians and all sorts of hard-working families like that and that just wouldn't be cricket, would it? I think you'd find that press/pol support would start to ebb away, and with it the support of that part of the public that are opposed to tax rises in general but just want to give the bankers a kicking.

  7. God, that Gold article is as lightweight as a ryvita fart.

    Even for her standards.


    I too have been watching Comrade Toynbee, Kettle, Ashley et al with bemusement.

    The paradoxical championing of class warfare on behalf of the Party that has been in power for 12 years and has done more than any other institution to increase inequalities between the classes.

    The smug liberal left commentariat are as much an enemy to progress as the Bullingdon boys.

    All they can offer is a piss poor defence of this retrograde Government rather than pushing a genuine alternative progressive social democratic agenda.

  8. Philippa,

    Got you (that was what the £2.50 was about: that would be everybody's bench mark, just slightly more than their salary!)

    BTW everyone seen the new addition to Bitey's profile?

    "The Untrusted also believed in free expression and exclusively self-censorship until the day of reckoning and egos far bigger than their principles, forced from them the admission that even they would embrace a policy of moderation."

    (I've got him bookmarked, I know it's terribly voyeuristic to watch him self implode but I can't help myself, everyone had their vices: I know I'm safe from him, he told me himself I wasn't important enough to archive!)

  9. Holy f*ck, and now they've got Ian sodding Blair on why the police ought to be allowed to be political, and have all the powers they ask for. Jesus wept.
    On a side note, I see PhilippaB said on the risible tanya Gold thread that The Hangover was awful. I saw that on the plane back from India a couple of weeks ago, and have to admit I rather liked it, chiefly because of the performance of the weirdy-beardy guy (and the Chinese camp gangster) who I think is really quite a find (he's called Zach Galifianakis).Shameful...

  10. That Bitey bit sounds like a personal triumph. Was he one of the anonymousses here? Has he always known that his ega is far bigger than his (or our?) principles?

  11. Elementary,

    Sounds about right, his ego is bigger than our principles (and the planet Jupiter, the galaxy, the known universe etc. etc....)

  12. Dot - but you'd need a bigger 'wiggle room' than £2.50, given the effect of aspirations on opinions on fiscal policy - look at the LibDems - thought they were safe targeting those with over £1million in real assets (although they made a mistake not taking relevant debt into account, I think) but had to swiftly double that when there was lots of oy-ing from the usual suspects. We don't necessarily look at tax bands relating to our current situation, but the situation to which we aspire...

    Alisdair - well, it passed the time, but I really don't like 'series of unfortunate events' books / films (can't stand Dickens, for a start). Mind you, I like a good conspiracy (tin foil hat over here, please) but watched The International last night, and that was a crashingg disappointment. Probably because the cast just seemed better than the film, but weren't given anythingg remotely interesting to do.

    A mate of mine always knocks off a few stars when a film is on a plane - on the grounds that you have fewer alternatives to watching it so tend to over-rate the film.

  13. Can't stand Dickens, Pip ? That is simply ... well, it *is* understandable, unfortunately.

    However, the book series "A Series of Unfortunate Events" is really good /I think), and it even features conspiracies galore in the later book. But, I guess you meant it as a genre, didn't you?

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Looking at my close personal pal's profile I see that he is as obsessed with us as we are with him.
    Could this be the time to extend the hand of friendship?

  16. Yes, elementary - I did rather like the film of that (have never read the book)! It's the constant 'missing meeting someone by 30 seconds when that could have made everything OK' that pisses me off about dickens.

    And consider yourself rapped on the knuckles for using that particular short form, however ironic it may be in context. I'm Phil if you're in a hurry - 'the other word' is just the nasty bit of an orange (ref Angela Brazil). heh heh.

  17. colin: "Could this be the time to extend the hand of friendship?"

    You know the punchline, I know the punchline. No need to spit it out, is there?

    Philippa: Have hit my knuckles against the desk to feel your punishment. Ouch. In defense of some Dickens, I don't recall this trope being used in "Great Expectations", "A Tale of Two Cities" or "A Christmas Carol".

  18. Morning, Bodhisattvas!

    Happy Bodhi day.

    Meanwhile, I have no voice so I am sure my husband and son are absolutely delighted.

    Ian Blair. Hmmm. What is it about that surname?

