21 May 2010


Otto III became Holy Roman Emperor at the age of 16 in 996.  French troops invaded the Paris Commune in 1871, beginning La Semaine Sanglante.  By the end of the week, 20,000 communards were dead and another 38,000 had been arrested.  In 1924, two University of Chicago students, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, killed 14 year old Bobby Franks for the thrill of committing "the perfect crime."  In 1994, the MV Bukoba sank in Lake Victoria, killing nearly 1000 people.  An earthquake in Algeria killed around 2000 people in 2003.

Born today:  Albrech Dürer (1471-1528), Alexander Pope (1688-1744), Henri Rousseau (1844-1910), Fats Waller (1904-1943) and Leo Sayer (1948)

Today is the Circassian Day of Mourning in the northern Caucasus.


  1. Hello visitor from Japan.

  2. Morning Deano

    How's Japan?

    just catching up from last night.... will be along later as busy day ahead and it's going to be hottest day of the year so far. Need to get my lard-arse out and around the park ;0)

    (from yesterday)

    "I meant what I said above about Diane Abott being a traitor to less advantaged under her watch. She is. By doing what she did she systematicaly fucked annettan's kids, leni's kids, montana's kids, and millions of similar"

    I do agree with you and not everybody does it. I was quite good friends with the wife of one of the very successful BritArt gang(long story)and they sent their kids went to one of the local Comps in Hackney (a good school) despite having more than enough money to buy them some pretty expensive education. So success should not mean an abandoning of principles.

    At the same time, I've a singing/piano pupil, working class Black kid, very talented and his Mum is going all out to get him a scholarship to one of the best public shcools.... she sees that as the only way of realising his potential as music has already been drastically cut back this year in the local school, therefore it is a very powerful lure for some.

  3. Morning La Rit

    No finer thought than that of a charming and musical lady taking the air of healthy exercise on a warm day....

    Yesterday was a delight in Yorks and my much loved old dog Miss Diesel enjoyed the little bit more ease that the warmth gave to her normally aching bones..........she positively bounced into our walks.

    Normally these days she determinedly drags herself after me on our walks, yesterday she was determined to lead the walk and kept dashing ahead and looking back to see why it was taking me so long.

    Always good to see an old dog enjoying new tricks and throwing herself, with abandon, into the final chapters of her life.

    Bless her little white socks on this wonderful warm morning here..

  4. Ahh... Deano

    Cheers for making me smile this morning.

    I envy you a doggie.... am desparate for one, but until the 3 cats shuffle off this mortal coil, or I come into money and can afford to live in a bigger flat... dreams on.

    There's a woman who lives around here with a very lovely, elderly dog. I saw them walking one afternoon and the dog was limping along, huffing and puffing like an old soldier...I went up to say 'hello' to said doggie (very friendly and smiley pooch) and after rolling around a bit, she jumped up and started being all bouncy like a puppy!

    Her owner said, you know, all that limping is just an act for sympathy! She apparently thrives on attention - so back comes the bounce, for a little while ;)

    My sister's fella had a very old rescue Lurcher called Captain (we were good friends as you can imagine) he'd ahd a tough old life, but he was around for 4 years before he finally gave up the fight.... they had a wake in his favourite pub so all the people who knew and loved him could celebrate a lovely doggie...

    I hope you can have something similar for when Miss Diesel finally departs this world...

  5. Just before I go, if you haven't seen this... it's a heart-warmer - enjoy!


  6. Pity the poor bastard in China who's just been locked up for three and a half years for.........licentiousness.....

    deano is an innocent
    at large

    Let that be a lesson for the learning.

    Just to reassure my friends in Sheffield - I promise to behave on our get together. I know how to do it for I had a family member who was a vicar who was unfrocked for licentiousness.

    Not a word or look out of place - I double promise.

    Dog walking calls.

  7. BW - Re yesterday. Can women be tossers?

    Depends on precisely what you mean by a tosser I guess! (;

    I do know what you mean though!

    Deano LOL! I believe you of course!

  8. Who is Hanna Wright, what articles did she write, and how do I get her to marry me?

    Also: Great ATL, Philippa! I'm going to have a look at it in a few moments.

  9. A long time ago, way back in the 70's, a bf of one my cousins used to don a dog collar to go on the rob ;0)

    Worked too!

  10. Elementary... i think yo'll have to do your wooing BLT....

    I like her though, though of course, not in that way!

  11. jesus, my typing gets worse by the day.... do you think it's the influence of all those barely literate right-wing gits on CiF??

