15 April 2010


Insulin first became available for use in 1923.  Jackie Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, becoming the first black man to play Major League Baseball.  Today is the 21st anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Born today:  Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Henry James (1843-1916), Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983), Bessie Smith (1894-1937), Prof. Em. Thomas S. Szasz, Claudia Cardinale (1939), Dave Edmunds (1944), Emma Thompson (1959), Samantha Fox (1966), Emma Watson (1990).

As you know, I don't normally do the anniversaries of people who died on this date, but (as a list) the people who died on this date are, generally, more interesting that those who were born on this date, so here they are (with the year of their death, only):

Filippo Brunelleschi (1446), Madame de Pompadour (1764), Mikhail Lomonosov (1765), Abraham Lincoln (1865), Matthew Arnold (1888), Robert Musil (1942), Jean Paul Sartre (1980), Corrie ten Boom (1983), Jean Genet (1986), Greta Garbo (1990), Leslie Charteris (1993) and Joey Ramone (2001).

Careful readers will notice something else interesting about today's births/deaths.  It's the first time since we went to this daily thread format that I've noticed this particular thing occurring.


  1. Thanks Montana. Thomas Szasz is in fact nineteen years older than Claudia Cardinale having been born in 1920.

    I suppose there could be a 1 in 365 and quarter chance of dying on a particular day.

  2. Great painting Montana - who is it by? Wonder if the stool is a stool of repentance as in the auld Church of Scotland.

  3. It was in fact on the this day that the Titanic slid below the waves although she struck the berg late on the 14th.(as Montana noted yesterday)

    I thought that over the years I had absorbed most of the story but each year I still pick up something new - this year it was that two dogs survived.

    I knew the Titanic's fourth smoke stack was false and that it contained the kennels. Evidently there were quite a few dogs on board. Mind you there were some rich ladies on board too , they probably had their dogs in the cabins with them.

    Of the children who drowned only one was first class the other 49 were steerage.

    As medve noted I suppose the odds of dying on your birthday ain't that long.

    Better than winning the lottery or surviving the Titanic if you were steerage, but not as good as finding a seat in the lifeboats if you were Chairman of the White Star Line (bastard Bruce Ismay)

    Stoaty welcome back from lurking (late last-night) I noticed you posted on the Guard the other day, first time in a couple of months or so? - Trust you are well.

  4. I'm wrong about the odds of survival for steerage and dying on your birthday.

    I should have said more chance than being a working postman or musician on RMS Titanic - all thirteen of them drowned.

  5. I ought to have shared the good news from the Titanic:

    "...Charles Joughin was the only person to survive the ice cold Atlantic water...He reportedly had been drinking heavily..."

    Let us all learn from Charles' example when next taking a sea voyage!

    I think that I'm getting to the last 10% of me monthly internet gigabytes so I won't be around as much, or posting as much idle rubbish, for the next couple of weeks.

    Regards all - a very enjoyable thread here yesterday.

  6. Hi all

    Just flying by, but missed Ruination Day yesterday and bizarrely enough I mark it every year, so here it is:

    Ruination Day

    Not a good day in history, April 14th. But fear not! Welch/Rawlings will always bring you great cheer with their carefree, light-hearted songs.

    I am joking, obviously.

  7. Swifty and ColinStoat back within 24 hours, and nearly 13000 visitors to the UT overall. Not bad going.

  8. Oh my god, Laurie Penny is defending the primark padded bras for 7 year olds. This is going to be carnage, and rightly so.

  9. Good morning all--Having a drink and jive with my little flower tonight. Good thread, levity prevailing throughout. This one off to a start as well.

    medve, thanks for the pointer to Thomas Szasz. The man is exemplary and courageous. A life of interest to be sure.

    deano--Your rubbish is never idle on the UT. I've seen worse, and expect to again.

    Colin--Lurking can lead to talking, I'm for it. Been a while.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. amazing - I had only just thought to myself that it would be good to see Swifty back too and up the bastard pops

  12. Hi Jay. Yes, rightly so on the Penny fiasco.FFS. Are there no statesmen/leaders with cojones in this era? Yes, I know.

  13. Its car crash stuff. So awful in so many ways. Early contender for most awful, pretentious, misguided twaddle of the year. No matter what tosh she writes, the words "7 year olds" just dont budge in my mind. 7 year olds ffs.

  14. Aye, Jay, roughly a comment a minute and it's abut 95% 'WTF? they're seven'...

    The 'class-based' bit is just bollocks, too. Primark's cheap, but that doesn't mean only 'the poor' shop there - don't underestimate the weird inversion thing ("where did you get that lovely top?" - "Oh, would you believe, it was only £2.50, at Primark - I mean, I do buy fair-traded coffee, so it all works out in the end") or sheer pissed-offedness at forking out a tenner for a bloody vest-top if you go to one of the 'better' shops...

    Given the other shops the Sun is now after (including Next and Tesco), I don't think that holds up...

  15. Am now concerned that having seen the pics of the M&S 'Angel' range, am planning a shopping visit when next back in Blighty. Made of cotton. No lace. Cheerful patterns...

    Am I buying in to an oppressive capitalism attempt to co-opt my sexuality? Gah...

  16. Jay
    It's such bullshit it's hard to know where to begin. There is no element to what parenting is about, the utter importance of boundaries, that at age seven development is very much intertwined with parents taking a lead and developing the ability to judge and trust others. Otherwise we'd just kick them out at six and give them a flat and a personal budget ffs.

  17. Philippa, firstly can we sort out a mutually agreeable abbreviation for your name, its a bugger to type. Any suggestions?

    But yes, shocking, shocking piece. And its one of those that is bad on so many layers, multi-layered stupidity.

    As you say plenty of middle class shop at Primark - its cheap, stupidly cheap, and also gives the opportunity for the occasional "look at me, i just shop anywhere cheap, no superficial labels for me or fancy designers, its just clothes, ya know?"