  19. Colin

    You can try reasoning with some people all you like, in the politest of terms, and they still stick a metaphorical two fingers up at you and go on being just...well... nasty.

    On this day of Buddhist celebration, I would remind people that compassion isn't about being nice. It is about helping people stop the cycle of their own suffering. But they need to be able to see what it is that is causing them to suffer before they can take the actions necessary to change it.

    If you live in a shit house you won't notice the stink, so it takes someone else to rub your nose in it to realise.

    Right - enough religious bollocks for one day.

    Why does every thread, anywhere, about Muslims turn into a bunfight about how many immigrants we have in the UK and how they are all fundamentalist nutters? It really is beginning to get on my bloody nerves.

  20. Oh, we definitely have a nefarious campaign on behalf of the Bankers going on on CiF.

    The latest is from the Director of consultants lecturing us that Public sector waste is the real problem.

    I had a squiff on the company website of said Director and he's advised 6 of the UK's top 10 Mortgage lenders (ie the Crocked Banks) on credit risk and management since 2004!!

    So he's been intimately involved in the area of Banking which has led to trillions of our money being poured into his clients accounts, BUT it's Public sector waste that's the problem.


  21. I haven't read all of Dickens' works by a long chalk, but I do like him. Although it seems, on a personal level, he was a bit of a git, apparently.

  22. BB,
    You are right of course BB. Perhaps I wasn't being altogether serious? Will give up silly word play for rest of day.

    How does one get a blog listed on this page?
    I intend to carry on with the painting thing until I get it right.

  23. colin - I don't know - when you log in to here, do you use a google blogger nick? If you do, and you are a "follower" (see button on right of this page) you should have the possibility from the blogger dashboard to add an article.

  24. colin - I think Montana puts the links up (and a belated thank you for linking to my witterings!)

  25. BB,
    Do you realise that if this situation continues, a person NOT mentioned on thingies profile will feel a bit left out? We are giving him too much credence.
    If I may suggest a little tip?
    Don't read his stuff, I don't.

  26. colin, the link to your blog is up.

  27. Philippa,
    Yes I thought so, I've written but don't know if she's got it.
    Now I must paint out an unnecessary tree.

  28. Stoaty
    Great stuff. Can you expand on "We don't get the colours that they do in America" ?

  29. Bitterweed,
    The autumn trees over there, in new England especially, seem to have amazing colours compared to ours, we get some ok yellows but not much red.
    One can exaggerate things of course.

  30. [old jokes]

    What does a Buddhist have on toast?

    - I can't believe it's not Buddha.

    What does the Dalai lama have on toast?

    - OMMMMMMarmalade

  31. thaumaturge,
    Thanks, am working on next pic.

  32. stoaty

    Yes of course you are right about ignoring BTH. But it is rich him playing the injured party on CiF and posting a bit of my post to him on his profile when people don't know what provoked it. I seriously won't be replying again to him now, but I thought I needed to set the record straight.

    And I know you are right.

    Yes. You are right. :o)

  33. BB,
    A repulsive little turd, I'm not even going to bother to take the piss now.

  34. With all the attention being given to the Tiger Woods story, it disappoints me that there's an angle absolutely no-one is talking about. Does infidelity justify domestic violence or not?

    If Woods' wife had cheated and he had responded by chasing her down the driveway with a golf club - or even hit or threatened her without a weapon - what would the reaction be?

    I'm afraid I'm still angry after catching an old episode of The Thin Blue Line on UK Gold (or whatever it's called now) yesterday. You may know the setup - Inpsector Fowler lives with Sgt Patricia Dawkins, but she gets very frustrated by his lack of a sex drive. She also knows he carries a bit of a torch for the Mayoress, who is also a barrister. In the episode yesterday, Fowler conspires with the Mayoress to throw a case against a supposed drug dealer when he finds out the evidence against him was planted. Patricia overhears them conspiring and thinks something else is going on. He comes home and takes off his cycle helmet. She picks up the rolling pin. Big laugh, end credits.

    Can you imagine a male sitcom character committing domestic violence because he mistakenly thinks his partner is cheating on him, and (a) getting a laugh, (b) remaining a sympathetic character, and (c) the people responsible for the show keeping their jobs?

    I used to have a colleague who came into work one day with a nasty cut on the top of his head. He claimed to have banged on something, but another colleague got it out of him - his wife hat hit him with a cast-iron frying pan. That colleague told the whole office, and everybody laughed.

