30 December 2010


Faience statuette of a hippopotamus, Middle Kingdom, c. 2000–1700 BC 

Our intentions make blackguards of us all; our weakness in carrying them out we call probity.
-Pierre Choderlos de Laclos


  1. Morning.

    Found this, apparently hidden away in the Joe Public blog, since last June:
    Diary of an incap benefit claimant

  2. morning mschin, nice hippo.

    according to the visitor graphic thingy, i'm not really here. will go and see if can find self on cif...

  3. Hi Philippa

    I can see a French flag on the thingy .. and an Australian one too.

    And the hippo is a handsome chap.

  4. A New Year message here from Ed at Ginandtacos, who has looked upon the Internet and seen that it is not good.

  5. Morning all. I love the sight of a tin-glazed hippo in the morning.

    There's a post of mine in the spam bin; could someone please take a look and dig it out?

  6. Digging expedition successful.

  7. @PeterJ

    That’s a different sort of faience, apparently.

    I never knew there were two sorts, either. Although I was unaware of the “tin” variety, and thought faience was always vitrified sand and quartz.

    I have, as they say, lived and learned.

  8. Bloody hell Swifty, are there really two types? So mother was wrong!

  9. @PeterJ:

    Yep, I know. Confusing, isn’t it?

    PS Mother was often wrong. She was only trying to protect us, though.

  10. This mother-blaming nonsense is just sooooo misogynist. You men are such bullies.

  11. Morning all

    CoryB is in my bad books as he just wandered across my netbook keyboard and did a poop on it. Obviously an improvement on him languishing pathetically snuggled against my chest as I type, but honestly!!

  12. Swifty

    You fail to understand. Mothers may not always be right, but we are never wrong.

  13. ooh, prog on ofra haza on R4 - wonder if they will have a piece from mr eldritch...

  14. @BB:

    Ah yes, but Margaret Thatcher was a mother, too. As was Hitler (I think – or was he a vegetarian???)

    Anyway, odd coincidence, what with this talk of mothers and all, but it’s five years to the day since my own went to her too-early grave.

    Better ring the Aged P. tonight, cheer him up a bit.

    “All right, ain't you, Aged P.?”
    “All right, John, my boy, all right!”

    …should sum it up, I reckon.

  15. I found this to be sad in a hilarious kind of way.

    Having glanced at Dribbly for no particular reason, there were a couple of comments about there being no Ciffies this year.

    AllyF thought that the reason for this was not, as someone else suggested, because MaM won last year, but because ImogenBlack had a hissy-fit and went into meltdown after a couple of people suggested that the vast volume of her output did not run in parallel with any identifiable quality.

    To which JezzaBella replies:

    30 December 2010 10:56AM


    FWIW I suspect the lack of Ciffies is less to do with what happened to MAM and much more to do with what happened to ImogenBlack.

    What happened to Imogen? Fyi - it's because it was a massive pain to organise, and we're not sure the results were worth the hours we put in counting each nominations by hand! Also, the thread turned out to be quite nasty at times - not sure that's good "community building" (kill me now for using the term, but you know what I mean).


    So, ImogenBlack posts so regularly on CiF - there are unconfirmed reports that she was once clocked posting 750 times an hour - for a couple of years that she ends up being fired because her boss cunningly spots that her contributions to CiF run hand-in-hand with her lack of performing the job for which she is paid and then she is completely forgotten by the very person she tried so assiduously to impress.

    There must be a lesson there for MarzipanInEuphorbia.

    Something like:

    However many times you supply us with free content and however high you try to crawl up our collective backside, you are always just the unpaid help.

    Unless you keep posting, ridiculed and ignored, you are forgotten as soon as you disappear.

  16. BB how on earth are you going to clean poo off your keyboard.

  17. Swifty - Mums dying at Christmas is shite. Mine died far too early too, just before Crimbo 2003. Hugs, mate.

    Lol at Hitler being a mother.. :o)

    And Lol at BW too.

    Meerkatjie - they are pellets, luckily, so easy to pick up whole, as it were, with a tissue and chuck in the bin. Still annoying though. Not to mention a probably editorial comment on what I type... :o)

  18. AB - some of the posts about Imogen were justifiable. Some were just plain vile. And apparently people had tracked down her email - seeing as she was posting under her own name - and sent her abusive mail too. Under those circs I think I would stop posting as well.

    The Ciffies threads did get nasty, though. A certain poster who always blames me for being banned had a complete meltdown on one of them - presumably because he had not been nominated - and went into a complete hissy fit, with something like eight or nine posts deleted in the space of about an hour. Which prompted the post from "his mother the moderator" the same night.

    All in all, I think it is a good idea they have stopped the Ciffies - it was no more than a popularity contest at the end of the day, and some of the most erudite posters were completely ignored.

  19. @BB
    Get a catapault...

    Check out THISbullshit.

  20. I always voted for Seumas Milne and Soumaya Ghanoush


  21. @BB:

    Thanks old girl, likewise.

    ”…some of the most erudite posters were completely ignored…”

    Tell me about it. I got one single solitary nomination, from Cath “Bloody” Elliott of all people. Mind you, demonstrated if nothing else that she had a sense of humour, if you were one of those who, like me, had her down as some sort of humourless boiler-suited, army-booted rad fem horror…


    Dash it all to hell, you beat me to it. You’ve been on the internet too long, you old fox.

