15 May 2010


George III survived two assassination attempts in 1800.  Richard and Maurice McDonald opened a restaurant in San Bernardino, California, in 1940 which featured what they called the "Speedee Service System".  The Red Army began its withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1988.

Born today:
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), L. Frank Baum (1856-1919), Pierre Curie (1859-1906), Katherine Ann Porter (1890-1980), Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1941), James Mason (1909-1984), Jasper Johns (1930), Brian Eno (1948), Mike Oldfield (1953), Patrice Evra (1981) and Andy Murray (1987).

It is Teachers' Day in Mexico and South Korea.


  1. Good morning UTs--Fine musical selections by Bitterweed and PeterJ last night. (Which is now for me) Well done yous.

    Also want to wish good health results for Annetan and PeterJ. Had a heart attack in 2006 myself and can understand the existential angst that comes with it. Yes, the squishy heart sounds and images from machines in the cardio ward will make you look at life in a new and deeper way. How can one not have questions? The answers will not be obvious, but I found that good food, exercise of the body and mind, and talking to people with similar experiences helped a lot. In short, live smartly and well. Take care.

  2. Boudican
    Top stuff. I might hasten to add, where once my life was geared to the pursuit of sex drugs and rock and roll, I can now never undersell the value of a cliff walk or a hike over the peaks. Or a good stroll come to that.

    Oh - and Come On Portsmouth !

  3. Bitterweed--I'm with you on the Pompey shout. Not optimistic but it is The Cup.

    Sex, drugs and rock and roll? Still do them, scaled back somewhat though. Hunter S Thompson I'm not, and that's why it's the sack for me. See you later.

  4. Morning, Boudican and BW. I have to say, I have never enjoyed physical exercise of any kind, although the sex and drugs etc have always had their attractions. Being on a mountain-top surveying majestic scenery, fine; walking up the mountain to get there, no.

    Still, we are all made differently.

  5. 12/1 for Pompey to win the cup in 90 mins, 6/1 simply for them to win the trophy (i.e. that could be after extra time or on pens too). Big price...For me it all hinges on David James, who can either be fantastic or calamitous.

  6. Indeeed Alisdair; James is such a stand-up bloke though. I can't help but feel the same about Englan'ds chances in the World Cup.

    Still, I might put a fiver on pompey.

  7. PeterJ and anne,

    can I echo everyone elses good wishes and hang on in there.


    apparently 20,000 Highlanders are travelling down to Glasgow to roar on Ross County in the Scottish Cup Final.

    For all intents and purposes it looks like the Jacobite rebellion part II. But with cans of Tennents rather than claymores.

  8. Abide with me.

    this is just so good.


  9. Boudican - thanks for the good wishes-

    BW - some great music last night(including yours) playing through it now.

    Sex drugs and rock'n roll? never did drugs but the other 2 - definitely !!! If I'd done drugs the heart conditionI have now might well have killed me so its just as well. Same with alcohol - don't drink now but never drank much either.

    On walking up mountains, used to do a lot of that and standing on top of a mountain you've just walked up is one of life's great natural highs (pun NOT intended). Heart and a pair of arthritic knees make it impossible now sadly!

    The knees don't stop me from walking on the flat though and one of the things to be said for Cardiff(there are many others) is that its flat :D

    Lovely day! may go for a stroll in the park later.

    Football doesn't do it for me though so I'll stay out of it!

    Don't feel strong enough for Cif yet - tomorrow maybe.

  10. @ the Duke. Someone told me that the final was going to be broadcast in HD, and possible also in 3D (not kidding: some places, ie pubs, have the kit), as a trial/test, but they pulled the plug on that because of the lack of Old Firm involvement. I think they'd banked on selling shedloads of new tech and subscriptions across Glasgow, and disparagingly reckon that teuchters and jutemen aren't their target audience.

  11. Morning.

    Sorry to hear of the health problems, anne & Peter.

    If you don't fancy CiF today anne, here's a little Japanese thing from the Guardian today. And then take a look at these pictures. Stunningly beautiful.

  12. Alisdair,

    not surprising. As soon as the OF get knocked out, media interest takes two routes.

    A. Ignore event.

    B. Patronise.

    In the event of route B, any final not containing the Old Firm is invariably entitled 'The Family Final'.

    Chick Young is despatched to the smaller town to ask the locals how they feel, "Can you ever imagine this happening?" and generally being an annoying, patronising dick.

