08 March 2010


Slow day today.  In 1775, Thomas Paine published "African Slavery in America", calling for the emancipation of slaves and abolition of slavery in America.  Radio 4 broadcast the first episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in 1978.

Born today:  Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932), Cyd Charisse (1922-2008), Lynne Redgrave (1943), Mickey Dolenz (1945) and Gary Numan (1958).

It is International Women's Day.


  1. "Loyalty's a virtue. As is integrity.

    Take your pick."

    Well if integrity means disowning a friend because you say so, Hank, i'll give it a miss thanks. Or is integrity when you abuse anyone who disagrees with you like the big kid in the playground, leaving only those around who hang on your every word?

    So kiz never said anything that interested you, she never seemed angry enough. So for that she's another good target for bile and abuse. What about thauma, is she angry enough? Annetan? Montana? Maybe it'll be Duke's turn next week. Whats the acceptable limit, and is abusing other posters your idea of "political" anger?

    I could understand these tirades of yours much better if you didnt have anything of interest to say, or were incapable of debate. The ad hom on cif is usually the preserve of the brainless, yet you seem to think it a badge of honour, a rebellion against the middle class pleasantries of life. Only it loses its novelty value after the 10th time of you rounding on someone, people just get bored of it.

    If you can explain to me the political function of your ad hom abuse then i'd genuinely be interested to listen.

  2. Also, could you tell us what you think this site should be for? It has been a little flat lately, I agree. We could discuss ideas for the place or abuse each other - but abuse does get boring very quickly.

    And you're right, loyalty is a virtue. Often at this place someone will come in for abuse and there seems an awful lot of silence from people they have chatted with for months/years. I'm not talking about Bru either.

  3. Morning: Just pre-empting the flood of newspaper articles that will suggest a female director winning an Oscar is a huge step for women, feminism etc. It's not: it's a big step for the film industry, a very small coterie of people. The nature of middle class feminism and the way the agenda of equally affluent journalists pervades the debate is something I will write a serious piece about now that I am almost well again.

    Toad of Toad Hall..one of my favourite books. Thank you Kenneth Grahame

  4. @Jay The site? Make conversation, make friends, make music, make trouble and maybe make a difference.

  5. MsRobinson

    Do you mean that a female oscar winner or 10 more FTSE 100 female directors isnt a major step forward for average working Jenny? You are an enemy of freedom and progress.

    What annoys me most is that Hurt Locker is shite.

  6. "Make conversation, make friends, make music, make trouble and maybe make a difference."

    Sounds good to me.

  7. make up; make over; make out; make it.

  8. @Jay Both it's all fucking bullshit. And if one more Nottinghill dwelling journo with a Nanny, (yes you Mariella, Pearson and co) a cleaner and a husband who earns megabucks complains about the work life balance I will set fire to the establishment they write for.

    Similarly if one more pole dancer or serial shagger (Zoe Margolis) claims that they are fucking for feminism..well actually I have already made my feelings known to Zoe and her people.

    And that's where CIF has gone up shit creek.

  9. Libby Brooks was a huge fan of my blog back in 2008 when I was writing a lot about journalism as narcissism and wanted to commission me for the paper but then I took her to task on an article (not nastily, ad hom or anything) and she now ignores me.

    I take it as victory.

  10. Margolis is interesting. At the Guardian a woman blogging about shagging around actually makes them a public intellectual worthy of social comment. Isnt she feisty and daring...

  11. Now I will leave you with those thoughts..Making out..I did it for the first time in ages last night. Nice.

    I must write a chapter and help set up a pressure group (more on that later)

  12. Margolis is the most insecure girl. She moans about not meeting her prince..trouble is that revealing sexual history in detail is not really the best strategy for that one. When I parodied her I got so much hate mail but it was fun.

    It was her publishers that outed her...to the Times..but she still plays the victim. The book wasn't making the advance so they did what they had to do.

    (I have ghosted for Random House)

  13. "Make conversation, make friends, make music, make trouble and maybe make a difference."

    Sounds good to me too.

    Often at this place someone will come in for abuse and there seems an awful lot of silence from people they have chatted with for months/years.

    Do you think so? I know some of us (me included) don't particularly choose to engage in the dust ups and I generally ignore Hanks late night furious provocations as i know its a row he wants and I can't be arsed to fight. Need to conserve my energy for 'making trouble' elsewhere.

    newspaper articles that will suggest a female director winning an Oscar is a huge step for women, feminism etc. It's not

    Tut tut Ms Robinson - and on International Women's Day too. :-))

  14. As a small observation on anger, I have to declare that Atomgirl recently said that the only indication that I might sometimes be angry is when I slightly raise my voice.

    However, this does not mean that anger is necessarily a bad thing, although I do not go along with the idea that we need to "let it out" for therapeutic or mental health reasons.

    I think that Hank is passionate about certain things and frustrated at what he sees as injustice and failure and corruption and stupidity.

    Sometimes, we need to look beyond our own distaste and feelings of being affronted to see whether our own mealy-mouthed politeness is going to get anything achieved and whether we should, all things considered, actually be angry ourselves.

    On another note, I would like any observations and ideas people might have about ways to get things done within the context of the debate here over the last couple of days, over and above commenting on websites.

    This could range from writing an angry letter to your local newspaper to storming the Palace of Westminster and tearing everyone within limb from limb.

    Obviously, it is good to have an idea of what you want to achieve but vital to know the overall process you are going to adopt in order to do so.

    I will offer a prize of a chaste virtual kiss to female contributors and a brisk and firm handshake to males, followed by a rousing "Hurrah!"

  15. Well i think, Sheff, staying out of rows is often the easy route (and i've done it myself plenty of times, admittedly), but at times people should be saying "well i dont think they are a twat, actually, i like them - give it a rest". I think people often dont because they dont want to be the next target for the attacks (which is often the consequence).

    If Hank wants to talk sensibly i'd happily discuss "anger" with him. The deference of media and the Graun to power does my head in, but its not the same thing as avoiding personal abuse of fellow posters.

