26 December 2010


Happy Boxing Day!
A man who views the world the same way at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
-Muhammad Ali


  1. What do you mean, it's not that kind of boxing?

  2. Good pic, Montana! Hope you had a lovely day.

  3. greatly enjoyed the bonanze of BBC-made drama on one of the lesser channls - Alice in Wonderland, then Oliver Twist - to avoid the dross on the main channels. I mean, really - lots of Christmas-themed telefilms brought in from Italy (?) and the like. and have introduced the oisette to yorkshire puddings, and sage and onion stuffing, and proper gravy. so that was a success, think. also new flatmate turned up and appears to be cripplingly shy rather than a psycho (following some slightly odd emails previously), so that's all good.

    Is it irony or a computer setings f-up that has the current crop of editorials accompanied by a logo that is just a big blue zero?

  4. Morning all

    Glad to hear you had a good day, Phil.

    I am looking forward to a supremely gorgeous day of doing as little as possible. Tired after yesterday so it's baked spuds, salad and leftovers for lunch on a "help yourself" basis.

    Tried to watch Inception last night and found it utterly confusing. Will have to wait until I am wide-awake and stone cold sober to try and "get" it, I think.

    Off to browse the Graun for a bit.

  5. So, what was all that shit about, then?

    Was it a sort of toy-town-sized version of the delights of capitalism for those who spend the other 364 days of the year just looking in and licking the window of success?

    One day on which to experience the queasy delights of excess and plenty and a type of working worklessness and the illusion that everything in the world we could possibly desire just plops effortlessly into our laps, gift-wrapped and sealed with tokens and symbols of love to show that we really are the best boys and girls in the whole wide world.

    Perhaps we can only stand to live the lives of our elders and betters for one day of the year without feeling sick.

    How they can manage it for a lifetime speaks of vast resources of determination on their part or huge levels of indifference on ours.

    Rather than making resolutions for the new year which involve ourselves alone, perhaps we should cast our net somewhat wider.

    Obviously, that is why a few days were cunningly inserted between Pizza Monster Day and Next Big Number Day, in order to allow us to think.

    OK. Thinking over until next year.

    Back to the food and the booze and the toys.

    Back to real life.

    Back to the future.

  6. hey, BB - i actually like boxing day lunch (bubble and squeak!) more than the day itself. but as we scarfed all the duck yesterday, will be having to come up with something else...

    re: inception - i don't think being sober will help. could make things worse, in fact.

    if you're browsing, could you pop over to the 'I love Tommy Sheridan' thread and asnwer a little query re perjury charges?

  7. Philippa

    Is it irony or a computer setings f-up that has the current crop of editorials accompanied by a logo that is just a big blue zero?

    I haven't looked over there, but it would seem that someone is trying to send the readership a secret signal about the value of the content.

  8. Happy Boxing Day, people.

    I missed most of Xmas Day, having come down with the lurgy :(

  9. peh, mschin, that sucks - hope you are feeling a little better and can avail yourself of treats...

  10. Bonjour tout le monde, I see that Atoms is still on the ball! Here's my politepiece for PreModding on Preston --

    Mr Preston, thanks for spelling out more of the commercial detail ---

    "A prospective Sky subscription scheme incorporating Murdoch newspaper website subs – or even print subscriptions on top – is a competition-shivering prospect. And, more realistically, a joint rate card or selling pitch for satellite TV ads and newspaper ads seems a real frightener. Thus the effort to get the Sky deal blocked has been high-stakes stuff"

    The next step will surely be to set up as an ISP , where you switch on your computer and watch read and listen to nothing but Murdoch.

    Truly full-spectrum dominance of the informational battlespace."

    Incidentally, perhaps a new 'first'. I posted on the Business page, passed pre-modding, and was then Modded!

    Perhaps, it was because I gave a link to Golem on Ireland...which is why I'd like someone else to try it on the Lisa O'Carroll threads.Worth a visit ...