    What's the price for a cheeky Ross County/Portsmouth double? Just thought if both those teams win, will this be the furthest distance between two cup winning teams in Cup final History?

  13. Bloody hell, Duke, great (or similarly dissolute) minds think alike and all that. Just priced up the Ross County/Pompey win double: for both to win in 90 mins, you can get as much as 105/1 (either with totesport or boylesports). The safer double of both Ross co and Pompey to lift their respective trophies by whatever means is just over 32/1 with bluesquare.

  14. Cheers annettan

    Look. Here are South Africa's answer to Abba.



  15. here are some Dutch people doing Country and Western. No where near as bad as it sounds.


  16. Right. Sun is shining. Record fair then pub and cup final. Possibly back drunk later.

    PS that Clegg article is still a load of shit isn't it.

  17. Bloody hell Alisdair,

    105/1- well worth a fiver.


    in the pub last night and this cover versions band were on. Very safe covers with a female singer- U2, Coldplay, Cardigans, all uberbland until this riff starts- bassline going DUN DUN DUN DIN DIN DIN DUN DUN DUN DIN DIN DIN

    I'm thinking "surely not, that's the intro to 'Killing in the name of' by RATM". It was indeed. The tamest, blandest rendition of the 'anthem' of middle class anarchist wannabees.

    She sang it as if she was covering a Carpenters song. Hilarious.

  18. 13thDukeofWybourne
    Hah - great stuff. My local had a bunch of estate agents trying to sing the blues the other week, I shit ye not. All po-faces and vintage gutars and amps. As fucking if they cvould play them. My mate Mick, 65 this year, has seen everyone from Paul Butterfield to Muddy Waters picked up a big plant pot and threw it at them; we left shortly afterwards.

    Same principle why I won't go to Glastonbury any more. No plant pots.

  19. Bitterweed,

    Good on yer mate and don't get me started on 'Glasto'.

    Did enjoy this interview with Bobby Gillespie and Mani from the stone roses a few years ago at Glastonbury.

    How much does Mani sound like Zippy from 'Rainbow'? Uncanny.

  20. Ah, Кот Бегемот! мастер и маргарита роман михаила булгакова, сегодня его день рождения.

    That is the cat Behemoth from Master and Margarita. It is an excellent book by Bulgskov. If anyone is interested, there is a Russian TV adaption of it, (with English subtitles of course). It is on veoh. You need a subscription and download their video player but it is free. I am using it to watch an adaptation of The Idiot by Dostoevsky.

    Of course, yes it is the Scottish cup final. Good luck Ross county. Go the teuchters.

  21. BW - re those plant pots could always take your own :) preferably with cacti in them!!

    My daughter once threw a plant pot at her (then bf! Was depressed at the time (her excuse!)

  22. Afternoon all

    I know it,s the done thing in this country to always
    support the underdog but i don,t think Pompey stand
    a chance.Am expecting Chelsea to strike the final
    body blow to relegated Pompey!!!

    Some lucky sod in this country scooped the whole of
    the £84 million Euromillions jackpot last night.The
    odds of that happening must be zillions/1.Probably
    about the same as Pompey lifting the Cup.

    Intend to chill this weekend.No work!!!We,re both
    extremely knackered so recharging the batteries
    is on the agenda.Although things in this household
    seldom pan out the way they,re supposed too.

    @BB-Hope you,re well :-)

  23. I knew that was going to be saved, glad I'm not a Portsmouth fan right now.

  24. Have all the regulars on this site been to the "how to be boring when you're still asleep" course?

  25. BTH

    No - sorry we seem to have missed that one.

    Did you enjoy it ? was it intersesting ?

  26. Hello bth.

    "Have all the regulars on this site been to the "how to be boring when you're still asleep" course?"

    Personally, no. Have you?

    Actually, the football / nice spring weather has probably drawn people elsewhere today.

  27. Leni

    Have you seen this? It's a piece from Greer on 'old wives' tales' / storytelling.

  28. Jesus Chrst, the most crazy article ever on Cif. Prince Harry is off to war, what a jolly adventure.

    Atomboy, prepare for deletions.

  29. Well, finally got around to reading Nick Clegg’s article.

    Absolutely no surprises in there. Pandering to Middle class sensibilities- third Heathrow runway, id cards etc. What about the real issues Nick, real people with real concerns?

    Shelter very recently released a report stating in blunt terms that Britain is more polarised by housing wealth than at any time since the Victorian era. Some of the more shocking statistics- 1.4 million children live in substandard housing, 79,500 households were found to be homeless by local authorities, 7.7million homes fail to meet the Govt’s own ‘Decent homes standard’ and 1.8 million households are on waiting lists.