    I get extremely angry regularly, every time i read the paper, unhealthily so. I write obnoxious posts, lose my rag and resort to ad homs of random posters, sign countless petitions, harass my MP with obnoxious letters. It hasnt achieved a single thing. Anger in itself achieves nothing.

    If Hank wants to dicuss ideas for this place or "anger" or anything he wants im happy to discuss it with him, he's always interesting to listen to. Or we can row about who is and who isnt a middle class twat.

  16. (That wasnt aimed at you by the way Sheff, just replying to you)

  17. Georgina Henry thread up on Cif's 4th birthday....

    Where's the popcorn?

  18. Jay

    You're right that staying out of rows is often an easy route and the problem for me is that the rows on here often come in the evening when I don't want to get so wound up I can't sleep. Selfish? Yes, it probably is.

    I do hope though that I'd support a friend being unfairly abused.

    As to anger. I don't think it achieves nothing. I think it can be a very powerful propellent into useful action. It can also be very destructive if handled badly. Its a very double edged sword.

    I recognise your frustration with what's available to us in this alleged democracy when things outrage us, as they do, all the time. Writing to my MP has proved entirely useless (Richard Caborn - a twat), except once when he acted (against his better judgement) and helped in a minor way to prevent an asylum seeker being sent back to certain trouble.

    But if we let our anger fade what are we left with? Giving up and joining Ikea world?

    I really don't want to row with people on here - my argument isn't with them although I don't agree with everybody all the time.

    The rows on here have a pattern, we all know what it is and I guess we all handle it in our own way. I'm too old now to get offended if someone bad mouths me on a blog - it really doesn't seem important. Although I would say that common courtesy goes a long way.

  19. Thaum

    Well done. Was just about to mention it.

    Also noticed on scanning the CiF front page how few comments nearly all the articles have attracted.

  20. @Atomboy: Well not surprising no comments..the moderation is now happening with alarming lack of discernment as well as alacrity. You can't say anything now. Jeez they should learn a thing or two from NY magazine..the stuff they let their commenters get away with online. but they are all very funny I must say.

  21. Ms Robinson

    I'm glad I am not the only one noticing it. Even Speedkermit mentions it on the Georgina Henry thread.

    I am not inclined to comment on anything there generally, but have done so on Henry's item, although without sufficient interest or animation to want to get into a debate.

    Meh, bleah and yeah, yeah, yeah.

  22. Atomboy (et al) - if I can throw my hat into the ring for that 'chaste virtual kiss', I am working on doing something with my 'compassion as a virus' film-pitch idea (as posted on the last Laurie Penny thread), with input from the discussions a week or so ago about the signal lack of compassion on things like the Camila / Yarls Wood threads. Will try to form it into a radio play and send it to that BBC writers room thingy.

    Have to do it, really - if I don't write it down, I won't be able to get it out of my head, and get my head back to 1808, where my imagination is supposed to be at the moment...

    Am calling in the science-y mates to help with making it as credible (or, at least, as un-impossible) as possible...

    I realise that this is a very middle-class literati approach to 'doing something', but hell, it's all I've got. Next project - falling educational standards through the medium of interpretive dance.

    'ight. must get typing.

  23. Phillipa B – agree with your post at 19:13 yesterday, personal rows and personal attacks are not helpful and tbh there is a risk in being too ‘classist’ about this isn’t there? I have always maintained, in general, that you gain more by engaging than attacking. There are obvious exceptions here we could all provide examples! It’s a case of reserving our attacks for real class enemies goodness knows there are enough of them!

    In general:
    The problem seems to me to be a question of how easily we are irritated by some people’s PB pretensions! I’m sure I’ve got a few! quite like handbags and nice clothes myself! I also enjoy silly threads on the great tea/coffee controversy or even ‘are Jaffa cakes biscuits?’!!! They provide a welcome release from the struggle and leave me better able to return to it.

    We also need to remember two things that Marx said
    1)‘Nothing human is alien to me’ – and its human to like nice things - the point is we should all be able to have them.

    2) ‘If the working class does not have its own philosophy it has the philosophy of the ruling class’

    I believe that my primary function as a socialist is to persuade working class people(=people who have to sell their labour power) of the complete vacuousness of consumer society and how this philosophy keeps us tied to long hours of work and endless dissatisfaction. We need to remind people that being human is so much more than getting and spending for the capitalist machine.People also need to be reminded that, as Shelley said 'Ye are many , they are few' and that we DO have the power to change things. We just have to persude enough people.

    WE don’t do that by calling them useless tossers a lot of them are not, they have just been beguiled by the system.

    I also think Jay’s point about football is a good one, its seems that for some its OK to talk about Football (but not Rugby – even though Welsh miners used to play the game – when there were Welsh miners!). It is not OK to talk about Opera, handbags and trivial silliness. That’s classism its also, dare I say it? - at least partially sexist!.

    If Opera is PB its because its expensive, the socialist answer is not to ban opera but to demand that it be made available to all of us. I can’t afford to go often, that’s what is wrong not the art form.

    Will catch up today hopefully. I went ‘Tachy’ (heart at over 100 bpm at rest) last night and had to go and be checked out in A&E :(

    I am OK now but am taking it easy!

  24. ooh, annetan - casually slipping that A&E trip in there at the end! heavens - hope you are feeling better. good post.

    your point about opera (what's PB, by the way?) reminds me of an evening when me and the parents had been to the NT on their £10 ticket season, and seen the History Boys. We got on the train at Charing Cross after, and were sitting opposite a chap who'd been at the football (Chelsea, I think) and was complaining by phone to his mate that he'd paid £50 for a ticket, and hadn't been able to see a bloody thing. So, the 'highbrow' evening for three had been cheaper than the 'game of the people' for one. We had a little chat about it (because he apologised, when he switched his phone off, if he'd been swearing!). So it isn't just opera and stuff like that that's priced out of many people's reach.

  25. Take it easy, Anne - hope you feel better!

  26. Ah, medve, I see, that makes sense.

    Was particularly confused as they're my initials (and MrPikeBishop's, which has confused me in the past).

    Now on a flight of fancy given the references, initial-thing and having just scrolled through the oscars fashion photo-gallery - daydreaming of being a competitor in a beauty pageant, when the drums roll, and the audience grows hushed, and then the announcement - I am Miss Petit Bourgeois 2010! Oh, the honour - I thank my parents, God, and my stylist...