  11. who is this 'anne' woman on BH? because she's just pulled out the 'all poor people have plasma screens' line (explaining why we should cut the booktrust grant)...

  12. it's atkins, isn't it? what a thing to do to us on boxing day...

  13. Yes, AB...it is all a (rather nauseatingly lurid, heavily-sugared, My Little Pony-friendly) dream...The Shotgun Wedding Quintet - Don't Wake Me Up

    From the comments below a hilariously clueless article by Charles Arthur (AKA The Benny Hill of Tech Journalism):

    On a slightly more serious note I find this article quite astonishing. Smart phones are computers, small ones but nonetheless, computers. If one buys the upgrade to the next version of your stationary's os (or your laptop's) whether you have got a Mac or a Windows pc, what does the "book of words" say? "Back up your system before you run the upgrade"!

    If you ran the upgrade without backing up your data and then complained to your local Apple or Microsoft emporium that their upgrade had frakked your system, what would they say? "Vanish making small sharp jerking motions" is what they would say and they would be fully justified.

    The reason I say that I find this article astonishing is that if I had made such a elementary error when updating any of my kit I certainly would not embarrass myself by boasting about my idiotic mistake in a national newspaper, particularly if I was a (pauses to howl with laughter) tech journo.

    Now, being absolutely dead serious for a moment, I would recommend very strongly (and I say this without any snide intent at all) that the author passes this phone over to a colleague for evaluation and review.

    He ought to be big enough to accept that in the light of this error and what he has made of it in this article that any review from him of this phone will, unfortunately, have very limited credibility. In other words I am saying in the friendliest possible way, you have ended up in a hole - don't dig any further.

    I'm amazed this hasn't been deleted yet. I'm guessing the mods are too dim to grasp just how devastating to the idiot Arthur this is.

  14. she's even telling us not to feed birds now. peh.

  15. hello politely! (is that xenium? got a bit confused yesterday) - have pootled over to that thread given lack of anything interesting on cif (know f-all about tech, but what the hell, it's christmas) and did like the post from prolescum on the ipad / andoid issue:


  16. bollocks. use of < and > seem to have sodded that up. trying again:

    < RandomPoster1 >INSULT
    < RandomPoster2 > RETORT
    < RandomPoster1 > COUNTER-RETORT
    < RandomPoster1 > RIPOSTE
    < RandomPoster2 > ADDON RIPOSTE
    < RandomPoster1 > COUNTER-RIPOSTE

  17. Former Irish Nationwide boss Michael Fingleton still hasn't paid bonus back
    Here's a story that will boil enough blood to last into the new year

    (That was the sub-header, not me....)

  18. hmmmm. that tech article does look a bit like the kind of thing i'd say to a colleague. which would lead to them sighing quietly and then eplaining things to me v e r y s l o w l y a n d c l e a r l y ....

    which is why i am not a tech correspondent for the guardian.

  19. "who is this 'anne' woman on BH?"

    Which thread is that, Philippa?

    And the Tommy Sheridan piece should have come with a health warning ..

  20. PolitelyHomicidal is Mishari al Adwani who is also ModsRockYourWorld and others.

    Does it especially matter who is peeping from behind the makeshift camouflage and disguise, the bits of vegetation stuffed down the collar and under the hat and the swooshes of brown mud and green sap which allow us to blend invisibly with our surroundings as we reconnoitre and sow the seeds of dissent and confusion in our roles as agents provocateurs/euses?

    We have to learn to be fluid and make like chameleons and be flashily shapeshifting.

    We are all MarsupialInEuphonium now.

  21. "I am MyMumBakesCakesInEsher!" is a battle-cry we can all get behind, AB. I see I've been spamfucked again. God, I hate blogspot.

  22. Phil

    Responded on the Sheridan thread. The notion that we only pursue slebs for perjury is complete bollocks. People only hear about the sleb prosecutions, therefore that is all that exists? Bit self-referential as an argument, really...