    The guy who got hit has long retired, but a while back somebody in the office told that story, and again, everybody laughed. I managed to steer the conversation so that everybody realised that this was actually horrible, and people stopped laughing, and started talking about their own experiences. One of the women said she had once, years ago, tried to hit her husband with a frying pan, and has felt bad about it and been careful to control her temper ever since. The story was told again a couple of weeks ago. Guess what? Everybody laughed.

  35. That's the trouble, though, isn't it Paddy?

    Men don't report domestic abuse unless it is serious because they are laughed-at if they do. I find the way it is portrayed to be really offensive. Slapping a man for saying something risque is acceptable in comedy/drama alike. But if a man slapped a woman across the face for the same reason?

    ALL children, irrespective of their gender, should be taught that hitting someone is never a solution. Never.

  36. BB.Paddy,
    Quite right , it used to be a comedy staple didn't it? Little bloke big woman, smack.
    We should have grown out of that attitude and see it now as what it is; about as funny as blacking up.

  37. BB,

    what a reply to BTH on WADDYA- Baam!

  38. LOL - ta Your Grace.

    Setting the record straight an' all.

    Thread about gingers on CiF atm. I can't believe in this day and age the abuse that kids get for having red hair - "mummy's own little soldier"*

    *Anyone remember Mrs Abbot in Please Sir?

  39. BB/Paddy/Stoaty,

    Not to mention that men are often hamstrung by "never hit a woman" into not being able to defend themselves for fear of them becoming the accused!

  40. I just wish there was less gender politics surrounding violence in the home/in relationships. Some organisations seem so worried that they might lose their funding if it is admitted that men can be victims too that they seem to campaign to vilify and denigrate anyone who tries to address the problem as a whole, rather than just the problem where women are the victims.

    It is kind of frustrating.

  41. Or be thought to deserve it. There seems to be an attitude abroad that, although we now believe it's abhorrent for a husband to demand obedience from and punish his wife, it's perfectly reasonable for a wife to do it to her husband. I would draw the court's attention to exhibit A, that ad for the stubble trimmer that gives you "total control over your stubble" (woman makes him change the setting) "well, maybe not total control".

    BB, I can't access YouTube from work, but look up Tim Minchin's song "Taboo". In light of your post at 14.01, it may amuse you.

  42. Paddy,

    the ad about the stubble trimmer reminds me of the Viz top tip:

    MEN: When listening to your favourite CD, simply turn up the sound to the volume you desire; then turn it down five notches. This will save your wife from having to do it.

  43. paddy

    I don't know about that ad, only seen it once or twice, can't remember how "demanding" she is, because on the other hand, she does have a right to request that he has his stubble a particular way, stubble rash isn't fun you know!

  44. Dot, she's not demanding at all, she just assumes.

  45. I still say it's borderline, although I have to confess I'm struggling to think of a role reversed equivalent* to use as a thought experiment in whether such a thing would be shown.

    *(that would get past the censors.....)

  46. It's not an outrageous example of misandry, and that's kind of my point - the notion that men should obey and expect to be overruled by women is completely taken for granted.

    Several years ago, the BBC ran a series called "Bring Your Husband to Hell", which showed women how to use dog-training techniques on their husbands. I still meet people, male and female, who don't see what's wrong with that if it "works better than nagging". The assumption is that the male half of a couple is subordinate and expected to obey is so prevalent.

  47. Paddy,

    While I agree that that program should not have been shown (and was that typo deliberate: I assume it was heel?) and certainly wouldn't have been had it been "bring your wife to heel" aren't some of these psychological techniques just a very extreme version of knowing the right way to ask for a compromise?

  48. That should be "Bring Your Husband to Heel", BTW.

  49. BB - epic on the last Waddya, btw.

  50. Ah, gender politics are being discussed, once more ... This time, with reasonable minds debating ;-)

    On a German feminist blog, I learned these days that if my girlfriend tells me to take down the garbage and I don't, I show a lack of respect towards her. I asked if she showed disrespect to me if she didn't wash the dishes when I ask her to do it. Interesting, the one answer I got so far confirmed this, if this kind of stuff happened frequently enough. (I really was hoping for someone saying that such a demand would be trying to control her in a patriarchal way, but hope hasn't faded yet.)

    I still have no idea how to find out whether I or my girlfriend is in the position to tell the other one to do a particular chore ...