    Additionally, repossessions rose to 65,000 last year. Repossessed by banks bailed out by the taxes of the people they are repossessing. The banks also continue to flout the ‘new protocols’ implemented to curb repossessions as a result of the bank engineered recession.

    So where’s the ‘New Politics’ decree on this Nick? A fundamental issue that affects millions? Where's the firm commitment to reducing socio-economic inequalities?

    Let's take your 'commitment' to dealing with the Banks. When the rumour spread that Vince was to take control of the Banking Industry, Osborne obeyed his Banking Overlord’s command, announcing that Cable would not be chairing the cabinet investigation into the Banking industry (as previously stated) and that Osborne himself would be chairman, keeping Treasury control of Financial Services and the Banks. Business as usual.

    You and Vince have been bitch slapped into line by an Etonian 30 something whose only economics expertise is to do whatever Ashcroft and the Banks tell him. This is the ‘New Politics’ Nick. Don’t step out of line.

    As for ‘making taxes fair’, You forgot to mention your administration has raised National Insurance for employees but not the employers. In other words, the taxpayers that saved your political bedfellows and their chum’s sorry arses are now being hit again.

    Workfare, agreeing to Trident and acceptance of your Political masters…sorry colleagues, racist European partners- I hadn’t realized that New Politics means getting rid of old political morals as soon as the trinkets are offered.

    Oh and Democratic representation. The one area of Lib Dem “expertise”. Why then have you only called your special conference for grassroots members to vote after you’ve done the deal with the Tories? Scared of your grassroots?

    Democracy is a worthy cause until you’ve got a whiff of power isn’t it?

    How apt that a common prefix for ‘New’ is ‘Neo’. New Politics/Neo Liberals. Suits you down to the ground.

  30. Germaine Greer stopped serving any useful political or cultural purpose about thirty five years ago. All she does is indicate to other women that they are not getting the airtime which she tosses about as casually as an internet troll. Nor - she states this clearly - do they have anything like her income. The politics of envy are always personal with her; the fruit of her very forunate position is never truly shared among those less well off. She is, basically, a wanker.

  31. @13thDukeofWybourne
    Yes to all of that.

  32. BW

    Don't disagree with you, but I am interested in stories.

  33. Me too; but she confuses that with reportage and a makes a million from it while calling the rest of us fools.

  34. Actually, more than many men or women, she epitomises CiF.

  35. 34 comments amidst the tumbleweed.

    Not working, is it, Montana?

    You backed the wrong horse. More to the point, the wrong pony.

    Must be galling to find that you've alienated those you identified with and got stuck with the middle class tossers (-;

  36. The interesting thing about Dr Greer is that she
    doesn,t seem to have much time for other women.She
    seems to expect to be revered by women and can get
    snooty when that isn,t forthcoming.But when push
    comes to shove she seems to prefer the company of
    alpha males.Some have even suggested that Dr Greer,s
    biggest regret was that she wasn,t born with a dick
    between her legs.

    btw-commiserations for all those who lost money
    betting on a Pompey win!LOSERS!!!!

  37. Hank Scorpio

    You alright mate!

    If i,m to be branded a tosser then fair enough.But
    please less of the middle class!!!

  38. Hank
    In case you missed it.



  39. Hi MsChin

    Thanks - Have read the GG article - lots of thought provoking stuff there. I will have to read it again before i comment.

    the thought which interests me - and with which I agree - is that that the way we learn to speak - our vocab and means of expression - helps determine the way we think. The implausability of many of the old stories does not bother children at all.

    A paucity of language skills can limit thinking. The development of imagination, the hnt at an answer rather than explanation encourages looking at problems with the expectation of several possible solutions or outcomes.

    There is political and social subversion in many of the old tales .

    Hi Hank.

  40. Like GG or not , aprove of her or not - I'm with MsChin on this. I too like stories.

    I often enjoy reading the stories that people on Cif tell themselves - and about themselves.

  41. MsChin

    Language historians claim that the 300 years during which Anglo Saxon 'english' went underground, being spoken only by the peasantry is a false picture.

    The rich and ruling classes employed local women as servants and nursery maids so the aristocratic Norman French speaking children will have learned both languages as well as hearing the old folk tales.