    And BH - do you mean Broadcasting House? Is it really Anne Bloody Atkins on there? *shudder*

    AB - bah, Murray Mints. :o) I think the big Ois meant to represent the fact that it is an Opinion piece - presumably the shit they got for the "I can't believe it's not Glover" anti-union shite has made them decide that a big O next to a piece to say "It's only what someone else, thinks, honest!" might save their miserable asses next time.

    MsChin - hope you feel better soon. Sorry you had such a lousy day. Hope you have suitable numbers of people in the house to run round and look after you. xx

    PH - spamfucked? I have kind of lost the plot a bit today so I am not sure what you are on about. I knew watching half an hour of Inception would fuck with my brain...

  23. Hi BB, beeen spamfucked twice now...

  24. @AB and BB

    The big 'O' is to emphasise that they are Observer editorials rather than Guardian ones. This gives the G some plausible deniability if the O's leader writers come up with something as absurd as the G's union one.

  25. Dave - Aha! You mean stuck in the spam bin? I will check it out... hang on...

    And thanks for the explanation, PJ.

  26. On a completely different note, some clever bugger wrote this, and it was posted on a lawyerly blog. Very cleverly done, though, as it is exactly the terminology the UKBA would use in a reasons for refusal letter:

    Dear Jesus,

    You have applied for asylum in the United Kingdom and and asked to be recognised as a refuge under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva Convention) on the basis that it would be contrary to the United Kingdom’s obligations under the Geneva Convention for you to be removed from or required to leave the United Kingdom. You claim to have a well founded fear of persecution in Palestine. Your application has not been considered by the Secretary of State personally but by an official acting on his behalf.

    In your interview you had difficulty explaining the reasons you claim to have suffered persecution. You claim to have suffered persecution because you are descended from David. In the alternative it is because you are the son of God. It is noted that in your screening interview you named Joseph and Mary as your parents. You also claim to have suffered persecution because of your preaching activities.

    It is considered that even the basic personal information you have provided about your family is inconsistent and therefore casts doubt on your entire claim. It is further noted that you have failed to provide birth certificates or other documents that might be expected to prove you are descended from David or that you are the son of Mary, Joseph and/or God. While it is accepted that asylum seekers may have difficulty producing documentary proof, you claim to have 11 close supporters who could easily send you such documents. (cont...)

  27. (...cont)
    Because of your family background you claim to have narrowly avoided being killed soon after birth when a local warlord called Herod ordered the slaughter of the innocents. It is noted that some country information sources confirm that such an event took place. However, your claim to be the intended victim is rejected. If you had been the intended victim and Herod was as powerful as you claim then you would be dead by now. It is implausible that you could have escaped in the way that you claim. This aspect of your account is rejected as being implausible.

    It is noted that you and your family fled Herod’s territory. If you were a genuine refugee you would have claimed asylum in the first safe country. This casts further doubt on the veracity of your claim.

    You claim to have been involved in a number of extremely implausible events, including walking on water and moving a very large boulder while technically dead. Your representative, a qualified and accredited Church of England adviser, submitted that these miracles are allegorical and are in fact complex metaphors. It is noted that you make no such claim yourself. These aspects of your claim are rejected and undermine your general credibility. It is noted that you claim that these events exacerbated your persecution. As the events are rejected, so too is your claim to have been persecuted because of

    It is noted that you claim to have travelled to the UK on a previous occasion with Joseph of Arimathea. As your representative conceded the dates simply do not add up. Further, if you had travelled to the UK previously you have not explained why you did not claim asylum previously. If you were genuinely in fear of your life because of your family background it is reasonable to have expected you to claim asylum at the earliest opportunity. This casts further doubt on the veracity of your claim.