    Sorry. very strong coffee this morning.

  27. Oh, thats pretty shitty Anne. Hope all is well now - and yes, take it easy, we have a revolution to arrange and we need you!

  28. Philippa:

    Now on a flight of fancy given the references, initial-thing and having just scrolled through the oscars fashion photo-gallery - daydreaming of being a competitor in a beauty pageant, when the drums roll, and the audience grows hushed, and then the announcement - I am Miss Petit Bourgeois 2010! Oh, the honour - I thank my parents, God, and my stylist...

    Sorry. very strong coffee this morning.

    Must have been a very heavily spiked coffee.

  29. medve - really don't need classifieds, caffeine and sugar in sufficient quantities are more than enough to have me bouncing off the walls and easily distracted. ooh, spider.

  30. I suspect your flatmate.

  31. However this did cause a bit of wry amusement and it really is typical Peti bourgeois Graun Shite!

    Hen parties on a budget
    Forget extravagant weekends abroad, the trend now is towards craft activities and afternoon tea.


    Phillipa - sorry just realised pb = your initials! Good point about cost of footy tickets! In that context seen the report on the protestof Man U fans?

    See here for details.

    Me posting about footy LOL! But its an important issue the money made by big corporations out of sport music etc, is a scandal that makes the money made even by top players and musicians pale into insignificance.

    Sport and music should be run by people who care about them not by money mad businessmen who just want profit or treat a football club like a toy intil they are bored with it!

    I am sure many on here know more about this so combine politics and footy and educate me!

  32. Phillipa - sorry was forgetting PB are your initials!

    Good point about the cost of footy tickets! Looks as though the people's game is inaccessible to the people!

    I'm sure footy fans know more about this.

    To me it looks like a healthy grassroots camapaign and is about the rights of fans to control their game (along with players).

    Part of socialism has always been about access to culture - to the things that make life better, art literature music and sport,

    And as this is International women's day this couldn't say it better:

    Bread and Roses

    As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
    A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lots grey
    Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses
    For the people hear us singing: bread and roses, bread and roses.

    As we go marching, marching, we battle, too, for men,
    For they are women's children and we march with them again.
    Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
    Hearts starve as well bodies; give us bread but give us roses.

    As we go marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
    Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread.
    Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew;
    Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses, too.

    As we go marching, marching, we bring the greater days;
    The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
    No more the drudge and idler, 10 that toil where one reposes,
    But a sharing of life's glories: bread and roses, bread and roses.

  33. Sorry repeating myself a bit there - thought the first of these posts had got lost in cyberspace!

  34. Saw the hen parties thing yesterday, didn't want to risk it. Fortunately have only had to endure three. Two weekends away (Oxford and York) and the best one, just a dinner with the happy couple (both hens, so we felt it counted as a hen party) and some close friends. That was lovely. And nobody produced any boas or L-plates or badges or card-games from sex-shops. Which was a relief.

  35. Philibee you always make me either think or giggle. Today I've laughed with you, thank you. x
    Song for anybody who is angry out there.

  36. Jay

    Integrity, as far as I'm concerned, means loyalty to one's principles above all else, so that sometimes we have to criticise our friends when they're wrong. And criticising them doesn't equate to disowning them. I respect you actually for sticking up for Kizbot. But when you defended her comments the other week, you took loyalty too far and sacrificed your integrity in doing so.

    The whole Bru/Kizbot thing remains a running sore on this site. I'm not in the least bit concerned that Bru walked away, she was out of place here, she's a fucking snob with some serious issues, as her comments on Waddya have proven time and time again. Kizbot decided to leave in protest. Fine. I don't think anyone particularly wanted her to leave at the time, but some of us know that she hasn't covered herself in glory since so let's accept that it was probably for the best.

    As for me being the schoolyard bully who tries to silence anyone who doesn't agree with me or shut down areas of conversation I don't approve of, that's bollocks. There's plenty of stuff on here I just skip over because I'm not interested in engaging with it, but I stick around because, on the whole, there is enough to interest me.

    I really don't care if you and thauma and others want to talk about the rugby. I'll toss in the occasional insult about it being a game for chinless wonders but that's just banter, pretty harmless. Why that remains an irritation to you is a mystery to me.

    What I'd like to know from you, Jay, is how you can set aside your anger with the abuse of power, the idiocy of the Graun's editorial policy and Cif's more lunatic decisions sufficiently to trade banter with Jess et al over on waddya.

    Jess isn't merely a pawn in the game, she is an agent of that power structure you're so angry about. Sure, she can be very sweet and charming, but then they don't all need to look and sound like Stalin just to flag things up for you, do they?

  37. Right - technical question about blogspot - the 'help' (ha!) section says that you can enable messagingg by clicking 'edit profile' and then selecting the option for 'messages'. But when I click on 'edit profile' either from dashboard or profile page, I don't get a 'messages' option. Anybody know how this works?


    (Habib - bless. coffee now wearing offee...)

  38. Philippa:

    On this page, at the right, in the section followers i see my own avatar above the othe UT followers. I click on my avatar (the one above the others) and a window pops up. This window has, at the right at the top:

    medve | Settings | Invite | Sign out

    clicking on Settings leads me to the profile page maybe:

    * Basics
    * Messaging
    * Sites you've joined
    * Manage friends

    Your profile


    And voila, there's your Messaging.

  39. ahhhhh.... will try that.... thank you

  40. Hank

    Thanks for a measured response, firstly.

    Which comments of kiz and which resulting defence of mine do you refer to exactly? You've mentioned it twice but i dont actually remember the incident. Maybe i did sacrifice some integrity, dont we all from time to time? Judging from the goings on at this place I'd have to say yes.

    Its not that you are a constant "schoolyard bully" who shouts people down but rather that you do do this sporadically, in outbursts, usually out of nowhere and often sparking big rows. You single someone out for a stream of criticism and then if someone else intervenes they get both barrels too.