  51. Hello everyone

    Escaped from work early today :-) so just catching up on the last couple of days ..

    And someone has really got the hump, haven't they? I happen to agree with Jay's post @12.41pm on Waddya re: feminist principles. Having worked for some years in the domestic abuse field, in my experience, undermining a woman's mothering is an all-too-familar tactic of control where the perpetrator is male.

  52. Dot, I'm sure there are psychological techniques for knowing the right was to ask for a compromise. Dog training isn't one of them.

  53. FFS,

    Sorry if I'm becoming obsessive on this issue here but they've (CiF) now popped Will Straw (Son of everyone's favourite Labourite Jack) on to talk about the fiscal bailout.

    New Labour nepotists or corporate vampires desperate to destroy the public sector. That's yer whack on CiF bailout analysis wise.

  54. paddy, yup, sorry, should've been clearer on that point myself...

  55. paddy

    It's absolutely appalling that the male victims of abuse you describe were treated so badly at work.

    I've recently spoken with 3 men - all from very different backgrounds - who have all endured abuse & violence at the hands of their female partners or other female family members. 1 was a forced marriage situation where a brother defended his sister who resisted the family 'choice' of husband for her; both siblings were 'cast out' and have no contact with their families at all now. 1 chap was attacked a few weeks ago by the woman he separated from over 3 years ago; because of this & impact on existing health issues, he spent 2 weeks in hospital. The police let her off with a caution, as she didn't have 'form' ie: her 10 years of abuse was not recorded by them. I'm not sure how any risk assessment undertaken by police at the time - as required under their own investigation guidelines - can demonstrate that he is properly protected from serious harm. I think this is a absolute disgrace. It's box ticking on the part of the police, who can claim that they have made a 'sanction detection' & meet targets without doing the paperwork + asking CPS for charging advice.

    Professionally & personally, I have long argued that violence against men & boys should be taken more seriously. Something like 15-20% of police recorded domestic abuse incidents involve male victims.

  56. Is that Will "The Weed" Straw? Or was that another one of his sons?


    Being let off with a caution for domestic abuse doesn't sit very well with the CPS's "Zero Tolerance" policy at all. That worries me...

  57. BB

    Quite, which is why (as an individual) I've advised formal complaint.

  58. Get him to ask, as part of his complaint, if the matter was ever reviewed by a CPS lawyer before offering a caution, or whether it was just the rozzers off their own bat. I really am quite surprised that something so serious that it could end up putting someone in hospital - irrespective of whether he had "underlying conditions" as they so euphemistically call it - is effectively disregarded to all intents and purposes.

  59. BB

    When CPS are first asked to make a charging decision, do they take the victim's wishes (the expressed outcome they would like) into account?

  60. Your Grace, I think it's becoming clear as the election approaches that the Guardian is just a New Labour client fretting about its inevitable loss of influence when its patron is out of office. Maybe it'll get readable again in opposition.

    MsChin, good for you.

  61. Where's thaum?

    This post is classic! :o)

    "Jay - if I had any children in the house, I'd be ringing the social myself to come and take them away."

  62. MsChin

    Not necessarily, no. They usually do it on the papers and a chat with the Officer in the Case. However, at court if you are going to accept a plea to a lesser charge, or a bind-over, you will only do it if the victim agrees.

  63. BB - If I had children in the house, my first call would be to Rentokill to sort the nest out. they get everywhere if you don't...

  64. And a good police crime manager would be checking the sanction detection outcomes for crimes categorised as domestic violence, not just assuming that larger numbers suggest that their officers are 'performing well' ..

  65. Forgot to add -

    *climbs off soapbox*

  66. thauma & Philippa

    Well, if you want to borrow some - children that is - I'm sure all the bad mothers round here could help out.

  67. Hahahahaha! Visions of children-sized mousetraps!

    MsChin - it's a good soapbox to be on, so don't apologise for it.

  68. Paddy -- the flip side of that stubble commercial is that it also plays on the stereotype that women are nags who demand their way. A bit insulting to those of us women who have no desire to run roughshod over a man.

    (SNOW DAY!)

  69. MW

    Ah, is it deep? Love snow!

  70. Montana - true enough. Neither bully nor bullied is a stereotype you would want to be associated with.

    Love snow though.

  71. And yes, the 'nagging woman' stereotype gets peddled constantly. I find it insulting too.

  72. There seem to be a lot of commercials that depict men as buffoons, There may be something in it as men play the parts.