  12. Just seen it... must dash....

  13. Philippa

    enjoyed your article. On an indie note, I thought I would draw your attention to the Glasgow indie eye spy league in which you gain points per sighting of an Glasgow indie band member. Double points for either shagging or fighting one (it is Glasgow after all).

    As Glasgow has an inordinate amount of indie bands, it's arranged like Scottish football- SPL, 1st, 2nd and 3rd divisions.

    I've done quite well in the past, although you only have to walk up Byres road of an afternoon to see 3/4 of Belle & Sebastion, half of the Pastels and one of Franz Ferdinand/Camera Obscura at any one time.

  14. La Ritournelle
    It's about power isn't it ? Your friend probably doesn't infleunce policy and then make a career of pretending to champion those she has systematically de-privileded. Abbott does.

  15. annetan42
    I think "tosser" should be generic. Like "dick-head".

    I'm trying to push back boundaries here...

  16. Morning all

    Wasn,t the female equivalent of 'tossing' once referred
    to as 'frigging in the rigging'.Not sure it,s relevant
    to this discussion but may add a new dimension to it.

  17. Philippa - good article must confess I have not heard of any of those bands! But then my life became music-less for 20 years(depression made all music sound like aural wallpaper to me :( ] and am presently reconnecting with the 60's!! If I live long enough I am sure I will get up to date.

    Your point about mainstream music and mainstream politics is an excellent one though. Both of course serve capitalism one bt ensuring power stays in their hands and the other by providing mindless repetitive crap.

    I think its harder to find the good stuff, especially if you are not of that generation.

  18. BW - I agree, was just being cheeky!

    In that meaning there is of course total equality as Cif continues to proove Above & below the line!

  19. Paul - 'frigging in the rigging'!! :D


  20. Paul
    Those sort of dimensions always welcome.

  21. Bean flicker
    double digit shuffle
    Bollard squatter
    Nuns nightlies

  22. Morning all!


    Nice piece. Worth popping back to el graun for!!

    (one can't help but think it would have had that bit more gravitas if you'd used el pipsterinha as your nom de plume though. But maybe that's just me....)

  23. @James

    I was just reading a P.G. Wodehouse book where a glamorous female character was described as a 'pipterino'. Any relation?

  24. Peter,

    haha. I had no idea of the 'literary heritage' actually.

    But it does add a little som'thin, som'thin to the cause!!

    (you seeing this Philippa?)

  25. Ah summer is here at last my upstairs neighbour is blasting Cheryl Cole at earsplitting volume with his windows wide open.

    How kind of him to share.

    I am tempted to repay him with some old metal cds I have but I am too much of a coward.

    Great article Philippa but you forgot to mention some of the really great late 80s music like the SnapDragons or The Darling Buds. ;)

    Just kidding but am I the only one who went to about a hundred terrible gigs for every good one back then?

  26. I think the phrase bollard squatter may be the most disturbing think I have heard this year, well done Turminder. :-)

  27. jennifer,

    Our upstairs neighbours had a karaoke evening recently, it was Friday night so we couldn't really complain, we just took to cheering REALLY LOUDLY and banging on the ceiling at the end of each set!

    I'm sorry this doesn't help you much: cheering is never an appropriate response to Cheryl Cole...

  28. Hello All

    ElementaryW - (Holmes I presume?)

    Hannah Wright was once a regular BTLer - she worked in WB as Women's advocate. She wrote an article on political representation of women in PA .

    As to how you can marry her - propose passionately on line - with suitable compliments - and see how it goes from there.

  29. How to respond to neighbour's music ? Depends on music. Cheryl Cole certainly justifies complaint Jenni.

  30. Jennifer, Dotterel:

    Our upstairs neighbours had a karaoke evening recently, it was Friday night so we couldn't really complain, we just took to cheering REALLY LOUDLY and banging on the ceiling at the end of each set!

    May i suggest jeering if the cheering proves to be ineffective?

  31. jennifera30
    The first six Black Sabbath albums would be a start.

    Cathartic too, I find.

  32. Evening my little Untrusted Ones

    What a lovely evening it is too. \o/

    Gonna get the barbie out tomorrow. Lurvely.

    I knew Bindel would be writing about the anonymity of alleged rapists today. I commented on it meself, needless to say, as I believe in some instances it might lead to women coming forward who otherwise wouldn't.

  33. Thanx Jen & A42, I means a lot to me, really ; ) I was a bit bored at work today... I was quite pleased with bollard squatter.

    As you were..

  34. Evening all....
    also a wonderful evening here...

    "Gonna get the barbie out tomorrow"

    hope you also get Ken out....!

  35. I always preferred Sindy.

    I'm not one for rumours, but I've heard that Barbie's into some freaky shit.