    People tolerate it (well, most people do) because when you're not in that mood you're a first rate poster and everyone likes reading your stuff, including me, definitely. I dont know why you cant keep that side of your posting and just ignore the posters that wind you up - you seem to manage this fine most of the time.

    I can talk rubbish and banter at waddya for the same reason i can here, i like banter, piss taking, its a nice break from sitting here fuming. I rarely talk to Jess directly - my efforts cant be working too well as i am still persona non grata with Jess and the other editors and out of the 30 odd article suggestions i have made they have taken up one. Other posters stroll in and their first suggestion is up within 24 hours (or they are asked to write it themselves if they fancy).

    If i were to personally hate Jess for the servility of the MSM then I'd have to personally hate just about every writer and editor in the whole structure. I dont personally hate "them", just as i dont personally hate every banker.**

    I make no efforts to be especially polite to her (or anyone), but I'd rather have some level of dialogue with the Graun than none, yes. Occasionally now, when i rant at them - they respond. I like hearing the response, i like knowing they have at least considered my point rather than shouting at a brick wall. And most of all i like the idea that every now and again, however rarely, they have the most fleeting of doubts that perhaps their "progressive" right-on dogma is actually utter bollocks.

    If other people want zero communication with the Graun staff then thats fine, i understand their point but i think in the long run its better to talk to them (IMO). Just as i think its better to tolerate people generally on your side rather than ostracise them.

    ** If you havent already, you really should read both the medialens books, Guardians of Power and Newspeak is the latest, i think. They are both very interesting (if occasionally dubious/stretched/pedantic) looks at the liberal media, particularly the Graun and the Indy. They include a lot of very interesting quotes and interviews with journos, editors, etc. I think you'd find it extremely interesting to read.

  41. Or in short,

    "Jess isn't merely a pawn in the game"

    yes she is.

  42. hmm. still don't seem to have the messaging link on dashboard / full profile. Montana has one, i think. anyway.

  43. Jay, your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries!

    Don't get into a fight with Hank - it's like pissing into the wind.

  44. Jay

    It's on the UT thread of 26 Feb. Not that I'm an archivist, of course.

    Yes, of course we all compromise our integrity from time to time. Me as much as anyone, I don't doubt that. It was a stupid thing to say so I apologise and retract it.

    As for the bullying thing, ok, I do have a problem with channelling my anger, and sometimes I turn it on individuals who I see as representative of all that I'm angry about. I realise that it can be a very alienating thing and I am actually grateful for the fact that the regulars on here tolerate me in spite of it.

    As for the Waddya stuff, well, it's your choice. I've got my own reasons for holding that place in contempt and I'm not going to go into them again.

  45. Afternoon all

    I hold my hand up to being someone guilty of staying out of rows, largely because I am a coward, but also because rowing on t'intarwebz escalates quickly and can do serious damage to people when we don't know what their mood or their frame of mind is at the time of posting.

    And it is all in writing too - it is not like having an argument down the pub where things get out of hand and words are said, but it is all forgotten. It is there in black and white for people to read over and over again, like a dog coming back to its own vomit. If someone is upset by something written about them, and they are not in a very easy state of mind at the time they read it, it is very difficult for them to just brush it aside.

    People on here don't really know what is going on in other people's lives - we reveal what we wish to reveal and we keep to ourselves what we don't want to share as a means of self-preservation.

    As a result of that, nobody at any time knows whether the people posting on here are happy, sad, depressed, suicidal, ecstatic, overjoyed or anything else unless they choose to reveal it. And some people will pretend that everything is hunky-dory and talk about complete nonsense as a means of escaping from what is worrying them - a little oasis of calm and friendship and cameraderie in an otherwise insane world.

    So from time to time someone can say something that appears completely anodine or meant in jest that could potentially cause a great deal of hurt and upset. I don't want to be responsible for doing that to anyone*, no matter whether they have annoyed me or not.

    Given the choice, I'm afraid I prefer to be seen as cowardly and selfish if it has to be that way, and keep away from online fights for my own personal sanity. That's the way it has to be for me, I'm afraid.

    In short: stop the bloody fighting! :p

    I still love you all though xx

    *apart from my stalker, that is - I don't give a shite about his feelings, he can feck off.

  46. hank - v honest 3rd para, thank you for that. And good points BB, I think I'm much the same...

    am listening to a radio programme about marmelade. i think this is somebody's way of telling me to do something useful for once.

    has also made me really really want marmelade.

    don't even like marmelade...

    oh god! tom parker-bowles has just turned up! aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh

  47. "Born today ... Lynne Redgrave (1943)"

    HankScorpio IS Gerry Healy and I claim my 5 workers co-operative bartering units.

    Tell you what, Hank, instead of bullying your fellow travellers, why don't you get your permanently revolting arse over to CiF and vent your spleen on those who won't take it too personally, i.e. us?

    I mean, I'm all for having my prejudices confirmed by a bit of stereotypical internecine squabbling among lefties, but honestly...

    (Oh, and I'm not really a lurker, I just dip in on the odd occasion...)

  48. BB: Words of wisdom indeed. The pub analogy is particularly good: an argument in a pub does not come with details of ip address, browser, operating system and so on attached as all snippets of our communications on here do.

    Besides, the googles are the ultimate owner of all this content.

  49. Alright well i dont think we've got much more to row about then, you've been very reasonable today and apologies if i have said anything unwarranted.

    The 26h Feb though, really? What a nothing episode that was. A nice, spiritual empowerment piece - some liked it, others found it sickly and overdone. I dont care what Kiz or anyone else says on threads like that really, as i said at the time, i dont think anyone is obliged to react emotionally to pieces (if they were I'd be long gone). I disagreed with her on that thread but not on a point serious enough to care about. It was a nothing piece. I've had a couple of big rows with her before though, im happy to row with her on important stuff if i think she's wrong.

    Anyway, you going to write something for the UT2 again soon? You really should read those medialens books, i think you would find them very interesting.

    Its ok Habib, i think we are winding down ;)

  50. Pat

    I'd love to be able to get my permanently revolting arse over to Cif but it seems they can only take so much spleen.

    Thanks for popping by though, you right-wing twat.