    Forgot you were reading the book...cracker isn't it? There's a couple of follow up interviews and articles here..


    This bit got me

    "It was a parody, intended to be extreme. It comes out in the first two paragraphs, and says, without any evidence or argument – of course it says it in high-faluting language, but translated into English it basically says – 'Most western intellectuals used to believe that there exists a real world, but now we know better.'"

    I used to quote Sokal all the time on CIF..you probably didn't see any since the name "Sokal" had the same magical powers that "Tuscany" once seemed to possess. I'm assuming they've left yours up either because it isn't 'monkeyfish' or that the mods are just not especially knowledgeable or well read anymore nor conversant with much apart from where daddy's left the allowance money. Strange really since the whole affair leaves 50%+ of their output open to huge doubt if not total ridicule.


    Noticed this one while I was looking out the other two. Not Sokal but a about the best attack on censorship I've seen...speciality that insidious form carried out under the guise of "good manners"


    Have you finished it btw? I particularly liked the chapter on postmodernism and the pseudosciences.

  74. MsChin - would borrow only on the basis that you don't necessarily need them back in the same condition... I have only babysat once - and yes, there was a casualty rate.

  75. Yay, Montana - does that mean we'll have you around this evening?

  76. Come on, folks. There is no such thing as a 'bad mother'. There are only bad (or absentee) fathers.

    Won't someone please think of the children!

  77. Philippa,

    loved the christmas ode on WADDYA.

  78. Duke

    There's some talented folk round here - poets & painters extraordinaire, inter alia!

  79. MsChin,

    I know, it's like a Netto Bloomsbury group around here.


    excuse my ignorance, but the Sokal you refer to. Is that the Alan Sokal postmodern hoax?

  80. scherfig

    Ah yes, those terrible neglectful feckless dads. How could we forget that little stereotype.

  81. MsChin, borrow a child? I'd rather borrow the bubonic plague.

  82. I love snow days. That was the wonderful thing about the couple of days of snow we had here earlier in the year. People who couldn't get into work just going out and enjoying themselves for the day - building snowmen, taking the kids out on sledges, ski-ing in the London parks.

    Then you got all the "time is money" City wankers complaining that the buses weren't running... Honestly, it may not be nice to have to take a day's holiday when you least expected to have to, but ffs, where is the sense of fun and excitement any more? I love snow days! :o)

  83. Montana - I sent you an email earlier, if you could take a look at it pls thx.

  84. BB - me too! it was the snow day(s) in February that made me wander off on a flight of fancy that was the short story on my blog. a more innocent time, and all that. just what everybody needed to cheer them up.

    on the other hand, it snowed for half an hour last december down here and the french were all absolutely terrified.

  85. I'm fairly anti-snow, having lived somewhere where it was bloody winter for 6 months out of the year (and never christmas!). However, it's not too bad here as it's rare, and then gone in a few hours.

  86. Thaum

    I have to admit that is the only thing that is stopping me moving to Canada. One time we went to Montreal at Easter and there were still 5ft snow drifts on the sides of the roads. Brrrrrr. Not for me. Hubby and brat love the snow, though, so I am the spoilsport.

  87. BB - just wanted to say that was a brilliant comment on the thread about bullying of ginger haired peeps. Some of the other comments were stupid in the extreme and some disturbing people around too who seem to think bullying is fun.

    I wont be around much for next day or so as one of the dogs is having an op tomorrow. And I am still chasing Amazon who have sunk to new depths of customer service atrociousness!

    On the plus side I think I have figured out how to put up a pic by my name (I am a quick study obviously).

    Paddybrown - There was actually an article in one of my womens mags - years ago advocating the dog training method for 'man control'. It is insulting and I hate the stereotype of men just being naughty little boys that need to be brought to heel by a good woman. Anyway it wouldn't work for me - I cant even train my dogs using dog training techniques never mind anything as complex as another human being!

  88. Hey PCC

    Thanks. Bullying is something I feel strongly about because of the way it has blighted my lad's life.

  89. Oh dear. Not another death penalty thread on CiF. All the haters will come out baying for blood again "in the name of God" - one already has and thread has hardly been up five minutes.

    Jeez. I'm keeping away from it. Bad for my blood pressure.