  18. *avoiding moderation alert*
    Etoiles - fuck off
    *alert ends*

  19. Jay - Phil is the norm IRL. appreciate the effort involved, but as I've said before, my own father forgets how to spell it, so no worries...

    Have been nommed 'pipster' by mr dixon. but i think best that remains just him, heheheh.

    bitterweed - damn right.

  20. Morning All

    Too knackered to write anything coherent on the Laurie
    Penny thread.Plus i,m trying to stay out of pre-mod.
    Good comments from Philippa,PeterB and Jay though.And Hermione has waded in as well.Where does the Guardian
    get these journos?

    Nite all.

  21. Also, it's dishonest. the Tories have been attacking the kiddies stuff for months.

    There may have been an element of snobbery in the last couple of days, but this story has never just been about Primark.

    Another story built on a basic untruth, guaranteed to misinform and create confusion, defended to the hilt, not doubt, by wankers in the editorial team.


  22. Paul: "Where does the Guardian get these journos?"
    Blackheath organic farmers' market, Sunday mornings, parking behind the station.

  23. PhilippaB
    Blackheath indeed ! ;-)

  24. BW/Jay/PB - difficult not to think that delineating 'boundaries' gets harder and harder for ordinary parents given the rampant crap individualism that the free marketeers foist on the world.

    The affluent have it easy they live in gated communities send their kids to boarding (gated) schools were influences are largely monitored and controlled.

    I don't underestimate the problems my younger kids will have when they start families.

    The recent article on the real difficulties that care workers have with young girls taken into care makes you think that a padded bra at seven and an uncontrollable harridan at 13/14 might have a linkage.

    A characteristic of the female thug is that she sticks her tits out as she rushes to mug you.

    It is of course also difficult to get boundaries in place for boys too but threatening them with being striped naked and left tied to a lamppost don't seem quite so bad. It worked with mine...

  25. Morning all.

    Can't get past the first few paragraphs, I am so bloody angry.

    Laurie Penny is barely out of a trainer bra herself - who the fuck?! etc.. ranting mode now.

    Need another cup of tea to calm down.

  26. "Laurie Penny is barely out of a trainer bra herself"


  27. Ah, BB, remember the good old days of 'trainer bras' and those sporty-looking crop tops, which were your bra-based options until the age of about 15, when you finally bought your first underwired one on the sly, and got busted by your mother when the wiring escaped and fucked up the washing machine?

    Just me then...

    (am glad a fellow bra-wearer has turned up - sorry boys, but this is one where I can fairly safely say that you don't understand the many - admittedly pointless in the greater scheme of things - issues this brings up. at least I 've got the thread talking about Judy Blume. Always hated f-ing Judy Blume)

  28. Oh God. Bass-guitarist has moved into the building. Glass of juice is currently vibrating across the desk away from me...

  29. Afternoon all.

    The Penny dreadful article- it's the shoehorning in of 'late capitalism' as the reason why society won't accept 7 year old girls in padded bras that I particularly like.

    It's Graun contributors to a T. They will use concepts such as 'late capitalism' and 'working class' when it suits their spurious feminist middle class agenda but never in the realms in which it really matters.

  30. Sorry, I know that was a bit harsh, but frankly she looks as if she is about 12!

    (Mind you, the other day when I was in court a young plain-clothes copper came in to get a warrant and I swear he was the same age as my son!)

    Getting old I guess.

    Philippa - yes! I didn't break the washing machine, but I did start buying my own fancy underwear when I was 16 or 17 because I found the Markies bog standard white teenage one too embarassing for words...

  31. Problem is, Your Grace, I can't quite work out from what she is saying what her agenda is supposed to be, other than to blame marketing for the sexualisation of children (as opposed to suggesting that parents might want to say "No" to the little princesses) then blaming the Tories for complaining about it!

    This is not a party-political question. It is an important feminist one. And, to the best of my knowledge and belief, feminism does not include pandering to a 7 year old's desire to wear sexually provocative clothing just because they think they should...

  32. BB et al - I suspect that this is an issue that LP feels very strongly about, and wanted to write about, and in general terms, about the sexualisation of children / imposition of norms, I would agree with her - it's just that the 'news hook' allowing it to get onto CIF was the Primark farrago, which only an idiot would have co-opted into that argument in the way she did.

    Better to have written - the campaign was right, the withdrawal was right, but let's think about the other wider problems in this area, and discuss the other steps we can take to address it.

    There's a degree of 'reaching' here that invalidates what could have been a good article. As her BTL contributions suggest she well knows...

  33. BB, PhilippaB - you've nailed it pretty much.

    Q: What did the bassist do when he was told to turn on his amp?
    A: He caressed it softly and told it that he loved it...

  34. Always hated f-ing Judy Blume


    The Penny article is beyond stupidity, as pointed out by, oh, just about everyone.

  35. Laurie Penny thread- When I read it over 260 posts had been made. There is simply no point getting involved in the debate. This, I suppose, is the contradiction in Cif, the more popular it gets, the more pointless it becomes.

    For the reocrd, I oppose it. Laurie Penny is writing in typical Oxbridge humanities graduate style, talking about the hypothesis, but ignoring the reality. All the controversial rhetoricsists on cif are Oxbridge educated. Are they not supposed to be the most intelligent people in the country? Anyone with common sense opposes the sexualisation of children and women. So, yeah, looks like I am in agreement with mumsnet.

    But as an Oxbridge educated grad, she has to bring in a class dynamic. Supposedly people are only angry at Primark becasue it caters to working class people (what about the working class in Indian sweatshops). Then, blah blah, feminist theory etc, empty rhetoric, platitudes etc.

    On cif I like smaller, less shocking, but higher quality threads.

  36. hehehe.