    (Coincidentally, she's probably the original (but literal) 'inspiration' for turminders euphemism)

  36. Heh - I always preferred Sindy too! Had loads of Sindy dolls when I were a nipper.

    The lads have gone all Iron Man and are burning newspapers in a makeshift fire in the garden... hubby has just had a shout at them for "fucking around with the lawn"... oops.

    What is it about boys and fire?

  37. I have 2 (male) cousins who, when about 12 or 13 yrs old, used to make bombs with fertiliser in the garden shed....thank your luckies BB

  38. Holy shit, gandolfo! They would be banged up for 10 years if they got caught doing that today!

  39. Hmmm, fertiliser bombs.

    Depending on how things pan out over the coming months, them could be some skills in high demand right there....

    (I'm obviously joking if anybody's 'watching' this thread!!)

  40. BB - 'What is it about boys and fire?'

    Not sure, but I remember my son and two friends going through a complete garden pyromaniac phase when they were about 13 - lasted about 6 months as I recall - was constantly sweeping up small piles of ash & charred... things...

  41. BB, gandolfo:

    What is it about boys and fire?

    I hate to think what it would be like to grow up now as a boy, when "normal" knowledge for a 12-14 year old would probably fall under information potentially useful to a terrorist.

  42. BB
    yeah it was in those halcyon days when kids just hung out and blew their parents' sheds up, a clip roung the ear seemed to suffice as a deterrent...
    yet a glimmer of hope as Henry Porter (i think a feeble excuse for the restructuring of CiF) suggests with his leaving "Liberty Central" those days will return with the all new free ConDems in power and their "new respect for civil liberties" we will all be allowed to have a hobby like that..... ;)

  43. James
    "Depending on how things pan out over the coming months"
    obviously I'm hyper fantasising now but.....no best not to say......never know who's "watching"....;)

  44. Evenin' all...

    For anyone having a barbie soon, if you tightly wrap up the phosphorous half of five matches in tin foil and stick 'em on the barbie, they make a nice noise when lifting off. Stand back, though.

    Oh and the life-threatening fun we used to have with pierced aerosols... Stand in another street for that one.

    By the way - the one who taught us all that, was my mate's older sister - mad Steph, explosives genius. It's not just boys who try to kill and mame themselves.

  45. Oh shit! Has my suggestion of setting fire to aerosols wiped out UT in single moment?

  46. Habib - seems to have done! It is fun though... but you're right about standing in the next street.

    Sorry, can only do inconsequential tonight - lots of red wine + long & crap week not conducive (is that how you spell it?) to serious comments. Did have a rant on the letter-writing thread tho...

  47. Habib

    yes bombs and fireworks, sparks, bangs and flames. Great fun.

    When my boys were youngsters we lived in old house with big ingle nook fireplace. We made fireworks and sent them up the chimney. Practical chemistry can be both instructive and fun.

    I still love bonfires. Every time I light my garden fire I have to dismantle the accumulated hedge cuttings etc. to make sure nothing is sleepingb in it. First fire this year revealed a toad, 2 slow worms and a bemused hedgehog - oh and numerous woodlice, small things I have a particular affection for.

  48. Evening shaz/heyhabib

    Sorry have i missed tonights on-line lesson on how
    to make a petrol bomb?

  49. Hi Shaz

    I,m clean out of rants myself - waiting for the music.

  50. Leni

    I didn,t have you down as a pyromaniac.

  51. Paul

    Small jumping bombs are more fun - and safer than the traditional anarchist bomb.

  52. "What is it about boys and fire?"

    Ask Arthur

  53. Paul

    No - I,m not, not in the destructive sense.

    Fire - and explosions have fascinated mankind forever.

    A Chinese emperer - forgotten which - was so horrified by the effects of gun powder when used as a weapon forbad its use in war - on the grounds that it was dangerous and unfair to use it against an enemy not so equipped.

  54. Leni - I only light my garden fire about every three months, takes some dismantling for pre-lighting checks, and makes the hedgepigs very grumpy. Haven't found a slow-worm in my garden yet.

    Hello Paul - not petrol bombs, teenage pyromania- although there was some mention of fertiliser bombs earlier - no recipe tho...

  55. Martillo - saw Mr Brown perform that live a couple of years ago when I was stewarding at a rock festival in Kent - fantastic!

  56. I'd assumed he was dead, shazz! I'm so pleased. Did he do fire?

  57. Don,t worry Leni and Shaz if there is a sudden
    outbreak of unexplained fires all over the country
    your secrets are safe with me.I,m not a grass:-)

    Evening Martillo.