  90. 13th D


    I'm guessing Jay has finished his latest book...an exceptional read it is too. The other article was Keenan Malik. Both of them old style left-wingers with a high regard for the truth and quite a few issues with identity. Of course to possess a high regard for the truth requires a belief in an objective reality; whose corollary is a consequent dismissal of 'local' truths, group, cultural or subjective narratives which all kinda leaves the notion of identity politics swinging in the wind.

    No wonder neither of them get a spot on CIF...or much of an outing from the majority of non-scientific academics. I remember Seaton coming on once and laying down a sort of fiat denouncing such sedition as symptomatic of an un-nuanced and simplistic intelligence. Apparently, the ability to simultaneously hold contradictory opinions or regard two mutually incompatible moral codes as justifiable..even within a single society..is a sign of huge sophistication and subtlety...and not at all the marker of an individual so riven with moral cowardice and a desire to always hold the moral high-ground in any circumstances.

    The policy fudges, logical acrobatics and rhetorical sleights of hand that result are of course what make CIF such a joy to behold...but they still try and keep it up. You'll know the game is up when Bidisha lays into Muslim misogyny, Inayat tells us his solution to the "gay problem" or Andrew Brown screams "I've had enough.. my conscience can't keep this up...Never mind the 'comfort and peace of mind'..You fucking filthy Irish paedos!!!".

    So...any time soon really.

  91. monkeyfish,

    lovely, thanks for that tip, it sounds EXACTLY what I'm looking for at the moment. Voices of rational bullshit free leftist analysis.

    To paraphrase Stealers wheel, I've got fucking Tories to the right of me, identity politics masquerading as Socialism to the left.


    saw your meet up for drinks. What a shame I cant make it. I know the Cumberland as well, I lived in Heaton for a couple of years, the Chilly arms was my local. A great mix of students and Byker nutters.

  92. BB,

    I've had a look at the death penalty thread so you don't have to. Here's the edited highlights:


    And MaM hasn't even got there yet.

  93. Thanks, Your Grace. Saved me the bother.

    MF - what book is it by Sokal? Or is it in the butterflies links you posted earlier?

  94. BB

    Beyond the Hoax

    Contains an annotated version of the original hoax, plus a commentary then a section on science and philosophy which is lagely an expose of "science studies"..the more fanciful end of the sociology of science then a section on postmodernism's influence on culture..pseudosciences, religion, politics and ethics; by turns: depressing, hilarious, infuriating and thought provoking. Sokal is a very open minded guy..not at all the enlightenment fundamentalist he's so often painted..and he writes very well..except that he's an obsessive "footnoteist".

  95. MF

    To be fair, Sokal's hoax had more than a valid point - as anyone who thrown a passing glance at Irigaray's works can testify. I give you 'This Sex Which Is Not One' and rest my case.

  96. Sounds good

    Might get it for the mister for xmas on the basis that i can read it after he has :o)

  97. Home now and can access YouTube, and now it's time for the Tim Minchin post!

    *There's Taboo, which I recommended to BB earlier
    *Or there's Bears Don't Dig on Dancing
    *And the touching If You Really Loved Me
    *And a bit of politics: his Peace Anthem for Palestine

  98. 13th Duke: know the Chilly arms well, used to do the quiz there from time to time. Will see who could make the Cumberland (one 'retired'-this-year Ciffer, who most here think highly of, goes there, I know though I've never met him there,only elsewhere in Newcastle).

  99. Hey folks! Read the gingerism thread. Pretty depressing to see how many people there are who don't seem to think bullying is a big deal. I still live with the effects of the bullying I received as a child. You can tell yourself over and over that it doesn't matter, it was just kids being stupid and cruel, but getting the feelings to go away is much harder than that.

    Snow is still coming down. This morning's school cancellation wasn't so much for the depth of the snow, but for the blowing around of what there was -- making visibility almost nil. They're saying we could still get another 4-6 inches (which is about what we've gotten so far) and the winds are supposed to get even worse. Gusts of up to 50 mph tomorrow, they say.

  100. Good sense on the gingerism thread, Montana. Have to admit, am rather shocked at the amount of shit people are saying they've taken for the colour of their hair! I know bullies go for anything 'different' (myelf at 12 - fat, specky, smart, oh boy did that go well) but hair colour? Beggars sodding belief that people can be so ... well, cruel and lame simultaneously...