    Favourite interview response, from Sleater Kinney to a 'right-on' music journo.
    ROMJ: So, like, why don't you have a bass-player? Is it difficult to find a female bass-player?
    Carrie (deadpan): No, it's just if we had a bass-player, we wouldn't be able to hear our biological clocks ticking...

  37. BB, Philippa, totally agree.

    She would have been on much firmer ground had she just done an article on how the mumsnet founders are a bunch of self satisfied, smug twats who think that being able to push an £800 organic pram around Hampstead Fucking Heath gives them the right to be the moral arbiters of motherhood.

    I'd have been 100% behind her if she had written on that rather than address it the way she did.

  38. "Laurie Penny is writing in typical Oxbridge humanities graduate style, talking about the hypothesis, but ignoring the reality."
    Ah, so that's where I've been going wrong. Couldn't work out how come I wasn't a Guardian staffer or a member of the cabinet or something. heheheh.

    Have had to explain my precise grounds for criticising the article about four times now, and nothing. Think she's got her fingers in her ears and humming, frankly.

    Boringly, my humanities education involved a tutor saying "theories are lovely, but they mean fuck-all unless you test them against reality".

  39. Well, Phil, you gals are not the only ones who started buying fancy underwear you hoped your mother wouldn't find out about. OTOH, I've never heard of Judy Blume, and all that talk about her seemed a) cryptic and b) to be implying I missed nothing (or that I would have gotten an insurmountable fear of the female of the human species had I read her).

    BW: That doesn't sound very Rock'n'Roll - wouldn't he just drop his pants and ask "how d'ya like this?"

  40. Phillipa
    Better to have written - the campaign was right, the withdrawal was right, but let's think about the other wider problems in this area, and discuss the other steps we can take to address it.

    Agree. she also made a weird remark about Thierry S's piece yesterday which she failed to come and substantiate.

    Corporate cashing in on this trend with pre teen padded bra-lets might be relatively new (although the Playboy Bunny gear for little girls has been around for ages), but the sexualisation of small girls has been going on for years in some things.

    I remember seeing a bunch of 5/6 year olds piling into a dance competition in Glasgow a good 15 years ago. They were all done up like miniature Tiller Girls and Can Can dancers. I remember feeling a bit creeped out by it.

  41. Judy Blume books were a traditional rite of passage for the girl aged about 10-13. Like buying one's first bra with one's mother, having that 'special assembly' at school when the least embarassable female teacher explained how the sanitary towel dispenser works, and working out just how much to exaggerate your contact with Paul from 2B, when all you'd done was hold hands and get a peck on the cheek (square), but to confirm his story that he'd got your shirt off would be to designate yourself a slapper.

    Judy Blume books dreadful, though. Scarred many readers for life, by the look of things on the thread...

  42. It might be a career-limiting move, having a go at Mumsnet, given that its co-founder Justine Roberts is married to Guardian dep ed Ian Katz.

    Maybe not, though; Katz seemed a nice guy when I met him at the pub in Llanthony Priory a long time back.

  43. Can you really get poll dancing kits for pre pubescent girls? The mind truly boggles. Think my grandaughters would use the pole for tournaments and jousting in the garden - or generally bashing up the place up.

  44. Sheff - I still recall the parental sighs (and whimpering from startled dog) when I decided to give Sindy my version of a makeover, and then fired her over the garage using a bicarb/vinegar rocket.

  45. Concerning the Playboy Bunny: I think it would be weird if children under the age of 10 would see it as anything else than an image of a bunny, as in Bugs Bunny. I think I had something with the Playboy logo on it when a child; I liked bunnies, and I guess my mother didn't know the meaning of the thing (and my father was too embarrassed to explain it to her ...)

  46. Phillipa

    You sound like a girl after my own heart! We had rocket firing ranges using old cast iron drain pipes (held on the ashoulder) on guy Fawkes night when I was a kid.

    I'm aware of us having to take more rear guard actions to undermine some of the more insidious external influences on my grandkids than I ever had to take with my kids, which is a bit depressing.

    Fortunately they mostly seem to be into sporty stuff, getting covered in mud and hurling themselves about. The nine year old is showing real rock climbing promise (a family tradition), and although she likes to be stylish, views most of the girlie stuff, and particularly sex, with deepest contempt.

  47. elementary, i think you're right, and that's maybe part of the problem - to the kid, it's just a bunny - the 'context' is a sort of adult secret. so they end up with something that they think is just a bunny, but it actually means something else... better just to have 'a bunny' than 'the bunny' - kid won't notice the difference (cheers for Miffy!), but there will be less ahhhh, hmmmmmm, errrrrr from the adults.

  48. Must go back to work...sigh. It's a mixed blessing living within 5 minutes walk of the workplace. Great to get home and have a decent lunch but then you have to go back...ugh!

  49. Afternoon all!

    Spent the morning getting wet in the name of science, then the sun decides to shine now, bah!


    I remember vinegar and bicarb rockets, made them in the kitchen (once, 'til Mum caught us) then in the garden lots with my bro when we were kids, no wonder he became a chemist!

    There's nothing quite like the look on an elderly neighbour's face when you knock on their door aged 8 to ask for you cork back please...

  50. Just looked up "Forever" on wikipedia - what exactly was so traumatizing about it? Sounds like sexual navel gazing for girls.

    Strangely, I don't remember any such sexual navel gazing novels being there for boys, but I guess that is made up by the likes of Philip Roth (whom I, admittedly, haven't read).

  51. Phil

    elementary, i think you're right, and that's maybe part of the problem - to the kid, it's just a bunny - the 'context' is a sort of adult secret. so they end up with something that they think is just a bunny, but it actually means something else... better just to have 'a bunny' than 'the bunny' - kid won't notice the difference (cheers for Miffy!), but there will be less ahhhh, hmmmmmm, errrrrr from the adults.

    The problem is when the child becomes a teen and finds out what the adults are hemming over, and the damn bunny is already normalised and accepted.