  22. More from Balsamic Breaks
    Experience the four main qualities of life

    Feel in harmony with those you meet. The new encounters at Balsamic Breaks will be with people who are interested in personal growth, both intellectually and spiritually. Like you, the members of Balsamic Breaks are open, sociable and enjoy conversing with new-found friends, but also appreciate dancing late into the night, taking walks in the desert at dusk, a midnight swim in the pool, or simply reading a book. Members have plenty of occasions to mingle and converse during meal times and afternoon tea. Or after dinner, share your day's experiences at The Buddha Bar.

    Live unforgettable experiences. Without limits or constraints in terms of schedules and activities, at your arrival you will receive a program of balsamic opportunities individually tailored to you. You may choose to experience active meditation sessions, swim with dolphins, or sleep out in the desert. You might wish to experience a “green” and vegetarian day on a desert island, or prepare dinner with a Bedouin family, or tell fairy tales to Maldivian children, to name a few. Or you may choose to do nothing at all, tanning on the beach and admiring the colors of the coral reef, enjoying tea with the gardener as he explains the Egyptian technique for drying dates, or simply sharing interests and thoughts with a new friend.

    Appreciate the value of diversity. Descendants from ancient cultures invite you to share their customs and traditions. You might receive gifts of immeasurable value, like the narration of tales and legends of their ancestors. You may be invited to a feast and in exchange, explain to the curious and smiling children the wonders of modern technology you carry with you. Or you may be shown the local rituals of matrimony for example; in the Maldives marriage is celebrated through writing phrases on petals. In the south of Egypt it is marked by the drinking of ginger tea. What you discover and what you receive will depend on your respect towards your hosts, the reverence you have for your surroundings and your willingness to learn.

    Discover the pleasure of searching for your deeper self. Whether after a sacred dance or a hike in the mountains of the silent desert, singing around a bonfire late into the night or roaming through the mangroves, you will rediscover yourself and experience the pleasure of a serene and joyous mind once more. You may find it when preparing some freshly caught tuna with friends or simply in a moment of silence, but you will inevitably find a sensation of renewed wellness; being in harmony with your body, mind and soul. Rejoice in your newfound strength and complete freedom throughout your Balsamic Break.

    One for the Class of Max Gogarty I reckon. Shit.

  23. Swifty - those were the days eh ?? Bless ya. We really need to get this meet up sorted me old mucker.

  24. Can someone get my last post out of the bin please ?


  25. BB

    Yes, I am sure everything you say is true. Even when I was posting on CiF, I did not see a lot of point in the Ciffies and seem to remember they were a disaster each year from the outset.

    However, my main point was that JezzaBella either pretends not to or genuinely does not remember the incident concerning ImogenBlack.

    I may be wrong on this one, but I am also pretty sure that the same JezzaBella once called ImogenBlack something like "a valued contributor."

    It was at this point that I understood that CiF was hurtling so fast into the "any old shit as long as there is plenty of it" gutter that it had become a horse no longer worth flogging.

    They say - apocryphally - that sharks have to keep moving forwards or they die.

    As I said about MascarponeInEntrails the other day, if he stopped posting for a few days, the only reaction when his name was mentioned would be: "Who the fuck is she?"

    The CiF shark was jumped ages ago.

  26. Swifty
    For all her militant "great article again Bidisha !" bullshit I always had Cath down as a probable laugh-riot at a piss-up. Seriously...

  27. Balsamic Breaks? WTF?! Is that an advert for a hippy Club Med or something?

    As an aside, you know Club Med was always advertised as being a bit posh and exclusive in the UK in the 80s? In France, where it originates, it is considered to be the equivalent of Butlins... they even did a "Carry On" type series of films about it called "Les Bronzes"


  28. morningish

    imogenblack actually put her own mail up nobody "tracked her down", when she was confronted about it said something about freedom of communication or gibberish like that...

  29. AB - fair point, and well made. Having said that, I still like CiF for what it means to me, if that makes any sense.

    It still allows me to metaphorically shout at the telly on a regular basis, and have a good old barney about something annoying me, or making me laugh.

    Without which I think I would be really shouting at the telly all the time and the men in the white coats would be called by my neighbours...

  30. Rescued, BW. Now I know what to get Matt and his dear wife for xmas.

  31. @BW

    Those Balsamic Breaks look to me like a vision of hell, populated - if the website is any guide - by catalogue models and all-purpose twats. Perhaps my chakras need re-aligning.

  32. BB

    Yes, absolutely. Don't get me wrong.

    I really do not like celery but will eat it at a push. However, nothing would make me tell other people not to eat it.


    I thought the Balsamic vinegar stuff was a joke.

    To find that it is, however loosely, tied to some variety of reality makes the world seem a slightly more soiled and crumpled place.


    Yes, ImogenBlack was a yawningly tireless but incredibly inept self-publicist.

  33. Morning Gandopho, and Thaum and PeterJ and anyone else I have missed!

    Ah, I didn't realise that was how it happened re Imogen. Bit daft, really. If I remember rightly, she is quite young though, so probably quite naive.

  34. @BW:

    Mentioning "laugh riot” reminded me of that infamous, foul-mouthed Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin studio exchange…


    I’ve never seen “The Caddy” but they sure make it sound like I should...

  35. Atomgirl is sending me to Waitrose.

    Not only may I be some time, but there is virtually no hope that I will come back with anything like what I have been sent to buy.