  58. Nice work, Martillo. A song for mad Steff. She was my hero.

  59. Martillo - he most certainly did. Was really lucky, was escorting a woman in a wheelchair up from the car park, & he started singing when we were at the top of the hill - I didn't hurry back!

  60. When I was a lad, me and my mate set fire to the gorse on the "rec"(recreation ground)behind the Bradway Pub (for the Sheffield contingent who know the geography). We didn't do it deliberately but it was the summer and all the vegetation was as dry as snuff.
    No one was hurt but it taught me a lesson I'll never forget about how dangerous it is to play with fire!

  61. Shaz, I don't know what kind of week anybody else has had, but inconsequential seem like a good way to end it, for me.

    Leni, I never knowingly killed a hedgehog,

    Paul, best I don't talk too much about that, having an arab name and all. Shit, I think I already have. Speak well of me when they provide a flight to a friendly nation.

  62. chekhov - we had a child in school some years ago who used to nick matches/lighters from home, bring them into school, and set fire to the bog roll in the boys' toilets... not bad for a 6 year-old!

  63. heyhabib

    I reckon if extraordinary rendition does re-emerge
    its ugly head in this country methinks it won,t
    be long before i,ll be joining you.As it is i can
    barely leave my house without half the Met thinking
    i,ve got a gun,knife and a whole stash of weed
    attached to my gonads.

  64. Now Paul, they would be some great balls of fire.

  65. Hi Paul.

    "Was really lucky, was escorting a woman in a wheelchair" Count your blessings eh shazz?

    Let's keep

  66. 'Now Paul, they would be some great balls of fire.'

    No! Don't light the stash...

  67. Paul: Attaching weed to your gonads is drug abuse IMHO.

  68. Martillo - really nice woman with a great sense of humour and fantastic taste in music - as we were driving up the hill she offered me a fiver for everyone I ran over who wouldn't move out of the way of the car. One of the only other people I've met who likes Gong (Daevid Allen was playing at the same show)

  69. Shazthewombat: There is a big problem where I live in the North East with arson. Right on cue I look up to the bookshelf above my computer and reach for a copy of "The Fire Raisers" by Max Frisch....mmm must have another read of that!

  70. Evening all - have been in the pub, having worked out that I can't get the pizza place to deliver every day. Sadly.

    This tune has been running round my head for a while now.

  71. chekhov - in German or English? :o)

  72. Peter - great song. Living in the arse end of nowhere, great excitement has greeted the arrival of our first pizza delivery place - and their BOGOF offer Mon-Thurs.

    ...it's Friday. .

    Hadn't heard this for years...

  73. Chekhov

    fire raising is common in deprived areas - anger. We have kids here who regularly fire the mountain. Potentially very dangerous to themselves and always a disaster for wildlife. Our local part time firemen - on call - earn eough for holiday and Christmas every summer !

  74. Shazthewombat: the publication I have is in English, published by Methuen. Translation @ 1962 by Michael Bullock.

  75. @Shaz - was lying in bed playing that one in my head only this morning.

    And, for other reasons, this.

  76. Ah - and coming across this is great - it was the Our Tune of a relationship I had with the heiress to Wadworth's brewery in Devizes in 1982. Of course, I don't expect it to mean much to the rest of you..,

  77. Whoops, forgot the link. It's here.

  78. Leni: BTW thanks for your e-mail. I'm a bit confused. You mentioned "psycho drama" or something like that. Could you clarify what you mean by that? Is it a term that I referred to under a different name?

  79. Chekhov

    Maybe Leni was calling you a psycho.:-)

  80. Paul: we are all "psychos"...at least those of us that know that the lunatics have taken over the asylum!

  81. Paul

    Naughty !


    I was musing round your dissertatio really.

    Psychodrama as therapy is recognise method of working out iner conflicts - I was connecting this - in my mind - to plays and stories which can sometime reflect inner conflicts of writers - we , the reader can enter these internal dramas - actors can mediate and change perceptions of original for audience if their own intrudes.

    Sometimes literature explores social conflicts or the conflict of individual within a society but at odd with its values. Writing is not only observational. It's complex.

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  84. Medve

    Don,t want to cross any boundaries.

    Nite Leni x

  85. Paul: I understand, have deleted my previous post as well.

  86. Leni: thanks for your reply. You are quite right, it's a complex business but that doesn't mean there isn't a simple solution.
    Too many "sherberts" to discuss right now but look forward to doing it when I'm sober!

  87. Chekhov

    i'll really have to get into this drinking lark - have tried but failed to gt the hang of it .

    Night Paul - be good. x

  88. Leni: Everyone has their vices. I would not recommend drinking too much alcohol as one them that does but I have to admit that I indulge more often than is good for me with too much red wine!