  52. thauma - exactly.

    elementary - oh, she gets talked into having sex, it hurts, he's an arse, double standards, she gets pregnant, family chaos...reminiscent of the 'sex ed' talk my friend got from her mum - "remember, gemma, willies kill". just scary, at the time.

    bollocks now, obviously. but when you're 11 and dreaming of true love, with no experience, scary.

  53. thauma: Or the damn bunny goes very quickly from "cute" to "ewwwww", and the embarassing question of "why didn't you tell me I'm running around with a soft porn mascot" one wants to, but does not dare to, ask one's parents.

    But yeah, other bunnies better, Bugs for the win! (Please don't tell me there's some adult secret about him too ...)

    Phil: The plot summary reads *totally* different, like "the couple talk a lot and openly about sex and its implications" instead of "she gets talked into having sex". Can't trust wikipedia when it comes to fictional plots. Then again, that's not exactly news ...

  54. Judy Blume, digested: Girls who have sex are bad. Boys are all cads and will take advantage of you. Your life will be ruined.

  55. Morning all

    haven't had chance to read the offending article yet. Will do so shortly.

    And, the pipster is quality. I just don't think you've given it a proper chance....

  56. Nice digestion, thauma.

    Author X digested: Girls who have sex are bad. Girls who don't are prudes. Men who care about a woman's feelings are wimps. Cads are great people.

    Now I only need to find Author X who this digestion applies to ... Any proposals?

  57. I've read forever, I only remember thinking "yeah, that can happen" but not any take home message about the morality of the people involved (except maybe his)

  58. Perfect fit, thauma. Not that I have ever read anything by him, but as the Bond films are said to be watered down compared to the books, it sounds like that would be it.

  59. Afternoon / morning all

    I shall give Ms Penny a miss and rely on your aggregate impressions. As i reported on the last post of yesterday's thread i was memory-holed for obliquely pointing to evidence for astro-surfing on the Climate Editorial thread.

    Concerning the sexualisation of children, there is a time and a place for that: let them do that themselves in their adolescence, while already in command of the full facts of life and death.

    As for BB's killer comment ... let's not get into that one. I would suggest jockey wheels for Ms Penny as well.

  60. I may have been mixing it up with other examples of the oeuvre... anyway - check out heresiarch's latest for a very good laugh.

    james - will attempt to remember definite article in future. just feared being 'a pipster', which sounds like a juvenile squirrel or something.

  61. It was a long time ago (when I was a teenager) had to hide it under the mattress with other reading matter I was afraid my Dad would find, read, and take the mickey out of me for....

    Double edged sword your Dad stealing your reading material: on the one hand he's likely to read something and take the p*ss, on the other he'll nick a copy of New Scientist and end up paying for your subscription for 10 years....

  62. heh heh.

    I think someone is flirting with me on the iddlebid internet dating thread.

    how's that for irony?

    [simpers smugly, goes for a walk]

  63. james - will attempt to remember definite article in future. just feared being 'a pipster', which sounds like a juvenile squirrel or something.

    Damn right!!

    the pipster is coo-ell!!
    a pipster is just lame!!!

    (*looking about nervously. Do the kids still use cool and lame?)

  64. Just read the padded bar article.

    Not even sure what's going on to be honest.

    Seems to me to be a pseudo-feminist/political rant decrying someone else's psuedo-something-or-other/political rant.

    You just gotta love election season!!

  65. haha-that should, of course, be padded bra article!!!

    (although, hands up who thinks a padded bar would be an excellent idea!!!)

  66. Oh my, this is good stuff. Wonder what my favourite feminist film critic (who put "Hurt Locker" at number one in her top ten films of 2009) will say to it.

    Personally, I think Weaver is bafflingly wrong claiming Cameron didn't win because he was male.

  67. James: Lame is considered ableist in polite society. More correctly called "awesomeness-challenged".

  68. Phil: Must have a look at how to online flirt with you, I could learn something useful.

  69. elementary

    Haha - thanks. I totally had my PC filter turned off for a minute there....

  70. "Do the kids still use cool and lame?"

    Cool is better than neat-o, awesome, or swell, but lame is a bit gay.

    Hope this helps

  71. haha- Cheers.

    Funnily enough, I considered neat-o, then remembered just in time that it's probably only me who lives in a 'happy days' episode inside their head!!

  72. Elementary - actually I only read a Fleming book once, in my early teens I think! Was thinking of the films, really.

  73. James, not so fast. I remember Kevin Costner and Madonna having a spat over a "neat" comment he made in 1991; he won, as while she just looked like a lemon sucking pop vixen, he looked cool for being uncool...

    Fucking hell I sound like a right tabloid sleb spotter...

  74. Yep, careful BW: the Graun will be commissioning you to take Tanya's place when she's on her hols.

    There will then be a massive public outcry to make the upgrade permanent.

  75. elementary - she plays football, skis, and describes herself as a 'muscly heroine', if that helps...


    thauma - have read several fleming's in the past, and the much much harder nastier edge was always something of a shock next to the 'cuddlier' films (Roger Moore, am looking at you...). The Radio4 version of Goldfinger last week or so was brilliant, though - McKellen does good baddy...

  76. Cherie,s hit the campaign trail.Talk about giving
    Labour the kiss of death!

    Wonder if we,ll see Mandelsons other half during
    the hustings.Brazilian or so i,m told!

  77. Philippa: I thought the you've got a lovely wicked laugh.;-) was the flirt that did it. Making me feel all gooey to see such internet love blossoming.

  78. Ha Thauma... Tanya's spot eh ? I'd love to write, for instance, how speed dating demeans Cambridge educated women because they have to feign interest in fertive, duplicitous dwarves who like jazz.

    Actually, I might just write that anyway.

  79. Cheers all, off to home, then a rehearsal this evening. Have much fun, everybody, and Phil, tell us when we have to bring the rice to the wedding, that fling with the other person (I spotted her even before your hint) sounds promising.