  101. Cool beans, Paddy. He's really funny. Will show that Taboo song to my lad.

  102. PCC - oh no, if I remember correctly, it's Holly, and s/he perhaps hasn't recovered properly from the rawhide incident? My complete sympathies - I know how worrying it is.

  103. There was an interesting comment (and now I'm prob going to touch off region wars) on the redhead thread from someone who'd moved to the SE from Notts and who hadn't been bullied until the move. Now, some of it could be from being the 'new boy' (I know all about that, having moved a lot), but perhaps some of it is SE-related?

    My sister's a carrot-top, my own hair has a reddish tinge (although it was blonder when I was a lass), and I don't remember any bullying about gingerness for either of us. But we grew up in NI, where red hair is more common, and in the US, where it's sort of considered a bit cool. (And why not - I think it's a lovely colour.)

    Scots obviously have the greatest incidence of red hair in the British Isles, followed by the Irish, so I'd think that the further you go to the Celtic fringes, the less likely you are to be bullied over it.

    I honestly don't think I've ever seen anyone being bullied over their hair colour, but obviously I believe BB and others.

    What a completely stupid thing to pick on someone about.

  104. Actually, I was wondering if it was something that was specific to the south east. It seems to have got worse over the past 15 years or so, though. Or maybe I just didn't notice it prior to that because I didn't have a red-head kid

  105. Damn - I just tried to upload a pic of him taken from the back so you could see the colour. I know I say so myself, but it is awesome - doesnt seem to have worked though

  106. Oh boy, made the mistake of going onto the death penalty thread. Soundtracked by this:

  107. BB - I also wonder if it's more related to blokes. Seems that red-headed women get the *ooh, fiery, phwoarr* reaction, but men just get done down for it.

  108. No, BB, that's worked - and I can see why he'd be the coolest kid in school with that hair and those guitar talents.

    It's really a superb colour and I completely fail to understand why anyone would mock someone for it. Jealousy?

  109. Hi all--been away for a few days due to a sad incident. Our 11 month old pup was run over and killed. We are shattered. Her name was Boudica.However, there's good news too; We have a new 10 week old, 5 lb hellion, tearing around the house. Pure black miniature schnauzer who goes by the name Lily. She has brought some joy, and a bit of trouble too.

    Reading through the posts from the last few days shows some bickering going on, and also that Habib would make a fine DJ. Some good selections there sir.

    Montana--I've enjoyed Bill Bryson for years, the man has a good connection with people.

    Bye for now.

  110. lovely, this.

  111. Boudican - so sorry, poor little thing. hope Lily manages to raise your spirits.

  112. Boudican - very sorry to hear about Boudica, poor wee thing.

  113. BB - like the guitar/banjo duel! Do you know, I've never actually seen 'Deliverance'. Must sort it out one of these days.

  114. John Hughes 80s vibe - it's been that kind of night

  115. Boudican - sorry about your dog. :(

    Thaum - not a nice film, by any stretch of the imagination. But worth watching at least once in a lifetime.

  116. Which leads inexorably to this...

  117. BB - exactly what I've heard about it, and what makes me want to see it.

    Must be off soon - it's getting very late for me!

  118. Wow! Well and truly snowed in, Montana! :o)

  119. Boudican, sorry to hear about your dog. Pets are so much a part of most people's families. I don't think we acknowledge how hard it can be to lose them. My parents had a little white poodle for @ 12 years and I thought I hated the yappy, little thing, but when he died a few years ago, I cried as much as anyone.

  120. Thanks for the kind words all.

    thaumaturge--'Deliverance' is a movie not easily forgotten. Ned Beatty says it haunts him to this day. It's freaky and the music is pretty good. I've often wondered how many royals from Europe could have had parts in it. :-)

  121. And it's snowing harder now that it was when the photos were taken! I can't imagine we'll be in school tomorrow.

  122. And this just rocks far too much to be reasonable

  123. Promise I'll get the hang of linking at some point. But it's been a long evening...

  124. Pip- just do it in a comment box on CiF then cut and paste into here.

  125. BB - am scared I will inadvertently start posting youtube links on CIF...odd things have been happening over there today!

    Am amusing self with Sisters of Mercy interviews. Best comment thus far:
    "Andrew, God bless him, sounds like Bowie impersonated by Peter Cook."

  126. Sorry about your dog, Boudican. I know I'll be in bits when mine dies, so my heart goes out to you.