    It is further noted that your fear is of the Pharisees. They appear to be non-state actors. It is therefore considered reasonable that you relocate within Palestine. Further, it is considered that you have failed to avail yourself of the protection of the local authorities and therefore that you will have a sufficiency of protection if you are returned. You claim that Pilate ‘washed his hands’ of you but this does not indicate an inability on the part of state authorities to offer protection, the test established by the case of Horvath.

    Your claim for asylum is rejected. You are requested to leave the UK. If you do not leave voluntarily your departure will be enforced.

    Yours etc

  28. Morning all!

    Whoever's in charge of such things, can go ahead and put me in the 'survived Christmas' column!

    Hope everyone had a good one!!

  29. Atomboy
    Does it especially matter who is peeping from behind the makeshift camouflage and disguise, the bits of vegetation stuffed down the collar and under the hat and the swooshes of brown mud and green sap which allow us to blend invisibly with our surroundings as we reconnoitre and sow the seeds of dissent and confusion in our roles as agents provocateurs/euses?
    Not really, just easier to keep track of more general chat if i can remember who everyone is...

    welcome back james! nice one.

    and cheers for the response, BB. bit confused by the whole 'case' 'for' being put over by the article...

  30. Hi James! Well done. Not sure if I have survived or not yet. My plan to do nowt today has been thwarted as it looks like I am preparing lunch after all. My father is an unreconstructed male chauvinist of the first water and getting off his bum to help doesn't seem to have filtered down into his psyche yet. I love him though, and would miss him, warts and all, if he wasn't here.

    How do they celebrate Christmas in Brazil?

    Phil - not sure how McKenna can justify his article, tbh. Sheridan was either extremely daft or has really been stitched up. I am inclined to think it was the former...

  31. BB.

    Christmas is 24th at midnight, open presents, then eat and drink shitloads, and if you're lucky (or a relatively fast runner, like me) you might escape and get to bed about 5, and indigestion permitting, sleep an hour or so later. Then it's up about 10 to repeat the 'eating and drinking shitload's stage, until one collapses, whimpering, under their own bodyweight, promising to never again allow any food or drink to pass their lips.....

    (So, you know, I want full-on kudos for surviving. Right now, I make that Bear Grylls fella look about as hard and macho as a desperate Guardian Intern on 'Freaky Fridays...')

  32. indigestion permitting, sleep an hour or so later

    hmmm, yes, had a broken night's sleep, after over-indulgences of the duck and chocolate varieties (separately, or wouldn't have got any sleep at all). ended up dreaming of bill sykes and bull mastiffs. may have restorative nap this afternoon...

  33. There's nothing quite like Christmas dreams is there, Pip!

    (I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to look at Venessa Feltz again, without crying and vomming a little.....)

  34. james - ouch! at least mine was based on the adaptation watched earlier in the evening, so it was tom hardy. who'll do, i suppose. *cough*

  35. Thanks for the unSpamming BB !

    I distributed the Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus last night; received two replies this morning, both containing the word 'wonderful'. Thanks there to Philippa and her dad.

    The Jackie Kay piece on CiF is recommended to those who've not yet been there ...

  36. aye - some positivity does occasionally help leaven the load - glad you and yours like the vid, dave! dad's last email to me referred to him trying to organise a 'flashmob advent thingy in Peasenhall', which i'm guessing is less likely to take the interwebz by storm...

  37. Hello world, glad to see you're still there.

    For any fans of Humph, jazz, or "Sorry, I haven't a clue", this radio 4 tribute was a bit good.

  38. Afternoon all. Slept in till about 10.30, now contemplating an afternoon nap. I suspect someone broke me.

  39. Morning - no, afternoon - more coffee needed, I think - hope everyone had a good day yesterday.

  40. James - sounds a lot like the French version of Christmas. I am amazed you survived it at all! :o)

    Habib, Meerkatjie and Shaz - Merry Boxing day.

    I am sitting watching my favourite film of all time on Film 4 - Local Hero. I have only ever seen it about 40 or 50 times, and not in the last year, so I needed another dose of it... :o)

  41. Oh I love Local Hero - it's a fab film.

  42. Meerkatjie: It still makes me laugh out loud after all these years.

    "Are you sure there are two L's in "dollar", Gideon?"
    "Aye... and are there two G's in "bugger off"?"