  80. Paul - brilliant reason to avoid all media sources until May 7th.

    medve - heheh. that was the bit that made me wonder...

    Bitterweed - is this another Sophie Dahl thing?

  81. Fleming's Bond novels are brilliant. Having grown up with the films I was amazed at the difference in the character of Bond in the books.

    Far from being a suave womaniser, he's a hard drinking loner who doesn't always get the girl. It's the sheer amount of detail that makes Fleming's work so evocative. From the culinary habits of Bond to the places he is sent, the personal detail and research Fleming puts into his novels makes them a cut above the normal spy thriller.

    In that sense, I think Fleming's writing shares a similarity with Herge's graphics in the Tintin books which also has a phenomenal attention to detail. For some reason I have always linked the two together.

    In chapter 2 (I think) of Goldfinger, Fleming goes into great detail about the 'British method' of curing heroin addiction which was dropped by the Govt in the late 60's. What's interesting about it is the rationality of the method and the success rate when I looked into it myself. Indeed, there's been calls by medical professionals to bring it back.

    And of course, Bond isn't English, he's half Scots, half Swiss ;)

  82. Blimey Flipper I just googled that, I really had no idea of who Sophie Dahl was let alone about the story. I must be pshychedelic man...

  83. BW - blimey, bowing down to your ESP-powers! It was the reference to "fertive, duplicitous dwarves who like jazz" that was so accurate that it couldn't have been a guess...

  84. Afternoon all!

    @Philippa-you,re probably right.Got a brochure from
    our Green candidate this morning.Aims include saving
    the world from itself,promoting world harmony and encouraging us all to be more caring towards each
    other.Sounds more like the sort of BS you,d expect
    from a Miss World contestant.

    ''I,d like to teach the world to sing in perfect
    harmony..........''-pass the sick bag!

  85. Paul - much as I am not fond of rom-coms or the oeuvre of Sandra Bullock (unlike iddlebid), I have to say that Miss Congeniality featured one of my favourite ever cinema exchanges:

    Stan Fields: What is the one most important thing our society needs?
    Gracie Hart: That would be... harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan.
    [crowd is silent]
    Gracie Hart: And world peace!

    (New Tory policy, don't tell anyone)

  86. Good God... I even put "who like jazz" instead of "who play jazz"... (which is even more accurate considering he can't really *play* jazz, heh heh)

  87. BW - aye, caught 15 minutes of him playaing the V festival a coupla years back when we were installing ourselves in readiness for the Pixies.

    He played a cover of the Wind Cries Mary. Sacrilege, it was. I had to be told to stop swearing, by the nice couple with the picnic blanket and the two toddlers.

    That's what he plays - nicecouplewithapicnicblanketandtwotoddlers music.

  88. afternoon everyone

    You might like to browse this website. Its good fun ....and subversive. Oh and someone sent me a nice little pic which I've stuck in the gallery. It speaks for itself.

  89. Philippab, that's fucking spot on ! Unfortunately nicecouplewithapicnicblanketandtwotoddlers (NCWPBTTs ?) have infiltrated my personal field of dreams in the last five years - Womad. It used to be a weekend of enjoying awesome talent, quite a lot of beer and wine and constant musical discovery; now it's just an alternative corporatised Glasto-Glyndborne with tossers like him playing... The Wind Cries Mary indeed. Fucking AWFUL. "Gurning Worm-Boy" as Charlie Brooker calls him.

  90. Sheff, that link's pretty good too...
    "Suck My Coldman Sachs"... I'll be thinking that whenever that bum-faced tosser goes on about Broken Britain tonight.

  91. Is it one of the 'debates' tonight?

  92. PeterJ said:
    It might be a career-limiting move, having a go at Mumsnet, given that its co-founder Justine Roberts is married to Guardian dep ed Ian Katz.


    Yep, and according to this week's Private Yee: "Google founder urges US to act over China web censorship" wrote Guardian deputy editor Ian Katz, making a rare front-page appearance on 24 March to conduct a sympathetic interview with Google's Sergey Brin.

    Grauniad bosses have good reason to look kindly on what Katz called "one of America's most successful companies", not least because the newspaper uses Google software for its internal email system. And Katz has an extra reason to be grateful to the internet giant: last month Google generously gave over its London offices in Victoria to Katz's wife, Justine Roberts, for the 10th anniversary party of her website mumsnet.

  93. James - yes, I've got the wine in and am planning to be growling a lot.

  94. James

    Just had a look - 8.30 on ITV1 according to my guide. Can hardly contain my excitment....

  95. Plus, this one's on SkyNews, I think, so I can actually watch it. Am not sure that will be a good thing or not.

  96. Philippa/Bitterweed,

    the curse of corpo-festivals was identified way back in 1996 by the blessed Edwyn Collins with
    The campaign for real rock

    A coruscating attack ending with the refrain, "Yes, yes, yes, it's the summer festival, the truly detestable summer festival".

    The lyrics are genius because they're true.

  97. Ah, OK, ITV. So will be limited to listening on Radio4. Probably for the best.

  98. your grace - pulp had it down, too -
    "Oh is this the way they say the future's meant to feel?
    Or just twenty thousand people standing in a field?"

  99. Libby Brooks has got me plaing 'songs for pols', which is fun. Because this is just brilliant anyway. Join in! Is fun...

  100. Pretty sure I can't get ITVishness in these 'ere parts!

    Again though, probably for the best!

  101. but they are on the radio. which means i can listen, drink, growl and post sat at my desk.


    must work out when to fit in making dinner. lamb chops. mint mash. bit of courgette / tomato gubbins to provide sauce (as will be squeezing a lemon and applying garlic butter to chops so gravy won't work).