  51. What?!? My post disappeared, the UT never plucks up like this! Outrageous.

    Anyway, cant be bothered to rewrite so in a nutshell - you've been very reasonable today hank, apologies if i have said anything unwarranted - though the business of feb 26h is incredibly trivial in my view, and i have had serious full blown rows with Kiz in the past, just not often.

    You really would enjoy the medialens books too, they arent perfect but a lot of very interesting bits.

    PatDavers - made me chuckle.

  52. "a little oasis of calm and friendship and cameraderie in an otherwise insane world."

    Was a good post, BB.

  53. hello

    to go back to Jay's earlier point.

    Yes - we can sign petitions, write angry letters and picket the town hall - ultimately we are just annoying midges to be brushed away or smoked out.

    we lack any idea of process - we attack disparate goals in fits and starts. We are divided by identity politics and small separate goals. The old divisions of class are fudged - we know something is wrong but we are flapping around the edges. we have to identify the cause before we can respond with clarity and any hope of success. We think of ourselves as a collective we - we're not.

    i fight for children mainly - child poverty and poor education is a symptom - as is poor housing or unemployment. I try to scrub away some spots while you may perhaps try to cure the headache - the patient is not recovering.

    The anger thing is interesting. Anger can spur us into action or be transmuted into despair.

    We have been robbed of the tools of effective protest - we need to rethink. Does anybody really think the election will make any difference - whatever the outcome. Some of us will still get involved, argue passionayely and defend positions. It will be defending the castle on the hill whist the serfs still stand hungry in the rain below.

  54. My thoughts on UT - good to have a place where I can feel safe enough to make a fool of myself, share ideas - even if you disagree with me - and recognise that ideas are not something separate from our lives - are often shaped by our experience and are sometimes not meaningful to others because they can come from isolated experiences and perceptions not shared by everyone.

    Peace - we certainly need some.

  55. medve

    google indeed - I am always surprised, considering the amount of bile and fury displayed on Cif - surprised that ads, for expensive management courses at exclusive retreats don't pop up at the foot of articles.

  56. Should have said 'expensive anger management courses'

  57. Leni: well, the so-called intelligently targeted advertising is perhaps not always so intelligently targeted.

  58. Everything seems to have got very personal here. Let's take it to extremes, folks! Can I propose the following exercise - all us Ut'ers declare which other UT'ers we would like to have a drink and a converstion with, and which UT'ers we're less interested in.

    I'll start -

    Drink with montana, monkeyfish, thauma, ms robinson, sheffpixie, hank, turminder, duke, philippa, and others.
    Less interested in meeting allyf, medve, beautifulburnout, princesschipchops, mschin, jay, heyhabib, annetan, atomboy and others.

    But hey!, that's just me. And can you see how provocative and divisive I'm being? And do you see how personal I've been? Are you pleased/insulted? I could of course, reverse the lists or just mix them up, couldn't I? What do I know? But do you see what I've done here? I've shuffled up ideolgical/political soul-mates and people I like to disagree with, and musical compatriots and random people I like and admire (which is practically everybody here) and put them into a couple of boxes.

    I know that hank has a point (somewhere), but behaving like an angry prick for the 17th time,and just slagging people off, is getting really old. I used to be supportive, or offended, or conflicted when these little episodes popped up - now I'm just bored. I take it for granted that everybody who contributes to this blog does so for basically personal non-altruistic reasons (which is not to say that people don't care about important issues), but let's be honest about things. This blog will will not change the world, and we should not expect it to. We all contribute here because we get something out of it - solidarity, company, friendship, affirmation, whatever. It should be what it is - a fluid, developing entity which changes character from day to day. And it lets people vent about things, often at the expense of other posters who don't really care about that specific issue (and there are so many issues). I can live with that, although I might not always find it terribly stimulating or interesting to read the mutual back-slapping of other posters here for their terribly erudite put-down of the brain-dead fascists on Cif. Because I don't do Cif any more, and I've explained why. I can understand why there is still a connection to Cif on this blog, but I argued here about 9 months ago that we should cut all ties and references to Cif. I still feel more or less the same.

    The idea of posters here producing articles for UT2 is a good one. We've all been too lazy. I'll commit to something in the next week or so if others will do the same. We can all write something interesting - a kick up the arse is probably required.

  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. And now for something completely different...

    Sheff, you on strike? Good on ya, girl!

    Saw some picketters outside the Royal Courts of Justice today and gave them a word of support.

  61. Hmm... UT is suffering from Pluckitis it seems - my comment just went awol. Ah well...

  62. Hello everyone!

    Montana - in response to something you said the other day, I rather like muscleguy. He's articulate, intelligent and well-informed. And while I don't agree with all aspects of his materialist stance on the Belief threads, he always argues well and with flair. A little boasting about how wonderful he feels after his long-distance runs (not my cup of tea, *at all*) is a small price to pay for that.

    TBH I have been folllowing this blog for some time, but I have only just now signed up for the kind of e-mail account that will allow me to contribute; the deleted post above was nothing more ill-considered than 'testing'!

    I don't know what your quarrel with kizbot was about, and I have no desire either to pry or to re-open old wounds, but surely International Women's Day is a good time for cyber-forgiving and forgetting!

    Now, how to change that silly orange thing to Titian's 'Allegory of Prudence'...

  63. Hi, Lavartis. Not sure that prudence is a widespread virtue here (although it might be). From the past, the present acts prudently, lest it spoil future actions Joke, right?

  64. piece up on the strike

    scherf - point taken - bear in mind that my topics of conversation are currently the make-up of dopamine and the blood-brain barrier, and decide if you want to change my category.

    anyone know what a 'biomarker' is, and whether I've made up the term 'genetic marker'?

    dot? paging dot? my geneticist mate is in f-ing monaco until wednesday...

  65. oh, and while musecleguy is a bit weird on running, on science threads, he's very helpful. don't think i've read his stuff anywhere else though...

  66. The great strike - Sheff & Hank , how did it go? Will have to watch news and see how much coverage it gets. Here in Wales the vast majority of jobs is in the public sector - warnings of huge job losses with projected fall of 15% in LA funding.