    When we first got together, she sent me to get something like soured cream or yoghurt, which she needed urgently for something she was cooking.

    I got sidetracked and went back late with something like a loaf and some butter - because I knew dairy products were involved in the original errand and bread is always useful.

    It is very rare for me to be trusted on these expeditions.

    Apparently, today's mission is bread and milk.

    This could all go horribly wrong.

  36. BB
    naive...not at all......a self publicist as AB pointed out frequently posting about where her next stage appearance was due....bit of an aspiring diva......

    get your chakras realigned mate..!!!!

  37. Re: Imogen Black - I think she has been working in her chosen profession (ie acting) for most of the year and hence has no time/interest in CiF.

    And BB, actors are not usually naive.

  38. BB, thauma
    I used to know a girl who grew up all bitter and twisted because her wealthy parents gave her brothers control of the farm and just sent her off to posh school. She became an animals libber, went to Holloway jail for a bit (couple of weeks), became a new ager went to Nepal for a bit (ran away when she realised it wasn't all she hoped.)

    She'd love all that shite.

    A female mate of ours suffers quite bad fits occasionally, since a brain injury when a child. As a result she's never been able to drive or work full time, but has still become an excellent working with wood. Lives on lifes margins, but very down to earth, I respect her a lot.

    The New Ager once described her problems as merely all about her 'karma'.


    These holidays remind me of that type - superscilious, moneyed, self-obesessed, utter New Age wanker...

  39. MsChin
    From what I remember ImB got the sack from her rather boring temping/clerking job for a bank, the day she was told about it she came online and had a massive moan about it - then it all went quiet. Never understood the point of having a pop at her, she seemed pretty innocuous to me, but then by then I wasn't ciffing much at all by then...

  40. Afternoon all

    Some people on waddya really do like to rewrite history.Imogen Black was never driven off waddya or the rest of cif for that matter.She had a row with a journalist called Anne Wollenberg over the summer and hasn't been seen much since.End of story!

    This tendancy of certain people on waddya to forever play 'victim' either on their own behalf or on behalf of their 'friends' is really tedious.

  41. BW

    Yep, that's how I remember it. I think she is now acting under the name Imogen Banks.

    And I never had a problem with her either and wish her all the best.

  42. Afternoon Paul

    Ah - I didn't know about the Anne Wollenberg thingy. Is there a link? Was it on one of Anne Wollenberg's pieces? I will try and find it.

    I do remember her saying she was leaving her job and wouldn't have as much access to the intarwebz as before, but I still maintain that some of the posts about her were pretty vile at the time.

    And yes, Gandolfo, thinking about it, you are probably right about the self-publicising bit as opposed to the naivety.

  43. Swifty
    Loving that link. Heh. With a big c@ck on it.

  44. @Paul, BB

    Imogen's dispute with Anne Wollenberg was on a Waddya thread, starting here, following Anne's piece on DLA here and Imogen's comments starting here. This was all in June, long after the Ciffie stuff.

    (By appointment: customised searches for the carriage trade.)

  45. Thanks, PJ. I managed to find it. All seems a bit of a non-drama really. Not the sort of thing that would result in someone flouncing off...

  46. I had no personal issues with Imogen Black. Like God knows how many others, she posted bland, anodyne, consensus-driven banalities interspersed with equally predictable strictures on the 'horrors' of temp work. But 'Poster of The Year'? D00d...please.

    What I found most depressing about that whole fiasco (at least the first Poster of The Year fiasco was fucking funny--I nominate Soumaya Milne and Shameless Ghannoushi) was that, if I recall correctly, the very first comment/nomination on that thread came from Brian Whittaker (the Graun's staff reporter for the Middle East)nominating Imogen Black.

    Ever since then, I read every Brian Whittaker article with a sceptical eye. After all, if a man can allow his judgement to be clouded in such a pathetically obvious way (middle-aged man/fruity young girl), how trustworthy are any of his judgements? Pitiful.

  47. Woohoo!

    That seemed to go quite well, although the things I bought have not quite made their way through the "goods inwards" process yet.

    I probably went a bit overboard on the bread products. One loaf became several and then I added some rolls and a baton and some other stuff.

    A bit silly, when we both bake bread anyway.

    It was not until I got back home that an incident in which I probably toppled or knocked over a small woman or child as I negotiated the corner of an aisle kept looping through my head.

    There were no screams or crashes, so maybe it didn't happen.

    I just think the manager of the shop is now "reviewing" their security-camera footage with a policeman in a fluorescent yellow tabard, who is possibly called Dave.

    I'm not answering the telephone or door until...about March or April.

  48. Blimey!

    I wish I'd never posted the ImogenBlack business now.

    There are so many shades and layers and nuances, so many details which had been forgotten but jump back to life when someone mentions them and poke you in the eye like a nail on the end of a club wielded by a cartoon character who has escaped into Lumpy Land.

    It's worse than WikiLeaks!

    We all knew it was happening but were too busy and distracted to properly witness history being made.

    When is the film version coming out?

  49. Who's going to play Bidisha? I nominate Roland Rat...

  50. politely - the kid who played Oliver Twist in the BBC adaptation would be pretty good. you'd just have to draw all over him with a biro.

  51. politelyhomicidal

    Who's going to play Bidisha? I nominate Roland Rat...