  102. Aha! Thanks Philippa, thought I was going to miss out entirely. Will be listening on R4 then!

  103. Pretty sure I can't get UK radio here too.

    And even if I could, finding it amongst the thousands of Sao Paulo stations would be a bit of a challenge...

    (Thanks for the dinner update though...)

  104. Even better! ITV.com is streaming it live....

  105. james - you have a computer.

    iplayer for TV is blocked overseas, but the radio is live. here for radio 4

    unless there's other odd rights issues in Brazil...

  106. Cheers pipster

    There may well be some kind of issue (even youtube blocks loads of stuff here. Youtube FFS!!).

    I'll give it a pop though...

  107. Good to see Simon Singh on the Graun front page after his libel appeal win, so rare for a news story to be so pleasing on so many levels.

    I read two of Singhs books years ago, Codebreakers and Fermats Last Theorem, he's a superb writer and thinker, able to make even the most horiffically inaccessible topic interesting.

    Fermats last theorem went unsolved for 300 years, so the proof is basically meaningless to about 99.999% of the worlds population, myself included. But he still makes the book incredibly readable and interesting, even my mathematically illiterate brother enjoyed it.

    Then there's the fact he beat the peddlers of "alternative medicine". And to ice the cake, it was victory against our despicable libel laws. Perfect news story.

  108. Here you go:


    Or, with the search results included:


    Wait till just before the broadcast - 8.25 to 8.30 - and do the 'leaders debate' search again on justin.tv. They're live streams (I use the site mainly for watching footie) and a good few more will pop up as it gets underway.

  109. Fermat's last theorem is part of the plot of the Millenium trilogy. DO NOT TELL ME which part as I haven't finished the third book yet! (Although I can guess its significance now.)

  110. Hah! It's an ill volcanic cloud that blows nobody any good.

    Just had a minor panic, drafting documents to try and get an injunction to prevent someone being carted off on a plane against the law tomorrow, and the High Court have just said they aren't doing any tonight cos no planes are flying tomorrow anyway, so someone can just saunter along to court in the morning instead. Excellent! Hehehe.

    Good to see the "offending" Simon Singh piece up again, in its original form too. I checked it straight away for the "happily promoting bogus" words and they are still there. Superb victory that has cost the BCA a bloody arm and a leg I should imagine.

  111. It's so weird. Every time I try to do to the latest comments on the Primark Bra thread, I am getting an AVG warning blocking the site. I was able to override it this morning but now it won't let me.

    I wonder what the bug is on that page that AVG security is so worried about?!

  112. There is something repulsive about Michael Gove (physically) that I cant quite put my finger on. His odious policies go without saying, but when you look at him he looks... a bit like an extra from a zombie film, or a film about some terrible degenerative disease that eats away at the flesh requiring extensive plastic surgery to hold the face together. He isnt natural, doesnt seem quite human...

  113. BB: That AVG warning could be a serious matter. I don't like AVG myself: i use linux, but have ClamAV to check other victims' windoze machines.

    Is that Ms Penny's thread? will have a look if you like ..

    Any other details or symptoms?

  114. BB - I've had to sign in four times today, think site is having 'issues'

    (presumably preparing for the 'momentous' debates we're about to endure...)

  115. Been horribly busy with work. That Laurie Penny piece is bad, and as a writer she is developing in a bad,bad way. Very adamant (a.k.a. blinkered),blanket generalisations,plays the class and gender and youth cards ,all with a massive personal slant making herself out to be some kind of warrior champion on a crusade. Yet she is strongly middle/upper-middle class, only of one school of feminism)and actually not that young: she's not 17, is she, and is certainly old enough to know better.

    Her look-at-me-aren't I radical shtick,plain controversialism with plain parroting of tired dogmatic tropes from marginal theorists without critique, as if their every word were gospel is getting tiresome.

    She's capable,to some extent, of writing perfectly well (not brilliantly, and nothing like as well as I thinks she thinks she does), or at least that initially seemed the case, but by putting on this contrarian costume and attempting to be "in-your-face" and angry in an unfocussed way at every darn thing she's taken a very wrong route. She also for one who as said, isn't that young, is quite frankly juvenile in too many respects and doesn't seem able to distinguish between the genuine battles to be fought and mere annoyances that it's just not worth wasting breath upon.She writes immaturely,full of taking offence on behalf of others,presuming to speak for them via very loose and shaky affinities, and causing offence by using a damaging scatter-gun approach, rather than bothering to take proper aim.

    Can do better, but seemingly chooses not to, taking a Burchill (Julie) approach:ooh, I've pissed off lots of people, so I must be right and have hit a nerve.Too often in reality that means that actually, they are just wrong, and wrong by such a long chalk, and in such an egregious fashion that that is the reason folk are irked.

  116. Aaaaaaannddd...... wereoff.

    buildup. i love buildup.

    Am wondering if one bottle of wine is going to be sufficient for this.

  117. Good post Alisdair, my thoughts exactly. She has declined pretty rapidly. She seemed a bit interesting in her first couple of pieces, now she's unbearable, so much twaddle and meaningless theory, so little substance. And the faux-radicalness of it is excruciating.

  118. Alisdair: Who cares? Let her make a [not so young] fool f herself. After all, she is getting paid for it i suppose.

  119. Hi everyone:

    (Very) long time no see.

    Just looked at WDYWTTA? for the first time in months and I see that PEN is apparently being released tomorrow.

    Don't know if this is common knowledge, but (for once) something to celebrate on CiF :-)

  120. Alisdair - aye, it was when she described the piece as a 'precise analysis' or some other such guff, I really gave up any hope of getting through...

    It's the 'untested theory' problem. All very well to have musings (where would thought for the day be without them? "and then I thought...isn't this injured chaffinch just a bit like satan?") but to actually go ATL, you have to have checked your facts and considered the alternatives. It's not that feckin' difficult.

    Well, clearly, it would appear to be difficult. My point is that it shouldn't be difficult.