  42. Leni
    Well that's just the problem for me. The "oral tradition" has always been at risk due to those magnates who own mass media. Whichever way you call it, those "stories" on Cif are ultimately just the officially-approved versions. Such as the one which says only women (rich, knowing ones at that) protect and nurture the oral tradition - as GG is implying there. This is offensively untrue.

    Unless you mean the BTL comments - which you can find anywhere between facebook and here. Or better still in a pub.

    Mmm... pub...

  43. foryouBW


    Hi, Paul. Nope, I don't think you're necessarily a middle class tosser. I don't know you so won't make a judgement.

    I don't think that BW and Leni are middle class tossers but, sadly, they're good guys who got stranded here, surrounded by middle class tossers who Montana welcomed with open arms while alienating those who had something worthwhile to say.

  44. BW

    I was really thinking about ATL - the stories we are supposed to accept as absolutes. The twisting of both truth and language - many people seem unaware of how language works - on how many levels it effects and affects us - how the 'mainstory' is designed to block out and deny all the back stories. There is never only one narrative.

  45. Hank Scorpio

    No worries.!Likewise i don,t have any beef with you.
    It,s actually good to 'see' you when you drop in.

    Hope all,s good with you!

  46. Sorry, Leni, link's not working. It's Dylan's Pawn In the Game....

  47. BW

    We need look no further than the elitist view of workfare and the 'stories from the street' about its consequences, its reality. The oral tradition survives - seen as subversive and threatening - the oral tradition comes from many voices - the official story must be told with one voice.

  48. "The twisting of both truth and language - many people seem unaware of how language works - on how many levels it effects and affects us - how the 'mainstory' is designed to block out and deny all the back stories. There is never only one narrative."

    Well put, Leni.

  49. Leni

    The use of language is an interesting one.Have often
    expressed my contempt for the current genre of using
    the language of consensus and empathy to disguise
    the reality which too often is coercion-as well as
    exclusion and demonisation for those who don,t

  50. Hmm
    Not sure what you mean there leni. Many of the articles amount to deliberate obfuscation and / or poorly written claptrap. That doesn't amount to multiple narratives. That amounts to me - you - everyone - being lied to and taken for a wanker.

    It's just the same old heierarchical bullshit.

    If I want real "narratives" I' know where to find them. Real people who don't have someone elses' agenda or stipend to compromise their thoughts.

    If I was to look for that I'd go for something like this


    Cheers Hank.

  51. Leni
    I wrote that response to your 22:16 post; your 22:23 post makes more sense to me, but I still view the ATL witterings as largely the "officially approved" versions...

  52. Tanks for that Hank.

    We touched on this subject a few nights ago here. How do we know the part we play ? OK so joining the army or toting a gun in the name of the state is fairly obvious. Don't do it - that's my belief.

    But in the grey area - or the grey zone as Primo Levi described it - there are few certainties.

    We choose a path - believing it to be the right one, or in some cases the safest one. Do we turn from it or stick doggedly and perhaps mistakenly to it ? Certainties can kill.

  53. Hello Hank.

    Nice tunes there.


    Makes sense to me. A cultural synthesis rather than cultural invasion, like the merging of pagan / Roman gods & practices.

    I take BWs point about GGs 'only women ..' monocular view being utterly misleading though.

  54. MsChin

    Agreed. The travelling minstrels , bards who told the old tales, norse story tellers .

    the huge qustion about who wrote the original scriptures down and where did the original stories come from. Story telling is a tradition shared by men and women.

  55. "Story telling is a tradition shared by men and women."

    Unlike GG, you are telling the truth. It's not rocket science is it ?

    Here's Bruce with a story


    Shoot me down in flames, tell me you don't like my company, or think I'm a blowing in the wind drunken bum, but you can't tell me this ain't better than 99% of that shite they peddle over there on the beast...

    The Promise.

    Johnny works in a factory and Billy works downtown
    Terry works in a rock and roll band
    Lookin' for that million-dollar sound
    I got a little job down in Darlington
    But some nights I don't go
    Some nights I go to the drive-in, or some nights I stay home
    I followed that dream just like those guys do up on the screen
    And I drive a Challenger down Route 9 through the dead ends and all the bad scenes
    And when the promise was broken, I cashed in a few of my dream

    Well now I built that Challenger by myself
    But I needed money and so I sold it
    I lived a secret I should'a kept to myself
    But I got drunk one night and I told it
    All my life I fought this fight
    The fight that no man can never win
    Every day it just gets harder to live
    This dream I'm believing in
    Thunder Road, oh baby you were so right
    Thunder Road there's something dyin' on the highway tonight