    If there are any budget constraints, they could possibly use one of the early, rejected versions of the Liza Minelli plastic doll.

    I saw one in a skip the other day which might clean up OK.

  52. Madeleine Bunting will be played by Alastair Sim...

  53. I have been struck down with a chronic case of man-flu - this thread has been some much needed entertainment. I dont remember Imogen leaving over the ciffies, the whole thing was quite amusing i thought, some good banter, who gives a shit if MaM wins - its the ciffies.

    By the sounds of it its sheer laziness up Graun towers preventing a repeat, bloated and stuffed on Eritrean alfafa and fennel wrapped Halal winterval pies and lattes with milk squeezed from the breast of a malnourished, transexual Ethiopian artesan, they seem to have keeled over and said "counting the nominations took too long". What else they got going on in the slowest news week of the year? They're a uselesss bunch sometimes...

  54. You do recall correctly, politelyhomicidal, and the same louche fawning affected too many of her BTL supporters.

  55. Jay

    I am sure they are lazy and their uselessness is more of a reliable constant than a mutable occasional attribute.

    However, I also think they have reached the stage of wanting to re-establish who is in charge, after doing the "It's a Royal Knockout" routine for the last couple of years.

    You think moderation needs looking at? Yeah, well fuck off because we don't.

    You like the Ciffie Circus at Winterval? Knock your own together with chewing gum and newspaper because we're not doing it.

    You want an article on [put your own subject here]? Fuck off, we'll do another one about Wimminz Good, Menz Bad - like it or lump it.

    Basically, for all the PR and puff and pretence, they think the people below the line are a bunch of annoying shits.

    Unless you can pucker up like an arse sucker, of course.

    In which case, you are a shitbag to be laughed at and exploited.

  56. The most irritating thing about Imogen was her refusal to learn how to spell the most simple words, such as 'their'.

    More advanced concepts were obviously beyond her.


  57. Shouldnt that be

    /end pedantry, or
    /pedantry over

    ? I dont care how many sherries you've had, Turgle, get your act together!

    Atom - all adds to the comedy of the place, the gap between ideal and reality. Like modding - on recent experience, the meeting that followed that thread must have gone something like "well, good news, everyone seems to think we're doing a great job on this front - why reinvent the wheel eh?".

    For the ciffies i thought they would have interns to do the donkey work of counting nominations, they could even have got Gogarty to do it from his iphone in Mozambique where he is currently helping build an orphanage and starting up his own skinny jean boutique for globe trotting north London public school types. Or that lad Melcher, he should be earning his keep - leave the lattes for 5 minutes sonny and count the damn nominations.

  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. Ah, there you are PeterB, this one's for you

    AVOID identity theft by creating your bank and credit card accounts using someone else's name and address

    Viz Top-Tips

  60. So if there are to be no Ciffies, will The Untrusted organise something along the lines of the Razzies? They could be called - oh, I don't know - the Brackies, and the winner could get a little piece of gilded bracken mounted on a credit card.

  61. The winner gets a Bracken doll, Benulek - pull the string and get a range of insults: "I have crushed you like the bronzed leaf beneath my booted foot", "You are a deluded fantasist so bereft of grip on reality that you dont even understand the extent of the demolition i have inflicted on you", etc, complete in battle fatigues but with an alternate outfit of... the linen suit.

    *toy bike sold separately

    I think it could be fun. Brackens guide to CIF 2010 - what do you say, Major?

  62. Just got back and reconnected

    good seeing Jay and PeterJ the other night

    as I recall the ciffies, three things spring immediately to the fore

    1) funny as fuck...but I got banned twice for failing to correctly perceive the brilliance of a certain special status poster and her half-hourly blandishments..and, instead, just saying what everyone was thinking (ie. FFS! Imogen fuckin Black??)

    2) The way I was immediately mobbed, victimised and vilified by a wild-eyed and rabid magnolia lynch-mob...pure fuckin abuse...did I cry foul?...did I demand protection?...nope...I just kept on calmly asserting "but she's not really very good, or interesting, or readable"...like a conscientious little trooper.

    3) I accept, in retrospect, that my 'hate-fest' was influenced by a long-standing latent 'fear' of strong independent intelligent women...like the time I shouted "you daft fuckin cow" at Harriet Harman...just my another of my inadequacies popping out to say 'hello'.

  63. Benulek


    What sections shall we have for nominations?

    This sounds like fun. You can almost scent the oozy covetousness of those who want to carry away the little prize, after an appropriately tear-drenched ceremony.

  64. Likewise, MF, good to see the pair of you - though the next day i couldnt actually remember saying goodbye, went on and got quite smashed in town, hopefully this is just poor memory and i didnt just announce i was leaving and walk out. My memories failing in old age... 27 in a couple of weeks, the care home beckons...

  65. Obviously, MaastrichtInEuroparts has already won the "Infinity Plus One Sudden Onset Narcolepsy Posts Nobody Ever Reads" category.

  66. And MichaelBulley has made the 'Unfunny Pseudo-Naive Pedantry' category his own (that, I should explain, is not literally 'made'; he didn't construct the category himself out of balsa wood and string).

  67. There's also a 'Lighten Up Man, You're Taking This All Waaaaaaay Too Seriously' award for which the field is wide open.

  68. 'ning back from the pit face....

    I was going the to mention the THIER
    thing which was as consistent as the banality of most of IB's posts......but you took the honour...