    And all the scots small-community quirks remind me of my mother's home town in the borders.

  43. BB - greetings. Just read your Good Samaritan link on the Jackie Kay thread - what a story.

    And on a different note, so is Australia 98 v England 157-0 (stumps, day one)

  44. Got swiftly through Pre-Mod twice this morning!

    Who do I mail to ask them to re-consider , I'm sure somebody here can answer that one :-)

  45. Hah! Good news about the cricket, Shaz. :o)

  46. Ahhhh. Boxing Day arguments about the telly...

    "You're not happy unless it's got a bloody spaceship in it..."

    "Well you're not happy unless it's god a bloody policeman in it - preferably from the 40s!"

    Tru dat. :o)

  47. Dave - I think there is an email addy for either moderators or moderation@guardian.co.uk you could try.

  48. dave from yurp--asking them to 're-consider'? Grow a pair, dude. You sound like one of those awful ex-lovers who just won't take 'fuck off and die' for an answer.

    Look...think of it this way...you get a puppy; it's cute as hell...but it's got fleas, lice and ticks. Now, the Grauniad is that puppy: what do you do?

    Obviously, you dump the puppy and hope it doesn't remember where you live...oh...hang on...perhaps that's a less-than-perfect analogy...let me get back to you...actually, damien in freedonia, listen to this instead...Richard Thompson - How Will I Ever Be Simple Again

  49. PH

    Even if you are dating a real minger, you don't ever want to be the one that has been chucked! :o)

  50. BB, (that was my mothers name) happy boxing day to you, too. Would you care to dance?

    Damn, I promised to stop flirting, too... New Years resolution, maybe, few days to go... Paul, you've been looking hot recently. ;-)

  51. Nice cheesy choon there, habib. :o)

    I don't think asking someone to dance is necessarily flirting, though.

  52. BB-- thanks love.

    Homicidal-- Fuck off.

  53. today's linguaphone course cum football commentary is ... russian.

    'horror-show' (xopowo - closest can get to cyrillic script) means 'good', right swifty? because that and 'andrew carrol' are the only words i can make out right now.

  54. Zowee...such rapier wit, daryl in Frome...did the crapauds remove yer sensayuma along wiff yer testicules? Inquiring minds want to know. Just kidding, darren in framingham...I'm sure you're very comical...

    Yeah, Pip...khorosho (Очень) = excellent (pronounced 'horrorshow', hence Alex and his droogs in A Clockwork Orange always going on about stuff being 'horrorshow'...

  55. thought so, politely, given the irony etc etc - and Очень / ochen = very, by itself?

  56. ...having established that, the russians have been taken off the air so am now watching wolves v wigan, which may be a cue to have that nap i've been promising meself.

  57. ..ah, no, there they are. marvellous. i predict there will be a punch-up round about minute 70. those of you familiar with my predictions will therefore know to look out for a wonderful show of sportsmanship round minute 62.

  58. quite like that the russians say 'footballist' - oisette's quite 'football-ist', but in a very different way...

  59. plokho? (n|oxo) = good?
    (can't find dictionary)

  60. Plockho is bad neechyevo, means couldn't give a shit.

  61. 'ello all

    now i remember why i hardly ever spend christmas in the uk..feel like my liver is about to explode.....

  62. aha! getting there now...thank you all in dictionary corner...

  63. Erm, Philippa

    The wotsitthingy that tells us where people are logged on from is showing 1 person from the Russian Federation!

  64. Yeah, sorry, Pip...pasted the wrong word...it's хорошо...not that I speak Russian, it's just that I remembered Burgess explaining the evolution of Nadsat (the language in A Clockwork Orange) and that was one of the words he explained.