    We have a lot of jobs in 3rd. sector (Communities First) - Eu funding . Waiting for news on that. Jobs rely on continuation funding so employees tend to be on short term contracts. Some LA jobs funded this way too.

  67. Philippa:

    A biomarker, or biological marker, is in general a substance used as an indicator of a biological state. It is a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacological responses to a therapeutic intervention. It is used in many scientific fields.

    from here

  68. God, I'm glad to get home after a very frustrating day.

    Big sloppy dog-kisses to all.

  69. Philippa, the 'categories' were a bit random, but why should I not find dopamine interesting? Of course, a cursory mention of football and music in the course of five hours down the pub would also be welcome. You don't do shoes, do you? I love shoes - could talk about them all night.

  70. Wasn't it dopamine that created so much hope for sufferers of sleeping sickness - only to finally disappoint? Oliver Sacks wrote about it.

  71. Shoes: either they hurt or they don't. Can't think of anything else to say about them.

  72. Hi Lavartis, welcome.

    If we do have a strange bout of activity and energy at this place and start getting a few pieces up on the UT2, i have a couple of recent politics essays which are suitably dry, lengthy and tedious. I might put those up - requires no effort and will put people off asking me in future.

    I'd also like to hear a piece from Dot on his job, there is something quite appealing in pottering about in rivers, left to your own devices, no manager, no phones ringing... But not sure where Dot's been lately.

  73. Ha, ha, thauma. Very sensible, but I'm going to have to file you in the non-glamorous box. For a more philosophical take on footwear, watch this:

    walk a mile in my shoes

  74. Hello Baps!

    Venebles, evil child killer and pornographer, Facebook killer deceives teenager. Anyone else get the "look at the monkey, only the monkey. Ignore the organ grinders.." feeling?

    Some shoes are for walking in, some for going for a 'lie down..'

  75. medve - thank you - I may be confused - is there something like a 'label' you can introduce to a substance (say) so that you can see where the substance gets to in the body because that bit has the label on it? If so, could you have a 'label' that can be carried by a virus so you could see easily which cells were infected?

    (sorry - am on an 'idea trip' at the minute. this one could run on a bit)

    am with thauma on shoes.

  76. Jay,

    I've been diddling about with a couple of ideas at the moment as well on politics. What's yours on? (just in the unlikely case we write about the same thing).

  77. Oh shit, scherf, have I single-postedly demolished my long-standing glam persona?

    You know the old saying: before you pick a fight with a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, you'll be a mile away and you'll have his shoes.

    And hello to Lavartis.

  78. Turminder, that was, ... er ... frightening!

  79. Hey baps

    Welcome to the pleasuredome.

    LOL at Thaum for the "mile in his shoes" - I had forgotten that one. :o)

  80. Philippa: maths and phys was my game (oh and a bit of chess), but yes, i think it is right what you are saying.

    Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technique which produces a three-dimensional image or picture of functional processes in the body. The system detects pairs of gamma rays emitted indirectly by a positron-emitting radionuclide (tracer), which is introduced into the body on a biologically active molecule. Images of tracer concentration in 3-dimensional or 4-dimensional space (the 4th dimension being time) within the body are then reconstructed by computer analysis. In modern scanners, this reconstruction is often accomplished with the aid of a CT X-ray scan performed on the patient during the same session, in the same machine.

    this is from here

  81. Duke

    I have two equally tortured pieces, one on the role of strong leaders in representative democracy and the other on the role of fundamentalism in understanding religion in politics, both OU assignments.

  82. Well I love a good row...and we should have more. Mind you I'd draw the line at inviting certain parties back; especially certain parties who like to give the impression they're prepared to fight their ground and instead invent non-existent conversations to make their specious point then compare themselves with holocaust survivors when it's pointed out that their Rough Guide to the jewellery shops of Brussels isn't exactly everyone's bag...they're just beyond help.

    What's the current state of play re. the drink btw? Is it still the 27th?

  83. medve - thanks again! i think my over-literal mind sometimes causes problems here - when speaking of 'labels' in a genetic / whatever sense, I just can't help seeing very very small post-it notes stuck onto various cells...

  84. Mr fish

    No ones said they can't come, but then no one has said they will come yet apart from Hank. So no decisions made. Its up to you peeps...anyone fancy Sheffield, Saturday 27th March?

  85. Sheff

    Fine with me..but I'll sorta have to know for certain soonish if that's the definite date.

  86. MF

    I'll get in touch with MsC and see whats what

  87. Little vid from Michael Morpurgo

    Imprisoned children

    Might have known Yarl's Wood would be in a fecking business park

  88. I am going to have to leave it until later to come up to the Frozen North. All kinds of stuff going on here, and it isn't a trip I could do in a day, so I am going to have to miss you all again, which is a shame.

  89. Here's a fuckin cracker...

    How low can you go?

    "The cause for this anger was a news item which informed me that Dr Denis Brennan, the Bishop of Ferns, was inviting parishioners (and any individual priests who felt so inclined) to donate money to assist the church in footing a bill, the tally for which comes to more than €10m, to meet the legal costs of defending civil cases brought against the diocese in relation to clerical sexual abuse. In other words the Roman Catholic Church in Ferns is asking the victims of its own bitter failings to pay the price for the crime -- it is a request which beggars belief."

  90. "...no one has said they will come yet apart from Hank".

    That's really gonna boost interest.

    Nah, count me out sheff.

  91. jesus wept MF - just when you think things can't get any worse...

    Are you serious? I thought you were coming. Bloody hell. Are we that boring up here?

    Maybe we should just postpone it for a while as no one within striking distance seems up for it at the moment.

  92. Oh well...erm...whatever. Like I say, 27th's OK with me but...whatever you think

  93. "Are we that boring up here?"

    Far from it. I enjoyed our Warwick meet-up immensely.

    Some other time maybe.

  94. Scherfig - you cheeky bastard! I reckon my side would beat yours in a game of trivial pursuit. Good points, well made you git!

  95. Hank, I for one would be disappointed if you weren't there. Don't take disagreement with your occasional methods as a rejection, if I'm reading you aright.

    Although having said that, I'm not sure about the 27th ... see, it's the weekend after Six Nations ends, and I'm thinking I might need a quiet one at home by then. The next two weekends are going to be full-on rough.