  69. Ah feck, just managed to self-destruct a post.

    Well the gist of it was:

    Hi MF, Jay and Benulek

    How about an award for the best non sequitur in a thread? For some reason when the pubs close you always get someone come on to a thread about something completely innocuous and start ranting about something completely different. Usually with very bad spelling. They are good for a laugh though.

  70. Looking through the What Recipe Do You Want To Talk About? thread, I note that the same clueless twits who were making excuses for Imogen Black's nomination are still peddling the same old horseshit.

    I also note that they are, without exception, posters who've never been banned.

    Frankly, anyone who's never been banned is just the CiF equivalent of lobby-fodder. They've never been banned because they've never said anything that was of the slightest interest or originality; that made the mods or the editorial staff or the ABL dipshits uncomfortable or furious or disturbed or (assuming that they're capable of shame) ashamed.

    They're CiF's in-house processed cheese; their beige; their Last of The Summer Wine--bland, dull, inoffensive, safe as milk.

    AllyF is a case in point. That cunt's been on there for as long as I can remember--he was already there when I first joined (early 2007).

    I was banned within months because I couldn't keep my mouth diplomatically shut and just, y'know...go with the flow, man.

    Ally, meanwhile, like most CiFers, has never done anything but keep his mouth diplomatically shut and go with the flow.

    And he's there still...posting his timid little aperçus, voicing his hesitant little disagreements, tip-toeing around anything that might, you know...cause trouble...posting his dull, pious little homilies on 'tolerance' (i.e. not making waves) and being nice to half-wits.

    Yeah, well, fuck that for a lark...but, hey...if that's what floats their boat, carry on...and I'll carry on pointing, sneering and mocking, because that's what floats my boat.

  71. Spamfucked a-fucking-gain..this is getting to be too much. For the love of Christ: MOVE TO FUCKING WORDPRESS!I need to rescue something from the spam folder once every 2 to 3 months, if that...Jesus.

  72. "How about an award for the best non sequitur in a thread? "

    You'd be here all day. Headline - tories privatise 98% of nations forests!

    - Brown wrecked the pensions!

    - immigrants will be using them for campsites anyway!

    - its gay rights gone mad!

    People seem to feel less and less obligation to actually respond to articles these days, a half baked, 9 word mini-rant about any topic you fancy seems to be fair game these days.

  73. "Spamfucked a-fucking-gain.." - there you go, spamfuck reversed.

  74. "However, my main point was that JezzaBella either pretends not to or genuinely does not remember the incident concerning ImogenBlack."

    I have to ask... What on earth happened to Imogen Black? It's been repeated in hushed terms in a way that makes me wonder if I should be looking for a log lady and a bloke called Bob.

  75. Jay

    Exactly the kind of thing I meant! :o)

  76. Perhaps a Whaddya-focused award for the "Poster Having Suggested the Greatest Number of Subjects for Discussion Ideally Suited to a 1950s Edition of Woman's Own".

  77. I dont mind Ally at all, to be honest, he's had a few fallings out with the CiF overlords but i think he hides his contempt under the Reasonable Man persona - which he does pretty well - but plenty of us cant do; in fact, making sure the writer is well aware of your seething contempt is one of CiF's great pleasures... But then you do get the bans and premods.

  78. Like? Hell, I like my labrador retriever (Honey--because she's very thick and very sweet). I like my cat Pongo...hell, I even had Pongo The Cat as a username (before it got banned, natch). I like the rather slow-witted barmaid in my local pub.

    It's their opinions I don't give a fuck about...

  79. Nowt happening here i see!

    CHILL OUT to this track instead.

  80. "Banned for being interesting. Bastards! They couldn't deal with me. Too interesting. And challenging. They couldn't cope, never come up against someone so interesting before. Cunts. Wouldn't know interesting if it sat on their faces. And you?"

    "Same thing. Sent them my article: 'The Unbearable Lightness of not Being Me'and Zap! Cunts!"


  82. Detectives had been watching Joanna Yeates's landlord for several days before arresting him on suspicion of her murder...He was an active member of the local Liberal Democrats...former pupils said he was particularly fond of the Pre-Raphaelites. One student called him a "stickler for discipline"...--The Grauniad, today

    So: a LibDem, fond of Andrew Lloyd-Weber's favourite painters, a sadist...I think we have our man.

  83. 1. THANK YOU, SHAZ!! I actually managed to get the whole proxy switchy thing figured out and went to the iPlayer & have now watched one episode of the Swedish version of Wallander. I'm a happy bunny! And pleasantly surprised by how much of the Swedish I could still understand after all this time. No Skånsk accents, though. I s'pose they want everyone who's not in Skåne to be able to understand, too.

    2. I've never even been in fucking pre-mod. Does that mean I'm boring and have nothing to say?

    3. I don't recall Imogen ever saying she was fired -- she said she was leaving to concentrate on her acting. As far as I know, this notion that she was fired because she was on Cif too much is just someone else's explanation of her leaving. She may not be the brightest bulb on the marquee, but I don't recall her ever being vicious so, unless someone can point me to a comment where she admitted to having been fired, I think it's a bit unfair to repeat the "she was fired for being on Cif too much" line as if it were known to be true.

  84. Interestingly enough, if you google the phrase "I'm so interesting", this song is one of two that comes up. Pretty good too, I'd say.