    And if you couldn't see how to spin that story to support your thesis in a way that didn't have 500 people calling you a fool, then, well...

  121. Phillipa

    my local off licence has an offer on a quite good cabernet sauvignon so I'm well stocked up. God, i hope it's not going to be too appalling...but it probably will be.

    Re little Laurie - is it hubris taking over? she's getting careless. I think she thinks - I'm playing with the big kids now, I can do what I like.

  122. 13thDukeofWybourne
    Thanks for that - Edwin's great, always was.

    Hi andysays!
    I'll be in Cornwall in june, South though. Are you still up round Bozzer ?

    Meanwhile, TV tuned to ITV1.

    T - Minus 15. What manner of bulshittery will befall us...

  123. Have to admit I laughed when I read JessicaRedd defending the penny piece on Waddya (even she said she didn't agree with all of it mind) and saying that the author's age was irrelevant. To the merits of the article,yes, to the reason why she gets commissioned,ah,well....she plays up the yoof angle, but at 23 and rising,can't be Guardian's voice of young 'uns for long (like they voted for her as spokeperson...) so clearly has decided to be an unholy mix of Burchill-lite and NuBindel.

  124. andy

    where have you been? You're very naughty to stay away so long. good to see you back.

    Pen was sectioned (against his will) a few weeks ago but has been managing to keep everyone updated on waddya, the only site he could get access too I believe, he couldn't post on the UT. He seems to have been holding up quite well.

  125. Jay,

    I often though that myself about Gove and couldn't put my finger on it, until I realised.

    You know that bit in 'Jaws' where Robert Shaw is dragged to his death from the sinking boat by the Great White?

    Look carefully at the eyes of the shark. That dead eyed stare of nihilist doom. That's Gove's eyes that is.

    The dead eyed manic stare of the nihilist neo-liberal.

  126. Right! Dinner eaten, ITV player on ready.

    Agree with the above about Penny.

    Re wine and debate: have just opened second bottle. This may well mean that I don't make it through the whole debate.

  127. Can we do empty political buzzword bingo during this pantomime?

    To start:





  128. 13thDukeofWybourne
    That song is so excellent ! Cheers !

  129. your grace - families, strategic, alternative, different, change, yo mama (just in case)

    Also - latest betting:
    Keeping to the point: 25/1
    Answering the question: 33/1
    Comedy (intentional): 12/1
    Comedy (unintentional): 3/2
    Honesty / Truthfulness: 100/1
    Violence: 17/1
    Dull, crushing boredom: 1/5...

  130. @ the Duke:




  131. Right, sound sorted. Clegg blah blah blah.

  132. Nice to see they haven't managed to get the mikes in synch...

    dammit, missed 'prosperity'. think i had cleggy nailed, though.

  133. Whoop. Check me. Listening to English Radio in abroad (cheers Philippa).

    -it's a shame that the first voice I heard was alistair-fucking-stewart though.

  134. Double-dips!!

    They were ace.

  135. Bitterweed,

    the whole album that that track is on, "Gorgeous George", is fantastic.

  136. Having no telly, the interesting thing (for me) is that I've never actually heard any of them speak before.

    So far Brown has seemed the most convincing to me. Aaaargh!

  137. Did Gordon just say 'he did a number on things'?

    Damn right you did sunshine!!

  138. @Alisdair-enjoyed your post.But isn,t there an element
    of what you,re talking about in a lot of the Guardian
    journalists?And that Ms Penny has simply embraced a
    culture which is deep-rooted in Guardian Towers.A
    group of highly privileged people who actually have
    very little grasp of the realities of most people
    lives.And whose mindsets are still rooted in their
    student days when they felt playing at being'poor'
    gave them some sort of kudos.(When in fact mummy and
    daddy were always in the background with a safety
    net for them).

    There is nothing worse than people who 'play' at
    being radical when they are young but who invariably
    become memebers of the establishment as they get
    older.And that i feel is the route most oxbridge
    educated journalists at the Guardian take.Radicalism
    in whatever shape or form is like a game to be
    played until they tire of it.And when they tire of
    it they do so in the knowledge they can retire into
    their bolt-holes of privilege and basically become
    a version of mummy and daddy.

  139. I'm pretty sure that many many care assistants in the UK come from outside the EU.

    The entire staff of Grandpa's last place, for example.

    Did Brown just mean 'from now on'? Or was that porky pie number 1?

    (fun, innit James? I love Radio 4....)

  140. Duke
    Cheers, will check it out

    He will be all night... bet you a quid ;-(

  141. thauma - my problem with the radio coverage is paying attention so i don't get clegg and cameron mixed up, as the voice (and, sadly, what they're saying) is no bloody help at all...

  142. 'my problem with the radio coverage is paying attention so i don't get clegg and cameron mixed up, as the voice (and, sadly, what they're saying) is no bloody help at all...'

    Haha - Amen to that!!

  143. Philippa, James, try this:


    It's working perfectly for me.

  144. Dave-

    'My mate, who's black btw, says immmigration's a problem, so, you know, I'm not a racist, innit!'

  145. damnit, lost again - he's mentioned a regional approach, that must be clegg.

  146. BW:

    By Bozzer I guess you mean Boscastle?

    I’m based just outside Polzeath, and cover a stretch from there up to Tintagel.

    Would be great to meet up in June – I can give you a tour of all the fences I’ve built in the past few months.


    See above.

    I’ve been taking a sabbatical from blogging etc because, as I said once before, I was spending too much time on it and it was interfering with real life.

    Glad to see the cabal is still going from strength to strength though.

  147. thanks, your grace, but I'm not sure I can cope with full A/V...

    I'm getting the hang of it now.

    Clegg sounds like the Adrian the geeky prefect, Cameron like Tom the posho prefect. If I keep that in mind, I'll be fine...

  148. a tenner says the 'foreign wife' card comes out soon!!