    My two favourite uncles are coming down this weekend to help me push back against the Red Menace, and the last weekend has three matches in one day over far too many hours.

  96. Just been reading through most of todays thread and all of yesterdays. Important things first - I could make the 27th but if Bitterweed cant, and BB cant and Hank doesnt want to then should we make it for a few weeks later - sometime in April? It would be great to meet everyone.

    Anne - I am sorry re the hospital visit. All the best and look after yourself and get well soon.

    Re the whole debate that is going on.

    Anne I agree with what you and others have said - that we can like nice things. And that we can like the Opera etc and it not be a betrayal. Hell I like and wear make up and perfume etc, doesnt make me a class or gender traitor.

    So yes nice things are okay and can be good and can be fun to talk about but - I don't think that was what Bru was about. I honestly think she reads like someone with narcisstic personality disorder. I have never in my life read so many weird and grandiose posts from someone. The thing is she didn't talk about the Opera like someone who loved it would - it was all name dropping and event dropping. 'been to the premier of the Belarrusian Opera companies version of Peter and the Wolf darlings with Viscount Mushlinger. We ate caviar and drank Cyrstal - it was fabulous.' It was all that shit - all the time.

    And then she attacked Montana in a really fucking horrible way. Then came back and did some more of her (frankly mental) stuff about how she loved working and living among 'well bred refined people' - those were her words.

    Then when people got pissed off with her she called them sexist and said it was virtually harrassment - which pissed me off because it was no such thing.

    I am with Montana and Scherf and Hank on the whole Bru question.

    Re the site and what is it for. I really enjoy the tunes put up and general discussions. But I have been on Cif a bit more recently because I am just so pissed off and feel I need to talk about all this shit that is happening. So for one I would welcome more articles etc being put up. I would be happy to put one up if anyone cares to read it. And I am interested in what others have to say.

    It doesn't mean that there cant be the general chit chat but maybe having more regular articles on UT2 would provide a focus too?

    Btw - there is a poster I have never heard of before called GeneticallyModified who has just put the most brilliant posts up on the Stiglitz thread.
    Breaking3 claimed he/she was happier under Thatch when his/her family were happy without the huge government deficit that Brown has run up.
    To which genetically replied: ''you seem to imply that the happiness of your family is proportional to the size of government debt. Thats a pretty impressive political barometere of a family that you have there.''

    Fucking brilliant.

  97. Princess - fucking brilliant post. Agree with every word, and please do post something on UT2.

  98. Where is Sheffield? Is it somewhere an Australian should go?

  99. MsR - it's oop north, like, and probably not a place any civilised person should go. (So OK for Aussies. ;-) )

    They make knives and other sharp steel implements.

  100. And yep, I include scherfig's latest in the "fair comment" box too, most of it anyway.

    Kindred spirits, you and me, scherf. You're as likely to rant on about kiz and bru and Cif as me. You're an angry fucker, like me. It doesn't matter whether you think your anger is more justified than mine. You don't know what the root of my anger is so you're not really in a position to call me out on it, or describe me as wanker because I never met a legless guy ever.

    Until now.

  101. Seem to have missed that link (probably because of my ANGER)

    positively 4th street

  102. Scherfig - your story is horrible and definitely something to feel angry about. Outrage. Revolutionary fervour.

    But, like Hank sometimes, you are directing your anger at the wrong person. He didn't do those things, I very much doubt he supports them, and you never know what private griefs he might also suffer.

    Most of us are pretty flawed; we just express (or suppress) it in different ways. Some experiences are obviously far more horrific than others.

    Probably we react the most strongly to the things that have most affected us, or rather to the things that subtly, or not so subtly, remind us of them.

    Well, that is my piece of philosophising for the night. Time for bed, and peace to all.

  103. thauma, you're so sweet and conciliatory. But you have spectacularly missed the point. I'm not directing my anger at Hank or anybody else here. I'm merely pointing out that 'anger' is a movable feast and a very flexible concept. I know that it wasn't Hank who blew up that guy, so I don't blame him for that. On the other hand, there were no cheese sandwiches left today when I went to lunch, and I was so ANGRY about that. ((Although I suspect that that was actually Hank's fault).

    Peace and Love

  104. monkeyfish - I think they've diverted money from various charities as well. This does deserve an enormous amount of light shining on it.

  105. Thauma - thankyou.

    MsRobinson - Sheffield is okay. Its all been 'gentrified' a bit these days so the center is a bit like Leeds or Manchester but it is a good place. Some good pubs - a couple of good real ale ones near me. You should venture this way one day!

    Btw - is Andrew Rawnsley actually being paid by Tory HQ? He does a bang up demolition job on Brown (not that I am a Brownite or a Blairite I fooking hate New Labour) and then promises a 'Cameron Expose'. Has anyone been watching this Dispatches. It is a joke! Although my other half has just made me laugh - he said that Gorgeous George had so much make up on during his stupendously tough grilling by jowly Rawnsely that he looked like a pantomime Dame. Hahaha.

  106. Fuck me, scherfig, I thought I was complex (read "screwed up"). You're still harbouring a grudge about me saying that you have nothing to say? Even after we spoke on the phone about it and cleared the air?

    Pluck seems to have disappeared my post from 20.52 above but what it basically said was that everything directed at me today is fair comment, hard as it is to read it.

    Your comment this afternoon was fair comment, but you're on really fucking shaky ground taking me to task about kiz, bru, Cif etc, given that you have been equally outspoken about all of them.

    So you grew up during the Troubles? Does that give you any kind of sovereignty over the right to be angry?

    Piss poor stuff.

    You've got my number. Call me if you want to offer a view on anything at all.

  107. Hmm, just when I thought I was getting over my mid life crisis, I find it's only expressing itself in new ways. Think I'll avoid posting when I'm feeling twitchy and paranoid in future.

    Someone should write something about anger. Mine's mostly disappeared in recent years and I'm not sure where it went...

    I used to be disgusted...

  108. Princess
    i'm watching now - i amtrying hard but can't see most of them as real people. they're all being so careful in what they say they are saying nothing.