  85. Bloody hell; MsChin has cleared the thread again!

  86. By the way -- the Swedish version is much, much better than the Branagh version. Not being done in that irritating, washed-out colours filming is enough to make it so. But the acting was better and the story was more important than the Wallander character. The Branagh version seems (to me) to almost be as much about what a fucked-up person Wallander is as it is about the crime.

  87. chekhov

    Cheers! It's my claim to fame ..


    I've never been in pre-mod or banned, plus I can clear a thread so I must be more boring than you.


    I don't seem to end up in the spambin either. Any tips you can share?

  88. "Interestingly enough, if you google the phrase "I'm so interesting", this song is one of two that comes up."

    "Interestingly enough, if you google the phrase..."

    ...sounds like the name of a particularly riotous round of a Radio 4 comedy quiz with Sandy Toksvig, Jeremy Hardy, Imogen Black and Alan Shearer on this weeks panel...don't try that shit around here you fuckin bourgeois fifth columnist bastard piece of shit

    I think you miss the point about Imogen Black..(whether she was real or not)..fact is from a Guardian PR-minded perspective she was the fuckin real deal...allegedly: thoughtful, compassionate, feisty, progressive 'creative' female...and for all know..maybe she was/is..but the fact remains, she was a fuckin simple-minded, inconsistent, vacuous bore...the thing that got me worked up was the fact that the Imogen Black 'persona' seemed to have as much appeal to the readership as it did to the CIF hierarchy (who, naturally, loved her to bits)...and neither can have based it on much that she thought or wrote..which was 'follow the white line' boilerplate Guardianese...no fuckin overview..no plan B...look at the way she used to just dig herself deeper when caught out...headless chicken stuff

    her widespread nominations were a sign that nobody reads anything over there...it's image
    and posture all the way down

    PS...naturally, that's why I got banned...just too much of a bad-ass righteous motherfuckin truth-machine...that place needs me...but it can't afford me and it can't contain me

  89. Do you ever have one of those days where your brain doesn't seem connected to your hands or your mouth? Everything you say just goes 'blahhhhhhh'?

    I think I might just go and drink wine and wait for tomorrow to start.

  90. BTW: I got this book in my Christmas stocking: "The Silent State" (secrets, surveillance and the myth of British democracy) by Heather Brooke.

    You may well remember her as the journalist who broke the MPs expenses scandal which the Telegraph took all the credit for.

    I've only read the first chapter but for me it follows the wikileaks exposure, ie, it just confirms what we really knew all along.

    Maybe that's why it's not front page news on every newspaper because they all think we know what the scam is anyway.

    Errr...no....that doesn't work does it?

    Why? Because the proliferation of data bases to scrutinize every aspect of our lives from birth to death is truly staggering and more to the point we are paying for it (again with an eye watering amount of dosh) and no say in its accountability.

  91. "Do you ever have one of those days where your brain doesn't seem connected to your hands or your mouth? Everything you say just goes 'blahhhhhhh'?"

    One of those days?

    I'm lucky if I have one in seven where that doesn't happen!

  92. I've always acknowleged that there are some good regualr posters on waddya.And when the usual 'dross' is absent these posters can and do have some interesting conversations.

    Have just had a quick butchers over there and i'm genuinely shocked to learn that ECT is still administered in this country.I really thought it had been consigned to the past.

    I know the Mental Health Service in this country is called the 'Cinderella Service'because of its lack of funding and the low priority it's given within th NHS.And i'm aware of the widespread discrimination those with MH problems face in the labour market as well as society at large.Additionally i know that 40% of working aged people claiming disability benefits have MH problems and they seem to be particularly suffering at the hands of ATOS.But i repeat i genuinely had no idea ECT was still being administered and i find the fact that it is truly horrifying.

  93. Same as the banking scam. Try lobbing Heather Brookes new book onto "wadya" for something open for discussion and watch and weep when it gets ignored.

    Democracy, my arse,,,,,

  94. A survey of ECT use in 1980 found that more than half of ECT clinics failed to meet minimum standards set by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, with a later survey in 1998 finding that minimum standards were largely adhered to, but that two-thirds of clinics still fell short of current guidelines, particularly in the training and supervision of junior doctors involved in the procedure.[88] A voluntary accreditation scheme, ECTAS, was set up in 2004 by the Royal College, but as of 2006 only a minority of ECT clinics in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have signed up.[89]

    Got the above quote from wikipedia regarding the use of ECT in this country.Seems there is still potential for it to be administered in a sub standard and potentially dangerous(?) fashion.And whilst most people give their consent to treatment it seems some don't.It seems also that women and/or the over 65's are most likely to get ECT but i wonder whether they have people representing them who have their best interests at heart.

    Maybe i'm guilty of a bit of a kneejerk reaction here given the fact i need to know more about ECT but the fact it's still being used is making my alarm bells ring.

  95. @MsChin, your claim to fame comes from being a thoroughly decent human being and the world would be a better place with more people like you in it!

    BTW: where's Leni?

    She's made of the same stuff!

  96. Montana

    She may not be the brightest bulb on the marquee, but I don't recall her ever being vicious so, unless someone can point me to a comment where she admitted to having been fired, I think it's a bit unfair to repeat the "she was fired for being on Cif too much" line as if it were known to be true.

    Since I am the one guilty of propagating that particular meme, I shall have to say that I do not know whether it is true or not, so it's a fair cop, guv.