  149. ooh, crime.

    police on the streets - tick.

  150. Labour shills now desperately looking into that claim by Cameron...

    (off the point - the absence of applause is weird. it's all eerie and echoey. hopefully someone will throw in a gruff 'hear hear' or 'shame' at some point. then they'll be off)

  151. Oh here we go,

    "Bang em up, bang em up, bang em up. More prisons, more prisons, more prisons. More police, more police, more police. No discussion on record inequality as a major cause. No discussion on record inequality as a major cause. No discussion on record inequality as a major cause......"

  152. oooohhh - sheff, holla at ya peeps!!!!

  153. @Philippa-setting the sofa on fire was a bit OTT.
    call me dave was rightly indignant about that.

  154. Philippa - exactly! The streaming isn't much help as the vid is frozen on Clegg.

    All I can say so far - and it gags me to say it - is that Brown has by far the nicest voice. The other two are strident and alarmist. Fuckinell.

  155. This comment has been removed by the author.

  156. I am libdem by inclination (for want of a functioning socialist party) but I do think clegg is ahead at the minute. sounds genuinely pissed off, most natural, and, actually, 'bigger picture'.

    maybe the third party position is a bit of a gimme, but he's doing rather well.

    nice sigh, there.

  157. Paul - haha - yeah, so do I.

    The streaming on t'internet's not brilliant, and to me, it looks like they're all doing 'the robot' dance, really, really badly!!

  158. This comment has been removed by the author.

  159. Paul - my point is that if he keeps with the anecdotes, there's a lot of detail to be attacked. he called the guy a murderer (which sounds reasonable) but if he was actually charged with manslaughter (as the 4.5 / 9 year sentence suggests), for example, that'll take away from it. he's going anecdote mad. lots of stuff to target.

    God, they've got me talking about spin not issues.

  160. Yes to Foreign Wife Border Police !

  161. Christ Brown is painful to watch. I almost feel sorry for him.

  162. ooooohhhh - Hull. Holla at my peeps!!

  163. (although that's the poshest way I've ever heard the word 'Ull said though!!)

  164. What happened to my post?

    Was Gordon about to thump call me Dave then?

    My mother was a magistrate!-call me daves name dropping

    Really should nail their hands down.Doubt those lecturns
    will survive the debate!

    @thaumaturge-agree with you that Browns voice comes
    over best-helps it you have your back to tv mind!

  165. from my eyrie on the top floor have just seen four bright orange flying objects - my son tells me they are probably those big Chinese lanterns that people are fond of releasing and not an alien cavalry coming to rescue us from this lot currently boring me to death on the box.

  166. Thanks Sheff, thought it was just me. This is TV Bollocks actually. Out for a fag methinks.

  167. Aye - I'm leaning toward Cleggy at the moment too....

  168. Fuck it. Off to watch the Lagos thing...

  169. @Philippa-

    apologies- i wasn,t questioning your point of view.
    It just seemed to me that Dave was more indignant
    about the sofa than everything else the poor woman
    went through.

  170. Dave- "Who hasn't had to cut costs? Who hasn't had to watch their money. Who hasn't had to budget?"

    ermm, you Dave. You have no fucking idea what real life is like and therefore should be nowhere near no.10.

  171. Still watching, but they are pretty boring. Meh.

    Almost makes me yearn to see Sarah Palin just for a good laugh.

    I think Cleggy just drove a point home about the others blocking the changes in parliament, though.

  172. Poor old Brown isn't happy doing extempore - the debate seems to be moving from lukewarm to tepid...I won't give up quite yet.

  173. Clegg seems to have nailed them on that one!!

  174. "Who hasn't had to cut costs? Who hasn't had to watch their money. Who hasn't had to budget?"

    ermm, you Dave."

    Callous slur, Duke, he is only valued at approx £18m with his wife. Of course he's had to cut back...

  175. OMG - too. many. jokes...........

  176. are there going to be adverts?

  177. Brown is sucking up to the LibDems in a big way.

    The vid feed is so bad that it's practically useless for me - not seeing who's talking, just still videos.

    So Paul - don't need to turn my back; I've no idea who's talking between Cam and Clegg! (Scary in itself.)

  178. Argh, Cameron just dropped the baby-bomb.


    everyone start talking about your children....

  179. Paul - yeah, it's not too bad. They're a bit jerky though (insert your own jokes folks...)

  180. do think cleggy has what passes for the edge in this debate.

  181. ANyone have any good impressions?

    1-ITV player is terrible. They are updating every second from facebook users, as if we actually care, and the comment box below. This is slowing it down. It keeps lagging and repeating a few seconds every minute or two, this means I am probably several seconds behind. There are literally 100 facebook comments every 10 seocnds. Pointless

    2-Cif is slow as fuck. The live blog. Agian, why in hells earth would they open comments. It just slows everything down, no one is gonna read them.

    3-The only redeeming factor is the presenter. Alastair Stewart, yes.

    LOL moment. GB-- 'No foreign chef from outside the EU will be allowed to come into Britain.' Said in an angry tone.

  182. radio clearly giving a different perspective than TV - views on clegg, in particular, seem markedly different.

    now, where did I put those biscuits?

  183. we've got it topsy-turvy, the wrong way round

    and that's the 1973 Eurovision entry from the UK...

  184. @James-where are you from?

    Do we really believe Dave will educate his kids
    entirely in the state sector?

  185. "Do we really believe Dave will educate his kids
    entirely in the state sector?"

    If it helps his fluffy image, yes, but bear in mind if you are the child of Cameron it doesnt matter what school you go to - you're going to do extremely well in life regardless of talent or personal attributes. Its a cute trick Cameron can afford to play.

  186. I'm not gonna watch anymore. It is nonesense. Enjoy the programme folks

  187. Did Dave really talk about state schools with
    massage rooms?Think i probably misheard that!