    I won big once and I hit the coast
    But somehow I paid the big cost
    Inside I felt like I was carryin' the broken spirits
    Of all the other ones who lost
    When the promise is broken you go on living
    But it steals something from down in your soul
    Like when the truth is spoken and it don't make no difference
    Something in your heart goes cold
    I followed that dream through the southwestern flats
    That dead ends in two-bit bars
    And when the promise was broken I was far away from home
    Sleepin' in the back seat of a borrowed car
    Thunder Road, for the lost lovers and all the fixed games
    Thunder Road, for the tires rushing by in the rain
    Thunder Road, Billy and me we'd always say
    Thunder Road, we were gonna take it all and throw it all away

  56. Now in case anyone got down after my beligerent onslaught, here's some even more bad news. I like Leonard Cohen.


    He makes me smile.

  57. Look will SOMEONE please tell me if this is actually in Dutch? Please.


  58. BW

    not Dutch. That is so funny - the nonreaction of everybody else.

    Love Leonard Cohen - his humour, his smile is bittersweet .

  59. Hey leni
    What do you make of this ?

    I'm troubled. It is so beautiful, so perfect, so authentic.

    Yet from what I can garner she's a 21 year old Millwaukee rich kid, now living in LA who obviously has music coursing through her veins yet mostly has done indie stuff and cannot - cannot - know the pain whereof she speaks...

    A bit like Gram Parsons a few decades ago.

    Rock and roll mystifies me sometimes.


  60. BW
    What do you think of this ? I am just starting to investigate Yemeni Music.


    Off to bath with book.

  61. Nah BW. That's good stuff. No worries. Beautiful.

  62. Bitterweed:

    Look will SOMEONE please tell me if this is actually in Dutch? Please.


    i answered this question when you first asked it a few days ago.

  63. BW

    i saw this on Jules. I was disturbed - perhaps for a different reason.

    Echoes of a hymn of course but mainly the disconnect between the music and her movements.

    Being rich does not mean the girl cannot empathise.

    Def. off to bath.

  64. yeah


    Hey linguists - can anyone tell me if this is Dutch or Belgian

    A famous case, seen it before, Belgian TV, Flemish presenter, speaking Flemish, laughing stupidly. I think he was sacked for it.
    11 May, 2010 22:31

  65. Leni
    My first instincts, after admiring it a lot is that it's probably quite difficult for them to make that music in Yemen for political reasons.

    It is redolent of 60s jazz, yet also particularly some North African (magrehb) music

    I was also thinking Sun Ra...

    All in all, pretty goddamn good. Hope book/bath deal affords good times.

    Now THERE you are
    Going to start off slushy my pal. For no other reason than I fancy the living skin off this replicant (Rachel, not Dekcard)



  66. Medve

    wish people would stop posting things which catch my interest !!!

    i noticed the French in it.

    Now I AM off.

  67. BW

    I think Ravid is now in Israel.

    Night x

  68. Leni
    Exactly - her movements are too mannered. It's like she's leart it from Hollywood; fast-tracked and hot housed.

    A sweet, sweet song nonetheless.

    This is fucking great, from a mate of mine I got pissed with this afternoon. His old man = west Indies and he grew up in a fuck off hard estate in my shite factory town. georgeous geezer, hard as fook

    Jonestown massacre CHALKDUST


    Cheers medve.

  69. montana/leni/mschin

    When you get up in the morning put this on.


    It will make your day a better one. Trust me.

  70. Calypso will never die...


  71. Fuckin actors!! Fuckin robots!!!

    Good sounds though BW.

    Up early me man


  72. navro
    You always come in with some excelent taste mate. Outstanding.

    Have this


  73. Damn stupid talented twat went and ended it


  74. Aye

    he was a fucking goodun !

  75. Duke
    Great *glastonbury* link earlier by the way.

  76. @HankSorpio: "must be galling to find you have alienated those you identified with and got stuck with the middle class tossers."
    The "class war" is over mate. I can only speak for myself but I don't belong to any class, I'm merely a human being. We might not be equals in terms of wealth but that doesn't mean we can't share some morality and I'm not religious and I don't believe in God.

  77. Off to bedski BW.

    Last one. Being a bit of a soppy twat now.

    Do excuse the video.


  78. Chekhov

    Dissertation v. interesting . Will mail you.

  79. Here's that girl again.

    Because damn.


  80. Montana
    That one is especially for you by the way.

  81. Nice