    I had thought that she made an announcement with fingers clawing the keyboard and typing the last message before the security guards prised her hands from the desk and ejected her with a black bin-liner cluttered with hair-care and manicure products.

    I seemed to remember the Dribbly regulars were aghast and outraged that one of their own should be treated so disrespectfully and it was at this stage that the connection between carpet-bombing CiF with random smears of half-formed, random, meaningless and hybrid words from 9-5 and the reason behind the sudden sacking was made.

    Obviously, I could be wrong and probably am - in the same way that I now think she was not the recipient of JezzaBella's accolade of "respected and valued contributor" or whatever it was. That was actually someone whose name I forget. She was a similar pet for a while, who had little kisses and punctuation faces aimed at her every time she appeared.

    Again, once she failed to post for a few days, she was forgotten immediately.

    Like LordSummerisle, the Darling Bud of Dribbly for a season, the focus of a ferocious internet campaign for reinstatement and...promptly forgotten.

    Which was my main point...

    CiF is like the massed rallies under Stalin, where you could never be seen to be the first one to stop clapping if you wanted to avoid the bus to the salt-mine.

    On CiF, you must never be seen to stop posting if you do not want to end up in Cyberia.

  97. Cheers, chekhov - need a psychological stroke right now, just heard wot's coming next on Eastenders - a Sudden Infant Death. I may well take up drinking again & go and verbally abuse Tanya Gold for a bit.

  98. I'm afraid that's my hello and goodnight for this evening.

    Is it New Year yet?

  99. I have friends who've lost babies, who've been really upset by the SIDS story on eastenders - depicting mothers as running off to steal babies after losing their infants. It does sound like a rather problemmatic depiction of womanhood, motherhood, and frankly of SIDS.

    Paul, did you happen to see the NHS stats I put up on the whaddya thread? I always find they make somewhat chilling reading. My students are always a bit taken aback when I teach this stuff to them - and they're third years by the time I get my hands on them. You're really not the only person to think that ECT was a thing of the past.

    The thing that always chills me is the glib point that's made that they 'really don't know why it works' (even the royal college of psychiatrists has this on their pages on ECT).

  100. @Paul; I don't know bugger all about "ECT" other than my experience of watching "One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest" which I found quite horrifying.

    However from what I can gather, since we all run on electrity after all and our scientists have worked out how that electricity makes neuro nerve links in separate parts of our brains the science of "ECT" might not be as scarey as was once seemed!

  101. (Oh and the link to the RCPsych site on there lists the current accredited clinics)

  102. meerkat

    I'm a SIDS mum, hence my comment.

  103. Oh I'm so sorry, I didn't know that MsChin.

    It just seems a profoundly insensitive 'story' for them to take up.

  104. Eastenders has covered SIDS before, many years ago. It's the time of year that I'm finding problematic and as you say, the uncharacteristic behaviour of a SIDS mum swapping babies.

  105. Here's a tip for anyone considering a career as a casting agent..

    If it's a male role which is at all interesting,look for a suitable man.

    If it's a female role which is at all interesting..after you've offered it to Helena Bonham Carter, and she's too busy...look for a suitable woman.

    She's in fuckin everything...whenever I think of a 'random woman'..which sounds a bit weird, but, say, if I'm conducting a thought experiment which calls for a quirky, over-emoting woman given to furtive glances and meaningful stares..guess who just pops up out of nowhere...and she always gets left in the burning Toyota so I can use the extinguisher to save the orphans

    If I think of a random man, it's Melvyn Bragg with his arm around Wayne Rooney going to pick up some chips.

  106. @Meerkajie

    Thanks for the link on waddya.I'm usually not easily shocked but this revelation has left me gobsmacked.I need to read up more about ECT but why are such a high % of elderly patients having it?And what is their state of mind when they 'consent' to it.

    I could be wrong but my first thought on reading the stats was that ECT was being used as a quick fix to make certain people more manageable.For a while now there has been concern at the way elderly people are being regularly sedated in care homes.Is ECT being used in the same way?Also 71% of those receiving ECT are women a high % of whom are elderly.Hardly a threat to society but possibly a threat to themselves?This issue raises far too many questions that need answering.

    @Hi Chekhov.

  107. Leni has just posted on Waddya - who was looking for her?

  108. Redminer tracked down some more recent stats.

    There's not enough info in the available stats to work out precisely what they're being used for with the elderly in the UK. In the US, it's mostly used with elderly patients who are severely depressed - and often with patients with multiple health and psychological problems (e.g. Parkinson's, catatonia, schizophrenia, dementia with behavioural problems).

    The use of the procedure without consent remains pretty high - using redminer's info, just under 1300 procedures in 2008 (these will be more than one procedure on the same patient, not individual cases).

  109. Evening All

    Have indeed just visited waddya - looking for any interesting suggestions fo 2011.

    Need to catch up a bit - yet to read thread so forgive this random rant.

    Another family funeral yesterday - I opted for herding the chidren for the day.

    One 8 year old - bright and interested in science - asked me about giraffes and their necks.

    His teacher had told them, in essence - that when all animals had shocks there was not enough grass for them all to eat. Jesus appeared and told the giraffe to stick his head in a hole which he obediently did. Jesus miraculously closed the hole around his head so that when he tried to withdraw it his neck stretched. Thereafter all giraffes could reach the leaves on the trees and leave more grass for the other animals

    Do we have any recourse in law to challenge these idiots who teach such lying nonsense to our children ?