    What is not being said is what is alarming me.

  109. And who the fuck decided that anger was "a moveable feast and a very flexible concept"? I must have missed the meeting when it was decided that commonly understood words would henceforth be subject to reinterpretation via meaningless cliches which suggest that the user doesn't have a fucking clue what they're talking about.

  110. You lent it to me, martillo, remember?

    You can have it back now, I won't need it anymore.

  111. If you're sure you're finished with it, pass it on to someone more needy, Hank.

  112. Easy, hank, no grudges here. I think we're more or less on the same page. Just a bit of provocation to up the ante on the complacent side of the Untrusted. Polemic can be underrated - hard words for effect, and not just 'you're a cunt'. I think we need a series of articles on UT2 from everybody. I've thrown my hat in the ring - dunno what I'll write about, but no matter how crap it might be, it's a start

  113. heyhabib: i notice i've been drafted into your trivial pursuits team "The Undesirable Gits". Any pointers on what i should clue up on to get us up to speed?

  114. I'll look forward to reading it, Scherfig. Ta for linking mine, by the way.

  115. This comment has been removed by the author.

  116. Princess cc.

    I don't think Bru likes Opera shoes handbags etc AT ALL. I think think she is desperate to part of what she considers the IN crowd - rich powerful etc.

    Its a bit sad - but 'liking' those things makes her feel acceptable. She has bought into a particularly unpleasant version of consumerism.

    This has nothing to do with a real love of the arts which is not and never should be considered the preserve of the wealthy. In some countries 'elitist' parts of the arts are popular with ordinary people - Italians and Opera comes to mind. The saddest thing I have ever heard is the opinion expressed by a friend in Dagenham that Opera was 'only for posh people'.

    Another example of 'the philosophy of the ruling class'.

    I was listening to R4 this morning about how every culture on earth has a musical tradition. All music is part of human heritage and you only have to be human to engage with it.

    Mind, you don't have to engage with all of it! Tastes do differ!

  117. No grudges, scherfig? You're banging on still about "having nothing to say". We spoke on the phone for half an hour and I appreciated the call. I thought we'd resolved things and it also enabled me to see you as a real person and not just a cyber-id.

    And then you post that shit up there implying that I've got no right to be fucking angry, even though, as I've said, you have no idea where my anger comes from.

    I'm not complacent nor do I need provocation so you can drop that bullshit defence.

    I'm not bothered what PatDavers has to say, who the fuck is he anyway? I was disappointed in Habib's comment, but he had a point, and he's got previous anyway. Jay's posts were bang on the money and I don't have an issue with him, despite finding what he had to say hard to read.

    Your posts though have depressed me. Although I did have a mirthless laugh at the line about you putting me straight "as a friend".

  118. Don't be silly, Hank. A commonly understood word can have many meanings and contexts. I think that's exactly what I said.

    I'm so angry I could crush a grape!

    After losing a loved one to suicide, it isn't uncommon to struggle with conflicting feelings of anger and grief.

    You could be angry at a specific person (Such as a coworker or supervisor) or event (a traffic jam, a canceled flight)

    Do you want another twenty cut'n'pastes to show that anger can be a moveable feast and a very flexible concept, or do you have a fucking clue now about what is 'commonly understood'? Give it up - you're arguing for the sake of it, and looking like a moron. There are other more important battles.

  119. Hank, last post crossed over. Let's drop it - you really can't communicate effectively on the internet, can you? You're more of a real life guy. I think that's a good thing, but there seems no point in me trying to communicate with you on a blog, so I'll give it up. All the best, mate.

  120. I don't think anybody's ever accused me of not being able to communicate effectively on the internet before. I thought that one of my problems was that I was able to communicate all too effectively.

    As do you, scherfig. And however you try to justify it or rationalise it, your posts on here have been pretty clearly directed at me.

    It's bullshit to step back and claim that it's about provocation or polemic.


  121. Annetan - I agree with you about Bru. In fact I think Bru lives in a one bed flat in deepest darkest England and not in Brussels at all. Well that is my theory. And I agree with the Opera and other music etc. My dad was as working class as you could get but he loved Opera. He got me into it (couldnt stand it as a kid) he never went to one mind which is quite upsetting to me as I think he would have loved it. But he had lots of records of Opera and loved Tosca and La Boheme. My mum took me to see a Mozart Opera at the Lyceum a couple of years after he died and I couldn't cope. I had to stand up and leave fifteen minutes into it then sit in the bar drinking a huge glass of wine and crying my eyes out. For me, now, Opera is inextricably linked to my dad.

    Leni - I just couldn't get over how light touch it all was. We have all heard the rumours about Cameroon. The absolutely ruthless ambition, the temper tantrums, the alleged drinking (not that I have an issue with that, be a hypocrite if I did but we have heard all Browns dirty linen...) etc, yet this was all fluffy and light. 'Ooh they may have a bit of trouble in office' is as far as it went. So the question is has Rawnsley and the Observer become a Tory paper?

    Cameron scares me because I literally sense the evil heart beating under his shiny repulsive exterior. Right I am out of here and off to have a bath. I feel dirty after watching that Dispatches.

  122. OK,Hank. Whatever. Let's save our provocative, polemic powder for other targets rather than each other.


  123. Princess

    I no longer know who is supporting whom to be honest. There are no clear policies anywhere . We have moved beyond basic ideologies - no roots in politics and no morals either.

    My impression is that the media are looking only at what might be to their advantage - financially - in the escalating battle for survival.

    we none of us know what we will voting for - there are no actual principles at stake,
    all long discarded.

    Cameron is all together too empty, too bland - conceals much beneath this exterior where, I suspect, nasty things lurk.

    Rawnsley is a worm - another one looking to advantage as his star.

  124. Here's that bad link that I posted a while back. I feel so ashamed. Sorry, guys.

    peace and love

  125. Ha ha, if you're all waiting for my response, truth is I just can't be arsed anymore.

    Best wishes to all.

  126. HankScorpio:

    Ha ha, if you're all waiting for my response, truth is I just can't be arsed anymore.

    It would have been better if you would have started and finished with that. All the other was a waste of bandwidth.