    I always loved the fact that 'horrorshow' meant good. 'Yeah, man, it was a great party, real horrorshow...'

  65. no worries, politely - thought you were just throwing in an adverb to help.

    russian visitor? has nap gone already?

    anyway - dinner tonight with oisette's friend and friend's month, so need to concentrate on french for now.

    have a good evening, all!

  66. Passe une bonne soiree, Philippa! :o)

  67. Hey Gandolfo, if you're looking in. Text me to let me know if you are still up for a drink tomorrow or not. I have to ferry my Dad about a bit but in principle it should be ok, even if it's only for a quick one down The Bear? (And anyone else who might be able to make it to Horsham)

  68. Still here Phillipa. And not likely going to the end of February, fucking Visa issues. That really is очень плохо.

    Merry x mas and (boxing day I suppose)to you all.
    Bolshy great big yarbles to thee and thine, my fellow droogies.

  69. Also a funny thing with Russian (or sad if you are a linguistic conservative) is the adding of foreign words that have to obey the Russian grammar rules. For example, the word 'sportsmen' in russian refers only to a single participant in sport, the plural would be 'sportsmeny'. But if it was a women, she would be a 'sportsmenka'.

  70. BB
    i have tried to text you for some reason it's not sending them..i can make it around 7ish onwards tomorrow...how's that for you?

  71. Hey gandolfo - around 7 would be great! my email is beautifulburnoutbirdchrome@gmail.com if you get a chance. Looks like it will just be us two old birds, so The Bear would be great, if that's ok with you. Haven't been there for ages.

    Happy Boxing day Nap. Sorry to hear about your visa probs. x

  72. BB
    just tried to call you but where were you? gassing on here!!! I'll mail you now with possible logistics!!! Oh The Bear old haunt....great...!

  73. It's been a long time since anyone posted anything.
    Were these women on drugs? (Does the pope wear a silly dress...)

  74. Hi All--Hectic few days here at Boudican Towers. 6 adults, 3 kids, though good spirit throughout. Speaking of spirits, wine and tequila is a potent combo, seemed a good idea at the time. Not so sure now.

    Off visiting, Best to everyone.

  75. Oh fuck, the blogger link is playing up again! Don't mind me... just checking the lines of communication!

  76. Here' a choon from Elton John.... one of my faves from "The Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" album which was the first bit of vinyl I bought for £3,99 way back in the 70's!

  77. Sorry for being offensive @dave from france...drink and dyspepsia..here you go..Richard & Linda Thompson - I'll Regret It All In The Morning

  78. g'evening/morning All.

    The post celebration lazy day got off a poor start here. Woke to find garden tap had sprung a leak - fountain of water outside back door. Immediate repairs somewhat delayed when we discovered the stop tap had been cemented over by idiot builders who had put a wheel chair ramp for a neighbour on top of it ! Eventually, after some hacking away in the freezing cold the tap was located - long, slow careful chipping finally released it until it could be turned off - pipe disconnected etc, and water restored.

    Rest of the day went well once we had warmed up.

    Boudi- Glad it all went well. Best wishes to Canada.

  79. Politely...Sorry for being offensive

    No sweat mate. Listening to the music...

    Leni...hacking away in the freezing cold sounds like froggie's idyllic country life!

  80. HMMM looks like I'm out of Pre-Mod

    "frog2 27 December 2010 3:45AM

    The French did not have a Beveridge Report, but their equivalent was the programme of the CNR (Conseil National de la Résistance) in North Africa 1943.

    Trade unionists, Communists, were involved, and it took months of negotiation to conclude a plan for a Welfare State, health for all and unemployment insurance .

    When the debate on the so-called European Constitution was raging here in 2005, many former Resistants and Deportees got together because they saw it as a betrayal of the ideals of the CNR. They were right.

    Contrary to one poster above, I think 30 pages is just fine . I shall be distributing around the world to French friends and french-readers .

    And to Hell with the postage!


    NN , to nobody perhaps !