  110. Mumbo Jumbo

    Had shocks -- should have read 'had short legs'

  111. Leni

    Almost as good as the idiot who taught my friend's 5 year old that all children in Africa lived in huts and didn't sleep in beds. Being a bright 5 year old, she pointed out that Africa had a good few cities and a civilisation which predated ours.

  112. (((((((MsChin))))))) I do wish tv writers would think a bit about shit before they come up with such asinine story lines.

  113. I guess one of the good things about the US is that very few state-run school teachers would jeopardise their jobs by teaching such overtly religious dreck.

  114. hello Ms C...I'm going for the big no-smoke new year again...fags..the lot

    ...might at least earn me another footnote in the Big Book of Not Especially Heroic or Noteable Failures

    ...watch this space for a string of pathetic excuses as I seduce myself with the comfort of nihilistic fatalism...basically I just like smoking too much...not exactly a crime.. and smoking a cigarette is just so fuckin sublime on at least two or three occasions every week...and at least 'good' to 'highly satisfactory' every time...a claim you can't make for many other legal undertakings.

    none the less..I'm going in at the deep end..without a paddle...or any water

  115. Thanks, Montana. She was born 20 years ago at Xmas and died in May, but it still feels like yesterday to me & my family.

    In one way, you want TV to cover these issues to raise awareness that SIDS has not gone away, but you do want the storyline to be sensitive and honest. I have done support work, campaigning and trained professionals, but the media is a law unto itself.

  116. Monkeyfish

    Having the flu means I've effectively given up in advance of new year and with no resolution to break, just as i was well catered for, so to speak!

  117. *** Now I"ve depressed everyone again, how's about we organise a Sheffield UT get-together in the new year? :)

  118. That's heartbreaking MsChin. Awful how time contracts around grief that way. And I wonder if there's something particular about Christmas - it's so unavoidable, when it's all tied up with loss that way.

    I'm so sorry if I seemed insensitive in my reply to you earlier. I really didn't intend to be. xx

  119. meerkat

    No apology needed - I can speak about my experience if I feel that someone. somewhere is helped by knowing that you can come through it, given time. Montana will give you my email addy if you want it.

  120. @MsChin

    Don't be daft.You haven't depressed anyone.Sounds to me like you've coped really well with your loss.And you've done what you can to raise awareness of what is clearly a really painful issue.:-)


    Good luck with giving up the ciggies!

  121. Leni

    You mentioned a family funeral - I'm sorry for your loss, my friend.

    Can you complain to the school's headteacher or Board of Governors about the inappropriateness of the teacher's approach?

  122. Paul

    So long as monkfish doesn't have to give up the beer, he'll be fine, I guess ;)

  123. monkfish? this bloody self-correcting thing on the Mac is a pain at times - HRH Monkeyfish, of course.

  124. Paul

    Thanks and NN to you too.

  125. Yes, MsChin. It's the lack of sensitivity -- the notion that every/any woman who lost a child would snap and steal someone else's baby. I've seen that storyline before. I guess the reality -- that one just bears the grief and tries to get on with life -- just doesn't make for good tv.

  126. MsChin

    The loss of a child stays with us forever x

    The head teacher is an idiot of monumental proportion.

    Jan was a Polish Jew who escaped from a work camp - fought with the Free Poles. He was honoured by the British Legion yesterday which moved his son beyond tears.

  127. Montana

    A storyline focusing on maternal grief can also neglect how the father feels in that situation. That happens IRL too, when people ask him how mum is doing, for example, but not how he himself is doing.

  128. Leni - indeed. x

    I salute your friend Jan, too.

  129. Monkeyfish,
    "and smoking a cigarette is just so fuckin sublime on at least two or three occasions every week..."
    Fuckin' amateur!

  130. hello habib.

    If we organise another meet up in Sheffield, will you cross the Pennines for it -I dare you!

  131. Regarding Imogen Black, I always thought she asked more questions than offering opinions. Never saw her being mean to anyone. I could be wrong, but I have to go from what I know. I thought she was alright.

  132. MsChin, I can't give you false promises, but I would hope dearly to.

  133. habib

    I understand.

    It's the UTs 2nd birthday coming up soon, which has to be worth celebrating.

  134. This comment has been removed by the author.

  135. @monkeyfish
    Did you hear Start the Week on Monday ? Fucking hilarious.

    "How did you find it when you started the series in the eighties?"

    "Well I thought we got off pretty well Melvyn."

    "Great. You - other insanely inteligent guy ?"

    "Of course, after that introduction, I can only defer to Enoch Lesbian, Emeritous Professor of Langoustine and Beach Boys Studies by the age of eight and self harming grater of Mongolian knob cheese by eleven."

    "How about you, Andrew Marx ?"

    Marx: "I'd rather have a tuppeny whore and a six pack of stella, you tedious cunts".

    Great, unrepeatable Christmas telly that was.

  136. I take it none of you fuckers are up ?

    Just as well probably...

    See ya later hooligans.

    Here's my probable last offering for the year - an oft repeated play of Nora Dean, singing about a boy with barbwire in his underpants.

    First posted on the CiF bandit circuit, as far as I'm aware by the splendid Martillo, about three and a half years ago.


    Happy New Year Martillo.